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Small Businesses Find Managed IT Useful To Their Growth

Small Businesses Find Managed IT Useful To Their Growth

Many small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), find that they need to have the right technology before they can grow. In fact, studies have shown that businesses that cap out at 250 employees and primarily have plans to grow in 2018 are focusing their strategies on using IT solutions and applications to achieve growth.

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3 Phishing Scams You Might Have Missed in 2017

3 Phishing Scams You Might Have Missed in 2017

Cybercrime continues to be a major threat to your organization’s security, and there’s no way to really escape it. Hackers are so prevalent on the Internet that you could actually be dealing with attacks from all sides. Phishing in particular has seen a dramatic rise over recent years, and you need to be wary of email scams designed to steal sensitive credentials.

In fact, according to the Webroot Quarterly Threat Trend Reports, at least 1.4 million phishing websites are set up every month. These reports estimate that this past May, there was an all-time high for phishing website increase, topping off at over 2.3 million websites being set up during that month. Phishing has become the single most prominent method of fraud in the modern business world, and is responsible for most data breaches worldwide.

2017 saw an uncanny number of phishing attacks. Here are three of them that you may have missed.

Amazon Shipping Phishing Scam
Earlier this year, a phishing scam made it appear that Amazon was sending emails about canceled orders or updates to user accounts. They appeared to be legitimate, but users were receiving these messages even if they hadn’t recently canceled an order. If users clicked on links located in the email, they would be directed to a domain that was either close to Amazon, or an entirely different domain. These emails convince users to hand over important credentials, like login information or financial details (credit card number, expiration date, etc.). If you receive an email claiming to be from Amazon, but you never made an order, be wary of it.

Google Docs Hack
Google Docs works by sending you an email containing a link to the document being shared with you. While it’s a best practice to never click on a link in an unsolicited email, you might think that a message from a company as big as Google could be trustworthy. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. This phishing scam works by convincing users to grant permissions to a third-party app rather than actually stealing your credentials. It’s part of a growing trend where phishing attacks are growing more sophisticated, which should raise some concerns for business owners.

IRS W-2 Tax Season Phishing Scams
Your organization has sensitive documents on-file that contain employee financial information, among other important personal data. Tax season is the opportune time for hackers to try and steal this information via phony tax return messages, as users are going to be on the lookout for information on how and when they can process their tax returns. Businesses in particular should be wary of recent phishing attacks asking for specific W-2s or personal information about users.

Is your business prepared to stand against phishing attacks? If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to Infradapt at 800.394.2301.

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Are You Taking Advantage of These 6 VoIP Benefits?

Are You Taking Advantage of These 6 VoIP Benefits?

Can you imagine your business where it is today without a good, quality telephone system? Most small businesses require a dedicated communications infrastructure, but managing such a thing is not the simplest task. The best way to get the most return on your investment is to implement a Voice over Internet Protocol solution, or VoIP for short.

VoIP uses your business’ Internet connection to send and receive calls, which is a step up from the traditional telephone line for multiple reasons. Here are six of the best benefits you can gain from VoIP.

Lower Cost per Call
VoIP uses your Internet connection, as well as your IP address, to send and receive calls. This leads to your organization receiving more value from your calling infrastructure in the long run, as you can dodge long-distance charges thanks to the way that VoIP works. All you need to do is make sure that your bandwidth can handle the extra burden, and you’ll essentially be getting rid of an unnecessary service.

Installing a telephone infrastructure is one of those things that you do with a sense of permanency. This can make changing numbers or moving your offices around a hassle, as you’ll need to contact your telephone provider for information on how to transfer your services. VoIP can help you avoid this issue completely, which affords your organization plenty of freedom to move offices around without trouble.

Dynamic Features
While you might have loved the traditional telephone services your provider offered, more advanced features can allow for a refreshing and rich communication experience. VoIP can provide plenty of features that traditional handsets cannot, like voicemail transferring, video chat, instant messaging, and more, all so you can get the most from your phone system.

Back to the Basics
With all of the best new features available, you might think that VoIP forgets some of its most basic features. Well, you’d be wrong--VoIP holds onto all of the basic features you’ve come to know and appreciate, like conference calling and call forwarding. Plus, there’s plenty of room to customize your service depending on your specific needs.

