For the sixth consecutive year, Blue Layer has been named to the Channel Futures 2019 MSP 501, a list of the top Managed Service Providers (MSPs) from around the world. Companies on the list are recognized as a top MSP company for showing commitment to strategic business decisions, dedication to customer support, and intuitive knowledge of the market.

Blue Layer is the only IT provider in the West Texas area to earn this honor for six years running. According to Channel Futures, these MSPs have distinguished themselves among the largest pool of applicants the MSP 501 has ever received. 2018 was a record-breaking year for the number and quality of submissions, and 2019 increased by 35%. In the 2019 listing, Blue Layer ranks 327 out of 501 reputable businesses worldwide.

Blue Layer’s commitment to serving across all industries and providing technology consulting and support services to fit each customer’s unique needs has set us apart as a superior MSP. We are proud to serve West Texans and represent our area as a hardworking business with continual growth to be the best that we can be.

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In the world of cyber and digital crime, internet security is becoming more prevalent in our lives. Although regularly changing your passwords and complicating their text seems secure, a simple phishing tactic can change all that. Enter, two factor authentication, also known as TFA or 2FA.

2FA will not only require a username and password, but also requires the user to enter a piece of information only they would have access to or know. ​The typical three factors of authentication are: something you know, something you have and something you are. Two factor authentication means using two of these. Although retina and fingerprint scanning is seen in the movies and will soon probably be a reality, the second factor of authentication is typically a code sent to your mobile device only to be used once.

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Although, 2FA is not a new concept, it is however something that is more important in the digital age that now encompasses our lives. However, many more websites and companies are now using 2FA than ever before. You can use https://twofactorauth.org/ to tell you which sites and companies are using 2FA. You can search financial institutions, social media, retail and many more. Many popular sites, including Google, Facebook and Instagram, have 2FA as well as SnapChat, PayPal and Amazon, just to list a few. Even the White House now has a campaign encouraging users to #TurnOn2FA.

More and more services now support 2FA via mobile device apps. For example, Authenticator and 2STP companion available in iOS. The apps, pre-set by you to work with certain services, has constantly rotating sets of codes to use when even 2FA is needed.

However, as we all begin to panic over what seems to be a time-consuming process with 2FA, the criminals and bad guys count on you being relaxed in protecting yourself. Although, 2FA is not a new concept, it is however something that is more important in the digital age that now encompasses our lives. However, many more websites and companies are now using 2FA than ever before. You can use https://twofactorauth.org/ to tell you which sites and companies are using 2FA. You can search financial institutions, social media, retail and many more. Many popular sites, including Google, Facebook and Instagram, have 2FA as well as SnapChat, PayPal and Amazon, just to list a few. Even the White House now has a campaign encouraging users to #TurnOn2FA.

More and more services now support 2FA via mobile device apps. For example, Authenticator and 2STP companion available in iOS. The apps, pre-set by you to work with certain services, has constantly rotating sets of codes to use when even 2FA is needed.

However, as we all begin to panic over what seems to be a time-consuming process with 2FA, the criminals and bad guys count on you being relaxed in protecting yourself.

The process of implementing 2FA on your accounts, will be worth it in the end to help avoid some serious malicious activity and theft.

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For the second year in a row, Blue Layer has been awarded KCBD’s Best of the West 2017 for Best IT Company. We are honored to serve and be a part of the South Plains community.

Being able to provide responsible and right-sized IT consulting to the West Texas community is something we are proud to do every day. We offer our clients the dedication to continue to advance their businesses toward success.

Being able to provide responsible and right-sized IT consulting to the West Texas community is something we are proud to do every day. We offer our clients the dedication to continue to advance their businesses toward success.

“Without the loyalty of our clients and the confidence in our team, this honor would not be possible,” said Michael Strong, Blue Layer COO. “We devote ourselves to being the best and strive to meet your IT expectations every day.”

We want to thank our clients for believing in us and our team for their commitment to being the best IT company in the Lubbock and South Plains area.

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Datrium is changing the way managed service providers look at storage solutions.

