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This Just In – CATS Ranked 267 Worldwide on MSPmentor 501 List!

Here we are again; another year, another MSPmentor 501 list!

Year after year, CATS Technology Solutions Group continues to move up in the rankings of the MSPmentor 501 List.  With a large jump last year from 387 to 278, this year the trend continues and CATS Technology is now ranked 267 in the entire world!

MSPmentor is the industry standard for all Managed IT Service Providers.  The MSPmentor 501 List is a worldwide company ranking of MSP’s based on the Services, Security, Reliability and Customer Service each of the companies provide.  CATS works very hard to provide these services for our customers the best way we can.

MSP 501 Certificate 2017

We consider being ranked on the MSPmentor 501 List year after year an honor and accomplishment, but to move up 120 spots in 2 years is a true testament to the hard work that CATS Technology puts in each and every day.  Aside from the MSPmentor 501 List, CATS Technology has also been mentioned in CIOReview’s “20 Most Promising IT Service Companies,” as well as Silicone Review’s “10 Fastest Growing IT Services.”

As we continue to take big leaps and move up on this list, as well as others, we don’t plan on slowing down any time soon.  We strive to be the best we can be for our clients and credit our incredible customer service skills as a big portion to our success.  Our IT Consultants are constantly learning new skills and tools to apply to each client, and making sure their specific needs are met.  The values CATS Technology practices as a company is a reflection upon our continued growth.  We look forward to these lists each year as another resource to track our progress, while continuing to work hard and be the best IT provider we can be.

Although we have extremely knowledgeable and driven employees at CATS Technology that contribute to our everyday prosperity, it’s important for us to point out that we would not be where we are today without our clients.  We would like to thank you all for your constant trust in us to manage any and all of your IT needs, and for helping us reach another big accomplishment.  Our success is your success.

 

For the full story, click here MSPmentor 501 List 2017

 

Meet Eric Emerson!

Eric Emerson PicEric is a Senior Consultant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  He is from Freehold, NJ, where he began his work for a small firm.  During this time, he obtained his MCSE 2003 certification and continued to work there and service small businesses for another 5 years.

In high school, Eric started a computer science club that shadowed the school’s onsite systadmin in his day to day.  He has been hooked to IT ever since.

In his spare time, Eric likes to collect rare and vintage video games.  He hopes to continue taking on challenging projects, while also spending more time on the business consulting aspect of the job.  He would love to manage a small team of people with a focus on a more personal touch.  One of Eric’s goals is to obtain the latest Exchange and Windows Server certifications for 2016.

Fun Facts about Eric:

  • I was born in Anchorage, Alaska.
  • I have crooked pinkies that makes it extremely annoying to hold devices.
  • I wanted to be a veterinarian until I realized it was mostly just putting down animals.

Meet Sergiy Zvyagintsev!

Sergiy PicSergiy is a Senior Consultant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  He grew up in the Bronx, NY, and has received many certifications in the IT field throughout the years that has benefited him in his career.  Although there is not a particular moment that Sergiy realized he wanted to get involved with IT, it is something that he has always had a strong interest in.

In his free time, Sergiy loves to read books.  He also enjoys eating his favorite candy, chocolate.  Sergiy hopes to be living in California on top of a nice mountain with an ocean view in the future.

Fun Facts about Sergiy:

  • Once Stephanie and Darrin retire I will be the oldest employee in the company.
  • Actually Sharon and Julie would have to be retired at that point as well.

Meet Nehemiah Bowdre!

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 10.08.52 AMNehemiah (Trey) is a Consultant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.
He grew up in New Jersey, and attended school in Virginia where he received his education.

There isn’t a specific moment that Trey sparked an interest in the IT field, but he does credit high school as the time frame that he knew he wanted to start it as his career.

In his free time, Trey enjoys everything sports, including watching them and participating in them.  In the future, he plans to excel even further in his career.

WannaCry Did Not Make Me Want to Cry

CATS WannaCry

THE INTERNET IS DYING! ALL DATA IS BEING DESTROYED! HERE COMES THE NETWORK APOCALYPSE!

If you’ve been paying attention to the news over the last week, the above thoughts may have either crossed your mind or have been implied by the media. This is due to the recent reported events regarding the dangerous spreading of a new strain of ransomware titled WannaCrypt which has been given the common nickname of WannaCry. In my line of work, it is situations like these that bring on some of the most stress inducing days. But here at CATS and within my role specifically, it’s my job to take on that stress on behalf of you, our clients, so that each of you can continue with the important task of running your business. You shouldn’t need to worry about things like WannaCry and I’m here to tell you that you do not need to. I’m sure that the last thing you want to see is yet another boring press release or bulletin from some faceless representative at an unreachable entity about this topic so I’m here to simply give you the facts that you should need and want sprinkled in with some good ol’ human charm.

My name is Eric Tate and I am the Director of Technology here at CATS Technology. Allow me to take you on a journey for a moment.

To our existing clients, I hope that this post shows you how much we at CATS care about each and every one of you. You’re the shine on our apple and we look forward to providing you with the highest quality of IT support available for a long time to come. If you’re not an existing customer, feel free to reach out to our sales department at Sales@CATSTechnology.com or (732) 204-7100 option 3 to learn about the many ways that CATS can take the stress out of your IT operations.

