When dealing with managed services, it’s often comfortable to assume that your IT Helpdesk is already the best there is. Unfortunately, such romantic notions are undercut by the massive changes in network management that have taken place in general security management, storage protection and much more.
Because of this, it’s important to ask some questions about how your IT provider (whether in-house or remote) is handling aspects of your corporate security. If these questions aren’t handled to your satisfaction, contact us: we’re one of the leading Pittsburgh IT consulting firms and we can help your business make changes in order to head in the right direction.
Are You Still Using Older Methods of Remote Data Access?
Advances in Cloud Computing and mobile device management have made older methods of backup & disaster recovery obsolete. Data now moves at the speed of the latest updates at the group level, while keeping records of older forms when needed instantaneously. Gone are the days of having to update data redundantly for safety: whether using a public cloud system which is shared, using a private cloud with data distributed over various networks, or even using physical servers as cloud systems, modern data storage and protection is done at an instantaneous level.
How is Data Being Backed Up?
Say goodbye to the days of daily data backups. Now, data is updated across storage levels with backups as it is being created, updated, deleted, or expanded. It is no longer necessary to start over for the day: it is possible to pinpoint potential security issues, data problems and more at the minute they occur and correct them instantly if needed. Offsite backups provide for quick, efficient recovery of your data overall.
Do You Have a Mobile Device Management Solution in Place?
Your IT provider should also be keeping you abreast of the widened technological options available. The days of platform-specific storage and transmission are over– most modern data solutions are designed for the widest variety of data systems across the board. Because of this, if you are still using or mandating specific devices because your IT department recommends it, your data storage systems may already be obsolete, and, therefore, vulnerable to attacks and other issues. Mobile device management is essential to modern data storage and can often be platform-independent, allowing you and your employees access to data through a variety of secure methods.
If the above doesn’t sound like where your company’s IT stands, and you’re still using outdated methods for storage and data policies, contact JENLOR to see what we can do to help you keep your data– and those in charge of taking care of it– up to date. Our IT managed services ensure a smooth and reliable network for your organization, allowing to you trust your technology to our expert needs while you operate your business with confidence. So stop letting the daily grind of your IT management hold your business back, and get the proactive support you need by contacting JENLOR today.
Spam is a serious problem for every business. Spam is unsolicited information sent from one user to another, typically via email, that is unwanted by the recipient, and costs your business in terms of time and resources necessary to address the problem. An estimated 94 million messages considered spam are sent on a daily basis. Researchers with Microsoft and Google have estimated the societal cost of spam to be in the neighborhood of $20 billion.
Your IT security management services are responsible for the email security of your organization. It is important to consider all anti-spam services that are available to you and security management services necessary to beef up security and protect your hosted email service from unwanted intrusions and potential harm to your network. Here are some tips and suggestions you may want to consider when working with an IT managed service provider to address your issue with spam.
Ongoing Monitoring of Network Traffic
One of the first steps that you and your IT security management services can take to improve network security is to implement ongoing monitoring of your network traffic. There are many different solutions available on the market that can be custom designed by your IT managed service provider that allows you to establish a baseline for your data flow and detect unusual traffic patterns. Understanding traffic pattern flows is a quick and easy way for you to map your network flows and react to pattern changes that may pose a threat to your network.
Renaming Your Admins to Thwart Directed Attacks
A simple way to address dedicated attacks and efforts by spammers to bombard your network with unwanted messages is by renaming the privileged or admin accounts on your server. This tip, according to a July 2012 InfoWorld.com article, is designed to keep those who may have gotten inside your network from engaging in a password guessing scheme designed to gain unauthorized access to your system. Renaming your admin accounts may defeat the attempts of hackers and prevent dangerous malware from reaching your employees.
Review and Require Periodic Updates to Passwords
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers several tips for securing your data network. One of the tips provided by the FCC is for organizations such as yours to ensure that your employees use passwords that are unique and changed periodically, at least once every three months. Requiring your employees to engage in a practice of regularly updating their passwords is a sure way to prevent hackers from attacking your network and threatening the security of your data.
