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Try Cisco Spark For Free

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Keep the Ball Rolling and Try Cisco Spark for Free! One service. All your business collaboration needs.

It’s your business messaging app, conferencing solution, and phone system all in one. Cisco Spark service makes instant communications and live meetings possible through a deeply integrated set of tools for an unparalleled collaboration experience.

Teams move faster when everything and everyone comes together and now you can try the Spark service for 90 days – absolutely free! The trial includes a variety of Cisco IP phones and Cisco TelePresence collaboration devices. No obligations, no hassle.

Plug and Play! Everything is shipped directly to the end user and can be setup in under 30 minutes. It’s really that easy. If you would like to start your free trial, please contact us today at 616.837.6930 or complete the form below and we will reach out shortly!

Still Being Infected by Malware? Try Cisco Umbrella

Monday, April 03, 2017

As the workforce becomes more mobile, you have to worry about security like never before - but do you know where to start? What if there was a way to prevent certain attacks before they even entered your system? Ransomware has a lot to do with exploitation of the human element – like employees, customers, and suppliers. Attackers have many ways to initiate an attack including common malvertising and phishing methods to sophisticated thumb drive drop tactics. Bottom line, attacks are becoming more prevalent and refined and businesses need to take action to prevent it.

Luckily there's a new player in town and it's stopping malware in it's tracks. Cisco Umbrella is a layer of security that provides the first line of defense against threats on the internet wherever users go. It’s a cloud security platform built into the foundation of the internet, the first of it's kind. Using big data analytics and predictive intelligence, it will stop threats and attacks before they happen. Umbrella even blocks users from getting to phishing sites (intentional or not) – whether they are in the office or working remotely.

Industry’s first Secure Internet Gateway in the cloud
Before users connect to any destination on the internet, a Secure Internet Gateway provides the first line of defense and inspection. Core capabilities include:
- Visibility and enforcement on and off network
- Protection over all ports and protocols
- Open platform for easy integration
- Live threat intelligence
- Proxy and file inspection
- Discovery and control of SaaS

For less than $5 per user per month, Umbrella is a no-brainer for any organization, it’s a 'set it and forget it' product and requires very minimal setup. If your organization is ready to get started with Umbrella, give us a call today at 616.837-6930 or email us.

Keep Your Business Secure With Advanced Malware Protection

Monday, October 24, 2016
Does your business struggle to find a solution that can effectively address the full lifecycle of advanced malware? Effective protection needs to combine incident response and remediation against the latest threats without breaking the budget or sacrificing efficiency. Part of the challenge comes from a lack of continuity and intelligence between detection, blocking, response, and remediation.

Often, this lack of intelligence can leave you unaware of the full extent and depth of a security breach or virus outbreak, which means remediation efforts could begin well after the attack. In addition, the root cause could be missed, leading to an endless cycle of reinfection.

As a result, security professionals are often left wondering:
● What was the method and point of entry?
● What systems were affected?
● What did the threat do?
● Can we stop the threat and eliminate the root cause?
● How do we recover from the attack?
● How do we prevent it from happening again?

In an effort to combat today's sophisticated malware, Cisco has designed a system to protect you before, during, and after a security attack or virus threat. Cisco® Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) for Endpoints provides the level of protection you need to stop advanced threats missed by other security layers. This intelligent, enterprise-class advanced malware analysis and protection solution uses big data, continuous analysis, and advanced analytics to detect, track, analyze, control, and block advanced malware outbreaks across all endpoints: Windows PCs, Macs, Linux, mobile devices, virtual systems, in the network, and on email and web security appliances so that you can take control of an attack, before it causes damage.

Features include:
- Enhanced threat defense: protection against millions of malicious files
- Rapid detection: automatic alerts for malware detection
- Ease of Management: enable AMP with 2 clicks
- Visibility: view threat data across multiple sites

If you want to learn more about this robust security and malware protection device, contact us today and we'd be happy to demo the product for you.

Ransomware :: By the Numbers

Thursday, August 04, 2016
"It won't happen to me."

Famous last words by the business person who assumed hackers only targeted the big business, the little guys, or basically anyone other than them. Some businesses simply don't take the time to deal with proper security measures and others just aren't aware that their current protection isn't sufficient. The thing is, ransomware is growing fast, can be devastating, and shows no boundaries - everyone is fair game.

With technology ever-changing and hackers getting more sophisticated it's more important now than ever before for businesses to implement a layered security defense. You might think that cybercriminals are mostly targeting enterprises, but according to a report by Keeper Security and the Ponemon Institute, 50% of small businesses have been breached in the past 12 months.

