Monthly Archives: November 2015

5 Reasons Your Small Business Should Consider a Virtual IT Help Desk

A managed IT help desk can deliver fast, effective IT services without the time and hassle of managing it internally.

A managed IT help desk can deliver fast, effective IT services without the time and hassle of managing it internally.

As your business expands, the different technologies that your business uses is almost sure to grow. With that comes additional need for tech help, which leaves many businesses wondering whether they should hire in-house IT employees, or work with a company that offers managed solutions. The truth is that it really depends on your current business processes, budget, and the amount of tech help that you require. Most small businesses that are just starting to consider managed solutions are running into their first large-scale IT problems and want to be sure that they do not run into these issues again. For companies in those positions, a virtual managed IT help desk can be a great first stepping stone, particularly when the company also offers on-site solutions. There are many reasons why a managed service might be more beneficial for your business than other options that are available.

Lower Operating Costs

The biggest and most obvious benefit of virtual managed IT help desk is the lower operating costs that a business enjoys compared to bringing in their own guys in-house. Since you aren’t paying for full-time services (just sporadic full-time coverage as needed), you can expect to pay quite a bit less than a full salary would cost you. Another added benefit is the fact that managed IT teams have a wealth of experience in hiring dedicated IT talent. This means that you will have access to a higher level of talent at a lower price than you would expect to pay hiring out on your own.

Fast Response

Our IT teams have the systems in place to ensure that we are able to respond to all queries very quickly. When your company runs into IT issues, it could be costing you thousands of dollars while you wait for your IT team to fix the issue. A quick response time, even when using managed services ensures that you have peace of mind and feel adequately protected against all issues.

Industry Expertise

Trying to find IT talent ton your own when you have never hired IT talent previously can be difficult. There is a lot of technical jargon that your team will have to brush up on, and evaluating candidates when you have no internal IT talent can be incredibly difficult. One benefit of a virtualized IT help desk is the fact that you know that you can put faith in the managed solution to deliver exceptional talent at a greatly reduced rate than you would expect to pay in-house.

Systematic Approach

Having the right systems in place is important for delivering accurate, fast IT services. These systems would take weeks or months for a business with no previous experience to implement. But, managed solutions will already have these systems in place, giving you access to thousands of dollars in value just by signing up. This eliminates the learning curve that most businesses go through as they onboard new IT talent.

Proactive Measures

Another reason why many businesses choose managed services over bringing in their own talent is the fact that the managed services have strict measures in place regarding proactive measures. They help to keep It issues from popping up in their first place and have the processes in place to ensure that every client receives the same treatment.

If you are interested in virtual IT help desk services that can save your business time and money, please reach out and contact us today to schedule your first, risk-free consultation. We’ll take a look at your business, let you know how we can help you solve your IT problems, and recommend a plan that will help your business grow.

Small Business Data Protection and Backup Best Practices

Remember the 3-2-1 rule for data backup: all data should have 3 copies, on 2 drives, with 1 of those drives stored offsite.

Remember the 3-2-1 rule for data backup: all data should have 3 copies, on 2 drives, with 1 of those drives stored offsite.

Businesses that have yet to suffer from data loss are very lucky. Did you know that 32% of companies that use a cloud based backup solution still have suffered from data loss? Even businesses that currently use a cloud-based backup solution should be performing some backup tasks on their own, so that data can be readily available should the system go down or a user accidentally delete the data.

The most common reason for data loss is an end-user accidentally deleting the information. But, data loss can come in many different forms. People make mistakes, and the only way to keep yourself safe is to have backup safeguards in place and provide your employees with proper training. There are several best practices that all businesses should keep in mind as they look for data backup solutions.

Use Simple USB or Network-Based Hardware Backups

Although most small businesses don’t have the budget or training to install their own server farm for backups, there are some small steps that you can take. Many small businesses opt to use a small external USB hard drive, or a hard drive that is connected to the network. This simple solution means that your business has the tools on hand to safeguard against data loss. However, it is important to remember that most data loss happens because of human error, so the best method for protecting your business is data loss prevention training for your employees.

Delegate Backup Duties

Expecting your employees to handle their own backups is risky business to say the least. The fact of the matter is that employees without technical training often don’t understand what backing up your data means, let alone why it matters so much. Instead, you should have an IT employee or delegated employee with technical know-how handle the backups. That way you can be certain that they are completed, and can further provide training to the employee that is performing the backups. By delegating duties to a single person or a small team, you greatly reduce the chances of errors and incidental data loss.

Schedule Backups

In theory, you should be backing up your data on a day-to-day basis. Any loss of data is extremely bad for a small business. But, that may not always be possible for teams with limited resources. Schedule a day to back up your data at least once a week. Additionally, connect your important files to simple cloud based solutions that keep everything backed up on the fly.

Many businesses employ the 3-2-1 rule. This rule states that all data should have at least 3 copies, stored on 2 different drives, with at least one of those drives being stored off-site.

The frequency in which you back up your data depends entirely on your business. How much risk does the last week of data going miss truly pose to your business? The only way to evaluate how often your small business should be backing up your data is to assess risk.

Backup Storage

Where you choose to store your data will depend heavily on your business, policies and company size. There are many online backup solutions, most targeted toward small businesses. Some online storage solutions may cater to companies that use a specific type of software or system. Physical backups should be stored out of the way, in organized fashion, at room temperature.

If you would like help implementing data backup best practices in your own business, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We’ll schedule your initial consultation and go over how we can help your business keep your data safe through simple and effective backup policies.

Malware Protection Live: Masquerader or Malware Protector?

Malware often presents itself as something innocuous or even helpful, like anti-malware software.

