TVG Consulting Blog

What Really Takes Place on the Dark Web & Why Businesses Need to Know


If your company suffers a data breach, the stolen information is almost guaranteed to end up for sale on the dark web.

Businesses of all sizes are vulnerable to cyber attacks. While news reports focus on major corporate data breaches, 43 percent of all cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses.

Every organization needs to know how to protect against cyber attacks, and the first step is understanding the dark web.

[Infographic] How the Dark Web Takes Your Network Security Captive


The internet was home to 3.8 billion users in 2017, and research indicates that this number will increase to 6 billion in 2022.

This audience has 1.5 billion websites available during their browsing sessions. Your company needs to do more than merely put up a website to succeed in this environment.

Having a strong online foundation is an essential part of growing as a business today, but it comes at a cost.

Approximately 43 percent of cyber attacks hit small businesses, as they often have fewer IT security resources compared to larger organizations.

The typical cost to a company following a data breach may reach $150 million by 2020. Your small business runs into major financial setbacks if you end up in this situation.

One reason that this figure is so high is that it takes 197 days for many companies to find out that their networks were compromised.

Protecting your perimeter is no longer enough to stop attacks, especially when attackers have dark web resources available to strengthen their attacks. Businesses need network security to protect against these cyberattacks. Before we dig into how the dark web impacts your business, check out our visual infographic below to help your get started.

Why Solid Network Security Includes Monitoring the Dark Web


Cybersecurity threats become more sophisticated every year.

In fact, cyber crime damage costs to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021.

The rise in cyber crime is making it difficult for companies to keep their networks safe. Businesses are no longer responsible for merely defending the perimeter and securing on-site servers and workstations.

The only solution is to create complex infrastructures to protect against cyber threats. And, that's why we provide network security solutions to secure your cloud, employee devices and IoT endpoints to protect your business against the dark web.

The average organization spends more than $11 million annually on protecting themselves from cyber threats.

How Identity Management Can Protect Your Business Network


Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise and companies big and small are vulnerable.

Hackers are using increasingly sophisticated attack strategies to breach sensitive corporate and consumer data.

Research conducted by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) found that of the 174 million records breached in 2017, 91.4 percent were the result of corporate database attacks.

How Businesses Can Protect Themselves Against the Dark Web


Understanding the dark web and the danger it poses to your business is crucial.

While most of us are familiar with the “surface web” like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and the countless other user-friendly, legitimate websites and search engines that most of us use every day, the internet is a much larger place than most people realize. Below the surface lies the “deep web” and within it, the dark web.

Within these hidden realms lie severe threats to your data, your clients' personally identifiable information (PII), and your company's intellectual property.

How to Protect Yourself from Spectre & Meltdown


From WannaCry to Heartbleed, hardly an industry was spared in 2017 as sensitive corporate and consumer data was fervently stolen by hackers.

Two new threats, known as Spectre and Meltdown, are different from those that dominated last year's headlines as they have not, as of yet, been exploited by hackers. With the information I'm going to provide, you'll be able to protect yourself and improve your network security efficiently.

6-Point Checklist for Disaster Recovery with VMWare


In 2017, there were 1,120 data breaches and 171 million records exposed.

Ensuring that critical data is protected and business operations continue with little or no downtime during a disaster are crucial goals for IT departments. However, when you lack a plan for disaster recovery, it's difficult to safeguard your data and prevent vast stretches of downtime.

Why Manufacturers Need a Layered Security Approach to Protect ERP Data

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As a manufacturing company, you have information coming from multiple sources, including critical logistical data. To properly manage your day-to-day business activities, you need to quickly and easily access the data it generates and knows that this data is secure, as well as accurate. An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application and IT managed services can help you do just that if you understand their capabilities and the importance of implementing a layered security approach.

Why Manufacturing Disaster Recovery Planning is a Priority & What to Include


Working in manufacturing is no longer only about acquiring new customers and more inventory. It's about increasing the effectiveness of your supply chain through your channels. But, what happens when one of those channels goes down for a day or two? Maybe even a week?

Across every industry — and especially manufacturing — risk must be measured. Studies have found that 74% of companies have suffered from a supply-chain disruption, with 14% losing more than $1 million as a result. 

Microsoft Announces New Data Security Technology for Windows Server, Azure


Whether you wanted to protect corporate intellectual property, financial information or personal data, you knew that a public cloud computing solution was lacking. At least, it was until now.

Working alongside Microsoft Research, Windows, Intel and Microsoft's Developer Tool group, the Azure team created a solution for those who fear cyber attacks while using a public cloud.

Recap of Announcements from Microsoft Ignite 2017


This year's Microsoft Ignite event conference for IT developers and professionals covered a lot of ground. The company made many announcements concerning significant technological advancements in new and upcoming products.

These include new features for the Azure cloud platform, machine learning, the Microsoft 365 bundle and new cybersecurity for Office 365, Azure and Windows 10.

6 Solutions a Cloud Consultant Can Offer L.A. Businesses


Los Angeles is one of the most competitive markets in the United States, which means even a little bit of downtime can get expensive for your business. In fact, one study found that one minute of downtime by your data center will cost you $9,000, with a full-day outage costing almost $750,000.

Virtualization: VMWare vs. Microsoft Hyper-V


Virtualization is the biggest trend in IT today. Virtualization will account for 98 percent of spend on IT growth by 2020. This increased spend in virtualization will provide more efficient, cost-effective ways to reduce downtime, gain IT productivity, increase hardware savings, and so much more. 