Let’s start our WannaCry journey by hitting the rewind button and going back to last Sunday. This wasn’t just any Sunday. Mother’s Day was upon us! As the father of the most amazing nearly-two-year old girl I have ever had the honor of knowing and having the privilege of getting to raise her side-by-side with my lovely wife, this was a day filled with plans and surprises. As news about WannaCry began spreading through the media over the course of the weekend, my cell phone’s battery was getting a great workout as the calls, texts, and emails began flowing in from colleagues, friends, and family all getting worried about how this may affect them. Considering my day was already filled with the stress of giving my family a wonderful day, the last thing that I wanted was additional stress put on top. But thanks to the confidence I have in our team at CATS Technology and the power of our CATS Guardian system, I was able to continue through the day free of any stress caused by WannaCry!

Here’s the reality: Your systems are going to be fine!

Let’s quickly get through the technical background of WannaCry with the help of everyone’s friend, Wikipedia. The ransomware attack began one week ago today on May 12th, 2017 and spread to over 230,000 computers in over 150 countries. The bulk of the infections occurred in foreign countries. WannaCry utilizes an exploit titled EternalBlue which was developed by the NSA which had been released by a hacker group known as The Shadow Brokers. The vulnerability makes use of an exploit in the SMB protocol found in Microsoft Windows based systems. Back on March 14th, 2017, Microsoft released a critical patch for Windows systems that were still under active support which closed the exploit used and rendered WannaCry useless. The patches released were included in Microsoft’s cumulative security update that was released in March. Then, in an unprecedented action, Microsoft also released a patch for the vulnerability this week that closes it on no-longer-supported versions of the Windows operating system such as Windows XP and Server 2003. All of the mentioned updates continue to be covered via Microsoft’s monthly cumulative security updates.

So if Microsoft already patched the vulnerability, why is everyone making such a big deal about this? Well, one could say it’s because it draws income to those media outlets. But in addition, we unfortunately live in a world where many people and companies do not keep their computer systems patched up to date with the latest security patches. In addition, Microsoft Windows piracy is unfortunately quite common. Those pirated copies cannot always check-in with Microsoft to receive those patches. These two situations then result in countless amount of computer systems still remaining vulnerable to this day and the spreading of WannaCry that comes along with it.

If you’re a CATS Ultimate Care subscriber though, you don’t need to worry! We proactively keep your systems patched up to date and make sure that your systems are safe. We utilize multiple layers of security to protect you. So let’s peel back the curtain a little bit and take a look at our internal numbers and methods of keeping you secure.

At CATS Technology, all servers and workstations that we manage and protect are loaded into our internal management system that we call CATS Guardian. You’ve probably noticed the little blue T icon in your taskbar which represents our CATS Guardian system’s connection. Throughout the week, I ran custom reports against all of our managed servers and workstations to pull information pertaining to their Windows patch status. As of this past Wednesday, more than 99% of our managed computers had already received the patches provided in March’s cumulative security update. To be exact, only 13 computers were missing it. Even with that percentage being as tiny as it is, it still wasn’t good enough for me. I reviewed the thirteen machines in question so that I can have an understanding as to why they may not have been received the patches and found understandable reasons.

* Two are servers currently in development for a client project that is on hold and is currently pending the patching phase. The servers are sandboxed in a development lab and are not yet in production.
* One is an old CATS laptop that has not been used in months and is currently collecting dust.
* One is a client laptop that was archived by the client for data retention in the early part of this year and has not been powered on since.
* The other nine machines are miscellaneous client workstations that have not been online to receive the patch in multiple months.

Because every machine counts, we are currently working with the clients in possession of the last remaining unpatched machines so that we can complete the installation on them.

Happily absent from that less than 1% of vulnerable machines are all servers in production for our clients. This is thanks to the wonderful hard work of our CATS team and the CATS Guardian system.

By the way, if you’re already using Microsoft Windows 10, then you have nothing to worry about anyways. The vulnerability never existed within it.

In addition, because we care about each and every one of you, I utilized our CATS Guardian system to proactively mass-deploy the latest May cumulative security update to all of our managed Windows computers that hadn’t received it yet even if your monthly patching date is normally at the end of the month. In addition, my mass-deploy included all managed computers, not just ones covered for monthly patching by our CATS Ultimate Care proactive services. This is because we care about all of you especially in these confusing times. If you’re not currently an Ultimate Care subscriber and would like to upgrade your services with us to receive all patches moving forward, let us know and we’ll be in touch! I’m currently monitoring the status of the mass-deploy and will be working with our tech team to address any updates that may fail so that they can be manually resolved.

On top of all of this patching mumbo jumbo, we utilize other ways of proactively protecting you from WannaCry traffic. For example, if your environment is utilizing our recommended SonicWALL comprehensive security suite, you’re protected by the power of gateway level malware protection which is updated constantly on a daily basis and has been updated recently to capture the transmission of WannaCry data in-transit before it reaches your machines. Also, those of you who subscribe to our CATS Guardian Managed Antivirus (powered by Webroot SecureAnywhere) on your servers and workstations became protected very quickly following WannaCry’s discovery. Webroot updated their security definitions to include traffic and files associated with the WannaCry infection as soon as they were able to. And because your AV was set by us to check in with Webroot for the latest updates every 30 minutes, your local installation of our CATS Guardian Managed Antivirus quickly gave you yet another layer of protection.

