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How Can an MSP Save Your Small Business Money?

Companies of all sizes rely on quality IT support to successfully run their business. Unfortunately, not all startups or small businesses need or can afford a whole IT department.  I’m sure you’ve heard before that outsourcing your IT services to a Managed Services Provider (MSP) will save you a lot of money. But how?

Lowering Your Overhead Cost – Employee salaries and benefits can add up – not to mention the in-house hardware that goes along with that. Outsourcing your IT services will drastically lower these costs and you’ll benefit from having experts for any given task at a lower cost.

Increasing Your Productivity – If your network goes down, it will cause a loss in productivity and efficiency, which equates to a loss in money. Having an MSP who monitors your network 24/7 will reduce the risk of downtime and work to keep your network running smoothly.

Improve Your Security – With the help of an MSP you can significantly improve the security of your business which and avoide security breaches. Security breaches can result in financial loss and an experienced MSP will be aware of these threats before they can come to fruition.

Improve Business Efficiencies – Technology is ever-changing and getting people adjusted to new systems can put a halt to your business productivity. Allow an MSP to focus their attention on what they know best, and specialize in, so your employees don’t have to. Hiring an MSP is an efficient way to save money and time in your work day.

Are you interested in learning more on how an MSP could help your organization save money? Give us a call at 678-389-6200 or visit mPoweredIT.com.

Does my Small Business Need a Website?

You may think that because you’re a small business, you don’t need a website. You may assume social media platforms are enough to market your company. But what if I told you that having a website improves your business credibility, which in turn will boost your brand? MountainTop Web Design states “It’s hard to believe that only 46% of small businesses have a website. This statistic is confounding when you realize people spend 6 hours a day on the Internet.” So what are you waiting for? mPowered IT can create your website from start to finish.

Whether you are starting from scratch, rebuilding, optimizing, or just updating your site, we can customize your services to meet your needs and budget. Here are a few ways that mPowered IT can provide turnkey website development services for you small business:

Concept & Development – The mPowered IT Web Development team will create and build with your business goals in mind, or update and refresh an existing site.

SEO – We build on-site SEO into our structure and offer levels of on-site and off-site SEO to fit your needs and budget. We keep up with Google’s latest trends to keep your customers coming to your site.

Maintenance & Updates – We offer a very affordable ongoing maintenance program that keeps WordPress and all plugins updated and secure, and support when and if there’s an issue.

Design & Programming – We have both designers and programmers who collaborate to create a site that is visually appealing and functions intuitively. We’re able to design to budget, and can work from customizable themes or do complete custom programming.

Content Development & Updates – This is the piece that’s missing from most web developers’ offerings, yet it’s the most critical for your branding. You don’t have to supply content to fit into your design. We develop your content based on your business, messaging, market and specific goals, and design your site around it. Your website should be a living, breathing entity. It will do you no good if it’s build and abandoned. Content should be refreshed regularly, with new news, new photos, new products or anything of interest to your customers and prospects. This keeps your audience engaged, your business relevant, and the google search bots interested in your site.

Site Maintenance – Your website will need regular technical updates and maintenance to ensure it runs well and has all the latest security patches to keep it safe from hackers. We’ll set up a regular maintenance schedule for a low flat fee, which also includes any troubleshooting.

We are not in the business of owning your website! When we create your website, you own it, and should you ever want to work with another provider, we’ll make it easy to move!

Ready for a website? Call us now at 678-389-6200 or visit mPoweredIT.com to learn more.

What is a Managed Service Provider?

No matter the size of your business, you rely on technology to keep you in the game. Having the right security processes and solutions are critical to your business success. So how can you stay current in such a rapidly changing space? It may be time to consider using a managed service provider.

A managed service provider (MSP) is an outsourced third-party company that manages the responsibility, or a defined set of day-to-day managed services, to its customers.  Work is outsourced to MSPs from companies for a multitude of reasons, but primarily because outsourcing the work to an MSP is much more efficient and cost-effective than doing it in house.

