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We help our clients with 

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We provide both blocktime service and monthly service contracts, so that you pay for what you need, and nothing more.

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LATEST RED FIVE I.T. NEWS

5 Important IT checklists that no SMB should miss: Part-2

February 12, 2020
5 Important IT checklists that no SMB should miss: Part-2 In our last blog, we discussed 2 of the 5 important IT checklists that every SMB should have. In this post, we cover the other 3, namely, IT training, Data Backup, and BYOD checklists. IT Training checklist Your IT staff is not the only one who needs IT training. Everyone in your office does. An IT training checklist serves as a good process document for any new staff or for any staff working on new hardware or software. Following the IT training checklist can help cut down the learning curve, and ensures the hardware/software is leveraged in the best possible way, thus making your staff more efficient. Here’s what your IT training checklist can offer. Rules and regulations regarding software and hardware use Links to user manuals/instruction videos with how-tos for the software and hardware in use Information about whom to contact if there’s a need for troubleshooting Training schedules for each hardware/software, cyberthreats Information about whom to contact if there’s a perceived cybersecurity breach Your IT staff is not the only one who needs IT training. Everyone in your office does. An IT training checklist serves as a good process document for any new staff or for any staff working on new hardware or software. Here’s what your IT training checklist should contain. Data backups checklist There are a number of factors that can affect the accessibility and quality of your data. Data backups are key to ensuring your data is not lost. You should maintain a checklist or a policy document that covers this aspect. Your data backups checklist should cover What are the different data sets that need to be backed up How often do each of those data sets need to be backed up Where (location/device) will the data backup occur How will the data backup happen Who will be responsible for the data backup BYOD policy checklist In the current business environment where companies allow their employees to use their own devices for work purposes, a BYOD (Bring-your-own-device) checklist is a must. This checklist should answer questions like Who is allowed to bring their devices to work (employees of some departments that deal with sensitive data like, the HR/accounts may not be allowed to do so) What kind of devices are allowed/approved? For example, you can specify a version below which a certain OS may not be allowed, as it may be outdated, exposing your entire network to any security threat that it may be vulnerable to Who is responsible for ensuring the security patches and antimalware protection is up-to-date Having these checklists/policy documents do not ensure your IT infrastructure is always safe and secure, or never suffers a downtime. These checklists merely help in cutting down instances of security breaches or downtime and go a long way in helping you respond positively to any IT crisis that may befall your business. What we have discussed here is just the proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’.

5 Important IT checklists that no SMB should miss: Part-1

February 5, 2020
5 Important IT checklists that no SMB should miss: Part-1 IT checklists are a great way to analyze, understand and take the necessary steps to meet your IT requirements. In this blog, we discuss 2 of the 5 important IT checklists–Hardware/software and Cybersecurity. When creating a checklist for hardware/software purchase, use, and installation, answer the following questions. How do you determine what hardware/software is needed? What about installation? Who will be doing it? Incorrect installation can end up resulting in loss of time and, in case of faulty hardware installation, it can also mess up the new hardware What is the process for the procurement of new hardware and software? Do you have regular vendors who you approach or do you start looking for a suitable one once the requirement arises Establish a policy for operating systems, because not all hardware/software is compatible with all OS. What about updates, security patches, and upgrades? Who will be responsible for them and how often? Who is responsible for software installation when there’s a new user requirement Cybersecurity training can help reduce incidences of cybersecurity breach due to a lapse of judgment from your employees. Here’s what your cybersecurity checklist should cover- all security-related aspects of your IT. For example Create and implement a password policy that you want your staff to adhere to. Cover password hygiene, acceptable passwords, password sharing, reuse, password update rules, etc., When someone quits your organization or no longer works in the profile that they were working in, how is the access issue addressed? Spell out the rules and regulations regarding the removal of a user from the network, changing passwords, limiting access, etc., Along the same lines, also cover new user initiation into the IT network. Include policies for data sharing–which data can be shared, where and by whom, who has access, the level of data access rights, etc. Spell out the plan of action to be taken in the event of a cybersecurity breach. Whom to contact, how to quarantine the affected systems, what steps are to be taken from the legal perspective (disclosure of the breach, data security violation penalties, and so on…) how to prevent such future events, etc., Your cybersecurity checklist should not only cover the digital aspect of IT security, but also the physical aspect of it. Establish rules and regulations for physical access to data. Interested in learning more? Watch out for our next blog that offers pointers on IT training, data backup and BYOD checklists.

