Align your IT and Business Strategies

It makes intuitive sense that your IT strategy should align with your overall business strategy. But what does this look like when the rubber meets the road? There is no one-size-fits-all IT strategy. Your business is unique. Your IT strategy should be too.

We have been helping businesses evaluate, build, and monitor their IT infrastructure, IT security, and overall IT strategy for over 19 years. In this article, we’ll share some of the insights that we have gleaned from our experience. We hope to point you in the right direction. If you would like to book a free consultation to further discuss how we can help your organization, we would be delighted to hear from you.

IT Infrastructure

Technology is an ever-changing landscape, and identifying and purchasing IT infrastructure is a topic that you will repeatedly visit in your organization. There is one thing that all businesses and organizations have in common: everyone benefits from running a cost-effective operation.

Before a new infrastructure purchase, ask, “Do I already have what I need?”

Often, organizations are over-stocked with programs and other IT infrastructure, and they don’t even realize it. For example, if you are a Microsoft Office subscriber, you already have many powerful specialty tools at your fingertips. Most O365 licenses include chat functions (don’t need that Slack subscription), survey collection (Survey Monkey’s great, but why pay twice?), video calls (how much are you spending on Zoom?), and more. 

If you work with a trusted IT partner, they can help you dive further into the nitty-gritty of how your IT infrastructure can align with your business strategy. As a team, work together to identify practical and elegant IT infrastructure solutions within your budget that align with your organization’s mission and strategy.

IT Security

Many small to medium businesses think they are too small to experience a data breach, ransomware attack, malware, or other types of cybercrime. However, this belief is precisely why small to medium businesses are the most vulnerable targets. According to, small businesses comprise 58% of all reported data breach victims. Insurance company, Hiscox, says that the average total cost of a data breach for all sizes of companies is $200,000. 

How do cybercriminals use stolen information? Sometimes, the goal is direct access to your financial accounts; but the path to monetizing your information is not always so straightforward. Cybercriminals exploit security vulnerabilities to harvest, use, buy and sell company data, customer data, and personnel data in myriad ways. While access to financial accounts is the biggest score for a hacker, something as seemingly innocuous as Personally-Identifying Information (PII) is a common hacker target because it can be used for identity theft, even extortion, or sold to the highest bidder.

When it comes to building their security strategy, many small and medium businesses will install antivirus software and call it a day. Regrettably, there are a lot more data and network vulnerabilities these days than just viruses. For this reason, it is essential to build a layered approach to your organization’s data security, starting with staff security awareness. (Did you know that employees, no matter how loyal, intelligent, and good-intentioned, are typically the number one vulnerability in an organization?) 

For a deeper dive into building your layered security approach, check out our free downloadable IT Security Checklist.

Find the Right IT Support

From time to time, all organizations need IT support of some kind. Most people think of the break/fix approach to IT when they consider IT support. However, just like taking care of your body, a house, or a car, preventive maintenance is often the most impactful and cost-effective approach. It is worth finding a reliable IT partner who can identify and prevent issues before those issues grow and put business to a halt. 

When shopping for the right IT partner, look for experienced professionals with preventive maintenance in mind, who can help you build a layered approach to security, and who will work with you to identify infrastructure solutions that work for your business and budget. 

For additional recommendations on finding the right, IT support partner, check out our previous articles on the right questions to ask an IT support company and building an IT service management strategy.

We have been supporting small and medium-sized businesses in the Denver metro area for over 19 years. Our approach is built around your business and your needs. Every business is different, and we work with our customers to create a tailored IT strategy that suits you and your budget. Call 866-950-0698 or email us at

Securing Your Business Against Data Loss with the Help of an IT Services Provider in Denver

In this information age, businesses of all sizes rely heavily on data to run their operations. Data has become so important that it is often referred to as being a critical business resource. As a leading IT services provider in Denver, we know this critical resource can easily be stolen or lost. Businesses hold important data, including customer credit and personal information, financial data, trade secrets, and intellectual property. The critical and sensitive nature of this data necessitates that you partner with a dedicated managed service provider (MSP) to ensure your data is always safe.

Defining Data Loss Prevention

Data loss prevention (DLP) is a process which identifies your firm’s critical data, then tracks it as it moves throughout the firm to prevent unauthorized access by creating and enforcing disclosure policies for staff at all levels.

