(Video) Why is Patch Management so Important to Cybersecurity

Today I’d like to talk to you about why patch management is so important to the cybersecurity of your business. And it’s not only your business. It’s also in your own personal connection to the digital world.

Patch management is something that’s really been pushed in the last couple years, because a couple of years ago, they found that things like malicious software, viruses, Trojans, worms, were targeting software that hadn’t been repaired. And that’s what a patch does. It repairs the application or the operating system or the BIOS for instance.

Now this is why it is so important that you have a patch management plan in small- and medium-businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

That patch management plan makes sure that if X has released a patch, might be a Microsoft patch, for a specific problem that they have discovered or someone has told them that they have got a problem, they will rectify that problem and release it as a patch.

And yes, we all know those patches are really annoying, cause they come up when you’re logging on or off or you they want to shut down the computer and restart. But it’s a damn sight better than getting hit with a virus or malicious software.

But patch management also has other components. Patch management in a small business is making sure that all the iPads are up to date, or all the Android phones are up to date and all the applications that people are using on those iPads, iPhones, and Androids are also up to date.

Because most of the viruses that are coming out now look and feel and target specific vulnerabilities in things like Java and Adobe and any other system that is integrated into how we do business nowadays.

So that is why patch management is really important for your business. It’s to make sure that when you go forward that your operating system and your applications cannot be targeted by a virus.

If you need to know more information about patch management, please contact us. We’ll quite happily help you work out a system of doing it.

(Video) How can a Managed Service Provider (MSP) make your business more competitive?

I’d like to talk to you about how you as a small or medium business or a not-for-profit organization can increase your business competitiveness.

Most of us when we get to the stage that we’ve started a new business and we now get to the point we’re employing 5-6 people, we look for an office to go into, and we’ve got an IT person that is happy to do that role, we suddenly realize that we’ve got 5-6 different platforms that we’re using.

You might have someone on who only likes Apple, or someone who only wants to use Windows 7 or Windows 8. Or we haven’t gotten around to buying a server. Do we go to a server? Do we go to a cloud? That type of environment, and those types of questions are really important for a small business going forward.

Now, if you didn’t know the correct questions to ask, then what you get out of the answers is not going to help you very much. And this is where a managed service provider really comes into the game.

Because they will sit down with your small- to medium-sized business and they will do a business and risk analysis on your business to find out where you want to go, how you want to get there, and then they will find the technology that suits your business.

If you’ve got 9 people in your office and 8 of them are on the road at all times, then you are going to need some way for them to connect and work together. And that connecting and working together is very critical to your business, because that’s the business model you’re using.

So from a small business perspective, when you’re talking to a managed service provider, you can sit there and go, this is what I want to do. This is where we are. I want to add another 5 staff by the end of the year.

I want to look at outsourcing some of my components. Where are you going to outsource them to? What components are you going to outsource? That whole plan is what a managed service provider will help you do.

So if you want to increase your business competitiveness, then talk to an MSP. An MSP will actually sit there and talk to you about how you can take your business forward and what you can do to make it more competitive.

In most cases, and most MSPs that I know, if you give them a ring and say, “we need to have someone come out and have a talk to us,” they will quite happily come out and talk to you. And most of the advice they give will be free advice.

So how to increase your business competitiveness? Talk to an MSP. Thank you very much!

(Video) What can a Virtual Chief Digital Officer (V CDO) do for your organisation?

I’d like to talk to you about the role of the Chief Digital Officer in your business.

Now most small- to medium-businesses and not-for-profit organizations cannot afford to have a Chief Digital Officer inside their business.

You’re probably asking what will a CDO do for me? Well a CDO will actually take all of the components to your business and find out what direction you are going in, what is good technology and what is not good technology for your business, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to put everything in the cloud.

But the CDO is also anything to do with the digital world. He has the knowledge about it. So you want to use Facebook. Okay, not a problem. How are you going to use it? What are you going to use it for? How are you going to get your message out there?

That is also part of the role of a CDO. But as I said, they’re an expensive commodity in a small business. So how do you get all of that information and expertise without paying an arm and a leg and sending your business broke?

Well, when it comes to the Virtual CDO, you can have access to that information by employing someone who will come in an hour a month, an hour a week, an hour every two weeks, and sit down with the management team and work out what you need to do for your business.

