Invest Well in Your IT Security

Security
Beacon Computers IT Security

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a common and useful rule for many business owners.  It serves to protect your business against unnecessary costs and unneeded downtime.  While protecting your business against many types of danger, it poses an outright threat when it comes to IT security.

Security threats to your firm move so fast that your IT should be working twice as hard as your company just to keep up.  Every day, hundreds of thousands of new malware threats are released.  Falling even hours behind means any one of these attacks can threaten your business.

The single most dangerous thing IT security can do is stand still.  Keeping up with the latest advice, technology, and updates the security industry offers is vital to keep your business safe.  This makes up much of the unseen job of IT professionals.  Hackers never stop looking for new ways into your system, which means your security can’t stop looking for ways to keep them out.

Modern Systems for Modern Business

One of the most common security threats a business opens itself to is using an outdated operating system or software package.  Many firms are scared to upgrade, update, or renew their IT over fears of breaking legacy systems.  Many rely heavily on old software and are afraid to make a large change themselves.  Some businesses today still run machines on Windows XP, an operating system first released back in 2001.

Old operating systems stop receiving security updates and patches that protect against newly released attacks.  These systems become very vulnerable, presenting a large target for knowledgeable hackers.  This happens many years after newer versions have been released, giving knowing IT firms a chance to migrate safely.

Hackers are always on the lookout for businesses that run IT equipment outside of its suggested service life.  A server, desktop computer, or peripheral is a golden opportunity for criminals to enter and threaten a business.

Hackers purchase their attacks on the dark web, safe in the knowledge that old systems won’t be patched.  These attacks can then be used to attack unguarded firms to steal or compromise vital company data.

An unpatched old machine is like a valuable security door left propped open overnight, a golden opportunity for thieves.

Smart Budgets

Budgeting for business is a difficult task.  We aim to make the most of everything we spend and reduce spending as much as we can.  IT security can easily fall very far down the list of priorities.

IT can seem like an easy way to cut costs.  It’s a department that the customer doesn’t always benefit from directly, and when it’s working well, it might not be on the radar at all. Despite working largely behind the scenes, successful IT is one of the critical components of every highly successful firm. Good IT can be the binding glue that holds the company together.

Even businesses far removed from the IT world typically uses payment machines, ordering systems, and inventory.  Even restaurants and retail stores rely on computers to operate.  Downtime for any critical system can be a complete disaster.  A business can be unable to trade, and costs can mount up fast.

When vital IT components are used by the customer, a sales website, or an automated booking system for example, the problem can multiply tenfold.

Keep On Top Of The Essentials

Good IT isn’t built on high peaks and deep troughs in the yearly budget.  The kind of IT that makes your business and helps it to grow is built by smart financing and careful planning.  Great technicians are what makes excellent IT.

Maintaining steady updates, keeping pace with the latest security, and building your IT as you build your business keeps you in the driving seat when it matters most.

When IT is planned and issues are solved before they appear, security becomes cheaper, easier, and many times more effective.  System upgrades can be planned out months, if not years in advance so you are never caught unaware.  

Don’t let your IT be broken before you take steps to fix it.  Move ahead of the curve and give us a call at 631-462-2222 so you don’t have to find out what your business looks like without IT.

How to Tell if You’ve Gotten Hacked

Being hacked is the single biggest fear of most computer users. Many believe the first sign of strange behavior or errors on their PC is a sign hackers have taken control. But are hackers really inside your machine, stealing your information? Or should we be on the lookout for more subtle signs? What does being hacked really look like?

There is an important distinction to make between being hacked by a person and being infected with a virus or malware. Virus software and malware are automated processes designed to damage your system, steal your data, or both. There are of course ways that we can defeat these processes, but what if we are instead hacked by an individual?

Logins not working

One of the first steps a hacker might take would be to change the computers passwords. By doing so, not only do they ensure future access to the account, they prevent you from accessing the system to stop them. For the hacker, this is a crucial step that keeps them in control. With this in mind, we always want to make sure to keep on top of our own login details and how often we change them.

Security Emails or SMS’s from online services

Many services track which device and location you logged into your account from last. If your account is accessed from a new device or a different country it might trigger an automated email or SMS to ask if this new login is your own.

If you have logged in using a new computer, tablet, or phone; an email that asks “hey, is this you?” need not be cause for alarm. If you haven’t, it may be time to investigate further. This service is an important part of information security. It may be a key first step to identify someone else gaining access to your account.

Bank accounts missing money or strange transactions

Most commonly today, hackers commit crimes to steal money. The end goal for hackers is typically to profit from their crimes by taking money from people online.

