How to Know It’s Time to Outsource IT Support for Your Small Business

Your company has a lot on its plate. Whether you offer products, services, or both, odds are you don’t have the manpower or the specialized personnel to handle modern IT solutions and evolving malware threats. As a business leader, it’s important to know when it’s time to outsource IT support for your small business. If you’re not sure that now’s the time, read on – the below signs can tell you that it’s a good idea to call LI Tech Solutions right away.

You Need to Reduce Labor Costs

Firstly, it might be time to outsource IT support for your small business if you need to reduce labor costs. Let’s face it; having a 24/7 cybersecurity team costs a lot of money, especially if you have to have several employees working overtime to meet digital security needs.

One of the easiest ways to cut costs is in cybersecurity, but doing so could cost you much more in the long run if private consumer information or important company data is ever stolen or ransomed.

Instead, it might be a good idea to reduce labor costs by redirecting your workers toward other tasks and having managed IT services providers handle security needs for you.

Callout 1: You need to reduce labor costs- 3 ways managed services providers help

Even better, managed IT services providers can handle all of the IT tech support you might require. This includes updating software, ensuring that software programs work well together, handling cloud downloads, and more.

You Need to Reroute Work-Hours Elsewhere

Similarly, you should outsource IT support for your enterprise if you need to reroute the work hours of your current employees to other goals. Say that it’s coming up on the busiest quarter of the year and you don’t want anyone on your team focusing on IT support tasks when they should be focusing on marketing, product creation, and so on.

You don’t have to hire completely new individuals to handle the increased workload. Instead, you can simply outsource your IT support needs to LI Tech Solutions.

Managed services providers can handle all of the IT tech support tasks your team might be used to. At the same time, you can then have your workers focus on what they do best, whether that’s making products, designing customer experiences, or creating effective marketing campaigns for future users.

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You Don’t Want Tech Upgrades to Slow Your Business Down

Technology always marches forward, and it seems that tech upgrades come out at breakneck paces these days. It can cost your business a lot of time and money to keep up with tech upgrades, especially all the patches that appear for security software and other major company applications.

In fact, tech upgrades are one of the number one sources of IT tech support tasks, and they’re a massive drain on your labor pool. If you don’t want tech upgrades to slow your business down, you can instead outsource those upgrade tasks to managed service providers.

That way, you can ensure that your software is always upgraded, up-to-date, and ready to go without having to divert important resources from your primary business objectives.

You Want to Focus on Your Niche

Speaking of primary business objectives, you might just want to focus your people more on your niche, specialty, or industry. That’s a fine business goal! Your small business can achieve it if you outsource your IT support needs to others.

Not only does this free up resources so your workers can focus more on their original tasks, but it also ensures your IT support work will be of a higher average quality.

When you leave IT support to the experts like LI Tech Solutions, you don’t have to worry about an employee accidentally downloading the wrong patch or causing a compatibility problem the day before a big software launch. 

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You Want to Minimize Business Risk

It’s also a good time to outsource IT support if you want to minimize business risk – and you should always want to do that! Given that some sources indicate that a data breach can total up to $4 million in damage, there’s no reason to leave your money and the trust of your customers up to chance.

Especially in light of legislation like the GDPR and CCPA, companies just like yours could face heavy fines and penalties if customer data is lost due to a malware attack. Even if you take steps such as installing antivirus software, you could still find yourself on the hook and your business floundering after a single breach.

Long Island managed IT services companies like LI Tech can provide you with the peace of mind and business stability necessary to achieve your long-term goals. With our help, you won’t need to worry about malware-related business risks sinking your corporate ship.

You Want to Double Down on Security

On top of that, managed IT services can provide you with the cybersecurity focus you’ve always wanted, but perhaps haven’t been able to achieve in the past.

To maintain top-tier, 24/7 cybersecurity protection, you need trained professionals working around the clock, constantly checking your business systems, and monitoring for malware attacks. That’s a lot to demand, especially if your workforce is already stretched thin.

Managed IT services can shoulder this burden for you by:

  • Monitoring your business systems for attacks
  • Updating antivirus and other cybersecurity software promptly and reliably
  • Anticipating cyber threats and taking steps to neutralize breaches before they occur
  • And more

Callout 4: Minimize business risk and double down on security with managed services providers like LITech Solutions

This is doubly true when you contract LI Tech Solutions. As committed managed cybersecurity providers, we’re well trained in data protection, security monitoring, and other cyber-safety best practices. We can even offer training for your staff, so they know how to avoid cyber threats, such as phishing emails or vulnerable public servers.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, any and all of these signs could indicate you need a quality managed IT services Long Island company. With our many years of service and dedication to other Long Island clients, LI Tech Solutions is the best choice for small businesses just like yours. Contact us today.

How to Fix CVE-2022-30190 Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool Vulnerability

Modern computer systems are incredibly complex. Even individuals with lots of IT experience know that security breaches slip through the cracks all the time. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the latest Microsoft CVE-2022-30190 diagnostic tool vulnerability.

This vulnerability was only recently discovered. Fortunately, no major breaches or security disasters have occurred due to it so far. That said, your organization needs to know how to close this vulnerability – and how to prevent future cybersecurity breaches from affecting you in the future. 

CVE-2022-30190 Vulnerability Explained

CVE-2022-30190 refers to a recently discovered vulnerability in the Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool or MSDT. This is potentially dangerous since many organizations use the MSDT regularly to identify issues with their software or computer systems.

The vulnerability works like this:

  • When a user calls the MSDT using a URL protocol, the CVE-2022-30190 remote code execution vulnerability appears. MSDT can be called from many different applications, like Microsoft Word, and may be called intentionally or unintentionally
  • The CVE-2022-30190 vulnerability allows attackers to run or apply arbitrary code strings with any of the privileges included within the calling application, even if the attacker doesn’t have those privileges personally.
  • In theory, an attacker could run code that could widen the vulnerability and cause other problems. For example, an attacker can install programs, change or delete data, create new accounts, and more

In other words, the CVE-2022-30190 MSDT vulnerability allows hackers far greater access to computer systems than they would normally receive. As a result, many managed security services providers, like LI Tech, have worked quickly and effectively to find and apply solutions.

