We’ll help to keep you organized and efficient so you can do what you do best!

As a business owner, you have enough on your plate keeping your organization moving forward and getting ready to face new challenges.  You need to be prepared to take advantage of new opportunities when they come your way.  Are you losing sleep over IT worries?  How can you ensure that you are moving in the right direction when most of your time is consumed with figuring out IT issues?  Even more, are you ignoring your IT and hoping for smooth sailing?  That is the surest way to end up in the middle of an IT disaster!  This 4th of July as we celebrate our nation’s independence, declare your independence from IT worry!  With Net Works, you can rest easy knowing that we have your back and are working in your best interests.

 

Never again will you have to waste valuable time ensuring your hardware is running properly or fixing any issues that come up.  At Net Works, our technicians hold the most up to date certifications and are there to handle any issues you have.

 

Never again will you have to worry if all your software is up to date or if you are vulnerable to malware because of a missed patch install.  At Net Works, we handle all of your updates and security protocols.  If you ever face a disaster natural or otherwise, you can rest easy knowing that your data will be safe in our data center.  Ensuring that your office can continue to function even if your physical location is compromised.

 

Never again will you have to deal with a blown IT budget because of unexpected problems.  At Net Works, we partner with all of our clients to map out a comprehensive plan for their technology infrastructure.  With a plan in place you will know that any of your future technological needs will be met without any surprise costs.

 

Never again will you have to wonder if your organization is falling behind the technological curve.  At Net Works, we have the knowledge and the resources to allow you to exploit the newest technological advances quickly.  You will always be one step ahead of your competitors’.

 

At Net Works, we are information technology experts.  We will handle all of your technology needs so you can get back to focusing on your business.  Declare your freedom from IT worries Get Net Works, on your team.  Contact us today!

 

 

 

Find Time and Outlook Add-Ons

Any SMB owner knows that time is money.  At Net Works, we are always looking for ways that you can maximize your and your team’s productivity.  In our collaborative work environments, meetings are essential to hold, but also can be a nightmare to schedule.  Team members can be working remotely, members outside your organization can be on the road based in any region of the country, or even around the world; making scheduling a meeting a challenge.   Fortunately, Microsoft has a solution to ease this burden.  Find Time is a free add-on to their nearly ubiquitous Outlook email program.  It is simple to use and very convenient.  Once the add-on is installed, you will see a button in the upper right hand bar of your Outlook dashboard.  Once you click  the button, the steps to scheduling a meeting are easy!

  • Choose the attendees you wish to invite
  • Propose a few different days and times to meet
  • Let people vote on the time that works best for them.
  • Once a consensus is reached the meeting invites are automatically sent out.

There are a couple of other great features in Find Time.  You can alert people to your preferred meeting time; allowing your invitees to see if they can make that time work.  You can see the time most people within your organization are available; allowing you to see if you can move things around to meet with people at their most convenient day and time.  With Find Time you can spend your time meeting rather than sending out numerous emails and making phone calls trying to find a time to meet.  At Net Works, we work to stay abreast of all new developments that will help you to increase your productivity.  Net Works is your IT department.  We stay current, and alert you to all recent upgrades in the tech world so you don’t have to.  When it comes to serving your business I.T. needs, we’re IT!  Contact us today.

Disaster Planning 101: A Guide to help you plan for the worst

IT disasters are devastating to the infrastructure of any organization.  In a modern office environment IT is the hub of any type of business.  Disasters can disrupt IT processes to the point that businesses are significantly impacted.  When it comes to disaster recovery many firms believe they will never need a back-up plan; convincing themselves that the likelihood of their organization being affected is minimal.  In reality, threats to your IT infrastructure are growing no matter what segment of the economy you operate within.

In each sector an IT disaster can be classified into two different categories: Natural, such as floods, tornados, or earthquakes; or man-made, primarily sabotage or cyber-attacks and more benign causes like human error or power outages.  Whatever the cause of your IT downtime, a comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan is the key to getting you up-and-running in an efficient manner and with the least amount of disruption.

While every organization has its own unique structure and needs, there are a few key areas that must be considered before deploying a Disaster Recovery Plan.  According to the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) special Publication 800-34, Contingency Planning for Information Technology Systems, a comprehensive structure for an IT disaster recovery plan begins with the following:

  1. The plan development team should meet with the technology team to establish the scope of the plan.
  2. Gather all relevant network infrastructure documents (network diagrams, equipment configurations, databases, etc.)
  3. Obtain copies of any existing IT and network DR plans (if any) as well as any history of previous outages and how they were handled.
  4. Identify the most probable threats to the IT infrastructure, e.g. fire, power loss, human error, cyber threats.
  5. Identify the most serious vulnerabilities such as lack of backup power, out dated copies of databases.
  6. Identify what are the critical IT assets.
  7. Determine the maximum acceptable outage time.
  8. Choose your IT Disaster Recovery Technology. Choices range from onsite backups to enterprise level cloud disaster recovery. The best recovery strategy depends on the most likely threats to any given organization’s IT operations and resources.  The most robust strategy is a fully mirrored recovery site at a physically separate facility.