In an effort to decide what makes virtualization so successful, we set out to compare two of the most popular solutions: VMWare and Microsoft Hyper-V.  While both virtual platforms are comparable, they both represent a different set of advantages and disadvantages. 

Let's dig into these comparisons to help you decide what solution is right for your business.  

5 Reasons Your Business Should Adopt a Hybrid Cloud Solution


Recently, Target announced that it will opt out of using Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has quickly become a leading provider of cloud services in the U.S. market. The reason for Target's decision to scale back was straight-forward: Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods only furthered their move into retail, which means that Target would essentially be helping to finance it's now growing rival. 

However, what's important to note is how AWS fit into Target's cloud strategy, and why this decision elevates the discussion regarding how businesses use the cloud. Specifically how public cloud services are combined with on-premise private cloud storage, known as the hybrid cloud, and the reasons businesses should consider adopting a hybrid cloud solution.

A Comparison of Google Apps for Business and Microsoft Office 365

It’s time to ditch your bloated old business software solution. Today’s cutting-edge companies know that when it comes to creation, collaboration, storage, and more, nothing beats the cloud. Cloud services, which live online and get delivered on demand to employees’ machines, provide easy, scalable solutions for companies as small as one or as big as one thousand.

When it comes to cloud services, two major providers have cornered the market. There’s the up-and-coming G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps for Work), which boasts millions of customers. On the other side of the ring, there’s the pedigreed Microsoft Office 365, bringing its time-tested software suite up to the minute with cloud computing.

Which one is best for your business? We’ve provided a feature drill down to help you determine just that. To see which suite most closely matches your needs, read on.

Understanding The Differences Between Virtualization & Cloud Computing

virtualization vs. cloud computing

How you save and share your company’s information is essential. Some businesses create a private server on site to store and share data, accessing their information through private networks. However, maintaining a server is an expensive endeavor, often requiring an IT department. For most businesses, this can be more of a cost than a benefit, so what are your other options?

When it comes to business IT solutions, there are two main competitors: cloud computing and virtualization.

5 Benefits of Choosing a Managed Services Provider in Los Angeles


Choosing to shift your the management of your IT to managed services in Los Angeles is the equivilant to getting an entire 747-jumbo jet but only paying for the ticket to ride it. In the latter case, the provider—the airline—has the responsibility for maintenance, safety, and passenger comfort. The passenger enjoys all the benefits, but only uses one seat for a restricted time and distance.

The 5 Cloud Solutions Los Angeles Businesses Need to Streamline Processes


Growing companies are constantly trying to keep up with the latest technology and tools to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Today, businesses without cloud computing capabilities are only lagging behind due to the incredible skills that this service provides.

For most small and medium sized Los Angles businesses, setting up a custom IT infrastructure is too complicated and expensive. Local small businesses simply do not have enough time or resources to dedicate to building their system. Fortunately, expert cloud consultants can help small and medium Los Angles businesses to meet their needs at an affordable price.

Below, we have listed five cloud solutions Los Angeles businesses need to streamline processes. 

What Is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

MSPs are great.

And a lot of companies are using them.

But, are you asking yourself, "What is an MSP? And, where do I get one?"

When you look at a managed services provider (MSP), you're getting a team of IT experts to oversee computing systems. For example, TVG Consulting are experts in Linux systems management, and we provide defined services to your company while your technology officers maintain the overall accountability for enterprise business systems.

What is Business Continuity? Ensuring Your Business Prepares for the Unexpected

When a disaster occurs, any business could cease to operate and experience significant financial losses. A disaster could be a natural event, a cyber attack, or a communication failure. These kinds of disruptive events can cause temporary loss of services to clients and can affect a company's profitability. We want readers to understand what business continuity is so they can plan a strategy for how to respond to different types of disasters while maintaining business availability.

What is Managed Services? The Complete Guide to Managed Services


Quick: When was the last time you had an IT system failure?

If you didn't hesitate to answer that question, chances are you've experienced a few too many downtimes with your network. But, wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to worry about your network downtime or day-to-day IT operations?

But, what about tech support? Or, data and security? Good questions.

You can get it all with managed services. Now, you may be asking yourself, "what is managed services?" and that's why I'm here to help. It's important for business owners to understand the answer in the context of their organization. As a Managed Service Provider, TVG Consulting coordinates IT operations for our clients across a range of environments.

[Infographic] The Cost of IT Downtime


Like failing to backup files, IT downtime can be a real pain. Between losing data, battling employee productivity, and maintaining a positive revenue stream, you may wonder: How much is my business losing during the occasional network downtime?

3 Tips for Choosing IT Services in Los Angeles


Choosing IT services in Los Angeles can be nerve-wracking no matter what size company you manage.

IT services are especially daunting since you're trying to decide what support systems you need while dealing with the ins and outs of integrating IT into your company, customer service, and company infrastructure.

Why Los Angeles Businesses Need Tech Support

Your products and services are only one part of your business, as an IT professional that has worked with many companies in the Los Angeles area, I can tell you one thing: location does matter.

IT support in Los Angelestoday has a new definition in today's digital economy, and local businesses are (finally) waking up to see the value of investing in these services and people. For IT support services, your security, response time, and project management have to be a lot better than managing ticket queues.

How to Use a Managed Services Agreement to Determine Actual Value to Your Company

Regardless of the size of your business, if you are looking at managed IT services, you want to feel confident that you are getting the best value, especially if you have been presented with a price that seems too good to be true.

The common concern I hear consistently when I speak with CFOs and business owners is "If our IT cost is so amazingly low, are there holes in our IT services? Is anything missing?". This is an important question to answer, and any managed services provider (MSP) dedicated to your company's success will be able to answer it directly.

