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4 Reasons Why You Need Managed IT Services

In today’s demanding business world, one question you have to ask yourself often is: do I need managed IT services? When it comes to improving your business efficiency, the use of technology is the best enabler of success. However, implementing and maintaining the components of a modern IT system requires specific expertise in network configuration, cyber security, software administration, and much more. 

Managed IT services shorten the runway when adopting new technology in your business while improving your threat posture against cyber-attacks. Cyber security incidents continue to plague every digital organization, with SMBs remaining a prime target. Paired with these concerns is the need to digitize operations wherever possible for improved business productivity, scalability, and resilience. 

Some of the biggest challenges that today’s businesses need to overcome are:

  • Reduced revenues and cash flow due to the pandemic
  • Rising inflation that further constraints profit margins
  • Shortages in the labor market that make it difficult to attract talent
  • Increased costs to remain compliant with regulations and privacy laws

If you’re wondering why you need managed IT services, below we’ll show you how taking this utility approach to your technology needs can help you overcome many of these pressing challenges. 

Why You Need Managed IT Services: 4 Reasons

Managed IT services enable you to deploy new technologies and access IT support to reduce business disruption. 

Instead of insourcing your IT administration, you can outsource all of the tasks to an expert company that maintains, trains, and deploys the technologies you need to grow your business. The services you choose to outsource will depend on your specific business, but it may include everything from managing your network traffic and security to implementing a workflow solution for streamlined operations. 

Here are four reasons why you should consider managed IT services for your business:

  1. Reduced Business Costs

Looking for ways to cut costs is always a priority. But under the current climate, it should be your number one concern. If an IT system fails and you don’t have the cash flow to replace a server or source a critical network component, you’re not just losing time but you could also miss opportunities to bring in new customers and grow your revenues. 

Because the costs of managed IT services are consistent and specific to your IT needs, you can budget accurately and avoid the risks associated with equipment failures. A consistent budget for all your IT services means you can allocate any surplus revenues to the initiatives that help grow your business.

  1. Improved Information Security

Information security is one of the biggest challenges today, due to the evolving threat landscape that SMBs face. Cyber-attacks target smaller operations and if one succeeds, recovering is costly, time-consuming, and often lethal to the business. Managed IT services give you access to the latest tools, technologies, and industry best practices to keep your information secure at all times. 

By deploying solutions like firewalls, antivirus software, regular endpoint scanning, and network monitoring, your managed IT services company can help improve your threat posture. You can rest assured that your business systems and networks remain protected and ward off any attack before it becomes a disaster.

  1. Access to Industry Experts

The technology landscape changes rapidly and finding experts with experience in new tools and solutions isn’t easy. These resources are also expensive due to their rarity in the current labor market. Using managed IT services means you readily have access to a host of industry experts without having to hire new staff just to upgrade your technology stack. 

When you want to know about a new solution or discuss developments in technology, managed IT services mean there’s an expert available at all times to guide you through tough decisions. If issues do arise, you have experienced resources working to restore your systems as quickly as possible and limit the disruption to your operations. 

  1. Increased Peace of Mind

Remaining compliant with emerging regulations and privacy laws can quickly run up your business costs. With a managed services provider, you’ll be able to streamline your IT operations and demonstrate compliance with legislation by implementing the latest security solutions and maintaining the required audit trails for all access permissions. 

Since your IT system will fall under the purview of the service provider, you can rely on them to establish the required controls and monitor your infrastructure per the latest laws. They can also set up your disaster recovery plan, establish your backup strategy, and scale your operations whenever required. 

Increase Operational Efficiency with Managed IT Services from Plus Inc.

Plus Inc. provides businesses with end-to-end IT services that increase efficiency, limit disruptions, and maintain information security across the technology stack. Our engineers are available both remotely and on-site to give you the peace of mind you need while deploying the latest solutions for improved productivity. As Plus Inc. develops a unique pricing plan that covers all your business IT needs, you can set a consistent budget and avoid any costs from escalating beyond your acceptable margins. 

To discuss more reasons why you need managed IT services for your business, speak to one of our IT experts today. 

Is it time to upgrade your server security?

Does Your Business Need a Firewall? 4 Things to Consider

The world has seen a rapid digital ecosystem expansion across the board. Companies had to look for innovative ways to nurture the business while weathering unfathomable economic storms. At the same time, cybercriminals continue to evolve their threat tactics and exploit cybersecurity vulnerabilities in network security for financial gain. 