Know your IT risks

January 29, 2020
Know your IT risks Whether you have your in-house IT team, or have outsourced your IT needs to be taken care of by a Managed Services Provider, you need to know what are the possible risks to your business from the IT perspective. Having an IT risk checklist can help you be better prepared for an IT emergency. Getting started In order to assess your IT risks, you need to first know your IT landscape. Answer questions like What role is IT going to play in the success of your business What areas is IT supporting your business in, currently What new roles can you foresee for IT in improving your business efficiency Do you have any new technology in mind that you want to implement in the next year If you have your in-house IT team, what kind of staff structure do you see in the next year If you are planning to expand your in-house IT team, how many team members will you need to bring onboard and what will be the cost associated with this decision Would it be more effective and efficient to hire an MSP instead to supplement your in-house IT department What is your IT budget for the year The checklist for your IT risks The next step would be to create a checklist of your IT risks. At this stage, you should be answering questions like What IT risks are most relevant to you? For example, data privacy is a serious concern for a business operating in healthcare, while phishing can be a bigger concern for an accounting firm. Another angle to look into are environmental risks. For example, do you operate in a hurricane-prone area, or someplace prone to wildfires? Make a list of risks most relevant to you and assess the possibility of them happening to you. Such assessments will help you arrive at the key safety measures that you need to take, as a business, to keep your data safe. In the worst case scenario, if your IT infrastructure were to fail, how long can you survive before it will be difficult for you to bounce back? Can your business operate without your key IT systems working? If not, how long can you afford to keep it shut? Whether you have your in-house IT team or rely on an MSP for your IT maintenance, this exercise will help you understand your key IT goals and the possible impediments to them, and help you survive in the event of an IT emergency.

What to consider when investing in cyber insurance

January 22, 2020
What to consider when investing in cyber insurance As a business, you are probably aware of the term, cyber insurance. With the cybercrime rates rising consistently, cyber insurance is increasingly becoming a necessity for survival. Here are a few things to consider before you sign up with a cyber insurance service provider. Risk analysis First, perform an internal risk analysis. Research to understand what kind of cybercrimes are most rampant in your industry and ensure your insurance policy covers those for sure. Like we discussed before, the most basic of cyber insurance covers data breach and associated costs, but you definitely want more than just that. What is the scope of your policy Be clear about the scope of your policy before you sign the dotted line. Remember that cyber insurance functions on the same principles and policies as like any other insurance, which means there will be deductibles, waiting periods and exclusions. Be sure to ask your insurance service provider about them. You don’t want to find out you weren’t covered by insurance until after the attack, at the time of claim. Here are a few things to ask your insurance company in this regard. Does the policy cover you if a breach happens via your sub-contractor or vendor and makes you liable to your clients? If your cyber insurance doesn’t cover those, then make sure your vendors and sub-contractors have cyber insurance to cover you or sign some kind of an indemnity contract with them so you are covered in the event of such incidents. In case of an action byyour employee causing the breach, such as clicking on a fraudulent link or sharing data accidentally to a dubious email ID, will you still be covered? Ask your insurance provider to clearly spell out any deductibles, exclusions and window periods that may exist Check with your insurance provider on what would be your liabilities as the insured. For example, there may be rules regarding anti-virus measures, data safety and security measures, IT training, timely data backups and IT audits, etc., that you may have to follow in order to be eligible to be covered under the insurance in the event of a breach Before you sign up, do your research thoroughly, get proposals from multiple insurance service providers and opt for a policy that covers your needs the most and the best. Sometimes, service providers may be willing to make additions or modifications to an existing policy to meet your exact requirements, which may work best for you.

Cyber insurance: What’s the cost and what does it cover

January 15, 2020
Cyber insurance: What’s the cost and what does it cover Cyber insurance covers a range of elements, the most basic being the legal expenses incurred as a result of falling victim to cybercrime. This includes legal fees, expenses, and even any fines that you may have to pay or financial settlements that have to make with your customers or third parties who have been affected as a result of the incident. Apart from this, depending on the coverage you opt for, your cyber insurance may cover the following. Notification costs In the event of a data breach, the business is required to inform all affected parties of the breach. This involves reaching out to them individually and also through the press. Cyber insurance may cover the costs related to this process. Restoration costs After a cybercriminal attacks your IT infrastructure, you will have to spend money restoring it. There will be considerable expense in terms of recovering the lost data and repairing or replacing affected IT systems. Analysis costs In the event of a data breach, you will have to conduct a forensic analysis to identify the root cause of the breach and figure out how to prevent further occurrences. Cyber insurance may cover the costs of such an investigation. Downtime costs When your business operations shut down, even temporarily, due to IT issues, you lose revenue. You could get a cyber insurance policy to cover such downtime costs. Extortion money In some cases of data theft like a ransomware attack, cybercriminals usually demand a certain amount of money as ransom or extortion to let you access it again. Considering how rampant ransomware attacks are these days, it may make sense to opt for a policy that covers this angle as well. How much does cyber insurance typically cost Depending on the coverage and risk, annual cyber insurance costs range anywhere from $1000 a month to about a million dollars. But, what you need to ask yourself is, how much can it cost you if you ignored cyber insurance? The answer is, it could cost you your business, your customers and your brand reputation. With cybercrimes rising at alarming rates, cyber insurance is not a luxury that only the big players should invest in. It is the need of the hour for any business, irrespective of its industry or size.

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