IT Assurance for the SMB Market

IT assurance is an essential consideration for small business owners, though they often don’t realize it. For years now, research and statistics show that more than half of all cyber-attacks are against small businesses. In one study, it was found by the U.S. Congressional Small Business Committee that organizations with fewer than a hundred employees were the targets of 71% of all cyberattacks. The compelling reason is that cybercriminals often prefer vulnerable targets, and less secure networks are easier to hack into. The following are examples of cybersecurity measures that can help provide needed IT assurance.

1) Protect Mobile Devices

The use of personal Wi-Fi devices is a widespread practice. And, yet, private tablets, smartphones, and laptops make the IT network easier to breach. BYOD (bring your own device) policies are needed, and they should focus on IT assurance.

2) Enforce Strong Password Procedures

Employees can get weary of changing passwords, but it’s important that strong password policies are enforced. Especially with workers using their own devices, company access must be protected with strong passwords. The formula currently required by most sites is to use numbers, symbols, and upper and lower-case letters.

3) Provide IT Assurance Training for Employees

In-house mistakes frequently result in security breaches. To avoid becoming victim to a cybercrime that’s caused by employees, provide training to educate them about IT assurance and the part they play in protecting the company’s IT network. Protocols should be updated and reviewed as often as need be. Hold the employees accountable by having them put their signature to a statement that they have been informed of the company’s IT assurance policies and actions can be taken if they fail to follow procedures related to cybersecurity.

Contact Info-Link Technologies Today to speak with an expert about IT assurance for your business.

Does Your Website Security Measure Up?

Every organization should have adequate domain security and has a responsibility to ensure cybersecurity to protect data on their website. Website security has recently been weighed against the performances of U.S. Presidential campaigns. The areas audited, to determine who could qualify for the “Honor Roll,” were online data security, consumer protection, and responsible privacy practices. Every business website could ultimately be held accountable for these areas of security in the event a data breach occurs. 

How Did the Campaign Websites Do on Domain Security?

According to the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), 70% of the campaign websites that were reviewed failed to measure up in key areas of security. The best security practices for safeguarding visitor information were utilized by 30%, or a total of 7, of the campaigns. They were the only websites to earn “Honor Roll” status. Data on the Internet is stolen, collected, analyzed, and sold by cybercriminals because it has high value. Visitors on a website should not have to suffer negative consequences because of a lack of domain security or data protection on a site they trusted.  

Tips to Ensure Domain Security of Your Website

Cybersecurity is a multi-layered undertaking. The following are a few ways to ensure domain security and protect visitors on your website:

  • Use proven tactics for securing passwords such as two-factor authentication (2FA).
  • Take steps to ensure IP address access protection.
  • Be sure to set up a domain lock or registry lock.
  • Choose a domain provider offering up-to-date security functions.

Contact Info-Link Technologies Today to improve your website security.

Solving the Data Security Challenges of Law Firms

Law firms have been behind all other industries in moving data to the cloud because of the sensitive nature of their business and their data. The convenience of the cloud can be of tremendous benefit to legal firms, but two security risks put into doubt the wisdom of making the leap. Those threats are the potential for a data breach by an unauthorized third party and accidental release of sensitive data by the error or carelessness of authorized individuals. Managed service providers (MSPs) provide the solutions law offices are looking for.

Major Data Security Concerns Legal Firms Share

Maintaining sensitive files in a locked file cabinet is obviously less risky than conducting business over the worldwide web. But lawyers are put at a disadvantage by not having cloud capabilities. The following are a few of the challenges:

  • Digital storage in-house and in the cloud puts information at risk, but 24/7 access to data is invaluable.
  • Cybercrime continues to rise. It is necessary to have a continuous focus on cyber threats in order to avoid a devastating loss of data or exposure of sensitive information.
  • Many law firms branch out across the country and in locations around the world, creating a large IT network that’s more difficult to secure and manage.

Managed Service Provider (MSP) Solutions

Legal firms can more confidently take advantage of the benefits of the cloud with a managed service provider handling managed IT services. Benefits follow:

  • Security is updated as new technologies and updates become available, helping managed service providers and their clients stay ahead of cybercriminals
  • For any business to survive disruption, a business continuity plan is essential. MSPs specialize in data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity planning and services.
  • It makes sense to entrust IT management and security to managed service providers, who offer valuable technology upgrades for a fraction of the cost as well as 24/7 data and IT infrastructure monitoring and an IT staff with great depth of expertise.

