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Why Co-Managed Solutions Benefit Financial Services

What is Co-Management?

The Financial services industry might be adopting financial cloud technology, but seldom is a firm ready to abandon their IT department when adopting a service provider. The transition between an in-house infrastructure and the cloud requires careful planning. Moreover, adjusting to the cloud for any organization and its employees is also difficult and requires training and readjustments, especially with remote work environments becoming more common. Those are a few issues co-managed IT solves. Co-management means a cloud provider works with the firms’ existing in-house IT department.  If you’re a firm looking to build on top of your current IT department, co-managed IT augments your current team and fortifies it.

It’s preferable to adopt a flexible and adaptable solution that combines what is familiar with the benefits of a cloud-centered environment. This gives your firm a costumed solution specifically tailored to meet your needs and upgrade at a pragmatic pace. This means not only technical support for financial services, but a team that provides comprehensive solutions at scale for the firm.

How Co-Management Can Help Your Firm Grow

As a smaller firm grows, their IT departments are strained by increased demand. Co- managed solutions allow support and guidance when making strategic decisions about the firm’s network and systems. Conversely, if your firm has a skilled team of IT professionals but lack the resources, time or bandwidth for troubleshooting and smaller IT-related tasks, then co-managed solutions may be right for you.

Small financial services companies without sufficient resources will often task an overburdened member of the IT team to support users, handle contracts, maintain client relationships etc. This solution might be a quick fix but it is unsustainable in the long-term.

Because of this, internal IT departments often struggle. However, co-management provides firms with supplemental resources and outside expertise. Furthermore, there are key benefits to adopting a co-managed IT solution. For example, if your financial firm has reached a period of rapid growth and needs to adjust the scale of IT services to support internal growth. Or a company has a reliable, well-established IT staff in-house but need solutions for remote branches in other locations.

Benefits of Co-Managed IT Solutions

Increased productivity: A co-managed approach supplies IT support around the clock, even when your in-house staff is unavailable. This can lead to reduced downtime and as a result, increase productivity.
On-Demand expertise: When your in-house IT team runs into issues that they’re not prepared for, a co-managed service provider is there to provide assistance and back-up.
Increased Security: With a co-managed model, the service provider accesses and gives access to the latest technology. The partnering IT staff comes in with certifications and experience that are important in creating a security strategy.

In a co-managed IT model, your IT partner identifies and fills gaps in your team availability and skill set while increasing bandwidth. A co-managed service model is created to support financial services organizations that already have IT departments, but are looking to increase their efficiency and upscale their work capabilities. And for a financial services company, co-management entails your partner knows IT compliance. FINRA compliance among other, is essential to a successful co-managed IT model for a financial firm.

Hopefully, you understand what Co-management entails and what kind of problems it solves. If you’re still confused, let’s review.

Co-Management Means Protection & Security

The goal of any co-managed IT team is to increase the abilities of the current staff. At the same time, assisting with:
Hardware
• Data Protection
• Software
• Cloud computing
• Cloud Security
• Multi-factor functionality

With cybercriminals increasing their efforts to infiltrate financial institutions of all types, firms that adopt a proactive protection with a co-management service will be better off. Co-management for financial firms means security and compliance are at the forefront of cyber security.

Companies are can freely choose the types of solutions they prefer to keep in house and which ones to outsource to an outside IT team with co-management services. To read and learn more about Co-managed financial cloud solutions, cybersecurity, compliance and more, visit our website.

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Nerds Support achieves SOC II certification

Nerds Support Achieves SOC 2 Certification

For the full press release you can click here.

The Importance SOC 2 Certification

When a Managed Providers Service Provider (MSP) looks at a SOC 2 review, the firm illustrates that they are actually interested in protecting customer data and guaranteeing information is safe and secure. MSP’s success depends upon their capacity to properly store very useful client assets.

MSP’s are actually 3rd party IT solutions companies that remotely take care of client IT framework, information, and cyber protection often under a subscription-based version.

SOC analysis are part of American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA) Service Organization Control reporting system. Its function is to see to it all the correct systems exists to guarantee safety, security, method integrity, discretion, privacy and availability of consumer information.

These analysis apply to modern technology- focused companies like Software-as-a-service businesses and those that utilize valuable customer data. Nonetheless, MSP’s are not required to go through a SOC 2 review or any type of security review to operate legally.

Nerds Support Distinguishes Itself

For this reason, Nerds Support has actually been a differentiator in the IT support industry. Our services along with our support technicians are constantly looking for accreditations and updating their skillset to stay on par with the latest innovations and IT support technology.

“I am extremely proud of our team for going through all of the required steps to achieve full SOC compliance,” said Scott Richman, CEO and founder of Nerds Support. “It really shows we wanted to differentiate ourselves from our competitors by going the extra mile for our clients and ensuring their data is secured with a certified company.”