A quick glance at the news will tell you that you cannot afford to hope for the best when it comes to disaster recovery planning, but where do you even begin?  An incomplete plan will not serve you well in the case of a disaster.  At Net Works we will partner with you to craft your unique Disaster Recovery Plan.  Business continuity is too important to ignore!  Don’t risk your organization with poor preparation.  Get Net Works in your corner.

Disaster Planning for 2017

We’re here to help you plan for a great 2017!  This includes evaluating your Disaster Recovery Planning.  At Net Works we take your backup data seriously with daily audits to ensure your backup data is secure and that if anything happens that we can recover your data with minimal downtime or disruption.

 

Ask yourself “what would happen if someone came and took your server out of the office?”  Can you say how long it would take to bring you back up and running again?  With our Disaster Recovery we can provide predictable up-time for you and your business.

 

Schedule a no cost review to be sure that your data and information are secure and backups are properly maintained!

 

 

Cyber-attacks right under the Christmas Tree!!!!

2016 has been filled with news of cyber-attacks and hacking.

  • In February the Central Bank of Bangladesh was the victim of a cyber heist that resulted in $81 million in losses and another $850 million in halted transactions.
  • In July, the Democratic National Committee’s email servers were breached. The resulting leaked emails caused much embarrassment and lead to the resignations of some of the organizations key officials.
  • In September, Yahoo announced that half a billion of its users’ accounts were hacked back in 2014 thus gaining access to names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of births, and in some cases, even security questions and answers. This event alone exposed 500 million people to potential identity theft.
  • In October, major websites went down due to a massive attack on one of the backbones of the internet; thus leaving Twitter, PayPal, Spotify and many businesses hosted by Amazon Web Services unable to function.
  • Over Thanksgiving weekend, the San Francisco rail system was hacked allowing riders to ride for free while a hacker held the system hostage with the use of Ransomware.
  • Most recently, Google announced that upwards of 1 million user accounts were compromised with the use of “Googlian” malware on Android powered smart The company warns that 13,000 additional devices are being infected every day.     christmas-bulb

The news is continuously flooded with reports of cyber-attacks and it is clear at this point that no one and no business is immune to the dangers of the hacker community.  With the onslaught of cyber-crimes, what is a SMB owner to do?  You have taken what you feel are the necessary steps to keep yourself safe; installing firewalls and communicating to employees the importance of strong passwords.  Even though you have taken these steps, you could still be victim of a hackers.  Here are five clues that you and your network might have become victims:

Clue 1) Slow internet connection. When hackers gain access to your network they begin to use your bandwidth for their own purposes.

Clue 2) Unauthorized programs have been installed on your network.  If you notice an unfamiliar program that was not authorized, documented or installed by anyone within your organization, that’s a sure sign that a hacker has invaded your network.

Clue 3) Spam emails are being sent from your company computers and email accounts.  Spam emails look legitimate because they are coming from your trusted email address.  Many of your customers may open them, annoying your subscribers and possibly leaving them open to security threats of their own.

Clue 4) Unfamiliar programs are requesting access to your network; or your Firewalls or other security programs have been uninstalled.  If your security systems are dismantled, unfettered access to your systems may be allowed to wreak havoc in your network.

Clue 5) Visitors to your home page are redirected to another site or antivirus solutions are flagging your site.  An internet search for your site results in error messages that warn the searcher that malware has been detected on your site.  This warning means that hackers have certainly uploaded some sort of malicious software to your system.

If you have noticed ANY of these signs, do not wait any longer.  Contact Net Works.  We are cyber-security experts and will perform a full security audit on your entire system.  We live in a complex connected world; you cannot afford to face downtime or data loss due to hackers.  Threats are everywhere, don’t try to take on the hacker community on your own.  Contact Net Works today!

 

Understanding Office 365 and what it can do for you

Running a business is a 365 day a year job. While you focus on running your business let Net Works focus on keeping you up-to-date on the latest developments in information technology. In the fourth quarter of 2015 Microsoft launched Exchange Server 2016 and implemented updates to its Office 365 service and software suite. While both feature improved security, there are several key differences, which is crucial to understand when making the appropriate choice for your business.

