Tag Archive: Managed IT

  1. The Most Common Security Mistakes: Are You Making Them?

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    There are few areas where you can afford to make mistakes less than in security. Business security is in the news constantly it seems with big breaches happening on the regular. If large companies like Sony and Target aren’t immune, how can you assume your company isn’t susceptible to these kinds of attacks?

    And yet, even with all the vulnerabilities created by fast-moving technology and ever-smarter hackers, many businesses find themselves making the same cybersecurity mistakes over and over again.

    The Most Common Cyber Security Mistakes

    Typically, security breaches are a matter of employees who aren’t sure what the correct procedures are coupled with managers who are too busy with day-to-day operations to take necessary precautions. But frankly, you can’t afford to keep ignoring cybersecurity. Is your company making these errors?

    1. Insufficient or no backup procedures: What would happen if your place of business was lost to a fire, a flood, or theft? What would happen if every computer in your office was inaccessible? Would your documents and other sensitive data be gone forever? Many companies are relying on insufficient backups or worse, no backups at all.
    2. Insecure passwords: Newsflash: password123 is not a safe password. Many employees use insecure passwords because company policies don’t require them to do otherwise. It’s also common for employees to inadvertently provide their login credentials to phishers and scammers via email fraud or other scams. Make sure your IT team provides adequate training to employees to keep login information secure.
    3. Improper printer security: Did you know that your copier could be a security threat? You should be sure that your printers and copiers are behind your network firewall and that all software is up to date, and also ensure that you wipe all hard drives before recycling old machines.

    For more information about how we can keep your office secure with managed network services, contact us today

  2. Cloud Security: What to Ask Your Service Provider

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    There are a whole host of questions you should ask before you sign a managed services contract, especially if you’re concerned about security. When it comes to cloud security, you have every reason to be nosy: it’s vital that you protect your business data and ensure that your information will be adequately handled. When it comes to cloud compliance, it’s crucial that firms in financial services, healthcare, retail, and government choose a service that provides the utmost attention to security.

    In today’s business world, security threats are a constant concern. With data breaches in the news every week, it would be foolish to assume that your business is immune no matter its size. Take precautions on every level, especially your cloud services.

    What to Ask Before Signing a Contract

    If you’re considering a managed services contract for cloud hosting, make sure that you know what questions to ask. Work with your IT staff to come up with a list of questions that will help you decide whether a potential service provider meets your unique business needs.

    1. What information do you store?
    2. Where is your onsite physical storage?
    3. Who has access to your storage?
    4. How do you prevent unauthorized access?
    5. What levels of access are there?
    6. Have you helped customers through compliance audits? How many?
    7. What kind of compliance support do you offer in your service level agreement?

    These questions will get the conversation going for you to determine what level of security a provider is offering. Of course, every company and every industry has different security and compliance needs, so it’s important that you decide ahead of time on your non-negotiable requirements. To learn more about keeping your business secure, contact us today.

  3. What Can Cloud Service Do For You?

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    Everyone’s talking about how cloud services can benefit businesses these days, but there are still plenty of company executives who are fuzzy on how this ubiquitous trend can help the bottom line. You may still have some questions about the cloud and how it would change your day-to-day operations: questions like, “How does cloud management work?” “Why is cloud management necessary?” “How will my company benefit?”

    We’ll try to tackle those questions in this blog post.

    What to Expect: Cloud Services

    The simple way to define cloud management is the off-site storage of your computer programs, software, management tools, and sometimes documents or files electronically. Cloud services provide you with easy access to tools you use every day, no matter where you are in the world. Many companies use cloud management as a way to back up their business-critical programs such as email hosting, monitoring, and system back-ups in case of an emergency.

    Cloud services are popular for companies looking to:

    • Enhance security: With better back-ups and networking monitoring, cloud services and IT services can make your company more secure.
    • Support remote workers: These days, all you need is an internet connection to get some work done. With cloud management, employees can have access to the right documents, programs, and tools, no matter where they’re working from. This kind of productivity increase goes a long way in today’s global business world.
    • Promote growth: If your company is in a period of growth, cloud management is perfect for you. Cloud services are highly adaptable and scalable, ready to meet the demands of your business even as they change and expand.

    If you’re interested in learning more about cloud services and managed IT services, contact us today for a free assessment and more information.

  4. Reviewing the Tech Trends of 2016

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    As we begin 2017, it’s worthwhile to look over some of the trends that stuck out in 2016. Particularly in the world of finance and banking, technology has become an ever-present tool that connects customers and institutions in new ways. These are the tech trends we saw in the banking field in 2016.

    Finance Tech Trends of 2016

    • Mobile apps: More banks than ever have chosen to offer a fully integrated mobile app for customers to use on their smartphones and tablets. This kind of mobile experience can simplify the customer’s interactions with a bank branch, reducing the time burden on staff to answer questions.
    • Self-service: Many banks and financial institutions are offering self-serve kiosks in their branches, and some are even using tablets in their offices to supplement the customer experience.
    • Cybersecurity: Far from trendy but increasingly important, cybersecurity is a necessity for fraud prevention in the financial world. New data security methods popped up in 2016, including managed network services.
    • Biometrics: Fascinating developments in biometrics (such as fingerprints, voice, eyes, and imaging) have allowed companies to offer alternatives to PINs and passwords. These are far more secure, and customers enjoy the simplicity with the added safety.
    • Cloud services: Many banks and financial institutions that choose managed network services also opt for a cloud services solution. Cloud services can reduce overall costs and increase agility, and this developed into a solid trend in 2016.

