The internet can be a hazardous place and almost every business requires some sort of internet connectivity, whether for payment processing, email, web browsing, etc. As a result, your computers and servers can be vulnerable to intrusions and attacks unless your local network is well protected. Endpoint security software, also known as antivirus or antimalware software, provides one layer of protection, but for a business environment a hardware firewall is a necessary component. Hardware firewalls are physical devices that run a suite of security services to inspect and analyze all data and connections leaving and coming into your network. They can detect a wide range of threats and block them to keep the bad actors out and your users and systems safe while allowing trusted traffic and connections through to keep your business moving.
Everyone’s situation is different and there are a wide range of considerations when deciding to keep your line of business applications running locally on your own on-premises servers or move to the cloud. Moving from on-premises Exchange email servers to Microsoft 365 Exchange Online is typically an easy decision as cloud-based Microsoft 365 email means less server hardware refresh costs and better email uptime. Depending on what other applications or functions you move to the cloud is often a decision based on a variety of factors: how much will it cost per month to have it hosted in the cloud, is there a comparable cloud-based alternative or version of what I currently run on my on-premises server, will access to the system be improved by moving to the cloud, etc. These are all factors AccuNet can discuss with you to find the best solution that fits your business’s operations.
AccuNet provides both types of solutions for our clients, and whether you need a traditional backup/disaster recovery solution or a business continuity solution may depend on what you are backing up and how well your operations tolerate downtime. With a traditional backup/disaster recovery solution your critical systems – servers and potentially select workstations and laptops – are backed up at least daily to a local location and those backups are replicated to an offsite cloud location. This provides you with a production copy of your data, a local backup copy for rapid recovery, and an offsite backup copy in the event that something catastrophic happens to both your production environment and your local backups. The downtime involved in restoring from either a local or cloud backup varies depending on the extent of the original issue, for example, restoring corrupted data on a server will take less time than a server with defective hardware where you may be down while replacement parts are sourced. A business continuity solution provides all of the same features of a traditional backup/disaster recovery solution, but also allows you to spin up your most recent restore point on a local dedicated backup appliance, meaning that you can potentially be back up and running within 15 minutes of an issue, even if your production servers remain down for an extended period of time.
Endpoint security software, more commonly known as antivirus or antimalware software, is a second line of defense in a properly protected business network with a hardware firewall protecting at the edge of the network – where all your devices connect to the internet. Endpoint security software monitors for and detects threats differently than the security services on a hardware firewall and may detect threats that slip by a firewall. Additionally, if an infected device is physically introduced to a network, thereby bypassing the firewall, endpoint security software ensures that individual devices on that network are still protected.
Typically, an IT managed service provider will have a NOC that is staffed during normal business hours. The role of the NOC is to monitor and manage the endpoints on a client’s network and address network-related issues such as connectivity and functionality. There may be some emphasis on security, but the primary focus is on network functionality to keep a business running. AccuNet goes two steps further in integrating hardware firewall and endpoint security software monitoring and management into our NOC operations to improve our security awareness for our clients. Additionally, we have a 24/7 monitored SOC that is entirely focused on security. All the major components of your network, from individual servers and computers to your endpoint security software, firewalls, and Microsoft 365 tenants provide a massive quantity of logging data every day – much more than can be effectively analyzed manually. The SOC reviews all of this log data and generates alerts for high priority issues that demand immediate attention. Impacted endpoints, such as a server or individual computer, can be isolated from the rest of the network to prevent a threat like ransomware or other malware from spreading through your network and bringing your entire operation to a halt.
Email phishing campaigns and fraudulent tactics of all flavors have never been more prevalent, and you cannot rely on your employees to identify every one, particularly as the tactics of bad actors deploying email-based fraud campaigns are increasingly sophisticated and difficult to detect. Email security filtering adds a host of powerful tools to inspect email messages and identify a variety of suspicious characteristics to block or flag spam, phish, and other malicious emails before they get to your users’ mailboxes. Phishing campaigns are often the precursors to ransomware attacks and other fraudulent activities that can bring your operations to a halt or cost your organization thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Proactively heading off this malicious email communication keeps things running smoothly and protects you and your staff.
When you outsource IT, you are often hiring a firm or an individual to do IT-related work, often in a contract or project-based situation. They will do the work and make the contracted improvements or changes to your business and may provide some advice and recommendations related to the work they are doing. Managed IT services are an ongoing process with AccuNet working with your business to plan out how to properly utilize IT, technology, and security solutions to provide ongoing improvements to your business. We’re here for the long haul and want to be involved in every aspect of your business that is touched by technology, which in today’s environment is most everything. Your success is our success and we want our relationship with you and your company to be less about fixing servers and computers when they break and more about advocating and recommending IT solutions to drive your profitability and efficiency to keep you happy and secure so you can focus on the aspects of your business you are most passionate about.
Running a business of any size is a complex undertaking and IT is just one component of your operations. The products and services your company provides are a reflection of your passion and expertise and you surround yourself with people who can help you bring that vision to life. Often IT, technology, and security considerations take a back seat to delivering your products and services because they aren’t areas in which your team is particularly passionate or knowledgeable about. Adding AccuNet and our managed IT services to your business operations adds a team of passionate and expert IT professionals who have your business’s success in mind with every recommendation around technology and security we make. We’ll help IT work for you, protecting your business and making you more efficient so you can focus on your deliverables while we focus on IT and security.
We have two types of clients: fully managed clients who rely on us daily for all their IT-related needs and unmanaged clients who work with us when they have occasional IT issues, IT issues that fall outside their internal resources’ expertise, or when they have projects that require additional skillsets or more IT staff to complete in a timely manner. Fully managed clients are on flat-rate monthly Managed Service Plan (MSP) Agreements that provide unlimited on-site and remote IT support, network operations center (NOC) monitoring and management, 24/7 security operations center (SOC) monitoring, and regular business planning discussions to ensure IT is supporting your business goals and is not just another cost center. We’re different that most IT managed service providers in that we’re just as comfortable being your entire IT department as we are with working in conjunction with your existing IT department, and for our unmanaged clients we’re happy to provide whatever level of support and assistance they need as often or as infrequently as they need it.
If you’re reading this right now, chances are you went looking for us because IT just isn’t your thing. We completely understand – you started your business because it is something you are passionate about and something you are good at. We started AccuNet because IT is something we’re passionate about and something we’re good at. Schedule your free IT and Security Checkup with us and we can have a visit and a discussion to determine if our managed IT services offerings are a good fit for your organization. Until we have that discussion, we don’t know for sure what would be best for you, but unless you have your own in-house IT department, chances are you need what we can provide.
We take a holistic approach to managed IT services because we understand that everything works together, and you need a solution for all of it. We directly provide services and solutions for firewalls, servers, email, endpoint security, backup/disaster recovery and business continuity, NOC (network operations center), and SOC (security operations center). We provide on-site and remote support, monitoring and management of your endpoints, and automate much of the time-consuming maintenance tasks to ensure everything is up to date and secure.
In our holistic view of IT, we also acknowledge that we have made a conscious choice to be experts in specific areas rather than attempting to try and do everything in a lukewarm fashion. However, our model involves us in all aspects of your business, including those where we don’t necessarily offer services or a solution in-house. For those situations we maintain strategic business partners that we can bring in to help with that. You’ve chosen to trust AccuNet, and we strive to keep that trust by only maintaining partnerships with companies who we know well and trust the quality of their products and services. These partners provide AccuNet clients with VoIP phone systems, low voltage cabling, security and access control systems, HIPAA/PCI compliance auditing, digital signage, and many other solutions. Chances are, if you have a need, we have a partner for it.