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The Olympics and Hackers: Why the Games Are a Prime Target for Cyber Crime

For one reason or another, hackers love the Olympics just as much as the casual sports fan.

The 2018 Pyeongchang games started off with a massive cyber-attack that those watching at home may not have been aware of. The attack, which was forged by an unidentified hacker (presumably either Russia or North Korea) causing internet protocol TVs to malfunction at the main press center, which was countered by organizers shutting down the games' servers to prevent additional damage.

With the Olympics servers offline, Wi-Fi at the Olympic Stadium and the website went down, preventing attendees from printing tickets to events.

The opening ceremony was to feature drones filming the ceremony, but those were unable to deploy.

The source of the cyber-attack was not revealed, but organizers and the IOC have an idea of who orchestrated the attack.  However, they won’t point the finger, instead citing poor international best-practices.

ThrottleNet Named Best In Customer Service by Small Business Monthly

ST. LOUIS, MO – February 8, 2018 – ThrottleNet has once again been named a “Best In Customer Service” company by St. Louis Small Business Monthly. This is the 5th time ThrottleNet has received this recognition.

Those selected for Best In Customer Service represent the best of the best in maintaining the highest quality in product and service delivery. The recognition is based on nominations and comments from clients. The full list of businesses receiving this acknowledgement appears in the publication’s February, 2018 edition.

“ThrottleNet is excited to have once again been recognized as one of the best companies in St. Louis for customer service. It is a great testament to our ability to consistently deliver high-quality IT services on time and on budget,” said George Rosenthal, President. “The entire staff is committed to exceed our client’s expectations on each and every project. We do not take these awards lightly and appreciate the hard work of our team to help our customers achieve their business goals through better technology.”

ThrottleNet was recently named the #1 IT Firm in St. Louis by Small Business Monthly, an award it has won for two consecutive years. It has also been recognized as a “Best In Reliability” and “Best In Quality” company by the magazine which provides educational information and articles for CEOs, business owners and entrepreneurs. Each year Small Business Monthly honors the top local companies in 15 categories.

Making the Most of Your IT Budgeting in 2018

Blame it on recent legislation, a greater understanding of cyber security, or the weather, but small businesses are poised to spend more money on IT budgeting in 2018 than ever before.

Along with a need to protect business, small business owners are making more IT investments to improve employee productivity and remain competitive in their marketplace.

According to a recent survey of 1,300 professionals conducted by TechTarget, 17% of companies expect to grow their IT budgeting needs by more than 10% in 2018. Another 23% expected a 5-10% increase, while only 11% expect their IT budget to shrink year-over-year.

Evolution in information technology is triggering companies to go beyond traditional VPN and on-site storage with their IT plans. To keep your small business ahead of the curve, consider investing in these items when putting together your IT budget for the new year.

Five Ways to Improve Employee Security Awareness

Employee security awareness - ThrottleNet 

What good is an IT security policy if none of your employees know exactly what it means?

According to a recent study by Kaspersky Lab, 12% of employees claim to be fully aware of their organization’s IT security policies and rules. Just less than half of employees believe they share some responsibility in preventing cyberthreats within their company.

Among survey respondents, 24% did not believe their organization even had an established IT security in place, which is a completely different story.

For small business owners, these results are cause for concern, as cyber security threats like ransomware, phishing and even internal espionage grow more sophisticated by the day.

If employee security awareness wasn’t already a top concern, these results heighten the need to properly train employees on IT protocols and develop a policy if one does not exist. 

Five Advantages of eCommerce IT Management With an MSP

Ecommerce it management  - ThrottleNetTrust is a very powerful thing for ecommerce companies. Customers have several expectations of a vendor when they purchase products online. First and foremost, they want the goods they purchased when they are told they will receive them. Second, they are entrusting your organization with personal and payment information. If you fail to deliver on either of those fronts, chances are high that the customer will no longer be a customer and your company can face big penalties in the form of lost revenue and even fines.

IT and ecommerce need to work together to ensure your organization is always delivering on its promises. Large online retailers have their bases covered, but small businesses who do commerce over the internet have a much greater risk, especially if they don’t possess the tools and knowledge to execute a successful IT strategy.

Managed service providers offer ecommerce IT management solutions that make life much easier for small ecommerce vendors, allowing them to focus on selling more products while cutting costs. Discover some of the key benefits of ecommerce IT management with a trusted managed services provider.

Five Tips for Sticking to Your Vendor Management Standards

Vendor management standards - ThrottleNet

Successful vendor management is like many things in life. Companies partner with software and service vendors because they offer a solution that aligns with their needs. 

Initially, everything seems great, but the first big test for a new vendor comes when you have questions or when things don’t go as planned.

When working alongside a third party there are certain vendor management standards you must adhere to in order to make the most of your relationship. Remember, you’re in this together.

So what are the secrets to nurture and utilize the most from the relationship with your software and service vendors? How can a managed services provider further simplify vendor management?

The Biggest Technology Trends to Watch in 2018

2018 tech trends - ThrottleNet 

The main technology trends to watch in 2018 largely mimic a continuation of what we’ve been seeing the past several years. Technology that has been in its infancy continues to grow with adaptation of everything from personal assistants to corporate cloud servers continuing to become more and more mainstream.

It’s cliché to keep talking about the internet of things, machine learning and so forth every single year, but it appears that’s the way technology is headed in 2018.  Learn more about the hottest 2018 tech trends and how they impact you on this ThrottleNet blog.

The End of Net Neutrality? Understanding Arguments for and Against Net Neutrality

Net neutrality - ThrottleNetEveryone is freaking out about the future of the internet. Is the end of net neutrality near?

 

Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal Obama-era net neutrality regulations allowing broadband companies the power to change how we experience the internet. Net neutrality rules prohibited providers from blocking websites or charging extra for premium services, such as video streaming capabilities. 

 

Before taking sides of the argument, what was it like before net neutrality? What are the arguments for and against net neutrality? What's the next step in the battle for net neutrality? Learn more on this ThrottleNet blog.

Is Bitcoin a Good Investment or will the Bubble Burst?

Is bitcoin a good investment - ThrottleNetFor those unfamiliar with Bitcoin, which has been the leader in the space since being introduced in 2009, cryptocurrencies are hardly understood by banks, the government, and even most of the people who trade it on a regular basis. 

Bitcoin has exploded, quadrupling in price since September. Traditional money managers are worried about cryptocurrency and are wondering if the Bitcoin bubble is about to burst. Is bitcoin a good investment? Experts are split on the matter, but one thing is for certain, cryptocurrency probably isn’t going anywhere soon. 

We’re not financial experts, but we did our research on Bitcoin. Is the virtual currency worth your time? See what we have to say.

Apple Watch 3: Time for a New Calling

By George Rosenthal

It’s time for some wrist talking. Apple has rolled out its new line of Series 3 watches complete with cellular capability.

The new smartwatches are now on sale, just in the nick of time for holiday shopping.

Apple Watch fans will find the Series 3 is the full replacement for the Apple Watch 2. It features many upgrades including the ability to make calls from your wrist.

The watch enables cell calling on all major carries in the U.S.  The device supports both data and voice and uses the same number as your iPhone.

Calls do come at a price, it will add about $10 per month to your existing wireless fee, but imagine the fun and options of conversing like comic detective Dick Tracy.

Read on to learn more about connectivity and the user interface for the Apple Watch Series 3.