Tuesday, April 13, 2021

5 Lesser known benefits of choosing the co-managed IT model

5 Lesser known benefits of choosing the co-managed IT model

Even companies with IT staff on their payroll can’t deny having an MSP onboard offers benefits that exceed what they get from having just an in-house team. This blog explore 5 lesser known reasons why the co-managed IT model is popular.

An extra hand during emergencies
In the event of any unforeseen emergency such as a natural disaster or a terror attack, you may need additional IT support to get things up and running again. Your IT team may not be able to do it all instantly and of course adding to your IT staff wouldn’t be an option during such times. In a co-managed IT services model you will have your MSP to support your IT team which will help you recover faster.

Especially useful when you have a small in-house IT team
For a lot of SMBs, an in-house IT team comprises one or two IT technicians who take care of all their IT needs. But what happens when they are both out of office at the same time, due to unforeseen circumstances? You can only cross your fingers and hope no major IT problem comes up. But, in the co-managed IT services option, your virtual IT team is just a call away!

24/7 Support
24/7 IT support is a luxury for most SMBs. Their in-house IT staff usually works the same hours at the business. Most managed service providers, however, offer 24/7 services at affordable costs.

You still retain control over your IT
In a co-managed services model, you are not completely entrusting your IT to an MSP, as your in-house IT team will be collaborating with your managed services provider to meet your IT needs better. Thus, you retain quite a bit of control over your IT.

You get useful IT insights
When you bring an MSP onboard, you benefit from their expertise and on-ground experience. They can advise you on the latest IT trends in your industry and help streamline your processes and IT infrastructure based on what’s effective. This kind of insight cannot be gained with an in-house IT team as they would only be working with you.

Co-managed IT model is not replacing your IT team with an MSP. It is augmenting your existing IT support setup with an MSP and leveraging their expertise to bring thought leadership IT strategies into your organization.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Four reasons to opt for the co-managed IT services model

Four reasons to opt for the co-managed IT services model

Co-managed IT services model is one in which the business has its own IT team, but still contracts with an external managed services provider for certain services. In this blog we discuss four benefits of a co-managed IT services model.

Expertise
Your in-house IT team may not have all the expertise needed to manage all your IT requirements. There are new developments happening in the tech space everyday and an MSP is better positioned to stay up-to-date with them as IT is their business.

Flexibility
Opting for a co-managed IT services model allows you the flexibility to scale your IT up or down based on your business requirements. This is especially useful for companies that experience seasonal spikes in their business, such as CPA firms, around taxation times, or retail businesses around the Holidays. You don’t have to hire new IT staff to handle the sudden extra load on your IT.

Lower costs
Choosing a co-managed IT services model saves you costs that you would otherwise incur when hiring new IT staff. Bringing someone on your payroll involves HR expenses including health insurance, 401 (k) etc., which can be avoided when bringing an MSP onboard.

Help your IT team focus better
Research indicates that in companies that have an in-house IT team, their IT specialists are so caught up with the day-to-day IT tasks that they don’t have the time to focus on new technology. Tasks like security patches, software updates, backups etc., keep them busy, so they don’t get time to research or learn about the latest on the tech front. This defeats the purpose of having an in-house IT team, doesn’t it? If you could have your MSP take care of the mundane IT routine, you will be enabling your in-house IT technicians to focus on new technology, which will help you become more efficient as a business.

If you already have an in-house IT team, it is not unusual to think you don’t need the services of a managed services provider. But, as you can see, co-managed IT has its advantages and you shouldn’t strike an MSP off your list completely just because you have your in-house IT technicians.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Do you know who’s clocking your MRIs?

As the Internet of Medical Things continues to grow, so is the risk of breaches and for non-compliance.
Watch this webinar to learn how network traffic analytics can detect advanced threats and help protect connected medical devices. https://partner-marketing.bitdefender.com/web/dtqob8a8pptdv

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Do you know who’s clocking your MRIs?

