From Office 365 to AWS: Assessing Your Cloud Needs

 

Office 365 to AWSIf you are considering moving more of your infrastructure towards cloud services, the transition can be difficult. Businesses from all industries are making these same transitions and cloud service providers are creating more and more options for services. While having copious options to choose from is obviously a great thing, the decision making process can give you headaches. What services do we need? What do we use now but can do away with? What new services will we need as we grow? These are all valid concerns and important questions to ask as you make your transition towards the cloud. (more…)

IT Provider vs In-House Tech SupportHiring your tech support can be a drag. Forget, for a moment, about all the wide-ranging resumes flooding your inbox and the whiteboard discussions to define your ideal candidate – it can also be a huge pain in your wallet. Thankfully, there’s another option readily available for you via outsourcing with an IT provider. While the sticker shock on a contractor may seem like a lot at first, in reality you might actually save money in the long and short run. (more…)

Cybersecurity Seattle - ISOutsourceOnce upon a time, cybersecurity was a concept we mostly experienced through political thrillers and sci-fi blockbusters. But now it’s a real threat that everyday businesses need to consider for protecting their data as well as sensitive client information. Thankfully, we also live in an era where you can readily prepare yourself for these worst case scenarios. Here are five different measures you can take to protect yourself from cyber threats.

Firewall

No, we’re not talking about the 2006 Harrison Ford cyber-thriller Firewall. Firewall software is your first form of defense on security breaches. It works sort of like how it sounds; building a mighty barrier around your computer that filters out bad coding and hackers. Without a firewall, you’d be in big trouble. But having a lackluster firewall could be almost as bad. Investing in quality software like Comodo Internet Security Plus or Kaspersky Internet Security gives you an added advantage against incoming attacks.

Password Manager

We’ve brought up password managers a few times now on our blog, and with good reason. Using the same password for everything is a massive security risk. Having too many passwords to remember can make you want to pull your hair out. Browser-based password managers can leave your passwords unencrypted and ready for the taking. A password manager helps alleviate these risks by letting you swap between multiple, lengthy passwords without having to memorize a single character.

Encrypted Wi-Fi

Don’t have a password on your Wi-Fi? If not, you’ll want to get on that right away. Not only does having an open Wi-Fi network allow anyone to use your internet for free (potentially slowing down your internet speed and making you liable for any illegal downloads they may do on your network), it offers a major security risk. If someone savvy enough has access to your Wi-Fi, they can access the files on your computer.

Written Cybersecurity Policy

Writing things down is so old fashioned, but it still has value. A written cybersecurity policy keeps your business accountable. It can also be an education tool for your employees; informing them on what type of practices can lead to major security breaches. Human error is always a factor, so having these guidelines define from the beginning is a huge asset.

Device Management

Taking your cybersecurity policy a step further, device management helps you enact these regulations. Device management ensures your employees follow your set policies, even with mobile devices. While trust between yourself and your workers is crucial, some actions should not be accessible due to security repercussions.

Still feeling overwhelmed? We can help. Let ISOutsource get you up to speed so you can spend less time stressing about the safety of your data and more time getting back to work.

5 Questions To Ask Your IT Provider

Questions to ask IT ProviderAs we’ve covered again and again on this blog, an IT Provider can help quell your tech burdens. But even still, you’ll want to make sure you’re asking the right questions. It helps not just so you know the breadth of their work, but also to help them better understand your business’ priorities. These give questions will make sure you both get off to the right start and ensure that your needs are being met.

How Do You Bill My Company?

Money is always the awkward question that no one wants to bring up. However, it’s a necessary conversation to have. Get firm information on how billing works. You don’t want to get stuck footing a bill you didn’t expect or miss a payment. Do away with the expensive elephant in the room and talk about this right away. Your IT Provider will appreciate the forwardness and will be happy to outline all the costs involved.

What Do I Do In An Emergency?

Accidents happen. No matter how well you’ve guarded your system, there’s still a chance that you’ll find yourself in an emergency situation. You might not have an emergency preparedness plan, but your IT provider should. Make sure you discuss with them their plan in those disaster situations so you know what role you both will play when the unthinkable happens.

How Can You Help Me Upgrade My System?

If you’re bringing in a pro, you’ll want pro results. That’s why you’ll want to ensure that you’re getting upgrades that matter for your business. Talk through all the details on how they can get you up to speed on the cloud, process automation, and other business critical processes you use day-to-day.

How Do You Backup My Data?

As a business in 2016, your data is one of your most valuable assets. It’s the backbone of many companies. Not just that, you also have customer data to worry about. Physical backup drives were the industry standard for years, but they come with their own risks. They’re easy to misplace and are susceptible to physical damage. Chat with your IT Provider about cloud solutions that not only will ensure your data is safe, but also makes it so you can access vital information no matter where you are.

How Do You Make My Computer System More Secure?

