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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.

Browser Cache Quick Tip

If you are a web developer or even a heavy browser user you have probably run into a browser cache issue over time. I know I am constantly dealing with clearing my browser history because my WordPress security plugin logged me out of WP Dashboard. This is a huge pain to go into chrome settings select just cache and only the past hour so that I can keep all my good browser history.

Today I found a solution. I looked around for some browser Cache clearing plugins for Chrome and tested a few hour. I landed on Clear Cache by Benjamin Bojko. This plugin gives me a quick icon next to the address bar that I can simply click and it clears my Cache. The cool think about Benjamin Bojko Clear Cache plugin is that I can configure it to only remove the Browser data that I want. So I have it set to only delete cookies and Cache that are 1 hour old. Having it configured like that gives me a very fast way to clear the data I want cleared from my browser when i am working on something.

I also allow the plugin for use in incognito mode, I am not sure yet if that will provide me with any additional benefits or not.

 

You can find this plugin in the Chrome Store if you want to try it out.

I hope you found this article helpful.

Thank you

Ken Cox

We Now Offer SSAE 16 Compliant Hosting!

Hostirian, a St. Louis Hosting and Managed Services company is now offering SSAE 16 compliant hosting and colocation services. The SSAE 16 compliance audit reviewed and tested in-depth controls over the information technology and security used by Hostirian to deliver hosting products to their customers.

“Obtaining our SSAE 16 compliance shows that detailed policies and procedures for our operations and business are not only in place but tested thoroughly by an independent auditing firm,” says Ken Cox, Vice President of Operations at Hostirian.

“SSAE 16 compliance provides our customers with peace of mind that we are following repeatable, trackable procedures and shows a level of maturity to our business. We’ve also had customers whose partners or insurance companies are showing interest in SSAE 16 compliance,” continued Cox.

The SSAE 16 compliance covers all managed servers and colocation services provided by Hostirian including their cold-row containment pods which provide the ability to increase server density, locking doors, and dedicated surveillance cameras. The data center also logs and records on video all access to and from the data center.

About SSAE 16
SSAE 16 is an enhancement to the current standard for Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization, the SAS70. The changes made to the standard will bring your company, and the rest of the companies in the US, up to date with new international service organization reporting standards, the ISAE 3402. The adjustments made from SAS 70 to SSAE 16 will help you and your counterparts in the US compete on an international level; allowing companies around the world to give you their business with complete confidence.

About Hostirian
Hostirian is a St. Louis Hosting and Managed Services company. Founded in 2001 Hostirian provides hosting for Websites, Cloud Servers, Dedicated Servers, and Colocation. Hostirian also has a 24x7x365 Operations Support Center providing Help Desk, Monitoring, and Security Services. Hostirian has over 14 years of experience working with small to medium sized businesses and their on-site staff is dedicated and available to you. For more information, visit https://www.hostirian.com.