Keep Your Business Thriving in a World of Risks

Managed security can protect your Business from cyber attacks.

In the early 2000s, cybersecurity risks began to increase in their effectiveness, but antivirus (AV) solutions kept small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) safe. With AV updates, employee training, and software patching, most SMBs were able to avoid the worst of cyberattacks—until now. 

Incidents like the WannaCry ransomware attack, which affected organizations across the globe, served as wake-up calls for many that cyberthreats are changing, and many companies still aren’t prepared. Many SMB owners know someone who’s been forced to pay a ransom to retrieve data or even had to shut down because data and systems were too costly to restore or weren’t restored as promised. Still others have experienced cleanup costs from other malware attacks. 

Many SMB owners think they won’t be targeted due to their size or small attack surface. Yet as this chart shows, that simply isn’t the case. Cybercriminals increasingly target SMBs, as it much easier to circumnavigate their defenses than those of enterprise companies. 

The Truth About Security for Your Small to Mid-sized Business

Yes, you are a target: 43% of all cyberattacks targeted small to medium-size business (SMB) operations in 2018. Source: Verizon. Here’s why: Many cyberattackers see SMBs as an easy entry into their larger customers. SMBs were responsible for the Target and JPMorgan Chase data breaches. Even if they aren’t targeting larger partners, cybercriminals can still make money off SMBs who have valuable data (and they almost all have valuable data). 
You may not know you’ve been hit: It takes companies an average of 279 days to realize they’ve been hit by a data breach, increasing the business harm. SMB clean-up costs are high: The average cost of a data breach for organizations with fewer than 500 employees was $2.74M in 2018. 
Did you know?: Of all SMBs that are attacked, 60% do not reopen.

The Risks Your SMB Faces Grow Every Day 

Connections are growing: Businesses are using more devices, applications, and cloud services than ever before. Shadow IT is a real problem: Your employees are likely using more cloud services than you know about, creating a blind spot for your IT team and your organization’s security. 
Passwords are a weak link: Employees often reuse passwords across accounts and use easy-to-guess passwords. Human error is hard to prevent: Your employees may use public Wi-Fi to do their work, accidentally click on phishing emails, or share sensitive data on cloud services or flash drives. 
The latest threats elude AV: Weaponized documents, fileless threats, zero-day threats, and ransomware lack signatures and can slip through scheduled AV scans. You may have compliance risks: If your SMB works in a heavily regulated business, you could face regulator fines in addition to cleanup costs. 
Data sharing: Your partners may not have air-tight security, exposing your data to unauthorized access. 
Businesses today rely on their digital assets increasing security risks.

What You Can Do About Cybersecurity Risks? 

It pays to get tough on cybersecurity. Enhancing your security posture proactively can help you harden your defenses and protect yourself from threats before they hit your company networks and disable your business, systems, and data. 

When you invest in managed security, you get: 

  • A comprehensive solution for all your security needs 
  • Cloud-based solutions that are updated automatically with the latest threat data 
  • The ability to “roll back” any systems hit with ransomware to a pre-infection state 
  • Complete security coverage and simplified cost structures 
  • An end to security management headaches and worries 

Get started with managed security today. 

As soon as you focus on preventing downtime events instead of reacting to them, your IT infrastructure will increase your productivity. EMCSI offers a FREE Network Health Assessment to identify what devices are on your network and where your vulnerabilities lie.  Call Shane Nesbitt, IT Consultant, today to schedule : (330) 750-1428

www.ecmsi.com

Top Five Reasons Companies Are Choosing Managed IT Services

Of all the reasons you started your business, running an IT environment probably wasn’t one of them. But the more you rely on digital tools to connect with customers, plan schedules, keep records, process sales or whatever else you use it for, the more dealing with technology can seem like a full-time job.

That’s especially true with concerns about security on the rise. One recent survey found 62% of small and medium-sized businesses lack the skills to deal with security issues themselves — and 52% felt “helpless” to defend against new cyber-attacks.

You can relieve your burden with a managed IT service arrangement. We take on the responsibility of securing, monitoring, and maintaining your technology so you can focus on your business.

Five top reasons companies are choosing managed IT services

1. Stronger IT security

Businesses face more cyber threats than ever before. It’s hard to keep up as threats evolve — or be confident you’re protected. With a managed service arrangement, we can implement proven layered security processes and always up-to-date solutions to keep your business safe and compliant with data protection laws and regulations. Our approach can cover everything from endpoint protection for your devices to patch management for your applications, password management processes for your team, network firewalls, external vulnerability scanning and more.

