So You Want To Achieve PCI Compliance? Shields Up!

If your company accepts credit card payments, you know about PCI Compliance. Your network and system shields need to be up and secure when you handle your clients’ credit card information. Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to get past your shields.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many businesses into increasing online and over-the-phone payment systems. While the virus is infiltrating our physical shields, criminals are seeking to infiltrate our digital shields. The pandemic has triggered the largest cybersecurity threat that we have ever experienced.*

When Shields Are Compromised

475%

Increase in malicious reports of cyberattacks related to the virus at the onset of the pandemic.*

41%

Of small businesses that have been breached paid more than $50,000 for resolution.*

60%

Of SMBs that suffer a data breach go out of business within six months.*

Just like we’re all putting our shields up by wearing masks and trying to social distance, we need to make sure we are shielding our systems and valuable data from the 4.57 billion people on the Internet (statista.com). (Can you see how this makes doing business with each other so difficult?)

These stats show why it is important to make sure your business is cyber-safe. Here are a few PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) tips to strengthen your shields and business continuity.

Achieve PCI Compliance by using strong passwords

Just like we have locks and keys to our homes, we need to have locks and keys on our network and systems. Create longer passwords with a mix of letters, numbers, and other characters (%$*&!@(). And change them often.

Read more about passwords and MFA

Patch your software

Make sure your IT service company keeps your software patched and up to date. Patching is fixing, improving, or updating a program with bugs or other security issues. Just like we strengthen our bodies with eating and exercise to prevent disease, your IT company strengthens your software applications with patches to prevent data breaches.

Encrypt all payment card data

Encryption creates another type of shield between the billions of people on the Internet and our data. Digitally scrambling data creates barriers that cannot be penetrated unless a user has the key. Selective shields, boundaries, locked doors, barriers, and walls are good. Sometimes they are a pain, but they are needed to sustain our physical and digital lives. And they are needed for PCI Compliance.

Remote access to your systems should be secure

Shields up! Our bodies stay healthy by having selective boundaries that keep some things out but allow other things in. Similarly, your business needs boundaries around your network. You want your vendors, employees, and customers to access your system from their businesses, homes, and mobile devices. Viruses and cybercriminals target these access points. Your IT service company should make sure your associates are using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication before your system lets them in.

Firewalls Are A Big Part of PCI Compliance

Shields up! Make sure your IT company has a firewall shielding your network from the Internet. This is like a cell wall that monitors all incoming and outgoing substances. Many of these substances have to have special keys to get in. A competent IT company will configure a strong firewall for your business among multiple other layers of shields.

Beware of phishing email

True to viruses in nature, hackers are evolving. Their attacks are more deceptive. They send emails that appear completely legit. If you haven’t expected a request for confidential data or information, don’t hand it over until you call and verify first. Your ability to differentiate is another layer of security.

For Compliance, Your partners should also be secure

We all know how easily the COVID-19 virus has spread. The same thing is true of digital viruses. If they are hacked, you could be too. The hackers can get into your system via the same portal your partners entered it.

Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to get past your shields. If you work with e-commerce, your shields need to be strong and secure to achieve PCI Compliance. But whatever your business, let’s work together to keep our clients, partners, and businesses safe.

Schedule a free security risk assessment with either Joe Nice in Utah or Fred Bauerfeld in Idaho

*Stats from: PCI Security Standards Council & U.S. Security, Exchange Commission, and Panda Security

Managed Services Provider: Choosing Reliable IT Services

As a Managed Services Provider, we know that your business runs on information. We also know that you need top-notch cybersecurity to protect it. While you’re busy growing your business, you need someone to manage your technology. And you’ve got a lot to manage – cloud services, software applications, vendors, network, multiple computing devices, servers, switches, and storage. Without someone keeping a 24/7 watch on these assets, your business is vulnerable to security breaches.

The following image is a screenshot of the SonicWall Security Center. This website monitors real-time cyberattacks. Click on the link to see how many attacks are happening right now. Security breaches are constantly bombarding organizations like yours. Bad actors are always searching for a chink in your armor.