If you aren’t subscribed to our CATS Ultimate Care services or would like to add on comprehensive gateway security and/or our CATS Guardian Managed Antivirus, now is a great time to reach out to our sales department for further information. If you’re unsure whether you currently subscribe or are protected by these services, let us know and we’ll be happy to perform a review with you.

I would be doing you a disservice if I made the claim that there is a 100% guarantee that no infection will ever hit your system. The unfortunate reality is that the criminals that continue to write ransomware infections do everything they can to try to stay one step ahead of those trying to stop them. The guarantee I can definitely give you though is that CATS Technology is here for you and remains stationed in the trenches 24/7/365 protecting you by any means necessary. We take these types of situations very seriously. In the unlikely event that an infection does make its way through, we’ll get you back up and running in minimal time.

I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read about how CATS Technology works around the clock to protect you and your company’s assets. If you have any questions or concerns at all, feel free to reach out to us at any time.

If this is your first time hearing about CATS Technology and would like more information about how we can help protect you from all of the scary stuff out there like WannaCry, we’re here for you as well! Contact our sales department at Sales@CATSTechnology.com or (732) 204-7100 option 3.

My wife and daughter heard no mention of WannaCry from me on that fateful Mother’s Day thanks to the power of CATS Guardian. Let us bring that type of worry-free living to you and your business so that you too can enjoy your holidays!

Meet William Hillsinger!

Bill PicBill is the Help Desk Manager at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  He grew up in Piscataway, NJ, not too far from the CATS office.

In his free time, Bill really likes to spend the day playing golf.  He also enjoys taking the time to care for his plants.

In the future, he hopes to learn a second language.

Fun Facts about Bill:

  • You’re asking a lot here. I’m 57 and not a comedian.  So fun for me is staying up past 11pm!
  • Lucky I could think of one.

When in Doubt, Call CATS!

If you are experiencing any type of computer or IT related issue, one of the first questions you may ask yourself is, “Can I fix this myself?”  If you have to even ask this, then usually that means there is some doubt, and chances are the outcome will not be in your favor.

Before we totally rule it out, let’s figure out if there are any benefits to fixing the problem on your own.  If you are able to fix it, there is always the chance that it is just a temporary fix, which can cause even bigger problems down the road.  There is also the risk of making the problem worse right off the bat, which can cause more damage to your devices.

Who You Gonna Call? CATS

Let’s face it, technology is a crucial part of everyday life.  Whether it is at home, the office, or just on the go, we depend on technology for many different reasons.  Since it is frequently used, it’s only natural and expected that issues will arise from time to time.  Technology is such an important part of our everyday lives and we need to give it the proper treatment and maintenance it requires so you don’t have deal with the technical frustration.

Well you’re in luck, because that’s what CATS Technology Solutions Group is here for!  With CATS Technology, you don’t just get 1 Consultant but rather a group of 20 IT Professionals who specialize in these specific services.  This means you get 20 different ideas from certified technicians with many different areas of expertise that will guarantee to find you a quick and satisfying solution for your IT troubles.

CATS Technology works around the clock for you and you are our priority.  If the client is happy, we are happy.  So next time you run into a problem, rather than try to diagnose and fix the issue yourself, save yourself the headache and get it the proper care it needs.

When in doubt, call CATS! We are here to help!

Meet Desiree Jones!

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 10.30.02 AMDesiree is an Administrative Assistant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  She grew up in New Brunswick, NJ, where she attended high school.  She went on to receive her Administrative Certificate at Cittone Institute, as well as her Associate’s Degree for Paralegal Studies from Berkeley College.

In her free time, Desiree enjoys doing a lot of fun activities, such as watching movies, playing miniature golf, dancing, going to the beach, playing the keyboard, bowling, and entertaining for family and friends.

Desiree also loves to write, and in the future, hopes to get the books she is currently writing published.

Fun Facts about Desiree:

  • I teach piano and drum class to children ages 4-14.
  • I am a Tough Mudder participant…lol.

Meet Sohail Ali!

Sohail PicSohail is a Senior Consultant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  He did majority of his adolescent growing up in Friendswood, TX, and then moved to New Jersey when he was 16 years old.  Sohail received his Bachelor’s degree from DeVry University and his MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management.  In addition to his degrees, he also has many certifications from comptia (Security+) and redhat (RHCSA).

When Sohail was 16, he realized his strong interest in the IT field.  His English teacher pulled him out of class and had him watch a movie called “Hackers.”  She told him she could see him one day being as good as the actors were in the movie.  Soon after, when Sohail moved out of Texas and to New Jersey, he relied heavily on his computer to keep in touch with the friends he left behind.  It was around the time that broadband Internet began, and he convinced his father to get them a cable modem so he could set up Internet throughout the whole house.  When he was 17, he built his first Linux machine to behave as a router.  It was at that point that he wanted to further his IT skills.

When Sohail has free time, he enjoys staying active by hiking, biking, and skating.  He also likes to go camping, fishing, tinkering with everything, programming / hacking code, lock picking, watching tv and movies, and reading.

Although his long tern goal is undecided at the moment, Sohail hopes to take his Certified Ethical Hacker exam and receive his certification within the next few months.

Fun Facts about Sohail:

  • I’ve shaken hands with Prince Harry.
  • I can pick the locks on handcuffs while they are on me.