Why DLP Matters

Corporate data is valuable; this fact is very clear both to you as a business owner and to hackers who will go to any length to get their hands on your data. It is, therefore, up to you to ensure your critical data is secured. Securing data at the corporate level might be difficult, this is further complicated by the:

  • Rapidly changing compliance regulations;
  • Fact that employees are allowed to bring their own devices to work;
  • Growth of workforce mobility; and
  • Increased cases of data breach incidents and advanced persistent threats.

Causes of Data Loss

To come up with the best data loss prevention plan and execute tailored countermeasures, it is important for you to start by understanding the causes of the problem. In our experience as an IT services provider in Denver, we have found five main causes of data loss:

  • Human error
  • Hardware malfunctions
  • Computer viruses and malware
  • Software corruption
  • Natural disasters

Advantages of Data Loss Protection

Firms that have embraced DLP enjoy a number of advantages, such as:

  • Avoiding accidental exposure of their critical data to third parties by employees;
  • Tracking data across the firm to ensure it does not fall on the wrong hands; and
  • Protection from costly lawsuits and loss of reputation and credibility.

Need Help with Your DLP?

At Xlingshot, Inc., we are a dedicated IT services provider in Denver ready to help you draft a DLP strategy that will work for you. Contact us now to know how we can help you.

How IT Services in Denver Can Optimize RTO and RPO

As a trusted IT services provider in Denver, we can help your business reduce costs by decreasing downtime. Backup and data recovery (BDR) is the process that brings systems back online after a catastrophe knocks them out of operation. There are multiple aspects which define the effectiveness of your BDR. The two most important factors to consider are recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). They are often confused.

What’s The Difference?

RTO refers to how long your business can operate without the use of a specific application. Sometimes when systems go down, certain applications may not be able to be brought back online as quickly as you’d like. The right IT services in Denver can help reduce this time and increase the effectiveness of your RTO. Ultimately, this gets things functioning quicker than internal solutions from your managed service provider (MSP).

RPO is similar but has a broader scope than RTO. When something knocks your systems offline, RPO is the amount of time that passes before the amount of data you lose is beyond the “tolerance” of your business continuity plan (BCP).

Obtaining More Ambitious Objectives

RPO and RTO are both expedited through cloud computing solutions as managed by an external tech group. Additionally, the right tech group can increase the security of your operations, cut down on redundancies, optimize network function, and proactively monitor operations. This is especially important when it comes to BDR.

When proactive monitoring solutions define an MSP’s operations, they can identify negative trends more quickly. This proactively resolves issues that likely would result in eventual downtime. Additionally, when an unavoidable crisis hits your business network, the MSP can deploy a strategic fix almost immediately.

The need for recovery solutions is even more vital as businesses continually upgrade to new and developing tech solutions. “Smart” phones have led to “smart” cars, “smart” houses, and even “smart” manufacturing. All of these things are part of the Internet of Things or IoT.

IoT and BYOD Considerations

IoT and cloud technology have grown in tandem and can save businesses money by reducing overheads through operational optimization and general cost reduction. As you outsource portions of a given network to the cloud, you are able to reduce the cost you would have absorbed pertaining to on-site equipment. Pair that shift with the movement toward “bring your own device” (BYOD) spaces, and entire offices can be disbanded in favor of employees working from home. You can readily reduce staff needs, infrastructural needs, and physical space requirements by doing this, which often is a more convenient solution for everyone.

But as you may have guessed with expanding solutions, you’re going to need more security, support, and disaster recovery solutions like BDR with adequate RPO/RTO objectives.

IT services in Denver through Xlingshot can substantively reduce operational expenses. We offer comprehensive BDR services designed to upgrade both your RTO and RPO. Contact us to safeguard your systems in a way that will decrease your overall expenses while allowing for more continuous, sustainable expansion.

IT Services in Denver Can Help You Determine If Backup or Disaster Recovery Is Best

The Business Continuity Angle

As an IT services in Denver, we can provide both disaster recovery and data backup. For many companies, a synthesis of the two is desirable. Still, for some, going with one or the other may be best for a time. The issue is often deciding whether to just go with backup or to incorporate disaster recovery as well. If you’ve only got a backup solution, then you simply aren’t going to be able to maintain continuity in the event of a disaster. You’ll be able to reboot, but between the moment your business experiences an issue and the moment you get systems online again, you’ll experience some downtime.

