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Category Archives: Technology News




Deer Valley Data Joins the Newtek Family of Companies

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Greetings Deer Valley Data customers!

Newtek is pleased to announce that Deer Valley Data and its Atjeu brand have joined the Newtek Family of Companies.

If you’re not familiar with Newtek, you’ll be pleased to know that Newtek Technology Solutions is a leading managed technology and I.T. infrastructure company that has been around since 1997.

Newtek’s technology operations are based out of Phoenix, Arizona, and have a data center footprint — with redundancy and backup — in Arizona, New Jersey, Colorado, London, and Singapore.

Newtek is a profitable and publicly traded company that owns and manages over $350 million in assets, and has more than 100,000 business accounts in its portfolio. You may also find it refreshing that Newtek is a completely open and transparent company. You are invited to download and read Newtek’s financials by clicking here: Newtek Financials.

 

What Does This Mean For You?
First and foremost, we can assure you that you will only see an increase in quality of service, technical expertise, and innovation. Whether you are a Deer Valley Data, Atjeu, or Newtek customer, there will be no immediate change to the way business is transacted. You can continue to count on service and support from the same customer team and contacts that you currently have. In the coming weeks, we will keep you informed of our progress as the integration process evolves.

We will also be upgrading your co-located and hosted systems to our state-of-the-art, tier 3 data center facility. In short, your services will no longer encounter some of the power and network-attack issues you have experienced in the past.

 

Welcome to Our Team
A dedicated team from across the organization will ensure that the transition period is seamless for you while seeking new ways to improve overall service levels. Our customer relations representatives are standing by to explain our additional services and to assist you in getting the most from Newtek. You can reach us, day or night, at 1-866-820-8910 techsales@thesba.com.

And finally, your complete satisfaction is our first priority! We are delighted that you are now a part of Newtek and we want to hear from you. Should you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please contact a member of the integration team by sending an email to techsales@thesba.com and we will respond promptly.


What You Can Expect From Newtek:

World-class facility features
  • Dedicated humidification system that creates optimal hardware operation conditions
  • Advanced temperature controls that ensure servers are always running cool
  •  Advanced cooling systems that handle high level heat loads, doing much more than AC alone
  • Onsite, third-party security with around-the-clock surveillance
  • Man-trap entry point that features bulletproof glass and weight-measurement technology to deter unauthorized “piggy-baking” into the facility
  • State-of-the-art biometric retina scanning
Enterprise-class network & network security
  • Multimillion-dollar network infrastructure with complete network redundancy at all key points, from peers, border routers, core routers, and firewalls to ensure your services are always online.
  • Multiple Tier-1 connectivity providers with redundant 20 GigE connections for a superior level of thru-put and uptime (in comparison, the Deer Valley Data facility has a 1 GigE connection)
  • An advanced DDoS mitigation infrastructure that can handle large-scale attacks, mitigating the issue before it impacts services in our datacenter
Other benefits you will receive at Newtek include:
  • As a public company that manages assets in the financial and payments sector, you immediately receive the added security benefits as a result of our heavy compliance requirements. Newtek is SOX compliant, PCI Compliant, and maintains a SSAE 16 certification.
  • Newtek’s support team is staffed by tenured system administrators. Put simply, Newtek doesn’t believe in help desk-level support. When you call Newtek for technical assistance, you will speak with a real system admin who is empowered to resolve any of your issues. If you have any questions, call us at 1-866-820-8910.
  • Newtek is a solutions-based company that is committed to helping you grow your business, reduce costs, and minimize risk. Newtek is Your Business Solutions Company: a provider of Business Financial Solutions, Payment Processing Solutions, Managed Technology Solutions, and Payroll & Benefits Solutions. You can learn more at www.newtekone.com.

Google to Discontinue Google Wallet Debit Cards.

Google Wallet CardGoogle Wallet is the longstanding mobile payment platform that brought NFC payments to the masses in 2011. Google has been heavily restructuring their payment applications recently, turning Google Wallet into a peer-to-peer payment service (a la Venmo, Paypal, SquareCash) and putting NFC payments into their new app Android Pay.

As of May 1st 2016, users will no longer be able to add money to their Google Wallet debit cards. On June 30 the cards will be fully cancelled by Google. The Wallet service will still work, and Android Pay is growing in support and adoption rapidly. Google has yet to say whether they will be creating an Android Pay card, or if they’re ditching the idea of replacing debit and credit cards altogether.

