We’re Hiring – Sales Professional

Do you know a great Sales Professional interested in growing their career with an established IT firm?

PCe Solutions is an established Information Technology company looking for an outgoing, self-driven sales professional to help build our sales department and our internal sales processes.

This position includes a minimum base salary plus a lucrative commission structure with no limit to your earning potential. An excellent sales professional can expect to earn between  80K-150K+/year. This position has potential to become a sales manager role depending on the candidates aptitude and skill-set. Interested candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Excellent communication skills (both spoken and written)
  • Highly Self Motivated, ambitious and results-driven
  • Must work well under little supervision
  • Must have extensive experience with at least one CRM
  • Must be very comfortable working with computers
  • Must have experience in both fielding and placing sales calls
  • Must be creative and able to problem solve on the fly

    **Sales experience in the tech sector is an asset**

    If interested in this opportunity, please send your resume and cover letter via email to [email protected] . We will respond to your email either by phone or email if interested.

    Thank for your time and attention to this posting.

The Simple Reason Companies are Abandoning the Public Cloud

Many companies, including Apple and Dropbox are leaving public cloud hosting (like AWS) in favor of private cloud hosting and bare-metal/dedicated servers. The kicker? There’s one simple reason for the exodus from public cloud hosting:

The performance of public cloud hosting setups in terms of network speed, disk speed, and CPU performance are quantifiably worse than other hosting options. At the same time, the cost of public cloud hosting has simply gotten out of hand, with comparable hosting options being as much as 4X cheaper than cloud hosting.

Stories of Companies Leaving the Cloud Highlight Increased Performance and Decreased Cost.
Tiingo made the switch from AWS to a bare-metal/dedicated server setup recently, and ran a few benchmarks when they switched. They found that their network was significantly faster, more stable, and 15-44% cheaper. Additionally, they found that their CPU was 30-40% more powerful and 15% cheaper. Lastly, they discovered their hard disk was better performing and was 92% cheaper.

Tiingo had been experiencing a bottleneck by using AWS and by switching was able to offer a better user experience at a lower cost.

Should You Reconsider Your Cloud Hosting Setup?
There are a couple of scenarios in which you’d want to move away from a public cloud and begin to run on a private cloud, bare metal, or dedicated server setup.

One instance in which you’d want to switch would be if the number and size of your workloads grow. Many cite the scalability of the public cloud as a reason to go with that setup, but when it comes time to scale up, the pricing often becomes prohibitively expensive. Costs begin to rapidly exceed that of a dedicated server or private cloud as you utilize more resources and features. This is why we are seeing companies like Apple and Dropbox drop AWS. I expect that we’ll see many more companies ranging from SMBs to enterprise come to the same conclusion and switch away from the cloud in the coming years.

Other Reasons to Leave Cloud Hosting:
Even though the primary reason to leave cloud hosting setups is price and performance, there are many other reasons you may wish to leave.

For one, you may encounter compliance issues with public cloud hosting, this is why many companies within the financial, medical, and legal sectors are sticking with private clouds, bare metal servers, and dedicated servers.

Another reason is the requirement of proprietary knowledge that is often necessary in public cloud setups.

Lastly, it’s important to consider the lack of control when choosing AWS vs Dedicated Servers (or similar hosting options). With a dedicated server, you’re given full root control, the ability to customize hardware, and more. These benefits result in a more tailored experience and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Trump administration to move all federal IT into the cloud: Is it a good idea?

US president Donald Trump recently signed an executive order on cybersecurity that mandated federal systems move to the cloud. But, questions remain on the feasibility of that goal.

Last Thursday, US President Donald Trump signed his long-awaited executive order on cybersecurity, laying out his plans for addressing security in federal IT and across US infrastructure. The most ambitious mandate was that all federal IT systems move to the cloud.

President Trump’s homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, said in a Thursday announcement that the government had spent too much time and money “protecting antiquated and outdated systems.” Bossert cited the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack as evidence of failing legacy systems.

