Pittsburgh’s IT Service and Support Specialists


Pittsburgh, Cranberry, Greensburg, Indiana
Uniontown and throughout Southwestern PA

4th Quarter 2013 - October Issue

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to Shiloh Sound e-Newsletter

Click the Envelope to subscribe to your FREE Quarterly e-Newsletter

Visit our Newsletter Archives

Windows XP Support Ends in 2014

Mark your calendar now. On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will end support for Windows XP SP3 and MS Office 2003.

If your business has not yet transitioned to Windows 7 or Windows 8, and if you still use an older version of Microsoft Office, you’re already under the gun. Studies show the average time for a company to upgrade all of its computers to a new operating system is 18 to 32 months. The smaller your company and the fewer computers you have, the faster the transition can take place, but it’s still not going to happen overnight. Planning, budgeting, implementation, and testing take time, even for businesses with as few as 5 PCs.

What are the Risks?

It’s true, your Windows XP computers are not going to shut down and become unusable at the midnight deadline. However the end of support services means no new security updates and non-security hotfixes. It means neither free nor paid support will be available.

Your biggest risk revolves around hacking attempts and viruses. Once support stops, any new vulnerabilities found in XP will become a magnet for the bad guys.

Depending on the nature of your business, the Security and Compliance risks of running unsupported software may result in suspension of certifications, and even public notification of your organizations inability to securely maintain customer information. A prime example of this includes physician’s offices and other medical organizations responsible for HIPAA compliance.

Maintaining Old Software

At Shiloh, we know there are many businesses out there running old versions of software that will only run on XP. Either upgrading to that new CNC system is tremendously expensive, or that old inventory tracker is no longer in production.

Depending on your situation, there may be ways to keep your old software running while the majority of your operations transition to a modern operating system. It might be possible, for example, to run an old XP machine off-network where it will be less vulnerable, or to create a Virtual XP machine on your new Windows 8 device.

How can you tell what is right for your business when it comes to moving past Windows XP? At Shiloh Service, our experienced consultants review your business operations and develop an affordable plan that’s right for your situation. Our analysis is even free.

Want to learn more about how Shiloh can help you weather the end of support for Windows XP? Contact us today, or give us a call at 1-888-374-4564.

HIPAA Regulations and Mobile Device Security

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Under HIPAA, there is a legal responsibility for anyone involved in the processing and storage of health records to take care no unauthorized persons gain access to our personal health information.

Of course, 17 years ago no one envisioned today’s overabundance of smartphones, let alone how critical a piece of daily gear mobile devices would become for medical personnel.

Has software for keeping phones and mobile devices secure caught up with the legal requirements of HIPAA?

McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management

Whether the information is intellectual property and trade secrets or patient health records, it’s no more acceptable to have your data stolen over mobile connections than from your network server.

McAfee, the world’s largest dedicated security technology company, has answered the question of making mobile devices secure with their Enterprise Mobility Management mobile security solution.

Offering data protection for today’s most popular mobile devices, McAfee EMM works with iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. McAfee’s scalable security solution delivers secure, easy access to your company’s mobile applications.

A Single Solution for Mobile and Traditional Data Security

The challenge to data security is tremendous, especially in the medical field, where physicians and clinicians are demanding access to patient records, diagnostic results, and imaging systems through mobile devices, while the variety of these devices continues to explode.

In this complicated environment, McAfee has had to develop a “bring your own device” solution that can ensure privacy, control, usage, policy adherence, security, and data protection across a diverse playing field.

McAfee’s integrated ePolicy Orchestrator (McAfee ePO) offers an exceptional solution. Busy IT departments, whether medical or corporate, appreciate the ability to configure and deploy security, policy, and management solutions through a single web-based console. And McAfee hasn’t left out traditional resources like laptops and PCs. After all, it’s the same data; why not handle it all with one powerful and easy to use solution?

Interested in learning more about how to integrate mobile devices securely into your data systems? Contact Shiloh Service today to learn more. We’ll evaluate your situation and see if McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management is right for you.

Windows Server 2012 EssentialsWindows Server 2012 Essentials

When considering issues such as the end of XP support and the need to embrace 21st century solutions for your small business, where do you start?

At Shiloh, we recommend Windows Server 2012 Essentials. If your business has an old server or has not yet taken the step to server-based networking, this is a great place to start.

What are the Advantages of a Server?

With a server, instead of customer records and accounting info being scattered over various office machines, it’s all stored in one secure location. Servers can share data among employees that’s meant to be shared and restrict data that is not. Servers allow people to share resources like printers, scanners, and faxes.

