June 2, 2020

Safe and Productive: Tips for Working Remotely

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

With the advent of the Covid-19 outbreak, most companies have been forced to implement work from home options at a breakneck pace. With the rushed nature of this transition, there will be a lot of companies (if not most of them) who will be exposing themselves to significant risk. Experts are warning of a focused wave of cyberattacks targeting remote workers for two reasons: home users are less likely to have reliable and modern cybersecurity tools, and phishing scams will be able to more effectively target people when they’re scared, isolated, and desperate for information. Now is a strenuous time for businesses as it is; reducing the risks of a devastating cyberattack should be a high priority.

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A Trusted IT Resource Can Help Your Organization Rapidly Adjust For Remote Working Environments

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is causing businesses around the world to reexamine their operational structure. Companies now need to plan and prepare for employees to work remotely without any interruption to normal business functions, if they plan to stay competitive and productive.

If you find you and your company are facing these decisions, Zephyr Networks will do every-thing in our capacity to help keep your business running as close to normal as possible.

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Bi-Modal IT As The Vehicle For Your Company’s Safe Migration To The Hybrid Cloud

Are you worried about your company’s safe migration to the hybrid cloud? Although you want the speed and technological agility that the hybrid cloud can offer, you are worried about abandoning the legacy systems that have worked so well for so long. Zephyr Networks understands this worry, and we have embraced a bi-modal IT strategy to address it. Our goal is to ensure the safety of your company’s IT transition, and we have seen that bi-modal IT often can be the solution to the problem.

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High Performance Technology For Your Business Racecar With Zephyr Networks As Your Pit Crew In The Cloud

In the 21st century when technological excellence is the key to profitability, your business should have high performance technology like an online racecar with Zephyr Networks as your pit crew in the cloud. The consulting and managed IT services offered by Zephyr, including our Level 3 Data Centers in Tustin and Irvine, can help turn your old technological clunker into a NASCAR-winning high performance racer. After all, isn’t it time your business has both the speed and safety it needs to succeed in today’s world.

Your Company And High Performance Technology

high performance technology, pit crew in the cloud

Your Company’s High Performance Technology

If you could be a NASCAR championship driver, wouldn’t you be? Everyone loves the idea of speed and success, but the reality is a bit scarier. Very few people are talented enough to drive high performance racecars. Heck, racing around a track at 200 mph sounds terrifying.

But shouldn’t your company operate like a high performance racecar online? Shouldn’t you have the highest processing speeds and Internet data capabilities to ensure the success of your business?

Of course, the answer is yes if such technological capabilities are affordable. At Zephyr Networks, we put together tailored packages for our clients to meet their high performance technology needs at a cost that makes sense. We work to find an affordable option for you.

High Performance Technology Means Safety & Maintenance

There is another reason why we don’t all go around driving racecars. It wouldn’t be safe, and that’s exactly why there are speed limits. At the same time, racecars demand a tremendous amount of maintenance. Although we can’t maintain your racecar, we can maintain the high performance technology of your business as well as anyone.

high performance technology, pit crew in the cloud

Zephyr Networks Is Your Pit Crew In The Cloud

The information technology experts at Zephyr Networks understand that your business needs high performance technology with super fast Internet speed without taking risks. By offering the very best in computer and networking support, we can make this happen.

After all, providing network security, data security and cybersecurity has been our field of expertise for years. We believe that your high performance technology should never be a negative for your business. By providing quality managed services and ongoing maintenance, we make sure that your high performance technology is working for your company, providing optimum results.

Imagine Your Pit Crew In The Cloud

Zephyr Networks is your pit crew in the cloud, showing up at your company’s offices when onsite adjustments are needed. With our low latency data centers with Level 3 capabilities, you have the online processing speed used by Netflix and Amazon. By teaming up with Zephyr Networks as your company’s pit crew, you will finally be driving the business racecar of your dreams.

high performance technology

Your Company’s Checkered Flag

As the owner of the company, you are the racecar driver and you deserve nothing less than the checkered flag. Forget those old Plymouth Dusters, Ford Edsels and the rest of the rusty clunkers in the world. Today is the day for your company to have the polished high performance technology that will bring you the best results.

