Daylight Savings — The Day After

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

The Issue

Daylight savings is that time of the year when the clocks “move back” one hour (or forward in the Spring). This year we had a client who experienced an interesting problem resulting in a service outage involving daylight savings.

The computer in question, running Windows XP, didn’t jump just 1 hour ahead, but 13 hours ahead. This resulted in noone being able to sign on to the domain on the computer because of the following error message:

“Current time on computer does not match current time on network”

The FixSimply log on to the computer and adjust the time to match the time on the Domain Controller.

Wait, if I can’t log on, how can I change the time? Two methods:

  1. Unplug the network cable and log on. Then you can change the time, plug the network cable back in, and reboot the machine.
  2. Reboot the machine and during the boot screen activate the BIOS.  In there is a “DATETIME” option which will let you reset the clock.

Why it works!

  1. When a user logs onto a computer which is part of a domain, it checks with the domain controller, “the ruler of the domain” to verify the user’s Id and password. However, if the computer cannot find a Domain Controller, the computer will still permit log ons using “stored credentials”. Basically, it remembers the last few people to log on and their password in case the Domain Controller is having issues. By unplugging the network cable, you simulate a “network down” event which allows access the computer.
  2. Signing on to BIOS is controlling the actual clock of the machine directly. Thus, it bypasses most security restrictions (except for a BIOS password). The downside is you have to be at least somewhat comfortable with BIOS. Technicians shouldn’t have a problem, but non-technical staff might be hesitate. Booting to the BIOS may differ from machine to machine, so read up on your make and model of machine to find out how to boots to bios for you.

Recommendation

I recommend trying Option 1 first. If that doesn’t work, possibly because the user doesn’t have permissions to change time, then revert to Option 2.

 

Upcoming Business Continuity Seminar…with Quorum

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

MITH Enterprises and Quorum have entered into a partnership to provide advanced, and affordable, Disaster Recovery solutions.  If you’re not absolutely sure your backup and recovery technology is up to anything Mother Nature (or human error) throws at you, you need to explore Quorum’s Disaster Recovery solutions. Before the next disaster hits.

Quorum’s solution provides a fast, “one-click and your up” system for ensuring business continuity.  The solution is great for medium size businesses or business which cannot afford even short downtime periods.  The solution meets PCI compliance requirements and their data centers will also meet HIPAA regulations.  Please join us by clicking on the link below!

When:

November 13, 2013 11:30 AM to 12:45 PM

Where:

Gordon Biersch
1 W Flatiron Circle
Broomfield, CO 80021

Join us November 13th at Gordon Biersch in Broomfield for a Happy-Hour event to hear about Simple, Easy, “One-Click”, and “Instant” Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Solutions that we’re sure will impress you!

 

“Like starting from scratch all over again…”

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

At a recent meeting I was chatting with a business owner and I mentioned the backup service MITH provides.  This young lady said, “I don’t need that, I use *********.  It only costs my $50.00 a year so I don’t see how you can compete”.

A week later her hard drive crashed and she needed to restore her data.  It took 3 weeks for the system to state she was 100% restored.  Unfortunately for her, she received less than 20 GB of the 360GB of data she had collected over 4 years.

Four years of videos, seminars, and marketing material wiped out.  When I asked how much it was worth she said simply, “Everything.  It’s like starting from scratch all over again”.

At MITH Enterprises we work with you to identify what is important for your business.  We estimate how much space it will use, and then we monitor the backup to verify everything is there.

In short, we actively work with you to monitor your systems.  If something fails, we are there to assist you in restoring it as quickly as possible, without additional costs.  Usually we can restore a single machine, from scratch, within a single day.  With our full Business Continuity Planning service, we can usually get a business up and running in less than a week.

My business friend is struggling to rebuild all that was lost.  She will continue to struggle over the coming years, but many items will never return.  Over 4 years she saved about $300 to $400, but what she lost was invaluable.

Contact us now and we will schedule a free Restore Test of your backup system to see if it meets your needs.