Hackers often use ransomware, a type of malware, which takes control of a computer and then encrypts all the data on it, rendering it inaccessible. Cisco reported that 9,515 people end up paying ransoms each month. The average ransom is $300 and hackers could make $34 million a year on ransomware attacks. To read more about Cisco’s cybersecurity report, check out this recent article published in Fortune, "5 Takeaways From Cisco's Big Cybersecurity Report".

The numbers don't lie
Having worked with a variety of security products and software, we found that a crucial layer in the security approach is OpenDNS. It not only blocks malware, botnets and phishing over any port, protocol or app, but also detects and contains advanced attacks before they can cause damage. You can predict and prevent attacks before they happen, regardless of whether your employees are on or off the network.

To put it into perspective, we ran a report of our existing customers who currently have OpenDNS and we’re pretty proud of these numbers. In the last 7 days, for our customers with OpenDNS, there have been:
• 9.8 million queries
• 9 thousand malicious items blocked
• 2 thousand instances of malware prevented
• 3 of those instances contained botnets

The threats are out there and the impact that security attacks have made on businesses everywhere has been significant. Choosing the proper security measures for your business should be an easy decision - don't allow yourself to be vulnerable another day. If you have any questions regarding OpenDNS, security measures for your business, or would like a quote, get in touch.

West Michigan Cisco Users Group :: Engineers Panel

Monday, May 09, 2016
If you're a Cisco user and enjoy mingling with others in the technology field, join us at the West Michigan Cisco Users Group on May 25. This month they'll be featuring four great panelists from West Michigan, including our very own Andrew Smith. They will be leveraging the panel's diverse experience and knowledge to compare and contrast the past, present and future of networking. Anyone interested in learning more is welcome to attend!

Join us for discussion of the following topics:
Legacy Devices - How are you dealing with things that just won’t die?
Ransomware - It’s not just at home anymore.
Automation & DevOps - Things that can improve your productivity today.
SDWAN technologies and their impact on the future of connectivity.
Future of the data center - XaaS, SDN, Containerization.

Panel Members:
Andrew Smith - Director of Technical Services - IT Resource
Andy Calderone - Sr Network Engineer - Wolverine World Wide
Justin Wildeboer - IT Technician - Gentex
Kristoffer Homrich - Network Architect - Herman Miller

Jason Tally

Agenda & Location
5:30 - 5:45: Registration and Networking
5:45 - 6:00: Sponsor
6:00 - 7:00: Discussion
7:15 - Room closes, After-Meeting Social

The West Michigan Cisco Users Group takes place at Davenport University, 6191 Kraft Ave SE, Caledonia, MI 49512. We'll be meeting in the Sneden Hall Meeting Room 1/2/3 (Across from the Auditorium). Please remember to park in Event parking, section F, as identified on their location page. Please don't forget to print and use your parking pass.

Not only is this event free of charge, but there's food too. You'll also have the chance to network with others in your field and learn a few new things about our industry. Please RSVP here so the group can get an accurate meal count. On behalf of Andrew and the entire IT Resource team, we hope to see you there!

New Partnership :: OpenDNS Security Umbrella

Friday, January 08, 2016

We are excited to announce that we're now a partner and reseller of OpenDNS. This innovative solution, now a part of the Cisco family of best of breed solutions, helps organizations predict security attacks before they occur. OpenDNS Umbrella provides Advanced Threat Protection, creating a layer of cloud-delivered protection in the network security stack, both on and off your organization’s network. Umbrella works anywhere, across any port, protocol or app. It’s delivered via the cloud so it’s extremely fast and easily scalable.

To learn more about how your organization can benefit from the cost-effective OpenDNS and added network security, contact us today to setup a demo. We are Grand Rapids' premier provider for network security issues.

Cisco SMARTnet Merges with Smart Net Total Care

Friday, August 07, 2015
On July 27th 2015, Cisco announced that their SMARTnet support offering will be merging with Smart Net Total Care to form Cisco Smart Net Total Care Service (SNTC). Even though Cisco SMARTnet is officially retired, SMARTnet customers can still expect the same support and service that they’ve been receiving. There’s no price difference from SMARTnet to SNTC and all of the SMARTnet SKUs will remain the same.

The good news for SMARTnet customers is that they now have automatic access to the perks of SNTC’s smart service capabilities at no additional cost. Entitlement to smart capabilities includes access to the SNTC portal, community support for the portal and collector, and a free download of the collector software. Smart capabilities can also help with correlating install base information including EoS and EoL, contracts and alerts. 

