What Is Identity Risk To Young Adults

Online Privacy Young Adults

For those involved with IT strategic planning and business development, I am proposing for planning purposes, that there are no real risks or exposure issues for identity theft with young adults.   With the involvement of smart professionals, I would see high-level business strategy consultants getting together with IT professionals and confirming some strong priorities for technology’s best.  Those altruistic strategy IT consultants could possibly agree, “There can not be any risks with gaming, social media sites, and shopping areas for young adults.”   How did professionals make sure of this for young adults and how did Information Technology adopt a better way for everyone?  Could it simply be a few informational resources out there that become as popular as the trend to sign in and utilize that appreciated website?   Prepare even better designs for it all and the best plans for young adults can benefit everyone.  That is technology’s smartest for best design practices and IT’s way of shouting out with the best planning for success.  Leveraging technology to provide higher levels of customer satisfaction is smart planning for customer referrals.  Working closely with a managed IT support providers through this is the smartest choice for business planning and overall customer satisfaction.

What Are Some Technology Solutions IT Support Providers Should Know to Help With Business Planning for Customers?

Consumers might find it helpful to understand the point about technology having fairly recent innovation plans such as social media offerings.   The new technology innovations are appealing to large markets and even span an international audience.  With the new technology offerings, there are additional solutions being developed to enhance the technology advancements.  This could include improved user interfaces, which is what we see as we get to the website and what we are offered as we utilize the website’s interfaces.  The technology solutions are also rolling out additional ways to protect personal data and support young adults with their plans to utilize the Internet and benefit from companies’ website offerings.   The following are some proposed plans and IT solutions to consider:

  • A simple suggestion can be utilized for the interfaces with websites, including commonly used social media sites.   Protect your personal data and instead develop other user name selections.  Also, design a private password information management plan that is updated regularly.
  • Password suggestions should smartly include tips for privacy and personal data protection.
  • The registration process is simplified without any request for certain personal data such as birthdate, age, or social security numbers.
  • Do not transfer SSNs or credit card information with any non-secured social media app or text.
  • Use dual authentication when possible to verify login information and registration with a company’s website.  Dual authentication will include the process of a company sending a code to the user with an entry requested on the website for the code or information that was supplied.

Commonly used websites for young adults should be applauded for appropriate authentication processes and polite user interfaces.  Data capture should be a consideration and privacy of personal data should be understood for users and those designing graphical user interfaces.  Databases and customer entries with websites are now being researched for user strategies that best protect personal data.   Best practices with the technology advancements can include the best managed IT support.  For communicating this innovation, technology support teams and experts are thanked.

Appreciating Young Adults and Technology’s Advancements

Many smart and educated technology experts understand that our young adults are also thanked often for the numerous technology advancements.  New amazing uses of the Internet and better ways of communicating with others are a few examples of technology’s success.   Many of our innovations have come from younger adults with the planning to provide some of the most incredible technology advancements.  As an example, CEO Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook at the age of 19.    According to Forbes, “In April 2018, he (CEO Mark Zuckerberg) testified before Congress after it was revealed that Facebook shared user data with political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.  Zuckerberg said his priority in 2019 is tackling social issues.”

Recreational websites include social media, gaming, and chatting boards or forums.   Password protection is a priority for everyone and personal data should always be smartly utilized with security planning.   Young adults should not be exposed to any issues with the best of the Internet, but they should also understand the security protection for their credit data and protected personal information.  There are benefits as young adults understand to refrain from sharing too much personal information such as SSNs, birth dates, and age.  Protection of personal data is beneficial and smart.   It’s that simple.

Login data should be kept private and not include personal information when technology offers other solutions.  User names should enable the user to come up with data that is not personal and not traceable to any protected information, such as birth dates, SSNs, or real names.   Making personal information ‘required’ or ‘optional’ is scorned and not a comprehensive plan for those websites that should instead have appropriate planning for customer protection.   Those fostering better communication for customers might consider adding some information to data forms when user information is being requested for website access, registration processes, and newsletter or other free offers are being provided.   Even email and password recaptures or changes should be considered for best practices with technology’s advancement to protect personal information.  The best  plan is to design a  better way and protect personal data while having a smart recording process for website access retrieval.

How Can Managed IT Service Providers Help Businesses Align With Technology Best Practices?

Understanding the importance of user interfaces is a smart plan.  Programmers and those technology professionals that understand the graphical user interfaces are smart to know technology in such an in-depth way.  Coding for the website login and registration should support privacy protection for the users.  An experienced IT team can also evaluate how the data for registered users gets to the data storage part of the process.  With data storage, smart IT professionals can best plan for requested entries with each user.  There are additional opportunities with promotions and marketing as the technology experts map out this process, while verifying the appropriate plans for privacy protection.  Data storage should be protected and verified as secured on a routine basis.