And what digital components will reinforce that message, to make sure that when you are looking at how you’re going to get, that the information is not going to get cul-de-sac’d, or that information is not going to be bad for you, or in some cases, the information that you’re playing with needs to have some other components to make it really beneficial for your business.

And that is the role of the CDO. And a virtual CDO will come in, talk to management teams, talk to Board members, and find out exactly what direction your business needs to go in and how you want to do it and how much it will cost to do it.

And if it’s going to cost an arm and a leg again, then how are we going to grab it back to make it cost effective.

Now a virtual CDO, what we do as a role in our managed services is you get that for free as part of a service level agreement we put in place having one of our high-end technical experts come to your office. And none of that gobbledygook. They are based in applying technology to business to make it work.

So if you need to have someone who can come in and have a look at your business and find out where your business needs to go and what you need to do and put it in place, then a virtual CDO is what you need.

Thank you very much

Digital security – why is it so bloody difficult?

10% of the global population that use the Internet have more than a basic understanding of the digital world.   There is a severe disconnect between what is done and what needs to be done when protecting an organisation from cybercrime.

Throw terms like dark net, cloud technologies, IOT (internet of things) or BYOD and most managers, board members and owners shrug, glaze over and say that it is an IT problem.

In today’s threat landscape, cybercrime, is a business risk.   Probably one of the biggest risks a business will face.   Like all business risks it has to be addressed as soon as possible.   But what are you addressing?

In most cases management teams, board members and owners consider cyber and digital protection an unreasonable and unjustifiable expense for the organisation (until it’s too late that is).   In most cases they under invest in Digital Security, for no other reason than they do not understand the problem.

From a business perspective, of the thousands of attacks on most business systems, mobile devices and other devices that are connected to the digital world every year only one has to succeed.   As an organisation, we have to stop them all.   That compromised system is the Trojan horse to get into your organisation.

We have all experienced a virus and how hard it is to stop and clean up.   Image if that virus was just the scout of a more costly attack.   You don’t have to image it, in most cases it is the vanguard of your worst nightmare!

The recently discovered attack on 100 worldwide banks that netted the criminals around $1 billion was done through a very sophisticated process that included boutique malware (undetectable by the best AV), social engineering, bad work practices, substandard policies and procedures and a lack of auditing.

The perfect storm that netted the bad guys all of that money over a 2 year period.

Compared to walking into a bank with a gun, or blowing the safe, this theft is relatively painless.   It is very profitable! Very profitable and relatively safe!   Catching the bad guys is remote, difficult and the criminals that do get caught show Darwinism at its best.

These 3 factors make the management of cybercrime difficult:

The cost of Digital Security technology!

Walk into any office, locks on the doors, motion detectors in the rooms, alarms on the windows, possibly biometric locks and access and in some cases bollards out front.   These are known protections that have come about in the last 100 years.   Costly but important protection.

Protecting the Organisations digital assets is a little harder.

If an organisation does not understand the WHY of cybercrime and Digital Security the protection requirements are often underestimated.

The business management’s attitude that free or cheap is the solution reigns supreme.

  • Free anti-virus must be better than having to pay a monthly or annual subscription for a managed end point protection system!   The fact that it only captures 90% of the known problems is irrelevant.
  • Or purchasing the inexpensive router from the local retail shop will do the job of a router with UTM (unified threat management).   The attitude that we just need a device that connects to the Internet is often heard.

There are thousands of other examples where free or cheap is the solution that is taken by SME’s and even larger Organisations.

When it comes to technology – you pay for what you get and scrimping on Digital Security by buying the cheapest means you are exposing your business to unnecessary risk.

The cost of protection can be exceedingly high and that is the main reason that risk management and risk assessment is paramount in those decisions.   Throw away lines like “we are too small to be a target” and “it will never happen to us”.   These are based on myth and legend.   Like a normal risk factors, understanding and then mitigating the risk has to be front of mind and in Digital Security, mitigating those risk comes at a cost.

The Digital Security jargon (non jargon) is hard to understand!Businessman

There are times when the discussion around cybercrime and Digital Security  is difficult.   I will even admit that at times I have trouble understanding what sales and technical people are saying, and I have been in the industry for more than 30 years.

One of the reasons for this disconnect is jargon.   Each manufacturer has a new word, new catch phrase, new product name or new operating system, that someone somewhere in the purchasing organisation has to now learn, understand and manage.

