In the 1987 comedy Moonstruck about true amoré, the father, Cosmo, is a plumber. His best line is when he’s describing why he only uses copper – the best pipe. “It costs money,” he says. “It costs money because it saves money.”
So what does a nearly 40-year old film starring Cher have to do with IT? Well, quite a bit. The concept of value for money is as old as the ages and it of course applies to your IT services as well as anything.
“If you’re looking for cheap, quick solutions well, we are not that,” explains Scott Coleman, who seems to easily channel Cosmo Castorini, except Scott is describing what his company, JEI Tech, has on offer rather than the merits of copper pipes.
JEI Tech is a southern Alberta based company specializing in superior IT solutions. They have the technological clout and the expertise and talent to back it up. Their managed IT services will take your company from cybersecurity risk to fortress strong. Of course, like Cosmo advises, this costs money.
Using a four-pronged approach as endorsed by the Government of Canada’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, JEI Tech has taken these four pillars and applied them to their methods for securing their bread and butter clients – small to medium sized businesses.
The approach doesn’t come with a great acronym to wow clients, but the protocol outlined below for keeping your IT cyber-secure is the best in the business.
You wouldn’t build a house without a solid front door. Nor would you park all your machinery and vehicles in a secure compound only to leave the gate wide open. With a weak or non-existent firewall, this is essentially what you’re doing. Your firewall acts like an armed guard on the information highway. It knows who came in (and can block entry), it logs the comings and goings which is extremely useful information for troubleshooting if your firewall defenses do fail.
2. Endpoint Computer Security
Here we’re talking about every workstation attached to your network(s). Each and every computer needs a centrally managed antivirus software. It does no good to put antivirus on your server alone, because each computer is a portal for potential security breaches.
“If anything happens, we get an email or phone call,” explained Scott.
He also described the merits of 2-factor authentication for software installation and updates as well as using up-to-date and non-vulnerable software.
“With application control we can straight up block updates or programs if not approved,” he added.
Scott was the first to say 2-factor authentication and blocking updates can slow down workflow, but that’s nothing compared to the grinding halt caused by a security breach.
3. Backup Your Data
Scott couldn’t repeat himself enough on this point and shared a client story from his own book.
The client opted against a backup system, saying the cost was too high. A few months later, Scott received a call from the same client asking for help retrieving a year’s worth of emails. You see, their accountant, a trusted business partner, mistakenly wiped out an entire fiscal year of email correspondence. No one could figure out quite how it happened, but one thing was certain – it was gone for good.
Data is too easy to lose and far too difficult to get back without a backup solution. Be it from a janky software install, deleting the wrong file, or from being hacked, your data won’t be gone if you’ve backed it up.
“It’s not a matter of if, it’s when,” said Scott.
Critically, cloud based storage like Onedrive, Dropbox or Google drive is not a backup. Make sure you have segmented or “air gapped” backups of everything including your cloud environments.
Most businesses revolve around their email, and the damages that can happen when you don’t have a correctly configured email are sad to contemplate.
Scott was insistent a secure, encrypted and most importantly, a paid for email was the only way to be confident your correspondence won’t be easily compromised.
Either Google or Microsoft offer these three things and if you are using another email provider, you’re playing with fire.
“In 90% of these breaches, someone clicked on something or entered their password where they shouldn’t have,” said Scott.
The benefits these industry giants offer is they filter incoming and outgoing emails and stop quite a lot of scammy and scummy emails from hitting your inbox.
Scott also offered a bonus tip, one that doesn’t come free either. He explained insurance companies are getting savvy to the need for solid IT infrastructure within small and medium sized businesses. Getting a policy renewal will soon need proof your company operates with 2-factor authentication and offers email phishing training to staff. It’s a big scary world out there and we’re just talking about the internet.
Now that you are armed with all this information, go figure out what your IT system looks like. If you’re confused, or find it lacking, give JEI Tech a call. And remember, you don’t have to let life get as dramatic as it did in Moonstruck. Let JEI Tech smooth the way so you can concentrate on running your business and let the IT experts do their thing.
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