An experienced IT service provider can work in a collaborative way with any IT teams, business leaders, and even the programmers involved with design interfaces.  Common objectives should be communicated with security plans for user information. The optional text field with a graphical user interface is one of the technology solutions for best practices to protect young adults from identity theft.   An interesting plan for communication with customers and users of website interfaces:  Personal data is not required and planning for protection of personal information is your responsibility and ours.   One of the main points here is to make sure your technology experts are considered as a target market for improved levels of satisfaction.   Creative options for payment improvements include continued education with certifications and completed community improvement projects.  The sales leads with marketing promotions only help verify good people skills with smart plans for a significant amount of new business.

An example of a strong managed IT service provider is ICS.  Founded in 1981, ICS provides high quality managed IT, data and voice technology solutions, VoIP phone systems, IT services, and video surveillance solutions for clients.  The company’s nationwide network allows them to support customers internationally.   Find out more about ICS Total Care for fully comprehensive technological solutions.

Encourage More Education for Understanding the Benefits of Credit Protection

Can it really be that gentle where young adults are educated early in an appropriate way and there are never any identity risks?  The strong answer is yes, with some good work together and IT experts as good leaders with education research and reporting.  It is not just the financial tools but the education with it that makes sense as an impressive technology offering.  With an educated society of higher income consumers and youth, the opportunities for complete comfortableness are available to us all.

Personal data and credit protection should be communicated as priorities.  Borrowing power has to be protected.  This priority is able to be an international standard if the regional groups collaborate for proper optional solutions for their populations.  Some get happier with loans, such as the traditional mortgage loan, and the financial success just requires an educated planning process.  Some people plan to get richer with loans and borrowing power, which may easily be provided with some simple resources.  Can the youth work this highly appreciated type of education into their busy work throughout the day?   The tools should be an enhancement with benefits clearly outlined.  The available tools could be designed smartly for young adults if any of the education is truly being provided to benefit them.   The benefits must be understood if there are thousands or millions of reasons to focus on good work as they get involved with the educational resources.  In dollar amounts of financial success for a young adult, the early planning stages could be the smartest for all the best of comfortabillity.

What is Personal Information Management?

People in the U.S. are a step up as they have a social security card and know where it is located.  Any application for employment that requires this should explain why and verify the importance of confidentiality of information.  Consumer protection includes the requirement for a social security card to be protected with privacy rights.  The information such as the social security number is disallowed to be shared other than the purposeful plan of showing the card or providing the information.

Technology’s Recreation Offerings With Planned Protection

Online tools such as social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are important to consider with planned protection.  Young adults might especially understand the importance of this tip when it comes to identity protection, personal data information security, and optimized technology tools.   Computer speed is another consideration for gaming and recreational or professional websites that require identification information.  Optimized computers and quality (including an affordable requirement) high-speed network connections are frequently the objectives of consumers and businesses.   Technology’s best is to make sure websites never hurt anyone or anything.

Online Tools for Success and Financial Happiness

We have education at our fingertips with accessible access to online tools for financial understanding.  How does this translate for young adults and what are the benefits?  How do the tools offer a way to better prepare our youth for income success, large sums of money for comfortability, and overall financial happiness?

There are several types of asset protections:

  • Property Asset Protection
  • Personal Belongings as Protected assets
  • Investments as Protected Asset holdings
  • Liquid Assets and Investment strategies
  • Personal Data

Property investments include real estate investments and homes as a place of residence.   Smart preparations are available for young adults to plan for homeowner opportunities such as a property purchase.   Effective planning can provide the opportunity earlier for any dedicated young people interested in the beauty and benefits of ownership for a home of their own.  Identity theft is stopped as more young people know the benefits of personal data protection.

Online Education is the Best for Offering Financial Tools for Financial Success

Types of education that are easily accessible for young adults include online resources and kits for financial success.  Books and resources are excellent resources and summarized content is one of the best answers for our busy youth.  Websites and financial tools are complimented with Internet Forums and designs for polite conversations between interested over-achievers and young adults.  Financial success is a smart focus for IT professionals and one of the best areas of focus for clients.  This is more than just checking and savings accounts with credit card suggested usages.  The best technology solutions also include personal data protection that supports protected buying power, comfortability, and user satisfactions.

Appreciating assets also include personal data that is protected.   Buying power is improving with advancements for the current credit system, homeowner opportunities, availability of loan provider best practices, and improved politeness with applicability of any scoring systems for any personally protected data and information.

What is identity risk to young adults?

The answer to this question is strongly a shout out, “Disallowed and completely disallowed.”  ‘Quick to market’ strategies have made technology advancements celebrated gifts to individuals and businesses everywhere.  Now technology innovations are loud to shout for a politeness with best practices for comfortableness and security planning.  The continued focus and educational resources should be directed to higher levels of customer satisfaction.  This truly pure motive is appreciated with the best communication for the staff and clients.  IT can help a business become more profitable with that lengthy client list that supports successful business, and provides the profits with impressive appreciation for the service or product offerings.

How Often Do Businesses Really Need to Backup Data?

Discover why regularly scheduled data backups give you the ability to recover faster from a cyberattack or natural disaster with less disruption and downtime.

