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Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

How much malware is detected daily?

Everyone hears about malware and its increasing attacks, but how much malware is detected daily? The number is alarming and you should protect yourself from it.

Kaspersky Lab released some alarming numbers on new malware files detected by its products in 2016.  The alarming number is 323,000 per day which is an increase of 13,000 from 2015. The growing number of cyberthreats is increasing daily and impossible to process manually.

Organizations need to start automating their entire IT security policy and procedure including malware discovery and analysis process. The next factor is to train and educate the user human knowledge to have the best possible approach when it comes to fighting cyber threats.

So how much malware is detected daily?  According to Kaspersky Lab, it has been growing steadily over the last 5 years at a rate of 40.5 percent in December 2016 compared to 2011.  Another alarming stat is that malware has increased from 70,000 files per day in 2011 to 323,0001 per day in 2016.

How can you protect yourself from malware?

  1. Make sure your systems are updated and secure.
  2. Do not open random pop-up windows, error messages and attachments.
  3. Try to eliminate and block spam.
  4. Think twice before installing any new software

365 iT SOLUTIONS is a 100% Toronto-based IT consulting firm that delivers industry leading Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

How much malware is detected daily? Let our complimentary network and security assessment put your company to the test.

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Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

Sharing is Caring according to New Ransomware Popcorn Time

In the latest twist of security threats, sharing is caring according to new ransomware Popcorn Time as you must send a referral link to unlock or pay up.

Industry leading IT security researchers have uncovered the new ransomware Popcorn Time.  The new ransomware Popcorn Time infects victim’s systems and you have to two options which include pay up or you can send referral links.  If you do decide to send the referral link to two ransomware targets, they have to pay the ransom in order for the original ransomware target to receive a free key to unlock their encrypted files.

According to industry IT security experts in malware ransomware, all victims of the new ransomware Popcorn Time are given a week to pay the ransom or find new victims.  Based on some screenshots, the developer of the new ransomware Popcorn Time claim to be a group of computer science students from Syria and the proceeds will go to food, medicine and shelter of Syrians impacted by war.

sharing-is-caring-according-to-new-ransomware-popcorn-time-screen-shot
sharing-is-caring-according-to-new-ransomware-popcorn-time-screen-shot

The new ransomware Popcorn Time will display a lock screen.  The source code of the ransomware shows a function that suggests if you enter the wrong code four times, the will delete files.  The code for Popcorn Time ransomware is still under development so there are still many unclear issues with it.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is a 100% Toronto-based IT consulting firm that delivers industry leading Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

Let our complimentary network and security assessment put your company to the test against threats like Popcorn Time.

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Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

Your data backups are no longer enough

Many companies understand the importance of regular backups however your data backups are no longer enough. Time to protect your business.

Many organizations that specialize in data management and disaster recovery understand backing up is no longer enough and there must be a more robust disaster recovery plan in place to protect organizations.

Enterprises are expected to be up and running 24/7/365 as downtime is no longer tolerated in today’s fast-paced world plus there is a lot of technology out there that can complete your disaster recovery plan and business continuity process.

A recent study from an information technology company that develops backup, disaster recovery and virtualization management software for VMware and Hyper-V virtual environments showed some interesting numbers. Over 84 per cent of CIOs are unable to meet the expectations of constant availability and admit that it is costing them up to $16 million a year. The study also showed downtime increased in 2015, with companies experiencing an average of 15 unplanned downtime events, compared to 13 events in 2014.

Now larger organizations have the luxury of having a fulltime CIO on staff, for the small and midsize business (SMB), it’s a complete different ball game.  It is extremely important they work with a managed IT services provider or IT consultant to develop a complete disaster recovery plan since your data backups in no longer enough.

Most technology leaders are trying to drive backup awareness amongst the business community as it is extremely important.  Your data backups in no longer enough for today’s business landscape and availability is expected.

Why you need to perform a disaster recovery and business continuity assessment?

This sounds more complicated than it is but it is time well invested and can be simple if you bring your management to the table. There are many different approaches to disaster recovery and business continuity assessment but will base this on The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as this is a good base to build on to protect your organization.

As part of your disaster recovery and business continuity assessment, you will need to address the following:

  1. Develop the contingency planning policy statement.
  2. Conduct the BIA (business impact analysis).
  3. Identify preventive controls.
  4. Develop recovery strategies.
  5. Develop an IT contingency plan.
  6. Test the plan, train employees, and hold exercises.
  7. Maintain the plan.

