Monday, October 31, 2016

Another Opportunity to Strengthen Your Defenses – Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month
October has become National Cyber Security Awareness month and while you should be constantly thinking about your network and system security, the reality is we get busy with other things and tend to push security to the back burner.  

You need to take a proactive approach with your security otherwise you will be vulnerable to attacks…there is no way to just set it and forget it.  Install an enterprise grade antivirus and anti-malware software and monitor it at least weekly to ensure it’s working properly and receiving virus definition updates.  Check your computer weekly for any software updates and security patches that are available. Even if you set your computer to automatically update there is no guarantee it will happen.  If one update has a problem while installing, it could stop any future updates leaving your system vulnerable. 

Here are some tips from the Department of Homeland Security that will help protect your business from the cyber threats we are facing today:
  1. Make sure all of your organization’s computers are equipped with antivirus software and antispyware. This software should be updated regularly.
  2. Secure your Internet connection by using a firewall, encrypt information, and hide your Wi- Fi network.
  3. Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information.
  4. Educate employees about cyber threats and how to protect your organization’s data. Hold employees accountable to the Internet security policies and procedures.
  5. Require employees to use strong passwords and to change them often.
  6. Invest in data loss protection software, use encryption technologies to protect data in transit, and use two-factor authentication where possible.
  7. Protect all pages on your public-facing websites, not just the checkout and sign-up pages.

Developing and implementing a good security plan for your business is critical to the protection of your systems and data.  Contact us today and we’ll help you develop a security plan that works for your business, is simple to understand and implement, and is cost effective.

Monday, September 12, 2016

It’s a partnership!

Does your current IT guy only show up when something goes wrong?  Does he work with you to develop ways technology will support your company and give you a competitive advantage?

We establish partnerships with every business that works with us, making our approach to IT services unique. By fully understanding how your business operates, we are able to implement and support IT solutions that make sense for your business.

Every business is different, which means that each business needs a custom technology solution that will work for them.  There is no magic solution that will work for every business.  Your IT service provider should know your business operations almost as well as you.  This allows them to recommend solutions that will enhance your business, drive growth, and increase employee productivity and satisfaction.

When you are working on your strategic business plans, make sure you consider the role of technology.  We want to be involved in this planning so we can make sure your current and future technology infrastructure will support your plans and help you achieve them.

If you are ready for an IT partner who will help you grow your business and not just fix things when they break, Call Us Today!

Friday, August 12, 2016

What Are IT Managed Services?

There are 2 main ways you can receive IT support from an IT service provider. The first model is called the Break/Fix Model. When you use this type of model your only costs are when your technology breaks you pay a technician to come fix it.  The second model is the Managed Services Model. With this model you pay a technician a fixed monthly price to provide you with the services you need.  Most companies are moving to the Managed Services Model because the benefits are much greater than those with the Break/Fix Model.
When you select the Break/Fix Model the only benefit is that your initial costs are lower.  With this model the only services you receive are repairs on your systems when they break.  This can leave you and your technology very vulnerable as no one is watching over your systems to make sure they are secure and running at optimal performance.  While your initial technology spending might be less with this model, your costs are unpredictable and if a disaster strikes it will not only be extremely expensive to fix, but the lost productivity and revenue to your firm can be crippling.

With the Managed Services Model you not only get repairs to your equipment, should something happen, but you also have someone monitoring your infrastructure 24x7x365 ensuring things are running properly. In addition, you are protected from cyber threats and problems can be eliminated before they cause significant down time.  Just like you need to perform maintenance on your car, there are many preventive maintenance items that need to be done on your systems to maintain proper operation, including: 
  • Installing Windows updates, security patches, and third party software updates
  • Updating and monitoring AV software to ensure you are constantly protected
  • Reviewing backups daily to confirm data has been backed up successfully and is available for restoration if needed
  • Monitoring your network and firewall for any threats and updating firmware to ensure you have the best protection.  

Technology plays such a critical role in running your business that it’s best to think of it as an investment rather than an expense.  Make sure you select the Managed Services Model for your technology support and make that investment in your technology.  Not only will you be better protected from the myriad of threats out there, but you will also be able to leverage your technology more completely which will increase your productivity and help drive business growth.

Contact Us Today to learn more about the Managed Services Model and how it can help your business.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Are you feeling lucky?

Do you perform daily backups of your data?  Do you check your backup system to make sure it's actually backing up the data?  Do you practice restoring data from your backup system to make sure you can actually recover your data?

If you answered "No" to any of these questions you must be one lucky person. What happens when your luck runs out?  How will you continue to run your business without any of your critical data on customers and business operations? Implementing a backup solution can be a fairly simple process.  There are so many options available that provide you an easy way to schedule routine backups both onsite and offsite.  With storage costs so low it's easy to backup all of your data or create a system image of your entire system.  A system image is a backup file that allows you to restore not only your data but your entire computer operating system, settings, and applications at once.  They are extremely handy when your hard drive fails and you need to replace it.  

When determining the type of backup system you need, you must consider off site backups.  Creating a backup off site gives you business continuity.  If you only store backups in your office and the building burns down you still lose everything.  Utilizing cloud backup solutions provide companies with off site protection for relatively low costs. 

Getting your backup system in place is only the first step...once it's up and running you need to make sure you have a maintenance plan in place to ensure it's functioning properly and you can actually recover your data when you need it. If you have been relying on luck as your backup system, call us today and we'll make sure your data and your business are protected before your luck runs out.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Show Some Love This February

February is here, which means Valentine's Day is coming up.  While you are thinking about things to do for the person you love make sure you are thinking about loving your computers and network too.  Your computers and network need love all year long to make sure they are running properly and are protected from viruses and security threats.

Here are some things you can do to show the love:

  • Check for any Windows security patches and critical updates that need to be installed
  • Check for any third party software updates that need to be installed such as java & adobe
  • Check your network devices for firmware updates 
  • Check your antivirus software for program updates and to make sure virus definitions are updated regularly
These checks will help make sure you are not leaving any open doors that hackers can use to gain access to your systems and data.

It's important to have a system maintenance plan in place to ensure these updates are applied on a regular basis. It can be very time consuming just maintaining your systems, however, we have a service that can take that burden off your plate.  Our Core Security service provides you with antivirus and patch management protection for all of your workstations and servers.  We take care of monitoring and updating your systems to ensure the latest antivirus definitions have been applied, Windows updates and patches are installed, and third party software is updated so your systems are secured.

Make sure you take some time this month to put a plan in place for keeping your systems updated or reach out to us so you can take of our Core Security Services and we'll take care of your systems for you.  Showing your computers and networks the the love they deserve means your systems will keep you happy by running smoothly and protecting your corporate data.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Business Continuity – Working with Snow

Do you have a business continuity plan?  Does your current technology allow for continued operations, not only if disaster strikes, but also, if your office location is inaccessible?  With the snow storm that just hit the York and Baltimore areas people spent days digging out.  It was impossible to travel on the roads that were covered with 2 feet of snow which meant people could not get to work.  

Shoveling over 2 feet of snow is never fun!
Having the ability to work remotely by securely connecting into your office from another location not only increases productivity but also ensures business continuity.  There are many different options for accessing your corporate information remotely.  Some businesses have moved their information into the cloud which allows access to company data from anywhere.  Others have the ability to securely connect to their office networks utilizing a virtual private network (VPN) which grants them access to company data as well as their office workstations.  

What is your setup like today?  You may want to reevaluate your current infrastructure to ensure you have access to your data and systems whenever and wherever you are working.