Tag Archive: Managed Network Services

  1. Three Reasons to Choose Managed Network Services

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    It’s not enough these days to have the best product and the best service—you have to have the best technology, as well, to keep up with the day-to-day operations of your business. Customers expect to be able to connect with you at any time through your network and expect you to have information ready for them at a moment’s notice. Today’s business world runs at a break-neck pace, and if you don’t have the tools to keep up, you’ll quickly be behind your competition.

    That’s why many companies invest in IT managed services. Managed IT can help you control your technology infrastructure while leaving you free to focus on business-critical tasks. Here are the top three reasons that businesses choose managed IT services.

    1. Control Costs

    Operating costs for your network may seem to spiral out of control as your company grows, and you may find yourself paying for downtime. Managed IT services allow you to invest in uptime instead, reducing your annual IT budget by at least 25% according to recent statistics. You’ll have more control and visibility into your IT budget, providing you with the opportunity to make conscious, smart decisions for your company’s future.

    2. Proactive Maintenance

    More IT departments are forced to be reactive instead of proactive when it comes to network support, simply because they’re also managing new technology rollouts, employee training, and strategic initiatives. Maintaining and monitoring a system is an intense job that requires a significant time commitment, so outsourcing this portion of your IT management will free up your staff for more important work.

    3. Better Security

    There’s a cyber attack waiting around every corner these days it seems. It’s worthwhile to know that your network is secured by experts in the field and that you don’t have to worry about your company’s data being stolen. Managed IT offers a level of security that is hard to reach without the continuous monitoring, updating, and backups that your service provider can give.

    For more information about managed IT services, contact us today.

    IT Services Des Moines  Network Design Des Moines

  2. 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

  3. How to Make Disaster Recovery a Part of Your Plan

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    We’re now well into the first few months of 2017, and with this new year, many companies are setting their IT budgets. As you make your strategic plans for the year, it’s vital that you consider a disaster recovery plan. A disaster recovery plan can seem like a daunting task, but it could be the difference between your company weathering a disaster or shutting its doors. Here’s how managed network services fit into a disaster recovery plan.

    Disaster Recovery: Back-Ups and Security

    These days, it’s not uncommon to hear about even industry giants being victims of a cyber attack. It’s easy to see how a disaster can happen when even large companies like Target and Sony are in the news for stolen data. Of course, it doesn’t take this kind of issue for your business to be in a tight spot: a flood, fire, or theft of physical assets can leave you equally unable to operate.

    If the worst happens in your business, it’s crucial that you can continue with day-to-day operations. For that, you’ll need your most valuable asset: your company information. Managed network services can help you keep this information secure with back-ups and cloud services.

    • Managed network services provide offsite backups that can be accessed no matter where you are, allowing you to continue operating even if you can’t access your office.
    • Disaster recovery isn’t expensive. It’s a common misconception that disaster recovery will cost you too much, but with low subscription pricing models, you’ll be able to experience the many benefits of managed network services.
    • Downtime is expensive. Your company shouldn’t be investing in downtime. Managed IT services can help you with network monitoring to keep your business up and running.

    For more information about how managed network services can help your company, contact us today.

    IT Services Des Moines

  4. What Kind of IT Department Do You Need?

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    We’ve all experienced that sinking feeling when we hit “install” on a new piece of software, and the company laptop screen goes blank. Or when you think you’re dealing with a simple printer jam and end up removing a piece of the machine that you don’t know how to replace. Or you think your desktop computer has a virus. Or—hundreds of other scenarios. Who are you going to call?

    Your IT helpdesk, of course. Your technology gurus. Your printer people. They know what it’s essential to have these kinds of individuals on board with your company to help you manage, control, and plan your technology. But how do you start building a qualified IT staff if you’re a new business? How do you revamp a small or understaffed IT department? Here are some pointers.

    Finding the IT Staffing Solution That’s Right for You

    Many small businesses rely on the expertise of their employees for IT needs—whether they’re IT employees or not. This can work for a while, but eventually, most companies realize that they’re out of their depth when making decisions about networks, office equipment, and technology. If you’re at this point, it’s time to start considering the many IT options available to you. Here’s what you can do.

