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Why organizations are switching to managed service providers… and why you should too.

According to CompTIA’s 2016 Buying Guide for Managed Services, 64 percent of organizations are using some form of managed services. Often times businesses can find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of IT requests, and projects needed to simply get their team to market. This usually leads to frantic hiring of IT employees, that sometimes aren’t able to keep up with the latest technology trends, or much less even understand the idea that IT is a balance of logic and efficiency. Where there are no “right” or “wrong” answers, but a lot of gray area, where strategic decisions and process must be implemented.

Over the last several years, the business marketplace has become more accepting of managed service providers (MSPs). They turn to MSPs to manage certain aspects of their IT infrastructure. By hiring the MSP, businesses save a lot on time and resources while insuring that certain IT functions are well managed and monitored. In addition to savings, businesses are switching from hiring in-house IT departments to using an MSP, because of the fact that MSPs stay on the cutting edge of technology. Their presence drives businesses growth by allowing the organization to focus on what they bring to their marketplace, instead of being bogged down by the needs of their IT infrastructure.

Here are the top 10 reasons why businesses are switching to MSPs. 

  1. Improve security- With the WannaCry crisis occurring last week, the threat of cyber attacks are stronger now more than ever. Working with a qualified MSP can help ensure a business’s security against damaging cyber attacks.
  2. Proactive approach to IT problems– When working with an MSP, businesses get access to proactive solving strategies that can help save time and resources, by solving IT related issues BEFORE they happen.
  3. Better up time– With a provider focusing on creating efficiency within the IT infrastructure, MSPs can help make a business’s computers run more effectively and efficiently.
  4. Gain access to newer technologies– A good MSP will always be on the forefront of innovation in regards to the newest technologies. It is their focus to help businesses become more efficient.
  5. Cost savings–  When comparing hiring an in-house IT team, the cost of salaries, and benefits are often times much higher than a monthly retainer to keep an MSP managing a business’s IT infrastructure.
  6. Peace of mind– No more fretting, or worrying about security and time that goes into managing and maintaining an IT system or systems for a business.
  7. Frees up the internal staff– With outsourcing IT functions, a business can use their internal staff to work on more strategic initiatives that benefit the business as a whole.
  8. Management of cloud solutions– Businesses are moving towards cloud management at an increasing rate. Using an MSP to help manage a business’s cloud can help with efficient organization that can speed up internal production.
  9. Lack of Internal IT- 38% of cyber attacks target small businesses. Small Businesses that don’t have the budget or knowledge of hiring an in house IT department, can turn to MSPs to help manage their IT needs.
  10. Handle of remote office IT- Leaving MSPs to do the management of a remote office IT helps significantly increase productivity within a business. It allows for businesses to focus on their trade rather than their IT infrastructure.

The competitive marketplace is a huge challenge to any business, in and of itself. By working with an MSP, businesses are able to focus efforts on areas that drive growth. Leaving the day to day operations to a provider. This saves money in the long run, and additionally– many managed services cost less than other traditional services and staff. Engaging an MSP provides businesses with access to a full IT team specializing in all areas of the IT industry. Allowing businesses to focus on what matters.

 

WannaCry, The Most Severe Malware Attack of 2017… so far.

WannaCry ransomware is a new Trojan virus malware that has swept the global marketplace by force this past week. Security researchers have estimated that about 57,000 computers in more than 150 countries were infected by the end of the day on Friday.

As of this morning (Monday May 15th) the WannaCry virus has infected more than 200,000 systems around the world, and it doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon.

Our security system team has been tracking the developments of this malware, and are hoping that a solution will ensue very shortly. We put together the top five things you need to know about the WannaCry Ransomware and why our DataVault back up solution will help prevent you from becoming a victim. Sign up today for a 30 day complimentary risk free DataVault solution trial to protect your business from ransomware.

  1. Ransomware is a type of Trojan virus that holds your computer’s files hostage, with the ability to completely wipe out your entire data at any moment’s notice.

There are many types of malware that can cause severe damage to your computer system. One type of malware that can negatively affect your computer is ransomware, this type of virus, like WannaCry will encrypt most or even all of the files on a user’s computer. The software will then demand that a ransom be paid in order to have the files decrypted. If the ransom is not paid, then the software can delete all of the encrypted files on the computer.

  1. WannaCry will increase the ransom amount if it isn’t paid within 3 days.

The WannaCry ransomware will demand that the victim pay $300 in bitcoins at the time of infection in order to decrypt the files. If the victim does not comply within three days, the amount will double to $600. After seven days without payment, WannaCry will delete all of the encrypted files and all data will be lost.

  1. The malware will install a text file on the user’s desktop with the following ransom note.

  1. There is NO cure for an infected computer, the user will need to pay the ransom to decrypt their files.

Antivirus companies and cybersecurity experts are hard at work looking for ways to decrypt the files on infected computers. As of today there is no way of decrypting an infected user’s files beside complying with the malware’s instructions. It is highly advised to install any and all available security updates immediately. Specifically windows users that run Windows XP, or Windows 8. If there is confusion on what immediate steps you should take to protect yourself, please reach out to our team to help walk you through the proper precautions.

  1. If your data is backed up on a regular basis, you can revert your files to the latest back up on your computer instead of paying the ransomware.