However, the answer as to the value you're actually getting based on what you're spending is provided in writing in the managed services agreement provided by the MSP before you sign on the dotted line.

How IT Managed Services Pricing Improves Your Company's Scalability

Are your IT support services costing you more than they should? When it isn’t practical to staff an in-house IT team or your existing IT team is over extended with larger projects, IT services that are based on a break fix arrangement may seem like a good option. This is a trap that many companies fall into when looking for ways to manage IT resources. When an IT technician gets paid based on the failure of your system, they don’t always have your best interest at heart.

How To Provide Onsite IT Support Without Using Internal Staff

Businesses of all sizes use technology, but small to medium-sized businesses face the challenge of having to be even more technologically responsive in order to be competitive.

There are a few more hurdles that face small to mid-size companies in comparison to their enterprise counterparts. Sometimes there are not enough in-house resources available to handle the workload, and cost is oftentimes a factor. Because of this, it can be difficult to come up with the perfect balance of securing networks and having technical agility all at an affordable rate.

Understanding How Network Security Reduces Costly Downtime

Each day more companies are transitioning to digital business models, which means unplanned network downtime becomes a more worrisome possibility.

As the business culture shifts, it is important for every member of an organization, even financial executives, to evaluate the technological risks, gain full understanding of network security, acknowledge its importance, and identify the fragility and vulnerability of their systems.

It is absolutely critical that best practices are implemented in order to protect your company from the costly risks and consequences of network downtime...

Why Network Monitoring Is a Core Facet of Managed Services

It is important to be proactive and not reactive in managing your network. This last year in tech was writhe with the unimaginable – everything from the first ransomware Mac virus to over 500 million accounts being stolen from Yahoo, and then there was the fast food chain Wendy's Point of Sale security breach.

It is more clear now than ever that network security, data backup and disaster recovery, and network monitoring are of the utmost importance for your business.

Here are a couple stats that shed more light on this...

Why Data Backup is Integral Part of Managed Services

Far too often we hear in the news about yet another data security breach. When IT systems experience a failure, important data is exposed, identities are compromised and the stolen information is bought and sold in the darkest reaches of the Internet.

For the company at the center of this breach the damage will leave a lasting mark for most organizations, and the road to recovery from a security failure can be long and complicated. These security breaches are oftentimes so impactful they lead small businesses to file for bankruptcy!

All Businesses Can Have Rock Solid Spam Control & AntiVirus Management

In today's competitive business environment it is important to ensure that your critical IT systems are readily available to support core business functions. This requires knowledgeable and skilled professionals armed with the latest tools and information.

But what does a company do when employing an in-house IT staff is not practical? Should you just take your chances and neglect your network? What are the most reliable, efficient, and cost-effective network monitoring options for you to consider? Could managed services and cloud-based networking services offer the best solution?

What Is Patch Management in Relation to Network Monitoring?


More and more companies are relying on their IT infrastructure to run their business, save money, streamline processes, and increase profitability. The threats of cyber attacks or security breaches have been steadily increasing which forces businesses to evaluate their existing security measures including the methodology used by their IT business partners.

Compare Managed IT Services to Best Buy for Business


Businesses in all industries and of all sizes are learning the importance of having IT support services. Many find value  in outsourcing these processes, by leveraging the experience, expertise, and knowledge of third party vendors. Because of this, the market has grown dense with competing providers. There are several key elements your company should consider when choosing  Managed IT Services, whether in-house or outsourced.

Mastering IT Services Project Management for Your Business

Effective project management is one of the pinnacles of a successful IT department. Whether you employ an in-house team or an operations manager, keeping your IT service project management on schedule is imperative to achieving your business objectives. Is your team staying within budget? Are they meeting deadlines? Do they make informed decisions and work around an established timeline? These are just some of the factors that can upend your projects and leave you and your business struggling to regain your footing.

Paying an IT Support Hourly Rate? Change to Flat Fee to Save Money

If you're using an outside IT service that charges by the hour and you're not happy with the results, it's time to look at other solutions. Managed IT services that offer a flat rate may be better for your budget. Here are the benefits of flat fee versus hourly IT rates.

A Dedicated IT Support Team Maintains Employee Productivity

As you seek to grow your small or medium-sized business, you would like to ideally minimize the amount of "incidents" -- of any nature -- that your company experiences. One aspect of your business that you can gain control over is your IT support structure.

Why Network Monitoring Services Should Be an IT Priority

IT services are quickly gaining traction in the business world and it's easy to see why. With fully automated service management that focuses on customer needs and practical IT applications, it's a stress-free, intuitive system that continually works to improve your daily business operations. Designed to cut back on costs while helping you mold a faster, more efficient business, managed IT services offer an array of beneficial solutions catered to some of the most common IT problems.

Cloud Services Compared: Microsoft 365 or Google Apps for Work?


Microsoft was once uncontested king of office productivity software, while Google crept up from simple origins and became king of the web. The strategies of both of these tech giants have converged and they now both offer high-quality cloud-based office suites. This raises some questions.

Too Much Unplanned Downtime? Here's the Network Support You Need

For any company or business to thrive in this day and age requires a lot of things: drive, ambition, business savvy, solid marketing and the internet. Yes the internet. In the past 15 years the importance of the internet to every aspect of operating a company has increased exponentially. If you continually have unplanned downtime of your network your business operations can come to a full stop--your advertising, sales, communications, inventory, and, ultimately, your employee productivity will be affected for whatever amount of time your systems are down.

The right network support can alleviate surprise downtime, the lost time and there is a cost effective solution that incorporates all the IT support for your network and your overall IT needs.

