IT SUPPORT IN WASHINGTON DC: THE SCARY TRUTH ABOUT DISASTER RECOVERY

Many businesses take a reactive approach when it comes to their IT policies. This can seem sufficient and cost-effective— that is, until a business disaster strikes. There are many kinds of events that can be classified as business disasters, and the impact of these on a business can be very high. The statistics on business disaster recovery are nothing short of alarming, as you are going to see. Capital Techies experts in IT support in Washington DC urge business managers everywhere to devote some of their time and budgets to disaster recovery planning to avoid the negative consequences.

SCARY STATS ON BUSINESS DISASTERS

A business disaster can be natural or manmade, malicious, or unintended. Fires, natural disasters, and hardware failures can impact business operations. Most businesses today rely on their business systems and IT networks to deliver goods and services to their customers and for all the internal business functions. Business disasters can also happen through malware, hacking, and other malicious activity from hackers. Once your business is hit, your operations could be totally frozen. Sometimes, business disasters can be the result of negligence or ignorance on the part of the users. Whatever the cause, a quick look at some of the statistics on business recovery should get you thinking about what you can do to protect your business.

Many businesses operate without any form of disaster recovery planning. Alarmingly, over 90% of unprepared companies get out of business within a year of a data disaster. On the flip side, of the companies with some form of disaster recovery plan and data backup, over 90% have been found to recover from ransomware attacks.

IT support firms in Washington DC can help you reduce the costs of a business disaster because recovery isn’t cheap. Significant business data and system disasters can lead to downtime, legal fees, lost business, and other recovery costs. Surveys have found that companies can lose as much as $100,000 from a ransomware attack on recovery costs and unplanned downtime. To add to this, more than half of the businesses questioned in one survey did not have the budget to recover from a cyberattack.

CONCLUSION

Data breaches and cyberattacks are rampant. Over half of businesses interviewed at a cybersecurity convention had been the victims of a cyberattack. Over 50% of breaches and data losses are believed to be caused by human error.

Capital Techies offers IT support in Washington DC to help prepare your business for what may come. There’s always a risk of doing business, but with our services, we can assess your current security, create a disaster recovery plan, and train your team. Contact us to learn more.

IT CONSULTING IN FAIRFAX VIRGINIA: 4 BENEFITS OF PERIODIC SECURITY ASSESSMENTS

One of the best ways to keep your business secure is to allow IT consulting experts in Fairfax Virginia to perform security assessments of your business. These security assessments are an excellent way to stay proactive and keep your company safe against a wide variety of cybersecurity threats in the workplace. IT consultants can help your business stay up to date with the latest tech while also identifying any potential areas of vulnerability within your company.

Related: How an IT Consulting Firm in Washington DC can you do your cyber security audit

Here are a few benefits of conducting security assessments for your business:

1. STAY UP TO DATE WITH LATEST REGULATIONS

One of the top advantages of frequent security assessments is that it enables your business to stay up to date with the latest regulations in your industry. For example, many companies must deal with strict regulations on how to handle data storage, or they risk paying significant fines. IT consulting experts can help your business stay up to date with these regulations and maximize data security for your company.

Keep reading:  MANAGED IT SERVICES ARLINGTON VIRGINIA – WHAT IS LAYERED SECURITY?

2. ACCESS TO MOST RECENT SECURITY PATCHES

Security patches and updates play a key role in keeping your business safe against cyber threats. IT experts can verify that your business has downloaded the most recent updates. Keeping all of your computers up to date is a great way to stay protected against cybercriminals while also protecting your reputation from being ruined due to a cybersecurity incident.

3. AVOID BEING THE VICTIM OF MALWARE

Malware and viruses are constantly evolving at a rapid pace. Cybercriminals are continually developing creative ways to access your data and cause havoc in the workplace. You can reach out to IT consulting experts in Washington DC to conduct a security assessment, and they will identify any areas of weakness within your company that need to be immediately addressed to avoid your business becoming the next victim to malware.

Read more: CAPITAL TECHIES IS PROUD TO BE AWARDED AS A TOP IT SERVICE PROVIDER BY CLUTCH

4. PEACE OF MIND

An often-overlooked benefit of a security assessment is that it gives business owners much-needed peace of mind. Always staying proactive will limit the chance of a data breach while allowing your employees to stay productive. You will have full confidence to know that an IT provider gives your business the best protection against cyber threats.

