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

Tips for Safe Online Shopping During the Holidays

Tips for Safe Online Shopping During the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us and this year (more than ever), companies are moving their sales to strictly online deals. We’re taking this opportunity to keep our community aware of where they’re shopping and who they’re giving their vulnerable information to. Now is not the time to let cybercrime ruin your holidays – so, let’s take a look at some tips to keep your personal information safe this holiday season!

Do Your Research Before Purchasing from Unfamiliar Websites

Are you shopping from a website you’ve never heard of before? If the website and the deal seem reasonable and not too good to be true, check for the following before handing over your information:

  • Check the URL. Does it start with https? Websites with https instead of http are more secure from outside threats that are trying to steal your information but be aware, scammers can still create websites with https.
  • Look up reviews on a third-party website. Google and the Better Business Bureau offer legitimate reviews. Make sure there’s a significant amount of positive reviews over time.

Are You Supplying the Appropriate Information for Your Purchase?

If you’re purchasing from a legitimate business, they’re not going to request information that may see inappropriate. For instance, they won’t ask for (to name a few):

  • Your birthdate
  • Where you were born
  • Your social security number

Keep in mind you don’t have to fill out form fields that aren’t required and when in doubt, purchase from a different company.

Don’t Use Your Debit Card

Your debit card is directly linked your bank account. When online shopping, credit cards or third-party payment services like PayPal or Venmo keep themselves further removed from your money. Credit card companies and payment services like the ones listed above are required to have additional safeguards in place to protect you from fraud.

Although using your credit card is safer, it’s important to keep an eye on your statements and current activity. Credit card companies are quicker to dispute chargers and it’s easier for them to act against fraud or cyber-attacks on your credit cards.

Beware of Fake Promotions

While it’s not just during the holiday season, we’re more likely to receive an abundance of emails in our inboxes with deals that often times look too good to be true. While we do receive emails from companies we have subscribed to, be sure to check links prior to clicking on them. It’s also important to check the email it’s being sent from – because emails can be spoofed, too! Take the extra time to take additional precautions to avoid fraud, viruses, or malware.

Why You need a network health assessment

Cyber security should be a top concern for your business. While attacks hit the biggest and even the smallest companies, most businesses do not know where they’re most vulnerable. It’s imperative to your business security, productivity, and reputation to routinely evaluate your security measures to make sure you’re keeping your business safe. The main goal is to protect and back up your data, accepting a network health assessment offers additional benefits as well. Let’s check out some below:

Benefits of a Network Health Assessment

  • Uncover Vulnerabilities: When you take a deep look at your system, you may find vulnerabilities you’ve never considered before. Often times, it’s a simple as not updating your software or hardware failure. However, there could be deeper vulnerabilities such as ransomware or malware sitting on your network waiting to strike. It’s important to identify all hazards to close gaps on all possible security breaches.
  • Stay Compliant: Many businesses are responsible for following state and federal guidelines and regulations to protect their customers’ critical information. It’s important to stay ahead on compliance in order to avoid any fines or lawsuits.
  • Increase Productivity: By agreeing to a network health assessment, you have the opportunity to identify areas on your network that may not be performing efficiently. This allows you to identify issues, fix them and start to increase productivity.
  • Secure Your Investment: While staying proactive about cyber security, your business will save money by not active reactively.

What is Included in a Network Health Assessment?

When it comes to identifying and combating IT security threats, there are several items our network health assessment looks for, including but not limited to:

  • Passwords Set to Never Expire: User accounts with passwords set to never expire present a risk of use by unauthorized users.
  • Lack of Redundant Domain Controller: There is a heightened risk of business downtime, loss of data, or service outrage due to lack of redundancy.
  • Operating System in Extended Support: Extended support is a warning period before an operating system is no longer supported by the manufacturer and will no longer receive support or patches
  • Inactive Computers: Investigate the list of inactive computers and determine if they should be removed from the active directory, rejoined to the network, or powered on.
  • Spot Potential Threats: Look into actions that could damage your network including cyber theft, server failures, natural disasters, and power outages.

