News

Ann Arbor Computer Support

 

The economy of Ann Arbor is dominated by the local college, the University of Michigan.  The school employs over 30,000 people and much of the city’s population are students.  But there’s more to Ann Arbor than only supporting the university, it has become one of Michigan’s technology and medical centers.

 

Why Ann Arbor is an Information Technology Hub

 

There are two main reasons Ann Arbor has a booming information technology industry.  First, it can thank the local university’s technology research and development programs.  The university attracts both students and professors alike to not only work for the school, but start technology businesses or seek employment in the technology sector.  Second, Ann Arbor was the home to the International Radio Corporation, an early technology company dating back to the 1930’s, is one of Google’s Adwords headquarters, and home to the Barracuda Networks engineering team.  With more and more technology companies moving to the Ann Arbor area, there is nothing but growth ahead for this once tiny suburb of Detroit.

 

Ann Arbor Information Technology Companies

 

With a thriving technology industry comes a need for information technology support.  Just because a technology company is staffed with computer science engineers, it does not mean they have the time or expertise to manage the office computer network.  Managing an office computer network involves security protections from hackers and data theft, but also offsite cloud backup and disaster recovery strategies.  A company only needs to be struck once by a hacker to suffer permanent damage.

 

Because Ann Arbor is a technology hub, it has high expectations for computer support.  Ann Arbor might seem like a relatively small city, but it has big technology needs.  Selecting the right IT agency is key to the long-term success of any company.  The good news is there are companies like Right Guy IT who specialize in handling the IT needs of any company, big or small, in not only Ann Arbor but the entire greater Detroit area.  Being a local IT company matters as every city has different telecom and internet providers, different building codes, and a different set of local partners needed for a successful computer support strategy.  Local IT companies know the lay of the land and can often predict what a company’s information technology issues will be ahead of time by having other customers in the area.

 

Think of Right Guy IT as your new IT department.  Not only does Right Guy IT manage the entire company technology infrastructure, but offers helpdesk services that employees can reach out to directly for immediate help.  We are hardware and software experts, and also work with our clients to build long-term IT strategies that support the company’s business goals without breaking the budget.  It is our goal to ensure your company functions seamlessly and at the highest possible level.

Why Outsourcing IT is Better in Clinton Township

 

There are always certain roles within a company that need to be filled in-house – they tend to be the positions core to delivering the company’s products or services.  These are roles that require collaboration, company knowledge, or a physical presence in order to execute.  Although the temptation exists for business owners to outsource as many roles as possible, the reality is it can lead to reduced efficiency and quality when not applied to the right positions.

 

But what about information technology?  Many business owners have a difficult time letting go of in-house IT.  They get accustomed to having someone available at a moment’s notice.  Much of the time this IT guy or gal has a primary role doing something else, but puts on an IT hat as needed to help keep the office running smoothly.  Perhaps they worked at a computer repair shop in college or builds computers as a hobby.  They help the boss with everything from spreadsheet formulas to setting up a wireless router.  However, the inadequacy of this level of support becomes immediately apparent when disaster strikes – usually in the form of getting hacked or data gets lost.  In most cases, companies relying on this level of in-house support are not prepared for emergencies like this.

 

The business owner is then faced with a decision.  Hire a dedicated, experienced information technology employee capable of handling the company’s needs, or, outsource to an IT agency.  The IT agency is always the right decision at this phase.  Here is why.

 

Breadth of Experience

 

When you hire an IT agency, you are not hiring only one person, you are hiring an entire team.  Your one in-house guy might be an expert in routers and networking, but not at protecting your systems from data theft.  An agency is likely to have experts in both and will assign the right person to the task.

 

More IT Tools

 

If you choose to take the path of hiring an in-house IT expert, you’ll also need to buy all the tools that come with it.  These are diagnostic tools, antivirus, monitoring… an information technology agency will already have these and include it in the price of the monthly service fee at a cost far less than you would pay as an individual company.

 

Because You Can

 

Unlike some of the core roles in your company that cannot be outsourced, information technology can be.  For an IT agency, a small or mid-sized company, like most of the companies in Clinton Township, are easy to manage and can be managed remotely, with only periodic physical visits to the property.  They have all kinds of wonderful monitoring and remote access tools that allow them to operate just like having an IT employee right down the hall.

 

Moving from in-house information technology to an outsourced agency is always a difficult decision at first, but in today’s world there really is no better option.

How to Choose the Best IT Company in Pontiac

 

The proud city of Pontiac is a suburb of Detroit in Oakland County.  Although ranking only 25th in Michigan cities by population, Pontiac has a strong business presence, fueled partly from the “Rise of the Phoenix” initiative that incentivised businesses to relocate to Pontiac’s downtown area.  The program was a success with over 52 new businesses moving into the area.  Along with this growth has come the need for information technology services.

 

How to Choose an IT Company in Pontiac comes down to a few criteria.  No matter the industry, all businesses have a few major technology components that must be covered.