Zephyr Networks Can Make It Happen

Whether mobile computing or data center speed, cloud protection or managed services, Zephyr Networks can make it happen. Isn’t it time to embrace the very best? Please call (800) 884-7559 today to find out how we can take your company to the next level of high performance technology, data center speed, and cloud-based excellence.

Why Truly Proactive IT Managed Services Make The Most Sense For Your Company?

At Zephyr Networks, we are starting off 2016 by promoting the idea of why truly proactive IT managed services make the most sense for your company. In the past few years, we have all seen a plethora of online IT service applications and offerings pop up. Rather than coming out of the woodwork like in the old days, these business termites came out of the network, makings tons of promises that most IT professionals know they cannot fulfill.

The Rubber Stamp Of Online IT Anonymous Offerings

Right off the bat, you have to ask yourself if your company is worth more than the rubber stamp offered by online IT anonymous offerings. The set-up of online IT offerings is essentially anonymous because you are not working face-to-face with your service providers. From the outset with Zephyr Networks, you get to know us because we meet you onsite at your company. More importantly, we get to know you and your company, tailoring our package of IT managed services to meet your specific needs.

One Size Does Not Fit All With IT Managed Services

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The IT Managed Services of Zephyr Networks

The simple truth is that one size does not fit all when it comes to IT managed services. Even if you have a mid-sized business, is it the same as every other mid-sized business in the country? Does your 3D printing company in Irvine have the exact same needs as a drive-in restaurant chain in New Jersey? Yes, the online offerings of the termites that weaken your foundation claim that they will save you money. Yes, they allow you to pick and choose from their rickety offerings, but do they actually know what you need? Do you have the technical expertise to know what you need?

At Zephyr Networks, our IT managed service packages begin with a detailed understanding of your company and how it works and the technological challenges involved. Our goal is to tailor a truly proactive package of IT managed services that address your specific needs. From the very start, we focus on prevention and smooth transition by understanding exactly where your company is at and letting you know in detail where we think you need to be. Once you sign on, you have our maximum focus because we have installed or updated your system to reflect the specific IT needs of your company.

24/7 Remote Monitoring & Management = Network Stability

By taking on a premium package of truly proactive IT managed services with Zephyr Networks, we offer you ongoing monitoring that creates a continuum of reliability and confidence. The truly proactive IT managed services of Zephyr Networks can be combined with our data center offerings to reduce downtime and ensure connectivity. By running our own low latency data centers in Irvine and Tustin, we ensure that our clients have access to the fastest online capabilities.

Isn’t it time to stop looking for the cheapest option when it comes to the technological future of your company? Isn’t it time to embrace a value package of IT managed services that reflect your specific needs and pays off in both the short term and the long run? To learn more about the truly proactive IT managed services offered by Zephyr Networks and our data center capabilities, please contact us today by calling (800) 884-7559 for an computer and networking support consultation.

Why Should Microsoft Or Amazon Be Gatekeepers Of Your Company’s Private Data?

Recent conflicts between the government and giant tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon web services raise the question of who should be the gatekeepers of your company’s private data. When it comes to a company’s private data and customer information, why trust faceless tech behemoths with such a critical responsibility? Such trust seems foolish, particularly in light of the size of your small to mid-sized business in comparison to these corporate giants.

Why would they care about truly protecting what is the most precious resource of your business: Your intellectual property, your private data and your customer information?

Your Company’s Private Data

When Microsoft refused to comply with a warrant in December 2013 for emails from a business suspect in a court case, industry officials and civil liberties advocates raised a red flag. Why should Microsoft be making such a decision? Zephyr Networks believes such cases are a major reason to embrace the private cloud. After all, with a private cloud, you control your own information and access to that information. You should make such decisions, not Microsoft.

The White House, after months of study, has yet to articulate a public response to the argument that a victory in the Microsoft case would provide authoritarian governments, particularly those of China and Russia, with a way to get access into computer servers located in the United States. “Clearly, if the U.S. government wins, the door is open for other governments to reach into data centers in the U.S.,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, explained in an interview. Amazon web services and Microsoft are fighting efforts to give the federal government access to their communications. But will they fight for you?

