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Systems and Software Inc
Who We Are .
And why we get up in the morning.
We are the outsourced IT Department for 100 local companies where we provide services ranging from project management to IT Help Desk support. We specialize in providing innovative solutions to our clients - from Google and other cloud providers. We are the leading Google Apps Authorized Partner in the Baltimore area. Email info@SystemsAndSoftware.com for more information.
"Do, or do not. There is no try."
Yoda
Services .
Expert technology consulting and recommendations based on 26 years of industry experience

Cloud Solutions

Cloud solutions for email, file servers, and application servers - A Cloud Server is the future for your small/medium sized business

Anti-virus

Anti-virus and anti-malware protocol employing four industry solutions designed to protect your systems collaboratively.

Project Management

Expert project management of your technology projects

IT support

On demand IT support for servers, computers and software without minimums or retainers

Internet Presence

Domain, web and DNS hosting for your internet presence

Live Support

Click here for live support (or request when available)

What We Do. Why You Need It.
"Creativity is contagious, pass it on."
Albert Einstein
Staff .
Our staff is your staff

  • Edward Ko

    President and Owner

    Your first paid job?
    Washed test tubes for a research doctor.

    Favorite Star Trek captain:
    Picard

    Sonic or Mario?
    Sonic

    Cork or Screwcap?
    Yes

  • Chris Warner

    IT Specialist

    PC or Xbox?
    Xbox

    Coffee or Tea?
    Energy Drinks

    If you could be a bird it would be…
    An Oriole, my favorite team!

    How are you so awesome?
    I was just born this way.

  • Kris Rippel

    Kris has been a business colleague of Systems and Software for over 10 years and formally joined our team in 2016.  She adds her extensive experience to our team in both project management and G Suite expertise. Please reach her via the email link below.

  • Brandon del Pilar

    We’d like to introduce Brandon Del Pilar, who joined Systems and Software in early 2017.  Brandon has been working closely with us for several years as an associate and is now a fully fledged member of our team.  He brings a wide range of technical expertise to Systems and Software and we are happy to offer up his added talents.  Please feel free to reach out to Brandon or say hello if he visits or calls your office.

"The cloud is a democracy."
Marc Benioff, CEO SalesForce.com
News and Resources .

5 Safety Concerns with Cloud Data Storage, Answered

5 Safety Concerns with Cloud Data Storage, Answered

cloud keyStill a relatively new innovation, cloud storage has attracted a lot of scrutiny in recent months. Before entrusting sensitive data to third party storage facilities, consumers want to know that their information is going to be stored safely and reliably. And is it? The simple answer is yes. Despite scare tactics devised by hackers to undermine consumer perception of the cloud, cloud storage remains one of the safest ways to store your data today. Let’s take a look at why.

 

 

1. If the Cloud is Secure, How was Apple’s iCloud Hacked?

After the well-publicized attack on Apple’s iCloud, polls showed an immediate drop in the popularity of cloud storage. Users reported feeling more vulnerable, and began questioning the security of their own personal data. But what really happened? The headlines said that the cloud had been hacked, that nude pictures had been stolen from the private accounts of 26 celebrities. While the photos were indeed stolen from the victims’ personal accounts, the important distinction that the popular media never made was that the cloud wasn’t hacked. The breach was a result of vulnerabilities in Apple’s password security system, enabling persistent hackers to guess the passwords and security questions of select users. The cloud itself was never actually breached.

2. How is the Cloud Protected?

To keep data secure, the front line of defense for any cloud system is encryption. Encryption methods utilize complex algorithms to conceal cloud-protected information. To decipher encrypted files, would-be hackers would need the encryption key. Although encrypted information is not 100% uncrackable, decryption requires a huge amount of computer processing power, forensic software, and a lot of time. Can it be done? Yes, the only way to keep your data safe for certain is to lock it up in a safe beneath the ground. That being said, your cloud-stored data is generally safer than your locally stored data. Cloud services utilize more complex security methods than the average computer owner is able to devise, giving your cloud-stored data an added level of protection.

 

3. What Can I Do to Help Keep My Cloud Data Safe?

Keeping your data secure is your responsibility as well as your cloud provider’s responsibility. As hackers demonstrated through the celebrity iCloud breach, poor password security can give cybercriminals an all-access pass to your private data. To keep your password safe, avoid using the same password over multiple platforms; add letters, numbers and symbols to your password, and do not utilize a password that is in any way related to your personal life. Any hacker worth his salt will know your address, your husband’s name, the type of car you drive and your favorite restaurant.

Data security is a major concern, and although options are currently limited, they exist. The most secure is likely a military grade encryption from providers like Credeon or nCrypted Cloud. This allows users to encrypt and store data with their own specifications, and securely share files with other parties that can view files with a key management system.

However, the biggest cause of concern for Cloud storage isn’t hacked data, it’s lost data.

 

4. Is Cloud Storage Really Reliable?

Your data might be safe if the system that it is stored on has failed, but that won’t do much to mollify you in the event of a system outage. While cloud storage keeps your data secure from fires, floods, hurricanes and computer meltdowns, it is still vulnerable in the sense that it is in the hands of a third-party system. Fortunately, since there are no geographical limits to cloud storage, you don’t have to use your local Joe schmo’s cloud services. Before selecting a cloud storage provider, do your research. Top cloud providers can keep your data safe and consistently accessible. If the company you are working with has a history of data loss and security breaches, then it’s time to move on to a new provider.