Callout 1: CVE-2022-30190 Vulnerability Explained - 3 facts listed

Current CVE-2022-30190 Workaround

Currently, there is a Microsoft-endorsed workaround for the CVE-2022-30190 vulnerability. It operates by disabling the MSDT URL protocol.

By disabling the URL protocol, troubleshooters cannot launch as links, including links that launch through the operating system (OS). Note that troubleshooters may still be accessed by computer operators using the Get Help application or through standard system settings. Other troubleshooters may also allow troubleshooting access.

To disable your system’s MSDT URL protocol:

  • Run the Command Prompt as an Administrator
  • Then back up the registry key. To do this, execute this command: “reg export HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/ms-msdt filename
  • Then execute this command: “reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/ms-msdt/f”

Once applied, the MSDT troubleshooter may not be launched through standard means, and the vulnerability should be closed until a longer-term solution is discovered and implemented.

Should you need to undo this workaround, you can:

  • Run the Command Prompt as an Administrator
  • Then execute this command: “reg import filename

In both cases, replace “filename” with the file you wish to troubleshoot.

For more information about this workaround and the CVE-2022-30190 vulnerability, visit Microsoft’s official page.

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How to Fix the CVE-2022-30190 Vulnerability Long-Term

Although the above workaround is very beneficial, it does not solve the CVE-2022-30190 vulnerability in the long term. The only way to solve these vulnerabilities is to ensure that you have IT staff on hand constantly scanning for potential problems and closing breaches before they become issues.

That’s a tall order, especially if your business focuses on another industry or niche aside from IT security. But what if you didn’t have to assign people to do this critical task themselves?

Instead, you can rely on experts in IT security and managed software services: LI Tech Solutions.

The Benefits of LI Tech’s Managed Services

As the go-to managed IT services provider in Long Island for many companies, LI Tech is well equipped to assist with your security and vulnerability patching needs.

In fact, we’ve already got on top of the CVE-2022-30190 vulnerability. As soon as it was announced, our experts got to work:

  • Identifying what the problem was
  • Determining how best to close the issue
  • Using Microsoft’s workaround where appropriate

To the benefit of our clients, we rapidly applied a patch to close the vulnerability. We did this after confirming that none of our clients had suffered data losses or other security breaches due to the CVE-2022-30190 vulnerability in the first place.

That’s because, as a dedicated Long Island-managed IT services company, LI Tech is proactive compared to reactive. What does this mean?

Callout 3: Hooded hacker in cyberspace in front of black laptop - 2 facts given about important of managed services like LI Tech Solutions to monitor for problems

In short, our proactive approach allows us to identify and solve security issues before they negatively affect our client companies. We prioritize developing new approaches to security problems and evolving alongside malware and other cyber threats rather than letting those malicious parties set the pace of the digital arms race. 

In contrast, a reactive approach usually leads to much higher costs in the long run. Companies must first become aware of security breaches, oftentimes after the damage has already been done, and then patch those breaches after the fact.

LI Tech’s proactive approach is exactly why you should rely on us to patch the CVE-2022-30190 and similar vulnerabilities for your company in the future. Instead of waiting for official Microsoft recommendations or trying to discern the right course of action yourself, why not leave it to the experts?

Even better, when you hire LI Tech Solutions, you don’t just get vulnerability patching. You also receive expert assistance and services like:

  • Cloud infrastructure services, enabling you to benefit from the best software access without having to increase your on-site costs
  • 24/7 data protection and backup services, thus ensuring the security and fidelity of vital company data and customer privacy information
  • Security best practices training for your staff. This training can ensure that your organization will not remain vulnerable to basic cyber threats, like phishing emails
  • And more

Wrap Up

Ultimately, the CVE-2022-30190 vulnerability demonstrates the importance of having managed services providers working around the clock for your organization. To make sure your company doesn’t suffer any adverse effects from the CVE-2022-30190 vulnerability, contact LI Tech Solutions today.

Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Transformation in Long Island, NY

Every business needs to be prepared for the worst. It’s not enough to have a simple data backup app for your servers or customer data. You need to have a detailed disaster recovery plan and business continuity plan ready to go if disaster strikes.

In addition, it’s often wise to practice business continuity transformation. By constantly improving and evolving your business continuity plan, your organization will be better equipped to handle new cyber threats on the horizon.

But that’s a lot of responsibility and work, especially for smaller organizations that may not have the manpower to focus on all of these elements. Fortunately, managed IT service providers in Long Island can provide your enterprise with the disaster recovery and business continuity transformation services you need.

What Is a Business Continuity Plan?

Business continuity means ensuring that your business’s operations remain stable and available to customers during a disaster or IT issue. A good business continuity plan includes several key components:

  • One or more recovery personnel, who manage the recovery process to restore systems ASAP
  • A detailed recovery procedure to help restore key business functions and to maintain continuity of business operations as much as possible
  • A data backup plan and method. This allows the affected organization to recover valuable data and ensure its security seamlessly

Callout 1: Data loss prevention concept - Business continuity plans are vital - 2 reasons

Business continuity plans are vital so that companies don’t lose customers during service or power outages and so they don’t lose control of security in the event of a cyberattack.

Business Continuity Transformation – Why It’s Critical

Business continuity transformation means applying new techniques, technologies, and strategies to expand your enterprise’s ability to stay operational in a crisis.

More specifically, business continuity transformation means improving your current continuity plans. In this way, you can optimize your public-facing performance even if your company is currently backing up data, recovering from a cyberattack, or handling some other disaster.

The IT and cyber threat landscapes are constantly changing. It can be challenging for enterprises to always be innovating with their business continuity plans and procedures when they’re focused on so many other aspects of business operations.

What Is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Disaster recovery plans emphasize restoring data access and security and ensuring the stability of IT infrastructure in the aftermath of a disaster.

