Capital Techies TOP IT CONSULTANTS by Clutch in Washington DC

Capital Techies is Proud to be Awarded as a Top IT Service Provider by Clutch

Here at Capital Techies, we know that the most important part of any business is its customers. We pride ourselves on providing top-notch customer service alongside our amazing deliverables, giving our clients the best IT experience they could ask for. While we’ve been hard at work satisfying our clients’ needs, our business caught the attention of Clutch, a ratings and reviews platform for B2B companies. They’ve named us one of the best Virginia firms under the IT and business services category!

Clutch uses a variety of metrics to determine which companies to recognize. After evaluating an agency’s online portfolio, market presence, and, most importantly, former client reviews, Clutch chose Capital Techies as a top managed IT services provider out of hundreds of leading firms. While we’re incredibly excited to be winning this award, the most rewarding part of this process is knowing that our clients walk away from our business feeling great about their projects. We heard from one such client on Clutch, and we’d like to share it here!

We received a 5-star review from the Director of Operations at Generation You Employ, a D.C.-based nonprofit organization, after we managed an IT project for them. We love watching our clients succeed, and we’re glad that Generation appreciates our partnership as much as we do!

In addition to Clutch, we are also featured on sister site The Manifest, a business resource and reviews platform for companies like us. We can also be found on Visual Objects, where our digital portfolio items are showcased along other B2B companies.

Here’s what our CEO has to say about this award from Clutch:

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace. We greatly appreciate Clutch for the honorary award and thank our staff for creating the culture to succeed as a company and with our many clients who we consider partners.” – Guillermo Corporan CEO, Capital Techies

Contact us for your next IT project! We’d love to hear from you.

Who Are The Information Technology Professionals That Provide IT Support Capital Techies Washington DC

Who Are The Information Technology Professionals That Provide IT Support?

Since technology is advancing at an accelerated speed and changing the digital ecosystem in the business realm, it is both an exciting and challenging time for global industries. Businesses’ technology needs are growing, but so is their capability of supporting those needs. But the truth is that we have become so dependent on technology that any disruption can lead to catastrophic consequences.

Regardless of size, every business needs a reliable and effective information systems support department that is experienced in computer science because it enables a business or organization to reduce IT costs, stay competitive, and tackle systems issues that arise. Furthermore, enterprises attain higher agility and flexibility thanks to IT support, which allows them to maximize their profits. Let’s take a look at how information technology specialists who can provide guidance and help ensure that the systems the IT department manages run smoothly.

In-House vs. Outsourced IT Support

Outsourcing IT support may be the only viable option for startups and small businesses. Larger companies may need to employ both mobile and desk-based staff, so their decision may be less clear. Small companies often lack trained IT personnel, and as a result, administration of the company devices and server often falls on the back of the most tech-literate employee. However, that’s not the best way to go about growing a business, which is why most small businesses choose to outsource.

With an in-house IT support team, you will have dedicated personnel that can immediately address hardware and software issues as they appear. Because team members’ salaries remain the same each month, you get a certain cost-control measure. The disadvantages include possible hidden costs (e.g., hiring a full-time professional) and providing them with an office, desk, computer, payroll account, and other benefits that may drive the cost even higher.

On the other hand, outsourcing IT support is less expensive because many of the costs are spread over multiple clients due to the managed IT services model. Also, you don’t have to worry about expenses related to training or certifying IT staff. You get 24/7 service and monitoring, while some IT support companies offer around-the-clock access to IT support specialists. As for the cons, some business leaders may not feel that their outsourced tech specialists are part of the team. When computer issues arise or when you need advice on the future of technology within your company, some feel that they need to spend time bringing them up to speed.

IT Support Roles

The changes new technologies bring to the business environment are disruptive, and the way economy functions is changing fast. The traditional business hierarchical systems are dissolving. The lines between CEO, CIO, CTO, and CFO roles are blurring as a consequence. Let’s dive into these IT roles, which are so crucial in today’s digital age.