Why Is A Company’s Private Data In The Mix?

company's private data

Your Company’s Private Data

The question that Zephyr Networks wants to raise is why should your company be part of this epic battle? Why are you entrusting Microsoft or Amazon web services with your company’s precious information? By embracing the private cloud, you put the power back into your own hands. This is why Zephyr Networks runs a data services center in Irvine for our clients, giving them access to a private cloud where they make the decisions and they are in control.

“People want to know what law will be applied to their data,” Brad Smith of Microsoft continued. “French want their rights under French law, and Brazilians under Brazilian law. What is the U.S. government going to do when other governments reach into the U.S. data centers, without notifying the U.S. government?”

Such international issues should not affect your company. Your company’s data should not be subject to a potential international tug-of-war.

Zephyr Networks Protects Your Company’s Private Data

By becoming a part of the Microsoft or Amazon web services behemoth, by allowing these corporate giants to control your company’s data, your are falling prey to their whims and fancies. By embracing the private cloud, you remain in control of your company’s information. It’s that simple. Rather than being a cog in a giant machine, learn about the independent freedom and reliable security of the private cloud by contacting Zephyr Networks today.

Windows 10 Privacy Problems Means Your Company’s Data Becomes Subject To The Lords Of Microsoft

The Windows 10 privacy concerns are serious. The new Windows 10 policies took effect on August 1, and they could undermine the privacy of your company and your company’s data. If your company is using Microsoft’s services and software, there are some unsettling realities to be faced. Since the Privacy Statement and Services Agreements clocks in at 45 pages in length, you’re probably not going to read it all. You probably won’t even read part. Microsoft claims it’s all straight forward. In truth, the violations of privacy contained within are one more argument to have an IT professional like Zephyr Networks make sure that Microsoft is not taking advantage of you.

Windows 10 Privacy

The straightforward truth is that the Windows 10 agreement is at the heart of the Windows 10 privacy problems. The agreement makes a leap straight into your company’s data. By default, Windows 10 gives itself the right to dump loads of your data onto Microsoft’s servers, use your bandwidth for Microsoft’s own purposes, and profile your Windows usage. In need of reform, the Windows privacy 10 issues are currently a nightmare for small to mid-sized companies.

If you haven’t yet installed Windows 10, but you plan on doing so, make sure you that you do a custom install so you’ll be able to pick and choose what is enabled at the onset. But, if you installed Windows 10 using Express settings, you can still disable some of the default privacy settings. Whatever you choose to do, you need the help and support of an IT professional and data protection services company like Zephyr Networks today.

The Broad Powers of Microsoft

windows 10 privacy

Windows 10 Privacy Issues

Do you realize, however, that Microsoft decided to give itself some very broad powers to collect your company’s data if your employees use its operating system? Sign into Windows 10 with your Microsoft account and the operating system immediately syncs settings and data to their servers. This process includes your browser history and favorites as well as saved app, website and mobile hotspot passwords, and Wi-Fi network names and passwords. Rather than being an opt-in option, this is all by default.

In addition to the other Windows 1o privacy problems, Windows 10 automatically assigns an advertising ID to each user on a device tied to the email address that’s on file. Using that ID, the company can tailor ads for web browsing and using certain applications. Microsoft’s Siri-imitating Cortana personal assistant and its new Edge browser are designed to take advantage of as much personal information as possible to customize user experience, take annotations, and learn all about you. Cortana is less of a trustworthy virtual assistant and more like a sexy virtual spy. The problem is the sexiness is forced while the spying is all too real.

Cortana & Windows 10 Privacy

If you use Cortana and have Windows 1o privacy concerns, did you know you are opting into a whole host of data sharing?

“To enable Cortana to provide personalized experiences and relevant suggestions, Microsoft collects and uses various types of data, such as your device location, data from your calendar, the apps you use, data from your emails and text messages, who you call, your contacts and how often you interact with them on your device.

Cortana also learns about you by collecting data about how you use your device and other Microsoft services, such as your music, alarm settings, whether the lock screen is on, what you view and purchase, your browse and Bing search history, and more.”

