9 Things You Can Do to Outsmart Ransomware Attacks

It won’t matter if you consider your company an unlikely target for ransomware attacks. If just one ransomware attack hits your network, it will still cripple your business.

Take the time now to prepare for and take precautions against ransomware attacks.

1. Create a Device Inventory

You need to have an up to date inventory of all devices on your network, and you need to monitor those devices on a regular basis. The list should include all security devices, access points and network devices to ensure that you are tracking every possible place a cybercriminal could access your network.

2. Automate Software Updates

All of your endpoints need the latest software to thwart exploits to the greatest extent possible. Automating software updates and patches is the best way to keep everything current. Your updated device inventory will help you to ensure that all of your endpoints are covered.

3. Segment Your Network

You need to minimize the impact if you do get hit with a ransomware attack. Segmenting your network is one way to close some doors that an attacker would otherwise use to travel throughout your network.

Once you have identified the flows through your network, you can plan segmentation to minimize the number of traffic flows that need to cross segment boundaries.

4. Keep the Network Clean

Develop a policy controlling the devices that anyone adds to the network. Check all devices to ensure that they meet basic security requirements, and will allow you to actively scan for unpatched or infected devices and data flow.

5. Use Access and Application Controls

Controlling access can include limiting admin accounts, and limiting users to only the access they need. For example, if a user only needs read access, don’t allow write access.

From an application standpoint, implement controls that prevent an application from executing from a known ransomware location such as temporary folders related to internet browsers.

6. Create a Dynamic Disaster Recovery Plan

It may be virtually impossible to put enough controls in place to stop any cybercriminal. They change their tactics often and get smarter every time. The best defense is to have a disaster recovery plan that allows you to ignore the demands for ransom and get your systems back up and running quickly.

7. Establish Off-Network Backups

Ransomware attackers count on the fact that you’ll be desperate to get your data back, and will quickly pay the ransom. You can avoid that situation by creating an off-network backup for at least critical systems. Restoring your systems as quickly as possible will definitely frustrate the cybercriminals.

Related: The 3-2-1 Backup Rule: Why It’s Important

8. Get Management Support

The fight against ransomware attacks requires the support of management. Senior executives need to make cybersecurity a priority and communicate that company-wide. In addition, a comprehensive approach to stopping attacks will require the financial support that only a dedicated senior management staff can provide.

9. Train the Staff

Many cyberattacks start from a phishing email that lets an unsuspecting employee introduce a threat. Another common source is the surfing employees do on the internet. That’s where they can inadvertently visit a website or download something that introduces a threat.

Train employees on how to identify and avoid suspect emails. Besides that, educate them about the purpose for their browser identifying suspect websites and the importance of taking the warnings seriously.

Your Organization’s Next Steps

You may find other actions you can take to avoid ransomware attacks. However, if you haven’t addressed the issues listed above, you’re particularly vulnerable.

If you want to get started on making your system more capable of frustrating ransomware attacks, contact us to learn how we can make your organization ransomware-proof.

Include These Key Steps and Elements to Create a Solid Cybersecurity Strategy

Being aware of the most recent cybersecurity trends is imperative when planning for the future. It’s especially true when you take into account the more than 7 in 10 U.S. organizations that were impacted by a data breach over the past few years.

The majority of those affected are small-to-medium sized businesses.

Understanding the associated threats is the first step towards the development of a solid cybersecurity strategy. This will allow you to take a proactive approach, creating a reliable security plan before any issues arise.

SMBs Face Significant Cybersecurity Threats

In the headlines, you often hear of security breaches in regards to large corporations.

Naturally, they’re significant enough – they involve the personal information of thousands (if not millions) of customers. Still, you seldom hear about the more common victims — those who own or operate small businesses.

It makes sense, as from a hacker’s point-of-view. A small business will have more digital assets than a random individual, and they also have fewer security protocols in comparison to larger organizations.

They’re the unfortunate perfect target for these cybercriminals. But all hope is not lost.

