Bryley Systems Inc. Ranked Among Top 501 Global Managed IT Service Providers by Channel Futures

MSP 501 Identifies World’s Most Forward-Thinking MSPs & Leading Trends in Managed IT Services

July 9, 2018: Bryley Systems ranks among the world’s 501 most strategic and innovative managed IT service providers (MSPs), according to Channel Futures MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings.

The MSP 501 is the first, largest and most comprehensive ranking of managed IT service providers worldwide. This year Channel Futures received a record number of submissions. Applications poured in from Europe, Asia, South America and beyond.

As it has for the last three years, Channel Futures teamed with Clarity Channel Advisors to evaluate these progressive and forward-leaning companies. MSPs were ranked according to our unique methodology, which recognizes that not all revenue streams are created equal. We weighted revenue figures according to how well the applicant’s business strategy anticipates trends in the fast-evolving channel ecosystem.

“We are honored to be named a winner of the MSP 501 for the fifth consecutive year.” said Gavin Livingstone, President and CEO, Bryley Systems. “It is a great honor and demonstrates our dedication to remain one of the top providers of managed IT services worldwide.  We look forward to continuing to provide excellent service to our clients.”

Channel Futures is pleased to honor Bryley Systems.

“This year’s applicant pool was the largest and most diverse in the history of the survey, and our winners represent the health and progressivity of the managed IT services market,” says Kris Blackmon, Channel Futures content director and editor of the MSP 501. “They’re growing their revenue, expanding their customer influence and exploring new technology that will propel them for years to come.”

The full MSP 501 report, available this fall, will leverage applicant responses, interviews and historical data to identify business and technology trends in the IT channel. Highlights will include:

  • Revenue growth and business models
  • Hiring trends and workforce dynamics
  • Business strategies
  • Service deliverables
  • Business tools and automation investments

 

Background

The 2018 MSP 501 list is based on data collected by Channel Futures and its sister site, Channel Partners. Data was collected online from Feb. 28 through May 31, 2018. The MSP 501 list recognizes top managed IT service providers based on metrics including recurring revenue, growth and other factors.

About Bryley Systems

Bryley Systems proactively manages, optimizes, and secures the IT infrastructure of organizations in manufacturing, business services, passenger transit, and local government. From Cloud-based to on premise solutions, they approach each client’s needs individually, with flexible service options and custom-fit agreements.  Since 1987, Bryley Systems has been providing Dependable IT at a Predictable Cost to clients throughout the continental United States.

 

About Informa

Channel Futures, Channel Partners Online, Channel Partners Conference & Expo and Channel Partners Evolution are part of Informa, the international business intelligence, academic publishing, knowledge and events group. Informa serves commercial, professional and academic communities, helping them connect and learn, and creating and providing access to content and intelligence that helps people and businesses work smarter and make better decisions faster.

Informa has over 10,000 colleagues in more than 20 countries and a presence in all major geographies. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 100.

Beware of Tech Support Scams!

There are scammers who will call and claim to be a computer tech associated with well-known companies like Microsoft or Apple.  Other scammers send pop-up messages that warn about computer problems.  They say they’ve detected viruses or other malware on your computer.  They claim to be ‘tech support’ and will ask you to give them remote access to your computer.  Eventually, they’ll diagnose a non-existent problem and ask you to pay for unnecessary – or even harmful – services.

If you get an unexpected pop-up, call, spam email or other urgent message about problems with your computer, STOP.  Don’t click on any links, don’t give control of your computer and don’t send any money.

How the Scam Works

Scammers may call, place alarming pop-up messages on your computer, offer free “security” scans, or set up fake websites – all to convince you that your computer is infected. The scammers try to get you on the phone, and then work to convince you there’s a problem. Finally, they ask you to pay them to fix that non-existent problem.

