How to Take a Proactive Approach to Cybersecurity

Each year, the volume of cybersecurity threats continues to steadily climb, with more than one billion malware programs out there and approximately 560,000 new pieces of malware being detected each day. All the while, regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are constantly evolving. This means even the most minor of security breaches can be incredibly devastating for your organization, leading to negative publicity, hefty fines and a loss of confidence in your brand.  

At Sentry IT Solutions, we can help you implement a proactive approach to cybersecurity that sees your business is protected on all fronts in a dynamic, complex and ever-evolving threat landscape. This means understanding your organization, including its systems, applications and user base, identifying where vulnerabilities lie and addressing security risks before an attack ever occurs. This article will delve into how to do just that with a dedicated technology partner by your side.  

Identify and Evaluate Risks for Assets That Could Be Affected by Cyberattacks 

A proactive approach to cybersecurity is all about understanding, managing and mitigating risk to your company’s critical assets. The easiest way to accomplish this mission and ensure any shortfalls in your IT infrastructure are properly addressed is to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. Here are a few basic steps to ensure a smooth risk assessment within your organization:  

  1. Identify and Prioritize Assets: Here is where you will determine the scope of the assessment and decide which valuable assets attackers may wish to target.  
  2. Identify Threats: A cyberthreat is anything that could cause harm to your organization, such as hardware failure, natural disasters, human error and more.  
  3. Identify Vulnerabilities: This is where you’ll identify any vulnerabilities that could be exploited to breach security and cause harm or steal data from your organization. 
  4. Analyze Controls: These are any controls that are in place to mitigate or eliminate the possibility of a cyberthreat. They should be classified as either preventative or detective. 
  5. Calculate the Likelihood of an Attack: At this point, you can determine the likelihood of a given attack considering the current control environment your organization has in place. 
  6. Develop a Risk Assessment Report: Finally, you can develop a risk management report that supports management in decision-making on cybersecurity budget, policies and procedures.  

Invest in Preventative Cybersecurity Measures 

Just like there is not one security product that can completely encompass all your organization’s vulnerabilities, there is not a single cybersecurity policy that can sufficiently address all the needs of your business. Instead, it’s time to invest in a multi-layered, integrated cybersecurity strategy that covers many core areas of cybersecurity, including network security, cloud security, application security, Internet of Things (IoT) security and more. To lay the foundation for a solid cybersecurity strategy, it’s important to do the following: 

  • Understand the risks your organization faces on a daily basis 
  • Establish protective monitoring to detect and mitigate these threats 
  • Prepare secure data backups that keep your business up and running in the event of an attack 
  • Revisit your cybersecurity strategy as your organization changes and evolves over time 

Never Underestimate the Power of Cybersecurity Training 

A proactive approach to cybersecurity begins with awareness. While lack of proper training can leave employees more than vulnerable to releasing cyberattacks on to your organization, diverting resources into proper cybersecurity training could very well mean the difference between the success and failure of your business. The responsibility always lies on the employer to ensure that your employees have the knowledge they need to make the right decisions and where to turn if they have any questions related to cybersecurity. To prioritize cybersecurity training for your employees, we recommend getting executive buy-in, start training early and often and making the security health of your organization an ongoing, team effort. 

Stop Relying on Reactive Cybersecurity Measures Alone to Protect Your Business 

If your company’s current cybersecurity strategy is limited to firewalls, antivirus or anti-malware software, ad blockers and other measures put in place to spot the tell-tale signs of a security breach, there’s a good chance that you already have a reactive cybersecurity strategy in place. Unfortunately, reactive cybersecurity measures on their own are not enough to comprise a strong cybersecurity defense. You need to have a combination of both proactive and reactive measures in order to actively prevent data breaches and mitigate cyberthreats. For more cybersecurity solutions, include cloud security services, contact the experts at Sentry IT Solutions.


Cloud Services to Increase Business Productivity

The right cloud services has the potential to vastly improve a business’s overall efficiency, performance and productivity. However, when it comes to choosing the right technology for your workplace, it can be difficult to select the best options out of the myriad of options available today. With that in mind, let’s delve into how the right technology can improve workplace productivity, enhance your business and help you meet your goals.

