Managed IT Force Blog

Managed IT Force provides purposeful and powerful IT management and support services to small and medium organizations in the Pittsburgh Area. Our clients enjoy world-class service and reliability for a predictable low fixed fee.

Down and Out in Cyberspace

Down and Out in Cyberspace

There has been a lot made in the media about the effect that movies and television has had on society. More often than not, the media that is produced is a result of the ebbs and flows that happen in society, which ironically makes the whole notion that television and movies affect society an interesting paradox. The ludicrous portrayal of criminality in media is one issue that is resoundingly debated by lawmakers and sociologists, alike.

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Three Gifts for Your IT Resource

Three Gifts for Your IT Resource

The holiday season is here, and the spirit of giving is in the air. Why not give the IT professional in your life a few things that they’ve been wishing for all year? Here, we’ve compiled a list of things you can give them, some of which will cost you (and your business) nothing.

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All Work and No Play Makes Fewer Opportunities

All Work and No Play Makes Fewer Opportunities

The office is a workplace, so it most likely isn’t a place that is often associated with fun and games. However, different aspects of games have been shown to provide significant benefits when introduced into the professional environment. Today, we’ll explore some of the ways that a little frivolity may benefit your office.

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Sorry Han, When it Comes to Security, You Need to Know the Odds

Sorry Han, When it Comes to Security, You Need to Know the Odds

Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon. For the past 40+ years audiences from all around the world have become enthralled with the characters, the story, and the technology that existed a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Who knew that it was also a wonderful lesson in modern IT security?For today’s blog, we look at three situations that happened in Star Wars: A New Hope; and, how, if proper IT strategies were put in place, the Empire would have been able to protect its greatest asset.

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How the CLOUD Act Will Affect Your Security

How the CLOUD Act Will Affect Your Security

On March 23rd, 2018, the United States Congress passed another spending bill that could potentially limit individual privacy protection all over the world. This bill included a provision called the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (or CLOUD) Act, which makes changes to the Stored Communications Act of 1986 and provides unelected American officials a considerable amount of power over digital privacy rights.

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The Equifax Saga Continues as More Victims are Discovered

The Equifax Saga Continues as More Victims are Discovered

As though the initial news of Equifax’s 2017 data exposure wasn’t bad enough, it has been discovered that there are even more victims than previously thought. While news like this is never good, it can bring a silver lining if the opportunities that such news presents are seized.

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Need Gift Ideas? Try Out These Gadgets!

Need Gift Ideas? Try Out These Gadgets!

The holidays are getting closer, and picking the right gift for someone is only becoming a more stressful activity. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve found some gadgets that might make the perfect gift for that person on your list who has a particular interest. This blog will go over some of these interests and the gifts that might make their holiday.

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Are the Deals Better on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

Are the Deals Better on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

Many consider the beginning of the holiday (shopping) season to be Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. This day is infamous for deals so good, people are willing to wait in line for hours before the stores even open in order to take advantage of them--however, are these deals really the best, when Cyber Monday is now in play? We examined what can be expected on the major deal days to find out.

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Signs Your PC is Done for and How to Properly Dispose of It

Signs Your PC is Done for and How to Properly Dispose of It

When it’s time to replace your technology, it might bring about a sense of panic. How can you replace your technology without breaking your budget, or worse, exposing data on your old technology to potentially threatening actors? Only one thing is for sure; you need to make sure that you have a solid strategy to adhere to when you need to replace your broken-down technology.

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Lessons From a Company that Successfully Beat Ransomware

Lessons From a Company that Successfully Beat Ransomware

Ransomware is a dangerous malware that all businesses fear. Although, if the right precautions are taken, a ransomware attack can be completely thwarted. A recent hack attack of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency provides us with a real-world example of this, which helps make ransomware appear a lot less formidable.


Characteristic of ransomware, the attack locked transportation agency employees out of their workstations and disabled other systems. As a result of such widespread system failure, the agency was unable to collect payments for fares at their many ticketing kiosks, seeing as each kiosk could only display the message “you hacked. ALL data encrypted.” The agency scrambled and operated by accepting cash payments for fares or not charging for rides while the system was down.

The hacker or group of hackers responsible went by the username Andy Saolis. In exchange for the decryption key, the hackers asked the agency to fork over approximately $73,000 worth of Bitcoins. In an odd twist as to why the hackers targeted the public transportation agency, an email revealed misplaced Robin Hood-like motives, “They give Your Money and everyday Rich more! But they don’t Pay for IT Security and using very old system’s !” However, an investigation by the FBI into the Andy Saolis account reveals a less-than-noble history of hacking several private companies.

Instead of bowing to the hackers’ demands, officials elected to restore their system from a backup copy. Essentially, they called the hackers’ bluff and came out on top. Upon enlisting the help of hackers of their own to assist with stopping the attack, the agency discovered that the hackers had only gained access to 25 percent of the agency’s network and made off with no data. This stands in contrast to the hacker’s online claim that they stole financial information from the payment kiosks, as well as 30 gigabytes of sensitive data pertaining to the operations of the agency.

While your SMB may not be able to employ the services of the FBI or vigilante hackers to strike back against those who hack your business; or, even be in a position to offer your services for free during a blackout, you do have the ability to maintain backed up copies of your data so that you can revert back to these copies should a ransomware attack ever befall your organization.  At Managed IT Force, we have experience with ransomeware attacks on SMB's.  The type of security and backup solutions needed to protect against ransomewhere are very cost-effective for small businesses.

Additionally, by taking advantage of security best practices like using complex passwords, two-factor authentication, and security solutions like firewall, spam blocking, and content filtering, you’ll be able to safeguard your network from getting hacked in the first place. The most important advice I can give is to take action before it's too late.  To make sure your network is equipped to thwart a malicious ransomware attack, reach out to Managed IT Force at 724-473-3950.

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Honor Among Hackers? Not for Those Who Hack Hospitals

Honor Among Hackers? Not for Those Who Hack Hospitals

It’s safe to say that hacking is a frowned-upon practice, but that hasn’t stopped cyber criminals from attempting to turn a profit off of it. This practice has led them to target nonconventional organizations, including hospitals and other healthcare facilities. However, just because a hacker can target a hospital, does this mean that they should? This is a topic of some debate amongst hackers, whom, believe it or not, actually do have some sort of ethical standards.

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What is the 10,000 Hour Rule, and Does it Work?

What is the 10,000 Hour Rule, and Does it Work?

A business owner is always looking to improve their skills and learn about new ones. It’s natural to want to learn new things, even if you’re already an expert in your own field. The 10,000 hour rule offers a few guidelines to help you learn a new craft, but it’s not as easy as consistent practice. You might be in for a long journey toward “expert status.”

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