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What is a BYOD Policy?

In the new normal, switching between working in the office and remotely from home is common. This makes it important for businesses to make the transition between working from home and the office a seamless experience.

As such, it’s crucial to devise a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy that allows you to do that safely. By implementing a solution that ensures privacy, security, and regulatory compliance, your organisation is well-placed to reap the benefits of BYOD while mitigating risk.

What is BYOD?

A BYOD policy allows employees to bring their own personal devices to work. This approach enables staff to access enterprise infrastructure with sensitive company or client information on their own devices to complete their work from home or at the office.

This approach eliminates the frustration one might have trying to juggle multiple devices (including one issued by the company) to work on a project. In this scenario, the most pressing concern is the level of security deployed on personal devices. Most often, they fall short when compared to enterprise-issued desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.

However, with a BYOD policy and robust business IT support, employers can maintain privacy and compliance while making it easier for their staff to work in multiple settings.

What Are the Advantages of Adopting a BYOD Policy?

Boost productivity: In a highly digitised world, employees (especially millennials) prefer to work at any time from anywhere. Most often, they’ll have their own devices and not company-issued hardware. This approach helps boost morale and, in turn, productivity.

Builds loyalty: Having the convenience of working from just about anywhere helps build loyalty. Happy staff will think twice before jumping ship because of the additional benefits provided by your business.

Lower costs: When your employees are working on their own computers (that they have paid for), you don’t have to absorb the overheads that go with company-issued machines. As people like to work with the latest technologies, you can bet that your employees will use the latest applications without expecting you to pay for them.

What Are the Disadvantages of Adopting a BYOD Policy?

Higher security risk: When staff are allowed to use their own devices, your risk exposure grows exponentially. While individuals are keen to have the latest apps and hardware, they’re not as diligent when it comes to security protocols.

Employee separation: If an employee leaves the company suddenly, you won’t be able to retrieve all the company and client information stored on their device. This could leave your organisation vulnerable to a data breach or (even) sabotage.

Misplaced devices: People lose things. It’s a fact of life, and it happens to the best of us. But a lost or stolen device with access to your infrastructure can have far-reaching consequences. This makes strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and more critical to BYOD policies.

Unsecured Wi-Fi: The Wi-Fi networks at homes or at coffee shops aren’t as secure as enterprise networks. As a result, hackers can easily breach enterprise infrastructure through a compromised public network.

So, how do you reap the benefits of BYOD while mitigating risk? The best approach here is to engage a managed services provider who can provide adequate security and reliable IT support.

How Can a Managed Services Provider Help?

An established managed IT services provider can help implement a BYOD policy but securely through virtualization. In this scenario, regardless of the device your staff use, they will only access your network through virtualized desktops.

This approach helps organisations leverage more control over their data and software used on the network. By insisting on connecting through a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you can mitigate the risk of working on a compromised Wi-Fi network.

By moving your IT environment up to the cloud, your managed services provider is better placed from an administrative perspective to manage your BYOD environment. It’s better than trying to partition individual devices to support user privacy and security.

By enabling secure client access to the cloud, issues with hardware glitches and more are resolved quickly through IT support services. Furthermore, your business IT support partner will implement all the patches and updates as they are released to keep your enterprise environment secure.

If you’re looking to implement a BYOD policy, we can help. Schedule a commitment-free consultation with one of our in-house experts.


Top 5 Things You Need in Email Security

For most companies, email is still the leading communication channel. While communication tools like Slack and VoIP solutions have made an impact on modern business, email still plays a vital role in enterprise communications.

According to cybersecurity firm Fortinet, online scams increased by more than 400% during the pandemic. Google also blocked more than 18 million malware and phishing emails about COVID-19 every day in March 2020.

This makes it vital to take steps to ensure email security. After all, business email accounts are prime targets for threat actors. Whether it’s social engineering attacks or ransomware attacks, email is often the chosen mode of exploitation.

So how do you prevent malicious actors from breach your enterprise email system?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the top 5 things you need in email security.

1. Leverage Encryption Technologies

Encryption is like an insurance policy. Even if you don’t prevent a data breach, the data stolen by hackers is rendered meaningless with the right decryption keys.

As corporate email often includes highly sensitive information, email encryption is key to keeping all communication confidential. Email encryption also ensures that your communications aren’t altered during transit.

Google’s Gmail and Microsoft Exchange have TLS encryption. However, this isn’t enough to secure your communications. To better secure your emails, use tools like CTemplar, which is open-source and leverages both OpenPGP and TLS to protect emails in transit and at rest.

Such tools also protect users from JS injections used to deliver malicious codes. It’ll also help your company become more resistant to Man-in-the-Middle attacks.

Managed services providers often have a number of encryption solutions for you to choose from. So, make sure to discuss this with your managed services provider before committing.

2. Enforce Password Security

While it isn’t always the best, passwords remain your primary line of defence against unauthorised access. However, passwords are only as good as you make them.

By enforcing an enterprise password policy, you can ensure that employees follow best practices and create strong passwords. This approach ensures that staff don’t inadvertently create unnecessary vulnerabilities in the network that lead to major security incidents.

However, don’t stop there. Add another layer of security in the form of multifactor authentication (MFA).

3. Implement MFA

Having a strong password helps, but it’s not enough. To take email security to the next level, ensure that all employees use MFA. In this scenario, MFA adds another layer between your enterprise data and cybercriminals.

Whenever you have deployed MFA in your email systems, users must verify their password with another piece of information like a code from Google Authenticator.

This code or PIN is sent to another connected device like a smartphone. As a result, this makes it nearly impossible for hackers to breach the email system without having the device in their possession.

4. Integrate Robust Antivirus, Anti-Ransomware, and Anti-Phishing Solutions

Even though antivirus software might seem old school and obsolete, it’s still a good idea to install it on your corporate computers. Security software like these scans all emails before a single bit of data is downloaded.

You should also install a robust anti-phishing solution to complement your antivirus and anti-ransomware software. Whenever in doubt, it’s best to discuss your email security options with your managed services provider.

