Ready to get started? Give us a call! 855-290-5483

Elizabeth DiDio

Employee Spotlight – Meet Josh Mackley, Tier 3 Help Desk Technician

Meet Josh Mackley, Tier 3 Help Desk Technician at KiteTech! Josh has been with us for 8 years and a typical day for him starts with a morning huddle to catch up with the Escalation Team, followed by handling escalated tickets and emergencies. Throughout the day he continues to assist his teammates in fulfilling tickets.

Home to Josh is Westminster, Maryland and for fun he enjoys spending time with his friends and girlfriend, watching live music, and attending sporting events. Josh does an incredible job at KiteTech and our clients agree. Some of the client reviews that we’ve received about Josh include, “Josh crushed it! Give that man a raise!” and “Josh was very prompt with his response to my ticket. A+ job!”

Below are some questions that Josh answered to give you a chance to get to know him better. 

Before working at KiteTech, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

Most interesting would have to be Little Caesars Pizza. The amount of pizzas they dish out in a single day/night is fascinating.

What advice would you give to recent new hires?

Documentation is key. Lean into your peers and never be afraid to ask for help. Remember to follow & trust the process. 

What’s your favorite part of being a member of KiteTech?

The culture we’ve built here. Over the years, KiteTech has proven to be the healthiest work culture I’ve been a part of, especially with how we treat each other and our clients with respect.

What’s you favorite travel spot and why?

Denver, Colorado. I have friends that moved out there and the atmosphere is perfect if you love the outdoors.

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Sushi. No questions asked.

What is your favorite sport?

Soccer. I started playing at the young age of 4 & still play rec indoor soccer with friends.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning some new things about Josh! Stay tuned for the next edition of our Employee Spotlight to get to know Axel Scott. Don’t forget to also check out our previous spotlights to meet Krystal Son, Justin WiseNathan Taylor, and other amazing members of our team. 

Elizabeth DiDio

Elizabeth DiDio

Marketing Intern
Kite Technology Group

Employee Spotlight – Meet Krystal Son, Escalation Team Lead

Meet Krystal Son, Escalation Team Lead here at KiteTech! Krystal has been with us for 8 years and a typical day for her involves dispatching tickets, leading meetings, assisting technicians, organizing and publishing documentation, delegating, finding ways to be more efficient, and having fun while doing it all!

For years, it was Krystal’s dream to live in the Pacific Northwest due to the cooler weather, mountains and pine trees. Four years ago, she happily moved there and now calls Seattle, Washington her home. 

Outside of work, Krystal loves to game, read fiction (especially sci-fi and fantasy), play D&D with her friends, and hike. Krystal and her husband are also huge foodies, so they enjoy discovering new places to eat. 

Before working at KiteTech, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

When I was 19 I worked at a pizza restaurant which was popular for spinning the pizza dough before sliding them into a conveyor belt oven. Only men were assigned to spin the pizza dough in the air to make the pizzas, as the owner wanted the women up front taking orders and interfacing with customers. Ignoring such definitions, I was fascinated by the dough-spinning and determined myself to master the craft, which I did and had a blast doing. I owe credit to the pizza-table manager at the time, Fred, who allowed me such prohibited adventures.

What do you like most about your job?

I like to have fun and not take things too seriously, and I like to be able to weave some of that into our culture and operations at KiteTech, so that technicians feel like they can have fun and express themselves at work. I’m fortunate to work at a company that encourages bringing personality into the job and being able to kick back and have fun from time to time.

What would people never guess you do in your role?

I’ve been known to pull some pranks occasionally. I worked with a colleague of mine once to run a script on all our office computers that would eject the CD drive once every few hours (back when almost every computer had them). There was also another time where myself and my partner-in-crime, while targeting one of the manager’s computers, replaced the sound file of the new-email message to instead be a recording of a friend’s voice saying “HELLOOO!!” very exuberantly. This manager often listened to the radio from their computer with some very nice speakers at a pretty decent volume. So once this sound file (which was recorded to be much louder than regular volume) was replaced and the next email came in, the entire office was privy to a very loud “HELLOOOO!!!” coming from their office that they instantly recognized. That was a fun day.

Do you have a favorite quote?