    • Hire an IT director and staff: The traditional route for medium-sized businesses is to delegate IT to a department.
    • Hire consultants: IT consultants are available for small businesses but are sometimes too expensive for consistent use.
    • Choose managed IT services: IT managed services can be the solution you need for many of your IT needs. With managed IT, you can outsource the tasks you’re unable to handle in-house while saving money. This is an attractive option even for companies with robust IT departments.

    For more information about IT support, contact us today.

    IT Services Des Moines

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Using a Managed Services Provider to Get you to the Cloud

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    No matter how out of touch with technology you are you’ve undoubtedly heard a term referencing the cloud, you might have even wondered what the cloud is. Simply put, the cloud is a way to outsource data storage and the actual processes of your computing to a server offsite that you access through the internet. It can provide many different benefits, efficiencies and cost savings, but only if implemented correctly. This is where your IT support provider comes in.

    Expertise you Need at a Price you can Afford

    A Managed Services provider will give you the benefits of a fully-staffed corporate IT department without any capital expenditure. Instead of investing thousands of dollars into hiring staff with various competencies and making sure they complement each other and satisfy your needs you can hire one company for a fixed monthly fee that has all of the experience and expertise you need. These companies will often have several cloud computing experts on hand to help you deploy your business and start realizing the savings.

    Guard Against Disasters

    One of the biggest improvements over your current IT workflow, when you switch to the cloud, will be the ability to protect yourself against disasters and data loss. Cloud computing exists on servers that operate offsite, and a component of all cloud-based systems is a backup process that will ensure your data is secure regardless of the disaster.

    Email Hosting and Remote Monitoring

    Deploying your on-site email server to the cloud can yield faster pull times and more features than your current server offers. Additionally, the ability to keep a continuous backup will always keep this important communication method up for your business. Remote monitoring will allow your managed service provider to maintain an eye on your network and put safeguards in place to protect your business from digital disasters.

    Cloud computing and cloud services can be a huge benefit to your business even if you may not be sure how to use them. Take a look into IT managed services and get ahold of a reputable provider to help you realize these savings.

    IT Support Des Moines

  10. 3 Ways Managed Network Services Can Protect Your Business

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    In this modern, connected world it is more critical than ever to ensure your company is secure from hacks and digital intrusion. Many business owners understand the risks associated with an insecure IT infrastructure, but few have the knowledge or experience to carry out a fully optimized and secure network design. Managed Network Services providers give you the expertise you need to protect your business. Here are three common security issues that you might be exposing yourself to and how Managed Network Services can help.

    Out of Date Software and Operating Systems

    • If you are anything like the majority of Americans, you delay updates as a primary use of the computer. Bad OS updates or updates that led to software issues and frustration have made us all a little careful about how and when we update our devices. This is a mistake that a Managed Services provider can mitigate. These professionals will ensure your system only receives the updates it needs and when it needs them. You can rest easy knowing that your machines are as protected as possible.

    No Backup Plan

    • Another common mistake made in the business community is a lack of a data and system backup plan or an insufficiently designed one. A Managed Network Services provider can deploy a team to size up your current situations and make necessary changes to guarantee you won’t be caught in a crisis if disaster should strike. Your files and system will be protected.

    Limit User Error

    • How many times have you heard of someone having software or hardware issues only to come to find out that they made the mistake in the first place? With all of these smartphones, smart TVs, and other devices it is easy to forget that computers are inherently dumb. They will only do what they are told to do and exactly as they were told to do it. Managed Network Services gives you a layer of expertise to establish protocols for user access, user accounts, and permissions to perform certain actions. This will limit your exposure to potential security breaches.

    Make a call and talk to an expert about your business and how Managed Network IT Services might benefit and protect your business.