Bossert said, “From this point forward, the President has issued a preference in federal procurement in federal IT for shared systems. We’ve got to move to the cloud and try to protect ourselves instead of fracturing our security posture.”

The executive order officially states: “Agency heads shall show preference in their procurement for shared IT services, to the extent permitted by law, including email, cloud, and cybersecurity services.” It also calls for a report to be completed within 90 days describing the legal, budgetary, technical considerations for “shared IT services, including email, cloud, and cybersecurity services,” along with a timeline for the initiatives and their potential cost-effectiveness.

Peter Tran, the senior director of worldwide advanced cyber defense practice at RSA and former US Department of Defense employee, said the anchor for the executive order will initially be theNIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), to both assess current risk gaps and determine a strategy moving forward. This will be the pacesetter by which all building blocks will either rise or fall specifically on the call to action to go cloud in an expedited manner…..security being a forethought,” Tran said.

However, the effectiveness of a move to the cloud to improve security among these federal systems remains up to debate. John Pironti, cybersecurity expert and president of IP Architects, said that it could create a double-edged sword.

“The idea of standardization of security controls and capabilities through a cloud-only mandate in theory may make sense to establish an enhanced baseline for security, but at the same time creates a central target and common set of controls and capabilities that adversaries can then focus their attention on in order to be successful in their attacks,” Pironti said.

Following a central set of control standards and common technology platforms, combined with the centralized nature of the cloud, could actually make the federal IT systems weaker than their current iteration, Pironti said, which utilizes “distributed and varied computing assets and security controls.” And if hackers can find and exploit a weakness in this kind of system, it could lead to a bigger impact.

Pironti said that he believes the mandate will start out with the proper intentions, but if the affected government agencies simply follow the prescribed behaviors with no deviation, they may not be able to keep up with the changing threat landscape. While Pironti said that he’s in favor of accountability, he believes that the approach should be risk-based instead of mandated.

“I do not believe all agencies should be forced into a cloud model or required to follow the same set of prescriptive security controls,” Pironti said. “If an agency can prove that they are effectively operating in a reliable, available, and secure fashion then they should be allowed to continue to do so.”

Another question raised by the mandate is the feasibility of moving these systems to the cloud. Tran said that the executive order builds on an existing foundation, but the “proof is in the pudding.” The order, like other security plans, must be executed in a timely manner and show clear improvements in boosting security visibility and early threat detection, but it also must clearly show what “good” and “bad” security looks like in cloud infrastructure, Tran said.

“That’s really hard to do under an average planning and deployment timeline. Your compass needs to be ‘dead on,'” Tran said.

The impact of the executive order could also be seen in the private sector, Tran said, driving the growth of stronger policy, compliance, and governance around cybersecurity.

“The unique aspect of this current environment is security can’t effectively operate in a ‘de-regulated’ fashion by the mere nature that it’s security… Imagine if the TSA and FAA had no security protocols and structure?” Tran said. “Cybersecurity is no different whether it’s brick-and-mortar or click-and-mortar.”

