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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.

IT Support in Denver Helps You Implement a Successful Blockchain Solution

What Are Blockchains?

IT support in Denver has acquired new infrastructural tech service solutions, especially in the last several years. As cloud computing has fundamentally rewritten the rules of MSP/client relations while simultaneously bringing an abundance of innovations to the market, new infrastructural services are now available which can substantially reduce operational cost. Now, the “substantial” part of that statement comes in aggregate.

Applying IoT here can streamline production, distribution, design, and marketing. Providing mobile cloud support there can help you curtail the cost of office space rental. Hypothetically, imagine 10 cloud-based applications, each removing 3% of expense from your business. By the time you’ve got all 10 applications running, you’ve saved 30% on your annual operational costs. If those costs were in the $10 million range, that means you saved around $3.3 million— which is no small sum.

One innovation like this which can shave percentage points off your average costs is called a blockchain. Basically, a blockchain is a ledger that cannot be altered and acts as a transaction repository for your entire company. Transactions are entered into the digital ledger, combined in a block, and then linked to other transactions so that you’ve got a cohesive, easily accessible “ledger” with everything in essentially one spot.

Hanging up the Telephone

Here’s why a blockchain is valuable: have you ever played the “telephone” game? This is where a dozen or so folks sit in a circle, one person whispers in his neighbor’s ear, “the cheese is in the Hamptons,” and then she whispers what she heard in her neighbor’s ear which, for this scenario, happens to be: “the sleaze is into napkins,” and by the time the “telephone” has relayed the message back to the originator, it has transformed to: “Wheezy little penguins.”

It’s funny when you play the telephone game, but you shouldn’t be seeing information transmission distortion like that when it comes to transactions— that can be bad for your entire business, and even the most secure methods will experience such errors using older methods of transaction transmission. There are a number of reasons why:

  • Deliberate tampering
  • Errors in transmission
  • Outright fraud
  • Simple human error

When every “node” in the “network” of your extended business has an individual who keeps his or her own ledger after a transaction, there’s the propensity they will alter that ledger, that they will construct it to tell the story they want, or that they’ll enter information into it which isn’t accurate. The ledger can always be doctored later should someone discover as much. IT support in Denver which delivers blockchain solutions will curtail this by making it so that information is only shared on a need-to-know basis and alterations can’t be made, meaning deliberate tampering and outright fraud can be prevented. With everything consolidated, transmission errors and human error are all reduced. Now, say each of those items— tampering, transmission, fraud, and human error— each caused a 1% operational loss annually. That’s 4% total or $40k out of $1 million, and that kind of savings totally covers the cost of adopting something like a block-chain.

Securing Business

IT support in Denver from Xlingshot can help you install and maintain block-chain solutions. Contact us to secure your transactions.

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.

Conclusion

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!

Benefits of Affordable Cloud Services from an IT Support Firm in Denver

The cloud infrastructure has been hailed as an efficient way of supporting businesses of all sizes. It has also been argued that you stand to enjoy efficiency and low cost of doing business if you opt to invest in the cloud. However, when you talk to an IT support provider in Denver about cloud services, you will be cautioned that the small initial cost can easily spiral into substantial cost if caution is not duly adhered to. Here are some tips you can adopt to ensure that the cost of the cloud infrastructure is kept low:

Avoid Standalones

Standalones make the cloud service very expensive. Before hiring an IT support in Denver that offer cloud services, make sure that you settle for one that has all the important components that work together. Such a system is relatively cheaper than a cloud service that is operated on a standalone. Additionally, make sure that you choose an MSP of good standing; one that has a track record of managing cloud services.

Prioritize Experience

If you are planning to integrate or migrate your IT systems to the cloud, make sure that you assign this important task to an MSP that has the experience and expertise. This is important because it will be quicker and cheaper, and it will ensure that you get value for the money you invested in the system.

Backups Are Crucial

The cloud is instrumental as a backup storage system. Do not push every data to the cloud. Make sure that you only back up data that is important to you and to your firm. Timely updates are important to ensure that the backup systems are up-to-date. Maintaining up-to-date data is crucial because in case you lose your physical data, you can easily retrieve the data and have your critical functions running within the shortest time possible.

Manage Users

Do not allow your system to have so many users. Most of the service providers allow clients to create multiple user accounts. However, there is a catch: these MSPs charge their services according to the number of users. Make sure that you disable or remove user accounts for all employees who have seized working for you.

Go For A Pay-As-You-Go Service

Settle for a managed service provider that offers pay-as-you-go licenses. This will ensure that you are only charged for the resources and storage space that you have used. This is important because it means that you can modify or vary your cost based on the amount of space and resources you will need both during peak and off-peak seasons.

As a business owner, one of your goals should be to keep your operational costs as low as possible. At Xlingshot, we are skilled IT support firm in Denver. We have a track record of offering managed services and IT support for businesses of all sizes. Contact us and let us help you maintain the cost of your cloud services as low as possible.