CIO

A Chief Information Officer is a C-level executive that oversees the IT needs of a company. They don’t deal with operational responsibilities (IT directors do that) since their responsibilities and skills are much different than they were 10-20 years ago (and they continue to evolve and adapt). CIOs are responsible for strategic planning of business growth objectives and creating business value through technology. They oversee the development of customer service platforms, ensure tech procedures and systems lead to desired business outcomes, and manage development and IT team personnel. They also establish IT standards, strategies, and policies while dealing with IRM (information risk management). CIOs are an important part of a company’s digital transformation.

CTO

The position of a Chief Technology Officer is thought to be one of the vaguest roles because it depends on many factors, such as business area, the number of outsourced/in-house workers, business processing style, etc. The CTO is there to solve tech challenges, work with IT personnel, and keep the organization running. Their daily duties vary from company to company, but they are usually focused on external clients who purchase the company’s products. CTOs should be informed on the latest innovations, staying on the cutting edge of technology to allow the organization to offer the best products.

IT Director

The responsibilities of an IT director may include managing a team of employees, overseeing the infrastructure of technical operations, increasing user satisfaction, eliminating security risks, maintaining systems and operations, and tracking technology to achieve business goals. An IT director is the person who oversees the people dealing with these tasks, and he or she is responsible for answering questions such as, “Are IT teams achieving their goals?” “Are they having issues?” Are other departments providing the necessary support, infrastructure, and resources to the IT department?”

Vice President of Information Technology (VP of IT)

VP of IT is responsible for planning the IT future for the company, as well as for the implementation of systems and their maintenance. Also, he or she must ensure maximum stability and uptime in the organization’s computer networks and systems. The VP of IT is a technology leader who must be able to plan for the company and rally the troops around the plan, especially when new training is required for system changes and upgrades. In most companies, the VP of IT reports to the CIO.

IT Support Engineer

An IT support engineer is responsible for resolving any IT tasks at hand. They assist the project manager in managing projects, database administration, information security, installing new software, hardware installations, and other tasks to help the department perform their duties. They need to have deep technical knowledge to be able to address problems efficiently and quickly. They are there to provide tech support for any IT-related issue, dealing with tasks such as:

  • Troubleshooting technical issues regarding equipment, such as a desktop computer, laptops, tablets, printers, or any network-related issues
  • Documenting all the issues and actions taken to resolve issues so other IT personnel can read about the problem and see the solution
  • Configuring computer system phones, printers, and resolve related issues
  • Testing the latest technologies

Managed Service Provider

If you’ve ever come across the term Managed Service Provider (MSP) in Washington DC, it is a concept in which organizations and companies outsource specific services to companies specialized in providing them. If you run a small or medium-sized company, you probably don’t need or cannot afford to hire a CIO, CTO, and IT director. What you can do is outsource a company specialized in providing IT support services that hires professionals who can perform those functions.

MSPs regularly perform areas of business activity such as:

  • Managing software inventories
  • Managing IT infrastructure
  • Managing user access accounts on clients’ systems
  • Offering fully-managed hardware outsourcing in Virginia
  • Offering tech support to staff
  • Adding network security layers to IT systems
  • Providing strategic guidance and consulting to help clients fulfill their IT initiatives/goals (CIO role)

They can provide Software-as-a-Service and offer remote storage or servers. Some managed service providers are specialized in providing hard-to-find IT expertise to assist users with usage difficulties or prevent issues on a client’s system.

Conclusion

Large enterprises usually need to segment their IT support department and hire IT specialists (such as a CIO, CTO, IT director, VP of IT, etc.) to drive their tech development, implement the latest tech solutions, and oversee maintenance. As for startups and SMBs, these organizations are focused on growth but don’t have enough resources to create an in-house IT support team. In that case, outsourcing help from MSPs is often the only viable and cost-effective option to get access to IT experts to support their business growth.

Biotech Startups Need Capital Techies as a Managed IT Service Provider

Why Biotech Startups Need Capital Techies as a Managed IT Service Provider

There are almost as many managed IT service providers (MSPs) as there are biotech startups. Whether large or small, specialized or general, these companies help business of all types select, install and maintain their IT infrastructure. They may seem to be all alike, but most MSPs will not have the experience or expertise to provide your biotech start up with exactly the technology mix it needs to meet its goals like Capital Techies.