Maintaining a healthy system, both in medicine and in IT, is a complex challenge with many moving parts. Suppress cyber attacks with Bitdefender’s industry-leading solutions! https://partner-marketing.bitdefender.com/web/c0hddlrvjle1g

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Best practices for data safety in a remote work environment

Best practices for data safety in a remote work environment

Do you have staff working from home? Of late, due to the Coronavirus crisis a lot of businesses shifted to the remote working environment. While it raises some data security concerns, they can be overcome by following a few best practices.

Formulate rules
You can start by formulating rules that define the extent and manner in which personal devices may be used for work purposes.
  • Who are allowed to use personal devices for work?
  • Spell out the regulations that they must follow. For example, regular checks for malware and updates to anti-malware software, etc.,
  • If there are restrictions to the device type, software or operating systems that may be used, out of security concerns, then that should be addressed.

Focus on the 2 Ts of cybersecurity
  • Train your staff: The first T is training your staff on how to identify IT threats and cybercrime activities that they can be a victim of. Examples include phishing emails, dubious attachments, clone sites, etc., Another area to train your staff is free/public wifi. They need to know that public wifi can be a gateway for hackers and cybercriminals into your system. Accessing emails from the airport’s waiting lounge or the mall’s food court, can expose your business to IT threats.
  • Teach good password hygiene: This is the second T. Help your employees understand how important password strength is. They should be able to identify weak passwords and steer clear of them. Also, they need to know that no matter how urgent the situation seems, password sharing is not acceptable. Similarly, mistakes such as repeating the password for multiple accounts, not changing the passwords frequently, etc., can make a cyber criminal’s job easier.

Keeping things under control

You can conduct monthly audits of the devices your employees will be using for work purposes. Arrange for regular security patch implementation, firewall installation and software updates. Install quality anti-malware software, firewalls, and make sure email security systems are in place. Even in the remote environment, you can ensure appropriate data access through role and permission-based access control measures.

All of this may seem new, and tedious, especially for businesses that are looking to recover from the effects of the on-going pandemic, which is why it is a good idea to team up a managed services provider to help set up a strong, secure, work-from-home environment for your business.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Do you know who’s clocking your MRIs?

With new cybersecurity risks emerging every day, healthcare organizations are under more pressure than ever to harden their systems.
Read this HIMSS whitepaper to learn how to maintain security in the healthcare space while remaining compliant. https://partner-marketing.bitdefender.com/web/bzb26jed52lt3

Friday, March 26, 2021

Do you know who’s clocking your MRIs?

Healthcare is the top target industry for security threats. Protect EHRs/EMRs against sophisticated attacks with Bitdefender’s industry-leading solutions. Request a Demo today to increase Healthcare cybersecurity! https://partner-marketing.bitdefender.com/web/e64fhuztfn0y

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Do you know who’s clocking your MRIs?

A major cyber attack can bring down any healthcare organization. In times like this, it's crucial to mitigate risks in order to avoid chaos.
Watch this webinar, hosted by security experts from HIMSS and Bitdefender, to reduce security risks with practical solutions. https://partner-marketing.bitdefender.com/web/dqfqtjwl8i8ny

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

How safe is your data when your staff works from home?

How safe is your data when your staff works from home?

The Coronavirus crisis has changed the world as we know it. With social distancing, lockdowns and work from home becoming the new normal, cyber criminals are exploiting the situation to their gains. This whitepaper discusses how the cyber crime landscape is likely to shape up in the post-pandemic world and how businesses can safeguard themselves against it.

One of the reasons for a sudden spike is cyber crimes is the work-from-home model that is increasingly becoming the norm. When you allow remote access to your data, you are virtually opening your IT infrastructure to criminals--unless you have the right security measures. It is easy for malware and hackers to get into your system and corrupt it unless you have the right measures in place.

With employees operating from home, there are a lot of loopholes that cyber criminals target. Some of them include

Lack of knowledge
Most employees don’t realize how their simple actions or non-actions can contribute to a cyberattack that can bring your whole business down. For example, they may unwittingly end up compromising on your business’s data security by sharing passwords, not using a good antivirus software or using the public WiFi to access their emails, etc.,

It is more difficult to oversee IT operations
With teams working remotely, it is difficult for businesses to manage their IT efficiently. Installation of security patches, anti-malware tools, data backups, etc., are all more difficult now.

