WinServer2003EOLMuch like Windows XP reaching end-of-life last year, the end of extended support for the server counterpart, Windows Server 2003, is a few short months away.  Microsoft announced the EOL for Windows Server 2003 will be July 14th, 2015.

According to the ADA, failure to upgrade workstations from Windows XP or your server from Windows 2003 could potentially be a HIPAA breach. Fines today for not complying are a minimum of $100-$50,000 per violation.  Some violations also carry criminal charges with them, resulting in jail time for violators.

As trusted IT specialists for over 600+ dental and medical practices, we at HTI have been sending multiple notice and warning letters to our clientele.  Although we do not require all clients to upgrade, we do our professional due diligence and inform and educate all of this End-of-Support date as well as any issues or risks running Windows Server 2003 after this date may present to their practice. We’ve listed some below:

NoUpdates NoCompliance HIPAA

  1. Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. Especially in healthcare, security and compliance is not only recommended, but also required to keep patient records secure and safe.
  2. Lack of Independent Software Vendor (Dentrix, Softdent, etc.) & Hardware Manufacturers support: The industry software vendors that you are currently using, will most likely stop supporting their products on Windows Server 2003 for any future releases.

Microsoft notes “On July 14, 2015, Windows Server 2003 extended support will cease. After this date, assisted support from Microsoft will no longer be available, including updates and patches. This change may mean that systems are open to security vulnerabilities and may no longer meet compliance requirements.”

WinServer03EOL

Read Microsoft’s official notice of their end of support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14th, 2015.

Read the ADA’s article to see why you should upgrade your operating system and workstations if you are still running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 today.

It’s National Coffee Day… AND it’s MONDAY! What a perfect pairing.  We love our coffee over here at the HTI offices and bet you do too! Here is where you can get the best offers today:

National Coffee Day 2014

Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts customers will be treated to a free cup of the chain’s newest beverage. Customers visiting any nationwide Dunkin’ Donuts location Monday will be given a free medium dark roast coffee. Only one drink per customer is permitted. The retailer is also celebrating by selling Dunkin’ Donuts K-Cup packs and 16-ounce packaged coffee for $6.99 at participating locations through Monday while supplies last. Beginning Sept. 30 through Oct. 5, customers can purchase a medium cup of the roast at a reduced rate of 99 cents.

 

Wawa

If order to receive your free cup of joe from Wawa on National Coffee Day, customers are required to sign up at Wawa.com. By filing an electronic voucher, customers will then by given one coupon for a free 16-ounce Wawa coffee to redeem on Sept. 29. Customers must be at 13 years of age or older to participate in the promotion.

Krispy Kreme

Forget the doughnuts, Krispy Kreme is giving away free coffee. The offer is only valid for 12-ounce cups. Only one free drink per customer is permitted. In celebration of the holiday, its best-selling 12-ounce mocha latte and iced-coffee will be retailing at a special rate of $1. The offers cannot be combined with any other coupons or offers and are only valid in the U.S.

McDonald’s

Enjoy your a free coffee with your McMuffin. McDonalds is giving away one free small hot or iced McCafe coffee during its breakfast hours at participating locations. No coupon or purchase is necessary.

 

Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons will be selling any size of their freshly-brewed coffee for $1 now through Monday. Buffalo, New York, locations can enjoy a $1 cup of Tim Hortons new dark roast. The promotion is only valid at participating locations.

Starbucks

If you’re looking to try out a new blend of Starbucks’ brew, National Coffee Day is your opportunity. The nationwide chain will be giving away free samples of its Anniversary Blend until noon Monday, the Hartford Courant is reporting. No purchase is necessary.

 

Parsippany, NJ | August 8th, 2013:  High Tech Innovations,LLC, today announced that it has proudly been honored by New Jersey Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, with both a Patriot Award and an Above and Beyond Award.  These awards come in recognition of extraordinary support of employee Dan Bennett while serving in the New Jersey Guard & Reserve.

According to Alan Smith, New Jersey ESGR State Chair, “The ESGR Above and Beyond Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize American employers providing extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have spouses that have answered their nation’s call to serve. Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.”

About the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR)

ESGR, a Department of Defense office, was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment. ESGR is supported by a network of more than 4,700 volunteers in 54 committees located across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam-CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

ESGR has served our country for more than 40 years, fostering a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. These citizen warriors could not defend and protect us at home and abroad without the continued promise of meaningful civilian employment for themselves and their families.

To see all the pictures from the Award Presentation visit High Tech’s Facebook Album

For more information on the ESGR visit http://www.esgr.mil/.

For more information about High Tech Innovations, LLC visit http://www.hticonsultants.com/.

HTI CEO Javed Uddin and President Jeffrey Weiss pose proudly with U.S. Airforce member and HTI employee Dan Bennett

HTI CEO Javed Uddin and President Jeffrey Weiss pose proudly with U.S. Airforce member and HTI employee Dan Bennett

If you haven’t heard already, eBay recently confirmed that they fell victim to a cyber-attack.

ebay hackedAll eBay’s users’ passwords were compromised but says there’s no evidence of any financial information was accessed.

In a posting on the company’s blog, eBay said a cyber-attack “compromised a database containing encrypted passwords and other non-financial data.”

Hackers broke into the database “between late February and early March,” but eBay didn’t detect a problem with employee log-in credentials — which the hackers had hijacked — until about two weeks ago, the statement said.