“Prior to Datrium, the conversation I had with prospects was about leveraging our world-class data center for business continuity and taking care of everything for them. But because of the governor on our speed, we could not always promise better performance. Now with Open Convergence, it’s more resilient and faster, so I can add more benefits to the conversation. Ultimately, that means more revenue for us, and greater performance for our clients.”– Michael Strong, COO

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For Windows users, the product lifecycle is no surprise. It begins when released and ends when support is no longer available. Support is available for a minimum of 5 years after a products general availability. Beginning on April 11, 2017, Microsoft has decided to end support and updates for Windows Vista. Although it will continue to start and run, Windows Vista will no longer be supported.

This means that Microsoft will no longer provide fixes, updates or technical support online. If you are still running Windows Vista then now would be the time to make sure that you have the latest update available to you. This means that without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates to protect your PC from viruses, spyware and malicious software.

You may continue to use Windows Vista, however, you put your PC at risk for malicious viruses and spyware. Blue Layer would recommend updating to the newest version of Windows, being Windows 10

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For those who frequently use Google Docs, double and triple check before opening, even if it appears to come from a trustworthy source. Anyone can be a victim.A harmful phishing scam that imitated the typical Google Docs email took over the internet yesterday, including a reasonable amount of media companies. Think before you clink may sound repetitive to many, it really can save you from a lot of damage and hassle

Google quickly took action to subdue this particular scam, and the company said that in a statement it has since disabled the accounts that are believed to have been infected. “We have removed the fake pages, pushed updates through Safe Browsing and our abuse team is working to investigate and prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again.” Although this current phishing scam has been dealt with, it is still important to be aware and scrutinize everything.

Large scale phishing attacks such as this one, regularly impersonate popular internet sites and pages. Similar Google Docs scams have been spreading on the internet since at least 2014. Unfortunately, they were not easy to identify because the authenticity was so realistic and accurate, phishers utilize actual Google accounts and really interacted with Google services. The genuine looking aspect lures victims into the scams without even knowing the pages are not real.

This is how a typical Google phishing scam would sound:

-You receive an email saying someone added you to a Google Doc. “Please click the link to view

-This link then takes you to a legitimate account screen with a list of all the Google accounts you’re logged into.

-You are then asked to choose the one you want to view the document in (or log in with to view)

-At that point, the malicious Google Docs. waits for you to grant access to your account, where it then has access to your contacts, emails and other personal information.If you had already fallen victim to the link, go to the permissions page in your Google accounts and revoke the service called “Google Docs.” It is fake. Then reset your password and turn on 2-Factor Authentication, if it wasn’t on already.Protect yourself and turn on Password Alert. This is a Google tool that will alert you anytime your Google credentials are entered into any page that is not “Google’s”. For instance, if phishers are using a genuine looking fake page, Password Alert will immediately request you change your password as soon as you have entered them into the fake Google

Clicking the links or downloading attachments should not be a regular function, even if they are from people you trust. They may be victims as well. Take time to analyze the email and the URL it came from and double check with the “sender” to see if they really sent you something. The best protection: think before you click!

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As has been widely reported, a well-orchestrated ransomware attack swept the world this past Friday, wreaking havoc in over 150 countries. Hospitals had to turn away patients and, as of Monday morning, approximately 200,000 systems in a wide variety of industries around the globe had been infected with the malware.This is the most extreme attack we have seen so far in 2017 and unfortunately, there is no permanent fix. Patch your systems and have proper security because this is not going away.

The Ransomware infects files and user data demanding a payment until returned. Reports stated the ransom was $300 in bitcoin to start, following 3 days, it would increase to $600 bitcoin and after a full week with no action or payment, all encrypted data would be destroyed.

WannaCry may have gone global attack this past Friday, however, Microsoft, was aware of it and released a security patch earlier this year for vulnerabilities in Windows Software. Many were affected due to the lack of security updates and using older versions of Windows leaving users susceptible to attacks on their files and systems.Although the malware was first detected in March and used by the NSA, there was a report that it was publicly stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency about a month later. The malware is believed to have been stolen by well-known hacker crew, The Shadow Brokers. The malware drops an encrypted file on the seemingly vulnerable system, which is then executed as a service dropping the ransomware file onto the affected system. Approximately 165 extensions are vulnerable to the attack, including commonly used Microsoft extensions, including .docx, .gif, .jpg, and many others.Although unusual, the temporary fix for this particular malware was discovered by a 22-year-old cybersecurity researcher in the U.K. He goes by the Twitter handle @MalwareTechBlog and by pure luck, managed to derail the entire operation.