Remember, if you’re looking for assistance with increasing business communication and productivity, contact the technology experts at Sentry Technology Solutions. We’re happy to discuss cloud services and other options that can improve your operations.

Trust in the Cloud to Accelerate Workflows and Minimize Downtime

In recent years, the process of virtualizing workloads and moving on-site applications to the cloud has become well-accepted. From the inherent flexibility to the scalability, businesses across the globe are recognizing and adopting some form of a cloud infrastructure. Whether you’re looking to deploy an application or collaborate with remote employees, the cloud offers a myriad of possibilities.

In addition to cutting down the amount of time it takes to complete projects, the cloud also makes protecting your critical data, systems and devices much easier with a safe backup and recovery plan.

Master Accessibility and Collaboration with VoIP

There was a time when complex and expensive telecommunications systems weren’t an option for most small to medium-sized businesses. Nowadays, there are several innovative solutions to choose from, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). With VoIP, telecommuting and remote collaboration has never been easier. Your employees have access to the information they need around the clock with no gaps in service — all they need is a stable internet connection.

So, put the intelligence into a network rather than a headset, and enjoy the streamlined communication and boosted productivity that VoIP offers. Your employees will never be out of contact with customers or fail to have access to the information they need simply because they’re away from their desk or working remotely.

Turn to Mobile Equipment to Increase Efficiencies

Today, more and more businesses are leveraging mobility to streamline their workflows and increase employee productivity. With modern day smartphones, tablets and laptops, lugging a lot of equipment around or being tied to an office are no longer issues. Implementing mobile workstations means your employees can access company data and resources from anywhere in the world – in the office, at home or working in the field.

Remote work options can also lead to happier, more engaged and more productive workers. From checking an email on the road to participating in a conference call from home, employees can be mobile and still get business done.

Invest in Flexible Technology

When you’re immersed in the day-to-day challenges of operating a business, you may struggle to see the big picture. Carve out some time to consider how implementing flexible technology like cloud services and VoIP can boost productivity. For expert guidance, contact Sentry Technology Solutions. We can discuss your business goals and recommend appropriate, affordable IT solutions.


data security

5 Data Security Risks When Working Remote and How You Can Defend Against Them

In a study of business leaders performed by Accenture, 68 percent feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing – and rightfully so! Based on data provided by Cisco, cybercrimes are on track to surpass all the global trade of all major drugs combined. That begs the question, how do we maintain our business’s data security, especially with the global shift to remote work? In this article, you’ll learn the risks that accompany a digital presence, and how you can prepare your team for optimizing work from home security.

Risk #1 – Using public or unsecured networks.

With employees having more freedom to select their work environment, many choose to trade in their home offices or kitchen tables for a local coffee shop or co-workspace. While the change in scenery can help boost morale, it’s a serious data security risk to consider for businesses. When employees access company information from unsecure networks and public Wi-Fi, they create an open door for potential hackers to gain entry.

The Solution:

Having an external network for remote access is one solution that can help improve business privacy and data security. External networks create a degree of separation to isolate data breaches and protect your private network. Another solution is to set up a virtual private network (VPN) to act as a private network gateway. A VPN extends your business’s private network across a public one. This allows for added work from home security because it grants employees secure access from any device and a safe space for them to perform daily work. And as a rule of thumb, only use SSL connections (“HTTPS”) when accessing anything on the Internet.

Risk #2 – Easy access points through personal devices.

Another risk to public and personal devices is the ease of penetration hackers have through them into sensitive company materials. According to a survey by Google in 2019, 65 percent of people reuse the same password across multiple platforms. This explains why the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that compromised passwords directly cause 81 percent of hacking-related breaches. In addition, personal devices cannot be controlled and audited for frequent updates, security software and access to potentially harmful content.

The Solution:

Having access to devices utilized through the provision of company-owned devices is a guaranteed way to mitigate risk and improve private information security. If you’re also in an industry that relies on mobile devices to accomplish work-related tasks on the go, it’s advisable to implement a mobile device management solution to prevent data breaches should a smartphone or tablet ever be lost or stolen.