5. Create a Security Culture within the Organisation

Regardless of all the security tools deployed in your enterprise infrastructure, humans remain the weakest link. The best way to mitigate risk is to train your staff regularly. When you do this frequently, staff are alert to potential threats.

Email security training must cover topics like:

  • Always using strong passwords
  • Avoiding public WIFI
  • Not opening suspicious attachments
  • Not sharing personal details and passwords (even with colleagues)
  • Not using business emails for private communications
  • Social engineering (including phishing attacks)
  • Using MFA

At AU.IT, we’re highly experienced in ensuring email security. To learn more, reach out to one of our in-house security experts.


Top 5 Reasons to Use Managed Services in 2021

When it comes to managed services, the primary benefit is significant cost savings. For example, it helps small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) digitally transform their operation and reduce their overall technology investment.

That’s why the global managed services market is forecasted to be worth USD 417.1 billion by 2024. As such, you can expect managed IT services providers to help even the playing field by enabling access to top tech talent and the latest cutting-edge technologies.

In this scenario, this translates into robust IT support and a competitive advantage. But what are the other benefits to using managed IT services?

Here are the top 5 reasons to use managed services in 2021.

1. Boost Productivity

Managed IT and support services help SMBs increase productivity and improve the way they do business. With robust business IT support, enterprises minimise downtime and ensure seamless collaboration, communication, and more in a secure environment.

As managed IT support handles all potential malfunctions and helpdesk services, in-house IT staff can focus more on their core responsibilities. This approach also has the potential to improve your bottom line.

2. Security for Remote Workers

In the “new normal,” most companies still have a significant number of employees working remotely. This transition will continue due to benefits like flexibility and more.

However, cybersecurity remains a significant concern for both enterprises and remote employees. With managed support services, businesses can rest assured that their cloud infrastructure is adequately protected in the current threat landscape.

Managed network support also helps identify and rectify potential vulnerabilities and takes away the responsibility of patching and keeping your software and security up to date.

3. Maintain Compliance

Beyond cybersecurity, managed IT services help ensure compliance. For example, if you’re operating a medical clinic, managed services will secure sensitive patient data and implement strategies that ensure regulatory compliance.

When your patients or customers see that you take security seriously, it’ll also help build brand value and loyalty.

4. Supports Small Business Goals

SMBs have limited resources. So, it doesn’t make much sense to spend considerable time and resources making decisions on complex IT systems.

After all, spending time researching and understanding new technologies takes your focus away from your business goals. With managed IT support, you can focus on scaling your business and achieving your objectives and leave the IT part to your support services provider.

5. Predictable Monthly Costs

When you partner with a managed support services provider, your business pays the same amount every month, regardless of how much support you received over a four-week period. This approach helps you budget and plan exactly how much you’ll spend each month.

Managed IT services are highly adaptable. So, you can scale your business up or down based on your present needs. This approach helps negate any potential unnecessary expenses.

As your business grows, the support structure around will grow with it. This could be especially critical for business just starting out.

Regardless of whether it’s a small or large business, managed IT services positively impact both daily productivity and your bottom line. All the dollars saved by leveraging managed business IT support can also be reinvested back into your business.

With a low initial investment, predictable monthly technology expenses, and access to expert support services, your company is well-placed to compete in a crowded marketplace. The best part is that you don’t have to spend a significant amount of time and resources setting up and maintaining enterprise infrastructure.

At AU.IT, we have significant experience digitally transforming businesses. If you’re ready to take your company to the next level, reach out to one of our in-house experts


5 Compelling Reasons to Outsource IT Support

There’s no doubt that the world has changed. In a post-pandemic world, businesses are required to be more flexible and resilient than ever before. One way to achieve this is to partner with an established managed services provider who offers reliable IT support.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of your in-house IT department. Instead, you can augment your IT team with external IT support. This approach ensures that your in-house tech teams focus on more important tasks while your business IT support partner handles the rest.

What are the benefits of outsourcing helpdesk services? Here are the top 5 benefits of outsourcing business IT support.

1. Reduce IT Costs

The primary benefit of outsourcing any business process is the opportunity to cut costs. It’s the same when it comes to outsourcing support services. When you partner with a managed IT services provider, you don’t have to blow your budget to building and maintaining your IT infrastructure.

Top tech talent is in high demand. With outsourcing, you also get access to the best minds in the business without the overheads, recruitment costs, employee benefits, and high wages that come with in-house hires.

Over time, you can reinvest these saving back into the business. You also have the option of exploring new opportunities or scale your current operation.

2. Increased Productivity

Enhanced productivity is an indirect benefit of outsourcing business IT support that doesn’t get much attention. Before managed services, small and medium-sized enterprises didn’t have the resources to access value-added services on their own.

Today, small businesses can get the latest cutting-edge technology and additional services to boost the company’s overall productivity cost-effectively. For example, enterprises were able to ensure business continuity with significant productivity during the pandemic because of the option of remote working (made possible by cloud computing).

When your staff are not engaging in mundane tasks like updating and patching your desktops and laptops, they can focus on your core business.

3. Improved Security

Cybersecurity is now a business priority. If you can’t properly secure your enterprise infrastructure, you’re probably not going to be around for long. However, this isn’t always easy without the necessary resources and domain expertise.

IT support services help businesses improve their security posture with the latest technologies and best practices. Furthermore, in the event of a cyberattack, your IT outsourcing partner can also ensure business continuity through their backup and retention protocols and disaster recovery planning.

This approach also helps mitigate risk as your managed IT services provider will update and patch your software as its released.

4. Improved Agility

We learned from the pandemic that businesses that are most agile survive. Companies today have to be able to adapt quickly and respond to market changes and global events. The key here is to ensure that your operations never come to a standstill.

Through periods of uncertainty and economic recession, your managed services provider can help you ensure business continuity cost-effectively. It’s also the best way for struggling businesses to get back on their feet.