Malware Tech noticed that one of the domain names being used in the attacks was not registered. He tweeted that he purchased the domain name, drugs-are.reallyreally.fun for $3, thus tracking the ransomware’s spread and unintentionally disarming the attackers.

Although Malware Tech stopped the ransomware spread now, that does not mean it is gone for good. You are putting yourself at a greater risk without a security appliance and without anti-virus software. Do not become a victim in the future. Protect yourself today.-PC users: run the updates on your machines with updates from Microsoft.-If at all possible, upgrade from Windows XP.

-Do not open emails, attachments, etc. from senders you do not know.

-Always be aware of suspicious emails with attachments that you did not request.

-Never click on links from questionable sources.

-Any time you download or install files from the internet, you are at risk.

Since this malware was so destructive, for the first time since 2014, Microsoft released a patch for Windows XP. Follow the link to ensure that your security is up to date and you are protected. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=55245If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Blue Layer. We’ll be happy to discuss your options and how to better protect yourself from becoming a victim in the future.

Blue Layer would like to ask the Lubbock community to nominate us for the best of Lubbock 2017. We pride ourselves on being West Texas based and a strong representative of the South Plains community. With clients across Texas and the United States, we are proud to be based in Lubbock.Below is the link to nominate Blue Layer to the Best of Lubbock 2017. Nominations will end on June 28th and voting for finalists will begin on July 30th. 

VOTE HERE NOW

Follow the link above and on the nomination page, type Blue Layer into the box and on the nomination page, type Blue Layer into the box. You will enter your email, name and a phone number. This is only to validate your entry and to ensure people are not forging nominations.

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MSPmentor, the ultimate guide to managed services, has released their list of the industry’s most respected managed services providers, and Blue Layer is honored to be on the list.  The 10th anniversary of the rankings raises the bar for grading service providers in terms of quality, transparency and relevance.  Each company who appears on the list is also analyzed by their technologies, business models, as well as customer segments and vertical markets.

Blue Layer checks in at number 316 of 501 businesses on this year’s 2017 global rankings, and has moved up 25 spots compared to last year’s 2016 results.  This is the fourth time Blue Layer has been honored by MSPmentor.

Our continued movement toward the top of the list illustrates our dedication to our clients and our commitment to providing right-sized technology solutions.  Blue Layer is the only West Texas managed services provider named to this prestigious list 4 years in a row. We believe that our personal attention to our clients, hard work and quality of service is what sets us apart.

“We devote special attention to each client to ensure that we are providing responsible and right-sized services tailored to each client’s specific needs. The attentiveness of our team and their hard work every day is what makes this recognition possible.  We are proud to be based in West Texas, and it’s an honor to be the only West Texas managed services provider ranked 4 years in a row” Michael Strong, COO, said

For more information on our managed services or if you have any questions please contact us at www.bluelayerit.com.

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Blue Layer to add 2,800 Sq Ft to Lubbock Headquarters

This will include additional offices well as new executive suites. The main feature will include an expanded network operations center as well larger dedicated spaces for new project preparations and repair areas. This will increase the amount of volume our support and break-fix teams will be able to handle as well as productivity by increasing their workspace and resources.

We began this process with the addition of a generator, making Blue Layer the only IT managed service provider in Lubbock to ensure it will have power at all times. We can power our servers as well as our existing and soon-to-be expanded network operations center to better serve our clients.

Blue Layer has been providing reliable technology consulting in the South Plains and beyond for 15 years. This expansion is aimed to better serve our clients as well as continue to grow our company and support what we believe in as a business and providing right-sized IT solutions to our customers every day.

Construction will continue throughout the summer and is expected to conclude in late fall.

