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Technology to be Thankful for on Thanksgiving

Technology to be Thankful for on Thanksgiving

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a day to relax, eat too much turkey, and spend time with family. Technology might be the furthest thing from your mind on Thanksgiving, but chances are that you’re relying on it anyway. Before you gather around the table to give thanks, let’s take a minute to appreciate the technology that helped […]

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6 Creative VoIP Uses, That You’ll Actually Use

6 Creative VoIP Uses, That You’ll Actually Use

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is changing the way businesses handle communication everywhere. Along with saving tons on your phone bill, VoIP gives you access to features unheard of with traditional phone lines. Businesses already using VoIP for communications are probably well-aware of the numerous practical benefits, but what about some of the more creative […]

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Two-Factor Authentication: What it is and Why it Matters

Two-Factor Authentication: What it is and Why it Matters

Two-factor isn’t new, and it definitely isn’t going away anytime soon. Two-factor authentication (2FA), also called multi-factor authentication, has seen a rise in adoption as cybercrime also increases. Social media platforms have even joined the party, like LinkedIn and Twitter. Anyone who’s used 2FA knows that it’s supposed to keep your data secure, but how […]

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Halloween Special: Spookiest Malware of 2016

Halloween Special: Spookiest Malware of 2016

Happy Halloween from the Sierra Experts team! For anyone working in IT, there are things that are scarier than ghosts and ghouls, like malware. 2016 has been a busy year for cybercrime, so picking the worst threats is not an easy task. Below, we’ve rounded up the spookiest malware this year. Mirai The Internet of […]

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Shadow IT

Shadow IT

In the age of the cloud, it’s become easy to find software to solve any problem. Further, it’s generally really easy to setup and begin using cloud applications without any help. Making this type of decision without discussing it with your company’s IT department can be a grave mistake, though. In the industry, this is […]

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October Employee Spotlight: Michael Chernay

October Employee Spotlight: Michael Chernay

Sierra has been proud to be named one of the Best Places to Work in PA every year since inception. One of the biggest reasons that Sierra is a great place to work, is our outstanding team. We’ve been very lucky to have multi-talented team members like this month’s featured employee, Michael Chernay, Server and […]

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Security In-Depth: Passwords

Security In-Depth: Passwords

There is a lot of advice floating around the internet about picking passwords. A quick search will yield thousands of articles about the dangerous prominence of weak passwords. Most websites have password requirements before setting up an account. Generally, it’s become well known that it’s important to pick a strong password. There seems to be […]

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Maintenance Window Basics

Maintenance Window Basics

In information technology, everything revolves around uptime. Uptime is the percentage of time that systems run without interruption. High availability (HA, meaning all services are available), is essential for the majority of businesses’ core functions. This study by Emerson Network Power and Ponemon Institute suggests that the average cost of a single minute of data […]

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Prevent Malware: Proactive vs. Reactive

Prevent Malware: Proactive vs. Reactive

By now, everyone knows not to click suspect emails, and use passwords like ‘12345’ right? Actually, ‘12345’ is still the most commonly used password, followed directly by ‘password’. Malware prevention efforts seem to be lacking despite the risks, on a large scale. Training is only one, albeit important, part of malware prevention. Prevent Instead of […]

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The Dwindling Windows GUI

The Dwindling Windows GUI

For those systems administrators who love the familiarity of the Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI), we’re sorry. Folks have been predicting the end of the Windows GUI since 2011, but now it seems that Microsoft has taken the steps to make it happen, slowly. The Windows GUI has been around since 1985, which was at […]

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September Employee Spotlight: Noelle Snebold

September Employee Spotlight: Noelle Snebold

How does a company get brand recognition, produce sales materials that convert, and craft marketing assets that engage an audience? It definitely helps to have a great graphic designer on your team. At Sierra Experts, we’re lucky to have some of the best. This month in our employee spotlight, we’re featuring Noelle Snebold, Creative Designer […]