Getting straight and understandable answers to basic questions in the digital space can also be difficult. The answers are made more difficult if you cannot understand them or worse still have not asked the right questions.

Paramount to protecting business information is to understand what information needs to be protected.

This communication disconnect also happens when describing the criminal element.   Malware, zombies, botnets are the tools of the digital criminal, but most businesses do not understand the impact that they have on the protection paradigm.

In most cases businesses do not understand why they are being targeted with viruses or malware.

“Why did we get a virus, we have nothing worth stealing” is a cry we get regularly!   Everyone has something worth stealing even if it is just the storage and cycles used by the system itself to become a zombie or to join a botnet.

Digital Security Protection is difficult to manage!

The next problem with Digital Security is the management of all of those digital components.   Organisations believe that digital protection is “set and forget”.   A couple of years ago this might have been true.

Thinking that once it is in place you don’t have to worry about in today’s digital world is a bad idea and can have devastating consequences.   Not updating a device for 12 months or in some cases 3 years is definitely not best practice.

All of the components that protect the business have to be updated regularly, checked regularly and most importantly tested to ensure that they are working to design specifics.   Once again Jargon is a problem.

The digital threat landscape is constantly changing.   The bad guys know this because in most situations they are behind the changes.

Conclusion

Digital Security is a holistic process. Once again jargon impacts the Organisations decisions.   To make a correct risk assessment on the organisation you need to know:

  1. What needs to be protected?
  • Intellectual property
  • Financial information
  • Client information
  • Digital assets
  1. How will it be protected – this is the technical component of the risk analysis process
  • Separate network
  • Restricted access
  • Encryption
  • User access
  1. Who needs access to it?
  • Does everyone in the organisation need access to all information?
  • Can components of the information be separated?

You have to have a basic understanding of the required components that are protecting that information before you can make decisions.

Convenience is usually the primary driving force for business.   It is also the driving force with applications and systems.   Security should be more important than convenience, most of the time it is further down the list.

This article first appeared on LinkedIn

Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and author of the SME Digital Security Framework.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world.

Business Resilience – are you prepared?

capsuleIn business today, there is no such thing as being over prepared.

An example of business resilience is the case of the Bankstown City Council Fire on 01 July 1997.   The council had no business continuity plan in place at the time and recovery from the fire was expected to take an extended period BUT the council’s response was organised, the staff were highly motivated and services were quickly restored.   A BC plan is not the sole key in the process of recovering from severe business disruption.    To create a resilient business environment requires effective and motivated leadership, devolved decision making, supportive external partners and a highly driven and effective work force.

Business Resilience is not a checklist or plan but it is a way that the business approaches business.   It is found in the businesses culture, in their leadership, in the business attitudes and most of all in the corporate values that flow through the whole business.

Being resilient can provide a business with a competitive advantage.   Following an interruption, a resilient business can:

·        Return to profitable business faster

·        Use the disruption to improve efficiency

·        Protect insurers by reducing insurance premiums

·        Reduce the exposure to uninsured losses

·        Enhance its reputation

·        And increase staff morale.

A decent resilience program can be used as a business development plan.

Resilient is something that comes about though good organisational leadership.    I was in the Navy in the 80’s and I had a supply officer (Brian) who had one of the best leadership profiles I have ever come across.  Brian’s attitude was that there were never any problems but there were challenges to resolve, by leading through example and delegating responsibility he had a group of people that would go to the wall for him but bring him back as well.   This attitude had the whole supply department on HMAS Swan willing and able to do anything to get the job done.

So staff in a resilient organisation will not only pull together to achieve the desired outcomes (one in, all in) but they also have predefined direction and a supportive network that allows for the right attitude.   The team will adapt quickly and with passion but will also try to predict future outcomes.

A resilient business will float to the top in times of adversity and to do that it needs to have a number of things in place prior to that resilience being needed.   The business needs to be

·        Adaptive.

·        The staff and management know what to do.

·        Willing to change and plans to do that.

·        Have a vision of adapting to situations.

·        Think outside the box.

·        Capitalise on adversity.

·        Respond rapidly to change.

So a Resilient business has a Chrystal Ball and it is functioning pretty well.    It is clear what and who is involved in the business and hire only those people who will fit the ethos and attitude of the business.

In a resilient business there are components that go forward to create a holistic approach to that resilience.   Parts of a business that will impact the resilience of the business are Risk management, Business Continuity, Physical and IT security, OH and S and HR   The resilience of a business is a jigsaw and the fitting together of different components enhances the resilience of the business.