 

Cybersecurity and Data Protection

 

In today’s world, everyone is vulnerable.  Not long ago, it was only large companies that were the targets of hackers being that small and mid-sized companies still conducted much of their business offline, out of the reach of cybercriminals.  But that has changed dramatically in recent years.  Even the smallest retail shop now does nearly all their accounting online and logs into online banking multiple times a week.  Businesses like these are easy targets as they sometimes operate without any cybersecurity at all.  Proper cybersecurity and data protection goes far beyond simply installing the right software, it also means backing up your data and a recovery strategy in case your business does get attacked.

 

Availability of IT Support Services

 

Is your IT company available 24/7?  IT support includes help desk services.  There is perhaps nothing more frustrating for a business owner than to have their system go down and be unable to get immediate support from the IT services they are paying for.  For many businesses, being down can cost thousands of dollars per hour between lost revenue, idle employees and lost opportunity.  Although nearly all IT companies will say they are available at a moment’s notice, only a few actually follow through.  Don’t accept a simple verbal commitment, ask your prospective IT company if they have an SLA (service level agreement) in the contract and what are the consequences if they fail to meet these standards.  Ask these questions for in-person support, email support and phone.  And keep in mind, if your IT company is too far outside Pontiac, they might find it difficult to get to you quickly.

 

Local Knowledge

 

Computer hardware and software might be the same from one city to the next, but local knowledge still plays a key role.  For example, your IT company should have experience working with the various internet providers in the area, or know which buildings are wired with fiber optics, or can’t handle modern IT infrastructure.  Many local IT companies, especially in the Pontiac area, have direct lines to various key players in the nearby telecommunications companies or know where to get the best deals on parts.  Ask the IT company who they know in Pontiac, what vendors they use and which telecom and internet providers have the best service.

 

These three criteria might seem overly simplistic, but if an IT company is not strong in all three, they are not a good fit.  And knowing what questions to ask ahead of time communicates to a potential IT company that you have done your research and they’ll need to bring their A game if they plan on signing you.

 

What Sterling Heights Residents Need To Know About Information Security

 

Imagine the shock of coming into work one morning to find yourself locked out of the company accounting software.  You’re immediately flooded with regrets for not having taken even just a few simple security measures that might have prevented this.  Is the data gone?  Is the company bank account being drained?  What happens next?

 

Communities like Sterling Heights are finding themselves the victim of data theft as hackers move away from the big cities and into the less protected suburbs.  They simply are not prepared with the level of information security needed in today’s world.

 

Information security is the act of preventing illegal access, use, revealing, interruption, deformation, investigation, or distortion of information. In layman’s language, it means breaching information by an unauthorized person or entity either through physical or electronic means. Information security is vast in several areas including cyber forensics, mobile computing, and even social media.

 

3 Foundational Elements of Information Security

 

CIA (Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability). 

 

Confidentiality – involves the habitual concealing of proprietary information from access by unauthorized persons, companies, or process. For instance, you enter your password to access company payroll records, and in the process of logging in someone watches you.  Or someone sees that your passwords are kept on sticky notes in your top drawer. This is perhaps the easiest way for someone to gain access as it requires no hacking – someone with your password can generally walk right in.

 

Integrity – means the maintenance of consistency in the accuracy and completeness of your data. For example, when your information remains intact and can’t be edited by an unauthorized person without your consent. Hacking and security breaches are not always obvious; data can simply be changed in a small yet significant way that could go undetected for years.  Imagine discovering someone on the other side of the world had quietly added themselves to the distribution list for your bank statements?

 

Availability – this means the handiness of information for access and utilization of by an authorized person. Imagine an employee leaves the company and you discover they had been storing files on their personal drive rather than the company’s servers.  Not only is this data no longer available to you, but is out of your control.  A few simple steps could have prevented this, but for a company in a seemingly safe community like Sterling Heights, Michigan, information security gets overlooked.  So what can you do?

 

Cybersecurity for Sterling Heights Michigan Businesses

 

Although it may require only a few simple steps to prevent data theft and hacking, many businesses with no security processes or culture of security don’t know where to start.  It starts with a phone call.  To a business owner, information security might be complex, but an  information technology company such as Right Guy IT will know exactly where to start and what level of security is needed.  Right Guy IT can not only protect you from hackers, but train you and your employees how to recognize and prevent threats.  Can you afford to be hacked?

Cybersecurity Threats in Farmington Hills Michigan

 

Farmington Hills Michigan, like many other towns across the United States, is undergoing tremendous technological advancement in the current information age. Notably, businesses have invested heavily in technology to keep up with emerging trends for efficiency, increased productivity, and competitive advantage. In modern times, cyber-attacks and threats have become a norm for business in information-driven societies and economies. While companies in towns such as Farmington Hills Michigan might have in-house IT staff, it is becoming evident that they need a better line of defense against sophisticated cybersecurity attacks. How can cybercrime be controlled in the current digital age? First off, companies are taking considerable efforts and committing resources to improve their data security and compliance at all levels. Secondly, there are government regulations such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPPA) for the healthcare sector, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union or California Consumer Privacy Act.