“We’re excited about the future of our company and how we will be able to better serve our clients. This expansion will not only provide our growing team more space, but also strive to improve the overall customer service experience for our clients.”  Michael Strong – COO

Blue Layer is honored to serve the West Texas community and we look forward to sharing this experience with you. Please contact us at bluelayerit.com if you have any questions.

Once Equifax discovered the breach in the access to their website, they enlisted the services of an outside computer security forensic firm, Mandiant. An employee of Mandiant purchased equihax.com and other domains that may have looked appealing to phishers in order to keep it off the market.

Coincidentally or not, Equifax executives managed to sell millions of dollars-worth of stock. This happened between the time when the intrusion was discovered and when the public became aware. Stocks are now down by 13 percent, from when the breach was announced versus the price on the market Thursday. The executives claim to have no knowledge of the breach prior to the sales. 

Equifax should have been aware of the technological ramifications of not being adequately protected. Without the protection that a company such as Equifax should have had, a data breach was likely in only a matter of time. Apache Struts is a program for building web applications in Java and is believed to be the open-source software package where the vulnerability was discovered. According to reports, the vulnerability had existed since 2008. Apache Struts is a very popular framework utilized every day by over 50 percent of the Fortune 100 companies such as Lockheed Martin, Office Depot, even the IRS and more. In this case, the vulnerability was exploited and malicious code imbedded inside the data. When the Apache Struts program attempted to convert the data, it was executed at that time causing the breach. Meaning, hackers had easy access to establish malware onto the company’s webservers, as well as steal and delete confidential data.

New developments indicate a class action lawsuit has been filed. The civil action suit accuses the company of lacking security standards and guaranteed protection for its users in an effort to save money. The lawsuit is requesting compensation and costs for the potential 143 million Americans affected.

Customers should immediately put in place a freeze on all accounts that were associated with Equifax. For customers signing up with Equifax, all are required to acknowledge the terms of service. However, those terms appear to include legalese suggesting that by acknowledging the terms or terms of service you are waiving all rights to be a part of a class action lawsuit in the future, if that situation were to arise. Equifax has since provided an update on this verbiage addressing those terms. “In response to consumer inquiries, we have made it clear that the arbitration clause and classaction waiver included in the Equifax and TrustedID Premier terms of use does not apply to this cybersecurity incident.”

How this affects you?

All consumers have rights, mandated by congress, to access their credit report via annualcreditreport.com. This gives consumers one free report from each of the “big three” Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. If you sign up with a company like Equifax, the most that they can do for you is to alert you once your information and identity has been stolen, they cannot prevent it.

Consumers can request that the bureaus “freeze” their credit information. This prevents anyone from accessing the credit files. Consumers can temporarily or permanently remove the hold if they wish.

Always be aware of where your confidential data and personal information is. Do not provide personal information such as social security numbers or credit card numbers via email, unless the emails are encrypted, or to people you do not know. Hackers and phishers are getting smarter every day. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly more important, not just for organizations and corporations, but for individuals as well.If you have questions or concerns regarding your cybersecurity and data protection, contact Blue Layer to learn more.

Cattle Baron’s Ball will be celebrating its 35th anniversary this year with “Ain’t Our First Rodeo” this Saturday, July 22nd.

Fundraising efforts from Cattle Baron’s events in 2016 raised $95 million for cancer research grants. Since 1991, there has been a decline of 23 percent in the death rate from cancer, which equates to 1.7 million lives saved. In addition, there has been $4.5 billion invested in research alone. These are just a few examples of the positive impact that the Cattle Baron’s Ball has on the American Cancer Society and providing hope for families.

Blue Layer has been a sponsor of the Cattle Baron’s Ball for many years. Cancer is something that has impacted us all in one way or another, and Blue Layer is honored to be a part of the fundraising effort to save lives and bring an end to cancer. Blue Layer also donates items to the silent auction.

“Blue Layer is proud to be a member of the Lubbock community and support this terrific organization. Being a part of the American Cancer Society’s efforts is something that is special to all of us.” Michael Strong, COO

Once Equifax discovered the breach in the access to their website, they enlisted the services of an outside computer security forensic firm, Mandiant. An employee of Mandiant purchased equihax.com and other domains that may have looked appealing to phishers in order to keep it off the market.

