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Cyber Security Tips to Protect Your Business

Cyber crime continues to rise and here are some cyber security tips to protect your business.  Learn proper cyber security methods and stay safe online.

Unfortunately, many organizations suffer from these threats however check out these cyber security tips to help keep you and your employees safe.

Cyber Security Tips #1 - 365 it solutions - managed it services toronto

Cyber Security Tip #1

  • Protect your business from unsecured personal devices.
  • Limit personal device and public.
  • Wi-Fi use for work, or have employees follow a security policy.

 

Cyber Security Tips #2 - 365 it solutions - tech support services toronto

Cyber Security Tips #2

  • Provide training on cyber threats.
  • If your employees understand cyber threats, they can avoid them.

 

Cyber Security Tips #3 - 365 it solutions - cloud services toronto

Cyber Security Tip #3

  • Encourage smart clicking.
  • Your employees should be suspicious of unknown links, or familiar ones with odd forms.

Cyber Security Tips #4 - 365 it solutions - disaster recovery services toronto

Cyber Security Tips #4

  • Promote strong passwords.
  • Make sure work passwords are secure and can be accessed by senior employees or your tech expert.

Cyber Security Tips #5 - 365 it solutions -IT consulting services toronto

Cyber Security Tip #5

  • Plan ahead for departing employees.
  • Before an employee leaves your company, make sure their account is closed, and change passwords.
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Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

It is Time for Stronger Cloud Services Security

The are many fears and myths surrounding the cloud and it can be confusing, but it is time for stronger cloud services security.

Cloud services has seen a large increase over the years as business leaders are starting to better understand the capabilities and limitations of cloud services including the technology behind it.   Even thou cloud services can be as secure as the legacy IT infrastructure system it is replacing does not mean that organizations need to forget about their responsibilities related to data protection and privacy.

Cloud services security still needs to be a top priority for every organization as more mission-critical systems and highly sensitive data continue to go the cloud using software, infrastructure, and other platforms.

International Data Corporation recently reported that the value of the global cloud computing services infrastructure market expanded by 23 per cent to a total of $7.6 billion within a quarter.

The public cloud services model is gaining a lot of ground and grew at a rate of 25.9 per cent compared to the 18.8 per cent rise seen in the private cloud services model.  In second place, we have the hybrid IT cloud services model with it wide options for organizations.

Cloud services computing adoption is hot and growing. Data security continues to see healthy double-digit growth in cloud IT deployments in the market with an increasing preference for public cloud infrastructure. Many organizations are modernizing their IT infrastructures as they have a larger number of viable cloud options including many as-a-Service offerings and traditional infrastructure.

Poor business and IT practices can quickly translate to a data breach for your organization especially when newer technologies such as the cloud are in use and introduced to your employees.  Naked Security reported that nearly half of all companies are not encrypting their employee human resource records and medical files therefore putting employees at risk.

By leveraging managed cloud security services for internal and external data protection needs, business leaders can often improve their overall resilience to disruption, breach and other costly problems.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

 

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Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

How do Managed IT Services Benefit Small Businesses?

SMB businesses have many options to save money or revolutionize their industry and many ask how do managed IT services benefit small businesses?

Many organizations are using or have heard of managed IT services however there is a very large different definition of what it truly is in the business landscape.  Managed IT services is outsourced IT services delivered to your organization at predictable monthly cost.

This allows you to know the exact IT services your organization will be getting and what you will be paying for them.  The benefit here is that you will get no surprise sky-high bill for services rendered at the end of the month.

How does managed IT service work?

True managed service providers (MSPs) use enterprise-class remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools to proactive manage and maintain the performance and overall health of the IT infrastructure that powers your business operations.  Remember, true managed services providers (MSPs) do not use free remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools.

Many managed service providers monitor your network 24/7/365 however some will also offer 24/7/365 Network Operations Center (NOC) if your business is mission critical.  If the monitoring alerts them to any issue with you servers, devices, hardware or software, they respond quickly to resolve the issues. In most cases before you know it.

Managed service providers (MSPs) are complex as the offer IT solutions and services which include proactive regular systems maintenance including automated tasks like the cleaning of temporary files, applying tested security patches as requires, installing virus and malware protection. They will also handle your system backup and disaster recovery plan.

Your monthly managed IT services contract will give you access to a Help Desk that services your employees to keep them up and running. This will increase productivity and efficiency.  This proactive IT maintenance will stabilization your IT infrastructure and provide IT support remediation that will control your technology costs.

Are managed IT services better than other tech support options?

