Category: recovery

01 Apr 2019

Password Reset

By now you should have heard about two-factor or multi-factor authentication. Your bank probably uses it to allow access to your accounts. Microsoft offers it for account access with two-factor authentication FOR FREE!

If you enable 2FA, we set your email password to NEVER expire. Our clients LOVE THIS. Just call the Help Desk when you have 5 minutes and your mobile phone is available and unused. If you install the Microsoft Authenticator app from your mobile App store beforehand, the process is that much quicker.

If you DON’T use 2FA, eventually, you’ll need to reset your password. If it expires, you’ll need to call the Help Desk for assistance in getting it reset, which brings us to the purpose of this update.

For your protection, we are implementing stronger security to validate password reset requests. If you are using 2FA, you can ignore the rest of this article.

Social engineering is one of the most serious threats in today’s world. I am concerned that some nefarious hacker will attempt to fake-out our Engineers in order to reset your email password. Beginning in April 2019, we will begin using Helpdesk Authentication through Duo. If you have Duo already, you’re all set.

For those clients who have never used Duo we will provide free authentication for password verification. Call the Help Desk to get it setup before your password needs to be reset. For those who have, we encourage you to add your other team members.

Effective April 2019, users requiring a password reset that do not use Duo will need to call from their office phone. Otherwise we plan on calling the main office or use other verification methods before performing a password reset.

08 Jan 2018

How Long Can You Afford?

So much has changed… I recall sitting down with one of our long-time clients and describing the USB backup concept using two USB drives and swapping them out weekly. I explained that the drives would cost less than $100 a piece and there was no monthly fee. Simple and effective (back then.)

I was surprised when he told me that he couldn’t afford it! Really? He had been pounding away on his calculator (yes, he IS a CPA) and confidently knew that his firm could not afford to lose a week’s worth of data. This man knows his business and his profit structure. Few do. We reworked his backup strategy to accommodate his needs. Fast forward a decade or more… The issue now is not whether we have a current backup. The data is no longer the issue. Today we need to reconstruct the environment. Having the QuickBooks data is worthless without a QuickBooks server… Having the SoftPro data is useless without the SoftPro server…

The experts call this concept Maximum Tolerable Downtime (MTD). These experts believe that the threats out there today are inevitable. Whether it’s data theft, misuse, ransomware or failure, it’s going to happen sooner or later. We have our vulnerability scans on sale during 2018 Q1. Cisco did a study in 2016 of how long you can expect your business to be down, in the event of a breach. Odds are you’ll be down for a day…

We view your backup strategy in three phases:

First is data backup. Almost inconsequential now. Our ability to restore a single file or folder of data quickly and easily. The backup window describes how long between each backup. The restore window is more important. It defines how long it would take to restore all of the backed up data. In the case of an encryption virus, this can be a long time.

Second is business continuity. How long can your business be down before losses or reputation damage is irreparable? Mirrored servers and hourly backups allow us to provide near immediate fail-over for your business.

Finally, disaster recovery provides for a complete replacement of your office infrastructure to keep your business going while replacements are made.

Each of these incremental steps have a cost. It’s like buying insurance for your business (a question we often receive) and how much it’s worth. There’s no right or wrong answer, it’s an individual decision, with which you must live. Let’s have an informed conversation about it. Call the Help Desk and choose option 2 for Wise Counsel, or email to get a quote.