Coincidentally or not, Equifax executives managed to sell millions of dollars-worth of stock. This happened between the time when the intrusion was discovered and when the public became aware. Stocks are now down by 13 percent, from when the breach was announced versus the price on the market Thursday. The executives claim to have no knowledge of the breach prior to the sales.

Equifax should have been aware of the technological ramifications of not being adequately protected. Without the protection that a company such as Equifax should have had, a data breach was likely in only a matter of time. Apache Struts is a program for building web applications in Java and is believed to be the open-source software package where the vulnerability was discovered. According to reports, the vulnerability had existed since 2008. Apache Struts is a very popular framework utilized every day by over 50 percent of the Fortune 100 companies such as Lockheed Martin, Office Depot, even the IRS and more. In this case, the vulnerability was exploited and malicious code imbedded inside the data. When the Apache Struts program attempted to convert the data, it was executed at that time causing the breach. Meaning, hackers had easy access to establish malware onto the company’s webservers, as well as steal and delete confidential data.

New developments indicate a class action lawsuit has been filed. The civil action suit accuses the company of lacking security standards and guaranteed protection for its users in an effort to save money. The lawsuit is requesting compensation and costs for the potential 143 million Americans affected.

Customers should immediately put in place a freeze on all accounts that were associated with Equifax. For customers signing up with Equifax, all are required to acknowledge the terms of service. However, those terms appear to include legalese suggesting that by acknowledging the terms or terms of service you are waiving all rights to be a part of a class action lawsuit in the future, if that situation were to arise. Equifax has since provided an update on this verbiage addressing those terms. “In response to consumer inquiries, we have made it clear that the arbitration clause and class action waiver included in the Equifax and TrustedID Premier terms of use does not apply to this cybersecurity incident.”

How this affects you?

All consumers have rights, mandated by congress, to access their credit report via annualcreditreport.com. This gives consumers one free report from each of the “big three” Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. If you sign up with a company like Equifax, the most that they can do for you is to alert you once your information and identity has been stolen, they cannot prevent it.

Consumers can request that the bureaus “freeze” their credit information. This prevents anyone from accessing the credit files. Consumers can temporarily or permanently remove the hold if they wish.

Always be aware of where your confidential data and personal information is. Do not provide personal information such as social security numbers or credit card numbers via email, unless the emails are encrypted, or to people you do not know. Hackers and phishers are getting smarter every day. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly more important, not just for organizations and corporations, but for individuals as well.If you have questions or concerns regarding your cybersecurity and data protection, contact Blue Layer to learn more.

 

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This past week, big-three credit bureau giant, Equifax, was hit with a major breach of information, putting 143 million Americans at risk. Social security numbers and other personal information are among the data that was compromised in the intrusion.To make it even worse, the Equifax site, equifaxsecurity2017.com, where users are supposed to be able to find out if they were impacted by the breach, is broken and useless. Krebsecurity.com referred to it as a “stalling tactic or sham at worst.” Following the breaking news of the breach, this site was flagged as a possible phishing scheme. Many received differing answers on whether they were affected, causing much confusion. Some were also told that they were not eligible and to try again later in the month. Equifax hired a third-party public relations firm, Edelman PR, to assist in the notifications of affected customers.

Equifax confirmed that the cyberattack was discovered in the end of July, including data such as social security and drivers’ license numbers, birth dates and addresses. However, contradicting reports indicate that the vulnerability was discovered in March. Over 200,000 customers credit card data were also involved in the intrusion. Complaints are being raised about the delay in time that it took to inform customers about the breach. Equifax says that it took action quickly to prevent further damage, however, 143 million Americans are now affected by this and are not pleased with Equifax’s response. Updates from an Equifax spokesperson indicate that the site’s problems are now resolved and customers can get accurate information that clarifies whether they were affected or not.

Once Equifax discovered the breach in the access to their website, they enlisted the services of an outside computer security forensic firm, Mandiant. An employee of Mandiant purchased equihax.com and other domains that may have looked appealing to phishers in order to keep it off the market.

