How Can Manufacturing Companies Benefit from Managed IT Services?

How Can Manufacturing Companies Benefit from Managed IT Services?

Manufacturing is central to a strong, vibrant economy. But in order for manufacturing companies to succeed and prosper, it’s essential that their technology be properly equipped, secured, and optimized.

In today’s world, manufacturing operations like yours rely on information technology for practically every aspect of the business. Manufacturers can communicate with anyone, anywhere in an instant. Advances in technology allow you to better formulate plans, fine-tune production processes, and adapt to market demands with remarkable agility and speed. Orders can be submitted more accurately to vendors, and with greater ease. In short, IT continues to provide better, more efficient ways to work.

Selecting the right technology that your manufacturing business needs in order to thrive is a challenge in and of itself. Maximizing the power of that tech on your own is a far-greater challenge.

Manufacturing is a Complicated Business

 Today’s manufacturing environment is progressing more quickly than it did during the Industrial Revolution. With information technology changing just as rapidly, it can feel like an uphill battle for manufacturing companies to fight.

Whether you’re managing production, supply chain, logistics, consumer safety, or regulatory compliance, manufacturing processes can be hard to execute when your operations and businesses aren’t properly aligned. Effectively constructing a network of technology and solutions, along with managing ongoing IT efforts, can put a significant strain on your resources.

Manufacturing IT departments often grapple with the task of supporting a global organization with multiple locations – one that requires data and applications to be shared from a centralized location, no less – while having a fixed budget and limited staff at their disposal. At the same time, the in-house IT team is expected to build competitive advantage and profitability for the business by creatively making use of both IT tools and their own technical prowess.

There’s Got to Be a Better Way (And There Is!)

 In the highly competitive manufacturing industry, companies want IT that makes their work easier, more productive, drives efficiency, increases profits, and frees them to focus on growing the business. While that may sound like a tall order, it’s easier than you might think.

With customized IT solutions, your manufacturing company can see significantly accelerated productivity, streamlined production, and the type of uptime and efficiency needed to propel the business to succeed for years to come.

A reliable managed services provider (MSP) with experience supporting manufacturing companies understands the unique IT challenges of your industry, and knows how to build systems that will effectively keep your operations up and running.

By leveraging the talent of a skilled MSP, manufacturers can take the burden of day-to-day network monitoring and incident remediation off the IT team’s plate, freeing them to focus on more important tasks.

Managed service providers are capable of integrating a variety of technologies across production, administrative departments, and management, in ways that are both secure and streamlined.

What Is Managed IT Services for Manufacturing?

 Managed IT services is a cost-effective alternative to retaining onsite IT support. For a fraction of the cost of a single in-house specialist, your company gains access to a specialized team of highly trained IT professionals. Backed by a clearly defined service level agreement, a skilled MSP provides proactive management, remote monitoring, and maintenance of your entire IT infrastructure.

The Benefits of Managed IT Services for Manufacturing Companies

1) Reduce Operational Costs

If you choose to go with a managed services provider instead of in-house IT techs, the money you save on salary, sick leave, health insurance, and social security can be used to fund other key aspects of the business.

A managed services provider already possesses all the tools needed to monitor, secure, and manage your IT infrastructure, so you don’t have to invest in these technologies yourself.

With a flat monthly fee, you can confidently budget for all your IT support costs and avoid unexpected expenses.

 

2) Save Time

The average IT staffer spends most of their time working on network issues, routine system maintenance, and troubleshooting everyday problems – often related to printers or operator errors.

By partnering with a reliable managed services provider, the manufacturer’s in-house IT team is able to redirect their efforts towards more strategic, business-building IT initiatives that will generate revenue for the company.

An MSP has a whole team of trained IT professionals available to help, enabling them to respond faster when problems arise and resolve the issues proactively.

3) Increase Productivity

Manufacturing is a very fast-paced industry. Downtime from a network crash can shatter productivity, costing your company time and money. When downtime starts to affect your clients as well, your reputation is at risk. While some instances of downtime – such as employee error and regular machine maintenance – are unavoidable, you can control the management of your IT infrastructure. With a managed services provider actively monitoring the state of your IT, you greatly reduce the risk of extended downtime, which can save your business money and prevent catastrophic production delays.

4) Streamline IT Processes

As a manufacturer, your primary focus is on streamlining operations and maintaining high levels of production. It may not have even occurred to you that your day-to-day IT processes could also be streamlined for greater efficiency.

Standardization allows for greater consistency in all manufacturing processes, particularly when it comes to rapid recovery when issues arise. Some manufacturers don’t deploy and utilize the same technology across multiple locations. Managing operations with a variety of CRM, ERP, and other software creates a needlessly complicated tangle of communications that hampers employees and the business in general.

A good technology partner will help identify and assess all your IT assets and ensure that these systems are working together well. A skilled MSP can help you design efficient networks that provide seamless collaboration among your staff, outside vendors, sister plants, and other business locations.

A managed services provider can help transition internal office productivity processes to cloud-based services, enabling your administrative employees to work more productively throughout the day.

Technology integration allows you to speed up production on the manufacturing floor, as well as gather and make use of analytics to aid in real-time decisions.

5) Proactively Manage Your Network

Far too many manufacturing companies depend on outdated technology with unreliable systems for both their front-office and production functions. When these assets are not carefully managed, the entire operation becomes subject to chronic inefficiency and productivity lapses caused by ERP system crashes, server issues, email outages, data loss, and even network malfunctions affecting CNC and robotics systems. As a result, your organization’s collaboration will suffer, accessibility will be compromised, and valuable time will be wasted. Instead of staying ahead of IT problems, you find yourself constantly reacting to them.

With a reputable MSP proactively managing, monitoring, and maintaining your network, you can devote your time to overseeing your production line, without having to be concerned with the IT involved in it. A team of dedicated IT technicians works to identify and address minor problems before they lead to critical failures; update software, hardware, and security capabilities consistently to extend the life of your equipment; apply necessary patches and upgrades; and periodically audit your IT systems to detect potential issues.

6) Around-the-Clock IT Support

If your network runs all day, every day, nonstop (and it likely does) – so must your network monitoring. Having a managed service provider remotely monitoring and managing your servers, desktops, and mobile devices 24/7 gives you peace of mind that the network won’t let you down and production can keep moving forward.

When an IT problem arises that you don’t understand, you need help right away. Most MSPs provide 24/7/365 help desk support, ensuring that a highly trained professional will be available to take your call, answer your questions, solve your problems, and get you back up and running quickly. Many issues can be resolved remotely, but IT technicians are also available to work on premises as needed.