A Reliable Managed Services Provider’s (MSP’s) goal is to keep your business and data secure while maintaining an efficient technology environment. MSPs do this by managing your cloud services and overseeing your daily IT needs. They provide you with the technical support and security you rely on to keep up with the fast-paced, automated business world.

IT Management is a full-time job

You may have a difficult time effectively managing your business IT operations and cloud services on your own. Computer technology is an industry that is constantly iterating to increase speed and safety while minimizing cost. Consequently, many companies hire a variety of third-party services to run their business operations. These services should work together compatibly, but that’s hard to accomplish when they are constantly evolving.

A Managed IT Services Provider manages your interconnected web of services for you. Certified technicians work full-time overseeing your IT ecosystem to ensure it runs optimally. They free you up to focus on what you do best. An optimized technology environment maintains the highest degree of protection against security breaches.

If you are thinking about hiring an MSP, consider how the following benefits increase your cybersecurity:

1. A Managed Services Provider reduces costs & prevents security breaches

For small- to medium-sized businesses, it is less expensive to hire an MSP than staff a full-time IT department. When your IT services are affordable, you can maintain the network optimization required for cybersecurity.

2. A Managed Services Provider offers predictable, recurring monthly costs

An MSP has the flexibility to adapt their services to your business needs. You don’t pay for more or less than you need. Once the right fit is found, you pay a consistent monthly bill. When you know how much to budget for, your IT services are a no brainer. You don’t have to constantly worry about a new and unexpected bill when something happens. With consistent service, your productivity and cybersecurity remain optimal.

3. Choosing an MSP maximizes hardware & software life

MSPs work to keep your technology current. They monitor the age of your computer devices and software applications. Most of us don’t like having to pay for new equipment when what we have is still perfectly functional. But when our computers and software cross into the land of the dinosaurs, they become inefficient. Outdated machines and software are a security risk.

A trustworthy MSP knows when to patch and maintain what you already have, and when it’s time to upgrade. Keeping your technology up to date keeps your defenses strong against cyberattacks.

As a Managed Services Provider, we know that you primarily need us to keep your network securely running at peak efficiency. Lagging computer and internet speeds are your nemesis. Our goal is to maximize your cybersecurity while increasing your productivity. We strive to do that at reasonable costs. Schedule a free consultation with Joe if you’re in Utah or Fred if you’re in Idaho.

Curiosity Killed the Network

One of a technician’s biggest fears is user Curiosity. Curiosity has been the culprit of a number of major successful cyberattacks on unsuspecting companies. It is the reason you might click on a link in an email sent from an unknown source. It’s the reason you might follow a rabbit hole of links to unsafe sites on the internet. Curiosity is also the reason you might click on a random link at the bottom of an unfamiliar website.

In order to keep your company’s network and confidential data secure, you and your employees should be aware that cybercriminals attempt to trick you by applying to your Curiosity. One of their little-known tricks is scattering USB drives in conspicuous places such as the parking lots of targeted companies.

Curiosity May Increase Your Organization’s Security Risk

Researchers performed the following experiment to test how risky yielding to our Curiosity can be.

A few major organizations got together to conduct a study:

  • The University of Illinois
  • Urban-Champaign, Google
  • The University of Michigan

In the study, they tested how the Curiosity factor can affect a company’s cybersecurity. They scattered 297 USB drives around the Urban-Champaign campus. On the drives, they installed software that mimicked malware. When some Curious soul opened one of the files on the drive, it didn’t infect the computer with a virus. But it alerted the researchers that it had been opened and then sent them the location of the computer.

48% of the drives were plugged into computers!

Read the whole story here: Story of the USB Drive Study

The DOD Infiltrated Via Thumb Drive

If you think that’s crazy, listen to this: One of the worst cyber-attacks on the U.S. military in history occurred in 2008-09. It happened at one of the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Middle East bases. Someone inserted a thumb drive they found in a parking lot into a computer. It was like a worm that infected the entire network and went without detection.

