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Run your Business, not an IT Company

You went into business because you have an interest and expertise in some particular product or service. You began the firm to offer that product or service, but a dirty little problem came along with that new company. IT requirements. You need equipment, and you need networks, printers, and data storage to keep the company up and running. As a consequence, you’ve become responsible for managing something you probably don’t care very much about or even understand especially well. Managed Service Providers can be a solution. A small business can off load a variety of IT tasks that are becoming a distraction to everyday business operations and strategy.Here are just two examples. Software updates and security audits: Your present in-house staff may be spending most of its time fixing everyday problems. As a result, they may have to delay vital security measures, such as applying tested security patches or updating virus software programs. Working with an MSP will eliminate much of the work overload that leads to system or security vulnerabilities. An end user help desk: If you have any in-house staff, they are probably well-trained and very qualified. Are their skills being wasted on all the little daily issues of cranky printers and broken keyboards? MSPs can offer an end user help desk that can handle all those calls that pull your own staff away from larger efforts that can enhance productivity and move the business forward.

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cybercrime e1496671177784

Stay Secure My Friend… More Hackers Targeting SMBs

Many SMBs don’t realize it, but the path to some grand cyber crime score of a lifetime may go right through their backdoor. SMBs are commonly vendors, suppliers, or service providers who work with much larger enterprises. Unfortunately, they may be unaware that this makes them a prime target for hackers. Worse yet, this may be costing them new business. Larger companies likely have their security game in check, making it difficult for hackers to crack their data. They have both the financial resources and staffing power to stay on top of security practices. But smaller firms continue to lag when it comes to security. In many cases, the gateway to accessing a large company’s info and data is through the smaller company working with them. Exposed vulnerabilities in security can lead cyber criminals right to the larger corporation they’ve been after. Cyber Criminals Target Companies with 250 or Fewer Employees Research is continuing to show that cyber criminals are increasingly targeting smaller businesses with 250 or fewer employees. Attacks aimed at this demographic practically doubled from the previous year. This news has made larger enterprises particularly careful about whom they do business with. This means that any SMB targeting high-end B2B clientele, or those seeking partnerships with large public or government entities, must be prepared to accurately answer questions pertaining to security. This requires an honest assessment of the processes taken to limit security risks. View Security Measures as Investments CEOs must start viewing any extra investment to enhance security as a competitive differentiator in attracting new business. Adopting the kind of security measures that large enterprises seek from third-party partners they agree to work with will inevitably pay off. The payoff will come by way of new revenue-generating business contracts that will likely surpass whatever was spent to improve security. Would-be business partners have likely already asked for specifics about protecting the integrity of their data.  Some larger entities require that SMBs complete a questionnaire addressing their security concerns. This kind of documentation can be legally binding so it’s important that answers aren’t fudged just to land new business. If you can’t answer “yes” to any question about security, find out what it takes to address that particular security concern. Where a Managed Service Provider Comes In Anyone who isn’t yet working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) should consider it. First, a manual network and security assessment offers a third-party perspective that will uncover any potential business-killing security risks. A good MSP will produce a branded risk report to help you gain the confidence of prospects to win new business. An MSP can properly manage key elements of a small company’s security plan. This includes administrative controls like documentation, security awareness training, and audits as well as technical controls like antivirus software, firewalls, patches, and intrusion prevention. Good management alone can eliminate most security vulnerabilities and improve security. Email us at or use our contact form to see how Pennyrile Technologies can help your business today.

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Why Should You Get On The Cloud

4 Things to Consider Before Jumping Into BYOD

You’ve read it time and time again. “Bring Your Own Device” isn’t a trend, it’s the future. Workplaces, where companies let workers use their own devices for work purposes, are the new normal. What Is Bring Your Own Device BYOD Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to the idea that employees should be allowed to use their personal devices to access company information. The main advantage of this approach is that it makes sure that the employee will always have his/her data available, even when he/she isn’t using the office computer. There are a few reasons why companies are beginning to allow this type of policy. First, many workers are already bringing their own laptops and smartphones to work. If employers don’t want them to do so, then they could simply ban these items from being brought into the workplace. Another benefit is that BYOD allows businesses to save money. Employees who bring their own technology usually won’t need IT support, and they’ll also avoid buying equipment for the business. However, there are some drawbacks to allowing this kind of policy. For example, it can make the job of the security team more difficult. This is because people may be accessing sensitive data that the employer would like to keep private. BYOD attracts new hires and lifts employee morale and productivity. But this doesn’t mean a small business owner should recklessly jump right into BYOD just because everyone else is doing it. There are a few drawbacks to bringing your phone into the office which you need to be aware of. BYOD Security The first issue relates to security. If you’re not careful then you could end up putting your entire business at risk. Data and network security concerns have to be thought out, defined, and addressed in a comprehensive BYOD policy. You need to make sure you take the time to educate your employees about it. When talking about IT security, employees are often the weakest link in a company. It’s important they know what they can and cannot do on their personal devices, why it matters, and what happens if the policy is broken. By implementing a BYOD policy, you can help protect against data breaches and cybersecurity threats. BYOD Cost of Support Most businesses salivate at the thought of the money saved by having employees participate in a BYOD program. With employees using their own devices for work, there is no need to shell out thousands of dollars for desktop PCs, smartphones, tablets, and laptops. While that’s undoubtedly a huge incentive, extra support costs must also be factored in. Chances are your employees aren’t necessarily tech savvy and will need help deploying applications and performing basic yet very necessary maintenance techniques. Unless you have a dedicated IT support team, which most SMBs do not have, you will need to turn to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) in your region for support. A MSP can provide specialized expertise and leverage Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools to keep your network infrastructure and business applications monitored, secured and fully optimized. Limited Number of Support Devices Obviously, you can’t accommodate EVERY employee-owned device. Limiting the types of devices accepted in your BYOD program will mitigate any need to pay for software or equipment upgrades for outdated devices and keep your infrastructure safer as a whole. It’s important to not be too exclusive, select a broad range of devices and their more recent releases to accommodate the varied preferences/tastes of your employees. BYOD Legal Risks Adopting BYOD at your workplaces will expose your company to more legal risks. Sensitive business or private client/customer data can potentially be exposed if devices are lost or stolen. The personal online habits of your employees can also increase your network’s vulnerability to viruses, phishing, or hacking schemes designed to steal such data. These increased legal risks are another reason why SMBs must take precautions such as working with an MSP that offers a solid MDM solution to ensure all employee devices are configured, deployed, managed and monitored in a manner that prioritizes data integrity and security. Ready to implement BYOD for your business? Contact us today for a free evaluation and see how Pennyrile Technologies can help your business today.

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