Option A is to hire an in-house IT support technician.  The misconception is that an organization with 20-60 employees feel that they need a dedicated person to can manage their IT infrastructure and technology.  Unfortunately, this is only one full-time employee and it will demand a significant salary since they have to be proficient with desktop, server, network support, and offer IT support help desk and IT management.  You will also need to cover vacation, sick days and pay increases.

Option B the Break/ Fix IT model.  The majority of smaller organizations take this option as they feel they are too small for a managed IT services provider and don’t feel that their organizations needs the 24/7 IT monitoring approach.  SMBs always feel the pressure to direct all resources on the product or service and not behind-the-scenes operations. They decide to use on-call IT techs when broken technology has already disrupted business.  The on-call IT support services response time and overall lack of familiarity with the IT infrastructure result in extended down time and proves to be a much more expensive resolution to IT management.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

 

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Will Your Data Backups Protect Your Business?

Corruption, stolen, corrupt, deleted are many things that can happen to your data, but will your data backups protect your business?

This is where you need a “Disaster Recovery” plan as it will address downtime due to improper data backups, detailed documentation, and a lack of understanding of the recovery process at a critical business time.

Everyone thinks that disaster recovery is when you have to recover from floods, hurricanes, and/or fires however the most common problems associated with data loss revolve around human error and/or hardware failure.

Do perform data backups of your corporate data?

Most do backups and either do it themselves, assigned an employee, or have your managed IT services provider handle it for you.

Where is your data backup maintained?

Is your data onsite? Is your data offsite in the cloud? Hard drives? Tapes? Or are you unsure?  The bottom line is that you easily get access to your data when you need it in an emergency.  Industry best practices state that you should have a local and offsite backup of your data for disaster recovery reasons.

What is included in the data backup?

Backups do not mean you are protected from a data loss.  Are your backups of the server? Data? Images? The end game is if you experience total server loss, how effective is the data backup you have in place?

How quickly can you recover with your data backups?

If you lose a file, how quickly can you recover it?  What if you lost your server? Can you recover in minutes, hours or days?  Business management needs to have a full understanding of the recovery times.

If your data backups are maintained by a 3rd party such as a managed IT services provider, what recovery assurances do you have if you lose your server, and more importantly how long will it take to recover.

The number one benchmark for data recovery is TEST and document everything!

If you don’t have the time, resources or proper (outsourced) provider, you might be at risk.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

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Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

Is my business large enough for managed IT services?

Some organizations think you must be large for certain bringing up the question, is my business large enough for managed IT services?

Small businesses must think big to get big.  When it comes to business, tax and IT technology have the same ground rules.  Regardless of the size of a company or the number of people they employ, they will run more efficiently if the IT infrastructure is proactively monitored and managed.

In the end, technology drives profitability and gives your organization the competitive edge to break out ahead of competition.  You have the peace of mind that when your business is busy and growing, your technology will sustain the growth and be stable.

IT investment is not a cost, it is a cost-savings move in your business.  Many businesses feel they need to have greater focus and investment such as their core operations, marketing, and sales.  The outlook on technology is that if they need computer support or their network goes down, they have to IT support service technician to come to the office and fix whatever the problem is or run out to a retail store and purchase new hardware.

Unfortunately, there are some flaws to this business and technology strategy.

You will be paying too much money when it is too late plus loss of productivity.  In most cases, these issues can be preventable with early detection before it becomes a full-blown business disruption.  You will get charged an hourly rate, on top of hardware replacement costs, and they may not get to your site right away.

Getting proactive IT management and IT maintenance are better than reactive to technology issues.

Proactive IT management will make you forget about productivity killers such as rebooting systems, servers and applications running slowly, and employee devices getting hit with Malware.

professionally managed IT services will not only give your organization a competitive edge, it will also give your business the best odds at leveraging the newest most cutting-edge technology while enhancing your relationships with your customers while reducing costs.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

 

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Organizations Failed to Wake Up to Security Issues

In the ongoing battle of cyber-attacks including ransomware, organizations failed to wake up to security issues leaving their privacy, data, and reputation open for the taking.

One example is the large security breach WannaCry ransomware.  Recently during the 2018 RSA Conference in San Francisco, over 200 IT professionals were consulted regarding ransomware and cyber security measures in the aftermath of WannaCry ransomware.  Approximately 55.6 per cent said they were prepared for the WannaCry ransomware attack while 35.6 per cent said they had made changes to protect from a future cyber-attack however they still are not 100% confident in their protection against ransomware.  An alarming 8.8 per cent claimed they had done nothing to improve security against the threat.

