Monthly Archives: August 2021

The Benefits of 24 x 7 x 365 Proactive Monitoring of Network Infrastructure

IT professional in an IT company using a tablet device performing proactive monitoring of networks.

Increase your company’s productivity through proactive network monitoring.

In IT, proactive network infrastructure monitoring is critical in order to ensure that systems are operating properly. Proactive monitoring allows IT teams to understand how systems are performing 24/7, which could help to prevent potentially costly network failures and server downtime. Unfortunately, instead of focusing on a proactive approach to infrastructure maintenance, many IT departments spend the majority of their time responding to unexpected problems. However, continuous monitoring can play a critical role in preventing problems and saving money, as this can allow solutions to be implemented before system failures occur, enhancing productivity. If your IT department currently takes a reactionary approach to network infrastructure maintenance, here is a look at just a few of the reasons why it is critical that you make the switch to proactive network infrastructure monitoring.

Proactive Monitoring Gives You More Control

As a modern business, your IT network is critical in ensuring that your company is productive, secure, and relevant. Proactive network infrastructure monitoring can then prove beneficial by helping you to ensure the health of your network. Monitoring allows you to keep track of the performance of hardware, ensuring that you are always aware of your server capacities and the health of your network. Continuous monitoring will provide you with resources to ensure that you have full control over your network at all times.

Prevent Potential Disasters

One of the biggest benefits of proactive network infrastructure monitoring is that it ensures that you always know how your network is operating. This helps to ensure that you are not caught off guard by unexpected problems. The last thing you want is to receive a phone call that your systems are down, as this can bring business to a halt. Proactive monitoring ensures that your network is always being observed for prospective problems or patterns indicating that a problem may soon arise, giving you time to make adjustments before there is a catastrophic system failure.

Increased Productivity

Of course, proactive network infrastructure monitoring can also be critical in helping to maximize productivity. Not only will proactive monitoring prevent downtime, which can severely dampen productivity, but it will also allow you to monitor your network for potential performance problems. As your network utilization grows, you will want to ensure that you are planning ahead for the additional bandwidth this will require. The last thing you want to have happen is to lose out on precious productivity because your network is being slowed down by too many users attempting to access your network at the same time. Fortunately, proactive monitoring allows you to check what is being used at any given time. Tracking usage patterns will allow you to ensure continuous service availability, preventing costly delays that a slow network can cause.

Proactive Monitoring Saves Money

A big reason to get ahead of the game with proactive monitoring of network infrastructure is that this can help you to reduce expenses and increase profits. The fact is that prevention through monitoring costs less in the long run. Instead of continuously reacting to problems as they arise, and struggling with the consequences of network downtime, proactive monitoring helps you to implement cost-effective solutions that will prevent these problems while saving you money. Additionally, ensuring that your employees have access to a fast, reliable network will boost productivity, potentially leading to increased profits.

In the long run, taking a reactionary approach to maintaining your network infrastructure will likely cost you time and money, putting you at a disadvantage over the competition. Feel free to contact us to learn more about proactive network monitoring and the benefits it can provide to your business.

Five Clever Ways to Use VOIP Features in Your Workflow

Employee using a company VOIP system while working on a laptop.

Using the features of VOIP for efficient workflow.

The rise of VOIP for business phones is undeniably one of the best things that has ever happened to online work. From those whose work is primarily communication to the casual connection between coworkers, VOIP streamlines keeping in touch professionally. You may already know that VOIP makes your work phone number available through any networked device like a computer, phone or tablet. You may be familiar with common corporate uses for VOIP like virtual call centers and connecting the home-office to the work-office with a cloud platform.

What not everyone knows are the cool ways an individual can use VOIP to make your workflow easier. VOIP comes with a list of features a mile long, most of which are designed to facilitate the communication needs of an entire business, large or small. However the perks VOIP creates for individuals are often overlooked. Check out some of the handy things you could be doing with VOIP to make each workday easier and more enjoyable.

Follow Me = “In Office” and Reachable from Any Location

Find-Me, Follow-Me has long been touted as one of the primary ways that VOIP makes life easier for individuals. Find-Me rings each device in sequence to help you answer work calls. But Follow-Me is designed to let you set your own schedule and indicate the device you are most likely to answer at given times during the day.

This means you can set yourself up to be “Found” in your work office, home office, field office or – more relevantly these days – in your home office, on your tablet while you lounge in the backyard, or on your cell while you take the dog for a walk. Set your schedule and use it to be “in office” even when you’re not in an office at all.

Instant Messaging = Take Live Meetings into Casual Chat

It has never been easier to switch back and forth between live phonecall meetings and chatting in messenger. In fact, many VOIP platforms make it possible to chat and talk in the same call, then continue the chat after the call ends. Instant messenger as part of your VOIP package makes it easier to keep in touch with coworkers, but it also makes extending a call’s conversation easier as well. You can go from a live conversation to asynchronous chat or from a verbal conversation to one more comfortably held in text.