“Once in place, the malicious code began to ‘beacon’ out to its creator, letting whoever created it know that it was in place and ready for further instructions. That’s the only way analysts from the NSA’s Advanced Networks Operations team noticed it was there.” – Blake Stilwell, We Are the Mighty, The worst cyber attack in DoD history came from a USB drive found in a parking lot

14 Months to Wipe It Out of Their Network

It took them 14 months to wipe it out of their network. When they realized what had infected their systems, one of their first responses was to ban thumb drives. They gathered thumb drives from military personnel and found they were all infected. As of the date of this article, no one has ever found out the identity of the hackers or how much information they stole.

“The effort was so intense and deliberate that it led to the creation of the 11th military unified command – The U.S. Cyber Command.” -ibid

If your Curiosity peeks when your online, reading an email, find a thumb drive, or even receive an email or phone call from a known source, err on the side of caution. Choose to be more Curious about cybersecurity. The network it saves might be your own.

Call us to and talk to Fred (Idaho) or Joe (Utah) to set up a free security assessment (844) 400-0616.

Are You HIPAA IT Compliant?

Did you know that on the Dark Web, medical records sell for more than credit card data?

If you are a health services organization, you know your biggest cybersecurity worry is to keep your ePHI secure. Most breaches happen because the devices you use have not been encrypted, one of your employees clicks on a nefarious link in an email, or someone inadvertently downloads malware into your systems.

Encryption Is the New Standard

HIPAA IT standards are the gold standard of cybersecurity in the health service industry. As your organization strives to be in compliance, start with encrypting as much of your data as possible. At the very least, make sure you have passwords on all your computers and mobile devices. Implement Multifactor Authentication to protect your users’ login credentials.

The encryption process converts your data to an unreadable and unstable state. If unauthorized users broke into your network, your email, or your devices, they would not be able to make any sense of it. The only way the encrypted data can be read is with a security key. With this key, the computer will convert the data back into a readable and stable state.

All emails containing ePHI that are sent outside of your firewall need to be encrypted. Additionally, they should be saved in a secure and encrypted archive for at least six years.

Web Content Filter

It’s important to have your managed services provider install a web content filter, which blocks inappropriate and dangerous content as well as cyber criminals who are waiting to steal passwords to your records and databases.

Automatic Log-off

Your service engineer should also help you set up automatic log-off of your PCs and mobile devices. When your authorized personnel have stopped using their computers for a specific amount of time, the computers automatically log out. It is so easy to forget to log out when stepping away from the workstation. This program is a smart and easy backup to use to increase your cybersecurity.

HIPAA Checklist

Your medical office has to be aware of the IT portion of the HIPAA checklist. You need to make sure you can check every box. Your managed services provider should perform regular assessments that identify the risks in all systems your business uses to “touch” your ePHI. This includes your:

  • Network
  • Servers
  • Switches
  • Computers
  • Mobile Devices
  • Software
  • Phone Systems
  • Cloud Accounts (Email, Storage, etc…)

24/7 Remote Monitoring

To be HIPAA IT compliant, your IT company must be remotely monitoring your systems 24/7. They should be analyzing your logs regularly. They should be able to detect unauthorized access by existing employees.

A good managed services provider should know what it means to be HIPAA IT compliant. It should actively monitor your firewall ports and know which ones are usually attacked. If you have employees working from home, your service engineers should ensure that your VPN tunnel is set up and secure. They should have the ability to sniff out all the security issues your specific practice faces.

Due Diligence

If your healthcare organization is in the middle of striving for due diligence to the HIPAA standards and needs an IT company that knows how to help you reach compliance, schedule a free consultation with Joe Nice (Utah) or Fred Bauerfeld (Idaho) at Integrinet IT.

Call (844)400-0616

Choose “Sales” from the menu to talk to Joe or Fred.

Read more about HIPAA Compliance:

HIPAA Compliance Checklist

Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rules by the United States Department of Health & Human Services

Ransomware Hacker Strikes Sports Software Company & Steals Hundreds of Thousands of People’s Confidential Info

Ransomware is one of the vilest ways bad actors are taking advantage of good honest companies. It’s one of those crimes that businesses, both large and small, are powerless to defend themselves against once it occurs. It is so utterly galling to have to pay exorbitant amounts of hard-earned cash to creepy dishonest hackers to regain access to their own systems and confidential data.

