Elevated Technologies Ranked Among Top 501 Managed Service Providers by MSPmentor

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Elevated Technologies Ranked Among Top 501 Managed Service Providers by MSPmentor

10th Annual MSP 501 Ranking and Study Identifies
World’s Most Progressive MSPs in Information Technology

DATE June 13, 2017: Elevated Technologies ranks among the world’s most progressive 501 Managed Service Providers (MSPs), according to MSPmentor’s 10th-annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings. The top MSP 501 companies ranked this year include organizations from around the world and from diverse technology and business backgrounds. Collectively, they amassed $14.48 billion in total revenue (based on 2016 results), up more than 15 percent from a year earlier.

The complete 2017 MSP 501 list is available at MSPmentor.net. In addition to honoring Elevated Technologies this year’s MSP 501 list and study showcases the top ranked MSPs worldwide. Over the next few weeks, MSPmentor will unveil additional lists showcasing:

  • The top MSPs in Europe, Middle East and Africa
  • The top MSPs in Asia, Australia and New Zealand
  • The top Small Business MSPs’ list, comprised of organizations with 10 or fewer employees
  • The top vertical markets pursued by MSP 501 companies
  • The leading tools they leverage to run their businesses
  • And the top technologies they provide to customers

“This is quite an honor,” said Jason Rorie, Founder of Elevated Technologies. “We are very pleased and humbled to be in such great company with other outstanding MSPs.”

“On behalf of MSPmentor, I would like to congratulate Elevated Technologies for its recognition as an MSP 501 honoree,” said Aldrin Brown, Editor in Chief, MSPmentor. “The managed service provider market is evolving at a rapid pace and the companies showcased on the 2017 MSP 501 list represent the most agile, flexible and innovative organizations in the industry.”

The 2017 MSP 501 list is based on data collected by MSPmentor and its partner, Clarity Channel Advisors. Data was collected online from Feb. 16 through May 15, 2017. The MSP 501 list recognizes top managed service providers based on metrics including recurring revenue, growth and other factors.

About Elevated Technologies

Elevated Technologies delivers premier managed IT services, consultation and support for organizations that absolutely depend on their technology. We specialize in IT Management,  Monitoring & Maintenance, Business Continuity, Remote & Onsite Network Support, and Data Security. The hallmarks of our service – flexibility, reliability, protection – are the guiding principles behind our world-class IT management and professional services.

About Penton Technology’s Channel Brands

Penton Technology’s channel brands define emerging IT markets and disrupt established IT markets. They are a division of Informa. The channel brands include: MSPmentor (www.MSPmentor.net), The VAR Guy (www.TheVARguy.com), Talkin’ Cloud (www.TalkinCloud.com), the WHIR (http://www.thewhir.com) and WebHostingTalk (http://webhostingtalk.com).

 About Informa

Penton Technology, Think Tank, MSPmentor, The VAR Guy, Talkin’ Cloud, the WHIR, WebHostingTalk, Channel Partners Online, Channel Partners Conference & Expo and Channel Partners Evolution are part of Informa, the international business intelligence, academic publishing, knowledge and events group. Informa serves commercial, professional and academic communities, helping them connect and learn, and creating and providing access to content and intelligence that helps people and businesses work smarter and make better decisions faster.

Informa has over 7,500 colleagues in more than 20 countries and a presence in all major geographies. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 100.

 MEDIA CONTACT:
Aldrin Brown,
Director of Content, MSPmentor
Aldrin.Brown@penton.com

Ransomware: 8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Pay the Ransom

If you’ve been infected with ransomware, you should think twice before paying the ransom. While it may seem like the easiest way to regain access to your files, it could have some serious consequences. Here are seven reasons you shouldn’t pay the ransom.

If you have any additional question about ransomware or how to best protect your business from getting infected, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us

#1) You May be Infected with Fake Ransomware

Not all malicious software demanding money is actual ransomware. By definition, ransomware is a type of malicious software that restricts access to the victim’s computer data until a ransom is paid. Even if a pop-up message demands payment in exchange for unlocking your files, it could be fake ransomware — and paying it will have no effect on whether you can access your files.