2. Strategic budgeting and predictable costs

With managed services, you gain more control over your IT expenses. A cost structure tailored to your business billing means you can budget with confidence instead of incurring unexpected costs when something breaks down. Planned maintenance helps prevent those breakdowns in the first place, and with a partner managing your IT environment, your team can spend less time dealing with IT issues. We can also advise you on technologies to invest in to meet your business goals — so you can plan for those expenditures in advance.

3. Operational efficiency and business growth

With a managed service arrangement, we help ensure you get full value from the technologies you’ve invested in. That means maintaining peak performance of the hardware and software you already own, reducing or eliminating downtime, and strategizing on the tools and systems that will best serve your needs down the road. All of this helps you be more productive and efficient so you can grow your business however you choose

4. Data protection you can count on

Power outages, fires, floods, pandemics, and other unexpected events can disrupt your business in the blink of an eye. To get back up and running as quickly as possible, you need a rigorous, well-designed data backup and protection plan. We can put in place business recovery measures that protect you against data loss even if something happens to your physical IT equipment.

5. Proactive Approach

Ultimately, the managed IT service approach is all about being proactive: anticipating problems instead of reacting to them and keeping your technology working at its best instead of waiting for it to break down. This brings you greater security, productivity and return on your technology investments — and also peace of mind

ECMSI is the area’s leading Managed Service Provider with the most proactive IT approach and quickest response time in the industry. To learn more about ECMSI and our services call Shane Nesbitt, IT Consultant, at (330) 750-1428

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Layered security: Protecting your data, process and investment

2020 was a year of massive change. Companies across the globe took a new approach, including moving more to the cloud and using virtual workflows for the first time. This work-from-anywhere trend came with a price—additional cybersecurity risk.

Cybercriminals raked in more than one trillion dollars globally in 2020, targeting businesses big and small.1 28% of the businesses successfully targeted by cybercrime in 2020 were in the “small business” category.2 Bottom line—your business is a potential target.

The problem: Where will the next attack strike?

  • Your business process is made up of many layers that are supported by your IT environment. Advanced cybercriminal tactics can target each layer individually.
  • Your internet use Your network Your employees Your applications Your devices
  • Just deploying antivirus, using a firewall, and regularly updating your operating system is no longer enough to protect your business.

Layered security

  • Layered security is the next step in securing your mission-critical data and workflow. We provide cost-effective IT security management, monitoring, and maintenance that is proactive and comprehensive. No aspect of your IT use is left out as we deploy protective protocols across each layer of your IT environment.
  • Internet layer – Securing your data traffic
  • Network layer – Protecting against lateral attack
  • People layer – Protecting identities and accounts plus employee training Application layer – Employing proper software management
  • Device layer – Keeping individual machines from becoming a target

Why layered security?

  • Demonstrating industry and regulatory compliance
  • Avoiding risks posed by new technologies
  • Allowing teams to work safely from anywhere
  • Keeping unplanned downtime to an absolute minimum Protecting proprietary information and confidential client data

The business benefits of layered security

  • Ability to securely pursue organizational objectives
  • Higher productivity due to minimized downtime
  • Lower risk profile
  • Adherence to cybersecurity insurance mandates
  • Faster response to and resolution of IT security incidents
  • Granular reporting of IT security posture to demonstrate compliance

Keep your business running at full speed—let us handle the cybersecurity

Working with our full team of IT security professionals gives you the peace of mind to tackle the next phase of your organizational development, landing new deals and expanding into new markets. Our team helps you move forward by taking on the time-consuming tasks of cybersecurity management. Each of our cybersecurity management agreements are cost-effective and tailored to the level of protection you need today and to grow tomorrow. Contact Shane Nesbitt, IT Consultant, for more information: (330) 750-1428

Backing Up to the cloud is your best option

The cloud is an important and resourceful business tool that can help organization and productivity. However, some business professionals question the security of the cloud – especially in an environment of ever-evolving cyber threats. Rest assured that the cloud is an effective and secure way of storing your business data – especially your data backups!

