Luck Is For Leprechauns — Is Your Business Prepared for Future Security Threats?

If your business hasn’t been the target of malicious intruders or cybercriminals, consider yourself lucky. Hackers are a relentless bunch and they want your gold: information and access they can use to exploit loopholes in your business’s Internet security. The last few years have been hard on companies all across the globe. And these cyber-breaches aren’t going to stop simply because the “damage has been done.” In the US and Canada, reported incidents have affected over 215 million consumers and over 7 million small businesses. And that’s only counting the attacks that authorities have uncovered.leprechaun

For cybercriminals, there is no end game. All too often, small business owners assume they are outside the firing line and hackers aren’t interested in them. While the media focuses on the big cyber-attacks, there are countless other stories playing out at small businesses everywhere. Cybercriminals are constantly in search of loopholes and weak security. And, unfortunately, small businesses often have the weakest IT security.

Security industry analysts predict that 2016 won’t be much different from 2015 when it comes to cyber-security. There are going to be more data breaches. It’s just a matter of where and when. It’s also a matter of being prepared.

During the month of March, we are offering local businesses a FREE 27-Point Cyber-Security Audit to help uncover loopholes in your company’s online security. At no cost or obligation, our highly trained team of IT pros will come to your office and conduct this comprehensive audit. And after we’re done, we’ll prepare a customized “Report Of Findings” that will reveal specific vulnerabilities and a Prioritized Plan Of Attack for getting any problems addressed fast.

Because of the intense one-on-one time required to deliver these Cyber-Security Audits, we can only extend this offer to the first 3 lucky companies who request it by March 17th—St. Patrick’s Day. All you have to do is call our office at 678-745-5109 or go online at www.mis-solutions.com/it-services to request yours today.

 

Is Your Old, Outdated Phone System Causing You More Problems Than It’s Worth?

If you think you have outgrown your current phone system and are tired of constant downtime, dropped calls, repairs and maintenance, it might be time for you to consider a VoIP system for your office.Mobile-VoIP-feature

The right VoIP system can likely save a considerable amount of money AND give you more features and flexibility to support customers, drive sales and manage calls throughout your office.

Here Are 3 Big Reasons Why Thousands Of  Small Businesses Are Trading In Their Current Phone System For VoIP:

  1. Drastically reduces your phone bill. If you have multiple offices, or even remote workers, new voice-over IP technology integrates your data and voice networks to drastically reduce long distance and lease line charges you are currently paying.
  2. Eliminates expensive technician visits. These new systems are built so that your current IT person or company could easily maintain it in-house. No more waiting around for high-priced phone technicians to show up or paying high service call fees.
  3. FREE voice mail, auto attendant, call processing, automatic call distribution. New VoIP systems come with all features included. À la carte add-ons are now a thing of the past. Imagine a phone that can automatically get to you anywhere and everywhere with a click of the button and much more.

Free Phone Audit Shows You How To Save $1,000 to $3,000 Guaranteed In 2016

Sign up to receive a Free Phone Audit and we will come out to your office and do a complete communications analysis for your company. At the end of our audit, we’ll summarize our findings and show you exactly where we can save you a bundle this year.

Call our office today at 678-745-5109 to get started.

 

Client of the Month: J. Michael Levengood with The Law Office of J. Michael Levengood

Navigating the Technical Side of Hanging Out Your Shingle Mike Levengood headshot

Going “out on your own” is not easy. You are now responsible for all support that your former employer provided. Where do you find experts in areas that are not your strengths? How do you address constantly changing technology that becomes more complex every day? Ask Mike Levengood.

The Problem

This business lawyer left one of the nation’s 100 largest law firms to open the Law Office of J. Michael Levengood. In his solo practitioner practice, he would continue to guide clients in metro Atlanta through legal matters, including commercial litigation in state and federal courts, mediations and arbitrations, corporate governance and transactions, wills and trusts, probate and administration of decedents’ estates, workouts, and corporate and individual business bankruptcy reorganization. Besides this full plate, he now faced being in charge of technology.

The Solution

Mike chose to partner with MIS Solutions for a smooth transition. He needed hardware, software, secure email, a network, security, backup, recovery, upgrades, maintenance and support so he could work efficiently, seamlessly and communicate with clients and other parties to move client matters to their conclusions. In the process, he learned a great deal about technology from Lliam and the team, including better understanding what is needed to protect clients’ data.

With implementation almost two years ago, he has had time to put his workhorse through the paces. He finds it reassuring to know that “someone is thinking about the technical side of my practice while I’m serving clients”. When there is the inevitable technology glitch, a fix is just a phone call or email away. Mike describes his outsourced support team as “extremely responsive, knowledgeable, committed to providing top quality service and understanding the importance of solving problems in real time”. He says he can count on MIS employees’ professional attitude and doing what it takes to achieve the results to meet the demands of his practice and the needs of his clients.

 On the Record: In Mike’s Own Words

“With the help of MIS, I have been able to meet the technology needs of my law practice without missing a beat,” Mike states. “Frankly, I couldn’t have been as successful as I have been without the support of MIS Solutions.”