To convince you that both the scammers and the problems are real, the scammers may:

  • pretend to be from a well-known company – like Microsoft or Apple
  • use lots of technical terms
  • ask you to get on your computer and open some files – and then tell you those files show a problem (when they don’t)

Then, once they’ve convinced you that your computer has a problem, the scammers might:

  • ask you to give them remote access to your computer – which lets them change your computer settings so your computer is vulnerable to attack
  • trick you into installing malware that gives them access to your computer and sensitive data, like user names and passwords
  • try to sell you software that’s worthless, or that you could get elsewhere for free
  • try to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program
  • ask for credit card information so they can bill you for phony services, or services you could get elsewhere for free
  • direct you to websites and ask you to enter your credit card number and other personal information

These scammers want to get your money, access to your computer, or both. But there are things you can do to stop them.

If You Get a Call or Pop-Up

  • If you get an unexpected or urgent call from someone who claims to be tech support, hang up. It’s not a real call. And don’t rely on caller ID to prove who a caller is. Criminals can make caller ID seem like they’re calling from a legitimate company or a local number.
  • If you get a pop-up message that tells you to call tech support, ignore it. There are legitimate pop-ups from your security software to do things like update your operating system. But do not call a number that pops up on your screen in a warning about a computer problem.
  • If you’re concerned about your computer, call your security software company directly – but don’t use the phone number in the pop-up or on caller ID. Instead, look for the company’s contact information online, or on a software package or your receipt.
  • Never share passwords or give control of your computer to anyone who contacts you.

If You Were Scammed

  • Get rid of malware. Update or download legitimate security software and scan your computer. Delete anything the software says is a problem.
  • Change any passwords that you shared with someone. Change the passwords on every account that uses passwords you shared.
  • If you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card company and ask to reverse the charges. Check your statements for any charges you didn’t make, and ask to reverse those, too. Report it to gov/complaint.

Refund Scams

If you paid for tech support services, and you later get a call about a refund, that call is probably also a scam. Don’t give the person any personal or financial information.

The refund scam works like this: Several months after a purchase, someone calls to ask if you were happy with the service. If you say “No”, the scammer offers a refund. Or, the caller says the company is going out of business and giving refunds. The scammer eventually asks for your bank or credit card account number, or asks for access to your bank account to make a deposit. But instead of putting money in your account, the scammer takes money from your account.

If you get a call like this, hang up, and report it: ftc.gov/complaint.1

Reference:

1 Reprinted:  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the nation’s consumer protection agency. The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace.

Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Information

New Malware Threat Targets Internet Routers

A new malware called VPNFilter has managed to infect over 500,000 routers around the world.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned consumers to reboot their Internet routers and install new software patches, to fight a nasty new malware attack called VPNFilter that has so far infected about half a million devices in more than 50 countries, including the United States.  VPNFilter can be used to steal data, or to order routers to “self-destruct,” knocking thousands of Internet-connected devices offline.” 1

Routers are typically part of the technical devices in the home and at work, but how many of us know how to update software without the help of a technical person?  You would have to look up the brand of the router, its model and serial numbers, know the default password, log on to its internal control software and download a patch from the company’s website.  To some of us, that’s no problem, to most of us, it’s not only confusing, but anxiety provoking.

VPNFilter malware is a threat, and it can wreak havoc.  It can steal critical files from infected machines, or disable the router and knock out thousands of computers offline.  The FBI is working with researcher from Talos Intelligence Group, and they have traced the infection back to a group who appear to be linked to Russia’s military intelligence service.

The latest attack via VPNFilter is especially bad one, since it doesn’t only prevent devices from connecting to the internet, but it can be used for stealing passwords and monitoring internet activity. However, it seems that the attack has been planned for a while now, and both the UK and the US officials have been warning people that the Russian hackers might plan something like this.  The FBI used a court order to seize this Internet address and take it offline. Still, thousands of routers remain infected, including an unknown number in the United States.

So far, the only thing that the people can do to avoid becoming victims of the malware is to reset their routers. Returning them to the factory defaults and updating them is the only way to ensure that the malware is removed from the device.