In other words:

  • Business continuity prioritizes maintaining business operations throughout a disaster as well as possible to minimize consumer disruptions/security breaches
  • Disaster recovery means recovering data and restoring operational status after a disaster has concluded/security has been restored

Disaster recovery is also vital because many cyberattacks target vulnerable consumer data or valuable enterprise systems. Having a recovery plan in place may allow businesses to:

  • Secure their data more readily, minimizing the likelihood of a major or permanent breach
  • Restore business operations that consumers or employees rely on
  • Shore up security processes to prevent follow-up cyberattacks from being successful

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The Importance of Disaster Recovery Planning and Leadership

Just like disaster or emergency plans for real-world crises, disaster recovery planning and leadership is also important for IT disasters. The best disaster recovery plans include:

  • Employee safety measures
  • Drills for cybersecurity or data protection
  • Purchasing supplies
  • Readying IT infrastructure
  • Coming up with response plans to fight back against malware and other cyberattacks
  • Methods to restore backed up data quickly
  • And more

However, even the best disaster recovery plans are only successful under the right leadership.

Organizations should ensure that at least one individual is placed in charge of disaster recovery planning and implementation. When a disaster strikes, that individual can quickly give orders and marshal security measures without unnecessary deliberation.

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Benefits of Managed Service Providers for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Managed service providers offer a wide range of benefits for companies just like yours. They can also provide specific advantages for business continuity planning and transformation, as well as disaster recovery procedures.

Business Continuity Testing

For example, managed service providers like LI Tech Solutions offer BCT or business continuity testing. This can provide your employees with key insights into their preparedness for potential disruption.

When you hire LI Tech, our cyber experts will help your team find good solutions for potential disasters, discover how to maintain services in the wake of a crisis, and much more. Plus, a managed service provider in Long Island, NY can help you run regular business continuity tests without interrupting your core business operations.

Perfect Implementation of Disaster Recovery Plans

Disaster recovery plans are only worthwhile if you can implement them properly. That’s easier said than done, especially if your employees are not properly trained on how to do so.

Managed service providers can implement your disaster recovery plans to the letter, ensuring that data is backed up properly, that IT infrastructure comes online in the right order, and that security is restored at the earliest opportunity.

End-to-End Encryption for Data Security

As experienced disaster recovery experts, LI Tech Solutions can provide end-to-end data security encryption. This flexible safeguard is perfect for any data environment, whether your business relies on cloud servers, hybrid servers, on-premises servers, or virtual servers.

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Fewer Manpower Requirements from Your Organization

Perhaps most important of all, managed service providers reduce the disaster recovery and business continuity planning manpower needed from your organization.

When you offload the burden of these procedures to a trusted managed service provider, your employees can instead focus on other elements of your business. You can prioritize delivering great experiences and products to your customers without having to worry so much about IT security.

Instead, your managed IT services provider can tackle the tough elements of disaster recovery and business continuity planning/transformation.

Contact LI Tech Solutions Today

No matter your business’s size or focus, LI Tech Solutions offers the best managed IT services in Long Island. Our data protection solutions, business continuity planning and testing, and other services allow us to provide your business with the support it needs to anticipate and overcome disasters in the future. Contact us today for more information!

Digital Transformation: What It Is and How It Helps Your Business

Technology continues to evolve and more companies than ever before are pursuing digital transformation. They’re using new tools and processes to take full advantage of the modern technologies and systems available to organizations of all sizes.

But what exactly is digital transformation, and how can it help your business thrive in today’s market? LI Tech Solutions answers both of these questions and more in detail.

Digital Transformation Explained

Digital transformation means something different to every organization. But overall, it involves transitioning your company’s current tech stack to a modern tech stack, as well as leaning further into modern digital technology use.

For example, a company might practice digital transformation by taking advantage of cloud technology and data storage. Using these tools, the company then enables most of its employee base to work remotely.

Callout 1: Abstract digital transformation technology background - Digital transformation quote from text

It can include adjustments or alterations to processes and procedures, using new tools instead of old ones, and changing company culture to adapt to modern digital technology.

The Four Areas of Digital Transformation

Broadly speaking, there are four primary areas of digital transformation. Your organization may see changes in all of these areas or just some of them.

Collaboration Transformation

Digital collaboration transformation occurs as you use collaboration and project management platforms ranging from Microsoft Teams to Microsoft 365 and more. Even communication platforms like Slack can help you enact a shift toward digital collaboration transformation.

Think of this element of transformation as shifting the way your team members collaborate and do work together, even when not in the same office environment.

Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Transformation

Digital transformation also affects disaster recovery and business continuity. Cloud security, new antivirus software, and adaptable IT infrastructure are all some of the rewards that come from pursuing digital transformation.

Digital transformation processes enable organizations to be flexible, adaptable, and more secure. Furthermore, organizations can be more responsive and ensure that employees maintain productivity even in the event of a data crash, website failure, or security breach.

Callout 2: Cloud technology icon - Digital transformation rewards

Cybersecurity Transformation

Speaking of security, digital transformations impact cybersecurity massively. As your business goes increasingly digital, cybersecurity solutions such as digital hygiene processes, cloud security, and managed security services all become more important.

This is just one of the many reasons why managed IT services providers such as LI Tech Solutions are valuable to modern organizations. Managed service providers can take care of your cybersecurity needs without massively ballooning your company budget or resource requirements.

Cloud Transformation

Lastly, digital transformation heavily impacts company cloud usage. Cloud computing can accelerate digital transformation and help your business automate more processes than ever, freeing up additional manpower and leading to greater productivity.

Furthermore, cloud technologies enable you to upgrade your IT systems, streamline employee management and hiring practices, and enjoy greater digital security. 

Each of these areas is important and should be pursued by your company at the earliest opportunity.

How Does Digital Transformation Help Your Business?

What about specific benefits that digital transformation brings to your company? There are six major advantages that you might see after transforming your company digitally in the above four areas.

Improved Resource Management

Firstly, your company could see improved resource management. As you leverage cloud technologies and other digital transformation tools, your data and important company files will be more secure and organized.

Your company will be better able to integrate applications and databases into centralized repositories. These repositories, in turn, will enable faster data access and management even from employees around the world.

Better Data Collection and Analytics

Furthermore, transforming digitally will allow your company to collect more data and analyze it with more accuracy.  You can create systems to gather the right data, not just any data, and incorporate it into your business intelligence efforts at high levels.

