When is a hosted or Cloud-based VoiP solution a better option than an on-premise VoIP solution?
When initial costs, security and the ability to service and maintain a system in-house are considerations, a cloud-based VoIP solution, may be the best option. Hosted VoIP involves lower upfront costs and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). In addition, hosted providers have the resources to keep clients’ systems secure and connected, even when the customers’ office is in the dark.
Furthermore, if your business is growing rapidly, hosted VoIP is a good option. Adding phones to a hosted VoIP solution can usually be done easily and without upgrading hardware.
What is Unified Communications (UCC)?
Unified communications and collaboration is multiple forms of communications, in a single environment, making business processes more efficient and making it easier for employees to connect.
Unified communications and collaboration includes:
- Instant messaging
- Presence Status – knowing if a contact is free or busy
- Unified messaging – Retrieval of all your messages from one central location
- Collaborative team applications
- Mobile applications – extending UCC to smartphones and tablet
How can my mobile and remote employees communicate and collaborate with each other and the office?
When it comes to keeping remote workers connected to the main office, twinning phones and SMS can be used. However, if you want these features and others such as presence status, web conferencing and collaboration capabilities through one central control, a VoIP communication system with unified communication and collaboration (UCC) is a cost-efficient way to keep everyone connected.
What voice and data factors do I need to be aware of when managing an office move or expansion?
When planning an office move or expansion, you will want to plan ahead. Conduct a site survey well before moving in to evaluate your space and layout your options. How can you lay cable? How much cable will you need? Is there a dedicated room for servers? When it comes to hardware for both voice and data, there is no time better than during a move to upgrade equipment. Should you purchase or lease a new phone system? Should you opt for cloud-based VoIP services and data storage? Should you invest in outsourced IT support to help you with this project?
What are the benefits of a network assessment?
A network assessment is an evaluation of your network hardware, software, maintenance status and security policies. The assessment finds vulnerabilities in your network and user practices that can leave your system open to attacks. It also checks to make sure your AntiVirus/AntiMalware solution is installed throughout your environment and updating regularly.
Why should I outsource IT support?
Outsourcing IT support should be considered for many reasons, including:
- Using outsourced IT support to manage daily, routine network monitoring and help desk tasks can free up in-house IT specialists to focus on “big picture” priorities and projects that drive business.
- Hiring and retaining the best qualified IT employees and keeping their skills up to date is difficult, time consuming and expensive. Managed IT Service providers have the talent that clients need, along with the resources to keep their staff’s skills current.
- Disgruntled former employees can pose a certain amount of risk to your network security. When using outsourced IT, this threat is diminished.
- If a business is moving, expanding or engaging in any other large project that will take weeks to months to complete, Managed IT Service providers can fill in wherever needed.
- A Managed IT Service Provider can serve as a virtual CIO for the small to mid-sized company in need of IT leadership, including budget development, business continuity and strategic planning.
We back-up our data regularly. Why should we invest in a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan?
Unlike data backups which save data to a physical location subject to catastrophic events, a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan also involves a back-up to the Cloud that allows data to be retrieved much faster, sparing an organization costly or even devastating amounts of downtime. BDR plans also include the development and implementation of procedures and policies to make sure the process of restoring computer operations runs as smoothly and quickly as possible. Catastrophic events are not just natural disasters but power failures, cyberattacks and ransomware, user errors and hardware and software failures.
Cyber Security FAQs
What are some of the most common ways that data breaches can occur?
In addition to “phishing”, scams in which hackers actively and surreptitiously seek to gain personal or confidential information such as user names, passwords, email addresses, employee or account data, a data breach can occur in passive or accidental ways as well. Examples of this include employee ignorance or error, device loss or theft, improper document disposal, and even unsecure Wi-Fi connections.
What, exactly, is happening during a cyber hack?
In about a 10-month span on average, hackers are quietly observing your business transactions, downloading your files, stealing personally identifying information, and more. Depending on a hacker’s motives, your business’ or employees’ information may be sold on the black market, used to gain access to other accounts, or even held for ransom.
Do we have anything worth stealing – or – is my business really even big enough to matter to hackers?
Small and medium-sized businesses are actually both the most valuable because they’re often the most vulnerable. The ‘we’re too small to matter’ mindset is what hackers prey on, as protective security measures are typically tabled for other initiatives. Every business, B2C and B2B – large, small, and everything in between, has information and data that a hacker can leverage for personal gain.
What is the average cost of a security breach?
Globally, the average cost of a security breach is near $4 million dollars. This includes but isn’t limited to what a business can expect to pay in downtime and technology recovery (or in some instances new technology implementations), crisis and reputation management, and legal fees or restitution.
What cost-effective ways can a business approach cyber security?
Aside from large technology implementations and system development, a business can work to arm itself against attack by creating a culture of awareness and action. Hire an expert consultant or firm that can properly guide your teams in recognizing and avoiding potential threats, create educational programs, and designate individuals or teams to lead the charge against hackers and inform others about the latest in cyber security. Training and policy should be the first line of defense in any organization.
Moreover, have a disaster management plan in place in the event of a cyber attack:
- Validate the breach
- Determine if law enforcement should be notified – and if so, whom
- Notify data owners and know your state’s law; if your business has locations in multiple states, abide by the rules and regulations of the one that’s most stringent.
In what ways, other than educating employees and internal process and technology implementations, can businesses work to ensure protection?
Cyber insurance is a highly recommended option for businesses looking to add an extra layer of security to their IT protection roadmaps. Holding an insurance policy specific to cyber attacks can effectively guard your business against the following first and third-party claim concerns:
- Investigative and legal fees
- Third-party liability
- Restitution and penalty fees
- Reputation management and more