Businesses spend countless hours attempting to make their office compliant. Their team researches the best ways to become compliant and how to implement them, but just because they are compliant does not guarantee IT network security. As a business grows and new staff members come on board, employees must be taught about compliance and trained on recommended processes and procedures. Data must always be secure, but with recent cyberthreats, the bare minimum is not sufficient to protect a business – even if they meet compliance standards.
The Advancement of Technology
Cyberthreats have become more advanced and prevalent over the past few years, with the first data breach of 2019 occurring in the first 24 hours of the year according to Computer Business Review. Other large breaches from 2018 included industry giants like Facebook. It is more imperative than ever for businesses to secure their networks, which means exceeding compliance standards. The Chapter President of the Chattanooga chapter of ISSA puts it simply, “being compliant does not mean you are secure.”
There are several cases of businesses, who have networks that meet compliance regulations, falling victim to cyberattacks. A primary cause of this is businesses neglecting to realize the speed at which technology evolving. Though compliance regulations are updated frequently, they are often reactionary and are not updated as frequently as needed for true network security.
Employee Education Is Key
In addition to the proactive measures taken by a company’s IT team, employee education serves as another safeguard for a business’s network. IT professionals should conduct seminars with both new and current employees to educate them on potential threats and how to avoid them. They should also be taught how to keep mobile devices secure and why enforcing security is vital to the health of the organization.
Data breaches are so common now that Experian releases an annual Data Breach Industry Forecast, while the Information Security Media Group was formed to keep the public updated on the latest company breach updates. Staying educated and updated with these tools helps companies avoid putting themselves in situations similar to the breached companies.
Without proper precautions and education, technology can allow massive breaches in security systems to happen quickly via a misdirected email, an unsecured server, or even a disgruntled employee. Failure to have adequate safeguards can create liability for an entire company.
RJ Young’s IT team can help small to enterprise-level businesses achieve true security with IT services ranging from project work to full Managed IT Services. Contact RJ Young or call them at 800-347-1955 to find out more about how they can help protect your business.
Cyber security is a major concern for any business, from small mom and pop shops to major multinational corporations. In fact, it is estimated that cyber crime could cost users and businesses $6 trillion globally by 2021. That is a staggering figure that could seriously hinder the growth and operations of any business. Perhaps one of the scariest issues surrounding cyber security is that hackers are constantly finding new ways to attack devices and networks. Businesses must stay on their toes and work hard to eliminate threats before they become legitimate targets. To help prevent threats, IT professionals should be aware of the top IT security trends for 2019.
The Growth of IoT
IoT (internet of things) refers to the many different connected devices that are entering mainstream business. There was a time when businesses mainly had to concern themselves with basic connected devices like computers, multifunction printers, and other essential network devices.
Today, businesses need to consider things like connected speakers, smart assistants, tablets, smartphones, connected light switches, among a whole host of other devices. It is estimated that the IoT industry could grow by up to 15% year over year through 2020.
This poses an interesting dilemma for businesses and cyber security professionals. Do they embrace IoT and the potential risks that may be associated or ignore the rapidly growing trend? Businesses that hope to be a part of the future may not have much choice. Rather than ignore one of the biggest IT security trends for 2019, businesses should get ahead of this issue.
Cryptocurrency Mining Malware
Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, were a part of the mainstream consciousness as prices reached all-time highs in late 2017 and early 2018. After a major crash in the value of cryptocurrencies, there was much less discussion about this modern investment and payment technology. However, cryptocurrencies have not disappeared and neither have the threats associated with them.
Although the value of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, are not as high as they once were, they are still widely accepted online and still have potential for growth in the coming years. This makes cryptocurrency mining malware a very real cyber security threat in 2019 and beyond.
This form of malware is installed on unsuspecting devices without users being aware. It covertly takes control of processing power to mine cryptocurrency in the background while users complete normal daily tasks. This leaves less processing power for users to take advantage of and, in some cases, could lead to premature equipment failure. This ultimately costs businesses money as they replace devices much sooner than they should need to.
The Rise of Mobile Technology
The way people do business is changing. 80% of people are using smartphones today. In addition, more and more apps are being released that make doing business on mobile devices more efficient and effective. This is a huge opportunity for businesses, but could also become a major cyber security threat if handled incorrectly.
One of the biggest IT security trends for 2019 will involve employers embracing the mobile workforce and its associated challenges. How can employers ensure that devices are secure without holding their employees back with outdated security efforts?