The Story

According to an article posted in the Tech Times on September 22, 2020, a major software company was recently hacked. The attackers held the company’s confidential data hostage until the owners paid up. The data included information about 540,000 users. They swiped their names, passwords, usernames, birthdays, addresses, email addresses, and Social Security numbers.

ArbiterSports, the victim-company, supplies the NCAA and other sports leagues with a software application that manages referees and other game officials. Like most other companies that are hacked, they had no choice but to pay the ransom. But when you work with thieves, you never know if they will actually keep their side of the agreement to delete the stolen copy of confidential data.

The Reality for Your Business

If you don’t think your smaller-sized company is in danger of being hacked like this, think again. In our day bad actors are just as likely to shut down or disrupt small businesses as they are large. They can steal your data and hold it for ransom.

The most common way ransomware enters your network is through phishing emails. Integrinet IT builds a labyrinth of layers to defend your company against email infiltration.

1st Layer of Defense
A cloud email filter, which identifies spam emails before they even enter your firewall.

2nd Layer of Defense
Your Firewall.

3rd Layer of Defense
Your network server credentials.

4th Layer of Defense
Antivirus software with malware protection that is installed on your server, individual computers, and other end-point devices.

How Backups Save Your Company’s Life

Additionally, we configure a backup system that runs multiple times a day. If your company is hacked, we can wipe your server completely clean and then reinstall your system exactly as it was before the attack. Contact us today at (844) 400-0616 to set up your defensive position that will protect the business you have worked long and hard to build from the ground up.

Read the full article here: Hacker Breached 540,000 referees, league officials, and school representatives for Ransom and won

VoIP Phone Systems – To Move or Not to Move

Deciding which phone system is best for your business takes time to plan, research, and shop. To make an informed decision, you need to know what your choices are and the pros and cons of each. The phone system you want is one that meets your business’ needs. Because your business is unique, what works for another business may not work for yours. But if you want to replace or upgrade your phone system, you will need to choose between a PBX and a VoIP system.

What is a PBX System?

A PBX phone system is the on-premise phone system that has been in use for decades. It only came with direct copper wire line-to-line connections but in recent years has more options for the circuit that connects to it. If connected to the phone network with analog or digital lines, you are physically connected through the exchange network.

What is a VoIP System?

With a VoIP system, voice signals are converted into packets of data that are transmitted over the Internet. That means when you call a client, these signals travel through your network and out to the Internet.

Don’t get confused with the different types of VoIP systems that are out there. There are the following three options to choose from:

  1. On-premise VoIP System, Self-managed (you manage this system yourself)
  2. On-premise VoIP System, Partner-managed (a provider manages this system for you, but its brains are located at your place of business)
  3. Hosted VoIP System, Partner-managed (a provider manages this system for you, but its brains are located in the cloud)

Another confusing point is that there are a variety of names people are using for VoIP. They are all referring to the same type of internet phone system. Here are a few of them:

  • Hosted VoIP
  • Hosted Voice
  • Cloud Voice
  • IP telephony
  • Internet telephony
  • Broadband telephony
  • Broadband phone service

Read more about what a VoIP System is.

The Plan: Questions you need to answer for your business

  • How many users do you have?
  • Is everyone centrally located or geographically dispersed?
  • How will they use your phone system?
  • What features are you looking for in a phone system?
  • What is your growth trajectory?
  • How much are you spending on your current phone plan?
  • What is your budget for your new phone system?

Comparing Costs

VoIP is the less expensive system compared to PBX. It requires less hardware, which ends up costing you less to install. You will need VoIP-enabled phones and a connection to the Internet. Your monthly bills are also lower with the VoIP system and your billing is less complicated because your Internet and phone bill are often combined.

Comparing Reliability

Direct copper wire line-to-line connections are always more reliable than Internet connections, which sometimes experience downtime or bandwidth limits. The quality of your VoIP connection will vary based on the quality of your Internet connection. If your Internet or power goes down, so will your phone system. PBX systems are set up independent of your internet.

Because of this, some businesses who choose VoIP will keep a few backup analog lines for emergency alarms that send signals to the fire or police department or for their fax machines that don’t work well with VoIP.