Because of the low adoption rate of NFC terminals, Google started offering a Google Wallet physical card that worked with ATM’s and traditional swiping terminals. The cards launched in 2013 and functioned by loading up your balance in the app, and spending with the card.

If you’re a Google Wallet card user looking for a convenient way to replace the plastic in your wallet, we have written about our pick for a replacement card previously. Of course there still isn’t anything wrong with actual bank cards, but many people out there are looking to simplify their wallets.

Outlook’s Impressive Update

2016-02-18 11_09_40-Outlook takes on Gmail with huge new update _ Webdesigner DepotOutlook’s webmail recently got a fresh visual update as well as some great new features to keep up with Google’s Gmail.
While the first updates you will notice are the design changes, which include themes and emoji support, there are much more practical features in the new interface including a one-click-away Skype powered chat, the ability to tag people in email bodies and integrated Yelp data to help with organize events.

This is the full list of new features, from Microsoft’s blog:

• Built-in Office document editing
• Dropbox and Box integration
• Add-ins from GIPHY, Yelp, Wunderlist, Uber, Paypal, Evernote and Boomerang
• @Mentions (tagging users)
• Skype chat integration
• Inline (quick) reply
• Emoji support
• Image editing
• Pins, Likes, other extended prioritization tools

Check out the video from Microsoft below and if you’re currently an Office365 or Outlook.com user, let us know what you think of the new update in the comments.

Facebook to Shut Down Mobile App Platform Parse

Parse is shutting down on January 28, 2017. The mobile application platform (purchased by Facebook in 2013) announced on Thursday that they would be “focusing resources elsewhere”. While these unforeseen migrations can mean trouble for developers who are already busy supporting their applications, this change may be better in the end for the internet as a whole.

Parse-Shutdown-Notice

Facebook, for several years, has made efforts to be more than just a social network. Facebook is many people’s primary source of news and communication, and has been expanding its “family of apps” to cover more aspects of the internet. Parse’s shutdown is a chance for developers to break free from their largest competitor. No matter what your application is, chances are Facebook is moving to bring that content, service, or experience to their brand. As a company specialized in serving small to medium sized businesses, Newtek is excited to see business owners and developers get an opportunity to take control of their application hosting and bring user focus out of Facebook and into unique, independent mobile apps.

This also gives developers a chance to look into the various service providers associated with running their app. With this change, devs can look into alternatives and find the best providers of services like data storage, usage analytics, BaaS and push notifications.

Given the multi-step process of migrating, and the fact that most mobile apps are free, it will be interesting to see how many developers just decide to let their apps go down with Parse. If there is no money to be made in their app because it hasn’t taken off yet or might just be a fun side-project, how much work is it worth putting in to move the services out of Parse’s environment?

Kevin Lacker of Parse made a note that they are striving to make the migration as easy as possible on developers who currently use the service. They have open-sourced Parse Server and are providing a data migration tool, so you can install it on your own server. If you have questions about hosting your mobile application currently with Parse on a Newtek server, contact 1-877-323-4678 Option 2.

Use Location-Based Mobile Marketing Services to Reach Local

location servicesHave you ever used your phone to find a place to grab a drink or dine while in an unfamiliar neighborhood? If you have, than you’ve used location-based services. This is a clever kind of mobile marketing that allows businesses to target local consumers. A location-based mobile marketing service allows small businesses to attract random passerbys by serving them with information about their business through search. Location-based mobile marketing is a powerful strategy that’s not only affordable, but also easy to do.

Any mobile strategy should begin with your company’s website. Content you post on your business site and associated social pages should be able to be consumed on various mobile devices. Why? Because web content recognized by Google’s search engine (which rewards mobile-friendly content!) will put your location on the map.

Start with the basics; make sure web content related to your business is correct and in order on search engines as well as on your company’s website. For example, your locations, hours of operation, products and/or menu items, parking instructions, etc. should all be easily searchable from a mobile device. When consumers use the web to search for information, they have a better chance of seeing your website if it’s correctly configured for mobile.

Another key component of a successful location-based mobile strategy is reviews. In addition to being the simplest marketing you can do, establishments with overwhelmingly positive reviews on Yelp and other mobile-first sites are proven to garner more business than those that do not. Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied customers to review your business, offer an incentive in exchange for their review. A special discount for customers who leave reviews provides for repeat business and a healthy digital reputation.

Small business owners must consider the impact that mobile marketing can have on sales and brand perception. A successful mobile strategy, one that incorporates location-based marketing services to reach a local audience, will reap major rewards.

Major Android Security Hack Uncovered

android-devil-malware-100247149-carousel.idgeAttention Android Users!