Downtime can be expensive. If you’ve got two hours’ downtime weekly, that translates to 104 hours annually. If it only costs your small to medium-sized business $1,000 per hour of downtime, that’s $102, 000 you’re losing every single year. One thousand dollars per hour is a very conservative estimate of operational losses during downtime. It’s integral to limit downtime as much as possible. The cloud provides exceptional redundancy, allowing for easily-maintained continuity. Part of downtime losses come from revenue reduction due to inaccessible systems during the emergency. Continuity can reduce this cost by ensuring your systems are always available to potential and existing clients; even as you and your tech team troubleshoot the issue and re-establish operations.

Mirroring Your Systems

IT services in Denver providing Disaster Recovery (DR) services often do so by “mirroring” your systems. Instead of files and operating systems requiring total reboot, when a “disaster” occurs— be it a system crash or one of the natural variety— it takes much less time to switch to the mirrored solution. This also curtails downtime in addition to making it possible for clients and employees to maintain system access. Lost time is substantially diminished.

Continuous Backup Is Preservative

A disaster recovery solution is usually facilitated via cloud computing. The cloud is used to continuously back up and store your information in the event of a disaster. While cloud solutions can be used like a tape system for facilitating backup, it just makes sense to go the mirrored approach. It’s a small enough transition and the potential savings are definitely worth considering. If you can cut your downtime in half, at $1,000 per hour, you’d save $52,000 in accordance with the previously explored scenario. If operation costs are higher for you, then you’ll see even more savings.

Multiple Areas of Cost Reduction

While a smaller business who completes very few transactions online— and does not have a ubiquity of employees working digitally— may be able to stand a few hours downtime waiting for a backup. The larger your operation the less likely it is you’ll be able to get away with this. Meanwhile, backup and data recovery:

  • Reduce losses from client access restrictions
  • Reduce losses from employee inactivity
  • Expedite systems recovery

Comprehensive Security

IT services in Denver through Xlingshot can help you save time and money by curtailing employee inactivity and clientele losses while speeding up recovery time. Contact us to safeguard your business against the unexpected.

Why You Should Ask Your IT Services Provider in Denver About MDM

Smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and laptops have become such a big part of the workplace that providers of IT services in Denver already added mobile device management (MDM) as one of their offered solutions. Organizations of all sizes are beginning to realize how much help they need when it comes to handling the gadgets their employees use for work.

What is MDM?

Many of the gadgets used by employees for work are also their own. This practice is spurred by the growing popularity of Bring Your Own Device policy or BYOD for short. As a result, organizations need to balance that fine line between keeping their staff happy and securing confidential information. The answer comes in the form of MDM, which is the remote administration and control of mobile devices deployed for enterprise use.

Why is MDM Beneficial?

There are several advantages of MDM, some of which are:

Supports BYOD

Because BYOD allows employees to use their personal devices for their jobs, the policy helps decrease an organization’s expenses on tools and equipment. At the same time, it improves productivity for the staff. However, BYOD would not be possible without MDM. Otherwise, how can organizations manage multiple and different devices that they don’t even own? It’s because of MDM that BYOD works.

Creates backup

The portability of mobile devices makes them convenient to use, and also easy to lose. When a gadget is misplaced or stolen, the data in it is also gone— unless there’s backup. Thanks to MDM, the loss of a mobile device doesn’t equate to the loss of data. Information is still restorable from a different source. As an IT services provider in Denver, we usually tie up with a cloud provider like AWS for multiple backup locations.

Secures data

But what happens to the data in a missing device? A data breach can occur if it lands in the wrong hands. Nevertheless, MDM prevents that by remotely wiping off the data from the device. It’s not just misplaced devices that are kept safe, though. Other security measures are implemented for devices in current use, such as two-factor authentication, device registration, password policies, etc.

Automates updates

It’s quick to manually update three or four devices, but not a hundred or so. When an organization has many employees using gadgets for work, it’s more practical to automate the update process through MDM to save time and effort. It also ensures all devices are updated at the same time.

What Can You Expect From Providers of MDM?

