You Need Two-Factor Authentication from Your Managed IT Services Partner in Denver

Security should be a top priority for your managed IT services partner in Denver, as cyber-attacks have increased in recent years. Using two-factor authentication is one way to make it harder for hackers to penetrate your network. After people enter their password to sign on, they need to answer a personalized question that strangers have no way of knowing. Here are some reasons you should use at least a two-factor system to strengthen your security:

Why Two-Factor Authentication Works

Hackers rarely work as hard as people might imagine. Most hackers use software to gain access with brute force. What the hacker is hoping for is to find easy-to-breach accounts. Since it’s easier to hack an account with one-factor authentication, the hacker is likely to give up on trying to breach an account with multi-factor authentication.

If your managed IT services partner in Denver implements two-factor authentication, it is adding a second security layer. This layer is designed to re-confirm your identity. It is particularly useful if you’ve already followed other security measures such as choosing a difficult password. The more you can make it a hassle for hackers to learn your password or additional authentication steps, the less likely your system will be breached.

Overlooked Security Factors

One of the most overlooked security factors is when employees don’t take security seriously. They may even let other co-workers know their passwords. The weakest employee decisions, however, are when they choose simple common passwords. Often, words like “password” are the first words tested by hackers, knowing many employees use defaults as passwords. Another problem is 65% of employees use the same password on multiple accounts.

Social media has helped hackers in the sense it has given them valuable information that might answer authentication questions. Common questions might ask about your grade school, your first concert or the name of your first pet. This information is often on an individual’s social media profile. Mostly, hackers need to have a close personal relationship with you to have access to the most important authentication data.

Deeper Levels of Authentication

Authentication factors can be described in three categories. The main category involves something you know, such as a password or PIN number. Another category of authentication may involve something you own, such as a SIM or ID card. The third category includes your own characteristics, such as face or voice recognition. This third category can be costly and is not as prevalent as the first two. Additional authentication categories relate to time and location.

Most employees are well-protected if they use multi-layer authentication. Businesses that should absolutely use this more advanced security include online banks and stores, even those that use cloud storage accounts. Email and apps for communication services such as Skype and MailChimp should also be associated with at least two-factor authentication.

Conclusion

As a managed IT services provider in Denver we understand that two-factor authentication slows down cyber-attacks. If you realize you need stronger security, contact us here at Xlingshot to learn more. We offer a wide range of solutions designed to protect and enhance your business.

The Dangers of Ransomware and How Managed IT Services in Denver Can Help

Ransomware is one of the fastest growing cyber security problems that managed IT services companies in Denver deal with. In fact, it has grown from 4 million in 2015 to over 638 million in 2016. The majority of attacks happen when victims open infected emails or click on pop-ups, enabling malicious code to travel throughout the computer, which eventually locks down. A message is then displayed, which demands that the victims transfer money (typically a specific amount of bitcoin) to regain access to their computers. If the victim is an administrator with access to multiple computers, ransomware can lock out each computer, which may result in shutting down the whole company. The rise of “ransomware-as-a-service” (RaaS) has significantly contributed to the spread of ransomware, as it allows more cyber criminals access to this malicious form of software.

Here are a few more ways that RaaS has caused widespread havoc throughout the IT industry:

Accessibility

Ransomware-as-a-service is designed to be easily accessible for a wide variety of users, even those without programming skills or sophisticated equipment. Advanced criminals write the code for this malicious software, but they make it readily available for anyone to download and use. Sometimes they charge a small fee, while other times it is free. Nevertheless, the accessibility of ransomware has made it much easier for anyone to use, contributing to a dramatic increase in attacks.

Easily Spread

Besides being cheap and easy to download, ransomware can spread rapidly in only a short amount of time. Many corporations are turning to managed IT services companies in Denver –like us at Xlingshot– to combat against these cyberattacks. With RaaS allowing anyone access to ransomware, it is more readily available than many other forms of cyberattacks. Ransomware can be more lucrative than stealing someone’s identity, and there is a lower risk of being caught when payments are made through Bitcoin.