Ransomware Threats On the Rise

Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyberextortion attack Friday that locked up computers and held users’ files for ransom at a multitude of hospitals, companies and government agencies.
It was believed to the biggest attack of its kind ever recorded.
The malicious software behind the onslaught appeared to exploit a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that was supposedly identified by the National Security Agency for its own intelligence-gathering purposes and was later leaked to the internet.
Britain’s national health service fell victim, its hospitals forced to close wards and emergency rooms and turn away patients. Russia appeared to be the hardest hit, according to security experts, with the country’s Interior Ministry confirming it was struck.
All told, several cybersecurity firms said they had identified the malicious software in upward of 60 countries, including the United States, though its effects in the U.S. did not appear to be widespread, at least in the initial hours.
Computers were infected with what is known as “ransomware” — software that freezes up a machine and flashes a message demanding payment to release the user’s data.
Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at the Helsinki-based cybersecurity company F-Secure, called it “the biggest ransomware outbreak in history.”
Security experts said the attack appeared to be caused by a self-replicating piece of software that enters companies and organizations when employees click on email attachments, then spreads quickly internally from computer to computer when employees share documents and other files.
Its ransom demands start at $300 and increase after two hours to $400, $500 and then $600, said Kurt Baumgartner, a security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
Chris Wysopal of the software security firm Veracode said criminal organizations were probably behind the attack, given how quickly the malware spread.
“For so many organizations in the same day to be hit, this is unprecedented,” Wysopal said.
The security holes it exploits were disclosed several weeks ago by TheShadowBrokers, a mysterious group that has published what it says are hacking tools used by the NSA as part of its intelligence-gathering.
Shortly after that disclosure, Microsoft announced that it had already issued software “patches” for those holes. But many companies and individuals haven’t installed the fixes yet or are using older versions of Windows that Microsoft no longer supports and didn’t fix.
By Kaspersky Lab’s count, the malware struck at least 74 countries. In addition to Russia, the biggest targets appeared to be Ukraine and India, nations where it is common to find older, unpatched versions of Windows in use, according to the security firm.
Hospitals across Britain found themselves without access to their computers or phone systems. Many cancelled all routine procedures and asked patients not to come to the hospital unless it was an emergency. Doctors’ practices and pharmacies reported similar problems.
Patrick Ward, a 47-year-old sales director, said his heart operation, scheduled for Friday, was cancelled at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.
Tom Griffiths, who was at the hospital for chemotherapy, said several cancer patients had to be sent home because their records or bloodwork couldn’t be accessed.
“Both staff and patients were frankly pretty appalled that somebody, whoever they are, for commercial gain or otherwise, would attack a health care organization,” he said. “It’s stressful enough for someone going through recovery or treatment for cancer.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May said there was no evidence patient data had been compromised and added that the attack had not specifically targeted the National Health Service.
“It’s an international attack and a number of countries and organizations have been affected,” she said.
Spain, meanwhile, took steps to protect critical infrastructure in response to the attack. Authorities said they were communicating with more than 100 energy, transportation, telecommunications and financial services providers about the attack.
Spain’s Telefonica, a global broadband and telecommunications company, was among the companies hit.
Ransomware attacks are on the rise around the world. In 2016, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in California said it had paid a $17,000 ransom to regain control of its computers from hackers.
Krishna Chinthapalli, a doctor at Britain’s National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery who wrote a paper on cybersecurity for the British Medical Journal, warned that British hospitals’ old operating systems and confidential patient information made them an ideal target for blackmailers.
He said many NHS hospitals in Britain use Windows XP software, introduced in 2001, and as government funding for the health service has been squeezed, “IT budgets are often one of the first ones to be reduced.”
“Looking at the trends, it was going to happen,” he said. “I did not expect an attack on this scale. That was a shock.
Canada’s public safety department is aware of the global attack, but in a statement it said it normally does not comment on whether it has received any reports on any specific incidents involving Canadian computers.

Ransomware attacks grew 600% in 2016, costing businesses $1B

Ransomware experienced explosive growth last year, with businesses and individuals losing more than $1 billion to retrieve their encrypted information.

Ransomware dominated the cyberthreat landscape in 2016, increasing more than 600% over 2015, according to a new report from PhishMe.

PhishMe analyzed more than 2,500 phishing attacks in 2016 to determine the tools and techniques most frequently used by cybercriminals. Ransomware including Locky, Creber, and TeslaCrypt grew rapidly, though other forms of malware designed to steal information also remained popular.

Ransomware tools were used in 90% of all collected malware payload URLs identified by PhishMe throughout 2016, leading to estimated losses of more than $1 billion, the report found. And, as delivery methods grew more sophisticated in Q4 2016, enterprises should expect ransomware attacks to continue to evolve this year, the report stated.

Despite this growth, a large portion of phishing attacks recorded in 2016 came through older malware methods—such as remote access trojans or keyloggers—showing that many cybercriminals remain committed to using more traditional tools to steal private information, the report stated.

“While the spread of ransomware tools dominated industry discussions in 2016, threat actors remained committed to their tried-and-true techniques,” said Aaron Higbee, cofounder and CTO of PhishMe, in a press release. “In addition to focusing on the ‘smash and grab’ of ransomware, threat actors also continue to quietly infiltrate the target’s environment, thus making it increasingly important to detect malware during the delivery phase. This challenges the traditional sense of malware hunting.”