Think Your Cost of IT Services is Too High? Here’s Your Solution


If you've lain awake nights wondering if you pay too much for your organization's IT support services, we can help put your mind at ease. We suspect that you probably compared the various IT support packages on the market and the various prices they charge for their services. You will give yourself a headache trying to decipher the features of the various IT support packages against the services you need. And don't even get us started on the costs that range are all across the boards. Well, we have a better way to help you dig yourself out of the proverbial hole.

Does Cheaper IT Support Indicate Poor Results? Not Always.

The growth of technology and, more specifically, the cloud have led to a virtual explosion of online business IT support services. This industry boom has led to an overwhelming saturation of online IT providers that are vying for your business. But as the market has expanded, so too has the level of variance in costs, quality, and services offered. Sorting through each provider and their unique options is daunting, confusing even, for managers looking to get their IT support on track.

What is Technology Management and How Does It Resolve Network Issues?


These days, technology changes so quickly just keeping up with it is a full-time job, let alone figuring out how to actually apply it to your business in an organized, strategic and profitable way while maintaining the best uses of your current systems and keeping your network functioning efficiently and securely. That requires technology management, and it's an increasingly important task. So, just what is technology management?

Network Monitoring Services Identify Issues Before You Have A Problem


There is nothing more frustrating than having to solve network problem after network problem. You may find that you are being more reactive than proactive when it comes to dealing with IT issues. This results in spending more money and losing a significant amount of productivity. Network monitoring services are available to overcome the reactive approach you are currently taking. Additionally, managed IT services will allow you to take advantage of not only network monitoring but also various other services that can help you as well, providing a complete cost-effective solution.

Save Money, Increase Cash Flow With the Managed Services Pricing Model

When you have a business, your goal is to make money. As such, you want to find the most cost-effective way to have reliable and proactive IT management over your business. Through the use of managed services, you have the ability to save money and increase cash flow. You can resolve unnecessary losses and expenditures and not have to incur the expense of hiring full-time employees to deal with the IT aspects of your business.

How to Resolve Accounting System Network Downtime for Good


Relying on a system network without some guidance is essentially playing a business version of Russian Roulette. You can hope for the best and assume you won't have lags or sudden crashes. Maybe you've had luck with this for a while, but there's a first time for everything.

Project Management and IT Services: How to Finish IT Projects On Time

Trying to get IT projects done on time can become a major burden when you're relying on multiple companies to get things done. As an Opps manager, head of HR, or CFO, you already know the pain of trying to get any IT project done on time or managed consistently.  There is a very easily implemented solution to keep even the simplest IT projects on schedule at all times without it being a constant strain on your time and burdening your company's productivity.

IT Support Services - Which Means Less Network Problems?


When it comes to IT services, you may not be having your current needs met. In fact, you may be constantly frustrated because of network problems. You don't have the dedicated tech support on premises, and you are getting the least experienced technicians sent out when you call for an issue. Managed IT support services can be the solution to ease your pain.

Cloud Solutions & Services: Why Should Your Company Use Cloud Hosting?


Finding cloud solutions & services can become an overwhelming process when you start to see how many providers and options are available today. This includes figuring out what type of cloud service is best for you so it keeps your business running optimally.

Why On-Demand IT Support Speeds Up Your Response Times

Running a midsize company here in Los Angeles requires so many components now to stay competitive in the business marketplace. As an HR manager or Operations Manager, there are many responsibilities to juggle--and keeping technology running up to speed is essential to maintain productivity, protect budgets and get ahead of competitors on a local or national level.

The only way to do this is to make sure you have local, LA Based IT support when it's needed rather than worrying about it only when something happens.

How Managed IT Support Services Simplifies Your Billing

As an office manager, you've probably had your share of dealing with complex billing matters related to IT services. If you already have an IT staff on your payroll, you may use other IT services on occasion to deal with technical emergencies or upgrades. Otherwise known as the break fix IT service model, these technicians are a reactionary source because they respond when you call them to handle an already elevated, and sometimes very stressful, IT problem or you discover an upgrade is necessary.

This type of IT support service option also doesn't provide any way to maintain a monthly budget because break fix technicians don't work for cheap and charge a substantial fee per hour--and don't always provide a guaranteed project fee because of it.  Most likely, you have multiple hourly technicians at different companies based on their specialization of services, which is only adding to this frustrationbecause you have multiple invoices with surprise charges. You're losing time to focus on the business itself, your employees are not as productive due to down times and accounting is not happy either.

Cloud Solutions & Services: Office 365 Features to Scale Your Business


When seeking cloud solutions and services, you have numerous variations providing means to help you get better organized and enhance productivity levels. Once the cloud turned mainstream in the last five years, Microsoft's Office 365 became a leader in providing office software features through the cloud. Known as a Software as a Service (SaaS), Office 365 transformed into a standard for being able to use office applications any time and at any place.

How Managed IT Services Can Save Your Company Money & Time


Things can easily get out of control in a company without proper guidance on managing technology. You likely know this from past experience if a lot of your IT infrastructure either shut down or went awry due to no one being available to keep an eye on potential threats. This likely brought substantial unplanned downtime that crippled your business in the past, if not closing down.

Getting Over Your Fear of Managed IT Services


Managed IT Services is a great option for many companies. However, it's often fear that stands in the way more than anything else. Fear of losing control; fear of being responsible for a bad decision; fear of being less important to the company. We're offering you some good insights into these fears, and how they relate to outsourcing managed IT services for your business.

