SpireTech Blog - Author: Scott Cook
2019 was a year of continued growth at SpireTech. We’d like to thank all our clients for your continued support and your referrals – we don’t advertise much, so we appreciate every referral!
Review of 2019 Business Activity
We spent a lot of the year focused internally on improving our processes and operational maturity. Some of the areas we worked on include:
- A new billing system and customer portal
- Complete redesign of our website
- Re-organized and relaunched our blog
- Implemented brightgauge for customer reporting and performance metrics
- Improved our internal and customer documentation
- Improved our patch management system, for better and more reliable windows patching
- Moved from Slack to Teams
- Moved to Onedrive/Sharepoint for file storage
- Continued focus on improving security
We’ve also been attending conferences and quarterly IT business peer group events to keep up on current trends and best practices. We learn a lot at these events, and it is an excellent investment of our time. Read more...
Spire reaches another milestone – our 25th anniversary!
SpireTech turned 25 years old on Feb 25th, 2018. In the technology business, that’s a few lifetimes. While our services continue to evolve with new technologies many of our clients have been with us since day one! We want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our valued clients — we appreciate your business!
Our birthday is a good time to reflect on why we founded SpireTech, and how we chose our name. For a trip down memory lane read on.
Why SpireTech was founded
Spire’s founders, who worked in the IT department of a large Civil Engineering firm, noticed that there were no IT firms in PDX supporting the specialized needs of Architects and Engineers who required both networking and CAD expertise.
A lot of our work focused on end-user productivity – if you save all your employees 10 minutes a day, it can pay real dividends in driving profitability and efficiency. Read more...
As you may be aware, the software company Kaspersky has recently been a heated topic of discussion in the media and amongst the IT security community. Last month U.S. government agencies were told to use other security solutions. SpireTech, as are most IT providers, is continuing to offer and support Kaspersky products. However, we want to make sure all our customers are aware of additional security software alternatives we offer and support. Sophos is one that SpireTech has offered for the past several years, as many of our small to mid-size clients use Sophos as their primary Firewall solution. Sophos Endpoint Advanced Security with Intercept X offers a more advanced feature set typically found only in enterprise level security suites at affordable prices. As a Sophos partner, SpireTech can provide any of our clients with their full range of security solutions.
Contact your SpireTech representative today to learn more about the advantages Sophos products may give your company. Read more...
After the recent dumpster fire, our electricians have been hard at work to get everything back to normal. New permanent conduits, transfer switch, and wire have been installed, and repairs to one of our two generators are under way. While our generator is being repaired, a rental CAT generator has been installed and tested, an important step because the summer heat sometimes threatens brownouts. The more critical and difficult repairs have been completed, and we’re on to simpler items now.
The first and second floors of the building received smoke damage, which is being remediated. We are on the 3rd floor, and only received minimal smoke. The datacenter is closed off and recirculates air, and did not draw in any smoke from outside. They will be replacing carpet, ceiling tiles, and cleaning and painting the entire building to get rid of any lingering smells. As our office is remodeled we will be moving our office to the building directly above ours, and there will be no interruption to any of our datacenter services. Read more...
At SpireTech, we’ve noticed an increase in certain types of “Brute Force” attacks on Microsoft Windows operating systems, particularly those allowing Remote Desktop. A ‘brute force’ attack is a repeated automated attempt to gain unauthorized access by guessing at username/password combinations.
What does this mean to our clients? Here are a few key takeaways:
- Obscurity is not security. Using an uncommon port, redirected from a firewall, to a machine inside your network, is not going to prevent your system from being probed by bots and hackers. Instead, use an SSL VPN to add a second layer of security to your network.
- Use truly complex, random, and lengthy passwords. We see lots of passwords that people think are secure, but they really aren’t that great. Also, because your network password is often used for your company email password or Office 365, it opens up yet another vector people can use to try and guess your password.