High Costs

Ransomware attacks can result in excessive costs in only a short amount of time. Many companies pay the ransom because they cannot afford to be shut down for an extended length of time. Large corporations have paid millions of dollars in ransom because they were unable to find the source of the attack. As long as companies pay these criminals, ransomware will continue to be one of the most popular cyberattacks.

As you can see, the use of ransomware-as-a-service has become a major concern. Companies that rely on our managed IT services in Denver can avoid becoming the next victim through the use of the latest security updates. At Xlingshot, we offer the latest security to help businesses avoid becoming the next victim of ransomware. Using the latest technology, our technicians specialize in helping businesses of all sizes assess their risk and protect themselves from cyberattacks. Contact us today and let us help guard your business from the ever-changing threats in today’s world.

Why Block Chain Matters to Managed IT Services in Denver

New technology is constantly reshaping managed IT services in Denver and blockchain in the financial industry has become an interesting example. Recently, many entrepreneurs have developed an understanding of the possibilities of this innovative technology for making secure transactions.

Here are details on how blockchain is useful for contracts, identity management, online investing and more:

How Blockchain Technology Works

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has helped increase the awareness of blockchain, which is a digital public ledger that documents transactions through multiple computers. Members can define their own blockchain network. The transactions grouped in blocks are distributed to members in chronological order, allowing members to analyze the history of entries and the transmitted data. This ledger operates without a central authority and is trusted by its users as a complete documentation of all transactions within the network. Each group of transactions represents a block and is protected by cryptography, which prevents destruction and forgery of digital documents.

Global Payments

Not only can blockchain wallets speed up transactions— they can also lower the cost by cutting middlemen out of the process. This solution particularly saves times and money when doing business with entities in another country. At the moment, cryptocurrency— in which Bitcoin can be traded for U.S. dollars and converted to digital tokens— is not regulated by governments. Even if it does face government oversight, it’s an efficient alternative to current digital transaction methods, since it’s more agile.

Share Trading

The future of share trading will most certainly involve blockchain. The technology will improve trade accuracy and speed up the settlement process. Trading cryptocurrencies will integrate with the financial services industry, as Bitcoin will be added to the Chicago Board Options Exchange in 2018. Blockchains have the potential to make share trading much more transparent. Every party involved in the transaction will get to validate it and there will be less need for brokers. This form of trading can be improved through scripting that automates transactions based on pre-determined conditions.

Smart Contracts

As a managed IT services provider in Denver, we can enhance your business with smart contracts, which are just beginning to surface more frequently in blockchains. Smart contracts can be used for automated executions of commercial transactions and agreements. Once again, the blockchain bypasses middlemen and serves as the enforcer to all contract parties. You have complete control as to who on the blockchain can access the contracts.

Online Identity

Registration has become a time-consuming process for online identity management. Blockchain allows users to choose the method for identifying themselves. They can also decide with whom the information is shared. Once you are registered on the blockchain, the information is stored and can be used without filling out new forms. It eliminates the need for time-consuming authentication processes for vendors on the same blockchain.

Customer Benefits

Loyalty and rewards programs can be easily facilitated by blockchain. Financial institutions will be able to use it for awarding points and developing performance management systems. They can also benefit from the constant communication with customers it can provide to let them know how much they are appreciated.

Conclusion

The next generation of managed IT services providers in Denver is already working on understanding the value of blockchain technology. Learn more from Xlingshot about how this emerging technology can improve the security and reliability of transaction processes for your financial organization.

Benefits of Thin/Zero Clients to Virtualization and the Need for Managed IT Services in Denver

Managed IT services providers in Denver consider virtualization to be a major part of the IT infrastructure that many businesses need to run their IT function on. However, virtualization takes many forms and you need to consider the available options to match your business’ IT environment. Generally, there are two main options: thin clients and zero clients. Both options provide you with a centralized way of running your IT infrastructure. There are various benefits of using thin and zero clients over virtual desktop computers.