“The FBI is urging Internet service providers Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. and others to check whether their hardware is vulnerable, and work with customers on updating their routers.  Routers by Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, and TP-Link are affected, as are big external hard drives made by a company called Qnap.  Merely rebooting the routers will wipe much of the toxic code from memory.  But a portion survives, and it will reinstall the malware when the device powers up.  The only sure cure is a software patch for each vulnerable device.” 2

“No other vendors, including Cisco, have been observed as infected by VPNFilter, but our research continues. The behavior of this malware on networking equipment is particularly concerning, as components of the VPNFilter malware allows for theft of website credentials and monitoring of Modbus SCADA protocols. Lastly, the malware has a destructive capability that can render an infected device unusable, which can be triggered on individual victim machines or en masse, and has the potential of cutting off internet access for hundreds of thousands of victims worldwide.”3  Some of the products will handle the update automatically – as a consumer you need to be aware and be able to patch your router.

Don’t leave your networks open to hackers.  As we are connecting other digital devices to our home networks — audio speakers, thermostats, security systems, etc., they all need regular software updates if you want to remain safe.  Spending the time on each device and being proactive is better than having to deal with it in a crisis.

References:
1 + 2:  The Boston Globe, May 24, 2018
3:   Talos Intelligence https://blog.talosintelligence.com/2018/05/VPNFilter.html
US Department of Justice
Security Global 24

March 31st is World Backup Day – Create a Properly Planned Backup Process

With March 31st being World Backup Day, it only seems right to talk about the importance of having a well-planned backup process.  Every day we read about malicious attacks on organizations, and there is no doubt that these attacks, especially ransomware, will continue to grow drastically in 2018.

Ransomware is a form of malware based on encryption software that seeks payment (ransom) to undo the damage it causes; when infected, the malware typically encrypts all data files, rendering them useless until the ransom is paid.  Encryption software scrambles a files’ contents and creates an encryption key, essentially a code used to reverse the process.  Unless you have this key and the encryption software, the files remain unreadable.

Ransom prices will vary depending on the ransomware variant and the price or exchange rates of digital currencies. Thanks to the perceived anonymity offered by cryptocurrencies, ransomware operators commonly specify ransom payments in bitcoins.  Recent ransomware variants have also listed alternative payment options such as iTunes and Amazon gift cards.  Paying the ransom is risky, and not recommended.  It will not guarantee that users will get the decryption key or unlock tool required to regain access to the infected system, and it potentially will make you more of a target in the future.

The only way to thwart ransomware is by restoring the corrupted files through a backup that was created before the infection.

A properly planned and implemented backup process is vital since data stored on a network server represents many hours of effort over time, making it impractical and usually impossible to recreate.  A properly functioning, multi-point-in-time backup is necessary to provide restoration under these and other scenarios:

  • A server fails
  • A file is deleted
  • A template is written over
  • An application upgrade fails and must be restored
  • A document is inadvertently changed and saved by a user

A backup should be a complete, recoverable copy of not just data, but the entire server/network environment.  It should have these properties:

  • Sequenced over many days
  • Complete image
  • Offsite storage

If you’re ready to get serious about protecting your business data, select a talented company, like Bryley Systems, to help you implement a Backup/Data Recovery solution to eliminate weak links in your security chain.  Let us help you develop an organization-wide policy to help prevent data loss.  Please contact us at 978.562.6077 or Email us today.  We are here to help.

Bryley Systems is now Accredited by the Better Business Bureau

Bryley Systems is pleased to announce that we have been recognized as an Accredited business by the Better Business Bureau.

Trust is an intangible element present in every business relationship.  We know our clients trust us when they place data critical to their business in our hands for safe keeping, or rely on us to advise them in how to allocate their IT budget to ensure long term success.

It is difficult to demonstrate the trust placed in us to someone who doesn’t already have a deep relationship with us, however.  That is why we appreciate the opportunity to display the trust we have earned with our clients throughout Massachusetts and Central New England via our new relationship with the Better Business Bureau.

If you would like to learn more about how we have helped our clients over the years make sure you check out our case studies.