7) Protect Against Cyberattacks

Operational procedures and network configurations unique to manufacturing networks make them more vulnerable to certain kinds of malware threats. Many manufacturing companies tend to rely on older software and machines on the production line, and these tools may lack the sophisticated security protections needed to prevent most cyberattacks. A data breach of any magnitude could have a disastrous effect on productivity and cost millions in lost revenue.

With that much liability and money on the line, it’s crucial that you protect your users, systems, network, data, and intellectual property from increasing security threats which could derail your business. Cybersecurity services help defend against harmful viruses, malware, and hackers by using firewalls, intrusion detection systems, virus and spam protection, and responsive incident management.

A reputable managed services provider can reconfigure older technology so that it works securely and safely with newer tools; help detect suspicious activity and respond quickly to minimize the impact of cybersecurity events; and conduct ongoing risk assessments to identify network susceptibility.

8) Scalability

When it comes to managing manufacturers’ IT needs, scalability is extremely important. Manufacturing companies often work on large projects requiring a small “burst” of employees and resources. Once the job is completed, the need for these resources decreases and the company can no longer afford to retain the additional employees.

Ramping up your technology with the help of an IT solutions provider is the ideal solution, as increased workloads can easily scale to the cloud with no upfront costs or time delays for you. When the project is complete, your company can easily scale back down to adjust to your current needs.

New service offerings often come with significant upgrades or new software. A trusted MSP can provide the flexibility you need to alter your products and services and add new ones as needed. Having a network that’s easily scalable makes your manufacturing company more agile when it comes to meeting constantly changing demands.

9) Data Backup & Disaster Recovery

In a manufacturing environment, any number of unexpected things can occur – whether it’s a large-scale disaster like a fire, flood, earthquake, storm, or widespread power outage, or a seemingly harmless disruption such as an overheated server room, leak, hardware and software failure, or employee error.

Extended downtime due to a disaster – natural or otherwise – is not only incredibly frustrating, but can significantly affect your bottom line as well. If you struggle to return to “business as usual,” the cost is even greater. Having solid preparedness plans in place for ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery can help you move past the pain of a disaster and get back to full operations more quickly.

When you work with a managed services provider, you have a dedicated team of IT professionals working to keep your systems up and running and your valuable data backed up and stored properly.

10) Cloud-Based Services

Cloud computing has been an extraordinary boost to the manufacturing companies that have embraced it. With a cloud-based system, you can build a connection among all your technologies, from the back office to the factory floor. This provides greater insight into problems and inefficiencies.

By decentralizing your IT functions and making them universally available in the cloud, all users can enjoy the same experience regardless of their location.

However, shifting your data and applications to the cloud can be tedious and complicated. A reputable MSP can ensure that your cloud migration is effective while minimizing the likelihood of downtime during the transition.

11) Mobile Device Management

Manufacturing, like most work these days, has increasingly gone mobile. But if your mobile devices aren’t being properly managed, they can be a major point of concern.

A managed services provider can set up all your employees to use your smartphones, tablets, and laptops safely and securely. This ensures that all your data – both that of the company and your customers – remains protected, even if a device is lost or stolen.

12) Access to the Latest Technologies

Many businesses, but especially manufacturers, have a difficult time keeping up with the latest technological advancements. By outsourcing your IT to a trusted MSP, you gain easy access to the most up-to-date technologies so you can better compete in a tech-driven world.

Moreover, with an outside service provider, these IT solutions are often less expensive than if you purchased them outright. Most IT companies have partnerships with vendors who provide them with new technologies at a reduced cost.

13) Maintain Regulatory Compliance

Depending on what your company manufactures, you may be expected to meet certain compliance and regulatory standards. Compliance issues can cost you profoundly in legal liabilities and regulatory penalties, not to mention your good reputation.

A trustworthy MSP will work with you to ensure that your systems meet these legal requirements and provide supporting documentation to help you avoid fines and penalties for noncompliance

Final Thoughts

Manufacturing companies have unique technology needs that are best served by working with a qualified managed services provider. With an optimized IT environment as well as cloud, web, and mobile solutions in place, you can greatly enhance the efficiency of your production line. Manufacturers can also benefit from the latest, most sophisticated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software which allows for top-to-bottom cooperation and collaboration.

When you partner with a reliable MSP, you can expect lower cost of ownership, business scalability, streamlined processes, greater continuity, improved security, and increased productivity for your manufacturing company. A team of IT professionals, with its broad range of technical expertise, is able to review your existing technology, help determine where improvements or restructuring are needed, and leverage the tools and processes needed to keep your systems secure, reliable, and protected.

At DataGroup Technologies, we make it our business to help you build yours. We understand the types of challenges that manufacturers face, and we have the proper expertise to design and implement a technology strategy that will improve your productivity as well as your bottom line. We can customize IT infrastructure that’s perfectly suited for every aspect of your operations, from the front office to the manufacturing floor.

With our depth of experience and extensive knowledge base, we are able to troubleshoot and quickly resolve routine network issues, develop processes to disaster-proof your business, identify areas where infrastructure could be improved, and execute these technology upgrades. We provide complete and continuous care of your onsite and cloud assets within an easily budgeted, predictable subscription payment.

When you partner with DataGroup Technologies, our technical services engineers will become an extension of your existing IT department, working side-by-side with your in-house professionals to handle a variety of tasks, from large-scale installations to providing support to staff, customers, and vendors. We can also operate as your entire IT department, if you don’t already have one.

If your manufacturing company could benefit from the numerous advantages of managed IT services, give us a call today at 252.329.1382!

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Why Your Business Must Take a Proactive Approach to IT

Why Your Business Must Take a Proactive Approach to IT

 

If you’re like most businesses today, you rely heavily on technology to support your daily operations. When your systems stop working properly, productivity grinds to a halt, employees and customers become frustrated, and your bottom line suffers.

A singular IT disaster can set your company back months, decimate your budget, leave staff struggling to pick up the pieces, and seriously risk damaging your reputation. From data loss to network malfunctions, downtime due to IT issues costs businesses in excess of $1.5 million each year in terms of lost productivity and sales.

There are two primary ways of addressing IT support for any business: the reactive approach and the proactive approach.

Some might argue that a reactive approach has its benefits. Common wisdom says that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” If your business is tight on cash, you may be seeking ways to cut expenses — and in general, you don’t see the point in paying for something you might not need.

With a reactive approach to IT support, when something goes wrong you try to get in touch with a technician to come and check your systems, then wait for them to resolve the issue. The problem with this working model is that it can lead to significant downtime. The technician will first need to analyze the problem before they can get to work on it. If updates or replacement hardware are necessary, business operations could be disrupted even further until the upload or order is completed.

