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Cybersecurity Insurance to Protect Your Data

Cybersecurity is one of the foremost concerns of many companies today. Especially for small and medium businesses that utilize online sales. To face these unforeseeable attacks, you can prepare ahead of time by taking out a dependable cybersecurity insurance plan. This coverage gives you a chance to recoup what you might potentially lose in the face of a cyber-attack.

The risk of cyberattacks gets higher each year as online criminals continue to improve in their craft. They work around the clock, devising new and innovative methods to supersede whatever security software IT companies create. As a business owner, you must always be on your toes and ensure your network and data are secure. Ask yourself, is your business currently protected with the latest cybersecurity technology? If you’re like most business owners, you probably don’t have the time to worry about such things, but you should.

Boost Your Protection with Cybersecurity Insurance

It is wise to consider investing in a comprehensive cybersecurity insurance plan. Despite having seemingly ironclad protection, there is no 100% guarantee that hackers will not be able to penetrate your virtual walls. These crooks are extremely good at what they do. Just in case the unthinkable happens, and you fall victim to a nasty cyber incident, a cybersecurity insurance plan can at least help you recover some, if not all, of the losses and damages.

MSP Standards for Cybersecurity Insurance

As the need for cybersecurity insurance becomes more pressing, you must also become more discriminating in choosing a managed services provider to handle your cybersecurity insurance needs. However, as the business owner, you must fill out the form yourself instead of passing on this task to your MSP. However, your MSP can help you with much of the information you’ll need to fill out the form.

If you are working with a Managed Service Provider, it makes sense to ask them if they have the resources to connect you with a reliable cybersecurity insurance agent. They will undoubtedly have plenty of contacts, and it would be in their best interest to recommend the best agent for you. Of course, you can also find an agent on your own if you wish, but you do have to be wary of unscrupulous entities such as fly-by-night companies who will suddenly be unreachable when you want to make a claim.

Cyber insurance is recommended for all businesses these days. However, by no means will it make your business invincible against cybercrimes. Even after taking out a trustworthy policy, the MSP should continue providing first-class security solutions to your business. The more levels of top-quality protection you employ, the safer your business will be.

Why Choosing the Right MSP Is Important

Taking out an insurance policy for cybersecurity is not as simple as some business owners think. More than just adding such a plan, there is the matter of making sure you get paid back any losses.

Cybersecurity insurance can protect your business against financial loss caused by cyber-attacks. The plan may include coverage for financial losses. Such as data breaches, data theft, ransomware extortion payments, system or network takeover, and company losses. This coverage is even more important if you store your sensitive data on a local server in your office. These systems can be easily breached by hackers looking for an easy target. If this is the case and you do not wish to look into cyber insurance, you should consider storing your data in the cloud for enhanced security.

An experienced MSP can help you handle these procedures, and we recommend that you investigate them. Experts say that in 2022 the rate of cybercrime is expected to escalate even further. If you want to protect your assets, let us know! Let’s talk about how security, protection, and cyber insurance can help with the growth and success of your business in the coming year!

Most businesses have now gone digital, taking their processes online and storing data in the cloud and whatnot. While speedier transactions and greater portability make this technique very convenient, it also poses some risks. One of these is the risk of digital disasters and possible security breaches from all directions. In other words, if you aren’t vigilant, all of your company’s data can be stolen or encrypted. Do you have a disaster data recovery plan in place that meets all of your requirements?

 

Unforeseen Disasters And Breaches In 2021

 

In recent years, there have been numerous disasters that have affected global companies in different industries. Most of the attacks in 2021 came in the form of ransomware that took advantage of human gullibility.

 

The electronics company Acer took a hard blow in cyber-attacks in 2021. Overall, they ended up dealing with a $50 million ransom demand that a notorious hacking entity called ReEvil supposedly asked for in exchange for the return of a massive amount of stolen digital data.