Mobile employees will need the right devices to ensure they can do their job wherever they may be. This enables employees to do their best work at any time but, of course, companies must first embrace this technology.
Bringing Cloud Security Down to Earth
The business world may be on the edge of a data revolution. More and more businesses are moving data and services to the cloud. While this enables businesses to become more agile and move away from physical storage, it also introduces new security concerns.
When businesses move to implement cloud services, they must ensure that their organizational security is ready to handle this new technology. Luckily, cloud services can be made to be as secure as any other data storage method – as long as the right steps are taken.
There are also potential savings for businesses that choose to adopt cloud services. Large spaces for data storage equipment will no longer be required and associated costs, like electricity, can be cut as well. This cost-benefit will certainly make cloud security and implementation one of the biggest IT security trends for 2019.
Keeping Step with Technology and Cyber Security
Predicting technology and cyber security trends can be a challenge as the industry moves so quickly. It is impossible to say what the next great app, service, or device could be. However, having a trusted partner is essential to keeping up with the constantly changing technology landscape for businesses.
To learn more about the cyber security trends of today and tomorrow, contact RJ Young and learn about their managed IT services that can protect businesses from new threats, while allowing them to embrace new technologies at the same time.
In our digitally connected world, it has become easier than ever to conduct business. However, the connections people create among themselves and organizations online have also created a profitable environment for hackers who want to steal money, data, and disrupt business leaving business owners to wonder, how can Managed IT Services protect my company from VPN hacks & ransomware attacks? As technology continues to advance it is safe to say that threats from hackers will continue to grow hand-in-hand.
In recent years, hackers have been focusing on businesses and large organizations to maximize their profit potential. Last year, in just a single quarter, Maersk reported a $300M loss due to hacks and the costs associated. Of course, they are not the only business to be affected. Some companies may be unwilling to share details of hacks, which makes estimating the true scope of these hacks nearly impossible. Businesses of all sizes across all industries need to be wary of growing digital threats.
What Are Ransomware Attacks and VPN Hacks?
Both ransomware attacks and VPN hacks have become much more popular in recent years. These hacks are growing more and more sophisticated with each passing day. In fact, nearly 1 million new types of malware are released online every single day. Keeping up with hackers is a constant, ongoing battle.
Ransomware is, as the name suggests, a type of malware that requests a ransom. Of course, in order to demand a ransom, the hacker must have a hostage. In this case, the hostage is your valuable data that could include employee files, sales contracts, customer data, and more. Most ransomware attacks encrypt data and give victims a limited window of time to pay the ransom or lose their data forever. Typically, ransoms are paid in the form of hard-to-trace cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Monero.
VPN hacks are much more sophisticated hacks usually carried out by large organizations rather than small hacker groups or individuals. Using a virtual private network (VPN) to protect your information is a great online security practice. However, a VPN is only as good as the security behind it. Using outdated protocols or simple security keys can make it easier for cybercriminals to access a VPN and the information or devices on the network.
The Best Offense is a Good Defense
No business is immune to hacking attempts. The question for business owners and managers should not be “if” a hacking attempt will be made but, rather, “when.” To be prepared for ransomware attacks and VPN hacks, prevention is key.
This is where managed IT services can make a world of difference. Caring for an entire company’s IT services is no small task. There are day-to-day maintenance activities as well as security patches, updates, and other preventative activities that need to be done. In many companies, these tasks are simply too much for a single salaried staff member. One missed update or patch could spell disaster as it is essentially an open door for hackers to walk through.
In addition to preventing against existing attacks, an IT service provider must constantly be learning and research to stay ahead of emerging threats. If all of this sounds like a lot for one person to take on, that’s because it is a lot for one person to take on. Instead, working with an entire team dedicated to IT services and protection against online threats means there are more hands on deck. Think about it this way: if you were going to move to a new house, would you try to move all of your furniture yourself or would you ask a few friends to come by and help?
Get Constant, 24-Hour Protection
When you are settling down for a night of rest, hackers on the other side of the world may just be starting their day. One of the main advantages to choosing managed IT services is that the team is available at a centralized help desk for whenever a problem may arise.
On the other hand, a salaried IT employee can only work so many hours. They need rest, vacation time, and time with their family. It is simply unrealistic to expect a single person to always be available when a problem may come up.
