Monthly Archives

April 2017

What are your password policies?

password policies blog

Your user accounts can be compromised due to weak and non-expiring passwords. If you don’t have a password policy, we recommend you implement one ASAP! The policy we choose can depend on the security requirements of the organization, however, our starting point for most companies is:

  • Minimum 8 characters
  • Must include an upper case letter, lower case letter, and a number
  • Change passwords every 90 days
  • Don’t allow the last four passwords to be used

As a guideline, recommendations for strong passwords are:

  • Use passphrases instead of passwords. For instance, use the first letter from each of the words in the phrase “The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dogs!” – TqBfJoTlD! would be the passphrase.
  • Don’t use the word password, a child’s name, dates of birth or a pet’s name – or any other personally identifiable information.
  • Don’t use adjacent keyboard combinations, such as 123456 or qwerty
  • Don’t write passwords down or store them in a file on your computer or mobile device

Can Internal IT and an MSP Co-Exist?

internal IT services

There’s often a big misperception that Managed Service Providers (MSP) and Internal IT teams cannot co-exist. However, nothing could be further than the truth! Co-managed services, allows an MSP to work in tandem with an existing IT department. This collaborative arrangement allows your internal team to be freed up to work on high priority items while the MSP focuses on providing support, managing routine tasks, and filling in the gaps.

Internal IT can benefit in numerous ways from partnering with an MSP, such as: proactive management, remote monitoring, 24x7x365 end user help desk, 24/7 network operations center, disaster recovery/business continuity solutions and security audits/updates. A partnership with an MSP can be effective, versatile, stable, and extremely scalable — without significantly increasing the company’s IT budget.

Here are the top 6 benefits from a co-managed services relationship:

  1. Fresh Perspective: MSPs often offer a complimentary analysis and network assessment to evaluate the overall performance of your IT infrastructure. This fresh perspective can help identify the most prominent risk factors for your organization and give you ideas on how to mitigate this risk.
  2. A Renewed Focus on Core Value Offerings: Your internal IT team knows your business intimately, and can be used more strategically once they’re out of the dark hole of break-fix issues. An MSP gives Internal IT much needed focus and direction by bringing them out of the shadows to focus on your competitive advantage, which often times hinges on leveraging technology to provide better, cheaper, and faster products and /or services.
  3. Improved Productivity: Many firms have incredibly talented IT teams burdened by mundane and routine priorities. Offloading the routine daily IT tasks and issues, allows your Internal IT team to focus on large-scale deployments, optimizing the company’s infrastructure, and investigating new solutions.
  4. Fill the Skill Gap: It’s virtually impossible for your Internal IT team to be specialized in every aspect of IT, and often times, your internal team will not have the bandwidth to keep up with new information or security concerns. An MSP provides you with access to an entire team with skills in every area of IT.
  5. A Higher Focus on Security: Costly security breaches are often times a result of human error because Internal IT is stretched too thin. By overlooking vital security measures, such as security patches or anti-virus, it can leave your systems at risk. An MSP will eliminate much of the work overload that often leads to system or security vulnerabilities as well as provide preventative maintenance to rectify problems long before they happen.
  6. A Second Set of Eyes: With access to the MSP ticketing and monitoring system, and support from the 24/7 Network Operations Center, your Internal IT team can have a partner in identifying and addressing system issues before they disrupt business. Issues such as downtime-inducing hardware, software, and application failures are completely preventable if they are detected early and addressed promptly.