Unfortunately, the WannaCry ransomware was not a serious cyber security wake-up.  Most IT professionals at the conference think ransomware is here to stay and 81.2 per cent believe ransomware attacks will increase in 2018 compared to previous years.

What are some of the basics to protecting your organization from the ongoing battle of cyber-attacks including ransomware?

Some IT consulting professional’s recommendations include keeping all your systems and devices up to date with the latest patches.  Do not leave your company wide open by placing some strategic division on the network to reduce risk by isolating network segments.  You also need to have a verified backup as well as Disaster Recovery plan.  Remember, they are different.  Finally, have your network monitored for signs of intrusions.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry-leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

 

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Tips for Better Computer Security

Security does not need to be difficult and here are tips for better computer security to protect your privacy, data, and reputation.

Here are five simple computer security tips that will allow you to be safe online using technology.

  1. Make your passwords unique

If a cybercriminal manages to grab your password, they get the keys to your entire digital life and opening a very large security hole.  It is recommended by cyber security professionals that you should use a unique password on every websites and app you log in to.

Sounds like a lot to handle? Use technology to manage technology as there are many password manager apps available for free that will generate unique passwords for the websites and store those passwords for you so you do not have to remember all of them.

  1. Keep your software up to date

Many cyber criminals wait and look for these entry points by accessing flaws in out of date software. Software and hardware manufacturers are aware that these flaws exist however they are constantly making updates and fixes to patch these security flaws.

  1. Backups, backups, backups

In this age of technology and digital media, everyone’s life and data online in one way or another.  There is no substitution for data backups.  There are so many options including many cloud options. It is very important that you keep your data backups offline and not on the same device.

  1. Careful what you share

Once online, always online. The best way to avoid your information and data getting into the hands of hackers or cyber criminals is to be vigilant about what you share and post online.  Always keep in mind privacy.

  1. Use protective software

Sometimes the legitimate websites get hijacked by cyber criminals using malicious advertisements, bots, malware, and other tricks to get your information.  Users are getting smarter and vigilant however you should always try to be a little extra defensive to be protected from ransomware.

Cyber security technology, processes, controls, and policies are designed to protect systems and provide better computer security for your network and data from cyberattacks from hackers.

If your organization uses effective cyber security, it will greatly reduce the risk of cyberattacks and protect from unauthorized exploitation of you IT infrastructure, network systems, and data.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry-leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

 

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What Questions to Ask a Managed IT Services Provider in Toronto?

Picking a long-term IT consulting partner is not easy therefore these are what questions to ask a managed IT services provider in Toronto.

Technology is important to the business landscape and selecting a long-term managed IT services is one of the most important decisions you can make for your business.

organizations must be able to find the most competent and reliable IT support provider within their area that can deliver the latest technology as well as meet the planned business goals.

What Questions to Ask a Managed IT Services Provider in Toronto? Simple. Here are the top questions to consider.

What are your certifications does your IT support services have?

Top leading IT consulting firms will be able to provide you with accurate information regarding their certifications as well as their corporate policy on keeping their IT support team up-to-date.

How long has your organization been providing IT consulting services? 

Like most industries, you should work with a managed IT services provider that has been in business for years as they have proven years of experience, support, and solutions.

What Partner Certifications and Technical Specialties does your organization have?

Many organizations carry certifications however what level? Many Gold or Premium partners have invested in training and knowledge to provide clients with the best technology.  They also benefit from premium support level as well as sales support from organizations such as Microsoft, Amazon, and many other technology leaders.

What industries do you have experience in offering IT consulting services?

Do they know your industry? Are they aware of industry regulations and processes? This allows you to determine if they have worked within the industry and if it aligns with your business needs.

How large is your managed IT services consulting firm?

Size is not everything, but you should be aware of how large of a client portfolio they have as well as how much resources they will have dedicated to support your organization.  Small managed IT services offer better response as well as a higher priority whereas a large managed IT services have a broader knowledge base and capabilities to support your organization.

What IT support services will they provide your organization?

Do they offer 24/7 IT support services? Does your organization need 24/7 IT support services? Of course, this affects the price and may not always be needed.  Do you connect with a live person? You need to find an IT consulting partner that aligns to your long-term business goals.

Is your onsite service response time backed by a written Service Level Agreement (SLA)?

A certified, professional IT company will put what they offer in writing. They should offer managed services with service-level guarantees. What is their “on-time” guarantee? Their SLA should include this as well as information about how you’ll be compensated if they continually show up late, or if they don’t meet the standards detailed in the SLA.

What is and isn’t covered by your service contract?