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Patch Automation

Patch Automation

It’s incredible to imagine how many security exploits are avoidable just by patching systems. According to Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report, 85% of successful exploits stem from the top 10 Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE’s) only. Those are known vulnerabilities with a patch readily available. Patch management is extremely important to avoid security breaches, […]

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August Employee Spotlight: Louis Kuntz

August Employee Spotlight: Louis Kuntz

There’s a special mix of skills that make up a successful inside sales representative. They must be driven, personable, and possess the logic and intellect to find the right solution to any problem quickly. In this month’s employee spotlight, one of Sierra’s most successful inside sales representatives, Louis Kuntz, is being featured. Louis notes that […]

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Penetration Testing – Know Your Network

Penetration Testing – Know Your Network

What are you doing to make sure that your network is secure? How do you know that it’s enough? New strains of malware are popping up constantly. The headlines are only getting worse, and organizations that exploit networks are cashing in.  Ransomware, malvertising, malware as a service – with all of the threats that are […]

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Pokémon Go Security Risks

Pokémon Go Security Risks

Pokémon Go Security Risks Everyone is talking about Pokémon Go, the game that caused Nintendo’s value to increase by $23 billion in less than a month. Players are spending more time per day playing the game than some of the most popular apps, like Twitter and Google Maps. Companies stand to benefit from the massive marketing […]

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May Employee Spotlight: Gregory Crout

May Employee Spotlight: Gregory Crout

If you ask a business owner what the most important aspect of their business is, you might get a plethora of answers. At the root of any answer you get will be the most obvious and important part of business: customers. How you keep customers happy defines your business. In this month’s employee spotlight, we […]

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Spring Cleaning: Time to Clear Out Old Technology

Spring Cleaning: Time to Clear Out Old Technology

We see it all the time – companies procrastinating when it comes to buying new technology. Who can blame them? It’s always a tough choice when new options are springing up constantly and pricing changes just as frequently. On top of that, the shelf life for new tech is not staggeringly long. On average, it’s […]

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March Employee Spotlight: Chad Koehler

March Employee Spotlight: Chad Koehler

Business Development at Sierra w/o Wires combines a passion for new technology and a strong desire to help customers solve the tough problems. This month in our employee spotlight, we would like to feature someone who exemplifies those qualities, Chad Koehler, Sierra’s Business Development Manager. Chad grew up in sunny Florida, where he acquired his […]

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February Employee Spotlight: Chris Chappel

February Employee Spotlight: Chris Chappel

At Sierra, custom software development is one of our core services. Our software engineering team loves a challenge, so they’re usually handling complex projects. We’re proud of the team, and this month in our Employee Spotlight, we’d like to honor Chris Chappel, Senior Application Engineer at Sierra w/o Wires. Before he joined the Sierra team, […]

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January Employee Spotlight: Erica Raymond

January Employee Spotlight: Erica Raymond

Often production is the focal point of a company’s operations. This is fair, because if a company were a person, production would be the heart, providing what is needed constantly to keep it alive. However, sales and marketing should be heavily considered also, as these roles serve as a company’s eyes, ears, and voice. Those […]

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5 Common Technology Issues for Small Business

5 Common Technology Issues for Small Business

Let’s face the facts – while technology provides a measurable benefit to business of all sizes, it can be difficult for small business to know how much to budget, and where to invest in technology. With great benefit comes great responsibility, as well. Technology related security has become as important as a business’ physical security. […]

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Pittsburgh – A City of Many Names Turns 200

Pittsburgh – A City of Many Names Turns 200

Pittsburgh’s history is as rich and diverse as the landscape surrounding it. Pittsburgh has been aptly nicknamed the City of Bridges and Three Rivers as a tribute to the terrain the city grew around. It’s also been called Iron City, and later Steel City, for the industry that made it a powerhouse. This year, as […]

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Introducing xBert!

Introducing xBert!

