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Two business employees strategize their IT plan

Three Things Your IT Strategy Needs To Succeed Now

Cyberattacks are among the biggest concerns in today’s world. A Varonis study reveals 62 percent of small businesses experience a cyber attack in 2018. However, this problem doesn’t simply affect small business.

Here are a few major companies that experienced a cyber breach in the last few years:

  • Whole Foods
  • Equifax
  • Deloitte
  • Yahoo

This doesn’t even begin to talk about other major breaches in cyber security, which you can read about right here. But nonetheless, the message is clear: cybercrime is at an all-time high and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Our Business IT Support team at Nerds Support is making it their resolution to keep providing clients with the best IT services in Miami and to give prospective clients a new IT Strategy, designed to make their businesses efficient.

If you are looking to plan an IT strategy for your business, then the following three components are key to making your business safer.

1. Miami Data Backups:

Ransomware ignited a new fear within business owners. For months, business owners without a proper IT strategy imagined what they would do if their company was under a ransomware attack.

  • Should they pay the fine and hope the hacker would return the files?
  • Should they find someone to help them?

They struggled to make a solid choice.

Nerds Supports clients, on the other hand, don’t have to make that choice. Not only did our 24/7 IT Support team carry extensive knowledge on how to take down such malware, but Nerds Support also conducts daily backups.

This means that at the end of the work day, Nerds Support always saves a copy of all your company data. That way, if something happens the next day, at least you still have the data from the previous work day. Having a data backup plan not only makes a company feel safer, but also guarantees their company safety.

2. Miami Cloud Security:

When our Managed IT  team explains cloud solutions to our clients, we always drive the point that the cloud’s strongest advantage is the security that cloud solutions provides. Nerds Support’s data centers are heavily monitored and constantly scanned to make sure your company files stay safe.

Our Business IT Support team also makes sure your company files are secure, allowing businesses to work from any place, at any time, with complete ease. Our cloud ran efficiently with no problems in 2017 and it is just as ready to take on Cyber Security.

3. Business Continuity:

In times of crisis, you need to ensure your business doesn’t stop. The Lockdown in 2020 proved that businesses that can’t operate remotely face great insecurity.

During 2017, South Florida hit a major setback with Hurricane Irma. Businesses were left in the dark for anywhere between days up to weeks, leaving Miami business owners anxious to get back to work. But at Nerds Support, all the company’s clients were able to continue running their business through the hurricane.

This was because Nerds Support’s servers were running at 100% capacity before, during and after the hurricane. That meant that nothing happened to all of our clients’ company data and even if their workplace was inaccessible, employees could have just opened their laptops from other locations and resumed working.

Conclusion:

If you want to have a business IT strategy, you need to make sure it includes the following:

  • Data Backups
  • Cloud Security
  • Business Continuity

As a business owner, it’s easy to understand why developing an IT strategy from scratch can be difficult. Cyber security is going to be important. So important in fact, it will be irresponsible not have an IT Strategy on hand.

The good news is that with Nerds Support, developing an IT strategy is as simple as making a phone call or visiting a website. Nerds Support’s clients are some of the most secure businesses and our Business IT Support team is ready for anything.

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Good Data Management Habits Companies Should Follow

Managing Data

Data is everywhere. Everything you do these days seems to require you to enter some details which are later used to target you and define you by companies.

No sooner have you searched for something online than an advert pops up on your computer promoting the goods you were after. Your email inbox is filled with promotional material linked to places you’ve visited, websites you’ve used and inquiries you’ve made.

We live in a data-driven age, where any company looking to get ahead has a firm understanding of the data it needs and how to manage it. The amount of data harvested is growing exponentially, which means in order to truly get the best from it there must be effective management protocols in place.

In order to truly manage data effectively, companies should look to take some of the following steps.

Purpose

Understanding the purpose of data collection is important to companies. The amount of data out there is mind-boggling, and it is easy to get caught up in driving too deep into it. It’s widely reported that around 70% of all data collected goes unused for analytics.

In order to be effective, know exactly what purpose you are collecting data for. Starbucks does this effectively, using data to analyze the best locations for new stores. They often open two close together which is usually a route to failure for other businesses, but having used data to identify the locations, few fail.