How ECMSI Can Help with a Network Health Assessment

Understanding what to look for during a network health assessment can be confusing and may even discourage you from accepting the support. By accepting ECMSI’s assistance in a network health assessment, at no cost or commitment to you, will give you the knowledge of a team of experts who are well versed in cyber security.

At ECMSI, we’re here to answer your questions and help you through a network health assessment to identify any potential risks. We’re here to learn about your organization and provide solutions to keep your business safe. Let’s chat today and get scheduled for this no cost or commitment service: (330) 750-1428

should you switch your it company?

When you realized you’re not getting the most out of your IT investment with your current provider, you might just stick around – dreading the idea of having to switch companies. You’re probably thinking that changing IT companies is a daunting process but it’s important to consider the way your business is being affected.

While intimidating, switching IT companies can be a necessary activity. By switching, you can save your business from IT support frustrations and working with a company that does not help you achieve your objectives. Transitioning between companies is completely manageable. So, now you’re wondering, “How can this process be simplified?” Let’s discuss what to look for:

Characteristics of a Successful IT Company Switch

  • The IT company understands the risks and takes the appropriate steps to mitigate the risk
  • There’s a strict plan to follow to ensure a transition with minimal complications to your company
  • You gain more from your new IT company such as, more IT professionals, faster response times, increased productivity, and strong security, to name a few

Signs of a Good IT Company

  • The IT Company Prioritizes Cybersecurity: An IT company prioritizes cybersecurity by having protocols that will protect your network from changing cybersecurity threats. You can check their cybersecurity protocols with other clients and see if they have cybersecurity experts. A company that pays attention to cybersecurity reduces your vulnerability to cyberattacks. It saves you from the effects of network breaches, such as downtime, financial losses, data loss, and damage to your reputation. 
  • The IT Company Is Reachable: An IT company is reachable if they provide active communication channels, such as telephone numbers, ticket system, and email support. The company should also listen and act on your complaints or requests. Your organization may need to reach the IT company for clarification or during emergencies. You will have frustrations and avoidable losses if you cannot contact the IT company. 
  • The IT Company Ensures Compliance: An IT company can help you comply with regulations if they have the relevant certifications, hire professionals, and know the essential rules of your industry. For example, IT companies offering support to medical institutions should know and comply with HIPAA Rules and Regulations. Dealing with an IT company that helps you comply with rules can save you from penalties, such as hefty fines and suspensions of your licenses. 
  • The IT Company Provides Proactive Support: An IT company that offers foresighted support helps you identify IT opportunities and problems early. For example, they can have frequent maintenance of your IT infrastructure. These checks ensure your network works well, and you identify and fix IT issues early. Working with a proactive IT company helps you enjoy IT opportunities and deal with situations before they cause substantial losses. 
  • The IT Company Has Excellent Reviews: An IT company offers reliable support if its clients are saying good things about them. You may check for reviews on search engines, social media, or other platforms. Knowing what past clients say can inform your expectations and decision on whether to work with a company. 

Steps to Follow When Switching Providers

  • Don’t cancel your current IT Support just yet. Wait until the new company gets everything, they need to ensure a seamless transition.
  • Get administrative privileges from your current provider for everything on your network. It’s important to have a master list of all credentials and settings for your new provider.
  • Request that your new IT company does a comprehensive security review of your network, that way they can identify missing information and fix backdoors that could be putting your network at risk.
  • Communicate support changes with your staff. It’s important to keep communication open to help them understand new protocols, processes, and other important information.

Ready to Switch IT Companies?

ECMSI is here to help make that process as easy as possible At ECMSI we make a point of helping our customers thrive. By creating an effective network security system, we’re providing you with a competitive edge. Let’s talk today: (330) 750-1428

www.ecmsi.com

Best keyboard shortcuts for your windows pc

In this day and age, we’re working on multiple projects at once, sorting through all of our open tabs and trying to stay on task while working as quick as possible. So, why not use keyboard shortcuts for everything on your PC? Key combinations are not only easier to hit, they’re more accurate. Let’s take a look at a few of the best keyboard shortcuts to make your life easier on you Windows PC!

CTRL + F: To Search Text

Ever want to find something quickly in an online article or your WordDoc? It’s as simple as hitting “CTRL + F” to search keywords and find exactly what you’re looking for.

