Productivity: Employees Gaming at Work?

We got a call from a client. He told us that productivity in his warehouse had significantly decreased. Deadlines weren’t being met. He knew something was going on but didn’t know what. Their warehouse was in a separate building from their office. Four or five employees managed it.

Increasing your Productivity: Your MSP is omniscient when it comes to your network

As their managed services provider, we remotely logged in to their computers to search for clues. It wasn’t long before we found that World of Warcraft, a massive multiplayer online role-playing game, was installed on every computer. We scanned our logs and found that they were spending most of the workday playing it. They were basically having a daily LAN party on their company’s time.

Your MSP is omnipotent when it comes to your network

We told the owner what was going on and he was angry. He had us remotely log in and delete the gaming software. We re-configured the firewall with stricter rules. He reprimanded the warehouse employees and warned them that if it ever happened again, they could find another job.

Block the “myths, magic, and endless adventures” on company time

Increase productivity by blocking the “myths, magic, and endless adventures” of role-playing games and other time-wasting websites on company time. If you have problems with your employees wasting company time on video games, social media, gambling websites, or porn websites you have the power to block these sites through your firewall. If productivity is down or not what you hope for, your managed services provider can evaluate your computer logs to see if the problem resides here.

Schedule a free consultation with Joe or Fred if you don’t have a firewall or you need yours uniquely configured.

Read more about this productivity problem: Employee Internet Management: Now an HR Issue

Cyberjacking – Security Alert

Cyberjacking has become a major problem for networks around the world. It is currently one of the top cybersecurity problems existing today. The term cyberjacking means hackers access your servers or workstations like parasites. They use your processing power to mine cryptocurrency. This exploit can be detrimental to your network and production. Because it uses your processing power, it slows down your network. A slow network decreases your productivity.  

This hack is difficult to detect and even more difficult to eradicate. It rewrites your server software and deeply embeds itself into your network. The best way to combat this type of malware is to wipe your server clean and restore from your image backups. That takes time and money.  

In one instance, I saw this attack come in through an email inside a PDF-looking document. When we investigated, the software was embedded inside a font. When an employee clicked and opened the file, the malware downloaded to the company’s network. Once running inside their system, it used the processor as part of their bitcoin mining operation. Servers keep logs of incoming and outgoing traffic. The cyberjacking malware erased these logs every minute to cover its tracks. It took over 2 ½ days to stop the attack and mitigate the damage. 

Protect your business from cyberjacking

It is important to protect your business from these kinds of parasitic attacks.

  1. Keep your firewall up to date with the latest virus and malware signatures.  
  1. Protect your email with filters either in Microsoft 365 or with another filtering service before it hits your onsite exchange.  
  1. Train your employees not to click on items originating from an unknown source. 
  1. Train them to validate even a trusted source to make sure requests for financial or confidential data transfers are genuine. 

Your due diligence is what keeps you safe. Give us a call for a network security checkup. Our service engineers are well versed on keeping your network secure.

This article on achieving PCI Compliance is also about increasing your cybersecurity in general: So You Want To Achieve PCI Compliance? Shields Up!

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.

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

Most Computer Issues Can Be Handled Remotely

Remote Services are an important piece of the IT pie that your MSP serves up to support your business. They use powerful tools to monitor your organization’s systems, processes, and security.  

Remote Troubleshooting

If you’re having trouble with issues like the following, your service engineer can usually solve the problem remotely in less time than it would take him to come out to your place of business.

  • Laptop or PC running slow
  • Opening your email
  • Remembering a password
  • Connecting with your printer

With Remote Services, your IT team has the ability to log in remotely and fix your issues. To stay most productive, having the ability to request service remotely is a must in todays speed-of-light business world.

Help Desk Support

A good IT company enables Help Desk Services by installing a small program on your computer. The program remotely connects us to your computer and integrate with a ticketing system. When you request service, a ticket is created, queued, and quickly addressed. In a Service Level Agreement (SLA) you are provide with a timeframe in which the work will be completed.

Streamline your Computer Repairs

Remote services are one of the biggest advantages that a Managed Services Provider has over the “IT Guy”. There are times when your service engineers need to come onsite to service your IT infrastructure, but most issues can be handled remotely. With Remote Services your IT team streamlines your computer repairs and system upkeep. Increase productivity by adding Integrinet IT’s Remote Services.

Call us today (385) 355-6494 to discuss how this service can benefit your company.

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.

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.

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