Shiny New Gadget of the Month: SOS

Keeps You in Touch, Could Save Your Life

If you fly often for business, a satellite messenger may be just the thing to stay in the cloud when you’re above the clouds. And if your travels for fun take you into the wild, it could literally be a lifesaver.sos

Just ask retired Houston firefighter Michael Herrara. After breaking three ribs and his collarbone in a hard fall from his dual-sport bike in a remote area in Alabama, he hit the SOS button on his messenger. Within 40 minutes an ATV was on hand to transport him to a trauma center.

Features to look for in a satellite messenger include data speed, battery life, coverage areas, size, weight and ease of use.

And, of course, an SOS button.

 

Skill……And Will

Let’s get one thing straight…we all begin as a NOVICE.

No one – let me repeat that – NO ONE starts as an expert. We all have to learn to walk, talk, eat, swim, count, write and read. We all start at zero, the bottom, from scratch, zip…with absolutely no knowledge, experience or understanding of the “THING” we are about to learn.

So, then the journey begins: your progression from being a Novice, to being Average, then Skilled, then a Specialist and finally an Expert is all up to you. I really like the title of “EXPERT” because it has to be earned. You can assign someone a title of Vice President or Sales Manager, Boss or Director…but EXPERT – that title is something to be revered, respected and admired.

EXPERTS have put in the time, effort and study to EARN the title. They have dealt with the pains, frustrations, exhaustion and stress that come with obtaining the title of EXPERT. In fact, it’s really not a title at all, it’s a designation or confirmation that the person you are dealing with is very, very good at what they do. I like being around experts, because they have traits in their character that can do nothing but help me.

You see, to be an EXPERT you have to have passion, conviction, focus, discipline, dedication, drive, purpose, commitment, spirit, determination…and the undeniable WILL to perfect your SKILL.
According to the American Society for Training & Development, American workers average 6.5 minutes per day developing their skill. That statistic alone explains why there are so many average-performing people. Most people just aren’t WILLING to put in the time and effort needed to raise their skill level.

Your success has a great deal to do with your level of SKILL, but not everything. I know a lot of talented, smart, well-educated people who have in no way come close to reaching their full potential.

You have the FREE WILL to succeed, if you have the WILLINGNESS to do it.

The big question is WILL you? Who would have ever thought such a simple word as WILL would have so much to do with your success. Here are a few quotes I want to share with you that should hopefully broaden your perspective on how important WILLPOWER is to your success. They are by people you may have never heard of – de Balzac, Min and Crowley respectively – but the brilliance of their words is indisputable.

“There is no such thing as great talent without great willpower.”

“Lack of willpower leads to more failure than lack of intelligence or ability.”

“In the absence of willpower the most complete collection of virtues and talent is wholly worthless.”

Anyone can go from Novice to Expert if they have the WILL to do it. But the “Skill Knob” can only be turned to the “Expert Notch” if you have the WILL to make it happen and the discipline to study, learn and practice.

Robert Stevenson

A Backup Plan You’re Sure To Fall In Love With

In today’s fast-paced, data-driven world, backups are mission critical to your company’s survival and success.

Yet your data may be just one damaged drive, lost laptop, natural disaster, accidental deletion, malware attack, equipment failure, power spike or petty theft away from a profit-sucking, heartbreaking disaster.

So what measures must you take to keep your data safe, secure and where you need it, when you need it?  While there’s no one-size-fits-all-guns silver bullet, there are some general principles to be aware of.

Image-Based Backups

An image-based backup or “clone” serves like the spare tire for your car. If you get a flat, the spare will get you to a tire shop.

If the hard drive on any device in the network goes kablooey and its user is in a time crunch to complete a project, an image-based backup allows them to get right back to where they were. It saves all files, apps and settings that were on that device, exactly the way they were at the time of the last backup. And generally, that means the user can get right back to work with no need to reconfigure everything all over again.

But, just as a spare tire isn’t designed for long road trips, an image-based backup may not perform as well as the original drive. It may, for instance, take a little longer to access data from the server, slowing down user workflow.

An image-based backup will be useful only to the extent that it has backed up data recently. For servers, daily or even multiple backups per day are recommended.

Archive Backups

Archive backups don’t replace image-based backups, but are an efficient way to reduce the size of these backups because they take less-frequently-used data off the main computer or server.

You can’t reboot from an archive, but if you’ve accidentally deleted a file, you can retrieve it from an archive. If any device on the network goes down, you can simply plug the external hard drive into another computer and regain access to the archived files.

Cloud Backup

Backing up to the cloud can serve as an alternative to a rotating off-site backup and eliminates the human component of having to remember to rotate drives. However, for complete protection, you’ll want a cloud backup that makes a nightly copy of the image-based backup files. Should the absolute worst happen, the cloud backup image can be “spun up,” allowing access to your applications and data using just about any computer or tablet.

