CIO Solutions
September 2011 - Issue 23 
Find It Fast
Check with the Tech - Security Tips
CIO in the News - CIO helps HASBARCO Design DR Plan
Password Security
App of the Month - RedLaser
Product Review: NOD32 AV
Employee Spotlight: Jason Coltrin
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2011 Fiesta Party Winner: Reicker Pfau


Congratulations for winning two years in a row!



Click here for pictures of the winning party





Dear ,

Security is an ambiguous word in the world of IT in that it means many different things to different organizations.


For example in Banking, security is tied to Compliance and Audits. In Healthcare it is associated with HIPPA and now HITECH. There are other security standards that have focuses ranging from making sure you have the right policies and control mechanisms all the down to making sure your implementation matches your policy.


CIO Solutions has taken a special interest in security and making sure our engineers are trained to bridge the gap between the compliance standards, the expertise needed to meet the standards and ability to speak in non-technical terms with the business owner.


The security landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years and will continue to change moving forward. CIO Solutions is committed to continue growing our security expertise and leveraging that knowledge for the benefit of our clients.

John Petote
CEO, CIO Solutions


Check with the Tech -  Security Tips

Check with the Tech   

Question:  Are there any general security tips that can help keep my data safe and keep me out of trouble on the internet?


Answer:   Here are some responses from our engineering team:


Chase Christian: Whenever you see a page that says that there is a problem with the website's secuirty certificate, don't proceed. This means that there is a security problem with either the website or your computer.


Sean Gill: Passwords should be a minumum of 8 characters and should include upper case, lower case and special characters. Passwords should not be a word that appears in the dictionary and passphrases are the most secure passwords.


Jeff Ford: Don't open email attachments unless you were expecting them. If an African prince asks you to help bring assets into this country, it is a lie.


Jason Coltrin: Setup a Google Alert with your family member's names (as well as your own). This will send you an email when you or your family's names appear on the internet. Also from time to time conduct a Google search of your credit card numbers, drivers license number and social security number. This will let you know if you have been victim of identity threat or who is giving out your personal information.


Richard Clark: Do not play any mini-game advertisements on the web - they may look fun and silly but it is an easy way to infect a PC, or, redirect to content that is inappropriate or malicious.


Nic Neilson: If a pop-up web page indicates that your PC is infected close the window. Do not install anything, this is how the malware will get onto your computer. Do not use a local administrator account for everyday use. Only use an admin account when necessary, for example when you are intentionally installing or updating software.                




We have officially outgrown our office at 320 S. Kellogg and are excited to announce that as of October 15th, we will be moving into a new facility.


Our new address will be:


150 Castilian Drive, Suite 100 

Goleta, CA 93117 


Our Phone Numbers are staying the same:


Main Office: 805-692-6700

Central Support: 805-692-6709

Fax: 805-692-6701 

We will be keeping our existing PO Box for all payments and correspondence.


Stay tuned for communication regarding our moving schedule and hours of operation during the move.  


CIO in the News


Read All About It!



CIO Solutions will be assisting with the design, implementation and support of a disaster recovery solution for The Housing Authority of Santa Barbara County.


Santa Barbara - September 19, 2011 - The Housing Authority of Santa Barbara County (HASBARCO) has partnered with CIO Solutions to provide the technical design and implementation resources for their Disaster Recovery (DR) plan.


Disaster Recovery plans have become vital for businesses and organizations that primarily rely on technical components for business continuity. In this day and age with more and more data online and stored on SANs (Storage Area Networks), it is important for companies to take a look at their 'backup' plan in case their primary network goes down.


CIO Solutions started the project by understanding HASBARCO's Recovery Point Objectives and Recovery Time Objectives. These objectives refer to the amount of acceptable data loss and how quickly a client wants to be able to recover data in the event of a disaster.


Eric Egolf, VP of Operations for CIO Solutions stated that, "Most businesses can only handle a couple of hours or, at the most, a day worth of data loss. Businesses with a strong dependence on IT are usually looking to be able to recover critical IT and computer functions in less than a day." Once the objectives were defined for HASBARCO, CIO Solutions was able to architect a cost-effective solution that met their specific needs.


CIO Solutions worked closely with HASBARCO IT staff to develop a DR plan that was technically effective but also addressed the operations that are involved when there is a disaster. Egolf stated, "One thing that people forget is that IT is only a part of the Disaster Recovery plan and that the entire operations of the organization need to be thought about including roles and responsibilities during the disaster."


Mary Jane Roberts, PC/Network Administrator for HASBARCO, stated, "We have been working with the staff at CIO for several years now on numerous projects. CIO not only presents the technical solutions available, but invests the time to know our goals, how we run our business and even our limitations. This not only instills confidence in us as their client, it also reflects their goal of establishing a lasting partnership."  


The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara (HASBARCO) is a political subdivision of the State of California responsible for providing affordable housing for thousands of low income households in Santa Barbara County through rent subsidy programs or by occupancy in one of its housing developments. The agency was founded on the belief that decent, safe and sanitary housing is central to the physical and emotional health, the productivity, and the self-esteem of the people it serves. More information can be found at


CIO Solutions has been providing IT management and design services to the Tri-County Area since 1986. CIO specializes in Enterprise Storage Solutions, VoIP Phone Systems, Security Administration and Networking Design, Implementation and Support. More information can be found at or by calling their office at 805-692-6700.