In order for a young biotech company to make the most of its startup funding, it needs to rely on a better kind of CTO. It is not enough to hire an IT company to hook up computers, set up a wireless system and install software updates. You need an MSP that can prepare you for the challenges of big data, the inevitability of tech problems and the opportunities of hybrid cloud storage. When you are evaluating offers from competing MSPs, look past the price, and consider whether or not they understand the challenges your biotech startup will face in its early stages. These are a few of the things a Capital Techies can help you deal with.

Huge Storage Needs

Depending on the type of experiments you are running, your biotech start up could begin piling up data at remarkable speeds. Do you have the storage capacity to handle thousands of gigabytes of information and the flexibility to increase your capacity quickly? If you don’t, that data, and all the money you have invested in producing it, is at worst at risk and at best unmanageable.

A MSP with a concentration in the biotech space will understand the unique data storage needs of a biotech start up and how to manage them. Advances in hybrid cloud solutions allow you to save almost limitless amounts of data leveraging fast on-site storage and longer term cloud based storage. Your MSP should be able to help you evaluate hybrid cloud storage options and manage the data you need to have stored for the success of your business.

Growing IT Infrastructure

Every business owner hopes, and expects, their business to grow. But when your biotech startup suddenly needs to hire new employees, share data securely with CRO’s or technology partners or bring new hi-tech equipment online, how will you scale up your IT infrastructure to meet the demand?

Without the right IT plan in place, your growth strategy could stumble right when you most need to prove your viability.

With Capital Techies as a partner in place, it is easy to add or subtract elements as you need them. Not only is this more convenient than installing entire new systems, it allows you to anticipate the cost of your new technology in advance. Capital Techies can show you effective ways to  effectively scale your IT infrastructure as your company grows.

Inconvenient Tech Problems

Something will go wrong. When you have a computer that crashes, an application that refuses to respond or an entire laboratory that is disabled because of a tech problem, who will you turn to for help?

Managing your IT, through both the expected and the unexpected, must be a priority for any MSP you work with. It is not at all unreasonable to expect on-site and over the phone support service, constant remote monitoring and emergency 24×7 support. Don’t settle for a company that installs a system and then is too busy to respond timely when it has a problem.

The most successful biotech startups choose the right MSP and IT solution from the start. That way, whenever changes need to be made or problems arise, the company doing the work is intimately familiar with the system they are working on. To learn more please leave your information on our Contact Us page.

How to Protect Yourself from an Employee-Induced Security Breach

Threats to your security can arise where you least suspect them: in your own backyard. A simple act by a trusted employee can quickly lead to a full-blown security breach. As IT professionals, we have seen firsthand how costly and disruptive these attacks can be on organizations. If you’re not concerned about an employee-induced security breach, you should be, and here are Capital Techies’s top 6 tips.

1. Employee Training 

As much as they can become a security problem, your employees can also be part of your security solution. With proper security training, they play a vital role in keeping your company’s valuable information safe.

Here are three “common sense” practices to remind your staff to follow:

  • Do not leave your phone or computer unlocked and unattended;
  • Do not use an unsecured wifi network (such as public wifi at an airport or cafe) for work-related tasks; and
  • Keep your passwords strong and change them regularly. The strongest passwords contain a combination of letters (lower and uppercase), numbers, and symbols.

In 2019, 94% of all malware was delivered via email. Once your team has mastered the security basics, it is crucial to teach them how to spot an email phishing attempt.

The term “phishing” refers to a cybercrime in which targets are contacted, often via email, by malicious actors posing as a legitimate organization. The target is then prompted to enter personal information, download something, or click on a link in the email. Any of these actions can lead to a massive security breach.

There are certain hallmarks of a phishing email that you can teach your employees to identify on their own. First, phishing emails are often riddled with spelling and grammar errors, the kind that would never be sent by a legitimate company.

Also, remind your employees that a legitimate organization, such as their bank or car insurance provider, will never ask them for sensitive information over email. Any email asking you for your passwords, credit card number, or social security information is most likely a scam, and should be immediately treated with suspicion.

Furthermore, look at the email address of the sender; does it have any extra letters or numbers? Is it from a domain that’s different, in any way, from the official domain of the organization or  company it’s purporting to represent? Be wary of any email address that doesn’t seem streamlined and well-written. There is a big difference between “@gmail.com” and “@gmail23.com.” Once again, spelling errors should also be a huge red flag.

