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DeckerWright Corporation Blog

DeckerWright Corporation has been serving the Red Bank area since 1984, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Staging Video Calls From the Home Office

One of the unintended side effects of the Covid-19 crisis is the conversion of people’s homes into video studios. Suddenly the contents of my closet or a shoe rack are getting broadcast across the internet. Even the local news broadcasts are coming from the anchor person’s home. 

Here are some do's and don'ts for setting up for a video call or meeting:

  • Think about and test the camera angle - make sure anything in the frame is something you wouldn’t mind your neighbor or mother to see.
  • Backgrounds matter. Local news broadcasters provided a template for how to quickly transform their home spaces into home studios with staged plants and props in the background.
  • If you can avoid it, don’t set up the video in locations where people or pets will be walking through the frame.
  • Keep the background area clean and consistent.
  • Don’t have a bright light source behind you.
  • Make sure you have a way to cover or block the camera to avoid unintended broadcasts.

The most popular meeting tools do include some features to stage your background. Zoom has a feature that will allow you to post a picture as your background. If you do this for business, make sure the picture is something professional and not a day at the beach. Teams has a feature that will obscure the background by blurring it. Both the Zoom and Teams technologies have trouble finding you in the frame, which can cause you to disappear, or most common to lose your ears. If you don’t have the luxury of staging a space for video, you should consider using one of these technologies.

At Beringer Technology Group, we've been applying video technology to our business for years and can help your company adapt their business to today’s reality.

Click HERE for more information.

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COVID-19 and the mad rush to work from home!

The advent of Covid-19, a Coronavirus, is accelerating a trend we have been seeing with our clients for many years. Employers are seeking out the best person for the job regardless of where they may be located. Many of our clients have employees scattered around the country, and some are using people resources from around the world. The Covid-19 virus is causing our clients with employees still going to the office to rethink how they do business so they can support remote workers. 

Microsoft has two key technologies that can facilitate the move to a remote work force. SharePoint when combined with Teams are enabling technologies for a remote workforce. Office 365 SharePoint provides for structured and secure document storage in the cloud. SharePoint allows for the customization of the landing pages that can include web parts for viewing and managing content. Built-in web parts allow access to calendars, contacts videos, documents, projects, and Microsoft Teams. SharePoint provides a structure for storing documents and corporate data that can be leveraged with Microsoft Teams. With the proper credentials, Office 365 SharePoint may be accessed by an employee anywhere at any time, facilitating remote workers. 

Microsoft Teams provides an important part of the remote worker puzzle. How do you make a remote worker feel like part of the company? Teams has built in features that foster employee collaboration and connections. At its core, Teams is a text messaging system that allows 1 to 1, 1 to many or many to many conversations online. In its early days, Microsoft integrated Skype for Business into Teams. By building Skype into Teams, employees could make point to point phone calls between staff members through their computers. This capability by-passes traditions phone systems and allowed staff members to talk to each other with one click. Teams also supports video calls. The ability to see your counter-part provides a staff connection that texting and hearing a person’s voice cannot.

Teams also has a powerful meeting capability for staff members to collaborate.  It is easy to schedule and run a meeting.  A meeting can either be created through Teams, or Microsoft Outlook.  Once on the schedule, team members simply click on a “Join Now” button to enter the meeting.  These built in features replace the need for Webex or GoToMeeting for internal meetings.  Once in a meeting, Team members will have the ability to share their screens for instant collaboration.  The screen sharing can either be a presentation, or a document everyone is trying to get finished for a deadline.  Either way, the ability to meet and work in Teams is game changer for remote workers.

Teams has integrations to SharePoint and many other Microsoft tools like Yammer, Planner, OneNote, Power BI, and Stream. These applications can be added to Teams giving Team members quick access to other Microsoft tools. Microsoft has also opened Teams up to allow for third party integrations including from Adobe, Salesforce, Zoho and Survey Monkey. Microsoft is investing in Teams and sees it as a key technology for its future.

Any company considering expanding their usage of remote workers in reaction to the Covid-19 virus, should include SharePoint and Teams as part of the solution. Beringer Technology Group is recognized by Microsoft as a leading developer of SharePoint sites and can help guide companies to leveraging Microsoft technology to support their remote workers.

Click HERE for more information on Beringer's development team.

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Business Preparation for the Coronavirus

By now everyone has heard about the Coronavirus that started in China.  It is rapidly spreading around the world.  Governments in an effort to slow the spread of the virus have instituted travel bans and whole cities in China are in quarantine.  Businesses in the US are just starting to feel the consequences of having the Chinese parts of their supply chain disrupted by government commerce shutdowns.  So far, the direct impact of Coronavirus infection in the US has been minimal, but the supply side disruptions and potential for the spread of the virus in the US are real.