According to a Citrix study of 200 companies in the UK that had been infected with fake ransomware, 63 percent of them paid the ransom. Fake ransomware looks like the real deal, but it doesn’t lock or otherwise restrict access to your files. Many victims end up paying it, however, because they believe their files are encrypted and want to regain access as soon as possible.

#2) It May Ask for Additional Money

Another reason you shouldn’t pay the ransom is because it may ask for more money. In 2016, Kansas Heart Hospital in Wichita was hit with ransomware, which it paid in hopes of regaining access to its data. Soon after, however, the hackers demanded even more money. The hospital declined to pay the second ransom, opting for damage control instead.

Stories such as this are are all-too-common. The hackers behind the attack see the victim is willing to pay, so they try to extort additional money from them. They may ask for a second ransom, and then a third, and so on until the victim out of money.

#3) There’s No Guarantee that You’ll Regain File Access

Arguably, the biggest problem of paying the ransom is that you may not regain access to your fires. You’re dealing with cyber criminals, most of whom aren’t particularly trustworthy, nor do they really care about restoring your file access. You might pay the ransom, only for the hackers to leave your files encrypted.

#4) It Funds illicit Activities

The money hackers extort from their victims through ransomware attacks will probably be used to fund future ransomware attacks and other illicit activities. Hackers can use it to purchase new computers, servers and software, allowing them to target even more victims with malicious software.

If you pay the ransom, you’ll encourage hackers to continue the attacks. Not paying, however, has the opposite effect by showing there’s no money to be made.

#5) The FBI Discourages it

On its official website, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says it doesn’t support paying a ransom if you are the victim of a ransomware attack.

The FBI acknowledges that ransomware attacks are becoming more common and more sophisticated. Nonetheless, FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director James Trainor says victims shouldn’t pay the ransom, as it emboldens these cyber criminals.

#6) There are Decrypt Keys Available

Depending on the specific type of ransomware infecting your computer, you may be able to find a decrypt key without paying the ransom. As explained by NoMoreRansomware.org — a site that publishes free ransomware decrypt keys — some malware authors make mistakes when implementing their ransomware, allowing cybersecurity professionals to crack the encryption. In other cases, police raid and seize the cyber criminals’ computers, on which the decrypt keys are stored.

Some of the ransomware types for which decrypt keys are available include:

  • AutoLocky
  • BTCWare
  • Crysis
  • Chimera
  • CoinVault
  • Jigsaw
  • Rakhni
  • Ronnoh
  • Rotor
  • Shade
  • TelsaCrypt
  • TorLocker
  • WannaCry (CWRY)
  • Wildfire
  • Xorbat

If you know the name of the ransomware infecting your computer, search for “[ransomware name] + decrypt key” on Google. With a little bit of luck, you may find a solution.

#7) Some Ransomware Doesn’t Encrypt

Ransomware typically falls under one of two categories: the type that encrypts the victim’s files and the type that doesn’t. Encrypting ransomware is the most problematic, as it requires a decrypt key to restore file access. Non-encrypting ransomware may still restrict access to your files. However, it’s usually easier to fix than its encrypting counterpart.

With non-encrypting ransomware, you can often fix the infection using anti-malware software. Since it doesn’t encrypt your files, you don’t have to worry about obtaining a decrypt key. Rather, you need to lift the restriction that’s preventing you from accessing your files, which may be possible through traditional anti-malware software or system restores.

#8) Ransoms are Increasing

There’s currently a disturbing trend in which ransomware demands are increasing. According to a report published by the cybersecurity firm Symantec, the average ransomware payment in 2016 was $294. However, researchers believe this number will increase to $1,077 by the end of this year. In other words, victims of ransomware are paying more than $1,000 for a chance to regain access to their files.