Should the worst occur and you need to restore services from a backup, managed IT services can begin work immediately and reduce total downtime. This is a level of responsiveness you simply cannot expect from in-house staff.
Protect Your Business with Managed IT Services
RJ Young has been providing managed IT services to small and enterprise level businesses for over 25 years. Their experience, professionalism, and dedication are essential for new and emerging threats.
Want to learn more about how managed IT services can protect against attacks on your business? Contact RJ Young today.
For many businesses, the most secure and affordable way to handle their network is by utilizing an external company’s expertise. By using managed IT services, companies are able to focus on their business, while simultaneously meeting compliance and security standards. In the age of network breaches and cyber attacks, it is more prudent than ever for businesses to understand how managed IT compliance and managed IT security differ and why it matters.
The Ins and Outs of Compliance and Security
Prior to learning about the differences between managed IT compliance and security, it’s imperative to understand IT compliance and security.
Compliance Is External
“IT compliance is the business of making sure that everyone is following the rules. The question is, what rules are they compliant with?” – Chapter President of ISSA – Chattanooga
The external rules facing companies are typically found in the form of statutes or laws. These can be laws relating to specific industries such as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for Education or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for Healthcare. Other standards are used as a means of risk management for national security. A prime example of this is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This standard was put in place to protect credit card users from schemes.
Rather than focusing on the technical needs of the company, compliance is used for reporting purposes and aimed at meeting regulations to keep legally running their business. With hundreds of IT standards to meet, companies often enlist managed IT compliance services from another company. This decision allows them to focus more of their time and energy on their operations, while the IT services ensure the company’s IT network is meeting the benchmarks set by their respective regulatory committee to avoid paying fines that can reach up to $1.5 million per violation each year.
Security Is Internal
Whereas compliance focuses more on satisfying an external entity, security is about protecting the company’s internal network and confidential information. A company that provides IT security to businesses, when broken down into its simplest form, finds ways to mitigate any network issues and prevent harmful threats from ever occurring. Essentially, the company is hiring someone who has a broader range of capabilities and offerings to protect their business. While internal IT may have some ability to safeguard a business’s network, they may not have the manpower to handle a company-wide security threat. Managed IT services have teams dedicated solely to protecting the client’s entire company from threats. This kind of security guarantees that a business’s data and sensitive information is safer than it would be using the capabilities it possesses in-house.
The Security and Compliance Relationship
Compliance standards are all about ensuring companies are meeting certain levels of security in order to protect individual users on a national, and sometimes international, level. There is a certain level of IT security that a business inherently has when they are meeting regulatory compliance. From this standpoint, security and compliance seem to go hand in hand with one another. While meeting the compliance benchmark may seem to provide a sufficient amount of security for a business, this is often not the case.
“Being compliant does NOT mean you are secure, as many recent breaches have shown.” – Chapter President of ISSA – Chattanooga
Meeting bare-minimum compliance standards in an effort to reduce costs associated with information security leaves a company vulnerable and highly susceptible to a cyber attack. Another reason to avoid simply meeting compliance targets is the ever-changing nature of Information Technology. A business is never truly finished protecting itself. Constant upgrades and improvements are being made to protect businesses from threats that are more adaptive and intelligent in design.
Why Managed IT Is the Proactive Solution
Compliance benchmarks, though they may be updated periodically, are reactionary in nature. After a large breach, action committees need to get additional laws and amendments passed to alter the original law. Unfortunately, this process takes time and requires evidence of need -such as a large breach- before it is enacted. Needless to say, simply being compliant prevents a business’s IT security from being up to date. As formerly stated, managed IT services help put a company’s focus back on managing their business rather than staying compliant. When a company employs the help of managed IT services for regulatory compliance, they acquire a team of IT professionals. This team uses its expertise to provide an advanced-network security program that not only meets compliance standards but exceeds them. They proactively seek out potential hazards in the pipeline in an effort to eliminate any threat before it happens.
Is your business safe from the next wave of cyber threats? Learn more about how RJ Young’s Managed IT Services can help your business stay secure and meet your industry-specific regulatory requirements by filling out our contact form or calling us at 800-347-1955.
IT services are among the most important services a business requires in today’s connected, digital world. Millions of malware threats are released every year and the time required to manage, update, and patch all devices used within the business is far greater than a few years ago. For many, having in-house IT services makes sense. There is always someone in the building that can assist with any issues that may arise. So, if this solution is the right one, why are so many smaller businesses opting for managed IT services?
