The Blockchains are coming! The Blockchains are coming! The Blockchains are coming!!!

So, Bitcoins may or may not make it, but Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoins is here to stay.  It is being adopted by the financial industry in Europe, Asia and the United States.  Blockchain is expected to be ‘the ledger of the IoT (Internet of Things), as well as a transnational database for both public and private use.

 

blockchain-wallet-graphic

We are investing time and money into both educating our staff at Innovativ IT, as well as our customers and even partners to some degree.  Below is an excerpt from the Economist, that speaks volumes to the value and viability of Blockchain:

 

One idea, for example, is to make cheap, tamper-proof public databases—land registries, say, (Honduras and Greece are interested); or registers of the ownership of luxury goods or works of art. Documents can be notarised by embedding information about them into a public blockchain—and you will no longer need a notary to vouch for them. Financial-services firms are contemplating using blockchains as a record of who owns what instead of
having a series of internal ledgers. A trusted private ledger removes the need for reconciling each transaction with a counterparty, it is fast and it minimises errors. Santander reckons that it could save banks up to $20 billion a year by 2022. Twenty-five banks have just joined a blockchain startup, called R3 CEV, to develop common standards, and NASDAQ is about to start using the technology to record trading in securities of private companies.
 ”   http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21677198-technology-behind-bitcoin-could-transform-how-economy-works-trust-machine

 

 

Subscribe, and stay tuned for more information on Blockchains…

 

Ransomware is No Joke!

Ransomware is no joke, especially when it comes to Cryptolocker and Cryptowall. These menacing malware programs not only encrypt files on the infected PC, but will also encrypt on network drives mapped to servers. We’ve seen cases where more than 100,000 documents were encrypted.

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It is imperative that all PCs on the network are protected with a quality anti-virus solution. It is equally important that there are frequent and reliable backups being made of the data, ideally real-time replication of the data to the cloud.

It really is viscous stuff, and mafia-like in it’s shrewdness.  The truth of the matter though, is the decrypt process seems to work, as long as a list of provisions are met (reliable power for all infected systems, reliable LAN connectivity, reliable internet connectivity, etc.).  Paying these heartless bastards is painful, but it often works when there’s no other option for getting the data back.

 

For more technical details on Cryptolocker, visit this Symantec URL:
https://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2015-030201-5710-99&tabid=2

 

Submitted by Tom Duke, CEO at Innovativ IT Services (Feb, 2015)

Houston! Protect your computers from a thunderstorm! Flood Fire Surge Oh My!

Still afraid of thunder and lightning? Your IT systems aren’t, but that’s because they have no feelings.

They are however, dependent on their owners and managers to keep them protected and up 24×7. Sure, we’ve all had our PC’s re-boot due to a brief outage of power; we’ve also experienced internet outage during extreme weather. What do you have in place to keep your computers and critical systems protected from bad weather? Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place to deal with an outage should one occur? If you cannot answer yes to the following questions, let this inclement weather we’re experiencing here in Houston serve as a reminder.

Questions:

  • Do you have your critical systems (PCs, network infrastructure, applications) identified?
  • Do you have up-to-date documentation of your network and critical systems?
  • Do you have an up-to-date list of passwords to restore systems back to normal?
  • Do you have a list of support contacts for all critical systems in case of an outage?
  • Do you know for sure that all of your critical systems are being backed up?
  • Have you tested your back-up software and restore procedure (imperative)?
  • Do you have quality surge protectors (power strips don’t count) on all of your PCs?
  • Do you have a UPS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uninterruptible_power_supply) for your critical systems?
  • If you are the person with the passwords, phone numbers, etc.; have you written this information and made it available to the next person in-line if you are not available?
  • If you don’t have an internal IT person, do you know who to call in the event of an IT emergency?

If you answered no to any of the following questions, now is the perfect time to take steps to prepare your business for any sort of event that might take down your critical business systems.

Call us if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a meeting to discuss Disaster Recovery or any other IT related topics. Our number is 832.429.5220. We’re here 24×7.

Submitted by Tom Duke, CEO at Innovativ IT Services (Jan., 2011)

What is Information Technology?

From the perspective of a non-techie sales guy.

According to Websters Online, IT (Information Technology) is the branch of engineering that deals with the use of computers and telecommunications to retrieve, store, and transmit information.