CTRL + Click or Shift + Click: Select Multiple Items

Whether you’re selecting rows in an Excel spreadsheet, blocks of text in Word or files in File Explorer, you may want to highlight a number of different items. If the times are all adjacent, rows 10 to 30 in worksheet for example, you can simply “Shift + Click” the first one, hold down the shift key and then click the last one

CTRL + A: Select all items

Similar to “CTRL + Click”, if you want to select all of the content in a given window, just hit “CTRL + A” and you can select everything in one stroke.

Shift + Arrow: Highlight Text

To highlight text with your keyboard, simply hold down the Shift key as you move the cursor with the arrow keys. If you also hold down CTRL, you can highlight whole words rather than individual characters with each arrow press.

ALT + Left Arrow: Back in Web Browser

How often do you hit the back button on your browser daily? Let’s make it easier – Just hit “ALT + Left Arrow” instead. Hitting “ALT + Right Arrow” takes you forward.

Alt + F4: Close Any Windows App

Are you closing your windows by scrolling to the upper right corner of the window and hitting the “X” button? Here’s a tip: “ALT + F4” will close all programs in Windows 10.

Windows Key + M: Minimize All Windows

Often times, we have way too many windows open and it’s difficult to sift through all of them. Hitting “Windows Key + M” minimizes all your windows so you can see everything that’s on your desktop.

CTRL + D: Bookmark a Webpage

Bookmarking webpages doesn’t seem like it can get any easier, right? Guess again, by hitting “CTRL + D” in your PC browser pops up a dialog box which lets you bookmark the current page, edit the name of the bookmark, and even select a folder to store it in. 

F2: Rename Files­­

It’s as simple as: highlighting all the files you want to rename (Shift + click lets you highlight many files at once), hit “F2”, type the new name and press Enter. All the files will have the same new name plus a number in parens (ex: starfish (1).jpg).

CTRL + P: Print Out

Looking for the quickest way to print? Just hit “CTRL + P”. From there, you can choose a printer or save it as a PDF.

F5 / CTRL + R: Refresh Web Page

Hitting “F5” or “CTRL + R” will refresh any Windows web browser at your convenience.

If you’re concerned about your business’s network, call ECMSI for a FREE Network Health Assessment today! (330) 750-1428

IT Woes? We’re here to help.

As businesses struggle with the same old IT issues, we question – Should you have an expert guide you? Let’s review the most common IT woes that businesses face and the ways ECMSI can help!

Can You Related To These Questions?

Q: Are you experiencing computer slowness?
A: ECMSI supports 24/7 network monitoring and patch management. ECMSI ensures that your software is patched with the most recent updates and that your employees benefit from these performance enhancements. By staying up to date on your computers, we directly reduce operating costs by increasing business productivity. Computer slowness is daunting – wouldn’t total peace of mind be better?

Q: Are response times to IT issues increasing?
A: ECMSI guarantees an average response time of 19 minutes or less. We’re fully staffed and local with 20+ technicians who will become like employees to your business. If there’s an issue we can’t handle remotely, we will come directly to your office. It’s because of our response time that we’re able to increase business productivity and reduce downtime for all of our partners.

Q: Out of date computers, servers, and software?
A: ECMSI is dedicated to the security, productivity, and efficiency of its’ partners networks – this includes all hardware and software. If a partner has a large network to upgrade, we work with them to schedule the best solutions possible – we will not let out of date equipment and software put your business at risk.

ECMSI Is Here To Help!

No business is too small or too old to start implementing managed and professional services. Whether your venture is new and you want to start off on the right foot, or you believe your business needs a boost in productivity, our team at ECMSI is here to help! ECMSI is the area’s leading managed service provider with a track record of continued success with their proactive approach for over two decades. If you have any questions regarding MSP’s and how one can help your business, please feel free to give us a call at 330-750-1428 . ECMSI, Making IT Easy!

ARE YOU PROTECTING YOUR CRITICAL DATA AND ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS?