CATS & TCIB: We are Family

Just how important is maintaining a close relationship with your clients?  CATS Technology Solutions Group considers our relationships with our clients extremely important.  Being a very family-oriented company, it is only natural that we consider our clients family.  One particular client of ours that we hold to this standard is Triple Crown Insurance Brokerage.

Triple Crown Insurance Brokerage provides premium insurance services, in both commercial and personal lines.  TCIB, for short, has been a client CATS Technology’s for 12 years, and their name has become a constant presence within our company.  Our relationship is built on trust, loyalty and respect for each other. It is because of this type relationship that we are able to have such a strong and successful bond.

One of the specific services that TCIB offers is Cyber Insurance.  Cyber Insurance helps protect businesses from risks that can cause serious issues and damage to a company, including Ransomware.

After seeing many of our clients become infected with Ransomware, the effects it has on a company can be highly destructive.  The possibility of losing data is a risk that no business should ever take.  Cyber Insurance is not only highly recommended by CATS Technology, but is considered an essential factor to ensure that our clients have valid daily backups and that the risk of Ransomware is never an issue.  It’s important to realize that while this threat is out there, you can easily become protected.  To learn more about the importance of being protected against Ransomware, click here http://catstechnology.com/blog-2/.

CATS TCIB We are Family

Always remember, we are family.  Family looks out for family, so CATS Technology is looking out for you.

If you are interested in Cyber Insurance, or any other services that TCIB has to offer, check out their website: www.TCIBINC.com.

Dangerous Malware on the Rise — Are You Ready?

Managed IT Services New JerseyNetwork security is a critical component of all computer systems and infrastructure. CATS Technology remains committed to providing the highest level of service in the industry to ensure that your network security remains top notch. Proper network security is comprised of many areas. One level of proper network security is having a strong antivirus system in place and up to date. Every day, malicious individuals and groups release complex malware, viruses, and Trojans with a goal of spreading system infections. A new type of infection has also recently begun spreading called “ransomware”. In some recent cases, infected systems have had all of their files maliciously encrypted with the decryption key being held at ransom for multiple hundreds of dollars. Having a strong antivirus system is an important piece of the network security puzzle. Another key component is ensuring that you have secure backups of your systems that remain up to date on a minimum of a daily basis.

If you are using UltimateCare service from CATS Technology, you can rest assured knowing that we proactively monitor your antivirus state and check the status of your backups on a daily basis to ensure that they both remain current. If issues arise, we work to resolve them right away to keep them from turning into problems. Not an UltimateCare subscriber? Email us at Sales@CATSTechnology.com or call us at 732-204-7100 to setup a consultation and analysis.

While we all dream of a world free from malicious activity, the reality is that these threats will always exist. Having the proper network-level precautions in place is a step in the right direction. But unfortunately, system infections can still find their way into networks in the event of improper internet usage.

The following are just some of the guidelines that all users should abide by to keep their systems as clean as possible.

  • If a suspicious email gets delivered to your inbox, delete it immediately and do not open.
  • Never open email attachments that you were not expecting to receive. This includes attachments in emails from known senders. If a colleague’s email system has been compromised, their account could get used to send virus-ridden attachments. If you are unsure whether an attachment is legitimate or not, you should contact the sender directly prior to opening.
  • Never install a new application or plugin on your computer without consulting with an IT expert to ensure that it is a legitimate piece of software.
  • Never download software or files from shared file hosting sites or torrents. Always download content from the original source and consult with an IT expert prior. Software found on bad sites can be modified to include malware. Software costs substantial money to make so if downloading it for free sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Never click advertisements or banners on websites and search engines. In some cases, malicious groups pay to get space rented on sites that they use to advertise innocent-looking software that is actually coded with viruses.

CATS Technology is available to assist you whenever help is needed. If you ever suspect that your systems might be vulnerable to an attack or just simply have a question that you’d like answered in order to strengthen your browsing security, please do not hesitate to speak with one of our trained IT professionals at 732-204-7100 or email us at Support@CATSTechnology.com.

Meet Brandon Stuhl!

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 9.55.11 AMBrandon is an IT Consultant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  He was born and raised in a small town in New Jersey, called Roselle Park.  Last year, he moved to Toms River, where he is still adjusting to living so close to the beach.

Brandon is currently attending DeVry University and will be receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Network Communications Management in less than a year.  He also has received his CCENT, and most recently, his CCNA Certifications.  Brandon decided to choose IT as his career choice when he was 16 years old.  He saw his cousin build his first computer, and seeing all the different parts that make up a computer made him interested in finding out more about it.

Brandon loves to play chess in his free time.  He was a member of the chess team in high school, and is continuing to keep the tradition alive by being involved in the chess group at the university he is attending.

Brandon’s biggest goal is to eventually receive his CCIE Certification.  This certification is one of the hardest tests out there for a networking professional to take. The amount of prestige and respect that comes with this certification is huge, and someday he hopes to achieve that.

Fun Facts about Brandon:

  • I like to play video games and go fishing.
  • I also like to work out and play basketball.

Meet Daniel Chita!

Dan PicDan is an IT Consultant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  He was originally from Woodbridge, NJ, but later moved to Monroe, NJ during high school.  He received his education at Montclair State University, and initially found an interest in IT during his first programming class where he built his first gaming PC.

