Maintaining Work Efficiency With Desktop Management

desktop management

It’s no secret that there are multiple methods of improving work place efficiency, but there is often one method that gets overlooked and that method is desktop management. What’s desktop management, you might ask? Desktop management is an extensive approach to managing most computers within an organization’s network. From work laptops to desktop computers, just about every computer in the network is manageable. Here are a few practical applications of proper desktop management:

Installation of foreign hardware/software

No one wants a workplace disaster, especially when it compromises security and privacy. Proper desktop management can prevent dubious software or hardware from being installed, pinpoint the exact computer that’s causing trouble, and even alert system administrators.

Preventing viruses or malware attacks

One can prevent  a lot of malware or virus attacks by simple system and patch maintenance.  Company virus protection is part of the puzzle, but a lot of threats are preventable via proper system management and common sense.

Restricting certain system features

Sometimes disaster can occur from on the inside. In the workplace, some of these disasters can be due to users not knowing what they’re doing, being unfamiliar with certain operations, or just being careless. Luckily, desktop management allows you to delegate certain system privileges to the appropriate administrator. It also allows you to restrict certain features as you see fit. No more worrying if your workers are staying on task or browsing inappropriate material.

If you’ve been neglecting your IT department, perhaps now is the right time to start giving it the attention it needs.

Posted in IT Management, Networking

Data Protection Against Unknown Hacks: Do You Know if You’ve Had Data Stolen?

Security Monitoring

Data protection recently took a level of importance that it’s never had, perhaps due to complacency. When it comes to hack attacks, recent headlines about it led to big companies finally getting serious about data breaches and possible shutdowns. After Sony Pictures was completely shut down due to a hacking group, it reminded everyone that anything can happen to a company. And while there isn’t a lot of media attention about smaller businesses being attacked, it’s happening under the radar.

Recent reports say many small businesses are being hacked without the business owners even knowing it. This probably gives you pause about your own business whether you’ve been hacked without awareness. But how can you really know your important data (if not even valuable trade secrets) aren’t being stolen by online thieves?

The fact is, you can’t know if you don’t have 24/7 monitoring from IT technicians who know what to look for. If you have an in-house team, this isn’t going to happen unless you pay them overtime you can’t afford. What you really need are IT management consultants who monitor your network from another location for more affordable rates.

IT management really needs top priority with every company in the world. Yet, few of them invest in it, just because they think it’s expensive. When you find the right service with technicians who know what they’re doing, you don’t have to pay as much as you would with in-house teams. An expert crew monitors your network day and night while you and your staff focus on other work you need to get done.

Whatever size business you are, making sure you have an experienced team monitoring your IT for security is of the utmost importance.

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Network Management Information: Five Things You Should Know About DoS Attacks

network managment

Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks have made the news in recent weeks, particularly the major attacks against Sony PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox Live.

What are five things you should know about DoS attacks?

  1. The main purpose of a DoS attack is to bring down your network and prevent users from accessing various services; DoS attacks frequently target web hosting companies in order to bring a website down, causing customer dissatisfaction, a loss of sales, and a loss of web traffic. Cyber-criminals can do this by sending a staggering volume of traffic at your network within a short amount of time, more than the servers and network can accommodate.
  2. A DoS attack can get launched by just one person. However, the types of attacks that hit PlayStation and Xbox Live, and that threaten other businesses, are DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks. DDoS attacks involve more than one person or system launching the attack. The attack can come from thousands of different computers.
  3. How can an attack get coordinated from thousands of computers? Hackers can control computers that aren’t their own via malware. The malware can turn the computers into “bots” that mindlessly perform a number of malicious functions including helping to launch DoS (or DDoS) attacks, even without the legitimate computer user knowing about it; a network of these bots is termed a ‘botnet.’ Even if you don’t become a target of a DDoS attack, you have to watch out that your company’s network doesn’t become a botnet through malware.
  4. DDoS attacks are relatively easy to launch, and even people that aren’t tech-savvy can easily hire others to do it for them. (In an interesting twist reported in the news, one of these “DDoS-for-demand” sites got hacked recently, revealing information about people who have requested attacks and some of their possible motives.)
  5. What are some ways you can protect against a DDoS attack and its effects? It’s important to have a way of quickly figuring out the attack method, since DDoS attacks can specifically target different components of your network and the computing resources you have at your disposal. Solutions include using firewalls (which can help for simple attacks), changing the settings on your routers so that they’re less apt to get overwhelmed by traffic, and implementing changes to your system such that data coming into your network gets monitored, with the dangerous data getting dealt with in various ways.

High-quality network management will include solutions for DDoS attacks (and will also monitor for malware that might transform your computers into bots). Although the high-profile attacks are the ones that make the news, keep in mind that any business, no matter how small, is vulnerable to them.

These attacks can cost you precious time, interrupt your business operations, and lead to a serious loss of money. Hackers are always looking for new ways to circumvent defenses against DDoS attacks, so you need to always remain alert to new developments and new possible ways to protect yourself and recover as quickly as possible from an attack.

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Tips for Making Desktop Management Easier to Deal With

Indianapolis IT Services

Desktop management can be a daunting task, especially in organizations where there are hundreds or even thousands of computers to keep up with. Streamlining desktop management functions is extremely important, which is why you should consider these tips to help make yours much easier to deal with.

#1. Implement a good asset tracking system

Many times, organizations are unable to perform desktop management easily because they are simply unaware of how much equipment they actually have. This can be an especially big problem in large organizations or in companies where a good number of employees work remotely. As such, the first step toward creating a desktop management program should involve using a good asset tracking system to find out exactly what equipment you are managing.

#2. Chart help desk trends

Not only should you track assets, but you should also keep track of help desk requests as well. That way, you can determine if there are certain trends developing, which in turn will allow you to make changes that will enhance efficiency.

