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What is a Malware and Virus?

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Regardless of what you call it, most people know you don’t want a malware or a virus hanging around. Then why is it important to understand the difference between the two? One simple reason is you can protect your computer from a virus, but not be protected from a malware. Why? Because all viruses are malwares, but not all malwares are viruses. Allow me to explain.

What is a Malware

Malware, short for malicious software, is written by cyber criminals with the intention of gaining access or causing damage to a computer or network, often without you even knowing you’ve been compromise. This malicious software is written differently depending on the goal(s) of the perpetrator. For example, a malware appropriately named ransomware is written in a way that once your computer or network is infected you are locked out and unable to access your data until you pay a ransom. Another example is those annoying pop ups’ you get almost forcing you to click on that advertisement link, is a malware called adware. There are many other variations of malware including trojan horse, spyware, wiper, worm, botnet, keyloggers, rootkits, and fraudtools, written with different objectives.

What is a Virus

One of the most recognized names of all malwares is the virus made popular in the 80’s and 90’s. This malware is written with the intention of altering the way your computer operates and spreads itself across a network without the user’s involvement. Over the past few decades the virus has become less frequent compared to other malwares, but its name continues to be used synonymously with malwares. “My computer has a virus” often means your computer has a malware.

How to protect yourself

There are best practices such as security awareness training to avoid phishing, a “is this software safe?” search before downloading a program or app, keeping your software up to date, using strong passwords, backing up your computer, and using a firewall. One of the most reliable ways to protect your data is through the use of anti-malware and anti-virus software. Anti-virus software is about preventing viruses from being downloaded or opened on your computer or network. If a virus becomes active it’s difficult for the anti-virus software to detect its presence. Anti-malware on the other hand is designed to take malware, including a virus, out of an infected computer. Think of it as anti-virus is about prevention while anti-malware is about correction. That said, it is advised to use both for the best protection. If you are interested in learning more about the software available, check out PC Magazine’s “The Best Malware Removal and Protection Software for 2019” at https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/354226/the-best-malware-removal-and-protection-tools

While speaking with a friend Jason about malware vs. virus, he made a comparison to spiders. This helped me make the “all viruses are malwares, but not all malwares are viruses” statement easier to understand. Think of this, all Daddy Long Legs are spiders, but not all spiders are Daddy Long Legs.

Next up: What is a firewall?

Click here for our previous post, “What is XaaS?”

What is XaaS?

What is XaaS?

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Every industry has its terms and acronyms, information technology (IT) and telecommunications being no expectation. There is even a popular industry book “Newton’s Telecom Dictionary” now on its 31st edition with over 30,000 terms defined. The as-a-service (“aaS”) model, in the context of cloud computing, is a term that refers to a service(s) being made available over the Internet via the cloud. The “X” is a placeholder representing virtually anything and everything.

You can replace the X with just about any letter of the alphabet and you will likely find it is a service. I randomly picked the letter T which, as it turns out, is “testing”, who knew? The X can also represent services with more than one letter, such as: disaster recovery (DRaaS), business continuity (BCaaS), information technology (ITaaS), database (DBaaS), etc.

Perhaps the most popular “aaS” is SaaS, pronounced “sas” not S-A-A-S. Although the S can represent many services including search, security, and storage, it is more commonly recognized as Software-as-a-Service.This particular service has been made popular thanks to recognizable household services like Dropbox, LinkedIn, and Twitter and although debated Facebook. In business you hear names like: DocuSign, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Office 365, Zendesk, GoToMeeting, Workday, HubSpot & Intuit (QuickBooks, TurboTax, etc.) Beyond SaaS, some of the other common “aaS” include backup (BaaS), desktop (DaaS), infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS), and unified communications (UCaaS).

The benefits of “aaS” are many including lower cost, speed of deployment, seamless upgrades, no infrastructure required and its accessibility from multiple devices (tablets, laptops, smartphones, etc.).