Reactive IT support staff often don’t have the right tools in place to keep tabs on the end-user’s experience, instead relying on issues being reported as they crop up. According to a recent study by Forrester Research, 35% of the time IT support first learns about issues when end-users contact the service desk and open a ticket. This is because their support is reactive rather than proactive.

In order for your business to be able to foresee the challenges that may lie ahead, you need to take a more proactive approach to your IT needs. Proactive IT support allows you to better manage your IT budget, secure your data, and avoid some of the major technology risks that your business faces today. 

Through continuous monitoring and real-time analytics, proactive IT support provides excellent insight into your IT infrastructure and endpoints from the end-user perspective. Potential problems are spotted early and resolved before they can jeopardize your business.

Businesses that opt to outsource their IT needs to a managed services provider (MSP) can expect to save time, money, and stress in the long run. MSPs continuously monitor a company’s infrastructure in search of would-be problems and work to remedy those issues before a major catastrophe occurs.

 

WHAT IS REACTIVE IT SUPPORT?

Let’s dive into this one a little bit deeper.

Reactive IT support involves taking measures to correct problems only when they materialize. It’s often referred to as the “break-fix” model. Under this model, a business contacts IT support (whether in-house or an external company) when something goes wrong and makes arrangements to have the problem repaired as quickly as possible. The business is then forced to wait for the IT team to address and resolve the issue, all too often resulting in a great deal of downtime.

The cost of a provider agreement for reactive IT support tends to be lower than a fully managed plan, primarily because this support is implemented on an as-needed basis. If your business already employs in-house staff to provide general IT maintenance, partnering with a reactive support team gives your company access to highly skilled, reliable resources at a budget-friendly price tag. 

Having a variable service agreement means you’ll only be billed for the time that’s spent fixing problems, and this can be a very attractive option for companies with limited financial resources. But there’s a catch.

The time that elapses between detecting a problem and getting it resolved can be hours or days, depending on the specific situation. In that time, significant damage could be done to your system. Since a typical IT project often surpasses its original budget by 45%, fixing an existing problem can be both cumbersome and costly for your business.

 

WHAT IS PROACTIVE IT SUPPORT?

Now, for the good news!

With proactive IT support, you can stay ahead of your technology problems. You don’t have to worry about losing productivity, damaging your company’s reputation, or tanking employee morale. Plus, it’s much friendlier to your budget in the long run!

Proactive support is all about prevention — mending potential problems before they can snowball into much more severe issues. By proactively managing your IT support needs, you can empower your business to do more with its technology. You’ll get more out of your existing systems, establish new solutions in a strategic fashion, and develop long-term plans for business growth.

Key components of proactive IT support involve automating certain processes and monitoring technology assets to further streamline operations and make analyzing and identifying issues in advance considerably easier.

12 Advantages of Proactive IT Support Businesses

Proactive IT support offers a number of decided advantages which can make a considerable difference for businesses. Here are 12 benefits to taking a more proactive approach to your IT needs:

Early Detection of Problems

Through continuous monitoring, your IT support partner is able to identify potential issues before they even occur. Resolving problems quickly prevents them from extending to other parts of your system. More often than not, a problem can be eliminated and maintenance carried out before it’s even detected by end-users.

Increased Productivity

Employees and clients depend on your technology to help them achieve their goals. Software and hardware failures and other IT-related issues cause disruptions that can hamper productivity and foster frustration for all parties involved. Solving issues proactively means less time sitting around waiting for repairs to be completed. Reducing the risk of downtime empowers your workforce to be as productive as possible. Productivity and happiness go hand in hand; giving your staff the right tools for the job creates a more harmonious, happier workplace.

Upgraded Cybersecurity

A proactive IT support team is able to cover every aspect of cybersecurity, from software updates to employee training. They’ll create security plans, protect your network against basic threats, and outline steps to be taken if systems are breached. Managed antivirus and anti-malware programs help keep viruses and malware at bay, while strategic backup procedures ensure that data loss doesn’t occur.

Predictable Costs

Most managed services providers offer their services for a fixed monthly fee which covers ongoing monitoring, maintenance, and updates, making it easier to budget your IT expenditures accurately and strategically. You may pay more in a given month than your would in a variable fee arrangement, but you’ll also incur fewer costs as a result of downtime. When tech problems inevitably arise, you won’t have to worry about an unexpectedly high bill for repairs. Having your systems continuously monitored keeps your infrastructure in good working order at all times. It’s always cheaper to prevent technology failure than it is to clean up the mess afterwards.

Team of IT Professionals

When you partner with a managed services provider for proactive IT support, you have an entire team of certified IT experts at your service, instead of just one or two individuals whose daily grind consists of putting out fires or solving routine problems. These IT specialists recognize how each device on your network plays an essential role in the operations of your company. Having a team in place to keep an eye out for problems and handle them in a timely manner gives even smaller companies the IT support strength of much larger institutions.

Better Decision Making

Before the onboarding process even begins, an MSP will perform a strategic analysis of your IT infrastructure to identify any areas of weakness that could impede optimal performance. Based on automated tools provided by the MSP, you will be able to make informed decisions about your specific IT needs. Having all the information presented clearly in front of you puts you in the driver’s seat, making it easier to see when you need to scale up.

Strategic Planning

From carrying out thorough risk assessments to inventorying your IT assets to updating your software and hardware to align with your business goals, MSPs are fully equipped to handle all strategic aspects of your IT. A proactive strategy allows you to adapt to a changing business environment and meet future challenges head-on. MSPs will work to head off issues that can not only crop up again but worsen over time.

Regular Updates & Patches

Many successful cyberattacks rely on unpatched hardware and software. A proactive update schedule minimizes opportunities for hackers to intrude on your systems. The most recent patch may also add new features that could improve overall performance. Proactive upgrades are particularly beneficial for maintaining older technology that may be more vulnerable to attacks. MSPs can schedule these updates for ideal times, ensuring that servers don’t go offline at inappropriate times.

Regulatory Compliance

Understanding how your company performs in regard to regulatory compliance is a fundamental facet of proactively protecting your company and its data. Regulatory compliance can safeguard your company from unwanted fees and preserve your customers and employees from impending data breaches.

24/7/365 Monitoring

Remote monitoring of your workstations, servers, routers, printers, and other network devices keeps your IT network in good shape at all times. Knowing that a team of skilled computer experts is regularly testing your systems and thoroughly evaluating them for a wide range of potential problems give you and your employees peace of mind. When the team is alerted of an issue, they start working on a fix immediately, often without you ever noticing it. Software problems can generally be fixed remotely, while hardware issues typically require a technician who is physically present on the premises.

Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity

Major events such as fires, floods, hurricanes, and cyberattacks are a hazard to all businesses. A reliable MSP will set up a robust disaster recovery plan for your business and implement software solutions that will keep your business up and running. All data is backed up regularly so that, in the event of an emergency, your most crucial information is completely safe and easily accessible.

Around-the-Clock Help Desk Support

Most managed services providers offer 24/7/365 help desk support as well. Not only does this come in handy whenever there’s an after-hours incident, it also allows your internal IT staff (if applicable) to focus on projects that add value to the business rather than running around troubleshooting everyday problems.

Final Thoughts

Managing the health of your IT systems in a merely reactive way is like managing your own physical health reactively. Like many health issues, most IT issues can be detected by early warning signs that could be picked up through proactive monitoring. By analyzing your business and identifying the gaps, weak points, and strengths, a managed services provider can better determine how to protect your company from emergency expenditures, last-minute crises, unexpected downtime, cyberthreats, data loss, and compliance issues.

When partnering with an MSP, you can count on effective monitoring and maintained functionality of your network, enhanced overall performance of your IT infrastructure, reduce downtime and increased productivity, ongoing support whenever you need it, and more time to devote to your core business.

Taking a proactive approach to IT doesn’t make your problems go away. But it will make them easier to plan for and simpler to manage.

DataGroup Technologies, Inc. (DTI) is the premier managed IT services provider in our area, delivering ideal IT solutions to businesses of all sizes. We strive to provide significant value and outstanding service to all of our clients by acting as an extension of your business’s IT team. If your organization could benefit from the many advantages of managed services, including proactive IT support, give us a call at 252.329.1382 today!

What Is MDM & Why Does Your Business Need It?

What Is MDM, And Why Does Your Business Need It?

We live in a society where technological advances are increasingly accelerating consumer demand for mobile devices. These devices are continually evolving to create limitless possibilities for users. This supports the consensus of the general public – they’re continuously on the go and seeking to enrich their daily lives with tablets, mobile phones, and other devices.

The dynamic nature of technology requires organizations to be easily adaptable and willing to effect cultural changes. Nevertheless, since company progression is hampered by a failure to change with the times, it’s clear that most organizations don’t realize how much they can benefit from Mobile Device Management (MDM) security.

MDM entails deploying software to secure, monitor, manage, and support mobile devices either owned by the organization or the employees themselves.

Employees are capable of accessing company data more easily than ever before, whether by the use of mobile phones, printers, or tablets. With this increased access, the need to monitor these mobile devices is crucial.

Organizations seek to strike a balance that empowers employees to be more efficient. Since mobile devices ease this process, it’s vital that company data is kept protected and under close observation. Pairing MDM software with managed IT support services is the best way to maximize your network security.

There are a number of distinct benefits revolving around maintaining the integrity of the company’s network and the data within it. In this article, we’ll recount and expound upon 7 clear benefits of mobile device management.

7 Key Benefits of Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Remote Management of Users and Devices

Remote management describes any operation in which the controlling device is not physically attached to the actual unit. The principal reasons for implementing a remote management system are to enhance safety and boost productivity. 

Remote management is one of the most conspicuous advantages of MDM. However, the capability to remotely manage users and their devices shouldn’t be discounted. This ability assures the security and health of every mobile device that’s connected to a network, while providing an option to remotely render unauthorized users and applications inoperative as needed.

Automatic Deletion

Automatic deletion frees up storage created by temporary files that were not deleted by applications and that are no longer necessary to keep.

With MDM, you can easily delete confidential information from any device in the event that a device is lost, stolen, or is still in the possession of a previous employee who might otherwise retain access to sensitive company information. The capability to execute this kind of action gives rise to considerable peace of mind from the company’s perspective.

Data Backup

Data is a major component of any organization – quite simply, it keeps the company running. 

Data backup is the copying or archiving of files and folders with an eye toward being able to restore them in case of data loss. An organization that fails to back up its data is very likely to topple at the first sign of trouble. 

When you incorporate an MDM solution, data connected through corporate applications is backed up in conjunction with company policies. This supports business continuity measures through preventing single or multiple mobile devices from being points of failure for information loss.

Supports Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, is the practice of permitting employees of an organization to use their own computers, smartphones, or other devices for work purposes. This not only creates a level of trust within the organization among employees, who now feel more valued – it also allows them to work within their comfort zone, utilizing devices with which they’re already very familiar.

Traditional IT support was more inclined to reject “unknown” devices as intrusive. However, MDM fully recognizes the importance of BYOD. Modern organizations would be wise to encourage employees to utilize their own mobile devices to access information such as important data and emails, provided they don’t abuse their rights.

By properly managing every device connected to the network, you don’t have to compromise security for the sake of efficiency.

Cost Savings

Assuming that mobile devices are monitored and maintained well, enabling BYOD also saves the company the stress of buying and replacing mobile devices every time something goes wrong or a new employee is hired. In other words, it conserves money – undoubtedly, the amount that would be required to purchase a new device would end up being significantly higher than the cost to secure and manage an existing mobile device.

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance involves an organization’s adherence to the laws, regulations, guidelines, and specifications relevant to its business processes.

Modern regulatory compliance should include safeguards that prevent an unauthorized device from compromising your business’s security. In addition, MDM’s reporting capabilities should permit the confirmation of network integrity.

With MDM, compliance initiatives are closely monitored through a centralized console. This means you can ensure enhanced protection while working in correlation with legal requirements.

Controlled Device Updates

Making sure systems are up to date is a major focus in the business world, as this is a crucial component of security.

MDM enables the organization’s management to control when updates are installed on devices by setting a local system update policy for each device in the network.

Application Control

Your organization likely utilizes a number of different apps, all of which are essential to some degree or another for ensuring a productive workforce. MDM security creates a centralized control for users who need to install these apps on their devices.

Application control also works to block or restrict unauthorized applications from executing in ways that put data at risk. The MDM’s centralized management system generates a number of significant advantages, such as role-based access management and the ability to disable applications as needed.

Additional functions of application control include completeness and validity checks, identification, authentication, authorization, input controls, and forensic controls, among others.

Conclusion

It’s essential for organizations to manage team members’ mobile devices that are connected to the network in order to ensure the success of identity and access management as well as optimization of functionality and mobile device security.

Achieving this success starts with identifying the solution that’s right for your business, with the goal of protecting your corporate network. The solution you choose should include device tracking and inventory, application distribution, password verification, and regulatory enforcement, as well as data encryption.