Not only are ransoms increasing, ransomware attacks are becoming more frequent. According to a separate report by the insurance company Beazley, ransomware attacks increased by 400 percent in 2016, and they are expected to increase by 200 percent in 2017.

Outsourcing Your IT Support

Your days are filled with making decisions that will guide your business into the future.  It’s easy to put your IT needs on the backburner, but that will only lead to days spent putting out IT fires rather than focusing on your growth.  In the 21st century technology is at the center of any business.  Your entire operation can grind to a halt due to one computer snag; costing you lost productivity and the potential for lost clients.  According to recent research by CompTIA, the proactive monitoring that a managed service provider offers, reduces your costs by 50% per downtime incident.  Outsourcing your IT needs to Elevated Technologies is the best way to ensure that your business is running smoothly.  We have the Enterprise level software applications to support your business as well as the wealth of knowledge of multiple IT professionals at your immediate disposal.

Gone are the days where all you needed to concern yourself with was a slow internet connection or a finicky printer.  The information technology environment of today is endlessly the complex a major firewall breach that threatens your data, your VPN failing, or your VOIP is not allowing any calls to be made are just three problems you could face.  The cost for keeping a modern office running efficiently on your own can be staggering as well.  You need to be confident that all of your hardware and software will continue to work for you and not against you.  This is a job too big for just one computer expert to handle.  It is no longer practical, nor preferable, to be a jack of all trades.  At the very least a help desk employee and a systems administrator are required.  The average combined salary of these positions is $90,000-$120,000 annually, plus the cost of keeping their training and certifications up to date.  Even these employees would not be able to handle every computer glitch you are likely to face. In addition to the peace of mind that contracting with Elevated Technologies provides, there are many less obvious financial benefits such as leaner overhead, bulk purchasing and leasing options for hardware and software, and software licenses, as well as compliance with government regulations.

Outsourcing your IT support lets you focus on your core competencies while Elevated Technologies focuses on ours. Instead of just the experience of one person, you gain the knowledge of Elevated Technologies’ team of IT professionals.  By working directly with us, you and your business will benefit from our experience of working with hundreds of clients.  We have already seen most of the IT issues you will face and know exactly what is necessary to fix them in a timely manner.  At Elevated Technologies our knowledgeable and friendly staff are current in all certifications and credentials. Elevated Technologies’ managed IT services can help eliminate your company’s technology-based headaches. There is no catch, no gimmick, just experience and best practices that we’ve honed over the years to make our services work for YOUR business needs.

Disaster Recovery

 

A disaster is any accident or event that causes great damage or loss. A disaster can be a flood, sudden loss of power, physical damage, or any natural or human-induced disaster. Many businesses do not have a backup plan or disaster recovery plan in place. Some companies who have backup plans often backup to an on-site location. On-site backup is fine as long as there are no major accidents. If your backup is on-site and a flood occurs, all of your information could potentially be lost. This is why it is crucial to have a disaster recovery plan and a backup plan in place. Disaster recovery (DR) involves a set of policies and procedures to enable the recovery of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster. Data recovery focuses on the technology systems supporting critical business functions which involve keeping all essential aspects of a business functioning despite significant disruptive events. Elevated Technologies can provide your company with disaster recovery services that will protect your data through cloud based storage and recovery. Our cloud backup services are off-site and automatically backup as frequently as your business needs it, even if it is every 15 minutes. With our backups, the off-site replication is constantly monitored. If there is a problem that arises, you are alerted. Elevated Technologies provides you with a monthly report to let you know that your data is safe. In the event of a disaster, your downtime with be minimized with faster restore times. This ensures that you can access your most critical data that impacts your day-to-day operations. A disaster recovery plan makes the difference between losing everything or having a temporary headache. With a secure disaster recovery plan manager by Elevated Technologies, you never have to worry about recovering from a disaster.