If a disaster suddenly strikes, your disaster recovery and business continuity assessment will protect to from a disaster and help with the continuance of critical business functions for a predetermined period. In other words, the estimated outage might force the declaration of a disaster.

Your data backups are no longer enough but if you perform a disaster recovery and business continuity assessment, you will have your business covered and protected.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is a 100% Toronto-based IT consulting firm that delivers industry leading Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services. Let our complimentary network and security assessment put your company to the test.

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Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

How does a managed services provider partner selection affect your business

Everyone knows technology is important however you should know how does a managed services provider partner selection affect your business? This has a long-term effect.

When it comes to IT security, 2016 was a rollercoaster ride for many with record numbers of ransomware payments, security vulnerabilities, and Microsoft security bulletins.  Many organizations were hit by cybercrime and hackers but most of it could have been avoided depending on the technology they use internally.

Channeliser which is a business technology community for companies building the tech solutions that will drive the future of business released some interesting numbers.  As part of their Channeliser IT Partnerships Survey 2016, they want to showcase what IT companies want from their partnerships and if these companies are living up to their expectations.

Here are some results of the Channeliser IT Partnerships Survey 2016:

  • 71% of IT companies are looking for new partners in the next 6 months
  • Over 50% say it takes longer to establish a partnership than they expected
  • Over 70% say that trust is more important than technology when it comes to IT partnerships
  • Only 12% are currently happy with they partner portal

These numbers are a clear representation of how does a managed services provider partner selection affect your business?  Managed IT services providers must perform multiple steps when creating these long-term partnerships as in the end, the client will be affected.  They must ensure the product or services will deliver as promised for the client as well as ensure the Total cost of ownership (TCO) makes sense for a period of four to five years unless the company experiences unexpected growth.

Here are several categories on how does a managed services provider partner selection affect your business?

  • Selection – Managed IT Services providers need to not only evaluate the organization, but also their hardware, software, and services to ensure the right fit. Most companies offer an excellent sales and marketing system, however, fall short when it comes to technical support. This is where it matters most as not only will it affect the managed IT services provider, it will also cause unnecessary downtime for the client that has invested in a five-year IT plan.
  • Requirements – Does your company need our client requirements? What is the upfront cost if any to your solution? Managed IT services providers must always consider associated expenses when dealing with a long-term partner including the cost hardware, software, space, IT resources as well as maintenance of the IT infrastructure.  Does the solution match the client portfolio and expectations or will this increase management as well as costs for clients? If they company cannot show value to the managed IT services provider and client, this will not be a good investment.
  • Costs – Like any other business, there is always costs involved and it can be a fine line. What is the per user? What is the cost per system? Is it an on-site solution or subscription fee? Are there ongoing maintenance costs for patches, bug-fixes, upgrades or included? Many times, a Total cost of ownership (TCO) will make these solutions fail to result in a bad investment for the managed services provider and client.
  • Administration – This is very important when considering the Total cost of ownership (TCO). Many solutions require a lot of administration, management, and maintenance which requires resources. Resources cost money and it will trickle down to the client resulting in higher costs per month to run their IT infrastructure. Managed IT services provider always look at how much time, resources and money they will need to invest to manage, upgrade, trouble-shoot, and patch over the lifecycle of the IT investment.

Managed IT services is a great business service as it is truly a win-win solution and for this reason, we must consider all factors prior to committing to a long-term partnership including contract terms, service level agreements, data security requirements and integration as our long-term partnership affect our clients.

Unfortunately, many managed IT services providers under-invest when it comes to thoroughly evaluating IT solution requirements and options for clients resulting in a bad Total cost of ownership (TCO).  When partnerships are evaluated properly, the managed IT services provider and the client will save time, money and aggravation down the road.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is a 100% Toronto-based IT consulting firm that delivers industry leading Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services. Let our complimentary network and security assessment put your company to the test.

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Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

Six Security Tips to Increase Your Data Privacy

Security is not exciting and most ignore it but here are six security tips to increase your data privacy.  These are simple and can save you a lot of time and money.

As a managed IT services provider in Toronto, our goal has always been to improve data privacy and security awareness within our client sites by using industry best practices.  There is plenty you can do to increase your data security and privacy. You should address the following points with your IT department or IT consulting to ensure your company data is secure.

Secure Your Mobile Devices

Bring your own device (BYOD) is being used by almost everyone which means another security threat that needs to be addressed. Everyone should lock their phone and computer with a password or a pin.  This is an easy security measure however it is overlooked by many organizations. If you are using Microsoft 365 for your business email, you should look into Exchange ActiveSync policies for managing devices in Microsoft 365 as your can force mobile device that are accessing your company email to have security enabled.