Finally, remind your employees that a credible organization will not usually force them to click on a link. Strongly advise your staff against clicking any links provided in emails, whether the sender seems legitimate or not.

2. Use Cybersecurity Tools 

Make sure your valuable information is as safe as possible by implementing cybersecurity tools on a daily basis. At Capital Techies, we use an extensive suite of antivirus softwares to prevent, detect, and remove malware before it can affect a corporate network.

Firewalls are one of the best tools in the fight against cybersecurity breaches. Firewalls monitor and control access to a private network. They monitor traffic going in and out of the network to prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access. At Capital Techies, we use firewalls in both hardware and software formats to keep our clients’ data protected.

DNS filtering is another great technique to keep your employees from visiting a dangerous site in the first place. Domain Name System (DNS) filtering, is a cybersecurity technique of blocking access to certain websites based on their IP address. DNS filtering checks the websites your employees are accessing against lists of known malware and phishing sites and blocks access to those sites.

An IT Managed Services Provider can take care of deploying and monitoring these cybersecurity tools for you.

3. Control Access 

To maximize security, make sure your system admin keeps a strict access policy. Best practices are to only allow users to access data required for their work. Do not issue blanket access to all of your employees on the network.

Access to privileged files and information should be granted depending on the user’s role. This prevents an unauthorized employee from gaining entry to sensitive files they do not need or could compromise.

There is also a physical aspect to access control. Use keypads or card readers to control access to your offices, data rooms, and IT closet. This way, only trusted individuals can access the devices on which your information is stored.

4. Update Software 

Many employees see software updates as a time-consuming hassle. However, this is far from the truth. Software updates and patches exist for a reason: they fix anything that was wrong with the previous version, including security vulnerabilities. Older versions of software can leave room for malicious actors to gain access.

Software no longer supported by the manufacturer? Get rid of it. As programs reach “end of life” status, patches are no longer available to fix them. This means they are extremely vulnerable to a security threat. Though it may be time consuming, it is crucial to switch over to a newer software. If it seems overwhelming, hire an IT MSP to handle it for you.

5. Backup 

Creating and maintaining a quality backup system is vital for any business. If a cybersecurity incident does happen, a backup reduces recovery time and ensures that you don’t lose your information. It is wise to run an automated daily backup at the end of each work day.

Remember: not just any backup will do the job. If a backup is improperly configured, the backup itself can become vulnerable. To make sure your backup is secure, work with a great managed service provider on the setup and upkeep of your backup.

If a problem does occur, the MSP can also take charge of disaster recovery. At Capital Techies, we set up effective backup solutions and monitor our clients’ backups 24/7 in case any issue arises.

6. New Hire Background Checks 

Our final tip is an essential one: make sure you are hiring trustworthy employees in the first place. Always run a background check on any potential new employees. A pre-hire screening will provide you with financial and criminal history to make sure you do not hire anyone who could threaten your business.

Moving Forward 

Employee-induced security breaches can be extremely damaging to businesses. However, with proper protection and education, they are avoidable. With these tips, you can make sure your employees are your best asset, not your biggest threat. Do you have other security questions? Click here to get a free, instant, no-obligation quote.

Capital Techies Tips for Work from home

Capital Techies’ Top Tips for Working From Home

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people work. Since the initial outbreak, millions have made the transition to working remotely from their homes. Being away from the office presents a number of unique challenges that can be difficult to navigate.

If you’ve found yourself feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed working from home, you are not alone. At Capital Techies, we’ve been working remotely just like you and would like to share what we’ve learned. Below you’ll find our top tips for successfully working from home.

  1. Set Up a Clear Workspace

Though working from your couch may seem like a good idea, it can be disastrous for your productivity. When working from home, we recommend setting up a clear designated workspace where you can really focus. Use the same space every day to maintain a routine.

Make sure your space is quiet and take the time to declutter your surroundings. A clear desk will help you accomplish your tasks. Ask yourself: do I have everything I need to work productively, such as a reliable internet connection and a usable computer.

The way you decorate your space can affect your productivity as well. Natural light can help you feel more awake and motivated to work. Plants can help reduce stress and give you a breath of fresh air even when you’re stuck inside. If you live with family or others, make sure that you won’t be interrupted. A simple “at work” or “do not disturb” sign can do the trick.