In addition to what they do provide, find out what they don’t.  Do they provide fixed-fee services? Are there extra costs, and if so, what are they? Avoid using IT companies that are only interested in fixing what breaks and selling you equipment.  You deserve an IT partner who will work diligently to give you and your employees an IT infrastructure that is secure, reliable, and enhances productivity.

Do you offer outsourced CIO Services? 

Having an Outsourced CIO means your technology will meet your business needs now and into the future. Their CIO should be able to develop an understanding of your business, technology infrastructure, and provide recommendations for leading edge IT solutions that will grow with your business.

Will the managed IT services provider build a plan?

Are they or will they build a Strategic Business Plan that aligns with your budget and business goals using technology as well as your budget.

When will they monitor your IT infrastructure?

You need to be aware, so this may prevent possible downtime and possible network security threats because they will be able to detect problems early before anything fails.

What cyber security services do they offer your organization?

Cybercrime is not new and on the rise. All networks and data must be safeguarded to the greatest degree possible therefore the managed IT services provider must be able to provide up-to-date cybersecurity solutions services to protect your network and data from unauthorized access, malware, phishing, viruses, and various other forms of cybercrime.

Do you provide Backup and Recovery Solutions?

Based on industry best practices, you need an onsite and offsite backup solution to ensure you will have access to your data if it’s stolen, corrupted, accidentally deleted, or damaged due to a flood, fire or another emergency. Also, do they and when do they test it?

What is included in your Disaster Recovery Plan?

A backup is not a disaster recovery plan. It is part of it but not the entire plan. You should ask about their process, potential failure, test of their disaster recovery plan and recovery tests.

How will they migrate you to the Cloud?

You need to ensure your future IT provider can help you understand the cloud as well as its benefits and risks based on your business goals. They need to manage workflows and data, including cost savings, and increased productivity.

If you are in the market for a IT provider, these are what questions to ask a managed IT services provider in Toronto.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry-leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

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Ransomware Down for Consumers and Up for Businesses

So far 2018 is showing ransomware down for consumers and up for businesses as spyware, and other cyber threats continue to attack.

Cybercriminals obviously follow the money and that’s why there has been a 28% increase in crypto mining malware in the enterprise environment.

According to Cybercrime Tactics and Techniques: Q1 2018 report from Malwarebytes, they gathered information from consumer and businesses between January and March 2018 resulting in ransomware down for consumers and up for businesses.

Cybercriminals have been capitalizing on crypto mining, ransomware, spyware, and they also capitalized on the public disclosure of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.

The good news has shown that ransomware has dipped 35% near the end of 2017 among consumers however it has continued to be a major problem and security concern for businesses.  The dip can be contributed to better detection and low volume attacks.

Users are getting smarter after ransomware has made major headlines several times in 2017.  Since users have more information on how to defend against ransomware attacks, they started being more cautious as well as backing up their data.

Ransomware down is due to these simple steps. People have been installing the latest updates, they don’t open anything suspicious, they use a good antivirus program that is properly setup and they backup their data.  There are many more steps but these ones are a good foundation.

This sums up that organizations have been building strong cyber threat defenses by putting prevention at the front of the list.  Backups can reduce the destruction and downtime after a cyber attack.  Organizations should focus on strengthening strong passwords, ensuring there is a scheduled update patch schedule from their managed IT services provider or IT consultant as well as white listing applications, and training employees not to click on suspicious links.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry-leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

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Microsoft Will Lock Out Windows RDP Clients for their Protection

Do you use remote desktop service in your organization? Microsoft will lock out windows RDP clients for their protection if not updated.

Microsoft has announced that it will prevent Windows Server from authenticating Windows RDP clients if they have not been patched to address a security flaw.  This security flaw can be exploited by cyber criminals allowing them to hijack systems as well as move around within your network.

Microsoft will lock out windows RDP clients for their protection if not updated however implementation of its Credential Security Support Provider protocol (CredSSP) will solve the security issue.

+In the advisory, Microsoft also did state two upcoming planned actions to address the security vulnerability.  The first one will be released on April 17, 2018 so it can update the Microsoft’s RDP client.  According to Microsoft, this “will enhance the error message that is presented when an updated client fails to connect to a server that has not been updated.”

On May 8, Microsoft will release another update.  It is “an update to change the default setting from vulnerable to mitigated” however more details are to follow.

Special note – If you are using a third-party remote desktop clients and servers, speak with your IT partner or managed IT services provider to ensure it is using the latest Credential Security Support Provider protocol (CredSSP) protocol.

For more details on Credential Security Support Provider protocol (CredSSP) and how it affects Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows 10, and many more, please feel free to reviews Microsoft’s release CredSSP updates for CVE-2018-0886.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry-leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.