In addition to working with a professionally managed service provider, you must be aware of best practices for your business. Start with the basics and continue to invest in vulnerable areas, focusing on firewalls, two-step authentication, data backup solutions, encryption software, etc.


Related: 8 Business Benefits of Having Managed Services

The Elements in Your Cybersecurity Strategy

When it comes to the current and future success of your business, cybersecurity is a serious issue — and the stakes are higher than ever before. If you are ready to get serious about cybersecurity, be mindful of the following elements and recommended steps.

Step 1: Get (and Stay) Informed

When it comes to a solid cybersecurity strategy, there is one element you need to be aware of — human error. The human component can significantly weaken your level of security, especially if training is not a key priority.

Within your company, you should assign the role of Chief Information Security Officer. This individual (or team of individuals) will have authority and funding to ensure the protection of company data and the IT infrastructure. Although there should be levels of hierarchy, you should provide training for each person within the organization.

From spotting phishing emails to avoiding possible malware attacks, remember that knowledge is power. The key here is due diligence and overall awareness. In addition, if a breach does occur, team members should already know how to respond.

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Tip: Be sure to hold regular meetings and training sessions in regards to software updates, data backup plans, and overall security measures. When you create a culture of cybersecurity in the workplace, you will be able to implement a more effective, proactive strategy.

Step 2: Create and Implement Your Strategy

In order to create a solid cybersecurity strategy, you need to first be mindful of vulnerabilities.

For example, what threats do you currently face in relation to network security? How can you perform your due diligence in regards to cloud security or application security? Do I have the right hardware and software in place to adequately defend my data?

These are the types of questions you must ask yourself.

These elements will coincide with your disaster recovery plan, which you can read all about here. To ensure best practices, depending on your industry, you can rely on some of the latest industry standards, including ISO/IEC 27001 and HIPAA.

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Tip: It is important that you customize your cybersecurity strategy based on the specific threats and vulnerabilities your company faces. In the latest framework, presented by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, you may view key areas to consider (in addition to suggested guidelines).

Step 3: Monitor and Test Your Infrastructure

Creating a cybersecurity strategy is only half the battle. In order to ensure that it’s solid, you must monitor its activity and perform regular tests to ensure that it works. While monitoring your IT infrastructure, be sure to generate incident reports that showcase unusual activity.

By building a threat intelligence base, you will gain greater insight and improve your ongoing strategy. Remember, as technology continues to evolve, new threats will likely surface. Your cybersecurity strategy will need to adapt to these changes, improving overall risk management.

In addition, you must implement a comprehensive response plan — just in case a breach does occur. Once you have developed your disaster plan, you should run a drill to better understand and/or refine your current procedures.

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Tip: If you discover a potential risk, it is important that you have a response checklist prepared. For example, you should record the date and time that the potential breach was discovered, before re-securing the equipment or systems in question. To ensure that no data is lost, always follow the 3-2-1 backup rule prior to any problematic incidents.

AppSolute Protects SMBs Around the Clock

As Neil Rerup, famed cybersecurity architect, once said, “True cybersecurity is preparing for what’s next, not what was last.”

At the end of the day, everyone is at risk when it comes to cybersecurity. As an SMB, it’s imperative that you take action before a problem arises, as a data breach could potentially put you out of business.

If you have any questions regarding your company’s security needs, please contact us today. We can work to protect your data and your clients with next-gen solutions and experience technicians.

Disaster Recovery Planning vs. Business Continuity Plans

Many businesses use the terms ‘disaster recovery plan’ and ‘business continuity plan’ interchangeably. Although both critical components following a disaster, they are independent of one another.

That means that if you have a disaster recovery plan but have failed to complete a business continuity plan (and vice versa), here’s what you need to know.

The Difference Between a Disaster Recovery Plan and a Business Continuity Plan

When a major disaster strikes, more than 40% of all businesses will never recover — and for those who do, only 29% are still operating two years later.