With just a simple receipt of a text message, your Android can be hacked. This is likely the biggest smartphone flaw ever discovered, CNN reports that, “it affects an estimated 950 million phones worldwide.” The issue is rooted in the way in which Androids are programmed to analyze incoming text messages, even before they have been opened. For instance, with Google’s Hangouts app, any media file that you receive (pictures, videos, audio) is automatically processed as soon as it is received. Because of this, “a malware-laden file can start infecting the phone before it’s even opened.”

The hacker needs only to send a text with a malicious media file to your phone to potentially gain complete control of your Android device. With that, he or she will be able to wipe out your device, access apps, open and review sensitive information on your phone, or even turn your camera on without you knowing.

Google, owner and operator of the Android OS, has acknowledged the vulnerability. In fact, they were made aware of the hack – and even provided with a potential fix – as early as April 9 by cybersecurity firm Zimperium. Google has assured that a patch would be made available for all customers, but according to Zimperium, a fix still isn’t largely available.

Although Google has likely developed a patch to this vulnerability, due to Android’s dependence on carriers and phone manufacturers, the company can’t simply push the fix directly to user’s devices, as main rival Apple has the luxury to do. The fix must be coordinated with disparate manufacturer platforms (Samsung, LG, Motorola, etc.) and then disseminated through the carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint – just to name a few…). Google claims they have delivered a solution to its carriers, but it is still unclear whether or not the solution has been passed along to their users.

Until security firms like Zimperium declare this issue clear, Android users can disable auto-fetching of multi-media messages by accessing the Settings menu within their default messaging app. Tap Settings -> Advanced -> (deselect) Auto-retrieve MMS messages.

Users can find detailed instructions here.

Now Is the Time for Responsive Design

mobile-phonesBeginning April 21, Google will use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results, rewarding websites that are fully optimized for mobile platforms.

Most modifications to the all-important Google Search Algorithm have only a low-weight impact on search results, however Google says the effect of this change will be profound. It is very important for any business owner with a website to respond accordingly.

Effective immediately, Google will also factor content from mobile apps (a feature called App Indexing) when rendering mobile search results. Android users who are signed into their Google account will begin to see apps more prominently in search listings.

These changes will make it easier for mobile users to find relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for their devices, creating a better search experience. Google provides very clear recommendations on what you can do to make your website mobile-friendly.

If your business website has not yet adopted responsive design, here is where to start:

  1. Check out Google’s guide to mobile-friendly websites.
  2. Take the Mobile-Friendly Test to see how your website stacks up. You can test a single page or all to see exactly what Google’s search algorithm is looking for.
  3. Your web developer can generate a Mobile Usability Report to help identify any issues with your website when viewed on a mobile device.

Google recommends responsive web design as the industry best practice for websites. A responsive website seamlessly adapts itself to whichever device it is being viewed from. While responsive web design should be your ultimate goal, creating a fully responsive site can present a challenge for many small business owners. However, simply using Google’s guidelines to optimize your existing website for mobile platforms will help greatly in the meantime.

The Newtek Team is here to help ensure your website is eligible for this valuable Google ranking boost! Contact us today to get started. 1.866.820.8910 | techsales@thesba.com

Information Regarding Recent Small-Scale Cyber Attack

We wanted to share with you some information about a recent cyber attack that affected a very small percentage of sites on our network and to provide some important information regarding customer sites on “legacy” hosting plans.

(“legacy” hosting plans refer to older hosting plans that are no longer available for new orders. Some of these legacy plans use software on the server that is no longer supported by the software vendor, which means the software does not receive any more software updates, including security patches.)

While we will endeavor to provide continued support for legacy hosting plans, and will continue to react as quickly as possible to security events such as the one we will explain below, legacy services are inherently more susceptible to cyber attacks due to the fact that the platform software is no longer supported by the software vendor. This includes, but isn’t limited to, old versions of ColdFusion, ASP.NET, and PHP that no longer receive software fixes or patches due to their age.

This also applies to any no-longer-supported web applications you might be using to power your website (for example, many popular content management systems running out-of-date versions are especially vulnerable).

We understand that some customers have limited ability to upgrade to newer hosting plans due to compatibility issues, and will require continued use of their legacy hosting plan. If you currently utilize a legacy hosting plan, we encourage you to reach out to your developer or I.T. team to review your upgrade options. Newtek can also assist with upgrade guidance and/or website development services. We offer a full range of newer hosting plans that feature currently supported software platforms (including plans hosted on Windows Server 2012).