It is safe to say that every business small, medium or large should have a backup solution in place so that their data and files are protected. If a business does not have a backup they can become victims of not only WannaCry but any other ransomware that develops in the future.

This troubling malware is still running rampant over the entire world wide web, it is our job to help keep our clients and potential clients safe. Our team of system security experts have developed a DataVault solution that will back up your data in a safe and secure way to prevent such ransomware attacks from keeping your business from succeeding. Click HERE to gain access to our free DataVault solution trial that will protect you from the likes of WannaCry.

Managing Comments in WordPress

Depending on your current settings for comments, you may need to approve them before they are visible on your site. You will see a notification with the number of pending comments on both your side and admin bar. Click on either of them to take you to the comments page, where you will be able to see all of your comments, whether they are pending or approved.
You can filter between pending and approved on the options directly above the comments themselves.

From here, you have a few options for what you would like to do for each comment…
Approve a comment by simply hovering over it and select approve. If you have approved a comment and would like to unapprove it, you would just do the same actions you did to approve it.
Reply to a comment, by hitting reply under the comment
-Designate a comment as Spam*
-Send a comment to Trash*^
Edit a comment, which will allow you to change any aspect of the comment (such as the author’s information, the comment itself, or the current status of the comment)

*Selecting these options will move the comment to the designated filter
^A comment in the Trash filter can still be retrieved, however you will have the option there to permanently delete the comment.

Changing Your Password

If you ever need to change your password, navigate over to the column on the far left and going to Users, and then selecting Your Profile from the drop-down menu that appears.
At the bottom of the page you will see a text box to enter in your new password, and then a second box below it to confirm it.
Beneath these boxes will be a bar to indicate the strength of your password. 

When you have finished, select Update Profile and your old password will be replaced.

Creating Categories in WordPress

Categories are designed to organize your posts and make it easier for visitors to search through your site’s content. To create one, go to Posts in the side bar and select Categories.

-Start by giving your category a name for when it appears on your site
-Then, give it a Slug – which is a URL-friendly version of the name
-Beneath slug, you can assign a current category as a Parent, which will turn the current category into a sub-category, to further organize your content.
-Lastly, you can add a description so that you can know what each category is for

After you have finished these, click Add New Category.

Note: If you ever need to make any changes to your categories, all you have to do is hover over the one you would like to change and select edit.

The Admin Bar of WordPress

If you are logged in as the admin for your site, you will see a grey bar at the top of your screen; this is called the Admin Bar, and is only visible to anyone that is logged in.
The Admin Bar provides various options and easy access to your site.

When logged in as Admin, the admin bar will have the following items:
-A WordPress icon that contains information about WordPress, along with support and contact forums.
-If you have multiple sites on a network, you can access them under My Sites which gives you quick links to bring you to the dashboard for that site, a new post page, comments, or the site itself.
 The option next to My Sites is the site you are currently, which lists similar options to help you navigate through your site
The Chat icon (which will look like a messaging chat bubble) will take you directly to the comment page for the current blog, and shows you the number of pending comments that need to be approved.
-At the end of this chain on the left side is the + New icon, which takes you to the corresponding page you select in the list that drops down.
-The right side of the admin bar is your profile name and avatar. Here you can either edit your profile or log out
-Lastly is a small search icon, which you can use to search for any post or page within your site.

Using Paragraphs within WordPress

First, be sure you are using the visual editor by clicking on the tab labeled Visual on the top right of the text editor. The styling option’s drop down menu can be found in the first row of the toolbar. Highlight the text you would like to make into a paragraph and then select Paragraph from the styling options.
Remember: you can preview the page before publishing by selecting Preview, or go live with the content by selecting Publish.

Adding New Posts to WordPress

To create a new post, navigate to Posts in the side bar and select Add New. You will then be brought to the Post Editor, where you can begin by entering a name for the post in the Title Box.

Next, you can write all of your content (or paste it in from another document) under in the Text Editor. When you are satisfied with your text, you can click on Preview in the Publish Box to see what your post will look like.

If there is something you still want to add at a later time, or want to take a break, you can click Save Draft which will save what you currently have, and allows you to come back to the post at a later time. Conversely, selecting Publish will officially release your post to the public, for people to see.

Adding New Pages to WordPress

To create a page, click on or hover over the pages button on the side bar of your dashboard, and click Add New.

Begin by creating a title on the new page and then press tab on your keyboard, or click in the text editor with your mouse, to jump down to the Text Editor.
This is where you will add the content that you would like to be displayed in the body of your page. 

When you are satisfied with the content of you page, you can click Preview to preview the layout of your page; Save draft for later reviews and revisions; or Publish and your content will go live on your site for immediate use.

Adding Media to WordPress

To upload new files (such as images and videos) to your media library, navigate to Media in your side bar and select Add New. This will take you to the Multi-file Uploader. You can upload files simply by dropping them in the designated box, or by clicking on Select Files, which will show a drop down menu where you can choose your files.
If your browser is having trouble using the Multi-file Uploader, there is an option to use an older version of the uploader that is easier on browsers. 

When you drop a file into the uploader, a progress bar will come up. When it finishes, you can click Edit, which will bring you to the media editor; from there, you may make modifications as you wish.