Creating a Plan of Action
Any affirmative steps you take for protecting your data networks will rely on your ability to create and implement a plan of action. The plan must include actions your IT team is required to take and a communication element that allows important stakeholders, like your employees, to understand their responsibilities in ensuring full implementation and compliance. Securing your network is extremely important. Taking the necessary actions to do so falls on your shoulders, so the actions you take will determine how your organization meets its obligation to protect its vital data and reduce the amount of spam that you receive.
Managing your internet security is an around-the-clock job. Make sure you have the right strategy in place with help from the IT security pros at JENLOR. Our security management services come with 24/7 monitoring and alerting, allowing us to monitor your network and keep it free from harmful exposure. So stop wasting time and money on unwanted emails, and start beefing up your organization’s security standards by contacting JENLOR today.
More and more these days, terms like working remotely and telecommuting are becoming a part of our everyday language. According to a recent Gallup poll, 37% of workers claimed to have telecommuted. That is up more than 300% from 1995 (9%). The average worker in the U.S. telecommutes two days a month. Of those engaged in telecommuting, 46% percent do so during the workday.
The days of having to maintain a physical presence in a brick-and-mortar structure seem to be fading. Greater confidence is being gained in the productivity of workers away from the office. Ensuring this productivity is a mission all organization IT departments must accomplish. Techniques such as mobile device management and seamless email synchronization between accounts keep workers busy no matter where they are based. Here is a discussion of the approaches you should consider, not only to boost employee productivity, but also to promote more opportunities for work outside of the office walls.
The Case for and Challenges Faced with Remote Work
A study conducted (as published by Harvard Business Review), involving a Chinese travel website, allowed workers the option of working from home for nine months. A control group of 50% of employees stayed in the office while the other 50% conducted their work while on the go or in the comforts of their own home. The results found that the company gained nearly an extra workday’s worth of productivity from those who worked at home. The remote workers also reported a higher level of job satisfaction and better retention rates. Perhaps most significant of all, the study found that the remote workforce saved the employer $1,900 in costs.
The results of the study are not totally indicative of the results you may yield, but they prove a promising endorsement of remote work. The challenge that an organization must overcome when moving toward more off-site working opportunities for their employees (which includes working on-the-go) is the protection of sensitive and proprietary information. The establishment of a virtual private network, or VPN firewall, is necessary in order to keep data safe when accessed over a public Wi-Fi system. You also need to ensure reliable VPN connectivity when employees need to access critical information from their desktop computers.
Increasing Your Remote Employee Productivity
Your IT team provides you with a huge assist by facilitating work from home efforts and working on-the-go that requires remote access. Your VPN firewall must account for security issues that are present with public Wi-Fi in order to minimize risks to your network. These efforts, along with changes to traditional management expectations for productivity (such as establishing regular check-ins, auto-tracking, etc.), can help you realize results that may be on par with those reported in the Harvard Business Review.
Eliminate any disconnect between in-office staff and on-the-go employees with seamless and secure workplace integration from JENLOR. Our IT managed services empower your team to work from wherever they please, and our 24-hour Helpdesk Support is always on hand just in case something goes wrong. Don’t let IT become an obstacle to your efficiency and productivity. Contact JENLOR today and start taking control over your IT systems and services.
Data backup and recovery are important realities for your business. Your business relies on the proprietary data residing on your network servers, which needs to be protected from unwanted intrusions launched from hackers and other unauthorized persons. Depending on the type of industry you are in, disaster recovery management is an essential part of your IT strategy.
If you do not utilize a data backup service, or have in place a plan for regularly managing both onsite and offsite backups of your critical data, you may be at great risk for data loss. You need to understand the importance of backing up your data networks on a consistent and regular basis. There are many examples of how not backing up data has harmed a business. More importantly, there are many examples of showing how routine backups have improved the operations of a company.
The Process Involved in Performing Network Backups
Backing up your data provides you with an insurance plan. What this means is that you have the ability to create a working duplicate of your network available to you in the event that disaster strikes. Conditions that may be beyond your control, such as natural disasters or unauthorized intrusions (such as the introduction of an enterprise virus that is designed to take down your system) can not only wreak havoc on your operations, but also result in the loss of money and time as you work to restore your network.