 

In April of this year, Facebook suffered a security breach that exposed the personal information of over 530 million users. Screen scraping is a technique used by hackers to get information from websites. It’s how they were able to access the data files of almost 92% of LinkedIn members and obtain personal details like emails or phone numbers!

 

Because of the lockdowns and work-from-home setups, previously protected information became exposed in the digital world. Luckily, most companies had reliable security policies that protected data coming in and out of their office networks. However, with most individuals working remotely and using devices, it is difficult for a corporation to keep control over their security network, necessitating an upgrade.

 

The Importance Of Proper Preparation And Safeguarding Your SMB

 

Business owners often make the mistake of believing that something like this will never happen to their company. They like to believe that because they are a tiny firm, no hacker would be interested in attempting to compromise them. As a result, many don’t even bother to take precautionary measures to protect their small or medium-sized businesses from potential threats.

 

Unfortunately, small and medium-sized businesses are easy to crack and are typical targets of these hackers. Many companies lack the appropriate infrastructure and security tools to protect themselves from cyberattacks. To keep from being a victim, you must partner with a managed services provider that can provide you with an ironclad disaster data recovery plan.

 

Creating A Good Disaster Recovery Plan

 

Disaster data recovery is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. The process of developing this plan entails a great deal of deliberation and decision-making.

 

Begin by defining a sensible recovery time objective (RTO). This process is the amount of time you expect to be fully back on track after disaster strikes. The shorter the RTO, the more expensive the disaster data recovery will be, so you need to consider this.

 

Also, make sure to clearly outline the duties and responsibilities of each individual employee in your organization. In addition, establish a clear communication plan as well as security protocols.

 

Of course, the most crucial parts of disaster data recovery are having offsite data backup and installing dependable and updated anti-spyware tools on all the devices used for business procedures. You should also test your disaster recovery plan with your staff. That is the only way to find out if it works.

 

Hire A Professional MSP For Disaster Recovery

 

As you can imagine, disaster recovery is a complex matter. If you want to know that your plan can protect you, the best option is to have a fully managed disaster data recovery solution from a reliable MSP. 2021 slammed us with a plethora of serious security threats for SMBs, and it’s scary to think of what 2022 might bring.

 

Ensure the safety of your company now before it is too late! Contact us today, and we will show you how.

Artificial intelligence for most people today began with some very fantastical notions of computers taking over the world, largely due to the depiction of AI in motion pictures of decades past. Yet many of us have not realized that this innovative technology is already in use. Many are, in fact, already part of many aspects of our day-to-day lives. For small and medium business owners, there are now several AI SMB automated business processes that are used to expedite and ensure the growth and success of the business, which we will discuss further in this article.

A Brief History of AI

It’s not clear when or where the concept of artificial intelligence first began. Research started in 1956 in Dartmouth College, where millions of dollars funded what would turn out to be costly dead ends due to the unforeseen complexities of the project. AI research and development went on a rollercoaster ride after that, with investors alternately getting excited and then losing interest because of the lack of progress. 

It was after the turn of the century that AI began to see real-world usage. Not just in academics, but also in practical applications. New technology has enabled the integration of AI in research, education, as well as industry. Areas such as e-commerce, gaming, automobiles, healthcare, even agriculture.

AI as a Crucial Element in Businesses of Tomorrow

As of today, artificial intelligence has already permeated several of the crucial processes that are part of the regular management of any kind of business in the form of AI SMB automated business processes, procedures, and functions. It has made possible countless forms of advancement in the areas of online selling, inventory, and cybersecurity. All of these are vital to the successful operation of any business. 

Many AI SMB automated business processes are generic and apply to many businesses across different industries. Some examples of these are order processing, purchasing, quality assurance, and billing. Some are more industry-specific, like medical assessment or drug approval for the healthcare industry or trip booking and agent billing for the travel industry. 

Common Automation Processes for Small and Medium Businesses

Let’s look at some simple and useful automation processes that can increase productivity and improve revenue for your small or medium business.