It always pays to keep a regular eye on your financial transactions to make sure you know what money is coming and going from your account.

You may see a large sum missing where hackers have attempted to take as much as they can in a single transaction.

Alternatively small, hard to notice transactions may appear. These often account for small purchases where attackers have tested the details they have to make sure they work.

Sudden loss of cellular connectivity

Network interruption is a symptom that few people expect but occurs commonly when hackers attack. Many banks and online services use a security feature known as Two-factor authentication. To do this they send a short code to your phone or app when you log in. Two-factor authentication is ideal in most cases and a great boost to security.

Hackers can try to work around this by calling your mobile service provider to report your phone as lost or stolen. During this call, they will request your phone number be transferred to a new sim card that they control. When your bank sends its regular two-factor authentication code to the number registered, it goes instead to the hacker who may be able to log in. From your perspective phone service will simply stop working.

Keeping vigilant and maintaining security

These are only some of the modern techniques that hackers can try to use to gain access to your accounts. It pays to be extra vigilant and pay close attention to the signs and signals that indicate you may have been hacked.

If you suspect that you might have been hacked, or would like help to prevent hackers in future, give us a call at 631-462-2222 and we’ll improve your security.

Outsourcing vs Managed IT – What’s the Difference?

Outsourcing vs Managed IT – What’s the Difference?

Outsourcing has become a dirty word. It implies you’re taking jobs offshore or giving up oversight over a key part of your business. Managed Services is the complete opposite of that, yet it’s often put under the same umbrella, despite being a local solution. Your business already looks for help in various places, hiring consultants, agencies and other contractors, all so that you can focus on hitting your goals. Managed IT is simply another of those specialized services, designed exclusively to help with your technology needs.

A True IT Partner

Our Managed Services team act as consultants dedicated to achieving your business success.  We’re able to analyze your technical and strategic needs to tailor solutions specific to your business. We work hand-in-hand with you to design, implement and maintain your tech, keeping you involved at every step of the way. We’ll also keep track of relevant industry news and apply it to your business so you don’t lose your edge. As new software versions are released, we’ll help you make informed decisions about whether to upgrade, stick with current for a little longer, or switch to an alternative. You’ll have a true partner on your team that’s always looking out for your business.

Better Results

Since our Managed IT get to know your business so closely, we’re also able to ensure all your tech support and maintenance is handled quickly, without disruption to your daily running. We have specialists across multiple areas who have seen almost every scenario and know exactly how to solve them. You’ll be able to keep your employees on task while our experienced technicians work through the issue, often remotely so you’re not disrupted at all. Tech help is also available to your staff with rapid turnaround support.

Visible and Accountable

Unlike standard outsourcing where you lose control of certain elements and are left to hope for the best, Managed IT Services are completely transparent. You’ll get reports on the status of your computers or networks, the number of support tickets we’ve answered and exactly what we’ve been doing to keep your business tech up and running. This level of visibility also means you’re able to see IT trends across your business and make strategic decisions to improve productivity and efficiency.

Long Island Computer Services

At one time or another, we’ve all called a support number and found ourselves stuck in a frustration loop with an overseas call center. It’s almost the entire reason outsourcing earned a bad name. Fortunately, our Managed IT is actually a local service, a real-life business near you who employs local people and supports the local economy. Keeping your IT support nearby means you can get the tech assistance you need, with local ethics, customer service standards and even accents that make the process easier.

You Stay Protected and Prepared

Part of any Managed IT service is ensuring your computers, network and digital devices are secure against threat. This means updates are rolled out for you, patches are done, plus all scans, tweaks, backups and system maintenance. Your employees no longer have to worry about making time for (or learning) these tasks, and you don’t have to worry that they’re getting skipped. Very often, this level of proactive support ensures problems are stopped before they occur and your business is able to surge ahead when others fall behind. If anything ever goes wrong, your Managed IT will have prepared disaster recovery and continuity plans so that you’re up and running asap.

It’s Cost-Effective

With Managed IT, you’ll be able to reduce infrastructure costs very quickly as your specialist is able to recommend better, faster solutions such as cloud storage and mobile technology. Instead of replacing hardware and software simply because it’s on the schedule, your Managed IT experts will present multiple cost-saving options and strategies. Very often, these extend to licensing and training too. Productivity gains are made as the tech begins to work with your processes and employees, not against them.  Predictable costs are important to every business, which is why Managed IT is the right choice. You’ll know your monthly expenses are capped, and you’ll be able to avoid expensive tech surprises.

If you’re considering Managed IT, reach out to us today.