Using automation tools, new data storage techniques, and other practices, you’ll understand your target audience better, track important KPIs more efficiently, and see other benefits.

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Better Customer Experience

Even better, digital transformation allows your company to provide a better customer experience across the board. Tools such as chatbots, for example, enable faster customer service response times for your website visitors.

New digital tools also enable you to customize the customer experiences you provide to site visitors. Better customer experiences mean more profits for you in the long run. 

Digitization of Culture

Your company’s culture will change for the better. For example, remote work tools and a digital-first workplace both allow your company employees to work anywhere around the world without compromising security or productivity.

In turn, this may enable you to broaden your candidate search for top team members and make your company a more attractive place to work. 

More Productivity and Profits

Digital transformation should lead your company to more productivity and profits, as well. As employees do great work from around the world and take advantage of streamlining tools, they’ll get more work done in the same amount of time plus spend less time on rote, monotonous tasks best left to automation technology.

More productivity, of course, oftentimes leads to more profits both in the short and long term.

Increased Agility

Lastly, your company will benefit from boosted agility as it digitally transforms. You can improve your speed-to-market for new products, plus adopt continuous improvement or CI strategies.

The result? More innovation and adaptation to adjust to evolving market and customer demands.

Callout 4: How Digital transformation helps your business - 6 benefits listed

Summary

All in all, digital transformation is a net benefit for all organizations, including your own. You can accelerate this transformation for your company by taking advantage of managed services providers like LI Tech Solutions.

As a trusted IT managed service provider in Long Island, New York, we’re well-equipped and ready to assist with your digital transformation efforts from start to finish. Whether you need managed security, cloud server administration, upgrades, or something else entirely, we can help.

Contact us today for more information and further details on how we can help your business transform.

5 Ways MSPs Can Support Hybrid Workplaces

The hybrid workplace isn’t going away. The hybridization of many industries was already a growing trend prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the pandemic solidified that trend into a full-blown economic revolution.

In many industries ranging from tech to finance and more, hybrid workplaces allow employees to work remotely some of the time and in the office the rest of the time. The benefits are numerous, ranging from increased worker flexibility to reduced resource consumption and more.

However, hybrid workplaces can be even more beneficial for your organization when you employ managed services providers like LI Tech Solutions. Let’s take a look at five key ways that MSPs can support hybrid workplaces just like yours.  

Callout 1: Hybrid employee working at home on laptop - Hybrid workplace definition quote from text

Cloud Infrastructure and Support

For starters, managed service providers can offer excellent cloud infrastructure and ongoing support. Cloud infrastructure, software, and other services are most important for hybrid workplaces.

Why? Because through the cloud, organization employees can access the same resources, use the same software, and use all the same files whether they work from home or at the office. Cloud access means that all employees can work together no matter where their computers or end terminals happen to be.

Of course, it takes a dedicated IT team to manage cloud infrastructure and offer 24/7 support. That’s where a managed services provider comes in.

MSPs can help your cloud infrastructure work for your company by:

  • Ensuring that software updates happen consistently and regularly
  • Monitoring the cloud for potential glitches or cyberattacks
  • Helping team members learn how to access the cloud or how to download the appropriate software to their devices
  • And much more

On top of all that, managed services providers can ensure that your cloud resources scale with your organization. Therefore, if you want to stick with a hybrid workplace over the next few years, your cloud infrastructure can grow with your company. An MSP can make that future a reality more easily than ever.  

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Security Updates, Monitoring, and Training

Perhaps more importantly, managed services providers can offer regular security updates for important antivirus and anti-malware measures. These include antivirus software like firewalls, phishing protection for company emails, and much more.

The cybersecurity landscape is always evolving, which means security updates must be implemented and installed as soon as they become available. But it can be tough to keep track of which programs or security software need updates. Your MSP can do all that for you, freeing up your people to work on other tasks.

In addition, MSPs like LI Tech offer 24/7 monitoring for your cloud infrastructure and company systems. This monitoring will ensure that you are alerted whenever there is a potential cyber breach and that cyber breaches will be much less likely to succeed.

In the event of a successful cyberattack, the monitoring from a managed services provider will help you prevent it from occurring in the future.

Of course, many cybersecurity breaches occur because of employee mistakes. To that end, MSPs such as LI Tech Solutions offer security training for your employees. These training seminars can teach the basics of good digital hygiene, like how to build strong passwords and how not to log workplace computers via vulnerable public networks.  

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Workforce Analytics

On top of all that, MSPs can provide crucial workforce analytics services for your growth and understanding. For example, MSPs can gather data about:

  • How your employees use their time
  • How your software benefits your company
  • How your data is stored and how it is retrieved
  • And much more

All of that data, once properly analyzed, can help you make better decisions for your company. Managed services providers can even help improve your data management and storage policies so they’re more efficient for your workers. This will improve productivity for your hybrid workforce.

Project Management Services and Software

Any manager or executive who oversees a hybrid workforce knows the difficulty of ensuring that all employees are on the same page. Project management becomes a little more difficult when employees work from different places, despite all the other benefits associated with allowing a hybrid workplace.

However, managed services providers can offer project management and organizational services, or connect you to project management software via the cloud. Either of these solutions will help your remote and in-office employees collaborate just as efficiently in a hybrid workplace as they would in a traditional office environment.

Project management services and software help ensure that:

  • Everyone knows what projects they should be working on
  • Project deadlines are met properly
  • Project reports are sent to appropriate leaders or supervisors when needed
  • Supervisors can reassign individuals or rebalance workloads as necessary
  • And more

All of those benefits will make your hybrid workforce just as good as it was before you made the transition.  MSPs support hybrid workplaces to help your organization’s productivity flow.

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Increased Organizational Productivity

Lastly, MSPs can support your hybrid workplace by improving organizational productivity across the board. In effect, MSPs take a lot of the busy work or manual tasks of cloud support and cybersecurity away from your team.

Instead, your employees can focus on the core aspect of your business that net you the most profits. Imagine what you could do if your IT personnel could focus on building a new website or online marketing instead of having to monitor security 24/7.