    The trends that will continue into 2017 will be the ones that show their overall added value to businesses, and we predict that the security and cost savings of managed network services will make this comprehensive solution a winner in the new year. Contact us to learn more about our managed network services.

  5. This CEO Email Scam Cost Companies Billions

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    There’s a new email phishing scheme in town, and this one is hooking some big catches. This year, billions of dollars have been lost by corporations caught by a simple but smart CEO email scam, one that takes advantage of the busyness of a company’s C-level executives.

    Protect Your Company from Email Scams

    CEOs receive hundreds of emails a day, many of which are requesting approval on a project or invoice. The initiators of this CEO email scam know this to be the case and have found a way to subvert this reality for their illegal gain. Here’s how this recent scam has defrauded many companies out of billions of dollars:

    • A high-level finance department employee such as a CFO or controller will receive an email from the CEO’s email account. This email will request authorization for a wire transfer of funds and use company information to legitimize the request.
    • The CFO will assume this is legitimate, authorize the wire transfer, and forward it back to the CEO.
    • Both individuals are likely too busy to read thoroughly and approve wire transfers regularly, and thus, the wiring instructors are sent to the scammers.

    Sound like it couldn’t happen to you? The FBI has recently estimated that this kind of scam has robbed businesses over the past three years to the tune of over $2.3 billion. Mattel lost $3 million last year alone in a CEO fraud attack.

    To protect your company from this kind of fraud, implement security strategies that include a two-step authentication process. Significant transactions should require phone calls or other means of communication to verify identity before authorization. Be sure to share this information with your finance department and accounting team so they’re aware that even emails from seemingly legitimate sources could be fraudulent.

    For more information about how our managed network services can keep your business secure, contact us today.

  6. Is Your Cloud Migration Secure?

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    Businesses are migrating en masse to the cloud these days, and the transition comes with some significant benefits. Some companies are achieving that mystical goal of one “single source of truth”—in other words, a single warehouse for every piece of data that was previously scattered across your company’s discreet devices, laptops, and hard drives. Who doesn’t want reliable access to information from one easy-to-use platform? Enterprises are even using the big data technology capabilities of the cloud to their advantage, using Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services to manage big data. It’s a win-win-win.

    But some companies are missing a critical component of this migration to the cloud. When you move your information to the cloud, it’s vital that you upgrade and standardize your security practices. Here’s why.

    Take the Data, Leave the Bad Security

    Too often, data security is an afterthought in the cloud integration process. Your move to the cloud should be safe from start to finish, and you should leave any bad security practices behind you. Here are some areas of security you should be considering.

    • Encryption: Is your data encrypted? Perhaps more pertinently, is it encrypted at rest and in-flight? In other words, it’s not enough to have data encryption for your stored files; they also have to be encrypted during movement from place to place.
    • Appropriate permissions: Be sure that your new cloud storage has appropriate internal security. For instance, you should be able to ensure that your sales team doesn’t have access to your HR department’s records. Remember: security breaches aren’t only from the outside.
    • Use secure login procedures: Make sure that you’re using identities and strong passwords to access your cloud database.

    If your data isn’t up to par, your cloud migration is the perfect time to standardize and upgrade your security. For more information about network security, contact us today.

  7. Your Guide to Choosing Between Wifi and Ethernet

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    While there’s no such thing as a network that’s 100% secure, always online, and at peak performance 24/7, there is such a thing as a network that fits your company’s needs. It’s worth your time to consider what kind of network is best for your business, especially as internet use is crucial to modern life. Think about it: how much work would your office accomplish in a day without your network? The answer may be nearly nothing.

    Wireless (wifi) and wired (Ethernet) networks both have advantages and disadvantages, but their differences make them well-suited for certain organizations. Here’s how to understand the ways they differ and make a decision for your company.

    Wired Networks: The Pros and Cons

    The main advantages of wired or Ethernet networks are their speed and security. In most cases, wired networks are considered more secure than wireless since a physical connection is necessary to use the network. This can be a significant selling point for businesses concerned about the integrity of their data: it’s hard to be too careful in today’s world of information breaches.

    Wired networks also boast impressive speeds that still blow past wireless capabilities. Wifi speeds continue to improve, but Ethernet networks can give you speeds of up to 1 gigabit-per-second.

    Now for the cons. Wired networks are, as the name suggests, a little heavy on the cords—and they require more infrastructure. They’re more expensive to set up, and you could end up with a tangled mess (literally) when employees find it difficult to connect to your network from different workstations.

    Wireless Networks: The Pros and Cons

    Wifi networks are wildly popular and tend to be the setup that you’ll encounter often. The pros of wifi include the easy connectivity, the flexibility and scalability of your configuration, and wifi’s mobility. For today’s companies, wifi is attractive since employees can access it with the right credentials from whatever device they’re using to work—a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, or their computer.

    As for the disadvantages: you can imagine that this accessibility creates challenges for security. A wireless network can be just as secure as a wired network, but extra steps may be required. Wireless networks can also be spotty, and employees sitting too far away from a router may experience the headache of a slow connection.

    Feeling more informed? We can help you decide whether a wireless, wired, or hybrid model is the right fit for your business. Contact us to get started.