Read more on CNET

Welcome to the Age of Digital Data

From large companies to small businesses, everyone can be a target to a data hacker.  Fixing a cyber breach can be costly, especially for a small dental practice.

Take the right steps now to secure your digital data:

  • secureSet up a computer and Internet use policy with your employees using office computers
  • Ensure a proper firewall is running and protecting your office network
  • Keep all anti-virus and anti-malware software updated along with computer operating systems
  • Always create strong passwords, we at HTI have strict standards for all passwords we create for internal use and for our clients

Call HTI toll-free with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your office network systems, data security, monitoring, or anything technology related today at 877-222-1508

Are you backing up your data online, off-site, or with a BDR? The CryptoLocker virus has recently infected some of our clients’ networks and we want you to be informed, protected, and prepared.

cryptolocker

WHAT IS CRYPTOLOCKER RANSOMWARE?

CryptoLocker is a malicious form of ransomware, which targets all versions of Windows Operating system. It will encrypt any files it has access to on a PC, or across a network. It then tries to force the user into paying a fee by providing a decrypting tool. It comes in multiple variants but all will display a message that it has encrypted your files by displaying an window you cannot close that will step you through how pay the  ransom.  This screen will also display a timer stating that you have 72 hours, or 4 days, to pay the ransom or it will delete your decryption key. Thus rendering your files forever unusable.  HTI does not recommend paying the ransom rather that you protect yourself through good backup, employee education, and safe browsing habits.

 

HOW DO YOU GET IT?

This infection is typically spread through emails sent to company email addresses that pretend to be customer support related issues from Fedex, UPS, DHS, etc. Newer variants are known to spread through other malware that get on your PC first. This means that it can propagate on its own rather than getting a user to open an infected file.

cryptolocker emails 2

Computers infected with CryptoLocker show no outward signs of infection; it only reveals itself after it has finished encrypting all the files it has access to both locally and across the network. When it is done encrypting the malware will display a pop-up message, complete with a countdown timer that gives victims a short window of time in which to decide whether to pay the ransom or lose access to the files forever.

 

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM IT

Decryption of encrypted files is impossible, so prevention is of the utmost importance. Offline backup as well as adequate protections are imperative.

 

HTI Recommends the following:

  • Make sure you have an incremental or versioning backup and that it is running successfully at least once a day.
  • For HTI Clients to protect local documents they must be saved in your My Documents folder which is included in the server backup. In most cases files on the local PC are not recoverable.
  • Confirm that you have an adequate anti-virus and anti-malware program on your network that is up to date and working properly
  • Inspect all email messages thoroughly, including the senders address. (Call the sender to confirm authenticity, UPS, FedEx, etc.)
  • Never open a file, link in an email, or link on a social website, unless you’re sure it was deliberately sent by the person themselves. It may seem interesting at the time, but the results could be catastrophic

 

THINK YOU’VE BEEN INFECTED?

  • Disconnect your computer from the internet immediately by removing your network cable or turning off the wireless connection
  • Disconnect any USB storage devices
  • Call High Tech Innovations tech support team at (973) 889-0030 Option 3

We do not recommend paying the ransom under any circumstances.  Once infected, backup is your best option.  The creators of the CryptoLocker ransomware will do their best to facilitate payment by any means.  There is no guarantee that your encrypted files will be be unlocked or restored even after submitting payment.

cryptolocker email sample

Example email from spam campaign leading to CryptoLocker

Microsoft has announced the “End of Life” for Windows XP Professional for April 8, 2014.  Running Windows XP in your environment after this date may present future issues or risks to your practice.

End of the Road

  1. Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.
  1. Lack of Independent Software Vendor (Dentrix, Softdent, etc.) & Hardware Manufacturers support: The industry software vendors that you are currently using in your practice, while most likely stop supporting their products on Windows XP for any future releases.

MiXp Retirementcrosoft recommends upgrading to stay current with Windows.  They note, “This option has upside well beyond keeping you supported. It offers more flexibility to empower employees to be more productive, while increasing operational efficiency through improved PC security and management. It also enables your organization to take advantage of latest technology trends such as virtualization and the cloud.”

 

Based on our “Proactive” model of supporting our 600+ offices, we are recommending upgrading your practice workstations to Windows 7 or higher in order to ensure a problem free network.  We can schedule a no-cost evaluation of your network to discuss this option in more detail.  Please feel free to contact the HTI Sales Team at (973) 889-0030, option 1.

Selected-Consultants

For more information on Microsoft’s end of support for Windows XP and Office 2003 on April 8, 2014 visit http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/endofsupport.aspx.

 

Forgot that today was April Fools Day? No worries.. we have listed some of the BEST last minute pranks to play on your co-workers, friends, significant others, parents- you name it. Check em’ out below!

1) Cover the mouse laser with a Post-It.

Image

2) Use a Chrome extension that turns webpages upside down.

Use a Chrome extension that turns webpages upside down.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Source: Chrome<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

 3)  Cover a hallway in cups of water

Egxht

4) Make ‘brownies’ for a friend or co-worker

Wmcyuur

5) Replace the cream filling of Oreos with toothpaste, then invite your target for a snack

Section 179 Tax Incentives for 2013

 

Wishing everyone a Happy Funny Friday and safe Memorial Day Weekend! http://ow.ly/i/2bFuI

360

Spring 2013 Edition

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