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Trusted Saskatoon IT Pro’s at Burnt Orange Solutions Owner Shares His Top 2020 IT Recommendations

Gareth McKee and his Trusted Saskatoon IT team at Burnt Orange, promise to have a one-hour response time for all your IT support needs. Honesty and respect are important to them. They pride themselves on ensuring their clients understand IT concerns by providing a straightforward and reliable solution with exceptional service.  Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts and in their latest Saskatoon IT tip Gareth shares his Top 4 IT tips for 2020. 

BURNT ORANGE SOLUTIONS TOP 4 IT RECOMMENDATIONS IN 2020



Gareth has worked in the IT and Telecoms industry in a variety of guises since 1993. Initially in the UK military Gareth had to master a variety of technologies from Morse Code to Computer and Network Security. Gareth has spoken at national level at IT conferences and is well known in the industry throughout North America and the UK. He has a passion for customer service and IT security and compliance. 

#1 Microsoft Office 365/MS Teams

Microsoft Office 365 allows you to download apps like Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint to your computer or mobile device. You can also use this suite of tools completely online where you can manage, share, store, and edit documents in folders, giving access to all of your team.

Aside from the more specific apps, Microsoft Teams also allows you to communicate with your teammates via video calls, email, and through an internal discussion platform where your colleagues can create posts or ask questions.

 

 #2 Managed IT Security

Now, thanks to the Covid 19 Pandemic of 2020, most of us are all working from home, the need for a thorough look at your IT security is a must. The best way for any business to secure their computers, and more importantly their valuable business data, is to hand this job task over to a professional IT security firm.

The specially trained and tooled security firms use state of the art hard and software to ensure the client’s company is as safe as can be, this is whether the data is all in an office and being accessed from other offices, homes, or even Mars. This is not as expensive as it sounds and should be number 1 on any business owners list of things to do.


#3 Access To Business Data

There are many ways in which your staff can access your business data, keeping your business running, from home safely.

  1. Virtual Private Network (VPN) – A VPN allows you to logically lay a network cable from your computer at home directly into the network at the office. The VPN traffic should be encrypted to ensure it is transmitted from your office to home securely.
  2. File Sharing Software – DropBox or OneDrive can be used to easily share your data around your staff. Two thoughts on these solutions: 1. Do not use these as a backup, they are not a backup solution; 2. Your staff will now have your business data at home on their PCs, how do you plan to remove this once you are back in the office or a staff member leaves the business?
  3. Remote Data Access – This style of access data at the office is newer than the 2 options above and is set to be a disrupter in this area. Using zero trust as a starting point of access to your data from any device, never actually moving the data offsite and yet still providing access to all your data. It is difficult to describe how this works in a short article, so I found this video from FileFlex which explains beautifully. 

Back up

#4 Backup For Everyone

With more staff now working from home, whether they are on a work laptop or their home computer, the need for a managed backup is paramount. As data gets slowly moved away from your central office server it would be beneficial if all your home computers backed up to a central point where it can be easily recovered.


And, while I am talking backup, a backup that is not tested is not a backup. You should test recover some of your data at least once per month, nothing sets of a panic like a backup which is thought to have worked, but in fact fails when the day comes that you need to recover. – Thanks Gareth

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Top IT Security Tips From Burnt Orange Solutions your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts

The Trusted team at Burnt Orange Solutions are located in the Saskatoon computers Category.

Honesty and respect are important factors in daily communication at Burnt Orange. Gareth and the team at Burnt Orange Solutions are YOUR Saskatoon IT stress solution. Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts. In their latest Saskatoon IT Tip, they share top tips to ensure IT security at your Saskatoon business! 


Top IT Security Tips 


Keeping passwords, financial, and other personal information safe and protected from intruders, scammers and stalkers have long been a priority of businesses. Besides,  it’s increasingly critical for consumers and individuals to heed data protection advice and use good practices to keep personal information safe from harm.  Gareth McKee- Owner Burnt Orange Solutions 
 

 

 


   1. Backup your data.

One of the most basic, yet often overlooked, data protection tips for individuals is backing up your data. Basically, this creates a duplicate copy of your data so that if a device is lost, stolen, or compromised, you don’t also lose your important information.  This is vital for businesses, no matter how small or large. As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and insurance company Nationwide pointed out.

 

“According to Nationwide, 68% of small businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan. The problem with this is the longer it takes you to restore your data, the more money you’ll lose. Gartner found that this downtime can cost companies as much as $300,000 an hour.”