 

2018 Tech Trends

Technology is drastically changing the way we live and work and more adjustments will be apparent in the years ahead.  Instead of thinking “bottom-up” or “top-down,” business and technology needs to be thought of in a hybrid solution.  “From the bottom up, they are modernizing infrastructure and the architecture stack.  From the top down, they are organizing, operating, and delivering technology capabilities in new ways.  In tandem, these approaches can deliver more than efficiency – they offer the tools, velocity, and empowerment that will define the technology organization of the future.”1

IoT is one such tool that continues to gain traction and will have an even larger impact in 2018.  It is estimated that there are currently between 8-15 billion IoT devices.  That’s more than there are humans on Earth!  These devices include everything from home security systems, pacemakers, voting machines, voice-activated cars, personal assistants (i.e. Alexa) and personal health trackers (i.e. FitBit), as well as toys, toothbrushes, and even pillows.2  Having these devices makes life simpler, but will truly help when the devices can “talk” to each other.  Josh Siegal, a research scientist at MIT highlights the importance of interconnected devices and their usefulness: “It’s not about the car or the home, it’s about how your car can talk to your home to tell it that you’ll be arriving home early because your car talked to the roadway to avoid traffic, and now you need to put the heat on a little bit sooner than you would – while still saving energy due to having a smart thermostat. People aren’t used to thinking in such terms today.”2

These new IoT devices must also be able to function with the older technology.  “Having the intelligence in the lightbulb makes it pretty easy to adopt. It’s as easy as screwing in a lightbulb. But the usefulness is diminished when my 8-year-old daughter turns off the light switch – and now my fancy internet-enabled lightbulb is offline.”2

Security is Paramount

Now, more than ever, security is a top concern for organizations.  Individuals were rightfully upset about the Equifax breach, but IoT devices have the potential to leak information that’s just as valuable and sensitive.  It doesn’t help matters that security of these devices seems more like an afterthought.  The most vital, and yet underrated IoT applications are those that “allow administrators to automatically update them when issues are found and enforce strong defaults for things like passwords and encryption.”2 This highlights the importance of conducting due diligence and not rushing the vetting process for a shiny, new technology.  Ultimately, organizations must balance the need for better production and employee satisfaction with protecting company data.  They must know what and where the devices are attaching to the networks and manage accordingly.

IoT Data Analytics

As IoT expands, so too does the amount of information available to organizations.  This information can and will drive business decisions.  A prime example of IoT data analytics helping an organization work more efficiently and profitably is Navistar, who reduced the cost of managing its fleet of 180,000 trucks from 15 cents per mile to just 3 cents.3 Opportunities for cost savings exist in nearly every business, but it must be done judiciously; cost savings needs to be weighed against the cost of storing and sifting through the data.

2018 is poised to see technology have an even greater impact upon organizations.  It helps to have a Managed Services Provider (MSP), such as Bryley Systems to help navigate the ever-changing landscape.  Contact us at 844.449.8770 or by email at ITExperts@Bryley.com to learn more. We’re here for you.

 

1 https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/us/articles/Tech-Trends-2018/4109_TechTrends-2018_FINAL.pdf
2 Schuchart, Wendy. IoT for Business: Five Key Trends for 2018. Channel Partners
3 https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2017/09/26/top-10-trends-for-digital-transformation-in-2018/#734e6621293a

What you need to know about the Equifax Hack

Equifax announced yesterday afternoon that they suffered a breach of their data in late July, affecting as many as 143 million individuals, or roughly 44% of the US. Equifax is one of the three main organizations that calculates credit scores, and thus has access to an extraordinary amount of personal and financial data for nearly every American, including social security numbers addresses, birth dates and driver’s license data.1

Equifax has announced that it will mail notices to those affected by the breach and is offering 1 year of credit monitoring for free.

What can you do?

  • Equifax has set up www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to see if your information has been compromised.
  • Check your credit report. Check to see if any cards have been opened in your name without your permission.
  • Place a 90-day fraud alert. “According to the Federal Trade Commission, you are allowed to activate a free 90-day fraud alert with one of the three credit bureaus, which will make it harder for identity thieves to steal your information. You can also renew it after the 90-day period is over.”2

This is a good reminder to remain vigilant in regards to your credit score.

1 https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-protect-yourself-from-that-massive-equifax-breach/
2 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-check-equifax-security-hack_us_59b1f8a5e4b0354e4410c754
http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/07/technology/business/equifax-data-breach/index.html

 

Bryley Systems named in Top 501 Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs) Worldwide for the Fourth Consecutive Year!