#3. Don’t insist on standardizing everything

Trying to standardize everything can be burdensome and time consuming. Instead, try to understand that not everyone in your organization needs to have the same applications installed in order for your operations to flow smoothly. Try to determine which software might be better for certain groups of users, and then add programs as needed in order to better suit people’s needs. You’ll find your workers will likely be happier and more productive as a result.

#4. Insist on good communication

Letting employees know of changes far in advance will ensure they are better prepared to handle downtime. It also ensures that any necessary files are retrieved ahead of time to prevent data loss. Insist on your IT team notifying users at least a week in advance whenever scheduled updates or other downtime is required to avoid a great deal of frustration.

These four tips will help make desktop management in your organization flow more efficiently. A desktop management program is something you should continuously try to improve in order to streamline operations, cut costs and enhance productivity.

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Consider IT Consulting in the New Year to Take on Evolving Tech Issues and Threats

Indy IT Consulting

IT consulting is truly becoming the go-to option for many business big and small due to several reasons. One of the top ones is field knowledge where knowing what’s truly going on in the IT field is imperative as it evolves nearly every day. Because changes in the industry happen within a week that once happened in a year a decade ago, IT techs working a long time for one company may not be able to know everything.

While we respect all in-house IT teams, we know how impossible it can be to be up on the latest changes and threats out there without real-world experience. Working for one company for years is only going to box some technicians in on knowing how to solve certain issues.

What things will an IT consultant ultimately know better, plus knowing things that could help your business grow faster?

The Latest Cyber Threats

In this category, changes occur almost hourly, including new viruses and more insidious cyber threats than we’ve ever seen before. As proof of ubiquitous vulnerability, the recent Sony Pictures hack is an example of how paralyzing some things can be to a point of bringing an entire company down.

Perhaps Sony didn’t have IT consultants working with them who could give them immediate knowledge on how to get back on their feet. Instead, they’re now stuck in a situation where their entire network shut down, leading to a drain of probably tens of millions of dollars for the company.

Imagine having a similar situation in your small company, and you had to rely on technicians who didn’t know how to solve it. With IT consultants, they’ve seen what’s going on out there and know about the latest threats. They’ll know how to protect you from them by implementing the proper tools, including internal IT management if necessary.

The Latest Technology

With technology changes happening almost as fast as the cyber threats, you need to know the latest software and hardware available that can help your business work more efficiently. IT consultants will know this based on their work with many other companies. They’ll know which things work the best for specific business structures so you get something that’s just right and not bought just because it’s a best seller.

This is the approach we take here at The Interconnect Group. With our comprehensive IT services, including management, we guarantee our experience from the field in providing you everything you need to make your company safe and to flourish. Visit us into the new year to find out which of our services can help you.

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Four network security challenges

Network Security

Businesses of any size need to worry about the state of their network security. Although it’s bigger businesses that tend to make the news due to a security breach (such as Sony Picture’s recent hacking), cyber criminals will go after any company that can yield sensitive data, including credit card numbers, Social Security Numbers, classified documents, emails and home addresses.

Providing strong security for your business is a challenge. What measures do you have in place to detect unauthorized activity on your network? How quickly can you respond to the threat?

The following are four network security challenges:

  • Undetected intrusions: The more sophisticated cyber criminals can cover up their tracks. They can gain access to a network without leaving any obvious traces that they’re present and capable of either stealing sensitive data or using your computing devices for malicious purposes (such as to distribute malware).
  • Multiple weak points: There are likely multiple ways for cyber criminals to gain access to your network. Are you aware of the vulnerabilities, and if so, what have you done to strengthen your security?
  • Employee readiness: Are your employees, particularly those responsible for IT, able to handle network security? Among the problems your business may suffer from are unclear security protocols; personnel may not be sure about what should be done both to monitor and respond to threats, and who is responsible for different tasks.
  • Budgeting for security upgrades and network monitoring. Although this is a particular challenge for smaller businesses, even larger enterprises can have problems coming up with the money they need to tighten their security. Businesses need security solutions that are both powerful and cost-effective.

Network security is of paramount importance. As we see with the recent Sony Pictures hacking, data can get ransomed. You could lose customer trust, face lawsuits, and perhaps go out of business altogether (which is especially a danger for small or medium-sized businesses). Be sure to consult with IT professionals on how to improve your company’s network security.

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Server Management Keeps Things Optimized to Improve Your Business Performance

server management

With the holidays upon us, focus in your workplace is probably trying to balance work on projects with holiday parties. Server management on your own time is probably impossible as it usually is all year round. And when you can’t rely on your own staff to monitor things due to distractions, it’s going to leave you vulnerable to the threats of the Internet.

The last thing you want is to be enjoying the holidays in your company, only to find out your server suddenly went down during the busiest work hours. It’s times like those that can turn the joy of the holidays into a nightmare, including down time and big money losses.

With professional server management, you can keep your server running optimally without having to worry about these threats. It goes even further than that in helping to grow your business in a way you might not have expected.

Monitoring and Helping Provide Improvements

When you use our server management services here at Echopath, we guarantee a 24/7 monitoring of your server so any issues can be found immediately and fixed before disaster happens. This involves any failing drives on your server, or fixing a lag before it slows down your entire business.

These issues are going to be important if you’re depending on customer sales during the holidays. A slow server can slow down your sales and can easily frustrate customers and turn them away to your competition.

Beyond that, business growth is always important. Using our server management, we can give you suggestions on how to optimize your server so it works more efficiently and also for scalability.

Visit us here at Echopath to find out more about how we can work behind the scenes to manage your computer systems without being obtrusive. This can help you worry less and focus on your work (and the holidays) for a better peace of mind.

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