Posts tagged "critical"

Ask the Engineer – Online or Desktop?

July 19th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Cloud, Data, Desktop, Disaster, Internet, Networks, Newsletters, Security 2 thoughts on “Ask the Engineer – Online or Desktop?”

In our last newsletter, we asked our readers about what topics they had the most questions about and we shared those questions with our technical team.  This month is about online bookkeeping programs.

Reader Question:  Online bookkeeping programs – how secure are they? What is the probability of someone hacking into your personal or business information through them vs. the probability of a desktop bookkeeping solution? Are there minimum security requirements across the board for online bookkeeping providers and, if so, are they realistic and effective at protecting information?

Ask the Engineer Response:

Software that you run online or through your desktop is vulnerable to security threats, so the real question is, “Is online software more secure than desktop software”?

For most SMBs, the answer is yes.  To understand why, we’ve compiled some information about all the vulnerabilities of using software.

 

Desktop Software:

Desktop software vulnerabilities are all located in one place, on your desktop or laptop. This is your point of access for everything; the point of storage for your accounting software, your data files, and your point of connection to the internet.

Sadly, many businesses don’t realize the importance of security. From technical measures such as anti-virus and firewalls to physical means such as locked doors and anti-theft cable solutions. Businesses also spend little or no time/money on educating their staff about best security practices.

Your office computer is faced with a greater range of internet-based attacks than online software would. Keep in mind that it is also much more susceptible to physical dangers such as fire, flood or theft.

If an emergency does happen, do you have a game plan to restore your software? Probably not, according to most SMBs. Backup is treated as an afterthought for many businesses, but this process could save you many hours or days when you need to return to full operation. Check out our other article to read more about backups, disaster recovery, and business continuity – Fire is a Real Threat.

 

Online Software:

Online software points of vulnerability are shared between the vendor and the user. It is still the user’s responsibility to secure the point of access while viewing the software though.

The good news is that the storage of the accounting software and the data file is not the user’s responsibility, but the vendor’s. These software companies have enterprise grade data centers with highly advanced defenses that run your online software.

Behind the scenes at one of these data centers would make any SMB server room look like a kid’s playroom.  The facility would be protected by guards while access would be regulated by key cards, fingerprint recognition, and iris scanners. There would also be a physical protection system that would include firefighting defenses, generators in case of blackouts, and flood resistant areas.

These data centers would have numerous, lightning fast high-speed internet connections. Their networks would be protected around the clock by current security technologies with a team of IT security specialists.

Online software companies store your data on the same server as hundreds of other businesses, so there is also security in anonymity.  If a server fails it can automatically push your data onto another server. You can imagine the detailed backup procedures that these companies have in case a software bug causes a crash. The best known online software programs only have several hours of downtime in a whole year.

No matter what the threat is, going with online software is usually a safer bet than a desktop program. Hackers are intelligent and have sophisticated methods for penetrating files.  They have two main ways of hacking into online software from the user’s computer. One is a password guessing program that cycles through billions of sequences until they get a match. Otherwise, they nose around on a network until they can grab a password that passes between the desktop and the data center.  The most successful forms of hacking have nothing to do with online software itself. The weakest link in the chain is usually the user.

But, these advanced attacks are practically impossible against online accounting software that’s distributed by mainstream vendors.

You can minimize the risk of a breach by:

  • Using a complicated password and keeping it somewhere secure.
  • A password manager is great for storing difficult passwords.
  • You should never, ever reveal your password. If someone asks, there’s a good chance they don’t have the best intentions.
  • Don’t use public computers, stick with your own laptop or computer.
  • As tempting as it is, don’t use public wifi networks. These public wifi networks can be compromised.

For more information, please contact our engineers at 888-98-THINK.

Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies in CO

July 6th, 2017 Posted by Awards, Best Practices, Cloud, Data, Desktop, Hosted Services, Managed Service Provider, Services 0 thoughts on “Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies in CO”

Durango, CO – Think Network Technologies ranked 91 on ColoradoBIZ magazine’s Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies this year. Melissa Glick is CEO/Co-Owner of Think, an IT consultant and network integrator.