Bryley Systems, for the fourth-straight year, ranks among the world’s most progressive 501 Managed Service Providers (MSPs), according to MSPmentor’s 10th-annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings. The top MSP 501 companies ranked this year include organizations from around the world and from diverse technology and business backgrounds. Collectively, they amassed $14.48 billion in total revenue (based on 2016 results), up more than 15 percent from a year earlier. (The complete 2017 MSP 501 list is available at MSPmentor.net.)

“We are honored to be named to the MSP 501 for the fourth consecutive year.” said Gavin Livingstone, President of Bryley Systems.  “It is a great honor and demonstrates our dedication to remain one of the top providers of managed IT services worldwide.  We look forward to continuing to provide excellent service to our clients.”

“On behalf of MSPmentor, I would like to congratulate Bryley Systems for its recognition as an MSP 501 honoree,” said Aldrin Brown, Editor in Chief, MSPmentor. “The managed service provider market is evolving at a rapid pace and the companies showcased on the 2017 MSP 501 list represent the most agile, flexible and innovative organizations in the industry.”

The 2017 MSP 501 list is based on data collected by MSPmentor and its partner, Clarity Channel Advisors. Data was collected online from Feb. 16 through May 15, 2017. The MSP 501 list recognizes top managed service providers based on metrics including recurring revenue, growth and other factors.

What we can learn from the GOP Data leak

It was recently discovered that a third part analytics firm, Deep Root, had left the GOP’s voting database open to the public.  As reported by UpGuard, a security firm, “The data repository, an Amazon Web Services S3 bucket, lacked any protection against access. As such, anyone with an internet connection could have accessed the Republican data operation used to power Donald Trump’s presidential victory, simply by navigating to a six-character Amazon subdomain: “dra-dw.”1 The database contained roughly 25 Terabytes of data about more than half of the US population’s information including personal identifying information such as birth dates, home addresses, and phone numbers as well as other demographic information like ethnicity and religion.

This leak is a wake-up call for companies to ensure that their data is protected.  There are several steps an organization can take to ensure their data is protected:

  • Password Protect your data. The main problem with the GOP’s database was that it was left unprotected.  Make sure you have a strong password and that it is changed regularly.
  • Institute two-factor authentication. This adds a layer of security as it is used confirm a user’s claimed identity by utilizing a combination of two different components, generally something you know with something you have (in this case the password with a code sent to your email or phone).
  • Have a regular review of your infrastructure. It can often be difficult to do on your own as you may not have all the knowledge and expertise or the bandwidth to conduct a proper evaluation. Do not be afraid to ask an MSP, such as Bryley, to conduct a network assessment and evaluate your infrastructure. They have expertise and breadth of knowledge that will prove valuable and can highlight what you are doing well and areas where you can improve.

If you would like to improve your cybersecurity plan, or to inquire about Bryley’s full array of our Managed Cloud Services and Managed IT Services, please contact us at 844.449.8770 or by email at ITExperts@Bryley.com. We’re here for you.

 

1 Hatmaker, Taylor. Techcrunch.Exposed GOP database demonstrates the risks of data-hungry political campaigns.” 19 June 2017.

O’Sullivan, Dan. UpGuard.The RNC Files: Inside the Largest US Voter Data Leak.” 19 June 2017.

Bryley Named #14 By Worcester Business Journal

We are excited to announce that Bryley Systems was recently named 14th for IT Service Providers by the Worcester Business Journal. It is a testament to our commitment to our clients and putting their interests first.

Each year, the Worcester Business Journal (WBJ) compiles and publishes a list of IT Service Providers throughout Central Massachusetts. The list, published on June 12, 2017, ranked Bryley Systems among the top 15 organizations surveyed. Rankings are determined based on survey results, federal filings and Web sites.

Bryley has consistently ranked well on the WBJ list for the last 3 years.

If you are looking for a business partner to help you navigate the ever-changing technology and cybersecurity landscape, we’re here for you. For more information about Bryley’s full array of Managed IT Services, Managed Cloud Services, and Cybersecurity Services please contact us at 978.562.6077 or by email at ITExperts@Bryley.com.