Servers are more reliable, with built in redundancy and hardware designed for a 24/7 duty cycle, while PC grade machines are not. Perhaps most important of all, servers can be outfitted with effective backup systems so that no PC or component failure need ever mean a loss of critical business data.

Why Windows Server 2012 Essentials?

Ease of installation and data migration, as well as a simplified management experience are hallmarks of Windows Server 2012 Essentials. It incorporates the latest network-wide security features, as well as robust data storage, backup, and document and printer sharing capabilities.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials is cloud-ready, providing effective integration of cloud-based applications and services, including the latest Microsoft Offerings like Microsoft Office 365 and the Windows Azure cloud platform.

It also gives you access to the information you need when you’re not physically in the office. Remote Web Access gives you the power to access applications and data from virtually anywhere you can get online. Windows Server 2012 Essentials provides an updated Windows Phone app and a new app for Windows 8, allowing you to search for and open files and folders on the server.

To learn more about Windows Server 2012 Essentials and what a Server can do for your business, Contact Shiloh Service today!

Monitoring Employee Behavior

Surveillance of employee behavior sounds ominous, like something done by an evil corporation to stifle personal freedom and creativity. In the real world, it often comes down to putting Internet restrictions in place that curb frivolous web surfing.

Let’s face it, it’s fun to watch the latest video of a hamster playing the piano, or spend a few minutes (hours?) racking up points in an imaginary game world. Unfortunately, it’s so easy to do, it seems just the thing to break up the daily grind at work.

Without realizing it, even the best employee can look up from the screen to see they have spent far too much time “playing” instead of accomplishing needed tasks.

To add insult to injury, the network bandwidth needed by videos, music, and virtual gaming can slow up response time for everyone else.

Worse, many public entertainment sites are a source of viruses and spyware that, once it’s on your network, can cost you hundreds of dollars to remove.

Awareness Technologies

Installing awareness technologies to better understand how your company’s computer equipment is being used makes good business sense. Monitoring staff computer behavior has been shown to increase productivity, reduce virus and malware remediation costs, improve network performance, improve compliance issues (such as security and privacy requirements) and even decrease exposure to litigation.

Receiving the Top Ten Gold Award from TopTenReviews in 2013 is Sonar Employee Monitoring Software. SONAR provides total control over employee Internet usage, blocking any category of website desired, including pornography, social networks, and job-hunting.

Surfing can even be limited to a small list of approved websites critical for employees to conduct their daily business.
SONAR's software application monitoring suite allows schedules to be set for control of software applications too. Things like Windows Media Player, Solitaire, and iTunes can be limited to after-hours use or blocked entirely, as can potentially dangerous file sharing applications.

The reporting side of SONAR tells you what potentially unwanted activities are occurring and who is participating in the unwanted behavior. That way, the opportunity exists to better inform and train specific employees about potentially time wasting and even dangerous uses of computer time.

Is employee monitoring software right for you? The best way to find out is to request a business systems audit from Shiloh Service. Contact us today and we’ll schedule to evaluate your systems and your business needs, making the right recommendation for you.

Google Tries to Cure Death

Nothing could sound more like a tabloid headline, or a hoax, than the news that Google is undertaking a project to cure death, but it seems the Internet giant is turning some of its vast resources toward the subject of keeping us all alive forever.

In fact, Google’s new Calico project just made the cover of Time Magazine for the September 30th issue.

Google is setting up Calico as an independent venture, one that will attempt to solve some of mankind’s most fundamental health care problems, including how to significantly extend the human lifespan.

Google CEO Larry Page announced the following on Google+

“OK … so you’re probably thinking wow! That’s a lot different from what Google does today. And you’re right. But as we explained in our first letter to shareholders, there’s tremendous potential for technology more generally to improve people’s lives. So don’t be surprised if we invest in projects that seem strange or speculative compared with our existing Internet businesses. And please remember that new investments like this are very small by comparison to our core business.”

Arthur D. Levinson, who has served as chairman of both Genentech and Apple, Inc. has been tapped to head the new project. According to Arthur:

“You may have seen the news that Google and I will be starting a new company focused on health, aging and well-being, called Calico. I’m honored and incredibly enthusiastic about this opportunity, and eager to get started.

“What underlies aging? Might there be a direct link between certain diseases and the aging process? With great people, a strong culture and vision and a healthy disregard for the impossible, we could make progress tackling these questions, and improving people’s lives.”
Calico is an abbreviation for the “California Life Company.”

To learn more, read the Time excusive article at BusinessTime.com.

Return to Top