Business Data Backup

How Frequently Should Your Business Data Be Backed Up?

It’s a complicated question and the answer is usually a nuanced one. It depends greatly on the type of data being collected and used, where it’s being stored and your company’s risk tolerance.

No matter the answer, it’s prudent to partner with a managed IT services provider to make the right decision for your business regarding backup frequency, based on your company’s needs and priorities.

How Can I Convince Company Leaders that Backups Are Truly Necessary?

There are some sobering statistics that can help convince business leaders about the importance of data backups. The Ponemon Institute’s 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study noted that the average cost of a data breach rose by 6.4 percent in one year, costing affected companies an average of $3.86 million per incident.

During the next two years, according to the study, businesses face a 27.9 percent likelihood of experiencing a data breach. And those breaches usually take businesses a long time to discover – 197 days on average – and contain – 69 days on average. That’s a lot of time that a hacker can spend inside your systems, copying, extracting, damaging or selling sensitive information.

Data breaches are also not necessarily the result of active system intrusions. According to worldbackupday.com, every minute 113 phones are lost or stolen. Every month, one in 10 computers becomes infected with a virus. In addition, 140,000 hard drives fail in the United States weekly.

What Makes Data Backups So Important?

During a crisis, a data backup strategy adds stability and structure to an otherwise chaotic situation. Crises can take many forms, including natural disasters such as an earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane or tornado, power outages, or manmade events such as data theft or ransomware attack. Whatever the situation, data backups can get your business back to operational status with little or no data loss, minimal disruption and brief periods of downtime.

Here’s a look at some of the most essential benefits of creating a data backup strategy:

Affordability – If you choose a cloud solution as part or all of your data backup plan, you can rely on affordable and predictable pricing. If you find your business needs more data, cloud storage is highly scalable. You can add more storage and backup capacity without the hassle of buying a new server, installing and configuring it, and maintaining and managing it.

Cost and Savings – Consider what happens if you do not have a backup plan in place and a disaster strikes. Your business will incur significant and immediate costs by paying a third-party data recovery service. These services can take days or weeks to complete their work and you are not guaranteed to recover all of the compromised data. In the meantime, your customers will be asking for information and services you may not be able to provide.

Security – Your data needs to be protected and encrypted while it’s in transit and at rest. A backup strategy needs to incorporate robust physical and digital protections to ensure only the proper, authorized people have access to data and storage devices. The data should also be monitored to ensure that any dubious activity is identified, contained, assessed and dealt with before any serious harm occurs.

Speed and Simplicity. With a carefully developed data backup plan, you can quickly get access to your last data backup, helping to speed up recovery efforts for your business and get data into the systems and websites where it’s most effective.

Compliance – Your business may be subject to state, federal, industrial or industrial requirements to retain certification or access to potential business. Compliance often means having to show that your company has a data management strategy.

Risk Mitigation – What happens to the data that’s stored on a lost or stolen laptop, tablet, smartphone or thumb drive? If it’s only stored locally on those devices (not a good idea), those losses can be a disaster. Not only have you lost the data, but you may see it for sale or held hostage. You want to be sure that your data backup plan includes mobile devices in use by your employees to ensure that all data is safe and recoverable.

Peace of Mind – When your business has an automated, reliable data backup strategy in place, you can be assured that you are protecting your information and ensuring you’ll have access when it’s needed.

What’s the Recommended Frequency of Backing Up Our Data?

Backups are never really a concern until the data is lost.

Frequency really depends on scale. If it’s an individual PC and you’re storing all of your files in OneDrive or a corporate drive, there’s not that much data changing on the workstation itself.

At ICS, in such cases, we prefer to take a snapshot of the computer once a month, which allows the computer to be restored with all working programs as it was before the event. With all the files are on a shared drive or in the cloud, a user will still have access.

If we’re talking about the shared drive itself, or if the files are stored locally on the machine, we recommend backups every 4 hours with incremental backups daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly.

We prefer to use devices like portable drives that allow a local backup and then send the backup to the cloud after hours.

Who Can Help Our Company With Data Backups?

Since 1981, ICS has helped support businesses with managed IT services, data backups, security, and IT consulting. With offices in Austin, Houston, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley, ICS serves business customers throughout South Texas. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about our free IT security audit and how ICS can help with your data backups and other IT needs.

Why Is Cybercrime So Bad For Mid-Sized Businesses?

CIOs today are most concerned about data security and cybercrime. It’s no wonder. Mid-sized businesses are major targets for hackers. Plus, when a data breach occurs, their customers are often so angry that the take their business elsewhere. This can be the “kiss of death” for any company no matter the size.

Cybersecurity Small Business

CIOs today are most concerned about data security and cybercrime. It’s no wonder. Mid-sized businesses are major targets for hackers. Plus, when a data breach occurs, their customers are often so angry that the take their business elsewhere. This can be the “kiss of death” for any company no matter the size.