If these options are not feasible for your company, providing clear instructions regarding password best practices and which devices and software are permitted can add an extra layer of security. By ensuring employees are not installing potentially malicious software and maintaining strong, unique passwords that are updated over time, you can create an extra line of defense against cyberthreats.

Additional security measures include the use of multi-factor authentication, data encryption and session locking mechanisms. These actions will help detect suspicious behavior and deter hackers from breaching your system.

Risk #3 – Using outmoded software and technology.

The 2020 Kaspersky Global Corporate IT Security Risks Survey found that businesses utilizing outdated technology suffered far more frequent data breaches (65%) than counterparts who kept their technology up to date (29%). Not only does it pose a security risk, but outdated technology works against your team’s efforts to collaborate, utilize their time efficiently and communicate key information effectively. This can bottle-neck your projects and waste valuable time and money spent on each deliverable.

The Solution:

Choosing cloud-based collaboration tools provides a dual benefit for your team with the ability to keep software and technology updated and an extra layer of protection via cloud security. Cloud-based technology and software ensure that every user on the platform maintains updates, as it is managed by an overarching administrator, and it ensures the highest level of security cyberthreats. The company-protected cloud will give your business peace of mind through the ability to backup data, monitor and control data security, and maintain necessary defenses against lurking threats. Just be sure that your employees maintain business privacy by not storing cloud-based company data on their personal devices.

Risk #4 – Slow responses to suspected or known data breaches.

Based on a study by the University of Maryland, every 39 seconds a hacker strikes. Yet, for the prevalence of hacker attacks, it can take nearly 197 days to identify and 69 days to contain a breach according to IBM. Those numbers don’t bode well for businesses! So, how can organizations protect their data privacy and ward off threats?

The Solution:

The best offense is a great defense. And much like on the field, it’s key that everyone involved on the team understands the plan. By training your entire staff about current data security risks and signs of potential cyberthreats and data breaches, you’ll have more eyes watching for potentially suspicious activity. These trainings don’t require team members to be IT experts, but it will help your IT experts stay ahead of weak spots, areas of concern and instances of private information security being compromised.

Coupled with a vigilant team, data loss prevention (DLP) strategies are measures that can be set in place to preserve your data in the event of a natural or manmade disaster striking. These plans work to prioritize data, learn risks, closely monitor data movement and ensure that backups are regularly implemented to swiftly restore order back to your business.

Risk #5 – Not staying on top of software updates.

If you had a hole in the side of your house, odds are, you wouldn’t leave it exposed for long. The same mentality should be transposed in cyberspace. By not updating software regularly, your technology won’t be dexterous against active hackers and digital threats. As tempting as the remind me later button may be on update notifications, the time and money that companies would have to spend after data breaches is far too precious to risk.

The Solution:

This is, again, where cloud-based collaboration tools can be wisely implemented. The ability to control your entire network’s technology updates and regularly update company-wide hardware and software through patching updates will keep your ahead of cyber vulnerabilities. It’s important to have an expert overseeing these updates to ensure that updates don’t disrupt function and compatibility of your technology and create a blind spot in your defenses.

Have an expert on top of your data security.

When it comes to the costs of your business and data privacy, you can never be too safe. That’s where we come in. We provide top-tier, customizable managed IT services to help keep your business secure and your focus on your goals. Our team of experts will ensure your private information security is up to date, maintained, and preventative against data breaches and losses. To discover more about how we can support your business, contact us today!


Remote Work Collaboration: Improve the Way Your Team Works Together While Apart 

With the pivotal shift in remote work options looking to become a lasting effect of 2020, employers are experiencing both the perks and pitfalls of this new teamwork and collaboration trend. According to LinkedIn’s 10 Insights from Talent Leaders, “recent research shows that the number of permanent remote workers is expected to double in 2021”. However, flexible work locations add a new layer of intricacy into cultivating a positive work environment, maintaining structure and efficiency on a day-to-day basis. That leaves us with the question on the table – how do we as employers improve team collaboration, mitigate burnout, and keep our staff on track? Read on and we will share our top tips for empowering your remote workforce to put you back in the driver’s seat of your well-oiled machine.

