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How Managed Network Security Stops Thieves in Their Tracks

Thieves can be anywhere, they don’t necessarily congregate under bridges or in those dark and creepy allies as much anymore. With some well placed keystrokes, your firewall can be breached, leaving you vulnerable and unaware until it is frankly too late. With the help of GroupOne’s managed network security services, you can continue about your day with full confidence that not only your but also your clients’ information is safe and secure. This is implemented by creating customized security solutions based upon the needs presented so that you get exactly what you require to be safe.

Be Safe from Both Ransomware and Cryptolocker

Don’t be prey to thieves using malware such as ransomware, which locks your operating system, or cryptolocker, which locks specific files without a specific pass key set by the cybercriminal. Both are highly used Trojan malware to extort money from you or your clients, and are generally targeted towards high value systems or files that have to do with sensitive information such as social security codes and credit card information. One of the first steps to having managed network security is by first testing your infrastructure for weaknesses, because to be strong you must first know where you are weak, and then proactively improve your network security against such future threats.

With Managed Network Security, Good Things Come in Threes

To keep up with the high demands of security as well as PCI, HIPAA, SEC, and FINRA regulations, GroupOne is an expert at keeping your network secure with a multi-layer defense. This includes strengthening your firewalls, email security, and controlling not only who but also what devices are capable of accessing your network. The firewall can be the most basic of defense, but is generally the best utilized as most are not used properly or in some cases not at all. With managed network security you and your clients receive only the messages they need while keeping any possible threats or spam from reaching your inbox. Finally with the growing amounts of ways to access a network with various mobile devices, it’s paramount to control the devices capable of doing so. Security should be your highest priority, let us help keep you protected!

Spear Phishing – Don’t Take the Bait!

Background Story

Group One uses state-of-the-art technology to protect our clients from malicious attacks from the outside. But there is one thing that is almost impossible to protect against: end users clicking on a spear phishing attachment and inviting a virus onto their PC — and thereby — into the company network.

Spear Phishing Attacks

One technique hackers use is called “spear phishing”. Essentially, spear phishing attempts are directed at specific individuals or companies. Attackers may gather personal information about their target to increase their probability of success. This technique is, by far, the most successful on the internet today, accounting for 91% of attacks.

For example, one of our clients listed their email addresses on their website. A hacker then gathered all the emails from their website and crafted the below message:

Spear Phishing

 

Good News

Before it could spread into the network beyond the one user’s workstation, Group One IT’s protection systems shut the Crypto Virus down.

This could have been very bad.  This was a version of the “Cryptolocker” ransomware virus similar to the one that recently infected a hospital in southern California. If this virus brought an entire hospital to a grinding halt, think of what it could do to your organization.

Better News 

We were able to restore the user’s data back to the most recent backup.  He was up and running again in less than two hours, and he only lost a few hours of work. A few hours. Consider that viruses just like this one have been known to take down entire organizations — not for hours, or days or even weeks — permanently. When an effective ransomware spear phishing virus is completely successful and wipes out an entire database, many companies are simply unable to recover and ultimately close their doors.

Moral of the Story:

Don’t click on attachments without knowing that the sender is legit.

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Proactive vs. Reactive IT Support

Ah, your office network. It’s great, isn’t it? Filling orders, keeping track of customers, instantly giving you everything you need for a full day of productivity. And then – zap – your server goes down. Suddenly, your full day of productivity transforms into a nightmare of calling your IT support provider, begging them to fix it and inundating them with questions:

“How long will it be?”

“What’s the problem?”

“Can I get back on today?”

Faithful readers, what we’re dealing with here is a scenario involving a business who hires a reactive IT support provider. Meaning, when something breaks, they endeavor to fix it, leaving you at their mercy. Here’s why you should dump the break/fix company in favor of a proactive IT support provider.

The Waiting. The Waiting. For the Love of God, THE WAITING.

You’re down. You’re floating on the busy “Sea of Commerce”. All your competitors are happily sailing by, waving to you as they take care of business. And there you are – adrift, waiting for your rescue boat to arrive, which is never in as big a hurry as you are. This is par for the course with a reactive IT support partner. However, with a proactive IT support partner, it’s extraordinarily likely the problem that caused the server crash in the first place would have been caught by their network monitoring well before the crash occurred. Waiting avoided. You just steered Titanic clear of that iceberg.

Even the Smallest Problems Become a Big Problem.

Let’s say your network didn’t go down. Say one of your applications just won’t work properly. An irritation, but usually not catastrophic. Would you rather call your break/fix slowpokes and try to have them talk you through support over the phone – or worse yet – hear them say, “Okay, we’ll head that way,” or would you prefer your IT support provider to instantly remote into your workstation, fix the problem, and have you back to work in minutes? Or better yet, a week beforehand, they see a licensing issue with your application and handle it themselves without even involving you, your business, or your productivity. Which do you prefer? That’s what we thought.

It Shouldn’t Have Happened in the First Place.

The main point is that a good proactive IT support partner should have the ability to catch almost all network issues before they actually become issues for their clients. Without having to travel to the client’s business. Without even having the client know there was ever an issue. Proactive IT support is designed to prevent issues before they happen. Reactive IT support is designed to remedy issues after they happen.

Find Plenty of Proactive IT Support at GroupOne.

Tired of your ship floating adrift? Shoot us a signal flare, and GroupOne will sail to your rescue. Plus, we’ll batten down your hatches with our proactive IT support, so you’ll enjoy smooth sailing for the rest of your days.

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The Value in Managed IT Services

Pedro Pereira, writing for Channel Insider, discusses the compelling statistics about managed IT services. Because cost savings are one of the main selling points for these services, it’s worth taking a look at what companies using them have to say about it.

young it engeneer in datacenter server room

Periera cites Computing Technology Industry Association’s poll of 400 IT and business professionals that found that almost half of organizations that use managed IT services say they’ve reduced their IT budgets by 25 percent by using managed services.

Additionally, 13 percent of respondents estimated their savings to be 50 percent or more and 50 percent said managed IT services save them 1 to 24 percent on IT costs. With 96 percent of respondents saying managed services save them money, it’s hard not to use cost savings as a strong selling point.

But cost savings isn’t the only benefit of managed IT services.  Sharply reduced downtime with remote monitoring and better security of systems maintained in the cloud and not subject to the same risk of physical damage and loss as on-site equipment are just a few of the value-added benefits.

CIO Magazine’s article “Why You Should (Eventually) Fire Your CIO” explains that managed IT services are going to take the place of the CIO position altogether by enabling faster internal business and technical innovation with smaller teams of functional experts incurring smaller costs and requiring little to no central management.

Information technology research and advisory company Gartner predicts that changes in technology will cause more companies to seek managed IT services. Gartner says they’ll have to do it to keep up with rapid changes and developments in the digital business environment.

Jessica Adams, writing for Whitehat Virtual Blog, says the reasons to consider managed IT services include less downtime, proactive prevention rather than reactive, and heightened security necessary for increasing mobile access to sensitive data. She explains that using manage IT services keeps businesses closer to cutting edge IT management at lower costs than trying to do it in-house, which has the added benefit of also improving customer service.

If you want those kinds of benefits for your business, managed IT services can make them happen. Contact us at GroupOne IT and we’ll be happy to discuss how we provide managed IT services and how they will benefit your business.