Dan enjoys hunting, going to car shows and hanging out with his friends in his free time.  He is most looking forward to getting married and having kids.  Dan and his fiancé, Vanessa, will be getting married this November!

He is also looking forward to helping CATS Technology grow.

Fun Facts about Dan:

  • I am 100% Portuguese.
  • I hope to one day own a cow.

Meet Sharon Vento!

Sharon PicSharon is the Director of Administration at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  She grew up in Staten Island, NY, where she attended St. Joseph by the Sea High School.  After high school, she spent 2 years at the College of Staten Island.  Sharon received her certificate at Computer Institute of Technology (CIT) in 1990, and even more certificates at NST for continuing education for Administration.  Her passion for organization and learning new skills, as well as being detail oriented, led her to this career choice.

In her free time, Sharon enjoys spending time with her sons and attending their sporting events.  She also loves to exercise, mostly taking part in walking and outdoor activities.  During warmer weather, she likes to spend her days at the beach so she can relax and unwind.

Looking to the future, Sharon looks forward to continue working at CATS Technology and helping the company grow to its fullest extent.  A long-term goal of hers would be to move some place that is warm year round.

Fun Facts about Sharon:

  • Some may consider me to be highly OCD.
  • I grew up around sports, and these days I enjoy attending my son and nephews games.

Meet Eric Tate!

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 10.06.12 AMEric is the Director of Technology at CATS Technology Solutions Group, and grew up close by in East Brunswick, NJ.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Technical Management, as well as an Associate of Applied Science in Network and Communications Management.

As a kid, Eric would take apart gadgets and manage to always put them back together properly.  That’s when he realized he had a strong interest in computers and the IT field.

In his free time, Eric enjoys the opportunity to sit back and do nothing – although this is very rare.  He also enjoys cycling and reading to his daughter.

Eric hopes to continue to help CATS Technology grow and expand its reach.  For a personal goal, he wants to always be an involved parent and be the type of father his current, and possibly future, children would be proud of.

 
Fun Facts about Eric:

  • I am obsessed with the Back to the Future trilogy and own an extensive collection of merchandise and memorabilia.
  • Both my wife and I are social media junkies and first started talking to each other through Twitter back in its infancy, which ultimately led to storybook romance years later.

Meet Andrew McConnell!

Andrew PicAndrew is a Consultant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  He grew up locally in Monroe Township, NJ.  Andrew received his education from the US Army and DeVry University.

His interest in the IT field started after he got out of the military.  He realized he enjoyed working on computers and learning about technology.

In his free time, Andrew enjoys spending time with his family, playing video games, watching movies, and hiking.  He is most looking forward to working on his CCNA Security Certification and finishing up his Bachelor’s Degree in the future.

Fun Facts about Andrew:

  • I served in the Army.
  • I enjoy musicals.

Meet Zeeshan Rana!

Zeeshan PicZeeshan is the Sales Account Manager at CATS Technology Solutions Group. He grew up and attended elementary school in Newark, NJ. He later moved to Old Bridge, NJ, where he went to high school.

Zeeshan initially attended the University of Arizona, but then transferred back to New Jersey where he attended DeVry University. At Devry, he earned an Associates Degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Technical Management.

Zeeshan knew he wanted to get involved in the Sales field when he was just 10 years old. When his parents opened their first Carvel Ice Cream store, he would often go with his dad and really enjoyed interacting with the customers. He wanted a career where he could utilize his Business and Technical Management Education that he received, as well as continue to be in a Sales position where he could interact with people.

In his free time, Zeeshan enjoys playing sports, as well as watching sports. The teams he roots for are the NY Yankees, NY Knicks, and NY Jets. Zeeshan hopes to continue to grow professionally and enjoy life with his family in the future.

Fun Facts about Zeeshan:
– I enjoy traveling and making occasional spontaneous trips whenever possible.
– I love coffee and ice cream.

CATS Technology Assisting with Casino Pier Attractions

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 1.53.43 PMEveryone remembers the large impact Hurricane Sandy had across the Jersey Shore in October of 2012.  There was such significant damage in certain areas, that people are still recovering almost 5 years later.  Seaside Heights is one of the places that experienced the impact of this super storm first hand.

The famous image of the JetStar rollercoaster sitting in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean after the storm is one that is almost impossible to forget.  Since that catastrophic storm, Casino Pier has been working hard to get the Seaside boardwalk up and running back to its full force.

 

One of the newest additions to Casino Pier is a rollercoaster named Hydrus. Watch for its debut this spring!  The bold and bright colored Hydrus is made up of a lot of twists and turns, as well as a 72-foot vertical drop.  Along with Hydrus, a 131-foot tall Ferris Wheel is another new attraction that will be added to the round up.  This is expected to open Memorial Day weekend!

Once the need for IT services arose, CATS Technology Solutions Group was called to come on board to help get these attractions running.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 1.57.14 PMOur techs have been working extremely hard on all of these projects and attractions at Casino Pier to ensure that they will be ready to go by the expected opening dates.  In addition to the Ferris Wheel and Hydrus, CATS Technology is also involved with the re-wiring for the Go-Karts, which just opened this past weekend!

As a company, we are so excited to be a significant part of something that is known to be such a big part of the Jersey Shore.  Make sure you stop by the Seaside Boardwalk and check out everything Casino Pier has to offer!

You may even be able to spot a white Go-Kart speeding around the track with a CATS logo on it!!