Your Tape Backup is Outdated.
A tape backup is a data storage device that reads and writes data on a magnetic tape. For most small to medium sized businesses, tape backups are still utilized. If you’re still relying on your tape backup, chances are your system is incompetent compared to new and emerging backup solutions. If your staff forgets to set your backup to occur every night, you’re running the risk of losing your daily critical data – all due to human error and negligence. Take a backup using tape is a very resource and labor-intensive procedure that can’t be done during business hours.

The Cloud is Superior.
A cloud-based backup solution provides several qualities that an outdated tape backup cannot present. Cloud backup solutions are capable of automatic snapshots of your critical business data. Since this completely eliminates the possibility of human error or negligence, you not only save time but precious business resources. Your network can benefit from the reduced strain of a long backup process by taking multiple backups throughout eth day, rather than one huge backup that can cause an increase in downtime and a decrease in productivity. Cloud backups will track file changes and backup new files as they become available.

ECMSI’s Backup Solution
A managed backup service from ECMSI ensures that all files are automatically backed up as frequently as every 15 minutes if needed. And it will likely cost less than your monthly phone bill. So, how much is your data worth?
Call Shane Nesbitt, IT Consultant, to learn more about ECMSI’s managed services, security services and backup solutions: (330) 750-1428

WILL YOU BE READY WHEN RANSOMWARE ATTACKS?

As a MSP, we’re all too familiar with frantic calls from prospects whose hardware have been infected with Ransomware. You can hear the panic in their voices as they ask for immediate help. Though they want us to rush in like the A-Team of IT and fix their problems, we always make sure we have a conversation first. The reason being? We want the client educated on the probable outcome before they spend any money on ransomware removal. 

Why Ransomware Removal Is So Tough

The newer ransomware is deceitfully very good software. It locks you out of your data and then goes looking for more victims on your network. If you’ve got one infection, you are likely to get more.

Our best solution, rather than ransomware removal, is to restore from a good backup, but then we find out frequently the client was just protecting their servers, not the PC’s data.

Sadly, no one is safe. Large and small businesses get hacked with the same frequency. Even family photos and personal information can get swept up in a ransomware attack. It’s always sad when our clients lose personal memories. Though their business data might be safe on a protected server, their personal files are usually not and are lost when we have to fully wipe an infected PC. Worst of all is this can be prevented.

Avoiding the Threat from Ransomware Attacks

Staying one step ahead of ransomware attacks takes preparation. Backing up your critical data is one of the most important steps you can take. Ask your MSP which tools they use; a multilayered approach is required for security as no single vendor can or should “do it all” when critical data is involved.

Additionally, make sure your staff recognizes there are simply some emails they shouldn’t open. If you get an attachment from an unknown sender, you should delete it. Train your staff to be careful, but also block websites you know are malicious. Since removing ransomware isn’t an option, you can’t take any risks.

There are also solid security tools and business processes to protect your organization. Have a frank conversation with your IT provider. I’ve said it 100 times before, but with data security an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It may be the only thing between you and total data loss.

So before you have to pursue ransomware removal, take care of your backup solutions. At ECMSI, we can provide you with business continuity that prevents you from ever losing your livelihood to ransomware attacks, system failures, or even natural disasters. Check out our backup solutions and prevent your company from being held hostage by circumstances outside your control.

Email: Is it your business’s weakest link?

Email is one of the most important forms of communication in the business world today. This digital post office gives an organization the chance to communicate not only internally but also to their clients, partners and customers. An organization can use email from marketing, to customer service and everything else in between. Many organizations go to great lengths to protect their email data knowing that there is a lot of company information being exchanged through this medium daily. This makes email the most vulnerable and targeted forms of communication in the cyber world. According to a study done by F-secure, of all hacking attempts, 34% of them are accomplished with phishing and malicious email attachments.

What does this mean for email in the future? Here are what security trends we can expect:

  1. Email based attacks continuing to rise.
  2. The attacks will focus on each company’s network of vendors and customers.
  3. Email authentication will become standard.

Levels of interaction using email is very high, and this always comes with a degree of trust, thus someone targeting a major corporation will attempt to mimic their various clients and vendors. We are already seeing emails that attempt to look like they are from “Microsoft” or “eBay” with fake branding that could make you question and click through. Therefore, we will see an increase in mandatory authentications when accepting an email to be delivered.

Since email is so highly targeted some of the best ways to prevent having your company’s information compromised is training employees to see the malicious activity in their inbox. Most problems can be avoided when your team has the ability to protect themselves and be suspicious as to what they are clicking on. To prevent these emails from ever coming in, companies need to establish a highly secure spam filtering and email encryption service. If spam is consistently infiltrating to your employee’s inbox this could cut productivity and end up costing your business.