As a business owner, you are going to cut down costs by choosing either thin clients or zero clients as your virtualization model. In addition, you are going to enjoy reduced power needs, simplified management of your IT infrastructure, enhanced network security, and greater efficiency. Whichever you choose, the main consideration should be the specifications of your IT environment to facilitate efficiency for the end users. While there are major differences between the two, their main benefits are relatively the same.

Benefits of Thin Clients to Virtualization

Technically, thin clients are slimmed-down workstations that connect to a server on a network to access hardware and software resources. They do not have software or hardware capability at the end-user level but rely on the server to handle data processing and storage. Thin clients are only a terminal to the server and act as virtual machines hence they are fully controlled from the data center. Remote users rely on the software applications and hardware resources allocated to the thin clients from the data center administrator. As a result, they come with:

  • Less licensing costs
  • Upfront software purchasing expenditure
  • Software and hardware update and maintenance needs
  • Centralized configuration of profiles for client groups
  • Limited risk of a security breach at the end-user terminals of your computer network

Overall, our managed IT services experts in Denver will lead you in optimizing the virtualization of your IT infrastructure to reap the benefits of deploying thin clients. You will realize that thin clients are not only cost-effective but also highly efficient since they give you a flexible IT infrastructure that runs without the administration of a specialist IT staff.

Benefits of Zero Clients to Virtualization

While zero clients share a host of benefits with thin clients, they are much easier to deploy in comparison. They allow users to access desktop sessions by entering their credentials and offer a high processing power which is built-in for great efficiency than a standard desktop. Zero clients have a fast boot up speed and require minimal maintenance since they rely on the server and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) protocols to run. Overall, zero clients are cost-effective since they allow you to share computer resources of a server with end-user devices without installing those resources on each device.

At Xlingshot, we offer full-fledged virtualization services to match your IT infrastructure needs and the functionality you wish to give your end users. We are proud to be the leading provider of managed IT services in Denver, and we are dedicated to giving businesses the exceptional IT solutions they deserve. Contact us today to learn how our virtualization services can empower the productivity of your business.

How Our Managed IT Services Team in Denver Can Give Your Business the Benefits of Network Monitoring

Can you say what is happening on your network right at this minute? If not, you might need the help of our managed IT services team in Denver so that you can make sure that your network is constantly looked after and monitored. You hate it when a customer calls and says the system is down. You know that systems downtime can cost your staff time, being diverted to other tasks, hindering productivity and producing unhappy customers. It’s now time to implement network monitoring for your business.

Benefits of Network Monitoring

Working with our managed IT services team in Denver can result in a network monitoring plan that will have many advantages for your company. When you are aware of what is happening to your network in real time, you are able to fix issues before they become a problem and before customers even notice. This means that you also have no need to bring in staff from other areas of the IT team to work on troubleshooting. They can be left to work on more critical parts of your business that will enable you to grow and succeed.

Additionally, it can also help when you need to justify equipment upgrades. It is far easier to know what extra equipment you need when you are absolutely certain how your current equipment is faring on a day-to-day basis. Network monitoring is also useful when it comes to the service level agreements that you have with your customers. You can constantly assess if you are running close to targets you have set and do something about it if you are struggling.

Security

Cybercrime is a worry for all businesses. But when you are monitoring your IT infrastructure, it is a great deal easier to notice when something is awry. When you are aware of the way your systems look normally, suspicious activity can be very obvious. You can easily spot when you have traffic levels that are way above or below the norm, and you will also be able to see if there are unfamiliar devices that have attached themselves to your network. It can be a lot quicker to react and potentially foil any unexpected attacks.

Network monitoring can greatly benefit your business. At Xlingshot, we are experienced in all types of network monitoring and can assess your systems and suggest a suitable package for you. Get in touch with our managed IT services team in Denver to secure and revolutionize your network and your business.

