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Big Benefits of Managed Services Providers for Small Business

Managed services outsourcing companies take on a lot of responsibility when serving small businesses. It’s no surprise given how important the role of a managed service provider (MSP) is in managing such vital parts of an organization that SMB owners are sometimes hesitant to begin a partnership with an MSP, for fear that they may be losing control of their business.  

That’s far from the case. 

he truth is, outsourcing certain services like IT can relieve the pressure off of SMBs. It makes sense that a dedicated provider would have the resources to aid businesses who otherwise are unable to recruit, train, pay, and monitor the work of their IT team to partner with an MSP. 

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Malware, Social Engineering, and your WEBSITE?

By Aaron Oliver

Over the past year cyber security has been thrust to the forefront of cyber related news as there have been several worldwide attacks in the form of malware and ransomware. Most recently the "WannaCry" outbreak that paralyzed thousands of companies’ systems was talked about by every news organization on the planet. But there is another very common cyber threat that you don’t hear about as often, it is responsible for millions of systems being compromised and is often how some of these global events get started. It’s called “Social Engineering”.

Social engineering can take many forms and can be employed in several different ways. An attacker may call and pretend they are with your IT team and ask for information or for remote access to your employees’ systems. Once they gain access to a system attackers can deploy programs that will allow them to log back in later for more investigation into how the network is setup or do malicious things.

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Lessons Learned from WannaCry: How to Respond to Ransomware

The big news in the online security world over the past few weeks was WannaCry – a Ransomware attack that infected over 300,000 Windows PCs in over 150 countries, demanding users fork over $300 (or more) to unlock their machines. 

For now, WannaCry is over, but the magnitude of this ransomware attack can convince copycat cyber criminals to give it a try themselves, as some people were reported to have paid the ransom. As of May 15, the hackers reportedly got away with $50,000 in bitcoin, however, the economic impact of the attack was much costlier, with economists estimating productivity losses of up to $4 billion. That makes us want to...well, cry.  

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Swim to the Microsoft Surface

The latest version of the Microsoft Pro series has finally surfaced. The new Surface Pro has just been released and is ready for purchase.  It includes a few changes and nice updates from the popular Surface Pro 4.

The latest version of the Microsoft Pro series has finally surfaced. The new Surface Pro has just been released and is ready for purchase.  It includes a few changes and nice updates from the popular Surface Pro 4.

First though is the name. Those expecting Surface Pro 5 can keep waiting. Microsoft has gotten rid of any sequential number. Now it’s just Surface Pro, period.

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The Risks of Software Piracy: How Unlicensed Business Software Can Hurt Your Company

unlicensed business software pirateWith good reason, software piracy is generally frowned upon.

While it’s illegal to use unlicensed business software, it’s often difficult to get caught – and that’s what keeps it going. The United States is better than most other countries in this regard, with an estimated 19% of all software installs being pirated. In extremely undeveloped nations, the rate of software piracy is often near 90%. Per the 2015 Arxan State of Application Security study, software piracy shows no signs of slowing down, with thousands of places to download pirated software and thousands more to generate license keys available on the internet.

The risks of software piracy go beyond just legal implications – which can cost businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars and potentially jail time, but also poses a significant threat to network security.

Below are some of the issues that can arise from utilizing unlicensed business software:

You Won’t Have Access to Customer Support

Pirated software is not supported by the developer. When Microsoft or Adobe releases a critical update, owners of pirated software will not be able to authenticate their software and receive the update. This opens your business up to extreme vulnerabilities which can result in bigger problems like data loss or theft. If you do fall victim of these issues don’t expect the developer to help bail you out. Read more!

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Five Benefits of Desktop Virtualization: How Virtual Desktop Solutions Can Help Your Business

virtual desktop solutionsHas your business considered taking its desktops to the cloud? Desktop virtualization is the separation of the desktop environment and associated hardware from local devices, instead, storing this information on a server or in the cloud. Virtual desktop solutions benefit end users and IT teams in countless ways, and are especially beneficial to small organizations in terms of cost-savings.

Traditional desktop computers can be burdensome to maintain, and hours can be wasted setting up new machines to match the needs of newly onboarded employees. Beyond saving time and money, there are plenty of benefits of desktop virtualization to consider before deploying this technology at your business.

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Starting a Career in IT: How to Land Entry Level IT Jobs & Other Advice for New Graduates

finding jobs for it graduatesFor recent college graduates, entering the workforce can be scary, but for those who were smart enough to go to school for IT, the prospect of starting a career in IT right away isn’t so bad.

IT has consistently been a field where the number of jobs outweigh the number of qualified applicants, leaving IT graduates with a lot of hope. Overall, the job market for recent college graduates has been improving every year since the recession, and entry level IT jobs are as plentiful as ever.

Typical jobs for IT graduates include positions like software engineer, system analyst, technical support staffer, consultant & more. With endless possibilities – from entering a blossoming tech field right here in St. Louis to taking your talents to Silicon Valley or Seattle, there are several things to consider when starting a career in IT.

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Samsung Rebounds Nicely with Galaxy 8

2016 will be a year to forget for Samsung and its phone products.

The Galaxy 7 Note was a disaster as its battery blow ups became somewhat legendary, and not in a good way. The phone was even banned by the airlines. It was a manufacturing and a public relations nightmare.

Samsung is hoping its new phone, the Galaxy S8, will cure past evils and move the brand into the good graces of the Android World.

Newly released, first looks indicate the phone has what it takes to put Samsung at or near the top of the smart phone heap.

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How to Improve IT Department Morale & Enhance IT Productivity

it-employee-moraleAlong with the warmer weather of spring and summer in St. Louis usually comes an increase in the number of burnout cases among employees. The warning signs aren’t always easy to catch, but are real across all kinds of verticals – including technology.  By September, it’s not unlikely to think that even professional baseball players on losing teams are feeling the signs of occupational burnout.

Employee Engagement in the IT industry is critical if you want your office to be thought of as a happy place that fosters innovation and drives revenue.

A recent Gallup poll indicates that just 35% of 1,500 surveyed employees currently feel engaged at work, while the tech industry has seen a 3% dip in engagement since 2013. Read more! 

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Should You Keep IT In-House?

in-house-itA small business needs a small army of people to make business grow, with an organizational chart usually featuring management, HR, standard employees and of course, in house IT support, right?

Depending on the size of a business “in house IT support” can be defined as a guy or an entire department.

Management and HR are very good at what they do, but one thing they don’t do is IT. While not trained in this field, these people are tasked with hiring in house IT support. Resumes and personality work well to gauge an employee’s ability to fill a cubicle but only go so far with highly technical individuals.

Here are some things to be aware of when considering keeping IT in house vs. hiring an outsourced solution. 

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