5. IT Support On-Demand

While in-house IT teams only work business hours, your support services partner is available around the clock. This means that employees logging in from home at odd hours or over the weekend can count on reliable network support and helpdesk services whenever it’s needed.

It’s vital because an emergency can occur at any moment, not just during business hours. Your ability to respond immediately will be key to minimising potential downtime.

At AU.IT, our customers benefit from local Australian IT support. You can count on our technical expertise, reliability, and familiar accents at any time, day or night.

To learn more, schedule a commitment-free consultation with one of hour in-house experts.


How Do You Protect Your Business from Ransomware?

One of the most significant threats to your business today is ransomware. Several high-profile companies, government agencies, and even hospitals have fallen victims to these malicious attacks.

While the damages add up to billions of dollars every year, ransomware attacks are expected to increase in frequency this year. In this scenario, research suggests that businesses will be attacked every 11 seconds.

What Is Ransomware?

A ransomware is the name used to describe a type of malware that encrypts or blocks access to your data. The only way to regain access is to pay the ransom (often in cryptocurrency) demanded by threat actors.

These types of cyberattacks are aimed at businesses of all sizes. So, even if you feel like you’re too small to be targeted, you should take steps to secure your infrastructure from a ransomware attack.

Conduct a Risk Analysis

You have your standard security protocols deployed. But are you sure that you have resolved every potential vulnerability? What if you’re wrong?

In this scenario, it’s best to engage a third-party partner to conduct a security audit. It’s the best approach to identify and rectify potential risks missed by in-house security teams. For example, they will engage in penetration testing to ascertain your current security posture.

Patch Potential Vulnerabilities

If your IT infrastructure isn’t supported by a managed services provider, it’s critical to establish strict protocols to ensure that all software is patched immediately after release. This approach helps mitigate risk, but most companies fail to keep up as it’s a time-consuming process.

In this scenario, it’s best to hire an IT professional to manage maintenance and patches or move your enterprise infrastructure up to the cloud.

Backup Your Data

It’s vital to back up your data regularly to ensure business continuity. For example, if you had the unfortunate experience of falling victim to a cyberattack, a recent updated backup ensures little to no downtime.

As such, it’s crucial to back up sensitive data regularly and store it somewhere that’s not connected to the network. Furthermore, your restoration protocols should be checked frequently to ensure rapid restoration.

Devise a Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan

What if an employee clicked on a suspicious link and now all your data is encrypted? What will you do? Pay the ransom?

In the current threat landscape, it’s critical to ask yourself these questions and create a realistic disaster and recovery plan. When you have a comprehensive disaster response and recovery plan, you’ll be well-placed to protect your data, reputation, and revenue.

However, just having a plan isn’t enough. You should also test and tweak your disaster recovery plan regularly. If you’re working with a managed services provider, it’s critical to explore their disaster recovery plan before committing.

Engage in Regular Cybersecurity Staff Training

Educating your employees is crucial to cybersecurity hygiene. They must know how to identify suspicious emails or messages that could lead to a ransomware attack. So, make sure they know what NOT to do.

It also helps to establish a response plan and let everyone know what they should do if a device gets infected with malware. This includes immediately notifying the network administrator, isolating infected devices, disconnecting from the network, and changing passwords.

To keep staff alert, it’s important to engage in this activity regularly. After all, complacency is the enemy of cybersecurity. By taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity, you’ll be better placed to avert a ransomware attack or minimise the damage caused by one.

There isn’t a single solution or service that protect against ransomware attacks. Instead, you have to leverage the tools and expertise available within the organisation to respond effectively to the evolving threat.

Whenever you can’t manage it in-house, the best option is to partner with an established managed services provider.

At AU.IT, we go the extra mile to keep Australian businesses secure. To learn more about how you can protect your business from a ransomware attack, schedule a commitment-free consultation with one of in-house security experts.


Why Businesses Hire Managed Services Providers

Small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners know that technology is at the heart of many business processes. Suppose there is a minor problem with the hardware, software, or internal databases. In that case, there’s always the potential for significant downtime (which costs a lot of money in lost opportunities and more).

While some companies can afford to hire and accommodate their own IT support staff in-house, this can quickly get expensive in a highly competitive labour market. In this scenario, SMBs are often better served to adopt IT managed services.

Another reason why organisations choose business IT support is to efficiently and securely manage remote working. It’s also the best way to free up your staff and focus on what’s important—your business goals.

Managed IT services is a comprehensive approach to outsource the daily management of enterprise technology needs. They can either augment your in-house IT team or even become your IT department, depending on your resources and specific business objectives.

What Are Managed IT Services?

Managed services or managed support services are like an in-house IT department. They perform tasks like hardware and software installation, helpdesk services, systems administration, network support, and troubleshooting technical issues.

For SMBs, these tasks are often performed by the owner or employees juggling multiple roles. With business IT support, they will not only take over this process (that often feels overwhelming) but also offer so much more.

Immediate Access to Expert Support

If you have been calling your colleague several times a day to resolve a technical issue and they still haven’t shown up, it’s time to get some professional support. Managed business IT support includes helpdesk services. This means that you can get expert help, and it’s just an email or call away.

As they work remotely, they are also accessible from anywhere at any time of the day. This translates into (24/7) round-the-clock management and IT support.

Access to Cutting-Edge Technology and Robust Infrastructure

Most managed services providers have strong relationships with software and hardware vendors. As a customer, you’ll benefit from significant discounts and access to the latest technologies for an affordable monthly fee.

Building and maintaining enterprise infrastructure also demands a significant investment of resources. However, by sharing this responsibility with an IT support provider, you can offload some of the expenses and all of the responsibility.

This approach also helps SMBs become more agile and diversified. Whenever businesses can adapt quickly to a rapidly changing environment, they are also better placed to innovate and improve their bottom line.

Managed IT services also include automatic updates and upgrades. So, you don’t have to worry about security as your managed services partner will deploy patches as they are released.

