Failure is Not an Option: Getting Rid of Single Points of Failure

You might think that your business is going to be OK even if a single device goes down. After all, there are other devices your employees can use. It’s not as if the entire system is going to fall like dominoes. Or is it? Get rid of single points of failure to make sure one vulnerability doesn’t take down your network.

A single point of failure (SPOF) can be a design, implementation, or configuration weakness. Without proper design considerations, unintentional SPOFs may be introduced into computing environments.

Yet, cybercriminals don’t need super powers to target IT fatal weaknesses. SPOFs for technology include:

Having only one server that runs an essential application. Without that server, your employees can’t use that particular business tool.

Solution: Plan for the worst with built-in server redundancy. Have multiples of any hardware that is business critical. Consider a standby backup server or migrate to the cloud so …

Are You Due? What to Do When You Get a Renewal Notice

Your business relies on any number of service providers. You’re likely contracting for domain names, website hosting, data backup, software licenses, to name just a few. And that’s only your online presence! So, when a renewal notice comes in, you might just forward it on or file it away for future reference. Here’s what you should be doing instead.

First, when you get a renewal notice, confirm that it’s legitimate. This is especially true of domain names. Your business’s domain name and expiration date are publicly available. Anyone could look them up and send you an invoice. Scammers do. They monitor expiring domain names and then send out emails or physical post cards telling you it’s time to renew. They are not doing this as a civic service!

Instead, they will be trying to get you to switch your domain services to a competitor or, worse, hoping you’ll pay your renewal …

6 Target Areas to Reduce IT Costs

Your business is always looking to reduce costs. Looking at the information technology budget line items is headache inducing. So much money spent in one area, and there’s so little you can do about it! But is that really true? IT expenses may not be as fixed as you think. Take a look at these target areas where you might reduce costs.

#1 Software

Your business likely pays to license software such as Microsoft Office 365 or Adobe Photoshop. Reviewing these software agreements, you can often find cost savings:

You may be able to renegotiate a subscription if the provider wants to move you onto to a new offering.
You may find that you are paying for software that your employees are no longer using. Maybe you can reduce or remove it.
Perhaps the pricing has changed, and there are now better plan options available.
There may be an open-source …

Locking Up Cybersecurity with a Managed Services Provider

Cybercrime is not the most costly of illegal activities. That dubious distinction goes to government corruption, followed by drug trafficking. Cybercrime comes in third. Yet cybercrime does take the top spot when it comes to numbers of victims. A managed services provider can help.

Cybercrime has hundreds of millions of victims. Two-thirds of people online have experienced personal information theft or compromise. A 2018 McAfee Security study suggested that represents more than 2 billion individuals!

If any of those people works at your business, it could mean trouble for your security, too. Why? People tend to think they have too many passwords to remember. So, they use the same login information again and again. That means a criminal could leverage employee data to access business systems, too.

Cybercrime is a global problem for both individuals and businesses. The bad actors, after all, can make big bucks from their crime with low risk …

Avoiding Growing Pains: Tech Tips for a Thriving Business

Maybe you started your business in a basement or home office. It was just you at the beginning. Then, your service or product gained traction. The number of staff grew, and you moved into an office. It’s amazing how far you’ve come. Better still, your business continues to grow. It may be time to consider some of these tech tips to help your thriving business.

#1 Upgrade to Business-Grade Cloud Services

Perhaps you’ve been relying on free software from Gmail, Outlook, or Dropbox. Who can argue with free email, calendars, collaboration and file storage right? Well, it may be time to upgrade to the business versions of the software your team relies upon.

Move from Gmail to Google Apps, or Outlook to Office 365, or Dropbox to Dropbox Business or Sharepoint. For a small monthly fee, you gain business-grade features, additional retention capabilities, and auditing options.

The basic Google Apps offers business …

What Happens to Your Data When You Die?

Death is a morbid topic most of us try to avoid. Making a will and saying we prefer cremation is the extent of our advance planning. Yet, you may want to also think about what’s going to happen to your data.

Consider your digital footprint. You have photos, files, and emails on your computer and your phone. You’re also documenting your life on social media, and sharing on more than one channel.

Your wearable technology (say an Apple Watch or a Fitbit) may be recording information too. If you have a virtual assistant in your home, it’s recording your search history and saving that data on the cloud.

Yet many of us never think “what will happen to my data after I die?” Do you want it deleted? Are there digital assets you want to share? Perhaps there is tangible value attached to some of your digital assets. At the very least, …

Building a Good Relationship With Your Managed Service Provider

Good relationships are essential to your business success. Connections with customers, clients, vendors, suppliers, and service providers impact your bottom line. Here’s how to develop a strong relationship with your Managed Service Provider (MSP).

Improve efficiency and flexibility
Enhance security and compliance
Take a proactive approach to system maintenance
Reduce costs and enjoy predictable pricing
Gain access to new technologies

Along with overseeing smooth IT operations, the MSP’s experts can advise and consult. The following strategies can help you build a good relationship with your MSP.

Open the Lines of Communication

Transparency in the relationship can make a big difference. With a deeper knowledge of your needs, the MSP can better plan your technology solutions. Communicate goals and the direction you want to take your business. This lets the MSP collaborate to enhance your IT capabilities.

A service provider frees up internal IT staff for strategic planning, special projects. If those initiatives …

MSP Facts: Common Managed Service Myths Busted

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are not stuff of legend like minotaurs and unicorns. Yet there are many common myths around managed services. These can cloud understanding of a MSP’s true value. Consider the facts to decide whether partnering with a third-party IT vendor is right for you.

 

Myth #1: MSPs don’t understand our business.

Not every MSP will understand your business, that’s correct. But not every MSP is the same. The right MSP examines your existing infrastructure and workflows. They’ll also meet with your people to understand their needs.

Hiring a MSP adds IT experts who can make specific technology recommendations. Meanwhile, your in-house IT team can focus on driving growth.

Myth #2: Outsourcing to a MSP is too costly.

Take a look at your IT budget today. Internal IT costs are typically high and often unpredictable. Managed services help you stay on top of your IT costs. Your business pays a …

IT Problems Your Managed Service Provider Can Solve

Unlike quick-fix IT relationships, a managed service provider isn’t there just to solve short-term problems and leave. Your managed service provider is your IT’s mountain Sherpa, there to guide your business through the ever-changing technology landscape.

Like a mountain guide, your managed service provider gives you a detailed route that will help your business climb to new heights. The secret to a great business is avoiding the pitfalls, dead-ends, and traps inherent in bad IT.

Removing IT Worries

Technology in business presents both new solutions and new problems too. We are more efficient and more productive today than we’ve ever been before. On the other hand, we are also more vulnerable and more exposed to malware and hackers than in previous years too.

Major hacks of large firms are in the news almost daily, they affect millions of customers worldwide, and even large firms seem to struggle with the fallout incurred after …

Cloud Storage or Local Server – The Best of Both

Cloud computing is the biggest buzzword in business today, and for good reason too. The cloud provides many a new-found freedom to do and achieve more than ever before. Greater collaboration, unlocking work possibilities in new locations and often reducing costs provides a healthy boost for many companies.

Every business is unique however, and cloud solutions don’t fit for every scenario. Connection issues, internet plans, or technical requirements can rule it out as an option in some instances. In these situations, we might install a Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution instead. Which is a very small server with lots of hard drives.

A NAS is particularly popular in small, mid-sized businesses, and even home environments. Due to their low power consumption, small footprint, and low cost, they often represent an ideal upgrade. Power users and businesses can enhance their networks and get more out of their systems by employing a NAS …