One of the wonderful things about getting older is that you start to care a lot less about what other people think, and it is very freeing. As most people can relate, when we’re young we’re not only pressured by societal standards and way of life, but also peer pressure and family ideals and obligations we feel we’re bound to. Getting older and realizing that all that noise doesn’t matter as much as you thought it did, really changes perspectives, and in my case, happiness. So the quote I will provide that I saw somewhere once is: “Your idea of me is not my responsibility to live up to”. It was meaningful to me at the time I read it due to the absolute freedom this perspective provided me.

Favorite line from a movie?

From Everything, Everywhere, All at Once: “In another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you. You think because I’m kind that it means I’m naïve, and maybe I am. It’s strategic and necessary. This is how I fight. The only thing I do know is that we have to be kind. Please, be kind. Especially when we don’t know what’s going on”.

Do you have an office nickname? What is it and how did you get it?

When I was in Air Force tech school, our usernames to log into the training system was our last name followed by the first letter of our first name, which for me ended up being “koraltank” (my maiden name). The teacher thought the end was great, and started calling me “tank”. This picked up and for the rest of my Air Force career, even after I married and my last name changed, I was known as “tank”. It made trips to paintball with tech school friends extra fun.

We hope you enjoying learning some new things about Krystal! Want to get to know more of our employees? Check out our previous spotlights to meet Justin WiseNathan Taylor, Shane Briscoe, and Chris Roop

Elizabeth DiDio

Elizabeth DiDio

Marketing Intern
Kite Technology Group

Employee Spotlight – Meet Justin Wise, Tier One Help Desk Technician

Meet Justin Wise, Tier 1 Help Desk Technician at Kite Technology Group! Justin has been with us for almost a year and as the late shift technician, a typical day starts with him catching up on responses and checking for updates from the operations or projects team. He spends the rest of the day taking calls and completing help desk tickets.

For Justin, home is Ramona, California, a town just outside of San Diego. When he’s not working, Justin enjoys spending time with his wife and playing video games.  

What do you love most about your job?

The people are the best, coworkers and users are all so wonderful to talk to. I am an outgoing person so being able to talk to and build relationships with so many people is a lot of fun. It also helps when you have wonderful coworkers, I have never worked with better people.

Before working at KiteTech, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I worked at a vet clinic. This was in high school so I would wake up around 5 AM, drive to the clinic and let the dogs out to the bathroom, make sure they were all fed, and that their areas were clean. Then I would go to school. It was so fun to see all the dogs but waking up that early was rough with school at times.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

I would probably be a teacher, either at the high school or college level. I really enjoy learning, which is one of the reasons I am in IT. Being in a place where I can continuously learn and teach others is what I want to do.

What did you want to be when growing up?

I wanted to be a doctor of some kind. Some kind of surgeon or an infectious disease specialist. For a while, I wanted to be a Neurosurgeon because I enjoyed the word “Neuro” and thought it would be fun to work on brains.

What is your favorite sport?

I would have to say Formula 1. The cars are so complex and intricate so following the teams and the technical changes that they do is very interesting for me. I really enjoy seeing them evolve and change, often to just go a tenth of a second faster.

What places have you lived in?

I have lived in: Georgia, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, West Virginia, and California. Georgia and Colorado were when I was really young. Illinois and Iowa are mainly where I grew up, so around ages 5-17. I then spent about 5 years in West Virginia before moving to California this time last year.

We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about Justin! Check out our previous Employee Spotlights to get to know Nathan Taylor, Shane Briscoe, and Chris Roop

Elizabeth DiDio

Elizabeth DiDio

Marketing Intern
Kite Technology Group

Tips for Staying Safe from Cyber Attacks

As the world around us becomes increasingly digital, it has never been more crucial to know the cyber threats that we face and how to avoid them. Threat actors are continuously looking for any vulnerabilities in our systems that they can exploit. Make sure that you are staying aware of the dangers out there and taking steps to strengthen your security posture. Here are 4 tips that you can leverage for staying safe from cyber attacks.

Tip #1: Avoid Being Tricked by MFA Fatigue

MFA fatigue is when a threat actor persistently attempts to log into an end user’s account using legitimate credentials until the user approves the MFA request on their phone or authenticator app. The constant request to approve the login is used as a tactic to annoy the end user and trick them into approving the login to stop the requests.

If you aren’t currently attempting to log into the service where the request is coming from, always choose to deny and change your password to stop the requests.

Tip #2: HTTPS Does Not Mean the Website is Safe

HTTP is an internet protocol that is used to communicate to a webserver from your browser. When you browse to a website using HTTP, all of the data requests that are used to communicate to the webserver are in plain text. HTTPS is the secured version of that protocol. This means that the network traffic from your local browser to the website is encrypted and cannot be deciphered without the appropriate key.

