Dynamic Computing Blog

As quickly as technology changes, we figured that we'd offer our thoughts, ideas, comments and maybe an article or two from outside sources...from time to time.

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Dynamic Computing

5.15.17

Dynamic Computing

The Latest on The Cybersecurity Threat (WannaCry)

The Background:

The past few days, the media has been buzzing with news about the latest cybersecurity threat.  While these sorts of threats pop up on a near daily basis, this one is a little different.  As the story goes, it was developed as a cyberweapon by the NSA and the code was leaked a few weeks ago on the internet.

Microsoft released patches in March for all of its supported operating systems (Windows 7, 8.1 & 10, Windows Server 2008, 2012 & 2016).  After seeing the virus spread on Friday, it took the extraordinary step of patching its out of support OS’s as well, including Windows XP.

The virus spreads in two ways:  First, through phishing e-mails.  Second, from computer to computer inside of a network.  After it’s infected a machine, it encrypts the user’s files and demands a ransom.

What We’re Doing to Protect You:

We’ve always advocated a multi-pronged approach to security, and as such, there are two key things we’ve been doing to keep your systems protected from this particular threat:

Patching: This is the #1 way to protect against new and unknown threats.  As I mentioned above, Microsoft patched this hole in March, and as of this morning, 99% of the computers we manage are patched against this vulnerability.  The 1% that aren’t is for one of two reasons:  1) The computer hasn’t been turned on in 2+ months to complete patches, or 2) It’s running Windows XP and the patch wasn’t released until Friday.  We’re in the process of notifying our clients who have impacted machines and actively working on getting that final 1% patched ASAP.

Managed Security Software: Every machine we manage is loaded with a managed security software client.  It reports back to a central management portal so we’re able to monitor its protection status and deal with broken systems proactively before they become a problem.  Our security vendor’s software began to detect and quarantine this threat on April 24th, so the vast majority of the systems we manage are essentially double-covered.  We’re actively monitoring all managed workstations to ensure that they’ve got the latest version of the definitions to further improve this protection layer.


A Note on “Unmanaged” Machines:

In large, we’re pretty confident that our clients won’t be significantly impacted by this threat, assuming they’ve followed our recommendations about keeping their machines updated with a current Windows OS.  We’ve only got a handful clients who still have XP machines, and they’ve been made aware of the risks of keeping them on their system.  If you’re one of the clients that still has an XP machine, you’ll probably get another ping from our Solutions Team about this in the next day or two.

The big wildcard is for those clients who have “unmanaged” machines on their network.  Usually those belong to an independent contractor (including real estate agents) or vendor/employee who brings in a personal machine unbeknownst to us.

These “unmanaged” machines pose a serious security threat, especially if they’ve been granted access to company files/resources by an employee.  We’ve got no visibility into these machines, and therefore no way of ensuring they’re patched or kept up to date with current security software.

Our management software scans for new machines and automatically onboards those that it can authenticate to into our system on a routine basis.  We also do manual audits on a regular basis to locate and onboard any new machines that we haven’t been made aware of by our clients.  But it’s a little like a game of whack-a-mole when it comes to this, so client education is our best bet.


Action Items:

If you’re one of our residential real estate offices with agents who bring their personal computers into the office, you should notify your agents to update their Windows OS immediately. The Microsoft link to the OS specific patches is here.

For most of our residential real estate clients, we’ve strongly recommended that your agents use our managed security software on their machines. For those offices who have followed our recommendation and consistently ensured the software gets installed, that should also help protect those agents.

For the rest of our clients, this a friendly reminder to educate your employees not to bring personal computers into the office. If they do, keep them on the guest wi-fi and don’t grant those machines access to your servers.

When it comes time to hire a new employee, avoid the temptation to let them bring a personal machine into work. Instead, work with our Solutions Team to find the right business class workstation for them that we’ll patch and onboard correctly right from the start.


Conclusion:

Finally, and most importantly, we all need to take this stuff more seriously.  This security threat is the first of what’s likely to be many that exploit this and other vulnerabilities.  These threats are real, increasing, and are finally getting the attention they deserve in the media.

We’ll continue to work hard to ensure our clients’ systems are kept current, secured, and managed, to prevent against threats like this.