Why You Need Managed IT Services: Less Downtime to More Scalability


The concepts behind managed IT services have evolved considerably over the last decade, though the true reasons for having it have never been more essential. As the business world continues to become more complex due to increasing customer demands and technology dependence, you can't manage everything on your own. Even if you already have an in-house IT staff, they're perhaps being overworked, or not being used enough.

2016 Network Security Report: 93% of Phishing Emails Are Ransomware


You get an email. You carelessly open the attachment. You see a notice on your computer, politely phrased in spite of its hostile intent, telling you that your files are now encrypted, but you can get them back if you send a payment in Bitcoin to a specified wallet. Your network security has been breached. 

Business Continuity: How to Assure Your Business Survives a Disaster


Having comprehensive IT management is more critical than ever today for businesses, even if it's become far too comprehensive for one person to take on. It's one reason so many now turn to IT consultants to manage their companies. Because they're consultants, it means they've had extensive experience working for multiple industries and know how to handle one thing at a time.

VoIP & Business Phone Systems: Get Connected on Business Projects


Acquiring VoIP & business phone systems is a smart investment in a time when business competition requires faster technology. The problem is that you're maybe stuck using landline phones after doing it this way for one, two, or multiple decades. The longer you've been around as a business, it's likely becoming more difficult to change the technology you're used to using.

Network Security: The Top 5 Attacks We'll See in the Next Three Years

When discussing current network security threats, it can become so overwhelming that it's a challenge to hone in on one thing at a time. One thing's clear, though: the next few years are going to become a minefield when it comes to cyber threats for everyone. No matter if you're a business, or an individual working from home, you need awareness of what you'll be facing up through 2020.

2 Recent Network Security Threats You Never Thought Would Happen

Recent news of network security threats ranges from the very small to the very big, from local fast food franchises to the halls of Congress.

The Internet of Things: How it Impacts Workplace Network Security

You've likely read plenty about The Internet of Things (IoT) over the last few years and how it's already revolutionizing how we gain information and run technology. As with many new technologies, however, the excitement can frequently tuck away realities about network security. It wasn't until the last year or two when we finally woke up to the realization that a connected world is only going to increase the potential for security threats.

Managed Services: Why You Need a Watchful Eye on Your Technology

Managed Services has long come in many forms, but now it's better defined on what it offers. In the older days of IT technology, IT management usually meant on-site technicians who basically worked on a break-fix system. When something went wrong, it sometimes meant having to take over all the office computers for hours to get the problem resolved.

2016 Is A Ransomware Horror Show! Here's The New Roundup for Spring

There isn't any question that 2016 is a ransomware horror show, and we don't say this with any facetiousness. With ransomware being one of the most insidious pieces of malware out there, awareness is the only thing that can truly bring protection and network security.

Cloud Services & Solutions: When Should Cloud Migration Take Place?

You're perhaps hearing about all your friends and competitors using cloud services & solutions to tap into all the exponential benefits. Even so, you also know the cloud is best for those with certain business circumstances.

It's easy to get confused if you think you absolutely need to migrate to the cloud, yet you're not completely sure if it's the right move.

Using IT Consulting for On-Demand Resources: Expertise During Critical Times

You've no doubt heard many good things about IT consulting, but you haven't taken the time to fully understand what the benefits are for the future.

If you've seen other businesses use consultants to help find immediate solutions to complicated IT problems, did you see the consultant stay, or move on? Most likely, the company retained the consultant to use for on-demand resources when unexpected situations came up.

Cloud Solutions: Why Google Apps for Work is Essential for a Startup

In the world of cloud solutions & services, you'll find myriad tools that can sometimes overwhelm in their variety. However, at the heart of the cloud is security and dependable storage to use during times of disaster. Complementing this are various other platforms that help a business function better.

Businesses Need Layered Security Approach to Prevent RANSOMWARE Attack

In 2013 the cyber-security community was caught off-guard as the now infamous CryptoLocker virus rapidly spread throughout the world via phishing attacks and so-called "drive-by downloads."

Colloquially known as "ransomware," viruses of this type encrypt a user's files and then demand payment in an anonymous digital currency such as Bitcoin in exchange for returning access to the user.

Network Security Threats: How Dangerous Will Ransomware Become?

Out of all current network security threats, it seems that ransomware is the most talked about since the beginning of the year. The most recent scare was the fact that ransomware reared its ugly head on Mac computers for the first time. While Mac users had it mostly thwarted, just the fact that it's gone this far is a measure of a dangerous evolution.

VoIP Business Phone Systems: Part 2 of 2 - Making the Decision

Completing our two part series on VoIP phone systems for business, this article will outline the key questions you should consider when making a decision on the set up that fits your business.

Cyber Security: IRS Warns About Widespread CEO Fraud W-2 Phishing Scam

The "IRS warns against widespread CEO fraud W-2 phishing scam" is perhaps a headline you've seen in the media lately, though didn't pay enough attention. In a time when it seems there's a cyber security story regarding a virus, phishing scam, or ransomware every day of the week, it's easy to miss something that could affect your own company.

First Ransomware Mac Virus: What it Means for Network Security

Ransomware has become the new term that brings a myriad headaches to companies whenever the word comes up and is a huge threat to a company's network security. As an ever-growing virus that allows a hacker to lock up a company's network, it's a new concept in technology kidnapping. In this case, the person behind the virus asks for a ransom to get your files back.  

VoIP Business Phone Systems: Part 1 of 2 - The Basics


This is part one of VoIP Business Phone Systems, and will be followed by Part 2 of 2 - Making the Decision.

When you work in the tech biz, it's easy to forget that sometimes, people don't understand what you're selling well enough to feel comfortable deciding to buy your product. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems are one of those products.

