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In a recent Consumer Reports, there was an article warning readers of the potential and unknown dangers of clicking away on a celebrity’s website. This is a valid and very real fear of employers and IT firms such as ours.

McAfee has sourced data of the top five celebrities on whose websites you should be careful which includes Jimmy Kimmel. At least eight years ago we had a client instance where an employee had innocently visited Oprah’s website and clicked on something that subsequently led to a virus attacking the employee’s computer. So, CMIT Denver knows that these are not scare tactics on Consumer Reports’ or McAfee’s behalf.

With the constant barrage of cybersecurity threats and breaches, you’ll want to make sure that your business technology network is protected and that employees are trained on potential security risks should they venture out.

McAfee cites 6 ways to reduce the risk of getting caught on a faux celebrity website:

  • Use Official Websites
  • Use anti-virus software (CMIT recommends business-class A/V that can be centrally managed)
  • Don’t offer up personal information too quickly
  • Downloads are a potential danger so once again make sure you’re on an official site (e.g. pay attention to the domain such as .com versus .net)
  • Do not open attachments in emails. Your gut will often tell you to delete the email right away. Go with your gut.
  • Look at using a safe browser plug-in. McAfee and probably other reputable companies have these available.

Our CMIT promise includes defending your network and protecting your date which yields enhanced team productivity.

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If 2014 was “The Year of the Breach,” with a whopping 43% of North American firms telling the Ponemon Institute that they experienced a hack in 2014, then what lies ahead in 2015 for technology and security? Tech Crunch described our current state of awareness as “a tipping point for cybersecurity.” 

Once it’s clear that heightened security is necessary to maintain the health of your company’s technology, the question becomes: “What can business owners do to achieve such goals?” Without in-house staff equipped to deal with the daily ins and outs of IT, this can be a major challenge.

Which is where managed services, best defined as a proactive rather than reactive approach to IT issues, comes in. Rather than struggling to come up with the time and resources to handle IT in-house, a trusted managed services provider can improve the productivity and efficiency of your staff while also keeping your business and its critical information safe. Here’s how:

  1. Anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-malware efforts. Viruses and malware are proliferating at a rate never seen before in the tech industry. Keeping up with such advances is nearly impossible for the average business owner… [Click here to read more]
  2. Remote backup. Maintaining the security of your data is one thing — making sure it’s around to be kept safe is another. With a redundant and repeatable process for regular data backups… [Click here to read more]
  3. Patch deployment. Would you rather struggle to play catch up with software patches and signatures, or entrust a rock-solid business partner to take care of such issues while you and your staff are out of the office and even asleep… [Click here to read more]
  4. Access, identity, and firewall management. Like the necessities listed above, access, identity, and firewall management are similar bedrocks of any sound technology strategy. Keeping unauthorized users out… [Click here to read more]
  5. Dynamic, mobile- and cloud-ready security. But don’t let a good office firewall lull you into a false sense of security. As Tech Crunch said this month, “Traditional infrastructure security technologies that are based on the idea of a perimeter have become obsolete. The perimeter is dead… [Click here to read more]

Improving data and technology security in 2015 doesn’t have to be an unattainable New Year’s resolution or commitment. With a managed services provider like CMIT Solutions by your side, “The Year of the Breach” can fade into the rear view mirror. Contact us today if you’d like a trusted partner to worry about your IT so that you don’t have to.

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CMIT Solutions of Denver recognizes the importance of having internal security best practices in place as we became certified for the CompTIA Security Trustmark in December 2014. What are your organization’s best practices when it comes to security of information?

Don’t count the emails – it tells you how many you have. Perhaps, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I ever dreaded going on a well-deserved vacation, especially out of the country, because when I return my inbox will be overflowing?
  • Do I justify taking a laptop or tablet on your vacation so I can keep my inbox under control so as not to be as overwhelmed upon returning to work?
  • How many times have I told myself “I’ll clean up my inbox over the weekend” or “it’s okay to have thousands of emails in my inbox because I can easily search for a person or topic?”

Over the past few months we have heard or read rave reviews from peers in the IT industry on an email inbox productivity application called SaneBox. You can test it out for a 2 week trial to determine if it fits your needs. I have heard that SaneBox makes your inbox more fun because it’s a stress reducer.

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On the home page of SaneBox, there is a quote from the casting director of The Hobbit, that reads “Sanebox has changed my life. I purchased SaneBox for my entire team, and they love it as much as me!”

Are there boat loads of unimportant emails that land in your inbox that you don’t want or you may want to view later because they’re not urgent or important but good to read? Problem solved with SaneBox. One cool functionality that is available is the Snooze Folder where an email will move from  he Snooze Folder back into your inbox when it’s a better time for you. If you are the person who hits your snooze button and then don’t get up when the alarm comes back on, you may want to reconsider using the Snooze Folder. Like most things in productivity management, it takes discipline.

To provide our clients with information and solutions on increasing producitivity,

this is part of our CMIT Promise.