Disaster and Recovery

If you’re hosting IT infrastructure on-premise, a backup retention and disaster recovery plan are critical to ensure business continuity. For example, a server failure can quickly bring all operations to a standstill. There’s also the risk of losing all enterprise data if the right processes aren’t in place before the incident.

However, if you’re working with a managed services provider, it’s all in their hands. They will use the latest backup retention and recovery tools, ensure minimal to zero downtime, and secure your data. This approach helps ensure business value and build customer loyalty.

Other benefits of partnering with a managed IT support services provider include:

  • Lower costs, higher reliability
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Simplification of complex IT processes

Are managed services suitable for your business? Reach out for a commitment-free consultation.


How Do Managed Services Accelerate Digital Transformation?

Over the last few years, enterprises across industries started digitally transforming their businesses to leverage automation, boost productivity, enhance efficiencies, and optimise processes.

However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies also had to digitally transform their infrastructure to enable remote working, seamless collaboration, and business continuity.

This is expected to continue in 2021 and beyond. According to IDC, digital transformation spending will grow to over 55% of total ICT investments this year (up from 45% in 2020).

However, not all IT teams have the bandwidth to support such initiatives. They are already overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks and don’t have time to take on sizeable company-wide transformation projects.

As it no longer makes sense to rely solely on in-house IT teams, many businesses are now turning to the cloud and managed services to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives.

What’s Managed IT Services?

When companies sign up for managed services, they outsource their daily IT management responsibilities to a managed IT services provider. This approach helps accelerate digital transformation initiatives, improve operations, and fast-track your technology investment return.

The business IT support categories are made of groups of service elements designed to help organisations achieve their present and long-term goals. It’s a robust strategy to access automation, maintenance support, optimisation of critical services, and more.

When organisations partner with an established managed IT services provider, they unburden in-house IT teams and enable access to cutting-edge technologies. When your IT team is free to focus on more meaningful work, they’ll be up for the challenge of digitally transforming internal processes to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

What Are the Key Challenges?

While deploying new technologies presents exciting opportunities for enterprises, it also introduces some challenges. For example, it might take a bit of time to standardise all systems and computer models across departments. Furthermore, mobile devices connected to the cloud also introduce a level of complexity.

For many organisations, these challenges lead to significant expenses:

  • Cost of hiring and training qualified professionals
  • Purchasing and integrating infrastructure to support new technologies
  • Real-time monitoring and security

The good news is that an established managed services provider can also help you overcome these challenges cost-effectively. They’ll ensure that all your systems are patched and up to date and engage in real-time monitoring, manage cloud deployments, enable close collaboration, and more.

A business IT support services provider will also offer network support, Office 365 migration, systems administration, helpdesk services, disaster and recovery, IT asset management, IT project management, and IT support.

One of the key benefits here is that the ongoing tech talent shortage in Australia won’t impact your organisation. Your managed services provider will enable immediate access to the best minds in the country, so you won’t have to deal with hiring and retaining top tech talent (or the overhead expenses that follow new hires).

When companies are digitally transformed and adequately supported, they can invest in innovation. They can hire more qualified professionals in other areas and scale without resource-related bottlenecks.

Are you looking for a managed IT services provider to accelerate your digital transformation initiatives? We can help, schedule a commitment-free consultation now.


Top 3 Features You Need in an Endpoint Security Tool

In the current threat landscape, it’s vital to secure the devices and systems that connect to your enterprise network. In fact, it’s a critical component of data security policies and regulatory compliance.

In recent years, maintaining corporate security has become increasingly challenging with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) programmes, and remote working.

For companies across industries, efficient endpoint solutions are now vital to cybersecurity. It’s the best approach to mitigate risk and ensure business continuity.

What Is Endpoint Security?

According to McAffe, endpoint security describes the practice of securing the entry points of end-user devices like desktops, laptops, and mobile devices from being breached or exploited by threat actors and campaigns.

Endpoint security systems safeguard these endpoints or entry points on enterprise networks, on-premises, or the cloud. Since its origins as traditional antivirus software, endpoint security has evolved to provide comprehensive protection from sophisticated malware attacks and evolving zero-day threats.

Advanced endpoint security tools available today effectively detect, analyse, block, and contain live attacks. However, to achieve this, you have to use different security technologies to provide administrators the necessary visibility into advanced threats and ensure rapid detection and remediation.

Some endpoint security solutions used by corporations and managed services providers alike include the following:

  • Check Point
  • CrowdStrike Falcon
  • FirstPoint
  • Nyotron
  • Sophos
  • Symantec Endpoint Security by Broadcom

If you’re in the market for endpoint security tools, make your choices based on the following necessary features. If you’re working with a managed services provider, ask them what they’re doing in the background to help secure your infrastructure.

1. Robust Malware Detection Capabilities

Hackers aren’t using traditional executable files anymore. They now leverage co-opt scripts such as JavaScript, Office Scripts, and VBScript that legitimate actors often use. This makes it critical for the endpoint tool to detect any malware attempting to avoid detection by traditional protection tools.

This means these security tools must make sophisticated determinations by monitoring behaviours and more. However, it’s not a straightforward process and requires powerful machine learning algorithms to automate it. For example, smart algorithms can engage in the telemetry collection for scripts and troubleshoot processes whenever something unrecognized appears in the enterprise environment.

2. Proactive Approach to the Evolving Threat

Bad actors are constantly using a wide array of tools and techniques to attack businesses. Whether it’s encrypting data and holding it for ransom or looking for weaknesses in the code itself, you need a security tool that evolves with the threat.

This makes it essential to dig deeper and identify tools that are constantly updated and alert to advanced tactics before a potential attack. These security solutions are updated based on the latest techniques used by hackers. However, endpoint protection tools should provide an option to whitelist a method that’s often used by the business for legitimate purposes.

In this scenario, you need a combination of human intelligence and predictive technology to detect suspicious activity and determine if it’s malicious or not. This means that the endpoint detection and protection tool should examine the behaviour on the network and not just focus on signature models.