Is your business looking to bolster its network security? Call DataGroup Technologies at 252.329.1382 to learn more about how implementing mobile device management can benefit your systems and your security.

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10 Advantages of Moving to The Cloud

WHAT IS CLOUD COMPUTING?

Cloud-based technology allows companies to expand their technical capabilities without the hardware hassle. Businesses that implement cloud services gain so much more than simple mobility. Moving to a secure cloud can help your business streamline its critical IT processes while simplifying business application management.

Cloud computing gives users the ability to access all the data and applications on your network by logging in from any device that has an internet connection. Programs are outsourced and reside in a secure data center rather than your hard drive.

10 Advantages of Moving to The Cloud:

1) Cost Efficiency

Cloud technology eliminates the need for businesses to purchase and maintain additional hardware or software, greatly reducing your capital costs. With a cloud provider managing the business’s equipment, applications, upgrades, updates, patching, and all other IT processes, you’ll have more time to spend on running your business and more room in the budget to modernize and automate your processes.

2) Flexibility

The cloud provides you the freedom to work anytime from wherever you are, as long as you can connect to the internet. In addition, many applications have been optimized for use with tablets and smartphones, so you don’t even have to carry a laptop anymore. The flexibility that the cloud offers also makes it easy to share documents with your colleagues. With software providing version control, it’s possible for multiple people to update the same document simultaneously, increasing overall productivity.

3) Collaboration

Cloud-based workflow and file-sharing applications give teams in different locations the ability to work together more easily and efficiently. Staff can make updates in real time, see what other team members are working on, and communicate more effectively. This advanced level of collaboration speeds up projects and, ultimately, improves customer service.

4) Security

The cloud service provider is responsible for maintaining all hardware, software, and networks in the cloud. A team of IT professionals ensures that equipment and applications are upgraded regularly, updated in a timely manner, patched when appropriate, and outfitted with the latest security measures. In addition, the cloud utilizes data encryption to ensure that anyone not authorized to access your data is prevented from doing so.

5) Mobility

With cloud technology, you can provide total access to employees who work remotely or those who travel regularly, as well as individuals who work on a freelance basis. This increased flexibility allows employees to work on the go or from home, using their desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

6) Scalability

Most cloud computing programs and applications operate on a subscription-based model. This allows your business to scale up or down according to your needs and budget. This level of agility gives businesses using cloud computing a huge advantage over their competitors.

7) Data Backup & Recovery

With robust disaster recovery solutions in place, you don’t have to worry about data loss – even if your laptop, smartphone, or tablet is stolen, damaged, misplaced, or it malfunctions. You can quickly regain access to data using any computer or laptop with an internet connection. Daily data backups and recoverability tests ensure business continuity in case of an emergency.

8) Competitiveness

Migrating to the cloud gives businesses of all sizes access to enterprise-class technology. Cloud-based business applications allows smaller businesses to compete with bigger, more established competitors, all while remaining lean and nimble.

9) Environmentally Friendly

Since additional hardware and other physical products aren’t necessary, your business will help reduce environmental waste by operating in the cloud. This change will also likely decrease the production of paper waste. Not only are you cutting company expenses and freeing up physical space, you’re also empowering your employees to adopt a more proactive environmental approach.

10) Easy Implementation

A cloud service provider will work with you to outline your technical and business goals. This helps them to better understand which cloud services are right for you. From there, the provider will develop a plan and timeline to move you to the cloud. Preparing for your business’s transition to the cloud is pretty simple. You might want to consider upgrading your network bandwidth in advance of the move, as cloud computing can put a strain on local internet connections. You won’t need to hire additional staff to help with the transition. The cloud service provider will handle the move from start to finish.

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Cloud Scalability: What It Is & Why It Matters

What Is Cloud Scalability, And Why Does It Matter?

Cloud computing has radically modified the framework of IT infrastructure over the past decade, with many organizations dispensing with in-house solutions and transferring their operations entirely to the cloud. Given its many significant benefits to businesses, scalability is one of the principal driving factors in this widespread cloud migration. Whether traffic or workload conditions increase or decrease suddenly or progressively over time, a scalable cloud solution equips businesses to react appropriately and judiciously to adjust their storage capacity and computing power in order to optimize system performance.

When your data storage is physically restricted, your ability to expand your IT infrastructure to meet demands is severely hampered. However, when you operate in the cloud there are no limits to the physical size of your server environment. This permits you to start small and nourish the growth of your business over time, without any interruptions to your workflow or costly, unanticipated changes. Simply put, scalability enables your IT environment to be flexible enough to deliver precisely the right amount of computing power and storage capacity you need, whenever you need it.

Occasionally, scalability is inaccurately used as a synonym for growth. In reality, market demand isn’t steady. Even flourishing businesses might experience times when there is more or less demand. That’s another great thing about scalability – you can downsize resources as needed just as easily as you can scale up.

In traditional data center operations, adding extra server space involves having to acquire, equip, install, and configure the hardware, then assess both the infrastructure and application in advance of making it available in production. Apart from the purchase and maintenance costs, this process expends a considerable amount of time and resources, in addition to the inevitable downtime it causes during production rollout. After all this, if your demand decreases, the organization has no alternative other than to absorb the costs.

What Is Cloud Scalability?

Cloud scalability is the ability to increase or decrease IT resources, capacity, or infrastructure to meet the changing demands of your business.

If you’ve ever created a Gmail account, added storage to your Dropbox account, or watched something on Netflix, you’ve done some scaling – at least in a limited, front-end sense – even without realizing it. Essentially, what you’ve done by executing any of these actions is create an IT resource – an email account, storage, or a streaming video – without purchasing any additional hardware.

 

How Is Cloud Scalability Achieved?

Virtualization involves the creation of virtual assets – such as servers, desktops, operating systems, storage devices, and other network infrastructure – using resources that are traditionally bound to physical hardware. Virtualization is what makes scalability in cloud computing possible.

Unlike physical machines whose provisions are relatively fixed, virtual machines (VMs) are exceptionally flexible and can be easily scaled up or down. VMs can be transferred to a different server or hosted on numerous servers simultaneously. Workloads and applications can also be shifted to larger VMs as needed.

3 Types of Scaling in the Cloud:

Vertical Scaling

This gives you the ability to expand (“scale up”) or shrink (“scale down”) the capacity of your server to adapt to changing workload volumes. This is accomplished by adding or removing resources. This type of scaling has an upper limit based on the capacity of the server or the machine being scaled. Scaling beyond that point often requires significant downtime. With vertical scaling, no code is changed and no infrastructure is added – only the number of resources needed.