If you think your business doesn’t need a firewall, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll end up ruing your decision. A network firewall is your first line of defense when it comes to cybersecurity. 

Consider the following statistics:

  • In 2021, the U.S. Treasury tied about $5.2 billion in Bitcoin transactions to ransomware payments
  • Attacks on businesses and their supply chains increased by 42% over the last year
  • Cyberattacks now top the Allianz Risk Barometer, beating both natural catastrophes and business interruptions

For any organization that still thinks the risk isn’t significant, let’s look at why your business needs a firewall as soon as possible. 

What is a Firewall?

In engineering terms, a firewall refers to a physical barrier between two system sections. If you’re still unclear about what a firewall does, let’s look at the principle behind these solutions. 

In cars and airplanes, a firewall is literally a fireproof barrier that protects drivers and pilots from any fires in the engine compartments. In network security, it acts in pretty much the same way by shielding the company’s networks and digital systems from outside intrusions. 

In networks, these system acts as a gateway for both incoming and outgoing network traffic. It establishes the rules for each packet of data that seeks to enter the network and maintains a list of suspicious sources commonly used to deliver malicious code into the organization’s networks and systems.

4 Reasons Why Every Business Needs a Firewall

With the rise of cybercrimes, there is now an implicit requirement to do everything you can to protect your data and secure your networks. Here are four reasons why you need to have a firewall as part of your network security. 

1. It’s Your First Line of Defense against Cyberattacks

With improved attack tactics, your firewall is the first line of defense against bad actors. Without a firewall, cybercriminals can deploy sophisticated exploits like ransomware into your network that will automatically sniff out your digital assets (and private information) and start extracting this information to leverage against your company. Network Address Translation (NAT) may bridge internal and external network communication but won’t block incoming requests.

One of the main benefits of a firewall is that it protects your company’s internal networks from external users who don’t have the authorization to connect to your systems. 

2. Protects Your Users from Within

Although attacks from outside present the biggest concern to businesses, it’s often internal user behavior that creates the conditions for a cyberattack to succeed. With a firewall, you can limit internet usage and access to websites from your users to mitigate the risks of them clicking on an infected link or visiting dubious websites. 

Firewalls help you establish rules for the safe use of external, digital resources and limit the risks of malicious code entering the network. 

3. Firewalls Help Meter Network Traffic

Firewalls provide you with greater control over how your employees use the network. You can set limits on specific internet resources like social media sites and video streaming services. Limiting the bandwidth to specific sites can improve your network efficiency and ensure that your staff uses the internet for work-related activities. 

A network firewall helps you control all outgoing traffic and limit what your staff can access during working hours. 

4. Improves the Security during Remote Work

With a firewall, you can also deploy Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to improve the security of your remote workers accessing internal files and applications. A VPN provides encryption between the two end-points (the remote connection and internal company resources), protecting the information during transit between the two nodes. 

A firewall is an essential tool that helps strengthen your security perimeter for remote workers. 

Improve Your Network Security with a Firewall from Plus Inc.

To start taking proactive steps to protect your network with a firewall, you’ll need expert advice from a team of network security professionals. Plus Inc. provides managed IT services and solutions that help protect businesses and set you up for continued success. As more cyberattacks are putting today’s companies out of business, you’ll need someone who can help you navigate the pitfalls of modern cybersecurity best practices. 

If you need to discuss the benefits of a firewall with a network security expert, reach out to Plus Inc. today.

How to Prevent Ransomware in 2021: An Introductory Guide

Ransomware can affect any business or organization. An annual report released on global cyber security showed that ransomware attacks increased by 62% in 2020. 

This kind of malware can block access to a file, system, or device until you pay the ransom. Today, many companies still don’t know how to prevent ransomware. But while this insidious cyber attack can hit almost any type of computer system, there are effective ways of preventing it.

Read on and discover more about this dangerous malware, including how to remove it if your system ends up becoming a hostage. Plus, you’ll learn how to protect your system from ransomware.

How Does Ransomware Work?

