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Microsoft Azure – what’s it all about? (10/14)

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform. You can use Azure to put a server in the cloud – and you can use that server to host an application or a website, store data, backup another server or provide single sign-on for all of your resources.

Azure can be setup very quickly, so you don’t have to wait for a physical server to be delivered. It can grow as your needs change, so there is no need to buy a server that is too big for now, but might be needed in three years. You can buy what you need now and scale it up when you need to. You can also turn it off when it is not needed, and turn it back on what you do – making it ideal for seasonal or other needs that change.

Azure competes with Amazon Web Services and Google’s Cloud Platform. Microsoft has committed to meeting or beating the pricing for each of those services, but with better performance.

Interested in taking a closer look? Contact Jonathan Krasner at and we’d be glad to discuss how your business might be able to use Azure.

10 areas of IT risk you could be overlooking (10/14)

This article does a good job of summarizing the IT risks to your that you should be aware of, we’ve listed them below but read the article for a more through analysis.

  • Storage media – if you are still using tape, beware!
  • Loss of a key staff member – make sure you have a plan, no one should be indispensable
  • Disgruntled employees who could do serious damage to your IT assets
  • Vendor support for multinational operations
  • Commercial bandwidth availability for cloud – make sure you have enough bandwidth for your cloud services
  • Acquisition of a key vendor/loss of a key vendor account manager
  • Silos that can affect communications and problem solving
  • Interpersonal skills -make sure your IT staff knows how to communicate!
  • Black box code – custom code can be dangerous if those who understand it are no longer there to support it
  • End-user deals with IT vendors – end users often go around the corporate structure, often in an honest effort to get things done. Make sure this won’t bite you in the end.

Farewell to Microsoft Server 2003 (10/14)

Support for Windows Server 2003 is ending on July 14, 2015. What does this mean? Microsoft will no longer patching or updating Server 2003, so if you are running it your IT network will no longer be secure. Hackers target out-of-date operating systems. We are working with our clients for plans for their remaining 2003 servers, but if you would like to discuss your specific situation please give us a call.

Technology Tips and Tricks for Medical Practices, Thursday 11/6 (10/14)

At the November PMA NOVA meeting Jonathan Krasner will present Technology Tips and Tricks for Medical Practices. RSVP via email to Judith Nicotra.

  • Time: Networking & lunch 12-12:30, presentation and Q&A 12:30-1:30
  • Date: Thursday November 6
  • Location: American Legion Post 177, 3939 Oak Street, Fairfax, VA 22030
  • Cost: Members $15, Non-members/Guests $25

Health IT News for Metro DC: October The Death of the Fax Machine (10/14)

Most businesses rarely use a fax machine these days, but in physician practices faxes are still going strong. Why? Becuase doctors still use lots of paper, and faxes are an easy way to transmit paper. However, the biggest reason is that faxes are (according to HIPAA) a secure way to transmit Protected Health Information (PHI) and email is not. This article discusses better ways to do this using a secure email service called DIRECT MESSAGING.

BEI – Selected as IT support for Montgomery County Medical Society (9/14)

BEI has been selected to provide IT support for the staff of the Montgomery County Medical Society. BEI has been a Premier Partner of the Montgomery County Medical Society since 2012, and we are very excited about adding IT support to our relationship.

Susan D’Antoni, Executive Director of MCMS, commented, “We are excited about this new relationship with BEI. We look forward to working with them to bring even more value to our own association and to our physician members.”


Bash Bug – the latest attack (9/14)

News broke recently about a new vulnerability called Bash Bug (also known as Shellshock), which exploits a bug in software that runs on many web servers and Apple computers that run OS X operating systems. It will NOT affect Apple iOS users like the iPad or iPhones nor will it affect Microsoft Windows operating systems.

The real techies can see the details from the NIST National Cyber Awareness System here; the rest of us can read this article. The recommended solution path as provided by WatchGuard firewalls is to download and deploy patches from your vendors immediately. See the full article from WatchGuard here. Most BEI clients don’t have any action to take – just be aware that this issue is out there. The real problem could come with Internet connected devices such as wireless routers, security cameras or appliances if they have a web- based interface. If you have any questions please give us a call, and we’ll send out updates if they seem relevant to our clients.

8 email fails that will make you cringe(9/14)

Most of us have sent emails that were embarrassing in one way or another. Maybe there was a misspelling or we replied all when we didn’t mean to. This article will make most of us feel better – it detail some spectacular mistakes that had seriously humiliating consequences. It is worth reading as it may make you a little more cautious the next time you click “send”!

Netflix Tech Tips (9/14)

This might seem to go a little far afield as a tech tip, but we thought they were worth sharing. This article includes tips such as:

• How to check expiration dates (did you know that not all titles are permanent on Netflix?)

• Managing multiple profiles on one account

• How to know who is watching on your account

• A website that shows the most popular movies and TV shows as well as the Rotten Tomatoes ranking when it is available

World’s biggest data breaches (9/14)

This website is terrific at conveying information about data breaches – where are they from, how big, when, and more. Say you want to look at data breaches in the financial industry over the last year that were the result of an inside job. Or healthcare data breaches that were the result of lost or stolen computers. It is all there – and more details can be found by clicking on the individual bubbles. See below for an example.


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