Taking a proactive approach will help ensure that your business not only survives a disaster but is still able to thrive. If you have not taken any action in terms of disaster planning, here’s what you need to know about the following plans (and what they mean for your business).

  • Business continuity plan — If a disaster were to strike, would you be able to continue operating your business? If not, you are significantly reducing your chances of survival. This plan will allow you to re-establish and continue services. That way, you can become fully functional in the shortest amount of time possible. Within this plan, you must think about the most critical operations and processes within your organization. That includes your dependence on equipment, personnel, servers, software, finances, etc.
  • Disaster recovery plan — This will be included within your business continuity plan but should be treated as its own separate entity. Your disaster recovery plan is essentially a subset of your business continuity plan. Disaster recovery is typically more technical, as it mostly focuses on the impact of lost IT services. When developing this plan, you should be aware of the 3-2-1 backup rule.

Bottom line: Your disaster recovery plan is more data-centric. It will allow you to restore and recover lost data following a disaster. In comparison, your business continuity plan is more business-centric. It includes strategies that will minimize downtime following a disaster based on core business operations.

Although different, both plans share the same goal in that they help sustain business operations.

Related: 3 Data Loss Horror Stories

Make Data Protection a Top Priority

As you can imagine, if you developed a business continuity plan but not a disaster recovery plan, it would be challenging to continue operations. Once you lose your data, your company essentially loses its most important asset. This means that it’s not a matter of developing one or the other — but rather how you balance both plans.

Of course, each organization is unique, so you will need to focus on your company’s specific needs. Many small-to-medium businesses benefit from outsourcing these processes, as a third-party can simplify both of these plans. Managed services can also be much more affordable in the long run — especially in terms of productivity.

Related: 5 Signs That It’s Time to Partner with a Managed Service Provider

Also, please be mindful that a disaster recovery plan goes far beyond copying your data. When developing this plan, you will need to outline how often you implement your backups, where you store your copied data, and anything else surrounding data recovery.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity with AppSolute

The takeaway here is that although closely related and in many ways reliant on one another, your disaster recovery plan and business continuity plan are not the same. Now is the time to ensure that both of these plans are up-to-date and that your team has been strategically involved.

With the evolution of cloud-based services, companies of all sizes can now easily afford to implement these plans. Don’t wait until disaster hits to develop critical strategies — contact us today to learn more!

The 3-2-1 Backup Rule: Why It’s Important

Your company’s data is one of your greatest assets. However, many businesses do not implement the required tools and systems until a situation occurs. At this point, it may be too late. That is why proactive measures are imperative.

For those currently seeking a backup and recovery solution, the 3-2-1 rule is a concept you should be mindful of. Acting as the best practice for data backup and recovery, it’s important to get into the habit of utilizing this highly effective strategy.

What Is the 3-2-1 Backup Rule?

When broken down, this proactive strategy is rather simple.

The “3-2-1 backup rule” means that you should:

  • Always keep three files of your data, including the original copy in addition to a minimum of two backups (two locally, which will be stored on different devices; as well as one offsite).
  • In relation to data backup, be sure to store your data on two separate storage types.
  • An on-site disaster could quickly wipe locally stored information — even if the data was stored on two separate devices. This is why you must also backup your data to an offsite location.

So, you should essentially store three backups, two locally and one remotely — hence the “3-2-1 rule.” No matter happens, this means that you’ll have a copy of your data.

Why Is the 3-2-1 Backup Rule Relevant?

According to the National Archives & Records Administration in Washington, 93% of companies who lost their data center for 10+ days due to a disaster situation filed for bankruptcy within one year of the initial occurrence (50% filed immediately).

From disaster situations to system failures, security breaches to accidental deletion, there are many causes of data loss. In fact, it’s reported that approximately 70% of all businesses have experienced (or will experience) data loss.