In addition, MSPs support hybrid workplaces by providing value by overseeing your cloud infrastructure. In this way, your workforce can take advantage of the technologies of the cloud without having to continually update it and monitor it for stability.

Bottom line: by hiring an MSP, your hybrid workplace will enjoy greater operational flexibility. Your employees, meanwhile, can be reassigned to other elements of your business depending on what you need.

Summary

Ultimately, managed services providers are valuable for any companies that use hybrid workplaces. If you’ve decided to allow your workforce the flexibility and other benefits of hybridization, consider hiring an MSP for even greater improvements.

As a well-known managed IT services provider in Long Island, we’re well-equipped and ready to assist your hybrid workplace starting today. Contact us for more information!

Why Outsource Your Cyber Security Needs?

Modern cyber security is more important than ever, but it’s also more expensive and resource-intensive. These days, many companies find it tough to maintain in-house IT or cyber security departments, especially if they aren’t focused on cyber security themselves. There may be an alternative solution: outsource your cyber security needs. Today, let’s break down the benefits of outsourcing cyber security to managed service providers like LI Tech Solutions.

More Predictable Costs

For starters, outsourcing your cyber security may lead to more predictable – and therefore manageable – costs for online security. When your in-house team handles cyber security, they’ll produce bills sporadically for things like software updates, training the team on new initiatives, and for purchasing new security products.

If you pay a flat, regular fee to a managed service provider, your cyber security costs are more predictable. For smaller companies or organizations whose budgets are already thin, this can be a major benefit.  

Callout 1: Benefit of Managed Services predictable cyber security costs fact

Regular Updates and Improvements

Furthermore, outsourcing your cyber security needs to a managed service provider may help you benefit from more regular security updates and improvements.

Malware evolves constantly, so security efforts must also evolve in tandem with cyber threats. This is often accomplished through updates and patches. But it can be tough for your team, especially if they have other things to juggle, to remember these updates and shore up your cyber defenses regularly.

A managed services provider will ensure that cyber security software is updated when needed and improvements are implemented ASAP. In this way, your business will use the most appropriate digital security at all times. But your team won’t have to worry about it since these concerns will be handled by your managed services squad.

Refocused Productivity

By freeing up that manpower in your team, you’ll be able to refocus the extra productivity on other elements of your business, including product design and development, marketing, or something else entirely. It’s up to you!

That refocused productivity can save you a lot of money in the long run, and may also lead to increased profits later down the road. Refocused productivity is crucial for startups that have small teams. For example, if your organization only has 50 people, can you really afford to have 10 of them dedicated to IT security 24/7?  

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Instead, outsourcing your cyber security needs to a managed service provider allows everyone on your team to be focused on your business goals. You can still rest assured that your cyber security needs will be taken care of.

Managed services providers employ experts in the field. In most cases, you will find that the cyber security results from a managed services provider are superior to what you can produce with your own, in-house team. 

24/7 Service

Speaking of IT security 24/7, managed services providers offer maintenance and security responsiveness 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even if the rest of your team is out of the office, your managed services provider can:

  • Respond to sudden attacks or security threats on your business and digital infrastructure
  • Communicate with executives when needed
  • Ensure constant vigilance, even during the late hours of the evening or early hours of the morning

This, in turn, allows you to ensure that your staff enjoys a manageable schedule and that someone doesn’t have to be on hand at midnight to oversee a security patch. Plus, 24/7 security oversight means that malware or other digital attacks will be less likely to succeed and breakthrough digital defenses.  

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Resource Scalability

As your business grows, IT security scalability will become a more important concern. After all, the more business architecture you have and the more files you need to protect, the more robust your cyber security efforts need to be as well.

Fortunately, outsourcing your cyber security efforts to a managed services provider means scalability comes with the package. As your resource needs grow, your managed services provider will update your software, offer new security measures, and assign more people to your business.

Iterated Threat Detection/Responses

One of the big benefits of outsourcing your cyber security needs is improved cyber security results. As your managed services provider learns your business and the types of threats you encounter, it will:

  • Continually iterate on its threat detection methods, enabling it to counter cyber threats before they become real issues
  • Continually iterate on its response times and effectiveness.  If a cyber threat does take hold, your managed services provider will be able to respond more capable as it gets more practice

In other words, the longer you stick with a managed services provider, the better security responses you’ll see across your organization. Remember, your business’s team can focus on other aspects of your organization all the while.

More Experienced Responses

On top of that, managed services providers employ experienced IT security professionals. If your business is not focused on IT security or does something completely different, the security specialists from a managed services provider will be far and away better for intercepting and fixing security issues.

This is more important than ever, especially given the increased sophistication of modern cyber threats.  

Callout 4: IT security quote from text

Regulatory Compliance Assistance

Perhaps most importantly, outsourcing cyber security also means outsourcing compliance with the CCPA, GDPR, and other current or prospective legislation. Many organizations need to be careful not to break these regulations, or else they may face heavy fines.

But compliance is an evolving thing. When you outsource cyber security, your managed services team will ensure that you always remain compliant regarding consumer data privacy and protection policies.

Conclusion

Ultimately, outsourcing your cyber security needs is a great choice, even if your company works in the IT industry. Giving cyber security responsibilities to a specialized, 24/7 team could be the best thing you can do for your budget, your team management, and your goals.

Fortunately, LI Tech Solutions offers expert cyber security protection. If you need managed IT services in Long Island, we can help. Contact us today for more information!

How Data Compliance and Cybersecurity Differ

When you run a business, compliance, and security are two essential factors. Both are equally important for the seamless operation of your business. While compliance helps your business stay within the limits of industry or government regulations, cybersecurity protects the integrity of your business and sensitive data.

It is worth noting that although security is a prime component of compliance, compliance does not equal security. This is because compliance does not consider the growing threat landscape and associated risks. What it considers, however, is a set of pre-defined policies, procedures, controls, etc.

If an audit concludes that these pre-defined elements are adequate and your business adheres to them, everything is considered “okay” from a compliance standpoint. However, you still may not be up to scratch from a security standpoint, which only goes to show that you can be compliant but still fall short on security.

In other words, because compliance requirements take a predictable path and change slowly, the compliance landscape lags behind the rapidly changing, unpredictable security landscape.