At Capital Techies, we provide IT consulting solutions for small to mid-sized businesses in Washington DC. Scheduling periodic security assessments is a great way to keep your company secure against cyber threats. Our Washington DC IT service experts will help you improve your security, giving your business the best protection. Feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about the importance of a security assessment in today’s work environment.

WHAT EVERY IT STRATEGY PLAN SHOULD INCLUDE

With evolving and increasing advancements in technology, every organization needs to establish an effective IT strategy plan to maintain a solid foundation for current and future business. Capital Techies can help implementing a strategic IT plan will hold your business accountable and strengthen your overall business goals. To develop a successful IT strategy plan, there must be certain effective factors included. Every IT strategy plan should include the following objectives to reach full potential in business growth, productivity, and responsiveness.

IDENTIFY A LONG-TERM VISION

Establish what you want your long-term vision or goal for your IT infrastructure to look like. To get to where you want to go, you must know where you are going. Having a clear vision of your desired business will help determine the steps to put into place for your future network infrastructure.

ASSESS THE EXPERT SKILLS NEEDED

Once you’ve established the goal, evaluate how to get there. What types of expertise does your business currently hold and where are you lacking? Assess your current IT state to identify what gaps are needing to be filled. A third-party provider can help provide further assistance in knowing what types of expertise you’ll need to meet your future network infrastructure goals.

CREATE A REALISTIC IT BUDGET

To reach your desired IT goals, visions, or objectives, you must determine a realistic budget that fits your overall business structure. Moving forward with any type of business plan, you must know how much funding can be contributed to the project. Setting a realistic IT budget will help your business stay on track, prepare for unexpected changes and achieve results quickly.

TAKE AN AGILE APPROACH

With these objectives in place, your business is now ready to begin transformation on your IT project. The last objective to keep in mind when putting your IT strategy into action is practicing an agile approach. Reaching the best results means allowing your IT strategy to remain versatile.

An IT strategy plan allows businesses to continue to move forward by building a solid foundation. To learn more about other steps in creating a successful IT strategy plan, contact one of our IT consultants at (571) 982-6000 or visit our IT consulting page.

WORK FROM HOME: TECHNOLOGY CHECKLIST – UPDATED DAILY

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, technology companies have introduced free offers to assist businesses with remote workers, work-at-home initiatives, cybersecurity and more.

Here’s a list of free tools and offers, updated regularly, to assist  with their business needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Friendly Reminder – Long-Term Costs: In most cases, the free offers below are for a limited time. Before you sign up for the services or deploy them for customers, understand the actual one-time or monthly costs you and your customers will face if you choose to continue consuming the product or service once the free promotion ends.

ADVERTISING, MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA


  • Facebook: The giant plans to award $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries to address the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reports. The majority will be in cash grants and Facebook will disclose more details soon about how businesses will be able to apply for assistance,  the report says.

BROADBAND


  • CenturyLink and Comcast have suspended Internet data caps during the coronavirus pandemic, The Colorado Sun reports.

BUSINESS PRODUCTIVITY, CLOUD AND COLLABORATION (CHAT, FILE SHARING, VIDEO CONFERENCING & MORE)