The Case for a Data Backup and Recovery Plan
Your disaster recovery plan does not exist without a plan for reliable, routine data backups. If your routine does not call for the periodic maintenance and backing up of data, you are putting your company’s business at risk. According to a 2014 Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark Survey, three out of four companies were found to be at risk for data loss due to a lack of a disaster recovery plan. Thirty-six percent of companies experienced a loss of one or more critical applications, with such losses lasting from several hours to several days. The ¼ of companies that were prepared had maintained detailed recovery plans, setting specific metrics and engaging in regular testing to make sure their plan was performing up to par.
Steps to Take to Ensure Your Network’s Security
In order to reduce the risks associated with the loss of your network data, you need to have in place a plan. Your plan should include a process that requires the backup of your network data at regular intervals. A point person, whether it is the head of your IT or other professional responsible for the management of your data, should be appointed and empowered with the abilities to make decisions and be held accountable for the management of your backups and disaster recovery management plans. Additionally, you should understand that any plan for the management of your data should involve offsite backups. Maintaining your data at a remote location allows you to gain access when needed in the event of a disaster event.
Don’t leave your business vulnerable to cyberattacks, hacks and other threats. Create a safety net that protects all of your business’s data by getting in touch with JENLOR. Our backup and disaster recovery services help you better safeguard your data, both locally and offsite, in the event a disaster was to occur. With your data backed up and a plan in place to recover it, your business is free to operate with confidence, knowing that you are prepared for anything the web can throw at you. Start building up your backup plan today with help from JENLOR.
In any company’s IT network design, there are different mistakes that are made. These mistakes are of particular concern when a company chooses to outsource portions of its IT functions to a third-party provider. These mistakes range from improper IT disaster recovery management techniques to selecting the wrong cloud service provider. Companies find that making these types of mistakes results in losses in terms of talent resources, time and money. Here is look at some of the top IT outsourcing mistakes made in 2015 and ways in which you can both avoid and enhance your IT operations in 2016.
Poor Communications Resulting in Major Implementation Problems
One of the biggest mistakes companies made when outsourcing their IT services in 2015 is failing to maintain proper communications with a vendor. The process of outsourcing, like every other business function, relies on maintaining effective relationships in order to avoid problems and issues. When a lack of communication between you and the provider occurs, this results in implementation problems, potential service interruptions and customer dissatisfaction. The use of an IT outsourcing communication plan is one way to communicate expectations and avoid potential problems that can affect your bottom line.
Too Much Focus on Cost versus Results
You want to get the most service you can from your vendors for the lowest cost. This basic business principle is indisputable when considering how the cost of your operations relates to the price you charge your customers. When selecting a vendor to outsource a portion of your IT, it is important to consider the cost of the service. Relying too heavily on cost however rather than the results may be problematic. This mistake can result in getting inexperienced project managers or paying for services that are not sufficient for your business needs and requirements.
Failing to Properly Manage Internal Processes
Hiring a firm to manage a portion of your IT operations may make sense as a way to lower your internal costs and bring forth the resources of a value-added partner. Relying on the provider to manage all of your IT functions, internally and externally, is a mistake that often occurred in 2015 by companies. A third-party hired to manage a portion of your IT operations understands its internal processes but may not be as equally versed in your specific internal and external processes as it relates to the use of IT outcomes by your staff. Make sure the IT provider you choose has the experience and expertise needed to help you get ahead.
Improper Virtualization of “Everything” to the Cloud
One of the IT buzzwords that persisted throughout 2015 is cloud computing. Most every business, from small, medium to large, uses some aspect of the cloud in their everyday IT operations. When considering use of the cloud, it is reasonable to expect that you would turn to a reputable cloud service provider to provide services to your company. The mistake however comes with selecting the wrong provider. A third-party provider who does not understand the nature or scope of your business or industry may not be a proper fit. Worse, choosing a provider solely on cost may save you a few dollars upfront but cost you greatly on the back-end when problems arise.
Outsourcing your IT services shouldn’t add to your stress. Relieve yourself of the daily IT grind d outsource your IT management with help from JENLOR. For over 15 years, the JENLOR team has made managing IT easier than ever for businesses big and small. Don’t let the trials and tribulations of IT management hold your business back in the new year. Better manage all of your IT services by contacting JENLOR today.
