Wednesday, December 19, 2018

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Emergency HELP! and Support needs are only a click or phone call away. You can rely on our rapid response to your requests. TechEdge support technicians are very attentive and dedicated to the resolution of ALL requests. Of course we prioritize emergency issues, but your business productivity and employee efficiency and satisfaction is a big concern.

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More threats to business and personal information and data loss exist than ever before. The counter-culture of private and state sponsored hacker groups has given rise to new levels of cyber crime that is generating billions of dollars in losses to corporations and individuals. Outside intruders are constantly seeking points of weakness to enter your environment and exploit your digital assets. Viruses, Spam, Spyware, and Malware pose threats that can cripple your systems and lead to lost productivity, revenue, and customers. Denial of Service attacks also create outages that can be very hard to identify and stop.

A 2009 research study regarding small business security by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Symantec has revealed that:

  • 66% say that their business is dependent on the Internet for its day-to-day operations.
  • 38% characterize it as very dependent.

The research also indicates that businesses have vital information to protect:

  • 69% handle sensitive information, including customer data.
  • 49% have financial records and reports.
  • 23% have their own intellectual property.
  • 18% handle intellectual property belonging to others outside of the company.

Furthermore, the research indicates that most small businesses have considerable risks that are not addressed:

  • 77% do not have a formal written Internet security policy for employees.
  • 63% do not have policies regarding how their employees use social media.
  • 60% say they have a privacy policy in place that their employees must comply with when they handle customer information and half (52%) have a plan or strategic approach in place for keeping their business cyber secure.

Beware of Threats from within

Sometimes the greatest damage to IT systems or the greatest loss of intellectual assets can come from inside an organization. Disgruntled or rogue employees who gain access to critical information can do millions of dollars in damage and create countless headaches. Government mandates regarding the protection of data assets and customer privacy have been coupled with severe fines for companies who do not take appropriate security measures.
Many small businesses are not provide Internet safety training to their employees, and measures taken to protect data loss is often overlooked. Some key risk areas include:

  • The use of USB devices in the workplace which can be used to store significant amounts of confidential data.
  • The use of multi-factor authentication for access to any of their networks especially from remote locations.
  • Completely wiping data from all equipment including workstations, servers, multifunction scanners/copier/fax machines before disposal.

The Technology’s Edge Solution

Technology’s Edge addresses all of these concerns with our Security services. We have 20+ years of experience in the following areas:

  • Expert knowledge of a wide array of security threats
  • Security audits to examine potential weakesses and risks from exploitations
  • Vulnerability scans to check systems security from unauthorized internal access
  • Ongoing security monitoring, scanning, and reporting of suspicious activity
  • Specification of high quality products to ensure the best technologies are fitted
  • Analysis of compliance with federal data privacy legislation

We work with companies large and small to analyze their environment, assess risks, specify the right mix of products to shore up security gaps, and then implement the solution using our Professional Services Methodology.

The Benefits

Working with Technology’s Edge on a Security project is a smart move for any organization. The benefits include:

  • The peace of mind that comes from knowing your IT environment is protected
  • Better risk management of the network and IT assets
  • Significantly reduce the risk of loss of private customer data or intellectual property
  • A running data trail of attempted breaches and break-ins
  • Increased up-time due to elimination of viruses, denial of service attacks, etc.
  • On-going maintenance, firmware and security updates,
  • SSL Certificates, Gateways, Secured Remote Access, VPNs

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Technology’s Edge offers HIPAA and PCI Compliance scanning to our Network Assessment offering. This module automatically generates the official documents needed for a comprehensive HIPAA IT assessment, including:  HIPAA Policy and Procedures, HIPAA Risk Analysis, HIPAA Management Plan, Evidence of HIPAA Compliance and all associated supporting documentation.

Gartner analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) shows that almost two-thirds of organizations regulated by HIPAA do not have complete or accurate risk assessment capabilities.

To help meet Payment Card Industry (PCI), we can assist with the completion of Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) required by banks and credit card companies.  We work with the you (the merchant) on the preparation and remediation consulting services to help expedite this potentially lengthy process in order to meet compliance deadlines and avoid fines and/or loss of merchant processing services.  This link to a PCI Basics Quick Guide is a good resource to better understand the process.

In addition we offer a comprehensive cloud-based Compliance Management with pre / post-audit compliance support that can be customized to meet specific business requirements.   This service meets the Annual Risk assessment requirements mandated PCI DSS (SAQ– A to D) + Comprehensive PCIDSS assessment.

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IT costs are a never ending worry for business executives. Top Technology Independent Research Studies have found that over 75 percent of IT decision-makers routinely worry about managing their budgets.

Not only are software, hardware and connectivity expensive, but their use can be challenging to budget and track. In addition, the continual need to keep technology up-to-date is an on-going battle. The struggle and expense never seem to end.

However, there are some technologies that enterprises should consider, not only to increase productivity and reliability but also to save money. We’ll take a look at 10 cost-saving technologies and practices in a two-part series. Today, we’ll examine the first five.

Server virtualization partitions a physical server into smaller “virtual” environments that can be used for tasks or applications vs. having one physical server assigned to individual tasks or applications. This technology can consolidate the number of servers required for many IT infrastructures and make better use of CPU and Disk Storage resources. Industry statistics suggest that server virtualization can reduce hardware and operating costs by half and energy costs by as much as 80 percent. To be sure, such savings are not magically bestowed on the company with server virtualization. Standardizing and automating routine IT support processes first are a key factor in how much a company will save in server virtualization. But standardization and automation of IT process in general is a smart – and cost saving – move, with or without server virtualization.

The traditional PBX model is becoming a modern dinosaur, at the very least, increasingly costly to maintain as most systems are proprietary technologies. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) access and session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking services – technologies that allow phone calls to be made over the internet – are rapidly maturing and more than ready for the enterprise. Companies can save significant amounts by switching to VoIP and adopting a unified communications architecture.

With all the focus on software, cloud apps and wireless connectivity, it is easy to forget the fundamental importance – and expense – of hardware. Maintaining and replacing equipment can be very costly, especially for a smaller firm. The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association sizes the equipment space – and granted, this category ranges from farm machinery to medical gadgets as well as IT hardware – at $725 billion. Some options companies should consider for their hardware:

PC/Server Warranties: Not having your hardware under warranty (especially mission critical servers) is risky business, and the insurance policy (extended warranty), is a worthwhile expenditure for all business enterprises. If you have a critical hardware failure outside of the warranty period it could take weeks to get back up and running – especially if no stand-by server or business continuity solution is in place. Also, remember to account for warranties of services and work performed by third-party IT service providers. Make sure your in-house IT support or managed IT services partner is on top of your warranties.

Hardware-as-a-Service: This is a rapidly-growing niche in the managed services industry. Generally speaking, a company’s hardware is remotely monitored and serviced by a managed service provider on a subscription basis. In other variations, providers use their own hardware on-site for clients.

Computer software that is made available and licensed at no cost and for any purpose. A Standish Group report has found that adoption of open-source software has resulted in savings of about $60 billion per year. Examples are myriad, ranging from little-known productivity offerings to noted vendors such as Redhat.

Online collaboration tools can range from enterprise-based social sharing tools to productivity tools that permit group collaboration in document creation and file sharing. They’ve become a huge industry for many reasons. First, they integrate remote workers into the corporate fabric. They also help companies do more with less. And, collaboration fosters creativity in an organization. Statistics show how valuable these tools can be: company intranets and portals, to give one example, can reduce email volume by 30 percent. Also, an eye-popping 97 percent of businesses using collaborative software report being able to service clients more effectively.