Coincidentally or not, Equifax executives managed to sell millions of dollars-worth of stock. This happened between the time when the intrusion was discovered and when the public became aware. Stocks are now down by 13 percent, from when the breach was announced versus the price on the market Thursday. The executives claim to have no knowledge of the breach prior to the sales.

Equifax should have been aware of the technological ramifications of not being adequately protected. Without the protection that a company such as Equifax should have had, a data breach was likely in only a matter of time. Apache Struts is a program for building web applications in Java and is believed to be the open-source software package where the vulnerability was discovered. According to reports, the vulnerability had existed since 2008. Apache Struts is a very popular framework utilized every day by over 50 percent of the Fortune 100 companies such as Lockheed Martin, Office Depot, even the IRS and more. In this case, the vulnerability was exploited and malicious code imbedded inside the data. When the Apache Struts program attempted to convert the data, it was executed at that time causing the breach. Meaning, hackers had easy access to establish malware onto the company’s webservers, as well as steal and delete confidential data.

New developments indicate a class action lawsuit has been filed. The civil action suit accuses the company of lacking security standards and guaranteed protection for its users in an effort to save money. The lawsuit is requesting compensation and costs for the potential 143 million Americans affected.

Customers should immediately put in place a freeze on all accounts that were associated with Equifax. For customers signing up with Equifax, all are required to acknowledge the terms of service. However, those terms appear to include legalese suggesting that by acknowledging the terms or terms of service you are waiving all rights to be a part of a class action lawsuit in the future, if that situation were to arise. Equifax has since provided an update on this verbiage addressing those terms. “In response to consumer inquiries, we have made it clear that the arbitration clause and class action waiver included in the Equifax and TrustedID Premier terms of use does not apply to this cybersecurity incident.”

How this affects you?

All consumers have rights, mandated by congress, to access their credit report via annualcreditreport.com. This gives consumers one free report from each of the “big three” Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. If you sign up with a company like Equifax, the most that they can do for you is to alert you once your information and identity has been stolen, they cannot prevent it.

Consumers can request that the bureaus “freeze” their credit information. This prevents anyone from accessing the credit files. Consumers can temporarily or permanently remove the hold if they wish.

Always be aware of where your confidential data and personal information is. Do not provide personal information such as social security numbers or credit card numbers via email, unless the emails are encrypted, or to people you do not know. Hackers and phishers are getting smarter every day. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly more important, not just for organizations and corporations, but for individuals as well.If you have questions or concerns regarding your cybersecurity and data protection, contact Blue Layer to learn more.

Blue Layer is honored to help the South Plains Food Bank celebrate 35 years of operations and the U Can Share Food Drive!

The U Can Share Food Drive was one of the first events that the food bank held to benefit the community. Founded in 1983, the food bank aims to provide food to those within a 20-county wide area with the help of over 220 non-profits, charities and churches. With the generosity of the Lubbock and South Plains communities, Blue Layer is thankful that we are able to be apart of feeding the hungry and creating hope for those who need it most.

From now through December 15th, Blue Layer invites the Lubbock community to help support those in need by donating non-perishable items. The donation boxes will be available in our lobby at 6119 79th St. in Lubbock. Our office is open Monday – Friday, 8am to 5pm.

“Many families in the community struggle with where their next meal comes from and Blue Layer is blessed to be able to help. We are fortunate to live in a community where people are willing to help those in need. ” – Michael Strong, COO.

Please contact us if you have any questions and we hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

Vulnerability Warning: Intel CPU

By now you may have heard about the ‘Intel CPU Vulnerability’ and may have even started to receive emails from your Antivirus vendor with information regarding patching. This latest vulnerability is also commonly known as ‘Meltdown’.

Meltdown breaks the most fundamental isolation between user applications and the operating system. This vulnerability allows a program to access the memory, and thus also the secrets, of other programs and the operating system. Meltdown affects personal computers, mobile devices, servers, and cloud systems.

Meltdown breaks the most fundamental isolation between user applications and the operating system. This vulnerability allows a program to access the memory, and thus also the secrets, of other programs and the operating system. Meltdown affects personal computers, mobile devices, servers, and cloud systems.