Small to medium sized business who have not devoted the time to securing their email will be huge targets and could run into some major issues soon. These firms need to ensure they have proper spam filtering in place that will filter out all suspicious emails with strange domains. Those businesses that may be dealing with important financial or health information will need to ensure their emails are encrypted and cannot be compromised that could potentially even lead to legal issues.

ECMSI is here to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your organizations email network. Call today and schedule your FREE Network Health Assessment: (330) 750-1428

Importance of Data Back Up and Disaster Recovery

The loss of your critical business data can happen rapidly and without notice. Whether your office experienced a natural disaster that ruined your systems, you experienced hardware failure, or your data is compromised or being held ransom. What about human error? You could simply and accidently delete it yourself. Let’s talk about the importance of data back up and disaster recovery.

Data Backup

Data backup is a necessary part of your business and is important for cybersecurity, disaster recovery and business continuity and productivity. While you may not have experienced critical data loss, failing to keep clean and up-to-date backups is putting your business at a higher risk.

Why is it important to back up your data?

  • Simple Recovery. People make mistakes and frequently. Emails containing viruses are accidentally opened every single day. There’s no reason to stress about the issues if you have frequent backups to restore when you’ll need them most.
  • Audits and Taxes. Tax authorities are notorious for audits. It’s important for companies to maintain financial and accounting data for tax purposes.
  • Archiving. Backed up information streamlines the development of archives. With digital information, company history is in the making.
  • Data Loss Prevention. We’ve all heard about or experienced a tragic loss of data. The main reason for data backup is to save important files if a system crash or hard drive failure occurs.

Do you have a reliable backup solution in place?

If you lost all of your critical business data today – could you recover. The most effective way to ensure your business’ data backup capabilities are best is to work with an established and capable IT company. It’s important to check for the following:

  • Comprehensive Backups: Your data should be available for a quick recovery in instances of data loss, depending on the recovery plan you choose.
  • Acceptable Recovery Time Objective (RTO): Not all backups are the same and it’s important to find the right fit for your business. Here’s some questions to ask:
    • How long will it take to recovery files? Applications? Server? Full infrastructure?
  • Regular Testing: As a business owner, you can’t assume your backups will just work when you need them to. An established IT company should test your backups regularly and verify their effectivity if something were to go wrong.

ECMSI’s Backup Solution

A managed backup service from ECMSI ensures that all files are automatically backed up as frequently as every 15 minutes if needed. And it will likely cost less than your monthly phone bill. So, how much is your data worth?

Call Shane Nesbitt, IT Consultant, to learn more about ECMSI’s managed services, security services and backup solutions: (330) 750-1428

Every Business Should Invest in Cyber Security. Here’s Why:

Cyber security is essential to businesses of all sizes. Learn how to keep your business up to date and protected from the most common digital threats.   Cybersecurity is no longer a concern exclusive to large corporations. Since the infamous attacks on Equifax, Target, and Apple, cybercriminals have started to shift their focus towards smaller businesses. Without proper security protocols, small businesses are sitting ducks even for novice hackers. In recent years, the cost of data theft targeting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) has risen significantly. The threat has prompted many SMBs to invest more heavily in third-party data security services.

Cybersecurity in A Continuously Evolving Digital Space

Ever-evolving technology makes the world more connected, but also makes data more vulnerable to attackers. Gone are the days when an antivirus, firewall, and email filter were enough to earn a passing cybersecurity grade. As criminals refine and improve their methods of attack, businesses and IT professionals must step up their defenses.

The most recent trend in cyberattacks is a shift towards SMBs, many of which lack the breadth and depth of data security that larger corporations are likely to have. Illicit tactics such as email phishing, direct hacking, and installing ransomware can spell big trouble for SMBs. If your data is compromised, the results can extend to your customers and other members of your supply chain.

Consequences of A Data Breach

The fallout from a data breach depends on the scale of the attack and the value of the data stolen. Hackers may be able to seize control of accounts, drain funds, freeze assets, and access sensitive customer information. If you operate in the healthcare or financial sectors, you may be liable to pay reparations in addition to suffering the cost of stolen capital and the inability to continue operations. The cost of a large-scale data breach can devastate even the wealthiest of corporations and will most certainly overwhelm a small business.