 

 

 

Meet Evan Buchbinder!

Evan is a Consultant at CATS Technology Solutions Group. 

He grew up in East Brunswick, NJ and received his education at Rutgers University.

There wasn’t a clear defining moment for Evan when it came to choosing IT as his career, since he has been into technical things for as long as he can remember.

Evan enjoys to read and cook in his free time.  He also loves to ski.  In the future, he is most looking forward to room temperature hyper-conductivity. It is his goal to be a positive influence to everyone around him.

Fun Facts about Evan:

  • I have trouble completing surveys.

Meet Dominique Carnevale!

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 9.53.03 AMDominique is a Junior Marketing Assistant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  She was born and raised on the Jersey Shore.  Dominique attended Rider University, where she majored in Advertising and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

She knew she wanted to pursue a career in Advertising and Marketing since 8th grade career day.  Originally interested in Graphic Design, it eventually evolved into an interest in Advertising when it came time to pick her major.  At Rider, she was able to study both the creative side and business side of the subject.

Dominique loves spending her free time with her fiancé, as well as their families and friends (and their dogs too!).  She is looking forward to the future and to still just enjoy life – start a family and continue to spend time with the people she loves.

Fun Facts about Dominique:

  • I am 100% Italian. My last name, Carnevale, is the final festival in Italy held before Lent begins.  Carnevale means “goodbye to meat.”
  • I grew up in a sports loving family, and that atmosphere is still present today!

Meet Eric Davis!

Eric Davis PicEric is a Level 1 Help Desk Technician at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  He grew up locally in East Brunswick, NJ, and received his education at Rutgers University.

He knew he was interested in IT because he often worked with family and friends to solve and purchase their machines and network equipment.  Once his construction job came to an end, he knew he needed to work, so he approached the IT field.  He went on to receive all his IT certifications himself.

Eric enjoys playing cards and likes to host parties in his free time.  He is looking forward to learning more and acquiring more certifications to better help the CATS team.

Fun Facts about Eric:

  • I used to perform Native Dances for Cultural Festivals as a kid, to better spread information about Indigenous People.
  • I have had the privilege to work, on occasion for and with, many people from the Mayor of Camden to the Sherriff’s Department of Paterson, NJ.

CATS Technology Named to CRN’s 2017 MSP500 List!

Picture1CATS Technology Solutions Group is extremely proud to have been named to CRN’s 2017 Managed Service Provider 500 (MSP500) List!

The MSP500 is an annual list that recognizes the top managed service providers in North America.  The list is divided into 3 sections, and CATS Technology was recognized in the Pioneer 250 Category.  The Pioneer 250 Category includes companies that have a business model heavily weighted toward managed services.

As a company that is constantly striving to be the best Managed Service Provider, we take great pride in accepting this honor.  CATS Technology staff and management work hard 24/7 and it is an amazing accomplishment for us to be recognized for such a prestigious award.

We wanted to be sure to share this with our clients because our success is your success!  Thank you for the continued support!

 

The complete list will be published in the February print issue of CRN Magazine.
For the full list, click here.
For immediate coverage, visit this link.

Meet Brian Castorina!

Brian is a Senior Consultant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  He grew up in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, NY, then moved to the New Springville section of Staten Island, NY, when he was 16 years old.

Brian began his education at The College of Staten Island, later transferring to Bergen Community College and DeVry University where he finished up his degree.  He realized he wanted to get involved with IT while he was working in the Operations Department at The Park Avenue Bank in NYC.  He was sent to classes to learn the banking computer system for his new position as a Systems Trainer.  It was at that point that Brian transferred to DeVry University and changed his major to Network Communications Management.  In February of 2007, he was moved to the IT Department at the bank and has been in the field ever since.

In his free time, Brian really enjoys working on classic cars.  During the spring and summer months, he likes to take his own cars to the local car shows.  He is most looking forward to remaining healthy and advancing in his career in the future.

Fun Facts about Brian:

  • I have owned 40 cars since 2001.
  • I have a 16 year old cat named Juno.

Meet Stephanie Senetra!

Stephanie PicStephanie is a Senior Consultant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  She grew up in Hamilton Square, NJ.

Stephanie began to work in a completely different field when she realized IT was what she really wanted to do.  Her first job out of high school was working in data entry at Merrill Lynch. Her boss sat at the PC next to her, and told her to try to figure out as much as she could with it.  After that, Stephanie soon became the IT person for 500 Accounting Users.  She was the liaison between Accounting and IT and followed the technicians around watching what they did to resolve issues, until she was able to resolve IT issues on her own.  Not only did she learn a lot of her IT skills that way, but it was also the start of her love for technology.

In her free time, Stephanie loves to work out, dance, and spend time with her 4 children.  She also loves to visit the beach during the summer – it is her happy place.

Stephanie is looking forward to watching her children grow in the future, and has a goal of continuing to learn and work in the IT field with CATS Technology.

Fun Facts about Stephanie:

  • I love spending time in Atlantic City, especially the Borgata.
  • I love working from home because it allows me extra time with my children.

Meet Jefry Betances!

Jef PicJef is an IT Consultant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  He grew up in Perth Amboy, NJ, and attended Middlesex Vocational and Technical High School on the Perth Amboy Campus.  He knew he wanted to get into the IT field the moment he laid eyes on their first Gateway PC with Windows 98.