Now, let’s find out how your business can benefit by combining security and compliance.

 

Get Covered With Security and Compliance Solutions

There are multiple security loopholes that you must proactively fix to stay out of danger. You can do it by deploying suitable security solutions. A few common security loopholes and related solutions are:

  1. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)

APTs across three attack pillars — endpoints, network, and the cloud — are capable of paralyzing hybrid/remote/on-site work environments. Experts estimate the global APT protection market to be worth close to $6 billion in 2021 and $12 billion in 2025.1 This statistic highlights the trouble caused by APTs. The best way to tackle it is by deploying a solution that can:

  • Offer 24/7 monitoring and threat hunting
  • Efficiently block malicious actors that evade firewalls and antivirus systems
  1. Insider threats skyrocketing at alarming rates

Over the last two years, insider incidents have increased by 47%.2 What makes the scenario even worse is the fact that insider threats are tough to detect. That’s why it is advisable to have an advanced internal threat detection solution that combines machine learning and intelligent tagging to identify anomalous activity, suspicious changes, and threats caused by misconfiguration.

  1. Lack of clarity about the network

Keeping track of all the computers, mobile phones, printers, and servers on your business’ network is challenging, especially in today’s increasingly remote-first approach to work. But without knowing the devices on your network, it is not possible to know your IT network’s health. To combat this problem, you need an automated assessment and documentation solution capable of identifying risks to all assets, including those not physically connected to the network.

  1. Untrained employees and credentials getting sold on the dark web:
  • When your employees are untrained and are unaware of risky actions, it could lead to severe security setbacks. For example, an employee carelessly clicking on a phishing link could lead to a full-blown ransomware attack on your business.
  • Another major security issue that you may encounter is when your credentials get sold on the dark web. Experts estimate that 60% of the information available on the dark web could negatively affect most businesses’ security and financials.3
  • Remember that inadequate data access protocols are not just a security issue but can also land you in hot water with regulators.

Tackle all the above issues by deploying industry-best solutions for security awareness training, dark web monitoring, and identity/access management.

Just like security loopholes, you must also fix compliance loopholes the moment you spot them. Non-compliance can even lead to regulators levying penalties as high as 4% of your company turnover.4 Beyond financial loss, you will also have to face stakeholder dissatisfaction, drop in market share, etc. To avoid such trouble, use a solution that automates compliance processes and generates insightful reports that document compliance.

 

Convergence of Cybersecurity and Compliance

Most companies have at least minimum protection in place, such as an antivirus on workstations/active firewalls. However, you must make sure that your business’ security posture can withstand the growing cyberthreat landscape. With some effort, you can incorporate your security solutions into your compliance strategy as well.

By carefully bringing both security and compliance together systematically, you can reduce risks significantly. To ramp up your organization’s security posture, you can implement strong authentication, data protection, access monitoring, network-to-edge defenses, etc. By routinely validating the effectiveness of these solutions once they’re in place, you can ensure your organization is taking the necessary measures to avoid non-compliance and security breaches.

Ready to take the next step? LI Tech Solutions can help you today.

Register for a consultation to learn more about how we can help you combine security and compliance to prevent data compliance issues.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

  1. Statista
  2. 2020-Global-Cost-of-Insider-Threats-Ponemon-Report
  3. CSO Online
  4. GDPR Associates

Costly Ransomware Threats to Business

These days, it seems that half of the online business management revolves around cybersecurity, and for good reason. Malware attacks and ransomware threats are expensive, time-consuming, and can even lead to bankruptcy in isolated scenarios.

Indeed, there are several costly ransomware threats to business that enterprise executives may be unaware of. Let’s break down some of these threats in detail so you can grasp the full danger that even a single successful ransomware attack may pose to your company.  

Callout 1- Blurred background - Malware attacks and ransomware threats quote

The Ransomware Payment Itself

Naturally, any ransomware attack will include a ransom payment by its very nature. Most ransomware attacks are unreported and many enterprises are advised not to accept any demands. But plenty of firms do so regardless. Some estimates indicate that average ransomware payouts are over $300,000.

Some enterprises may have no choice when paying a ransom fee. If sensitive company data is on the line, they might not have enough time to come up with an alternative solution if they want to prevent sensitive information from leaking to the public.  This could include customers’ credit card numbers or other identifying information.

In this way, ransomware attacks may cost a business money twice: first when the business pays the ransom fee, and another time when the business repairs any damage done by an attack.

Downtime and Disruption

In addition to the cost of the ransom payment, ransomware also typically costs companies thousands of dollars at minimum from disruption and downtime. When a company’s website or database goes down, it impacts its customers, their operations, and more.

In short, it tanks productivity and may have downstream effects for weeks, months, or even years to come. The cost of downtime is sometimes estimated to be much higher than the cost of even the most exorbitant ransom demands.

For example, an international currency exchange named Travelex was attacked by ransomware. The costs of disruption were so great that the company later had to file for bankruptcy.

Downtime to company services or websites costs more than money as well. Many online consumers don’t have any patience for websites that crash. In this way, companies may lose cash that they would otherwise receive as revenue when their customers go to their competitors or stop patronizing their online establishments.  

Callout 2- Ransomware payment-facts to know And Downtime and disruption facts to know

Data Loss (and Fees)

In this day and age, enterprises that do online or international business must be very careful about their data security. Not only is it important for their operations, but it’s also crucial for the safety and security of their customers.

Data loss can take a heavy financial toll on ransomware attack victims. Some estimates indicate that 90% of ransomware attack victims don’t get all their data back, even if they pay the ransom fee.

If customer data is compromised, it can also lead to legal injunctions, particularly in light of legislation like the GDPR and CCPA. These fees can be quite exorbitant, just like ransom demands themselves.

Even after fees are paid, companies may be forced to undertake additional cybersecurity practices, adjust their procedures and policies, and implement other expensive fixes by legal mandate. All of those requirements can add up quite quickly, especially if a company’s security was subpar beforehand.

All told, the complete cost of data loss and security breaches can’t be fully tallied. In some cases, companies may lose the trust of their customers so much that they have no choice but to go out of business.

