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When choosing a managed service cloud provider, it's important to consider the consequences of SOC 1 & 2 compliance regulations

Why SOC Compliance Matters When Choosing An MSP

If you’re in a service industry, chances are you’ve run into the term SOC compliance. Some of you may have undergone a SOC I or SOC II compliance audit.

As remote work becomes increasingly more popular companies are choosing to adopt managed IT services and cloud based platforms.

However, even companies that undergo SOC compliance don’t consider how important it is when choosing a managed service provider.

What is SOC Compliance?

For those of you who don’t know or are wondering about SOC compliance, here’s a quick overview.

There are two main types of SOC compliance. There’s SOC I and SOC II compliance audits. There is such thing as a SOC III but it uses the same reporting as SOC II only it’s designed for public consumption.

A systems and organization Control audit I, or SOC I is a type of audit created to test the internal controls a service organization uses to protect sensitive client data. To be more specific, a SOC I audit tests the internal controls that could affect financial reports.

SOC II compliance audits were developed by the American Institute of CPA’s and exists to make sure service organizations controls like Security, integrity, confidentiality and privacy are up to standard.

Service companies like financial and CPA firms benefit from SOC compliance in the same way MSP’s do.

What are the Benefits of SOC Compliance?

A service organization goes through a lot of scrutiny in when it comes to compliance. SOC reports are among the most important pieces of information for a financial firm or CPA. They verify that the appropriate controls are in place and those controls work efficiently and securely.

For a financial firm it’s an invaluable tool and the same applies to an MSP. When you contract a Managed Services provider, you’re onboarding a new IT team. How integrated that IT team is depends on whether you choose a Co-managed plan or not. Either way, you’re making these service providers a part of your company.

Therefore, your firm is entrusting an MSP with highly confidential client information to one degree on another. That means your prospective provider should be able to comply with a SOC audit as well.

Benefits of SOC I Compliance

There has been a steady increase in SaaS adoption by a variety of industries. SaaS was predicted to grow 10.5 percent in 2020 by Gartner before the global pandemic of 2020. With companies forced to operate remotely, cloud and SaaS services became even more essential.

With a SOC I audit you can evaluate your provider’s policies and procedures, which is pivotal to running your operation. If they’re going to be the IT arm of your firm, they should be subject to the same regulations and systems checks.

Building Trust

Being able to check and validate a company’s security controls creates trust between you and your provider. A SOC I audit is proof that your MSP has the proper tools to protect both your and your client’s data.

Establishes Organization & Accountability

SOC 1 compliance audits can be costly and rigorous. However, if your MSP has multiple client organizations with a multitude of users, it can generate difficulties when keeping track of the right data. Conducting a SOC I audit provides, you the client, a report for review that saves time, money and makes your MSP’s process transparent.

Opportunities for Identifying Weaknesses and Improvement

Managed Services Providers are like any other company. Companies are subject to inefficiencies and faulty processes that can bring the quality of their services down. There are plenty of MSP’s that believe their controls and systems are enough and don’t need improving. However, as a potential client, it’s difficult to determine the security and efficiency of an MSP until something goes wrong.

An independent audit of your MSP will undoubtedly optimize your company’s internal processes because you don’t have to waste time searching for documents and paperwork if anything goes wrong. Moreover, if there are any security protocols that are not on par with SOC I standards the MSP should be proactive enough to adjust and improve where necessary.

If there is a malware attack, for example, you can rest easy knowing the proper controls are in place to prevent it from causing damage.

Cyber Security Protection

Cyber attacks have increased in both volume and breaches in the past 12 months, according to a VMware survey. 88 percent of North American respondents said they saw an increase in overall cyberattacks resulting from employees working from home. In other words, cyber protection has become more important than ever as companies learn to maneuver through a remote environment.

A SOC I audit gives you an understanding of your MSP’s business and security processes and your clients will have greater confidence in your firm. Don’t be fooled by a provider that promises complete and reliable cyber security when they’re unable to  provide evidence to support it. Ultimately, it is your firm that will end up paying for the wrong MSP’s cyber security deficiencies.

 

businessman working from home while connected to the cloud

How Remote Workers Benefit From The Cloud

Remote Work Is Here

Companies are increasingly relying on remote work. Remote work culture has become commonplace as these companies realize how important flexibility is for their operation.