Your customers are concerned about the security of their data. No matter how good your service or products, if their confidential data is revealed due to your negligence they’ll just go to your competitors.

Are You Prepared For A Cyberattack?

Many mid-sized businesses aren’t. In fact, 31% don’t have a plan to respond to a cyberattack, and 22% lack the expertise to develop one. According to a report in Tech Republic, 71% percent of small and mid-sized businesses aren’t prepared for cybersecurity risks, even though 96% believe they are susceptible.

The report also found that nearly 2/3rds said they believe it would be more difficult to restore their company’s public image and to regain employee trust and morale if they were attacked.

If this surprises you it’s probably because you’re uninformed. It’s not your fault. The media tends to only cover attacks on large enterprises and government agencies. Attacks on mid-sized businesses like yours aren’t newsworthy (probably because there are so many).

Have You Made Plans For A Cyberattack That Disrupts Your Business?

What would you do if one happened right now? Downtime isn’t acceptable. Here are the consequences:

  • Idle Employees
  • Lost Productivity
  • Lost Revenue
  • Disgruntled Customers Who Go To Your Competitors

Cyberattacks Not Only Affect Your Customers But Your Relationship With Other Companies You Do Business With

What the media ignores is that attacks on mid-sized businesses present a conduit to larger ones. This is what experts believe happened to Target when they were attacked, leading to the exposure of 40 million accounts.

So, when considering your businesses cybersecurity, not only should you be concerned about losing your customers, but you could also be losing the good relationship you have with larger enterprises. This is the double-edged sword that kills so many mid-sized companies.

Have You Invested In IT Security As You Should?

What does all of this mean? You must be certain that you’re on top of your IT infrastructure’s security and be able to prove it, or you risk losing customers and contracts with business partners.

If you think investing in IT security is too expensive, the opposite is true. You can’t afford not to because the consequences of a data breach can be devastating to the future of your company.

CIOs of mid-sized firms must keep on top of all the IT security strategies available to them to protect their infrastructure. The CIOs of large enterprises know this and practice it daily. Are you?

For help setting up your IT Infrastructure Security and a Plan to respond to a cyberattack, contact the cybersecurity experts at ICS.

 

 

Did You Know That Ransomware Is One Of The Most Difficult Viruses To Avoid?

Ransomware takes control of your data, encrypts it, and holds it hostage for a payment (ransom). Sometimes, having a backup of your data won’t even protect you.

Ransomware

Did You Know That 43% Of Businesses Don’t Survive Data Loss?

Ransomware takes control of your data, encrypts it, and holds it hostage for a payment (ransom). Sometimes, having a backup of your data won’t even protect you.

The Gartner Group reports that 43 percent of companies were immediately put out of business by a “major loss” of their computer records, and another 51 percent permanently closed their doors within two years, leaving a mere six percent “survival” rate. Ensure this doesn’t happen to your business.

What Exactly Is Ransomware?

It’s a type of malicious software cybercriminals use to deny access to systems or data. The malicious cyber actor holds systems or data hostage until a ransom is paid. After the initial infection, the ransomware attempts to spread to shared storage drives and other accessible systems. If the demands aren’t met, the system or encrypted data remains unavailable, or data may be deleted.

This crime model is as old as kidnapping. Because you are dealing with criminals, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get files back if you pay the ransom. As a matter of fact, the FBI advises that you don’t pay the ransom.

How Extensive Is Ransomware?

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) has observed an increase in ransomware attacks around the world. It has quickly become one of the biggest cyber threats to businesses today, especially given the Wanna Cry epidemic that infected hundreds of thousands of IT systems in more than 150 countries.

How Is Ransomware Delivered?

Although there are other methods of delivery, ransomware is frequently delivered through phishing emails and exploits that take advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities in software.

Phishing emails are crafted to appear as though they have been sent from a legitimate organization or known individual. These emails often entice users to click on a link or open an attachment containing malicious code. After the code is run, your computer gets infected with malware.

What Recourse Do You Have?

Prevention is the only defense you have against ransomware or other exploits that result in data loss. A commitment to cyber hygiene and best practices is critical if you want to protect your organization and users from cyber threats like ransomware.

The NCCIC recommends the following precautions to protect users against the threat of ransomware:

  • Update software and operating systems with the latest patches. Outdated applications and operating systems are the target of most attacks.
  • Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails.
  • Back up data on a regular basis. Keep it on a separate device and store it offline.
  • Follow safe practices when browsing the Internet. Read Good Security Habits for additional details.

In addition, NCCIC also recommends that you employ the following best practices:

  • Restrict users’ permissions to install and run software applications and apply the principle of “least privilege” to all systems and services. Restricting these privileges may prevent malware from running or limit its capability to spread through a network.
  • Use application whitelisting to allow only approved programs to run on a network.
  • Enable strong spam filters to prevent phishing emails from reaching end users and authenticate inbound email to prevent email spoofing.
  • Scan all incoming and outgoing emails to detect threats and filter executable files from reaching end users.
  • Configure firewalls to block access to known malicious IP addresses.