The cyber attack that occurred was injection-based in nature, and resulted in unauthorized lines of code being injected into some customer websites. Based on our investigation, we do not believe that this code was particularly malicious in intent; rather we believe it was designed to post unwanted messaging or banners onto affected websites. The injection attack was successful targeting sites using out-of-date software on both the website and platform level.

We believe we identified the offending code and diligently cleaned all affected web servers.

See below for a listing of unsupported scripting languages and platforms associated with Newtek legacy hosting plans:

Unsupported Hosting platforms/scripting languages by its software vendor:

ASP.NET 1.1x
ASP.NET 2.x
ASP.NET 3.5x
PHP 4.4.x
PHP 5.2.x
PHP 5.3.x
ColdFusion 5
ColdFusion 6.1
ColdFusion 7
ColdFusion 8
ColdFusion 9
SharePoint 2.0

Unsupported databases by its software vendor:

MSSQL 2000
MySQL – 4.1.x
MySQL – 5.1.x

Start Planning Now: Support for Windows Server 2003 is ending on July 14, 2015

HomelandSecurity-WinServ2003-blogThe US Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning about the consequences of not upgrading Windows Server 2003 systems by July 14, 2015.

This is the date Microsoft will stop providing software updates for the aging platform, meaning new exploits will not be fixed.

Homeland Security stresses that consequences could mean exposure to cybersecurity threats, which may lead to malicious attacks or electronic data loss.

Newtek Is Here To Help

If you have self-hosted or on-premise systems running Server 2003, now is the time to consider upgrading and moving your servers to a secure data center. Benefits of this include:

  • Avoiding the high upfront costs of buying new server hardware
  • Keeping your servers in a hyper-secure Newtek data center
  • Having a 24/7/365 team available to address issues immediately

If your organization has Server 2003 systems hosted at another provider, now is time to reassess your solution:

  • Newtek regularly beats competitor pricing on server hosting, and we are currently offering special incentives for Server 2003 upgrades
  • Our server operations team can assist with your upgrade to a newer platform, along with the migration to our data center
  • We offer both virtual and dedicated solutions that can meet your organization’s specific needs.

If you’re currently hosting a Newtek Dedicated Server running Server 2003, now is the time to start planning your upgrade.

  • We can help you with your upgrade and migration
  • With both dedicated and virtual server options available (running Windows Server 2012), we may be able to reduce your currently monthly costs
  • We are heavily experienced upgrading Windows 2003 systems to Windows 2012

Newtek Solution Architects are also available to review any of needs at no cost or obligation. Contact us today to get started.

NOTE: Newtek Shared Web Hosting Customers do not need to take any action regarding this alert. Newtek has already upgraded most of its legacy shared hosting servers that are running Windows Server 2003, with remaining systems scheduled for an upgrade well before the July 14, 2015 deadline. 

Disaster Recovery Options Now Available for CloudVPS and Dedicated Servers

DatacentersWith data center facilities located in several, strategically located regions across the continental U.S., small businesses of all sizes now trust Newtek to deliver hyper-secure, redundant, and disaster-safe hosting solutions for mission-critical I.T. systems.

While solutions for disaster recovery planning traditionally fall under the scope of custom hosting configurations, Newtek now offers a simplified add-on option for CloudVPS and dedicated server customers. This option is ideal for budget-conscious businesses or I.T. teams looking for cross-regional redundancy and security.

For CloudVPS plans, the Disaster Recovery Option provides a completely replicated copy of the virtual server that is hosted in a secondary facility located at least 500 straight miles away. In the event that a disaster event occurs (or any occurrence that leads to a service interruption or outage), a DNS change would shift access to the system to the secondary location.

For dedicated servers, the solution differs slightly, but provides similar protections. Our team will work with you to determine which files you need replicated across the secondary data center location. Typically, an identical dedicated server configuration, including identical hardware, is provided at the second facility, but, depending on your needs, this can be customized.

Separate from the replication service that is part of the Disaster Recovery Option, Newtek also offers offsite backups that can be stored at a secondary facility (note that all Newtek data center facilities meet the same high security, compliance, and reliability standards), as well as customized, cross-regional load balancing solutions. Contact us for for a free assessment for this or any other need.

PRICING

There is actually no charge for our new Disaster Recovery Option itself, which provides replication services on either CloudVPS or dedicated servers. All costs associated with this service are connected to the services you’re duplicating across data centers. For exact pricing, please speak to a Newtek business service specialist.

You can visit our CloudVPS or Dedicated Server plans at the following links:

Dedicated Servers
CloudVPS


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