MDM can be overwhelming for an organization that’s just beginning to explore the power of mobile devices at the workplace. If your organization is newly venturing into MDM, you should communicate your inquiries with your chosen provider. Most providers are happy to discuss strategies with their clients.

For a reliable provider of MDM and other IT services in Denver, consider us at Xlingshot as your partner. Our extensive experience in delivering solutions to various clients from different sectors makes us an expert in the industry, so you can trust us to handle your IT needs with ease and efficiency. Contact us now to know more about what we can do for you.

IT Services in Denver: A Look at the Latest APWG Phishing Attacks Report

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is a global coalition comprised of nearly 2,000 institutions that unite to thwart cyberattacks. APWG releases a quarterly report to increase awareness of cybercrime threats. As an IT services provider in Denver, we pay close attention to this report as it provides important insight into phishing attacks and other digital threats. Here’s a look at the most important findings from the latest APWG report:

Digital Attacks are at the Highest Level Ever

APWG’s report states the number of digital attacks has soared since the report was first released in 2004. Attacks have jumped nearly 6,000 percent in the past 12 years. China is receiving more attacks than any other nation. Nearly 50 percent of Chinese machines are infected. Turkey and Taiwan are the second and third most affected nations.

APWG’s Data Shows Phishing Attacks are on the Rise

The report states that phishing attacks have increased 65 percent since 2016. The most phishing attacks occurred in April while the least occurred in December. In particular, spear-phishing attacks are spiking. These attacks on employee email accounts put companies square in the cross-hairs for data theft. Phishing is also becoming more advanced. The digital attackers behind these schemes are zeroing in on specific employees and organizations that are particularly vulnerable.

The bottom line is no company or employee is exempt from the wrath of phishers and hackers. If you are not properly equipped to handle phishing attacks, you need our IT services in Denver that can help you thwart attacks and keep your operations hitting on all cylinders without interruption.

Phishing No Longer Requires Specific Domain Names

Phishers typically provide similar domain names to fool victims. Such a tactic is referred to as spoofing. The APWG analysis shows fewer digital attackers are resorting to spoof brands in domain names. This indicates deception is no longer necessary to confuse web users. Phishers are resorting to additional tricks like placing brand names elsewhere in URLs, shortening URLs to create the destination domain and letting the user move his mouse over the hyperlink and see a phony destination domain.

The Retail and Service Industries are Being Targeted at High Rates

Retail has been a prime target of phishing attacks for several years; yet in the fourth quarter of 2016, the retail and service sectors received a whopping 42 percent of reported phishing attacks. The financial sector was the second most targeted sector with nearly 20 percent of phishing attacks. ISP came in third at nearly 13 percent. The APWG reports also state targeted brands averaged an incredible 400 attacks per month across the initial three-quarters. This figure decreased to 264 in the fourth quarter of 2016. This data lends credence to the idea that phishing tailed off a bit when the holiday season arrived.


You need our reliable IT services team in Denver to protect your company and prevent phishing and other forms of cybercrime. At Xlingshot, our mission is to custom-tailor IT solutions to your unique tech challenges. Ally with our team and you won’t have to worry about network, hardware and software problems stifling your organization’s productivity and efficiency. Contact us today!

You Need Secure File Sharing from an IT Services Provider in Denver

Are you in an industry that handles sensitive client data or proprietary information? If you are, you know that you have to keep that data secure and confidential— as a trusted IT services provider in Denver, we can help you with this. It is often a legal requirement, but also a moral obligation. Any security breaches can be catastrophic for you and your client.

What do you do when you need to share a file that contains sensitive information? If you are not using a secure file sharing solution, you are putting your clients’ data and your business at risk.

What is Secure File Sharing?

Secure file sharing is more than just encrypting a file and sending it by email. It involves an entire system designed to keep files secure.

  • The files must be kept on a private network, hosted in a secure data center.
  • Access to the private network must be through password authentication.
  • Every person who requires access must have their own IDs and passwords.
  • Before a file is uploaded to the secure file sharing network, it must be scanned for sensitive data. If it contains that type of information, it must be removed, or the owner of the data informed.
  • When sharing a file, the sender will provide a secured link via email to the receiver.

With the secure file sharing solution in place, your business’ workflow can happen without fear of a security breach.