Contact Info-Link Technologies Today to speak with an expert who can help solve your law firm’s data security challenges.

SMB Network Security

Network security measures and data protection are vital to any business that relies on the Internet and uses a wireless connection. Hackers use increasingly sophisticated methods and equipment, and it takes mere seconds to hack into networks like yours. Thanks to the affordability of managed network services, an adequate level of network security is achievable even for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). The following are three reasons network security should be a top priority.

How Managed Services are Vital to SMB Network Security?

Protect Employees

Corporate devices are at risk and so are the employees who use them. Businesses must equip themselves with network security tools. Office 365 is an example of a software and security solution that can help protect company data and sensitive information such as employee identities.

Increase Productivity

The increasing amount of data that companies store and need to protect requires greater bandwidth and speed, which increase productivity. Meanwhile, cyber threats are also ever-expanding. In order for SMBs to be able to focus on growing their business, a high level of technical support is needed.  The overwhelming demand for continuous network security can roll off of the shoulders of IT personnel and onto managed network services.

Protect Against Ransomware

Whether using Apple or Windows computers, anti-virus software, anti-malware protection, and firewalls are critically important. Ransomware attacks are very real threats. Studies show that in just the year 2017, worldwide ransomware attacks increased 350 percent. Failing to ensure network security puts a company at a greatly increased risk of suffering a devasting cyberattack.

Managed network services offer multi-layered network security and a level of protection that’s needed in today’s online environment.

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How the Cloud Helps Small & Mid-sized Businesses Meet Expectations

Patience is not usually required in today’s online interactions. Instant page uploads are expected, and businesses with a sluggish website lose prospective customers to their competitors. Building out an IT department and buying the necessary equipment is usually fine for large businesses, but what about the others? What is a small-to-midsized business (SMB) to do about the necessity of top-quality IT services to watch over all aspects of online activity?

Many SMBs have switched to the cloud for continuous monitoring to ensure their website, mobile applications, and IT infrastructure are operating efficiently and their network security is protecting against the latest strategies used by cybercriminals.

Advantages of Cloud Monitoring

In this high-tech age, continuous cloud monitoring is a tremendous benefit to companies. It is much easier for cloud monitoring to identify patterns and potential problems within IT infrastructure than it is for in-house IT support staff to detect them. The following are among the benefits provided by cloud monitoring:

  1. Download speeds are monitored to ensure that they meet expectations.
  2. Page content is monitored to ensure it is accurate.
  3. Unapproved changes that may be the result of cybercrime are detected.
  4. Website tampering is detected.
  5. Data compromises are detected.
  6. Downtime can be reduced by as much as 80% due to continuous testing and analyzing of mobile applications, websites, and IT networks.

More than half of the people recently surveyed with regard to cloud technology have never used it. Business owners who aren’t tech-savvy still hesitate to switch to the cloud simply because trusting a virtual server seems too iffy. The cloud is a solution, and it’s nothing to fear. It simply means that data storage and access are moved from a physical hard drive to the Internet.

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How IT Outsourcing Beats Control & Autonomy

Independent-minded entrepreneurs and small business owners tend to recoil at the idea of IT outsourcing. Letting go of control and self-sufficiency may be a struggle, but it is often the only real option with regards to protecting IT infrastructure.

The IT staff in any business has their work cut out for them just to keep up with daily demands. Research shows that as much as 65% of IT budgets are spent on keeping employees on task with productivity, between such matters at printer problems and PCs being infected by slick cyberattacks.

In the meantime, backing up data and having a disaster recovery plan in place are crucial IT operations that consume a lot of time and resources, particularly when using traditional on-premise strategies. In fact, rare is the small or medium-sized business (SMB) that can afford to keep a cybersecurity expert on staff to deal with the ever-changing landscape of cybercrime.

How IT Outsourcing Supplements IT Staff and Resources

24/7 Internal Monitoring

The number of time-consuming daily fires IT staff put out can be greatly reduced with the help of a 24×7 operations center outsourced to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Internal monitoring of an IT structure can help to prevent costly software, hardware, and applications failures as well as many other business disruptions. A 24×7 IT staff doesn’t make sense for SMBs. Round-the-clock monitoring provided with IT outsourcing catches preventable issues in time to avoid disruptions.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans

With limited on-site IT resources, SMBs are at risk of experiencing devastating data loss and business interruption. With IT outsourcing to an MSP, a practical solution can be designed and implemented to ensure that data is recovered and operations are quickly restored following a system failure or major cyberattack.