“The women led companies on this list bring innovative products and services to the market, create jobs, drive economic growth and provide for families and communities,” says Melissa Glick, CEO of Think. “My hope is that recognizing women for their contributions will help to close the gender gap and inspire more women to be bold and courageous and to stop underestimating their professional capabilities.”

“Women in Colorado are making an impact in every industry, enterprise and workplace role imaginable. They are CEOs, startup founders, strategists and irreplaceable employees who not only are instrumental in their own organization’s success; through their daily actions and achievements they set a precedent of possibilities for the next generation of women in business to build upon.” – ColoradoBIZ magazine

 

To start the conversation, call (970)247-1885 or e-mail sales@thinknettech.com .

Think Ranked as Top 501 MSPs

June 19th, 2017 Posted by Awards, Best Practices, Cloud, Data, Desktop, Hosted Services, Managed Service Provider, Services 0 thoughts on “Think Ranked as Top 501 MSPs”

June 19, 2017: Think Network Technologies (Think) ranks among the world’s most progressive 501 Managed Service Providers (MSPs), according to MSPmentor’s 10th-annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings. The top MSP 501 companies ranked this year include organizations from around the world and from diverse technology and business backgrounds. Collectively, they amassed $14.48 billion in total revenue (based on 2016 results), up more than 15 percent from a year earlier.

The complete 2017 MSP 501 list is available at MSPmentor.net. In addition to honoring Think, this year’s MSP 501 list and study showcases the top ranked MSPs worldwide. Over the next few weeks, MSPmentor will unveil additional lists showcasing:

  • The top MSPs in Europe, Middle East and Africa
  • The top MSPs in Asia, Australia and New Zealand
  • The top Small Business MSPs’ list, comprised of organizations with 10 or fewer employees
  • The top vertical markets pursued by MSP 501 companies
  • The leading tools they leverage to run their businesses
  • And the top technologies they provide to customers

 

“Think is honored to be included on this prestigious list of the most progressive MSPs,” says Melissa Glick, CEO of Think. “Our team works extremely hard, shows passion and dedication, and it is great to be acknowledged by our industry for our efforts.  We will continue to offer innovative technology solutions to our customers and are excited about the positive impact we have on their business operations.”

“On behalf of MSPmentor, I would like to congratulate Think for its recognition as an MSP 501 honoree,” said Aldrin Brown, Editor in Chief, MSPmentor. “The managed service provider market is evolving at a rapid pace and the companies showcased on the 2017 MSP 501 list represent the most agile, flexible and innovative organizations in the industry.”

The 2017 MSP 501 list is based on data collected by MSPmentor and its partner, Clarity Channel Advisors. Data was collected online from Feb. 16 through May 15, 2017. The MSP 501 list recognizes top managed service providers based on metrics including recurring revenue, growth and other factors.

 

About Think Network Technologies

Think Network Technologies is a provider of on-premises and cloud solutions for both the private and public sector.  Think excels at delivering technology solutions that optimize productivity, strengthen customer relationships, enhance data sharing and drive profitability.  Since 2002, the family-owned business has become the outsourced IT department and trusted advisor for hundreds of businesses.  With offices in Durango(CO), Denver(CO), Farmington(NM) and Scottsdale(AZ), Think is strategically aligned to better serve the greater Four Corners region.

www.thinknettech.com

Copyright ©2017. Think Network Technologies, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

About Penton Technology’s Channel Brands

Penton Technology’s channel brands define emerging IT markets and disrupt established IT markets. They are a division of Informa. The channel brands include: MSPmentor (www.MSPmentor.net), The VAR Guy (www.TheVARguy.com), Talkin’ Cloud (www.TalkinCloud.com), the WHIR (http://www.thewhir.com) and WebHostingTalk (http://webhostingtalk.com).