According to an annual poll conducted by AT&T and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (AT&T Small Business Technology poll), mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have saved business owners roughly 2 billion hours. These savings in hours translates in a cost savings of approximately $65 billion. The number of small businesses that rely on mobile technology is at 94 percent, up from 85 percent in the prior year.
Any IT managed service provider can tell you that mobile device management services are an essential element of your mobile device program. Working with a mobile device management service provider can help you create effective strategies to better manage your mobile technology as well as make the seamless transition from wired to mobile IT solutions. Here is a discussion of the evolution of IT services away from the office and why a mobile device management program must be adopted in order to provide the security, monitoring and required necessary for the program’s success.
Mobile Technology and Today’s Business
Mobile technology is becoming an integral part of how business is being conducted today. . A Constant Contact report found that 73 percent of small businesses use both smartphones and tablets in order to conduct their social media marketing efforts. Another 71 percent stated that the use of mobile technology aids in their email marketing campaigns. A third of businesses have optimized their websites for mobile users and nearly one in five small businesses have the capability to conduct point-of-sales payments via mobile devices.
How Mobile Technology is Revolutionizing Business
Mobile technology allows business to do more when away from a brick-and-mortar location. Mobile technology often comes with apps that are free or lower in cost than expensive software, with multi-user licensing requirements and related technology (i.e. servers, storage facilities, hard wired PCs, etc.). The introduction of the smartphone allows your employees access to the tools they need, when they need them in order to do more business and be more productive, no matter where they are. Tablets increase this capability and when combined with the introduction of cloud computing (that is safe and secure) you can launch a virtual workforce at a fraction of the cost.
The Benefits of a Mobile Device Management Program
With more and more businesses discovering the benefits of mobile technology and employing either smartphones or tablets for use by their employees, it is important to consider why you should have a mobile device management (MDM) program in place. Mobile device management programs help you effectively manage all of the devices that interact with your IT infrastructure. This is especially important if you are a company that permits employees to use their own devices to perform certain work duties, as in the case of a bring your own device or BYOD environment. The proper MDM protects you, your proprietary information and allows you to do more with the most technology options available.
Make sure you have what it takes to make the switch to mobile with help from the IT experts at JENLOR. Our mobile device management program enables your team to work wherever they are, while maintaining a safe and secure network for you to operate in with confidence knowing your data is protected. If you’re looking to enhance your team’s efficiency while relieving yourself of the daily IT grind, contact the experts at JENLOR today and discover the advantages of our mobile device management services.
As we start a new year, the ever-exciting question is: what technology trends lay on the horizon. Truth be told, technology is constantly on the move. If you want your organization to stay ahead, you’ll need to know not only the latest technology trends, but how those trends are transforming the way people do business in 2016 and for years to follow.
- Enhanced Automation of Everyday Tasks
For years, people have been looking for a way to streamline the mundane aspects of day-to-day business operations. 2016 seems to finally be the year that true automation of these simpler tasks takes hold. Infobots and software applications will rise to run automated errands over the internet and change how employees carry out their duties.
- 24-Hour Help Desk IT
The days of on-site IT personnel are numbered, and in its place outsourced 24-hour help desk IT support is expected to take their place. Starting this year, more small businesses are expected to outsource their IT support, digitally updating and renovating their way of doing business.
With outsourced IT support at your disposal controlling enterprise tech-activities, servicing customer queries and addressing common technical issues becomes easier than ever. On top of that, you’ll be able to reduce your cost and stress on your in-house employees allowing them to be more productive with day-to-day tasks.
- Adapting to Mobile and Wearable Technology
According to MarketWatch, this year will witness fundamental tech improvements that will set and serve as the basis for a smarter future. Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented reality (AR) devices are expected to burst onto the marketplace and revitalize the industry. Businesses will not only need to focus on how clients will adapt to virtual technology, but also they must look for ways to utilize this technology in their own infrastructure to further enhance employee efficiency.
- A Boom in Security Management Services
Over the past year, you could barely go a day without reading about the latest security hack of a major corporation or small business. In 2016, it’s no wonder that security management services will continue to attract a huge amount of interests from businesses big and small. Cyber threats and attacks are only becoming more sophisticated, so expect a new class of security solutions to emerge in order to keep up with the chaos.