Backing up your data has become one of the most important things to do in the 21st century. We hear about it more and more each day. Backing up your phone, computer, photos, email, this list can go on and on. But their is a reason that backups cannot be stressed enough. Statistics show business that do not protect their critical data and processes will fail when disaster strikes. It is a question of when, not if your data will be lost. Proper planning is required, along with testing and verification for both Cloud and physical based solutions.

Businesses spend a lot of time making sure that customer’s data is protected. It is important to regularly check backups to ensure data can quickly be restored after a disaster. Here at ECMSI we always want to make sure our partners are protected and ready to recover from any disaster in the quickest most efficient way possible. But it is not enough to just backup the data. There must also be a tested plan that examines the following:

  1. Am I backing up the right data?
    • Who determined it was the right data?
    • Has that decision been reviewed and verified recently?
  2. Am I protecting entire servers?
    • Do I have all the install software I will need in an emergency?
    • Do I have all the software licenses ready to re-install?
  3. Have I attempted a full server restore from my backup solution?
    • Have I documented the entire process?
    • Do I have access to this documentation at all times both electronically and in print?
    • If I have failed hardware, how do I replace it?  Do I have service contracts?

Cloud storage gives some excellent options to any on site backup solution. It is common thought that the cloud is sage and backed up automatically. However, there have been instances where cloud corporations simply decide to stop operations and only give 30 days warning to those using the service. This leaves companies scrambling to migrate to other solutions. It is a must to have copies of the cloud data stored physically or in a different data center.

Be sure to ask these important questions to your internal IT team or MSP. Make sure they can prove to you that they have the ability to quickly get you up and running in the face of any disaster.

If you would like to learn more about how to protect your data and take proactive steps to secure your critical information, let’s talk: (330) 750-1428

Work Smart with an IT Consultant

Technology should allow you to work smarter, not harder. However, if you’ve never heard of a server, think beating your computer is a good repair practice, or believe the Cloud is some mysterious thing in the sky, chances are your technology is putting you to work instead of the other way around. But there is hope that won’t break your bank and leads to increased productivity: an IT consultant.

Your Local IT Consultant

It’s no secret that expensive products and services, while often beneficial when properly used, flood the market and can affect a small business’ bottom line. As a result, most business owners’ scam meters are on high alert. It doesn’t have to be this way with your technology.

With so many IT solutions available, the market is rich with engineers capable of making your company a productive machine. While not all of them have your best interest in mind, think of a good IT consultant as a friend concerned with your well-being. The best always consider your individual needs; however, since it’s still about business, their goal is to not only make you happy, but save you money, time, and generate more revenue by optimizing your technology.

IT’s not a Hard Choice if It’s a Smart Business Decision

IT consultants have a unique solution for having your back 24/7: Managed Services. As Managed Service Providers (MSPs), industry professionals’ primary goals are to optimize your company’s infrastructure, protect your business’ private information and digital assets, and work to automate your technology workflow.

What does this mean for you in a nutshell?

  • Fewer computer/server breakdowns and repairs, which translate to time saved.
  • Less chance for security breaches and loss of private and proprietary data, a challenge too large to overcome for some businesses.
  • Less time wasted on menial tasks by allowing automated technology to work for you.

These add up to less time spent trying to make your technology work and more time doing your real job. This translates to money saved and the potential for increased revenue.

Put Your Faith in an MSP You Can Trust

The most productive companies use technology to make things easier, not to add more work when their systems fail. The only businesses that should work hard to ensure your IT runs smoothly are ones that specialize in the industry – let your trusted friends at ECMSI help. We believe IT and your business is a relationship, one that we nurture together.

Contact Shane Nesbitt today: (330) 750-1428

Network Monitoring: Get Better Security and Performance

Your business productivity is dependent on the performance of your employees and with consistent downtime, your business can lose significant time and money. If your network is experiencing downtime due to security issues, there’s a lot more at stake. Network monitoring could save your business reputation, company data and your bottom line.

Network Monitoring

Network monitoring is the use of a system that continuously monitors a computer network for slow or failing computers and notifies the network admin in the case of outages or malicious trouble.

So, what are the benefits of Network Monitoring from an MSP?