IT Consulting - Creating and Testing a Disaster Recovery Plan

Because of modern technology and IT consulting, businesses are able to quickly and effectively process information. Desktop computers, laptops and wireless devices are essential components of doing business in the modern age. E-mail and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone systems are employed to communicate. Data of all kinds (including orders and payments) are transmitted from one company to another via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Servers process this vast quantity of information and store large amounts of valuable data. However, what happens when disaster strikes and all this technology stops working?

Network Security Threats: What Should You Look Out For?

Trying to keep up with network security threats is a Herculean task sometimes when it seems new issues pop up every week. Many cyber threats continue to evolve into more malicious viruses and hacking concerns. While you may think some of these problems wouldn't bother a business, it ultimately affects all of us. Some network security threats out there could easily have ripple effects across a broad spectrum.

Stop Wasting Your Time Working with Multiple Managed Services Vendors

When you contract for IT managed services, your expectation is that it will improve things at your company. As time goes on you build what you feel is an arsenal of providers covering all your bases, but what has also been built is a complicated web of internal management issues and stress that is doing exactly the opposite of what you set out to do.

IT Consulting: Analyzing the Value of Experience in the Field

IT consulting has evolved over the years to becoming a major asset to companies who need to save on IT costs. The only problem is that anyone can use the word "consultant", and it may give assumptions of true expertise. In truth, a business has to evaluate these individuals to make sure the experience is there to take on the biggest IT challenges.

The 3 IT Services Essential to Business Growth: Managed Services, VoIP, and Security

To run a business at a competitive level today, you need three essential IT services for business growth. If you haven't thought about these lately, you may soon start feeling the pinch from your competitors. To stay one step ahead, it requires the best technology and means to communicate. For the latter, this means properly linking with customers as well as your employees.

The Top 5 Latest Trends in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has proved itself to be significantly more than a passing trend in IT technology, and while it is being consistently adopted and integrated into computing infrastructures, the technology and approach to cloud computing is constantly evolving to meet the rapidly changing needs of providers and businesses. In the midst of the search by businesses and organizations to identify long-term solutions that will facilitate the integration of cloud computing with conventional computing infrastructures, cloud providers are developing ways to offer increasingly remarkable benefits, such as application services and big data analytics, subsequently leveling the playing field for small businesses.

How to Avoid Getting Nickeled & Dimed by Your Managed Service Provider

Most companies have already discovered that partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) can save them a lot of money, but those savings are not guaranteed. That’s because not all MSPs are the same -- the services they provide and the fees they charge for them can be vastly different.

The managed services methodology has been around for several years now, which has given many IT providers time to develop more sophisticated pricing...but some still abide by the old "nickel-and-dime" rule.

Here's how you can avoid hidden charges when engaging in a managed services agreement.

A Quick Intro to Office 365 for Businesses

Launched in 2011, Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription-based service available to both home and business users. Bringing together all of the familiar Microsoft Office applications, such as Word and Excel, it presents an important alternative to the normal retail versions of the world's most popular desktop productivity suite. In addition to a range of subscription plans for businesses, the current version, Office 2016, is also available in five traditional additions available as one-time purchases.

How Can Phone Systems Support Businesses?

Communication is one of the most important elements of a business infrastructure. It's important to consider not just how you will communicate with your clients and customers, but also how you will communicate with your employees. It's surprising how many companies are built without considering either one or both of these elements prior to being established. Depending on the type of business you operate, phone systems may play a pivotal role in the daily function of your business. While more and more businesses are being developed with email being the primary method of communication, phones are obviously still very much important to the business environment and they don't appear to be going away anytime soon.

What considerations should you make for your business in regards to phone systems, and how can the right systems in place support a successful business infrastructure?

How Can IT Consulting Help Your Business?

At some point or another, every business has run into a situation where a little bit of consulting, or maybe a lot of consulting, could really help support a successful infrastructure, particularly in areas where the business might be weak or need improvement. IT consulting is definitely an important area to consider in this regard. With growing advancements in technology, more and more businesses are needing to rely on a strong IT infrastructure to keep their company stable and prepared for future advancements so they aren't left behind by not being ready. Having the right IT consulting company by your side for important decisions relating to the development and continuous security of your network can mean the difference between your business being successful or not.

In this article, we will address some of the areas that an IT consulting company can assist you with in regards to building your IT infrastructure and maintaining it correctly.

Top 5 Benefits of Computer Support Services

One of the greatest benefits offered by IT consulting companies today is computer support services. Computer support services are beneficial in allowing individuals managing IT environments to ensure that technical problems are resolved in the quickest way possible ensuring minimal downtime and loss of information. In a world where time is money, having your network up as much as possible and protecting your information is crucial to running a successful business that relies heavily on its IT infrastructure.

Some of the top benefits of computer & tech support services will be discussed in more detail.

How to Avoid IT Problems

Finding new ways to solve IT problems faster and with less loss in productivity is a challenge to many IT companies struggling to get an edge on the competition. Technology is always changing and it’s hard to keep up. However, there are certain basic steps you can take to ensure you are affected the least from IT problems and that your systems maintain functionality with minimal downtime.

5 Reasons to Use an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS’s) are used to prevent damage from power loss and common electric occurrences. UPS units are commonly used by companies that need to ensure minimal downtime to their resources as they ensure that during a brief power outage, a network device may continue to run. In short, business continuity tends to be the main focus...and for good reason.

In this article, some of the additional benefits in running your network with uninterruptible power supplies are discussed.