Voicemail to Text = Never Have to Listen & Take Voicemail Notes Again

We know you hate calling your voicemail, listening closely and poised to take notes. No one likes having to replay a voicemail several times to try and decipher the important information mumbled into some distant phone. VOIP eliminates this hassle with Voicemail to Text. Just like call transcription, VOIP listens to your voicemails as they arrive and creates a handy transcript record sent to your email. Not only can you permanently forget to check your voicemail starting now, you also get a handy text version of each voicemail so there’s no longer any need to sit poised to take hastily scribbled notes on each voicemail content.

Push to Talk = Clear Audio and Office Privacy in One

Push-to-Talk is a setting in which you are muted by default in a call. Whether you are part of a meeting or a one-on-one phone call, push-to-talk means that all the little ambient noises in your office are not included in the meeting audio experience. Every scrape of your chair, barking dog, and exhalation can be excluded from the call. And when you’re ready to say your part, simply push the button to turn your mic temporarily back on for your turn.

Do Not Disturb = Stop Getting Calls When You’re Unavailable

Finally, never underestimate the power of a DND setting. Do Not Disturb takes the Follow-Me setting to a new level of privacy and work-life balance. DND will send your calls directly to a specific voicemail while you enjoy some much-needed sleep or family time where your work is unable to interrupt.

VOIP is a powerful development in the business world, gaining prominence as millions of teams go remote across the globe. Contact us today to further explore the potential of VOIP for your business, your team, or for personal use.

5 Security Measures that Neutralize Common Hacker Attacks

Computer showing a popup warning that its system is being compromised by hackers.

Going without a Cyber Security plan is no longer an option in today’s business world.

In the war between business tech and hacker invasions, we often imagine hackers with a criminal sneer. They use technical ability and corrupted software to take advantage of the digitally vulnerable. The lonely elderly, small businesses, families in crisis, and hospitals are favorite targets in the hacker community. It’s a matter of personal and professional satisfaction to close any door such that hackers simply cannot get through – or prevent hackers from gaining benefit even from successful invasions. As cybersecurity technology gets more advanced, we are now specializing not only in making our walls too thick to crack but also thwarting hackers who try bottom-feeding and loophole-exploiting methods.

Today, the cybersecurity industry has perfected several tools that not only stop hacking attempts, but actively thwart and frustrate the hackers who attempt to steal your data. We’re here to share five easy methods that any small to enterprise business could implement that will neutralize the attempts of most common hacker attacks.

1) Unreadable Data Loot: End-to-End Encryption

Getting hacked eventually has come to be a business fact of life. Between an army of copy-pasted malware spammers and the few actual hacker-brains in the horde, eventually, something will skim your database or compromise one of your many cloud services. The only question is what your hackers find when they open the loot-bag after raiding your data.

Encryption is our best defense against the inevitable database swipe or website skim. Encryption ensures that hackers might have your data – but they have it so deeply encoded that your data is useless. Not a single username or business plan is stolen if your data is properly encrypted at every step in the creation, transit, and secure storage process.

2) Un-Phishable Email: Advanced Email Spam Filters

Email and social media phishing have become the leading method for hackers to slip their malware or scams into company systems. Phishing has become the top type of “hacking”, now called “social hacking” because it’s a scam with a dash of malware or espionage on the side.

Well, just like the spam-mail of old, phishing emails have become so common that we have learned how to recognize them. More importantly, our AIs can recognize them. Modern email filtering features include ways to detect then flag or filter any email that follows a known phishing message pattern. This keeps your entire workforce safe when installed into the company email server.

3) The Fool-Me-Twice: Blacklist and Report Every Attack

Let’s say you do get hacked – make sure your monitoring software is in place. The fool-me-twice maneuver ensures that you are never successfully targeted by the same methods or hacker domain twice.

Network monitoring services and malware tracking can reveal a lot of useful data that can protect you (and the whole community) in the future. If you get a source domain name, catch a malware ReadMe file, or track suspicious IP addresses – blacklist whatever you find. Then submit your collected evidence of the hack to your security regulatory board and federal authorities. The more known bad-actors are blacklisted, the fewer large-server hacks can be conducted against businesses and individuals.

4) UnRansomable: Backup and Disaster Recovery Plans

The threat of ransomware that cripples hospitals and businesses is the file encryption. Encryption used as a weapon can suddenly make your entire system’s data unavailable. But what if you have a complete and recent backup of the system? Would you really need to preserve the current malware-infected files? The answer we smugly give is “no”. A great backup and recovery system – with a smooth re-installation of everything you backed up – can ensure that even the worst system-wide ransomware can’t take your company down for more than a few hours.

If your system and all vital data is already backed up, you simply cannot be held for ransom. You can factory-reset on that malware and have your system running again without paying a single bit-coin or decrypting your files.

5) Un-Hackable Team: Cybersecurity Drills

Last but certainly not least, you can also empower your entire team with a fun security-building exercise. Cybersecurity drills are conducted by your IT team to help employees (and execs) across all departments learn how to protect themselves from phishing and common malware attacks. Start with training, teaching everyone how to spot, stop, and report any suspected hacking attempt. Then release occasional faux-phishing emails and other suspicious tactics to keep everyone on their toes.

Congratulate employees with sharp eyes and uplift the team when a drill is detected and reported correctly. Once your team associates reporting a phishing email with Friday cupcakes, hackers won’t stand a chance.

Looking to optimize your company tech solutions and cybersecurity? Contact us for more great insights and to consult on your business security needs.