Furthermore, this is happening across industries. From streaming services to banking and financial services, it’s clear that remote work is depending on the cloud.

The novel Coronavirus outbreak tested cloud infrastructures in ways previously unimagined. All at once workers were forced to depend on a cloud environment to access important data, documents, and connect with colleges.

And It’s not Going Anywhere…

In fact, according to a Techwire survey, 48 percent of technology companies believe that cloud services will increase as a result of the shut in. This suggests that Cloud adoption is seen as a long term strategy rather than a temporary fix.

This however, isn’t surprising when you consider 56 percent of the workforce already have jobs that are compatible with remote work.

Based on those facts we can conclude that remote work will only increase in frequency even after workers are allowed back into their offices.

We’re already seeing a rapid growth in the use of cloud-based video conferencing applications like Zoom and Microsoft teams.

Even Billionaire and financier  Warren Buffett weighed in on the shift to remote work in an interview with “The Real Deal” stating:

“The supply and demand for office space may change significantly,” Buffett said. “A lot of people have learned that they can work at home, or that there’s other methods of conducting their business than they might have thought from what they were doing a couple of years ago. When change happens in the world, you adjust to it.”

Benefits of Cloud Storage for Remote Workers

Now that we’ve established remote work is a more permanent change, we have to go into the key technology that enables remote work, the cloud.

If remote work is to succeed, you and your team, collaboration is essential. The best way to achieve this is to adopt a cloud storage system that can handle any project without slowing down or crashing.

Nightmare scenario:  Imagine that while you’re working remotely, collaborating with your team, someone edits or deletes important information and now you’re several steps behind schedule. The good news is that the cloud has file- recovery capabilities.

Nerds Support’s managed cloud services, for example, allows you recover a deleted file or return to your last save to avoid these kinds of blunders.

Cloud computing security for data storage

Disaster Recovery

Cloud also helps with disaster recovery situations as demonstrated by its reliability during the lock-down. Because of the absence of on-site IT professionals, businesses are relying on the cloud to monitor, check and maintain their storage and servers in data centers.

Enterprises are leveraging the cloud to create a suitable environment that caters to remote workers around the world. The lock-downs have proven the need for disaster recovery capabilities and strong security but also network resiliency.

Cloud Storage Promotes Remote Work

The Techwire survey also revealed that 34 percent of respondents reported increased spending on remote productivity. IT organizations are preparing to deliver remote capabilities to end- users as the demand for remote increases.

We’re already seeing this more permanent transition play out as companies like Nationwide announce plans to move towards a hybrid operation of mostly remote employees.

Having the ability to work from various locations is a strategic benefit of remote work but now it’ll be a necessity. Cloud storage can help remote workers stay productive from wherever they choose to work. Cloud- focused applications facilitate this experience because they permit users to synchronize mobile devices, tablets and computer together.

Productivity Increases

With remote work becoming the norm, we have to take a look at productivity levels to see how they’re affected. There’s no use in implementing remote work if it those working do less of it. One study in 2015 based in a Chinese travel agency found that call-center employees that shifted to working from home saw increased productivity by an average of 13 percent.

But will employees prefer remote work?  A Harvard study found more than 40 percent of people would do away with a portion of their salary if they were offered a remote work option.

Cloud computing enables remote work without interruption. Employees can easily access their work station at home just as though they were in the office. All important information centralized in a single cloud infrastructure easily retrievable for the employee.

Security & Cyber Protection

If everything in the cloud is so accessible for the employee what about someone else? Can a hacker break into the cloud servers and steal all your data? What measures does the cloud have to prevent a breach?

Not to worry, cloud computing protects you from both data breaches and hackers. With the cloud you’ll have an outsourced IT security team 24/7 constantly monitoring complex and changing threat environment.

That includes protection from social engineering scams and malware attacks.

The cloud also protects you and your business from data loss and hardware failure. Multiple redundancies are put in place so that everything is backed up should anything happen.

Another valuable feature is multi-factor authentication. Let’s say your company device was stolen or lost. Multifactor security features prevents access the device and files if user identity is not confirmed on a secondary device.

If a hackers attempts to log in, they’ll need access to your mobile device and log in again. If that confirmation doesn’t go through within a set time, access is denied.

