Managed Business Antivirus

5 Reasons to Make the Switch to Managed Antivirus for Your Business

Antivirus for home and for business serve the same purposes: they prevent viruses, malware, and other forms of cyber threats from deleting your data and causing damage. However, when it comes to your business, there’s often much more at stake. Below are five reasons to consider making the switch to managed antivirus and even managed antispam for your business as soon as possible. #1 – There’s No Weak Link With traditional antivirus installed on every machine, individual employees are responsible for ensuring updates go through in a timely manner. All it takes is one missed update and your entire network is at risk – much like a weak link in a chain. When you choose managed antivirus instead, your employees are no longer individually responsible for the security of your network. Updates occur system-wide, routinely, and automatically. #2 – It Can’t Be Turned Off Another common issue with traditional antivirus installed on each machine is its tendency to slow things down. Because of the “hiccups,” employees will often turn off the antivirus while running multiple spreadsheets (or performing other RAM-heavy duties) and forget to turn it back on. This is another weak link, and it can wreak havoc on your network. Managed antivirus cannot be turned off at the user level. #3 – It Catches What Your Employees Don’t Today’s scammers and cyber criminals are getting better and better at what they do. There’s a good chance you’ve trained your employees in the best way to spot a phishing or spam email, but as the years go by, it’s getting more difficult to tell what’s real and what isn’t. Managed antivirus catches potentially harmful emails even when your employees cannot. #4 – Responses are Immediate If you accidentally opened an email that contained a virus, would you know it by looking? Many people wouldn’t, and by the time they figured it out, the damage could be extensive. When you choose managed antivirus, the response to any issues that slip through the cracks is immediate. In the event viruses or malware slip through your defenses, your provider will jump into action – 24 hours a day – to remove the threat. #5 – It’s More Cost Effective Licensing for individual machines and users can become quite expensive, even for small businesses with only a handful of machines. Managed antivirus tends to cost much less, and the value it provides is unbeatable. For a flat monthly fee, companies gain access to antivirus for all of their machines that is easily scalable, regularly (and automatically) updated, and free from flaws created in an unmanaged antivirus setting. Managed antivirus is a fantastic choice for businesses of all sizes. It solves many common problems, and in the event that something does go wrong, there’s a team of experts behind you to find an immediate solution. The best part is that in many cases, it’s far more cost-effective than individual licenses, but it comes with much more than just the software. A network security analysis can help you determine whether managed antivirus or other security measures are required.

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Backup and Disaster Recovery