5 Reasons to Backup Your Data

Whether it’s a power failure or a hacker trying to compromise your data, there are situations that may arise that result in your systems going down temporarily. Often times, during the system crash data is lost that if not properly backed up, may be completely unrecoverable. Losing data can be detrimental to a business. There have been cases where so much data has been lost that a company has gone under from something as simple as a power failure.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to ensure that you backup your data to ensure that if such a situation arises, your personal or company information is safe and secure. Some of the most important reasons for backing up your data will be documented further in this article.

What Can Happen if Your Server is Compromised

A server crash can be detrimental on its own for a business. The situation is even worse if the server has been hacked or compromised. This means the server is no longer under the control of its rightful owners and is being exploited by a hacker.

There are several potential nightmares this can cause, but let’s start by discussing how a server compromise happens and which practices allow it to take place.

The Benefits of Fixed Fee IT Management

Navigating the world of technology can be frustrating (as well as expensive) if you do not make the right decision on which company to best manage your IT infrastructure. Of equal importance is the type of management method you adopt.

There are many benefits in choosing a company with a fixed fee price structures, and those reasons will be detailed further here.

[Infographic] IT Security Statistics

How big of an issue is IT and Network Security in today's technological environment?

Take a look at this interesting infographic to discover some interesting statistics!

Top 5 Ways to Secure Your Network

Network security, whether at home or at the office, is of utmost importance. Guaranteeing that your network is safe from unauthorized access is difficult in today’s technologically complicated environment, but it is far from impossible. There are several ways to ensure that your data is safe, secure, and readily available to you whenever you need it.

Let’s talk about some ways that you can improve your network security so that your information, whether related to your business, family, or simply yourself, is protected without you having to spend a ridiculous amount of money or losing easy access to your data.

How to Handle Server Crashes

A server crash at best can be a minor inconvenience, but at its worst, a server crash can be detrimental to a business. A server is a computer or computer program that manages access to a centralized resource or service in a network and can be responsible for anything from managing administrative accounts, to handling privacy settings for individual users. When a server goes down, it takes a lot with it, and the best thing you can do is work your best to handle the situation while your server is offline and work your best to get things back up and running.

How Cloud Services Benefit Businesses of Any Size

Cloud services genuinely change the way that business is ran now a days due to the mere fact of extra mobility for a company’s data and files. Going ‘cloud’ with a business is an extremely important step to consider, since it will open up access to tools and services that you would usually need to have a certain infrastructure in order to use and run. This also cuts down on the workforce needed to properly maintain the infrastructure in working condition. With these things out of the way, there’s more room in the budget to focus on other, more important things and keep money budgeted for more effective business moves.

Top 5 Benefits of Virtualization

The benefits of virtualization for IT departments are many and varied. Not only does virtualization allow for improved control of operations, it also helps to reduce costs and increases the ease of scaling. There are also innumerable benefits to the improvement of infrastructure gained in the areas of networking, platforms and storage. While there many benefits of virtualization, there are five which stand out as the most beneficial for IT departments.

What is VoIP and What Are Its Business Benefits?

The discovery of the internet has revolutionized the way we live. It has offered us countless benefits among which the most important one is that it has brought the people together. By turning the world into a literal global village, the internet has offered us a chance to communicate with our relatives living in different parts of the world with consummate ease. The Internet has offered us this opportunity through business VoIP technology. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a set of technologies which allows you to have voice communications and to send and receive multimedia files over an Internet Protocol (IP) network. The VoIP services are known by many other names which include Internet telephony, broadband phone services, IP telephony and broadband telephony.

The following are some of the benefits that you can gain by making use of VoIP services.

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs to Install a Server

The business environment has been transforming for the past few decades. The advent of computers and the internet has had massive impact on the way we do business. Companies that are not utilizing this new technology to the fullest are lagging behind their rivals and finding it difficult to remain competitive. This is true for companies belonging to all sectors. It is does not matter whether you are a big organization having hundreds of employees or a small firm of only ten; every big and small business has to start considering investing in various IT projects, such as network and server installation, or it will not be able to flourish.

The History of Business & Information Technology

The use of technology in business has become a common phenomenon nowadays, but it wasn’t always the case. In old times, business transactions were not that fast. Since people had to do most of the work with their hands, the pace of the business process was incredibly slow. The absence of faster tools for doing business meant that it was impossible for people to even think about doing business instantly. However, with the passage of time, technological advancements made quicker business transactions possible. This made people realize the importance of technology in business and since then it has become a necessary component (along with IT services) for all types of businesses.

The following is a brief rundown of the history of business technology, which gives you an idea of how much technology has evolved and how it has impacted the way business is done.

Information Technology Trends for the Future

Information technology has had a great impact on all aspects of our lives since its discovery. Throughout the past few decades information technology has revolutionized the way business is done. The age of e-commerce and IT is now driving all business activities. From marketing to sales to consumer support, every aspect of business is now completed digitally or online. The great thing about technology is that it never remains stagnant. It is constantly changing and new innovations and IT services are developed each day. These new advancements or tends are currently shaping the future of business.

The following are some of the information technology services and trends, which are set to reshape the business landscape in the near future.

[Infographic] The Role of IT in Small Businesses

Information technology and IT services play a large role in many small businesses today. If you are wondering how your business fits in with the rapidly changing IT world, check out this infographic we created:

Best Explanation of an Ongoing IT Crisis

Business owners need to recognize that IT departments are now driving the business world, however they may be driving it with an unqualified pilot. There is an ongoing IT crisis that CEOs need to understand; what it is and why it is happening. The business functionality can be affected in negative ways or positive ways by an IT department and its quality or lack of quality.