- The Cloud Continues to Grow
2015 was a huge year for cloud computing, and the trend doesn’t show any sign of stopping in the new year either. CIOs should expect to see even more improvements in the current cloud environment as well as the integration of new technologies into the cloud platform.
Keeping up with the ever-evolving IT environment can be quite the task. Stop worrying about how you’re going to keep pace with all the latest IT innovations by outsourcing your IT to the experts at JENLOR. With over 15 years of experience dealing with the everyday trials and complexities of IT, our team knows what works and what doesn’t. Using our expertise, we create a customized IT service package to reduce downtime, increase productivity and keep expenses in line. Don’t sit back and wait for IT to get easier, take a proactive approach to your IT system management and contact JENLOR today.
Cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) has become an effective choice for businesses striving for powerful efficiency. IaaS in one of three key service models of cloud computing, in addition to PaaS and SaaS. It is based on virtualized hardware, which essentially means the same thing as computing infrastructure. Here are some of the main advantages of IaaS for running your business in the cloud.
Cloud Providers Stay Up To Date
Storing documents and media files in various data centers owned by the same cloud provider is a strategy for protecting data. In the event of a failure at one location, your data is still protected in other locations. Cloud providers that empower clients with powerful infrastructure capabilities are the best choices if you are aiming for a top of the line platform as an all-in-one solution for digital needs. By outsourcing to a cloud provider, you can reduce complexities, hardware and maintenance.
One of the most attractive reasons for choosing a cloud infrastructure is that you can customize your business platform and add to its growth over time. You will save money by the fact that you will pay for what you need as you go along, instead of paying for services you don’t need. As your business grows, you can easily add more interactive features that connect with your internal staff members or customers. There usually is no loss of time or complex learning curve when adding a new service, as most cloud solutions are very user-friendly.
Reduces Office Space
By running your business in the cloud as much as possible, you have less need for multiple on-site computers. Workers can be equipped with mobile devices, which minimizes office space and cuts costs on hardware. The cloud can potentially replace all your hardware needs. Much of your office functions can be automated in the cloud without a room full of computers. The fact that workers can work on mobile devices from any location, means a business technically doesn’t need a central physical workspace anymore. The less office space you need, the more you’ll cut energy costs.
24/7 Network Connections
The cloud never closes down, so it can keep your business running around the clock. Your employees will be able to communicate and collaborate with each other at any time through email and social media. Customers will be able to make purchases or place orders anytime. You will also be able to collect messages from them at any time, which helps your lead generation. Any business communication can be done instantly through the cloud from any location. You will have the ability to test new applications in the cloud whenever you want.
Cut Maintenance Costs
Since you will have less dependence on onsite hardware, you will also cut maintenance costs. Some cloud-based businesses have no need for IT personnel since those issues are resolved by the cloud provider. You will not need to pay for security upgrades or worry as much about security. The cloud provider will handle the responsibility of technical issues while you get to concentrate on your business. You won’t have to worry as much about backing up data since the provider will do that for you. Someone on your team will still need to monitor your billing to make sure you’re not over-charged for services.
When it comes to choosing your cloud service provider, choose a team of IT professionals you can count on by getting in touch with JENLOR Integrations. Our IT personnel use their knowledge, skills and expertise to make managing your IT easier than ever before. Stop the worry when it comes to your network management and start being proactive when it comes to your IT system with help from JENLOR.
As more businesses continue to move towards digital and cloud data storage for solutions, never forget that securing your company’s private documents is a tougher proposition than ever. Modern technology has made it easier to store, retrieve and move information than ever before, but securing that data is itself an ever-shifting target that can only be reached through vigilance and proactive efforts to guard your corporate information. While every company has its own unique security policy, here are five tips that successful businesses use to guard their data.
Make Sure You Have Up-to-Date Data Security Policy & Everyone is Aware of Their Role
Everyone in the company who has access to proprietary data should know best practices to make sure that your corporate data is protected. Security policies should be in compliance with data security laws (this varies from industry to industry) and should be applied uniformly throughout. Variations in this policy, depending on the department, should be based around fulfilling a department’s needs while still adhering to the highest security standards possible.