Whatever happens, Microsoft will know what your company is doing. By default, they will be collecting your company’s private data. Your encryption key is backed up to OneDrive. When device encryption is turned on, Windows 10 automatically encrypts the drive it’s installed on and generates a BitLocker recovery key. That’s backed up to your OneDrive account. As a result, Microsoft can do pretty much whatever it wants with your company’s data. This is what your company should be most concerned about: Microsoft’s new privacy policy is very loose when it comes to when it will or won’t access and disclose your personal data:

“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services.”

Windows 10 Privacy = Business Intrusion

Such terms can be applied to both individuals and companies, particularly those that lack the technical capability to protect themselves. Does Microsoft own your company? Did you hand over the keys to the front door when you bought the Windows operating system and their software? Are you a data vassal in the court of this corporate lord?

Of course, the answer to all of these questions is no. Zephyr Networks can help ensure that Microsoft does not violate the privacy and data security of your company. As a business, the integrity of your private data comes first. You should not be subject to a violation of that privacy just because you use the tools of a large corporation like Microsoft. After all, when you swung a hammer, did Black & Decker demand access to your address, phone number, and the shopping patterns of your wife? Computer tools should operate by the same standards unless a user opts-in and chooses otherwise.

Zephyr Networks & Windows 10 Privacy

If you need help with Windows 10 privacy concerns, please contact Zephyr Networks today. Whether you need help with a clean install or you need to disable some of the intrusive Windows 10 privacy settings after a faulty install, we can help. Call Zephyr Networks at (800) 885-7559 to help ensure the security and privacy of your company.

Zephyr Networks Helps New Client With Long Overdue Microsoft Exchange Server Migration

A Microsoft Exchange Server Migration often proves to be a lot more challenging than most clients realize, particularly if they have waited nearly a decade to make the switch. When it comes to making a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration to upgrade to the latest available technology, many companies believe that such a transition is as easy as pushing in button. In truth, if your company has waited to update and become comfortable in the old system, a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration often becomes a multi-step process that includes the re-training of your staff.

microsoft exchange server migration

Exchange Server Migration Problems

Important Note – The Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Outlook 2003, Windows XP, Exchange 2010 SP2 and Windows Server 2003 will no longer be  eligible for tech or updates support from Microsoft. All the lifecycles of these Microsoft products end in early April of 2015, except for Windows Server 2003 that ends in the middle of July 2015 .

  1. Outlook 2003 will transition out of extended support on 8th of April 2014
  2. Exchange Server 2003will transition out of extended support on 8th of April 2014
  3. Windows XP will transition out of extended support on 8th of April 2014
  4. Exchange 2010 SP2 will transition out of support on 8th April 2014
  5. Windows Server 2003will transition out of extended support on 14th of July 2015

The Challenge of a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration

At the same time, such a switch opens up new doors by expanding your technological capabilities and providing your company with the latest Microsoft Exchange Server’s innovations and tools. Zephyr Networks has the staff and the technological know-how to effectively help your company with a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration without interrupting your daily business while ensuring the safety of your data, and continuity for your employees. Recently, we helped a new client make a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration that they desperately needed since it had been over a decade since their last update.

The challenge with a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration when so much time has passed is the multiple steps needed in the process. Since the company was still operating with the 2003 version of the Microsoft Exchange Server, they had missed several versions. In fact, Microsoft Exchange 2003 is no longer supported by Microsoft. Microsoft almost takes for granted that a company, at the very least, has updated to the 2007 Microsoft Exchange Server version. But the reality is many companies are still using Exchange Server 2003.

Two-Step Migration To The 2013 Microsoft Exchange Server

In order to protect the ongoing fluidity of the company’s email processes while keeping the past data secure, Zephyr Networks needed to take a two-step approach to the migration process. First, their present 2003 Microsoft Exchange Server was migrated to the 2007 Microsoft Exchange Server version. Although the staff was given information about this initial migration, it was done during downtime when there was less demand on the system. In the second step, Zephyr Networks was able to bypass the 2010 Microsoft Exchange Server update and migrate directly to the latest 2013 Microsoft Exchange Server. By making a two-step leap, although it took more time, it ensured the integrity of the existing system and data while guaranteeing a clean Microsoft Exchange Server Migration to the latest version. End users saw little change in their daily activities but were quickly able to use the enhanced capabilities.

