15 Jul 2019

Chicago IT Support – Virus Protection not enough!

Virus Protection is not enough to Protect your Data.

When you are looking for Chicago IT Support, you need to be aware that anti-virus solutions are not the answer for all network security. Virus Protection is only one tool in the never ending fight against cyber attacks.

Chicago IT Support firm IT Risk Managers LLC

Chicago IT Support firms like IT Risk Managers LLC will use multiple tools to stop security breeches and protect your network from other outside attacks. When choosing a Chicago IT Support firm, make sure they have a Security Operations Center monitoring your systems, firewalls, and virus protection solutions. 24/7.

This Chicago IT Support firm will protect your data!

Outsiders can steal financial information, customer records, pricing information. The hacker community is scanning the network for companies with poorly configured firewalls and otherwise unsecure systems. Believe it or not Employees are your greatest threat as they rarely consider risk before they interact with the outside.

IT Support firm provides Network Assessment

What can you do to keep the wolves at bay? The first step is to have a Network Risk Assessment performed by an outside firm.  Don’t assume your IT staff understand or appreciate these risks. Tell them this is part of an audit. These assessments will show you a number of potential security risks such as:

  1. How employees are your greatest risk, because of training
  2. How security updates are often overlooked
  3. How antivirus is commonly not set-up properly and often lacks malware protection

 

What’s is more frustrating, most of the solutions to these threat cost little or no money to fix.We audit our financials and Insurance needs to ensure we are secure, why should IT be any different. We audit our financials and insurance needs to ensure we are secure, why should IT be any different.

For more information on how to secure your network and other practical solutions to protect your business please call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370 or email info@itriskmgrs.com

10 Apr 2019

One Must Have From your Chicago IT Support Provider

Network Security
SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER FROM YOUR CHICAGO IT SUPPORT PROVIDER

The single most important thing your Chicago IT Support plan needs

If you are making a decision related to IT and your Chicago company you are faced with a ton of options, technologies, costs, software, platforms, etc. But, currently the single most important focus of your Chicago IT support strategy needs to be IT Cyber Security. You’ve probably heard this from any reputable IT Company or one of the better IT Companies in Chicago. Don’t ignore this message. Sometimes executive leadership tends to tune out the constant sky is falling messages about information technology. But IT Cyber Security is one area that can’t be ignored.

Your Data is Under Attack

Your data is your company. All your accounting records, sales records, human resources records are today’s most valuable assets. And hackers want this data, and spend enormous amounts of time trying to get it. Cyber threats are becoming more common and extremely sophisticated. And as one of Chicago’s leading IT Companies we see more and more attacks happening to smaller companies. That’s why even as a small business or mid-size business IT Cyber-Security must play a huge part in your IT Support plan. The threats include Malware attacks, that can penetrate your systems through emails, web site visits, downloaded files. Other threats may include hacking, insider attacks and of course ransomware. Well the majority of these threats can not be stopped by typical firewall and perimeter security technologies.

Why Firewalls aren’t enough!

The problem is many Chicago IT Companies have relied on firewalls and perimeter technologies to protect your company’s data from hacking. Perimeter technologies are systems that act like a fence or gate. They protect intruders from getting in from outside your network. Imagine a house, your yard fence, windows, locks and doors, these would be considered perimeter defense technologies. However, these technologies alone will no longer protect you. The reason is most attacks these days come from inside your network. So what would you do to protect your house if someone was already inside? Well your security and home defenses would be much different. Then you would need to look more at solutions that allow you to respond and eliminate the threat from the inside. Now your Chicago IT Support plan needs a Managed IT Cyber Security service to keep your data safe from the inside. What does that mean? Well it means that your systems, network and its data are monitored 24/7 to make sure no one is hacking or compromising your data from the outside and inside.