Managed Service Providers usually partner with small to medium size organizations. Even if you have just a few employees, you can afford a quality MSP and have relief knowing your IT infrastructure is maintained and secure. It’s more affordable to prevent IT problems, especially if they disrupt business operations.

In addition to saving you the time, money and stress it takes to construct the right IT program, an MSP brings a level of skill that is normally much higher than an in-house IT person could provide. Managed service providers help you with business growth by taking care of your IT management, leaving you to focus on your business objectives.

For more, call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us online.

Phishing Simulation & Security Awareness Training

Your employees are your first and primary line of defense against online crime. Equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves – and your business – from criminal elements.

Detect – Employees often use the same password for multiple services on the web, such as CRM, e-commerce sites, and social media. Proactive monitoring for stolen and compromised employee data on the dark web allows us to detect when a problem arises, before a major breach occurs.

Phish – We can send scheduled phishing campaigns, including customized messages to fit each group or department, at random times during a specified period. With an ever-changing threat, it is important that your employees are exposed to all the latest phishing traps set by criminals.

Train – It is not always disgruntled workers and corporate spies who are a threat. Often, it is the non-malicious, uninformed employee. Our easy-to-understand, short, and visually engaging training videos end with an online quiz to verify the employee’s retention of the training content.

Measure and Track – Your regular Security Threat report will demonstrate the overall cybersecurity posture of your organization, to include dark web credential compromises combined with employee phishing and training campaign results.

Why do you need an integrated, ongoing program?

  • Cyber-attacks are on the rise; particularly among small- and mid-sized businesses.
  • You may have the most up-to-date and strongest security systems in place, but this will be a wasted investment if you don’t also train and test your staff.
  • Threats are ever-evolving and become more sophisticated and harder to detect. Regular training on the latest criminal tactics will help mitigate risk.

For more, call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us online.

Does Your Workforce Create Strong Passwords?

Keeping email passwords secure

As the old saying goes, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Unfortunately, the new saying is that a business network is only as secure as its employees’ passwords.

Despite widespread knowledge that hackers exploit weak passwords to breach entire systems, trusted workers still use ones that are easy to guess at and repeat them across platforms. If that seems counterintuitive, business leaders may want to consider these statistics.

  • The two most commonly used passwords remain “iloveyou” and “sunshine.”
  • Approximately 23 million people use the password “123456.”
  • More than half of workforces use the same password for personal and business purposes.
  • Upwards of 57 percent of phishing email scam victims do not change their password.
  • One-third of people stop doing business with organizations responsible for compromising their credentials.

What seems stunningly illogical about rampant password protection failures stems from this statistic: Approximately 90 percentof internet users say they are worried about getting hacked due to a compromised password. Industry leaders may be left scratching their heads. But as a decision-maker responsible for ensuring the integrity of digital assets, something needs to be done. You can set company policy that educates team members about how to create and remember strong network passwords. If that doesn’t work, there’s always Plan B.

How To Educate Employees About Strong Passwords

Getting workers to create powerfully secure passwords may not be that difficult. Insisting on a series of unrelated letters, numbers, and characters will fend off most hackers. On the other hand, team members will likely lose productivity, resetting a difficult-to-remember login profile. Fortunately, a happy medium can be achieved without too much difficulty.

Passwords do not necessarily need to be obscure. They just need to be difficult for hackers to unveil. A password employing 8-10 characters can be hard to crack if done cleverly. For example, the too common “iloveyou” can be tweaked to “iLuv2Make$,” which could be a tough one. That’s largely because it uses untraditional “Luv” in place of the spelled-out word, employs uppercase letters, a symbol, and a number. All an employee has to do is remember the phrase “I Love To Make Money” as a trigger.

Repeated passwords also need to be addressed. Consider training those under your leadership to make variations on one primary password. In this case, it could include “uLuv2Make$2” or “iH82owe$.”

It’s also important to share the reason that complex passwords are necessary. Hackers have a toolkit at their disposal that typically includes brute-force and dictionary techniques. When brute-force attacks try to run every conceivable combination of letters and characters possible. This tends to be time-consuming, and digital thieves are likely to give up when faced with strong passwords. Dictionary attacks run common words at the profile. If your worker’s password is “sunshine,” consider your network breached.