Your Business and Managed IT Services in Denver: How Systems Fit Together

Finding the right way to integrate many different IT platforms and systems is part of managed IT services in Denver. By taking the time to analyze the best way to piece all the different storage solutions, software and hardware together, your business is set up for the future.

Why Does this Need to Be So Complicated?

The whole world of IT seems a little convoluted if you are not well versed in all the small details of the industry. From the outside, it may appear that businesses should just pick one solution and go with it. However, in actual practice, most single solutions don’t fit every aspect of your business well. Cloud computing is great in some scenarios, but it doesn’t mesh well with some applications. To deal with this, some on-premise data storage solutions must be implemented. Even with a simple example like this, it is easy to see how system designs can easily get out of hand.

Users must also realize that many applications have their own cloud platforms. Microsoft Office has Office 365, HubSpot has its cloud system, and many other applications also have other cloud services. These different clouds all work well with the right application, but trying to make all of them work together is where our managed IT services in Denver really help out companies.

Embracing the Multi-Cloud

Companies need to take a holistic view when they begin designing their computing architecture. Many different options and solutions are available, and each business has its own challenges and requirements. Business owners set themselves up for success by realizing there isn’t one perfect option out there. Instead, the best solution is going to be a combination of different services and platforms that work together in a multi-cloud situation. With the right integration, these systems can meet all of your company’s requirements.

Looking to the Future

Your company is designing systems for today. You need to have the right systems in place to get your business off of the ground. When you start by thinking about how systems work together, you find the best solution for today. You also get the added benefit of growing with new technology. Your company avoids being trapped in a silo that has no future growth potential. By recognizing a multifaceted solution, you give your IT solutions many different opportunities to expand and make the most of the direction the technology sector continues along. On the other hand, if your company chooses a single cloud solution, you are at risk of buying into a dying application and undertaking a complete overhaul five years down the road.

As cloud computing and application integration continues, your business needs to be prepared to have your systems keep up. Our managed IT services in Denver gives your company the industry knowledge you need to make informed decisions today. At Xlingshot, we help your business find the right computer systems. Contact us today to learn more.

Managed IT Services in Denver: Understanding Cloud Computing

With the rise of the cloud, more and more business owners are considering outsourcing their IT needs to our reliable managed IT services experts in Denver. If you’re still not familiar with the cloud and the benefits it can bring to your business, this article is for you.

Who Needs Cloud Computing Services?

Some business owners assume that cloud computing is only reserved for large companies. On the contrary, cloud computing is designed for businesses of all sizes. This means that small, medium and large businesses need to consider investing in cloud computing services. Granted, large companies have the resources needed to build their own in-house data centers. They can hire top-notch IT professionals to man their systems and, in case of an outage, these experts can easily restore the system. However, this is not advisable. Backing up your data in-house can be detrimental, especially if an attack happens and your whole company is compromised. That is why large companies are also encouraged to consider cloud computing services that we offered at Xlingshot, your trusted managed IT services provider in Denver.

Small and medium companies may not have the deep pockets needed to finance the building of a data center— this is where we comes in. As a managed services provider, we will relieve you of the stress and pressure of having to back up your own data. We will create a data backup system on the servers or in the cloud and use these to restore your data in case of any attack or loss of data in your firm.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has many benefits, including:

Fresh software

Cloud computing allows firms to receive software updates and patches as soon as they are released. This is important because it can potentially increase the productivity of your employees by ensuring that they get access to tools as soon as they have been released.

Flexible costs

The cost for cloud computing can vary depending on the needs of your firm. For example, you can ask for more capacity during your peak times or seasons and then de-provision the capacity when you no longer need it. This will enable you to vary the cost you incur for server and infrastructure.