Cloud storage is much more reliable when used in tandem with another storage system, such as Google Drive. As stated earlier, the biggest concern with cloud storage is lost data, not hacked data. But that issue is eliminated if the cloud is used more as a “sharing” platform instead of a “storage” platform. By taking shared files and storing them into something like Google Drive, you can ensure that if your data are lost, you can easily locate them through the other platform.

 

5. Who is Currently Using Cloud Storage?

A recent poll stated that 86% of companies not only use extensive cloud storage systems, but multiple cloud storage systems. The survey consisted of companies from 80 different countries and collected data from as far back as 2005, before cloud storage became a hot button issue. 30% of business of 1 storage account, 16% have 2, 12% have 3, 8% have four, and 19% have 5 or more (with 13% having 0 accounts).

So what does this mean? It means that most companies either trust cloud storage enough to incorporate it significantly in their data storage efforts, or that the benefits of cloud storage are so great that it’s worth the risk. Nevertheless, the trend is not stopping. Cloud usage has seen an exponential rise every years since 2009.

So although safety seems to remain a concern, despite the guidelines and practices put forth by experts in the field, big companies are still investing resources in acquiring and developing the storage platform. Which means that cloud optimization and security will mimic the rise in its popularity.

New Dropbox Pro plan offers 1TB of storage, sharing controls for $10 per month

Dropbox is consolidating its three Pro account options into a single plan that’s priced at $9.99 per month and includes 1TB of storage and added controls for document sharing and security.

The Pro plan is aimed at freelancers, contractors and other workers who want more storage and tools than come with the free Basic plan, which starts at 2GB, but for whom a Business account might be overkill.

Previously, Dropbox had three different Pro plans with 100GB, 200GB and 500GB of storage, priced at $9.99, $19.99, and $49.99 per month, respectively.

In addition to a terabyte of storage, the new plan includes several features for collaborating with clients. There’s “view-only” permissions, which an interior designer could use to let a client see a mockup of a design but not make changes to it, for instance.

Users can also password-protect links to documents and folders, and apply expiration dates to links, so—for example—a wedding photographer could provide access to a group of photos for a limited amount of time.

dropbox pro password
Dropbox’s password feature in action. 

Finally, there’s remote wipe feature. If a user loses their mobile device, they can log on from another computer and have Dropbox stop syncing to that device and delete the files on it the next time it comes online.

The new Pro plan aims to provide a more compelling option for those willing to pay for online storage, but Dropbox is competing with larger competitors like Google andAmazon who continue to slash prices and increase the storage they offer.

In March, Google cut the price of its 1TB Drive plan by 80 percent, from $49.99 to $9.99, and Amazon cut the price of its 1TB S3 plan by 65 percent, $0.03 per GB per month.

The Dropbox for Business plan, which includes the sharing controls in Pro plus many admin tools for employers, starts at $15 per month for five users.

10 Tips for Google Apps Success

  1. Learn to search!  The search bar is already your favorite part of Gmail — use it better! Click here. Read “Why can’t I sort my email?” to learn one of the core principles of using Gmail.  Other principles can be found here.
  2. Change your password.  Your initial password is known to others so if you will be sending or receiving sensitive email, please change this password now.  Click ‘Settings’ in the upper right of your Gmail window and then ‘Accounts.’  ‘Google Account Settings’ will appear at the top of the screen.

  3. Consider changing your web browser.  Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is not the only program for browsing the internet — others are faster and less prone to “feature bloat” and malware.  Consider Mozilla’s Firefox or Google’s own Chrome browsers.  When using Gmail, they will not produce the obtrusive messages you will see with Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 10 is the exception — use if you wish (Windows 7 only).

  4. Practice attaching a document.  If you are unfamiliar with this process, please click here for help.  If you use Firefox or Chrome as your browser, you can drag and drop your attachment as shown here.

  5. Try out your calendar.  The Google calendar system is one of the most powerful features of your new system and can dramatically improve your office scheduling.  Please attempt to add to your personal calendar and to create shared calendars.  Create a Calendar and share it.

  6. Want to add your company logo to your signature?  The easy to follow instructions are found in this document.  You can create documents like this to share among your co-workers using Google Docs.  For a brief introduction to Google Docs, click here.  Create a Google Document and share/edit it with someone.

  7. Check your Signature settings: Select “Insert this signature before quoted text in replies and remove the “–” line that precedes it.”

  8. Among your email settings is a “Labs” menu where optional features can be enabled or disabled.  Experiment with some of these features.

  9. Create, Drag and Drop Labels.  Change colors to help you identify mail as it resides in your Inbox or elsewhere.

  10. Create a Group in Contacts and select the group when composing an email.

Visit http://gahelp.yougetIT.net for these and other learning resources.  Handouts for training classes can be found here.  The official Google training site is found at http://learn.googleapps.com.

 

The State of Maryland goes Google

                     On January 17, 2014, the State of Maryland announced it would move its messaging infrastructure to Google Apps.  Some 54,000 state employees will join the 2000 State Police employees already using Google Apps to streamline messaging and collaborate on workflow. Read the full article here.

NYTimes – Dropbox Aims at Business

nytimesDropbox

 

The popular online storage service is introducing a business version. To this increasingly crowded field, Dropbox brings some interesting security and management features, a large developer community, and perhaps most powerfully, a different take on enterprise software: The company has control, but the worker is the center of attention.  Read more. . .

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Systems and Software

2 East Wheeling Street.Ste 101.Baltimore MD.21230

Main Phone: 410.750.0121
Fax Number: 410.387.7600

Staff Direct Lines

Ed Ko: 410.696.4693
Matt Jones: 410.929.1149
Chris Warner: 443.574.5525