To ring in the New Year, we would like to introduce you to our newest team member, and veteran, former E-6 Petty Officer First Class, Jeff Aimone. Prior to joining Bischer Technologies, Jeff served twenty years in United States Navy, formally retiring in 2010. Jeff then took a job with the IRS, as an administrator. With family in Michigan, Jeff accepted a position with Bischer Technologies, to allow him to spend more time with his wife and two children. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Public Administration. Please join us in welcoming Jeff to our team, as we salute him for twenty years of service in the United States Navy.
We would like to extend warm wishes to you and your loved ones this holiday season, and to introduce you to three new team members of Bischer Technologies.
Johnathan brings nine years of information technology experience and four years of managed services experience to our project team and network operations center. Johnathan enjoys hiking and camping in his spare time, and goes the extra step to ensure his work is complete and polished.
Mark’s interest in computers began at the age of nine and he established a career in the IT industry five years ago. He joins our help desk to provide additional knowledge and resources to our clients. Mark enjoys playing video games, and cheering for the Detroit Lions, Tigers, and Red Wings.
Mike joins our team as a computer technician and on-site field technician. He has three years of computer technology experience, and according to Mike, he also has an ear for music – holiday carols anyone? Outside of the office, Mike enjoys spending time with friends and family.
Please help us in welcoming them to the Bischer Technologies team!
To continue to offer you the highest level of support, Bischer Technologies has opened an additional office in Ann Arbor, located on Fourth Avenue and Washington Street. We are dedicated to providing you with the best service in the IT industry.
To you and your loved ones, and to happy changes at Bischer Technologies, we toast well wishes and thoughts of a warm holiday season.
Dedicated to delivering high quality service, Bischer Technologies has welcomed two new members to their staff to support a growing client base. Mark Schlager will serve as a Project Engineer and Michael Jacques will provide additional support as a computer technician. Bischer Technologies, located in Clinton Township, specializes in managed IT services with dedicated technology consultants, proactive maintenance of systems, and 24/7 backup monitoring.
If you use Window XP, it might just be the time for you to upgrade (or at least start planning to upgrade) as Microsoft has announced plans to pull the plug on Windows XP support in 2014. While that may be a couple of years away, it never hurts to start assessing your options so the eventual move to newer Microsoft OS will be as smooth and efficient as possible.
Part of using any sort of software is the inevitable need to upgrade. Most if not all software needs to either be replaced and upgraded as the demands of the market entail more efficient processing of the various data and information a business handles.
Such is the case with Windows XP. While many continue to use this proven straightforward operating system, Microsoft has decided to stop support by the year 2014. Microsoft further recommends upgrading to its latest OS, Windows 7, in order for users to continue to receive OS support.
While there are some lines of business applications that have not been upgraded to work with Windows 7, most have — and there are alternative approaches. Also, your business needs the security and protection that only a current, up-to-date operating system can provide.
We understand that changing your OS will entail some expense, including new licenses, hardware, and some training. Fortunately, these things are designed to help you operate more efficiently and increase your productivity in the long run. But such change will take time, and if you are interested in starting to plan for an upgrade now, we’ll be happy to sit down with you and develop an upgrade process that meets your specific needs.
At Bischer Technologies, we like to know how we are doing and how we can improve. Attached to the closed ticket notification, you will see a link to a survey. We appreciate you taking the time to fill this out as it helps us to review our employees and the quality of service. For the month of May, our client satisfaction rating was 100%. While we would like to believe that we are perfect, we know that there is always room for improvement. Please let us know how we can better serve you. There are only five questions, and it helps us to help you.
Bischer Technologies is pleased to announce the hiring of three additional employees to supplement a growing client base.
- Ashley Bilkie, the Director of Marketing, brings seven years of communications and marketing experience to Bischer Technologies. Ashley will be responsible for social media management, advertising campaigns, and brand recognition. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Ashley formerly worked for Campbell-Ewald Advertising in Warren.