Tip #1: Set Clear Boundaries and Expectations for Collaboration

A critical component to any work from home employment is the establishment of clear-cut expectations for communication and visibility. Setting the stage for proper modes of communication, remote work boundaries and channels of information storage are vital to maintain a healthy pulse on the company and ensure you don’t lose visibility.

Remote collaboration tools are designed with this specific function in mind and are a great way to keep track of projects, silo project-related tasks, and provide user-friendly options for even the least tech-savvy team members.

Task tracking platforms for both high-level and granular project updates:

Make sure to communicate what information is best shared on instant messaging platforms, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, and what should be logged in your project management software. This will help keep your visibility clear, your communication effective and work from bottlenecking.

Tip #2: Minimize Burnout for Maximized Results

According to Harvard Business Review, the lack of face-to-face communication and workplace environmental changes have led to increased cases of burnout in companies that did not alter their workplace practices as part of their shift to remote work. We now can see how we took for granted body language in conversation, tones of voice, and equitable workplace positivity through a single gesture.

Nowadays, employers must work consciously towards the creation of digital work culture if they want to yield quality results and healthy employees. Utilize options like Bonusly for cross-team engagement that facilitates visible recognition and positivity.

Great VoIP tools to regain the sense of interpersonal communication:

These can also be used to host team meetups after a long workday, group collaboration and brainstorming sessions, and standard one-on-ones where tone and delivery of information are key. The last thing you need in your business is a slew of miscommunication to add fuel to fires.

Tip #3: Keep Your Head Up in the Cloud

With work from home collaboration stretching across cities, states, or even countries – it’s imperative that you have all of your data stored in one centralized location. Now that we’re all working digitally, cloud-based technology is your best option for backing up your precious data.

Why telework employers can’t rely on an individual’s technology:

  • Being spread across geographic regions can leave employees susceptible to varied weather events and power outages that could lead to data loss in a snap.
  • Employees can fall victim to cybercrimes and ransomware ploys more easily when communication is not streamlined with specific boundaries outlined.

The cloud provides a failsafe solution for storing data over time. The cloud also reduces your physical footprint and allows for easy recovery should the worst-case scenario occur. The ability to retrieve data and reimplement if one should lose it could be a lifesaver for your business and your consumers!

Provide Your Remote Team with What they Need to Succeed

Technology is constantly evolving and maintaining the tools you need to succeed can take a lot of time. That’s where partnerships with IT experts can step in and reduce your headache. We’re here to empower you to empower your team for success. To get your remote workforce started on the right foot today, (CTA) download the Ultimate Guide to Empowering Your Remote Workforce and navigate the digital path for continual growth with remote collaboration.

 


How to Drive Remote Work Engagement

Workforce engagement is crucial for every business type and is especially important for companies that offer work-from-home options. According to Gartner, 88 percent of organizations moved employees over to work-from-home after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. With this sudden transition to telework, successful companies are changing the way they keep their team motivated.

In order to drive the engagement of your remote team, you first must understand what challenges they face. These problems below can affect their level of engagement:

  • They feel isolated out of the office.
  • They have difficulty connecting with their co-workers.
  • They lack managerial support or direction.

With the right technology tools, you can address each of these issues and increase the motivation and satisfaction of your remote team. Let’s discuss how.

1) Personalize Meetings with Face-to-Face Interactions

According to Buffer’s 2020 State of Remote Work Report, 19 percent of remote workers admit that they are lonely working from home. When workers feel removed from their work environment, this will negatively affect their ability to focus on work, their motivation and their output. The good news is that there are a few easy ways employers can help their employees who feel isolated and increase remote workforce engagement.

In April 2020, Zoom saw a 60 percent increase in consumer spending. The reason? Video conferencing software is an easy way to increase engagement through face-to-face interactions and personalized meeting spaces. Live meetings allow your team to connect instantly on projects or invite an unlimited number of participants for streaming. Whether you have daily team meetings, one-on-ones, lunch-and-learns or social events, video conferencing tools increase remote engagement and collaboration.

