No Paper? Toner Empty? Printer Error? Bored of Grouching Users? Check Our 8 Tips for Better Printer Management
Companies need printers – that’s a fact. And as a systems administrator, you’re probably the one in charge of them. Are you monitoring your printers? If no, then you should read this article and learn why you should monitor, and how. And if you’re already monitoring your printers? Read it anyway, for valuable tips and hints you may not yet know…
Why Prevention Is Key to Fighting Off Ransomware – and 5 More Tips to Protect Yourself Against Attacks Like WannaCry
Ransomware is not a new phenomenon, its origins go back to the healthcare industry in 1989. Known as the AIDS Trojan, the malware was spread via floppy disks that were sent to AIDS research organizations and encrypted files after a certain number of system reboots. Meanwhile, targets range from computers to smart TVs and the list gets longer every year. It is now a billion dollar business and all the shady people on the dark side of the Web want a piece of the action. 2016 was a highly successful year for ransomware and saw a massive surge, not only in the number of attacks, but also in their variety. This upward trend has continued on into 2017 with numerous large scale attacks including the WannaCry attack on May 12. This is the largest attack yet, affecting around 200,000 computers in 150 countries in industries ranging from healthcare to public transport. This attack really proves that ransomware has started to take on disturbing and very expensive dimensions.
I’ve been trying it again and again for the last 10 years, but I haven’t been successful [so far]: I wanted a cool gaming machine for my job as a writer and editor at Paessler, giving me a little advantage for our after work gaming sessions. As I was bringing our administrators close to a nervous breakdown with my regular requests, Nina from our IT-team finally came to me and explained our hard- and software deployment processes here at Paessler to me. And I must admit, it sounds somehow reasonable for me, although they don’t offer GeForce Titans and curved screens. Here is what Nina said:
I’m the Senior Technical Evangelist for Paessler and I spend a lot of time in various online communities, discussing PRTG and other monitoring stuff with IT professionals. Spiceworks is one of the most interesting and valuable forums I’m involved with, and I’ve been active as a “Green Guy” there for about a year.
Spiceworks organizes two SpiceWorld conferences each year, one in Austin, Texas, and one in London, England. My US colleagues get to go to SpiceWorld Austin, and I was looking forward to going to the one in London this year.
I was very (very!) disappointed to learn that Spiceworks had cancelled the London event. WHAT!?! Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed… So many Spiceheads complained that the Spiceworks organizers relented – and decided to organize an event in London after all.
Using the standard VMware sensors in PRTG, you can integrate information from your VMware setup into your overall IT-monitoring. But, PRTG has no out-of-the-box feature to count the number of active virtual machines running on your servers. So, I wrote a script that works as an EXE/Script sensor in PRTG and that counts your active VMs.
By 2015, the former Paessler AG HQ had become too small to contain its successful and rapid expansion. Paessler needed a new building within which it could reorganize, recruit new members, and plan ahead for the maintenance of innovation and quality customer service. After a lengthy search, a four-floor (+ basement), 7,000 sqm office was identified as a candidate for the new HQ. This new HQ, located in the north-east of Nuremberg, would soon become the beating heart of the Paessler family.
14.67 Trillion Centuries to Hack Our Passwords: The Surprisingly Simple and Secure Paessler Password Policy
I had been working at Paessler for about a year as a systems administrator when we decided to do a security audit. This consisted of many interviews with us systems administrators, and right at the beginning one of the first questions the auditor asked was, "So what is your password policy?" All three of us chuckled a bit and said flatly, "We don't have one." There were only around 60 employees at that point, so we had thought we could simply trust everyone to change their passwords every now and again. Once we reviewed the age of our users' passwords, we found out that many of our employees hadn't changed their password since the company was founded!
As a follow up to the first ever, recently released PRTG podcast (which, if you haven't listened to already, you may need to re-assess your life choices - click here immediately!), Rupert Collier, our resident UK sales manager and aspiring microphone addict, gets to work on another new project: The PRTG Interview, otherwise known as "Paessler Rupert's Thorough Grilling"!
Companies need a complete overview of their own IT infrastructure. The rapid pace of change requires the inventory overview to be frequently updated. Using Excel spreadsheets to maintain the inventory overview is limiting: inflexible, error-prone, plus data is expensive to keep up-to-date. But now the solution for inventory overview management, and many other automation problems, is here.
The uniform assignment of inventory numbers, by which a device can be properly identified throughout the company, is crucial for automated processing. This includes not only the inventory label on the device itself, but also access to it via the network, the service desk ticket, the asset management data records, and the accounting software.
How does automatic inventory work?