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CIO Systems, Inc. has been helping to protect companies important data for nearly 20 years.

Posted - January 3, 2017

Crypto Locker virus is one of the latest data threat for businesses. This new threat uses the same type of encryption applications that are legitimately used to protect sensitive data.  Since this virus uses typical applications, anti-virus software will not flag the activity. So how does this virus get on your system. There are two common way: email attachments and “Drive By” websites.

Infected email attachments are usually camouflaged as business documents such as POs or invoices. They are well designed to get users’ attention. It is important that all users know not to open attachments from unknown or suspicious sources. The user is the first line of defense in this fight. As for Drive By websites, we have all done this, mistype a Internet domain and up flashes some unexpected site. Sometimes a legitimate site can be hijacked by a virus. 

No matter how the virus is accessed,  a program is started on the PC. This program starts encrypted all the data available to it. This encryption is very strong and virtually unbreakable.  It will encrypt data on shared network folders as well as the local drive. Once encryption the unlock key is sent to virus makers. They will then blackmail you for the money to get the key. If you pay, you may or may not get the key. If you don't pay you will lose your data. It is a horrible situation to be in. lorem

The approach to this problem is to be proactive. To be honest, no user can be so vigilant as to stop these attacks by themselves. If systems are not secure before the virus strikes and there is little but to pay the ransom. The only solutions is to have the users work with minimal permissions on their systems and to have a tested back up solution. Our services make sure that these proper steps are in place to protect your business data from Crypto viruses.

Are you getting tired of emailing documents back and forth.

Posted - February 5, 2017

How do you share an Excel or Word file with your co-workers or business partners? If you are like most people, you send them a copy of the file. Then they edit the file and send it back to you. Now you have two versions of the files. These files can quickly multiply when a third or even more people are added to the mix. When someone starts sharing an older version of the file by mistake and now work gets lost.

There are also hidden costs to all of these versions. All of these versions are taking up space in your and your coworkers email. More files, the slower your computer runs and more data that has to be backed up. This all costs money and time to manage.

With Office 2016 applications and OneDrive cloud storage there is a much simpler solution. Files stored in the cloud with OneDrive can be securely shared via links. Instead of sending the entire file, a hyper-link is sent. Then the receiving person can click on the link and open the file. After they are done they just save and normal and the original files is updated. There is also an option to only allow to recipient to view and not edit

If you already have Office 2016 installed and OneDrive setup, (contact me if you need help) sharing a link is very easy. In any Office document (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) just go to the File menu in the upper right of the window. Then choose "Save As". Look for your OneDrive location. Click on the OneDrive location and give your file a name and save.


To share the file, go back the File menu select Share and on the right panel choose "Share with people". Select people from your contacts or type an email address. You can allow them to edit the file or just browse. You can also automatically share changes made to file after the initial message is sent. At the bottom is an option to generate a link to the share. You can use this link to share files inside your company.

If anyone need help setting up OneDrive or arraigning their company's on-line files, let me know.

Need to keep your team working together.

Posted - February 13, 2017

For people using Slack, Dropbox or any team or sharing site, look at the great tools built into to Office365. If you already have a Office365 subscription you have access to MS Team, Planner, OneDrive and Delve. These products can help groups work closer and stay updated. And the best part they all work seamless with the rest of MS Office. Call us to we can help your business take advantage of what you already are paying for.
teamsMicrosoft Team - Group Chat software

plannerMicrosoft Planner - Project management for getting work done

delveMicrosoft Delve -  Office Office Delve surfaces personalized content to you from across Office 365. Delve shows you information based on what you're working on and what's trending.

onedriveMicrosoft OneDrive OneDrive Do more wherever you go Get to your files from anywhere, on any device, with Microsoft OneDrive. Share and work together with anyone in your work and life

Finally know what your employees are working on.

Posted - March 10, 2017

Microsoft Delve and OneNote – One of the challenges of managing multiple knowledge workers is to keep up on what they are doing. Knowing what they are working on and having an elegant way of viewing their work is important for keeping a business on track. Workers can bounce around between Office applications and have files in various folders. There has not been a simple solution to know what they are working on across applications and folder.

Microsoft Delve, part of Office 365, can give you thumbnails of all the files your reports are working on. In one window you can choose a user and see all the files. Excel, Word PowerPoint, PDF that they have been working on. Not only do you see the file name there is also a large thumbnail and how many times the file has been viewed. You can select a file as a favorite if you want to keep an eye on it. Click to open the file from Delve and add comments, edit or print. Quickly Delve will become the hub of your work day.