 

 2. Malware

 

Malware is a serious issue. Anti-malware protection is essential for laying a foundation of security for your devices. Malware is short for malicious software, and it’s software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer without your consent. Things that fall into this category sound scary – they include viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, scareware and more. Malware can attack you via websites and emails, or hidden in downloadable files, photos, videos,  The best way to avoid getting infected is to purchase and run a good anti-virus protection program, then do periodic scans for spyware. Also, be very vigilant when it comes to clickable links in emails or on websites you are unfamiliar with.

 

WARNING: 350,000 malware versions are identified every day. A new malware programme is released every seven seconds. Malware activity has increased by 61% over the last year. The cost of malware attacks is going up too, with companies and people losing around 11% more money in 2018 than in the previous year. Scammers are sneaky: sometimes malware is cleverly disguised as an email from a friend or client. Unfortunately, even the most cautious will likely pick up an infection at some point.  Gareth McKee

 

  3. Keep Up To Date

 

Operating system and software updates are a gigantic pain for users, but they’re a necessary evil! These updates contain critical security fixes and improvements twill protect you and your devices from newly discovered threats and glitches. Failing to install these updates means you are at risk. Operating systems and software updates may not be updated frequently or on a regular schedule so we suggest setting your systems to update automatically if possible.

 

   4. Secure Your Wireless Network.

 

A valuable IT tip for both small business owners and individuals, it’s always recommended to secure your wireless network with a password. This prevents unauthorized individuals within proximity to hijack your wireless network. Even if they’re merely attempting to get free Wi-Fi access, you don’t want to inadvertently share private information with other people who are using your network without permission. In addition, be sure to turn your computer off when you are finished using it. Leaving your computer connected to the Internet when it’s not in use gives scammers 24/7 access to install malware and commit cybercrimes. To be safe, turn off your computer when it’s not in use.

 


 






Contact Burnt Orange today for more information or to take advantage of your FREE initial consultation. View them on Facebook here. They are your Burnt Orange Solutions are Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts!



Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts Burnt Orange Solutions Explain The Benefits Of Managed Networks

Our Saskatoon IT Tips are from the Trusted professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions.  We promise to have a one-hour response time for all your Saskatoon IT support needs. Honesty and respect are important to us. In our latest  IT Expert tip Article, Gareth McKee, owner of Burnt Orange Solutions shares tips on protecting your business information by having managed networks.

The Benefits of Managed Networks For Saskatoon Businesses

With rapid advances in IBenefits of managed networksT technology, every business owner feels the pressure to not only keep up but also innovate. Managed network services mean that by outsourcing one of the key functions of your organization or local companies IT structure you can access the expertise necessary to keep your IT systems not only running but to future-proof and innovate.

Burnt Orange Solutions is a Saskatoon IT provider and w e can ensure that your business is using the latest technologies and equipment and advise you on what you need to do to keep it moving forward. This ensures you stay competitive and that your systems are functioning at their optimal level. This means SMBs can stay competitive with larger companies by having access to the same resources that larger enterprises may be able to have in-house.

Managed Networks Reduce Costs.

Managing costs are a major factor in any business and managed networks can help as they can reduce costs in a variety of ways.

Circuit board cables SaskatoonSpeed: You don’t need a permanent IT team on-site, but when you do need help, you can get it fast from Burnt Orange Solutions.

Savings: You save on wages and specialist IT space. Managed network services allow you to pay only for what you use. We offer a fixed monthly fee which means it’s easy to budget for your services and an all-inclusive price means you get the support you need.

Efficiencies: You can also reduce infrastructure costs by streaming multiple services over a single connection, saving staff on remote connections extra expense.


Save On Power And Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Centralizing your key systems in a data centre and using virtual platforms for applications means your team can access the network wherever they are working from, on-site or off-site. This mean everyone who needs to can access what they need to whether its’ apps or data storage. You can save on power and reduce environmental impact.

You can upgrade security systems across the company easily and quickly and monitor your whole network to pick up any issues quickly 24 hours a day.

Getting your network managed from Burnt Orange Solutions means we will monitor your systems, continuously suggesting improvements and implementing them quickly and cost-effectively.

With cloud servers and backup business continuity is assured, even if your main office is lost, the business can carry on.

The qualified network security experts at Burnt Orange are better able to provide security expertise than many in-house teams, with up-to-date knowledge of not only the latest security systems but also what threats businesses face today.


We hope this article gave you some insight into the benefits of managed networks. If you want to ensure your business IT security, contact the Trusted Saskatoon IT professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions and they can take IT worries off your plate.

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Burnt Orange Solutions Trusted Saskatoon IT Expert Shares Basics Of Protecting Your Business

The Trusted team at Burnt Orange Solutions are located in the Computers & Web Design Category.