Though ransomware made headlines after large scale attacks on hospitals, schools, and other organizations, attacks known as “quiet malware” were also prevalent. These types of attacks allow cybercriminals to watch the victim over a period of time, assessing their ability to pay a ransom and what amount they can ask for, before deploying the ransomware.

These tools demonstrate how hackers are evolving their techniques to get around traditional security protections, the report noted.

 Enterprises can avoid ransomware attacks by keeping all software up to date, backing up information every day, segmenting their network, and training staff on cybersecurity practices.

 

Windows Vista support is ending

Windows Vista support is ending

What is Windows Vista end of support?

After April 11, 2017, Windows Vista customers will no longer receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft. Microsoft has provided support for Windows Vista for the past 10 years, but the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources towards more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences.

What happens if I continue to use Windows Vista?

 

If you continue to use Windows Vista after support has ended, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Internet Explorer 9 is no longer supported, so if your Windows Vista PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 9 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter more apps and devices that do not work with Windows Vista.

 

Microsoft has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows Vista. If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you’ll continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time. However, please note that Microsoft Security Essentials (or any other antivirus software) will have limited effectiveness on PCs that do not have the latest security updates. This means that PCs running Windows Vista will not be secure and will still be at risk for virus and malware.

 

How do I know if I’m running Windows Vista?

To find out if you’re running Windows Vista, follow these steps:

  1. Click theStart

button, and then type winver in the search box.

  1. Double-click winverin the list of results to open the About Windows dialog box, where you’ll see the version of Windows that your PC is running.

 

Do I need to get Windows 10 to stay protected?

Yes, the best way to stay protected is to get Windows 10, which is the latest version of Windows. You have two ways to get Windows 10:

 

Upgrade your current PC

You can purchase a full version of Windows 10, but you should first make sure that your computer can run it. Very few older computers are able to run Windows 10. We recommend that you check out the Windows 10 specifications page to find out if your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 10. For more detailed information, read the FAQ.

 

Get a new PC

If your current PC can’t run Windows 10, it might be time to consider shopping for a new one. Be sure to explore our great selection of new PCs. They’re more powerful, lightweight, and stylish than ever before—and with an average price that’s considerably less expensive than the average PC was 10 years ago.

 

Move your files, folders, and more

Microsoft has partnered with Laplink to bring you PCmover Express—a tool for transferring selected files, folders, and more from your old Windows PC to your new Windows 10 PC.

Should the latest AWS outage make you reconsider the Cloud?

On Tuesday, Amazon Web Services (AWS) experienced outage-like issues with its S3 cloud storage, taking some business customers offline and causing slowdowns for others.

AWS has existed for longer than a lot of us realize—S3 is the oldest iteration of it, and it’s been around since 2006. Downtimes are rare in the public cloud, and any interruption can seem like the end of the internet as we know it.

One look at Twitter and you’ll find countless people who are locked out of essential services: IFTTT was completely knocked offline, Slack was decidedly less chatty, and other East Coast businesses were suffering severe slowdowns and lag times.

Amazon hasn’t called this error an outage, saying instead that it was an error rate issue that was simply causing massive slowdowns. If all of this is bringing back memories of the 2015 AWS outage you might be rethinking business in the public cloud.

99.99% uptime

Amazon’s stated S3 uptime goal is 99.99%, also known as “four nines,” which equates to around an hour of downtime per year, according to Dave Bartoletti, public cloud analyst at Forrester Research. Instead of downtime, though, Bartoletti said we need to think about S3’s actual uptime.

“S3 has consistently outperformed the four nines they shoot for, year over year,” Bartoletti said. He also added that the 2015 AWS outage wasn’t even S3.

AWS, Bartoletti said, is the perfect example of cloud done right. “This isn’t a normal incident, nor do we see any indication that the public cloud is becoming unreliable,” Bartoletti said. “It’s simply a hiccup.”