Working from home offers businesses a lot of benefits in terms of cost savings, employee satisfaction and flexibility. But, it also raises a lot of questions from the IT security perspective. When opting for the work-from home model, it is important to clearly define the IT policies and put them into practice. You could partner with an MSP who specializes in cybersecurity and remote workspace management to help you formulate a safe, remote working environment.

Monday, March 22, 2021

What Is the Hidden Cost of Security?

[INFOGRAPHIC] What Is the Hidden Cost of Security?

With less than six months until 2020, experts forecast the industry will be struggling to secure over 20 billion devices from attacks. Cybercrime will never cease to be a money-making machine, with hackers already making trillions of dollars from stealing sensitive data, medical records, financial information and credit history.

And while hackers improve their methods, organizations still don’t understand all the vulnerabilities, gaps and misconfigurations in their IT infrastructure. The global skill shortage leaves millions of jobs unfilled, a major roadblock that businesses need to resolve as soon as possible. Industry research shows that, while 50 percent of global data breaches are caused by malicious or criminal attacks, some 20 percent are the result of human error or system misconfigurations.

Enterprises fail to understand that cyberattacks are no longer a matter of if, but when. So they must not be caught off guard. In the next two years, companies face a 28 percent chance of a recurring material breach. Most firms have inadequate protection. They use software from multiple vendors and usually take over 6 months to identify and contain a breach, leading to the high cost of data breaches. When calculating the total cost of security, senior managers only look at the cost of software, forgetting to include the hidden costs associated with slow incident response, the global skill shortage, and the considerable expense of security operations.

Check out our infographic below to see what to expect from data breaches in the near future.



Do you know who’s clocking your MRIs?

With new cybersecurity risks emerging every day, healthcare organizations need to protect their systems.
Download our E-Book to discover new security strategies for the Internet of Medical Things! https://partner-marketing.bitdefender.com/web/e63gq98dodgi

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

4 things to do to ensure your business continuity planning is a success

4 things to do to ensure your business continuity planning is a success

Working on creating a contingency plan for your business? That’s great! Here are 4 things you need to consider when preparing your new business continuity plan.

Audit of your business continuity plan
Having a business continuity plan alone is not enough. You need to audit it at regular intervals to ensure it is up-to-date and relevant. Often, business continuity plans aren’t used for years, and may be obsolete or irrelevant by the time an actual emergency occurs.

Creating a team for business continuity
Constitute a team for your business continuity project. Decide who will take ownership of implementing the business continuity in the event of an emergency. Break down the business continuity plan into smaller elements and decide who is responsible for each of them. Also, remember to designate a back up for each person in the team.

Mock Drills and Dry Runs
After your business continuity plan is ready you need to check if it really works. A dry run will tell you if it is really effective and also point out to loose ends, if any, that you can fix before the actual emergency.

Don’t forget a debrief
In case you do end up using your business continuity plan, make sure you do a debrief. It will help you determine the effectiveness of your business continuity plan. The brief should focus on identifying the losses you incurred from the disaster, the time taken for implementation of the business continuity plan, the key positives of implementation of your business continuity plan and also offer suggestions, if any for improvement. Irrespective of the size of your business, business continuity planning is indispensable. Bigger companies often have their own staff (IT as well as non-IT) for business continuity planning, but for SMBs to have their own business continuity planning team can be a bit of a strain on their resources. Consider teaming up with a MSP who is experienced in disaster recovery planning, so you don’t cut corners now to regret later.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

What are the essentials of a business continuity plan?

What are the essentials of a business continuity plan?

An unexpected emergency can wipe out your business! A business continuity plan can help it survive. But, what should a good business continuity plan cover? Read this blog to find out.

