4 Reasons you need a local managed it service provider

Haw far are you from Hudson MA? Keeping IT local really does matter? Here’s why:

1. Quick Response Time in an Emergency – How far are you from Hudson, MA?

While it’s true that we live in a virtual world where remote access is becoming the norm, there are many situations that are best be handled at your location. For example, if your system has been hacked, remote access may be compromised. As your Managed IT Services provider, a Bryley Systems technical support expert can be quickly dispatched to your offices and have hands-on access to your network to resolve the problem. On-site support will significantly reduce your downtime. And we all know that downtime is a cost you cannot easily recoup.

2. Understanding Your Local Business Environment

As your local provider of Managed IT Services, we are operating in the same geography as you are. If, for example, National Grid is experiencing a problem in a snow storm, Bryley will have the most up-to-date information on the scope of the problem and an ETA for bringing the electric grid back up. You won’t need to sit on hold waiting for “the next available agent” to answer your call. Because Bryley will already know the answer. That’s our job as a local services provider.

3. Proactive Maintenance

Yes, there are routine checks that are performed remotely, but when you need someone on site, your local provider can be there quickly. The ability to work in your physical server room is often the only way a problem can be resolved. Of course, Bryley provides proactive maintenance that will help prevent issues before they occur. But when all else fails, we can just drive over to your office and fix the problem. We know your system. We know your business. We know your people and you know us. It’s an up-close and personal relationship. And that provides a much higher level of confidence and comfort than a voice on the phone.

4. Local Support = Cost Effective Support

IT support services are generally billed hourly and include travel time and expenses. In order to keep your costs down, Bryley has chosen to serve customers within a prescribed radius of their Hudson, Massachusetts office. This translates into a cost savings for you. We’re not flying people out to visit you. We’re not putting our team up in hotel rooms. We’re local and we value your time because time is money. If we’re a bit too far for comfort from your location, we partner with other top-notch service providers who share our “client first” values.

You may be wondering if a local provider of Managed IT Services has the same expertise as some of the “big players” who offer the same services. The short answer is that we do. We’ve been serving the area around Hudson, Massachusetts for nigh unto 30 years! We have all of the requisite certifications and decades of experience that we bring to bear for each and every client. Bryley Systems is an award-winning Managed IT Services provider and Managed Cloud Services Provider recognized for excellence by CRN, Penton Technologies, MSPmentor, and Clarity Total IT Services Provider (TSP) List.

 

Please call the Bryley team for more information at 978-562-6077. Or contact us by email at ITExperts@bryley.com.

Where the Malware Hides – (It’s not where you think!)

5 tips for avoiding those nasty hackers.

Even the savviest of technology users have fallen victim to accidentally getting malware on their computer.  The typical sequence of events goes as follows: The user comes in with PC in hand, lugging all of their computer media with their heads down in shame and wonderment. “How did this happen?” “I don’t go on any bad websites!” They always want me to be well aware that they didn’t go on any “bad websites.”  The obvious culprits are adult content, pharmaceuticals, and/or gambling sites. But malware can hide in otherwise benign websites, too.  A hacker’s goal is to cover large ground with popular websites that have low security. They do this by targeting top visited sites, continually disguising their malware to look like legitimate downloads, and improving these methods by trial and error.

Here are 5 otherwise benign websites, where malware may be hiding:

1. Celebrity Gossip Websites

Some of the most popular search terms have to do with celebrity news.  Intel has put together a list of the top ten most dangerous celebs to search online.  Are your employees searching these celebrities online at work?

2. Movie/Music Downloads i.e. Torrents.

Torrent movie/music downloads are different than iTunes or other paid downloads.  Basically, torrents are free files containing movies, music and sometimes software that has been shared in a peer-to-peer network.  These files are typically pirated and/or infringe upon intellectual property rights.   This is an unmonitored forum, so some files may be disguised as the latest movie, when in fact they are malware downloads.

3. Fake Software Downloads/Updates

Have you ever gotten a pop-up from a reputable antivirus company that is NOT installed on your PC that says “You have x number of viruses.  Click here to clean up.” Or perhaps you’ve seen a no name search engine toolbar that snuck in during another software install.  These are malware downloads disguised as legitimate downloads. The best way to safeguard yourself from these fake software downloads is to just go to the direct website and grab the download yourself. Any website can display fake software downloads/updates.

4. Social Media

One out of five businesses are infected by Malware through Social Media.  Malware can come in a multitude of ways through social media via ads, messages or hyperlinks in posts.  Anything with a hyperlink can be malware or can lead you to download malware.  Hackers love Twitter because it shortens URLs, so the new shortened URL does not reveal any information as to where the hyperlink will take you. Almost everyone is on some type of social media; even your grandparents are on Facebook these days.  Social Media’s popularity is the reason why malware breeds and thrives on these sites.