In Delve there is a “Me” selection. This screen intelligently discovers files and even Outlook Emails that are the most relevant to your work. In using Delve for my work, it has already found an email that I had overlooked. The features set and intelligence of Delve is growing and expanding and is set for major improvements. For Delve to find files, they need to be shared on OneNote for Business or in SharePoint.

OneDrive is an on-line file storage area. It is similar to Dropbox and other products. Most subscriptions to Office 365 come with OneDrive storage. The benefit of using OneDrive is that Delve can access the files. SharePoint is also a way of store files, but is more structured. OneDrive will be easier and more familiar to more users.
Delve becomes the tool you can use to find a file instead of the searching folders. Delve has its own search function that can pull information from Office 365 locations including OneDrive and Outlook Email. Need a file but can't remember where it is? Just type part of the name in Delve and it will be found.
 The keys to these tools is the correct Office 365 subscription for your needs and moving your files to either OneDrive for Business or SharePoint. CIO Systems, Inc is here to help you with setting up your systems to move on-line and into the future.

Are on-site servers still necessary?

Posted - May 4, 2017

Until recently most offices had a local network server. This server might have provided email, web access or hosted public websites. With of the growth of Cloud Servers, most of these function have been moved the Cloud. What is the cloud? It is just large servers hosted outside of the office. These hosted servers have a much faster connection to the Internet than most office could afford. Hosted services are usually purchased monthly and have a lower upfront capital cost than a local server. Beyond Internet speed and costs, hosted servers often can provide additional features not available on local systems.
So then when does it make sense to have a local server? There are a couple of reasons. One is poor local Internet performance. There are a number of older areas that do not have adequate band width. These locations may be limited to DSL or very expense and slow T-1 line. A local server would make provide consistent access to local data. Another reason for your own server is to host a “Line of Business” (LOB) application. The most common LOB is Quickbooks accounting software.  Vital applications should be installed on a dedicated server. This assure that those applications run quickly and are available to user. The third reason is improved security. A local secure can control user access across multiple computers. It can also control the PCs and what functions run on it. If you have important company information that employees access, a server can help secure that data.
Microsoft-Windows-Server-2016-EssentialsA low cost server option is a Lenovo RS160 server and Microsoft Windows Server 2016 essentials. These products were designed for small business offices. Windows Server 2016 Essential has been designed to assure data is backed up and users PCs are secure. The 2016 improves integration with Office365. Local users accounts and Office 365 accounts are integrated and password are synchronized.  Local and on-line storage are also integrated.

If any of these cases apply to your firm, please give me a call at 619-293-8600. Thanks


The latest virus scare - what about the next one

Posted - May 16, 2017

Bad guys are out there.  These crooks are creative, persistent, and opportunistic. Crooks have been focusing on the Internet to find their latest targets. Now using viruses to steal or deny access to data.  This latest virus scare, where files were encrypted by a rouge program, affected , mostly older and improperly maintained systems.  Lots of good guys have spent a great deal of time creating software patches to close the gaps that these viruses took advantage of. Of course this effort is not much help to companies that have already lost data. While there are things everyone should do after the attack, the important lesson is to be prepared for the next new attack.

The most important precaution is to have data backups. Not just one backup, but at least two separate backup methods going to two different backup locations. Our clients have three separate backup locations. All to separate locations. This allows for system failures and corruption. We also test the back ups to make sure they can be restored. Having backups means if everything fails, ransoms for data do not have to be paid.

Second is to to not to allow users to have administrative rights. This is a bit technical, but there are access levels in all modern operating systems. In the most basic view there are two types of accounts: Administrative and Limited. Administrators can make changes to all aspects of a system and install programs. If the user is logged in as administrator, then a virus can have access to everything on the PC. Limited accounts cannot change important setting and install software. A virus may not be able to install itself and then cause any damage. On a business network user rights can be further limited to restrict access to certain data. By restricting a user to only the data they need, a virus cannot touch all the company data. This limits the scope of potential damage. it is alway best to be logged in as a limited user. Even on your own PC, create two accounts. User the limited one for your daily work. Log in as the administrator on if needed.

Beyond these two steps there are system updates, anti-virus software and other basic hygiene issues. CIO Systems, Inc. job is to make sure all of these things are in-place and more importantly working. Please contact me for a free network security check - 619-293-8600


Domain Renewal Scam

Posted - June 8, 2017

Scam warning - If you own an internet domain, you may receive a letter from a company offering to renew your registration. DO NOT RESPOND - this is not your registrar. Their services are extremely expensive, we charge less than half the amount. Also this company has no- USA domain and might be hackers or worse. If you need help with your domain feel free to contact me.
scam domain renewal


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