Posts

Client Spotlight: Hacin & Associates

Strategic, responsive IT management – That is what NCGIT has been providing Hacin & Associates since 2013 through a strategic IT partnership. At the time, the incumbent IT provider was delivering only break/fix support, spotty proactive network management, and no strategic IT consulting.  Since assuming the role of virtual CIO and network infrastructure manager for Hacin, NCGIT has dramatically changed that situation by providing highly proactive IT infrastructure management and aligned IT solutions and budgets with business goals and strategies. Over the course of the past several years, NCGIT has also helped Hacin & Associates phase in a modernized IT infrastructure. An aging phone system was replaced with a VoIP solution providing highly increased functionality, resiliency, and mobility. The old backup system was replaced with a cloud-based solution providing highly secure, efficient, and robust disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities.  The server infrastructure has been stabilized and a more effective and secure remote access solution has been implemented.  Along with the strategic consulting and infrastructure improvements, NCGIT has provided Hacin with day-to-day proactive infrastructure management and proactive troubleshooting and has very effectively coordinated the IT infrastructure move to a new office space.  Hacin & Associates no longer has to spend time, staff, or inefficient and ineffective budget worrying about current and potential IT problems, and can instead focus on providing world class architecture solutions knowing that instead of being a constant and expensive speed bump in their path, their IT infrastructure is now an effective tool helping them achieve their business goals.

Check out Hacin & Associates now.

www.hacin.com

Improve IT Security

We live in a world where data breaches and hacks are almost a daily news headline, so IT security is vital. The majority of businesses handle customer information, meaning that one weak password could be the ticket for it all to be exposed and in the wrong hands. Ultimately, this type of breach makes trust with your customers virtually non-existent.

Here are few tips to compliment your company toolbox to enhance your business security.

#1 A STRONG PASSWORD

The reality of using short memorable dictionary words is no longer an option if you want security. Want business security? Stop using dictionary words they are ridiculously easy to crack.  Brute-force attacks are becoming more successful as time goes on.

Start by using a password generator:  https://www.dashlane.com/password-generator/ By default, it gives you a 15-character phrase that looks nothing like plain English.

#2 SHAKE IT UP

If the thought of having a different password for each service makes you feel overwhelmed, manage them with an application. There are a number of reputable password managers out there. Here are just a few:  DashLane (free/premium option) or LastPass (free/premium option). It’s also wise to regularly change your passwords; once a month is a decent interval. The 20 minutes you’ll spend updating your credentials for all the services you use will more than pay for themselves.

Make a 20-minute date with yourself, put it on your calendar to update your passwords monthly. Taking this time to update your passwords regularly is an excellent ROI.

#3 THE TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION ROUTE

You know you have done it, skipped over this added measure when setting up your e-mail account or bank account, we have all done it.  DON’T! This security measure puts an extra step in place and is an efficient way to rebuff remote access. WHY DO I NEED THIS? You have your number on file with your bank account and they will send you a verification code via text when a hacker attempts to log into your account from a different IP address.  If you are vacationing and it was you, then you can enter the code and all is well. For a hacker to access this account, they would have to have access to your phone.

Now is the critical time to find an IT partner that will protect all of your devices.

At NCGIT, we are focused on building strategic partnerships with each client while addressing their IT needs. If you’d like to learn more about what NCGIT can do for you, please contact us at (781)297-7590 or info@ncgit.com.

2017: Tech Trends to Watch

IT has evolved leaps and bounds in the last decade. Technology is advancing faster than ever before, and the IT support industry is no exception; it is not slowing down. Consider that 15-20 years ago we wouldn’t have believed that cloud computing is a thing and VR headsets were smartphone accessories.  Today, they are a reality.

The year 2017 is bringing us more tech trends that will dictate where we are headed.

Cloud and Remote IT Support

 

Gone are the days where an IT team is dependent on geographic locations.  Today’s technical support jobs have stepped out of the ‘box’ and diversified.  An IT support team can be thousands of miles from their client working in a satellite location, a tech’s condo, a satellite office, in an unassigned cubical in your office, and/or a beach in Hawaii.

With the space between a tech support team and you, it is easier for less effective IT partners to claim stellar service.  Be sure to look for an IT partner that will meet with you face-to-face, have a conversation regarding your needs, and be available when you need them.

Intelligent Things

Intelligent Things? There are three categories of ‘things’: autonomous vehicles, drones, and robots. A new era of digital business is upon us with each of these segments evolving to support and impact a larger piece of the market. Existing things including the IoT (Internet of Things) devices will become more intelligent to provide the power of AI integrated systems in an office, factory buildings, homes, airports and medical facilities. Kitchen appliances, thermostats, and cars are just a few of the devices that can now connect to the internet. Gone are the days of just smartphones and tablets connecting.  Connectivity such as this makes our devices way more useful but also opens them up to hackers trying to connect remotely. Data breaches are often reported in the news; no company wants it to happen.

Cisco estimated 15 billion devices were connected to the internet last year, according to The Motley Fool. The company expects that to balloon to 50 billion by 2020.

Now is the critical point to find an IT Partner that will protect All of your devices.

At NCGIT, we are focused on building strategic partnerships with each client while addressing their IT needs. If you’d like to learn more about what NCGIT can do for you, please contact us at (781)297-7590 or info@ncgit.com.

Reasons You need an IT Partner

5 Reasons Why Having an IT Partner is Important

Ask yourself, what is the goal of my job and position as a business leader? Where does IT monitoring factor into your answer? It doesn’t, and it doesn’t for your non-IT employees either. As a business owner and mentor, you need an IT partner on your side, and it does not have to break the bank. Having an IT partner is critical to your business’ success, but you just may not know it yet. Explore the five main reasons why having an IT partner is important.

1. Your business can cut expenses

An in-house IT team can be pricey and pay-by-occurrence solutions can quickly smother your company’s budget. Nothing is predictable when you run a business, especially when technology is concerned, but your IT can be. An IT partner does not charge by individual services, but it delivers constant support and maintenance for a low, predictable rate. If something happens, you will not have to fear a large bill. Business owners and the IT departments that support them do not have to stress about technology; the partner takes on the responsibilities and supports your business can focus on the operations that make money instead waste it.

2. Your IT partner creates a personalized business strategy

There is no one-size-fits-all technology model, but too many businesses rely on large, blanket systems because they do not feel as if they have access to affordable tools and resources to carefully tailor a unique IT strategy. An IT partner reviews your business’s unique needs, future goals and concerns, and strategically devises the best IT plan for you and your business, not anyone else’s.

3. Risk is low and security is high

Your business reduces threats by eliminating the risk for intrusions and data loss. Customers, clients, vendors and partners are not likely to do business with a company that has an unreliable safety, security and plan for data recovery. Your IT partner ensures your business has firewall and network infrastructures, e-mail and web-based attack prevention, backup and disaster recovery services, and 24/7 system monitoring.

4. Business receives 100% attention

When your business collaborates with an IT partner, your company is not just another number. Your IT partner provides 1-on-1 support, security and monitoring. An IT partner addresses your business’s needs and concerns swiftly and without compromising the current flow of daily operations.

5. Productivity increases

The smallest changes can dramatically increase employee productivity. When your employees can focus on their jobs and maintain constant communication, domestically, internationally, and remotely, without worrying about IT problems and security challenges, productivity soars. When your employees are working, they can meet more clients, close more deals and reach out to more prospects, all of which result in more money flowing within the business.