Careful What You Share

You should be very careful on what information you share. Sharing your personal information on the internet or via email opens you up to cyber attack.  As a company, you should create a policy of what is shared and how it is shared.  Only share with trusted sources and we sure to use sharing options that can limit the time something is available.  Many cloud sharing programs such as OneDrive for Business, DropBox Business or CloudSync File Share offer these security sharing options.

Two-step Authentication Goes a Long Way

Two-step authentication should be used and becoming more popular as it is an effective method to protecting your passwords. Two-step authentication offers two layers of security as it requires your username, password as well as a one-time code such as a code sent to your phone or your fingerprint.  When possible, you should always use two-factor authentication for your IT services such as your email account.  Here are two articles to consider for two-step authentication, Set up multi-factor authentication for Microsoft 365 users or How Azure Multi-Factor Authentication works.

Always Install Software Updates

You should always maintain an up-to-date system. It is important that your operating systems, anti-virus and apps installed are updated regularly. Updates are constantly being issued by software companies to protect them from vulnerabilities, fixes for bugs and performance improvements. You should install those updates as soon as possible to reduce your risk. If you are working with a managed IT services provider, you should verify that they are using business class remote monitoring and management (RMM) software to proactively manage and update your workstations, laptops and servers.

Protect Yourself from Cloud Services

Cloud services are the future and have made life easy however since it is all in the cloud, you do have to protect yourself for security concerns. Many companies are now using cloud services to store files however there is now a greater risk for theft, cybercriminals and breaches.  To protect yourself, you should start by securing your data with a strong password and password protect your folder if using a cloud services file sharing program.  Once again, you should enable two-step verification for an extra layer of security at login and encrypt your data. You also must ensure which third-party apps have permission to access your cloud services file sharing program like OneDrive for Business, DropBox Business or CloudSync File Share. Review your account settings to check which apps you have granted permission for access.

Be Careful When Using Public Wireless (WiFi) Access

There is plenty of free WiFi around including Starbucks, McDonalds, Tim Hortons or the airport however you must use some caution.  When using open public wireless (WiFi), do not access anything sensitive such as you bank account or highly confidential data. If you do have to access a file, you should change your password as soon as you get on a trusted connection.  You should also disable automatically connecting to available Wireless (WiFi). If you do use public wireless (WiFi), you should use VPN (Virtual Private Network) or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to connect to your IT infrastructure.

Does your network meet these six security tips to increase your data privacy? Let our complimentary network and security assessment put you to the test.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is 100% Toronto-based IT consulting firm that works with Canada’s leading companies to outsource or support their IT infrastructure needs including strategic IT consulting, guaranteed response time, and reliable internal IT staff. This is all tied to our industry leading Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

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Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

365 iT SOLUTIONS Obtains Gold Cloud Solutions Microsoft Certifications

365 iT SOLUTIONS Obtains Gold Cloud Solutions Microsoft Certifications

365 iT SOLUTIONS is proud to announce that have now obtained Gold Cloud Solutions Microsoft Certifications.

365 IT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting firm and Microsoft partner.  They have a competitive edge using innovation, fast network migrations and industry leading Canadian IT consulting team to increase the return on investments (ROI) for organizations looking to upgrade their infrastructure into the cloud.

365 IT SOLUTIONS has partnered exclusively with Microsoft as both companies have a strong synergy on how to deliver cloud services to the Canadian small and midsize business (SMB) market.  365 iT SOLUTIONS has proven success as their internal Canadian IT support services team uses industry best practices and proactive managed IT services to help organizations operate efficiently and effectively.

As a leading Toronto Microsoft partner, 365 iT SOLUTIONS has achieved Gold Cloud Solutions Microsoft certifications as well as other Microsoft certifications including:

  • Gold Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions
  • Silver Midmarket Solution Provider
  • Silver Devices and Deployment
  • Silver Small Business
  • Silver Hosting
  • Silver Collaboration and Content
  • Silver Datacenter
  • Silver Cloud Productivity

“As 365 iT SOLUTIONS continues to drive growth and profitability, we are proud of our continued strategic partnership with Microsoft and their impressive cloud services such as Azure and Microsoft 365.  We are one of Toronto’s leading IT consulting firm as our hand-picked team take pride in delivering the best IT support services possible. Our team delivers long-term cost effective solutions by using the latest cutting edge technology and the best IT security available.” said Razmig Sagharian, Founder and President at 365 iT SOLUTIONS.