2) Stay Connected with Team Communication Tools

Another big challenge for remote workforce engagement is communication. With remote teams working from anywhere at any time, it’s easy for there to be communication breakdowns. Fortunately, you can connect your team with cloud-based technology and give them access to the best technology tools.

With team communication tools like Microsoft Teams or Slack, employees can stay in touch with each other from anywhere. Communication tools provide your team with live video chat through an instant messaging platform. Your team can have organized group chats and integrated file-sharing options, too. With cloud-based technology, your team can connect in real time. They can work on documents together. They can communicate instantly. This keeps them connected regardless of where they are located.

3) Help Them Avoid Burnout

Many business owners believe their remote workers want to be left alone to do their work. The truth is that they wish they had more support from management. Whether it’s receiving adequate direction on a project, gaining insight into which deadline to prioritize or being acknowledged for a job well done, most remote workers feel that their leadership is often lacking when they work from home.

Fortunately, when you are using the right technologies, you can provide the managerial support your remote team’s needs while also helping them avoid burnout.

Use Project Management Tools: With project management tools like Jira, Trello, Basecamp or Wrike, your remote team will have the assistance they need to prioritize tasks. Project management tools provide a clear visual presentation of task workflows. They have advanced project tracking features and can track your workforce’s productivity, project statuses and other metrics. Project management tools keep everyone in the know and provide the guidance your team needs to stay engaged.

Reward Them with Virtual Gifts: When your team is working remotely, businesses need to go the extra mile to show appreciation. Reward your team by sending them virtual gift cards on birthdays or work anniversaries. Provide company-wide visibility on an HR platform like Bamboo HR. Take rewards to the next level with a rewards program like Bonusly. When your team feels appreciated, this strengthens your company culture and motivates remote employees to do their best work.

How an MSP Can Motivate Your Team

With the right people, processes and technology, your team can stay engaged and collaborate at their best. A managed services provider can provide your business with the ongoing support it needs to thrive. We can also set you up with the technology tools that enable your team to do their best work. Whether it’s boosting engagement, improving collaboration or working in a secure remote environment, we can help you get your team up and running and continue to deliver the innovative solutions your business needs to thrive.

Download our Ultimate Guide to Empowering Your Remote Workforce and get started today!


3 Ways to Leverage Your Technology in 2021

Every investment you make for your company should be made with confidence. While it’s hard to be sure which new technologies have staying power over others, one thing remains certain – your employees will always need to communicate and collaborate. Whether your team is working from the office or remotely, it’s vital for their workflow to occur unimpeded. With the right solutions, your business can efficiently operate without breaking the bank.

Scalable communications and collaboration solutions don’t come cheap when you handle them alone. But with a technology partner working by your side, you can get the tech you need for less. Learn about the technologies available and see how a managed services provider (MSP) can help you maximize your investment.

1) Understand the Importance of Modern Tech

Have your employees switched to remote work? Are they back in the office? Even if you plan on operating a hybrid of remote and in-office staff, you need to ensure their workflow remains uninterrupted. But there is a lot to consider when choosing the right tech. Most business leaders can boil their concerns down to three primary questions:

  • How can I best keep my data secure when it’s accessed remotely?
  • Will my staff be able to share files and data seamlessly?
  • What is the best solution to keep my team in contact from all locations?

Unless you spend your day-to-day in the IT communications world, it can be challenging to know what you need. However, there are simple answers to these common questions.

  • For the first question, cybersecurity software, like firewalls, two-step authentication and a VPN can keep your data protected from all access points.
  • For the second question, Microsoft’s 365 suite contains a useful cloud file-sharing and storage application called SharePoint.
  • For the third question, a VoIP solution that enables your team to call via video and voice over your internet connection.

Having the solutions you need to deal with the unexpected gives you more time and resources to grow your business.

2) Use IT Solutions for Different Situations

There are many reasons your staff may need to work from locations outside of your office. But they shouldn’t have to suffer through extensive downtime when they could be working. As long as they have the technology they need, it’s no longer a worry.