5. Online Storage

Not all online storage solutions are created equal, but all are susceptible to getting malware attacks.  If the endpoint, i.e. pc and/or laptop, gets malware, and an online storage solution is mapped to that endpoint, then your online storage can also be compromised.  Other more malicious infiltration methods include hackers who crack passwords, access your data, and use your data against you either through sharing or ransomware, in which case they will literally hold your data hostage for a fee.  Some solutions include setting complex passwords, changing those passwords often, installing a reliable backup system and replicating your data.  Also, make sure to log out and don’t save passwords if you are accessing your data on a public computer.

Preventing yourself or your employees from accessing these sites can be close to impossible.  Bryley Systems does offer Secure Network, a managed security service that can deter these malware attacks from occurring and will manage the entire process!  For details, please call 978.562.6077 or email BusinessDevelopment@Bryley.com.

Five reasons to consider Managed Cloud over Public Cloud

Gavin Livingstone, Bryley Systems Inc.

Public Cloud – hosted and provided primarily by Amazon (21% market share), Microsoft (12%), Google (8%), and other large organizations1 – is growing, and many are taking advantage of its scalability, security, and availability.

However, Public Cloud services are not for everyone; for the uninitiated, they can be a confusing list of acronyms and options.  For example:

  • The options at Amazon Web Services (AWS) spread across 14 categories (Compute, Storage & Content Delivery, Database, etc.) with 73 different services (Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda, Amazon Route 53, etc.).
  • Microsoft Azure offers 12 categories (Web + Mobile, Intelligence + Analytics, Developer Tools, etc.) with 74 services; two of which have four sub-services.

Pricing is workable; for most services, you pay for what you use with no up-front costs and (usually) no termination fees, but it is typically a per-minute billing that needs to be monitored closely (similar to electricity and other metered utilities).

Although Public Cloud vendors use top-notch security and state-of-the-art data centers, there are some considerations with Public Cloud services:

  • The geographic location of data (data residency) can be out-of-country
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs) can be somewhat restrictive
  • Multitenancy can lead to slowdowns and security concerns
  • Support can be subpar and, potentially, offshore

Managed Clouds2 are often built on Private Cloud platforms with dedicated hardware owned by the Managed Cloud provider, although some location-indifferent Public Cloud services (like encrypted backups and Active/Passive failover3) may be incorporated.  These services are customized to meet the exact needs of the client organization and are often billed at a fixed monthly fee that scales by end-user or by resource needs, rather than per-minute usage; Managed Cloud services allow the organization to focus on its business and leave the IT/Cloud management to a trusted partner.

Five reasons to consider Managed Cloud:

  1. Data residency can be restricted to in-country only
  2. SLAs can be aligned with the client’s business goals
  3. Technical support is typically dedicated and top notch
  4. The dedicated hardware in a Private Cloud can be more secure
  5. Proactive maintenance leads to greater optimization, reliability, and security

1For current Public Cloud market share and future predictions, please see Joe Panettieri’s article Cloud Market Share Research:  AWS, Microsoft and Business Adoption from July 10, 2016 in CHANNELe2e.

2See Taylor Rhodes of rackspace® HOSTING in her June 4, 2014 article “What is Managed Cloud”.

3Please see Wikipedia’s High-availability cluster.

What Does a Virtual CTO Do for Your Company?

Roy Pacitto
V.P. of Business Development

When and why would you need to hire a Virtual CTO?

In an age where the technology landscape is moving faster than ever, having a clear strategic direction and solid plans for execution are mission critical.

Virtual CTO (vCTO) or Virtual CIO (vCIO) professional service partners provide cost effective expertise and solutions that enable competitive advantage via technology.

Basics of vCTO services include working closely with senior management to:

  • Establish governance process and clear direction
  • Evaluate the “As-Is” IT infrastructure
  • Determine the optimal “To-Be” IT infrastructure and requirements to meet company goals
  • Establish, prioritize and assign time-frames to the list of IT initiatives that enable achievement of stated business goals
  • Effectively execute to plans

A successful vCTO partnership yields results and accolades:

  • A vCTO service pays for itself multiple times over as important initiatives get proper attention and the resources necessary to accomplish goals, at a reasonable cost
  • “We now recognize we’re not technology experts and are each best focusing on our individual areas of expertise!” This Bryley client can now utilize people and skillsets where they are most needed and to their fullest advantage.
  • Identifies when existing IT systems approach capacity and prevents failures
  • Evaluation from a happy Bryley client: “Our vCTO service ensures advanced
    planning of technologies necessary to support future company growth that may not otherwise be realized.”

What would having your own vCTO service mean for your organization? In 3 words: Peace of Mind!