MSP’s Are Better When SOC 2 Certified

An MSP with a SOC 2 certification offers peace of mind to any sort of firm seeking to team up with an IT service provider. Nerds Support’s SOC 2 license confirms that our experts have actually been audited by a private professional public accountant as well as it satisfies effective safety and security specifications. Business interested in using a handled providers ought to seek ones that have gone through these substantial SOC 2 audits for the safety of their firm records.

“We don’t want to be like any other MSP. We want to make it clear to business owners across South Florida that we care about their security not just their business,” Richman said.

It Matters To Us Because It Matters to You

As a managed services provider, Nerds Support works with CPA, financial firms, wealth management firms, and other businesses across South Florida to maintain their IT infrastructure, protect their networks, and optimize their systems. That’s why we were determined to be the company they can trust to manage important data.

As a managed IT company provider, Nerds Support collaborates with Certified Public Accountants, financial advisors, wealth management firms, and various other organizations around South Florida to keep their IT solutions infrastructure secure, guard their networks, as well as enhance their devices. That is why we were actually figured out to become the company they may trust to manage important information.

An MSP with a SOC 2 qualification offers a peace of mind to any kind of firm appearing to companion with IT service provider. Nerds Support’s SOC 2 license proves that our experts have actually been audited by an independent accredited Certified Public Accountant and meets the correct security criteria. Businesses curious in using a managed services provider ought to go for ones that have gone through these significant SOC 2 audits for the safety of their provider data.

You can read more about Nerds Support, cloud computing, cybersecurity and more by checking out our blog.

Business employee working on his laptop remotely from home

Advice For Your Employees While Working Remotely

More and more companies are working remotely due to the pandemic and it doesn’t look like this trend is going to stop anytime soon. Companies are offering more full-time remote positions, which gives employees more flexibility to their work-life balance. However, this shift isn’t always seamless for the company; managing technology and people is very different while the whole team is working remotely. Today we will cover some technology tips to tackle ASAP and advice to give your employees to help them work from home as efficiently as they can!

Technology tips

Providing the tools, platforms, and apps your employees need to work remotely is a must. Depending on the type of service you offer, a laptop will be the very minimum of what they need in order to digitally transform their home office. You may also need to provide things like a second monitor or external hard drives.

It will fall on the IT department to equip every computer with the communication and workflow systems necessary for your employees to work effectively from home, so you need to be ready to teach your employees how to use communication platforms. Tools like VoIP phone systems or chat room applications will help your team communicate just as you would in person. And unlike a traditional office phone set, these digital communication platforms can be easily installed for employees who are already working outside the office. Hosting meetings to teach your employees how to use the new applications will be a helpful start, then you can continuously share tips about system updates and user training so they stay up to date with the changing technology!

Once all of the heavy lifting from the IT department is complete, you can still blast out technology resources and help your employees work effectively from home. General computer help and cybersecurity will go far while people aren’t working in the office.

In light of COVID-19, online phishing and other scams have become more common. Provide your team with a comprehensive list of ways to avoid phishing scams, viruses, and other attacks on your devices that come via email. It’s important to have individuals stay aware and vigilant of these attacks, especially while working remotely. Other, general computer tips like restarting on a regular basis, backing up data to an external hard drive, and closing out of unused tabs can be helpful for people who aren’t technologically savvy! This advice will keep their computers running faster and will result in fewer headaches at home.

Workplace advice

HR is another department that will have a heavy hand in getting your team working remotely successfully. They will be the main communicators of company changes and the ones willing and ready to offer additional support to remote employees.

You may have to offer resources on home-office environments, mental health, and childcare services. Some employees may be looking to create a home office space or even preparing to sell their home now that they’re working remotely full-time. This is a great opportunity to share information about home equity loans. This large sum of money can be used to upgrade their home office or make other changes around the house if they’re planning to sell.

Telehealth services have seen a large increase in usage over the past 6 months due to the pandemic. This is a great time to share a telehealth service that can be used by your team and covered by your insurance provider. Proper mental health practices will help keep your employees productive and happy while working at home.

Finally, share local childcare services that are still available and open during COVID-19. Parents who work from home may appreciate the break in their day that they were used to having while working in an office setting or while their kids were at school. Employees will value the advice you have to share about local happenings that can positively impact their family and home environment!

There is plenty of information and resources available to you to pass along to your employees while they work remotely. From cybersecurity to childcare, your employees will value that you are researching and sharing ways to help them do their jobs effectively and keep a good work-life balance while at home.

 

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.

 

a man using the cloud on his tablet

How To Help Your IT Department with Managed IT Services

Managed IT Services Transitions Businesses to a Cloud-based Infrastructure

If you’re looking to grow your business, you should consider managed IT services in Miami. Managed IT Service Providers help improve business’s operations by reducing costs and providing superior technology solutions. Here are a few ways an MSP can help you achieve your business goals.

