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CTN Solutions has been serving the greater Philadelphia area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: Working Around Windows’ Restore Point Issue

Tip of the Week: Working Around Windows’ Restore Point Issue

You would think that a program called System Restore would be prioritized as one to get right. Unfortunately, this seems to not be the case, as utilizing one of your restore points after performing a Windows Update can cause some serious issues. For our tip, we’ll go over how to avoid these issues with a workaround.

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Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Approaching End of Life

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Approaching End of Life

Microsoft is the world’s most profitable software company, and if your business is like any of the millions of businesses that rely on Microsoft’s servers, you know they are both useful and secure. Occasionally, however, Microsoft will retire older software titles as they need constant care and support. On July 9, 2019, Microsoft will officially retire their SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 operating systems. If your organization still uses this software there is no time like the present to get you systems updated, as losing support will be a major problem.

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Your Search Bar Is Now More Secure

Your Search Bar Is Now More Secure

August saw yet another Patch Tuesday designed to resolve security issues in Microsoft products. Out of the 48 vulnerabilities resolved, 15 affected Windows, while 25 were rated as critical, 21 as important, and 27 that allowed for remote code execution. This might sound a little overwhelming, so we’ll try to simplify it a bit--a lot of flaws were fixed, and the majority of them can be considered dangerous for your organization.


Since only 15 affected Windows itself, you might be wondering where the others were applied. Other Microsoft products, including Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Sharepoint, SQL Server, Hyper-V, and Kernel, all required a response from the developer. Only two of these flaws affected all versions of Windows and Windows Server, yet none of them were being exploited in the wild by hackers trying to find their next victim.

There is one vulnerability, however, that should require your immediate attention, and this is the one which targets the Windows Search function in your device. The vulnerability in question, CVE-2017-8620, can be exploited remotely via Server Management Block (SMB) to take over a system. This includes both a Windows workstation or a Windows Server unit. Thankfully, the flaw doesn’t exist in SMB itself, and is unaffected by the dangerous threats like the WannaCry ransomware and NotPetya.

According to the Windows advisory, the vulnerability is exploited through the way that Windows Search handles objects in memory. Basically, hackers can send specialized messages through Windows Search to change user permissions. Once they have done so, the possibilities are limitless. Hackers could install, remove, or change applications on the targeted device, as well as view, change, or delete data stored on it. Even scarier is the ability to create an entirely new account with full administrator privileges.

This type of vulnerability is something out of a hacker’s dream, allowing them to take full advantage of a victim’s computer with relatively little trouble. The good news is that as long as you apply the required patches and security updates, the issue can be resolved easily enough. How does your organization combat vulnerabilities? You need to implement patches and security updates in at least some capacity, as not doing anything at all is a recipe for disaster--especially with a threat as thorough as the above mentioned. Thankfully, there is a solution for organizations that either don’t have the time or the resources to implement patches.

Outsourced IT services, including remote patching and maintenance, can be acquired by organizations of all sizes, without breaking your budget or dragging down operations, due to maintenance. You can take advantage of enterprise-level solutions designed to help your organization optimize security, without hiring an internal IT department and adding new salaries to your budget. CTN Solutions can help your business identify and repair weaknesses in its computing infrastructure. To learn more, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

Our clients that are subscribed to our Managed IT services will be covered and will be getting the Windows updates once it has been fully tested.

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Tip of the Week: Use Windows Start Menu to Search Your PC and the Web

Tip of the Week: Use Windows Start Menu to Search Your PC and the Web

It’s no secret that finding a particular program or file on your computer can be a pain, especially when you don’t have the time to hunt it down by clicking through folders. However, there is a much easier way to locate your desired data. All you need to do is use the search option found in the Start menu, which is the subject of this week’s tip.

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Sorry, Windows XP Users: No More Google Chrome Updates for You

b2ap3_thumbnail_chrome_support_ending_400.jpgIt’s been quite some time since Microsoft cut the cord on Windows XP support, rendering it insecure and incredibly risky to run in a professional setting. This was quite a blow to both PC users and business professionals, but it’s about to get even worse for the antiquated operating system. Now, even Google is cutting support for their web browser, Google Chrome, for older operating systems from both Microsoft and Apple.

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Tip of the Week: How to Uninstall Unwanted Apps and Programs in Windows 10

b2ap3_thumbnail_uninstall_programs_in_windows_400.jpgOne of the most basic functions that the average Windows user should understand is how to get rid of applications and programs that are unnecessary or potentially threatening. Previous versions of Windows made users jump through hoops to get rid of their unwanted apps and programs, but Windows 10 makes it much easier to do so. In fact, there are three easy ways to eliminate your unnecessary apps and programs.

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Windows Server 2003 Support Ends this July

b2ap3_thumbnail_server_operating_system_losing_support_400.jpgJuly 14th is an important date in the business technology world. Why? Because it’s a major landmark for users of Windows Server 2003. In just a few short months, Microsoft will no longer support this decade-old server operating system. Therefore, you must take steps to upgrade away from this server OS before it’s too late.

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Microsoft Fixes Vulnerability Going All the Way Back to Windows 95

b2ap3_thumbnail_vulverability_fixed_400.jpgWell, better late than never.
This is to be said of Microsoft after they recently patched a security flaw that’s come with every generation of its operating systems going all the way back to Windows 95.

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Should Windows Upgrades Be Free?

b2ap3_thumbnail_free_windows_updates_400.jpgAll operating systems change over time, and upgrades are eventually made available. But in light of Windows 10, Windows Threshold, or whatever their new OS’s final incarnation is going to be called, one has to wonder if Microsoft has ever considered free upgrades to the Windows operating system family tree.

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