It’s becoming increasingly more popular for small to midsize businesses to trust their IT infrastructure to an MSP, including their network monitoring. Most MSPs offer 24/7/365 network monitoring and are prepared to solve issues before they become major problems. So, what are the benefits of Networking Monitoring from an MSP? Let’s check out the list below:

1. Secure and Consistent Network Connection

A secure and consistent network connection is the key to increasing up time and productivity. An MSP is responsible for monitoring your network and making sure it’s consistently running and secure. They’re also responsible for checking into network errors, and monitoring any new equipment entering your IT environment.

2. Network Health Protection

When partnering with an MSP, their highly skilled technical staff provides monitoring services for your network that tracks all equipment and tools used. Your MSP has their own tools to oversee the health of your network and keep your system running smoothly. Your MSP is responsible to addressing network issues before they become major problems, avoiding impact to your business productivity.

3. Network Security

Network security is of the highest importance in keeping your critical business data safe. Your MSP should deploy a layered security approach to your network while insuring all updates are running to keep your devices up to date.

Competitive advantage

At ECMSI we make a point of helping our customers thrive. By creating an effective network security system, we’re providing you with a competitive edge. Consumers place great importance on how companies treat their data – they want to know it’s safe and secure from hackers and other threats. That’s exactly what we do, because we know that when you ensure your customer’s data is always protected, you’ll quickly build a reputation as a trustworthy brand they can rely on.

We didn’t become one of the leading managed services providers of network security by accident. We are leaders because we care about our customers and we know how to protect them. Talk to us today, and we can work together to protect your business and take it to the next level.

Find out if your network is vulnerable. Get a Free Network Health Assessment from ECMSI today.

Looking to Speed Up Your PC? Here’s Some Tips!

Slow computers seems to be a problem everyone has run into at some point in their life, and it can definitely be frustrating. For an employee, a slow PC could mean hours lost in productivity which is not good for employee moral, or business operations. Whether you want to make your PC faster for personal use, or get right back to work (which we all know you’re super eager to do), lets dive into some settings you can change in order to speed up your PC.

1. Change your power settings

If you’re PC is running on Windows 10 it will come with options in which you can enable a Power Saving plan, if this is configured you are drastically slowing down your PC’s performance in order to save energy. Typically, every PC , even desktop PC’s come with a power saver plan. Changing your power plan to a higher performance will give your computer a huge boost in power.

2. Disable animations, shadows and visual effects

Operating Systems now come with a a variety of nice graphics that enhance user experience and make functions seem more natural and fluid. On faster and newer PCs these effects usually do not affect system performance, But on slower and older PC’s they can cause a huge loss. Going into the system properties and looking into your performance options you will see a huge list of different animations and special effects. If you have the time you can play around with the different effects and keep what you like and don’t like. However, the easiest way is to click on the option to adjust for best performance and let Windows optimize your settings to get the most out of your system.

3. Disable programs that run on startup

A reason your computer may be running slow and sluggish could be on account of all the programs you have running in the background, programs that you don’t even necessarily use. Stopping them from running will help your PC operate more smoothly.  Launch Task Manager, if it launches as a compact app with no tabs, click “more details” at the bottom of your screen. Click the Startup tab. You’ll see a list of the programs and services that launch when you start Windows. To stop a program or service from launching at startup, right-click it and select “disable.” This doesn’t disable the program entirely; it only prevents it from launching at startup.

4. Get rid of bloatware

What is bloatware you ask? Bloatware is all of the pre-loaded programs and software that all windows PC’s come with and while you expect a brand new computer to be clean and ready to go, that is not always the case. While bloatware is mostly not harmful at all, having your PC clogged up with all that information could seriously affect your computers speed. Upon purchase of a computer most retail sellers will offer optimization at an additional cost in order to clean out the PC. Or you could tackle the issue yourself and use software that could help you slim down your PC.

5. Check for Malware

If your PC is still running sluggish, their could be an even more underlying problem or even some malware that is affecting your system. Running a systems check from your anti-virus or internet security software and having it scan and get rid of problems could help get your PC up and running as fast as it should be.

If you’re concerned about your business’s network, call ECMSI for a FREE Network Health Assessment today! (330) 750-1428