Month: April 2014

Disaster And Data Recovery Solutions – Lord & Griffin IT Solutions

This week is Tornado Week, and Mother Nature is making sure it lives up to its reputation with destructive tornado activity across the South and Midwest. Tornadoes are dangerous, not only to homeowners, but also to businesses that are unprepared. Weather can take down buildings, as well as damage servers and other equipment.

Lord & Griffin IT Solutions is a all inclusive IT Solutions and Managed Services Provider (MSP) offering Cloud Hosting, Data and Disaster Recovery Solutions. We understand that businesses who have a disaster and data recovery plan in place for handling a weather-related disaster will save their time,  money and ultimately stay in business. Be sure you’re prepared with this checklist.

  • When disaster strikes, assess the damage. What’s the nature of the problem? Is it local to one machine, or does it affect entire systems? Have files been deleted? Are servers down?
  • Outline the road to recovery. Do you need to restore the system or data? Do files and folders need to be recovered before system recovery? Prioritize recovery tasks according to their critical factors.
  • Decide on your approach. Do you need a file restore, local virtualization, or off-site virtualization?
  • Test network connectivity with users. Make sure that people are able to access their necessary resources virtually.
  • Restore original systems. If the original systems need to be restored, decide how you will go about it.
  • Analyze the restoration. Always do a thorough analysis after each restoration, to determine if ongoing issues need to be addressed and what could have been done better.

Being prepared with an outline of step-by-step recovery actions will make the process will go smoother and faster, and will make your customers more confident in your services. If you don’t have a Disaster Plan in place or are in need of having Data recovered, Call Us Today 888-404-8282

Lord & Griffin IT Solutions - Ontrack- Data Recovery - Certified Partner

Heartbleed – Open SSL

Open SSL - HeartbleedWith the widespread use of OpenSSL across enterprise applications and servers, the newly announced OpenSSL Heartbleed Vulnerability has introduced a level of risk that organizations need to take seriously.

What is the Heartbleed bug and are you vulnerable?

The Heartbleed bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. OpenSSL is an implementation of the SSL/TLS encryption protocol used to protect the privacy of Internet communications. OpenSSL is used by many web sites and other applications like email, instant messaging, and VPNs.

The Heartbleed vulnerability allows an attacker to read the memory of systems using certain versions of OpenSSL, potentially allowing them to access user names, passwords, or even the secret cryptographic keys of the server used for SSL. Obtaining these keys would allow malicious users to observe all communications on that system, allowing further exploit.

Who is affected by Heartbleed?

According to Netcraft data: although 66% of sites use OpenSSL, only 17% are susceptible to the Heartbleed Bug, as of April 8th, 2014.

Given that this vulnerability has existed for at least two years, an organization that has deployed servers running OpenSSL (versions 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f) during this timeframe is likely vulnerable to the Heartbleed Bug and should take immediate steps to remediate.

Although there have been no successful Heartbleed attacks documented to date, but that does not mean they have not happened. Accordingly, even if your organization is not currently vulnerable, it may have been so in the past and it should be assumed that remediation is required if you have deployed the vulnerable OpenSSL versions.

While the use of OpenSSL is widespread, the impact of Heartbleed is mitigated depending on the configuration of the systems using it.

You are not vulnerable if you are:

  • not using OpenSSL (there are alternatives and many organizations use Hardware Security Modules instead of software implementation of SSL)
  • using OpenSSL compiled without the heartbeat function enabled (this excludes the heartbeat function being exploited in this attack)
  • using OpenSSL 1.0.0 or earlier (this bug was introduced following this release)

How to check for the Heartbleed vulnerability

If you use OpenSSL and are unsure if you are affected, a public test tool is available to quickly confirm if you have the vulnerability. Customers of Lord & Griffin IT Solutions and Trend Micro* customers with the Deep Security for Web Apps can run a full vulnerability scan on their web applications to check for the Heartbleed bug.

Wondering if you are vulnerable? Not sure what to do next? Go to www.trendmicro.com/heartbleed to find out what you need to know now. learn how Trend Micro’s proven security capabilities can help to secure your modern data center and cloud deployments. This includes application vulnerability scanning, SSL certificates, targeted attack detection, and comprehensive server security with critical capabilities like virtual patching to help you quickly address this and other potential issues.

As a IT Solutions and IT Systems leader in security, Lord & Griffin IT Solutions is here to help your Business or Organization better understand the threat of Open SSL Heartbleed and address the possibility of vulnerability, including:

  • Facts about the OpenSSL vulnerability
  • How to find out if you’re affected
  • And what to do if you are impacted

Lord & Griffin IT Solutions is an all-inclusive IT and Web Solutions Company.  We offer services in the following areas: IT Systems Management, IT Systems/Network Service, the utmost in Customer Service, Rural Outsourcing and Web Support in Jackson, MS and Greater Jackson Metro Area (Philadelphia & Choctaw, MS, Meridian, MS and East Mississippi and West Alabama) as well as  and New Orleans, LA and Greater New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner Metro Area (including Baton Rouge, LA).