Look For the Weakest Link in the Security Chain
There is no such thing as an employee or a department whose data security needs are “lower”: the lowest-security link is the weakest one in the chain. Especially with remote employees, contractors, and certain other employee groups, data security often gets treated as a secondary concern. This is a huge mistake, as those are often the areas that are most easily targeted outside, and can become windows for data corruption, theft, or worse. A secure server-to-remote-client policy in these cases is often helpful.
Make Sure to Keep Your Software (Particularly Security Software) Secure and Up-to-date
Depending on what type of technology you are using, you may have a security suite in place that is usually updated whenever data breaches occur. Making sure to keep your security software updated is one of the easiest ways to ensure compliance and avoid getting caught with yesterday’s virus. While security software alone can’t protect companies from everything, it can make an enormous difference in how many potential threats even come close to their targets.
Don’t Be Afraid of Outsourced IT Support
If you don’t have a full-size IT department, or your IT department can become quickly overwhelmed by a staff-to-tech ratio, it’s not a bad idea to make the use of outsourced IT security management services to help protect your business. Often, outsourced IT support services have a lot more experience with different security types and models and are experts at finding the “blind spots” even seasoned IT professionals might miss. Don’t be afraid to look for help when you need it outside your internal IT network.
Have IT Disaster Recovery Management Plans in Place
One place outsourced support can be handy is in setting up and having disaster recovery plans in place. This is incredibly important, because planning for a worst-case scenario is the only way you’ll be able to realistically assess just how good a security system that you have. As a rule of thumb, always prepare for the worst-case scenario. Create a detailed recovery solution for all of your corporate data and operations to support your business in case disaster strikes.
Relieve your team of the daily IT ground and beef up your corporate data security with help from the IT security experts at JENLOR. Our IT security management services offer you around-the-clock protection and support against any cyber threat out there. Don’t leave your data at risk, start safeguarding your business with help from JENLOR today.
In the always connected digital world we live in, even small business owners require IT network management. Since IT is not likely to be in your wheelhouse, you may be wondering what the benefits of outsourcing your IT—just a few of which are detailed below.
Access to the Most Cutting-Edge IT Solutions
In order to successfully execute your day-to-day operations, technology is required. This includes managing workflow, email, payment processing, storing data, and much more. Technology is also required for keeping your own and your client’s sensitive information secure. In order to do this, you must have access to the most cutting-edge IT solutions—and your IT consulting provider in Pittsburgh will help you to determine which solutions best meet your current and ongoing needs.
Cost Saving Benefits
When you turn to outsourced IT support for your technical needs, you will enjoy multiple cost saving benefits. By outsourcing, you will not be required to hire a full-time IT professional. As mentioned above your IT managed service provider will turn to the most cutting-edge IT solutions, meaning that you will save money on IT related purchases. While you will need to invest in some IT related software and technology solutions, your offsite provider will have most of what you need on their end.
Invest More Time in Your Business
If you keep your IT in house, you will not only have another salary to take on, but you will have to invest more of your time managing your IT team. This is something that often takes more time than managing your other team members, because your understanding of what they should be, and are working on—is likely to be minimal. By choosing to outsource your IT network management, you can rest assured that your IT team is always on track.
Improved IT Resources
As with any other profession, each IT professional has an area of expertise they excel in. What this means, is that it is unreasonable to expect one person to be able to execute all of your IT needs. An IT consulting service in Pittsburgh may provide you with a go-to account manager, but also has a full team of versatile professionals available to meet all of your technical needs. This means that no matter what you need, you can rest assured that your outsourced team has you covered. In fact, your outsource team will be available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
Ongoing IT Monitoring
Another advantage to IT network management, is that ongoing IT monitoring will be included with your service. This includes ensuring that your current systems are sufficient, identifying any areas of opportunity, and keeping an eye on your increased needs as your business continues to grow. It also means that you can expect less unexpected downtime, and shorter downtimes when an unexpected problem arises.
As you can see, there are many benefits to outsourcing your IT. Start reaping all the benefits and build your business’s bottom line with help from JENLOR. At JENLOR, our dedicated IT experts work endlessly to keep your business on top of the latest technological advances with the latest IT services to keep your goals on track. Call JENLOR today, and discover for yourself how we can make your IT easier than ever before.