What is DDoS? The Problem and Solutions

Since we became a Cloudflare partner, we’ve been asked multiple times: What is a DDoS?

The Rundown on DDoS Attacks

A DDoS is a distributed denial of service attack.

Years ago when a business needed to get online, they purchased web hosting services through many web hosting companies. It was usually on a single server for the client, shared between multiple other clients depending on how the request into the machine. At the time most servers were capable of handling the load of a lot of requests, sometimes in the hundreds, if not thousands per second.

Now comes along somebody you made an enemy with. Knowing the capacity of your server, they would then utilize hundreds, thousands, or millions of compromised machines in a coordinated attack to overload your server online. This caused your business to suffer online, drop off search engines, and prevent your business from being accessible and communicating online. Email, web, DNS, and even name registrars were not immune to this attack. They were very common about 10 to 15 years ago.

Cloudflare and Other CDNs

Now, where does Cloudflare come in?

Cloudflare is what is known as a CDN. A CDN is a content delivery network. A content delivery network delivers content in a distributed manner to those who request it. In its most basic form, they have hundreds if not thousands of servers acting as one to satisfy the content request for someone requesting it. That basically means that you have dozens of data centers to handle any number of content requests easily. One of the greatest strengths of this content delivery network is the ability to mitigate DDoS. Since hundreds if not millions of servers are handling requests promptly, your website, the content isn’t compromised, and you can still be productive in your day-to-day operations.

There are many other features with the Cloudflare CDN, but the biggest one is mitigation of distributed denial of service attacks. For businesses that need to be number one on the Google page ranks, being or Yahoo, a CDN is required. Want to learn more about CDNs? Check out our other blog, Denial of Service Attacks and CDNs like Cloudflare. Want to get started? Then contact Trition Technologies so we can talk more about proactive website security and IT support.

Business VPNs and Why You Need One

Why do we recommend a VPN when you have nothing to hide?

With the end of net neutrality, ISPs and Internet providers have now free reign to do as they please with on how you receive your data. We’ve already seen it with our commercial clients on how to access their services.

A Matter of Priority

A prime example is prioritization of the Internet providers own resources. If your Internet provider provides telephone and television services, but you use a streaming service that doesn’t utilize their services, they can send your traffic through slower pipes.

So your telephone service that is hosted online (such as PBX or VoIP) can be artificially slow down causing all kinds of distortion and connectivity problems because you don’t utilize the IP’s own phone service. We’ve seen it happen with two clients at the end of December and we are currently working with them to find an alternate Internet provider does not traffic shape third-party services.

We work with many fine local telephone and PBX providers, and they are seeing similar issues as well.

A Matter of Privacy

Where does a VPN come in? The Virtual Private Network obscures the data it which flows over the VPN connection. So internet providers cannot traffic shape and give priority to their own services. Luckily, a vast majority of firewalls and VPN routers already provide this kind of connectivity, but it needs to be set up. Services like private internet access which we recommend can give business-class speed and obscure the type of data that you’re accessing.

A Matter of Speed

Another obvious example is speed tests. Since an Internet provider can find where you’re going to receive information, they can give priority giving the impression of a faster connection when it is not. Netflix, which is a very popular TV and movie streaming entertainment provider, has found that many ISPs either slow down their connection or will charge them for priority on their network.

Most people will go to speed test.net and run a speed test, but we have found that the results are inaccurate in order to accommodate customer service. So in response, Netflix created their own service called fast.com. We have started moving to that to accurately report on a person’s Internet speed. So far we have found multiple instances of carriers changing the Internet speed to placate the client. For us this is unethical. But since the removal of net neutrality, legal.

So if you wish to get the maximum speed for your business and not be observed by our ISP of what you’re doing, we extremely recommend that you purchase a VPN router and a VPN service to obfuscate your data. Contact Triton Technologies today if you want help setting up and managing a VPN service.

The Methodology Behind IT Policy and Procedure

A lot of businesses  good or bad  sometimes just shoot from the hip. They make up ideas, policies, and methodologies to suit the immediate need.

Sounds good in theory but has very bad scalability.

Why IT Policy and Procedure is So Important

A Triton technologies we have ex-military for the majority of our administrative staff. The reason why is that we have a process and procedure for every ticket, every project, and every type of situation with policies to handle future unexpected situations. The reason why is simple and best explained with a story.

Preserving Security and Privacy

We had a client fire an employee. It happens. We received a call from the client asking to get a copy of the client list because they were going on a vacation needed to do work from remote. We have a policy that when a client’s critical infrastructure needs to be accessed, we need to contact their supervisor and/or business owner to allow for approval.