Malware often presents itself as something innocuous or even helpful, like anti-malware software.

What is malware? Let’s start with the basics. Malware is a broad term. It can mean computer viruses. Malware can also refer to worms, spyware, or adware. The more recent and nastiest attacks come from ransomware. As its name implies, you must pay a ransom to get your system or your data back. Malware can also mean another type of cyber pest that threatens our information networks. These cyber villains wear cyber masks. This type of nefarious malware masquerades as anti-virus software or describes itself as protection against malware. One of these masqueraders is Malware Protection Live.

How does your system become infected with Malware Protection Live? You are vulnerable to this particular malware through several methods. Maybe a user downloaded this malware unknowingly by clicking on a suspicious link. This can happen if one of your users clicks on a banner of a suspicious site. Also, advertisements on social media sites can trick users into downloading viruses. Malware often takes over user profiles on social media sites. The corrupted profile then downloads malware to other users without the original profile owner’s knowledge. By doing this, the malware hides within a virus. Then, the virus attacks the individual’s computer which threatens the entire network.

Malware Protection Live may also download from a site you think you trust. You may think you are visiting a friendly site like JavaScript or Flash Player. But, in reality, a hacker virus redirected your system to the suspicious site.

How do I know if I’m infected with Malware Protection Live?  Unlike other viruses, Malware Protection Live does not hide in your computer’s system files. One day, you will turn on your computer and see an unfamiliar icon in the system tray. From the system tray, the icon runs a friendly message. It says the software will protect your system from malware. It promises to detect and remove malware before installation can occur. Then, you notice that you cannot close this message like a normal dialogue box. If you move to the task manager, you will find that the system tray icon uses about the same amount of memory as an anti-malware program. And, if you read the privacy policy (you can click on this from the same system tray icon), you will learn that this software collects personal information that it may use to send you more software products. It also collects information associated with your personal information. This all adds up to a software that collects all kinds of information: from the computer user’s personal identifiers and passwords to network information, browsing history, keystrokes and who knows what else.

How do I get rid of it? If you have SystemNet’s managed IT services that includes virus and spyware removal, you can relax. We’ve got you covered. Other anti-virus programs may not even recognize that malware has infected your system. Many anti-virus programs consider unwanted programs like Malware Protection Live as low-level threats. Advanced anti-viral protection likes ours includes a shield that protects your network from malware. The shield also protects your network from unwanted programs that enter the system without your knowledge and consent.

If we need to, we can repair your system via remote. This eliminates expensive repair delays and computers out-of-service. SystemNet’s anti-virus protection is better than a manual uninstall attempt. If it’s not done right, deleted malware often leaves dangerous files on your system. Our anti-virus software removes all the dangerous files from your system. Then it keeps on working to protect you from future infections.

If you would like to talk more about Malware Protection Live or learn more about SystemNet’s anti-virus protection, please contact us. We look forward to talking with you soon.

Data Backup for Businesses

Implementing a data backup plan can protect your company from accidental data loss or natural disaster.

Implementing a data backup plan can protect your company from accidental data loss or natural disaster.

You should implement a data backup and recovery plan in order to protect your company’s data. Backing up files protects against accidental data loss and natural disasters. When creating a plan, consider the following factors:





  • How important the data is
  • The kind of information the data contains
  • How frequently the data changes
  • How quickly you need to recover the data
  • The type of equipment you need
  • The best time to schedule backups
  • Where you need to store backups
  • Differential backup is a process that starts with one full backup, and then backs up all changes that have occurred since the previous full backup. This allows for much quicker backups and makes more efficient use of your storage capacity.
  • Incremental backup is very similar to differential backup, but is different in one important way in that after the initial full backup, subsequent backups store changes that have been made since the previous backup cycle.
  • Mirror backup is a real-time duplicate of the source you back up. With mirror backups, when you delete a file in the source that file is eventually also deleted in the mirror backup. Because of this, you should use mirror backups carefully.

Cloud backup solutions focus on copying data files to a physically remote location, but hybrid backup combines cloud backup and local backup to deliver system recovery, disaster recovery, and file restores. The local backup is usually a USB drive or network shared drive. The best hybrid backup solution integrates these forms of backup in an automatic, easy to use utility that runs invisibly in the background. While local backups are typically enough for protecting your data and other information on a computer system, the cloud backup adds an extra level of assurance.

According to the United States Small Business Administration, twenty-five percent of businesses never recover from a natural or manmade disaster. You can, however, design a plan that protects against worst case scenarios by implementing at least 2 backup strategies. A couple of fantastic choices are the Cloud and Sneakernet.

Cloud backup is a strategy for backing up your data by sending a copy of it over a proprietary or public network to an off-site server. A third-party typically hosts the server and charges you a fee based on bandwidth, number of users, or capacity. Choosing a reliable network solutions provider with a good track record can ensure that your data is available even after a major disaster.

A Sneakernet system is the channel by which your electronic information transmits from 1 computer to another. The transmission methods include carrying it on a floppy disk, CD or other removable medium. It provides basic website and email access to anybody anywhere regardless of the telecommunications infrastructure.

Network-attached storage synchronization allows you to bring data backups home with you daily if necessary. It works particularly well if you are a sole proprietor or a very small business. But, that arrangement is not appropriate if your organization grows and the demands of running a business increase. If your business has several office locations, you can deploy two compatible network-attached storage devices at each location, and set them to synchronize or back up to each other over the network. Today practically every new NAS model does this. Look for NAS devices that support block-level sync, which conserves bandwidth by transmitting only the changed portions of a file.

A managed service provider can monitor your existing systems and, when the time is right, help you migrate to better ones. They can also provide support and repair services on a time and material basis when you need it.

For more information please contact us.