FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Small Business computer network support for one low fixed monthly rate.

  • Eliminate expensive repairs. Our network monitoring and maintenance will allow us to see and prevent network problems before they turn into downtime and expensive repair bills.
  • Remove data recovery costs. Getting new equipment usable for your team is quickly completed with our additional resources at hand.
  • Receive faster support. Our remote monitoring software will enable us to access and repair most network problems right from our offices.
  • Fast performance, managing error messages, and less downtime. Our role is to make sure your network receives continual maintenance and monitoring.
  • We keep your network safe. It’s time to get serious about allowing a new team member to keep your small business network safe from the latest security threats.

An easy way for you to lower your Technology Support Costs while delegating frustrating computer problems to your reinforced team.

1. Determine what you need to protect. I agree that most companies are compelled to fix their process for data protection because the SEC, Investor or Bank has asked you how you do it. An owner becomes highly motivated when a fortune has been spent on an ERP, CRM or Order Processing software solution. Identifying the data you need to protect, making sure you know where and how it is created or collected, and who can access it next, goes a long way towards protecting and completing your Data Protection Process.

2. Conduct a security audit. An audit by a Technology security professional can help you identify what parts of your business are vulnerable and what data needs to be protected. It goes beyond revealing weaknesses at different points in your business infrastructure (computers and servers, networks, laptops, and mobile phones). A Technology Audit helps to reign in and control these assets.

3. Have you considered the human factor. Malicious intent, human beings represent the most significant threat to data security. Setting aside time to train employees on protecting their work has the greatest impact on keeping data safe. A trained employee has a better chance of knowing to question an attachment or stop from opening a corrupted url of a compromised website. The employees share their stories with each other, building crucial tribal protection knowledge.

4. We have all heard of businesses closing after a breach or loss of their data. Why would you want to disregard the steps necessary to keep it safe? Why would you want to join the negative percentage and have to tell your employees to go home? Why not have a leg up on mother nature and her entourage of flooding, fires, and power outages?

5. The process is not over, it requires continual management. Quarterly testing, monthly patching and daily prevention tools keep data protected. Reviewing a tested Incident Response Plan helps businesses keep the costs down on Data Protection.

Checklist of items that will be completed with each new computer added to your business network:

  1. Add System Info to Inventory Spreadsheet
  2. Power on New Hardware – Setup User
  3. Name the New Hardware Device
  4. Remove Bloatware
  5. Add Wireless Connection
  6. RESTART – Add System to Domain – RESTART
  7. Confirm Domain Admins are a member of Local Admins
  8. RESTART
  9. Install Google Chrome
  10. Install Adobe Reader
  11. Install Java
  12. Install VPN Client
  13. Install Network Printers-Copiers
  14. Install Windows Updates
  15. Install Remote Access
  16. Install Antivirus
  17. Install Microsoft Office 2016
  18. Open Microsoft Word – Authenticate
  19. Restart Machine
  20. Confirm Windows Updates Complete

Let’s spend a moment and define Ransomeware: A type of Malware that encrypts files on a computing device (like a laptop or a network fileserver) and will not release the files until a ransom (bitcoin) is paid to unlock the data.

A ton of money has been spent by vendors and Fortune 1000 companies setting up an opportunity to “Predict” the next cyber threat from ransomeware. Sandboxes, Honeypots and proactively monitoring the dark web can lead to an early alert and a chance to observe the behavior of new ransomeware threats. Spending energy and resources proactively allows us the chance to setup new hardened security control systems. The only problem with this step is a small to medium size business will not have the resources to participate and will have to rely on their vendor to “Detect” and inform of a new cyber threat.

The Swat Tactic a SMB must have is to be quick to “Respond“: design and test an “Incident Process”:

– create a team

– block communications, this could be more than one item (firewall, IPS solution)

– quarantine the infected equipment

– use Network Access Control and keep the user from spreading the malware

– clean and then clean again

Use every form of technology to alleviate the doubt that the malware is still lingering in the business environment. This allows the user to become a productive employee as soon as possible.

Ironically a SMB can do additional low cost actions to overcome the “Respond” step:

– setup loaner laptops/computers

– setup a backup strategy that uses offsite backups

– train employees by showing examples of email malware threats

– define user roles in your organization and lock down the file structure

– create a report that can inform the organization on what each employee has access to onsite and offsite

The safest method to “Recover” a company that does not have Swat Tactics in place, is to have the time to restore files from an offsite backup.

Spending a couple of days with an experienced consultant can put your mind at ease regarding ransomeware. Reach out to your trusted advisor and discuss some of these ransomeware Swat Tactics to implement in your business.

Is the Gig Economy a Gamble for Your Tech Support?

There are two reasons the tech support companies may not be a great fit for your business’s needs:

  • Cost
  • Immediacy of need

Tech support can seem expensive, especially if you know your tech problem is easy but you’re just not tech savvy at all. Why pay for a full fledged IT professional when all you need is someone who knows how to add a new USB printer?

Also, some problems just can’t wait. A tech support company may have all their technicians booked in advance and not have anyone available for a day or more. If your TV/Projector won’t connect with your laptop and you have a presentation in a couple of hours, your tech support may not arrive onsite in time.

For these reasons, you may want to consider tapping into the gig economy. These are marketplaces where local individuals can look for very short term jobs/tasks (gigs) that fit their skill set. Three places to consider are:

TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit connects you with people in your area who list their skills and experience, jobs they are open to, and get reviewed by the people that have hired them. By searching for “Computer Help” you’ll find a number of people willing to help you with tech issues. If you want someone the same day, fees are closer to $45 per hour. If you can wait a day or more, the cost will be $20 – $35 per hour.

HireOwl

HireOwl connect students with paid gigs. Hire a local student to be your tech support who’s plugged into all the latest gizmos and isn’t expecting top-dollar. You can review their skills and resume before committing. Tech help runs $15 – $40 per hour.

 

Craigslist

Craigslist has a place for you to post “Gigs” with a section specifically for computers.

You’re left to screen potential help on your own, but if you have a relatively simple job this is a very affordable option. Many postings are listed for $15 – $20 per hour.


Why use Microsoft O365?

Office 365 provides the ability to reliably stay up with the best in productivity technology, at a predictable and reasonable monthly cost.

Rather than spend $1,500 per employee in year 1, nothing in year 2, and find your software out of date in year 3. You will now have a predictably low per employee, per month cost.

If your business grows or consolidates, simply add or remove users from your agreement and you have no risk of wasted fixed costs.

You are free to mix and match multiple O365 Plans (Business, Business Essentials, Business Premium, ProPlus, E1, E3) as is needed by your business model.