Source

2. Work Securely

As IT Professionals, our top concern is always security. If you have been given a work-issued computer, use only that device for work-related tasks. Using your personal laptop can jeopardize the security of your work files. If you are connecting remotely to a corporate network, invest in a good VPN. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) creates a secure connection between your device and the internet.  Home wifi networks can become vulnerable to security threats. A VPN ensures no outsiders can gain access to your work documents and communications.

Don’t skip out on other basic cybersecurity measures just because you are working from home. Always close your computer and log out of all important accounts when you are done working. Never leave your laptop or other important devices in your car, even if you’re just stepping away for a moment.

If you are an employer whose staff is working remotely, put clear security policies in place. Make sure your employees know what they should and should not do when working from home. For example, should they always wear headphones when video conferencing? What platforms should they be using to communicate? Setting clear policies reduces confusion and helps keep your employees working safely.

3. Stick to a Routine

When your home becomes your office, sticking to a normal schedule can be difficult. Doing even simple things like waking up early and getting dressed can seem pointless when there’s no office to go to. However, maintaining a normal routine is an important part of working from home.

We strongly advise that you maintain your usual pre-work routine, even if “going to work” just means going to the living room. Though it’s tempting, don’t just roll out of bed five minutes before your first video conference. Give yourself ample time to wake up, make some coffee, or chat with a loved one. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling productive and ready to get some work done.

4. Communicate With Your Coworkers

Don’t let working from home isolate you from your team. You must not stop communicating simply because you are not in the same room. In fact, many remote work experts advise “overcommunication” when separated from your coworkers. This means checking in and asking even more questions than you ordinarily would.

Source

When you’re not physically in the office, it can also be hard to know exactly what is expected of you. Be sure to speak to your supervisors about what tasks you are expected to complete and how you should submit completed projects. Don’t skip out on meetings and video conferences, even if they are not mandatory. Staying in good touch with your coworkers will help keep you accountable and mitigate any confusion over your responsibilities.

Don’t let “out of sight” become “out of mind.” The most conscientious employees are still actively reaching out to their supervisors and coworkers regularly, whether through email, video calls, or messaging platforms like Slack.

5. Don’t Miss Out on Breaks

When working from home, it can be easy to work straight through your breaks. If your “lunch break” simply involves walking to the kitchen, you may start to feel pressure to shorten your breaks or even work straight through them. Getting a true break, in which you are separated from your work and your desk, is tricky when working remotely. However, this doesn’t mean breaks are any less important to both your productivity and your mental health.

Evidence suggests that taking breaks helps reset motivation and focus and stimulate creativity. In fact, employees who take fewer breaks are less likely to be productive. Find some time in your day for “movement breaks.” Take a walk outside, stretch, do yoga, or any other activity that gets you moving. These active breaks boost productivity and fight fatigue.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Finally, let’s discuss the end of your day. Many remote employees say that they have a difficult time logging off for the night. According to a 2020 Buffer report, 18% of remote employees said their biggest difficulty was unplugging after work.  Another survey found that 39.5% of remote workers get only 6.5 hours of sleep per night, less than is necessary for an adult.

Source

Missing out on valuable hours of sleep can harm your work performance. Research clearly indicates that getting less sleep is associated with decreased productivity. One study concludes that “sleep should be considered an important element in workplace health.” When working from home, be sure to prioritize sleep. It is vital to maintain a normal routine in both the morning and the evening. Set a clear time when you will be done working and let yourself unplug for the night. Your future self will thank you.

The Takeaway

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new world for all of us. We are all learning and  navigating new difficulties each day. Here at Capital Techies, we are working to help our clients adapt to the changing times. As working from home becomes “the new normal,” know that we are here to help.

SECURE REMOTE ACCESS – 10 POINT CHECKLIST

Are you looking to enable secure remote access? As businesses continue monitoring the situation surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the effect it has on individual organizations moving to a remote workforce, we wanted to share a few security best practices for you to follow to successfully and securely work from home. The following checklist provided by Capital Techies IT Consultants in Washington DC will help reduce exposure to cybercriminals using COVID-19 as an opportunity to exploit businesses looking to implement remote access methods.