Your business success depends on your IT infrastructure. You need Info-Link Technologies to deliver proactive services that not only keep your network up and running but running effectively and efficiently.

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Managed Networks Services

Cybercriminals put businesses at risk daily, maintaining appropriate protocols for network security has never been a more critical task. Small businesses are particularly at risk due to the assumption that smaller targets are safer. A managed network is the best way for small businesses to avoid adverse results of a devastating cyber-attack.

How are Small Businesses Affected when Network Security Fails?

Statistics show that at least 43% of all attacks by cybercriminals directly target small businesses. If network security fails, what can happen? Loss of customer data is a big part of the reason 60% of small businesses shut down within 6 months of a direct hit by a cyber-attack. Data loss can result in public mistrust, fines, and a poor reputation because customers who entrusted you with data were exposed to criminal elements.

Other results of failed network security include exposure of trade secrets and the devastating financial impact of related fines.

Managed Networks Services Offer Better Network Security

Statistics also show that only 14% of small business owners believe their strategy for cybersecurity is effective. Although so many small business owners recognize their need for managed network security, they don’t often know how helpful and affordable a managed network can be.

Managed Network Services

Managed network services is more affordable for SMBs to hire a managed service provider to help ensure network security than it is to hire sufficient IT personnel to do as comprehensive a job. Info-Link Technologies has the expertise in managed network services and experience to better shield SMBs from the negative impact of cybercrime.

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Difficulties and Drawbacks of Do-It-Yourself Cybersecurity

Network and data security are of growing importance due to ever-increasing cyber-attacks. Business owners know they need adequate data and network security, but it is often lacking. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in particular have difficulty keeping up with shifting security demands, due to associated costs. The changing tactics and sophistication of cybercriminals make do-it-yourself (DIY) cybersecurity expensive, according to Forrester’s Total Economic Impact (TEI) methodology.

Obstacles to DIY Cybersecurity

Just the right mix of tools is needed to adequately protect your company’s data, network, and applications. Another obstacle is that each of the security devices and platforms must work and integrate well together. The work isn’t done even after you’ve pulled that off. Next is to ensure that emerging attacks and threats are monitored round-the-clock. An experienced professional should be on hand at all hours to identify security incidents and provide a proper response.

Internal IT personnel typically have many important routines to handle and special projects, as well. Seldom do small IT departments have the time needed to focus on cybersecurity to the level the threat demands. Multiple techniques are continuously employed by hackers. Many businesses simply aren’t prepared with an adequate disaster recovery response if a major cyber-attack is successful.

Another drawback to DIY cybersecurity is that few IT professionals have the level of expertise needed for peace of mind. Qualified cybersecurity experts are in high demand and can easily be snatched up by the highest bidder. Although your IT staff may know about security best practices, that’s different from working knowledge and experience.

A Cost-Effective Solution to Cybersecurity

Third-party IT solutions check all the requirements of cybersecurity that can provide peace of mind while also cutting costs. The ever-increasing expense and inadequacy of DIY cybersecurity are no match for the benefits provided by outsourced IT services. Benefits of outsourced IT solutions:

  1. Clients get the benefit of a larger IT staff with multi-layered expertise, including cybersecurity professionals.
  2. Exposure to a wide range of network infrastructure designs, configurations, and network architectures provides added insights into the most up-to-date cybersecurity software, technology, and innovations. Outsourced IT services have invaluable in-the-trenches experience.
  3. The entire focus of outsourced cybersecurity providers is on keeping companies safe from the many forms of cyber threats.
  4. Compliance is another arm of security that outsourced IT services can be depended upon to handle in an accurate and timely manner.
  5. IT professionals can have many different certifications, and you get the benefit of a full complement of IT certifications with most outsourced IT services providers.
  6. In-house personnel may hesitate to deliver bad news regarding security assessments. An outsourced company, however, has no vested interests or motivations to falsely paint a rosy picture of the state of cybersecurity.

Info-Link Technologies provides IT services in the Greater Columbus, Ohio, area. You will gain a new level of cybersecurity at a much-reduced price, compared to DIY cybersecurity.

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