IT Services in Denver Can Help Educate Employees about Cyber Security Attacks

Cyberattacks are on the rise and any organization can quickly become the next victim of cyber criminals. Your business needs our IT services in Denver that understands the need to train and educate employees about cyber security. Continually educating employees over an extended period offers many benefits and can save your company thousands of dollars. Here are a few ways that employees can help keep your business protected and the common attack strategies of these criminal schemes:

Training Employees

Do your employees understand the wide variety of cyberattacks and how to respond to each one? Employees who are not properly trained are the prime targets of cyber warfare. According to a recent research by Kaspersky Lab, 42% of confidential data is lost due to employees negligence. Whether it is uploading data through an unsecured connection or using common passwords, data can easily get into the wrong hands in a countless amount of ways. The best way to prevent these data breaches is to educate employees on the wide range of cyber security threats and how to respond to each one.

Security Matters from Top to Bottom

Building a culture that is aware of cyber security begins with the board of directors and each executive. These are leaders in their business and each employee looks up to them for guidance. Executives that are proactively involved in taking measures to prevent cyber threats will have a positive impact that can be felt throughout the company. Further educating these individuals is even more beneficial, as it adds another line of defense against on-line security threats.

Cyber Criminals Target Companies of All Sizes

Whether you are a small or large business, you can easily become a victim of a cyberattack. Most small businesses cannot afford the expenses of an IT department. According to the same research above, a serious data breach costs around $38,0000— most small businesses are unable to afford such a costly attack. Through the education of employees with the help of our IT services team in Denver, companies can minimize the risk of becoming a victim of a data breach.

Attack Methods

These online criminals use a variety of attack methods that range from phishing, social engineering, malware, ransomware, or viruses. They are continually creating new attacks that become much more sophisticated and harder to stop. Whether it is a cleverly written phishing email or a website that is designed to steal your confidential information and lock your computer. If employees receive a suspicious email, they need to contact their managed service provider immediately. Downloading attachments from untrusted sources is a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, it is a good idea always to be cautious with emails and run a security scan before downloading any attachments to your computer.

Further educating employees about cyber security threats is the key to maintaining a successful business. At Xlingshot, we specialize in providing excellent IT services in Denver. We offer around the clock support and provide frequent security updates to ensure that your work-related files are always safe and secure. Contact us today and let us help your company stay protected from these security threats.

Why “Born in the Cloud” is the Way to Go When Outsourcing IT Services in Denver

Companies are increasingly embracing cloud computing solutions offered by our IT services team in Denver. In fact, technology futurists argue that the cloud is potentially the future of IT. One essential characteristic of the cloud that has made it such a darling to many business owners and IT experts is its elasticity, because of its ever expanding memory and storage size.

Businesses operating with the traditional “legacy framework” software have been trying to make them “marry” with the cloud model. The software, commonly referred to as “washed cloud” software, eventually becomes compatible and runs in the cloud. As washed as they are, however, the compatibility does not erase the fact that the software was designed to run in a different kind of technology— an outdated technology at that. Therefore, the software remains out of fashion. Now, the question is: “What is the best way to go for business owners? Well, “Born in the Cloud” is the way to go.

Born in the cloud software is designed and developed specifically for cloud computing. As a business owner, what benefits will you reap from born in the cloud software?

Eliminates Downtime

The born in cloud software is managed and maintained on your behalf by your SaaS (Software as a Service) vendor. What this means is that the vendor automatically updates new versions of the software. In other words, you will not be required at any given time to upgrade outdated versions.

On the flipside, washed cloud software requires your IT team to install updates to newer versions regularly. During this time, the operation of your business will be brought to a halt. This unnecessary inconvenience and downtime can be avoided by having a born in the cloud software for your business.

Multi-Tenancy: A Platform for Inter-Company Collaboration

With regards to born in cloud software, your SaaS vendor hosts you together with other clients. In simpler terms, the vendor hosts you as multi-tenants. Being hosted together with other market players presents a platform on which you all can share the prevailing market trends to each other.

A washed cloud software presents different dynamics altogether. Given the fact that the software “swims in unfamiliar waters,” it is not possible to have it hosted in a multi-tenancy. Sticking with it, therefore, denies you the chance to enjoy the benefits that come with multi-tenancy.

Saves You Money

You are in business to make money, right? Getting our IT services in Denver is definitely not a bad idea. Born in the cloud applications are charged on a pay-per-use billing system. They are elastic and can accommodate both peak and off-peak hours. The cloud expands during peak hours and shrinks during off-peak hours. This means that you only pay for what you use.