Be Proactive: How to Avoid Potential Network Failures

Network failures for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can be devastating because they don’t have the resources of large corporations to bounce back from such disasters. Preparation against such devastation may be the only course for them to avoid failure and survive with the least damage if failure occurs. SMBs must be proactive in recognizing the eventuality of a cyber attack or human error that can cause data loss and disrupt business continuity. This is what needs to be done to help prevent a potential failure. Be prepared for network failures Being proactive is an essential step for preparation against a disaster. There are two ways to determine how to best prepare to prevent potential failure of your infrastructure. First, you need to identify the weaknesses throughout your systems, and second, determine how you are going to eliminate those weaknesses and protect your network. Identify the weaknesses that cause network failures Determine how and why your system could fail. Examine all aspects of your hardware and software. Assess all the internal and external factors that could contribute to failure of your networks. Here are some questions you need to know the answers to. Does customer access and/or employee productivity often stall because of downed systems? In these situations, how quickly is your IT support able to minimize the damage? Can you say with certainty that your business will be back on line and be able to access lost data with minimal disruption in case of failure? Your critical data should be backed up frequently. The data on personal laptops, iPads and other mobile devices should also be backed up. Are all these steps being taken, and how often? Are all backups stored in a location off-site and are they quickly accessible in the event of corruption, fire or flood? Are you using any custom made software? Can it be reinstalled and updated when needed? Are your systems truly protected from hackers and viruses? Do you change passwords when employees leave the company? How often do you test your backup processes? The answers to all these questions should give you a clear picture of your network’s ability to survive in case of a catastrophe. Five steps to help protect or shield your business against network failures Backup files every day: There are a large number of businesses that never backup data. Only 23% of SMBs are backing up their data daily, and only 50% are doing it weekly. A number of issues can result in loss of data. You should backup data every day. Check backup procedures regularly: Don’t find out accidently that your backup system is not working properly. By then it could be too late. Make sure to have a backup procedure in place. Also, it may seem like your data is being backed up normally, but check frequently if it is backing up the way it should be. In this age of BYOD make sure all employees are also following procedures to backup data on their laptops, iPads, etc. Make sure virus protection and firewalls are always enabled: Many companies either don’t have virus protection installed or it is disabled. That renders their networks vulnerable to virus attacks from emails, spam and data downloads. Corrupted files will not only bring your systems down but they can spread to your customers and email contacts. That will spell disaster for your reputation. Hackers are always looking for unprotected and open ports online that they can attack with malicious code or files. That can cause permanent data loss. Monitor server drives: Dangerously full server drives can cause many problems, ranging from program crashes to sluggish email delivery. Servers should be monitored and maintained regularly to avoid these problems. Check built-in logs: Frequent reviews of built-in logs can reveal small issues. You will have a chance to prevent them from becoming bigger, harder-to- manage problems that can bring your systems down. Network Failures Summary We now know IT system and network failures have very serious consequences for SMBs. We also know that they can avoid such failures by being proactive. Many SMBs are now turning to cloud-based services and virtualized backup solutions to mitigate downtime and network failures. Virtualization and cloud computing have enabled cost-efficient business continuity by allowing entire servers to be grouped into one software bundle or virtual server – this includes all data, operating systems, applications, and patches. This simplifies the backup process and allows for quick data restoration when needed. See how our backup and disaster recovery solution can help you. Email us at or use our contact form to see how Pennyrile Technologies can help your business today.

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Partner with an MSP

Mitigate Costly New Technology Risks for Continued Stability and Profitability

Partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) is one new approach being used by many companies like yours. Experienced MSPs have access to newer tools that reduce costs by automating many routine in-house labor intensive processes. Break-fix is labor intensive, and labor is one of the most expensive operating costs within your IT infrastructure. The new innovative tools that can be provided by MSPs generate real productivity increases and mitigate the risk of network failure, downtime and data loss from human error. MSP Services MSPs deliver a trusted foundation for your team and your customers. Some of the services and tasks offered include: Remote Desktop Management and Support Predictable Management of Critical Patches and Software Updates Fractional Resource Availability of Best-In-Class Expertise – scaled to your needs Implementing and Testing Backup and Disaster Recovery Processes Performance of Inventory and Audits of Computer/Network/Software Enforcement of Network/Security Policy Monitoring of Network/Operating System and Alerts Updating Anti-Virus Software and Detecting Spyware Erase any misconception that managed service providers are nothing more than “outsourced” tech help priced to displace your in-house IT technician or team. The new MSP has defined new methodologies and technology partnerships to offer valuable preventative services that proactively locate and eliminate threats before a bigger problem arises. MSPs today put considerable effort into understanding the operational and business needs of SMBs to develop and deliver a set of specific services that align technology with the SMB’s business objectives. This is the reason you hear managed services often referred to as “partners.” A present day MSP offers quantifiable economic value, greater ROI and decreased total cost of operation by streamlining costs and eliminating unnecessary lost productivity, revenue, and avoidable on-site IT consultant fees, in addition to eliminating the need for costly hardware/software repairs or replacement.

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Virtual Threats

Is your Business Safe from Virtual Threats?