However, the big takeaway is just because the traffic to a website is secured by HTTPS, does not mean that the website is safe. Always confirm by double checking the URL and be sure to research the legitimacy of the website before entering any credentials.

Tip #3: Keep your Operating Systems up to Date

Whether it’s Windows, Mac, or mobile device, keeping the operating system up to date is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your data. These updates contain security patches for your device, which are used to fix the vulnerabilities in the operating system that are commonly exploited by threat actors.

It’s understandable that updating can cause some hinderance during your workday. To combat this, be sure to schedule these updates during your off hours so that it doesn’t cause any interruption and you can ensure the device is secured.

Tip #4: Implement a Call-back Procedure for Financial Transactions

Whether it’s a wire transfer or a credit card transaction, handling this type of data can be scary. You want to confirm that when you are processing these types of transactions, the money is coming and going from the correct place and person. This is why it’s important to have a call-back procedure in place to confirm the person is who they say they are, and that the communication is legitimate before moving forward.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the many steps that you can take to stay safe from cyber threats. While, the threats that endanger our security will never be eliminated, there are fortunately many strategies that you can use to mitigate them. Taking the time to stay informed on the latest security best practices will go a long way in protecting you and your business. 

If you’re not currently working with Kite Technology and would like to learn more about how our Managed IT and Security Services can help you operate more effectively and secure your business, please contact us to schedule a conversation. We’re here to help!

Dillon Fornaro

Dillon Fornaro

Security Engineer
Kite Technology Group

Employee Spotlight – Meet Nathan Taylor, Tier One Help Desk Technician

Meet Nathan Taylor, Tier 1 Help Deck Technician at KiteTech. Nathan has been with us for just 6 months and is already a customer favorite; one client even said, “Nathan Taylor was INCREDIBLY patient, friendly, and knowledgeable and kept his focus, humor, and professionalism the entire time.” Another shared “Haughn loves Nate! He’s always able to take care of us and is fast & friendly!” 

Westminster, Maryland is home to Nathan and when he’s not fulfilling customer tickets, he enjoys working out, hiking, playing soccer, and hanging out with his family and friends. 

What’s your favorite part of being a member of KiteTech?

My favorite part of being a KiteTech member is the family orientation and mindset we have here as a company. We all care about each other and we want to see each person succeed. I can always count on my coworkers to assist me on any challenging assignments or tasks.

What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

1. Always treat people with kindness and respect no matter who they are. 2. Always give 100% effort in your job no matter how challenging the days can get. 3. Always help when possible; one person cannot run a company. Share what you know with coworkers to better each other.

What do you like most about your job?

I love the connection and relationships we build with our users and being able to help our clients to make their days easier.

What does true leadership mean to you?

Someone who is in charge, is willing to do what is being asked, and who will always be the first to guide or assist.

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

My greatest challenge I had to overcome in my life was adapting to the military lifestyle and serving for 8 years.

What’s your motto or personal mantra? 

“Perfection is impossible, BUT perfect effort is not.” I always believe in putting 100% effort in everything I do to better myself and KiteTech.

Favorite line from a movie?

“I am a peacock, you gotta let me fly!” The Other Guys

 What are your three most overused words/phrases?

“Cool Beans,” “You do You,” and, “Bees Knees.”

Any random facts you could share with us?

I competed in a Bodybuilding Competition.

Three words to best describe you:

Motivated, contagious, and outgoing

Top three life highlights:

My two kids’ births, enlisting in the Navy, and joining KiteTech.

If you were an animal what would you be?

I would be an elephant; I grew up loving elephants and to this day they are my favorite animal.

What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?

The smart phone – literally having a computer in your pocket has changed the way the world works.

Are you currently binge-watching any shows?

Psych (for the 3rd time)

We hope you learned something new about Nathan and enjoyed getting to know him a little better! Keep an eye out for our next Employee Spotlight where we will be featuring Justin Wise, another member of our Frontline Support Team. In the meantime, you can check out our previous Employee Spotlight where we featured Shane Briscoe.

Elizabeth DiDio

Elizabeth DiDio

Marketing Intern
Kite Technology Group

Employee Spotlight – Meet Shane Briscoe, Tier Two Help Desk Technician

Meet Shane Briscoe! Shane started as an intern at KiteTech 4 years ago and within a year, he found himself employed full-time. His current position is as a Tier 2 Help Desk Technician. 