Ability to do more with less

You will realize that cloud computing will negate the need of having an in-house data center. This will, in turn, reduce the number of servers, number of staff, and the software cost you incur without negatively impacting on the efficiency and capabilities of your IT.

Improved mobility

Mobility means that you and your staff can access applications and data from the cloud no matter where they are in the world. This can easily facilitate telecommuting, allowing your employees to work from home via computers, tablets, or smartphones. If you have your employees visiting customers or working out in the field, then they can easily access applications and data from the cloud.

To fully understand the benefits of the cloud, you can contact us at Xlingshot. Our managed IT services team in Denver is always ready to help businesses with their IT-related needs.

Reasons Why You Need Data Backup from a Managed IT Services Provider in Denver

Do you have a provider of managed IT services in Denver doing your data backups? If not, you might want to think about getting that setup from us.

Your data is the lifeline of your business. That data contains all of your customers’ names and information. It contains your full inventory of stock. It contains the names and personal information of your employees. You may have proprietary information somewhere in that data. What would happen to your business if it wasn’t there anymore?

Here are five reasons why you should consider having data backups for your business:

Recovery

Have you ever deleted a file accidentally? That happens to a lot of people. Most of the time, a quick search on the PC’s recycle bin recovers the file. But what if it wasn’t there? If you have incremental backups being taken of your systems, a copy of that file will be available. This type of simple recovery shows why it is so important for daily activities.

Archives

Do you work in an industry where you have to keep data for an extended period of time? It might be for tax purposes or due to various regulations. You might have this type of data stored on a backup disk, hidden in a file cabinet. That is not the best idea. You want to have more than one copy of this kind of data, with at least one copy stored off-site. All it would take is a natural disaster to wipe out your single copy.

Competitive Advantage

What happens if a major natural disaster hits your area? In certain industries, the first business to bounce back will have a major competitive advantage. You don’t want to be the business struggling to get the doors back open. Backups mean you can restore your data quickly and gain that competitive edge.

Keeping the Doors Open

Over 40% of businesses that go through a major data loss never open their doors again, and that kind of loss can come from anywhere. An email virus can wipe out a database. A ransomware attack can compromise your data. Even a simple human error can put your business in jeopardy. Backups done by our managed IT services team in Denver will allow your business to recover quickly and get those doors back open, even if you have lost some competitive advantage.

Preventing Duplicate Work

Losing a day’s worth of data would set your company back a bit, but you would likely recover. A few days of catch-up and all would be well. But what happens if you lost most of your data? Could you recreate it? Could you keep the doors open while you do it? Backups will help prevent this kind of duplicate work or the need to recreate a database.

Is your data being backed up like it should be? In an ideal world, your data would be backed up automatically throughout the day. It would also be backed up to an off-site location for maximum protection. If your current IT infrastructure does not support this kind of backup scheme, it is time to bring in our managed IT services in Denver. At Xlingshot, we can help you get those backups going. Contact us today to learn more.

Should You or Should You Not Hire a Managed IT Services Expert in Denver?

Computers play a critical role in today’s business environment. There are chances that your computer might develop a problem that needs fixing. When that happens, you can choose to either repair the computer yourself or hire our managed IT services expert in Denver to do the work for you. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider hiring us to do the repair:

Get It Done Well the First Time

Hiring an IT professional will save you the trouble of having to guess what the problem is. Experts have a mastery of most computer problems— they often use a variety of diagnostic tools to pinpoint the exact problem with damaged machines and offer solutions that are tailored to address the problem. They can be trusted to handle any PC-related problems.

Avoid Damaging Your Computer Further

Trying to repair your damaged computer on your own can cause more harm than good. Hiring our IT support team will prevent this and ensure that the root cause of the problem is addressed without damaging the computer further.

Avoid Inflicting Injury to Yourself

Some computer repair works might require that you inspect the hardware components of your computer to check what the problem might be. For example, if you have a huge computer server which is housed in its own room and you discover that there might be some problem with it, you are advised against trying to fix it yourself. Do yourself a favor and contact our company that provides managed IT services in Denver to ensure that you don’t harm yourself or those working in your firm.