For this reason, the statement, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is incredibly relevant. By implementing the 3-2-1 rule, you can effectively implement preventative measures to avoid future data loss. As discussed, this could be the deciding factor between a company’s failure or long-term success.

How Your Business Can Implement the 3-2-1 Backup Rule Today

To begin, you must first create a backup and recovery plan. In doing so, you’ll not only develop beneficial systems but will also become more mindful of any weak spots within your company’s current security mechanisms and data storage systems.

Could hackers easily get into your systems?

Perhaps you have yet to address your virus-protection programs?

All of these are important to consider moving forward.

In terms of the 3-2-1 rule, this three-step strategy should become an immediate priority.

  • Step 1 – Create a minimum of three copies. Your first copy will be your primary source of data (stored on your internal hard drive), followed by two copies stored on two independent devices.
  • Step 2 – Physically store your two backup copies in two different media sources. For example, you should store your first copy on an external hard drive. The second copy should be stored on another device, such as an SD card or USB drive. You can also store two copies on internal hard drives, as long they’re stored in separate locations.
  • Step 3 – Always create an offsite backup. If your company doesn’t have another branch office, storing to the cloud is an ideal choice. To transfer your backup data offsite much more rapidly, built-in WAN acceleration may be of interest to your company.

Starting today, it’s important to view your data as investment capital. By implementing the 3-2-1 rule, you can gain peace-of-mind while preventing a potentially disastrous situation — the type that could potentially put you out of business.

Stephen Covey said it best, “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”

Looking for ERP and IT solutions? Please contact us today!

3 Data Loss Horror Stories

You’ve likely heard about data loss and its potential impact. Unfortunately, the true costs of data loss often get covered up by the massive data breach stories that grab headlines.

Data breaches expose corporate and client data. And, when they affect major corporations like Sears, Delta Airlines and Best Buy, it’s easy to see why data day-to-day data loss stories don’t get as much coverage. The average total cost of a data breach is estimated to be $3.62 million.

Regardless, it’s important to keep in mind that disasters and accidents can cost you just as much as a data breach.

Did You Know? 43% of businesses that suffer massive data loss never reopen.

Here are a few examples of data loss and how it happens.

1. Toy Story 2 (Almost) Disaster

When looking at data loss horror stories, Pixar’s epic problems with “Toy Story 2,” definitely hit near the top of the list.

While working on the movie, one stray line of code managed to delete 90% of the film. All the Toy Story 2 backups were recorded on tapes.  But without regular testing (that never happened), the team never knew if the tapes would work until they tried to restore from them.

Unfortunately for the design studio, the tapes were not running good backups. That left the company with a months old version of the file tree and a rapidly approaching deadline for a release date.

However, Pixar got lucky.

One of their employees worked from home and happened to have a copy that was only a few weeks old. The film was back up and running after a massive week of overhauls, file checks and impossible man hours.

Related: 8 Business Benefits of Having Managed Services

One badly executed command almost cost Pixar their credibility and a film that eventually went on to gross nearly $500M and walked off with an Oscar nomination.

2. Government is Not Exempt

Data loss stories aren’t just reserved for olden time.

Even in 2014, well into the age of cloud computing and near-instant data recovery systems, the State Department showed exactly how bad things could get when you don’t have a recovery plan in place.

Rolling out a software patch managed to crash the State Department’s passport and visa system, affecting more than 200,000 travelers worldwide. Neither passports nor visas could be issued or verified while the system was down.

Related: You Can’t Plan for a Disaster, but You Can Have a Disaster Plan

The State Department actually had the data backed up already, but the system itself was not.

3. Ma.Gnolia Folds Due to Catastrophic Data Loss

Remember that 43% mentioned earlier?

You might not remember Ma.Gnolia, a bookmark sharing website, but it was doing quite well in early 2009.

Users could publicly or privately bookmark a site for later viewing, and all without a local save. That meant you could access your bookmarks from any device. The company suffered a major data loss that took the entire service offline. Faced with days of expensive recovery activities and a major reputation hit, the company never recovered and folded shortly thereafter.