Sure, that’s IT in a nutshell. But what does IT mean to the user? What does IT mean to the business? To me, IT is not just technology; it’s communication, it’s connection and it’s personal.

Information Technology is the technology behind how we all communicate. It is how we connect with one another. It is so much an everyday part of our lives that we rarely notice it anymore, unless something breaks. We pick up the phone, send an email, update our social media pages, write reviews on sites like Yelp, and type up proposals on Word and Excel. A lot of people don’t realize how reliant we all are on information technology. Because of the advances in IT, we all can communicate, connect, learn and build relationships in ways never before possible with people who were previously unreachable all across the world. It has helped streamline business practices, and has truly made our world flat. IT is such an essential part of how we live today, there is no going back. We’re all spoiled. IT is beautiful.

To some, IT is a necessary evil that they don’t want to deal with until they have an issue. Once it is an issue, it then becomes much more costly and detrimental to the overall business. It’s like scheduled maintenance on your car, most people don’t do it. They will do their regular oil changes, but that’s it. They deal with their car when it breaks, not realizing that there is preventive maintenance they could do that is ultimately less expensive and invasive than going through a Break-Fix issue. This is why I’m passionate about selling Managed IT Services. Sure, we’ll do a lot of Break-Fix, that’s pretty rewarding, but what is most rewarding is helping a company be proactive about their IT Systems, rather than reactive. I like knowing that I’ve done everything I could to get my team in and make sure the client can continue to communicate and operate without issue.

Information Technology is the bridge to relationships. I like bridges, they’re neato.

Submitted by Matt Fox, VP Sales at Innovativ IT Services (Dec., 2010)

 

Maintaining a HIPAA Compliant Infrastructure

Innovativ IT is currently helping many small to medium sized businesses in Houston design, deploy and maintain their computer networks while building in regulatory compliance standards from the foundation.  For existing networks that we upgrade and or manage, we ensure that their new systems are compliant as well as their legacy systems.

Innovativ IT employs security benchmarks published by the Center for Internet Security (CIS).  The CIS is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help organizations reduce the risk of business and e-commerce disruptions resulting from inadequate technical security controls. The standards are developed by consensus with the help of the user community and are based on current recognized best practices for deployment, configuration and operation of networked systems. While at BindView and later Symantec, I was directly involved in establishing these technical standards and their implementation into the Symantec products, as well as helping clients (Fortune 100 and US Government) maintain compliance by measuring their IT infrastructure environments against these standards.

Innovativ IT is currently working with many Houston healthcare organizations to update their IT infrastructure, moving them out of the paper age and into the digital age.  In doing so, we are establishing and maintaining HIPAA and PCI DSS compliance from the start.  Through the end of 2010, we will be offering a free initial Compliance Audit for any organization.  Call to set up your appointment today!

 

Submitted by Tom Duke, CEO at Innovativ IT Services (Dec., 2010)

Semicolons: they’re kind of a big deal.

Completely underrepresented and under-appreciated. And totally responsible for me working here. Hello everyone, I work for Innovativ IT Services. I’m somewhat new here, as is our blog. We’re located in Houston, Texas and we’re small. A start-up actually. And our team is killer. We have officially been open since April and have already done some impressive work. Ask us about it or talk to our partners if you’re looking for some unbiased thoughts. We’re rolling things out quickly and surely, doing it right the first time. Who are we? I’m glad you asked. Innovativ IT is your locally owned, all-inclusive IT firm. Your one stop shop for anything tech related including network engineering, security assessments or perfect semicolon prose.

You’re probably wondering how a piece of punctuation could lead to employment. Kind of like this: when Innovativ IT’s main brain, Tom Duke, and I were in initial discussions, I noted the consistent and perfect use of the semicolon in our correspondence. Obviously, I have a  weird obsession with punctuation (spelling too, but that’s for another day), which I directly relate to intelligence and ambition, and I thought to myself, now here’s someone I want to work with. My first impressions were right; Tom Duke is intelligent and ambitious and I’m lucky to be working alongside such talented people.

Welcome to our new blog. If you have any IT needs or just want to get smart about anything information technology, we’re here for you.

We’re young, we’re fresh and we’re local. Come meet us.

 

semicolonsaresexy

Submitted by Jessica Griffin, Innovativ IT Services (Dec., 2010)

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