Protecting your data isn’t just about backing up, it’s about keeping it out of the wrong hands. Your business needs proper cybersecurity in this modern age. Just like you’d put a lock on your front door, you need to put a lock on your network. This needs to be one of your top priorities when you talk with your IT Provider. It could be measures as small as implementing a password manager or maybe you need a custom cyber security solution. Find out what services they can offer you and how expansive their coverage is.

Now that you have the questions, it’s time to get some answers. ISOutsource is made up of IT professionals who understand the needs of modern businesses. Check out our full list of services and give us a call. We’d be happy to answer all the questions we’ve posed here and get your company secure and up-to-speed ASAP.

What is an IT Strategy & Why Do You Need One?

IT StrategyBefore you invest in loads of expensive new tech, you’ll want to have a proper IT strategy. That sounds obvious, right? But what does that actually mean? By breaking down the individual facets of a comprehensive IT strategy, it becomes easier to plan for your company. Consider these factors before you make your next big tech move. (more…)

What Every Small Business Computer System Needs

small business computer system needsTalking about your small business’ tech needs can feel like opening a can of worms. You go in with the good intentions of getting up to speed on the best practices for your computer systems, but end up with an overwhelming and never ending to-do list. Plus, if you don’t have a background in IT, most of it might not even make sense. So how do you know where to start?

When it comes down to it, every small business needs certain basic things when it comes to a computer system. Most of the solutions and tools you’ll find suggested to you can fall under one of these three categories. (more…)

Outsourcing ITCutting costs is a tenement of business. If you’re making money, it only makes sense that you want to keep it. At the same time, you’re also facing immense pressure to adapt to the latest technology without the sufficient staffing to get it done.

So, is there a way to do both? Absolutely. And it’s easier than you may think. Here are a few options to get you on the path to ROI and establish relevancy within your industry. (more…)

Why Your Firm Needs a Strong Password Manager

 

password manager IT support firmFor businesses in today’s tech-driven world, your password is everything. They’re like the keys to the office, keeping the bad people out and the good people in. But just like with an office security system, you’ll want to take extra precautions to make sure you’re protected.

Password managers are the first line of defense in protecting your company’s valuable information. They go beyond just having a lengthy passwords with lots of symbols and numbers. They integrate with your browsers to keep your information safe. Here are just a few reasons why you should make the switch to a password manager today.

Stop Using the Same Password for Everything

Businesses are all for uniformity and streamlining processes, but your password is one thing that shouldn’t adhere to this principle. At least not in the conventional thinking. Using one password for all your accounts may seem easier than creating new ones for every platform you use, but it puts you at a massive security risk. All you need is a hacker to figure out that single password and you’re through. Or even easier, an embittered former employee can easily take the password and wreck havoc. These aren’t scenarios anyone wants to picture themselves in, but they do happen.

With a password manager, you can have multiple passwords and not have to worry about memorizing all of them. Not only does this keep your accounts more secure, but it’ll save you time from logging in and out all the time.

Superior to Browser Password Managers

You may be thinking, “Well, Chrome and Firefox just save my passwords for me. Why would I need a password manager?” These are good first steps, but are not comprehensive enough to guarantee your security. Oftentimes browsers will leave your passwords un-encrypted. This means that someone with rudimentary understanding of these browsers can open your computer and view the passwords – no black hat required. A password manager will take care of this for you and keep your passwords unviewable to others.

Defends You Against Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are one of the easiest ways to have your account information stolen. How do you protect yourself from this? Well, it’s harder for a scammer to steal your password if you don’t know it yourself. Password managers like Last Pass generate anonymous passwords for you and save them into their program, creating an ultra-secure system that protects you from yourself.

Ready to make the leap? ISOutsource can help. Our essential support services will assess where your password security is at and which password manager is right for you and your company. Don’t wait until your password is compromised – make the change now.

Current IT Trends and What They Mean for You

 

IT Trends - ISOutsourceTrying to follow IT trends can feel like a full-time job. Every day feels like it brings a new massive development for the industry. How do you know when it makes sense to adopt new tech? Listen to the experts!

A recent Make IT article outlines what they see as the five new trends in information technology that businesses should be adopting in 2016-17. Here are some of the solutions they recommended, with our advice for what they can mean for you and the next steps you should continue taking. (more…)

How an IT Support Firm Can Benefit Your Business

IT Support Firm can benefit your business

Trying to keep up with the wellspring of emerging technology can be overwhelming. As a modern business, you’re expected to keep up with all the latest and greatest advancements so you don’t get left behind. The cloud alone can be a headache. Azure? Office 365? Amazon Web Services? Where are you even supposed to start? That’s where an IT Support Firm and staff augmentation come in.

Instead of stressing about how you’re going to get up to speed, get someone else to do it for you. Here are a few reasons for you to take the leap and outsource your tech department. (more…)