There are a variety of methods for remote connectivity, but all options should be well thought out and tested. Please review these best practices for secure remote access below:

  1. Multi-Factor Authentication – All remote access should be secured with MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) no matter what method of remote access you select.
  2. VPN (Virtual Private Network) Access – While most firewalls are capable of configuring a client VPN to connect a remote machine to the internal network, it should be advised that only corporate-owned machines with the appropriate protection be allowed to use this method. Personal devices should never connect to a corporate network via a VPN. VPN connections should not use a shared account and should be integrated with existing domain infrastructure for authentication.
  3. Remote Desktop Gateway – This solution is installed on a dedicated server that is secured and is published using a valid SSL certificate. All Ports should be limited to the bare essentials, and MFA should be required. Users should only be able to remotely access specific applications or, in some use cases, their individual machines. Security groups should be utilized to limit the scope of users allowed to securely access the system via the Gateway.
  4. 3rd Party Products – Many products enable a user to work remotely (i.e., GoToMyPC), but this should only be used in a limited case. There is often no corporate oversight or controls when using the small business versions of these products and could create long term vulnerabilities into the environment.
  5. Remote Desktop – Should never be open directly to the internet!
  6. Remote Access Policy – You should have a remote access policy to clarify how users can connect and what they are allowed to do.
  7. Public Wi-Fi – Never use public Wi-Fi with a personal or corporate device when accessing corporate resources.
  8. Social Engineering – Have protocols in place for validating requests to send product or money while in a remote operating scenario to eliminate social phishing and engineering attempts.
  9. Communication and Collaboration – Leverage communication platforms like Microsoft Teams to facilitate conversations and meetings (including video).
  10. Logoff/Lock Devices – When your devices are not in use, it is best to log off or lock them even at home, but especially anywhere in public.

Hopefully, this list will prove to be helpful when enabling your work from home access. While these guidelines help minimize exposure to attacks, there other pathways cybercriminals can take to encrypt your data. A variety of Phishing email campaigns, posing as the CDC or local authorities providing health advisories, are also on the rise. Examples of these types of communication can be found on the KnowBe4 website here.

If you need further assistance in establishing secure remote access or telecommuting, please do not hesitate to reach out.

CYBER MONDAY SECURITY TIPS

The first Monday after Thanksgiving is known as the biggest online shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday. More than 90% of retailers contribute to online deals and participate in online pricing wars. With so many shoppers turning to online spending, hackers have begun strengthening their cyber-attacks. Avoid the malicious threats and security breaches this holiday season by practicing the following cybersecurity tips from the leaders in cyber security in Washington DC.

CONFIRM YOUR BROWSER IS UP TO DATE

Keeping your software updated will help prevent various types of infections from entering your computer and accessing your sensitive information. Whether you use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge, be sure to check for new versions and regular updates. Fortunately, most modern web browsers will automatically update themselves, however, be sure your device is no longer running an older browser.

SHOP WITH SECURE NETWORKS

When browsing online be sure to use secure wireless networks. At home, work or running errands, never use an open or public Wi-Fi hotspot to make purchases. Ensure that you are connected to a trusted access point to avoid piggybacking, wireless sniffing and/or other malicious cyber threats. Piggybacking allows a hacker in range to connect to your access point and conduct illegal activities like stealing personal information. Wireless sniffing is the practice of using sniffing tools to obtain personal information such as credit card numbers and passwords.

DON’T CLICK UNKNOWN LINKS

Be careful of duplicate websites and unsolicited attachments within an email or links on a retail page. Confirm a website will encrypt your information and display valid certificates; to avoid attackers who create malicious sites to gather your sensitive information. Some indicators that show a website has a valid certificate and your information will be encrypted is locating the padlock icon feature and noting that the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) begins with “Https” instead of “Http”.

CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS FREQUENTLY

A common security tip is creating strong passwords and changing them frequently. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed specific guidelines to implement when you are creating passwords. A couple of guidelines include using different passwords on different systems and accounts, never use personal information, use the longest and most complex passphrases permissible and do not use words found in any dictionary of any language. An example of recreating a password to these guidelines would be taking the word “cooking” and using “iLtCf” for “[I] [l]ike [t]o [c]ook [f]ood”. Using variations of uppercase and lowercase letters also adds a layer of security. Security professionals recommend changing passwords every 30,60, or 90 days.