How Can Business Leaders Implement a Plan B?

Practical business leaders learn that human error ranks among the top reason things go sideways. Cybercriminals send out thousands of scam emails, knowing someone will open one, download a malicious file, or respond with critical information. Someone will make a mistake. Given that your financial future can be one mistake away from ruin, organizations are using multi-factor authentication as a fallback defense.

Multi-factor authentication requires employees to receive and enter a secondary code before gaining access to the network. This may be sent to another device that hackers cannot access. In some instances, an email alert is sent that must be approved. Even if someone foolishly uses “password123,” a cybercriminal would still need to know the authentication code or approve login access to upend your network.

If you are concerned about password security, give us a call at 678-389-6200 or visit mPoweredIT.com.

Make Your Employees the Frontline of Cyber Defense

Let us provide you a full picture of your company’s security posture and potential risk, so the employees who are the weakest link in your defense can become its strongest point of protection.

Cyber-Attacks Are On the Rise

90% of security breaches are inadvertent, unintentional, and caused by human error.

Because employees are the core of any business, they will be the main target for cyber criminals. Making sure your people stay up to date with cyber security knowledge, and teaching them to recognize threats, is imperative to the security of your business. The threat landscape is constantly evolving, and so should your approach to defense.

Train and Phish!

92.4% of malware is delivered via email.

An effective, ongoing internal security awareness program can help reduce your company’s vulnerability, turning the “weakest link” in your cyber defenses into its greatest strength.

Security awareness training and phishing simulations go hand in hand. Phishing has become very sophisticated and almost undetectable, as criminals have found ways to make their emails as realistic as possible. Phishing simulations test employees on how they would respond to a real-life phishing attack. We can send these mock attacks at staggered times, avoiding the “prairie dog effect” where employees warn one another of the email, for the best measurement of all employees’ awareness. We’ll track which employees have clicked on a phishing email, who has given away their password and who has ignored the email.

Once a learning gap is detected, we’ll deliver interactive educational videos to the most susceptible users. These easy-to-understand, short, and visually engaging training videos include an online quiz to verify the employee’s retention of the training content. Training can be delivered regularly, to reinforce the importance of every employee’s role in protecting your business.

For more, call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us online.

Are Your Company Credentials For Sale On The Dark Web?

Digital credentials, such as usernames and passwords, connect you and your employees to critical business applications, as well as online services. Unfortunately, criminals know this – and that’s why digital credentials are among the most valuable assets found on the Dark Web.

A Dark and Dangerous Place

81% of hacking-related breaches leverage either stolen and/or weak passwords.

The Dark Web is made up of digital communities that sit on top of the Internet, and while there are legitimate purposes to the Dark Web, it is estimated that over 50% of all sites on the Dark Web are used for criminal activities, including the disclosure and sale of digital credentials. Far too often, companies that have had their credentials compromised and sold on the Dark Web don’t know it until they have been informed by law enforcement – but by then, it’s too late.

How Does This Happen?

43% of cyber-attacks are on SMBs.

When your employees use their work email on third party websites it makes your business vulnerable to a breach. With our Dark Web monitoring, we can detect if your company is at risk due to exposed credentials on those websites.

What you can do to protect your business.

60% of SMBs will go out of business within 6 months of a cyber incident.

By utilizing our Dark Web security services, a combination of human and sophisticated Dark Web Intelligence with search capabilities, you are able to identify, analyze and proactively monitor for your organization’s compromised or stolen employee and customer data.

For more, call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us online.

Why VoIP is better for your Small Business than a Landline System

The cloud-based phone system gives your small business a professional boost while saving you time, effort and money. VoIP is a type of communication technology that allows you to make phone calls using an internet connection rather than traditional analog phone lines. VoIP is transmitted through traditional phones, smartphone apps, computer software and specific VoIP-enabled phones.

Landlines are no match against VoIP if you prefer having more control over your calling experience. VoIP set up and running costs are significantly lower than landlines. When using VoIP it’s easier and more inexpensive to scale as your business grows while landlines would require additional phone sets and wired phone lines in order to scale.