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.

Your IT Support Provider in Denver Should Cover Ransomware Attacks

There is no better time than the modern IT world for business owners to understand how to protect their data from cyberattacks, especially ransomware. While a ransomware may lead you to react hastily, it is always a good practice to implement best practices in IT security to overcome such an attack. First, ransomware attacks take the form of screen-locking malware or encrypting viruses. Thus, such an attack will typically lock you out from your computer network resources. Therefore, it is critical for you to implement regular data backup from our IT support experts in Denver. Backing up your data regularly will provide you with a fallback plan in case of a ransomware attack.

Steps to Recover from Ransomware Attacks

In most cases, ransomware attacks encrypt malware which holds your computer network resources “hostage.” While you may not have the in-house expertise to recover your computer network from such a technical nightmare, our reliable team of IT support in Denver will be able to provide you with backup copies of your lost files.

However, that is not all. You should also have your computer networks disconnected from the Internet and all external devices. This will curb the ransomware from spreading to other parts of your computer network and cloud-based services. Once you have done this, the next step is to deploy anti-malware software tools to clean the ransomware from the infected workstations in your computer network. With our credible IT support professionals in our company, it is possible that we’ll conduct the “cleaning” for you. Although deleting the ransomware from your computer network will not automatically restore your files, you will be able to identify the particular type of ransomware that you are dealing with. Consequently, you will have an in-depth understanding of the level of cyber security measures to deploy to protect your computer network from such attacks.

Do Not Pay the Ransom

While you might be stressed and wish that you could make the ransomware attack go away, paying the ransom will not resolve it. Do not fall for the temptation to pay the attackers since the real target is not your money, but to sabotage your business. Most cyberattacks disguised as ransomware do not resolve after you pay the ransom money. Therefore, it is a good idea to ignore the ransom demands and focus on restoring the integrity of your computer network. You may have multiple end points of your computer network affected but cleaning the ransomware from the infected device is achievable with the expertise of a credible IT support provider. Once your computer network is free from the ransomware, you can restore your files from your backup files.

At Xlingshot, we provide reliable IT support solutions in Denver which include cloud-based backups to protect your business from cyberattacks. Contact us today to learn more.

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.

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.

Benefits of Thin Client Computing and IT Support in Denver

The idea of thin client computing is becoming a popular choice for businesses by IT support firms in Denver, especially because it is a secure, innovative, and reliable way to streamline operations. Simply put, a thin client is a computer that runs without a hard drive and consequently depends on a server. Thin client performance has improved exponentially over the years that end users cannot tell the difference between a regular desktop computer and a thin client.

As a business owner, you should consider utilizing thin client computing because of its many benefits, including:

Data Security

Thin client computing provides superior data security. Since data is stored on the server and not on individual computers, you don’t have to worry about your employees being careless with sensitive data. Employees only have access to the data via a network connection. This is especially useful in the case of a lost or stolen computer. Once the computer is unplugged from your network, absolutely no data is in it. Network administrators can restrict data access from a single point and they can implement data access levels for employees, meaning lower access level employees cannot access high-level sensitive data. In addition, your data is less susceptible to viruses and malware. Antivirus protection and scanning only need to operate on the server.

Remote Access

Thin client computing is the solution of many IT support companies in Denver to the increasing demand for mobility by local businesses. Many businesses are looking to give their employees more flexibility without compromising the integrity of their organization. Employees are able to work offsite, travel for business trips, or work from home. Whatever the scenario is, employees are able to have access to data, documents, contacts, and more, regardless of their location.

Reduced Operational Costs

Implementing thin client computing produces an environment of low operational costs. This is because desktops run with minimal configuration and are easy to setup, thus saving time and money. Applications are installed on the server instead of on each individual desktop— this eliminates application compatibility issues at the desktop level and reduces the cost of multiple application licenses. In addition, extensive maintenance is only required on the server. All applications updates and patches are done at the server end and then deployed to the desktop computers.

Increase Computer Shelf Life

Thin client computing reduces the cost of upgrading your employees’ computer every couple of years. You can stretch the shelf life of current desktop computers because processing occurs on the server.

Energy Efficient

Your business can go green. A thin client computer consumes only half of the power that’s used up by a regular desktop computer. Because thin clients have no hard drive, they do not heat up and need little to no air-conditioning. The air-conditioning is only required where the server is located.

Whether you are looking to consult on potentially implementing thin client computing into your business or you are ready to reduce cost and increase data security, we at Xlingshot can help. Our staff is composed of knowledgeable and experienced IT specialists who provide IT support for Denver businesses. Our goal is to evaluate, consolidate, and streamline your business operation to increase productivity, improve data security, and reduce operational cost. Contact us today for more information.

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.