Category Archive: Business Continuity

  1. COVID-19 and Working Remotely

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    The coronavirus presents unique challenges for businesses and employees. Social distancing has become the new normal, to better protect our healthcare system and fellow citizens. For many companies, this has meant creating new solutions to maintain productivity through this trying time.

    Many companies have used remote work solutions in the past. But this new situation has forced a much higher number of companies to adapt to a work from home model quickly. Because it was a quick emergency solution, companies and employees are finding some pain points to their new work environments. The number one concern for many companies is cybersecurity.

    At IA Tech Group, we’re trying to educate our clients and the public to the heightened risks of hacking and phishing. Malicious actors have wasted no time in using the current crisis to gain access to personal data and infiltrate company systems. Integrated Axis is here to help you navigate the challenges of working remotely during COVID-19.

    Cybersecurity and Working Remotely

    When companies conscientiously plan for work from home solutions, they put protocols in place to protect their networks and data. The fact is, the quickly escalating situation with the coronavirus made that more difficult. But it’s not too late to implement solutions now. Here are some key security issues to tackle right away:

    • Develop a device protocol. It’s important that all of the devices that your employees use to access company information is protected. Many companies mandate that employees only use company devices while working. If you’re allowing employees to use personal devices, you should make sure they have the same level of security software.
    • Educate employees on standard practices. Many people use lax security at home and don’t understand the security measures used in the office. After all, we’re not all IT experts. Update employees on the best practices for security, so they’re less likely to make mistakes that impact your data.
    • Assess their network security. Most home networks are not as secure as the ones used in the office. Open a line of communication and make recommendations for employees to strengthen their network at home to offer better support.
    • Give employees information on current threats. There are a number of new hacking and phishing techniques that have come out in the last few weeks. Understanding how these threats work will give employees better information so that they don’t fall prey to the scams.
    • Make sure they know the signs of infiltration. There are signs, such as a slower computer and pop up ads, that indicates your device has been compromised. Make sure that your employees know the signs to mitigate damages as soon as possible.
    • Initiate good practices in upkeep. Give your employees the tools they need to run regular checks on the devices that they use at home.

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    Can Integrated Axis Technology Group Help?

    If your business has quickly moved to remote working solutions and you’re concerned about the security risks, contact Integrated Axis today. Our team of dedicated professionals can assess your current protocols, help you implement a robust cybersecurity plan for remote work, and make sure that your IT Department has the support you need.

  2. Business Continuity Planning

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    With a potential pandemic sweeping the globe, businesses, educational institutions, and other organizations are beginning to test the strength of their continuity planning—or lack thereof. And in today’s tech-focused society, a company’s ability to keep things humming along during quarantine or other sudden disruption largely depends on its data services. Learn why business continuity services are so essential and how Integrated Axis Technology Group can help organizations meet their continuity goals.

    What is Business Continuity Planning?

    Business continuity planning allows businesses to seamlessly adjust to unexpected events by protecting and maintaining crucial data and systems. These plans can encompass everything from a brief power outage to a wildfire evacuation to a terrorist attack. By creating a plan that can adapt to a variety of different variables, businesses will be able to minimize shutdowns or supply chain issues that can cause significant disruptions.

    Many business continuity plans depend on the cloud—both to back up crucial documents and programs and to provide remote workers the ability to work from home. A business continuity plan can be as detailed or as simple as an organization would like, but in general, the more detail, the better. The best continuity plans have concrete, clearly-communicated benchmarks, and standards to ensure that everyone operating within the plan is on the same page.

    Business continuity plans should be tested regularly. The last thing any organization wants is to discover a major fault in their disaster planning (or data breach) when it matters most. These tests can be as simple as a quarterly work-from-home day to ensure that all key personnel has the infrastructure to log in and perform their routine tasks no matter where they’re located.

    How Can Organizations Maintain Cybersecurity During a Disruptive Event?

    There are a few things that businesses can do to create a secure, reliable continuity plan.