The importance of Restore…not Backup

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Many small business owners recognize the importance of backing up their data.  So, they find a solution to copy it off.  Usually this solution is the cheapest available, offering unlimited space at an incredibly low cost.  The business owner then goes about their life happy in the knowledge their data is safe.

Until something goes wrong and they need to get their data back, and then they learn the lesson: It’s about Restore, not Backup!

Backup systems are much like a spare tire in your car.  It simply sits there and adds unnecessary weight…until you need it.  Then it is the difference between getting backup and driving within a few minutes, or having to wait until help arrives.  And that help is costly!

If you’re using a service which seems like a great deal, ask yourself “why is this great deal?”

We at MITH Enterprises are willing to put your systems through a free “Restore test”.  During this test we will determine how long your business will be down in case of an issue.  We understand it is not about backup, it’s about restore.

Wall Street preparing for Quantum Dawn 2 Cyber Attack

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

I just recently mentioned summer is a great time to be testing.  Well, the SEC believes so as well.  They are performing a full cyber attack training on June 28 around 9 a.m. EST.  Dubbed “Quantum Dawn 2″.

Now the SEC has billions of dollars at risk and trading systems which cannot fail without catastrophe, it seems logical they would simulate a cyber attack.  But even small firms can take away the lesson that testing is critical to their operations.  You may not need full cyber attack testing, but your critical systems and backup should be tested.  It may not be billions of dollars at risk in your company, but even thousands of dollars is important to small businesses.

http://blogs.reuters.com/unstructuredfinance/2013/06/13/wall-street-goes-to-war-with-hackers-in-cyber-dawn-2-simulation/

 

 

 

Data-Centric Decision Making: It Begins with Ownership

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Unfortunately, this is something I can believe:

http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=15044&utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HelpNetSecurity+%28Help+Net+Security%29

Most organizations don’t create an information strategy.  I can only imagine the expenses entailed as organizations skip from one platform to another, constantly performing ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) from one system to another, each time hoping the information yields what they want.

A better solution is to think about information.  What is a “good” format for storing the data, and where is a “good” location for it to exist.  If done properly, the amount of ETL’s necessary would drop and the company would see a greater return on its Information Investments.  It is not technology which enables an organization to make good decisions, its the ability to properly collect, classify, and process usable information.  Business leaders need to give up owning their hardware and software, and instead should focus on owning their data.  This “data-centric” view of business decisions permits the company to purchase the right tools and people to best use the data to its utmost.

Businesses preparing for disasters and security issues

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Interesting article on statistics of companies preparing for disasters.  However, I don’t think these include many small businesses.

http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=15041&utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HelpNetSecurity+%28Help+Net+Security%29

Thursday Article Update: Cyber attacks and small business

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

What I find interesting is that theft of business information accounts for 49% of cyber losses. Why am I surprised?  Because in the past it was primarily data loss from disaster, flood, and equipment failure which was the primary driver.

http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=15012&utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HelpNetSecurity+%28Help+Net+Security%29&utm_content=FeedBurner

Using Your Phone to Save Your Life

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Summer is almost here, and that means time for violent storms.  Although us up north tend to worry about Winter Blizzards, the big storms tend to happen during the Summer and Fall months.  However, technology can help and FEMA has a Wireless Emergency Alert System.  I recommend checking it out, it may only give a few minutes warning, but those few minutes can save your life.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/business/media/fema-promotes-its-wireless-emergency-alert-system.html?_r=1

Key Card System Down (…and out the door)

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Company contacted us after the workstation which housed their key card access system died. It was going to cost over $2250 to replace, could we do better?

Well…

  • New system in place four days before their “gotta have it by” date,
  • Web-based, so they don’t have to worry about their workstation failing (problem solved),
  • They can now unlock the doors from their home without having to come into the office (for those that forget their key card at home),
  • Ability to Schedule “Holiday Lock hours” in advance (something they couldn’t do before),
  • Automated alerts if something goes wrong,
  • Advanced Reporting on User Access through the web

And the biggie:

  • Less than half the cost!

We voted this one in as a success!  I also want this for my house now…

So, what IT Challenge does your business have that our Heroes can resolve?