MONITORING BILLING & BANK ALERTS

A great way to monitor your shopping, both online and in-stores, is downloading your bank’s mobile app or registering for text alerts. You will be notified of any changes to your account immediately. If there is a discrepancy, report it as soon as possible. Keep a record of your purchases and copies of confirmation pages to compare them to bank statements. Another great way to minimize potential damage is by using a single credit card to make online purchases and when using gateways such as PayPal, Google Wallet or Apple Pay.

This holiday season trust your instincts while shopping, always using encrypted web sites and protecting your computer and all information on it by following our cybersecurity tips. Before submitting any personal information to retailers, be sure that the privacy of that information will be protected. To learn more about cyber safety, visit our cybersecurity page or read our blog on What is Cybersecurity?

WHAT IS AN MSP?

A managed service provider (MSP) is an organization that remotely manages and maintains a client’s network infrastructure and end user systems. Managed service providers in Fairfax Virginia proactively diagnose and resolve IT issues for small to medium businesses. An MSP protects an organization’s IT infrastructure from risks, issues, and uncertainties; allowing the organization to concentrate on their core business. Businesses rely on their operational efficiency, which makes having a trusted IT service provider essential.

THE EVOLUTION OF MSPS

The start of the MSP movement began with Simple Network Management protocols. In the 1990’s, application service providers offered local area network off prem. Support providers were hired to ‘fix when broken’ instead of a proactive approach taken today. As business computing began to expand, so did the necessity for preventive measures from IT leaders and service providers. By 2005, smaller companies were able to take advantage of the same benefits as larger corporations by detecting problems as soon as possible; hence the start of the managed services movement.

COMMON CLIENTS OF MSPS

Managed Service Providers are usually partner with small to medium size organizations due to their limited capabilities. Businesses with an employee count as small as 10 can afford an MSP and have relief knowing their IT infrastructure is maintained and secure. SMBs such as law and medical offices, automotive dealerships, and/or school campuses hire MSPs for their IT expertise. The prevention of IT problems from occurring and disturbing business operations is crucial for any business. Risks are minimized for organizations because an MSP builds in system upgrades and essential support services into their contract.

BENEFITS OF AN MSP

A managed service provider has many levels of expertise regarding IT infrastructures, such as IT security, network administrator, IT consultant and disaster recovery expert. Clients look to an MSP to not only help them use technology more effectively, but to be more strategic. MSPs are best known for their abilities to support your line of business applications, 24/7 help-desk support, network security, backup and disaster recovery, and monitoring and alerting features. Managed service providers in Washington DC help their clients with business growth by taking control over the IT management, leaving clients to focus only on business objectives.

AVERAGE COST OF AN MSP

MSP price points vary due to the level of tools or services included within their contract. In order to offer a proactive approach, MSPs implement a fixed-fee model. With a fixed-fee model, Managed Service Providers can give a flat monthly cost versus the costly bill you’d have on a break-fix arrangement. The older break-fix model meant that a company’s bill could sky rocket if they experienced a handful of issues within that specific month. Whereas with an MSP, there is no limit to the amount of issues, the price will stay the same. Typically, prices are determined by per-device, per-user, or some other variation of all-inclusive pricing.

MSPs are familiar with small to large IT issues, which means quick responses and solutions for organizations. An MSP diagnoses and corrects any issues a business may have with their IT infrastructure. Managed service providers  in Vienna Virginia who work with a comprehensive support strategy provides an organization with promised guidance and success. To learn more about how a managed service provider can benefit your business, contact us here.

IT SUPPORT IN WASHINGTON DC: THE SCARY TRUTH ABOUT DISASTER RECOVERY

Many businesses take a reactive approach when it comes to their IT policies. This can seem sufficient and cost-effective— that is, until a business disaster strikes. There are many kinds of events that can be classified as business disasters, and the impact of these on a business can be very high. The statistics on business disaster recovery are nothing short of alarming, as you are going to see. Capital Techies experts in IT support in Washington DC urge business managers everywhere to devote some of their time and budgets to disaster recovery planning to avoid the negative consequences.