System Options

Data takes up space and a company of any size needs to understand the limitations of their own storage and processing. Altium’s run-down of PCB data management highlights how the most important issue is having a system that can manage the vast amount of information a company now acquires. That may be a physical server onsite, or a cloud solution that allows for off-site storage and processing.

Simply having a huge spreadsheet is not the route to success here. A company can invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, which means you can keep your data in one place, organized and easy to track. Looking to this type of solution is increasingly popular and helps deal with our next point also.

Software Considerations

Getting the right management software is as critical to getting the most out of your data as the method by which you store it.

It might be you choose something too complex for your team to understand, or a system too large for your business’s needs. It might be your software is not secure enough for your business to feel comfortable relying on. Any of these issues will weaken the value of the data you harvest.

Take your time, assess the options and choose software that is right for you and your team.

Data Regulations

There has been an increase in the number of breaches within the data collection field, not least from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and some countries have created more stringent regulations on data collection, storage and processing.

You must ensure compliance with any regulation enforced by countries where your company operates, even if you are not based there. This is particularly noteworthy for American companies looking to operate and collect data from South Africa or the EU.

Customer Trust

Trust is a huge part of data collection and the way you use the information you harvest can increase customer trust in you and your company. Be clear to the customer about what data you are collecting and how it is to be used. A study by University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication reveals that because customers are sharing their data with you doesn’t necessarily mean they’re happy to do so. Misusing that data could see your company lose consumer trust, rather than reap the original rewards you intended.

Make sure you always inform users of your policies and show full transparency during the collection process. You can achieve this by allowing users to decide which information they wish to share, or creating a specific privacy policy which gives users the option to learn about your data collection practices.

For additional reading on this subject, be sure to check out our article on ‘How to Improve Data Quality’.

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How to Resolve Your Biggest Cyber Security Concerns

Businesses face all types of issues. However, advances in technology have made a handful of concerns more pertinent than others.  In a poll conducted by Nerds Support, we discovered the top concerns businesses had related to data loss, compliance and security. As a result, we’ve addressed just a few ways your business can resolve these problems from most important to least.

Nerds Support Polls Cyber Security Concerns

1) Data Loss Prevention

Data is the most important currency any successful business has today. Furthermore, if you’re in a heavily regulated industry like financial services, data security is everything. That means data, and how companies manage it, often comes to define them. Losing Data can completely disrupt, and in many cases, destroy a company. Here are few ways you can prevent data loss in your business.

Back Up Data

Backing up your data is simple, not easy. Businesses often neglect to back up information when they’re busy or prioritize other tasks instead. Creating an effective backup strategy is the best way to commit to scheduled backups. You probably have data with varying levels of importance. Data that is critical to your business and data that is less so. Therefore, you should designate what data to back up daily, weekly, monthly, etc., in your plan.

Encrypt Your Data

Many organizations collect personal data from their clients. This data can come in the form of names, social security, financial information and more. If this data is stolen or leaked, the organization responsible for keeping the data safe would be in jeopardy. Potential lawsuits, investigations and the backlash from a data breach could destroy a business’s chances of recovery as a result.

Invest in a service that encrypts backups automatically to secure your data against anyone looking to steal, abuse, or access it. Cloud back-up services does just that.

The More (Backups) The Merrier

If you have important data back it up as often as possible. Backup all data imperative to your business in multiple formats to ensure its safety. Three backups are the standard for particularly important data. Moreover, backups on a cloud server and a hard-drive prevents data loss if your physical office is damaged or if there’s an outage.

Be Smart About Where You Work

Bring-your-own-device culture is more popular than ever. With cloud computing, employees can use their own laptops and mobile devices to work outside the office when they’re sick or on the road. Although this is good for productivity, they can also leave your data vulnerable if misused or misplaced.

Make sure to avoid public Wi-Fi networks as they can be exploited by a hacker to gain access to your device. If you’re going to use a mobile device or personal computer, purchase a VPN to encrypt your information. Using personal hotspot are also a good option since they’re private and cannot be accessed as easily.