We contacted the business owner, and within seconds we were informed that person was fired because they were feeding information to their competitor. The ex-employee literally lied to us and, because of our policies and procedures, the intellectual property of the business was preserved. Though sometimes the policies might conflict with the business and their goals, it helps protect everyone involved.

That is why at Triton Technologies we emphasize the methodology when it comes to policies and procedures when handling service tickets, projects, and more. The reason why? It just works. It’s the same reason that all of our IT staff undergo rigorous background checks. Also, make sure to check out our blog on acceptable use policies to understand the policies and procedures you need in place under Massachusetts law for client data.

Want to learn more? Contact us today.

Home Computers Versus Business Computers

From time to time, we get clients who wish to purchase their own hardware but have us implement the solution. Most of the time we have no issue with this, but when we encounter a computer that was specifically purchased to save money, knowing that it will alienate the client with their lack of performance, we must advise them that we will not work on it.

That being said, if you have an option to purchase business-grade hardware, I extremely recommend doing it.

Understanding Business-Grade Computers

Residential based hardware is based on quantity sales. If I can buy 1 million low-end chips and put them into a low-end chassis with a low-end warranty, I will make a greater profit because of the number of computers I just sold. That sounds great from a business perspective when you are selling computers, but as a person who is purchasing, you will encounter an issue that would not present itself if you had bought a commercial grade computer.

Costs: Time in Money

Business grade computers are designed for performance but obviously can cost 2 to 3 times more than his residential machine. Now if you’re going on a straight dollar value of the machine, it makes sense, but businesses have to look at the big picture, all costs. If you have to wait an extra 15 minutes a day to accomplish a task because the CPU on your computer is slow, try to imagine that cost over the period of the year. You most likely obliterated all savings.

Commercial Grade Warranties

The other issue that I tell people about all the time, and was just proven again. The warranties and hardware replacement (check out our blog, Computer Warranties: Know What They Cover Before You Claim) from a residential versus a commercial computer are vastly different.

A prime example is that we had a client by 60 Lenovo residential based computers because they physically looked great. And they did. But two of them had a motherboard failure. As per the required warranty from Lenovo, it had to be shipped to them, diagnosed and it would be shipped back. We shipped out the clients computer on November 15, 2017, and we received it back on January 2, 2018. Easily 45 days + for warranty repair. For a business that would be devastating. Luckily for them, they are a managed client, and we had backup hardware that would do the same thing. If they didn’t have us, as a small business, it would’ve taken them out of business.

At the same time, we had a client had a hard drive failure from a Dell laptop. It was only six months old, but hardware failures do occur. We contacted Dell before noon on a Tuesday and by Wednesday afternoon the next day, we had the replacement drive. The support that we received from Dell was second to none.

That is a lesson that I tried to inform people, look at all of the costs including what it would take to replace, upgrade, and repair. Want to learn more about getting your business’s hardware and IT managed? Contact Triton Technologies today.

The Importance of Reading IT Terms and Conditions

Why terms and conditions matter.

It has been proven time and time again that people and companies do not read the terms and conditions when accepting the installation or the acceptance of services from vendors. There are many notable cases including some software companies and vetting the fact that they now own your children just as a joke. But in the IT industry, the terms and conditions are terribly important when it comes to your software and services.

The Importance of Notifying Your IT Provider

Sometimes clients do not inform us about a change in their business and in their model. And that’s okay. But we need to be notified when something majorly impacts their business or their billing profile. Every SaaS-based service that we utilize such as hosted PBX, antivirus, exchange, monitoring and more is a very strict term and conditions when it comes to their software. Case in point is that if you have an employee leave your company and do not inform us, you will be billed as required by the manufacturer at full price. Sometimes clients will find out later and request a refund, but the problem has been set, meaning the company will refuse all refunds regardless of concern. This puts the client and us in a situation which is not enjoyable.

Read. Your. Terms. And. Conditions.

That is why at Triton Technologies, we insist that people read the terms and conditions for our vendors and us, because your rights and your ability to seek redress may be compromised. From Microsoft, Amazon and every manufacturer out there, they have terms and conditions. Sometimes they are short and sweet and to the point, and others are full of legalese and cannot be interpreted even by lawyers. While we’re on reading documents from your vendors, make sure to check out our blog on computer warranties: they are not the all-magical “just claim it under warranty” buttons people seem to think they are.

At is why we request it if you have any issues, please make it known before accepting an agreement. Contact us today to learn more about our best practices for software and services.

Bomb Cyclone 2018: Cloud Services and Mother Nature

I am literally writing this blog on January 4, 2018, during what is known as the bomb cyclone. My offices have no power, no Internet; backup batteries have been expended; cellular towers are down.