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Office 365

Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud based subscription service and therefore is no need to purchase any additional hardware. The low monthly subscription structure makes it a cost effective option for many small to mid-sized businesses in industries who need to comply with all current privacy and regulatory guidelines. Many business owners do not realize that free email services, such as Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL are not compliant with certain security and privacy regulations. Any company that is found to be non-compliant in regulated industries may face a government fine, as well as have to pay a service to get them back in industry compliance.

In addition to meeting confidentiality requirements, the email service in Office 365 has an added feature called “Clutter.” Clutter utilizes smart technology to learn patterns in users email. If it sees that emails from a specific sender are consistently never opened or immediately deleted it will send those messages to the Clutter folder rather than the inbox.

Unlike Office 365, Exchange Server 2016 is Microsoft’s most up to date and secure email software for on premise options. Some business owners prefer to keep their email server on premises rather than Office 365 due to a higher level of internal control. Depending on your particular business’ needs, it can offer higher performance than Microsoft’s cloud based service. There are some cases where an on premises server is the best, such as businesses that require large capacity file shares (50GB in size or more) or operations that would be bandwidth-prohibitive in a cloud scenario. Offices that have less infrastructure access to the internet would be wise to take this into account during their decision making process.

Exchange 2016 offers all of the same security features as Office 365 and is fully compliant with all privacy guidelines. However, it does not have the Clutter feature that Office 365 users are able to utilize. If you are currently using a now unsupported, or soon to be unsupported version of Exchange, it is past time to upgrade; preparing to move to Exchange 2016 is a must. Any business currently running a version of Exchange Server earlier than 2010 will need to perform an additional step as they upgrade. Files must be moved to Exchange Server 2010 as an interim step as newer versions cannot co-exist with any framework developed prior to 2010. It is important to remember that Microsoft will be terminating all support of any version of Exchange prior to 2010 on April 11, 2017. If your internal IT department has their hands full managing your day to day operations or if you do not have an internal IT department, Net Works can help you ensure a smooth transition as you migrate to the Exchange 2016 environment.

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Office 365

How do you know which option is the right choice for your business? Net Works can help you navigate the confusing world of information technology. You focus on what you do best and let Net Works handle the IT. Contact Us Today!

Is your business network haunted?

Let us rid you of those Witches, Ghosts, and Goblins!

 

With layered network security and 24/7/365 monitoring those monsters will have no chance to invade your space, taking away valuable time for your staff to be productive. Combine that with some great training and education on how to most effectively use your technology we’ll have you home in plenty of time for those trick or treaters coming to your door. If you’re like me you’ve already got your costume ready.

Don’t let your your current technology plan “suck the life” out of your business!

Downtime…Downtime… Who has time for downtime???????

Your days are filled with making decisions that will guide your business into the future.  It is easy to put your IT needs on the backburner, but that will lead to days spent putting out IT fires rather than focusing on your growth.  In the 21st century technology is at the center of any business.  Your entire operation can grind to a halt due to one computer snag; costing you lost productivity and the potential for lost clients.  According to recent research by CompTIA, the proactive monitoring that a managed service provider offers, reduces your costs by 50% per downtime incident.  Outsourcing your IT needs to Net Works is the best way to ensure that your business is running smoothly.  We have the Enterprise level software applications to support your business as well as the wealth of knowledge of multiple IT professionals at your immediate disposal.
Gone are the days where all you needed concern yourself with was a slow internet connection or a finicky printer.  The information technology environment of today is endlessly the complex; a major firewall breach that threatens your data, your VPN failing, or your VOIP is not allowing any calls to be made are just three problems you could face.  The costs for keeping a modern office running efficiently on your own can be endless as well.  You need to be confident that all of your hardware and software will continue to work for you and not against you.  This is a job too big for just one computer expert to handle.  It is no longer practical, nor preferable, to be a jack of all trades.   At the very least a help desk employee and a systems administrator are required.  The average combined salary of these positions is $90,000-$120,000 annually, plus the costs of keeping their training and certifications up to date.  Even these employees would not be able to handle every computer glitch you are likely to face. In addition to the peace of mind that contracting with Net Works provides, there are many less obvious financial benefits such as leaner overhead, bulk purchasing and leasing options for hardware and software, and software licenses, as well as compliance with government regulations.
Outsourcing lets you focus on your core competencies while Net Works focuses on ours. Instead of just the experience of one person, you gain the knowledge of Net Works’ team of IT professionals.  By working with Net Works you benefit from our experience of working with 100’s of clients.  We have already seen most of the IT issues you will face and know exactly what is necessary to fix them in a timely manner.  At Net Works we let you focus on your business while we manage the Information Technology your business needs to be successful.