The Business Journals conducted a study about the primary causes of downtime. Topping their list were hardware failures, power or internet outages and most importantly, cybersecurity threats. With occurrences like this looming, it’s no wonder the fear of downtime is so persistent. But fortunately, the technologies you invested in for your remote work can help keep your staff working. Suppose your employees are displaced, or an internal system goes down. In that case, your remote technologies can double as backup systems for the day or for as long as you need until you can return your primary systems to their everyday operations as long as you need until you can return your primary systems to their everyday operations.

Don’t allow a cyberattack, natural disaster or other unforeseen situation to stop your company. Leverage your communications and collaboration tech investment to the fullest.

3) Leverage the Power of CaaS

The middle of a network or systems failure or natural disaster is the worst time to consider your technology. But getting a head start and deploying it yourself can be time-consuming as well. Partner with an MSP and see how their Communications as a Service (CaaS) can make a positive difference.

Your MSP partner will take the time to understand your communications and collaboration goals. They will then plan, deploy and maintain your solutions to your communications concerns from the very start so that you can stay focused on your daily tasks.

We’re Your Solution Provider

Once you get the communications and collaboration technology you need, you can stay focused on growing your business. As your technology partner, we want you to have confidence in your ability to communicate and collaborate in any location with reliability, efficiency and security. Our expertise can get you there with the value you need.

Let’s build your solution now.


The Dos and Don’ts of Communications

Do you have staff working remotely for the foreseeable future? It would be nice to ensure your entire team could collaborate efficiently, no matter how far apart they work. Don't you wish there was an easy way to make it work? The secret is excellent communication solutions provided by a technology partner.

With an entire technical team supporting your employees, you will enjoy boosted collaborative efforts and productivity for a fraction of the cost of multiple, ununified solutions. Discover what you need to achieve tremendous success in the modern business world as we discuss the dos and don'ts of communications and collaboration.

1. Examine Your Current Situation

It's very easy for businesses like yours to remain comfortable in maintained business rather than pursuing growth amid the current uncertainty. But if you aren't making an effort to get ahead in your channel, any competitor making those preparations will surely outpace you. This brings us to our first point:

  • Don’t ignore the uncertainty that next year could bring.
  • Do invest in a solution that will improve your company in any circumstance.

You want to be ready to hit the ground running once the market stabilizes. That means ensuring your team has everything they need to work together unimpeded. Give your employees the collaboration tools they need for every part of their workday.

2. Discover What’s Available

The key to a successful collaboration and communication solution is unification. With so many technologies out there, the time and money you could spend making them work together aren’t worth it when you can invest in a unified solution. Our next point:

  • Don’t allow your internal collaboration to fall apart.
  • Do hold it together in a unified solution.

With powerful solutions like Microsoft Office, you can ensure an industry-leading technology backs your employees' success. Microsoft Office's suite of tools allows for communication and collaboration to flow freely between direct messages, video conferences, Word documents stored in the cloud and more.

Don’t ignore your employees’ frustrations caused by remote work hurdles. With the right technologies, you can provide them with the communication solutions they need.

3. Bring It All Together

Moving your organization onto a centralized application like Microsoft Office on your own is a daunting task – especially when you have a business to run. With a trusted technology partner on your side, it’s not a problem. This brings us to our final point:

  • Don’t try and solve all these issues yourself.
  • Do use Communications as a Service (CaaS).

Allow a professional technology team to take on your technology needs, so your day-to-day operations continue seamlessly. This IT ally takes on the data migration and has your organization running on a reliable system with little to no downtime. Let a unified solution be the reason you succeed well into the future.

We’re Your Solution Provider

Once you get the technology you need, any worry that you can’t complete your daily tasks fades away. As your technology partner, we want you to have confidence in your ability to communicate and collaborate in any location with reliability, efficiency and security. Don’t start next year worrying about what may come next. Let us support your efforts with our expertise.

 

Do get in touch with us to get started today.

