- 24/7 operations center – Small businesses can benefit from, but simply cannot afford 24/7 internal monitoring of their IT infrastructure. Many of the issues that become costly business disruptions, such as hardware, software, and applications failures are completely preventable if they’re detected and addressed early enough. It is a reality that your systems run 24/7, but you can’t support a 24/7 IT staff. A MSP, however, can use economies of scale to provide around the clock monitoring of your IT operations.
- Disaster recovery and business continuity plans – Small businesses have limited resources, so if there were to be a serious business interruption or data loss, they could be completely out of luck. However, risk assessments and continuity plans are likely outside of a small business owners field of expertise. A MSP can be brought in to design a complete solution.
- Breach of data security: As we discussed above, theft is the main reason for loss of data. Hackers can get into networks by installing their own software hidden inside emails and other Web content. They take over PCs and networks and then access files containing personal information. They can then use that information to empty people’s bank accounts and exploit data for other purposes.
- Human error and employee negligence: Humans still have to instruct technology to perform as desired. Examples of negligence include unattended computer systems, weak passwords, opening email attachments or clicking the hyperlinks in spam and visiting restricted websites. Fortunately, this type of loss of data is easily preventable, but it is just as detrimental and can bring your business to a halt. Downtimes can be very harmful to your business continuity and revenue.
- Enforce data security: More than technology, this is the management of human behavior. SMB management must communicate data protection policy to the entire staff and see to it that the policy is adhered to. Rules and policy must be enforced very strictly regarding the use of personal devices. Tell employees to create passwords that are hard to crack and change them frequently.
- Stress the consequences: Rules are only good if there are consequences for not following them. Define what those consequences mean for the both the individual and the organization.
- Mobile device management: Mobile devices may be the weakest link in data security. “Mobile device management” refers to processes that are designed for the control of mobile devices used within the company. Devices tapping into company systems are identified and monitored 24/7. They are proactively secured via specified password policies, encryption settings, etc. Lost or stolen devices can be located and either locked or stripped of all data.
- Snapshots: Fully backing up large amounts of data can be a lengthy process. The data being backed up is also vulnerable to file corruption from read errors. This means sizable chunks of data may not be stored in the backup and be unavailable in the event of a full restoration. This can be avoided by backing up critical data as snapshots.
- Cloud replication and disaster recovery services: For SMBs who consider data backup to be too costly, time-consuming and complex there is an answer. The Cloud provides a cost-effective, automated off-site data replication process that provides continuous availability to business-critical data and applications. Cloud replication can often get systems back online in under an hour following a data loss.
- 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 online 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?
- 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 accidentally that your backup system is not working properly. By then it could be too late. 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.
Simpatico Systems Announces Corporate Merger With TeksInc
We at Simpatico are proud to announce a merger with TeksInc, effective January 11, 2019. This exciting development expands our service area into the Dallas metro market.
The merger with TeksInc increases the size of Simpatico’s current operations by nearly 75 percent. The combined staff of the companies will lend itself to more effective problem solving, and creative synergy.
The cyber security industry has seen a seismic shift in the last few years. As technology advances, the digital threats facing small business have become more sophisticated and more frequent.
The next logical step in our rapid expansion, growing our team and clientele in the Dallas market allows us to tackle this threat with state-of-the-art technology and concierge-level services for even more small to medium-sized companies across the country.
As Simpatico continues to grow, our focus remains on serving you, our client, with excellence. An expanded staff with additional talents and skill sets allows us to fulfill that mission.
Thank you for putting your trust in us – it is something we never take lightly. We pledge to you that we won’t grow faster than we can care for you, our loyal clients and friends. After all, you are the very reason we have the opportunities we have.
January is the time for reflection, gratitude as well as excitement for what’s ahead. We anticipate great things in the merger and the coming year.
For more information on the merger, you are welcome to reach out to Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Nathan Hasse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marriott says 500 million Starwood guest records stolen in massive data breach
Starwood Hotels has confirmed its hotel guest database of about 500 million customers has been stolen in a data breach. The breach occurred in 2014 but it was only identified last week. The cost of this breach will be massive: both with government levied fines and the qualitative loss of reputation.
Make Sure This Doesn’t Happen to Your Business
- When you acquire or merge with another company, always do a security risk analysis and network assessment BEFORE merging. Simpatico can do this for you.
- This has highlighted that even the biggest organizations with the biggest budgets can go YEARS without realizing their breached. Simpatico can do this for you today.
- Do you know if your company’s and employee’s information is on the dark web? Simpatico can do this for you.