Work With Professionals You Can Trust

If you do lose your data for whatever reason, trying to recover it yourself might worsen the damage. That is why it’s important to confide in experts that can keep your data safe and facilitate recovery when it occurs.

2) Maintaining Compliance

Regulatory changes, managing costs and meeting deadlines make maintaining compliance a struggle for businesses. The cloud, however, could resolve those issues and simplify compliance work dramatically.

Compliance Work Made Easy

Companies are often reluctant to leave paper filing and in-house storage behind. Trusting a third-party cloud provider to store important data seems daunting and unreliable, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, the cloud allows for quick and accurate data analysis that can cut down costs associated with compliance.

The cloud makes auditing easier. With its automated data backups and file sharing capabilities, auditors and employees can keep track of and review electronic files effectively. That also means the business becomes more transparent on the cloud.

Tracking Proper Documents

Compiling all the necessary documentation is half the battle. Internal Auditor Magazine recommends using applications that multiple users can review and edit. You also need a reliable IT department to monitor where the records are stored. As alluded to above, downtime and outages can be a real nightmare if your data isn’t properly backed up or stored in multiple formats.

If your IT department is overloaded with work or is too small properly manage record storage, then a co-managed IT department might be your best option. A co-managed contract with a managed service provider allows you to bulk up your IT department and delegate tasks to that your own department can’t do on its own. Co-managed solutions are great for growing financial firms, for example.

For smaller companies, outsourcing tech responsibilities means securing all necessary data without having to hire more individual techs.

3) Social Engineering & Ransomware

Social engineering is an issue impacting every industry. That’s because social engineers attack individual users with deceptive emails. Individual users are usually employees. If a cybercriminal can get one employee from your company to click on a link, they can access their machine. If they can access their machine, they can access the company’s systems.

Once in, a cyber-attacker encrypts data with malware and holds it ransom until the company pays a large fee.

Training

When employees recognize a potential phishing email in their inbox, it’s harder to trick them. Whenever you receive a dubious email containing a link or an attachment, send it over to your IT department to analyze. Even if it seems harmless, send it over.

Social engineers tailor scams to specific individuals and they’ll use personal information to get a click. It could be a message from your bank asking you for payment card information. It might be a store the user shops in offering online deals.

Investing in anti-phishing software helps protect employees from email scams.

Monitor Your Systems at All Times

MSP’s are a good option for companies looking to increase security as well. They monitor activity 24/7 and are available to answer questions and concerns a user might have about potential threats. Nerds Support, for example, trains and informs users on social engineering red flags, working with the user to review emails and files they’re unsure about.

A culture of healthy skepticism will improve an employee’s chances of avoiding a ransomware attack. However, employee awareness is not enough. Having updated cyber security software and dedicated cyber experts to assist in dealing with threats should be part of any business’s cyber security plan.

I’ve briefly touched upon the biggest concerns businesses have, but if you want more in depth articles on these topics visit our blog.

If you’d like to talk to real cyber experts about your biggest business concerns contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions about the cloud computing, cybersecurity and MSP’s.

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Cloud Backup Data Protection Recovery

Reasons Why Miami Cloud Backup is Good

Backups Are Important

You’d be hard pressed to find anything in the modern world that doesn’t use technology in some way. The digital age is an age where even our data is becoming digital. Data that is uploaded onto  suddenly becomes more vulnerable to theft or loss.

Backup of business information is important to a company’s survival. According to recent studies, 93% of businesses that lose important data due to a disaster go out of business within 1-2 years. Businesses today can get server space in the cloud from services that specialize in technology to make backup safe and secure. Miami Cloud backup is safe, scalable and cost-effective. Here are a few reasons why Miami cloud solutions are good.

Advantages to Cloud Back-Up

That’s why organizations are realizing how important it is keeping data backed-up and safe. These are the important advantages to adopting a cloud back-up system:

Reliable Miami Data Protection: Online data backup and recovery solutions not only protect recently modified files that are closed but also track changes in open files. They automatically capture system information and data, ensuring you can restore complete information. Your data is stored in a remote location which secures it from disasters like fires, floods and break-ins. Should any of these things happen, your business can still  operate and none of your information is compromised.