What does this mean for Cisco customers with SMARTnet contracts?
  • There is no action on your part until renewal, current SMARTnet contracts will be automatically entitled
  • All SMARTnet customers have automatically become Smart Net Total Care customers
  • When renewal time comes around, you will renew the same SKUs to continue to receive the updated Smart Net Total Care support level
What does this mean for Cisco legacy Smart Net Total Care customers?
  • If you have an active NLS1 contract, there is no action on your part
  • You will continue to receive all of the current support, access to TAC and all the features you are used to
  • Upon renewal, your legacy device service contracts will be updated to the SNTC levels
If you still have questions regarding this merge, contact us and we’d be happy to explain all of the changes in further detail.

An Internet Solution for Schools and Libraries

Monday, July 13, 2015
In the midst of digital learning, it’s evident that schools and libraries need access to reliable and affordable internet. A common nuisance among schools is that networks are frequently under intense interference conditions causing internet speeds to drag and bandwidth hogging. This ultimately leads to inefficiencies among administration, faculty, teachers and students. In light of this, we’re excited to share a special promotion for a solution tailored to the needs of schools and libraries - the Cisco Meraki Solution for Education.

Rise to the top of the class with Meraki k-12
As a Meraki partner, we have an exclusive promotion for e-rate eligible K-12 schools and libraries. Now through July 1, 2017 you can receive a 5 year license for the list price of a 1 year. This promotion is available on all new Meraki MR-Wireless, MS-Switching, and MX-Security hardware purchases. Now is the time to use your e-rate funding to replace old legacy equipment and update your environment. Don’t lose on productivity with outdated hardware and software - futureproof your network and lock in a 5 year Meraki license for the price of one!

Mobility Management for Schools
A Meraki solution will transform your internet environment to support and streamline every level of your education and business processes creating a unique and holistic approach to Wi-Fi. It offers unbeatable security, deep network visibility to determine where bandwidth is being used and automatic performance optimization in highly dense environments. All Meraki solutions are 100% transparent using the free dashboard application allowing administrators to configure, monitor and manage thousands of mobile devices across multiple networks.

Still not convinced?
Meraki is so confident in their products, they’re giving away a FREE access point just for taking one of their live webinars! Let this solution speak for itself and see the difference before you buy. Contact us today and we’ll send you a customized link to register to attend one of the upcoming webinars eligible for a free AP. This offer is available to anyone, not just K-12, however, existing Meraki customers are not eligible and there is a limit of one free AP per company.

If you’d like more information on the K-12 licensing promotion please reach out to us at 616.837.6930 or via email. At the very least, contact us to request your free customized link to attend one of the upcoming webinars to receive a FREE access point!

PS - We installed a Cisco Meraki system at the Indiana Gamma chapter house at Indiana University after they complained about slow internet speeds and sub-par bandwidth. The process was documented in a case study - read about it here.

Grand Rapids Network Security and the West Michigan Cisco Users Group

Wednesday, May 06, 2015
We’d like to say thank you again to the West Michigan Cisco Users Group (WMCUG) for inviting Gary Lutz to participate in last month’s panel discussion on IT security and compliance. Gary was joined by James Czerew, Owner and Senior Technology/Security Consultant at TechConnect, LLC, James Placer, Domain Architect – Security at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids and Thomas Madden, Senior Manager at Deloitte.

Discussions focused on the roles that IT plays in relation to risk and compliance, how to engage your employees to value security, and how actual breaches have been dealt with in the past. The entire panel did a great job creating an engaging and high energy conversation.

During the meeting, we surveyed approximately 50 attendees and asked what their top IT security concern is at their organization. We found that network security is at the top of IT leaders' minds with network hacking as the number one threat they’re most worried about followed by a malware/ransomware attack. If you have any questions on technology, network security, or security in general, feel free to contact us, and if you’d like to learn more about the WMCUG in Grand Rapids, check out their website here.

A Discussion About Security Compliance and Risk With West Michigan Cisco Users Group

Monday, April 13, 2015
You’re invited to be our guest at The West Michigan Cisco Users Group (WMCUG) event on security compliance and risk. The panel discussion, which takes place on Wednesday, April 29 at 5:30 will feature Gary Lutz, Senior Partner at IT Resource, along with other local IT leaders. Panel discussions always draw large crowds so make sure you RSVP - you won’t want to miss this one!

We’re also sponsoring this event and we would love to see familiar faces attend for a great discussion and dinner following. The event is held at Davenport University in the Sneden Hall Meeting Room, registration is at 5:30p and the panel discussion starts at 6:00p. Please remember to register in advance to ensure a seat and to give the organizers accurate food counts. Parking is free but you will need to print out a pass here. We look forward to seeing you!