Did you know that 50% of small business owners think their businesses are too small to be targeted by the thieves of the virtual world? Contrary to popular belief, 72% of hacker attacks often happen to smaller firms – firms with less than 100 employees! So how prepared is your SMB? Here’s a checklist to help you find out how vulnerable you are to these attacks. 1. Do you have Antivirus protection? – An antivirus software program can protect you from threats that originate from emails such as phishing and virus attacks. However, the most striking fact is that 61% of small businesses don’t install any antivirus software! If you are one of them, then it’s time to change! 2. How sturdy is your Firewall? – A good firewall system protects your computers from the variety of threats that exist in the virtual world. Examples include harmful cookies, viruses, worms and other such malicious programs used by hackers. 3. Do you use a Spam filter? – Using a simple spam filter for your emails keeps junk out of your inbox. The bonus to having a good spam filter is that your employees save time, as they are not distracted by irrelevant emails, but the major perk here is that the potential virus and phishing threats are lessened as spam emails are unlikely to be opened. 4. Do you do backup your data regularly? – Agreed – backups don’t really protect your data, but they are the only way to recover it if data loss does happen. So, be sure you have a regular and reliable backup plan in place – and it is actually being deployed. Data loss can prove very costly—especially to SMBs, sometimes even resulting in them having to close down. Prevention is certainly better than a cure in such cases.

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Five Things To Preserve Your Network and Systems

Small & medium-sized businesses (SMBs) today are under attack from malware, ransomware, external threats and data breaches. But with the lack of sophistication around most SMBs security stance, the prospect of remaining unaffected by attacks is bleak. Here are five things SMBs can do to help preserve their networks and systems. While this list does not completely cover all aspects of protecting a network, these are great first steps. If you need assistance, a managed service provider (MSP) like Pennyrile Technologies can help. A managed service provider delivers services, such as network, application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSP’s data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center. Backup Files Every Day  As catastrophic as data loss is, the number of businesses that still are not backing up the computers and servers on their network is unbelievable. According to the Symantec Small to Medium Size Businesses (SMB) data, only 23% of SMBs are backing up their data on a daily basis and fewer than 50% are backing up data weekly. Any number of events can result in data loss, so the importance of frequently backing up your network cannot be overstated. Losing any amount of data can compromise your personal identity, lead to downtime for your business and employees, and even bankrupt your entire company. Ensure Backup Procedures Are Checked Regularly Many times business owners think that they have a backup system in place only to find out after it’s too late that it hasn’t been working properly. It may seem like your files are being backed up daily, however, the backup could have become corrupt or it is not backing up huge chunks of critical data. Check your backup procedures regularly to ensure they are working properly in order to be sure that ALL of your data can be recovered. In the age of BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Devices) it is also important to frequently backup data on your employee’s personal laptops, iPads or Blackberrys, so make sure you have a procedure in place to check those backups as well. Make Sure Updated Virus Protection and Firewalls Are Always Enabled Far too many companies either have no virus protection, expired virus software licenses, or disabled virus programs that aren’t running at all. This makes their business technology vulnerable to virus attacks from emails, spam, data downloads, and un-reputable websites. Further, because of inadequate firewall protection about 40% of small to medium businesses will have their network accessed by a hacker. Chances are, when these businesses are attacked they will be entirely unaware it is happening. In order to protect your valuable data and assets, ensure your virus protection is adequate, up-to-date and functioning properly and that your firewall is intact. Finally, don’t forget to update security patches and change passwords when an employee leaves in order to deter hacking attempts. Monitor Server Drives Dangerously full server drives can bring their own set of problems – ranging from program and server crashes to sluggish email delivery. Proactive monitoring and maintenance of your servers can spare your business a lot of problems down the road. And don’t just monitor to see if the drives are full, but also monitor for hard drive failures, or predicted failures to help avoid data loss. Replacing drives with predicted failures can save your business time and money by avoiding extended downtime. Regularly Check Critical Built-In Logs Very few problems with technology emerge suddenly. These problems typically progress over time and evolve into more serious problems. Frequently review your critical built-in log files to help identify the problem before it has gotten out of control and wreaks havoc on your business infrastructure.

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