Washed cloud software is rigid. It cannot shrink or expand. As such, it forces you to pay for the same amount during off-peak as during peak hours. In the end, you pay for unused excess units during off-peak times.

As a business owner, you should consider the benefits of born in the cloud to your company and start utilizing it now. We at Xlingshot can help you with that and all your other IT needs. We specialize in providing IT services to businesses in Denver. Don’t get left behind in this fast-changing technology. Make a move now— contact us!

IT Services in Denver: Benefits of Having a vCIO

A virtual CIO (vCIO) is a technology expert who remotely provides IT services in Denver for businesses. He or she essentially plays the same role as a CIO, who is a manager and developer of a strategic IT plan. Working with a vCIO allows you to pay closer attention to your business goals beyond technology. Here are some of the worries that a vCIO can eliminate:

Role of a vCIO

Your technology consultant that provides IT services in Denver should be someone who leads a team that wants to learn and enhance your business. Part of the team vision should be to reduce unnecessary costs and to make your workforce more productive. Your IT team should be skilled at analyzing an infrastructure and figuring out inefficiencies that need to be replaced or improved upon.

An effective vCIO is a consultant on both technology and business since technology provides solutions for improving business efficiency. The vCIO should be someone who can evaluate technology decisions and provide guidance for better performance. The role can generally be defined as someone who oversees and provides status reports on the condition of hardware and software.

Current IT Concerns

  • IT security and solutions against cybercrime
  • Disaster recovery plan
  • Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies
  • Cloud computing and enterprise resource planning (ERP)
  • VoIP communication systems
  • Legacy application modernization

How a vCIO Makes a Difference

When you hire a knowledgeable vCIO, you have the opportunity to learn about powerful technologies, such as automation and virtualization. These concepts can save any industry money on administrative expenses alone. The more you digitize components of your business and merge them with the cloud, the more flexible your operation will become. It will allow your staff to work from any location on any device and have access to projects at any time.

A vCIO studies the analytics generated by your business to figure out how to replace redundant tasks with automation and how to maximize time during slow business activity. The vCIO also takes responsibility for the company’s business continuity by establishing data backup and recovery plans. These plans ensure that the company will survive a cyber attack or other disasters. Knowledge of legacy, as well as state-of-the-art equipment, is essential for the vCIO to help the evolution of a company’s infrastructure.

The main reason to find an experienced provider of IT services in Denver is to enjoy the benefits of a CIO without paying for an in-house IT department. Contact us now at Xlingshot, Inc. to learn more about how a vCIO can modernize and accelerate your business.

Dealing with Internet Privacy: IT Services in Denver That Protect Your Company’s Data

Our IT services experts in Denver have worked to protect your privacy and the privacy of your clients— this is more important than ever. With the latest news on Capitol Hill and the repeal of the Federal Communications Commissions’ rules around privacy, your data is more at risk than ever.

The bill that was passed on March 28th lets your Internet provider sell your data to the highest bidder. This data includes everything from web browsing habits to communications through applications. For your business and your clients, your data is now something your ISP sells as a commodity. You need to take steps to protect the data your clients provide to you with confidence.

Understanding Internet Communication

Your data passes through several hands when you send it over the internet. It starts at your router and it gets stamped with your IP address. This information marks it as yours and makes it possible for communication. It is also addressed to the final IP address. Your Internet service provider, or ISP, sees all of this information. The content, who is sending it, and who is receiving it are all clearly visible to your ISP.

With the new laws, this data is no longer protected under privacy laws. This is scary for the average user, but it is even more important to understand as a business owner. You are not only concerned about your own data, but your clients’ data as well.

Steps to Keep Your Clients’ Data Safe

Even with the seemingly overreaching power of your ISP, some steps help protect your clients’ privacy. Our IT services in Denver are available to set your company up in a privacy friendly way. Here are some of the steps commonly recommended for increased privacy:

  • Use a VPN – A virtual private network, or VPN, keeps data away from your ISP. Instead, all information to and from your company goes through a VPN. This means your ISP doesn’t see who you are communicating with. It is still tracked by some VPN’s, but it does shift information away from your ISP.
  • Read the privacy policies of your ISP – Some ISPs are committed to respecting your privacy. They have corporate policies that cover the holes in privacy laws that currently exist.
  • Stick to HTTPS with browser extensions – HTTPS is an encrypted method of transferring data. This reduces the amount of data your ISP sees. With different browser extensions, your corporate communication is always going to use HTTPS. These aren’t perfect and it does not always work well with all interfaces.