Baltimore County, Maryland is home to Shane and when he’s not working, he loves to photograph wildlife and nature, go fishing, and play video games.

For Shane, a typical day at KiteTech consists of taking on tickets that Tier 1 Technicians were unable to resolve. Shane researches the problem and contacts users and vendors to then take the correct steps to resolve the issue. He also trains and assists other Tier 1 Technicians on tickets that they have questions about or are stuck on. 

What drew you to KiteTech originally? What have you gained from working here?

I was introduced to Kite as a part of the internship program at NPower, a short course I took after high school. I found the environment and people to be awesome and I wanted to stick around as long as I could. I have gained many skills in navigating a professional environment as well as an abundance of experience in various parts of IT, both on the projects team and now on the Help Desk. I’ve also become REALLY good at Googling.

What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with KiteTech?

I would love to be in a position to do more teaching. Whether that be internally with technicians or externally with clients, teaching is what I am most passionate about; it’s a part of who I am.

What’s your favorite part of being a member of KiteTech?

The people for sure. There is not one person at Kite I don’t enjoy working with and there’s no one I can’t trust to do their job well and to have my back if I ever need help. My team leads have always taken personal interest in my growth which has helped me tremendously

What is your proudest moment at KiteTech?

My proudest moment actually comes from my first position here, as a Tier 1 Project Technician. Working with my team lead, I was able to streamline the PC Prep Process and get it documented so anyone could follow it and do so quickly. I was able to get the process, which originally took 45 minutes for a computer, down to 15 minutes in a repeatable way, and was able to prep about 8 computers at once. 

How do you define success?

Success is being happy with where you are knowing that you have room for improvement. It isn’t defined by a dollar amount or a position or anything external. Though we all have room for growth, we can find success no matter how much money we make or what job we have.

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation?

I would love to go to Japan. The food and culture there is really interesting to me and there are a lot of beautiful and unique places for nature and wildlife.

What did you want to be when growing up?

I wanted to be a chef like my father. I’ve been in the kitchen since I was 9 years old and made my first dish-pancakes-from scratch. That is also my proudest recipe that I’ve developed over the years. I love cooking and the fast-paced kitchen environment.

What is an ability you wish you had?

Teleportation would be awesome, I would save so much on gas, and save time too!

What is the best book you have ever read and why?

Rather than a book, it is a book series, called Gone by Michael Grant. It is a sci-fi story where one day everyone 15 and over disappears from a town, a strange dome appears around it, and the children left inside get superpowers! The story for all 6 books is super engaging and there are many twists and developments that add to it.

Best single book I read is Lord of the Flies, I really enjoyed the story and how they developed their own little society.

What music is currently on your phone?

While I listen to most genres (except Country), I have been partial to Jazz (like The Squirrel Nut Zippers), Soulful Funk( like Hiatus Kaiyote and KAMAUU), funky R&B (like MICHELLE and Boy Pablo), and old school hip-hop (like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest)

We hope you enjoyed learning all about Shane! Stay tuned for our next Empoyee Spotlight where we will be featuring Beth Mabe, another member of our Frontline Support Team, or, check out our last Employee Spotlight and get to know Chris Roop.

Elizabeth DiDio

Elizabeth DiDio

Marketing Intern
Kite Technology Group

Employee Spotlight – Meet Chris Roop, Tier One Help Desk Team Lead at Kite Technology

Meet Chris Roop! Chris is from Frederick, Maryland and has been a valuable employee of KiteTech for the past 9 years, working as a Frontline Help Desk Lead. 

A typical day for Chris begins with him handling morning dispatch and answering morning phone coverage. The Help Desk Technicians then meet with the Help Desk Leadership Team to stay updated and connected on day-to-day events. Chris is very passionate about process development and typically works towards his quarterly goals to improve the Help Desk processes and standards. He stays available for his team and provides bi-weekly one-on-ones with each technician to review weekly goals and set training schedules. One of Chris’ primary goals is maintaining adequate phone coverage throughout the day and tracking schedules to assist with meeting these coverage needs. 

Outside of work, Chris enjoys playing video games, writing fiction, and watching movies and TV shows. Some of his favorite TV Shows include, “Like Chuck,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “That 70s Show.”

What drew you to KiteTech originally? What have you gained from working here?

