Network security breaches have been in the news lately. Hackers have targeted such large organizations as the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management and the Bank of Bangladesh. While security breaches at large institutions make the news, cyber theft from small businesses quietly takes place in the background.
Many of Miami’s small businesses handle more money through their computers and networks than through their cash registers. Credit card credentials, ACH transactions and emailed wire transfer instructions can all be targets for thieves. Over the past two years, cyber thieves have stolen nearly $800 million dollars from over 8000 small businesses. Regulation E, the federal rule that requires banks to reimburse consumers for unauthorized transactions, does not apply to small business accounts; individual businesses have lost over a million dollars to cyber theft and not been reimbursed.
Managed IT support for Miami businesses can help to reduce your risk of cyber theft. Instead of reacting to an incident after it occurs, your managed IT support vendor can examine and secure your network to reduce the risk of a breach. They can conduct a survey of your network to identify systems that need to be patched, and can look for systems with default passwords that a hacker might be able to guess. Developing a patch management plan and eliminating systems with default passwords can reduce the risk of a network breach.
Cybertheft is a serious issue for Miami businesses. Companies that import or export goods are especially vulnerable as they often send wire transfers. A fraudulent wire transfer is very difficult to cancel or recall.
For more information about computer and network security, please contact us.
There are two types of Miami small businesses; well, actually there are three. However, business Type 3’s manager/owner already understands that she needs managed IT support. However, the other two types of small business managers/owners don’t feel they need anything other than on-call IT support at the most.
Business Type #1 – What’s Twitter Again?
You’re typically a staple in your community, like a dry cleaner, grocer or retailer, and you’ve been in business for many years. Maybe the only advertising you’ve ever used was a newspaper or local TV ad here or there. Your business does well because of its location and the fact that you know most of your customers.
You intentionally carry a flip phone and don’t have any desire for a smartphone. Your first and last email address might be an AOL one and you may use Facebook to communicate with family members. However, chances are, you don’t use your computer nearly as much as your children or grand children do.
Your IT Plan?
You just hire someone to fix whatever happens when it comes up, like the plumbing or the cable.
And like any business plan, your IT plan should be inherently strategic.
Business plans are inherently strategic.
Business Type #2 – I Even Know a Little Code
You typically own and understand things like smartphones, tablets and e-readers. You might have taken some web design or computer repair courses. In addition to a Facebook account, you’re on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and even Reddit; and you’re really getting into SnapChat.
You’ve been talking to a developer about building the mobile app for your business and you actively use SEO, local SEO and social media marketing to advertise your business.
Your IT Plan?
Because of your understanding of modern technology, you don’t think you need someone always watching over your business. You feel you already know what they would tell you, so you’d rather save money and just hire someone when something goes wrong.
Gain More Time – As a business owner, you’re busy. Even if you understand computers like the back of your hand, if you’re working as a travel agent, why waste valuable business time thinking about computer upgrades and maintenance? Prevent Hacking – Information breaches come in many forms and most hackers are well aware that small business owners either worry they can’t afford adequate protection or don’t realize the risks that are out there. In addition, people also sometimes hack Facebook and other social media accounts as well. There are numerous security threats and unless you are in the IT or web security business, you absolutely are not up to date on the threats to your business or the advanced protection available to you. Prevent Emergencies – Instead of suffering through an emergency, why not prevent one? If you have a managed IT provider that knows your server, your email system, your backup system etc., that person can spot small issues before they become larger issues. However, suffering through your company email system going offline, server crashes or hacking attacks is stressful and oftentimes unnecessary. Have Expert Advice All the Time – Would you use professional cleaning equipment to clean your own teeth? Would you practice law without going to law school? Though computers and other devices become very personal items to us because of the many ways we use them, we must understand that unless we’re trained, IT and computer repair is nothing more than a hobby. In addition, you can consult with your managed IT team member about business improvements like: – New software and hardware purchases – VoIP phone systems – Social media management & marketing – Effective online marketing – Cloud storage – The server type and size you need, – And so much more Though 4 Corner IT offers hourly IT repair and maintenance services, we believe most small businesses should consider managed IT support. If you disagree, we recommend that you at least have us come out and evaluate your IT situation, so that if an issue arises, at least we already know a little about your business. Please contact us today to design the right IT solution for your small business.
Although it’s not the most engaging aspect of running a business, IT support can have a big impact on your overall success. In this blog we’ll cover three important aspects of IT support for Miami small businesses.