How to Improve Cybersecurity

A common misconception is that only large corporations can afford effective cybersecurity. In most cases, implementing cybersecurity isn’t merely a matter of money, but of proper training and awareness. This includes email phishing, which is often the first step attackers use to conduct large scale theft of usernames, passwords, and other sensitive data.

Educating and training your employees on cybersecurity minimizes the risk of data theft at the point of contact. Your business should have protocols to identify signs of phishing, choose secure passwords, and grant or deny access to information. You can also inform your customers about how to keep their information secure. Taking this two-pronged approach shows customers how committed you are to keeping their data safe.

Many small businesses do not have the personnel, expertise or time to put in their IT security and that is when they are put at a high risk for their business or employee data to be compromised. These proactive security steps are an absolute necessity to any modern-day business. ECMSI is the area’s leading IT Management provider whose goal is to keep its partners productive, safe, and secure.  Call today for a FREE Network Health Assessment and find where your network is vulnerable and where ECMSI can help! (330) 750-1428

4 Ways Co-Managed It Services Can Lower Your Operating Expenses

Co-managed IT offers a wide array of services to complement your company’s inhouse IT staff. Unlike a fully managed IT service provider, co-managed IT allows you to select which projects to keep in-house and which projects to outsource. A co-managed IT partner also provides additional knowledge and support to help reduce downtime and increase efficiency of your IT infrastructure. Some of the main benefits lie within the cost-saving advantages. Let’s check out how co-managed IT services can help lower your operating expenses:

1. Reducing the Need of Additional It Staff

Depending on your industry, it is recommended to have at least one IT support specialist for every 45-70 employees. A co-managed partnership reduces the need for additional staff members. In addition, it also still provides all the technological support your company may need. For a fixed monthly your employees gain access to unlimited IT support 24/7/365.

2. Vendor Partnerships

An established MSP has developed professional relationships throughout the tech industry. As a partner, your business can benefit from these connections for advantages such as special pricing on software or products.

3. More Time to Spend on Important It Projects

Is your IT department’s time is devoted towards day-to-day tasks such as helpdesk services? Though this is vital towards completing projects and hitting department goals, this inevitably results in lack of time spent on improving your current IT infrastructure. Keeping your IT infrastructure up to date with the latest technology is vital to protecting your hardware from cyberattacks and avoiding costly issues such as downtime.

4. Access to Additional Resources

Due to the ever-changing nature of technology, it can be difficult for your internal team to stay up to date with the latest IT best practices. Rather than having to pay for an additional service or hire a consultant, your co-managed partner can assist your business in resolving tedious projects and unresolved technical issues.

Do you think your team could benefit from co-managed services? We’re here to talk about it! Find out what it’s like to have a true partner in IT, and not just another service provider.

https://www.ecmsi.com/internal-it.html

What Are Your Business Goals for 2021?

As we approach the close of 2020, businesses are continuing to plan for the new year. In your plan for 2021, have you considered where you’d like to see your company establish a stronger foothold on technology? What about your business goals and how technology can play a big part? When your work with ECMSI as your Managed Services Provider (MSP), you’re getting a true partner in business and in IT.

Technology to Reach Business Goals

It’s established that small to midsized businesses are requiring more than just the lowest level of functioning technology to remain competitive. By partnering with ECMSI, you’ll become accustomed to quarterly strategic reviews, budgeting discussions and evolving services to ensure you have access to the technology needed to achieve your goals. We’re here to help your staff reach peak productivity and reduced downtime to ensure your business can continue to grow.

Cyber Security

Cyber Security should always be on a business owners mind. While this past year has proven how effective cyber security services can keep your business safe, many businesses are not prepared. Ask yourself: Are you protecting your critical data? Do you have current and clean backups? If you lost all of your critical data – could you recover? ECMSI’s robust cyber security suite keeps your business secure and offers total peace of mind.

Get Help Creating an IT Budget

When you establish business goals and the involvement of reputable IT support, ECMSI will help you stick to your budget and even help prepare for it. By being on the same page as our partners, everyone is able to stay on track with planning and expectations. Best part about budgeting with ECMSI? Quicker, more predictable decision making!

Planning for the new year is daunting but your IT strategy shouldn’t be. Want to learn more about how IT fits into your 2021 business goals? Let’s talk today: (330) 750-1428

www.ecmsi.com