Automated cloud backup systems offer a variety of feature sets. Some only back up files, while others back up entire image-based backups and can even spin them up. Select a system that’s simple, continual, fast, secure, easy to restore from, inclusive of different devices and operating systems, cost-efficient and, most importantly, provides the kind of protection and redundancy you need for your operation to run, even if things go south.

A Fail-Safe System

So, can you rest assured that your company’s backup system is built to minimize downtime in the event of data loss or equipment failure?

If you’re 100% certain you can answer “yes”, congratulations – you are one of the few!  If not, NOW is the time to take action – rather than after you wish you had.

Not only is our Greenlight Rapid Recovery highly affordable, it continuously backs up your entire server – including open files – every 60 minutes, so you’ll never lose a whole day’s work. Then, every night, it automatically backs up a snapshot of your entire server to an off-site military-grade data center where it’s held safe and secure until you need it.

Don’t put this off another minute! Contact us right now through the end of February to claim your free Backup System Audit. Let us make sure your backup system never lets you down. We can fix broken computers but a broken heart is another thing entirely… Call Becky at 678-745-5109 or email her at bjoubert@mis-solutions.com, TODAY!

 

Caution: Microsoft Terminates Support For Internet Explorer—Use at Your Own Risk!

Just want to make sure everyone is aware of an important change to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has decided to stop supporting the IE platform YESTEDAY, January, 12, 2016.death IE

What does this mean?

You still will be able to use Internet Explorer as a browser, but you risk security issues! Since Microsoft will no longer be making updates to the browser’s security, you open yourself up to more risks if you opt to remain an IE user.

Why did Microsoft do this?

Microsoft is trying to promote its new product that was released with the Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft Edge. Microsoft would prefer its customers to use Edge in place of Internet Explorer from now on. Microsoft is also trying to make it easier for web developers to be able to not worry about supporting too many versions of a browser.

But there are some exceptions!

If you currently run IE on any of the following platforms, you are safe for now. Microsoft has pledged to continue to work on security issues for the following operating systems until their end of life (i.e., when the operating system is no longer fully supported by Microsoft):

Operating System (IE browser version)
Windows Vista SP2 (IE9)
Windows Server 2008 SP2 (IE9)
Windows Server 2008 IA64 Itanium (IE9)
Windows Server 2012 (IE10)

Note: IE8 is no longer supported on any operating system.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at 678-745-5109

What’s New: Team MIS Sponsored Eagle Ranch, The Mercy Home, For Christmas

MIS Solutions was founded on the call to serve, built by developing long term relationships with clients and grown by an intense desire to deliver great value at every interaction. We are also passionate about serving kids so for Christmas, our team collectively donated all the gifts on the Christmas wish list for the Mercy Home at Eagle’s Ranch. Last month, we toured the campus, had fun together and visited with the Mercy home’s house parent’s Tom and Lisa to learn more about the ministry of Eagle’s Ranch and the girls that live at Mercy home.Eagle Ranch visit

It was an inspiring and peaceful experience. We enjoyed some laughs and giggles learning more about each other over the bond of servanthood. The mission of Eagle’s Ranch is: To make like better for children and their families, positively impacting communities for the glory of God. With your our team’s help, we were able to fulfill both Eagle Ranch’s Mission and MIS Solutions corporate purpose which is: To glorify God by always adding value to the people, organizations and communities we serve. Thank you for being friends of MIS and may God bless you always.

Top 5 Shiny New Gadgets for 2015

Last year, we saw some amazing new technology tools and toys come into the market.  Here, we’ve listed our favorites for you to take a 2nd look!

rocketbook

RocketBook

Rocketbook:  Rocketbook allows people to enjoy the pleasure of writing in a traditional paper and pen notebook, while digitizing all notes and sending them to the cloud, using your smartphone.

nestcam

Nest Cam

Nest Cam:  The Nest Cam security camera is designed to help you look after your home and family – even when you’re away.

navdy

Navdy

Navdy:  When you focus on your phone, you can’t focus on the road.  No more looking down to fumble with knobs, buttons or touch screens. 

prizm

Prizm

Prizm:  Prizm is a new kind of music player you can plug to any speakers. By considering who is in the room, what their music preferences are and the current mood, Prizm always knows what track to play.

textblade

Waytools TextBlade

Waytools TextBlade: A magnetic keyboard for your devices that magnetically self-assembles and packs to just 1/3 the size of iPhone 6.

Shiny New Gadget Of The Month: MagicLight* Plus

Who Else Wants A Little Music With Their Light?MagicLight Plus

The next time you replace a light bulb, you can now pick one that will stream your favorite music and light up your life in your choice of over 16,000 colors, all with a tap on your phone.

In case you haven’t noticed, some LED bulbs now include a Bluetooth- or Wi-Fi-controlled speaker. And at least one, the MagicLight® Plus, available on Amazon, also lets you pick a light color to suit your mood.

At anywhere from $15 to $129 or more, these bulbs can add music – and light – throughout your home or office in a matter of minutes, at a fraction of the cost of a wired-in sound system.

How’s the sound quality? It depends on the one you select. And it may not resonate like Carnegie Hall live…but hey, it’s a light bulb – what did you expect?