Horizontal Scaling

This allows you to provision additional servers and configure them to work together as a single system in order to spread out the workload across machines for optimal performance. This is also referred to as “scaling in” or “scaling out,” depending on whether you are increasing or decreasing your infrastructure. In practical terms, horizontal scaling is superior, as it’s much easier to accomplish without downtime and it’s also simpler to manage automatically.

Diagonal Scaling

This combines elements of vertical and horizontal scaling. Each individual method is capable of solving different scalability issues, so it’s not a matter of choosing which one is “better.” The idea is to scale exactly to your business demands, which often involves both vertical and horizontal scaling. You grow (vertically) within your existing infrastructure until you hit the tipping point, at which point you can simply add more resources in a new cloud server (horizontal). Diagonal scaling delivers tremendous flexibility for variable workloads that require additional resources for specific periods of time.

6 Key Benefits of Cloud Scalability:

Facilitates Disaster Recovery

In the event of a disaster (natural or otherwise), scalability allows a business to rebuild its IT infrastructure in just a few hours. You merely have to deploy new servers and copy over your data. By comparison, it can take weeks to rebuild your local IT with new physical servers.

Incredible Speed & Flexibility

Scalability allows you to add the necessary IT resources for your business initiatives – whether you’re opening a new branch, adding a new team, or starting a new project or campaign – in minutes, hours, or days, not months or years. When demand is reduced, you can easily return to your original configurations.

Avoid Expensive, Disruptive Migrations

Scalability enables your business to accommodate increased workloads without disrupting or completely transforming your existing infrastructure. With a scalable IT platform, you only migrate to new infrastructure when you want to – not when your underlying platform lets you down. Scalability enables your business to accommodate larger workloads without disruption or complete transformation of existing infrastructure.

Cost-Effective

By migrating to the cloud, businesses can avoid the upfront costs of procuring costly equipment that could become obsolete in a few years. With a cloud service provider, you only pay for what you use, which helps minimize waste.

Having the capability to scale cloud resources up or down based on present needs eliminates a number of risks related to rapid growth. Consequently, a bad quarter or two won’t suddenly put the company in financial jeopardy, thanks to steady IT infrastructure costs. 

Some applications can operate even more economically in the cloud and can often be migrated simply through “lift and shift” strategies. The money saved on computing infrastructure can then be reinvested in the company, helping to grow the business even more efficiently.

 

Greater Storage Capacity

Having sufficient storage space to accommodate the needs of a growing company — from saving important files and hosting applications to securely storing vital customer information — is essential.

While a fragmentary setup may only need a few terabytes of data to support your everyday needs, the system could quickly find itself struggling to manage significantly higher workloads and resources after a string of successes.

Instead of maintaining an ever-expanding conglomeration of hard drives that increases every time you take on a new client, your company can use cloud computing to scale its data storage plan to fit your current needs without incurring the out-of-pocket costs that come with expanding physical infrastructure.

Saves Time

With continued growth and increasingly complicated computing infrastructure, a business that operates in the cloud can continue to boost its capacity and capabilities without jeopardizing the enterprising efforts that made the business prosperous initially.

Oftentimes with just a couple of clicks, IT administrators can effortlessly deploy additional VMs which are available immediately, and which are tailored to the precise needs of your organization. This conserves valuable time for IT staff. In lieu of consuming hours and days configuring physical hardware, teams can concentrate their time and energy on takes that are more crucial to growing the business.

Best Practices for Determining Optimal Scalability

Performance Testing

To ascertain a “right-sized” solution, continuing performance testing is vital. IT administrators must constantly calculate factors such as CPU load, memory usage, response time, and number of requests. Scalability testing also quantifies an application’s performance and ability to scale up or down depending on user requests.

Auto-Scaling

Many cloud service providers offer auto-scaling options as part of their cloud solutions. This refers to the automatic scaling of a system’s capacity, either up or down, based on predefined conditions.

Auto-scaling continually keeps track of the performance of applications and automatically adjusts the capacity to sustain stable, uninterrupted performance and to ensure that businesses are only responsible for paying for the resources they use.

Load Balancing

Load balancers offer another automated way of scaling up or down by allocating workloads across a variety of nodes in order to optimize resources.

A load balancer accepts all incoming application traffic and then acts as an usher to discover the best instance for each incoming request.

Additionally, most load balancers constantly monitor the health of each instance to ensure that traffic is only being sent to instances that are “healthy.” They can also transfer workloads they deem to be too heavy for a specific node, instead locating a less-burdened node.

Containers

Containers and container orchestration systems have rapidly become popular ways to create more scalable and portable IT infrastructure. Containers share a single kernel, yet they’re isolated from their surroundings. This confines issues to the single container, rather than the entire machine.

Containers require fewer resources and deliver greater flexibility than virtual machines because they can share elements such as operating systems and a number of other components. In this way, containers will operate the same way across platforms, and thus can be quickly and easily migrated between nodes

Final Thoughts

Businesses these days operate on data. Unfortunately, the proliferation of data is walloping business IT environments and pressuring IT executives to make difficult decisions. If your business is scrambling to keep up with the necessary infrastructure for your expanding data, the practical solution is cloud migration. The most compelling motivation to do so is scalability.

Releasing the ties that bind you to your physical infrastructure — either partially (with a hybrid cloud environment) or fully — allows you to direct your attention toward building out your infrastructure in a more proactive, methodical, and economical way. By channeling the scalability of your cloud environment through these and other methods, you can advance more quickly and easily and remain agile all the while.

DataGroup Technologies, Inc. (DTI) offers a wide range of cloud hosting services to help reduce maintenance expenses and boost business efficiency. Whether you need virtual servers or virtual desktops and phone systems, we can help with that! Virtualization helps companies decrease maintenance spend and increase server utilization. If your business is considering moving to the cloud, give us a call today at 252.329.1382! We can make the migration process simple and painless, and you will start to see the benefits of cloud computing almost immediately!

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8 Tips for Strengthening Your Cybersecurity

Computer Security Day: 8 Tips to Bolster Your Business’s Cybersecurity

In 1988, the Association for Computer Security established the first Computer Security Day to raise awareness about cybersecurity issues. Computer Security Day encourages people to take ownership of their online presence and identity. Taking the time to review computer security best practices can help individuals and organizations avoid compromised data and other unwanted scenarios.

In celebration of this day, here are 8 tips for bolstering your computer security:

1) Update Passwords on All Your Devices

Take the time to change the passwords on all your online accounts. This is something that should be done on a regular basis anyway, but if you’ve neglected to do so recently, today is as good a time as any.