Advantage of Microsoft Exchange Server Migration to 2013

After the Microsoft Exchange Server Migration, Zephyr Networks helped train the company’s employees in the effective use of the new system. Beyond on-the-site training, we provided access to the best online tutorials and training manuals provided by Microsoft. In addition, if any problem came up after the Microsoft Exchange Server Migration, we were one phone call away from a solution.

On the Microsoft website, the advantages of making a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration to the 2013 version are clearly laid out. Unlike the 2003 version, the latest Exchange lets a company tailor their solution based on their unique needs, ensuring that their communications are always available in light of the rise of mobile technologies. While protecting a company with the latest Microsoft safeguard, the 2013 Microsoft Exchange Server increases productivity by helping employees manage increasing volumes of communications across multiple devices and work together more effectively as teams.

Zephyr Networks Can Help Your Company

If your company already has been using the Microsoft Exchange Server system, Zephyr Networks can help you with any Microsoft Exchange Server Migration needs while address any other information technology issues at hand. Whether you want to move to the private cloud or improve your network security, we can help. If you are not using Microsoft Exchange Server already, we also can offer a variety of options that might be better suited for your business needs, saving you both time and money. To find out how Zephyr Networks can help your company, please call (800) 884-7559 today for a free consultation with one of our information technology and networking support experts.

Your Company’s Cybersecurity Options Must Be Kept Up-To-Date In A Dangerous World Of Hackers And Cybercrime

Are you cybersecurity options up-to-date? Even with the best of intentions, business people forget to update software, install antivirus programs and make sure that their cybersecurity options are kept up-to-date. If your company is failing to maintain a necessary focus on the ever-evolving threat of cybercrime and the resulting vulnerabilities, you could be placing more than yourself at risk. Zephyr Networks believes it is essential for small to mid-sized business owners to understand the risks involved. Once such risks are understood, very few ever choose to go it alone.

Danger Of Out-Of-Date Cybersecurity Options

By weakening your own defenses, you do a lot more than just make yourself more vulnerable to future attack from cybercriminals and hackers. You also increase the vulnerability of your customers, your vendors and other people in your online community by making the information on your servers accessible to hacking.  Furthermore, if a hacker surreptitiously takes over a device on your network, it can be used to attack other computers.

cybersecurity options

Cybersecurity Options Needed

Even a company as large as Target that spends a literal fortune each year on cyber-security ended up being attacked and hacked via a heating and air-conditioning supplier. The Target breach was nothing less than significant and a perfect example of the vulnerability we are describing. Since their vendor had second-rate cybersecurity, Target became vulnerable as well.

As you probably know, thousand of innocent consumers paid the price. That price is exponentially increased when you consider the long-term cost to Target’s reputation as being a safe place to shop, both in person and online. Do I trust a company a second time that rolled the dice with my confidential information once?

Small to Mid-Sized Cybersecurity Problems

What proves to be even more problematic is that small to mid-sized companies are often reluctant to admit that they have been hacked. Small to mid-sized companies think such a disclosure could lay them open to litigation while draining a large percentage of their customer base. Did such a network breach happen in the Target case to the air conditioning company in the past, but ultimately went unnoticed or was covered up by nervous executives?

Possible widespread solutions being suggested or tried include increasing transparency about data losses; helping consumers and firms to make more informed decisions about cybersecurity; and shedding more light on how internet-service providers (ISPs) deal with malware infections they spot on customers’ computers. In addition, almost all American states now have data-breach laws that require firms to reveal any loss of sensitive customer information.

Widespread Solutions + Cybersecurity Options

cybersecurity options, Zephyr managed services

Necessity of Cybersecurity Options

Widespread solutions are a good idea, and Zephyr Networks supports the institutions of laws that promote transparency and improve cybersecurity measures across the board. Nevertheless, such approaches will not necessarily help your company if you fail to keep your cybersecurity options up-to-date. In addition, if a client or vendor in your cyber circle fails to keep their cybersecurity options up-to-date, you could be the victim of their network being hijacked. By the time the damage is done, it could be too late for everyone involved.