 

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a New Computer

 

So it’s that time, you need a new computer. Many people will flock to their local Best Buy and let the salesperson wine and dine them for the best computer model. They do this simply because they don’t know the things to avoid or because they want the flashiest brand. That is mistake number one. You should always buy for your needs. Whatever you get with a computer, you pay for, so don’t pay for something you know you don’t need. Try not to get hung up on numbers which can be difficult to do since you will be hearing a lot of them. Many people assume an Intel Core i7 chip is better than an i5 chip, but there’s more to it than that. Bigger doesn’t mean better in computers. When it comes to operating systems, make sure you know what you’re getting. There are numerous computer operating systems that all function completely different from one another, so make sure you know what you need to know which operating system will suit you best. Don’t ignore things that are being left unsaid, i.e. the details of a computer. Just because a computer comes with Intel Core i7 CPU and 8GB of RAM doesn’t mean it’s a fantastic machine; it could have a really low disk i/o. You are able to upgrade hardware on some computers, but not all them. It’s best to find out what the limitations are on the prospective model. Buying a new computer is like buying a new car; you need to test it out before you buy it. Use the mouse, keyboard, and other features. A good salesperson will make sure you are comfortable with it before your purchase. Once you get it home, as with a new car, test the limits of it. Make sure you test out all the drives, all the USB ports, the Bluetooth connection, microphone and headphones ports, and install and use of the programs you’ll want to make sure it is exactly what you need. Some computers come with trial programs, which have zero value to you if it’s a program that you need, so make sure you are aware of which programs are installed and which programs are trials. It’s always a good idea to shop around. Almost every electronics store will have a sale at some point.  If you shop around regularly, and are patient, you’ll probably get an excellent deal on a new computer. If you need assistance in the computer buying process, don’t hesitate to contact Elevated Technologies. Good luck and happy hunting!

 

 

Watson Has a New Job

 

You may or may not have heard of Watson by IBM. In case you haven’t heard of it, IBM Watson is a technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data. Basically, it can be asked questions and will give back answers. The way it works is it [Watson] analyzes unstructured data to present an answer or solution. Watson is able to understand complex questions, grammar and context, and will evaluate all of the possible meanings to determine what is being asked. A question is submitted to Watson, it then searches millions of documents, collects evidence using a scoring algorithm that rates the quality of the evidence. Once this is done, it ranks the possible answers based on the score of the evidence. Finally, it gives you an answer or solution to your question. Sound complicated? It kind of is. However, it is put to good use. It is currently being used in work to battle cancer and cybercriminals, but Watson just landed a new job with Macy’s. It will be called Macy’s On-Call. Since most people have their smartphone with them while shopping, Macy’s is taking advantage of this to improve their customer’s experience. Macy’s On-Call will give shoppers the ability to ask Watson questions regarding a store’s products, services, and facilities by typing in their question. The question will be delivered through location-based software Satisfi, who is an IBM partner, which will access Watson from the cloud. The cool part? It is customized to each individual store. You can ask “where are the shoes?” or “INC dresses.” It will give you specific directions on where that item is located or more information about an item. Macy’s On-Call will use machine learning which evolves over time, so the more you use it, the more it learns about what you want/like/need. The long term goal is to integrate it into the Macy’s app. Technology that makes shopping easier is always a good idea.

 

Johnson & Johnson Moves to the Cloud

 

In today’s world, everyone seems to be backing everything up to the cloud, from data and pictures to important documents. Many companies are using the cloud as a way to back up their data. Big corporations have started doing the same thing. It seems as though this has become the norm, and eventually it may be the only way to back up your information. Johnson & Johnson has announced that they have begun making their transition to cloud systems. A spokeswoman for the company said that by 2018, Johnson & Johnson plans to have 85% of their applications in cloud systems. They will be using three separate cloud systems to include Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and NTT Communications Corp. The company announced that they will also be shutting down or consolidating 40% of existing software applications. Stuart McGuigan, chief information officer, stated that “Johnson & Johnson turned off its last mainframe last year, which is not something I was sure I’d see in my lifetime: A Fortune 100 company with absolutely no mainframe footprint.” Sandi Peterson, group worldwide chairman stated that the “company has moved more than 500 terabytes of data to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure and NTT’s cloud platform, improving how research is conducted”. Peterson went on to say that “aside from cutting costs, cloud provides Johnson & Johnson with a way to grow faster. Putting so much data in the cloud, to use the computer processing power of outside providers, lets the company speed up product development.”