Protection Detection and Response

Lets continue with the home analogy. To protect your home you may install a fence, locks on your doors and windows, or even gates on your windows. In the IT security and support world, gates, locks and doors would be the firewalls, and endpoint protection technologies. This is the first step towards a proper IT Security plan. Protection! Next let’s think about burglar alarms, and what they consist of in your home. They would have motion sensors, movement detectors and cameras. In IT Security solutions and IT Support technologies this would be the Detection piece of your IT Security solution. You need a platform that detects an intrusion, similar to burglar alarms. These are referred to as intrusion detection solutions. And lastly, and perhaps most important is what happens when an intruder is detected? Well 911 is called. This is Response! Well in IT Security how you respond to an intrusion is what will save you from an attack. You need all three pieces, Protection, Detection and Response to have a successful IT Security plan.

The Glue that holds everything together

OK well now you know you need an IT security solution that provides Protection, Detection and Response. That is great, but finally there is a something that keeps all of this working, and that’s a SOC. The Security Operations Center is the glue that holds everything together. All successful Managed Security services must provide a Security Operations center or SOC. You must work with a Chicago IT support company that offers IT Managed Security Services and that has a SOC that provides 24/7 monitoring of your systems. And I am not talking about a SOC that is run inside some small IT company. I am talking about a SOC that meets compliance requirements and the platform is maintained in a HIPPA, PCI. SSAE 16 compliant data center.  The SOC is the cornerstone to a successful Chicago IT Support strategy. And as a small business you can not afford to implement your own SOC. A good SOC Cyber Security Platform from a good IT support company will do the following:

It will monitor the inbound and outbound data and network traffic of all your network devices. This will allow the traffic to be evaluated as being from good sources or from bad sources. Action based on the different traffic behaviors can then be evaluated to see if a threat pattern exists. The threat pattern may be related to ransomware attacks, insider attacks, botnets and other threats that slip past the firewall. This is what Managed IT Security is.

A good SOC offering will also provide your business with regulatory compliance reporting to deal with HIPAA, OCI, SOX and other regulatory bodies. This will minimize your exposure to fines, penalties and remediation costs. Regulatory compliance is a key benefit of a good Managed IT Security offering.

And to pull this all together Log Capture and Management has to play a roll. This is where the information is evaluated and data investigated to discover breeches, anomalies, and other malicious behavior.

In conclusion your IT Support plan must have a IT Cyber Security solution or SIEM (security information and event management) solution that leverages a Security Operations Center to succeed and protect your comapny’s data, network and systems.

If you have further questions related to Chicago IT Support or IT Security Solutions for your business feel free to call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370 or email info@itriskmgrs.com.

 

08 Apr 2019

5 Things you must know about SD WAN

SD-WAN is a great technology for multi-site networking

5 things you must know about SD-WAN

SD WAN Applications

SD WAN can be leveraged and used in multiple scenarios. Software Defined Networking (SDN) can be leveraged for the Wide Area Network and Cloud based applications. SD WAN can be used for a virtual Wide Area Networking platform that makes great sense for mult-site connectivity. SD-WAN can use multiple Internet connections, has application layer security and is cost effective. It is also easy to deploy, manage and configure, and great for IaaS, and SaaS applications.

Active/Active and Failover Configuration of your Internet Circuits

One of the most valuable capabilities of an SD WAN solution is its ability to aggregate commercial grade less expensive Internet connections and trunk them together or use them in a fail over mode. For instance, you have a site that requires 100% network up-time. You may consider ordering a fiber pipe from AT&T for the main network connection and a hi-speed Comcast Coax connection for backup. The SD WAN solution supports both network connections and they can be aggregated so you can leverage the bandwidth of both connections simultaneously and configure the SD WAN so if one of the connections goes down it will automatically fail-over to the other connection. So rather then have the coax as a passive backup it can be leveraged as an active circuit while simultaneously acting as a backup.

Application Performance and Control

SD WAN is an application aware technology. This means that you can get visibility into your network’s performance and applications in a much more granular manner then any other WAN transport technology out there. Most WAN transport technologies just look at bits and bytes, where SD-WAN sees the applications. SD-WAN allows you to prioritize applications based on its importance. For instance, you can throttle down video traffic and throttle up your business-critical application traffic via an interface across your entire deployment. You also can see the links at all the sites including traffic, speeds, throughput. The technology is also cloud enabled which means it is not necessary to backhaul all the data through a main site for SAAS and IAAS connectivity.

