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Tech Tip - Your Team is Your Biggest Security Threat
Check out our latest BlueCastle IT Tech Tip Video. Did you know your team is the weakest link in your business’s data security? Our new video explains why it’s so important and why you should contact us if you have more questions about it.
Latest eGuide - The biggest security threat to your business is on your payroll
You don't want to miss this month's eGuide resource. Access this month's eGuide on our Resources page The biggest security threat to your business is on your payroll The chance of your business data being compromised by an inside attack is quite high. The majority of the inside attacks are accidental. Sometimes well-meaning employees can click on a bad link by mistake. But there are still some attacks caused by malicious attackers, that are looking to do damage or make money from them. These kinds of attacks can be prevented and minimized by focusing on key areas in your IT strategy. Check out our new guide now to see what are our 5 key areas that a business should focus on to be safe.
Tech Tip - Is your firewall strong?
Check out our latest BlueCastle IT Tech Tip Video. A firewall is an essential part of cybersecurity. But in our experience, most business managers overlook the importance or what it could mean for your business to have one. Here’s why it’s so important and why you should contact us if you have more questions about it.
Latest eGuide - These are the Threats to Worry About
You don't want to miss this month's eGuide resource. Access this month's eGuide on our Resources page Check out this guide describing the 9 most terrifying kinds of malware. All companies are constantly being targeted by malware. It's estimated there are now over one billion pieces of malware in the world wide web. So what is malware? Malware is insidious software designed to do harm to your computer workstations and servers in order to steal your data. Malware scares most IT professionals and if you are a business owner it should terrify you too. Here is a brand new eGuide describing the nine most common varieties of malware. And it's easy enough for anyone to understand!
Tech Tip - Keep your Emails Safe
Check out the latest BlueCastle IT Tech Tip video.
Keep your emails safe! Despite there being lots of different ways to communicate and collaborate, the majority of businesses still rely on email. This makes email very popular with hackers. A large quantity of cyber-attacks start with your mailbox. Here are some ways to protect your business from the threats within your own email inbox:
Latest eGuide - Crisis: Your Office is on Fire
You don't want to miss this month's eGuide resource. Access this month's eGuide on our Resources page This is something none of us wants to experience. But it does happen. There’s a small fire in your office. No-one is hurt and everyone is safe. But the damage to your workplace is unbelievable. The flames. The heat. The smoke. And of course, the huge amounts of water used to put out the fire. Here’s a good question – if there had been a fire in your office last night, what would you wish you’d got round to doing yesterday? Think about all your computers and specifically the data on them. Is your data as protected and backed up as it could be? Are you triple sure of that? Read our brand new eGuide now. It’ll show you the things you need to make a priority to keep you protected from any disaster.
Tech Tip - MileIQ Mileage Tracker
Check out the latest BlueCastle IT Tech Tip video.
Does your team forget to track their mileage when driving for business? It can be a real pain. Luckily there’s an app that can track mileage automatically for you. And you probably already have it, as it’s part of Microsoft 365. Here are the details: --------------------------- Check out our other videos over at bluecastleit.com/videos
Video - Tech Tip - Look out for Malware
Check out the latest BlueCastle IT Tech Tip video.
We often focus on email as the primary place where malicious actors will try and break into your business' IT systems. But it's not the only avenue at their disposal. Here are some other malware scams to be aware of. Check out our other videos over at bluecastleit.com/videos
Why IT Managed Services Will Save You More Than Money
“Downtime costs money.” That’s no secret, but it doesn’t quite capture the whole experience…you arrive to work in the morning, grab your coffee knowing you’ve got a hectic day ahead, and are ready to dive in. For some reason your computer can’t access the database and neither can anyone else’s. You restart the server while fielding calls left, right and center, but are unable to answer any client queries. Your hands are completely tied…and now the server is beeping furiously…what’s going on??! You’re not just in crisis mode, you’re on damage control as you call every tech you can think of, trying to find one who can come NOW. Not exactly the day you had planned. The Break/Fix Days Are Gone Previously, businesses only addressed their IT needs when something broke. A few hours down meant little in the scope of things. In today’s fast world, businesses rely heavily on IT and downtime just isn’t an option. Even the legalities of simply restoring financial, legal or medical files after a breach raises issues. The cost of break/fix is now too high, both financially and emotionally. Simply put, your IT services are remotely monitored and proactively managed by a professional, external business. Your Managed Service Provider (MSP) runs regular diagnostics on equipment to identify impending failure and resolves problems before they happen. Benefits of Managed Services Small to medium businesses in particular benefit from managed services, because they don’t usually have an on-site technician to oversee the multiple systems in use. By subscribing to a managed service provider, businesses can have reduced labor costs, access to a knowledge base, future-pacing, better data security and reduced downtime. Businesses can also know exactly what their upcoming costs are and plan accordingly. Some of the managed services we can provide are: Remote support – This allows us to help you quickly without needing to be on-site. Hardware monitoring – We monitor your servers and workstations to catch hardware failures before they happen. Managed anti-virus – We make sure your anti-virus is up to date and take immediate action if an infection occurs. Patch management – We make sure your computer’s operating system is up to date, closing access to known vulnerabilities as soon as possible. How much down time can your business afford? Give us a call - 860-215-8960
The Value of Virtual Machines for Your Business