Treat Your Clients
There’s nothing more annoying than a phone that won’t stop ringing--particularly for the caller. With VoIP, you can set up a call queue so that you’ll never miss a call again. You can route the call directly to specific phones or devices. This can help you better treat your clients, as they’ll appreciate not talking to an answering machine.

Reliability Above All
VoIP can be used on whichever device suits you best, be it your smartphone or your work desktop. If you can’t seem to leave the traditional handset behind, VoIP can work with that, too. It’s, quite simply, highly customizable and a fantastic asset to any business’ communication solution.

Infradapt can help your business implement the best solutions for your organization. To learn more, reach out to us at 800.394.2301.

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Software as a Service Helps Small Businesses in So Many Ways

Software as a Service Helps Small Businesses in So Many Ways

Over the past few years, more and more small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) have adopted software as a service (SaaS), in favor of the traditional use of software that was stored locally on hardware. Whether you are already using SaaS for a few of your operations or you’re considering implementing it for the first time, there a few fundamental items you should understand: What is Software as a Service? What are the benefits of adopting SaaS applications? In what departments can SaaS be utilized?

From line of business applications to cloud-based email, most businesses rely on several different types of software to perform day-to-day operations. Rather than purchasing software and installing it directly to in-house hardware, software as a service is a cloud-based way to access the app and programs your business needs, via the internet. Since most SaaS applications can be accessed through a web browser or thin-client terminals, it reduces the costs associated with hardware and maintenance, as well as allowing for easy scalability as the company dynamics change. With SaaS, the user no longer needs to manually implement patches and security updates, as they are performed by the distributor.

Here’s a look at how your peers have responded to SaaS adoption:

  • Companies that use SaaS applications as part of their business model use an average of 16 SaaS applications.
  • 86% of end users say SaaS applications help them succeed more than desktop alternatives.
  • 94% of survey respondents reported significant benefits from adopting SaaS.

Although there are many areas within an organization that SaaS can benefit, these are four departments that can be enhanced by implementing SaaS:

With the popularity of unified communication and collaboration (UCC), SMBs have designated internal and external communications as a high priority. Generally comprised of virtual meeting rooms, email integrations, VoIP phone solutions, and instant messaging, cloud-based applications can be used to build a custom UCC solution that match your company’s needs - with a lot more flexibility than on premise software.

Cloud-Based Email
For those businesses who aren’t interested in UCC, cloud-based email can be extremely beneficial for SMBs in its own right. Since emails are the primary records of correspondence for the majority of business communications, cloud-based applications allow emails to be stored and archived without taking up any internal memory, as well as, offering different options based on business needs. Gmail and Microsoft Outlook are two of the most popular cloud-based email platforms.

Productivity Suites
When it comes to SaaS, productivity suites are arguably the most popular application used by businesses together. As more businesses are allowing employees to work from home, the ability to use productivity applications and collaborate remotely is a very desirable feature. Microsoft Office 365, Google’s G-Suite, and Adobe Creative Cloud give users all the capabilities of locally installed software but are able to be accessed securely from anywhere that has the Internet, on nearly every device. Additionally, each suite can be bought in a group or as individual programs.

Another good aspect of SaaS is that adopting virtualization doesn’t have to be all or nothing in terms of which programs you’re shifting to the cloud. You have the ability to gradually replace your locally installed programs with cloud-based software at your own pace. Studies suggest, however, that once they begin adopting cloud-based software for one process, SMBs are likely to seek out additional SaaS programs that might be a fit.

At Infradapt, we specialize in helping businesses develop an IT strategy that maximizes productivity and efficiency - including identification of potential SaaS applications that will improve your business, security, efficiency, or productivity. Would you like to learn more about SaaS? Contact Infradapt today at: 800.394.2301.

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Professional Services Benefit Significantly from Managed IT Solutions

Professional Services Benefit Significantly from Managed IT Solutions

Do you fall into the broad term of “professional services?” If so, you might be interested in hearing how managed IT can help you improve operations and take advantage of other various benefits that they provide for organizations like yours. Let’s take a look at some of the many solutions that MSPs can offer for your business. You’ll be surprised by how much more work you can get done during the workday!

Security Must Be a Priority
Data security is absolutely critical for your business, whether it’s a small business or a large enterprise. Financial information, personally identifiable information, and other credentials could be stolen by hackers at any moment. Sensitive information fetches a great price on the black market, which means that it’s priority number one for your organization. The more valuable information is to a hacker, the more danger it’s in.