What are the differences between these approaches? Which one makes sense for businesses that need quality IT services that meet their needs and budget? Let’s take a look at managed IT services and compare them with in-house technicians to help your business choose the right service provider.
What Are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services may be a new concept to some businesses who have always had dedicated, in-house IT services. With communication technology making major leaps forward, many businesses have discovered that quality service does not necessarily mean the IT technician has to work in the same building.
With managed IT services, a dedicated provider delivers service, support, and advice to a number of companies. If the cost of IT services is spread out among a number of businesses, then a larger team with better services can be provided at a lower cost to individual businesses. For small and medium-sized businesses that may be running on razor thin budgets, this price makes managed IT services very attractive.
Is There a Cost Benefit?
When any business is considering managed IT or an in-house technician, there are several reasons why they make their final decision, but the main contributor is cost. IT services are important for every single business of any size and people who offer those services are in high demand. In fact, the salary of a management level IT professional can easily exceed $100,000 per year, plus benefits. That is a huge cost to small business owners and businesses of any size.
Small business managed IT services are usually less costly than hiring in-house IT services. In addition, the cost of managed IT services typically includes services that even the best in-house technicians cannot offer. Services like after-hours support, network monitoring, malware protection, and more are all offered by managed IT services. Not to mention, with managed IT services, your business can count on support every single day. A single in-house technician has to sleep, go on lunch breaks, and take vacation. During those times, they may be unavailable, and, therefore, cannot always be relied upon.
Keep Up With Changing Technology
One look around your office can reveal that technology has changed dramatically. Having managed IT services helps ensure your business is ready for changing trends.
You have likely heard the phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” No phrase is a better description of in-house IT technicians. Most are very skilled at what they do, but it is nearly impossible to provide adequate IT services without several people collaborating. Remember, IT services encompass network security, device deployment, software updates, issue resolution, employee support, malware protection, and more.
With managed IT services, you get an entire team of people working to help you. No single person is expected to be a master of all areas of IT services. When you have managed services for your business, you can count on getting responsive support from knowledgeable staff, no matter what the concern may be.
What other options do businesses choose for IT?
Small and mid-sized business often have a friend, family member, or a ‘guy they know’ handle their technical support. When it comes to cost and scheduling, consultants are often the worst possible option for a growing business. Consultants will charge for everything they can, and friends and relatives aren’t always the best option when it comes to managing your business. Bringing a friend or relative into the workplace can cause issues internally. Friend and relative relationships aren’t always conducive to a company’s work environment. Choosing a managed IT partner limits the cost for support and implementation, and eliminates a lot of the issues that hiring a friend or a family member brings into an office setting.
Which IT solution is best for my business: The Verdict
Having an in-house technician dedicated to your business and only your business may seem appealing at first. However, when comparing in-house services with managed IT services, there is a clear winner. Managed IT services offer better support, greater expertise, and a lower cost to businesses than alternative options.
Small and medium-sized businesses have little room for spending in excess. Choosing managed IT services over an in-house technician can have a dramatic influence on your business’s bottom line. That additional money can be reinvested in other areas of the business. This ensures that you can make all areas of your business stronger. At RJ Young, we have over 25 years of experience providing exceptional IT services to businesses of all sizes.
Still unsure if managed IT services are the right move for your business? Learn more about the benefits of choosing managed IT services and consult with us about your unique needs.
Millions of emails are exchanged daily throughout the world. As email continues to be a prominent form of communication, our Managed IT Services team warns that the opportunity also increases for a cyber threat. Phishing is one of the most common cyber threats in today’s world.
What Is Phishing?
Phishing is one of the most frequent causes of security breaches. According to Tech Target, “Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication channels. The attacker uses phishing emails to distribute malicious links or attachments. More importantly, these links and attachments can perform a variety of functions, including the extraction of login credentials or account information from victims.”
Phishing cyber criminals instruct individuals to provide sensitive data like personal information, bank and credit card details, or passwords through electronic forms or ransomware. Individuals can be notified by email, telephone, or text message. Thieves use this strategic method to lure you into giving them your most precious information, threatening your network security. Phishing attacks result in credit card fraud, identity theft, and financial loss.