 

Cybersecurity Threats for Businesses

 

The growing cases of cybersecurity threats have made many businesses realize the need for enhancing internet and network security. A survey on cyber-attacks on businesses shows that approximately two-thirds of companies have had cyber-attacks within the last two years. As such the discussion for cybersecurity and lack of it are becoming widely discussed across numerous platforms including social media. Risks for business due to cyber-attacks include;

 

  • Compromise of confidential data – companies heavily rely on data in the current information age for instance marketing information and personal information of clients. Hackers could steal such information or even alter it affecting the company’s operations.
  • Recovery expenses – other than loss of information, there are hidden expenses after cyberattacks such as new training, buying security software, and the expensive and long process of data recovery. These expenses could have an impact in the long-term.
  • Damaged client trust – customers trust that companies will keep their data safe and in the event of a cyber-attack, they may decide to discontinue their transactions with the company which has a damaged reputation as well.  

 

Cybersecurity Threats Farmington Hills Businesses Face

 

Cyber security threats for businesses can be internal or from the outside in various forms as follows;

 

  • Phishing – through the use of emails and social media sites where users are convinced to click misleading links that gather personal information or company data or even worse downloading the company’s data from servers. 
  • Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) – company servers are flooded with requests from many sources making them slow and may crash making it impossible to run until the requests have been blocked or terminated.  
  • Malware – for instance a Trojan virus disguised in the computers as a legitimate software for malicious activities such as spying without the consent of the company and users.  Ransomware is included in the category. 
  • Algorithm manipulation – as companies and their employees become dependent on IoT applications and cloud computing services, the more their data is vulnerable to attacks. Automation in companies is dependent on algorithms for interpreting and applying data.  Without regular evaluation and monitoring, algorithms may be prone to threats as codes may be compromised affecting the running of companies. 

 

Amid the increasing cases of cybersecurity threats and attacks on businesses, there is an increased urgency for strong digital security practices among all businesses. Smart Guy IT specializes in helping small business computer services and protecting the information needed to operate and continue to grow into the future.

West Bloomfield Michigan Data Backup

West Bloomfield information technology is going through the same transformation as many small towns; as more and more business data is being held on local hard drives, the need for data backup and disaster recovery has reached an urgent level. A few short years ago, a company hard drive might have held nothing more than a few spreadsheets, but today the same company’s computers might hold everything from banking data to employee payroll information.  If data loss of this magnitude were to occur, it could be catastrophic.  Could your business afford to lose all its data?

Data Theft

Cybercriminals and hackers are finding it more and more difficult to steal information from large companies and as a result are spreading out to the suburbs where personal information and business data is less protected.  Unfortunately, towns like West Bloomfield think data loss and disaster recovery assume this is only a problem for big cities like Detroit, not Oakland County, but the reality is anyone with a hard drive is vulnerable to attack.  Anyone with a computer could wake up in the morning to find everything gone.

Natural Disaster and Human Action

Fire and flood might come to mind first, but what about disgruntled employees deleting data, or someone simply hitting the delete button by mistake?  No amount of security can prevent this type of data loss as you can’t stop mother nature, or an employee with access.  These can be the most frustrating as they are often the easiest to avoid.  Imagine a leaky pipe in the ceiling dripping on a laptop overnight, wiping out this week’s payroll information or tomorrow’s sales presentation.

Backup Protection is the Answer

The answer is simple; backup.  Keeping business information protected from data loss is by having multiple copies.  Multiple copies, physically located in different areas could be the difference between your business shutting down, vs, pressing the restore button and pickup up where you left off within minutes.  Have multiple computers or complex systems?  No problem, disaster recovery plans can be designed ahead of time to get businesses up and running as quickly as possible – including getting employees up and running from home if necessary.

There are two main types of backup; local and cloud.  Local means the backup copy is held on the property on a server or external hard drive.  Cloud backup means company information is sent via the internet to an offsite data center.  Both types of backup methods can be set up to operate automatically and run behind-the-scenes without the business owner or employees having to do it manually.  In both cases the data can also be restored automatically in case of data loss.

Which is Better Local Backup or Cloud Backup?

Cloud.  With today’s fast internet speeds and the cost of data center storage dropping each year, cloud has become the best option.  A few years ago, slow internet connections meant a company might generate more data in a day than could be sent to the cloud, meaning only certain files would be designated for backup.  Fast-forward to today, and not only can all data be backed-up instead of only certain critical files, but all of it in real time instead of waiting until after business hours when enough bandwidth is available.  Imagine the comfort of knowing all your company data is being duplicated to a safe and secure data center, ready at a moment’s notice in case of disaster?

Right Guy IT is an expert in both cloud and local storage and can help design a safe, effective and affordable data backup plan for your needs.