Should you still reconsider?

Outages like this one may be short, but that doesn’t mean they don’t result in lost revenue. Some e-commerce sites and companies that rely on visitors to earn revenue simply can’t make money if no one can reliably access their site.

Does that mean the public cloud is immature, unstable, or simply not a good idea? So, how should a company approach a move to the public cloud?

There’s no doubt that practically every company should have a cloud strategy, however Amazon’s outage has proven the Public Cloud is not the be-all and end-all solution for all companies. If your entire company’s business operations were dependent on solely Public Cloud services, how much would this outage have cost your business? Food for thought.

At PCe, we have recently launched our own Private Cloud in a highly redundant Data Centre which serves as an excellent component of an overall Cloud Strategy. Contact us today to learn how a Private Cloud could be a game-changer for your company’s cloud strategy.

Microsoft adds real-time collaboration to PowerPoint and Outlook cloud attachments

Four new Microsoft Office 365 updates aim to help enterprise users collaborate better. The most useful one may be a powerful new capability in OneDrive.

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced four new features that will allow for easier collaboration among users—especially those in the enterprise.

The updates, which include real-time collaboration in PowerPoint and the ability to move attachments to the cloud in Outlook, follow a number of recent steps Microsoft has taken to enhance its enterprise offerings. Earlier this month, it announced a new chat-based workspace, Teams, as a Slack competitor for Office 365 users. It also recently released a scheduling assistantfor Outlook on iOS, and a Power BI data visualization toolset.

The new updates allow Office 365 users to do the following:

1. Collaborate in real time in PowerPoint

Users can now share a PowerPoint slide deck with others, and update the document together in real-time, said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team, in a blog post. This means you can see what a colleague is adding or changing in a slide deck as it happens.

This addition does not come as a surprise: When Office 2016 launched last year, Microsoft said it was committing to expanding real-time co-authoring to each of the company’s native apps over time. Microsoft Word has already rolled out this feature.

Real-time collaboration is currently available for PowerPoint on Windows desktops for Office 365 subscribers in the Office Insider program, and for PowerPoint Mobile on Windows Tablets.

2. Move attachments to the cloud and share with others in Outlook

With this update, Outlook users can “easily transform a traditional document into a shared cloud document right within Outlook,” Koenigsbauer wrote in the blog post. While Outlook previously allowed users to attach cloud-based documents to an email, this marks an easier way to send large files and collaborate on those files with others.

Users can upload a file to their own OneDrive or a document library as part of an Office 365 Group, the post stated, and then designate sharing permissions for the email recipients.

This feature is now available in Outlook on the web, as well as for Outlook on Windows desktops for Office 365 subscribers.

3. Receive mobile notifications for changes to shared documents

With this update, users will receive mobile notifications when changes are made to shared cloud files in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. “Notifications let you know when changes are being made while you are away from a document, so you can stay connected and know when you need to act,” Koenigsbauer wrote in the blog post.

This feature joins the integrated activity feed available on Windows desktops, to help business users improve collaboration. Users will receive notifications when documents are shared with others, and when they are edited. Koenigsbauer wrote that Microsoft will continue working on this notifications feature “to provide more detail and transparency around activity in shared documents in the future.”

Sharing and editing notifications are currently available for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint users on Android and Windows Mobile for Office Insiders. This feature will be available for iOS users in December, and for commercial users in all Office mobile apps in the coming months.

4. Find, open, and save documents in a Shared with Me and Recent Folders tab

Microsoft added a Shared with Me Tab in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, to make it easier for enterprise users to find and open documents that colleagues shared without leaving the app you are working in. It will be similar to the feature in OneDrive, the post stated.

Users can also find a Recent Folders list in the Recent tab to help find files faster.

The Shared with Me feature is currently available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Windows desktops and Macs for all Office 365 subscribers, as well as on iOS and Android. It will soon be available on Windows Mobile. And the Recent Folders feature is now available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows desktops for Office 365 subscribers in the Office Insider program.