I have probably one of the most unusual stories about how I came to work at Kite. Back in 2010 I had started working for a small IT company where I began my career in the field. I loved the work and met a great boss and mentor in the process. Sadly after 3 years there, the owner had taken ill and passed away from cancer. In this tumultuous time, his friendship with Greg DiDio and Jeff Kite led me to Kite Technology, as they stepped in to help us out in those trying days. They gave me a temporary home to continue working with clients. In my time working alongside the caring and kind folks of Kite Tech, I was welcomed with open arms, even though I worked for another IT company at the time. I got a chance to work with these wonderful people directly and saw what a great group of people they were firsthand. Within a few weeks, I was officially hired on to work for Kite Tech. Looking back, I can’t believe how fast the past 9 years have flown.

What do you love most about your job?

Working on a team with awesome people, and getting a chance to work with people new to the industry and help them grow into their career paths of choice. I had great mentors when I began in the field so if I can give back even a fraction of what I was given when I was starting out that makes me very happy.

What advice would you give to new hires at KiteTech?

This industry is chaotic at times and sometimes it can feel overwhelming with all the information that is constantly being blasted at you. “Its like drinking from a firehose.” I cannot remember where I heard this originally, I know it’s relatively common, but I say it often to new technicians. I suspect there will be knowing smiles and chuckles from any reading this who have worked with me, as it’s become a bit of a catch phrase of mine. I often try to give advice to learn to embrace the chaos, and realize that while emergencies happen in our industry, nothing we do involves life and death. So, don’t panic, let the calmer, logical side prevail. Do not let the fear of the unknown cause you to freeze. You don’t need to know everything right off the bat, just approach everything as an opportunity to learn something new.

Do you have a favorite quote? 

I have a few that have held strong meaning for me in my life, however there are two that consistently have strong relevance in my life. The first was from “The Karate Kid”, Mr. Miyagi, “You remember lesson about balance? Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance, everything be better.” This is something I’ve been trying to strive for in my personal growth, not just from a work/life perspective, but finding balance in emotions, logic, and how I live my life and make decisions. 

The second quote comes from a fantasy novel, “The Stormlight Archives,” by Brandon Sanderson, which is, “The most important step a man can take. It’s not the first one, is it? It’s the next one. Always the next step.” This to me has meaning in that, no matter what has happened in the past, you can always make a change in your life.

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation?

I have always wanted to visit Hawaii. This has been on my list for years, but I’ve never had the opportunity to do so. One of these days I will get there. But, in reality, a dream vacation for me is anywhere that has crystal clear blue ocean water and beaches. Put me there and I’d be happy. Ocean breezes and blue oceans are all it takes to make me feel good and relaxed, and that’s what a dream vacation means to me.

What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?

Cell phones, I remember back when I got my very first cell phone, a Nokia 3310 on tracfone prepaid. I was still in high school and just started working at my first retail job. It’s been crazy to see the evolution of cell phones that I’ve had over the years, as well as the ones my parents used when I was growing up. As phones became more and more advanced, the subtle changes in how we lived life began happening, and then seeing the first smart phones come out and how much more our lives shifted toward online presence and availability at all times. While I prefer to leave my own phone on silent and far away from me most of the time, I can’t deny that cell phones and smartphones were likely one of the most important innovations I’ve witnessed in my lifetime.

What kinds of hobbies or interests do you have outside of work?

I consider myself a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. I don’t really have hobbies in a traditional sense, but I do have interests that I spend time doing and enjoying. It all depends on my mood. One month I may be in the mood to be heavily into writing, and then eventually my mood changes and I move on to something else. Sometimes I’ll return to a past interest and do it again, other times I find something new that interests me and try that for a while. I just enjoy doing and learning a lot of different things, and I just go where the sails of my interest take me next. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed things like fishing, writing fiction, some 3D artwork, model building, card collecting, gaming and many more that I can’t even remember. I don’t feel like I need to have any one hobby, I get a lot of enjoyment out of experiencing many different things even if only at an introductory level.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about Chris. Stay tuned for our next Empoyee Spotlight where we will be featuring Beth Mabe, another member of our Frontline Support Team!

Elizabeth DiDio

Elizabeth DiDio

Marketing Intern
Kite Technology Group

adam atwell

Adam Atwell

Cloud solutions architect

Adam is passionate about consulting with organizations across the country to help them develop and execute a cloud adoption strategy that meets their business needs and future objectives. Adam oversees and manages our company strategy for Microsoft 365 adoption and is responsible for future growth and development inside Microsoft 365 and other cloud technologies.