- Bobby Clark will serve as a Field Technician for Bischer Technologies, and will be responsible for onsite service and support needs relating to business technology, including: workstations, servers, printers, networks, and vendor specific hardware and software. After completing an internship with Bischer Technologies in 2010, Bobby will now join the team fulltime and looks forward to the opportunities ahead of him.
- Paul Short joins Bischer Technologies as a Level 2 Network Operations Center (NOC) analyst, and brings more than five years of experience in the information technology industry to the team. Paul previously worked for Mi6 Group of Shelby Township. As a NOC analyst, Paul will be responsible for receiving and responding to client requests for technical assistance, performing server maintenance, and scheduling and implementing patch management. Paul will also assist on the special projects’ team, working under Arvin Malhotra. “I am excited to be working with such a great group of people,” said Paul. “And I am looking forward to working in an environment dedicated to providing superior support and professionalism.”
Bischer Technologies, founded in 2008, is dedicated to providing the highest level of IT support to its clients, and prides itself on a strong set of company values, including integrity, reliability, efficiency and teamwork. The employees of Bischer Technologies reflect these characteristics, which Greg Bischer, President and CEO, feel are necessary to excel in the managed services profession.
“We expect all individuals who work for Bischer Technologies to replicate our core values,” said Greg.
Hackers continue to target online banking transactions as many SMBs do not realize the vulnerabilities in their current arrangements with their bank. Left unaddressed, you run the risk of allowing cyber-criminals to steal tens of thousands of dollars right from under your nose.
In a recent attack, cyber-thieves managed to get away with $63,000 after they exploited vulnerabilities in the online payroll system of a small business with its bank.
First, the crooks managed to infiltrate the company’s system through a piece of malware called the Zeus Trojan. This gave them access to the company’s data, including the password and username used in transacting with the company’s bank. The thieves then created several new ghost employees and created payroll accounts for them, which they sent to the bank and authenticated using the company controller’s username and password. And to cover their tracks, the hackers erased the confirmation emails regarding the transaction.
This incident highlights the need for better security systems in both the business and their bank – as security experts cite online banking transactions as one of the favorite targets of cyber-criminals. Cyber-attacks such as this one exploit weaknesses in many existing systems that rely on very simple and automated authentication procedures to confirm transactions.
A direct threat to your business finances is not something to be taken lightly. You not only need to review your current online banking system, but also the current security protocols you have installed, since hackers and cyber-criminals are constantly updating Trojans and other malware to adapt to changing IT protection systems.
We encourage you to have us take a look at the systems you have in place to determine if you are at risk for attacks like these. Please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to draw up custom security solutions that address your specific needs.
Initiatives such as WebBlaze and BitBlaze from the mind of IT genius Professor Dawn Song are setting the bar high for security, constantly providing solutions developers can use to create better security for their clients.
If you think hackers are the only ones doing their research to release newer and scarier viruses and malware on the web, think again. It is comforting to know that there are also very capable people doing what they can to make the internet a safer place – like Professor Dawn Song, associate professor at the University of California at Berkeley and MacArthur Foundation fellow.
In a nutshell, Professor Song has been looking at different ways to make the internet experience more secure. Her two initiatives – WebBlaze and BitBlaze – are aimed toward developers who want to create better and much more secure programs and applications.
WebBlaze is a compilation of different strategies from Song and other like minds who tackle different problems and solutions in all sorts of platforms, and BitBlaze is an analysis tool for malicious software. While we won’t go into too much detail (it involves very complicated math), the gist is that Song and her colleagues are drawing up some very solid solutions to constantly evolving security issues on the web.
It’s exciting to see developments like these in the security industry. As threats continue to evolve, so does the means through which they are fought. The more we use the internet and the more the online experience becomes integral to the day-to-day operations of businesses big and small, the more important securing your data and information becomes. And because of efforts such as Professor Song’s, we can expect security programs to be much more effective and efficient as time passes.