Office 365 is now available in 150 markets worldwide, the post stated. Other November updates include built-in accessibility with Learning Tools in the Office apps, and PowerPoint Onlineupdates for education customers.

Switching from Android to iOS this holiday season? Here’s the guide that doesn’t come with the gift

Apple has made it incredibly easy to leave Android behind, but there are a few catches. Find out how to make the process super smooth for you and your loved ones.

The holidays are here, and with them come new gadgets. It’s the perfect time to think about jumping ship from Android to iOS, but migrating between ecosystems can be challenging, especially with the prevalence of BYOD in the business world.

Whether you’re hoping to get a new iPhone for Christmas, are giving one for Hanukkah, or need to help a relative during Pancha Ganapati there are a few essential things you need to know to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

Apple makes it simple with an Android app

Apple has made migrating to iOS incredibly easy. The Move to iOS app is a quick, simple way to migrate your data from one device to another and all it takes are a few taps on both devices to make it happen.

That’s not to say there aren’t restrictions, though: The app allows you to choose from four categories—Google account info, messages, contacts, and cameras—but there’s no way to select particular items from them. If you have a lot of photos or old texts you don’t feel the need to move that’s a real bummer.

Getting the most out of Move to iOS means doing a bit of manual labor, though it’s nowhere near what’s needed to go from iOS to Android.

Time to sort your stuff

The best time to organize a filing cabinet is when you get a new one, and the same goes for smartphones. Like desk drawers, cabinets, and closets, smartphones have a tendency to get filled up with junk that we really don’t need anymore.

Duplicate contacts, old pictures of the inside of your pocket, and text messages from a year and a half ago can all get disposed of.

Deleting unwanted photos is easy enough, but what about managing your contacts? That’s a bit trickier and can be daunting for those with a large address book.

For starters you should merge duplicates—that’s usually the source of most address book ire. Open the Contacts app, then tap on More. From there tap Settings, then Merge Duplicate Contacts.

All the people in your Contacts with more than one entry will pop up and you’ll have the option to merge or skip each one. It’s a real headache saver—last time I did it I had 51 contacts with multiple entries.

Deleting people is still a manual process, unfortunately, but Android does make it simple. Tap More again, then tap Delete. A checkbox will pop up next to each person and you can simply scroll through and choose who to wipe.

Deleting texts is similar to manually deleting contacts: Open the Messaging app, tap on More, then tap Edit. Checkboxes pop up again, giving you the option to delete selected messages.

The rest is easy

Once you’ve finished getting rid of unwanted data it’s simple to complete your migration to iOS: Just follow the prompts in the app and you’ll be all set.

If you’re concerned about losing all the apps you relied on while using Android don’t be —once your iPhone is done setting itself up you’ll be prompted to install any free apps that have iOS versions. Paid apps, unfortunately, have to be purchased again, but all the Android ones that are also on iOS will be added to your App Store wishlist.

3 areas of hybrid infrastructure your company should prioritize in 2017

Poll: What new cybersecurity trends will dominate 2017?

In 2016 ransomware, phishing, and IoT attacks pummeled business and consumers alike. What cybersecurity trends will emerge in 2017? Take our survey to share your opinion about emerging hacker trends.

2016 was the year hacking went mainstream. Executives, consumers, and both presidential campaigns were ravaged by ransomware, malware, phishing attacks, and data leaks. “Almost one in five small business owners say their company has had a loss of data in the past year,” said Norman Guadagno, chief evangelist at Carbonite. He and other cyber-defense experts anticipate the number of cyberattacks will grow in 2017.

Because they lack the resources of enterprise companies, small business owners are particularly hurt by cyberattacks, Guadagno said. “According to our recent data 63 percent of small business owners view data as their new currency,” Guadango explained, adding that “a single data hack could have associated costs ranging from $82,200 to $256,000.”

Anticipating and preparing for emerging cybersecurity trends is key to protecting consumers and companies. In 2016 “the three primary cybersecurity concerns for [businesses] were external and internal threats, computer viruses such as ransomware, and foreign cyberattacks.” If the past year is an example, 2017 should be rife with a bevy of attacks.