The Importance of Securing Sensitive Data

Lawyers, banks, and insurance companies know the importance of data security from our IT services provider in Denver. Their number one priority is protecting clients and keeping their information secure. Their reputation depends on a client’s trust. One breach of security and they will lose least one client. If word gets around about the breach, their reputation will be shot.

Sensitive documents actually represent value to both your clients and your business. A lot of hours were put into producing those documents, and if they get lost, that represents a lot of vanished work that must be reproduced. Documents containing sensitive information are of value to competitors as well. If sensitive information gets into the wrong hands, it can represent the power to alter stock prices or sabotage a product premiere.

Government and legal entities often require companies to secure client data by law. If the information is breached, the company can face stiff penalties. Plus, it will become known if a company is fined for such a breach, which represents a loss of reputation and trust with existing and future clients.

If your business handles sensitive and/or confidential information, you need to take proactive steps when it comes to file sharing. Setting up a secure file sharing system will let you work efficiently without compromising data and file security. If you want to learn more about securing your data and files, contact our IT services team in Denver — contact Xlingshot today.

Understanding Thin and Zero Clients with IT Services in Denver

It’s a good idea to have your business’ IT infrastructure examined by our reliable IT services team in Denver every now and then. Upon closer inspection, you’ll very likely find that you’re spending too much money on a certain area. If your business relies heavily on desktop computers, for example, there’s a possibility that that’s one area where you can greatly reduce costs while also simplifying maintenance and upgrades. A setup based on thin or zero clients might be just what you need to cut costs without completely sacrificing important functions.

Thin Clients

Many businesses use conventional desktop computers connected to a network and server for easier file sharing and collaboration. However, a thin client is a very basic and lightweight machine built specifically for accessing a server, either one that’s located remotely (in the case of cloud computing) or on the premises. Since the thin client relies heavily on the server computer, it requires minimal processing power and functionality. By contrast, a desktop computer can serve as a purely standalone machine designed to take on multiple roles by itself.

With an increasing amount of business computing work being carried out remotely, the necessity to have powerful desktop computers is much rarer than it once was. A great deal of important business computing operations, such as CRM, inventory management, and reservation management, are now provided in the form of cloud services, meaning no software needs to be installed on a local computer. As everything runs in a browser and things like application maintenance and data storage are taken care of remotely, thin clients provide all the necessary computing local power.

Simply put, using conventional desktop computers every day is usually overkill these days, unless of course, your business requires them for a specific purpose and/or does not intend to migrate to a primarily cloud-computing environment. Thin clients come in many different forms, but they usually provide everything you need for running browser-based applications. They usually feature a minimalistic operating system, a network interface, and a small amount of flash memory for local data storage. Aside from that, a thin client is basically just a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Zero Clients

When researching thin clients, cloud computing solutions, and other IT services in Denver, you may also come across zero clients. They work the same way as thin clients; the only difference is they don’t have an operating system. Instead, all they have is the most basic firmware necessary to initialize network communication so that the remote server can do the rest of the work. Since zero clients feature minimal data storage of their own (typically enough just for the required firmware), they’re also far less vulnerable to hacking and attacks by malicious software.

While thin clients require minimal setup and maintenance, zero clients require virtually none. Like thin clients, they are also available in all-in-one form factors, complete with monitors or as small boxes providing the necessary ports for connecting a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. On the other hand, zero clients are not as flexible as thin clients, since they can only use one protocol, which means usage options are more limited. As such, they’re generally better suited for single-purpose machines designed to access a single cloud-based service.

Whatever your choice may be, always consider the one that will help you reduce costs while still maintaining an efficient and stable business operation. At Xlingshot, we can help you decide between thin and zero clients. Our IT services team in Denver is always ready to answer any IT-related queries you may have. Contact us today to learn more.

Benefits of Using Multi-Cloud and IT Services in Denver

IT services in Denver are becoming increasingly important to businesses of all sizes; this is because IT integration goes a long way in determining the success of your business. Multi-cloud deployment is one of the many services that we offered at Xlingshot. This service not only enhances your business setup but also enables you to properly manage your in-house technology infrastructure.