-Kevin

Posted by: deicreative

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11.25.15

Dynamic Computing

Dynamic Computing is Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

The Dynamic Computing family started off our day with Waffle Wednesday to stretch out our stomachs in preparation for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving feast. Although, from the looks of the rapidly emptying table, I’d say we are all well versed in scarfing down a meal and definitely do not need any preparation.

thanksgivingcat

We are all super thankful for the people we work with, both inside the company as well as out. From all of us at Dynamic Computing, we want to thank you for allowing us the chance to be a part of what you do. We look forward to many more years of working together.

Dynamic Computing will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday so our staff can enjoy the weekend with their friends and family. The closing dates are: Thanksgiving, November 26th, 2015 as well as the day after on Friday, November 27th, 2015.

As always, if you have a pressing issue that requires attention, feel free to call our main line, follow the prompts for the after-hour procedure and one of our on-call service technicians will get back to you.

Posted by: deicreative

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8.19.15

Dynamic Computing

Windows 10. To upgrade, or not to upgrade? That is the question… we are trying to answer.

I know some of you have some questions in regards to this new Windows Operating System all the cool kids seem to be talking about. Well, have no fear, Dynamic Computing is here! The team has been doing some research and am now ready to share our wisdom with the world; or at least, the Dynamic Computing world.

Here’s the gist of the new Windows 10 Operating System – bullet point style:

  • The new Operating System has a new look and redesigned user interface.
  • More applications are available, but in our opinion, this is more beneficial for personal use than business.
  • Windows 10 has a lot more security and privacy options for users to choose from.
  • The upgrade is free for all current Windows 7 or 8 users – which means almost all of our clients are eligible.
  • In order to get the free upgrade, users will need to claim the upgrade within the first year of release (before Summer of 2016).
  • Users that are currently on a domain (attached to a server) will not get the automatic upgrade notices.
  • Windows 10 is essentially an “upgrade” to Windows 8.1. For the most part, anything 8.1 can do, 10 can as well.
  • If you don’t like Windows 10, you can always downgrade back to Windows 8.1 (but the labor involved can be quite extensive so we don’t recommend upgrading haphazardly).

There have been a handful of you that have emailed or called in to ask whether upgrading to Windows 10 is the right decision. Long story short, our stance is that there’s no rush and you should hold off on the upgrade for a while still.

Here are some reasons why:

  • All new software products have bugs that needs to be worked out. Operating Systems’s are known for this – it’s better to wait until after the bugs fixed to keep the cost and frustration level down.
  • There will be multiple features continuously and frequently added to Windows 10. We view this as a good thing, but we’d like to wait and see once it’s been more developed.
  • We are still waiting to see if there’s a way for a small company to claim a license for the entire company instead of having to upgrade each computer one by one. The current process is slow and cumbersome (read expensive).
  • Please encourage your team members not to upgrade on their own, as the time we spend dealing with the repercussions can add up quickly and become expensive.
  • Most of you have third party software that has not yet been tested for the upgrade compatibility. This process can take quite a while for all of the software vendors, and those upgrades can be expensive as well.
  • For those of you that have older computers, it may make more sense to replace the machine instead incurring the cost of upgrading.
  • Dynamic Computing is still in the internal testing phase with regards to the new Operating System. To better serve you, we’d like to know all the ins and outs of any system you use before we start deploying it widely.

Hopefully, this was useful information; should you have any more in depth questions, feel free to email support@dyncomputing.com and one of our fabulous service team members will get back to you.

And now, a meme to brighten up your day!

789

Go Hawks!

Posted by: deicreative

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7.1.15

Dynamic Computing

July 4th, 2015 Weekend

Happy July everyone! Hope you’re all enjoying this beautiful weather we’ve been having.

Fun fact for the week:

Did you know the Declaration of Independence was drafted on a laptop?!

Nonsense, you say.

Well, not exactly.

thomasjeffersonlaptop

This contraption was what Thomas Jefferson used when drafting the Declaration of Independence. It’s a kind of desk used to write on one’s lap.

Cool, huh? We thought so.

Another fun fact of the week:

Dynamic Computing will be closed on Friday, July 3rd, 2015 so our staff can observe the Holiday and spend Independence Day with their loved ones.

If you find yourself in need of some IT assistance over the long weekend, please call our main line and follow the prompts for our on-call service; one of our technicians will get on their laptop to assist you as soon as possible!

Posted by: deicreative

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6.3.15

Dynamic Computing

Staffing Changes Galore!

My, it has been a long time since we have updated our blog! In fact, happy New Year! (Better late than never, right??) Since we last posted, we have moved to our new Belltown office, implemented a new service management system, been tackling a ton of projects, and have made a number of personnel changes. We’d like to take some time to introduce and re-introduce you to our newest roles and the people filling them!