Forensics and Recovery

Enterprises must also consider the costs for forensic investigations and recovery when tallying the total cost of a ransomware attack. No company wants to be hit by the same attack twice, which means in-depth investigations are always required.

It often means hiring detailed cyber forensics specialists, leveraging certain types of expensive software, or shutting down company operations for some time while the investigation proceeds. Such adjustments may also cost the company in terms of productivity and customer loyalty, leading to further losses down the road.

Furthermore, recovery efforts, even when disaster recovery or business continuity plans are in place, can still cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Depending on the quality of forensic equipment and processes used, the investigation alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars. 

Callout 3- Data loss and fees - 2 facts listed And Forensics and Recovery-2 facts listed

Infrastructure Repair and Recovery

Some ransomware attacks incur additional costs in the form of broken or damaged infrastructure, such as decimated servers, irreparable platforms, and more. On top of that, you’ll have to purchase or rent infrastructure to recover after a ransomware attack, costing you more money in the short term.

Furthermore, in the immediate aftermath of a ransomware attack, many companies find that their cybersecurity insurance premiums have skyrocketed. They may choose to purchase additional infrastructure and security measures to prevent the same attack from happening again.

Reputational Losses

All these factors don’t even touch the potential reputational losses an enterprise may face when they are the victim of a ransomware attack. Even a single attack is enough to shatter the public’s perception of a company being safe and secure, especially if the public stores a lot of sensitive financial or personal information on their servers.

International customers, B2B clients, and other involved parties may simply stop doing business with an enterprise if they discover that it was the victim of a preventable ransomware attack. Even if the attack wasn’t preventable or was novel, the reputational losses are often impossible to stem. 

Callout 4- Infrastructure Repair and Recovery- 2 facts listed And Reputational losses - 2 facts listed

Where Does That Leave Businesses?

Ultimately, no company wants to be the victim of a ransomware attack. That’s why high-quality IT security and managed IT services are more important than ever before.

When it comes to IT security in Long Island, look no further than LI TECH. As experienced data protection specialists, we offer a number of cloud management services, ranging from data protection cloud services to cloud infrastructure services and more.

We follow all the cybersecurity best practices for securing a cloud environment and put the safety and peace of mind of our clients at the forefront of each operation. Contact us today for more information.

Main Advantages of CaaS

Regulatory compliance has always been vital, but it is even more important in the modern online economy. With legislation like the GDPR threatening organizations with major fines and penalties if they are found to be non-compliant with data security or other measures, guaranteeing compliance for security, data administration, and risk mitigation is incredibly important. This article takes a look at some of the main advantages of CaaS. 

It can cost organizations a lot of time and money to ensure full compliance 24/7 using in-house employees or tools. That’s why many businesses now turn to compliance as a service solutions, which outsource many of these duties to managed IT service providers like LITech Solutions. Let’s take a closer look. 

Callout 1- blurred background- Compliance as a Service Explained- quote from article

Compliance as a Service Explained

Compliance as a service or CaaS is a type of cloud service often packaged with broader IT-managed services. In a nutshell, CaaS is intended to help organizations meet any regulatory compliance mandates, including those pertaining to data security, international eCommerce restrictions and requirements, and more.

While the exact services will vary from provider to provider, compliance as a service offerings typically include duties like:

  • Change control
  • Data discovery
  • Database access control
  • Application management
  • Separation of duties
  • Annual risk assessments
  • Data masking
  • Incident response
  • Real-time data protection
  • Policy creation and enforcement for data security
  • Security vulnerability repair
  • Training of company personnel
  • Server configuration
  • And more

In most cases, compliance support services are used by organizations that primarily operate in industries with a lot of regulations, like finance, banking, healthcare, and more. The importance of CaaS has increased in recent years due to legislation like the GDPR and CPAA, both of which highlight how businesses must be responsible for data security at all times.

The increasing regulatory requirements, administrative overhead, man-hour costs, and the overall time that an organization must spend ensuring operational compliance place significant burdens on modern enterprises. By outsourcing compliance to managed service providers, businesses may benefit from several major advantages.  

Callout 2- Compliance graphic - Benefits of CaaS- 2 benefits listed with facts

Benefits of CaaS

Not sure whether CaaS is right for your organization? Let’s take a look at the detailed benefits of CaaS one by one.

Reduced Administrative Overhead

For starters, CaaS reduces administrative overhead for organizations by taking control of compliance standard assurance and benchmarks. Instead of a company’s administrative team being responsible for ensuring compliance for data security, for example, their CaaS provider will do it instead.

It frees up the administrative team (or any other team responsible) to accomplish other objectives. Such freedom could be fantastic for maximizing profitability, operational efficiency, and more.

Savings on Compliance Costs

Naturally, reducing administrative overhead and freeing up time to be spent on other tasks also saves on compliance costs. By reducing the compliance burden for an organization, that time and energy can be spent elsewhere or even saved.

No longer does an organization need to spend money on the salary of a dedicated compliance officer or manager. Instead, CaaS services are packaged with other managed services and purchased affordably. Depending on how much an organization needs to save on its budget, this could make the difference between a profitable or unprofitable business.

Reduced Workload for Compliance Updates

Compliance support services are cloud-based by their very nature. This, in turn, provides several technological advantages, especially in terms of reducing workload for upcoming compliance updates.

Imagine a new firewall patch that must be installed and triple-checked to ensure fidelity and compliance with the GDPR. The organization that uses CaaS doesn’t need to worry about this.

Instead, their managed services provider tackles the task. But even they don’t have too much to do, as their CaaS team ensures that the firewall update is already compliant with existing legislation or regulations.

In other words, CaaS improvements or updates are designed from the get-go to be compliant and secure. It is very different from an in-house solution or update, which may be designed with a different goal from the start and then need double-checking for compliance after the fact.  

Callout 2- Benefits of CaaS- 2 benefits listed with descriptions

Improved Configuration

Most compliance support services are incredibly configurable. As a result, a new business client doesn’t need to worry about developing unique or bespoke solutions for their hardware. The configurable CaaS solutions will already work with their existing IT infrastructure or platforms.