Managed service providers can help your business protect itself from cyber threats to your business, be it a firewall to keep threats out, or a monitoring solution that helps you keep security in check in real time. Managed service providers take preventative measures to keep threats from evolving into a major problem. Any threats found can be resolved before a major data breach becomes a reality.

Basically, it comes down to running your business instead of worrying about security. After all, that’s why you’re in business in the first place, right?

Ensuring the Continuity of Your Business
While you can protect your business from deliberate attempts on its continued existence, what can you do about accidents and disasters that happen seemingly out of nowhere? Floods, fires, and storms are undiscriminating and will take down your business whether you want them to or not. In the wake of such a destructive event, will your data be able to survive so that your business can continue operations as intended?

Infradapt can help your business ensure that this doesn’t happen by equipping your organization with quality data backup and disaster recovery solutions. This helps to ensure that your organization can survive dangerous events such as hardware failures, natural disasters, and even user error. We can equip your business with the tools necessary to take multiple backups a day as often as every fifteen minutes. These backups are then stored in a secure off-site location for later restoration, allowing you to stay in the game following a critical failure of your systems and infrastructure.

Reporting Keeps You Updated
Understanding your current business operations is also incredibly important for the continued success of your organization. Infradapt can equip your business with reporting tools that can help you capture key metrics and other important details. Our reporting solutions can help you track your business’s progress and keep it moving forward.

Keep Up On Compliance
Your organization might need to adhere to certain regulations and compliances that are implemented to protect the personal information of your employees and clients. The requirements can vary, so it’s best to reach out to a professional IT company like Infradapt to ensure that you get compliance right. This means that you can focus on running your business as it was meant to be without worrying about compliance.

To learn more about the various services that a managed service provider can offer for your organization, reach out to us at 800.394.2301.

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Allow Your Business Some Mobility For Improved Operations

Allow Your Business Some Mobility For Improved Operations

You and your employees no longer have to be stuck in the traditional office setting as you accomplish your daily tasks and responsibilities. Now, you can accomplish the same things from very different locations, including the airport as you wait for your flight to board, the coffee shop as you sip on your beverage, the office of your valued client, or the hotel that’s hosting a networking event. No longer does a worker need to be tied to a desk in order to work, and in order to survive, your business would do well to adopt these changes as well.

In today’s blog, we’ll go over a couple of the ways that mobility can give your business a boost, and how to make sure that these boosts aren’t exposing your business to threats.

Mobile Devices
With powerful solutions able to fit in a briefcase--or even your pocket--your productivity is no longer trapped within your workplace’s four walls. Mobile devices can now allow your employees to work wherever and whenever is necessary, also providing a productivity boost that can put your team ahead of the game. Not to mention the fact that a mobile device permits each team member to work the way that suits them best, empowering your staff to work as they work best. This near-constant access to business assets can provide a powerful way for your business to ensure deadlines are met and productivity is through the roof.

Cloud Data Storage
You can access your mobile applications while out of the office on a smartphone, so there’s no reason you can’t use the cloud to access data that you’ve stored online. By effectively using cloud-based storage, you can stay connected to your business’ network even while out of the office. You can host more than just data in the cloud, though. If you can think it, you can use the cloud to host it. Servers, desktop infrastructures, data storage, and even applications--all can be used in conjunction with the cloud.

Mobility comes at a price, though. Security is a major concern for any users of mobile devices to access sensitive data. While your in-house network is secure behind all sorts of security solutions, a public Wi-Fi connection could potentially expose your unsecured data to hackers while it’s moving to and from your devices. The best way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to use a Virtual Private Network. With a VPN, your data is encrypted while it’s in transit, ensuring that sensitive information is protected against dangerous entities. Furthermore, a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy will help your employees remain compliant with your organization’s mobile device standards. You should be able to blacklist and whitelist apps, section off data on a per-user basis, or remotely wipe devices to ensure data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Infradapt can help your business implement mobile solutions to keep your business both productive and safe. To learn more about VPNs or BYOD, call us at 800.394.2301.

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IT Outsourcing Has Been Around For A While

IT Outsourcing Has Been Around For A While

Outsourced IT is still a relatively new concept, but outsourced services in general have been around for quite some time. Business owners and even individual users have been taking advantage of outsourced services for quite some time, and the fact that they can take advantage of managed IT services via outsourcing companies makes managing their technology much easier.