South Florida Business Journal CIO Technology Awards 2019

Nerds Support Among Fastest Growing Tech Companies

South Florida Business Journal Honors

Nerds Support ranked among the top ten fastest growing companies in South Florida according to the South Florida Business Journal. Almost 200 people attended the South Florida Business Journal’s 2019 Technology Awards on Thursday at the Signature Grand in Davie.

The event recognized the journals’ CIO Awards winners and finalists, coupled with the region’s fastest growing technology companies by percentage revenue growth and dollar revenue growth.
Nerds Support ranked 9th in the region’s fastest growing tech company by percentage revenue growth. SFBJ Editor-in-Chief welcomed the attendees and Master of Ceremonies Tom Hudson, a special correspondent for WLRN, announced the honorees. He had a countdown on how the companies ranked on the list.

Nerd Support is a Miami based managed IT Services Company with two decades of experience working with top financial and accounting firms in the country. The managed IT services company has been recognized by Channel Magazine, South Florida Business journal and Cloud Futures. We specialize in providing services to small and medium size finance and accounting firms.
Scott Richman, the CIO and CEO of the company said he was honored by the ranking and would stay committed to working with his team and deliver services and assistance to small businesses.

Scott South Florida Business Journal CIO Technology Awards 2019

“It’s exciting to get recognized for all our hard work. Hopefully this tell people how passionate we are to the work we do,” he said.

Richman also said the company’s growth is attributed to its focus on providing  IT support for account firms and IT solutions for finance and the financial services industry. Nerd Support specializes in cloud solutions, specifically FINRA approved cloud storage, IT compliance, and IT security.

This award is the latest in a series of awards Nerds Support has received in the last year. Among others won by the company is South Florida business journal’s “Fast 50” celebrating the 50 fastest growing companies in South Florida. As well as CRN’s “Fast Growth 150 list” earlier this year.

hosted-solutions-miami

Hosted Solutions Makes the Most of Your Miami BusinessMi

To some people, hosted solutions seems easy enough to comprehend. However, hosted solutions is such a generic term, that most people seem to have a different definition for the term.

Hosted Solutions refers to a plethora of solutions and services that is meant to serve end users in the giant world of the cloud. Thousands of different businesses need different types of applications and hosted solutions helps the cloud figure out which user needs what kind of application.

CPA firms might need a cloud that works with financial applications, while law firms may require a cloud that can hold a large quantity of documents and contracts. In the article below, find out what makes a hosted solutions plan good.

Hosted Solutions Should Provide all the Applications that You need

A great hosted solutions plan should be able to provide all the applications you need from one cloud, which is why Nerds Support is a great IT support Miami team to keep your business running efficiently. Take CPA Firms in Miami, for example. When an accounting firm uses Thomson Reuters’ cloud, they are only able to use Thomson Reuters’ applications. This means that if an accounting firm wishes to utilize Microsoft or Quickbooks, they will have to turn to another cloud in order to use these tools.

With Nerds Support’s Miami Cloud Computing Solutions, Miami CPA Firms would not have to use two separate clouds, but rather one reliable and flexible cloud to make cloud services for CPA Firms look effortless.

Hosted Solutions Should Provide a More Flexible Cloud

Having all of your business applications on one cloud means that your employees do not have to remember as many passwords to access their files, as they would if they were working on two separate clouds. Having one cloud would also make it easy to work remotely. If you own a freight forwarding company, having all of your business applications on one cloud can help any employee that is always on the go. Since employees in freight forwarding companies may be constantly on the road, it can be annoying to have to sign into two different clouds through a phone.

Employees working at home will also have a hassle-free experience, thanks to Nerds Support’s Miami cloud solutions! Nerds Support’s cloud hosting solutions holds almost all business applications, remote workers will save themselves from downloading two clouds to their laptops. The space that they will save will not only make their laptops faster, but make them more productive as well.

Nerds Support Provides Award-Winning Miami Business Hosted Solutions

Nerds Support’s Miami Hosted Solutions helps Freight Forwarders, CPA/Accounting Firms and Law Firms in South Florida. The team works with companies in order to provide the best solutions for their businesses. State-of-the-art technology will protect your businesses, and all the applications you need, from data breaches and hackers. Our highly advanced Miami cloud solutions also assure companies that they will be able to keep all of their business applications on one cloud.

If you would like to learn more about hosted solutions, you can fill out a contact form here or you can call us today at 305-551-2009.