As a result, CaaS products and services are even more cost-effective and benefit from reduced long-term or lifetime maintenance. Even as regulations change and evolve, the CaaS provider will work to ensure that their services remain configurable and can easily integrate with existing technology.

Once more, the client receiving compliance support services doesn’t need to worry about much of this. The workload and costs are outsourced to the CaaS provider instead.

Automated System Updates – Guaranteed Compliance

Last but not least, compliance support services always come with automatic system updates as a result of cloud technology. Business owners or executives never need to worry about updating systems each time the industry’s regulations are changed, updated, or even entirely revised.

Instead, the CaaS provider releases updates that are hand-tuned to be firmly compliant with new regulations. Furthermore, these updates will be released automatically, then seamlessly integrated into existing technologies or solutions. This also ensures that updates are ready to go at appropriate dates and are never delayed.  

Callout 4- Compliance interface- Automated System Updates-Guaranteed Compliance- 2 bullet points

Executives don’t have to spend valuable time and money overviewing these changes. Furthermore, they never have to spend time developing new solutions or frameworks reactively (i.e. as new regulations come about, leaving the company scrambling).

Main Advantages of CaaS Summary

Simply put, compliance as a service is the go-to solution for businesses that want to ensure they are never liable for major data breaches or compliance issues. As compliance becomes more important for international businesses, CaaS providers will continue to play vital roles in modern organizations.

That’s why LI Tech offers a wide range of managed services based on agile cloud technology. From full network auditing to security and risk mitigation to cloud integration and hosting the data and business intelligence and more, LI Tech offers the best managed IT services in Long Island. Contact us today for more information.

Think Beyond Basic Backups to Tackle Ransomware

Although ransomware has long been a serious concern for business owners all over the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has created new opportunities for this threat to flourish, and the attack vector is likely to become even more dangerous in the coming years. We discuss the need for additional backup to tackle ransomware.

According to a report, 304 million ransomware attacks occurred globally in 2020, with ransomware affecting over 65% of global businesses. Experts suggest that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, even though SMBs continue to be disproportionately affected by these nefarious attacks, reporting and notifications rarely make the news.

When it comes to cybersecurity and ransomware, the biggest mistake SMBs make is assuming hackers only target large enterprises. This is why many SMBs still rely on simple backups and don’t have a solid strategy in place. 

The truth is that hackers are counting on smaller businesses to have fewer security measures in place, making it easier for them to get into your systems. While it’s good to have a data backup, it’s high time you take its security a step further.

The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy for Your Business

This is an industry best practice for reducing the risk of losing data in the event of a breach. The 3-2-1 strategy involves having at least three copies of your data, two on-site but on different mediums/devices, and one off-site. Let’s examine each of the three elements and the issues they address:

  • Three copies of data

Having at least two additional copies of your data, in addition to your original data, is ideal. This ensures that, in the event of a disaster, you will always have additional copies. The first backup copy of data is usually kept in the same physical location as the original, if not the same physical server.

  • Two different mediums

Storing additional copies of your valuable data on the same server/location won’t be helpful in the event of a breach. Keep two copies of your data on different types of storage mediums such as internal hard drives, and removable storage like an external hard drive or a USB drive. If this isn’t practical for your business, keep copies on two internal hard disks in separate storage locations.

  • One off-site copy

Keep one copy of your data off-site, far from the rest. This helps safeguard against worst-case scenarios.

In addition to the 3-2-1 backup strategy, consider applying the concept of layered security to keep your data and backup copies secure.

Importance of Layered Security in Cyber Defense

Most SMBs have an antivirus or firewall installed, but this is usually insufficient to combat today’s sophisticated threat landscape, necessitating the application of a layered security approach. 

Because no security technology or measure is flawless or guaranteed, layered security assumes that attackers will infiltrate different layers of an organization’s defenses or have already done so. The goal of this approach is to provide multiple security measures so that if an attack gets past one security tool, there are others in place to help identify and stop the attack before your data is stolen.

The THREE ELEMENTS of layered security are: 

  • Prevention 

Security policies, controls, and processes should all be devised and implemented during the PREVENTION phase.

  • Detection 

The goal of DETECTION is to discover and notify a compromise as soon as possible.

  • Response

A quick RESPONSE is crucial for the detection phase to be meaningful.

Layered security is divided into seven layers by security experts. Hackers seeking to get into a system must break through each layer to gain access. If you want to keep cybercriminals out of your systems, concentrate on improving these seven layers:

1. Information security policies

Implement security policies that restrict unauthorized access because the security and well-being of IT resources are dependent on them. This will help you raise information security awareness inside your organization and demonstrate to your clientele that you’re serious about securing their data.

2. Physical security

Physical security measures, such as fences and cameras, are critical to prevent unwanted intruders from breaking in. It also helps monitor employees with access to sensitive systems.

3. Network security

All it takes is for hackers to exploit a single vulnerability to get access to a company’s network. They can easily break into computers and servers after they’ve gained access to your network. Therefore, establishing effective network security measures is essential.

4. Vulnerability scanning

Vulnerabilities that occur because of factors such as inadequate patch management and misconfigurations open the door for cybercriminals. However, vulnerability scans help detect these missed patches and improper configurations.

5. Strong identity and access management (IAM)

Because of technological advancements, acquiring passwords and hacking into networks is easier than ever. IAM restricts access to critical data and applications to certain workers, making unauthorized access hard.

6. Proactive protection and reactive backup + recovery

Proactive protection detects and fixes security risks before they lead to a full-blown breach. The goal of reactive backup and recovery is to recover quickly after an attack.

7. Continual monitoring and testing

Failure to regularly monitor and test your backup and disaster recovery strategy is a major oversight and can result in a breach.

While it’s your responsibility to make sure your business doesn’t get sucked into the quicksand of data loss, it’s easy to become overwhelmed if you’re attempting to figure out everything on your own. Working with data protection backup providers at LI Tech gives you the advantage of having experts on your side. We’ll make sure your backup and security postures are capable of tackling ransomware threats. Li Tech Solutions offers clients in Long Island and Brooklyn the mission-critical services every business needs to succeed.  Reach out today to schedule a consultation.