It is still important to remember all of the original information security tips that you currently use. While there are new risks to privacy with the repeal, your traditional risks are still around. Make sure your firewall is up to date and your employees are careful with your clients’ data. Our IT services in Denver will keep your data safe. At Xlingshot, your clients’ privacy is important to us. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Stay Protected with Mobile Device Authentication and IT Services in Denver

The use of mobile devices continues to expand and meet a variety of needs in today’s society. As you know, a mobile phone can host many items, which range from personal information, financial data, pictures, and contact information. Although cell phones are extremely useful, they can become vulnerable to a variety of threats. You need our IT services in Denver that offers mobile device authentication.

Mobile device authentication creates a unique profile of your physical interactions with your cellphone. It can track your habitual patterns and determine in real time if you or someone else is using your device. With the latest technology, you can remain confident that your personal data will stay protected.

A 2014 study uncovered that 57% of smartphone users did not lock their devices whenever they left them unattended. With the majority of users leaving cellphones unlocked and unattended, thieves can easily gain access to critical information on your mobile device. With the use of fewer passwords, it is essential to have mobile device protection. Your IT services provider in Denver should offer mobile device security, which is a simple yet very effective resource against outside threats. Behavior-based technology is much more efficient than the use of passwords, as it can track the unique ways in which you interact with your device. For example, it can monitor the pressure you exert on each key and differentiate it between another user. Here are a few other ways that mobile device authentication can identify you:

Stylometry

Stylometry is simply the way you text on a mobile phone. It can range from certain keystrokes, your use of syntax, or a linguistic style. Any frequent texting errors create a unique profile that cannot be replicated with another user. Even a user’s tendency to pinch, zoom in or swipe text can be individually tracked. Each one of these personable markers will enable your device to create a unique profile of the way you text.

Application Usage

The variety of mobile apps that you use, as well as the activities that you perform with each one, helps create an application usage profile. A wide range of identifying markers can be tracked, which includes screen fonts, themes, and the amount of time spent using each app.

Geo-Location

Another significant behavioral marker is your geo-location. A profile can be easily established from GPS locations and the use of Wi-Fi whenever you are indoors. The triangulation of cellphone towers is another way of tracking your common geo-location.

Browsing Habits

Another great way to identify a user is through the tracking of browsing habits. The websites that you visit and the amount of time you spend is a unique identification trait that cannot be replicated. Any change in browsing habits will automatically create an authentication challenge, which will disable an unauthorized user from having access to your phone.

As you can see, the use of mobile device authentication can help you stay protected and prevent your phone from being vulnerable to unwanted users or malicious software. At Xlingshot, we specialize in protecting users from outside threats. We also offer the latest IT services for Denver businesses. Contact us today and let us help you secure your phone with mobile device authentication.

How to Protect Against Phishing Scams with IT Services in Denver

Technology continuously changes, and phishing scams have become increasingly sophisticated over the last few years. As a business owner, acquiring our IT services in Denver that specializes in combating against phishing attacks of all kinds can help your company. Here are a few ways that your employees can identify a phishing attack:

Phishing 101

To begin, what exactly is a phishing scam? Phishing scams have been around since the mid-90s, and it is a type of fraud that tries to steal login information under the pretense of an official site. Usually, it is in the form of an e-mail, but it can also happen through instant message applications and other forms of communication. According to recent research, 85% of companies were under a phishing attack in 2016, and it is critical for your business to take the necessary steps to prevent becoming a victim of these malicious attacks.

How to Identify a Phishing Scam

Whenever you receive an e-mail, it is essential to ask yourself a few questions before replying or opening any attachments. Do I recognize the sender? Does the e-mail have any attachments? If it has an attachment, is there a “.exe” file located within that attachment? Are any links found throughout the e-mail? These are all important questions that can help you determine if the e-mail is legitimate. If you feel that you are not qualified to answer all of these questions, there is no reason to panic. If you believe that you may be a victim of a phishing attack, consider hiring our IT services team in Denver.

Pharming vs. Phishing Attacks

While phishing is targeted against an individual, pharming modifies DNS entries of an actual website. In other words, it redirects each visitor to a website that is specifically set up for you to enter personal information. This fraudulent site appears legit and you can lose your identity in a matter of seconds if you enter any forms of personal information.

Examples of Phishing Webpages & How to Report Them

Phishing websites can be created through a wide range of websites. For example, it can be any site that requires you to register and enter personal data. That can range from a social media website, news web page, or even a sports site. Fortunately, the most common ways to report phishing scams is through Google, Symantec, or US-CERT. These websites keep a record a reported phishing scams and will enable other users to avoid becoming the next victim.