The resilience of the business comes from the culture of the business and enables ideas and knowledge to be bought together, combined and acted on.

The challenges to a resilient business are the following:

·        Resistance to change in staff and management

·        The inability to recognise points of failure inside the business and acting on them

·        An understanding of the flow on effects from HR, Management and external forces.

·        The need for champions to change internal attitudes

·        Changing the idea of resilience from strategic to a component part of the business

·        Education at and for the business in the requirements of resilience.

Business resilience comes about through communication, collaboration and coordination within the business.   It is driven both from the top down through management requirements and reporting but also from the bottom up through staff involvement and changes to processes to better the business.   The coalface is still the area that will drive a business and the managerial support of that role will ensure a business is resilient and secure.

Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and author of the SME Digital Security Framework.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world.

Onion protection system – critical data, layer protection from any point of access

bigstock-Businessman-jumping-a-hurdle-36831797The problem with today’s digital security is not that most systems can be accessed or hacked with programs and systems bought straight from the cyber criminals.   Most Organisations understand that.

We still have to make it as hard as possible to break in, with secure front facing systems, anti-virus, strong passwords, best practice and patching.   But digital security is only as good as the weakest link.

By understanding your business infrastructure, your risk components, your data requirements and who has access to it you can make it very hard for a hacker who has managed to compromise that weakness to get anything out.

No matter the size, all Organisations need to do a risk management plan.   They need to create a blueprint of what data is important, how it will be protected, who has access to it and who can move it around.   This plan then allows management to base cohesive risk strategies around that data.

This risk management plan will also show, how that information will be protected.   Will the more important data have more complex systems around it.   Will the infrastructure have to evolve from a flat network to a more complex levelled network with internal firewalls and complex processes.   Will the data be removed from single sign on capabilities to a more complex system of protection?

Balancing convenience and security will be the major problems in the protection of your data.

All of these questions need to be answered before your organisation becomes another Internet statistic.

Managed Service or outsourcing for the small Business!

It’s about time you put your Sales person back to work!

EngineerMany small and medium business and not for profit Organisations (SME) are too small to have a full time ICT person.   When this happens, these organisations have three choices.

All for one and one for all

Not have anyone do the job and just for everyone to look after themselves.   This may sound stupid but this is what happens when a very small business doesn’t understand the technological requirements of the business.   They are quite happy to use only 5% of their digital expertise and equipment to do their job.

Use someone on staff as the “go to” person who “knows computers”

In a large number of Organisations there is someone who knowns computers and is in turn delegated to the role of IT manager.   The delegated person may be there because they have an aptitude for ICT or they have made their own computer or in most cases they are gamers and that’s because gamers know business.

There are three problems with this:

  • They may know computers, have built them or played with them in their own time but in today’s digital world there is a vast difference between someone who knows computers and someone who is TRAINED in computers and technology.
  • The second one is a soft skills problem.   Small businesses have limited resources, and those limited resources have to be utilised to the best of the Organisations abilities.       In some places you have accounts people – both inbound and outbound, or you have sales and marketing person, they are employed to do that specific job within the organisation.       If they are also the computer guy then the original skills and resources will no longer be utilised to the best of their ability.   I.E. If they are the sales person how many months will you allow them to not meet their sales targets because they were fixing computers.
  • The computer person focussed more and more on the IT of the business and less on their original job requirement.   The more fun they have with fixing computer problems the less they like doing their original work – have you got someone like that in your organisation.

Get a professional to manage your computers.

In most small Organisations the resources are not in the budget to allow for a single person to manage the IT so the business has two options:

  • Hire a part timer, someone who will come in when something is broken and stay until it is fixed.   This can create monumental cash flow problems.   In addition, this solution will not give you the in-depth knowledge that every organisation needs in today’s digital world.       Yes they could fix a computer problem, a printer problem or even a server problem, but will they know how to use the cloud for the business, know what is needed to secure the organisation against the bad guys, know what apps or mobile devices are going to make your business more profitable using today’s technology?
  • The second alternative is to get a service level agreement with a MANGED service provider (MSP).   A MSP will monitor your network 24/7, give you access to a helpdesk system, fix problems remotely or on site, deliver monthly Management reports to you and be a proactive force, catching small things before they have a major impact on your business.   In most cases a MSP is a single monthly cost depending on your organisation size, your requirements and the MSP you are talking to.