About 365 iT SOLUTIONS

365 iT SOLUTIONS is a Toronto based IT consulting firm that delivers industry leading cloud services provider (CSP) and managed services provider (MSP) to the small and midsize business (SMB) market.

365 iT SOLUTIONS has proven cost-saving IT management and strategic IT strategies for businesses.  They have proven experience serving clients in a wide array of industries include healthcare, insurance, financial, engineering, construction and manufacturing.  Their IT consulting services are 100% Canadian and offer industry leading IT support services that are flexible and knowledgeable.  This is all backed up by outstanding customer service while proactively managing IT infrastructures that span the globe for Toronto based organizations.  365 iT SOLUTIONS offers a comprehensive suite of Managed IT Services, IT Support Services, Tech Support Services, IT Outsourcing and Cloud Services to small and medium-sized businesses in the Toronto area.

For further information:

Enzo Logozzo

Director of Sales and Marketing

enzo@365it.ca

365itsolutions.com

416-398-9889

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365-it-solutions-microsoft-gold-partner
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Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

Is your business migrating to the Cloud?

Cloud services is noting new however it can help your business.  Is your business migrating to the cloud and you have concerns regarding data security, privacy, and cost? We can make it easy.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading cloud services provider and we have helped businesses extend their IT infrastructure into the cloud using various configurations including secure hybrid private cloud networks with business continuity, enterprise grade security and performance that is all backup by our internal 100% Canadian helpdesk support team.

Is your business migrating to the cloud? Well consider the following:

  1. Understand the risks with cloud services

There are risks associated with cloud migration so it must be planned and executed properly.  You should consult with your IT department or managed IT services provider prior to approving any risk-related decision.

  1. Consider how cloud services applies to your business

Cloud services will improve flexibility and scalability however the cloud may not be perfect for every application.  Legacy applications, ERPs or CRMs may not be compatible.  Also, mission-critical workloads and sensitive data may not be suited for the public cloud. You need to consider the application before moving to the cloud including your cloud migration strategy.

  1. Staged approach to the cloud

It is common for businesses to run into trouble when migrating to the cloud if you move too fast.  There are many moving parts to your IT infrastructure and there may not be enough time to recover from issues that may arise. Your cloud migration strategy should well planned with a step-by-step procedure as the cloud migration may take place in stages in order to ensure every step is deployed correctly.

  1. Create a cloud services security plan

You need to be aware of how your security and governance can with cloud services.  Will your company be in compliance with the chosen cloud services? How will your business manage the cloud?  Who will have access to cloud files?

365 iT SOLUTIONS has been helping Canadian businesses grow by proactively handling their IT infrastructure and technology needs. By using many leading cloud services providers including Azure, Amazon Web Services and private cloud services, we have built many customized cloud solutions that helps businesses grow by optimizing their corporate technology environment.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is 100% Toronto-based IT consulting firm that works with Canada’s leading companies to outsource or support their IT infrastructure needs including strategic IT consulting, guaranteed response time, and reliable internal IT staff. This is all tied to our industry leading Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

Is your business migrating to the Cloud? Let our complimentary network and security assessment show you how.

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Key to Cloud Migrations for Businesses

Many companies want to take advantage of the cloud however a key to cloud migrations for businesses lies in Microsoft Active Directory (AD).

One major challenge organizations face is their dependency on Microsoft Active Directory (AD) as part of their IT infrastructure and security.  Microsoft Active Directory (AD) has been very important for IT professionals such as managed IT services providers to their entire infrastructure including access to applications.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently announced that it is compatible with Microsoft Active Directory (AD) by using an AD Connector gateway that enables IT organization to synchronize their Microsoft Active Directory (AD) instance on premise with the AWS instance.  Microsoft Azure also provides seamless access to Microsoft Active Directory (AD) functionality including a true hybrid cloud computing environment.

As companies look to access cloud services, one of the biggest struggles is the management of Microsoft Active Directory (AD).  The dependency of Microsoft Active Directory (AD) is one of the reasons IT professionals are hesitant to move existing applications into the cloud.

Going to the cloud is a great move for businesses however it takes careful planning and implementation. Businesses need to choose a business partner that understands their industry and can offer multiple different service options such as Managed IT ServicesIT Support Services and IT Outsourcing Services to help manage the cloud services.

Ready for the cloud? Take advantage of our Complimentary Network and Security Assessment by 365itSolutions.com