SCARY STATS ON BUSINESS DISASTERS

A business disaster can be natural or manmade, malicious, or unintended. Fires, natural disasters, and hardware failures can impact business operations. Most businesses today rely on their business systems and IT networks to deliver goods and services to their customers and for all the internal business functions. Business disasters can also happen through malware, hacking, and other malicious activity from hackers. Once your business is hit, your operations could be totally frozen. Sometimes, business disasters can be the result of negligence or ignorance on the part of the users. Whatever the cause, a quick look at some of the statistics on business recovery should get you thinking about what you can do to protect your business.

Many businesses operate without any form of disaster recovery planning. Alarmingly, over 90% of unprepared companies get out of business within a year of a data disaster. On the flip side, of the companies with some form of disaster recovery plan and data backup, over 90% have been found to recover from ransomware attacks.

IT support firms in Washington DC can help you reduce the costs of a business disaster because recovery isn’t cheap. Significant business data and system disasters can lead to downtime, legal fees, lost business, and other recovery costs. Surveys have found that companies can lose as much as $100,000 from a ransomware attack on recovery costs and unplanned downtime. To add to this, more than half of the businesses questioned in one survey did not have the budget to recover from a cyberattack.

CONCLUSION

Data breaches and cyberattacks are rampant. Over half of businesses interviewed at a cybersecurity convention had been the victims of a cyberattack. Over 50% of breaches and data losses are believed to be caused by human error.

Capital Techies offers IT support in Washington DC to help prepare your business for what may come. There’s always a risk of doing business, but with our services, we can assess your current security, create a disaster recovery plan, and train your team. Contact us to learn more.

IT CONSULTING IN FAIRFAX VIRGINIA: 4 BENEFITS OF PERIODIC SECURITY ASSESSMENTS

One of the best ways to keep your business secure is to allow IT consulting experts in Fairfax Virginia to perform security assessments of your business. These security assessments are an excellent way to stay proactive and keep your company safe against a wide variety of cybersecurity threats in the workplace. IT consultants can help your business stay up to date with the latest tech while also identifying any potential areas of vulnerability within your company.

Related: How an IT Consulting Firm in Washington DC can you do your cyber security audit

Here are a few benefits of conducting security assessments for your business:

1. STAY UP TO DATE WITH LATEST REGULATIONS

One of the top advantages of frequent security assessments is that it enables your business to stay up to date with the latest regulations in your industry. For example, many companies must deal with strict regulations on how to handle data storage, or they risk paying significant fines. IT consulting experts can help your business stay up to date with these regulations and maximize data security for your company.

Keep reading:  MANAGED IT SERVICES ARLINGTON VIRGINIA – WHAT IS LAYERED SECURITY?

2. ACCESS TO MOST RECENT SECURITY PATCHES

Security patches and updates play a key role in keeping your business safe against cyber threats. IT experts can verify that your business has downloaded the most recent updates. Keeping all of your computers up to date is a great way to stay protected against cybercriminals while also protecting your reputation from being ruined due to a cybersecurity incident.

3. AVOID BEING THE VICTIM OF MALWARE

Malware and viruses are constantly evolving at a rapid pace. Cybercriminals are continually developing creative ways to access your data and cause havoc in the workplace. You can reach out to IT consulting experts in Washington DC to conduct a security assessment, and they will identify any areas of weakness within your company that need to be immediately addressed to avoid your business becoming the next victim to malware.

Read more: CAPITAL TECHIES IS PROUD TO BE AWARDED AS A TOP IT SERVICE PROVIDER BY CLUTCH

4. PEACE OF MIND

An often-overlooked benefit of a security assessment is that it gives business owners much-needed peace of mind. Always staying proactive will limit the chance of a data breach while allowing your employees to stay productive. You will have full confidence to know that an IT provider gives your business the best protection against cyber threats.

At Capital Techies, we provide IT consulting solutions for small to mid-sized businesses in Washington DC. Scheduling periodic security assessments is a great way to keep your company secure against cyber threats. Our Washington DC IT service experts will help you improve your security, giving your business the best protection. Feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about the importance of a security assessment in today’s work environment.