What Else Can You Do To Protect Your Business From Ransomware?

Here are 5 additional things you can do right now to protect your business:

1. Make sure you keep your antivirus software up to date.

2. Train your employees to be aware. People remain the biggest source of security breaches. Employees unwittingly open malicious emails or go to corrupted sites and expose their employers’ networks and infrastructures to malicious software.

3. Backups are probably the most important method to restore your systems if you suffer a ransomware attack. Make sure that your backups are detached when the backup is not occurring. Otherwise, you risk that even backup files will be corrupted.

4. Use pop-up blockers. AdwCleaner is one of the best. It not only blocks unwanted pop-ups but also protects against browser hijacks, malware and adware.

5. Use a cloud-based platform like Microsoft Office 365 and back this data up to a secure off-site location. That means that even if one of your staff members unknowingly infects your local network with ransomware, all your data is safe from encryption in the Cloud.

Just as you wouldn’t leave your home unlocked and invite a robbery, you shouldn’t leave your data vulnerable to an attack.

Protect your organization in Houston, San Antonio and Austin from ransomware and other malicious cyberattacks. Contact the cybersecurity experts at ICS. We’ll ensure your data and IT systems are secure.

In the meantime, visit our Blog. We post new articles on a regular basis that will keep you up-to-date on IT news and solutions. Here are a few examples to get you started:

IT Support in San Antonio: Managing Cyber Security Risk

IT Services in Houston: Practical Ways to Keep Your Business Safe Online

Why Are Mobile Device Management Solutions Important For Businesses?

Grow Your Small Biz With Cloud Technology

Cloud Technologies

Can You Build New Revenue Streams With The Cloud? You Bet!

Today, you’ll find technology to support any type of business concept but it comes with a huge price tag. There are large capital expenditures, expensive fixed-labor costs, and the cost of upgrades.

Is there a way around all these expensive headaches? Yes! The answer can be found in the cloud. With cloud technology, you pay one fixed monthly fee for access to all the hardware and software resources you need.

You can scale up or down as needed. You’ll always have the newest hardware and software for the same monthly cost. Add to that 24/7 support and services to minimize downtime.

Imagine the cost of building and supporting a traditional IT infrastructure. In the past, this was out of the question for small businesses and start-ups. If you have a new company that’s just getting off the ground, every dollar counts. You can’t afford to waste a single penny.

With the cloud, all those IT expenses can be controlled. Let’s look at the ways.

OpEx versus CapEx: Capital Expenditures (CapEx) are paid for up front and you’ll see a gradual return over the following months and years. Operating Expenses (OpEx) are pay-as-you-go costs. OpEx can be written off as a business expense each month.

Disaster recovery: With the increase in natural disasters, you must have a solid disaster recovery plan in place. Small businesses that handle their IT infrastructure in-house are often lacking in this area. They aren’t prepared when a disaster does strike. Some businesses never do fully recover. You need a strong business continuity plan so that even if the worst happens, you can get back up and running in no time. The cloud gives you a reliable data backup system, redundancy and the ability to restore your files, applications, programs, operating systems, settings, and more when necessary.

Labor: You have to provide equitable salaries, vacation time, paid holidays and more for regular full-time employees. You might spend months getting someone trained for your IT department only to have them quit without notice. These are headaches that most business owners wish they could avoid.

Even if you have minimal in-house support, emergency on-call break/fix services are expensive, and cannot always respond fast enough to eliminate downtime. With the cloud, the labor and support for your infrastructure is included in your monthly fee. You can say good-bye to unexpected IT costs. If you have a small in-house IT team, they can focus on strategic IT planning for the future to boost profits and create growth opportunities.

Additional cloud benefits: There are lots of small advantages that people don’t consider right away such as a reduction in required office space. The energy to power servers can be enormous. You must keep the server room cooler to boot. That means your electric bill will go down. You’ll have one less group of employees to worry about.

There’s a whole lot more! Moving to the cloud can take a lot of worries off your plate so you can focus on running your company and building new revenue streams. If you’re ready to learn more, we’re available to answer questions. Simply give us a call!

CONTACT DETAILS

Jason Simons, Vice President
ICS- IT, Voice, Video
sales@ics-com.net Direct: 1-866-427-4722

 

How Can Your Small Business Profit From Using Cloud Technology?

Are you wondering whether you should move your small business to the Cloud? If you aren’t, you should.

Small Business Cloud Technology

Small Business Cloud Technology

Are you wondering whether you should move your small business to the Cloud? If you aren’t, you should. The Cloud provides many benefits for the small business sector. It’s fast becoming the new normal because if used right, it can help to improve cash flow and cut operational costs.

Cloud technologies provide new opportunities to drive growth and success. Need convincing? Here are 10 ways that your small business can profit from using the Cloud.

1. Scale Your IT Infrastructure To Save Money

The Cloud allows for the deployment of services and solutions on an as-needed basis. This means that you can grow your IT infrastructure or recede it based on demand. This will enable you to shift workloads from overburdened areas to underutilized IT assets.

Cloud deployments offer flexibility that we never had in the past. They are inexpensive, efficient, and responsive to demand. You pay for the server load you need and nothing more.

Your cost for data management can be scaled for use. This provides an economical solution for small businesses that must watch every dollar. And, this level of agility offers you an advantage over competitors who don’t use cloud computing.

2. Never Lose Business During Peak Demand Times

E-commerce can make for unpredictable server loads. A spike in demand might overload traditional servers and limit your customers’ access to your services or products. A cloud-hosted infrastructure can automatically spins-up to meet the demand, so you never lose business or customers.

3. Keep Your Capital

With pay-as-you-go cloud-based services there’s no large capital outlay required. There’s no high cost for hardware. You pay for services with a subscription-based model, so there’s no out-of-pocket, upfront expense required. Include the ease-of-setup, and you’ve started saving money from the first step you take to adopt the Cloud.

4. Cut Your IT Labor Costs

In-house IT staff can be expensive to support. When you rely on cloud-based IT service and support you not only eliminate downtime but the expense of employing 24/7 resources to support your infrastructure. With cloud-based IT support, you share labor costs with others and can take advantage of economies of scale. You can’t do this on your own with in-house support.

5. Increase Employees’ Productivity

In 2018, small businesses everywhere are benefiting from collaborative work environments that cloud-based office platforms provide. Solutions like Microsoft Office 365 and G Suite from Google promote team-based projects where multiple users can work on projects and documents in real-time simultaneously.

No more emailing files back and forth will save time. And no more wondering, if versions are the most up-to-date, will save frustrations. If your employees are still emailing documents back and forth, moving to a cloud platform like Microsoft Office 365 can significantly improve their efficiency and productivity.

Plus, when you utilize cloud computing, all of your files are stored centrally where your authorized users have the access they need. Improved collaboration equates to better work and a healthier bottom line.

6. Telecommuting Cuts Costs

Small-business foundations are shifting. Many have realized that telecommuting provides many benefits over tradition in-the-office workspaces. With cloud technology workers can meet virtually with tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom where they can share their desktop and laptop screens with other meeting attendants wherever they are.

Web-based meetings save money in travel time and expense. Real-time communication promotes collaboration between groups and managers in disparate locations. Experts estimate that by 2020, almost three-fourths of the workforce will be working remotely for these reasons.

7. Cloud Backups Save You From Data Disasters That Can Cost You Your Business

Information security and business continuity after a disaster continue to be a significant concern for small businesses. Threats abound with ransomware infections, accidental data deletions and even natural disasters. A 2017 survey by the Better Business Bureau revealed that only 35 percent of businesses said that they could remain profitable for more than three months if they lost access to their critical data.

With cloud-based data storage, you can keep your business running if your onsite data is destroyed. A system that backs up your data to the Cloud in real time provides the security you need from data disasters. With the right managed backup system, your data will be recoverable whenever you need it.

8. No Time Wasted Worrying About Updating Software

When you use cloud computing, your servers are hosted off-premise and managed for you by your cloud provider. This includes security updates for the cloud-based software you use. All software is automatically updated – you and your staff won’t have to waste time worrying if everything is up-to-date, including security updates. This leaves you the time to focus on growing your business, and your employees on their tasks at hand.

9. You Can Grow Your Small Business With Big Data

Today, small businesses are beginning to utilize big data. This is because now with cloud computing they have the processing power they need to manage and use large quantities of data.

This also provides the capability to analyze in-depth customer information to make better decisions. Plus, you can provide your clients with the relevant information they need in a timely fashion and adjust the services you offer in real time. Open-source platforms facilitate cloud-based computing to handle the “heavy lifting.”

10. Benefit From Increased IT Security That Saves You In Lost Data

What happens if an employee loses a laptop with your clients’ confidential information? With cloud computing, the data on this laptop could be wiped clean. You’ll have greater security because your IT provider can implement solutions like mobile device management, intrusion protection and remote management and monitoring that will protect your data from getting into the hands of criminals. Plus, if your data is lost on a computer, you still have access to it in the Cloud.

The team at ICS can ensure you use the right cloud solutions for your small business. We’ll help you use the Cloud to save money and direct your energies and capital to boost profits and growth.

Jason Simons
Vice President
Innovative Communication Systems
sales@ics-com.net
1-866-427-4722
www.ics-com.net

Considering Moving Your Law Firm To The Cloud?

Cloud technology can offer modern law firms a level of flexibility and efficiency your current technology setup cannot match.

The Cloud

The fact that the cloud is a powerful tool for today’s professionals is not new information. As cloud technology has continued to evolve and gain traction in highly regulated industries and fields, the advantages available to law firms have increased as well. And when you think about how your firm operates, that makes a lot of sense.

Regardless of the branch of law your practice specializes in, your case data exists primarily, if not entirely, in digital formats. Case notes, discovery, depositions, client statements and personal information, and even a large portion of evidence is generated and/or stored on your firm’s devices and servers.

What Can The Cloud Offer That My Current Technology Can’t?

Data Security

Your data is continuously under threat from hackers and malicious viruses. The Cloud provides an additional barrier between hackers and your data by storing your files in an offsite location. Even better, your files are encrypted and therefore only accessible to designated members of your team. If a device is lost or stolen, the data stored on that device can be wiped remotely.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

An enterprise-grade Cloud solution is the best way to store confidential information. Cloud solutions like virtualization allow you to recover your entire IT infrastructure quickly, applications and all. Servers, desktops, files, and apps are all stored in a secure offsite data centre, which is essential for effective business continuity and disaster recovery. Whether you’re faced with something as minor as a brief power outage or as major as a weeks-long disruption, your IT assets will stay available to you 24/7. You can pick right up where you left off in minutes.

Cost Efficiency

As more software and IT solutions move to the cloud, the opportunity for cost savings increases. You can avoid paying upfront fees for software licensing or hardware purchases, you can make use of per-user subscriptions and hosted solutions. Cloud computing also helps smaller firms compete with their larger counterparts by offering them access to the same enterprise-grade technology at a budgeable price.

The ability to scale Cloud solutions up or down to fit the current needs of your team means you don’t have to waste money on resources you don’t need, or fork over a large sum to bring more resources on board. Because Cloud solutions are billed on a per-user basis, you only pay for what you use.

Work Anywhere Capabilities

Cloud computing allows you and your team to work whenever and however your schedule allows, so long as you have access to an Internet connection. The modern workforce is more tech savvy than ever, and expect to have access to up to date files and resources both in and out of the office. Their jobs take them all over the city, and they need to have continuous access to their files to be effective and productive.

Enhanced Collaboration

Hosted Cloud solutions let authorized team members access and edit documents in real-time, at the same time. This is an invaluable asset when, for example, you have attorneys and paralegals working on a case together but from separate locations.

Document Control

Collaboration is a fantastic tool, but it makes document control a necessity. Emailing files back and forth gets confusing, and makes it next to impossible to keep track of which version of a document is the correct one. The Cloud prevents this. When a document is stored and edited on the cloud, there is only one version of that document in existence. This guarantees that your team is always working off of the right information.

Ready to make the move to cloud technology? Assessing your current technology infrastructure is the perfect place to start. Contact our legal IT professionals to schedule your assessment and gain a better idea of how cloud-ready your firm is.

Is Your IT Support Leaving You Struggling?

You count on your IT provider to keep your firm’s technology functional – so what happens when they’re not as reliable as they should be?

 

Law Firm Computer Support
 

It’s becoming more and more common for law firms to turn to outsourced IT support, either from a break/fix IT contractor or from a Managed IT Provider. Those that partner with a Managed IT Provider enter into that agreement with high expectations. The right provider will work hard to ensure that your technology is constantly operating at peak performance, and tackling issues while they are still just potential issues, eliminating excessive periods of downtime and lost productivity. Unfortunately, in spite of best efforts, issues will inevitably arise.

This is why it’s so important to choose the right IT provider. Outsourcing your firm’s IT support shouldn’t mean lowering your expectations or accepting lackluster services and support. A Managed IT Provider can give you all the benefits of an in-house IT department without the hassle or added financial burden of extra staff. And it should go without saying that they should be available to help with any issue or concern exactly when you need them to.

How Can I Tell If My IT Support Isn’t Meeting My Needs?

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • Your services calls almost always go straight to voicemail, and it tends to require multiple messages or follow up calls to finally get a technician to address your issue.
  • Your provider doesn’t offer after-hours service calls, or charges you a hefty fee to handle a call outside of business hours.
  • Even minor problems require an onsite visit due to a lack of remote support options.
  • You never have the same technician come to your office twice, and find yourself having to answer the same basic questions about your technology over and over again.
  • You can’t remember the last time your network security was checked for vulnerabilities.
  • You can’t remember the last time your data backups and business continuity plan were tested.

If the answer is yes, odds are your current provider isn’t living up to expectations.

Why Should I Expect My Firm To Have Better Luck With Another Outsourced Provider?

Not all Managed IT Providers are alike. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit for your firm, and making sure they not only have the expertise you need, but will live up to the promises they make to your team. This includes everything from hands-on support for everything from network security and maintenance, to implementing backup and disaster recovery plans.

Also, choosing to work with a team of legal IT experts like ICS can make a big difference. By staying on top of the latest advancements and trends in the legal field, we can make recommendations that allow you to increase productivity and make the most of your firm’ technology. If issues arise, you can count on our staff to respond quickly and efficiently to keep your downtime to a minimum, and to fix the problem correctly the first time.

Considering shopping around for a legal IT provider? Contact the legal IT experts at ICS to schedule your complimentary assessment, and let us get to know your firm while you get to know us and benefit from some added insight into your current technology.