Needless to say, we are living in a cloud world. This highlights why you should develop personalized multi-cloud strategies that optimize critical application performance and overall network speed. Businesses are increasingly realizing the benefits of embracing the multi-cloud world. This, coupled with common IT services, can enable you to connect with your service providers, partners, and customers in a more seamless manner.

Here are some benefits of multi-cloud:

Multi-Cloud and Profits

The objective of every business is sustainable profit. By transferring your business structures to the cloud, you stand to save up to 20%of your IT revenue. In addition, the benefits of multi-cloud adoption are bound to keep growing because the cloud world keeps gaining more mainstream acceptance. The cost-effectiveness of multi-cloud integration enables you to invest your profits in areas that matter most. It also streamlines your business processes, thus enabling you to record impressive sales.


When you hire our IT services team in Denver for multi-cloud integration, you gain an upper hand over your competitors because you do not necessarily need to depend on a single provider. This autonomy will go a long way in helping you to negotiate service-level arrangements that are more favorable in terms of pricing and application. In addition, you avoid getting stuck with a single vendor’s limited infrastructural requirements.

Business Flexibility

When running an online firm, you must always have cost optimization, cost containment, and optimal performance in mind. Embracing the multi-cloud with the help of our IT services experts makes it easier for you to choose applications that work best for you while dropping redundant ones. For instance, the multi-cloud gives you the flexibility of configuring applications that target specific geographical locations— this enhances your overall business performance.

Advanced Cloud Capabilities

Due to its dynamic nature, the multi-cloud offers you an evolving array of capabilities and features. Besides this, it allows you to choose your preferred data services from the available providers. This way, you can easily create customized solutions that suit the needs of your organization. Therefore, you should try to make multi-cloud deployment a priority.

Reduces Vulnerability

Online businesses are highly vulnerable to breaches. You are susceptible to cloud data center outages, vendor lock-ins, and bandwidth problems. You can avoid such mishaps by prioritizing multi-cloud deployment, which reduces system vulnerability because it doesn’t rely on one cloud provider. In addition, multi-cloud integration also gives you the ability to merge different cloud drives in a single app. This allows you to manage files and also to transfer the files across different cloud drives.

To fully embrace the benefits of multi-cloud, you need a reliable provider of IT services in Denver. At Xlingshot, we offer a wide variety of IT solutions that help businesses reach new heights. Contact us today to learn more!

Why Collaboration Software is the Way to Go for IT Services Firms in Denver

Collaboration software is becoming popular nowadays, as more business owners realize the potential that it brings. They are seeing the gains that can be achieved when people work together, share ideas, and just collaborate in a more seamless fashion. According to a research by Gartner, collaboration software is a critical capability, something to strongly consider when looking at project and portfolio management software. If your company still is not utilizing this kind of software, then the time to do so is now! Our IT services experts in Denver can help you understand how collaboration software works and the benefits it has on your business.

The Difference Collaboration Software Makes

Collaboration software is all about bringing people together so that they can share ideas and work on them as a group, all in the spirit of increasing productivity. Collaboration tools have an incredible impact on how well employees can do their job. You do not need to be a massive enterprise to benefit from the software. Ask our IT services team in Denver and we will tell you that the answer to collaboration is not email— it is software solutions.

Studies have revealed that the biggest waste that project teams face when working on things has to do with electronic mail. You send an email and it ends up in an inbox, only to be consumed at some point by an end user. What did this email accomplish if it is read 30 minutes after it was sent? Is it even timely anymore?

Context Switching and Wasted Time

Business owners tend to spend so much time with context switching and doing things not unique to their actual roles. As a business owner, when you have to change your task just to check an email, you are changing the context of what you are doing— this can take away valuable time from the task at hand and reduce your overall productivity.

Collaboration software is the answer to this as it takes away the barriers. If you want to get in touch with someone, it is just a matter of working in the software and making that happen. Employee productivity can enjoy a nice increase when you encourage workers to get out of their inbox and start to use collaboration software. Take advantage of what is available in the market and turn your project teams on their heads for the better!

You want to make sure that you are getting the right collaboration software before you pull the trigger on a software suite. This is where our reliable IT services firm in Denver comes into play. Reach out to us at Xlingshot today so we can work with you to get your project teams working productively and collaboratively. The time to embrace collaboration software and use it to the fullest is now!