Without further ado, we would like to introduce…

FinalAziza   Aziza the Extraordinary Service Coordinator   

Aziza is the friendly new voice that you have been hearing when you call us for about the last month. Starting at the beginning of May, she replaced Breanna as our Service Coordinator. Process-driven, smart, funny, sweet, and passionate are a few of the words we would use to describe her; she has quickly become part of the Dynamic Computing family.

You might be asking (don’t worry if you’re not, she won’t take it personally!), “If Breanna has been replaced, what happened to her?” Not to worry, she’s still around!

Breanna - Cropped   Breanna the Brand New Finance & Operations Specialist   

Breanna is now our resident bookkeeper, report writer/analyst, and administrative/operational jill-of-all-trades, which explains her unique and slightly vague title. As her work is now largely internal, you won’t be hearing from her much, unless she’s covering phones or you have invoice-related questions. If you ask her about her new position, she will say it’s bittersweet; she misses working so closely with you all, but she’s very excited to be learning new things!

Breanna is not the only one movin’ on up! As of June, Breanna’s work twin (same start date) has also been promoted!

chris   Chris the Hilarious Field Consultant   

After wowing everyone with his incredible work ethic, we are proud to say that Chris is being rewarded with a fancy new title. Mr. Starr is jam-packed full of sincerity, intelligence, hard work, and goofy jokes. Coming soon to an office near you! (Or, you know, your office.)

And last but not least, our newest addition!

lydia   Lydia the Shining Solutions Team Coordinator   

Even though Lydia has only been with us for a couple weeks, it feels like she has always been here! Like Breanna, Lydia has another shiny new, never-before-seen position here at DC. As Solutions Team Coordinator, Lydia will be another jill-of-all-trades, but in the sales/customer satisfaction arena. You will be seeing her at system review meetings, discussing product and upgrade quotes with her, and she will be taking over our social media presence so that you hopefully will be hearing from us again before December. Lydia is talented, kind, motivated, and has a soft spot for a well-placed prank, though we think she’s taking it easy on us for now.

If you would like to learn more about any of our employees, be sure to check out their profile on our Team page!

Congratulations to all of our new and newly promoted team members!

Posted by: deicreative

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11.24.14

Dynamic Computing

Office Move & Holiday Schedule

Hello,

 

On Friday, 11/28 we are moving to a beautiful new office in Belltown! We scheduled it for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to reduce any impact this might have on you and we will of course still be available to help with any emergencies you may have during this time. We are closing early on Wednesday, 11/26 at 2pm and will reopen Monday, 12/1 at 8:30 am.

 

Here is how you get in touch with us in case of an emergency:

Wednesday, 11/26: Office closes at 2 and our phone system will be down temporarily.  *Update* – our phones are moved and online at the new office.

Thursday, 11/27 – Sunday, 11/30 – Office is closed, but we are still available for emergencies at 206-284-6200 using the oncall prompts.

 

Our new office address is 2505 Second Avenue, Suite 605, Seattle, WA 98121. Please update your records for after the holiday.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

The Team at Dynamic Computing

Posted by: deicreative

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9.23.14

Dynamic Computing

Nic’s 5 Year Workiversary!

On August 24, 2009, Nic Hage stepped into Dynamic Computing for his first day of work not knowing what to expect. That day started a 5 year tradition of Nic being a solid rock for Dynamic Computing.

According to Kevin, Nic immediately fit in and was part of the team. He is (and always has been) the first to offer support when you need it. He makes us all laugh and is the go-to guy when you need anything done.

When it came time to celebrate Nic having been at Dynamic Computing for an invaluable 5 years, we knew that we had to do a cruise.  Nic loves the outdoors and had mentioned wanting to get out on a boat. So, we gathered yummy sandwiches, salads, Nic’s favorite cheesecake, a keg of beer, and headed out onto Lake Union via the Mallory Todd, a small but impressive schooner. I attached some pictures of our adventure below.

We gathered everyone around and presented Nic with a special gift and a stack of cards full of kind, appreciative words from each of us. I think he may have even had to choke back some tears. We asked everyone to tell their favorite Nic stories. People mentioned memorable past projects, Nic’s pranks, and various experiences that they had with Nic’s down-to-earth competence and kindness.

Oh, and did I mention that this was a super secret event that Katrin, Kevin, and I kept from everyone until we actually got down to the dock? It was really fun being able to surprise everyone with someone so awesome. Unfortunately, Nic was tipped off to the boat idea when we asked everyone to wear closed-toe shoes, but he still had a great time.

