Tag: Best IT Companies in Chicago

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.

 

10 Feb 2019

OneNote an Awesome Office 365 Tool

Office 365 has great tools
Office 365 has many great tools like OneNote

Tips for using OneNote for Project Management

Hopefully by now your IT Support team, or the Managed IT Support company you are working with has introduced you to Microsoft OneNote. OneNote is a powerful project management and online notebook tool. The best part is that it is part of the Office 365 cloud suite. So if you have Office 365 you don’t have to pay extra. You now no longer have to spend a lot of money on expensive project management software because OneNote is not only available on all devices but it can also be used for a number of projects. OneNote can be configured according to your needs and the type of project that you are working on. Following are some of the tips that can prove to be very helpful if you decide to use OneNote for project management. Your IT consulting team can help get you started but its not overly complicated

Train your team to use OneNote:

The essence of project management is teamwork. Your team must be able to effectively collaborate to make any project successful. Another important factor is that your team should be skilled at and comfortable in using the tools being used for project management. One of the major advantages of using OneNote as your main project management tool is that it can be learned very easily with minimal training. If the people working in your team are familiar with Microsoft Word they would have no difficulty in getting used to OneNote. There are plenty of guides available online that can help you and your team in getting comfortable with the software. As one of Chicago top IT companies we can provide you training also. Our most popular cloud offering is Office 365!

 

Customize according to the project:

One of the unique and very useful abilities of OneNote is that it can be very easily customized according to your preferences or the project you are working on. If you force yourself to work on a software that doesn’t look or feel good you will find a lot of hindrance in your creative process. The simplest customizations can be done from the View tab. By using this tab, you can change the settings from the default view to full page view. You can also use this tab to dock the pages to the side of the screen while you take notes from different online sources. More fancy customizations can also be easily found in the Options area when you click on the Display option. Even if the project that you are working on is a simple one, some customizations like changing the color of the pages can really mean a huge difference in the end result. By learning to use customizations to your advantage you can have increased work efficiencies in any given project.

Using custom page templates:

Page templates can be a big lifesaver when it comes to project management. In any project of any size, there is a high possibility that some objects or tasks are repeated. This is where page templates can save a lot of time and effort that you and your team put into the project. One of the features of OneNote is that it not only allows you to use the preexisting page templates but it also gives you the option to create your own custom page templates from scratch. All you have to do is to go to the Insert option and then click on an insert page template to add any template. Using page templates can dramatically reduce time especially when you are duplicating any information. This information can be anything, recurring meetings, interviews with different clients, task processes, idea discussion meetings etc.

Follow an organization strategy:

OneNote is equipped with multiple options such as pages, categories, subcategories, notebooks, sections etc. But in order to use these features to their full potential, it is necessary that you use an organizational strategy to keep things in correct order. One of the best practices that can ensure a good organization strategy is to make sure that you add a table of content at the start of the project. This additional page should have clickable links to different content in the project so that you can navigate easily. Another important feature in this regard is the search feature in OneNote. This feature can be used to search for any file or page in the project. When the conventional methods of finding anything fails tags can be used to quickly search for the items. Tags in OneNote is another very useful feature that can be used to properly categorize different items in the project. They can help you in quickly getting to the required data.

Some other great Office 365 tools include yammer and teams. Yammer is a bulletin board type of tool and great for company wide communications, broadcasts, and announcements. Microsoft teams is another Office 365 tool that can be used for communication between project teams, have a central repository for project files, and other project related functions/

Hope this information helps. If want to work with one of Chicago’s top IT Companies, and a top Office 365 provider feel free to email info@itriskmgrs.com or call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370

11 Feb 2017

Chicago Cloud Services!

What is the ‘Cloud’ that I’ve been hearing about?

The word ‘Cloud’ is used as a general term to represent a segment of IT services utilizing the many large data centers we send information to, store information in, and receive information from. These data centers provide the infrastructure for IT Cloud Services and are located in many different buildings, in many different locations throughout the world. The buildings are filled with networks of servers, miles of fiber-optic IT Network Cabling, and staffed with software engineers that provide IT Network Support Services including IT Network Security. Businesses access their data in the cloud via the internet.

services-04What types of services does the cloud provide?

The definition of the cloud is deliberately ambiguous and all-encompassing because there is a long list of constantly evolving cloud computing services. The three types of services most likely to be useful to consumers and businesses are related to Infrastructure, Platforms, and Software.

 Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

The foundation of cloud computing is the physical infrastructure of servers, storage disks, fiber optic cables and other facilities. Organizations benefit from pay-as-you-go, on-demand storage and web hosting, which can be easily scaled as business needs change.

 Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Building on the cloud infrastructure foundation, cloud computing provides the platforms and operating systems on which business applications run. A service operator provides programming and web servers allowing application developers to create, test and run their software solutions.

 Software as a Service (SaaS)

Consumers use the software solutions developed for use on the cloud. Examples of software that is cloud based include Salesforce, Google Apps, and Microsoft Office 365. Traditional software required a single, up-front cost to use and was installed on each desktop or laptop. Cloud based software requires an annual or monthly fee per user, and the software is accessed through the cloud. Files created can be saved and backed up to a desktop, laptop, or on the cloud, allowing for more available memory on each desktop or laptop. Files saved to the cloud are secure, and some cloud services software allows you to access your data from multiple devices including mobile phones.

Organizations can quickly change the number of users without having to change their associated platform and infrastructure. A just-in-time approach allows for a short response to any changes in staffing.

 Cloud storage services

Cloud storage services, which include secure file hosting, file sharing and remote data backup may be the most important SaaS offerings for the average computer user. Cloud storage services typically include 2-5 GB of storage for hosting your data, and you can easily increase your storage for an additional fee.

In the Chicago area, IT Risk Managers partners with Cloud Service providers to develop solutions for unique Small to Mid-size Business needs. If you have any questions about IT Cloud Services or any other IT Business Services, contact IT Risk Managers at info@itriskmgrs.com