3. Regular Reporting on Detected Threats

Old-school endpoint security solutions like antivirus and DNS concentrate on known threats and wait for them to strike. However, in contrast, endpoint protection assumes that an attack is imminent and continuously attempts to identify new infections.

Before committing, security teams must determine what kind of reports they need. This means how often they want to see these reports and what information they want to see in them.

The above scratches the surface of endpoint security protocols. If you don’t have the necessary tools or skillsets in-house, your managed services provider can also help you formulate the best approach to fortifying your security posture.

At AU.IT, we’re highly experienced in ensuring enterprise security. To learn more, reach out to one of our in-house security experts.


Why Is Data Loss Prevention Critical to Business Continuity?

In the current threat landscape, everyone is a live target. Even if you’re running a small business, you can bet that threat actors are looking to breach your systems. This makes it critical to have a data loss prevention plan ready to go if the unthinkable happens.

As the IT environment becomes more complex, it’s now more challenging than ever to implement and maintain robust privacy, security, and regulatory compliance. This is because not only are we dealing with multi-cloud environments, we’re also managing sensitive personally identifiable information, intellectual property, and more.

A data breach will potentially attract adverse publicity, regulatory fines, and damage to brand value. It’ll also disrupt business continuity unless you’re proactive and implement a layered defence strategy. If you don’t have the necessary resources, engage an established managed IT services provider who’ll help fortify your IT infrastructure cost-effectively.

What’s Data Loss Prevention?

Data loss prevention is a component of your comprehensive disaster and recovery plan. It’s essentially a set of data protection protocols designed to secure critical or sensitive data.

This approach concentrates on protecting enterprise data from unauthorised access, human error, misuse, and data loss. It works by leveraging cutting-edge tools for monitoring, filtering, blocking, and more.

Whenever you have a prevention plan in place, you mitigate the risk of data exfiltration, data leakage, and data loss. In this scenario, risk-appropriate controls are deployed with minimal impact on overall business processes.

There are several types of prevention processes, these include:

  • Data identification
  • Data leak detection
  • Endpoint data loss prevention
  • Network data loss prevention
  • Protecting data in motion
  • Protecting data at rest

A robust data protection plan that efficiently protects against data loss will combine all of the above and more to fortify enterprise infrastructure. In fact, it’s the go-to approach of leading managed IT services providers.

If you don’t have a data loss prevention plan, make sure to start with data governance. This is because you need policies and rules in place for storing, accessing, moving, and manage critical data.

Standard Metrics vs. Substandard Results

Data loss protection is traditionally focused on the recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). RTO measures restoration time or the time it takes to restore enterprise data. On the other hand, RPO measures how much data you’re willing to lose to an outage.

IT security teams across industries tend to leverage RTO as the primary approach to ensure business continuity. This approach has successfully got businesses back online in mere minutes rather than hours or even days.

But the story doesn’t quite end here.

The age of your data also plays a crucial role in disaster and recovery plans. For example, there’s an outage, and your back online within seconds. But the last backup took place more than 12 hours ago.

What happens to all the workflows and sales orders placed during that window? When you don’t know what happened over those 12 hours, you risk losing revenue, productivity, and so on.

The best way forward is to use the RPO in concert with RTO. That way, when your infrastructure is back online, and you’ll be working with a recent backup of critical data.

As today’s computing environment grows more complex, it’s vital to have a robust data loss prevention plan in place to ensure business continuity. But more often than not, enterprises fail to boost their data protection protocols because of restricted budgets. Whenever this is the case, it’s best to engage a managed IT services provider who’ll fill the gaps cost-effectively.

At AU IT, we recognise that there’s a shortage of top security talent. We’re here to fill that gap with our managed IT services to ensure that your sensitive data is always safe and available. To learn more, reach out to one of our in-house data security experts.


What Is a Virtual Private Network?

Virtual Private Network (VPNs) ensure online anonymity and privacy. This is achieved by creating a private network within a public internet connection.

Whenever you use a VPN, it masks your Internet Protocol (IP) address, making your online activities virtually untraceable. What matters is the fact that VPN services create highly secure and encrypted connections that deliver unparallel privacy.

Do You Need a VPN?

Whenever you surf the web or use an unsecured Wi-Fi network, you expose your browsing habits and sensitive private information. When you do the same through a VPN, all this information is encrypted. This makes VPNs a must for anyone concerned with their online privacy and security.

Suppose you’re checking important work emails while queuing at your local coffee shop or checking your bank balance while waiting to board a plane. In that case, all this sensitive information can potentially be accessed by bad actors.

If you’re using a private Wi-Fi network that requires a password, you don’t have to worry (at least not too much). But suppose you automatically log into a public Wi-Fi hotspot. In that case, any information transmitted during a session is vulnerable to eavesdropping, even by a stranger who is two tables down (and using the same network).

In the current threat landscape, everyone is a target. The anonymity and encryption provided by VPN applications keep you safe. It’s also one of the ways of reducing the risk of identity theft. Furthermore, it’ll help block sites from collecting your data for marketing activities.

How Does It Work?

VPNs deploy a data tunnel between an exit node in another location and your local network. This means that you can appear to be browsing from thousands of miles away, even on another continent.

VPN services leverage encryption protocols to scramble data before sending it through a Wi-Fi network. As encrypted data is unreadable, no one else on the network can spy on your online activity (if they manage to intercept it).

Furthermore, your internet service provider won’t have access to your entire browsing history. This is because all web activity is directly associated with the VPN server’s IP address and not yours.

Leading VPN service providers boast servers in data centres spread across the planet. As search histories are directly tied to these locations’ IP address, VPNs protect you from tech giants like Google, who continuously collect data on everyone.

VPNs hide the following information that puts your privacy at risk:

  • Activity on mobile devices
  • Current location for streaming (which is helpful when travelling outside the country)
  • IP address and location
  • Personal browsing history
  • Web activity to ensure internet freedom

While VPNs are popular in countries plagued by authoritative regimes, it’s just as important in the free world. This is because data drives everything today, and this information demands protection while it’s in motion.