    IT Support Des Moines  Network Design Des Moines

  11. Need to Solve Office Problems?

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    There are a few different types of minds that make a successful business: the visionary, and the problem solver. The visionary comes up with all of the incredible innovations and ideas that the company should pursue, and the problem solver finds out how to make that happen while hurtling all of the obstacles. If you find yourself being the problem solver of the business, this blog could have a great solution for you.

    No matter what area of business you are faced with, you will find problems that need solving. Whether it is HR, office morale, music that will please everyone, or payroll, you have at least one hundred problems. One thing that we’ve found to solve quite a few problems is IT managed services. Now, what problems come to mind when you think of Internet Technology? Let us read your mind?

    • slow or unresponsive Internet

    • storage issues

    • security concerns or risks

    These are three of the major “problems” that Managed IT can solve. By outsourcing your IT services, you are guaranteed to be put in the hands of individuals who are trained and ready to face your IT challenges.

    Optimizing Your Network

    Trained IT personnel have a way of making your network flow more smoothly. This means that you will have fewer problems due to preventative measures. Why not fix problems before they cause two hours of downtime on a Wednesday afternoon?


    In the same way as making your Internet function well, your storage and IT compatibility can always be improved. Having a well of knowledge at your disposal is the best place to start.


    Preventative measures will always be the most important part of security. First, there’s data backup and recovery. Then there’s staff training on dangerous links, attachments, websites, etc.

    If you’re aware of a pile-up of problems due to the state of your IT, give us a call! We’d love to help.

  12. Will Security of the Past Keep You Safe Now?

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    The business world is expanding, changing and speeding up at an insane rate, moving more and more into the internet technology sphere. As technology and business practices change, so do the creative ways that hackers have found to damage and infiltrate your systems. You may feel as though your information is incredibly safe; only a year or two ago you put a great plan in place to keep your information safe! But is that plan still relevant, and is it still going to keep your business from the devastation of a malware attack?

    First, What is Malware?

    Malware comes in a few different shapes and sizes. First, you have worms. Worms are designed to infiltrate your network and duplicate themselves again and again and again, causing your entire network to freeze. You won’t have access to your documents, and nothing will work. This kind of downtime can seriously hurt a business. Next, you have viruses. A virus makes its way into your network and goes around damaging, altering and deleting files.

    Whether those files end up being the company pictures from last year’s Christmas party or the next huge project your company spent the last six months perfecting is impossible to say; the risk simply isn’t worth taking. Finally, you have spyware. As its name suggests, spyware does its best to steal useful information from you, whether to use it against you or simply make it public in a huge security leak. None of the above are a good situation.

    Learning a bit more about the cyber risks of today’s business world, are you secure about your plan to protect your business? If you have any doubts or questions, please contact us and we’ll go over your plan to see if you need to make any adjustments!

  13. Disaster Just Hit, Were You Ready?

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    Disasters come in many shapes and sizes. For a business, a disaster could be a fire, flood, hurricane or other extreme weather, or being hacked by malware. Malware can either destroy and alter information, steal information or freeze your system. All of these situations are stressful to think about, but you have to consider them as a business owner. When you hear about a disaster striking your business, will your heart sink, or will you know that your business will recover?

    Too many businesses that undergo a catastrophic loss of information have to close their doors, and you have to be intentional to avoid being one of those businesses. Do you have a plan in place to protect the important information your business is built upon, or will you be blindsided? A disaster recovery plan can help you sleep at night, and could save your business in the case of a catastrophe.

    Disaster Recovery Plan Advantages

    Having a disaster recovery plan means a few things:

    • you’re actively working to prevent disaster – there are safety precautions you can take to protect your physical files, and also, having an IT management company helping your network stay secure can prevent you from being hacked.

    • you’re ready if and when disaster hits – you hope to never get the call that your building burned down or that your entire network was destroyed, but in the event of such a disaster, you can be prepared and survive. By backing up your information and planning for disaster, you won’t be blindsided and can begin immediately picking up the pieces.

    If your business would be left with nothing if a catastrophe hit it, it’s time to act. Talk with us about a disaster recovery plan, it’s worth it!