Monthly Archives: May 2015

network firewall

Firewalls: The Gate Keeper of your Network

You probably keep hearing that you need to get a better firewall for your business? However, you might not fully grasp what a firewall is or the benefits it has on your company’s infrastructure.

I like to call firewalls the gate keeper of your network – in short, it encompasses all sorts of things like:

  • First line of defense against outside attackers.
  • Prevents your computers from connecting directly to the internet.
  • Stops employees from browsing non-work related websites.

But on a deeper level, it routes traffic from outside sources to computers and servers on your network.

When you travel or work remotely, a firewall that is configured correctly is what allows you to access your data while away at the office (VPN, or external facing sites your company has).

The firewall is, in my opinion, the most important piece of equipment your company will invest in.

A cheap firewall lacks the features to protect your company’s data and devices. However, I don’t usually recommend the most expensive firewall for our clients.

You have to find the middle ground for what you are trying to accomplish vs. cost. A few brands that are always at the top of my list are SonicWALL, Cyberoam, and Cisco.

The biggest key feature for IT professionals in general is the threat management system and how a firewall detects and mitigates those threats.

Did you know that BP fights off 50,000 cyber-attacks a day?

I recently had a conversation with the CEO of an Energy Investment company that stated, “We are small, no one is going to want our data and even if they did what would they do with it.”

While this response is very common amongst small and medium sized businesses – cyber criminals don’t really want your data. They get affirmation from hacking into your network and can then control your computers to help them gain access to other networks.

Even if the data is sensitive, the firewall could be the matter of allowing your customer data to be leaked or not. It’s a small insurance policy for your company to invest in.

In today’s connected world, it’s not if you are going to be attacked by cyber criminals but when.

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Backup Recovery

Why backup and disaster recovery is important for your business

When it comes to your business nothing else matters but being able to provide your products or services to your clients. When I talk to business owners the one key factor that keeps coming up is what happens if your network crashes, your internet goes down or some malicious ransom-ware like Crypto-locker infects your system. Those items are more likely to happen than a natural disaster (flooding, tornado, hurricane, etc.) Most of these companies have backups of their data that’s stored either on their servers or old clunky LTO tapes on site.

Let’s go through a scenario, its 10am on a Wednesday and everything is working fine, your company has a major deal in the works and then the fear hits. Your network has just shut-down for reasons unknown. Everything you had worked on was on the network and now it’s inaccessible. You call your IT Company or IT person to get this resolved as soon as possible. They go through the typical steps to try and mitigate the problem. The IT guys tell you that they need to restore the data and need to get the tapes out of storage. Now, you wait. Could be minutes, could be hours or even days to get the data restored depending on the type and size of data that was lost. This is one of the main reasons Why Tape storage is a dying technology!

In today’s IT world more and more backup admins and IT companies are now pushing their companies to a BDR solution.

But why?

A Backup and Disaster Recovery solution is a game changing aspect for companies in the sense of business continuity. A BDR solution has varying levels of abilities and service. In a simple description, you are able to backup all of your data as you did before with an in-house server. That server can in turn replicate to the cloud, allowing your business to operate from anywhere with an internet connection.

Quorum’s quick 5min demo of how they are able to give you complete business continuity, whether you have a complete internet or systems failure you can be assured that you can be up and running as if nothing ever happened. Your network outage just became a trip to the nearest internet connection.

The next problem when I have offered this suggestion to business owners is, WOW that sounds great!

But, it also sounds expensive.

They are right, to get a system like this you will pay a little more on the front end. But when each client takes into account the cost of an outage that include things like salaries, potential deals, potential products sales, services lost, resources lost and recreating all of the lost data, they understand the value of a complete backup and disaster recovery solution.

If you aren’t backing up your data, it could end your business when you experience an outage. With any backup technology whether its tapes, another server, or a Backup and Disaster Recovery solution you are purchasing insurance for your data.

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What’s the Best Antivirus Protection?

Finding the best antivirus protection might seem overwhelming with all of the different options available. However, if you are running a business, the last thing you need slowing you down is a virus running rampant throughout your IT infrastructure and putting your assets at risk.

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IT In Businesses
Managed Services

Could Your Business Run Without Technology?

Do you ever think, “I’d be so much more productive if I invested in a typewriter?”

Surely, you’re laughing, but I can remember visiting my grandparent’s office as a child and the only things on their desk were:

  • A desk calendar.
  • One of those really cool calculators that made receipts.
  • AND a really dusty typewriter.

There were no computers and the term Wi-Fi hadn’t been coined. However, because their customers, vendors and competitors didn’t have computers and cellphones, they weren’t missing out on anything.

It’s impressive how far businesses have come in the past 30 years because of the ever-changing technology. Imagine going to work and not having a computer, or email, or internet. It would be a very long day.

Today, an average household has 5 connected devices. Because your customers and competitors use technology throughout the entire day, your business has to stay up to speed.

Technology is the driving force behind every business and without it, it’s nearly impossible to conduct your day to day operations. But what’s worse, is when the technology in your business is holding you back from your business goals.

Technology in your business should make you more efficient, save you time and in the end, impact your bottom line in a positive way. Without a secure infrastructure in place, your employees aren’t able to do their job to the best of their ability.

If you find yourself getting frustrated with dealing with your network or find that you are losing precious time during your day waiting on an application to load, it might be time to look into your current IT infrastructure. It’s essential to take the time to invest in your technology to ensure that the technology in your company is working for you and not against you.

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What is the cloud

What is the Cloud & Is it Important for My Business?

What is The Cloud?

The cloud is a term used in the technology industry to describe a data center (large bank of computers stored somewhere around the world). In today’s market, the cloud is more important than ever for businesses. It allows for easy collaboration, file storage, disaster recovery and a host of other solutions for your business.

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Network Outage

Are You Prepared for a Network Outage?

Have you ever had a complete network outage?

It’s 2pm. You and your team are in the middle of a huge project for one of your biggest clients, when suddenly, your entire network goes down.

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Have you ever gotten an email that was suspicious, or received an email that seemed like it was from a legitimate source but weren’t 100% sure? Of course, we all have. So how do you decipher the secure emails from the fakes? There are certain ways that I determine if an email was sent to me from a trusted person or if it goes in the trash.

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