Better Control Over Restoring Data: There are many events in the world we cannot control. There have been cases where people go to work and find a gas leak led to an explosion that destroyed their small business. Restaurant owners who struggle to recover after a hurricane floods and destroys the building. If you face a site disaster and need to get your data up instantly, traditional data backup methods will not work at all. One of the top benefits of online backup solutions is better control over restoring business data. Let’s say you’re a financial adviser, you own a small, but successful, firm that generates a steady stream of clients who give you very sensitive financial information. If your business is compromised by a natural disaster or a robbery, it could seriously impact your credibility and jeopardize your business.

Advanced Technology: Cloud based solutions are founded on the most advanced technologies available for a business. Cloud features file syncing, multi-layered authentication, data mirroring etc. provide tools unavailable in a traditional onsite solutions. Moreover, cloud providers update their technology consistently to keep up with development in IT software.

Facilitates Compliance:  Cloud backups protect your data. Following information security standards is an important compliance standard that avoids potential fees, fines and regulatory intervention.

Improved Security For All Sensitive Data: Your business server manages large amounts of sensitive data. With online data backup and recovery solutions, your data remains safe. Data backup and recovery solutions also allow customers to audit access for security and change control.

Complete Data Protection Solution: Data protection is a one-time event. It’s a multi-step workflow of interconnected processes including data backup, removal, storage and recovery.Disk-based online backup and recovery solutions provide fast and continuous data backup, immediate recovery and secure storage that reflects your specific retention scheduling and policies.

Immediate Data Restoration: Businesses rely on electronic data from payroll to email and other important documents. Online backup and recovery services allow you to recover data in seconds. Cloud backups are incremental, meaning many of your projects, files and tasks will be stored and available. If you make any changes you regret, you can simply go back and load your data unchanged.

Cloud Backup Data Protection Recovery

The Risks of Data Loss

Digital information is increasing and businesses face challenges to protect their data and their clients’/customers’ data. Data backup can help businesses to ensure their data is accessible whenever necessary. Many hackers and cyber-criminals use ransomware techniques that completely freeze the victim’s systems by encrypting their data until they pay money. Cloud backups allow you to reboot your systems without losing mission critical data. This way, there is no need to pay for a ransom and your business is safe from harm. The case would be very different if you rely on onsite IT, which is not always automated and can suffer from human error. If you’re struck by a cyber attack like the one mentioned above and your team didn’t perform a backup for whatever reason, your data is at risk of being stolen, lost or kept for ransom.

Hackers gain access to data in various ways. Here are three things you can do to avoid vulnerabilities to attacks:

  1. Using servers with poor security
  2. Establishing appropriate firewalls 
  3. Creating complex passwords that are hard to guess

The cloud has undeniable benefits and in today’s age is essential for every business. Companies cannot risk the types of damages and loses that result from failing to secure their data. Data loss disrupts the day-to-day work of information-based enterprises. When files are lost, you’ll spend time and resources recovering those files and catching up to the loss of productivity. Data loss due to viruses or malware are the greatest threats because it’s difficult to measure the damage it deals. The consequences of a data breach can take weeks or months to determine. The money and resources needed to recover might be catastrophic.

Types of Data Loss

20 percent of companies who went data loss from outages stated it cost them anywhere between $50,000 and $5 million.

Here are some causes for data loss:

  1. Viruses 
  2. Human error
  3. Hard drive damage
  4. Power outages 
  5. viruses and malware
  6. natural disasters
  7. Corrupt software
  8. Hackers 
  9. hard-drive formatting  
  10. damage from liquids

Conclusion

Productivity can come to a stand-still. It often creates a downward spiral of losing productivity to losing efficiency, losing credibility to losing clients. Even if your company recovers the lost data you’ll spend a great deal of time rebuilding trust and clients.

With the advantages mentioned above, it’s clear that the most beneficial is a peace of mind. Knowing your data is safe and available when and where you need it makes provides a sense of comfort that allows you to focus on your growing and improving your business.

Online backup and recovery solutions protect business-critical data from natural disasters, human error, equipment failures, virus attacks, and other business disruptions. It is imperative to consider these solutions to protect your business data.