Ransomware is a direct attack on a business, encrypting or locking data, and in some cases, even threatening to delete the data. It uses the same point of entry as any malware does, which includes:

  • Clicking on a corrupted attachment or link
  • Using software infected by malware
  • Direct download to a system
  • Infected hardware such as a USB drive with malware

The most common method used by attackers is through phishing emails. Once the recipient clicks on any link in the malicious email, it will cause the malware to download into the system. The malware will then search the system for valuables and encrypt them.

The impact of a ransomware attack is severe, especially to organizations such as call centers, hospitals, and other critical infrastructures. Some victims had to pay $350,000 to $1.4 million to regain access to their data or prevent information leakage.

How to Remove Ransomware

Experts advise not to pay the ransom because there’s no guarantee that these criminals will give you the decryption code. A recent report shows that only 19% of victims who paid the attackers had received their files back.

Removing ransomware is challenging even for skilled professionals, which is why it’s always best to prevent it. However, if you’ve already fallen victim to this cyberattack, highly-qualified security experts can help. 

They will first isolate the infected device to stop the malware from spreading further. Then, they will identify the type of ransomware used by the attacker and proceed with the removal based on the findings.

The usual steps taken for ransomware removal are:

  1. Determine if the ransomware still exists in the system after encrypting the data.
  2. If the ransomware is still present, they’ll use anti-malware or anti-ransomware software to quarantine the malicious software.
  3. Security professionals will remove the ransomware from your system to prevent it from causing further havoc.
  4. Recover lost data using your operating system’s system restore function or from your backup device.

How to Avoid Ransomware

Preventing ransomware is not an isolated approach but involves the cooperation of your entire business or organization. The following preventive measures can help considerably:

Build Security Awareness

Your employees are at the forefront of these attacks, which is why it’s crucial to educate them on the proper use of company devices. Workers who know how to avoid malicious emails and websites are vital in keeping your entire system safe from attacks.

Backup Your Data Properly

Creating a backup of your files at regular intervals can help make a ransomware attack relatively useless, even if it infects your system. Even if the attacker encrypts your important data, security professionals can restore the data from backup after removing the malware.

However, you need to perform backups the correct way. To ensure that these backups are out of reach after a sudden ransomware attack, you need offline storage. You can also opt for cloud storage to help you recover a copy of the encrypted files quickly.

Prepare Ahead and Enforce Policies

Creating an effective response plan is crucial to prepare for possible ransomware intrusions. Define specific roles and communication methods that everyone in your IT team will follow. Contingency plans are also more effective if you constantly build security awareness for all of your employees.

Keep Your System Up-To-Date

Even if you eliminate the risks from your employees opening suspicious emails, attackers can still inject their ransomware if you have an outdated system. You should keep your operating systems, applications, and other software installations up to date with the latest patches to prevent them from being vulnerable to direct attacks.

Perform Security Checks Regularly

Your IT department should be running regular vulnerability scans on your system. They will need to check for any system misconfigurations, weak passwords, and authentication issues and correct them as needed. Aside from strengthening your system, they also need to review potential problems with employee behaviors.

Keep Your Business Safe From Ransomware

Ransomware is a threat every business has to deal with every day. But with proper preventive measures, you can ensure that your enterprise remains safe. Follow these tips so you won’t have to face the repercussions and continue focusing on growing your business.

Do you need help in implementing ransomware protection? We provide award-winning network security solutions. Touch base with us today about our IT services, and we’ll help fortify your system.

Excited to host Webinar Tuesday December 7th at 2pm. Please join us for this fun and informative 40 minutes!

Plus Inc. is hosting 7 Tips for Secured Documents in the Digital Workspace.  This Webinar will provide answers to eliminating lag times in multi managed approval processes. Reduce paper waste and increase real time productivity which is an immediate impact to Profit.  Register today to join this informative Webinar: https://ricohmarket.gage.com/customizable_lead/efe4aff3fda84e239953f9f22b177011

 

Plus Inc wins the Small Business Award from The Greenville Triumph Soccer Club

We’re honored and proud at Plus Inc for receiving the Small Business of the Month Award from the Greenville Triumph Soccer Club! The beautiful inscribed glass award was presented by Fifth Third Bank to Frank Gonzalez – Vice President Sales and Christian Brown – Account Manager and 3rd Generation of Plus Inc which was founded in 1958.

Plus Inc continues to provide the finest in Print, Copy, IT Services, and Computer Solutions to the greater Upstate area. A proud part of Greenville for over 60 years.