    First is to identify and prioritize the key, core business functions, and time-sensitive tasks—the types of tasks that are necessary to keep things running. Next, you’ll want to lay out the steps required to recover core functionality, like setting up employees with a VPN, transferring processes to an off-site server, or assigning workers to retrieve certain items from headquarters.

    You’ll also want to name a continuity team: managers, directors, security officers, IT personnel, and others who can strategize and create plans that minimize business disruption. These plans should be tested and tweaked regularly, incorporating suggestions and adapting to changes in the logistical landscape.

    Finally, it’s a good idea to distill this information down to a simple checklist or flow chart that everyone can use for reference. From emergency contact numbers and email addresses to an index that helps employees determine where specific information is stored, these “cheat sheets” can be incredibly useful.

    Throughout this process, keeping your data secure is the key to emerging unscathed. If you’re wondering whether your own business’s continuity planning could use some work, look no further than Tucson’s Integrated Axis Technology Group. Integrated Axis offers backup and disaster recovery services that can protect against malware, hackers, and other threats to your business.

  3. Business Tech: Cybersecurity Checklist for 2020

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    As we enter 2020, the new year is a great time to assess your IT processes and see where your cybersecurity protocol might need to be improved. Whether you’re doing a fantastic job with data protection, or you need to shore things up, it’s always best to know where your company stands in terms of security. There are new scams and malware threats to beware of all the time.

    At Integrated Axis Technology Group, we offer comprehensive assessments to help companies stay up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity best practices. If you’re taking some time to assess your overall performance, this list will give you a good overview of where to start.

    Cybersecurity Checklist for 2020

    A security breach can bring even the most prepared company to a standstill. Making sure that each of these areas of your cybersecurity protocol is strong can help you fend off hackers and mitigate any damages quickly in the event of a breach.

    • Password Protection. Setting a password protocol for your employees is essential. One of the easiest ways for malicious actors to gain access to your database is through poor password procedures. Make sure all of your employees are using passwords each time they log into devices and platforms housing company data. They should be using strong passwords, and each password should be unique.
    • Secure WiFi Network. It’s common for most companies to use WiFi to some degree, and this means that you have to make sure that your network is adequately secured. You should also make sure employees are not using unsecured or public WiFi networks to log into your database or any email accounts which contain sensitive correspondence.
    • Educate Staff. Yearly cybersecurity training for staff should be mandatory. Your employees can’t follow best practices if they aren’t aware that their actions can be dangerous. You should also make it a practice to update staff if you become aware of a new hacking campaign or threat that they should be guarding against.
    • Use and Update Virus Protection. Virus and malware protection programs should be updated regularly and used to protect your system. When correctly updated, good software will alert you and quarantine any malicious virus before you’ve experienced any real damage.
    • Cloud Computing Cybersecurity. Cloud computing options often include data security. You should be aware of the type of security offered with your cloud computing platforms and whether added protection is advisable. You should also follow best practices when logging into cloud-based platforms.
    • Managed IT Services. Managed IT Services provide you with industry expertise on a constant basis. This means that your IT service will monitor your cybersecurity and mitigate any threat immediately. Another option is to work with a technology company on a project by project basis to help you shore up your own internal IT department.

    Are You Searching for a Managed IT Service to Help with Your Cybersecurity?

    If you’re looking for an experienced company to assess your cybersecurity protocol for the new year, contact Integrated Axis today!

  4. 5 Reasons the Need for Cyber Security Continues to Grow

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    Cyber security isn’t something to address once and forget about. It’s not an afterthought or something that applies only to tech business nowadays, as its reach spreads wider each day. It has quickly become one of the most important issues that businesses (and people individually) collectively face in the modern era. Its importance will only increase over the next few years for a number of reasons that are absolutely worth exploring.

    Cyber Security is Critical and Common

    The odds that you will avoid being hit by a cyber-attack at some point in your life are very much against you. In fact, according to a study conducted by Ponemon Institute, about two-thirds of server message blocks (SMBs) were hit with some type of attack in 2018. This means the chances are pretty high that someone has tried to hack your online information at one time or another in recent days. Risk management is of the utmost importance when it comes to keeping your information systems safe.