Email Auto-Responder

When a customer reaches out to your business and receives no reply for months, it can be very frustrating and could give them an unpleasant impression of your business. An auto-responder feature with a personal touch prevents this. The automation process can also direct the email to your sales team, letting them take over as soon as possible. 

Marketing Automation

Many Customer Relationship Management or CRM systems include a marketing automation feature that allows you to execute an email campaign to all relevant contacts and turn them into actionable sales leads for your business. 

Scheduling Software 

This type of business automation eliminates a lot of wasted time when booking appointments. The system will automatically schedule your meetings and let everyone involved know by updating the calendar.

Chat Bots

A chatbot is a perfect tool for providing your clients with answers when customers have questions for you. Setting up a chatbot might require some time and effort. But once completed, AI will take over, and the process will be fully automated.

Keep up with the Latest AI Features with MSP Services

We are continuing to move towards a future where AI SM automated business processes are a part of daily life. Incorporate the latest Artificial Intelligence features that will help you grow your business. Contact us now and upgrade your system before the New Year begins!

In our evolving COVID-19 world, we’ve had to re-learn the way we act and think. What worked for our businesses in the past might no longer help us in the future. The pandemic caused a seismic shift for many small businesses. Those who learned to adapt to the changes thrived and survived. With COVID-19 not off the table yet, we’re now in a time where business owners need to be strong, flexible, and determined. That is why we will show you why you need a Managed Service Provider to handle your IT.

If we look back on the pre-pandemic world, we had it pretty good. Of course, life was never perfect, but we had it good compared to other times in the past – the world wars, the strife of the depression, and the hardship of the last housing crisis. At our fingertips, we had a smartphone containing answers to anything we wanted to know. Technology was our friend. 

Thriving and outsourcing 

The businesses that thrived in the pandemic, and came out of the other side, knew what they needed to do. They had a support system that made sure they knew what they needed to do to handle your IT needs. That support system? It’s your MSP. The Managed Services Provider who took care of things when they were on the shaky pandemic ground keeps businesses running.  

While every business owner would love to stand on their own two feet and be self-reliant, the truth is that the most successful enterprises do not. Instead, they outsource to experts so that they can work entirely on their business without having to worry about how to handle their or your IT. 

Relying on an MSP to handle your IT 

One of the main reasons why many companies outsource their IT support is for cost reduction. By outsourcing, you don’t need to worry about employing a person in-house. What’s more, unlike a single employee, an MSP is available all year round, 24 hours a day. They won’t take sick leave or go on vacation, for example. Imagine your sole IT employee is away in the Maldives when you have a cybersecurity issue! 

Another important reason why many companies prefer to rely on an MSP is due to the secure infrastructure. MSP data centers and IT infrastructure is more secure when compared to a standard IT system in a business. This extra layer of security means that network data is protected. Of course, business cybersecurity is something we can’t take lightly. 

Finally, using an MSP means your company can centralize all of its servers and applications within a managed data center. With centralized data, you can have storage, backup infrastructure, and virtual services as well. 

Do I need an MSP? 

Only you can answer that question. However, it’s probably a good idea if you’re a small business with many employees wearing more than one hat. One drawback is that small businesses often suffer from knowledge gaps concerning IT updates and developments. With an MSP, no employee will have to wear the “IT Wizz” hat – they can all concentrate on their roles. You’ll have complete peace of mind about your cybersecurity with IT experts on board. 

Small businesses often need more predictable budgets, too, and if this is the case, an MSP can help. Since the cost of IT changes frequently, it can be daunting for small businesses to even put a figure on their future IT expenses. In addition, budgeting for IT is not easy! One month you might not need anything at all, but the next, you might need to deal with a broken computer, a security issue, or need a crashed server. With an MSP, you can choose to pay a flat fee each month, which makes budgeting much more predictable. And because all of the systems are maintained, they last longer, which again reduces costs.  