Learn more about Dawn Song here
If you are looking to assess and beef up your security systems, we’d be happy to sit down with you and take a look at improvements that can make your business and your data much more secure.
The drive to be more intimate can benefit your business. If you have a tighter circle of customers, you will establish yourself as a channel for consumption. This will make your next sale easier compared to the first.
November 17, 2010 was declared by Jimmy Kimmel during his television show as “National Unfriend Day”, the opportunity for all Facebook users to declutter their Facebook pages by “unfriending” people in their friends’ lists. He claims that Facebook has been “cheapening” the idea of friendship. To many the idea was hilarious, but others are seriously considering the wisdom of unfriending.
Is Kimmel on to something here? Can unfriending benefit your online business?
Research shows that as social media gets bigger, we’re getting smaller. Brian Wong, a network marketer says it simply: “With the growth of social networking, I am finding it increasingly difficult to separate business connections and personal connections.” He says that having almost 1,000 friends on Facebook has made it difficult for him to see the feeds and updates of his “real” friends and important business partners.
Lately there is a growing trend of de-scaling on the internet. People have started “pruning” their social lives online. For example, the popular Farmville app lost 30 million players this year, and people are beginning to realize that conversations and comments are more important than a huge number of blog hits.
So how can de-scaling and unfriending help your business? The drive to be more intimate can benefit your business by allowing you to form a tighter circle of customers, more successfully establishing you as a preferred channel for consumption.
Luckily, there are tools that can help you descale your social networks:
- Path – Offers small-scale communities where people feel more comfortable sharing personal information. It controls who can view your information and does not include features that make your content viral.
- Letter.ly – A subscription-based newsletter for bloggers who feel that public posts decrease the quality of conversations. This newsletter opens discussion only to people who pay, or who are privately invited to read a blog post.
- GroupMe – A texting app which limits your group text participants to only 14, to ensure that meaningful dialogues take place.
What about the flip side of unfriending and descaling? While you’re considering who to eliminate from your social circles, your contacts are likely doing the same. Here are some tips to help you make their cuts:
1. Be selective in your communications.
Of course, your product is important – to you. But not every little detail is as important to your audience. Be sure to focus on key features and benefits from your audience’s perspective.
2. Stay on topic.
Always give relevant communications to your customers, and never rant or badmouth competitors. This is a sure way to lose customers.
3. Provide value.
In addition to talking about your product or service, find ways to provide value to your circle of friends. Understand topics and pain points important to them, and provide valuable information and advice to help them succeed. You’ll soon come to be considered as a valuable resource to your contacts – one that they want to keep in their online social groups.
One thing is clear: quality is still more important than quantity, especially in the current economic downturn when people are downsizing everything. Start “pruning” your social network – and take steps to avoid being pruned – and you’ll reap the benefits of having a tight circle of loyal friends and customers.
Open Wi-Fi networks are indispensable, especially for people who need to work on the go. But without the proper security, you may find that they can prove to be troublesome as well.
These days, more and more people are on the go, and many of them bring their work with them. And in this day and age, it’s ideal if you’re working – or playing for that matter – while connected to the internet, which is often through public Wi-Fi hotspots.
While connecting to public and open-access Wi-Fi hotspots is indeed convenient, using open networks also poses risks that endanger your security. The open nature that allows anyone to use the connection also enables unscrupulous people to gain access to your private information. The whole act of stealing information from people who are using public Wi-Fi networks is called ‘sidejacking’.
There are applications such as Firesheep, for example, that provide an easy-to-use platform that others can exploit to spy and harvest personal, sensitive information from you. And since Firesheep is a Mozilla Firefox plug in, virtually anyone can download and use it to sidejack people on the same network.
You can’t be too cautious with your personal and business data these days, so you always need to have the proper laptop configuration and security infrastructure to protect your system, especially when you frequently avail of open and public networks. To know more about this, please feel free to give us a call and we’ll be happy to draw up some security options that meet your specific needs.