Computers and the digital world are the mainstay of business in today’s world.   Get it right and the benefits can be stunning but get it wrong and the detrimental impact can be just as devastating.

 

Why is there so much confusion over Cloud Computing

With all of the hype that is flowing around this cloud computing stuff it is about time we started to point out that there is a problem, you know the elephant in the room type problem.    Cloud technologies as a definition is going to save you a bucket full of money type problem.

It seems that CIO’s, IT departments and vendors (VMware, Cisco, HP, DELL, Microsoft) have come to a conclusion that if they do not embrace a cloud solution then the business will fail.   On top of that, the driving force behind the hype seems to have no cohesion in the actual definition.

The number of products that are being sold with a cloud attachment, cloud in their name or supposedly a cloud solution are nothing short of marketing hype.   This hype, according to Gartner, is going to start damaging business decisions based on the cloud phenomena.

I agree with Brett Winterford and Justin Warren from IT News in their ideas and this is my outlook on the cloud.

What are we looking at?

  • Cloud is not a physical purchase – it is not a capital expense.   It is about access.  If there is any component that is hidden in a cupboard, under the stairs or in a rack,  then the solution is not a cloud.   All of the vendors have a solution that they sell to you that has a physical component but again if it is a physical component then it is NOT a true cloud solution.
  • Cloud solutions are dynamic, they grow and shrink with your use and allow for business to have a front facing system that allows for those changes.    If you are adding CPU cycles, additional Hard drives or space then the product you are using is not a cloud.
  • If I have to make a call to the helpdesk to add, remove, provision or change any component of my cloud then the solution is not a cloud.   The simple act of having to make a physical change to the cloud environment means that your solution is not a cloud.
  • Cloud is pay as you go.   If I have to sign a 3 year or 12 month contract then the product is not a cloud product.   Software as a service literally means pay as you go if I stop paying then the cloud stops delivering.   There are no contractual obligations involved.
  • If a supplier has added “cloud” to their normal offering then it is not a cloud product.   If it is the same as what it was 5 years ago then it is not a cloud.

I was watching the Technology in Business program on SKY recently and they had a number of CIO’s  from some of the big players in the ICT arena and I found that when it comes small and medium business and not for profit organisations they really have no understanding of the requirements.  They are still peddling their products and generating the “cloud hype” but they are not putting forward the true solution that businesses are looking for.

I can remember when clustering was a business changer.   The process of clustering allowed a number of servers to present to a business as a single piece of equipment.   Any one server can be restarted or changed without the business noticing.   The cloud is supposed to be able to do that.

The cloud presents a business to its users and customers as a single piece of equipment.   It is supposed to be disaster resistant and add to a business’s resilience.    It adds to the businesses business continuity.   Yes Cloud computing is the next evolution of ICT but the way that it is being sold at the moment makes a mockery of the term.

In Australia, at the moment, there is no true cloud offering.     The solutions that are based on virtual servers, connecting them together and keeping them together in a physical location will keep IT vendors busy and their customers locked into a solution for many years to come.   Will they grow with their requirements, probably not?   These solutions are available in Australia but they are NOT cloud solutions

I am afraid that the elephant needs to be let out, the vendors and suppliers should start to look at delivering a true cloud offering before the term cloud becomes obsolete and no longer applicable to business.

Why we use Fortinet Products

Recommending products to clients is always a tricky proposition.  When most of us hear someone suggest we spend a lot of our own money, we tend to think, “that’s easy for you to say.”  That’s doubly true if there are cheaper alternatives out there.  In our line of work, we often have to recommend business security systems to our clients.  They’re usually not for profit organisations and small to medium businesses who have little excess money to spend, and we have to justify every recommendation.  Nevertheless, we try to persuade them to use Fortigage products—here’s why.

The managed services process starts with implementing some inexpensive recommendations.  This allows us to get the basics right.  Those basics include policies, procedures and processes: creating a disaster recovery, business continuity process and business resilience.  And in some cases, we need to change the culture through training and awareness programs. 

But none of these improvements can provide their full benefit without a state-of-the-art internet connection device.  That’s where clients sometimes balk at the cost.  It may seem like we’re pushing certain products, but we’re just looking out for the customer’s best interest.  Fortinet and the Fortigate products have the best return on investment of any security vendor on the market

Over six years of working with Fortinet, we have found that they have the best and most inexpensive enterprise-ready systems available for businesses.  There is a vast leap in technology from a modem/router that is purchased from a retail store to the modem/router made by a high-end security vendor like Cisco and Juniper but the fortigate products are as easy to set up and as good as the high end systems that are available. 