According to this article, small businesses need knowledgeable, trusted technology partners who are proficient with current technologies and willing to help learn their industry’s operations requirements.
No reputable IT support agency thinks it offers a cookie-cutter service. Since each client has a different situation based on its technology, its resources, and its employees, IT support must be personalized. As a result, you’ll know that the recommended solutions are picked specifically for your business.
IT strategy planning
All businesses need an IT strategy, even if they don’t rely on technology much. If you’re not thinking ahead, then your IT will become outdated quickly.
A good example of this is migrating to cloud computing. According to a recent CIO article, businesses need to plan this out ahead of time:
“Chances are, security will be a shared responsibility between cloud provider and client company. Most companies approve of that, because it affirms that they do not lose control just because they move to the cloud. Figure out ahead of time who does what so that there are no unwelcome surprises (or breaches) down the road.”
This is where IT support comes into play. We’ll make sure your migration to the cloud, or any other transition you’re considering, goes smoothly.
Off-site and on-site service
Cost-effective IT support uses a combination of off-site and on-site service. Most common errors are solved off-site and the occasional severe problem is taken care of on-site.
Your business benefits from this the most. Since off-site support is efficient, your IT support doesn’t cost as much. The savings get passed down directly to our clients.
Outsourcing IT support is a great way for businesses to cut back on expenses and maintain a high quality of service. To talk more about IT support for Miami small businesses, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
Switching to IT support for Miami small businesses is a big transition, and you have to make sure all your employees are on-board. When you transition to IT support, don’t just assume that everyone will make the leap flawlessly.
Although it’s pretty hard to mess IT support up, you can do so by managing the transition wrong. According to a recent Forbes article, you should give employees time to adjust to the new technology:
“And the last way to royally screw up IT outsourcing? Tell people to pipe down when they gripe and complain about the change. Ignore the fact that they probably feel threatened, and penalize them when their productivity and engagement drops.”
Here’s how you can help employees make the transition:
Talk about the new technology
Before you introduce anything new, let employees know that you’re outsourcing your IT. This will prepare them for the transition mentally.
The main thing you want to get across is that everything is staying the same except for a few minor changes. This will help employees calm down and embrace the switch.
Help struggling employees
Most employees won’t have any trouble at all during the transitional phase. At the same time, there’s always someone who struggles with a new interface. Make sure you give them additional support and point out the similarities to your old technology.
And finally, it’s important to know how your employees feel about IT support. If many of them strongly oppose it, then you probably did something wrong in regard to the transition. You can fix this by starting over and simplifying things.
The idea of IT support is to make things easier for your business. Once you get through the transitional phase, you won’t have to think about IT anymore. But to get to that point, you have to successfully make the leap.
To talk more about IT support for Miami small businesses, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
An important aspect of IT consulting is incorporating new programs and applications in your operations. Office 365 has been great so far in terms of increasing business productivity. It seems like the biggest problem businesses have had so far is migrating to the cloud. Once that’s set up, they have no trouble at all as far as adjusting to the hosted applications goes.
According to this article, migrating to Office 365 is becoming increasingly popular among businesses both large and small. The upside of moving from an on-premises environment to one hosted online by Microsoft offers compelling benefits.
There’s a reason migrating is the hardest part. Most business owners don’t have experience with cloud applications. Although they function like Windows program for the most part, setting them up is a different story.
For that reason, many businesses seek professional help to set their hosted applications up. According to a recent Info World article, this is particularly common with Office 365’s cloud Exchange:
“Office 365 has been touted as Microsoft’s fastest growing business ever. Still, some organizations are stalling when it comes to moving mailboxes from on-premises Exchange to Office 365’s cloud Exchange. What’s the holdup? For some, the need to plan and execute the transition may be competing with other day-to-day issues, delaying the Office 365 Exchange migration.”
Exchange is perhaps Microsoft’s most important program for businesses. But because they rely on email so much, they’re hesitant to migrate to the new hosted Exchange.
Here’s the good news: after the migration is over, your business productivity will increase. Employees will have access to the hosted Exchange from remote locations. The standard benefits of cloud computing also apply to hosted Exchange in this context.
The important thing is that you get the migration right. If you mess with the settings and employees aren’t able to send outgoing emails, then your productivity will take a hit. You can avoid this problem altogether by working with a professional IT agency. In this case, you’ll know that you’re starting off on the right foot regarding Office 365.
To talk more about IT consulting in South Florida, or anything else, please contact us.