One of the most common ways that phishing cybercriminals obtain sensitive data on their victims is through email. According to Phishing.Org, these are few simple tips to think about before opening and clicking an email:
Too Good To Be True
You know those emails you get saying you have won a free cruise? In spite of the fact that you have not entered a for that cruise? Those offers all seem too good to be true, probably because they are. Enticing offers are used to attract your attention right away. The cybercriminal wants you to click the call to action button which will in return, allow them to attack your personal information. In this instance, the most natural thing to remember is that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Sense of Urgency
A common tactic amongst cybercriminals is to add a sense of urgency. These criminals may tell you that you have a limited time to claim the offer or threaten immediate account suspension. That is just not true. Generally, most credible organizations will give you ample time to respond when your intimate account details are involved. When in doubt, contact the organization in question. The organization will be able to provide you with all the necessary information and verify the email in question.
One of the fastest ways to verify a cyber threat in an email is to check all the hyperlinks. Take your mouse and hover over the directed hyperlink. Hyperlinks should match the URL they are leading you to and that the URL in question is spelled right. For example, if the hyperlink says RJYoung.Com, but when you hover over it says AJYoung.Com, do not click it. If you suspect the link may be suspicious, it is better not to click it.
If an unexpected email has an attachment, do not open it! Often these attachments contain ransomware or other viruses that can overtake your entire computer to steal your personal information.
Whether you know the sender or not, does the email make sense for you to receive? If not, do not even open it. Also accidentally opening the email can cause issues. Most of the time cybercriminals have a call to action in the email. Whether it is donating to a fundraiser or asking for personal help, be conscious of how the email’s wording and what they are requesting. Many times, the email will explain there is a problem you need to verify, notify you that you are a winner, or ask for help.
A bank will never ask for personal information via email or suspend your account if you do not immediately update your personal information. Most banks and financial institutions usually provide an account number or other personal details within the email.
Protecting Your Business From A Cyber Threat
Cyber Security Education
Make sure that you are continually learning how to defend yourself, and arm your business with an information technology expert. Just as experts are staying up to date with the latest technology, so are the cybercriminals. Be sure to always educate yourself on how cyber threats are changing and how they can affect you.
A Practical Application
Recently, we conducted an internal email test for our employees using Sophos Intercept X. This technology is one of many used by our clients as part of their Managed IT Service Plan. We sent a fake phishing email to all of our employees and tracked the number of opens and clicks to evaluate our own risk of a cyber threat.
After that, we sent out an educational email to make employees aware of the test and provided detail information on what to be mindful of when receiving a potential threatening email. We presented our employees with an easy to follow infographic to use as a guide for analyzing phishing scams in the future. Education is often the most cost-effective solution to protecting your network’s security.
Cyber Security Service
If it seems like cyber threats seem to be occurring more frequently and taking down business operations across the globe, you’re right. The number of data breaches in the U.S. has jumped 29 percent in 2017 according to The Identity Theft Resource Center and CyberScout. The best way to prevent these attacks is to have a proactive plan for your business. Make sure your Managed IT service partner understands your business. RJ Young’s Managed IT Services include the design, upgrade, and maintenance of cloud services and IT networks for small to mid-sized companies. We create customized plans for our customers to fit your specific needs and goals for success.
As technology advances, so do cybercriminals. Cyber attacks seem to be occurring more frequently than ever and hurting businesses throughout the world. Furthermore, for many small to enterprise-level businesses, a cybersecurity breach can quickly impact the business’s compliance with significant IT compliance regulations. Even companies with enterprise-level IT support can benefit from easy and necessary IT Security safeguards. Here are 3 easy ways to help safeguard yourself against a cybersecurity breach that takes only 5 minutes each week.
1. Change Your Passwords
Every IT network support progressional will tell you – change your passwords often! This fast and easy fix could save you from a cybersecurity threat. Set time aside to update your passwords on all of your accounts. Experts recommend having different passwords across all your personal network. This ensures that if one is compromised the hacker has access to only one system, not all of them.
Forget the tough passwords; new guidelines recommend keeping it simple. According to the United States National Institution for Standards and Technology (NIST), new password guidelines help you stay protected. NIST suggests, keeping your passwords simple, long, and memorable. Phrases, lowercase letters, and typical English words and objects are suggested when creating passwords. This recommendation had changed from when the organization suggested using unique characters and a mix of lower and uppercase letters.
These new guidelines may seem surprisingly easy, Paul Grassi, senior standards and technology adviser at NIST, who led the new revision of guidelines, says that these new guidelines will help users create longer passwords, which are harder for hackers to break.