Honesty and respect are important factors in daily communication at Burnt Orange. Gareth and the team at Burnt Orange Solutions are YOUR Saskatoon IT stress solution. Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts


BURNT ORANGE SOLUTIONS SASKATOON BASICS OF PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS INFORMATION

Our Saskatoon IT Tips are from the Trusted professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions.  We promise to have a one-hour response time for all your Saskatoon IT support needs. Honesty and respect are important to us. In our latest  IT Expert tip Article, Gareth McKee, owner of Burnt Orange Solutions shares tips on protecting your business information.

 

The Basics of Protecting Your Business Information

  1. Network Gateway Firewall

The first point of defense to protect your network from hackers and bots trying to gain access to your network. Ensure you speak with a professional IT company to ensure it is configured correctly.

  1. Web protection

It is the easiest thing to click on a link not realizing it takes you to a very good fake website, this triggers the automatic download of a virus or ransomware. Web protection stops this happening by blocking known dangerous websites as well as legitimate websites which become infected.

  1. Antimalware at server/workstation/tablets/cell phones

Everyone knows you should have anti-malware/virus on your PCs and Servers, but not everyone understands that you should have this software on all your devices. And don’t for 1 second think that Apple products are safe, they also need antimalware, as do your tablets and cell phones.

One more point on this, do not use free antimalware tools, they are free for a reason i.e. they are about as much use as a chocolate fire guard.

  1. Anti-malware/spam at the email server

Specific email server antimalware and antispam software much be installed and configured correctly. This helps protect your staff from emails with dangerous links, virus payloads and generally makes them more efficient as their inbox will not be bombarded with 1,000s of annoying emails.

  1. Secure WIFI

Protecting Your Business Information wifi secureWIFI must be secured using the latest encryption WPA2 and protected with a strong password or RADIUS security tools.

Other tools which may be used to improve the security of WIFI networks include hiding the network, this way only computers which have been previously logged on to the network with be able to connect. You can also configure the WIFI network to only allow specific computers to connect.

One tactic which many businesses don’t do, but is a must, separate the WIFI networks, one for staff and one for guests. Only allow guests access to the internet and not on the business network, your laptops may be fully secured, but you don’t know the security standard of guests, they may very easily bring a virus in to your network.

  1. Encryption

Consider full encryption of all your computers, in particular laptops. By design laptops are for travel, unfortunately, this allows the theft of them to be much easier than a server in a locked down building.

Encryption would ‘scramble’ all the data on the hard drive and the only way to decrypt the data is by having a user login and password. Even if the hard drive is removed from the laptop the data cannot be accessed.

  1. Local and cloud image-based backups

A good backup solution is like insurance, you never need it until you NEED IT.

Don’t mess around with USB sticks which sit in a drawer. All businesses can afford and should use a business class backup service which provides:

  • Image based backups – allows for quick recovery of whole systems
  • Local backup – allows for quick recovery of files
  • Cloud backup – allows for recovery of data even in the event of a total loss at the business location
  • Encryption – stops hackers and thieves getting at your data.

 

  1. User training

Staff members must be trained to use the software correctly, also to recognize dangerous phishing emails or other attempts at gaining access to your network.

  1. Acceptable Use Policy

securing a lost laptopBe sure to have an Acceptable Us Policy for your computers and networks. This plainly shows the staff members what they can and cannot do on the computers:

  • Are they allowed to use social media?
  • Are they allowed to install software?
  • Are they allowed to shop online?

 

  1. Patch management

Patch management is a must for all devices on a network. New security holes are discovered every day on PCs, servers, switches, routers, firewall, WIFI access points, printers, scanners etc. all these devices can provide access to your network, ensure all patches and upgrades to all software and hardware are installed when they become available.

  1. Proactive maintenance

We all know the value of maintaining our cars, yet very few people maintain their computers. From blowing out the insides of a computer to get rid of all the dust to hard drive checks which will save you hours if not days in the event of a hard drive failure.

The best solution here is to outsource the proactive testing and reporting to an IT support company, they will have the tools, the trained staff and the reporting to do this properly.

  1. Firewall at server/workstation

Each device needs a firewall to improve its safe on the network. Often when a virus finds its way in to a network it will try to replicate itself across all the devices, a firewall on the PCs and servers helps prevent this.

  1. File and folder security permissions

To prevent leakage of information from your business it is paramount that security rules are in place to prevent a staff member from gaining access to information they should not have. Whether malicious or not, this can cause at best an HR headache at worst business secrets could find their way to your competitors.

  1. Users should not have administration rights

Staff members should not have administration rights to their local computer, it helps prevent the installation of unknown software and the spreading of viruses.