Avoid using the same passwords across multiple accounts and devices. Reusing the same or similar passwords over a period of time can put you at greater risk of being hacked. Ideally, you should create a different password for each account that you use on your various devices.

It probably goes without saying, but it’s never a good idea to share your passwords with others, even people that you trust. You can’t know for sure that they will keep your credentials as secure as you would yourself.

2) Create and Use Strong Passwords

When it comes to password security, length matters. Passwords that are 6 characters or fewer are much easier to hack, particularly if they consist of only lowercase letters. To strengthen your password, create a complex, unique mixture of upper and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers that is at least 9 characters in length.

A password manager can help generate unique passwords for each of your online accounts. At the same time, this useful tool can save all your passwords in one convenient location, so you don’t have to remember them each time. You can also take advantage of Password Checkup, a Google Chrome extension that warns you when it detects you using compromised, duplicate, or weak passwords. As another option, consider using the tool How Secure Is My Password to test the strength and “hackability” of your passwords.

3) Keep Your Software and Hardware Up-to-Date

Make sure that all software – for your operating systems, browsers, programs, applications, etc. – is updated with the latest versions available. When you’re all set with that, it’s time to update your protection software, including spyware, antivirus, and antimalware software. Run a security scan not only on your computers, but on your smartphones and tablets as well. Mobile devices are as much at risk, if not more so, than your desktops or laptops.

It’s crucial to check on the status of your hardware as well. Outdated hardware may not support recent software security upgrades, and also responds slower to cyberattacks, in the event that one should occur. Better to be safe than sorry and upgrade your hardware while everything is smooth sailing.

4) Encrypt and Back Up Your Data

Keep your data secure and confidential – whether it’s being stored or in transit – by encrypting it. Encryption uses complex algorithms to scramble your data and make it unreadable, ensuring that only an authorized person can access the data.

Create a backup copy of all your sensitive data on a portable storage device – such as an external USB or hard drive – and store it in a safe place. Alternatively, you could upload your backed-up data to a cloud-based storage solution such as Google Drive. It’s important to keep your data backups up-to-date and test them periodically.

5) Implement Multi-Factor Authentication

Many online platforms now allow you to enable multi-factor authentication in order to keep your accounts more secure. Multi-factor authentication offers an additional layer of protection by helping to verify that it’s actually you who’s trying to access your account and not an unauthorized user.

6) Be on the Lookout for Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering attacks are difficult to counteract, as they’re specifically designed to take advantage of natural human characteristics, such as curiosity, respect for authority, and people’s desire to help their friends. Anytime you receive a suspicious email, it should be treated as such. Take a moment to think about where the communication originates from; don’t just trust it blindly.

Often, social engineering depends on a sense of urgency. Attackers hope that targets won’t think too hard about what’s going on. Thinking twice before taking any action can prevent most social engineering attacks and expose them for what they are – frauds.

7) Don’t Leave Your Devices
Unattended

Despite what you may think, locking your office is not enough. If you use a laptop or desktop computer at work, you should always power it down at night. Additionally, whenever you leave your office for the day, you need to lock up your memory keys, hard drives, and anything else that has sensitive data on it.

8) Educate Your Employees About Cybersecurity Awareness

Cybercriminals are specifically targeting your employees when they send out phishing emails in attempting to steal information. Through training and awareness, you can help your employees better recognize fraudulent emails when they encounter them. In so doing, you can significantly reduce the risk of your employees surrendering sensitive data to those who would deliberately misuse it.

Onboarding training and continuous updates help create a human firewall between your company’s information and security threats. Employees need to understand that cybersecurity is every bit as much their concern as it is the concern of your technology experts.

DataGroup Technologies offers a wide variety of cybersecurity solutions to help protect your business against cyberthreats like malware, phishing, ransomware, man-in-the-middle attacks, social engineering, and distributed denial-of-service attacks. Are your company’s data and that of its customers fully protected? How can you be sure? Partner with us and we can help safeguard your business against all these and more! Call us today at 252.329.1382 or drop us a line here.

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6 Indicators That You Need to Overhaul Your Data Recovery Plan

6 Indicators That You Need to Overhaul Your Data Recovery Plan

Disaster recovery planning is no easy undertaking, but it’s an important one. With a wide variety of different data recovery plans that businesses can implement, the process of determining the best fit can be intimidating. A number of organizations still neglect to adequately invest in disaster recovery – considering the resources, funding, and amount of time needed to execute a solution – even though the ramifications of a disaster can easily surpass the investment.

In spite of how much effort has been devoted to your strategy, you might think that your organization’s data recovery plan is sweeping and unassailable. Regardless, if you haven’t evaluated it recently, it’s possible that your data recovery plan needs to be updated. With that in mind, we’ve come up with six surefire signs that it’s time to update your data recovery plan:

Languishing Servers

As a server ages, it begins to deteriorate; thus, the probability of a crash tumbling an organization’s network starts to escalate considerably. This is a recovery scenario you need to plan for. Replacing a server can be challenging and costly, but doing so will boost business efficiency, leading to reduced costs as opposed to using an older server that’s susceptible to crashes.

Outsourcing the monitoring of your servers and critical data to an IT support company can help you recognize potential problems before a disaster can materialize. Approaching maintenance in this manner enables your organization to prepare for planned outages within your infrastructure, including patch installation, security updates, and service packs.

Ill-Suited Infrastructure

Small- and medium-sized businesses can often become too reliant on their in-house IT teams to track, repair, and upgrade the network and corporate IT assets around the clock. However, a lack of experience often results in the task list exceeding the IT team’s ability to execute it; this, in turn, can beget errors.

When your IT team is constantly consumed with resolving day-to-day issues, it may not be plausible for them to gain a thorough understanding of system upgrades or identify how they can affect existing systems. If this is a frequent occurrence for your business, it may be time to revamp your data recovery plan.

These circumstances make it considerably simpler to misconfigure a network and can translate into devices becoming incompatible with business-critical applications if the network can’t be accessed. When this scenario results in downtime, your staff is being paid while work is not being completed, triggering a financial loss. In addition, if all devices on the network are impacted, the organization has a bigger problem to solve, with business resources taking a negative hit.

One way to counter this situation is to partner with an IT support company that can monitor the necessary system upgrades within your infrastructure, from setup to completion. By the same token, a managed services provider (MSP) can complete a comprehensive audit of your infrastructure to figure out how data passes through the network. This will enable you to better develop your future IT strategy.

Large RPO and RTO Windows

Recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) are two key elements of a solid data recovery plan. RPOs determine how much data an organization can bear to lose in the event of a disaster. On the other hand, RTOs reveal how much time an organization can allow to pass between the beginning of the recovery process and its completion.