In a post-pandemic world where remote working has become the norm, it’s also essential to connect to enterprise infrastructure via VPNs. This approach helps mitigate risk in the current threat landscape.

What Should You Look for in a VPN Provider?

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to VPN providers. However, you should choose one based on your specific needs. However, the provider you select should have a reputation for robust security, speed, and consistent uptime.

If you’re a frequent traveller, you’d require a VPN that allows you to stream. If the service comes with set data limits, it’s probably not the right option for you. The best option usually provides full, unmetered bandwidth without data limits.

If the servers’ location is important, check if the provider has an active presence at that location with excellent bandwidth.

While costs are an important factor, don’t be fooled by free VPN advertisements. They don’t offer robust security protocols and fall short when it comes to uptime, speed, and support. Some are even known to sell your data to marketers, negating the whole point of using a VPN service.

If you’re thinking of securing your enterprise infrastructure by implementing VPN protocols, we can help. Schedule a commitment-free consultation.


What Are Fibre Optics Used For?

Fibre optics allow us to hop online and leverage light signals to transfer data to and from our computers. Thanks to fibre optic cables that use light signals, you don’t have to think about calling IT support. Just browse, comment, chat, shop, and stream quickly without buffering issues.

The newer technology behind fibre optic cables ensures reliability and speed that far surpass cable internet and DSL. In fact, it remains the fastest communication technology on the planet.

Even with the proliferation of 5G technology, fibre optics continue to lead the pack. At present, 5G has trouble penetrating double glazing, foliage, and walls. Without a fibre optic connection on a highly resilient network on every mobile tower and cell site, 5G will remain somewhat limited. This is especially true for those living in rural areas.

However, the emergence of 5G presents new opportunities, and the fibre optics components market is forecasted to be worth over U$D 39 billion by 2027.

Fibre Optics Defined

Fibre optic cables are filled with glass filaments. These glass filaments carry lasers and light signals that send data back and forth to your computer. Fibre optic cables carry light very well over (relatively) long distances without weakening (much) or distorting the light signal.

In contrast, cable internet and DSL rely on copper wires to transmit and receive data. The data transmitted via copper wires significantly deteriorate over distances and distort the voltage signals they send.

How Does Fibre Optics Work?

Optic fibres are essentially hair-thin, flexible strands of glass that allow light beams to travel. These strands function as waveguides or a light tunnel that carries light between two ends of the fibre.

In this scenario, the light beams repeatedly bounce off the cable walls with an internal mirror-like reflection. If the light beam hits the glass at a 42-degree angle (or less), it’ll reflect back, creating a total internal reflection. As a result, the structure helps keep the light inside the cable.

Fibre internet connections achieve speeds of one gigabit per second or a hundred times faster than copper wire connections. This makes fibre optics critical to achieving faster data transfer, shorter load times, and high-quality streaming. You also won’t be hitting the reload button several times or picking up your phone to call IT support any time soon.

What Are the Different Types of Fibre Internet?

There are several types of fibre optics used to access the internet. The leading three fibre optic connections are listed below:

  1. Fibre to the curb (FTTC): This approach ensures that the fibre internet connection goes straight to the nearest pole or utility box (and not a concrete curb). Coaxial cables then send signals from the utility box (or the curb) to your house. So FTTC combines both copper wires and fibre optic cables to connect you to the web.
  • Fibre to the home or premises (FTTH or FTTP): This approach is often described as the “holy grail” of all fibre internet connections. It brings the fibre internet connection straight into your house. If your residence isn’t equipped to receive a fibre connection, your local internet service provider will drill holes or dig nearby to make it happen.
  • Fibre to the node or neighbourhood (FTTN): This approach provides a fibre connection to hundreds of customers located within a one-mile radius of the node. The remaining connection from the node to your property is often a DSL line that leverages pre-existing telephone cables.

Things get tricky when following the FTTN model because the farther you live away from the node, the more you’ll rely on the copper wire DSL lines to reach your house. As alluded to above, the longer the line, the slower the connection.

Fibre optics already handle massive amounts of data. This means they can also power applications that don’t even exist yet. In the future, fibre optics technologies are only going to get better. Are you getting the fastest internet speeds in Australia? Find out from our team of in-house experts.


Transition to Outsourcing Business IT Support and Management

Technology is quickly and continuously evolving, transforming how companies operate. Keeping pace is critical to maintaining a competitive advantage, but not all enterprises, including small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), can afford it. That’s where Business IT support comes in.

By working closely with an established managed services provider, enterprises of all sizes can quickly adapt and compete in a rapidly changing technological landscape. This approach also frees up staff to concentrate on core business outcomes.

In this post, we’ll dive into what outsourcing IT support really is and how to figure out if you need it.

What Is IT Support?

Outsourcing business IT support describes the process of hiring a third-party provider to manage your technology infrastructure, devices, users, and services, including systems administration, network support, and helpdesk services.

A professional managed IT services provider will handle all the IT protocols integral to enterprise operations and ensure seamless processes across departments and hierarchies (with little to no downtime).

While every managed support services provider offers different services, most provide the following:

  • Authentication
  • Data centre, storehouse, and warehouse management
  • Data backup and retention
  • General management and support services
  • IT security
  • Helpdesk services
  • Network management, monitoring, and security
  • Process execution and enforcement
  • Systems administration

The primary advantages of outsourcing your IT support function are immediate access to cutting-edge technology and top tech talent access. Companies also access significant cost savings, mitigate risk, and ensure uninterrupted uptime by outsourcing their IT operations.

Do you need to outsource your business IT support function? The answer to this question depends on the following:

You Need Access to the Latest Technologies

If you need access to the latest technologies but can’t afford the capital expenses that go with it, managed services enable access to cutting-edge technology cost-effectively. What’s more, you won’t have to bother with the setup, deployment, management, or maintenance (as it’ll all be outsourced).