CMIT_Promise_Empower

A CMIT colleague of ours was the one who coined the phrase “If it beeps or blinks, we fix it.” He was a true Pacesetter within the CMIT system. He was the first to recognize the value of proactive care for our clients and their technology environments and implement best practices for maintaining and protecting the network and everything connected to it.

If it beeps or blinks, we fix it — and usually before you even know there’s a problem. That’s part of our proactive and wellness program, CMIT  Marathon, and our business philosophy and mission at CMIT Solutions of Denver. We take a proactive (i.e. less stressful with increased productivity) as opposed to a reactive approach (aka break/fix or fighting fires) to IT support.

What does that mean?

We don’t wait around for problems to occur.
We monitor and maintain our clients’ systems 24 hours a day, 7 days
a week.
We alleviate technology pain before it sets in.
We don’t waste your time fixing things after business has been interrupted.
We protect your data, we secure your network, and we empower your
employees
to be more productive.

Our long-term clients who are on this managed (i.e. lower stress) program can attest to the value (tangible and intangible) of CMIT Marathon. If you’re a client of ours and not yet on Marathon or you are not yet our client, you may have been left hanging by unresolved technology issues. You may hesitate in calling for IT support because you feel that you’ll get nickeled and dimed for each support call. Talking about stressful!

CMIT Solutions prefers marathons, not sprints. We prefer wellness checks, not ER visits. We prefer stress-free clients; not angry, unsatisfied ones. Clients across the 125 office CMIT system are happier with Marathon. That’s our CMIT Promise.

CMIT Marathon

How Do You Score?

Microsoft created a Disaster Readiness Quiz a few years back. Even though technology changes rapidly , the following questions remain applicable for your business.

Read through each of these and grade your company. You can answer True, False or Don’t Know.

  • My office has an emergency contingency plan in place for physical disasters.
  • I keep my employees updated on the most current security threats and provide guidance on what to look for.
  • My business operations require a 24/7/365 model that involves constant uptime.
  • My organization houses onsite data that is critical to business operations.
  • IT is the only department responsible for disaster preparedness within my organization.
  • My organization and its departments are tightly organized and can coordinate effectively in the event of a catastrophic system failure or disaster.
  • If my business location were struck by a disaster, it could re-establish operations seamlessly or at a minimum within hours or days.
  • IT systems such as email, document storage, telephone PBX, etc. are essential components of doing business.
  • My organization needs a partner that can integrate my systems to
    mitigate disaster risk and ensure availability of systems and resources.

disasterpreparednessContact CMIT Solutions today at 303-756-2648 and ask for Phil. He and our CMIT team can  plot the best course toward disaster preparedness and business continuity with our CMIT Guardian program.

This is part of our CMIT Promise  – Protect Your Data.

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You are probably thinking “she meant Windows XP or Office 2003 on machines or the Small Business Server (SBS) 2003.” Sorry to burst your bubble but another technology relic from 2003 will soon expire from the perspective of support.

Microsoft will be discontinuing its support of the Windows 2003 server on July 14, 2015. Perhaps there is a good reason for Microsoft having chosen Bastille Day for the drop-dead date?! Hmmm.

Similar to Windows XP operating system expiration of support earlier in 2014, your firm will have greater security risks by keeping Windows 2003 server in operation. With all of the hacking (including Sony Corp.) and cyber-security happenings, do you really want to take this risk?

What is your risk tolerance? If your network were compromised via your very old and outdated 2003 server and your files became corrupt or secure information were hacked, how much would this cost your firm financially and more?

You could upgrade to a new server (at least get it ordered along with the most current server software) before the new year and take advantage of Section 179. Or, if that’s too fast of a turnaround, work with your IT support team and put upgrade plans into place so you have a new solution in place before July 1, 2015.

Depending where you live may dictate which types of natural disasters are more prone to happen for you and your business. CMIT Solutions of Denver and our clients are not apt to be affected by hurricanes nor earthquakes. However, and unfortunately, we know that floods and fires are very likely here in Colorado. But, man-made ones know no boundaries.

While all of these natural disasters can wreak havoc on small businesses, a 2013 Aberdeen study revealed that the real culprits are:

pie chart on DR sources

No matter the cause, and no matter the damage, CMIT Solutions only cares about one thing: getting your business back on its feet as quickly as possible after a disaster.

Our proactive backup and disaster recovery solutions (vis-à-vis CMIT Guardian) don’t wait for tragedy to strike, instead delivering:

  • Peace of mind thanks to top-flight data encryption
  • Remote, offsite, redundant data backup
  • Properly tested business continuity and virtualization plans
  • Increased productivity thanks to reduced downtime

 

Even if the odds are that a natural disaster would never happen to you and hopefully it won’t, preparing for the manmade disasters that plague the best of us is paramount to business success.

Contact CMIT Solutions today at 303-756-2648 and ask for Phil for a review so he and the CMIT team can  plot the best course toward disaster preparedness.

This is part of our CMIT Promise  – Protect Your Data.

CMIT_Promise_Seal