Minimizing RPOs and RTOs is a primary goal of IT managers. When these values are lowered, businesses undergo a lesser amount of downtime, increased productivity, reduced costs, and a diminished risk of credibility loss.

A key approach to curtailing your RPOs and RTOs is by ramping up the frequency of your backups. With a greater number of backups comes an increase in the number of snapshots of your all-important data. Having more of these snapshots naturally limits your RPOs. Escalating backup frequency also decreases your RTOs, since having recent backups minimizes the total recovery time.

Replication is also a way to help lessen RTO windows. In replicating your data, you will retain a copy of it to revert to should a disaster occur, which lowers your RTOs. When using an off-premises secondary server, your RTO will be limited to the amount of time it takes to switch over from one server to the other. Your RPO will be determined by how often you replicate your data. Replication at a higher frequency results in a lower RPO. Simply put, minimizing RPOs and RTOs can reap substantial benefits for your business.

 

You’re Making Use of Multiple Data Recovery Tools

Using a wide array of recovery tools can be a contributing factor in a lagging data recovery plan. This technique suggests an incremental strategy, a disjointed group of tools intended to function independently of one another and on separate schedules. The more diverse your disaster recovery resources are, the more likely it is that a certain element of your plan will go awry at an inopportune time. Merging these disconnected systems is vital in order to alleviate the risk and simplify the recovery process.

Overdependence on On-Premise Backups

In the event of a natural disaster, equipment failure, or power outage, any backup files kept on-premises will be unavailable. In addition, ransomware has progressed to the point where it can automatically remove any on-site backup files and encrypt the original files. Due to this possibility, implementing a comprehensive backup plan is an exceptional way to preemptively secure your data from disaster.

One method to contemplate putting into action is the 3-2-1 backup strategy. This involves maintaining three copies of any set of data, two copies of which are stored on local devices, such as a server and an on-premise backup appliance. One copy is then kept off-site in an online storage space in the cloud or an equivalent location.

You Haven’t Tested Your Data Recovery Plan In a While

Having a data recovery plan is all well and good, but it means nothing if you can’t prove that it actually works! To verify that your plan is effective, you must thoroughly test each step of it.

With repeated testing, you’ll be well-informed as to how your organization will respond and be affected by a disaster that undermines business continuity. Testing also makes allowances for any weaknesses in the plan to come to light, providing the information you need to adjust the plan as necessary.

Final Thoughts

The value of having a rock-solid data recovery plan has never been more evident than it is presently. To minimize the amount of time spent scrambling amidst an emergency, use the COVID-19 outbreak as an opportunity to closely inspect your business continuity plan. Take the time to upgrade and test the plan to make sure that you and your business will be ready the next time disaster strikes.

Need help getting started? We can help! At DataGroup Technologies, recovering your business data is our top priority. No recovery is too big or too small for our expert team! Give us a call today at 252.329.1382 or visit our website to learn how we can help you #SimplifyIT!

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How To Secure Your Business Website In 2022

How To Secure Your Business Website In 2022

If you have a booming business website that’s raking in profits and helping you establish your brand, that’s great! However, you still need to make sure your site is protected from hackers and trolls who might want to tarnish your image. To ensure continued success and prevent bad actors from appropriating your intellectual property, follow these tips to help better secure your business website.

What Is Business Email Compromise?

According to TechRepublic, business email compromise (BEC) is “a sophisticated scam that targets companies and individuals who perform legitimate transfer-of-funds requests.”

Through the use of social engineering or malware, cybercriminals will masquerade as one of the individuals involved in these money transfers to trick the victim into sending money to a bank account owned by the cybercriminal. Once the fraud is exposed, it’s often too late to recoup the money. Scammers are quick to relocate the money to other accounts and withdraw the cash or use it to buy cryptocurrencies.

However, the scam is not always associated with an unauthorized transfer of funds. One BEC variation involves compromising legitimate business email accounts and requesting personally identifiable information (PII), wage and tax settlement (W-2) forms, or even cryptocurrency wallets from recipients.

How to Protect Your Business Against BEC Attacks

In the public service announcement, the FBI offers several suggestions for businesses to adopt to better protect against business email compromise attacks.

  • Use secondary channels (such as phone calls) or multi-factor authentication to validate requests for any changes in account information.
  • Ensure that URLs in emails are associated with the businesses or individuals from which they claim to be originating.
  • Keep an eye out for hyperlinks that contain misspellings of the actual domain name.
  • Steer clear of providing login credentials or PII of any sort via email. Bear in mind that many emails requesting your personal information may appear to be legitimate.
  • Verify the email address used to send emails – especially when using a mobile or handheld device – by making sure the address appears to match that of the purported sender.
  • Enable settings on employees’ computers to allow full email extensions to be viewed.
  • Monitor your personal financial accounts routinely for irregularities, such as missing deposits.

What to Do If You or Your Company Should Fall Victim to a BEC Attack

According to TechRepublic, business email compromise (BEC) is “a sophisticated scam that targets companies and individuals who perform legitimate transfer-of-funds requests.”

Through the use of social engineering or malware, cybercriminals will masquerade as one of the individuals involved in these money transfers to trick the victim into sending money to a bank account owned by the cybercriminal. Once the fraud is exposed, it’s often too late to recoup the money. Scammers are quick to relocate the money to other accounts and withdraw the cash or use it to buy cryptocurrencies.

However, the scam is not always associated with an unauthorized transfer of funds. One BEC variation involves compromising legitimate business email accounts and requesting personally identifiable information (PII), wage and tax settlement (W-2) forms, or even cryptocurrency wallets from recipients.

What to Do If You or Your Company Should Fall Victim to a BEC Attack

Cybersecurity has never been more important. We live in an increasingly connected world, which enables cyberattackers to constantly find new ways to carry out digital attacks. Even the most vigilant business owners and IT managers can become overwhelmed with the stress of maintaining network security and protecting their data.

These increasingly advanced cyberattacks create unprecedented situations of data breach and money extortion. The tools that hackers use are getting smarter and stronger every day. If you’re not proactive about protecting your network, your business will become a target of cybersecurity attacks.

DataGroup Technologies, Inc. (DTI) offers a wide variety of cybersecurity services to help protect your business from cyberthreats, including security risk assessments, email security solutions, web/DNS filtering, next-generation firewalls, network security monitoring, operating systems/application security patches, antivirus software, and security awareness training. If you’re not 100% certain that your business is protected from cybercriminals, contact us today at 252.329.1382 or message us to find out more about how we can help #SimplifyIT!

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