What can a business do now to be prepared to continue operations when the Coronavirus finally strikes the US mainland?  The simple answer is to setup and/or expand the ability for people to work from home.  It takes time and preparation to enable people to work remotely, especially for an extended period of time. 

Here are some of the things that need to be considered for staff members working remotely:

  • How are the phones going to get answered?  Does the phone system have the ability to call forward to peoples home or cell numbers?
  • How will the staff communicate with clients and vendors?
  • How will the staff member access e-mail? 
  • How will the staff collaborate during the day? 
  • What systems will the staff need to access to do their jobs?
  • If a staff member needs to print, where is it going to print?
  • If a staff member needs to scan a document, is there a way to get scanned document to the right place on the business network?

At Beringer Technology we have a number of staff members that work remotely away from the primary business location.  We’ve worked through the issues above to seamlessly integrate remote workers onto the Beringer team.  Clients and vendors have no idea where the staff members are located.  Our ability to support remote workers came from careful planning, and learning from the experience of supporting remote workers. 

There is no one right way to setup and support remote staff members as the solution for a business will be based on their business processes, phone systems, IT infrastructure, security requirements and the mix of cloud and premise based systems. 

Contact Beringer Technology today at (856) 325-2800 so we can help you prepare for the Coronavirus.

Click HERE for more information.

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Beringer Technology Group Acquires DeckerWright Corporation

Beringer Technology Group Kicks Off 2020 by Acquiring DeckerWright Corporation, Expands Presence in Northern and Coastal New Jerseybreaking news

MAPLE SHADE, NJ, Jan. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- NJ based Beringer Technology Group and Red Bank, NJ based DeckerWright Corporation, a full service MSP offering IT solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, joined forces January 1, 2020. The acquisition extends Beringers' geographic footprint and adds experienced DeckerWright staff to the Beringer team. The merged company will have over 35 employees in four states.

"The acquisition of DeckerWright Corporation fits in with Beringer's strategic growth plan," explained Craig Beringer, CEO & President. "They are in a great location with blue ribbon clients, and an experienced team that can immediately contribute to our continued success." 

Marshall Wright, President of DeckerWright Corporation adds, "We looked at about a dozen proposals from other companies including Private Equity backed buyers. None of the buyers we assessed aligned better with our staff, clients and values than Beringer Technology Group. We are excited to be a part of Beringer Technology Groups' future."

There is a great deal of synergy between Beringer and DeckerWright from corporate values to the tools and systems that both companies leverage. Both companies are committed to the clients and delivering superior service & support. The DeckerWright team will remain in its Red Bank location serving clients in central and northern New Jersey. Marshall and Sally Wright, along with the entire DeckerWright team have joined Beringer and bring over 60 years of management and system engineering experience to the Beringer Team.

Beringer Technology Group has built a highly skilled team of engineers, implementation specialists & a leadership team that set them apart and helps small and medium sized businesses maximize the value of their technology investments.

About Beringer Technology Group
Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Maple Shade, NJ, Beringer Technology Group is recognized as a leader within the managed service provider industry and has been in the top 1% of Microsoft's partner ecosystem as Gold certified for more than 15 years. Beringer Technology Group specializes in Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing, Unified Communication Solutions, Microsoft Dynamics 365 & Microsoft Office 365. 

For more information visit www.beringer.net, follow @BeringerTechGrp on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Taryn Ericsen
Beringer Technology Group
tericsen@beringer.net
(856) 325-2800

 

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The Week in Breach: 1/8/20 - 1/14/20

dark webUnited States - Alomere Health 

Exploit: Phishing Attack
Alomere Health: General Medical and Surgical Hospital

Two employees fell for a phishing scam that gave hackers access to patients’ protected health information. The first breach occurred between October 31, 2019 and November 1, 2019, while a second breach took place on November 6, 2019. In response, the company is updating its email security protocols, an effort that won’t restore the stolen data nor repair the company’s already-damaged reputation. In addition, Alomere Health could face regulatory penalties because of the nature and scope of the data breach.

United States - Contra Costa Library System

Exploit: Ransomware
Contra Costa Library System: Library Network

A ransomware attack disabled the entire library network, impacting all 26 branches. While buildings remain open, patrons have to bring their library cards to a location to manually check out books. The incident will bring significant recovery costs to the library network, which just updated its systems in 2018. For an organization with limited resources, this attack can reduce their ability to meet customer needs and invest in future opportunities.