Facts About VoIP vs Landlines

  • VoIP comes with features that you cannot even think of getting with a landline. Call recording, mobility and portability, voicemail to email messaging, and anonymous call rejection are just a few examples of the popular features and benefits from today’s VoIP phone systems.
  • In terms of cost, VoIP beats landlines by a landslide. Shifting to VoIP can give your small business an edge over competitors that are still using traditional systems.
  • Landlines are becoming obsolete. VoIP is where the telecom sector is investing heavily and is far more reliable in terms of call connectivity and long-term reliability.
  • Landline technology is soon to be a thing of the past. The Internet is here to stay, and so is VoIP.

For more, call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us online.

The Top 6 Reasons Organizations Switch IT Providers

Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs) help small businesses compete, stay secure and avoid downtime by providing outstanding service, navigate emerging technologies and mitigate cyber security risks.

Let us help you identify the warning signals and what to look for in your next MSP.

Reason #1 – Response to issues is routinely slow

Ask Yourself:

  1. Does your IT support provider respond quickly to your IT issues/problems/needs?
  2. Does slow response time impact you and your business?
  3. How would a faster response time make a difference to your business?

Reason #2 – Remediation of issues is often ineffective (takes multiple call backs to resolve)

Ask Yourself:

  1. Are your IT issues resolved effectively or does it require multiple call backs to resolve your IT challenges?
  2. How does ineffective remediation of your issues impact your business?
  3. What difference would quick and effective remediation make to your business?

Reason #3 – There has been major ‘downtime’ or degraded performance for a period of time.

Ask Yourself:

  1. Have you experienced downtime or any major issues lately?
  2. Have you experienced security breaches or virus issues?
  3. How does downtime impact you, your employees, and your business’s bottom line?

Reason #4 – There is a breach of obligation by the IT provider (not doing what they said they would) like:

  1. Patching isn’t getting done
  2. Backups aren’t working and or you have no idea if they’d work when you need them
  3. Not monitoring the systems

Ask yourself:

  1. Have you had problems with back-ups not working?
  2. Is patching not getting done?
  3. Do you have issues that should have been prevented with proactive monitoring?
  4. When was the last time your backup was tested? How does this impact you?
  5. How do these issues impact your business?

Reasons #5 – There is a lack of value (or more value elsewhere)

Ask yourself:

  1. Are you sure you are getting all you can from the money you are spending on IT?
  2. Has your current IT provider helped you from a budgeting perspective?
  3. Do they provide value at the executive level?

Reason #6 – There is a major problem with communication

Ask yourself:

  1. Would you say that your IT provider is a close partner, genuinely concerned with the success of your business?
  2. Does your IT provider regularly communicate with you on a proactive basis – not just for support issues?
  3. Could your relationship with your IT provider be improved?
  4. What difference would a better relationship make to you?

For more, call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us online.

4 Reasons Cloud Computing Is Great For Small Business

Businesses of all sizes are embracing cloud technology because of the unprecedented flexibility, scalability, security and overall cost savings. Adopting a cloud-based IT network is fast becoming necessary to keep a competitive edge.

Currently, 95% of businesses are using the cloud in some form. It keeps your employees more connected, your computer network more secure, and it lowers costs and controls capital expenditures. Imagine how much more predictable your business expenses would be knowing you’d never have to make a large capital expenditure for new servers, or worry that your technology is becoming outdated.

4 reasons cloud computing is great for Small Business

Flexible Access – The cloud can be accessed through multiple device platforms and locations. The common platform examples are smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop.

Scalability – It is much quicker and cost effective to scale up or down with a cloud solution.

Security – Servers are kept in a highly secured facility, protected from intrusion, cyber-attacks, power outages and natural disasters. Your data is safer in the cloud than in your building, where it’s vulnerable to damage, hackers and employee theft.

Cost Reduction – You pay only for services you need now, not for technology to accommodate future growth or change. Services scale up or down as your business needs evolve, so you never buy into technology you won’t need.

For more, call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us online.

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