You can take a look at 10 examples of cloud computing on our blog.

Hybrid Cloud Solutions Increase in Popularity

It’s no secret that Nerds Support’s Miami cloud solutions is increasing demand day-by-day. A lot of companies are turning to the hybrid cloud. Organizations need to learn about hybrid cloud to grow. But hiring an MSP can help them.

Experts expect  the hybrid cloud market to grow from $44.6 billion in 2018 to $97.6 billion by 2023.

The hybrid cloud market was valued by Markets and Markets at $45.70 billion in 2019. Furthermore, hybrid cloud is expected to reach $128.01 billion by 2025.

These numbers indicate that Hybrid cloud systems are growing in popularity and use. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that 94 percent of enterprises use cloud systems. This is according to Right Scale annual state of the cloud report.

More and More Businesses Embrace Multiple Cloud Applications

In addition to using the hybrid cloud, companies are using more cloud applications like Citrix & Vmware. So, it becomes important for organizations to integrate all of these different solutions. An MSP can provide integrated solutions so that companies have a smooth workflow.

Sticking to one type of cloud solution might resolve some issue but create others. Both public and private cloud solutions have benefits and drawbacks.

Pros of Public Cloud

  • Based on a pay-as-you-go model. Lower upfront costs.
  • Large enough to meet the needs of a majority of organizations
  • Massive network of servers which protects the system from failure.
  • Servers are physically housed in a secure, offsite data center
  • Large public Cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Comcast Business Cloud have enterprise level infrastructure and top grade security.
  • Scalable on-demand resources and applications

Cons of Public Cloud

  • Options are limited if a company requires more customized solutions.
  • The public nature of cloud puts your data at risk. A hacker targeting the public cloud vendor could expose your data even if the hacker was not targeting you specifically.
  • Public cloud may be a one-size-fits-most, and has limited flexibility in configuration and security.
  • Public cloud is not ideal for companies who use sensitive data or is subject to compliance regulations.
  • Data centers might be located overseas where specific regulations don’t apply or compliance standards differ.

The Pros of Private Cloud

  • Hosting and infrastructure are not shared by customers, providing a higher level of control, security and customization.
  • Server can be stored onsite or offsite
  • Capable of delivering different service models
  • Strong security features make it ideal for companies who operate using private data.
  • Can adhere to strict compliance standards
  • Has more flexibility and controls
  • Cost could decrease over time
  • Lower security risk. Private clouds are not as targeted as larger public cloud vendors.
  • Higher scalability than public cloud.

Cons of Private Cloud:

  • Remote access of a private cloud could create security risks
  • More expensive up-front costs than public.
  • Private clouds might require hardware that you will have to own and maintain.
  • Security, in many cases, is up to the user

The Pros and Cons of Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud harnesses the capabilities of both public and private clouds. Hybrid clouds offer more customized options than public cloud by giving companies the option to choose decide where to place your IT applications.

Pros of Hybrid Cloud:

  • Flexibility and scalability depending on individual application needs within the company.  For example: interacting with clients on the public cloud, but keeping their data secure on a private network.
  • Scalability and flexibility is determined by the needs of the company
  • Higher level of security than a public cloud alone
  • Can choose what aspects of IT will be private and which will be public.
  •  Integrates benefits of both private and public cloud solutions

Cons of Hybrid Cloud:

  • Keeping track of multiple different platforms and vendors
  • If you’re using multiple platforms and vendors it it could get overwhelming to track.
  • Using both public and private clouds may require more complex IT management that could equate to higher overall costs
  • Using a combination of public and private clouds could require advanced IT support and management that will raise costs

Fortunately, many of the drawbacks associated with hybrid clouds are resolved through managed it services. A managed IT services company like Nerds Support offers co-managed IT. That means we provide the business with supplementary IT department capable of handling the transition. Not only that, but we also provide the hardware necessary for a successful cloud migration.

Moving Enterprise Applications to the Public Cloud or Private Cloud

Cloud migration, for those of you who don’t know, is the act of moving business operations into the cloud. It is more a digital move than a physical one but it is at least partly physical. Cloud migration involves moving applications, data, IT processes, and data to the data center or centers.

Enterprise applications are located in the private cloud to maintain the security of an organization. But more and more organizations come to know that cloud is actually the more secure solution. So, companies are moving enterprise applications to the cloud. An MSP, like Nerds Support can help you move your enterprise applications to the public cloud safely.

Optimizing IT Cloud Strategies

As more and more companies are using the cloud, it becomes important to optimize and refine services and reduce expenses. As companies know the benefits of cloud solutions, they are looking to improve on the costs related to cloud. MSPs can assess the status of an organization’s cloud infrastructure. They can provide an all-in-one solution at an affordable cost.

Well, MSP service is not just about growing your business. It’s about achieving meaning growth. Let’s build a stronger foundation for the future with reliable managed services.

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