  • Acronis Cyber Files Cloud: The file sync and share solution is free to all service providers through July 31, 2020. Acronis partners who are seeking additional details about the offer and Acronis should contact their account manager. 
  • Aisera, a Palo Alto-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions company that came out of stealth earlier this year, will provide free 24/7 AI technology-based assistance to healthcare providers and government agencies during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • AudioEye is giving away their digital accessibility technology to companies so that people with disabilities, including many older adults, can navigate the web more easily.
  • Avaya Spaces: Avaya is offering free 60-day access to Avaya Spaces, a cloud meeting and team collaboration solution. Also Avaya is offering free 90-day licenses to a “wide range of Avaya unified communications solutions compatible with virtually every Avaya platform.” Details are here.
  • Axcient Anchor licenses are free through June 2020 for all new users. Anchor is a file sync and sharing service designed for MSPs and their end-customers.
  • BlackBerry The following solutions and services are available free of charge for a 60 day period:
  • Cisco SystemsThe company’s overall COVID-19 strategy and associated free offers are here.
  • Commvault is giving free, instant access to its SaaS offering, Metallic Endpoint Backup and Recovery, with unlimited Microsoft Azure backup storage for up to 1,000 endpoint devices. The offering will be available in the U.S. and Canada through September 1, 2020. Additionally, Commvault is launching its Customer Care Program to help the data management community deal with COVID-19. 
  • CucumberStudioa collaboration platform, is available for free. Also, free BDD training is provided through the Cucumber School.
  • Curacubby, an end-to-end commerce, billing and integrated payments platform built for the education market, is making several of its tools free until at least July 1, 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Distance Learning: 3CX has set up a dedicated page on its website for schools wishing to obtain a free license, for 1 year. The offer will be valid until the crisis has passed.
  • Element Form is offering free, secure medical forms to all medical professionals, healthcare workers, aid workers, governments, non-profits, individual doctors, nurses and private and government-owned hospitals.
  • Ericom is offering free 60-day licenses for AccessNow and Connect secure application access solutions, which provide anywhere, anytime access to business-critical applications.
  • Espressive, a provider of artificial intelligence (AI) for enterprise service management (ESM), hgas released a free 90-day Rapid Assistance Program to help enterprise organizations automate, track, and respond to employee questions about working from home.
  • GanttPRO software for non-profit organizations is free for some use cases (hospitals, healthcare-related, and non-profit organizations) until the August 15, 2020
  • Google Hangouts for existing Google G Suite business and educations customers.
  • Hiver has introduced a free collaboration service for small businesses with less than 50 employees. The offering expires June 30, 2020.
  • IntermediaAnyMeeting video conferencing and webinar service is free through December 31, 2020. Also there’s one free Webinar Pro license per account — which enables live broadcast events for up to 200 people.
  • Kryon, a robotic process automation (RPA) specialist, has introduced a free Full-Cycle Automation package, including Process Discovery Robots, Attended Automation Robots and Unattended Automation Robots, to enterprise companies. Companies are invited to complete this form before April 15, 2020 to confirm eligibility and receive access.
  • Limeade, an employee experience company, is offering a free edition of its product starting immediately.
  • LogMeIn Emergency Remote Work Kits free for three months.
  • ManageEngine is offering free remote access tools until July 1, 2020.
  • Microsoft Teams is free for six months.
  • MSP360: The company is offering to MSPs free MSP360 Managed Backup for Desktop licenses. All new Windows desktop operating systems endpoints installed through April 30 are free for 90 days. After 90 days, MSPs are given the option to subscribe or opt out of the software. New and existing MSP360 customers qualify for the deal.
    Also available for free is MSP360 Remote Assistanta remote desktop software that allows MSPs to connect to remote computers and provide support over the internet.
  • MYKI is free password management tool that helps to securely store and manage passwords and 2FA locally (offline) across devices.
  • Onshape SaaS CAD Solution, plus the associated learning resources, are free to high schools and universities that wish to offer collaborative virtual STEM and 3D CAD classes to students learning at home, on their own devices.
  • OnScale: The  provider of Cloud Engineering Simulation now offers free cloud core-hours to customers to promote customer safety and mitigate any productivity loss due to office shutdowns. Customers are invited to reach out to [email protected] with any questions about accessing OnScale and using free core-hours from home while working remotely during the outbreak.
  • Opmantek is offering free software to:
    • Australian Healthcare organizations or other organizations supporting the treatment of COVID-19; and
    • all levels of government that have historically provided grants or assistance to Opmantek since foundation – including Gold Coast City Council, The Queensland Government, The Commonwealth Government.
  • PTC’s Vuforia Chalk remote assistance app is free during the pandemic.
  • Rackspace: Chief Solutions Officer Matt Stoyka shares details here.
  • Rpost is offering RMail email encryption and RSign E-Signature services for free “for the next couple months.”
  • Showpad, a sales enablement platform, is offering the Remote Selling Hub with free resources for sales training, increased productivity and effective management tips.
  • WALLIX is offering free licenses for their Access Manager module of their Bastion PAM solution.
  • Wildix is offering a six-month free smart working solution.
  • Zoho Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Program (ESAP): For up to 20,000 qualified paying customers with 25 employees or less, Zoho is waiving the cost of every single application they current use, for up to three months.
  • Zoom free version.

CERTIFICATION AND EDUCATION


  • CompTIA‘s eLearning course on the fundamentals is IT free of charge to anyone interested in learning more about technology. CompTIA and its industry partner BenchPrep are providing free 30-day licenses for the CertMaster Learn eLearning course for CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+).
  • MSPCFO is offering one hour of free consulting to help MSPs understand their client portfolio profitability and more.
  • SpliceNet Consulting and additional MSPs have started “No Law Firm Left Behind” with the goals of helping law firms (1) keep their doors open, (2) maintain staffing (3) maintain customer service. Free services are available through May 31, 2020.

CYBERSECURITY



IT SERVICE MANAGEMENT, IT SUPPORT AND REMOTE MONITORING


  • Addigy, a cloud-based Apple device management platform for businesses, institutions and MSP, on March 17 announced free 60-day access for organizations shifting to virtual work from home policies.

  • Application Monitoring: Entuity, a subsidiary of Park Place Technologies is offering customers a 90-day free trial of its SurePath application path monitoring module for Internet connections, WAN connections, and cloud-based applications.
  • Banyan Security is offering a 90-day free trial of its remote access product.

  • Client Support Collateral: Alper’s team is offering free COVID-19 client support collateral.

  • Cognition360 views and analytics is free to the ConnectWise community for 60 days. The suite’s Technician Efficiency Module allows visibility of a remote technical workforce to multiple variables.
  • ConnectWise: Free Control remote workforce offer through June 20 is explained here.
  • Corporate Armor is providing its remote desktop and unattended access tool, ISL Light, free to U.S. and Canada IT Channel Partners enabling clients to work remotely. Find details here.
  • FreshworksFreshchat and Freshcaller are free for the next six months to small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
  • Fully Managed has unveiled a free Emergency Response Management (ERM) application to better track personnel and their interactions during the COVID-19 virus outbreak. It’s based on ServiceNow’s Emergency Response Management application. The offer includes free Fully Managed implementation services.
  • GMS Live Expert, a help desk provider to MSPs, has introduced free automated workstation tune-up services for MSPs.
  • IoT Monitoring: MachineMetrics is offering free access to MachineMetrics for any manufacturer involved with the production of Ventilator parts, test equipment, protective equipment, or any COVID-19 related manufacturing support, as well as to help companies produce new products, increase production volumes, and bring therapies faster to market.
  • PagerDuty is offering 20 free licenses for PagerDuty’s Team for six months. The ofer is for healthcare organizations that need to automate incident response.

  • Office 365 Productivity Monitoring Reports: MessageOps free offer details are here.

  • Qualys is offering free 60-day use of the company’s remote patching service. The service will initially be available for Qualys customers. Delivery to others will be prioritized based on their signup date, the company says.
  • Riverbed Client AcceleratorThe free 90-day trial optimizes at-home network connections to cloud, SaaS and on-premises applications, the company says.
  • Saucecode Tistro: The remote worker management tool is available free until June 3o, 2020.
  • ServiceNow: has announced four new community apps to help its customers, including government agencies and enterprises, manage complex emergency response workflows. These apps are now available at servicenow.com/crisisresponse for customers to access free of charge through September 30, 2020.
  • SolarWinds Take Control Plus, a standalone remote support solution, is free of charge for 90 days, if partners sign up before June 30, 2020.  For a limited time, Take Control Plus licenses also come with 25 additional end-user accounts for partners to extend to employees and clients.

AI, ANALYTICS, BIG DATA AND RESEARCH


  • Aptean since February has offered cost-free, limited-access GenomeQuest accounts to scientists researching the virus in the countries most impacted by COVID-19. GenomeQuest is the world’s largest intellectual property sequence database that uses proprietary sequence comparison algorithms for in-depth search and analysis.

CORONAVIRUS & COVID-19 FREE OFFER SCAMS


Please note: Readers should double-check all special offers that they receive or learn about. The Federal Government has warned that some bogus free offers are actually malware, phishing and ransomware campaigns. In some cases, the cybercriminals imitate legitimate companies and offers.

HOW TO SETUP A ZOOM VIDEO CONFERENCE ROOM IN WASHINGTON DC

WHY ZOOM ROOMS FROM CAPITAL TECHIES IN WASHINGTON DC

ZOOM ROOMS

ZOOM ROOMS FOR MAC, PC, OR TOUCHSCREENS

TRANSFORM YOUR CONFERENCE ROOMS IN WASHINGTON DC

  • Fraction of the cost of traditional video conference rooms
  • Perfect for any size room from the board room (big) to huddle rooms (small)
  • Create huddle rooms for small team brainstorming, meetings, and collaboration
  • Delightful user experience
  • Runs on off-the-shelf hardware

GET WORK DONE

  • Collaborate with anyone, anywhere
  • Easy to use and manage
  • Amazing quality and reliability
  • Reduce travel and operational costs
  • Boost sales with better customer and prospect interactions
  • Save with lowest industry prices, including more video participants and built-in audio conferencing

AFFORDABLE VIDEO CONFERENCING

  • Use off-the-shelf hardware with cloud-based Zoom Room software for a fraction of the cost of traditional video conferencing systems
  • Works for small, medium and large conference rooms

SEAMLESS INTEGRATIONS FOR EASE OF USE

  • Personal Room ID integrates with Google or Microsoft Exchange calendar for easy scheduling, joining and meeting management
  • See the room’s schedule of upcoming meetings and start your meeting with a single touch on your iPad controller

ROOM FOR EVERYONE

  • High quality video and audio conferencing with up to 200 interactive video participants or 3,000 webinar viewers

WIRELESS CONTENT SHARING

  • Share high-resolution content over Wi-Fi, AirPlay mirroring or by direct HDMI connection
  • You can even share a video clip with audio

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

  • Supports up to 3 screens with split views, gallery or active speaker options
  • Record meetings
  • Multi-layer security
  • Admin Dashboards show usage, providing instant ROI metrics and alerts for potential hardware issues

FLEXIBILITY FOR ALL DEVICES

  • Supports BYOD environments – participants can join from desktops, laptops, mobile devices, telephones, traditional H.323 room system and Zoom Rooms

ROOM CONNECTORS

  • Extends your traditional H.323/SIP room systems to the cloud
  • Interoperability enables H.323/SIP room systems to communicate with desktop, tablet, mobile devices, Zoom Rooms and other H.323/SIP endpoints
  • Works with may legacy endpoints including Polycom, Cisco, Lifesize, and others

IN-HOUSE IT VS OUTSOURCING IT SERVICES

With so many business functions relying on technology, it is essential that your business’s IT infrastructure stays secure and running efficiently. A major decision for many small to mid-size companies is choosing whether to outsource their IT or employ an in-house IT team.

While your first instinct may be to maintain an in-house IT department for your help desk support, the advantages of outsourcing IT in Washington DC can be far more significant than just saving money. Below are a few key factors to look at when deciding between an in-house IT vs. outsourcing IT with a managed services provider.

1. TRANSPARENCY

Do you ever wonder what your in-house IT department does daily? Are you left with questions about new costs associated with IT and what value the business will get out of that investment? By outsourcing IT to a trusted MSP, these are questions you will no longer be asking. Many MSPs provide Client Business Reviews to go over the performance of IT, potential projects, or new tools, reviewing the value they bring, in simple terms that you can understand. A reliable MSP will be transparent with their work, and you will no longer be left wondering what IT is doing all day.

2. EXPERTISE, TRAINING & CERTIFICATION

A company’s in-house IT director or team usually leads an isolated existence due to the singular IT network they manage. No matter the amount of training, without experience in a broad range of IT circumstances and equipment, your IT resources remain limited. When partnering with an IT technician, qualified does not always mean experienced.

According to Deloitte’s “2016 Global Outsourcing Survey,” 28% of companies outsource to access intellectual capital, and as a result, 20% experience new capabilities. Outsourcing IT to an MSP grants access to expert talent and knowledge.

3. COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Larger companies were the first to implement outsourcing of their IT network to cut costs, reduce the capital budget, and increase efficiency. Nowadays, smaller organizations can also gain access to similar technology and expertise that larger companies enjoy. Managed Service Providers can level out the playing field by managing cost structure and maintaining an organization’s IT functions.

4. REDUCED RISK

Unless your internal IT support team specializes in IT security, your critical business data is at risk. With cyber breaches like ransomware, phishing attacks, and more on the rise, your IT network must be protected and secure. With a proactive managed services provider, your IT infrastructure is monitored for vulnerabilities and problems before they occur rather than taking a break-fix approach. An MSP creates backups of data in case disaster strikes and implements a recovery plan to get you back up and running as soon as possible.

5. COST CONTROL

Many in-house IT departments rack up unexpected costs due to unnecessary expenses that you, as a business leader, have no clue about their importance. From training to upgraded equipment purchases, tools and maintenance, costs are unpredictable month to month. Being able to maintain a consistent budget is one of the key advantages of outsourcing IT with a third-party vendor. An outsourced IT support team provides consistent and controlled monthly expenses, which usually only increases with company growth or when additional services are requested.

Organizations are adjusting their IT approach from in-house to an outsourced provider due to the proactive solutions they offer. Nearly half of all the respondents in Deloitte’s 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey are overly satisfied with their outsourcing agreements, performance tracking, and measurement capabilities. To discuss your internal IT capabilities or potential for outsourcing IT today, contact us here.