If your computer has a vulnerable processor and runs an un-patched operating system, it is not safe to work with sensitive information without the chance of leaking the information. Luckily, there are software patches being released by Microsoft, Apple, and Linux providers to repair the vulnerability.

Meltdown uses similar techniques to many modern Antivirus programs. As such, patching the vulnerability may cause issues with system stability and Antivirus functionality. We will work with our vendors to identify, update, and patch relevant Antivirus products to then enable patching of affected operating systems.

“We are committed to patching all affected systems as quickly as possible. We continue to work closely with our vendors to monitor and protect our customers.”

Michael Strong, COO

For more information about the details of the vulnerability, visit the public information site at https://spectreattack.com/. If you have any questions or inquiries, please contact us.

For the 5th year in a row, Blue Layer has been recognized on Channel Futures’ annual list of the world’s 501 top managed services providers (MSPs). This list (which is celebrating its 11th anniversary this year) serves as the ultimate guide for MSPs, ranking companies according to their “forward-thinking business strategies and ability to anticipate and act upon trends in the fast-evolving IT channel market.”

Inclusion in the MSP 501 is a prestigious honor for those that are, and Blue Layer is very proud to have once again been acknowledged alongside so many reputable managed service providers. For the first time, all 501 winners will be recognized at this year’s Channel Partners Evolution event in Philadelphia this October.

“This year’s applicant pool was the largest and most diverse in the history of the survey, and our winners represent the health and progressivity of the managed services market,” said Kris Blackmon, Channel Features content director and editor of the MSP 501. “They’re growing their revenue, expanding their customer influence and exploring new technology that will propel them for years to come.”

This year, Blue Layer ranks at number 251 of 501 businesses, moving up an impressive 65 spots from last year’s rankings. Our continuous climb toward the top of the list is indicative of the hard work we deliver to our clients every single day and our commitment to providing them with the best right-sized IT solutions in West Texas.

 

For more information regarding the managed services that we provide, contact us today at www.bluelayerit.com.

Blue Layer to Participate in vBrisket Panel with Datrium

Since 2014, what originally began as a joke between friends, vBrisket is now a community of BBQ loving, virtualization experts participating in social gatherings and other events throughout the year.

This year, Blue Layer has been invited to partake in a vBrisket event with Datrium. Blue Layer has been a Datrium partner since May 2016, Michael Strong and Jeromy Mallory, will participate in a panel regarding the positive impact that the Datrium storage solutions have had on their business and other client environments.

“We are excited to share how we incorporated open convergence into our environment through our partnership with Datrium, we look forward to visiting with other IT professionals in Amarillo.” 
Michael Strong, COO stated.

This event will take place on March 1st, 2018 in Amarillo, TX at Tyler’s Barbeque. Tyler Frazer operator of Tyler’s Barbeque, ranked in the top 50 of Texas Monthly Top 50 Barbeque joints, will host vBrisket, Blue Layer, Datrium and other technology professionals for a tasting. Brisket, ribs and sausage are among the meats that those in attendance will get the chance to enjoy. Tyler will introduce the technology community to the smoking process and what it takes to make Tyler’s famous barbeque. Everyone at the event will also receive a Tyler’s gift card for dinner that evening or lunch at a later date.

If you are an IT professional and interested in attending this unique event with Blue Layer, Datrium, vBrisket, and enjoying Tyler’s Barbeque, click here to register. Register Here.

For more information on Blue Layer’s experience with Datrium, check out our resource page: Blue Layer Resource Page

Blue Layer Celebrates Office Expansion with Ribbon Cutting

For over 15 years, Blue Layer has been serving the Lubbock and South Plains communities with right-sized IT consulting.

Throughout this past year, we expanded our office by adding almost 3,000 square feet. Through this addition, we added a larger network and support solutions center, several more offices, restrooms, and an outdoor patio. We made current renovations to our existing office space as well with a renovated conference room and new floors throughout. As our team and our business continues to grow, we are honored to be a part of the Lubbock business community and working with and for the people of West Texas.