 

About Informa

Penton Technology, Think Tank, MSPmentor, The VAR Guy, Talkin’ Cloud, the WHIR, WebHostingTalk, Channel Partners Online, Channel Partners Conference & Expo and Channel Partners Evolution are part of Informa, the international business intelligence, academic publishing, knowledge and events group. Informa serves commercial, professional and academic communities, helping them connect and learn, and creating and providing access to content and intelligence that helps people and businesses work smarter and make better decisions faster.

Informa has over 7,500 colleagues in more than 20 countries and a presence in all major geographies. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 100.

To start the conversation, call (970)247-1885 or e-mail sales@thinknettech.com .

Fire is a Real Threat

June 6th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Cloud, Data, Desktop, Disaster, Hosted Services, Services 0 thoughts on “Fire is a Real Threat”

By Darrell Brooks

 

On Sunday, May 21, a fire engulfed the building at 1111 Camino del Rio in Durango.  This building was the previous home of Think Network Technologies.  Fire is a real threat.

With the Camino del Rio fire, along with the Western Excelsior fire in Mancos, and global events such as the proliferation of the WannaCry crypto malware through many small and large business networks, there is no better time than the present to review or start putting together your backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity plans.  Threats are out there and business owners have enough worries on their mind to have to additionally worry about critically hurting or losing their business due to loss of important data or not being able to continue business operations during a disaster.  So what can be done to ease your mind that you have done everything you can do to protect your business before disaster strikes?

First, one should understand what data backups, disaster recovery, and business continuity actually mean and how they relate to their business processes.  After this, they should work with a highly qualified IT partner to work on coming up with a comprehensive strategy and plans that fit their individual business.  A lot of times the terms data backups, disaster recovery, and business continuity are used interchangeably, but it is important to note they are actually three different, but equally important and interconnected facets to protecting your business.

What is “Backup”?

In simple terms, backup is the process of creating copies of your important data and storing in another location that would not be affected by the same factors that could affect your primary copy of data.

Several key points are:

  • Your backups should include all important business data.
  • At least one up-to-date copy should be stored off-site.
  • Backups should be monitored regularly to make sure they are working properly.
  • Restoration tests should also be conducted to make sure you can actually recover data from the backups when needed.
  • Periodic reviews should be made to ensure that you are backing up all critical data. A set-it-and-forget-it approach can lead to future important data not being backed up.

What is “Disaster Recovery”?

Disaster recovery is the concept and strategy for recovering key IT systems and processes in a timely manner in the event of some form of disruption to these systems.  Sure you have backups of your data, but do you have a plan for how to use those backups in the event of a server failure, or building being destroyed by a fire? Unfortunately, most small business would have to answer “no” to this question, and that would lead to them having a copy of their data, and not knowing what to do with it, or running around haphazardly instead of being calm during this trying time.

 

What is “Business Continuity”?

Business continuity is the plan and processes that a business has in place to be able to continue business as close to normal as possible while key IT systems are unavailable or are being recovered.  While disaster recovery is focused on how to recover key IT systems and business processes, business continuity is the plan on how to continue to effectively operate your business while your IT systems and data are being recovered.  A business continuity plan should at the very least answer the following key questions:

  • What people, equipment, resources, and information needs to be available so that business can continue without key IT systems?
  • What steps can be taken to manually complete normal, day-to-day business processes with impaired IT systems or completely unavailable IT systems?

 

A Car Without Brakes

As you can see by looking at the definitions, all three of these are important, and having one without the others, is like having a car with seatbelts, but no brakes, or airbags without seatbelts.  All of these help to properly protect you during a car accident, and likewise, having backups, a complete disaster recovery process, and a business continuity plan in place can help protect your business during a disaster.

Think Network Technologies can help you develop a backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity strategy that is tailored to your business, systems, and processes.  We can also help you execute them when disaster does strike.

To start the conversation, call (970)247-1885 or e-mail sales@thinknettech.com .

CONTACT US

888-98-THINK
970-247-1885
3067 Main Ave. Durango, CO
101 W. Main St. Farmington, NM
7483 E. Visao Dr. Scottsdale, AZ
5700 Washington St. Denver, CO

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Copyright 2017 Think Network Technologies, LLC. All rights reserved.