Can you be self-reliant to handle your IT? 

Of course – and there’s nothing wrong with this if you know what you’re doing. If your company is in the IT industry itself, it might make sense to do everything in-house, for example. It’s up to every business owner to weigh the positive and negative aspects of overseeing your technology. As most owners soon discover, hiring an MSP to take care of the technology is often the most cost-worthy solution. If you’re interested in learning more about Managed Services, contact us today! 

If you’ve been on the internet lately, you’ve probably  seen pretty aggressive advertising for VPN services. On paper, they seem like something that can give you anything you would want in your online browsing in terms of security and access.

Continuing our Cyber Security Month series of articles, we’ll be covering this apparent modern miracle of internet browsing. As businesses increasingly move to a digital work environment, web security is more important than ever. With that in mind, is VPN security a true treat…or just a trick?

VPNs: As Sweet as Free Candy

Before we get into the benefits of VPNs, we should probably explain what they are. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. They essentially create a tunnel for your web browsing by giving you a (usually) local server to log into. This then provides access and  directs your web traffic. Not only is the information to and from the server encrypted, it appears as though the server is browsing the sites, not you.

This can be beneficial for you as a browser. Even if someone were spying on your personal connection, they would only see you connecting to a single server, not the specific pages you visit. You can also make it appear like you’re browsing from another location by changing the IP address. Because of this, you can view sites like Netflix and see content not available in your own country. Additionally, you can avoid internet censorship in countries that tend to have more restrictive regulations, like China.

These services are generally low in cost, especially if you purchase longer subscriptions. Actually, there are several options that offer basic services for free and only charge for premium options. Wow! This all sounds great! So, is there any catch?

VPN Security: A Razor in Your Apple

Everyone wants digital security, but just like with anti-virus software, a single program will never keep you fully safe.  Many users  don’t understand the natural limitations of VPNs, putting too much faith in them, particularly free versions.

For starters, no matter what the ads tell you, VPNs do not give you 100% security on the web. While someone spying on your network may not be able to see what you’re doing, the websites you visit sure do! If the site uses cookies, they attach themselves to your computer, not your IP address, so they can still affect you. Also, you don’t know what sort of security protocols the sites you visit have. In fact, VPNs can give you a dangerous sense of security when you should always be vigilant. For example, if you visit a nefarious site and give them your credit card information, your VPN can’t help. Even if you send your information to a legitimate site, your VPN is  powerless if that site gets hacked.

Another issue is VPNs increase the size of a hacker’s target. In the past few years, hackers have put more energy into breaking into larger targets to increase the payoff. Why steal the fish when you can steal the fish market, so to speak? VPN services provide a juicy target since access to those servers means having the browsing information of many users. This exact scenario took place in 2019 when NordVPN servers were hacked, leaving any and all traffic accessible for a period of a few months! If that happened to one of the biggest names in the game, think about how safe you could be!

Stay Safe at Home

While VPNs are far from a perfect solution, the idea behind them has some merit, namely in that by hiding and encrypting your connection, it makes it that much more difficult to have your data compromised. There are still ways to improve on this technology, though.

One of the best ways is to use a virtual office. This entails a complete virtual desktop provided to anyone with the credentials to log in. This can include everything from productivity software (such as MS Office) to actual data storage. This is a much more secure option for a variety of reasons. First of all, you log into one specific, secure system versus going from website to website. Also, this is a dedicated solution, allowing you to login with full confidence knowing who is handling your connection and data. Lastly, virtual offices are often administered by actual human beings, not just software, allowing any and all threats to be addressed in real-time.

While VPNs make your internet browsing safer, that’s like saying eating five pieces of candy instead of six prevents diabetes. If your business plans on doing any sort of remote or virtual connection, take a look at a virtual office. Don’t leave the setup and administration to just anyone. Contact us today to see just how quickly and safely you can get your employees connected without relying solely on tricky VPN security.