Phishing cyberattacks are a growing epidemic and it is important to be aware of that latest security threats. Being able to identify a phishing attack can save you much needed time and money. If you believe that you or your company has been a target of these malicious attacks, contact us at Xlingshot. We provide secure and top-tier IT services for Denver businesses. Don’t delay any longer— let our trained technicians help you recover from a phishing attack. Contact us today!

Don’t Weep Over WannaCry Software– Get IT Services in Denver Today!

Our IT services in Denver helps you recover data from ransomware attacks as instigated by one of the most pernicious malware worms in recent memory, WannaCry. If you’re unfamiliar with WannaCry, it basically exploits a known “back door” included in Windows software at the NSA’s behest. This information was discovered in March, and a patch was immediately issued. Most companies took the patch and secured themselves from intrusion, but apparently, not everyone got the memo. The worm was launched in early May and it utilizes SMB ports to induct a pernicious worm which goes about locking individuals from their data against payment in Bitcoin.

WannaKey

WannaKey has recently hit the market and can help some users get their files back without having to pay the bitcoin fee. This was released on Friday, May 19th, 2017. The software can pull some components of a Windows XP private key, and use those traces as a means of WannaCry decryption. This doesn’t work on all computers, but some, at least, can weather the storm without the need for a wipe or a reboot from an older “save.” Wired.com recently broke a story pertaining to WannaKey software, and they cautioned that you shouldn’t give your computer a reboot and try using this solution; but it should be left alone until the solution can be applied, because the fragments used for decryption of WannaCry may disappear if you do a reboot.

One of the reasons WannaKey works is because those who designed WannaCry forgot to fully “delete” access to the secondary key given when ransom has been paid— it’s a bit more complicated than that, but you get the idea.

Additional Strategies

There are ways to guard against ransomware like this even without a key, however, and several of them include:

  • BDR Solutions
  • Cloud Computing Security
  • Proper Security Education and Protocols

Now, an SMB port is designed to make sharing information over a network more convenient, and it generally isn’t possible to compromise such networks the way WannaCry has, except the NSA left an open hole in certain networks for reasons of national security. How that spread worldwide is perhaps a discussion for another time. The point is, our IT services in Denver can provide you with BDR solutions that allow for a reboot of infected machines and entire networks with increased expediency. This becomes possible through cloud computing solutions that can curtail downtime substantively while providing better security. It is, after all, the prerogative of cloud-based providers that all clients should have secure access. Ergo they always proactively monitor solutions, and there is a by-rote continuous backup going on with most providers.

Education and Solutions

All that being said, nothing will save a company that doesn’t properly educate its employees. True, WannaCry exploited a weakness not in employees or security, but facilitated through government interdiction with private enterprise. Considering this, proper backup protocols which additionally employ security thinking that avoids questionable emails while simultaneously inculcating an attitude of respect is integral to modern operations, and needs a professional touch. Look at passwords, as an example. Even if you’ve got a secure network with proper protocols employed, lazy password creation can allow a hacker to guess his or her way into access. This list of common passwords can help you get an idea of what not to do. Basically: update passwords regularly, and make them extremely complicated.

IT services in Denver through Xlingshot can secure your systems from tech scourges like WannaCry cost-effectively and continuously. Contact us for education, security, and insurance against hackers.

Benefits of Cloud Computing from an IT Services Provider in Denver

Cloud computing has taken the whole IT industry by storm and partnering with our IT services team in Denver can help you take advantage of this groundbreaking technology. Of course, there is a lot of information regarding cloud computing, and it is essential to separate fiction and fact. However, cloud computing offers many benefits and can impact a business in a multitude of ways.

Here are just a few ways that cloud technology provided by our IT support company can positively impact your business:

Reduce Costs

One of the chief selling points for cloud technology is that it can reduce operational costs and you do not have to worry about the upkeep of additional hardware. The reduction of the hardware costs will be different for each business, but it is well worth the investment in our IT services. Instead of worrying about variable fees, the use of our IT support services will allow your business to pay a set monthly rate, which makes staying within budget much easier.

Improve Scalability

Another advantage of using our IT services in Denver is scalability. Businesses are always evolving, and cloud technology provides a perfect opportunity to scale up or down easily. For example, you can reduce the cloud storage space during slow times and can increase the storage space during greater times of need. This added flexibility enables cloud computing to meet the needs of your business during busy or slow months. Contacting our IT support team will enable you to scale cloud services to meet the individual needs of your business.

Better Collaboration

Cloud technology has made it simple and easy for employees to work together on projects from any location. Instead of being inside an office all day, employees can work from home or in another state as long as they have access to the internet. This improved collaboration between employees increases productivity and enables workers to access important files from nearly anywhere. Multiple workers can work together on the same project from different locations, and it is all possible due to cloud technology.

