PCS Blog

PCS has been serving the Knoxville area since 1996, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Job Opportunity - Level III Network Operations Center Engineer

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Position Summary:  This position requires communicating with clients and following appropriate processes and procedures in order to resolve the client’s technical issues. The person in this position helps the network operations center to achieve success and our clients to achieve satisfaction with our service. The person in this position will work with Project Managers, Account Executives, Inside Account Managers, and Senior Technical Project Engineers to deliver positive and profitable client experiences.

PCS has been serving Knoxville and surrounding areas since 1996, providing an array of IT products and services such as networking, interactive technologies, security, and flat rate IT to businesses and schools across the state. At PCS we value our employees, and we are always looking for talented new people to join our team!

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Job Opportunity - Level II Network Operations Center Engineer

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Position Summary:  This position requires communicating with clients and following appropriate processes and procedures in order to resolve the client’s technical issues. The person in this position helps the network operations center to achieve success and our clients to achieve satisfaction with our service. The person in this position will work with Project Managers, Account Executives, Inside Account Managers, and Senior Technical Project Engineers to deliver positive and profitable client experiences.

PCS has been serving Knoxville and surrounding areas since 1996, providing an array of IT products and services such as networking, interactive technologies, security, and flat rate IT to businesses and schools across the state. At PCS we value our employees, and we are always looking for talented new people to join our team!

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How Secure Are Your Passwords?

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In the role of a PCS NOC Engineer, we deal with clients and their equipment daily. While helping to keep their businesses running smoothly, we periodically encounter security issues that our clients are not aware of and in many cases, inadvertently cause. One of the most common, most exploitable, and most preventable is the weak password. Weak passwords are a common cause of costly data breaches, which can wreak havoc in many ways, from stolen money to sensitive (sometimes embarrassing) personal information being sold to the highest bidder or released on the internet. In today’s world, a four-character password, even if there are numbers and symbols in it, can be cracked in minutes (if not seconds) and is simply not acceptable.

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8 Data Backup Terms You Should Know

8 Data Backup Terms You Should Know

Data is an asset, there’s no getting around this fact. Therefore, your business needs to consider it important enough to protect with a data backup and disaster recovery solution, as even something unlikely, like a natural disaster or hacking attack, could place your organization in peril. We’re going to take a look at some of the different kinds of data backup and disaster recovery you can expect to see, as well as four terms that you should understand.

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The Basics of Computer Networks

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To many, computer networking is some sort of dark magic practiced by mystical people called “Network Engineers.” Computer Networking (Networking for our purposes) is just getting information from one computer/device to another. I added ‘device’ to include smart phones, tablets, smart watches and such. These can all be considered computers when it comes to networking.

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How to Get the Best Wireless Connections in Your Office

How to Get the Best Wireless Connections in Your Office

There are plenty of small irritations to be found in the office, from a pot of coffee that someone neglected to refill to the sound of a squeaky chair under the office fidgeter. However, none are quite as infuriating (or as detrimental to productivity) as an inconsistent Wi-Fi signal. What makes the Wi-Fi so spotty, and how do you resolve that?

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Why (and How) You Need to Maintain Your Servers

Why (and How) You Need to Maintain Your Servers

It is impossible to understate the importance of a server to today’s businesses. We talk a big game as to how important data is, but we don’t often broach the topic of how important it is to ensure that your server is well-maintained. Below, we discuss how to determine what your servers need for optimal performance, and how you can be sure that they get it.

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The Most Devastating Hacks of 2018… So Far

The Most Devastating Hacks of 2018… So Far

Network security is a crucial consideration for every contemporary business owner, as there are just too many threats that originate from an Internet connection to be overlooked. One only has to look at what businesses of all sizes have dealt with, even within this calendar year, to gain an appreciation for how crucial it is that every business owner consider their cybersecurity.

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Faxploit: Hundreds of Printers Putting Businesses at Risk of Malware

Faxploit: Hundreds of Printers Putting Businesses at Risk of Malware

Printers, along with every other piece of equipment that is on your network, require careful configuration and regular upkeep to ensure that they aren’t putting your data and users at risk. Security researchers recently discovered two massive vulnerabilities in HP Officejet All-in-One printers that make it incredibly easy for hackers to spread malware and gain access to a company’s network.

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Budgeting for IT Can Benefit Your Business’ Bottom Line

Budgeting for IT Can Benefit Your Business’ Bottom Line

Your business depends on a budget to come out in the black at the end of the fiscal year, and the way you invest that budget will have a considerable impact. As you create this budget, your IT needs to be one of your top considerations - after all, it is what effectively powers the modern business. Here, we’ll discuss how diligently incorporating your IT into your budget can help your business be more successful down the line.

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UTM is a Strong Solution to Ward Off Hackers

UTM is a Strong Solution to Ward Off Hackers

When your employees think about hackers and network security, do they picture some cloaked or hooded figure in a dark room typing away at a keyboard? Do they see a recluse living in their mother’s basement? Popular culture has given many users a false sense of reality regarding hacking attacks and the culture surrounding them, and it can come at the detriment of your business.