*Trend Micro -Trusted Lord & Griffin IT Solutions Vendor.

To See IT & Web Services – Services Page

Contact Us –

  1. P.O. Box 6445, Choctaw, MS 39350
  2. 232 Market Street, Flowood, MS 39232 – 3339
  3. 201 St. Charles Avenue, Suite 2500, New Orleans , LA 70170

Phone: 1-888-404-8282
E-Mail: felixg@lordgriffinits.com

Upgrade to Windows 8

Microsoft Windows 8

Windows 8 Overview

Windows 8™ - © Microsoft

While some users may experience something akin to culture shock upon first seeing the new Windows 8 Start Screen and Modern UI, Windows 8 offers some definite improvements over past versions of Windows. The OS runs faster and smoothly and includes solid support for legacy applications and hardware. Its many touch features work wonderfully on tablets, and traditional PC users can work within a traditional desktop environment without ever having to worry about any of the touch optimized features. Behind the scenes, Windows 8 functions almost exactly like Windows, plus adds a few welcome improvements and enhancements that make Windows more powerful than ever.

Pros

  • Faster boot times and performance than any other version of Windows

  • Improved security features

  • Cloud features like file and user settings sync

  • Nearly instant search for files, programs, and settings

  • Simple to use system recovery/refresh features

  • Easy-to-access, easy-to-use Windows Store

Cons

  • New Start Screen and touch-optimized modern UI may be a turn off for some users

  • No option to boot straight to the desktop

  • No built-in DVD playback (though plenty of 3rd party options

  • Fairly small selection of Modern UI apps in the Windows Store

  • Some built-in apps are tablet, rather than PC, optimized

Upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows Vista or Windows XP

Need Help Upgrading from Windows Vista,Windows XP?

Call 888-404-8282

 

Windows 8™ - © Microsoft


Windows 8.1 brings you the Windows Store, Start screen, and Microsoft account, but also enhancements in personalization, search, Store apps, and cloud connectivity—and the security and reliability features you expect from Windows.

1. Before you begin

To upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows Vista or Windows XP, you’ll need to install it from a Windows 8.1 DVD and perform a clean installation. This means you won’t be able to keep any files, settings, or programs when you upgrade.

Windows 8.1 isn’t designed for installation on PCs running Windows Vista or Windows XP, so we strongly recommend you do the following before buying the Windows 8.1 DVD.

Review system requirements

We recommend that you download and run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant to check if your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 8. The Windows 8.1 system requirements are nearly the same as the Windows 8 system requirements—so if your PC can run Windows 8, in most cases, you can get the free update to Windows 8.1. Upgrade Assistant will also check program and device compatibility, and provide a free compatibility report.

Still be sure to review the system requirements for Windows 8.1 before buying the Windows 8.1 DVD. We also recommend that you visit your PC manufacturer’s website for info about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.

Here is a summary of the system requirements:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Free hard drive space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

If you’re unable to install Windows 8.1 on your current PC, you might consider shopping for one of the new generation of PCs that are available today. For more info, see the Windows PC buying guide.

Notes

Check compatibility of programs and devices

The Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant will check if your programs and devices are compatible with Windows 8, but you can check Windows 8.1 compatibility info for a specific program or device (including info from community forums) in the Windows Compatibility Center, or contact the program or device manufacturer.

Most programs created for earlier versions of Windows will work in Windows 8.1, but some older programs might run poorly or not at all. There are several things you can try to fix compatibility problems. For more info, see Get your apps and devices working in Windows 8.1.

Drivers for basic device functionality are available “in-box” (meaning, as part of the Windows image). This includes drivers for storage, networking, input, and display. These drivers allow you to complete the Windows installation and connect to the Internet. You can get more drivers from Windows Update or from the device manufacturer once you’re online. For more info, see Download and install drivers.

Back up your data

Since you won’t be able to keep any files, settings, or programs when you upgrade from Windows Vista or Windows XP, we recommend you back up all files and locate any program installation discs (or purchase confirmation emails) prior to updating.

You can transfer files before you upgrade by copying them to an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or CD, and then moving them to the location you want on your new PC. Be sure that the drive or disc has enough space to hold everything you want to move. If don’t want to use an external hard drive, USB drive, or CD, you can move your files to OneDrive to have all your files in one place and have the latest version on your PCs. For more info, see Getting started with OneDrive.

After you upgrade to Windows 8.1, you’ll need your original program installation discs, or purchase confirmation emails if you purchased programs online, to reinstall your programs. Insert the program CD or DVD into your PC or follow the directions in the confirmation email.

If you’ve been using Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, or the version of Windows Mail that came with Windows Vista, your email messages and contacts can be imported into Outlook.com using the Mail Migration add-on. For more info, see Import email from a desktop app.

Note

  • You can still restore your personal files after you upgrade to Windows 8.1. Your files are saved to the Windows.old folder, where you can retrieve them after the upgrade. For more info, see Retrieve files from the Windows.old folder.

Once you have completed this process, follow these steps to complete Windows 8 Install: