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USB Flash Drive and Their Cybersecurity Dangers

As cloud storage has grown in popularity, the use of USB flash drives has declined in many settings. The decline in popularity of USB flash drives, however, hasn’t necessarily diminished their threat. USB flash drives still enjoy a following in many environments. Data stored on USB flash drives is viewed as more secure because there is no network connectivity involved. While USB flash drives can be handy, they are only as secure as the people who handle them. One particular report from 2021 suggests that 37 percent of threats were specifically designed to utilize removable media, which almost doubled from the 2020 report (19 percent). 

What can you do?

  • Limit the use of USB flash drives. Where necessary, be sure to lock or otherwise secure areas (like the server room) so un-approved USB flash drives cannot be used.
  • Use encrypted USB flash drives with Windows Bitlocker or Mac Native Encryption. This provides a layer of protection should a USB flash drive with sensitive data fall into the wrong hands. Some models have fingerprint authentication.
  • Educate employees never to plug in unknown USB flash drives.

The bottom line: With so many vectors for cyber criminals to take advantage of, it would be easy to ignore USB flash drives. Doing so could cripple your business.

HAVE QUESTIONS? We would be glad to answer any questions you may have about how managed IT services can transform your business. Call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us here.

7 Reasons Why You Should Use Managed IT

  1. Increased efficiency and productivity. Many companies want to track and respond to issues as they happen. After switching, most businesses are shocked to learn the inefficiency of prior issue management systems.
  2. A true partner sharing risks and responsibilities. The purpose of an MSP is to deliver on contracted services; measure, report, analyze, and optimize IT operations. On a broader level, IT providers help drive the growth of the business. In truth, managed service providers assume leadership roles within their clients’ organizations, enabling risk reduction, improving efficiency, and changing the technology culture. For companies with internal technicians, they can introduce new technologies and processes or help redistribute workload for more efficiency.
  3. Better understanding of infrastructure and needs. It takes time to plan and maintain an efficient IT infrastructure. With owners’ busy schedules, IT management can go unattended for too long. MSPs are always looking out for updates, patches, and upgrades. By handling the day-to-day critical tasks, a stable and secure IT environment is maintained without burdening the company’s internal staff.
  4. A complete IT department without the expense. Most small business owners are proactive with their management of time and resources — or at least they would like to be. A managed service provider gives business owners and overwhelmed internal IT staff affordable support, monitoring, data backup and disaster recovery, network security, business continuity, and strategic technology planning without the costs of a full-time internal IT staff.
  5. Access to logs and metrics. Managed IT providers use tools that constantly track the performance and capacity of your network, databases, devices, and more. That information gets stored as logs which can be analyzed to find trends in performance associated with a specific device or database. Thus, an MSP is crucial when it comes time to make informed decisions about future IT needs.
  6. A renewed focus on your core business. Both your leadership team and your internal IT staff would much rather focus on growing your business rather than just keeping it running. Unfortunately, there is only so much time in a day. This is why routine IT tasks are often neglected, long enough to become problems down the road. MSPs are very rarely called in to replace internal IT staff, but instead are used to relieve the IT team of routine maintenance, mundane management, and day-to-day operational tasks.
  7. Timely patch and update management. When your IT staff is too busy chasing down bugs, patch management is one thing that tends to fall by the wayside. Missed patches can leave an organization at risk for downtime as security vulnerabilities open upt when patches are out of date. MSPs take these issues off your plate by managing patches and software updates.
  8. Reduced downtime and cyber risk. Because of the MSP’s ability to track down potential problems before they cause downtime, IT issues become almost non-existent. A proper security strategy will minimize your exposure to cyber threats. In turn, your “always-on” business will be seen as reliable and organized.

HAVE QUESTIONS? The team at mPowered IT will be glad to answer any questions you may have about how managed IT services can transform your business. Call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us here.

The Benefits of Managed IT Service

Large and small companies alike need technology to operate. Support must rise to the occasion as reliance on IT grows year over year. That being said, many businesses still do not have the resources needed to manage their expanding technology needs. Small IT teams can become overwhelmed with keeping everything up-to-date and running well, and large IT teams are cost prohibitive.

Many businesses operate without an actual IT person, and tech issues land on whoever in the office is best with technology. This is obviously not the most ideal scenario.

It is easy to fall behind on important tasks — backups, patches, updates, security, and others. But all of that backlog increases the chances that you’ll face an IT calamity that affects the whole of your business. Imagine if your entire email server, customer database, or financial system were compromised or lost. You would probably face substantial productivity and revenue losses — or worse. These days, technology failures can mean the end of a business.

Managed services prevent this grim situation.

Managed services also create a change in the way a business deals with its technology. Break-fix repair relies on waiting until critical devices fail, then rushing to fix them as the company suffers. A business operating under managed services, however, focuses on preventing problems rather than responding to them.

In today’s high-tech business environment, no one can afford the risk that comes with reactive maintenance. Organizations are dependent on having a reliable IT system at all times.

Having multiple vendors responsible for different parts of your IT puts you in the difficult position of figuring out which to contact when problems arise.

With traditional repair, the only way for an IT support company to make money is if something goes wrong for you. This creates a little bit of a paradox; If they do the job too well, they will go out of business, which happens to about 80% of all small IT firms.

With that in mind, many IT companies are promoting managed services because it aligns them with your business. We partner with our clients to become their full-service IT department. As your service provider, we become invested in your success, creating a win-win situation for everyone in the relationship.

HAVE QUESTIONS? The team at mPowered IT will be glad to answer any questions you may have about how managed IT services can transform your business. Call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us here.

The History of Managed Services

Business technology evolves in great strides year after year. The more business tech advances, the harder it is for businesses to keep up.

Companies managing their own small networks faced a lack of tools and expertise to help with problems. Networks were once simple systems, usually built and worked on by the owner or a local networking guru. When something went wrong, a technician would come and fix it.

Over time, networking specialists developed procedures to come on-site periodically to sweep the infrastructure for problems. Unfortunately, those service technicians could only see what was happening while on site. They had no way of monitoring continuously or anticipating future problems.

Along with this troubleshooting inefficiency, problems with network stability, continuity, and backups still happened. The only backup testing happened during on-site visits. This could result in days or more of missed backups and catastrophic data loss. Technicians would often spend more time accommodating user requests than of addressing the root causes and important needs of the business.

This inefficiency created a constant cycle of catch-up that wasn’t much better than break/fix. Whenever one problem was solved, another would pop up.

MANAGED SERVICES EMERGED FROM THE WORLD’S LARGEST ENTERPRISES

Large companies have massive network demands, and this paved the way for managed services in the early days of outsourced IT. Technology vendors began to add new and better solutions that allowed IT labor to be leveraged more effectively and problems to be detected before they caused downtime.

Early systems to take advantage of this technology were complicated and were geared only toward large networks, and too expensive for SMBs.

The practicality of these systems made it clear that businesses of all sizes — not just huge enterprises — could make use. This realization spurred a movement toward managed services.

The tools and techniques pioneered in the corporate IT space were adapted to fit smaller business models. Prices and availability improved in kind. Before long, nearly any business was able to leverage this technology.

Improved reporting and remote management meant issues could be fixed before becoming huge problems. MSPs and technicians were no longer fighting fires around the clock.

HAVE QUESTIONS? The team at mPowered IT will be glad to answer any questions you may have about how managed IT services can transform your business. Call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us here.

Managed IT Services for the Modern Business

These days, nearly every business in the country runs on technology. A single issue with your devices or network can be ruinous, and with time being such a precious resource, you don’t want to waste any of it putting out IT fires. Downtime is simply not an option.

This is why the old “break/fix” model of IT support is obsolete. When businesses wait until something goes wrong, they lose money. They lose clients. They can even lose their reputation.

WHAT IS MANAGED IT SERVICE?

Companies of all shapes and sizes depend more than ever on IT. Transaction data, personnel records, production software, CRMs, ERPs — these things and much more all exist within and depend upon the technology that businesses employ.

In most cases, if the technology stops working, the business stops functioning.

This is precisely why the old model of IT support known as “break/fix” is no longer an option. If a business owner waits for something to break, it’s already too late. When systems are only serviced after they fail, productivity and profits are lost. In many ways, this is operational chaos, putting everyone in a frantic state until the break/fix technician arrives to start working on the problem.

What business owner wants to sit on their hands while their operation loses money? (Not very many.)

Of course, many business owners try to take on the role of IT management themselves. While the owner might be expected to react more quickly to problems than an off-site break/fix technician, this approach brings its own set of problems. At the top of that list? The business owner wasting time trying to troubleshoot their own problems.

Managed IT services solve these problems at the root of the issue. Rather than being reactive, the managed services model helps prevent IT issues from happening at all. Through remote management tools, managed service providers see into your IT operations 24/7/265, not only when they are on-site. This allows them to spot and address minor issues before they build up to a business-disrupting problem. The name of the game is proactive support, which works to prevent surprise IT calamities that waste time and money.

Partnering with a managed IT provider is like having an on-call IT department that is always watching out for your business.

HAVE QUESTIONS? The team at mPowered IT will be glad to answer any questions you may have about how managed IT services can transform your business. Call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us here.

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