United States - Wyze 

A cyber-security company identified an exposed database containing the personal details of millions of Wyze users. The breach, which has not been confirmed by Wyze, is an unforced error that could have serious and financial and reputational implications. Smart home technology is often targeted by hackers due to its sensitive nature, and many consumers are already unwilling to work with companies that cannot protect their personal data, especially when it impacts their peace of mind and security.

United States - The Heritage Company

Exploit: Ransomware
The Heritage Company:  Telemarketing and Fundraising Firm

An October ransomware attack ultimately forced The Heritage Company to close its doors. Shortly before Christmas, the company informed the staff that their operation was no longer tenable, even noting that the CEO was paying salaries out-of-pocket in an attempt to keep business going while systems were unavailable. Unfortunately, three months after the attack, The Heritage Company was no longer financially solvent and chose to temporarily shutter its operations. The company may try to reopen if systems can be restored, but it appears likely that the institution, which existed for 60 years, was put out of business by a ransomware attack.

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The Week in Breach: 12/25/19 - 12/31/19

cyber criminalsUnited States - The Heritage Company 

Exploit: Ransomware
The Heritage Company: Telemarketing Firm

A ransomware attack forced The Heritage Company to temporarily shutter its operations, even after making a ransom payment to release their critical IT infrastructure. IT admins were unable to use the decryption key to access company data, resulting in the company’s CEO notifying employees that they would not be able to return to work until at least January 2nd. The attack has already cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. If they can’t recoup their valuable information, it’s possible that this ransomware attack could permanently cripple their business.

United States – Ring

Exploit: Accidental Data Sharing
Ring: Video Doorbell and Security Camera Maker

Security researchers discovered Ring users’ account credentials posted on the Dark Web. The information could provide hackers with front door access to customer accounts. Given the sensitive nature of their business, this type of access could be especially problematic for users. Moreover, the episode is the company’s second cyber-security incident this year, which raises questions about their efficacy in an industry that demands excellence when it comes to data security and privacy.

United States - Center for Healthcare Services 

Exploit: Ransomware
Center for Healthcare Services: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Provider

A ransomware attack disabled a server for the Center for Healthcare Services, and IT administrators brought the entire network offline to prevent information from spreading. The company was forced to put paper signs on the doors reminding employees not to turn on their computers, and services were mostly unavailable over the Christmas holiday. The healthcare services provider is soliciting support from the FBI and other agencies to help identify the attacker and restore their services.

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The Week in Breach: 12/20/19 - 12/26/19

dark webUnited States - Rooster Teeth Productions 

Exploit: Malware Attack
Rooster Teeth Productions: Entertainment Production Company

Hackers injected malware into the company’s online store that siphoned off customers’ payment details at checkout. The breach was first detected on December 2nd, and the company claims that the malware was removed on the same day. However, it’s unclear why they waited several weeks before notifying customers of the breach. Rooster Teeth Productions has sent breach notification letters to those impacted by the incident, but the episode will certainly have a negative impact on the brand’s reputation at a critical time of year for sales.

 

United States - Conway Medical Center

Exploit: Phishing Attack
Conway Medical Center: Healthcare Provider

Several employees fell for a phishing scam that provided hackers access to patients’ personal data. Although the healthcare provider quickly identified the intrusion and cut off access to those accounts, they can’t recover information already accessed by cybercriminals. As a result, Conway Medical Center will face regulatory scrutiny, which often results in fines and other penalties that can damage their reputation and profitability.

United States - Central Square Technologies 

Exploit: Malware Attack
Central Square Technologies: Technology Services Provider for Public Sector Agencies

Hackers compromised the Click2Gov payment system that allowed customers to pay their utility bills online, allowing them to siphon off payment details from customers. Specifically, the breach impacts the City of Marietta, as customers who entered payment information on the website between August 26th and October 26th may have had their credit card information stolen. However, the breach does not impact those paying in person, over the phone, or who are enrolled in the auto-pay system. Unfortunately, the company didn’t identify the breach until early December, which will complicate their recovery efforts and place customers at greater risk for data misuse

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The Week in Breach: 12/11/19 - 12/19/19

CyberCrimeAcademy Sports + Outdoors: Sporting Goods Retailer

Hackers used previously stolen, legitimate login credentials to access customer accounts. The company noticed the breach after unusual activity was detected on certain user logins. In response, Academy Sports + Outdoors is encouraging customers to reset their passwords. Unfortunately, the breach occurred during the busy holiday shopping season, and customers have increasingly shown that they are less willing to engage with platforms that have a track record of cybersecurity lapses. This could harm the company’s sales at a critical time for gaining traction.