Avoiding Data Loss

The longer your systems are down, the more money you’re paying your employees to sit and wait. Data loss also means you’ll bring in less money due to the downtime that accompanies it.

Data loss isn’t reserved for big companies. It’s common, and it can happen at any time. Avoid being a member of the data loss brigade with a disaster and recovery plan that includes continuous backups and regular checks to ensure data integrity and recoverability.

Where do you get one of those, you ask?

Turn to your friendly neighborhood MSP, AppSolute. We’ve got what it takes to protect your data and keep your business running through the thick and thin.

5 Signs That It’s Time to Partner with a Managed Service Provider

During the crucial growth stages of any business, it is an inevitable reality that internal team members will eventually start to feel the pressure of adapting to new processes that support the company’s ability to scale. For many departments, these feelings are short-lived. Other branches of the company may continue to struggle to meet the new demands of their organization.

So what is the first sign of growing pains that most companies experience?

Their IT team’s inability to keep up with the company’s changing infrastructure. Due to this fact, many organizations have explored hiring managed IT services to help design a more sustainable IT solution for their corporate growth strategy.

But how do you know if your business is ready to invest in a different IT solution?

Here are 5 signs to look for that might mean it’s time to partner with a managed service provider.

Your Network is Constantly Experiencing Downtime

One of the first signs to show that your IT department is falling behind is constant network downtime. This becomes extremely costly over time since a company’s revenue, and credibility are directly aligned with their ability to have fully operational systems in place.

That’s no longer the case when you partner with a managed service provider. Together with them, you’re able to drastically reduce your downtime by maintaining a proactive IT environment.

The Business is Looking for Better Cost Savings

Consistently relying on an in-house team to manage your IT support can be a costly venture. Companies may eventually find that pulling resources away from their core competencies is a wasteful and inefficient way to achieve their priorities.

Managed service providers employ a team of experienced IT professionals. These professionals know exactly how to develop the systems your company needs while reducing the costs for implementation.

In-house Teams are Understaffed

As businesses scale, it may be challenging to balance hiring budgets between multiple departments. This issue may cause in-house IT teams to become understaffed and incapable of working at full efficiency.

By using a managed service provider, you’ll have a sizeable on-demand group at your service for significantly lower costs than hiring dedicated bodies. These teams are available to help your team 24/7  and can address issues outside of your core operational hours.

You Need More Advanced Technology and Better Cloud Solutions

Outdated databases and inadequate software is the grim reality for companies that have outgrown their systems. Upgrading newer technology and migrating to cloud-based systems can prove to be overwhelming for understaffed IT departments. It’s where the help of managed services can shine.

Service providers can ensure your systems are always up-to-date and that large-scale digital transformations go off without a hitch for the organization.

You Need Better System Security

In today’s fast-changing digital landscape, more and more importance is being put on better system security to protect companies digital assets. Keeping up with the latest cybersecurity threats and system recovery methods can be overwhelming for many organizations looking to balance this importance.

This is where managed service providers can provide a tremendous benefit.

Professional IT teams are well-versed and up-to-date with the latest cyberthreats and security countermeasures. They help ensure your systems are protected around the clock. They also proactively prepare for data recovery solutions in the event of possible breaches and catastrophic outages.


Choosing to outsource your IT needs can provide many benefits for organizations looking to scale their operations. By partnering with a managed service provider when early signs of inefficiencies develop, your company can benefit from the cost savings and professional experience they provide while ensuring your systems are securely maintained for years to come.


5 Signs You Need an ERP System

Keeping your business running smoothly requires using technology that supports automation and quick communication. For that, there are ERP systems that can help you achieve these goals.

But before you dive into the world of ERP, you have to know when it’s time to jump.

Here are 5 signs that will tell you exactly when you need an ERP system.

1. Your core business processes are struggling

From accounting to sales, you need to ensure your core business processes and their respective departments are efficient. But if your core departments aren’t using tools that boost their efficiency, they can struggle to operate at optimal levels.