Once a cybercriminal has access to your personal credentials they can impersonate you to send personal emails directly to your friends, family, and co-workers. Soon, and IT security breach can lead to imposter postings on your social networks where cybercriminals seek to collect even more sensitive information. This a small business managed network services nightmare. It is also often a socially and professionally embarrassing experience.
Managed IT Services Expert Tip:
A bank will never ask for personal information via email or suspend your account if you do not immediately update your personal information. Most banks and financial institutions usually provide an account number or other personal details within the email. This information is how you can ensure that the email or phone call is coming from a reliable source.
2. Think Before You Click
Many IT network security threats happen by accident. You see an email from an old friend or a significant update from your bank, and you just go ahead and click on the email without thinking. Unfortunately, these emails are socially engineered to look like they came from a trustworthy source, not a cybercriminal. Here are some things to think about before clicking an email.
One of the fastest ways to verify an email is to check all the hyperlinks. Take your mouse and hover over the directed hyperlink in an email. Make sure that the hyperlinks match the URL you land after clicking. Check for spelling errors in the web address. Popular websites are often manipulated but contain spelling errors. For example, if the hyperlink says www.mybank.com, but when you hover over it says wwwmybank.com, do not click it. If you suspect the link may be suspicious, better to not click it.
Is this offer too good to be true?
Most of these cybercriminals will present you with an eye-catching deal to make you think you have won a contest; you have not entered or asking you to claim a prize that is too good to be true. In an instance like this, it is best to remember that if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you ever have questions, contact the organization directly from a contact page on a trusted website, or your business’s managed IT services team, not the email in question.
Who is sending this email?
Whether you know the sender or not, does the email make sense for you to receive? If not, do not even open it. Simply, delete and move on. Accidentally opening the email can cause IT security issues and potentially make you vulnerable to a cybersecurity threat. If someone you know is asking for money, call or text to verify. When in doubt, always think critically before acting.
3. Install Updates
We all know how annoying it can be when your computer continually reminds you to update your software. That said, an enterprise-level managed network services expert will tell you these updates are essential in protecting you against a cybersecurity threat. Updates give you more than just the latest and greatest features; they make sure you also have the most updated security to protect your IT network. Thousands of new malware variants run every day. Having out of date security software is almost as bad as having none at all.
Is your software up-to-date?
Your un-updated software is vulnerable. According to Sophos, cybercriminals can exploit this vulnerability by writing code explicitly targeting your network’s system. This can infect your computer without you ever taking action. When your computer is compromised, cybercriminals steal data and gain control over your computer and personal information.
Managed IT Services
The 5 minutes each week you devote to strengthening your network will help protect you from any future threats. Small to enterprise-level business owners who are not comfortable with handling their network’s security are good candidates for Managed IT Services. Managed IT services allow business owners to rather than their system. RJ Young offers free network assessment for businesses. We ensure your organization is protected from IT security vulnerabilities.
Why should I care about small business Managed IT Services? If you are a small business, chances are that you do not have an IT department on staff. Hiring a full time dedicated IT staff can be costly. So, how do you monitor your network? Install, integrate, and maintain your network? Provide desktop support to your staff? Select new technology?
In too many cases the answer is not very well or not at all. But what if there was a cost-effective way to help you with all of this? The answer: Managed IT Services
The experts behind Managed IT Services work with your business to implement processes, procedures, and tools that are specific to your business needs and network, while also making recommendations, system fixes and updates so you are better prepared in case of an emergency.
Here are five reasons why small business Managed IT Services is critical:
1. Decrease Downtime
In today’s ever-changing world of technology, every business can benefit from having a proactive IT strategy. This strategy allows companies to react quickly and efficiently when problems arise. With a small business Managed IT Services provider, your team of experts is on standby to assist with any IT emergency such as power failures, security breaches, data loss or other disasters that could damage accounts and cause customers to question credibility. They are familiar with your IT network and work fast to prevent the kind of damaging impact a downtime event could have on your business.
In 2016, the Emerson study showed that unplanned outages lasted 130 minutes totaling $946,788. That is just a little over $7,200 per minute of downtime. With an IT service plan, downtime situations are handled immediately, and systems are restored rapidly, saving your time and reputation.