The use of our IT services in Denver offers many benefits, which includes gaining access to cloud technology. At Xlingshot, we help companies take advantage of the latest technology. Our IT professionals can help you discover the many benefits of cloud computing and how it can significantly impact the day-to-day operations of your business. Besides cloud computing, we also specialize in cybersecurity, password management, data recovery, and many more advanced IT solutions. If you wish to learn more about the benefits regarding cloud technology, feel free to contact us at any time.

Benefits of Smart and Reliable IT Services to Denver Businesses

Technology is always changing; that’s why companies need our IT services in Denver that provide the latest updates and protection in today’s complex business environment. Without a dedicated IT department, companies are at a severe disadvantage against its competitors. Here are a few ways that your company can benefit from our managed IT services:

Improve Existing Protocols

An IT department is designed to improve existing procedures and streamline day-to-day business activity. Depending on your needs, we will gather data and statistical information that will ultimately help businesses become more organized and efficient. Over time, your business will become much more profitable with the assistance of the latest technology.

Data Protection & Recovery

Data protection has never been more important, as businesses increasingly store data onto computers and servers. As you may know, this critical data can be lost in a multitude of ways, either through a technical issue, human error or even a natural disaster. You need the assistance of our IT services team in Denver that specializes in keeping data safe and secure through frequent data backups. With the latest protection, rest assured that your data will be quickly recovered.

Latest Software Updates

The IT world rapidly changes at a fast pace and computer software can become quickly outdated in a short amount of time. Fortunately, our managed services will routinely provide software updates that will help your business remain safe and productive. For example, a patch will be quickly released to resolve any security issues that have been discovered. With the newest updates, you will gain a competitive advantage against rival companies that do not have access to a full-time IT department.

Lower Costs & Increased Production

By outsourcing IT services, you can dramatically reduce business costs while improving employee production. Hiring new employees that specialize in the IT field can be time consuming and expensive. With a managed IT department, you will have a fixed monthly cost and will not worry about providing vacation days or benefits to even more employees. With these fewer expenses, you can focus more resources on improving your business and becoming more productive.

Increase Security

The Internet is continually filled with viruses and malware that can wreak havoc on companies of any size. As a managed IT firm, we have the experience to monitor for any threats and prevent security breaches. Unlike an IT technician that works from 8 to 5, our around the clock monitoring system can detect any suspicious activity before it becomes a major security issue. With our security professionals, you can solely focus on work with the peace of mind of being well protected.

In today’s competitive business climate, you need a smart and reliable IT services provider in Denver that can help your business succeed. At Xlingshot, we understand your business needs. Whether you need increased security, production, or the most recent updates, our computer experts specialize in helping companies harness the power of the latest technologies. Don’t wait any longer— let us help your business grow with the expertise of a managed service provider. Contact us today!

Creating Safe Company Passwords with Our IT Services in Denver

It’s more important now than ever to keep your company data protected, and a big part of that is keeping your data behind strong passwords. Hackers are using increasingly sophisticated methods to decipher passwords, so it’s important that all your employees use passwords that are complex enough to keep your data safe. Our IT services team in Denver can help keep your company protected from cyber criminals with the best password protection.

Here are some tips you can use right now to start making your passwords safer:

Keep Your Passwords Completely Secure

Your passwords should never leave the company, but ideally, each password should only be known to the person using it. You never know when someone could divulge your password and put your company at risk, even if it’s by accident. Don’t keep your passwords stored anywhere someone else could find them and change passwords as soon as an employee leaves the company to keep things completely secure. This also applies to your phone, laptop, and other portable devices— someone can always be looking over your shoulder, so it’s important to be aware.

Make Passwords Long and Varied

The longer a password is, the harder it is for others to guess. Encourage your employees to base their passwords on personal information that others would have a very difficult time guessing. It’s also helpful to use both capital and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols. Our IT services experts in Denver can set up software that will require your employees to create complex passwords when they create their accounts. It’s also helpful to not use common words or phrases that can be looked up in a dictionary.

Use Multi-Factor Authentication for Secure Devices

For devices that contain highly sensitive information, it may be best to use a multi-factor authentication program. This is when you have to pass two steps to enter the program – often, you’ll enter a password and then be sent a code via text message or email, which you will enter into the software again. This authentication makes it more difficult for hackers and cybercriminals to gain access to your company’s data, and it’s becoming an increasingly common practice among large websites and software companies.

At Xlingshot, our IT services team in Denver can help you manage your company’s passwords and protect your data from cybercriminals. Contact us today to find out what we can do to help your company.