It’s not just internal processes that suffer – it can also adversely impact the customer experience.

Related: What Does an MSP Actually Do?

On the other hand, ERP systems give you the power to facilitate operational efficiency. You can implement ERP systems that can help automate processes and provide a quick way for teams to monitor progress using a streamlined dashboard all from one database.

With a workflow improvement, you can supercharge your efficiency and make your customers happier than ever before.

2. You’ve got limited access to company data

The ability to access crucial information from your company anywhere at any time is essential for all employees that work in the field. It’s especially true for salespeople who invest several hours of the day in negotiating deals and providing in-person sales consultations to business prospects.

However, if your sales team lacks mobile access to company data, then you’re limiting their potential to nurture their leads. As remote work becomes an increasingly popular way of business, it’s important to have mobile functionality so that your team can access all the information that they need.

Related: 8 Business Benefits of Having Managed Services

You can get this done by taking advantage of an ERP system that leverages cloud technology. For instance, your sales team will be able to track the status of a sales order while on-the-go from their smartphone device or tablet using a mobile powered-ERP system. That helps them save time and make better decisions based on real-time information.

3. You’re using several software programs for different reasons across different departments

When your sales team finalizes a deal, your accounting team should be updated with the information as soon as possible so they can keep track of each expense for the month.

But if both departments are inputting and gathering information from different software programs to fulfill different tasks within each business process, then your operational efficiency will tank.


Because each software program lacks direct communication. Moreover, updating and upgrading each software program can be time consuming. Conversely, an ERP system allows you to streamline your business processes and enhance operational efficiency thanks to its ability to work on a software platform that’s integrated using a single database.

4. Your IT support is too slow

When you have several departments using a variety of software applications, it can transform support for IT-related issues into an ordeal. Your organization will require more staff members and resources to constantly address problems with each individual program.

If you’re not careful, you can end up stretching your IT support thin, causing extended downtime, and even affecting your overall less productivity.

Instead, an ERP system can help simplify IT support by helping IT managers assess issues from one central location. This helps to facilitate quick and agile operations and increase business productivity.

5. You can’t scale with current systems

If you want to grow your business, you have to use the tools that will help you get tasks done in innovative ways. But if you’re using legacy software systems that take a long time to complete tasks, it can hinder your business growth.

Related: 5 Ways Managed IT Services Help Growing Businesses

With ERP systems, you can easily scale your business. You have the option to buy the resources you need and customize the system to evolve as your business does.

Have ERP questions? We have ERP answers

Whether your accounting is struggling or you lack mobility, you have to understand when it’s time to get an ERP. By knowing the signs, you can help streamline your business processes to enhance operational efficiency and your overall profits.

8 Business Benefits of Having Managed Services

Operating a business is a daunting task. Ensuring that it will continue to grow and be profitable is even more daunting. But you’re not alone – you can take advantage of the many benefits of managed IT services. They can save you time and money and help your business grow.

Here are 8 you can business benefits you can leverage for yourself.

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1. Ability to Scale

When your company grows, you need to have your IT support keep up with the pace. You can dynamically use managed IT services as you need them to help you through your growth process, adjusting how much help you need along the way.

You can scale to the level of support that best fits your needs and accommodates the growth stage you’re at. If you require a lot of IT support to accommodate a spike during holiday seasons, you’ve got it. If you want to go into low-maintenance, day-to-day mode, that’s okay too.


Related: What Does an MSP Actually Do?


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2. More Time to Focus on Strategic and Innovative Projects

With managed IT services, your staff will have more time to concentrate on projects that help enhance your bottom-line profits, including strategic and innovative projects. Since managed IT service providers act as partners rather than replacements for your existing staff, you can rely on them to take on smaller projects and processes when you need your core IT team to work on more important tasks.

In essence, your company can focus more on doing business rather than administrative tasks or training.