A list of your key contacts
One of the most important elements in your business continuity plan is a list of all your important contacts who should be informed of the disaster. This can include all your C-level execs, HR managers, IT Manager, client facing managers, etc.,

A comprehensive list of your IT inventory
Your business continuity plan should contain a list of all the softwares, apps and hardware that you use in the daily operations of your business. This list should identify each of those as critical or non-critical and mention details pertaining to each of them such as
  • The name of the app/software
  • Version/model number (for software/hardware)
  • Vendor name and contact information for each of them
  • Warranty/support availability details
  • Contact information for customer support for these hardware/apps
  • Frequency of usage

Backup information
Data backups are critical to your disaster recovery and so your business continuity plan should include information about data backups. It should mention how often data is backed up, in what formats and where. It should also mention what data backups are available--ideally, you should be backing up ALL data already!

What’s your Plan B?
Make sure your business continuity plan lists a backup operations plan that will come into play in the event of a disaster. Examples include alternative workflows such as options to work remotely or to allow employees to bring their own devices to work (BYOD) until the time regular business premises or systems are ready.

Floor plans and location
Your business continuity plan should also include floor plans of your offices with the exit and entry points clearly marked up, so they can be used in the event of any emergency. It should also mention the location of data centers, phones, key IT systems and related hardware.

Process definition
Make sure your business continuity plan defines the SOPs to be followed in the event of an emergency.

Think business continuity planning is too complicated? Don’t give up! A lot of SMBs, don’t create a business continuity plan thinking it is too much of a hassle. But this can prove fatal to your business later. A qualified MSP can help you understand business continuity planning and even help you create a business continuity plan that’s best suited for you..

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

3 Reasons to prepare a business continuity plan

3 Reasons to prepare a business continuity plan if you haven’t done so already

A business continuity plan is the blueprint you need during an emergency to keep your business running smoothly. If you don’t already have one, here are 3 key reasons why you should focus on creating one ASAP.

It helps retain clients
As a business, if you have problems functioning, it will definitely affect your clients. For example, if your servers are down or your supply-chain mechanism is affected or your delivery process breaks, you won’t be able to fulfill your promise to your clients. Even worse, in some situations you may not even be in a position to communicate about the crisis to your clients adding to their frustration. A business continuity plan addresses these issues beforehand and can help reduce client dissatisfaction.

Salvaging brand image and reputation
There are certain events that end up affecting only your business. For example, ransomware attacks, virus attacks, data leaks, etc., Having a business continuity plan that caters for such events can be a blessing in times of such crisis.

Minimizing revenue loss
A business continuity plan can minimize the revenue losses that occur as a result of a crisis that interrupts your business operations.

In short, a business continuity plan helps minimize the impact of the crisis on your client relations, your brand image and your revenue by equipping you with a plan to handle the situation better.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Business continuity planning: A must-have, not a luxury

Business continuity planning: A must-have, not a luxury

Business continuity planning is not an alien concept anymore. In recent times we have witnessed a lot of events that only serve to further intensify the need for business continuity planning. Examples include natural calamities like hurricanes, floods, wildfires, events like terror attacks or even pandemics like the recent Covid-19 outbreak.

While a business continuity plan cannot completely safeguard your business from all these events, it can certainly minimize the damage inflicted on your business. Top business consultants urge their clients to develop a business continuity plan as they consider it a part of the best practices for running a business. A business continuity plan can make the difference between survival and shutdown of a business during a crisis situation.

What is business continuity planning?
Business continuity planning is the process of creating a blueprint that helps your business respond and recover effectively from an unforeseen mishap. As discussed before, the unforeseen event could range from natural disasters to pandemics, or even accidents that affect just your place of business like a fire or even a cybercrime attack directed at your business in particular--basically, any event that can paralyze your business. A business continuity plan serves as a step-by-step guide that you can follow during an emergency to keep your business running smoothly.

True, a business continuity plan is not a sure shot method to survive a crisis, it won’t instantly eliminate the impact of the disaster, but it gives you the best chances of survival. If you are not sure of what a good business continuity plan entails , you can reach out to a reputable MSP to help you with the preparation and implementation of one.