Protection from Data Loss

Believe it or not, trying to repair your computer system by yourself can lead to loss of critical business data. Oftentimes, people rush to repair what seems to be a small problem without first backing up their data. This can potentially cause you permanent data loss, bringing your operations to a standstill. Conversely, assigning the repair work to a professional will save and protect your data. Experts in the field understand the importance of backing up all data before commencing with the repair work. Don’t risk your data; let the expert handle the repair work.

Maintenance Tips

Anytime you hire a professional to repair your computer, you stand to benefit from free expert maintenance tips which will help you and your staff to avoid a recurrence of the problem. For example, if the problem was caused by a virus infection, our experts will advise you on the best antivirus software you can use to secure your computer system, as well as remind you to keep all your software programs updated and answer any questions you might be having.

Clearly, it is advisable to hire our IT expert to repair your computer than do it all by yourself. If your computer develops any problem, big or small, we at Xlingshot are here to help. Our managed IT services experts in Denver will attend to your computer problems and restore your systems in no time. Contact us today to learn more.

Managed IT Services in Denver Help White Hats Ward Off Black Hat Predators

Get in the Offense

Managed IT services in Denver provided by our IT experts can enhance defenses. When it comes to computational technology, like prey in the animal kingdom, you need to be able to fight off hacking predators. There are black hats and white hats. Predators and prey. Here’s the thing: in the animal kingdom, what prey is best suited to ward off attackers? Certain frogs are poisonous. Certain sheep, buffalo, and other bovine creatures have horns. The rhino’s horn is well-known worldwide. Then you’ve got your badgers and your bears. Now, these latter animals are omnivores. Bears are basically at the top of the food-chain— think of them as multinational billion dollar companies. Meanwhile, badgers are about the size of a cat or a small dog, but they will ruin your day. They aren’t very predatory; they eat berries and roots— though they’ll scavenge, eat rodents, and swallow grubs. It’s easy to see how a badger could be prey for a bear. But a badger can fight off a bear— or even lions! A deer? Even with the horns, not so likely.

With your business, in ideal circumstances, you’re going to be a white hat in black hat waters. Now, you can be a deer or a badger. You can use swift, nimble programs designed to deftly evade capture and leap from the frying pan into the fire. Or you can be like a badger and be left alone by hackers because they know if they mess with you, they might get their nose bitten off, and oh isn’t that a nice gazelle over there? Managed IT services in Denver which utilize offensive techniques are like martial artists who learn the craft of fighting for peace. Know your enemy so you can defend operations.

The next question is: how do you optimize your business such that it can offensively defend itself against hack attacks and other predatory cybercrime? Several tips spring to mind:

  • Take an inventory of hardware – determine what is and isn’t authorized
  • Do the same inventory exercise with software
  • Secure configurations (get outside the default)
  • Decrease vulnerabilities – make the target smaller

Software and Hardware Inventory

You’ve got to take stock of the hardware and software used throughout your business. Some employees are going to download third-party software to convert files, or even to pass the time when things are slow. Often, these contain hidden viral codes that can be used to compromise your system. So, vet software, and perhaps, provide employees with a checklist of software and hardware solutions which are approved beforehand. Be sure to continuously monitor both software and hardware usage to ensure that new items don’t compromise operations.

Secure Configurations

You’ve got to get out of the default modes on software. They’ll come with default passwords and hackers can break into systems through such wide-open vulnerabilities like a heated knife through melting butter.

Vulnerability Decrease

A smaller target is harder for a marksman to hit. So constantly probe for vulnerabilities and eradicate them as you find them.

Find Vetted Assistance

IT services in Denver through Xlingshot can help you secure configurations, properly record software (as well as hardware), and ultimately decrease your vulnerability as a cybercrime target. Contact us for solutions that will safeguard your systems.