 


Enhancing Team Collaboration During the Pandemic

COVID-19 has presented us all with a lot of challenges. With public health guidelines suddenly in place in March 2020, most businesses were forced to transition to remote work either on a full-time or part-time basis. In fact, according to Gartner, 88 percent of organizations worldwide moved to remote capabilities after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

Naturally, a drastic change to your work environment can have a domino effect that impacts operational efficiency and company culture. With the 2020 pandemic, businesses have had to adapt quickly to maximize their team collaboration and improve productivity. One of the best ways to get the most out of your remote workforce is to leverage technology. Let’s discuss the most popular collaborative tools of 2020. With the right technologies, businesses can stay closely connected and collaborate from anywhere.

The Power of the Cloud

Although the cloud is widely popular for its convenient storage capabilities, cloud-based technology can enhance collaboration. This technology also provides convenient, secure access to information which allows teams to organize projects quickly in a centralized location. With a shared virtual workspace, teams can easily connect, brainstorm ideas, share information and work simultaneously on projects together.

Productivity Tools in Microsoft 365

Microsoft Office has come a long way since the animated paperclip, Clippy. Office 365 can be coupled with the cloud to allow remote teams to coordinate calendars, conduct video conferences, chat in group messaging forums, and collaborate in real time on projects. This shared workspace enables teams to work smarter and more efficiently on projects than ever before.

Creating Engagement in Zoom

Zoom became a household name overnight in March 2020. The video conference software allows teams to connect through live video chat, conduct instant virtual meetings, screen-share documents, record conferences, instant chat in meeting rooms and engage in personalized conversations as if they were in the same place. Video conference software bolsters collaboration and improves the work culture.

Gaining a Team Communication System

Team communication applications like Slack or Microsoft Teams provide the workforce with a platform to communicate, organize projects and streamline collaborative efforts. Employees can communicate clearly in group chat sessions, share files instantly and discover old resources in a searchable history feature. Team communication applications make it easier to connect and collaborate from anywhere.

With the right technology, your workforce can maximize their productivity because they are working as a cohesive unit in an environment that fosters collaboration and teamwork. If you’re interested in improving your IT infrastructure and establishing an effective system for your remote workforce, we can help.

Get valuable solutions that enhance your remote operations. Contact us today.


Keep Compliance in Check With Tech

Creating a compliance checklist doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but it could be one of the most important things you do this week. Get started today with a self-assessment, and then map out a plan. By the end of the week, you can relax knowing you’re set up for success and know how to strengthen your IT infrastructure and prepare you for a compliance audit.

According to Gartner, 64% of “surveyed leaders say managing risks across fragmented jurisdictions and regulations will be important or extremely important in 2020 — yet only 15% feel highly prepared to do so.”

To avoid the steep consequences of noncompliance, small to medium-sized businesses, and enterprises alike, are doing everything they can to be proactive. This involves being honest with yourself about the state of your network’s cybersecurity and the measures you have in place to safeguard your data.

Are you ready to comply with HIPAA, PCI, SOX and other regulations that govern your industry? To protect the privacy of your patients and customers, you need to make sure sensitive data, including health records and financial information, doesn’t fall into the hands of hackers. Thinking through a few key steps can help you close gaps in security, avoid cybercrimes and stay on top of the latest compliance regulations.

Cross compliance off the list. Contact us today.

A Compliance Checklist:

  • Do Your Homework – Ignorance is no excuse. Research what is expected of you and investigate how other businesses use technology to stay on top of government regulations. You may find out that your own IT infrastructure is outdated.
  • Educate Your Workforce – Everyone knows that data breaches are often the result of human error. Smart executives solicit the help of IT professionals for basic and advanced security awareness training to prevent personal identifying information from getting out.
  • Improve Your IT Infrastructure – Cybersecurity is everything, and with countless online data transfers and digital financial transactions happening every day, it’s hard to keep up. Maintaining compliance is easier with protected hardware and updated software.
  • Secure Your Mobile Devices – There’s a reason so many small to medium-sized businesses are investing in mobile device management services. That’s because, in a bring-your-own-device culture, remote access to networks opens up dangerous avenues for hackers.
  • Be Proactive and Alert – Preventing data breaches is always a priority, but when lapses in cybersecurity lead to noncompliance, you’re on the hook for costly fines that could put you out of business. Get compliance in order now to avert a potential crisis later.
  • Undergo a Compliance Evaluation – Once you’ve taken stock of where your organization stands in terms of regulations, it’s time to bring in a team of IT experts for a compliance consultation. Take advantage of a free assessment to start preparing.