One of our engineers was cleaning out old IT equipment to be recycled when he came across an old 128k memory chip from our CEO’s Tandy 1000. After some soldering, some twinax cables, a little bit of CPU grease to include our logo and some hot gluing capacitors together the end result was truly amazing… […]

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Knowing the Risks of Cyber Security

Knowing the Risks of Cyber Security

Cyber Security is always a treat waiting around the corner, and Sierra wants you to be aware of the risks your business could face. Educating the public about the threats that could be imposed should a cyber incident occur is a must. With the world being as connected as it is today, we need to […]

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A little History for the Holiday: Thanksgiving!

A little History for the Holiday: Thanksgiving!

Bet you don’t know who declared Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November. Hint: It’s the same person to serve as the first President of the United States… and no, it is not George Washington as many believe! The United States declared its independence in 1776, yet Washington did not take […]

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National Veterans Small Business Week

National Veterans Small Business Week

This week, November 2nd- 7th, is recognized for the second year as National Veterans Small Business Week. It is conducted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, where they host events across the country, to celebrate and support current and future veteran owned businesses. Small businesses are crucial to our nation’s economy. In the US, there […]

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Sierra’s Top 5 Techy Costume Picks!

Sierra’s Top 5 Techy Costume Picks!

Are you a true nerd at heart, where technology just seems to always be surrounding you?  Halloween is the perfect chance to go all out and blow those boring costumes out of the water with your super cool tech costume. Here is our top five list of tech costume ideas for 2015: 1. Mario and Luigi: […]

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Adobe Confirms Major Flash Vulnerability

Adobe Confirms Major Flash Vulnerability

With Adobe releasing their monthly security patches including Flash Player, they confirmed a major security vulnerability that impacts all versions of Flash for Windows/Mac/Linux.  Yes…ALL versions.  The security vulnerability has been used by a limited amount of hackers that are crashing computers or taking full control of them. “A critical vulnerability (CVE-2015-7645) has been identified […]

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Back to the Future: October 21, 2015

Back to the Future: October 21, 2015

Today is October 21, 2015. This is the same date on which a time traveling Marty McFly arrived in the future within the 1985 film Back to the Future. In case you are too young to remember the 80’s, here’s an IMDB link: http://imdb.to/1HwWIs4 In the film, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travels back in […]

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Keep Calm and Maintenance On

Keep Calm and Maintenance On

Chances are your work environment will have scheduled maintenance done within. No need to panic, you can easily be prepared and keep your businesses valuable data safe and save yourself a lot of headaches. It is key to not only let everyone in the office know of the scheduled down time, but also you’re MSP […]

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Spam, it’s for the birds.

Spam, it’s for the birds.

Become an expert at identifying spam in your inbox. We all know to delete the standard **Free 60’ TV!!** in the subject line, however there are times when SPAM isn’t written in black and white. Spam emails have become very challenging to read, because it seems like it is coming from a legitimate source. There are […]

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3 Questions to Ask About Your Business Website

3 Questions to Ask About Your Business Website

In today’s technology driven world, every successful business has a website, but is their website successful? When it comes to a website there are three questions to ask yourself: Is my website appealing to my customers? Is my website’s data safe and secure? Is my website device agnostic? You can’t just slap your logo into […]

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July Employee Spotlight: Megan McGregor

July Employee Spotlight: Megan McGregor

Whether it be a website or logo, a t shirt or a pen, a table top sign or a banner, our Creative Services Lead, Megan McGregor, is the girl for the job. Megan has been Sierra’s in-house graphic designer for over 3 years now. She received her BFA in Graphic Design and a Minor in […]

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WARNING: Severe Storm Watch!

WARNING: Severe Storm Watch!

We all know it has been and stormy and wet summer here in Pittsburgh. We never know if we will have to shut down our plans to be outside for the day due to severe weather, should your business fear the same? Let’s take a look at the forecast: we see mass amounts of rain […]

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June Employee Spotlight: Andy Boggess

June Employee Spotlight: Andy Boggess

This month we put the spotlight on a member of our sales team, Andy Boggess. Andy has been working at Sierra for a little over 2 months and is our business Development Manager. He attended Gannon University and earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Marketing. Andy’s interests inside of work consist of working closely […]

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Do you know what industries Sierra Serves?