2. Cost Savings
Many IT budgets consist of hardware costs, software and network costs, cloud solutions costs, labor, and maintenance, to name a few. These resources are all vital to keep your network up and running to the best of its ability. Most of the time, smaller companies are outsourcing each of these items individually, which can start to add up. With a Managed IT Service provider, your small business Managed IT Services experts will create a roadmap of service costs and needs. This roadmap allows you to know all costs associated with your network and plan accordingly each month, which in turn can provide cost savings.
3. Team of Experts
When you implement a Managed IT Service provider, you suddenly have a team of experts at your fingertips. These small businesses Managed IT Services experts have a working knowledge of your business available to help troubleshoot and remediate issues that arise without your business. They are on call to answer any questions, help your company stay up to date with the latest technology trends and create solutions that ensure uptime and profitability for your business. They also can assist in specialized projects and consult with you on any other network related tasks. For small businesses, this is another key to business success.
4. Employee Productivity
As a small business, your employees are the heart and soul of your organization. In most small companies, your most significant monthly cost is employees, so why not make sure that they have the resources they need while at work? Depending on your business, it is likely that most of your employees use a computer to do their job. If their computer is infected with a virus or suddenly crashes, they can’t work. Taking a proactive approach to having a Managed IT Service on call allows this problem to be handled fast. This also helps your employee attitude and frustration knowing their issue will be taken care of and they can get back to work in no time.
5. Up to Date Technology
As technology evolves, so should your business. Managed IT Services allow your business to adapt to latest technologies as they become available. Your team of experts keep you up to date on the latest cloud solutions, handle network security, and more. You can expect them to be in the know of the most recent and best software applications and modern programs.
As cybercrimes continue to grow and evolve, your team of experts can provide the latest information on how to best protect yourself and your network from threats. Your experts can work with you and your employees directly on how to spot and avoid cybercrime.
RJ Young’s Managed IT Services design, upgrades, and maintains IT networks for small businesses that want to focus on their work, instead of their network. We create customized plans for our customers to fit their specific needs and goals for success. Visit https://rjyoung.com/services/it-services/ to learn more.
Ransomware attacks seem to be occurring frequently and taking down business operations across the globe. A recent example of a global cyberattack was the “New Petya” ransomware. These intrusions often cost organizations in downtime and loss of valuable data. A few simple tips can provide the best defense and help prevent businesses from falling victim to these threats.
Install Updates and Patches
Many viruses and malware are able to attack through vulnerabilities in an operating system. As seen with the WannaCry virus in May 2017, Microsoft issued a patch for Windows dating back as far as 14 years. Users and system administrators failing to install updates was the primary reason the malicious virus was able to spread. Systems should always be patched, even if they are running an unsupported version of Windows XP, Windows 8 or Windows Server 2003.
Maintain a Back-up Solution
Should a company be hit with a virus, restoring from a back-up is the best option. Companies need to make sure that files are backed up regularly to a hard drive that is not shared with other devices and keep a recent back-up copy off-site or in the cloud. There are many other ways files can suddenly disappear such as fire, flood, theft, or just a dropped laptop. Backing up files remotely ensures that businesses are able to prevent any of these from becoming a catastophe.
Run Anti Ransomware Programs
Businesses should install security software and, most importantly, keep it up to date. Thousands of new malware variants run every day. Having out of date security software is almost as bad as having none at all.
Never Open Suspicious Email Attachments
Employees should avoid opening any attachments from an unknown email address. Regardless of how many attachments an employee generally receives, each one should be carefully looked at prior to opening them. Failure to do so could lead to infected computers and expose the company to malicious software or other security threats such as ransomware.
Sophos Guide to Avoiding Ransomware Attacks
Microsoft Guidance for WannaCry Attacks:
The increase of Bring Your Own Devices is on the rise…so are the risks to your business.
76% of employees are enabled for BYOD
By 2017, half of employers will require employees to supply their own devices for work
By 2018, 70% will conduct work on their mobile devices
72% data leakage/loss as main BYOD security concern
Biggest Pain Point: 42% need solution that detects threats
1-in-5 organizations suffered a mobile security breach
24% BYO or corporate devices have connected to malicious WiFi
39% BYO or corporate devices
BYOD IT Security
35% of additional IT resources needed to manage mobile security
37% will not increase budgets for mobile security
Almost one-quarter have no IT support and are responsible for their own devices
Is your organization prepared to handle these risks? Our team of IT specialists can assist your business in on-boarding new devices and securing your network. Contact us today for a free network assessment.