In his free time, Jef likes to play sports such as basketball and baseball.  He also enjoys playing video games and hanging out with his friends.

Jef is most looking forward to continuing to succeed and excel in his career, and looking forward to all the life successes that comes along with it.

Fun Facts about Jef:

  • I like long walks on the beach with a bottle of beer in my hand.
  • I am a huge thrill seeker; roller coasters are my favorite.

Meet Nicholas Bufalo!

Nick PicNick is a Consultant at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  He grew up in Manalapan, NJ, and received his education from a couple schools in the area.  He attended Monmouth County Vocational for Advanced Networking, as well as Brookdale Community College where he studied Networking and Computer Science.

Nick began to get a strong interest in IT when he was about 7 years old.  His father brought home their first computer, and he immediately was amazed at how it worked.  Nick thought the fact that you can make it calculate and display different things was the coolest thing.  After that, he would spend his time looking at how things worked and became even more interested in computers and other electronics.

In his free time, Nick enjoys comics, playing video games, hiking, and traveling.  He is most looking forward to having his own house with a nice size yard in the future.  Nick also is excited to continue to watch CATS Technology prosper.

Fun Facts about Nick:

  • I’m an insomniac.
  • Surveys are tough things to answer.

Meet the CATS Team

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 12.46.03 PMPlease join us as we introduce ourselves!  Now that the new year is here, we would love to give you an inside glimpse into the staff at CATS Technology Solutions Group.  Beginning in February, we will be featuring two CATS employees a month.  Each post will include a photo, short bio, and a couple fun facts about each employee.

We take a lot of pride in the personality and energy that each individual brings to CATS Technology – and that is why we are so eager to share with you more than just our professional side.  Although a smaller company, made up of all different types of people, we treat each other like family.  Trust me, if we were a bunch of bores we would never voluntarily display that to everyone!

Follow CATS Technology Solutions Group on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and help us put a face to the name!
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Why is IT Always the Bad Guy?

It’s Monday morning, and you’re back at work after a relaxing weekend that felt entirely too short.  You gave yourself a pep talk during your entire drive – It’s Monday, new week, less stress, no worries and time to focus.

After you try to log into your computer at work, an error message pops up.  You try a few more times, only to receive the same message.  How annoying! You think, “Why can’t IT ever get this right?  It’s Monday morning and I can’t even work, this is not how I want to start my week!”

Now be honest, does this sound familiar?

As IT Consultants, CATS Technology gets it.  It is as frustrating to us as it is to you. But why is IT always the bad guy?  Let’s explore.

images-1The bearer of bad news.  IT Consultants make a constant effort to communicate with their clients from start to finish, which means there is a chance that unplanned issues can arise. YIKES! Let’s cue the yelling.  Nobody enjoys delivering bad news, so we aren’t too happy about this either.  However, the bright side is that we have kept you in the loop and no matter what the problem is, it is solved as quickly as possible.

It’s easy to blame.  We know, it’s easy to take your frustration out and blame IT for any issues that include a computer, printer, scanner, and the list goes on and on.  After all, IT should definitely have this under control, right?  Well, it’s not as easy as it seems.  Technology can be completely unpredictable, and usually it’s not until something goes wrong that it’s brought to our attention (well, your attention first of course).

So, try to cut us IT Consultants a break.  At CATS Technology, we are constantly working behind the scenes and around the clock.  We try our hardest to fix everything, however, technology does not always make it possible.

Remember, while we are the ones who need to take the blame, we are also the ones trying our best to solve the problems so you can work headache free Monday through Friday!

How the Tough Mudder Defined Teamwork for CATS Technology

WE DID IT!!!  We powered through the deep mud pits, climbed up the high walls, and army crawled under barbed wire to make it to the finish!2016-10-08_10-42-50_560

For the majority of us, this was our first time experiencing the Tough Mudder, and honestly I don’t think a lot of us knew what to expect.  Yes, we knew there would be mud (maybe even underestimated the amount of mud), and we knew it was an event that was focused on teamwork.  The teamwork that was displayed from each person is what made this entire experience so memorable and enjoyable – and it’s what makes CATS Technology Solutions Group so special.

The Tough Mudder is a tricky thing.  You are out of your comfort zone, soaked in mud, and unsure which obstacle is next and how much more your body will be pushed to the limit.  It’s extremely easy to give up – but none of us did.  Instead, we spoke only encouraging words, offered our hands to one another, and picked each other up when we fell down.  That is the true definition of teamwork.

For a company that is already close, the Tough Mudder felt like it brought everyone even closer.  There’s something about wearing the same matching t-shirts that makes you feel united.  The first day back in the office following our crazy weekend brought a lot of storytelling and picture sharing, as well as showing off our minor bumps and scrapes.

At CATS, we take pride in being a close knit company.  The fact that we work well together both inside and outside of the office is rare, and proves that it’s important to hire a MSP with these features.  We know the only way to get things done for our clients is with teamwork.  It’s something that makes us different and, most importantly, it’s what makes us a family.

We would like to thank all of our friends and family who spent the day with us.  We are looking forward to getting muddy again next year!!