Next up: What is a malware and virus?

Click here for our previous post, “What is Mobile Device Management?”

What is Mobile Device Management?

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Mobile Device Management, or MDM for short, is a software product or service designed to simplify and enhance the management of mobile devices. In this post we’ll dig deeper into the devices, the management capabilities, and benefits of MDM and things you should consider when evaluating options.

Then we hear the term “mobile” it’s natural we think of our iPhone or Samsung. However, in the context of MDM, a mobile device is a general term for any type of handheld computer. In addition to smartphones, this designation includes: laptops, tablets, 2-in-1s, wearables, and notebook computers. These devices are collectively referred to as endpoints with names like MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Galaxy Tab, ThinkPad, Chromebook, Surface, Miix, iWatch, Galaxy Watch, and others. Some MDM solutions are designed for industry specific devices such as point of sale (POS), printers, and barcode scanners. Under MDM, these devices are managed by software installed on the device itself which is referred to as the client component. This software receives and executes commands which are sent by the server component acting as a centralized dashboard or portal.

MDM solutions allow company IT Administrator’s the ability to configure, control, secure and enforce policies on mobile devices without hassle and complexity. Considering security is a hot topic these days, let’s focus on a few of the security benefits of MDM. Do you or anyone you know read company emails from a mobile device? How about viewing company files from a mobile device? If you answered yes to either question, how do you know your company data is secure? What could happen if the device fell into the wrong hands? What if the device didn’t require a pin? Some of the security aspects of MDM include password enforcement, remote lock and remote wipe. Password enforcement gives you piece of mind to know the device has some security measures in place and if lost the device can be locked and even wiped clean remotely. These are just a few of the many features and benefits of MDM, others include: device setup, compliance, policy acceptance, tracking, application catalogue, mitigate roaming, policy enforcement, corporate wipe, and inventory.

There are many MDM solutions available and surprise, they don’t all include the same features. Here are a few important things to consider when evaluating MDM solutions: That it supports your devices both the operating systems and versions. The features most important to you and your business are part of the solution. Pricing; is it per device or per user and is there additional cost for support, maintenance and updates? Do they offer a trial period.

Next up: What is XaaS?

Click here for our previous post, “What is a pen test?”

Stonebridge Innovations, LLC. Partners with TBI to Provide Customers with Enhanced Technology Solutions

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Washington Township, Michigan March 30, 2018– Stonebridge Innovations, LLC. has announced a new partnership with TBI, one of the nation’s largest distributors of technology services. With this partnership, Stonebridge Innovations, LLC. gains access to TBI’s portfolio of more than 70 highly vetted, top technology service providers, and can now offer customers a comprehensive suite of technology solutions including internet, voice, data, mobility, and cloud capability.

Since 1991, TBI has earned a reputation as the premier distributor of technology services and one of the most respected companies in the industry. TBI maintains a broad portfolio of voice, internet, data, mobility, cloud, and managed services, accompanied by a second-to-none back-office sales and support organization that enables reselling partners to conduct more strategic sales engagements with their customers.

“This partnership is a natural fit for us,” said Doug Black, President at Stonebridge Innovations, LLC.. “I see it as the best way for me to bring my own business to the next level. With TBI, I can offer my customers the technology services that they have always needed but would have previously gone elsewhere to buy.” TBI works to train us and bring the right executives to the table to execute contracts that make the most sense for my customers.

TBI works with its national network of more than 2,000 partners, selling strategic business solutions to end-users within small, mid-market and enterprise businesses. TBI’s relationships with top industry carriers, allows for the most competitive pricing and trouble-free provisioning of solutions across verticals: retail/eCommerce, industrial, entertainment, insurance and finance, healthcare, government and educational sectors. TBI’s portfolio extends to its selling partners affording the ability to sell strategic, end-to-end solutions, ensuring customer success.

About Stonebridge Innovations, LLC.