Comparing Flexibility

If you want more flexibility in terms of adding or removing users, choose the VoIP system. You can add as many users as your network’s bandwidth allows and increasing your bandwidth is usually an easier task than increasing PBX capacity.

PBX systems are not known for their flexibility. They are installed with the number of phone lines you initially choose. If your company grows and you need more phone lines or capacity, you will have to have a provider come out and install them.

A quality phone system that is compatible with your company’s needs is key to clear communication and productivity. We hope this guide helps you in your decision process of whether to go with a VoIP phone system or a PBX. If you have any questions or need further guidance, please give Fred (Idaho) or Joe (Utah) a call at (844) 400-0616.

Read a story about how our service engineers repaired a client’s VoIP phone system when they were experiencing Dropped VoIP Calls and Intermittent Internet Connection.

iOS 14 Tips & Tricks

iOS 14 is out! For those of you with an iPhone, have you updated? Released on September 16, 2020, it has more exciting changes than Apple has made in a long time. Here are some of the new features:

Spatially arrange and group your apps however you want. You are now given the choice to delete or just remove an app from your Home screen because there Apple has added an App Library. Press and hold the screen until the icons jiggle, then select the “x” to remove.

In the App Library, the apps are automatically organized by categories into folders. Tap the largest icon to open the app directly. Tap the smaller icons to open the folder.

You can put widgets on your Home screen now next to your apps. You can see Maps and Photos without having to open these applications. If you have a fitness ring, you can see info from your fitness ring. Choose between small, medium, and large widget sizes.

Apple introduces a widget called Smart Stack with on-device intelligence that provides you with Siri app suggestions based on your habits.

Some fun and handy changes are:

  • New look to the icons.
  • Call screen is smaller.
  • Gifs are now on the keyboard for texting.
  • Split screen enables opening two apps at a time.
  • Multiple accounts if you have more than one Apple ID
  • Default app setup for maps, messaging, music, and browser (instead of always having to use Safari).

In FaceTime, there is a new eye contact feature that adjusts the position of your eyes and face even when you’re looking at the screen instead of the camera.

Voice Memos now has folders enabling you to organize your recordings. Enhanced recording reduces background noise and room reverberation.

As your IT company, we are here to help your small business with hardware devices like your phones and your software updates like iOS 14.

Check out the following videos for a quick look:

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is a technology that allows businesses to make and receive phone calls digitally over the internet instead of using traditional telephone lines. The same computer technology that enables you to transfer data over the internet and through email also allows you to transfer your voice.

There are many names that are used to refer to VoIP phone services. The following is a list of just a few:

  • IP telephony
  • Internet telephony
  • Broadband telephony
  • Broadband phone service

What are the top reasons for upgrading to VoIP?

Why would your small business consider changing your phone system to a VoIP system? Some of the reasons that other companies have made the change are:

Increased Mobility

Traditional phone systems have individual lines, each with its own phone number. If your business is on-the-go or you have employees working remotely, connecting mobile phones with landline phones can be a hassle. As a result, productivity decreases. VoIP gives you the freedom to do business from wherever you are. You are not landlocked by your phone system.

Increased Availability

The best ability is availability. With a VoIP system, you can program your calls to ring in your office. If you don’t pick up after a few rings, the system transfers the calls to your computer or mobile phone. This enables you to take phone calls from your colleagues and clients wherever you are. Consequently, you will have less missed calls and missed opportunities.

A Variety of Features

VoIP systems allow you to:

  • forward voicemails to other team members
  • send voicemail-to-email transcripts
  • maintain face-to-face communication with your clients even when you’re out of the office
  • stay connected even in the event of a power outage or other natural disasters because calls are still forwarded to your mobile phone

Weighing the pros and cons of moving your company’s phone system to VoIP is a difficult and important business decision. Integrinet IT has knowledgeable consultants who are ready to assist you with choosing the best and most productive system for your business. They are available to answer any questions about VoIP you may have. Give us a call (844) 400-0616!