Check out highlights of the day here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVF_0d16Au4

2016-10-08_12-21-57_291 2016-10-08_11-46-29_594 2016-10-08_11-55-54_682

CATS Technology Expands to a Bigger Space

UnknownCATS Technology is home!  We are so excited to announce that we have expanded to a bigger space, right down the hall from our previous office.  Although our address is the same, suite number and all, the new office feels so different.  It is comfortable, refreshing, and a place that we are all very proud of.

With our new office being about 1,000 square feet bigger, as a company, we are growing.  Having a bigger space gives us the opportunity to expand the CATS team over time, as well as more storage space for our IT equipment.

The walls are decorated with the CATS logo and big flat screen TV’s to display our services, as well as upcoming events.  One particular company-wide event that is right around the corner is the Tough Mudder.  We will all be participating in it as a team building exe
rcise, and also to raise money for the organization, JAR of Hope.  We take the course on October 8, so there is still time to raise money to help us reach our goal!  http://jarofhope.org/campaign/cats-technology/

 

We are now equipped with a cozy waiting area, where we welcome current clients, as well as potential ones, so please stop in and check out or newest space.  Our home is your home!

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CATS Technology Takes on Something BIG for a Great Cause

Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 10.45.27 AM

On October 8, 2016, the CATS team will be taking their teamwork out of the office to participate in the Tough Mudder Half at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ.

For those of you who don’t know, the Tough Mudder Half is a 5-mile obstacle course, with 14+ obstacles to overcome.  But the race will not be the only thing on our minds as we battle through mud pits, steep climbs, and tough terrain.

The CATS team will also be competing for JAR of Hope.Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 10.49.30 AM

JAR of Hope, aka Team Jamesy, is an organization whose main focus is to spread awareness and raise money to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disorder that affects young children, more specifically young boys.  Since children with DMD cannot produce dystrophin, which is a protein that is needed for muscle function and strength, every skeletal muscle in their body begins to deteriorate.

 Please watch this video to see what makes JAR of Hope so special

Since JAR of Hope is very close to the CATS family, we have a donation page set up with the hopes that we can get donations for them by our participation in the Tough Mudder Half. This truly is an incredible organization, so even if you are unable to donate, we ask that you browse their page to learn more about it.  It’s an inspiring story.

Make a Donation

Find out more about JAR of Hope

We will be sporting our custom made team “Thundercats” t-shirts – modeled after the popular TV series – in case anyone wants to come out and watch us in action!

Thanks for your time & we appreciate any donations that can be made!Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 11.57.38 AM

CATS Technology Named to CIOReview’s 2016 “20 Most Promising IT Services Companies”

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 3.25.51 PMWe are proud and excited to announce that CATS Technology has made the 2016 list of the “20 Most Promising IT Services Companies” by CIOReview.

CIOReview is a print magazine from Fremont, California that explores the different tactics firms use in order to maintain the smooth functioning of their businesses.  The “20 Most Promising IT Services Companies” list was determined by a panel made up of CEOs, CIOs, IT VPs, as well as the CIOReview Editorial Board.

“We are proud to announce CATS Technology as one among the 20 Most Promising IT Services Companies 2016,” said Jeevan George, Managing Editor of CIOReview. “CATS Technology remains committed in protecting an organizations data and safeguarding business by providing a wide range of managed IT services and support services at a lower cost.”

This is the second year in a row that CATS Technology has been named to one of CIOReview’s “Most Promising” lists.  Last year, CATS was included in the 2015 “50 Most Promising IT Services Companies” list.

We would like to thank CIOReview for the incredible recognition of our hard work and dedication!

View the full list of vendors who are in company with CATS Technology this year:

http://it-services.cioreview.com/vendors/2016/

President Darrin Gonchar Named “Entrepreneur of the Month” by CIOReview Magazine

This month, our very own Darrin Gonchar has been named “Entrepreneur of the Month” and is featured in CIOReview Magazine.

This articScreen Shot 2016-08-26 at 1.40.59 PMle is particularly special to CATS Technology because not only does it explain the services CATS offers but it also displays the company’s wholesome and personal side.

I’m sure the majority of you know what services CATS Technology offers, but this article touches on some things that you may not know; Do you know how CATS got its start?  Or what CATS actually stands for? How about that CATS has a history of giving back to the community?

It’s always an added bonus when a company excels inside the office, as well as outside of it, and we are so honored and thankful that CIOReview gave CATS Technology the opportunity to tell our story.

 

For the full article, visit pages 16 & 17 at this link: http://magazine.cioreview.com/magazines/August2016/IT_Services/

Looking for IT Consulting Services in New Jersey?

Welcome to the CATS Technology blog!

Managed IT Services NJOur goal is to use this blog to discuss and share with you the topics that you need to know in order to get the most out of your IT services and support.  Some of you may already be our clients while others may be considering switching your IT services provider or hiring an IT company for the first time.  While we hope you’ll choose to work with CATS Technology Solutions Group, anyone interested in the latest trends and issues that effect your business as it relates to the technologies that run your business can benefit from reading and participating in this blog.

IT TOPICS

Some of the topics we will focus on in this blog include:

Please check back often, comment and share when appropriate.  And let us know if there’s a related topic you would like us to write about. You can contact us using the contact form on the right.

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Active Imprints is a small business that does custom printing on a variety of items, including shirts, pens, cups, etc. They are headquartered in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, with an office in Long Beach Island. When we met with them, they had about 10 users, two servers, and a network that was failing on a daily basis. They were literally unable to work.
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