When major Fortune 100 companies start committing to the cloud, it’s a key indicator that a shift in typical business operations is taking place. In case some of you are wondering what cloud computing is, cloud storage providers such as Elevated Technologies gives you a remote data center, where it manages the infrastructure, servers, and virtualization of your data, and you simply access your virtual files using the internet, giving you access anywhere, anytime. As you can see from Johnson & Johnson’s perspective, there are numerous benefits to cloud computing. Elevated Technologies provides cloud based services that you can trust and rely on. To securely backup your data and enjoy convenient access to your data, contact Elevated Technologies and learn what we can do for your business.

 

HPE Sued Oracle: Here is the Story

 

From the world of mergers and acquisitions to the world of law suits, HP was previously in the news for their known merger with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). The most recent activity regarding HPE is their lawsuit against Oracle. HPE and Oracle have had a long-standing relationship for over three decades. Things considerably changed when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems in January of 2010. This buyout resulted in Oracle becoming a direct competitor of HP in the hardware division. This is also when the lawsuits between HPE and Oracle erupted. HPE stated that Oracle “breached a clear contractual obligation to HPE and acted in bad faith, with the intention of driving hardware sales from HPE’s Itanium to Oracle’s Sun servers.” Oracle had agreed on the software development for Itanium, a chip that HPE is dependent on for its selective servers. Oracle decided to stop developing software for use with HPE’s Itanium-based servers in 2011. Oracle claimed that Intel made it clear that the chip was nearing the end of its life and was shifting its focus to its x86 microprocessor. HPE said it had an agreement with Oracle that support for Itanium would continue, without which the equipment using the chip would become obsolete.

There has been bad blood between the two companies for a while. It started when Oracle hired HPE’s former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Hurd and appointed him as the Co-President. HPE was incredibly unhappy about this; they filed a lawsuit claiming “irreparable damage” as it was believed that Hurd would provide “valuable trade secrets” to Oracle. The two companies ended up mutually settling regarding the ‘trade secret’ lawsuit. On June 1, 2016, HPE asked Oracle to pay $3 billion in compensation for causing a fall in the demand for its Itanium-based offerings. This isn’t the first go-round of lawsuits for Oracle. About a month ago, Oracle lost a $9 billion verdict to Google while trying to stake a claim to the search giant’s Android phone business. This $3 billion award for HPE will account for 5.4 percent of Oracle’s $56 billion cash on hand, according to data collected by Bloomberg. It has been noted that HP is extremely happy with this verdict and that Oracle plans to appeal.

 

Windows 10 Is Having More Issues

 

Everyone who has ever used Microsoft knows that the company is compelling users to upgrade to Windows 10. Many people have already upgraded and are now experiencing problems with their computer, whether it is slow performance or computer crashes. Anyone who uses Windows has seen the pop-up encouraging you to upgrade to Windows 10. You might want to be careful the next time you click the “X” to close that pop-up box. On some of the pop-up boxes, a scheduled download date is shown. Turns out clicking the “X” does not cancel it.  Normally, if you would click the “X” you’d be canceling the update offer. But instead, Microsoft set it so that clicking the “X” actually confirms the date shown in the pop-up window. This is definitely a sneaky move. So much so, that Microsoft was sued by a travel agent in Seattle. Turns out this sneaky upgrade caused her computer to crash and resulted in loss of work. Microsoft lost the lawsuit and had to pay her $10,000. So the next time you see that upgrade box, be very careful about how you proceed.

 

 

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