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3. Streamlined IT Business Processes

A managed IT service provider can provide a streamlined process for your company to help you save time. All your problems are resolved quickly, thereby speeding up your business processes.

No more waiting around for the IT guy to get to your tickets. A dedicated team of IT pros can handle your requests in mere minutes.


Related: 5 Ways Managed IT Services Help Growing Businesses


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4. Reduced of Cost of Labor

Employee benefits can easily consume a business’s budget. However, a managed IT service team helps to reduce labor costs through contracted services.

In practice, you won’t have to worry about funding the fringe benefits of an IT team, such as healthcare insurance. You’ll save on training costs, too.

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5. IT Support 24/7

Managed IT service providers offer more flexibility because they are able to leverage a dedicated team that can provide help any time of the day, any day of the week.

That’s because many managed service providers (or MSPs) have teams at the ready that can connect to your systems remotely from anywhere at any time.

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6. Control and Reduce Costs

Managed IT services can provide insight on bottlenecks that may be hampering operational efficiency and provide you with control, which can help you reduce costs over time.

In other words, managed IT services team help you minimize unexpected costs.

You can use that predictability to craft better IT budgets. In turn, you can better plan out your business expenses, which gives you the freedom to reallocate capital to wherever you need it most.

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7. Leverage Qualified Experts With Experience

When you hire your own in-house team, it’s up to you to choose the “right” people. But what exactly does “right” entail? It’s anyone that meets your current needs, and the ones in the foreseeable future.

For example, you might want to hire a desktop support technician now to handle daily tickets. However, you probably don’t want to hire a cloud architect for a single project.

The beauty of managed IT services is that you can get both, on demand. You can have the full support of a dedicated IT team, and still get the expertise you need from a senior engineer for occasional projects.

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8. Enhanced Security and Compliance

Making sure you’re in compliance with regulations and local laws can be a difficult and costly task. That’s because adhering to compliance regulations often means implementing and maintaining a robust security infrastructure and following a stringent protocol.

But, with the help of managed IT services, you can reduce these costs and ensure compliance thanks to the enhanced security expertise and tools the team uses. This helps reduce liability and security risks and their associated costs.

Moreover, if you lose critical data to a breach or leak, it could lead to huge lawsuits and a damaged reputation. That’s difficult to recover from – just look at what happened to Target in 2013.

Managed Services for Your Own Benefit

Managed IT services offer a whole host of benefits that you can leverage to enhance your enterprise. From being able to help your company quickly scale as needed to keeping up with security and compliance regulations, there is much to take advantage of when it comes to managed IT services.

While recognizing the benefits of managed IT services is important, it’s also important to consider reputable managed IT service teams.

Appsolute has the expertise and experience to unlock all the benefits of managed services for your business. By leveraging these benefits, you’ll be able to provide your business with the qualified IT support it needs and be on your way to a better bottom-line.


What Does an MSP Actually Do?

In the IT world, MSP stands for “managed service provider“. It’s a fairly generic term, so if you’re a bit confused about what an MSP actually does… you’re not alone.

The basic answer is that an MSP manages the IT infrastructure & systems for a business. However, they can do so in many different ways.

Here are some of the important specific services most MSPs offer.

1. Tech Support

The first thing that comes to mind for many businesses when thinking of IT is tech support – and that instinct is correct. An MSP should offer 24/7 tech support to keep your business up and running at its finest.

Even if your MSP is not in near your location or even your time zone, you should make sure that this is something they offer. It helps to keep your website, online databases, and IT infrastructure up and running at all times. Downtime results in lost productivity for your business and employees, so this aspect is of the utmost importance.

2. Recovery

You hope that a big crash would never happen, but in the event that it does, an MSP should help you get back up and running quickly. That doesn’t just include getting your system back up and running in a timely manner. It also means having reliable backups of the information that you need to keep your business going.

Whether you lose your data from a cyberattack or from a disaster, swift recovery is key. The more time you can’t access your data, the more your business suffers reputationally and financially.