Complete Technology Solutions: IT Service Provider

A ransomware attack on Complete Technology Solutions, an IT service provider for dentistry practices, disrupted operations at more than 100 practices. When a company server was compromised, it allowed hackers to infect client computers with ransomware that disabled network security, data backups, and phone services. The attack began on November 25th and has continued to disrupt services more than two weeks later. Complete Technology Solutions declined to pay a $700,000 ransom to release the information, and decryption keys later provided by the hackers only unlocked some of the affected computers. As a result, the recovery process is incredibly complicated, and it will certainly have long-term repercussions for the company.

Prison Rehabilitative Industries & Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE): Private, Non-Profit Social Services Organization

PRIDE was struck by a ransomware attack that crippled its website and brought its services offline. The attack, which first occurred on December 7th, continues to disrupt services nearly a week later. As a non-profit organization, PRIDE will have a difficult time procuring the resources to remove the malware, and the service outages are making it difficult or impossible to fulfill their mission and provide critical services to a client base in need.

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The Week in Breach: 12/04/19 - 12/10/19

CyberCriminalUnited States - McLaren Health Plan 

Exploit: Phishing Scam
McLaren Health Plan: Health Maintenance Organization

A successful phishing attack on one of the company’s third-party vendors compromised patient data at McLaren Health Plan. The hackers used a compromised email account to send spam emails, putting patient data at risk. The exposure will inevitably lead to reputational damage, and the sensitive nature of the information breached will invite scrutiny from healthcare regulators along with the prospect of financial penalties.

 

United States - On The Border

Exploit: Malware Attack
On The Border: Casual Restaurant Chain

Hackers installed malware on the restaurant’s payment processing platform, which provided access to customers’ payment information from locations across 27 states. The attack occurred between April 10th and August 10th, and it did not include franchised restaurants or catering orders. Unfortunately, the breach wasn’t discovered until November 14th, giving hackers ample time to misuse customers’ personal information and financial data. Moreover, it’s unclear why the company waited several weeks to notify customers of the breach, a misstep that will certainly slow the recovery process.

United States - New Jersey Shakespeare Theater 

Exploit: Ransomware Attack
New Jersey Shakespeare Theater: Theater company dedicated to Shakespeare

A ransomware attack has disabled the company’s access to its ticketing system and patron database. The attack arrives as the company is scheduled to begin its holiday production, a significant draw for the theater. The first showing was cancelled while the company developed an alternative ticketing method. Fortunately, customer data was fully encrypted and not viewable by hackers, but the Shakespeare Theater also can’t access this information. In response, customers are being asked to bring confirmation emails or ticket stubs to the performance so that the show can go on.

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The Week in Breach: 11/27/19 - 12/03/19

dark webUnited States - DeBella’s Subs

Exploit: Malware Attack
DeBella’s Subs: Rochester-Based Restaurant Chain

Credential stealing malware was discovered in the restaurant chain’s information systems almost a year after the initial incident. However, the company acknowledged that the breach investigation was completed well before the company notified the public, a misstep that will undoubtedly mar the recovery process. The company is taking steps to ensure that this type of attack won’t be successful in the future, but that won’t help the hundreds of thousands impacted by this data breach.

 

United States - Great Plains Health

Exploit: Ransomware
Great Plains Health: Local Hospital

A ransomware attack disrupted many services at Great Plains Health, including email and other internal communication technologies. As a result, the healthcare provider has cancelled some procedures and appointments, while continuing to provide emergency services as needed. Whether Great Plains Health ultimately decides to pay the ransom or to attempt a recovery from backups, the result will undoubtedly be expensive. Especially when coupled with the opportunity cost and reputational damage that accompanies a data breach, the consequences of a ransomware attack can be financially devastating and long-lasting.

United States - Magellan Rx Management 

Exploit: Phishing Scam
Magellan Rx Management: Full-Service Pharmacy Benefit Manager

An employee fell for a phishing scam that provided hackers with access to his account, which contained health plan member data. The breach occurred back on May 28th, and it wasn’t identified until July 5th. However, it’s unclear why the company waited until November before disclosing the breach to the public. Officials haven’t found any evidence that the data was misused, but the lengthy response time makes it more difficult for those impacted by the breach to secure their information before it’s used for nefarious purposes.

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One of the unintended side effects of the Covid-19 crisis is the conversion of people’s homes into video studios. Suddenly the contents of my closet or a shoe rack are getting broadcast across the internet. Even the local news broadcasts are coming from the anchor person’s h...

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