The Value of Virtual Machines for Your Business You invest a lot of time researching the best technology for your business. Your Apple computers work well for your needs, plus, the sleek desktops look great in client-visible locations. Yet occasionally, something comes up that you can’t do on an iMac. It doesn’t work on the Mac operating systems (OSs); only on Windows. That’s where a virtual machine can come in handy. Perhaps you invested in your Mac technology before finding out about this industry-specific software you need to run. You’re not about to buy new computers for every user in your office. You know that running Windows XP can be more dangerous. After all, there are many more cybercriminals savvy with Microsoft products. The payoff is much bigger for a bad actor who can find a vulnerability in Windows, as there are so many more users. The answer, then, is to give your users access to a virtual machine. This lets you run that piece of software that only works on Windows, without starting from square one. What is a virtual machine (VM)? VM software emulates your computer. It allows you to install an operating system, such as Windows 10, on your Mac. The software maps computer processing, memory, storage, and other components to run properly. Then, the virtual OS (or guest OS) acts as if it’s running on a real system. Yet for your purposes, it’s more of an app on your host OS. You open the software, make it full screen, and your computer looks and feels as if it has Windows installed. One advantage of the virtual machine approach? You need only the software that you use on occasion and the VM software. You don’t have to get more hardware to accommodate that one Windows-centric tool. You can simply click into the software and do what you need to do. Then, when you’re done, you minimize that screen or close the application, and you’re back in Mac world. Virtual Machines Not Just for Mac Users Any computer use can also benefit from VM software. Maybe you’ve been a Mac loyalist but want to try Linux? You can install the OS virtually to check it out. Or perhaps you’re developing software and need to test your offering on other operating systems. The virtual OS helps there, too. Overlapping the VM on top of the existing operating system can also provide peace of mind. If you have legacy software on an old Windows operating system, you continue to use it safely. Instead of connecting a computer with outdated (and unsupported) software to the internet, you can keep it separate, offline. A virtual machine also offers a way to browse the internet without the risk of compromising the host OS. The original files and data are separate and won’t be at risk of compromise, theft, encryption, or ransomware. Businesses can also benefit from a VM when they want to clone an existing system. Make a snapshot of the old computer and run it in on a VM on a new machine. This keeps the business running as usual when you’ve lost a software installer or need specific settings. Or use the VM when you want to move the guest OS to a new host computer. The VM snapshot can also provide you with a backup of the old settings and legacy systems that you can always go back to. Worried about running an antivirus update or installing a new app? Use the virtual machine software to create a snapshot of your current machine’s state. Then, you can quickly restore it if the worst happens. Real Help with Virtual Machines Virtual machines offer real benefits. Our IT experts can help you setup an operating system within your VM. We can also connect the software to printers or the network as needed, securely. Contact us today at 860-215-8960!
Increase Productivity with Microsoft Power Automate
Productivity is the great goal of business. If you’re a Microsoft 365 user, you have access to a tool that can easily increase your process efficiency. Here’s what you need to know about Microsoft’s Power Automate. Power Automate is a cloud-based product available to Windows 10 users. The tool, formerly known as Microsoft Flows, brings intelligent automation to business processes. Harness the benefits of artificial intelligence developing workflows and creating data dashboards. Power Automate hands over mundane tasks and manual processes to robotic process automation (RPA). With RPA you can: • understand bottlenecks; • map and analyze processes; • identify time savings opportunities; • capture institutional knowledge; • track important metrics; • make data-driven decisions; • empower users to share processes and collaborate; • break down internal business silos moving data between departmental systems on a schedule. Power Automate is available online, as a desktop client, or as a mobile application, and for both iOS and Android devices. Best of all, it’s included in your Microsoft cost. How Does Power Automate Work? In Power Automate you build time-saving workflows using a low-code or no-code experience. The software offers templates or step-by-step guidance to help create automated workflows. The secure and scalable technology connects with other Microsoft products, of course. It can also link new and legacy systems and allows users to integrate or create their own connectors. You might set up a notification in Teams when a new Microsoft Forms response comes in, or when a Microsoft Planner task updates, or configure workflows to move documents between different SharePoint folders, or hand over Excel calculations to the AI. Don’t trust RPA to do the work on its own? You can set up attended or unattended workflows. Attended workflows need humans to start the task or provide Yes or No feedback at workflow sequence stages. You might use unattended for boring, time-consuming tasks. Think of the time saved in accounting with Power Automate: • printing an invoice hard copy; • creating a new Outlook task to follow up on that invoice in 30 days; • forwarding the submitted invoice to the next person in the operations chain. Is Power Automate for Us? RPA can help any business save time and reduce operating costs. Plus, Power Automate doesn’t work solely in the Microsoft environment. You might connect a Customer Relationship Management tool. Then, you could automate appointment scheduling and trigger file sending from One Drive. The uses of RPA abound across industries. You might use Power Automate to: • process forms; • extract information; • perform sentiment analysis; • read business cards; • classify files; • track mailboxes; • orchestrate your pipeline; • automate auditing; • manage inventory levels. Create workflows using templates or design your own with what Microsoft touts as “point-and-click simplicity.” Don’t find it that simple? We can do it for you. Streamline repetitive tasks and operational processes with Power Automate. Turn your attention instead to areas that grow business and boost innovation. Need assistance setting up the workflows in Power Automate? Our BlueCastle IT experts can help. Contact us today at 860-215-8960!
Latest eGuide - Cyber-Crime: Your business's 5 step plan to prepare and protect
You don't want to miss this month's eGuide resource. This is one that every business owner needs to take a moment to read! Access this month's eGuide on our Resources page Two years ago, two thirds of all organizations reported some type of incident relating to cyber-crime. That’s bound to be higher now because of the fraud opportunities created by the rush to Work From Home. In fact, overall, the world economy loses more than $1 trillion to cyber-crime every year. It’s a figure that’s increased by more than 50% since 2018. Fact: Your business needs to be as prepared as it can be against the threat of cyber-crime. Read our brand new guide now. And you’ll see our recommended 5 step plan to prepare for an attack, and protect your business.