Read how we have helped our clients with their VoIP phone systems:

Read More:

The Top 6 Benefits of Moving to a VoIP Telephone System

What is VoIP? How Does It Work?

How Multifactor Authentication Keeps your SMB’s Valuable Data 99.9% Secure

Multifactor Authentication (MFA) is a security process that requires two or more authentication steps to verify the user’s identity. The most common validators used are: 

Memorized or Stored Information
Username, password, pin, and or security questions. 

One-time Security Token
Sent to your mobile device, a key fob, or your employee ID card.

High-tech Scanners
Technology that can scan and recognize your eyes, fingerprints, face, or voice.

You are only granted access after successfully presenting two or more of the above pieces of evidence to validate identity. This adds to the time it takes you to gain access to sites, but it is one of the most reliable ways to protect your accounts from being hacked. 

Using multifactor authentication with your email service is a smart way to keep cybercriminals out. When employees log in to their email site and enter their username and password, a code is sent to their mobile device by text or an authentication app. When they enter that code, they can access their email. Unless they have their mobile device, it is 99.9% impossible to access the account. 

Integrinet IT can set up multifactor authentication seamlessly in any of your organization’s  workflow or applications – both internal network applications and external internet applications.  MFA is a valuable part of your shield against threat actors especially if you have employees accessing your network remotely. 

SonicWall

Integrinet IT partners with SonicWall to bring you the best in Cybersecurity. Here you will find the latest articles on real-world threat intelligence and news from experts who keep your SMB safe from cybercriminals.

Bitdefender

Integrinet IT partners with Bitdefender to provide you with the best Cybersecurity for your SMB. Keep up to date with the latest security threats by reading the articles posted in their blog. Bitdefender specializes in Anti-Malware Research. Keep informed here.

Microsoft Teams

Get the latest information, education, and tips for Microsoft Teams here. You will keep your SMB on the cutting edge of collaborative tools. We want to keep you up to date on Microsoft Team’s best practices, news, and trends.

What Are Malware and Ransomware and How Can They Hurt Your Small Business?

Malware is short for malicious software. It’s a general term that refers to software designed to cause damage to your network, server, computers, or client applications. Viruses and ransomware can enter into your computer system via malware.

Malware breaches your system through insecure emails or websites. This is a technique that cybercriminals use and is called phishing. These emails look like they are sent from a legitimate organization or from someone you know. When you click on a link in the email or open an attachment, the code activates and does its dirty work.

Ransomware is also usually transmitted through phishing emails. It is a type of malware that prevents you from accessing your computer until you pay the cybercriminal. It targets software that has not been maintained or kept up to date.

Why would keeping your software updated matter?

Software degrades over time as the operating system, other software applications, and the computer hardware that interact with it are updated.

Patching is a term IT nerds use that refers to updating, fixing, or improving your software and programs. They know how to spot bugs and the security vulnerabilities we’ve been talking about here.

What is a software bug?

A software bug is an error or flaw in a software application, which causes it to do weird things or create incorrect or random results.

Thus, it seriously is a good idea to keep all components of your IT system updated and compatible.

Integrinet IT offers a free assessment of your IT infrastructure. Our consultants can help you identify components that are incompatible or troubleshoot the reason they are going haywire. Our service engineers are specialists in managing the process of patching and updating your systems.

What’re the Differences between Antivirus Software, Antispyware, and Firewalls?

Antivirus Software is also known as anti-malware. Malware is software designed to cause damage to your IT infrastructure (your servers, desktops, laptops, and software apps). So, antivirus software makers are the good guys, and malware makers are the bad guys.

Antivirus (AV) software is designed to prevent, detect, and remove malware that has broken into your system. These AV applications also keep you protected when you’re surfing the net. There are all kinds of hijackers and malicious kits and tools created to take your computer and its components down when you’re on the internet. These superhero AV software packages work to keep your systems safe.

Antispyware is usually included in AV software packages and has been developed to specifically stop spyware. Spyware is a type of malware that attempts to gather info about you and your organization without you knowing it. Cybercriminals can secretly observe your business activities on your devices and the internet. They sell this information and your tracking info to marketers to make a quick buck.