Why am I saying this?  Well, with a Fortigate router, we can do so much more with your business at the cyber protection level than we ever could before. 

Let’s take Facebook, for instance.  Most businesses and organisations use Facebook as a marketing tool, so certain people need access to it during working hours—but does everyone?  Using simple rules, you can restrict users who don’t work with social media.  Or maybe you want your staff marketing through Facebook, but not wasting time on Farmville.  With other settings you can also make that happen.  But you don’t want to seem like an ogre—you want to allow full access to Facebook over lunch.  Once again, a simple addition of a rule can do that.

A single Fortigate device can manage applications that precisely.  in addition to that, the standard Fortigate system using its UTM (Unified Threat Management) system comes with next-generation firewall capabilities, VPN Connection, web filtering, intrusion detection, malware protection, and a level of anti-SPAM.  It can also come with a high-end wireless system that is independent of the main network. 

Since all these functions are now combined in one connection device, you need to ensure that that your business will not suffer.  Fortigate supplies a four-hour replacement warranty, but in addition to that we also keep spares ready to go into a site at a moments notice.

Using Forticlient (a free AV product for PC, MAC, IPhone and Android) you can protect all of your devices, but when it’s combined with a Fortigate appliance you can use it to manage, monitor, and enforce your business policies on all connection devices in the system. 

You don’t have to believe Fortinet’s own hype; all of their systems hold their own when independently tested against others in their class.  In a number of cases—Forticlient AV, for instance—the product has proven better than most of the independent AV providers.

So the reason we use Fortinet products is threefold:

·         They have the best integrated product

·         Their support is top-quality

·         They have the best return on investment (ROI) of all other security vendors

I know—it’s easy for me to say.  But if you’re serious about security, you might want to consider Fortinet.

If You Think You Need a Computer Tech, You Probably Do

Most small and medium business and not for profit organisations have a similar mindset when it comes to business ICT and cyber crime.  That attitude is the old “everything will be all right” and “it won’t happen to me”. 

To the scores of SME’s who have lost their intellectual property, been hacked or had their client list stolen, I could say “I told you so,” but I won’t.  The problem is that most SME’s who have this attitude do not understand how the cyber criminals attack their business, or any of the other things that can go wrong with today’s technology.

This is where an IT person comes into the equation.  For an SME, ICT is what makes your business run correctly, but to make it run at the highest level you need to get information from an expert.  In most cases, an SME considers Google the expert.  Google, combined with “someone who knows computers,” is all that they need to get the best out of their business’s ICT.  Sorry, but that is completely wrong!

There is one large problem with this attitude:  When consulting Google you have to have the right questions.  In most cases, the answer to your question is out there on the internet, but when it comes to getting the best for your business the beauty is in the question.  The more accurate the question, the better the solution will be.  I don’t profess to know how Google works, but in my line of work, we also use Google.  An answer to a question I type in would deliver far more accurate information than a question from someone who just “knows computers.” 

Recently we were troubleshooting a problem on a site.  The client had an on-site computer person, who had been working on the problem for about a week.  The problem was starting to have monumental repercussions for the business, and they called in a professional.  Going in, we had no idea what was wrong, but after about one hour we had a fair idea.  We then asked doctor Google the right question.  Not only were the results totally different from anything the IT tech had turned up, but the actual answer was the second result.  The solution was a quick change to the registry, removing a number of temp files, and a restart of the problematic systems. 

We were on site for about two hours, and the total cost was $300.00, but there was no more loss of productivity within the business.  Considering they lost about $10,000 in productivity, it’s clear that persisting with a tech person who does not know what they are doing is a total waste of money.

In today’s world, your ICT systems are the lifeblood of your business.  You can’t just set them up and then ignore them.  To keep them running at the right level, you have to ensure that they are secure, productive, stable and resilient.  That is a tall order for someone who just “knows computers.”

So how do you avoid IT disasters, and the costly visits from consultants that come with them? A managed service provider will deliver the necessary level of expertise so that your business can focus on what you do best:  Using your expertise to make money, create revenue and drive profit.  That is why you are in business—not so that you can play with computers.