PCI Compliance and more Secure

The SD-WAN controllers are out of band and do not carry any un-encrypted card holder data. The SDWAN also includes Layer 7 application aware firewalls that restrict connections between un-trusted networks and systems in the protected environment. SD-WAN also meets requirements related to the systems hardening requirements as required by PCI. These and other security features meet PCI and DSS compliance standards. Also, SD-WAN offers cloud-based security bypassing the need for backhauling to a main site for filtering, scanning and other security services. SD-WAN’s decentralized security capabilities are great for IAAS and SAAS connectivity.

Less complicated Engineering support required

MPLS and other WAN protocols through the years have required high level engineers like CCIE’s to implement and manage. As costs of WAN engineers have soared and the cost of core networking is also high, SD-WAN provides a great path to have a reasonably price Managed Service for your Wide Area Networking needs. Traditional WAN deployments require manual box by box configurations, also QoS configurations and load balancing are done manually through router Command Line programming. And fail over configurations also are based on router manual configurations based on distance and availability. SD-WAN provides a user-friendly deployment strategy, the heavy technical lifting is done by the SD-WAN provider or SD-WAN Managed Services Provider, easing the burden of Installation, Configuration, Operations and Management.

Cloud Ready SD-WAN

Traditional WAN ties a customer to a private circuit that in most cases requires back-hauling to the centralized site. Whereas SD-WAN gives a direct to the Internet Secure link to the SAAS or IAAS provider. SD-WAN’s multi homing to multiple gateways enable direct access to cloud data centers eliminating back-haul penalties. Also, SD-WAN uses standard base encryption like AES which gives you a secure cloud network. Security and optimization services can be delivered based on application requirements. With SD-WAN’s decentralized architecture security services can be provided locally without the need to back-haul.

Contact Info

If you have further questions about SD WAN & ITRM and you would like further information email rbolda@itriskmgrs.com or call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370

19 Mar 2019

CLUTCH NAMES IT SERVICES CHICAGO FIRM IT RISK MANAGERS LLC AS A LEADER

TOP CHICAGO IT SERVICES COMPANY

IT Risk Managers LLC Recognized as a Leading IT Services Chicago based Firm

 At IT Risk Managers LLC, we believe that we are an extension of your business and we offer Network Operations services, a 24-hour help desk team, data replication, and security solutions that keep your company safe from external threats. We have been striving to be a top service provider since we opened for business in 2007 and we have some exciting news to announce! We look forward to providing IT Services in Chicago for years to come.

 

“IT Risk Managers LLC is proud to be named as a 2019 Chicago leader with Clutch.  Clutch put us through a challenging and difficult vetting process, and we are glad to have come out on top!” – CEO, Rick Bolda-IT Risk Managers LLC

 

Clutch has recently named us a Leading IT & Business Service Firm in Chicago for 2019. We are very proud of this distinguishing award and we take pride in our firm’s dedication to providing excellent service to all our clients. Clutch is a B2B reviews platform covering a wide range of companies in a variety of operational locations and core operations, evaluating them based on their customer satisfaction, brand strength, and overall ability to deliver service. We were selected by Clutch to be a part of their list of leading IT & Business firms and were listed as among the top IT services companies in Chicago due to our proven track record of excellent service in our field.

 

We are also very excited to announce our features on The Manifest and Visual Objects, two of Clutch’s sister sites that help firms navigate the buyer’s journey. Our high-quality work record has granted us a spot among the top managed service providers firms on this site. This award along with our profile on Visual Objects as a top marketing agency reflects the accomplishments that we’ve been able to achieve as a firm since we started our operations over a decade ago.

 

Overall, we are excited to continue as a leader in our industry and we cannot thank Clutch enough for honoring us with this highly sought-after award. We would like to give a special thanks to our team and all our previous clients for helping us achieve our success!

If you would like more information on a top IT Services Chicago firm go here, or call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370 you can also email info@itriskmgrs.com

 

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