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Benefits of Upgrading to 802.11ax and Should You Do It

Benefits of 802.11ax

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Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access - this is the new modulation technique introduced with 802.11ax and replaces OFDM that has been around since 802.11a. This is the same modulation used by cell phone carriers to transmit data to and from your cell phone. This modulation assigns each client resources units (RU) that can dynamically change based on the application needs of the client. Without going too in depth, I’ll use an analogy to show the difference between OFDM and OFDMA – OFDM would be the equivalent to driving a country road and getting to a one lane bridge and OFDMA would equate to a multi-lane interstate. When driving the country road, it doesn’t matter what you drive or how fast you go, if it isn’t your turn to cross the bridge, you aren’t moving. In OFDM, only one device can transmit at a time. If 2 vehicles crossed that bridge at the same time, they have a collision and then all the cars waiting are now affected. The same is true for OFDM. If two clients try to transmit at the same time, such as a hidden node, the frames from the clients will be corrupt and will have to retransmit. Constant retransmissions eat away available airtime for other clients and therefore slow your wireless network down. In contrast, OFDMA is like a huge multi-lane interstate where you have lanes for the fast cars and the slow cars. You even have enough lanes for the wide load trucks to occupy 2 lanes without impacting the flow of traffic. OFDMA lets multiple clients send and receive data at the same time. This is done by breaking one channel into a lot of subchannels or resource units (RU). The AP can then dynamically assign RUs to each client based on their needs. This is a much more efficient way to transfer data over the air and aggregate throughput in a wireless network will increase greatly over an 802.11ac network.

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Interactive Touch Technology in the Classroom

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To kick off the new school year, Kim Seebach has a new addition to her Special Education classroom at Maryville City Schools – a Promethean ActivTable. Kim has already had a Promethean ActivBoard for some time that she’s used to teach language arts, math, communication, language, and life skills in her classroom. She's already familar with and loves Promethean technology and with the addition of an ActivTable, it gives her students who can’t use the board an alternative option.

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Are Your Bases Covered?

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We get asked, on a fairly regular basis, “What is the best way to protect my business from the various threats in cyberspace?” The answer really sounds more complex than it actually is. To protect your business in the threat landscape of today, you need a multi-layered approach to security.

Those of us who work in the Technology industry realize that, given even the slightest opportunity and a little time, those who would do us harm can perform their evil deeds with catastrophic results. It seems like every other day there is some sort of headline about a security compromise or client data that has been illegally accessed. Those headlines do not provide a fair representation of the damage caused to small businesses or individuals. In some cases, while the breach may be more significant for larger companies, the little guys often suffer the most when trying to recover from a malicious attack, where corporate data has been stolen or encrypted. In fact, statistics indicate that more than 75% of small businesses that were breached and lost their data were unable to recover.

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WPA3: The New Security Standard and What to Expect

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As a technology service provider, one of the questions we get asked all the time is “How can I make my wireless network more secure?” Well, the recent completion of a new wireless security standard should go a long way toward helping protect corporate and home wireless networks. There are some limitations when it comes to interoperability between hardware appliances that run the new WPA3 standard and legacy wireless products, but as savvy network administrators and security solution providers move their clients to the newer standard, overall wireless security should improve greatly. This “new” standard is just now emerging, but here are some details to spark your interest.

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Reduce Your Costs By Outsourcing Your IT Management

Reduce Your Costs By Outsourcing Your IT Management

Your business deals with all types of troubles, but one trouble that can be extraordinarily costly is when your organization's technology doesn’t work properly. That’s why many businesses hire an IT staff who work to mitigate technology-related problems. One issue you should be cognizant of is cost. Typically, IT professionals have training, certifications, and experience and demand an above average salary. If you have a small or medium-sized business that is working with tight margins as it is, it can be extremely difficult to take on new personnel costs; especially ones that don’t directly result in bringing revenue through the door.

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Tip of the Week: Keyboard Shortcuts

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In computing, there are several ways to accomplish things. Keyboards and mice are our methods of input for a computer. Keyboards allow us to input various commands. A computer mouse allows us to click through various things to reach a particular end point.

Did you know that the keyboard can get you to the same point as your mouse? Here are some of the common keyboard shortcuts you can use to reach that common destination.

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Tip of the Week: Analyze Your Files for Security

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Have you ever come across a cool sounding game and downloaded it only to wonder if it’s safe? Or come across a website link and wondered if it was safe to click on?

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Tip of the Week: Changing a PDF in Microsoft Word

Tip of the Week: Changing a PDF in Microsoft Word

Did you know that Microsoft Word can actually edit PDF files? Well… the most recent version of it can, anyway. Since Adobe Acrobat can be a considerable investment for each and every one of your employees, you can instead turn to the tried and true Microsoft Word for this purpose. We’ll show you how you can do this (as long as you have the most recent version of MS Word).

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You Deserve a Better Way to Manage Your Business Documents

You Deserve a Better Way to Manage Your Business Documents

A file cabinet might seem like it’s necessary for operations, but it’s actually not as useful as it used to be in the past. This is primarily due to the implementation of new solutions such as the document management system. By taking advantage of a new digital storage system for your business’ documents, you can optimize operations and ditch that filing cabinet for good.

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