This checklist should help get the juices flowing and prompt you to make your own compliance to-do list. With the right IT infrastructure in place, you can give your patients and customers the protection they deserve while enjoying the peace of mind that comes with having done everything you can to comply.

Need Help With Compliance?

Between managing employees, supporting a remote workforce and handling IT concerns, today’s business leaders have a lot on their plates. When your main goal is to make sure everything runs smoothly while generating a profit, the last thing you want to worry about is compliance and technology — let alone the constantly-changing regulations associated with HIPAA, PCI, SOX and other governing boards. The best executives recognize when the time is right to delegate some of the heavy lifting to IT pros who understand your industry and know how to put tech to work for you. Simplify compliance, prevent costly data breaches and more by bringing in a team of experts. Contact us today for a customized compliance IT solution.


Combat Common Compliance Obstacles

For many business owners, everything about compliance can seem intimidating at first. To further complicate things, federal and international regulations are always being altered or added, leaving many organizations left with the task of keeping up. The alternative, however, could leave you facing steep fees and other consequences you shouldn’t have to worry about on top of everything else.

With a little foresight and planning, your business can anticipate potential compliance roadblocks and figure out a way to steer clear of them. By learning about common problems that organizations face regarding HIPPA, PCI, SOX and other regulations, your business will be in a better position to identify and avert them going forward.

Conquer Compliance Concerns for Good.

Consider the Top Five Compliance Challenges:

  1. Protecting Sensitive Data: Patients and customers are counting on you to keep their private information safe from prying eyes and hackers. Federal regulations are designed to keep records where they belong and prevent cybercrimes and data breaches from wreaking havoc on businesses and individuals. The key to staying compliant is thinking about everything that could go wrong beforehand, which is easier to do with a solid IT infrastructure.
  2. Keeping Software Up to Date: It may seem like most software is being automatically updated these days. The truth is that you don’t have to go too many days without restarting your machines to experience gaps in protection. In many cases, once an alert has been issued, it’s up to users to take action and install the patch or update themselves. Educating your workforce about the importance of alerts is another way to ensure your business is adhering to regulations.
  3. Handling Mobile Devices: Since the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) lifestyle is here to stay, it’s clear that maintaining compliance is going to involve more than just securing the technology in your brick-and-mortar buildings and the communication that comes in and out of it. In addition to protecting your work-issued phones, laptops, tablets and other work devices, it is critical that you manage every mobile device that accesses your network remotely. Failing to do so could lead to costly consequences for businesses that are already struggling to maintain compliance.
  4. Managing Electronic Data Interchanges (EDI): As more business is conducted online and more organizations migrate to the cloud, it is becoming necessary for organizations to take action to protect customer information transferred between computers. Whether you’re transmitting healthcare records or sensitive financial data, protecting electronic data is the only way to stay compliant. EDI compliance is best managed by professionals and software that can help you avoid receiving hefty fines, losing valuable customers and even suffering from potential legal action.
  5. New Technology: Because everything is connected through the Internet of things (IoT), your business has to find ways to accommodate — and then secure — new, interconnected technology and the data that is generated along with it. Each technical innovation has the potential to introduce new roadblocks to compliance, so don’t forget about IoT security standards when planning for the future.

While it is nearly impossible to anticipate every compliance obstacle that may come your way, you should be prepared to handle as many of them as possible. Being proactive now means that you’ll enjoy peace of mind later.

Connect with Experts

When you are running a company, staying compliant is always on your mind. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Compliance is easier when you are partnered with a reliable MSP who can shoulder some of your most daunting tasks while you focus on growing your business. Avoid noncompliance by bringing in professionals who know the ins-and-outs of your industry and can deliver the compliance IT services you need. Contact us today to position yourself for stability and success.