At Zephyr Networks, we can do trainings at your business site, fostering a friendly atmosphere that allows your employees to understand the possible dangers and potential threats.  By keeping your company more cognizant of threats and providing ways to keep your data safe, Zephyr Networks goes beyond the cyber by focusing on the essential element of fostering security.

Zephyr Networks Cybersecurity Options

As a direct result of such obvious threats, Zephyr Networks of Orange County offers cybersecurity options to our clients that take the burden of the cutting edge off of their shoulders. As IT professionals with the experience and expertise needed, the tech team at Zephyr Networks have been updating the cybersecurity options of our clients for years. In addition, we offer them the latest cutting edge cybersecurity tools like access to a private cloud and virtual desktops. To learn more about what Zephyr Networks can do for your small to mid-sized company, please call (800) 884-7559 for a free consultation.

 

What Is A Private Cloud And Why It Makes The Most Sense For Your Business

A private cloud offers a distinct and secure cloud-based environment in which only the specified client can operate, thus avoiding the dangers of the public cloud while offering the benefits of virtualization. As with other cloud models, private clouds deliver computing power to your company as a service within a virtualized environment that has an underlying pool of physical computing resources. With a secure data services center based in Orange County, Zephyr Networks offers the best in private cloud options and solutions.

Private Cloud Model at Zephyr Networks

private cloud, zephyr networks, cybersecurity

Security of the Private Cloud

The difference between the private cloud model offered by Zephyr Networks and the public cloud offered by Google and other Internet giants is simple to illustrate. Like the picture at the right, your company needs the security of a classic white picket fence. You need to know your data and information is safe. Although the most important aspects of your computing requirements remain virtualized, the private cloud offers an advanced level of security and privacy. Such security has become a necessity for many businesses in this day and age.

When a data breach could mean the end of your business and possible lawsuits, a private cloud is the answer that your business needs. When compliance regulations are growing from both a state and federal perspective in terms of client information, a private cloud offers the protection needed to stay in compliance. From HIPAA to complex financial regulations, the private cloud avoids the problems that data breaches of the public cloud have made so common.

No Maintenance + Reliable Power Backups

A key advantage of a private cloud like at the Zephyr Data Services Center is you no longer have to worry about ongoing maintenance. You don’t have to worry about cooling your server rooms or any other technical issues because we do everything for you. More importantly, all maintenance questions are covered, turned into reliable answers.

In the modern world of 24/7 business, can you afford a time out period for your business because of power issues? With the recent heat wave and the resulting rolling blackouts, many companies were temporarily crippled. Imagine the business lost and the opportunities tossed out the door. By relying on the Zephyr Data Services Center, you have the power back-ups and cooling reliability that your business needs to guarantee success.

Public Cloud Dangers vs. Private Cloud Security

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The Zephyr Data Services Center

A public cloud has multiple clients accessing virtualized services and resources from the same pool of servers across public networks. In contrast, the private cloud draws on a distinct pool of protected physical servers and computers. Hosted externally at the Zephyr Data Services Center, these resources and services are accessed across private leased lines or secure encrypted connections via public networks. The benefits of such managed services are multiple with protection and reliability being high on the list.

The additional security offered by the ring fenced cloud model is ideal for any organization that needs to process private data or carry out sensitive tasks. For example, a financial company that is required by regulation to store sensitive data internally should utilize a private cloud service. At the same time, such a company wants to benefit the advantages of cloud computing within their business infrastructure, such as on demand resource allocation.

Learn More About The Zephyr Private Cloud

By accessing a private cloud, the security and the flexibility go hand-in-hand or server-to server with a tailored array of services offered. The private cloud model is closer to the more traditional model of individual local access networks (LANs) used in the past, but with the added advantages of virtualization. If you want to know more about the private cloud opportunities offered by Zephyr Networks, please contact us today for a free consultation.