Thank you, Nic for your hard work and dedication. We appreciate you every day.

If anyone has any kind words for Nic or stories that you would like to share with us, please email support@dyncomputing.com.

Posted by: deicreative

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9.18.14

Dynamic Computing

Celebrating 14 years!

14 years ago today, a young, bright-eyed Kevin Gemeroy turned a dream of his into reality; though the official launch of the company did not come until June of 2001, today is the 14th anniversary of Dynamic Computing’s official incorporation. In celebration, we would like to honor our President and CIO.

This last year has been a big one for Dynamic Computing. There are new people, a lot of changes, and an upcoming office move – all driven by a very ambitious, focused Kevin. He works very hard to be a good, fair boss; a loving, present husband and father (to two cute Brittanys and an even cuter new baby!), and an avid golfer.

I have gotten to work closely with Kevin since I have started (back in January) and have found him to be intelligent, funny, caring, and a hard-worker. My favorite thing about working here has always been that this company cares about each person as an individual and is looking forward to helping you grow; Kevin is absolutely the driving force behind that atmosphere. This kind of environment comes with higher expectations and standards, which makes working for this company incredibly fulfilling. Dynamic Computing and its employees are thriving. Kevin wows us all the time with how much he has accomplished and continues to accomplish on a daily basis. He juggles all the different aspects of his life (and believe me, there are so many it would make your head spin!) with great finesse. It is truly inspirational.

 


 

Here are a few quotes from my co-workers about their experience at Dynamic Computing with Kevin:

“Kevin combines attention to detail, a high standard for quality, and a willingness to go the extra mile to lead Dynamic Computing and ensure our company always delivers quality services and the highest possible customer service.”

“Dynamic Computing has been a great company to work for and I am extremely happy that I landed here after my move across the country. Kevin’s choice of clothing for a mini-golf outing, however, is questionable.”

“Kevin is a great leader who works hard to motivate those around him. He’s also really great at creating vision and when he sets his sights on a goal he will do everything in his power to accomplish it. Kevin strives for excellence and ensures that we are delivering the best product or solution to our customers every time.”

“I think Kevin’s a really great boss.  He pushes us hard to improve the company and ourselves, and holds us to a high standard.  He also really cares about all of us, and has gone out of his way to create a great work environment.”

“Dynamic Computing is a great place to work. Ever since I started 8 months ago, Kevin has always striven to help us provide better support for our clients and improve ourselves as technicians. I have grown as person since I started working here and hope to continue to do so. Thank you Kevin for all the support.”

 


 

Dear clients, thank you for letting me share our gratitude with you. If you have any well-wishes or stories about Kevin you wish to share, feel free to leave a comment here or email Kevin and/or our Support box.

Kevin, happy 14 years of owning this wonderful business and thank you so much for being a part of our lives.

 

Sincerely,

Breanna and the rest of the Dynamic Computing team

Posted by: deicreative

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8.11.14

Dynamic Computing

A new name AND a new face!

We’ve got a couple of quick but fun announcements today:

First, a big CONGRATULATIONS to Breanna (Miller) Carosio, our fantastic Service Coordinator, who is now officially a newlywed!  She’s spent the last week on her honeymoon and returns to the office tomorrow with a new last name.  We promise – it’s the same Breanna, just a different name.  🙂

Second, we’ve been a little behind on our posting of new team members, but we’re finally getting back up to speed…and so (drum roll please)…it’s time to introduce Katrin Iversen, our new Operations Manager!  (Who’s no longer new since she’s been here for almost four months now).  Many of you have already had a chance to meet her (over the phone at least), since she’s been filling in for Breanna in her absence, and doing a stellar job of juggling all of the responsibilities of her new job plus Breanna’s for the past week.  Please don’t hesitate to say “hi” if you get the chance.

If you’d like to learn more about Katrin (or anyone on our team for that matter), you can read her bio on our team page.

-Kevin

Posted by: deicreative

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7.2.14

Dynamic Computing

Holiday Schedule – 4th of July 2014

Good afternoon!

Our office will be closed on Friday, July 4th, from 8:30 am to 5 pm. We will open as normal on Monday, July 7th at 8:30 am.

If you need emergency support, please call our main office line at 206-284-6200 and follow the prompts to leave a message for the on-call consultant.

Enjoy your long weekend and have a happy 4th!

-Breanna and the rest of the Dynamic Computing team

Posted by: deicreative

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