16 Jul 2015

Service First moves to BitDefender

As part of our continued efforts to bring you the best possible solutions for your business, we are excited to announce that the Service First Managed Antivirus (MAV) engine is now powered by Bitdefender. Bitdefender has consistently been among the tops for both protection and performance.

With the threat landscape continuing to evolve and with new variants emerging almost daily, we want to ensure we are providing the best protection possible to you and your customers. Incorporating the Bitdefender antivirus engine into MAV helps us meet this challenge.

We have tried to keep the look and feel of the new MAV offering as similar as possible to the existing solution, but there are a number of key benefits being introduced that we’d like to make you aware of:

• Better Malware Protection
Third-party testing proves our new solution to be more effective against fighting malware and viruses, while introducing less false positives – providing you better overall protection and security. The addition of Behavioural Scanning, along with Active Protection, will provide yet another layer of defense.
• System Variables within Exclusions
One of the most requested features we have had for MAV is the ability to use system variables within policy exclusions – we are very happy to now be able to deliver this to you! This greatly simplifies matters by ensuring one exclusion can apply across multiple operating systems.
• “Snooze” Feature for Easier Maintenance
Our new “Snooze” feature allows you to temporarily disable MAV, for up to one hour, giving you the ability to more easily perform maintenance on a given machine. This means there is no longer a need to move the device into a new policy while performing maintenance.
• Site Concentrator Applied Across All Devices
The previous restrictions for laptops to use the Site Concentrator has been removed. All MAV devices can now download definitions and updates via the Site Concentrator.
• Direct Communication to the Endpoint
MAV endpoints will now receive instant commands sent from the dashboard. This means you no longer have to wait for the endpoint to check in to the server to receive scanning and update commands.

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16 Jul 2015

What is a Managed Service Provider?

A managed services provider (MSP) is most often an information technology (IT) services provider that manages and assumes responsibility for providing a defined set of services to its clients either proactively or as the MSP (not the client) determines that services are needed. Most MSPs bill an upfront setup or transition fee and an ongoing flat or near-fixed monthly fee, which benefits clients by providing them with predictable IT support costs.

As organisations face significant challenges in scaling and managing their global Information Technology infrastructure while effectively reducing costs, it becomes much more cost effective to gain access to best in class tool sets, hardware, software and even niche technology experts by only paying for what they use by using managed service providers.

Sometimes, MSPs are contracted to manage multiple staffing vendors and to measure their effectiveness in filling positions according to a customer’s standards and requirements. In effect, the MSP serves as a “neutral” party that offers the customer a complete workforce solution while ensuring efficient operation and leveraging multiple staffing companies to obtain competitive rates. In this situation, MSPs typically use a Vendor Management System (VMS) as a software tool to provide transparency and efficiency — along with detailed metrics to the user — related to every aspect of the contingent and contract workforce. The model has proven its usefulness in the private sector, notably among Fortune 500 companies, and is poised to become more common in the government arena. (Source: Wikipedia)

Simply put, a Managed Service Provider is contracted to manage your network and IT infrastructure. This management may include servers, workstations, IT Budget, cloud services, data backup, disaster recovery and email solutions. Service First allows customizations of its services and management options.

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16 Jul 2015

Windows 10 Release !

Microsoft has confirmed the availability of Windows 10, and the official release of the highly-anticipated new operating system. The company will begin rolling out Windows 10 in 190 countries and 111 languages on July 29th.

Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users can pre-register for their free Windows 10 upgrade by clicking the Windows logo that will have appeared on the right-hand side of their taskbar.

However, clicking the button does not necessarily mean they will get Windows 10 on July 29th. The update will first be rolled out to the 4.4 million people who have taken part in the Windows Insider program.

Microsoft will then begin notifying people who have reserved their copy of Windows 10 in waves, slowly scaling up after July 29th. Once a copy becomes available, Microsoft will scan the user’s computer to check if it is compatible, and then download Windows 10 automatically.

If the user’s system is not yet ready to be upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft will provide more details during the upgrade process. In some cases, users will need to contact an application provider or device manufacturer to learn more.

The update is free to anyone with a registered version of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 who opts in within a year. Anyone who is still on Windows 8 will have to upgrade to Windows 8.1 to qualify for the free upgrade.

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