Antispyware, like AV software, detects, prevents, and removes spyware from your devices. The software scans emails, websites, and downloads for any potential threats. It searches for any changes in records and if it finds one, it disables the data and alerts you. It can provide you with all the details about the spyware, which gives you the power to destroy it.

Spyware and malware programmers know their wares are being detected and removed. They are continuously working on evolving their programs to create something that the good-guy software apps will miss.

A firewall is another type of security device. It can be a piece of hardware connected to your system or a software application. It operates as a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. It blocks unauthorized access to your business’ data by creating a virtual wall between your internal network and the crazy cyber world out there. You can go out into that cyber world, aka the internet, and come back in but the bad stuff out there can’t get through. It’s like airport security, but a firewall tracks traffic going both ways.

A million vendors sell these products. It’s important to shop around for the best. Here at Integrinet IT, we’re professional software vendor shoppers. We buy and install the best for our clients. Give us a call, and we’ll make sure nobody is breaking into your system, hijacking your stuff, or spying on your activities. We will set up a powerful firewall that protects your confidential data, private documents, and secret sauce from cyber crooks.

Quick Tips to Increase Cybersecurity for your Small Business

According to the Small Business Association (SBA), 88% of small business owners believe they are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Their fears are justified because hackers target smaller businesses knowing they don’t have the tight security that larger enterprises do. Most have limited funds and time to dedicate to ensuring their IT systems are protected. And the majority don’t know where to start.

Even though technology threats are continuously changing, there are some things you can do to protect your business.

The number one way cyber attackers break into your system is through email and untrained employees. Learning a little bit more about the best cybersecurity practices is something you can do right now to lower your risk. Here are some quick tips that you probably already know about but don’t realize just how valuable they are.

Passwords

We know this is a pain, but create a different password for each of your accounts and change them regularly. Don’t use something easy to remember. Create strong passwords that contain:

10+ characters

1+ uppercase letter

1+ lowercase letter

1+ number

1+ special character

Another option is to purchase an app that keeps your login info secure for all of your cloud apps that you access from different devices while you only have to remember one single password.

Multifactor Authentication

When a website or vendor on the internet prompts you to have them send a security code to your phone, as you’re attempting to log in, this is multifactor authentication. It is somewhat frustrating, especially when your phone doesn’t get the code, but usually having them resend it works. Just remember, dealing with these few extra steps seriously increases your security.

Backups

Backups are the Gold Standard in the IT world.  It is super important that you get into the habit of saving your data on all your computers once a week. If you can, set up automated backups. The copied data should be stored on the cloud or offsite. If anything happens to your hardware or your physical office space, your data will be safe.

There are software services that use encryption to protect your sensitive data. You know what that data is, but in general, it might include your documents, spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resource files, and accounts receivable/payable files.

Keeping on top of your businesses’ cybersecurity can be difficult. If you’re in Utah or Idaho and need some help, don’t hesitate to contact us at info@integrinetit.com or (844) 400-0616.

Why Choosing an MSP for your IT Services Increases your Engineering Company’s Productivity

Engineering companies come in all shapes and sizes. Your work sustains our homes and communities. It involves surveying, designing, producing, building, inspecting, testing, and validating the structures and systems that all of us use on a daily basis such as roads, houses, wastewater systems, airplanes, and automobiles. Your goal is to design solutions with a lower carbon footprint and enhanced sustainability.

In order to achieve maximum efficiency with this kind of superhero work, you need top-of-the-line and up-to-date computers, software, network, cloud connections, phones, databases, websites, cabling, and cybersecurity. In our ever-evolving technological world, this is a full-time job on steroids. To increase your productivity, choose a managed service provider (MSP) your IT Services.

Increasing your productivity is about saving you money and time. It includes keeping your data safe and sound.

Productivity = producing products and services in the least time and at the lowest cost without compromising quality and safety

Save Time: Productivity increases with Specialization

Outsourcing your IT saves you time by delegating the care of your IT environment to a team of licensed professionals who are highly efficient at what they do because they do it all day, every day.

