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How Onboarding and Offboarding Employees is Made Easy with an MSP

During the lifetime of a company, it’s only natural to have employees leave or join the business. But as technology has evolved, there’s more to going and coming than just tidying up the office. When key staff members, especially those who work close to sensitive material like IT infrastructure, are heading out, there’s a process.

For new arrivals, workers have to learn a slew of systems, logins, and procedures to properly integrate with the company’s network. Additionally – depending on what they work on – they must get proper hardware, materials and supplies. Once they’ve successfully been introduced to the network and office, they go through the “onboarding” procedure.

Conversely, when an employee is leaving the organization, all those same logins, credentials and proximities to sensitive info must be removed. You don’t want them to have a key back into the building they don’t work in. Read more. . .

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How to Evaluate a Cloud Offering

Cloud computing and its respective services can offer a host of advantages to companies. From virtualization to data storage, there are plenty of options to streamline productivity. However, as a company seeks vendors and goes through offers, it’s important to understand what areas are crucial.

Evaluating a good cloud offering requires looking through potential deals and services. There are characteristics which make a good cloud service and it’s important to identify them. Check out these major points to help evaluate the quality of a cloud offering.

1. Communication and Response

If utilizing a vendor, part of a successful relationship is how responsive they are. Problems and service issues are likely to occur at some point. Or, you may have questions about scaling resources. Regardless, the time between question and answer should be small. Read more. . .

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6 IoT Mistakes to Avoid

The Internet of Things (IoT) provides great opportunity for businesses, but it also comes with great risk. It’s been the topic of many news articles; many of which are good, and some of which are bad. SpiralToys, manufacturer of the “smart” teddy bear – a toy that could connect to the internet and other teddy bears – recently left about 800,000 user credentials and millions of custom messages completely exposed to anyone who knew how to get them.

This startling example of the security problems regarding IoT is a swift reminder that, as cool as it all sounds, there’s a lot of work to be done with IoT.

The IoT refers to machines talking to machines via cloud networks or online connectivity. Typically associated with “smart machines,” it’s expected to ingrain itself into our society as the years continue. Businesses will likely adopt a type of smart machine for increased productivity and people will find it becoming part of their daily routine. Read more. . .

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5 Steps to a Safe and Secure BDR

Every organization should have some form of BDR in place. What’s a BDR? Quite simply, it stands for “backup disaster recovery,” and is an organization’s go-to when the worst scenario becomes reality. Things like physical damage, natural disasters, theft, digital attacks or other numerous problems all have to be accounted for. If they occur, and your business has no BDR, the steps to take to return to normal can be much more difficult.

If you’re without a BDR and need an idea as to where to start, we’ve compiled a quick list to give you a basic idea of what’s necessary for a functional recovery plan.

1. Organize Staff and Responsibility

During a period of downtime, you need to know what staff members are responsible for certain departments and tasks. Since recovery will be a unified effort, management should have a laid-out plan for what groups of people will do. The next sequence of steps we list will all come down to the list of individuals you first make. Read more. . .

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4 Ways Managed Detection and Response Keep Your Data Secure

Small and mid-sized businesses are becoming more targeted by cyber criminals. Even more worryingly, many companies don’t consider themselves to be in any danger of hacking. Even if you are aware and have protective software, it may not be enough to fend off attacks that are increasingly complex and harder to detect.

You need a more sophisticated protection system, and a managing detection and response (MDR) service might just be what you’ve been looking for. An MDR monitors your entire system for malicious software such as malware, viruses, adware and worms and responds to attacks immediately upon discovery. This does sound like your normal antivirus security but it’s much more than that.  Most protection software will have an intrusion prevention program that monitors network traffic. An MDR goes a step further, adding an intrusion prevention element, acting preemptively to secure your corporate network. It leverages behavioral, reputational and signature-based capabilities to up the ante when it comes to cyber-attack detection. Read more. . .

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Why Proactive Monitoring is Still a Good Idea

Keeping a business running has plenty of work involved. One such aspect – critical to companies big and small – is maintaining their hardware skeleton. Monitoring and maintaining local network activity is a huge part of financial success and is often employed through an MSP (managed service provider). However, some see the cost of constant involvement as too high, especially when everything seems to be in working order. It’s tempting then to want to forego activity monitoring altogether, but there’s still various reasons to maintain it, even in times of stability.

Above all, proactive monitoring is a surefire way to increase productivity. The enemies of production are problems, small or big. Worse yet, it’s often the small ones going unnoticed which create larger issues. Proactive monitoring is all about catching errors as they come, rather than letting it develop into a crisis situation. When severe issues do occur, it risks putting a business in dreaded downtime, a costly venture which holds things up for an undetermined amount of time. Proactive monitoring counters this by virtue of scrutiny. Read more. . .

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6 Tips to Keep Your Hardware Safe

The modern person is laden with all sorts of gadgets. Mobile technology has allowed for some impressive tech and it’s not uncommon that every individual have at least a smartphone on their person. Connectivity and correspondence often rely on this mobile tech, which means any interference can easily hinder a person’s productivity.

With all this synchronization and emphasis on staying connected, mobile tech and related hardware opens itself to plenty of problems. To help keep your favorite device bug free and safe, we’ve put together a quick tip safety list.

1 – Locking your screen

With tablets and smartphones, typically the password is entered at the screen. Without this, a person can’t access any of the phone’s features. It’s the first line of defense against unwanted parties obtaining private information. Read more. . .

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What Software Defined Networking Can Do for Your Company

Businesses today rely on a smoothly operating network infrastructure far more than in days past. Internet and data provisions are extremely important to maintain workflow and provide consumer services, so keeping things in check is paramount. While companies generally have their own methods for doing so, one of the most common is to manage network resources with software defined networking.

Essentially, software defined networking helps control the flow of data packets, whether it’s incoming or outgoing. Special rules can be assigned to “nodes” (where data goes) to control how much information goes through, and in other cases what kind. This has several benefits to companies that rely on network infrastructure to conduct business, ranging from security to productivity.

Consider, for instance, avoiding downtime altogether. While online services vary based on the company itself, let’s assume an organization sells its products/services mainly online, and relies heavily on steady network speeds. Software networking allows for a more controlled flow of data, meaning that in times of high usage, downtime can be avoided. Read more. . .

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The Future of Machine Learning

Machine learning, also known as deep learning, is a form of computer science that enables computers to learn without being specifically programmed. It focuses on algorithms that can learn from and predict data. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Maybe even useless to wider fields? Wrong. Machine learning is already a part of our lives.  When you ask Siri or Cortana for information, machine learning is at the base of it’s programming and ability to answer you correctly.  When Google predicts the end of your search before you finish typing, that’s deep learning.

Millions of dollars have been spent on research into deep learning by corporate giants like Microsoft, Facebook and Google to ensure machine learning becomes an even larger part of our lives.

Here are some things we can expect in the future. Read more. . .

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What You Need to Know to Make the Best of Windows 10

Windows has been a key component to PC technology for over a decade. This is because every few years, an update to the operating system is released, in order to achieve increased efficiency and better user understanding. It hasn’t always worked, but when Windows releases a powerful OS, it’s often used well beyond its predicted lifetime.

The latest Windows 10 could be widely used, but first it has to be understood. It’s a big step, because anyone familiar with older windows can see the dramatic changes to design and use. Visually its changed to a more metro oriented style, with emphasis on app integration. It also focuses on being as easy to use as possible, meaning it could see mass utilization over the next several years. But, with all the new features, getting the most out of the OS could prove tricky for the uninformed. Read more. . .

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