Let’s take a trip back to 1980s, where technology titans Eastman Kodak and IBM formed a contract to build a large data center specifically for Kodak’s needs. IBM was to design, build, and implement a large data center that fit Kodak’s specifications. What this showed to the world was that a large company outsourced a large project to a third party. Kodak even fostered collaboration between its own internal staff by transferring them directly to IBM. Other large organizations looked at this collaboration and thought to themselves, “Well, Eastman Kodak is doing it. Why can’t we?”

The major shift in mindset regarding IT services is that, where it was once preferable to have an in-house IT department, it is becoming more lucrative to outsource these services due to the introduction of managed service providers. IBM is one of the companies that became the earliest managed service provider for its time, introducing an all-new method of technology management that companies had never dreamed of.

Businesses started to think about which services could be outsourced. For example, application service providers called ASPs began to provide business software to organizations in need of it. For example, payroll software and timesheet keeping solutions, as well as productivity suites, are all examples of software that can be provided as a service. Some of these solutions are provided as a downloaded application, while others are accessed through the Internet. Either way, the end result is that the business acquires a solution at a flat monthly rate that they wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.

Ultimately, organizations learned from the rise of ASPs and began to offer many different kinds of solutions using the same business model. These are the managed IT services that we know and love today. Since break-fix IT was an unreliable and inconvenient way of maintaining technology solutions, small businesses sought a better way to handle their mission-critical IT. Companies can even save money in the process since they aren’t paying for salaried employees to perform the work of IT professionals. Plus, since they aren’t paying their employees to do IT work themselves, the work is more likely to be completed properly the first time.

Ultimately, managed IT presents an opportunity for a single point of contact for any and all technology needs of your business. Whether it’s cloud computing or network security, we’ve got you covered. To learn more about what we can do for your business, reach out to Infradapt at 800.394.2301.

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Ransomware is Especially Dangerous for Small Businesses

Ransomware is Especially Dangerous for Small Businesses

Ransomware has grown in popularity since it first made itself known, but it wasn’t until just last year where it became a powerful presence in the cyber world. Ransomware encrypts the files of its victims and demands payment for the decryption key. In just one year, ransomware stole approximately $1 billion from its victims. Most notable, though, is that these victims were not just from large enterprises, but small companies, too.

The reasoning for this is that small and medium-sized businesses often feel like they aren’t a big enough target to get hit by ransomware. Unfortunately, all organizations that rely on data--especially sensitive personal information--will always find themselves at risk of hacking attacks, regardless of size. All that this impression does for your organization is put it at greater risk, as thinking that you’re immune means that you won’t take necessary precautions.

The way that ransomware works is by encrypting, or locking down, the data found on your device. Ransomware uses a time-sensitive threat in order to convince the user that they need to hand over the cash before their data will be deleted. If the victim pays up, they may (or may not) get a decryption key for the retrieval of their data. There’s no guarantee, though.

Ransomware for large corporations is designed to get as much money out of the victim as possible. Small businesses, on the other hand, may pay a smaller and more manageable ransom than a large business would. Compared to the costs of the fallout of such an attack, a small business may not have any other choice but to hand over the money.

Yet, this can be a problem in its own right, as there is no guarantee that you’ll get your data back. You shouldn’t expect hackers to keep their word--especially when they have just made a considerable amount of money from your organization. The fact remains that you shouldn’t rely on the goodwill of someone who actively threatens your business’s future. Plus, the more money you give to hackers, the more money you’re providing for the purpose of hacking others. You don’t want that on your conscience.

Think of it like this: selling a collector’s item for an exorbitant amount on eBay is only worth it if you can guarantee that someone is willing to pay that amount. It’s better to make a small guaranteed profit off of something multiple times, which is what these smaller ransomware payments try to accomplish.

Instead, you should avoid paying the ransom in general and focus on preventing the infection in the first place. Implement off-site data backup so that you never have to pay a ransom again, restoring your systems to the point before the infection. Furthermore, you should implement security solutions that can identify security issues before they become major problems (like ransomware infections). It also helps to teach your employees how to identify potential instances of ransomware, including the spam messages that it spreads in. Give your team someone to reach out to if they encounter an issue.

Infradapt can be that point of contact for your organization. To learn more about how you can protect your business from ransomware, reach out to us at 800.394.2301.

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