Your support services provider will also ensure that you have the latest hardware and software. They will also help you manage the hardware end of life scenarios safely and resourcefully.

You Need Access to Top Tech Talent

If you can’t afford to compete in a highly competitive labour market, again, an IT support services provider can help fill the skills gap. This approach can help augment or extend in-house teams, or you can outsource all your IT support requirements.

This approach helps businesses plan, strategize, and scale their operations efficiently. Outsourcing models have historically helped businesses tackle existing labour constraints cost-effectively. Going forward, expect this process to become critical in a highly digitised world.

You Need Enhanced IT Security

Maintaining security and compliance is a monumental task that demands specialised skills and automation. In the current threat landscape, bad actors are relentlessly attacking enterprise systems. To stay a step ahead of threat actors, you have to identify and rectify potential vulnerabilities in real-time (with 24/7 monitoring, blocking, patching, updates, and more).

As everyone is now a live target, SMBs and corporations alike can access expert cybersecurity services through managed IT services. This approach ensures peace of mind as your outsourcing partner will work to keep your brand out of the headlines.

You Need to Increase Efficiency

Let’s face it. We can’t do it all by ourselves without the necessary resources. If you do, you’ll end up losing time, money, and (in a worst-case scenario) a data breach. Every company has heaps of stuff going on at any given moment, so managed IT services providers make it all manageable and help boost operational efficiency.

Even better, your managed services partner will accelerate the research, development, and implementation to make the transition to outsourcing business IT support painless.

To find out if your business can benefit from outsourcing IT support, schedule a commitment-free consultation.

META: Outsourcing business IT support helps Australian businesses ensure efficiency and business continuity. But do you need to make the transition? Learn more.


Can Managed Services Reduce Total IT Cost?

Enterprises of all sizes have to contend with capital and cyclical expenses. These expenses relate to accounting, business processes, business IT support, development, helpdesk services, and much more. In this scenario, managed services providers help fill the skills gaps, enhance efficiencies, and reduce costs.

What started in the manufacturing sector has grown exponentially across the technology vertical. Today, companies can take advantage of asset and resource allocation management, IT support, and even software as a service (SaaS) models specifically designed to minimise capital expenditure.

Cutting IT costs through managed services depends on the organisation and business model. Sometimes companies are equipped to handle IT operations internally, efficiently, and cost-effectively. But most often, small and medium-sized businesses find that they can’t keep up with the rapid evolution of technology.

Whenever this is the case, enterprises benefit from outsourcing some or all IT operations to a managed IT services provider.

Let’s take a quick look at how managed services help reduce total IT costs:

1. Reduce IT infrastructure Costs

Setting up your own enterprise IT infrastructure demands massive investment in both hardware and software (and let’s not forget personnel). For example, when businesses leverage managed IT services and move to the cloud, they immediately access substantial savings.

They don’t have to invest in an in-house data centre, and they don’t have to pay for prohibitive expenses like power, cooling, software, storage, security, and more. What’s more, the cloud services provider will provide network support, systems administration and will keep track of hardware and software updates.

The best part of managed infrastructure services is the fact that you’ll never have to worry about updating your hardware and software ever again. Your business IT support services provider will ensure that you’re always working with the latest technologies. Sometimes they will also offer software like Office 365 at a discounted rate.

2. Reduce Operational Costs

Deploying IT infrastructure is one thing. Maintaining it is another. The maintenance of robust enterprise infrastructure requires a dedicated team of experts to oversee it daily. Maintenance costs are also unpredictable. You never know how much time and money it’s going to cost to resolve a problem.

Managed IT services help eliminate surprises down the road and provide maintenance and security services at a fixed cost (monthly or yearly). With the help of cutting-edge tools and experienced professionals, your outsourcing partner will monitor the infrastructure 24/7, engage in regular backup and retention, and minimise the risk of downtime by resolving potential problems in real-time (saving you thousands of dollars).

3. Reduce Human Resources Costs

Software engineers and technology professionals are in high demand and don’t come cheap. This makes hiring and retaining a full-scale IT support team will be expensive.

The ongoing tech talent shortage in Australia also makes attracting IT professionals much more challenging. If you manage to hire some engineers, you also have to consider training costs, benefits, and overhead expenses (to keep them on-premises).

Often, IT departments are overwhelmed with mundane and manual work like maintenance or fixing minor issues. When managed IT support services take on this responsibility, your staff is free to focus on what’s important, your business, and your customers.

This approach goes a long way to streamline processes, improve operational efficiency, and boost productivity. Happy employees are also easier to retain in a highly competitive labour market.

When companies are supported effectively by business IT support services, they can invest more in core business teams. This means that you’ll be able to add more qualified personnel, allowing you to scale without resource-related bottlenecks.

Managed services help reduce total IT costs. It’s just like renting or leasing an office space for a few years rather than buying the whole building. You also don’t have to deal with expenses related to infrastructure depreciation, hiring costs, or worry about creating additional space for new employees.

Are you looking for a managed IT services provider to enhance operational efficiencies, improve productivity, and cut total IT costs? We can help, schedule a commitment-free consultation now.


What Is the Real Value of IT Managed Services?

In an age where data is just as good as gold, robust IT support is critical to enhance operational efficiencies and avert potential data breaches and disruptions. But in a highly competitive marketplace, enterprises find it both difficult and costly to manage on their own, so it makes sense that many turn to managed IT services.

Today, IT managed services are at the heart of digitally transformed businesses. When companies partner with an established managed IT services provider, they get immediate access to cutting-edge technology and professional expertise (that’s often out of reach), cost-effectively.

What Is IT Managed Services?

IT managed services describes the practice of outsourcing secondary IT functions and processes to a third-party provider. This approach helps organisations concentrate on their primary tasks while drastically improving efficiencies and cutting costs.

For example, a Systems Administrator in Canberra commands an average salary of $85,000 per year (not including the costs of benefits like healthcare, paid time off, and more). But with IT managed services, companies can refocus their capital and other resources and concentrate on their core businesses.