Stonebridge Innovations, LLC. was established by Douglas Black, a 27-year veteran of the telecommunications industry. Mr. Black has served in many executive positions with successful technology companies overseeing the design, deployment and support of communication networks and the business services used by organizations around the country. As a repeat business owner himself, Mr. Black understands the challenges associated with running a business while keeping up with the fast pace of technology and the benefits that accompany it. For more information visit www.stonebridgeinnovations.com.

About TBI

TBI is the nation’s leading third-party technology distributor. Since 1991, it has assisted Systems Integrators, VARs, MSPs, IT consultants and more in advising and sourcing the right technology solutions. TBI serves as a partner’s advocate, ensuring the proper provisioning of cloud, Internet, data, mobility, voice, and managed services from best-in-class service providers to achieve clients’ desired business outcomes. Through training and marketing programs focused on the benefits of technology to the business, TBI empowers its partners to be the foremost authority to advise and source all of their clients’ technology needs. With the largest back-office in the industry, TBI partners are fully supported by certified solutions engineers, pre- and post-sales operations, and project managers. For more information, visit www.tbicom.com.

Stonebridge Innovations, LLC. Partners with TBI to Provide Customers with Enhanced Technology Solutions

By | Uncategorized

Washington Township, Michigan March 30, 2018– Stonebridge Innovations, LLC. has announced a new partnership with TBI, one of the nation’s largest distributors of technology services. With this partnership, Stonebridge Innovations, LLC. gains access to TBI’s portfolio of more than 70 highly vetted, top technology service providers, and can now offer customers a comprehensive suite of technology solutions including internet, voice, data, mobility, and cloud capability.

Since 1991, TBI has earned a reputation as the premier distributor of technology services and one of the most respected companies in the industry. TBI maintains a broad portfolio of voice, internet, data, mobility, cloud, and managed services, accompanied by a second-to-none back-office sales and support organization that enables reselling partners to conduct more strategic sales engagements with their customers.

“This partnership is a natural fit for us,” said Doug Black, President at Stonebridge Innovations, LLC.. “I see it as the best way for me to bring my own business to the next level. With TBI, I can offer my customers the technology services that they have always needed but would have previously gone elsewhere to buy.” TBI works to train us and bring the right executives to the table to execute contracts that make the most sense for my customers.

TBI works with its national network of more than 2,000 partners, selling strategic business solutions to end-users within small, mid-market and enterprise businesses. TBI’s relationships with top industry carriers, allows for the most competitive pricing and trouble-free provisioning of solutions across verticals: retail/eCommerce, industrial, entertainment, insurance and finance, healthcare, government and educational sectors. TBI’s portfolio extends to its selling partners affording the ability to sell strategic, end-to-end solutions, ensuring customer success.

About Stonebridge Innovations, LLC.

Stonebridge Innovations, LLC. was established by Douglas Black, a 27-year veteran of the telecommunications industry. Mr. Black has served in many executive positions with successful technology companies overseeing the design, deployment and support of communication networks and the business services used by organizations around the country. As a repeat business owner himself, Mr. Black understands the challenges associated with running a business while keeping up with the fast pace of technology and the benefits that accompany it. For more information visit www.stonebridgeinnovations.com.

About TBI

TBI is the nation’s leading third-party technology distributor. Since 1991, it has assisted Systems Integrators, VARs, MSPs, IT consultants and more in advising and sourcing the right technology solutions. TBI serves as a partner’s advocate, ensuring the proper provisioning of cloud, Internet, data, mobility, voice, and managed services from best-in-class service providers to achieve clients’ desired business outcomes. Through training and marketing programs focused on the benefits of technology to the business, TBI empowers its partners to be the foremost authority to advise and source all of their clients’ technology needs. With the largest back-office in the industry, TBI partners are fully supported by certified solutions engineers, pre- and post-sales operations, and project managers. For more information, visit www.tbicom.com.