Tag: IT Support Chicago

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.

 

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

 

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

09 Dec 2018

3 Must Haves from Your Chicago IT Support Partner

IT Solutions for Chicago
IT Support for your Chicago Business

Managed IT Services Company should help with Software, Hardware, Telecom Renewals and Tracking

As more Chicago based companies move to a managed IT Service for small business platform it’s important to consider these needs when choosing a managed IT Service partner. A good managed service provider must provide leadership when it comes to Software Asset Management and Hardware Maintenance Renewal Management. They also must have a handle on your telecom, bandwidth, and Internet costs.

Software Asset Management with your IT Support partner

Software Asset Management is the business practice of managing and optimizing the purchase, deployment, maintenance, and utilization of software applications within an organization. You may not want to outsource 100% of software asset management to your managed it services company, but they definitely need to have input and help bring value to your IT support needs by contributing time to this responsibility. A comprehensive Software Asset Management solution is crucial to your organization. It helps you know what software licenses you have in place, what renewal costs you maybe facing in the budget year, and it keeps your business in compliance. Managing your software assets impacts your bottom line. Therefore your IT support company or managed IT services firm should help with this responsibility.

Today’s software license models can be very complex and ambiguous. It can require hours and hours of time to make sure you are paying the proper amounts and you have the most up to date licenses. Since your IT Managed service partner deals with many of your software products on a regular basis they should have a platform you can leverage to track your license needs. Prior to purchasing any software your business should verify the compliance terms and requirements. However be ready for change. The cloud adds complexity to your license compliance challenge. Your IT Support firm should have a good handle on all the services your company is using in the cloud and provide a good framework to be able to track usage costs, compliance costs and on-going services costs.

Managed Internet and Telecom Costs

Since your IT Support firm deals with your network support and IT support service needs on a regular basis they should have an idea on what your circuit, Internet, and telecom costs are also. A good managed IT service firm for small business will be able to evaluate costs and services related to all your Internet Services. IT Risk Managers LLC for instance has a separate team to manage telecom and Internet costs and services. We will make you aware if there are contract renewals due for site to site services like Windstream, Verizon, CenturyLink, Comcast and others. We would also let you know if changes or efficiencies are available in circuit and Internet prices. Sometimes increased capacity and bandwidth is needed for improved network performance. We would go to the carrier get pricing, and contract terms, and verify what’s the best solution or deal available. Your IT managed service partner should have the relationships and tools to make sure you are getting the most cost effective solution for your Internet and telecom business needs.

Hardware Maintenance Renewals from your IT Support Partner

Equipment and hardware maintenance renewals are also an area where your IT support firm needs to be able support your business. A Managed IT services company should have a platform that keeps track and inventory of all your systems and network equipment. Our IT support desk portal tracks serial numbers, versions, CPU’s, disk space, operating systems, software versions and much much more. This is all data necessary to keep you informed of what hardware is due for retirement, what systems need a maintenance contract renewed, or how systems are doing performance wise. Our Managed IT services and IT Support model provides an annual budget of maintenance and software renewals required to keep your systems up to date and in compliance.

If you have further questions or or would like an IT Health Assessment please call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370 or email info@itriskmgrs.com

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