Common business sense tells you that your IT department must be well trained, knowledgeable, and involved in constant educational workshops. Talent does indeed matter, especially when it comes to IT consulting and strategy. However, this thought process is causing an IT issue that must be addressed due to lack of focus on talent.

How To Know If Your Data Is Actually Safe

Deciding if your business or company data is safe or not safe requires more than just securing your data, it also means knowing which data to secure at what level. Protecting yourself has the potential to be expensive and time consuming, so you want the right network security plan for your company and data.

This article is intended to help you understand the different layers of data, CI terms and concept definitions, where the different data falls in the security scheme, and how to secure all of your data correctly.

How to Use Microsoft Windows in the Office

There are many platforms you can utilize for your office computer system. Microsoft Windows offers a plethora of delivery options and should be considered a viable option for your office, along with Microsoft Office 365.

Why SMBs Need to Focus on Digital Strategies

A digital strategy is the process of a business using technology to further their visions, goals, opportunities and initiatives in order to maximize the business benefits. Digital strategy frequently includes customer intelligence, collaboration, new product/market exploration, sales and service optimization, as well as the technology architecture of a business. It can also include marketing thrusts like websites and mobile platforms.

[Infographic] Cloud Services in Small Business

Cloud computing is here to stay, especially among small to midsize businesses. But why?

Most of us are already familiar with the various solutions and cloud services available, but below are a few facts wrapped up in a simple infographic that will help explain this further.

Ebay is Hacked - What to Do

As of 2 days ago, Ebay was apparently hacked. Their worldwide security databases containing private user data has been compromised and the data could be stolen, however, financial information was not compromised.

10 Huge IT Disasters from Recent History

Whether it is related to technology or human error, defective hardware and software has taken its toll on various organizations, reputation-wise and financially.

Here is a list of what we believe to be 10 absolutely huge IT disasters from recent history!

New IE Security Issue  - What To Do

This last weekend there has been a new security issue with Microsoft Internet Explorer browser and the severity of issues that it can cause.

How to Secure Your Wi-Fi Connection in 5 Steps

Wi-fi and broadband services are the fastest and easiest ways to access the Internet from any location. They are used today around the world in coffee shops like Starbucks, inside the home and in business offices around the world.

When you are using these services from home or your office it is important to have encryption and at least some form of network security in place so that the system is not accessed from outside sources. Here's how you can do that...

The Importance of Cloud Based Services for Small Businesses

As a firm offering computer support in Los Angeles, we can tell you that the development of Cloud technology is a major breakthrough that makes life easier for everyone. This applies to the business environment as well. Today, cloud-based services make life easier for business owners. As more and more small business owners recognize the advantages of using these services, they are becoming increasingly popular in the Small business sector. The reason behind the decision to go cloud is that businesses gain access to a large variety of tools and services without investing in the infrastructure required to run them and without hiring the skilled workforce needed to operate and maintain it. This allows the company to focus its budget on other areas of their activity, which is very important in the current economic conditions. These advantages look even better if we take into account the fact that the price of these services is decreasing dramatically, and the services offered are becoming increasingly reliable.

How to Fix This Security Issue on your iPhone

Apple Inc is one of the best-known companies worldwide. Its diversified line of products and its aggressive marketing strategy has brought the company to the center of everyone’s attention many times. Its best known products are the Mac line of computers, the iPod media player, the iPhone Smartphones and the iPad tablet computers. Apple Inc managed to create a strong brand and gained a very large number of returning customers. Apple enthusiasts are known for camping in front of the company’s stores days before new products are launched in an attempt to be among the first to purchase them. Overall, Apple products are gaining popularity worldwide; in the last quarter of 2013 alone, Apple sold over 50 million iPhones and 26 million iPads worldwide, and registered record revenues and profits.

It came as a shock therefore when, on February 21st, Apple officials announced that they had discovered a problem with Apple Inc software.

A Full Definition of "IT Infrastructure"

Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure is a pretty ambiguous term for most of us, even for some of the people working in the field of IT.

Digital information has become an important resource in today’s business environment, making IT infrastructure, which is used to store and transmit said information, increasingly important. We realized how vital it is for people and businesses to understand what the concept really means and what is the best way in which an IT infrastructure can be managed.

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Server?

Here is a short basic article on this common question that comes up with existing clients and new inquiries. We have dealt with this question for clients with a 9 years old server and they say "but it still boots after 4x" to clients who want "the latest version" ever so years. What are the factors in determining if you should upgrade to a new server and operating system? It can be simple...and not so simple. Here's why...

Is Your Firewall Configured Correctly?

Here is a little article about firewalls for your network. Cisco, juniper, Sonicwall, Fortinet, Dlink, Netgear, Linksys- to name a few- are all providers of firewalls for various situations.

For your business you should really review with your IT company, or internal staff, what firewall you are using to protect your assets. Unfortunately a  lot of IT providers will put in a off the shelf consumer (home user) firewall for their business network.

"Yeah but they don't do much on their network other then sometimes surf around".

That is a common excuse IT providers use in explaining to their customers. It's possible they are not versed in network security, prosumer firewall products or the differences.

Should You Buy a Windows 8 PC or Mac?

There's no wrong answer...other than ones better than the other. With today's modern technology advances on chip sets, and video cards - they all do the same thing.

It's just the approach on how you work. Yes, Apple has Final Cut pro but PC has their flavors as well. And Windows Movie Maker is very easy for the common man.

Some of the reasons why IT likes PC's better over MAC is because IT has the ability to dive deeper in the engine/backend when there's an issue, more support for more of the products that business users use, more common fixes, easier to deploy and push configurations company-wide. The flip side is the PC is more vulnerable to virus and hack attacks.

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