  1. Passwords

We now speak about passPHRASES rather than passwords as you can have spaces in the string of characters. A good passphrase should have at least 14 characters and be changed at a minimum quarterly.

  1. Do not allow the use of Dropbox etc.

Unless authorized by the management of a company, Dropbox and the like should not be allowed. A helpful staff member today who uses Dropbox to work at home may leave the company next week and have a lot of business information on their home computer.

Also, Dropbox can aid the spread of viruses and ransomware.

On a side note, do not use Dropbox as a backup solution, if a file on your PC becomes corrupt, the copy in Dropbox will also become corrupt. It is not designed as a backup solution.




Contact Burnt Orange today for more information or to take advantage of your FREE initial consultation. View them on Facebook here. They are your Burnt Orange Solutions are Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts!

Burnt Orange Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts Talk About Windows End Of Life… Are You Ready?

The Trusted team at Burnt Orange Solutions are located in the Saskatoon computers Category.

Honesty and respect are important factors in daily communication at Burnt Orange. Gareth and the team at Burnt Orange Solutions are YOUR Saskatoon IT stress solution. Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts


WINDOWS END OF LIFE…ARE YOU READY?

Our Saskatoon IT Tips are from the Trusted professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions.  We promise to have a one-hour response time for all your Saskatoon IT support needs. Honesty and respect are important to us. In our latest  IT Expert tip Article, we discuss the imminent Windows end of life and what happens if you aren’t prepared.

Windows End Of Life.

Let’s start off with the news that the much-loved Windows 7 operating system has now less than 1 year of life left in it.

On January 13th, 2020 Microsoft will cease to provide any further updates or security patches for Windows 7.

After this date, Windows 7 will become an ever-increasing security hole in your home or business network. As hackers and criminals find and make use of security gaps in the coding of Windows seven anyone who is still using it will be at greater risk of infection risking data being stolen or made inaccessible.

Saskatoon businesses need to plan for the change now. Depending on where you look for the figures, polls show that anywhere between 30% and 50% of businesses still use Windows 7.

Depending upon the number of PCs, the complexity of the network and the number of different programs used it could take months to plan and roll out new Windows 10 PCs to a business network.

Burnt Orange advice, contact your IT support company now to ensure you are fully secure and using Windows 10 before Christmas 2019.

Windows Server 2008 End Of Life Date Approaching

The much-used Windows 2008 Server operating system has now less than 1 year of life left in it.  Windows 2008 Server will become an ever-increasing security hole in your business network. As hackers and criminals find and make use of security gaps in the coding of Windows 2008 Server anyone who is still using it will be at greater risk of infection risking data being stolen or made inaccessible.

Depending upon the number of servers, the complexity of the network and the number of different programs used it could take months to plan and roll out new Windows 2019 Servers to a business network.

Burnt Orange advice, contact your IT support company now to ensure you are fully secure and using Windows Server 2019 before Christmas 2019.

Windows 7 and Server 2008 End Of Life – What You NEED To Do

This doesn’t mean that your Windows 7 PC or 2008 Server will suddenly stop working, what it does mean is that no more patches or upgrades will be released by Microsoft.  It means that every day after January 13th the Windows 7 computers and 2008 Servers will become less secure and more likely to be infect by a virus or become victim to ransomware or other hacking type code.

Recovering from a virus attack or ransomware infection is a very expensive operation, so what should your business be doing?

  1. Contact our team at Burnt Orange Solutions to discuss planning an upgrade to Windows 10 and Server 2019. Depending upon the age of your PC hardware it may not be necessary to buy new computers, but it will mean server hardware. Early investigation is a must as it can take months to plan and roll out an upgrade depending upon your individual needs.
  2. Contact all your software vendors, do the programs you use on a daily basis function in Windows 10 and Server 2019? If not, you are going to either need to upgrade or move to a new software package.
  3. This is going to cost your business money, there is no way to avoid it. New computers, new softwares, IT consultants and engineers, possible down time due to the upgrade process, possible business interruption.
  4. Plan on changes to your network if you need to keep any Windows 7 PCs or 2008 Servers in your office due to legacy software packages (fun fact – 7% of the worlds computers still run Windows XP), these PC must be kept separate from the rest of the network for security reasons.

Burnt Orange Solutions can help your business navigate this necessary evil, whether you have 1 PC or 500. The main take away here is to start the process sooner rather than later!!

As 2020 approaches expect many IT companies to be very busy and not have time to fit you in for an upgrade.

Don’t be offended if in December 2019 you call a computer support company to discuss the upgrade and all you hear is laughter from the other end of the phone.




Contact Burnt Orange today for more information or to take advantage of your FREE initial consultation. View them on Facebook here. They are your Burnt Orange Solutions are Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts!


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