Something is broken! The laptop is whirring. The computer won’t power up. In either case, you’re staring at a blank, blue screen. Yet you can’t live without your computer. You need to find a computer repair business. But what should you look for? This article will help you make your choice. [Read more…]
SMBs Can Become a Weapon in Cyberwarfare
Headlines today highlight Ukrainian tragedy or North Korea testing missiles. It can seem far away from your business, yet battles are being fought online, too. Your small business’s IT systems could be weaponized for cyberwarfare. [Read more…]
What an MSP Can Offer Your Business
It’s not as if the name “managed services provider ” (MSP) is that self-explanatory. You might read that business description and have no real idea what it is an MSP can do for you. We’re providing managed services — OK, but what does that mean? To make things easier, this article outlines the actual IT services an MSP provides. [Read more…]
Whenever you create a graph on your computer, you’re going to need a graphics processing unit (GPU). Without one, you won’t see anything on your computer screen. So, obviously, it’s a problem when it starts to fail. This article discusses signs to look for and what to do. [Read more…]
Think Before Sharing That Link
Learning to share is an important early-life skill. Now, you’ve mastered it, and you’re out in the workforce. Happily, digital technology makes it much easier to share business files, but that doesn’t mean you want to do so willy-nilly. Consider these best practices for sharing with both internal and external users. [Read more…]
We all know about the Grinch who ruins Christmas for Whoville. Don’t cast IT as the Grinch of this holiday season. Prepare your technology and systems to reduce downtime risk. You’ll avoid disrupting your customers’ holiday season or employees’ seasonal fun.
Update and upgrade IT
Expecting an uptick in online shopping for the holidays? Apply system updates ahead of time. You’ll want to complete any hardware or software upgrades early to avoid unplanned downtime.
Test your technology infrastructure to ensure that it can handle more traffic. Review system integrations to make sure front- and back-ends can communicate smoothly. Identify any issues or bottlenecks in advance to be able to upgrade or update any IT that needs help.
One in three customers will leave a beloved brand after one negative experience, per PwC. You don’t want to risk a downed website or other IT challenges. Even a few hours of disruption can be costly. In 2019, American retailer J. Crew lost an estimated $775,000 in online revenues over only five hours.
If you do need major IT upgrades or system changes, postpone them until after the holidays. Don’t mess with what works right now if you don’t have to do so.
Safeguard business data
The holiday season means employees will be distracted by festivities or out of the office, yet the cyber bad guys don’t take breaks. In fact, they ramp up for the holiday season. In 2020, the greatest number of daily DDoS attacks in Q4 were on December 31, when 1,349 attacks were recorded globally. So, take cybersecurity action.
Make sure you are protecting systems, detecting threats, and defending against attacks. A security assessment can help determine what you are doing well and could be doing better. This can be internal or done by an external party (with greater objectivity). If you face compliance or regulatory concerns, try an external IT audit.
Test backup and recovery
Ensure IT resiliency by testing your backup and reviewing your business recovery plans.
We recommend data backups in three places as best practice. Back up to a local, on-site computer, to a remote device that requires separate access, and to the cloud, giving you access anywhere, regardless of office conditions.
Test your backup to:
- confirm data accuracy;
- ensure you can effectively access and use the data;
- gauge the time it takes to perform a backup;
- identify and address any issues that arise during recovery.
According to the Ponemon Institute, business continuity management policies can nearly halve the mean time to recover and improve cost savings by 50%. That’s more money to spend on the staff holiday get-together! So, call a meeting of your business continuity planning team. Discuss any changes that might be needed and make sure everyone knows their roles. If someone is going on vacation, get someone else up to speed on their responsibilities.
‘Tis the season for IT
Every season you’re going to need IT, yet the holidays see your customers and employees wanting to get things done and get back to family and friends. Keep your technology in tip top shape, and you’ll have a happier holiday season.
Need help maintaining and securing your IT or looking for data backup and business continuity? Give us a jingle to book an appointment:
Small Business Can’t Sacrifice Cybersecurity
For small businesses, it can be tempting to postpone cybersecurity efforts. There are many common excuses: “There’s so much to do,” “There’s not enough budget,” “Our business is too small to target,” etc. But right now, cybersecurity is a must-have for every business. [Read more…]
Ready to be the next TikTok breakout? Or perhaps you want a video of your cockatoo “singing” “Amazing Grace” to go viral. Or you may make company promotional videos while working from home. There are many reasons you might be looking for the right home computer to do video editing. This article will help. [Read more…]
Cybersecurity attacks on big-name brands or governments are familiar headlines these days. Millions of access credentials are breached, and millions of dollars are lost to ransomware attack. You may think you’re protected, but a single undetected misconfiguration could mean trouble.
If you’ve been paying attention, you know no one is immune from cyberattack. Your business has been proactive by:
- putting firewalls and antivirus protection in place;
- establishing a bring-your-own-device policy;
- educating employees about password strength, social engineering, and cyber hygiene;
- updating software promptly;
- upgrading end-of-life hardware and software.
The threat landscape is evolving rapidly, the number of devices connected to a business network is exploding, more employees work on their own devices, and a greater number of people are working remotely. Plus, connected devices are all different types. If your wireless is unsecured, you could end up with devices you don’t know at all connected to your network. Yet it’s difficult to manually monitor every single configuration for security.
Push notifications advising us to update software come in fast and furious, but we’re busy. We have other things on our mind, we don’t get around to it right away, or, having clicked “never show again” on that popup, we forget the notification altogether. No action is taken.
At least no action on the business side. Out in cyberspace, bad actors actively seek out unattended or unpatched vulnerabilities.
What You Can Do About It
Think of the risk this way: you wouldn’t install a steel door and assign guards at both the front and back entrances, then leave a side window open.
Of course, an open window is something you can detect with the naked eye, but misconfigurations are more difficult to detect. A vulnerability scan helps detect insecurities in your systems and software. Sometimes a file share is configured incorrectly: you think the connection shares to one person, but instead it’s 100% open to the public.
An automated scan proactively identifies network, application, and security vulnerabilities. This process aims to find any points of entry. A scan also predicts the effectiveness of any countermeasures you may have in place.
The scan detects and classifies system weaknesses in networks, communications equipment, and computers. It then compares details about those vulnerabilities with a database of known exploits. This includes known flaws, coding bugs, packet construction anomalies, default configurations, and more.
A thorough managed service provider takes several scanning approaches. To scan your external exposure, they’ll look at all applications, ports, websites, services, networks, and systems facing the internet. An internal scan identifies system and application security holes that cybercriminals might exploit once they get in. Environmental scanning considers any IoT devices, websites, cloud-based services, and mobile devices.
Securing your business assets is critical. Identify the system security holes with vulnerability scanning before the bad guys find them.
Partner with an MSP to review your security posture. We can scan your network for misconfigurations, malware, known exploits, or open reports. We’ll produce a report that outlines any vulnerabilities, and recommends what you can do about them. Call us now at 403-915-8574
Business downtime is costly. Research abounds on just how much it can set a business back. Some small businesses can’t even rebound from the expenses associated with downtime. This article outlines the many expenses a business can encounter as a result of downtime.
What do we mean by downtime? There are many reasons a business might experience IT downtime. Say, the Wi-Fi goes down or there’s a simple power outage. Either could lead to a small-scale, short-term downtime. [Read more…]