So why am I talking about this on a business blog?

Keeping Your Servers Up When the Power and Internet is Down

Quite simply is a lesson in environmental concerns when it comes to your network. The reason why is simple. At Triton Technologies, for most of our clients, we have implemented cloud-based servers and networks. The majority of our corporate servers are cloud-based, residing on multiple Amazon servers throughout the United States, providing us with regional stability when it comes to our networks.

That basically means all of our antivirus, monitoring servers, backup servers, and more are actually still operational even though our endpoints are not. That means that our clients based in the European Union, Australia, California, and Canada can still access their corporate resources without worry when it comes to productivity.

Connectivity Outside the Storm

Now my house and most of our technicians have lost intranet and power, but our clients wherever they have power and Internet are operational. This is great as a live fire proof of concept. The only received couple reports of VPN connectivity for those clients that are looking to connect locally but all Amazon servers and services are fully operational.

That is why we recommend, when budget and IT infrastructure to the Internet allows, every business having a cloud-based server. The uptime, cost, and benefit are all there.

If you’d like to learn more how it can benefit your company when an incident occurs, don’t hesitate to contact Triton Technologies today.

Vendor Management: Good Vendors are Hard to Find

Good vendors are hard to come by.

In 16 years of business, we have dealt with literally hundreds of different vendors. From computer manufacturers, network hardware manufacturers, software, physical developers of infrastructure and more, we can say with certainty that good vendors are very hard to come by.

Why We Do Vendor Management

At Triton Technologies, we do vendor management for our clients, and for good reason. When dealing with a contractor, certain questions were not asked, causing undue hardship and a failure of certain projects. A prime example is internet providers. When asking for internet connection, a lot of businesses assume that when you talk to your internet provider that they know exactly what you want, how you wanted and can install it perfectly. That is true 90% of the time, but businesses are a different beast. You need certain kinds of network connections, static IP addresses, redundancy, and more and if you don’t ask from the beginning, it could take weeks if not months to correct. Check out our blog, Vendor Management: The Balrog, where we stepped in to help a client deal with unacceptable service from their internet provider.

Further Reading

Want to see more of our experiences with vendors? Check out our blogs IT Projects: Vendors Not Following Through and The Importance of Thorough Vendor Evaluations for issues we’ve experienced with clients and their vendors.

Vendor relations and talking to the right people are critical for businesses and how to implement and complete their projects. That is why we recommend that if you have any kind of IT project, cellular project, internet project, website project, or more that you Trition Technologies help you solve those issues. Contact us today.

Don’t Do KRACK: Dealing With WiFi Security Attacks

Not Even Once.

In the last couple months a wireless vulnerability known as KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack) was discovered. Basically, this exploit takes advantage of how the devices hand off each other’s encryption keys. Most major brands of wireless providers such as like one we use called Ubiquiti were patched within hours if not days. But most of the small businesses that purchase generic routers are unaware and are still being affected.

Understanding Managed Wireless

That is where managed wireless comes into play. With managed wireless your access points, switches, firewalls, routers are all up to date as firmware is pushed out. This makes hacking these type of wireless networks with known exploits very tough. The kind of clients that need this kind of service are hospitals, hospitality, real estate, banking, financial and more. You do not want some guy sitting out on the street with a laptop running a script getting inside your network and manage wireless prevents just that.

Stopping Network Penetration

What we have seen over the last decade are people that take advantage of wireless exploits to penetrate networks. We have blogged about this in the past as a test to get into a clients network, but if our intentions were nefarious we could easily penetrated the network and seized control. With the updates happening regularly, patching done regularly, and watching how the network performs, managed wireless networks can help your business stay secure, give your clients that use Guest services a positive experience and keep you up on the latest trends when it comes to options for wireless technologies.

Worried about KRACK and other WiFi exploits? We recommend for all businesses to get a managed wireless access point. Contact Triton Technologies today to learn more about our wireless access point installations, backed with Managed IT Services.

Recommendation: SSD Drives for Commercial Computers

Traditionally for many decades computers utilized hard drives that physically moved. Round platters would store our information and read heads would move back and forth to access that information. When it came out, it was revolutionary. But like all good things, time moves on. In the last decade, we have been moving to a technology that does not physically move distorts data. SSD drives when they came out promised no moving parts, low power consumption, and would increase the data speed to the bus of the computer. They had one significant drawback, cost. As time moved on and manufacturing advanced, production and cost per part has plummeted.