3. Security

Digital security is now more important than ever. Hackers are exposing new weaknesses in systems all the time. Your MSP should stay on top of all the latest security updates and make sure your hardware and software are up to date, so that security updates are put in place as soon as they come out.

Additionally, managed service providers should perform general IT support security tasks like installing firewalls and anti-virus software to protect your data.

4. Strategic Future Planning

A good provider of MSP services will keep up with the latest technological trends and “futureproof” your infrastructure. They’ll know what’s just around the corner and will strategically plan craft a technology roadmap to account for tech evolution.

Your current IT systems likely aren’t going to be there forever. A great MSP seeks the smartest system upgrades that could help your business function even more smoothly as your needs change.

They’ll make the path to IT upgrades easy and clear to see.

5. Cloud Services

You’ve undoubtedly heard the term around. Though it may seem like just another technology buzzword, cloud technology innovation is really the future. It’s less costly, more flexible, and allows your team to access information easily from anywhere in the world.

It’s also more environmentally friendly because it creates less physical hardware waste. An MSP will help you get your data into the cloud for easy access and safe storage.

Small businesses can do these things on their own, either by training existing staff or hiring a dedicated IT staff. However, working with an MSP saves time, money and other resources, allowing you to focus on other aspects of running your business.


5 Ways Managed IT Services Help Growing Businesses

Growing businesses face a multitude of challenges. From managing change to tackling network challenges, the myriad details of keeping an SMB healthy can appear insurmountable.

One strategy that can help relieve the pressure of juggling technology concerns and containing expenses is turning to managed IT services to help support your business.

It’s an increasingly popular option for SMBs. The global managed IT services market grew to $149.1B and $166.7B in 2016 and 2017, respectively. By 2021, it’s expected to grow to $256.5 billion worldwide, with more than 39% ($94.5 billion) concentrated in the United States. This increasingly rapid expansion attests to the strength of managed IT services as an effective solution.

Here are a few ways these versatile, affordable services have been able to help growing organizations meet their goals.

Managing Costs

Perhaps chief among the benefits of managed IT services for smaller businesses is cost control. In addition to making IT costs predictable, improving system integration, and maximizing cloud solutions, managed IT services helps businesses cut back on labor costs associated with hiring and training internal IT staff.

Just remember not to “bargain shop” for an MSP (managed service provider), as CIO puts it, as a proven track record should always be your priority.

Enhancing Security

Security is an issue at the forefront for most businesses, particularly those handling clients’ personal information. One mishap and a good portion of an SMB’s data could fall into the wrong hands. That could potentially cause irrevocable harm to an organization.

Managed IT services devotes the time, expertise and resources to help your business improve its security efforts and stay ahead of potential security concerns. From firewall configuration and anti-malware software to network monitoring and education on cybersecurity best practices, MSPs focus on full-service protection.

Mitigating Risk

Closely related to boosting security is an MSP’s capacity for mitigating the risks of downtime and data loss from potential system outages. Disaster recovery plans are designed to help your network bounce back from natural disasters, data breaches and catastrophic tech failures that can disrupt operations. DR plans are part and parcel of most managed IT services plans. They’re critical for maintaining business continuity under extreme and unexpected circumstances.

Scaling for Change

Managing technology resources as an organization evolves and grows is an especially challenging aspect of running a business. Overestimating need can lead to wasteful spending of critical funds. Underestimating can leave you without adequate support for employees and customers.

Managed IT services help simplify this balancing act by supplying exactly what you might need based on your business demands. Whatever you need more or less of, MSPs scale your service to accommodate.

Maintaining Competitive Edge

The constant changes in technology can prove too much for any organization to keep pace with. That’s especially true when growth demands focus on making your business better and beating the competition.

Dedicated and knowledgeable Managed IT service providers can help make sense of technological shifts, recommending and implementing what works best for your business situation without additional legwork and distraction for your team.