Cloud Computing Modern Security

Unlock Opportunity With A New Digital Workplace

The Beginning of the End

The days of the traditional 9-to-5 are coming to an end. The digital workplace is becoming increasingly popular as technology advances and connectivity increases. 5.2% of workers in the U.S. worked from home full time in 2017, or 6.5 million people according to a US Census. This was an increase from 3.3%, or 3.7 million people in 2000.

Employees are drinking coffee, settling in, opening their laptops and starting work.

The modern work force is no longer constrained to any physical location. It’s become a versatile activity that happens anywhere and at any time. Moreover, companies benefit as well. Companies that support remote work have lower employee turnover than companies that don’t, according to a study by Owllabs. Employees also experience less sick days due to lack of exposure to germs and diseases they contract from sharing a workspace.

Numerous surveys have shown that people are actually more productive when they work from home. Fewer distractions, interruptions by coworkers and reduced stress from commuting are all factors that contribute to the increase in productivity.

Downside in the Digital Age

That being said, not everyone is excited about the change. IT professionals find themselves in a dilemma. As users continue to work remotely, they strain traditional in-house security solutions.
New questions about security and vulnerability are surfacing among the emergence of remote workers. Are those working from home exposing themselves to security risks better managed by systems within the company? What isn’t a question that internet technology, computers, cloud servers, and workplace applications are changing what it means to be productive and how productive someone can be at any given time.

Executives are now prioritizing results over effort, creativity over tradition. If someone goes into the office every day at 9 in the morning, but contributes little to the aspirations, goals and standards of the company, it doesn’t matter if they’re punctual. Contrarily, if a team member works remotely meets deadlines, develops unique proposals, and contributes greatly to the company as a whole, where they work or how they achieve these goals makes little difference.

IT departments are trying to adapt to the modern workforce. However, the security solutions they are implementing forego important features. They aren’t enough to protect employee data, assets and infrastructure. However, there is a way to embrace this new work model without sacrificing security.

Remote workers using their own devices creates a fragmented, unproductive experience for organizations and employees. Many companies have their own applications, platforms, and digital tools that fail to work together or are incompatible with one another. Going from device to device, platform to platform takes time and energy better spent on other projects and tasks.

Digital Workplace Solution

Digital workspaces are this very solution. Or rather, a secure, digital workspace that integrates the support and security necessary to maintain the safety of company assets and information, while promoting and embracing the flexibility, versatility of remote work.

Instead of leaving new and emerging technologies to go unchecked, businesses should take the time to leverage these tools and develop a strategy around them.

Creating a digital workplace that is protected by a security framework that travels with users wherever they go. Allowing IT, security, and networking teams control and security across today’s complex cloud, hybrid, and SaaS environments.

Modern businesses need to create a digital workplace that protects users wherever they are. One that is protected by security framework that travels with the user. This allows IT, networking and security teams, to use cloud and SaaS systems in a dynamic environment that promotes growth.

The digital workplace already exists to some degree in every industry. Just as a result of adapting to a digital world, the difference here would be a proactive approach to establishing a digital workplace that makes your company function better as a whole.

Cloud Computing Security Efficiency Statistics

Developing A Digital Workplace Strategy

Developing a comprehensive digital strategy isn’t difficult. As long as you stay anchored to the three elements that make up any enterprise you should be fine, namely: People, culture and tools.

People

These are employees of the company. Your digital plan should first and foremost have them in mind. What they need and how these needs might impact productivity, creativity, engagement etc. Furthermore, how these changes might influence clients/customers, vendors and the like.

Tools

The digital instruments needed to communicate and operate productively.

Culture

This is the culmination and interplay between the other two elements. How people in the organization use the tools at their disposal, engage with the client/customer one another. In what ways are these elements contributing to the furthering of your business goals and needs.

Work on Your Company

No one industry has the same needs and there is no single plan that can address the needs specific to each industry. That’s why considering these three elements can help you gain insight as to what digital tools and ultimately, what type of workspace is best for your company.

If you would like to learn more about cloud computing security, digital workspaces or the cloud in general download our free e-book. Or visit our website and learn about digital tools, IT consulting and industry compliance.