Equipping SSDs for an Office

This past November we had a rash of hard drives start to die out on us from our clients and our internal network. So we began to order hard drives, and what we found was the SSD drives were just slightly more than the traditional drives. So we ordered a dozen and began to replace the hard drives of our internal network. The speed differential just on the reformatting and the boot time was explosive. So we reformatted all the workstations to Windows 10 Pro with SSD drives from Samsung.

Tripling Laptop Battery Life

The results are absolutely spectacular. On the laptops that we replaced them on the average power consumption would make the laptop last up to 4 hours with minimal use. After reformatting just with an SSD drive, we get an average of 12 hours of standard use. Nothing else was changed out.

A SSD Product to Look Out For: Optane

Now Intel will be releasing a product called Optane. This combines the traditional SSD drive with onboard system memory. No longer will we have to worry about programs running on the memory to transfer to the hard drive through a slow system bus, it will have direct access. Initial reports show an average of 25 to 50% increase of speed just changing out the hard drive alone.

So going forward, we are recommending that any hard drive issues, replacements, upgrades, or expansion for computers and laptops to have SSD drives. The speed versus cost is extremely beneficial. So when looking for new computer or server, we extremely recommend choosing SSD drives. If you’re interested in learning more about this or other replacement suggestions or services, contact Triton Technologies today.

IT Cloud Infrastructure: Why We Love Amazon

Why Triton Technologies really loves Amazon.

In the IT cloud sphere, there are multiple competitors. You have Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, Virtual, and many other standalone providers. We have used multiple ones and are currently working with multiple iterations of most of those companies.

Nothing is Wrong with Microsoft or Google, But…

Microsoft, Google and more are fine companies within their respective niche. They make wonderful products, help businesses grow and when used properly are absolutely fantastic. Microsoft and Google have made significant gains in the cloud sphere and cloud-based technology platform. They are easy to set up an account, start a virtual PC, and begin accessing that PC from anywhere in the world. And that is where the problem begins.

Amazon Is First for Good Reasons

Amazon was the 1st to come to the field with their AWS services almost a decade ago. Just like Microsoft and Google now they allowed new accounts to be created without restriction and allowed anybody with a credit card to set up any services they want. Sounds good for growth, but it is not good for IT infrastructure and long-term prospects.

Training and Certification Means Better Infrastructure

In 2016, Amazon started requiring that all partners be trained and certified in order to sell their product. We asked why. Came to find out there was a 90% infrastructure failure rate for people who think that it just click and go. Now if you ever used a cloud-based platform at the user level, it is click and go. In order to be that simple, the backend has to be complex. And that is where the failures came. Unrestricted, unreserved, open access to your most private intellectual property allowed hackers to access your infrastructure. So in order to combat that, Amazon required certification for their infrastructure. Since that time, the pendulum has swung the other way. Infrastructure implementation failure rates have plummeted to single digits. Infrastructures are now more secure than ever and resilient as never before.

Technical and Customer Support: Microsoft Versus Amazon

The other big thing that we have chosen Amazon over all other competitors is their support.

Microsoft Support

Our 1st taste with Microsoft Azure was in November 2014, Thanksgiving Eve. A client had called up at 9 AM about their VPN down. After a couple of hours of struggling to get it up and operational, we placed a call into Microsoft at noon. We received a call back at 9 PM that day. Remember, was the day before a holiday. Come to find out Microsoft was having a significant issue but had failed to inform their users about it. It was only resolved four days later after Microsoft made an infrastructure correction and traffic was able to pass. The amount of time and effort that we placed into it was unacceptable.

Amazon Support

Months earlier, we started our partnership with Amazon. Truthfully, we didn’t need their support for nearly two years. So in the spirit of full disclosure, we didn’t have a direct correlation between Microsoft and Amazon for their support. In March 2016 we had a VPC security group communications issue that we had spent multiple hours working on. Knowing how we were treated with Microsoft, we were wary about talking to Amazon with similar results. We went online, filled out the support request page, hit submit, and before the page even refreshed our phone was ringing. It was an Amazon engineer.

We were absolutely floored, stunned, pick any other type of word you can think about for a complete disbelief on how fast their engineer was able to communicate to us. We weren’t just pleasantly surprised; we were in full on shock. That Amazon engineer was so good and was able to identify the problem within seconds that the whole call probably took 4 minutes. The issue that we thought we would suffer for weeks was resolved in minutes. Another call was placed for another issue for another client, same results, again, again, and again. We were instantly sold on Amazon. The support that they showed and have continued to show to their partners, is all we need to know about their infrastructure and how the company respects and concerns itself with their clients.

That is why a Triton technologies, we are a proud Amazon partner and will continue to be to the near infinite future. Want to learn more about the great services we provide from dozens of vendors, including hardware, software, and cloud-based services? Contact us today and learn why people love us like we love Amazon.