Do you know what industries Sierra Serves?

Do you know what industries the Sierra companies serve? We can guarantee there are about 25 you never would image that are taking place in businesses all around you. Have you ever stayed at a hotel and connected to their Wi-Fi, or get an awesome new hairstyle? We were probably behind the scenes. Ever known […]

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May Employee Spotlight: Ryan Flynn

May Employee Spotlight: Ryan Flynn

This month we are putting the spotlight on our Director of Sales, Ryan Flynn. Ryan has been with Sierra for 2 years, but has been working in the IT industry for over 15 years. Before coming to Sierra, Ryan worked in programming and system management. He also ran a staff of 15 employees that oversaw 450+ servers. To […]

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April Employee Spotlight: Justin Marks

April Employee Spotlight: Justin Marks

Here at Sierra w/o Wires, we take pride in getting to know our employees, we’re like a family here! This month we wanted to put the spotlight on one team member, Justin Marks. Justin has been with the SWOW family for 2 months working as a Server Operations Engineer. Justin has an associate’s degree in […]

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A little History for the Holiday: New Year’s!

A little History for the Holiday: New Year’s!

Why do we drop a ball on New Year’s Eve at midnight? The tradition began because American’s wanted a way to light up the city of New York without the threat of fireworks endangering the city goers below. The Ball Countdown and Dropping at midnight is most famously known to take place at Times Square […]

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Email Marketing: What it is and why it?

Email Marketing: What it is and why it?

Email marketing is sending an email to a group of potential or current customers that advertises service offerings, requests business, solicits sales or donations, or just offers a news update. Sending email campaigns can help to build loyalty, trust, and brand awareness. Some of the benefits of email marketing are: 1. It’s marketing with a […]

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Three Key Benefits of Remote IT Support

Three Key Benefits of Remote IT Support

Remote IT support allows a technician to diagnose a problem, troubleshoot possible solutions, and verify an implemented solution has resolved the issue, all via the internet through desktop sharing. Below we’ve outlined the three key benefits that having a remote IT support team will provide for your business. Three key benefits of remote IT support […]

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Improving Your Small Business’s Online Presence

Improving Your Small Business’s Online Presence

In today’s digital era, consumers often turn to the internet as their first step in making buying decisions. Below we’ve outlined three areas to focus on to help improve your small business’s online presence. 1. Social Media Social Media is a growing trend and a great way to unobtrusively connect with your customer base. By […]

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Heartbleed Scare

Heartbleed Scare

I’m sure you all have heard now about the ‘Heartbleed’ security bug, however, many of you might not know what it means or what it is. The Heartbleed security bug makes individuals all across the web vulnerable to having their passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive data stolen. According to Netcraft, an Internet research […]

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Security Update for Windows 8.1 & RT 8.1

Security Update for Windows 8.1 & RT 8.1

Since Microsoft wants to ensure that customers benefit from the best support and servicing experience and to coordinate and simplify servicing across both Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1 RT and Windows 8.1, this update will be considered a new servicing/support baseline. What this means is those users who have elected to install updates manually […]

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Happy Earth Day from Sierra w/o Wires!

Happy Earth Day from Sierra w/o Wires!

A great way to keep our Earth clean is to recycle or even donate your technology. This can include CDs, cell phones, computers, inkjet cartridges, batteries, and more. By recycling or donating your electronics you can prevent lead, mercury, cadmium, and other toxic materials that are present in electronics to leak from landfills and then […]

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World Wide Web Easter Eggs

World Wide Web Easter Eggs

With Easter just passing can you think of a symbol that kids recognize during Easter? How about Easter Eggs? Easter Eggs aren’t just something children recognize or have fun with but programmers and developers have fun with them as well. Easter eggs however, have a different meaning to developers and programmers, they are unexpected hidden […]

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