Move Up To The Big Leagues

Cloud Computing

Compete With The Major Players Using Cloud Computing

One thing that has changed in the last few years is technology. Today’s technology-driven world expects the best and fastest internet, computers, networks and servers. In the past, it was impossible for a small business to afford most of it.

The cloud has changed all that. Nowadays, the smallest companies can afford cloud technology and once they have it, they can compete with much larger businesses.

You don’t need millions of dollars to build physical retail locations anymore. All those old barriers to market entry disappear when you have the cloud. But there are other breakthroughs for today’s small businesses as well.

In the old days, you’d have to spend thousands of dollars creating a top-notch IT infrastructure in order to compete with larger companies. You’d have to hire experienced IT people, purchase expensive software licenses. The cost of servers, computers, software and labor was just too much for a new start-up.

All those high costs made having an enterprise-grade IT infrastructure out of reach for most small firms. However, these days small firms can join in and benefit from the massive combined IT infrastructure available in the cloud.

There are so many ways that the cloud enables small firms to compete on a level playing field.

For one thing, no matter how little you think you’ll use technology, there are too many processes that rely on it to get business done each day. That means large capital expenses. If a system fails, you’ll quickly realize how much you use technology in day-to-day operations. If your systems are down for even one day, you can lose thousands of dollars. So what’s the answer? Mirrored servers and other redundant hardware.

The second thing is that small businesses experience cyclical sales peaks. During certain seasons, you’ll need all hands on deck. At other times, you may benefit by cutting back on your use of technology. Scaling up and down used to be expensive, but the cloud makes it easy.

Third, there’s the cost of labor. The average salary for an IT specialist is around $60,000 per year. You may need several IT people even in a smaller company. And they don’t work around the clock. What if you run second and third shifts and need IT support at midnight? That will be expensive. In short, the traditional IT model doesn’t work well for a small firm.

But all those obstacles are a thing of the past. Today, even a small start-up can compete by having a redundant IT infrastructure, 24/7 support, easy upgrades, the ability to scale up or down when necessary and so much more.

With cloud technology and managed IT support, you can forget about barriers and obstacles. The monthly costs are predictable and budget-friendly.

Isn’t it time to explore all the options that cloud technology offer? Are you ready to become a major player in your industry?

Move Up To The Big Leagues with Cloud Computing

CONTACT DETAILS

Jason Simons, Vice President | ICS- IT, Voice, Video Email: sales@ics-com.net or Phone: 1-866-427-4722

How Does Your Technology Impact Your Law Firm’s Productivity?

For any law firm, time is money – billable hours need to be maximized and used efficiently. You can’t afford to have your IT slowing you down.

For any law firm, time is money – billable hours need to be maximized and used efficiently. You can’t afford to have your IT slowing you down.

Technology Law Firms

Downtime caused by your technology not performing as it should isn’t just frustrating – it’s a liability. Whether it’s slowing you down or halting your productivity in its tracks, inefficient or problematic technology wreaks havoc on your team and damages your ability to serve your clients effectively. At the end of the day, you have a ton of wasted billable hours and an IT infrastructure that isn’t giving you what you need.

And when you’re counting on a single internal IT person to handle your technology? The problems are simply going to continue to pile up.

Modern networks are complex, needing to support and accommodate not just the devices and software used in your office, but the applications and devices that allow your team to work from anywhere their cases require them to be. It’s more than a lone IT person or hourly IT contractor can manage effectively.

Managed Legal IT Services Can Pick Up The Slack

The biggest challenge facing today’s law firms is the sheer number of moving parts that make up your IT infrastructure. In order for your technology to operate smoothly, all of those parts need to be kept moving, and kept moving in the same direction. This is where the proactive, hands-on approach of a managed IT provider can make a major difference. Having professionals that are familiar with your entire infrastructure taking care of your technology allows for technicians to correct repetitive issues and keep disruptions from happening in the first place.

Legal IT providers like ICS focus on maximizing your uptime and productivity by monitoring your technology around the clock rather than waiting for something to wrong. We know that the best way for you to make the most of your billable hours is to simply have the ability to work uninterrupted. Whether that requires a few minor changes or updates to your existing infrastructure, or something more extensive, depends on your firm.

How Can I Know If My IT Is Working Against Me?

The best way to figure out what works and what doesn’t is to have IT professionals with experience in legal IT come in and assess your network and infrastructure. This assessment will reveal problem areas, vulnerabilities, and inefficiencies in your technology that need to be addressed.

Why Can’t My Current Provider Do This For Me?

If you’re already partnered with an IT provider, having them review your technology to see where improvements can be made is always an option. But a second opinion never hurts – especially when it won’t cost your firm a dime.

Even if you’re not losing out on billable hours due to downtime and disruptions, you may be curious as to what changes could be made to your technology to get even more out of your workday. Regardless of the answers you’re looking for, a complimentary IT assessment from ICS can provide them to you.

Contact our legal IT professionals to schedule your assessment.