Way back in the year our country became a nation, a Scottish economist and moral philosopher named Adam Smith published a book that has since become part of classic economic thought. It’s called, “The Wealth of Nations.” In it he evaluated the benefits of specialization. He observed pin makers at a factory and found that one worker could hardly produce one pin a day, whereas 10 people working together and performing different pin-making tasks could produce 48,000 pins a day.

Productivity increases with specialization because a person’s ability to perform the same task improves with practice. And with repetition comes iteration and improvement of tools and processes.

With outsourced IT services, a team of licensed IT professionals manage your computer systems and equipment, while you focus on green building, seismic anchoring, aerospace, and power generation. The result is metaphorically equivalent to 48,000 pins a day for your engineering company.

Save Money: The Economy of Scale

Because Managed Service Providers use the same tools to provide centralized services for multiple companies, they are able to offer them at a significantly reduced cost. Purchasing and maintaining these services on your own will cost you much more.

Additionally, IT service technicians act as your IT department, without the need to handle the normal responsibilities, costs, and liabilities that come with hiring an employee.

Add Expertise: Keep Your Systems and Data Protected and Running at Peak Efficiency

Integrating a complexity of devices and people is no easy job for anyone, especially when they also have to be well trained in hackercombat and cybersecurity. Because your engineering firm has a handful of customized technology, your IT environment is most likely a complex management puzzle.

When you choose an MSP, there is a team of experts that knows your systems personally. They have foundational technical knowledge, significant experience, and a healthy dedication to keeping up with rapidly changing technology. Having more than one person monitoring your systems 24/7 and on call all day, every day is a highly effective solution for keeping your valuable files, systems, hardware, and data safe and running at peak efficiency.

If choosing a MSP for your IT services makes sense to you, give us a call today. We’re Integrinet IT, and we currently work with several engineering companies from Boise to Provo. We would love to be a part of your team to increase your productivity.

Set Up Your Business on Google My Business

If you haven’t already set up your business on Google, you may want to consider doing it. Here’s why:

  • 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
  • 90% used the internet to find a local business in the last year
  • 85% trust reviews just as much as word-of-mouth
  • 68% say positive reviews increase their trust in a local business

Local Consumer Review Survey, 2019

Here’s how:

Follow this link to: Google My Business

  1. Sign in with your gmail account. You can use a personal or business gmail account. If you don’t have one you can create it here. Follow the simple directions given to do that.
  2. On the next screen, type in your business name. If it’s not on Google already, you can add it here. If it is, Google will connect it with you. Click the “Next” button.
  3. Choose the category that most closely fits your business. Click the “Next” button.
  4. If you want to add a storefront location, add it here. If you don’t have a storefront, no problem. Just select “No” for this page. Click the “Next” button.

Read this article for details: No Storefront? No Problem! How to Create a Google My Business Listing for Your “Service Area Business”

  1. On the next page, choose your service areas. There will be a list of suggestions below or you can type cities and states in manually. Click the “Next” button.
  2. If you want to add your business phone number and website in your listing, enter them here. If not, leave the space for phone number empty and/or select “I don’t need a website.” Click the “Next” button.
  3. Read the next screen through, then click the “Finish” button.
  4. You will be directed to enter your mailing address to verify, but this will be hidden from the public. Note, you can’t enter a PO box here.
  5. Next, Google will send you a postcard in the mail to verify that you are indeed at that address. Enter your contact name in the blank, then click the “Mail” button. The next page validates that Google is now in the process of sending you the postcard.
  6. You can continue here by adding the services your business provides or skip. Click the “Save” button when you’re finished.

You can choose “Skip” from any point or continue by following the directions. As soon as your business is verified, your business listing will go live.

  1. Once it is live, go to your Google My Business Home (dashboard).
  2. Look for the box entitled “Get your first review”.
  3. Click the “Share review form” button.

Google gives you:

  1. a link to paste in an email
  2. the ability to share that link on some of your social media sites
  3. a link to “Share via email”. For this choice, it will just open up an email on your desktop’s email client. The email will have the link for your clients to follow to leave a review for you. It also includes the words, “[your business name] would love your feedback. Post a review to our profile.”

You can then compose an email to your clients and ask them to leave a positive Google review like we did with you.

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