“To come from a spare bedroom to an 8,000 sq. ft. facility is exciting for us as a company, but even more so for our team of dedicated professionals and our clients.”

Michael Strong, COO

To commemorate this exciting milestone, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce will host a Ribbon Cutting for Blue Layer on Wednesday, February 28th.

Jeromy Mallory & Michael Strong
Michael Strong- COO
Jeromy Mallory- CEO

Lubbock, TX February 27th, 2018 – Blue Layer IT, announced today that CRN®, a brand of  The Channel Company, has named Blue Layer to its 2018 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Pioneer 250 category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Their offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments.

In today’s fast-paced business environments, MSPs play an important role in helping companies leverage new technologies without straining their budgets or losing focus on their core business. CRN’s MSP 500 list shines a light on the most forward-thinking and innovative of these key organizations.

The list is divided into three categories: the MSP Pioneer 250, recognizing companies with business models weighted toward managed services and largely focused on the SMB market; the MSP Elite 150, recognizing large, data center-focused MSPs with a strong mix of on-premises and off-premises services; and the Managed Security 100, recognizing MSPs focused primarily on off-premise, cloud-based security services.

“Managed service providers have become integral to the success of businesses everywhere, both large and small,” said Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company.

 

“Capable MSPs enable companies to take their cloud computing to the next level, streamline spending, effectively allocate limited resources and navigate the vast field of available technologies. The companies on CRN’s 2018 MSP 500 list stand out for their innovative services, excellence in adapting to customers’ changing needs and demonstrated ability to help businesses get the most out of their IT investments.”

 

Blue Layer is honored to be named to the Pioneer 250 List by The Channel Company and CRN. We strive to provide our clients with most trustworthy and right-sized IT. It is truly our pleasure to serve West Texas, we are very proud to represent the South Plains. With the loyalty of our clients and the team we assembled, we strongly believe that Blue Layer is the best in the business.

“At Blue Layer, our focus is to be a responsible and right-sized consulting provider for our clients, and being named to CRN Pioneer 250 is an honor for our company and would not be possible without the trust our clients have in our abilities, and the hard-work and diligent customer service provided by our team every single day.” – Michael Strong, COO

 

The MSP500 list will be featured in the February 2018 issue of CRN and online at www.CRN.com/msp500.

Follow Blue Layer: Twitter & Facebook

Follow The Channel Company: TwitterLinkedIn & Facebook

Blue Layer IT

Michael Strong

Blue Layer IT

806.687.4765

[email protected]

The Channel Company Contact:

Melanie Turpin

The Channel Company

508.416.1195

[email protected]

Blue Layer Office Expansion Completed

On Wednesday, February 28th, Blue Layer celebrated our completed office expansion with a ribbon cutting and reception. Five new office spaces were added including two additional executive suites, a patio, and an expanded support operations center. In addition to the expansion, we renovated areas of our existing office space with improvements to our conference room, new floors throughout the building, and some functional updates to existing offices.

Check out some of the photos below!

 

Ribbon Cutting
Support Operations Center
Support Operations Center
Blue Layer
Blue Layer
Lobby
Lobby
Conference Room
Conference Room
Remodeled Offices
Remodeled Offices
Remoldeled Offices
Remoldeled Offices2
Patio
Patio
COO- Michael Strong & CEO- Jeromy Mallory
COO- Michael Strong & CEO- Jeromy Mallory

Beware of Office 365 Email Phishing Scams

There is an Office 365 “Unable to Verify Subscription” phishing email that is being sent to Office 365 users. Do NOT click on the “Re-Enable Now” link included in the email.

The image below is an example of what you need to look out for.

Beware of Office 365 Email Phishing Scam

The email, text and images included may look very real, but in fact it is a scam to get your password and access to your Office 365 account. The image below is just one example of the email circulating among Office 365 users right now. When we mouse over (not click on) the “Re-Enable Now” button, the link is redirected to a URL out of Indonesia, however, other links may look different. Be suspicious of any Office 365 emails that you receive, stay alert and think twice before you click.

 

If you believe that you may be a victim of an Office 365 email scam or have any questions,

please contact our help desk.