FIVE FEATURES OF FLAT RATE IT – PART 2
Thanks for checking in on Part 2 of this two-part series on the Five Features of Flat Rate IT Support. In Part 1 we covered some of the hows and whys of Unlimited ServiceDesk Support, Proactive Management, and Vendor Management.
As we did in Part 1, we’ll try to keep things in plain English while also giving you enough detail to understand the advantages of hiring the right MSP to fit your business needs now and into the future.
Feature #4 – IT Security
Since our very first days, it’s been the primary goal of ToSolution to keep our client’s networks secure and available. To do this we employ a multilayer security approach.
First, we include best-of-breed firewalls sized specifically for your business. Firewalls are hardware devices in your network that live closest to the outside world. Firewalls are the first line of defense between your company data and the hackers that linger on the Internet, searching for the slightest opening to attack your network. Our firewalls come with seven different security applications that are updated daily to meet any newly discovered threats head-on. Next, we include automated endpoint security to all company systems and user devices. Servers, desktops, and laptops are all protected with this layer of security. Endpoint protection provides equipment Antivirus and Antimalware. Also included in our IT Security is always-on Dark Web Monitoring. We monitor and alert you of any domain email address whose credentials have been comprised. A ticket is automatically generated in our system and you are notified to immediately change your password and any password associated with the compromised account.
As important as all these layers are to keeping your network secure and available there are two more that continually top the lists of most vulnerable areas to IT Security. One is critical patching. With Flat Rate IT Support your computer’s operating systems (typically Microsoft) are routinely monitored and updated with the latest critical security patches provided by the software manufacturers. This should be the norm for every Managed IT Provider but it’s frequently something that slips through the cracks because there is no automation in place. With Flat Rate IT Support, this process is automated and we download and install updates as frequently as they are provided, typically once per week.
The second area that tops every list of IT Security vulnerabilities is you (and me). Human beings are repeatedly the weakest link in every security chain. That’s why we include an additional layer of security called Security Awareness Training. Every user will be tested from time to time on a random schedule with simulated phishing emails. Phishing emails are what real hackers use to manipulate people into providing them with credentials that allow them to infiltrate your network. Real Phishing and Spear Phishing emails are increasingly more sophisticated and difficult to spot. The only way to get good at detecting them is to see them from time to time and sometimes even fall for them. The difference is, when a user of yours falls for one of our simulated phishing attacks they are not infected with ransomware, they are redirected to a training page that shows them how and why they were tricked into clicking something that they shouldn’t have clicked. Practice makes … well, nobody and no system is perfect but practice makes for great improvement.
Feature #5 – Strategic Planning & Consulting
The fifth feature of Flat Rate IT Support is Strategic Planning and Technology Consulting – again, at no extra cost. Members of our team will regularly meet with key contacts and decision-makers on your team to discuss current trends in technology and how your business can get and stay ahead of the curve. This type of service is commonly referred to as a “vCIO” or Virtual Chief Information Officer. You could think of it as having your very own IT Director on staff, except instead of just one person, you have access to an entire team, and instead of carrying all the overhead of an employee, salary, benefits, etc, it’s already included with your IT service.
As part of your service, you’ll receive an Annual Network Risk Assessment and Review. There are three primary reasons that we provide this with our Flat Rate service.
- We don’t claim to be perfect. There are thousands of moving parts in even the simplest network, it’s possible with all the changes that occur to hardware configurations and software applications throughout a year that we missed something. So, the first reason we perform this review is to check our own work.
- Best-practice changes from year to year, in fact, our assessment tools update every quarter, so what might have been an acceptable password policy a year ago, is no longer an industry standard and therefore needs to be updated. This becomes particularly important as it pertains to compliance standards like HIPAA for healthcare, FINRA for finances, and CIPA for schools or anyone working with children.
- Performing a Network Risk Assessment provides an excellent planning document, and reviewing the document together provides the time and space for our teams to ask and answer questions with one another. For example, if you’re considering a change to your main line-of-business application, we want to help you make an informed decision about how that change could impact the rest of your infrastructure and IT operations.
Besides these planned annual reviews, our team of experts is available for ongoing strategic planning and consultation throughout the year. Technology drives today’s businesses and the technology landscape changes so fast that it takes an expert to keep up with it. You don’t have to carry the burden alone, we are here to help!
Bonus Feature – We Really Do Want You To “Enjoy IT”
What started out as a kitschy farewell in our email signature has revealed a core value of our organization and a feature that our clients truly enjoy.
Most of us spend about one-third of our adult lives at work. We actually want to enjoy that time, and we want to help you enjoy that time too. We know that technology is really cool when it works, and when it doesn’t it can ruin your day. Yes, happy employees are more productive and we know that keeping you productive is a benefit to your bottom line but this value runs deeper than mere numbers.
Hearing our clients say, “We Enjoy IT” is the highest compliment we receive. It’s precisely why we’ve implemented the previous five features into our Flat Rate IT Support. It’s why we design and implement systems with a good track record of up-time, and monitor and maintain them daily to keep them that way. It’s why we provide several levels of security and redundancy into every network. It’s why we want you to connect with our Service Desk as many times as you need to without the fear of increased bills. It’s why we want to be your first call, even if the issue your experiencing is with another vendor. It’s why we want to be involved in your technology strategy now and into the future.
We’re a technology company and we love what we do. Whatever your industry, we want you to feel the same, and we can help you make that happen.