    The Cost of a Cyber Attack is On the Rise

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    As of 2018, the average cost of a single consolidated breach rose to nearly $3 million! That’s an impossible hit and an immense amount of money to consider paying, even if your revenue is substantial. Costs to repair the damage created by cyber-attacks continue to increase, hitting schools and other systems that are far less business-oriented than most. These cyber-attacks and malicious code cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and losses. It’s imperative to prioritize your business tech security to stay in business and keep your information protected.

    Risk Assessment: Hacks Can Shut Down Your Business

    Cyber security continues to be a pressing need due to the reach certain types of cyber-attacks have. Many hacks can expose the personal information of your employees and your customers, too. They can cause your business to shut down operation for days or weeks, depending on how bad the cyber breach is. This can be absolutely catastrophic for a business, its computer networks and its reputation. While you might think it won’t happen to your business, it’s happening everywhere, all the time.

    Cybercrime is an Increasing Trend

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    Another recent study revealed that the global cost of online cyber-crime is expected to hit an enormous $6 trillion by as soon as 2021. This means that things are only going to get worse as time goes on. This is why you must prioritize your own cyber security as soon as possible and protect the sensitive information and sensitive data your business collects.

    The Importance of Business Continuity

    At this point, the statistics are clear—you can’t stop yourself from becoming the target of a cyber-attack, but you can stop yourself from becoming the victim of one. Even beyond network security, a core part of cyber safety and security involves having a plan for business continuity and disaster recovery as an organic part of your other security measures. This type of plan—one built with your business in mind—will guarantee that even if you do suffer a cyber-attack, you can pick back up as quickly as possible without losing your data and important information.

    If you’re located around the Tucson or Phoenix areas and would like to find out more about the growing need for cyber security, please don’t delay —  contact IA Tech Group today.

  5. The Beginner’s Guide to Planning for Business Continuity

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    You probably don’t think much about your network and systems – until they are unavailable to you. Most problems are easily remedied, but would you know what to do if disaster struck? From storms to floods and data breaches and outright cyber-crime, any form of network emergency is a risk, could totally disrupt your organization, and make it difficult to continue to run smoothly afterward. You need a plan in place – one that will allow you to keep working during and after an emergency. Business continuity planning and risk assessment can help you stay up and running, even if there is chaos around you and your business.

    What Is Business Continuity?

    Business continuity is a strategy designed to prevent downtime and aid in recovery after a disaster or critical emergency. A business continuity plan looks different for every brand. Yours should address your specific business needs and concerns. No matter what areas are most important to you, avoiding downtime ensures that your critical functions can still be accessed, even if your facility is underwater, on fire or otherwise unusable. From accessing key human resources files to serving your customers, disaster recovery planning is a must for any brand. You can’t prevent accidents or control nature — but you can protect your data and critical business functions when a disaster strikes.

    What Is Business Continuity

    Why Your Business Needs a Plan to Restore Critical Business Functions

    It is critical that your business be able to resume operations as swiftly as possible after a fire, flood or other setbacks. According to FEMA, up to 60% of small- to mid-sized businesses who experienced downtime after an emergency closed within a year. That number soars to a whopping 90% if the downtime extends beyond five days. Many of these organizations simply failed to plan for emergencies or had plans that were too outdated to provide the necessary business support when disaster struck.

    Having a risk management plan in place that addresses business continuity can prevent you from experiencing the outages and downtimes that can lead to a prolonged, expensive recovery. A plan for business continuity can also prevent you from being one of the brands who is forced to close weeks or even months after a disaster causes irreparable harm.

    Help With Planning Business Continuity

    While you do need to have a comprehensive and ready-to-deploy business continuity plan in place, you don’t have to go it alone. Even if you have a dedicated Information Technology (IT) staffer on-site, working with a team that specializes in risk management and recovery strategies is a must. Your IT person is a generalist – they can cover a very diverse group of needs. But for business continuity, you need a specialist to ensure you are fully covered.

    Help With Planning Business Continuity

    Get the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a plan even if the worst happens. Contact our team at Integrated Axis today to learn how easy it is to fully protect your business without having to DIY or pull your own IT folks away from their work.