Based on service level agreements, companies can focus on their customers without worrying about systems administration, helpdesk services, maintenance, network support, updates, upgrades, and security.

What Are the Key Benefits of Managed Support Services?

There are several direct, and indirect benefits to signing up with a managed IT services provider. In this post, we’ll explore the top four advantages of partnering with a managed IT services provider:

1. Access to Cutting-Edge Technology

When you sign up for business IT support, you avoid expenses related to hardware and software upgrades. With enterprise infrastructure deployed in a state-of-the-art data centre, you can rest assured that your data is safe, secure, and always available.

You won’t have to hire a team to assemble technology products, pay for training, and so on.  A managed support services provider will be equipped with the right infrastructure to start the project immediately.

It’s the most effortless and cost-effective approach to staying up to date with the latest technology. IT support services also ensure that small and medium-sized businesses compete on par with corporate giants.

2. Enhanced Efficiency and Improved Proficiency

When your staff is free to focus on core business tasks, there’s an opportunity to boost productivity with lower downtimes and reduced lead times. Employees are also better placed to identify new opportunities and create new revenue streams.

With highly experienced IT professionals just a click or call away, you’ll avoid significant disruptions and ensure compliance and business continuity.

3. Lower Risks and Robust Security

Ensuring regulatory compliance, privacy, and IT security is getting more complicated by the second. In the current threat landscape, expertise and experience mean everything.

For example, your support services provider will boast significant knowledge and expertise to deploy robust security protocols and secure your infrastructure in real-time. You’ll also benefit from their wealth of experience securing similar enterprise IT infrastructure.

Your business IT support services provider will also secure your business with the latest security tools. For example, if you have a payment gateway operating on your system, they will help ensure compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI/DSS). They can also help with training exercises to mitigate the risk of human error.

4. Save Time and Money

When you partner with an established IT support services provider, you’ll have a clear idea about your IT spend (whether it’s on a monthly or yearly basis). This amount will be significantly lower than hiring an in-house support team, which comes with additional overheads like benefits, office space, training, and more.

With managed support services, you decide your contract terms and pay for only what you need. Furthermore, you avoid situations like the sudden need for capital expenditure to update and upgrade your technology infrastructure.

Your business IT support services partner will breakdown these expenses into fixed, manageable monthly, quarterly, or yearly payments and ensure seamless upgrades with little to no downtime.

As you’re always getting immediate access to the brightest minds in the business, you’ll also save time (with fewer breakdowns and troubleshooting exercises).

There are plenty more advantages to outsourcing your enterprise IT function. To learn more about IT managed services, schedule commitment-free consultation.


What Are Managed Services in the IT Industry?

Managed Services Providers (MSPs) offer a wide range of technology services following a subscription model. This approach eliminates initial capital expenses and ensures immediate access to cutting-edge technology, cost-effectively.

Originally designed to help corporations outsource some of their operations to boost efficiency and cut costs, managed services are now accessible to small and medium-sized businesses.

But before we go any further, let’s first define it.

What are Managed Services?

Managed services describe the process of outsourcing certain functions (like back-office processes) to enable efficiency and optimise costs. As it gets harder for small businesses to access the expertise they need, things like managed helpdesk services and support services are quickly becoming the norm.

Whenever enterprises adopt this approach, they get an external dedicated team of experts assigned to handle specific tasks and a team leader who is accountable for the services rendered.

When you partner with an MSP, you essentially free up your staff and resources to focus on your primary operations and what’s really important–your business.

As this industry vertical evolves, Managed IT services have grown to offer services like cloud hosting, real-time monitoring, maintenance, and more. This approach helps organisations fill the skills and technology gaps while ensuring business continuity and regulatory compliance.

In this scenario, managed services don’t just help enhance operational efficiency through technology adoption but also control expenditure and mitigate risk.

What Kind of Services Does an MSP Provide?

MSPs today offer a wide array of services. However, it’s important to note that all service providers won’t provide the same kinds of services. Some might provide all the services listed below, while others might just offer a handful of services. Some might only offer business IT support.

Managed Data Analytics

Data is the underlying force that drives digitally transformed companies forward. Managed data analytics services help companies access business intelligence technologies, data management and analytics tools, and real-time monitoring services.

Managed Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud infrastructure management is widespread, especially in a post-pandemic world. Managed cloud infrastructure services providers help manage cloud computing protocols, operating systems, data storage, software, and more. Some even provide virtualisation services for apps.

Managed Communication Services

Managed communication services or managed unified communication services provide extensive communication capabilities for a monthly (or annual) fee. For example, a managed communication services provider may deploy communications infrastructure to enable instant messaging, VoIP (voice over internet protocol), and video. Some MSPs also provide third-party call centre services.

Managed Network Support

MSPs that provide managed network support usually manage the entire enterprise network. In this scenario, they’ll handle your LAN, WAPS (and other connections) and manage backup and storage options.

Managed Print Services

Managed print services blend both business and managed IT services. For example, the MSP will provide the technology, remotely assist with data and file infrastructure, and (sometimes) connect to external printing services. This type of service is suitable for companies with highly complex file management and printing needs.

Managed Cybersecurity

As data breaches become the norm, it’s now critical for companies to fortify their infrastructure. But not many boast the necessary resources and personnel to achieve it. Managed cybersecurity services help even the playing field by deploying robust security technologies that are supported by real-time monitoring, 

Managed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

While you can directly access SaaS options from a company, for example, Office 365 from Microsoft, it’s often cheaper to subscribe to through an MSP. This is because managed IT services providers often have special agreements with tech giants that enable cost savings (that trickle down to the customer).

Managed Support Services

As alluded to above, the most common service offered by MSPs is IT support services, which usually takes the form of helpdesk services. This approach provides businesses with real-time IT support without any of the HR or overhead expenses.

If your company has been digitally transformed, you’ll benefit from support services. It can also have a positive impact on your bottom line by boosting productivity and keeping costs down.

To learn more about managed services and how it can help your business, schedule a commitment-free consultation.