Marketing Contact:

Hannah Rich

CIO Solutions 


Click here to read more press releases from CIO Solutions


Password Security - Burt Ribet, Sr. Engineer

Burt Ribet 

How long should a password be?


The longer the password the more difficult it is to guess or crack. For instance, take a password that uses upper and lower case, numbers and common symbols. A seven character password has 75 trillion combinations. If you add one more character it would have 7.2 quadrillion combinations. Fifteen characters would have about 542 octillion combinations!


A normal workstation can try about 100 million passwords/sec. That sounds like a lot, but in the example above it would take around 23 years to crack the eight character password and 171 trillion years to crack the fifteen character password.


What characters should I use?


Just by adding a single additional symbol you have made it that much more difficult to guess/crack. For example, an eight character password with just upper and lower case letters and numbers has 218 trillion combinations. If you add the 33 "common symbols" there are 7.2 quadrillion combinations. This also makes it more difficult for crackers because they need to make the decision what characters to use to try to crack the password.


Passwords are SOOOO passÚ


I don't suggest passwords; I suggest using pass phrases. A pass phrase like "What a beautiful day." is much stronger than "!#Hld%^&*yse". The pass phrase contains upper and lower case letters and some common symbols (the spaces and period). If people used pass phrases they would be less likely to forget them therefore minimizing password resets. The user also would be less likely to write it down. Since it is easier to think of a pass phrase users might not fight having to change their passwords more often.


To sum it up, a pass phrase greater than 14 characters is the best password. In fact, with today's technology in hardware and software, it is impossible to crack. Something to keep in mind is that your security is as good as your weakest link. If you follow the above password suggestions, this just pushes your weaknesses to another part of your network.


Click here to read more technical details on password security and the common authentication protocols.


App of the Month - RedLaser



Barcode and QR Code Scanner App

 UPC Codes



✓ Scans UPC, EAN, UPC-E, EAN-8 and QR Code bar codes! 

✓ Searches for prices with Google Product Search, eBay, and more
✓ Local search powered by Milo, Best Buy, and TheFind
✓ Compare to find the lowest price
✓ Local search locates books in nearby librariesQR Codes
✓ Nutrition information powered by the Daily Burn
✓ Food Allergy information powered by Food Essentials
✓ Reviews from eBay Reviews and others
✓ Share a product or list of products on Facebook, Twitter, SMS, or E-Mail
✓ Create a QR Code from your contacts, a URL, or text


Product Review: NOD32 Anti-Virus Software - Bjoern Freiherr, Jr. Engineer



ESET NOD32 - CIO's preferred antivirus solution


Founded in 1992, ESET is an IT company located in Bratislava, Slovakia. It was the most successful Slovak company for the last three years. ESET also established branches on San Diego, Buenos Aires, Prague, Krakˇw and Singapore.


The company's first product called NOD was an antivirus software for MS-DOS sytems. In 1998 the first version of NOD32 for Windows was released. Currently, version 5 is in beta testing state.


Over the last few years, NOD32 has quietly become on of the best antivirus solutions available. It installs easily in about a minute and has a simple and effective user interface. In many different tests, NOD32 was proven to detect more infections than most other well known anti-virus programs. With 63.2 MB/s, rated NOD32 the fastest virus scanner this year. The application launch time is extremely low and the reboot time increases by 9 seconds while other programs take up to half a minute. ESET has earned many awards, confirming its high rank in the antivirus market.


The success story of ESET and the performance facts of NOD32 combined with a reasonable pricing made it CIO's preferred antivirus software.


Employee Spotlight: Jason Coltrin, Remote/Field Engineer


Jason ColtrinFull name:  Jason Edward Coltrin


Family Info: Married to Jennifer and we have two daughters, Maya (5) and Amber (3)


Where did you grow up? Manhattan Beach, CA


When did you move to SB?  1990


What do you like best about SB? The weather, close proximity to both hiking trails and the beach.


When did you start working at CIO? August, 2011


What is your position at CIO?  Network Engineer


What do you like best about working at CIO? All the laughing, smiling, joking and stories coming from all the unique people who are also professional, positive and determined to be part of something great.


Dreams/aspirations: Raise my girls to be independent, aspiring scientists/engineers who will help save the planet. For me, become a well-regarded and reliable computer engineer, help save the planet, help those less fortunate, and work towards a better future for those whose lives I touch. Also, become a better golf player and perfect the art of leisurely activities.


Favorite color:  Ocean Green/Blue


Favorite Food: (Changes every couple of months) A perfectly cooked ribeye steak, and Mediterranean


Favorite Book:  A Moveable Feast - Hemingway


Favorite Movie:  Raiders of the Lost Ark


Motto/quote: Billy Crystal - "It's better to look good than to feel good."


Interesting facts: I've always been active in sports; I went to Europe to compete in AYSO World Championships with the Squeakers, competed with the UCSB surf team (placing 2nd in one competition), and have raced dirt bikes in the desert. I have traveled to Mexico, New York (stayed at the Twin Towers), Costa Rica, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Fiji and New Zealand.   


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