Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to manage and secure a business network?
Business networks are made up of many different devices and components, all of which are designed to perform a specific function on the network. Simple networks with few devices and few manufacturers and few users and few configurations are less expensive and easier to manage and secure. When networks have many devices and many different manufacturers, the costs of managing and securing such networks get more expensive. So the real answer is it depends on these factors.
When we provide an estimate to help manage your network, we’re first learning everything we can about your business and your systems so that we can make the absolute best recommendations. Usually this is done with a Network Assessment. Our initial network assessment is free to qualified businesses and by qualified, we mean are you a business and do you seriously value your data and technology in that business. After our initial assessment is complete, we can make recommendations about what you need going forward and where there may be some issues that can be addressed without much pain or effort. If we recommend new hardware or software or subscriptions, we’re going to find you the best pricing on the best available technology and recommend what we know has worked in the past and what will provide you with the best value in terms of meeting your business needs. We may not be the cheapest IT services company, but do you want the cheapest? Our solutions aren’t cheap. They’re proven and trusted solutions that we’ve used for many businesses just like yours. They’re reasonably priced, but possibly not the cheapest.
You may be able to have your network managed and what some people would call “secured” for less money, but it won’t be the absolute best for your business and it won’t be from a company that’s been doing this as a trusted provider since 1995. We’ve actually been asked by some of our clients to come in behind another IT services company that was the cheapest and we’ve had to clean up the mess of malware, run away software installations, mismatched software versions, broken and unreliable hardware, undocumented equipment and network connections and poorly implemented security. That’s not how you want to run your business and believe it or not, your data is probably the single most important part of your business. In fact, studies have shown that 60% of businesses that have a data compromise are out of business within one year and 90% of businesses that have a catastrophic data loss are out of business within one year. You don’t want to be that company. You want to be able to focus on running your business and sleep well at night knowing that someone is watching out for your data. That’s what we do. We know it and care for it and protect and manage it for you. If you still want the cheapest, thanks for looking here, but we’re probably not for you and you’re not for us either. In the end if you do decide to choose us as your trusted IT services provider, you may find that you did get the cheapest solution in the long run because it saved you time and money and hassle and downtime and kept your network up and running with little or no complications and we protected your critical business data from malware and hacking that’s going on today. We like to call that the most profitable solution, but if you want to call it the cheapest, that’s ok too.
Before the introduction of the internet, computer networks were somewhat easy to secure. If the network was contained and not connected to any other networks, controlling access and knowing what was running on the network was easy. Now that almost every network is connected to the internet, the complexity in providing security is greater by many magnitudes. Some businesses connect their networks to the internet and think they’re safe because they have a firewall, but a firewall simply isn’t enough. The firewalls that you can buy at office supply stores or big-name electronics stores aren’t doing much of anything to protect your network. They might keep intruders out but once they’re in, there’s almost nothing on those kinds of firewalls to prevent everything from leaving your network. Our firewalls are designed to allow ONLY what you want going in and coming out of your network. Our firewalls are also designed to alert us if anything out of the ordinary is noticed in any traffic going across that firewall. If you want this level of security protecting your network, it will be more expensive than the system you can buy from your office supplies store, but it’s worth every penny of it. We’re not talking thousands of dollars more, but possibly a thousand dollars more up front and a few hundred per month to manage it and by managing it, we mean securing it too.
Securing a network is just one aspect of managing a network. At NetTec NSI, we offer managed services and with our managed services offerings, we many options of levels of security. For Desktop Care+ we have basic security with Webroot Endpoint Protection. This is a nice way to help prevent known malware and viruses from doing damage to a network. With our Help Desk services, we offer unlimited malware and virus removals so that if your systems become infected, we will help remove them and restore them to a clean state whenever an infection occurs and at no extra cost to you. We have solutions for managing systems that start at $25 per device per month and go up to $175 per server per month.
For businesses that want to have the ultimate in protecting their systems from zero-day attacks (malware that is not known by anti-malware and anti-virus systems) we offer additional protections with our Profile & Protect, Detect & Respond and additional Endpoint Protections. These services are available on a predictable monthly fee per device or user per month. The truth is that the cost of managing your network will depend on the numbers of systems and users you have, the complexity of your network and your security requirements. Some companies require a higher level of security for compliance. We’ve helped many companies meet their compliance requirements in HIPAA, NIST, PCI and other government and industry standards. Our security subscriptions start at $5 per user per month and go up to hundreds of dollars per month in highly secure and sensitive systems. What is right for your business is what’s important to us. We will find a solution that will secure everything you need to have secured and do it for a reasonable price. We don’t want you to have to pay a dime more for something you don’t need.
What is remote desktop?
Remote desktop services help businesses save money and secure their network by sharing processor, memory, and key parts of a computer from a central place. Most desktop computers are idle for most of the day. When they’re idle, they still use a lot of electricity just to stay powered on. In addition to the electricity that’s used unnecessarily, when the computers are decentralized they require hours of time from expensive IT people to maintain and more hardware to run; that means more dollars spent up front and more dollars spent every month.
At NetTec NSI, we’ve built our data centers so that your remote desktop is running on Fortune 500 level technology with redundancy, high availability and security in mind. That’s something that most small and medium business can’t afford to have and are sacrificing a lot for their critically important business data by not having. Because we’ve built our data center with remote desktop technology, we can share the costs of those expensive items and price the services in a subscription that is predictable and easily affordable for most businesses. Studies have proven that using remote desktop services significantly reduces the (TCO) total cost of ownership when adding the cost of managing the users, systems and data. The reasons for this may not be obvious. When looking at TCO, companies have to consider the hardware and software costs obviously. The additional areas of savings that a business may overlook include service costs if outsourced or labor if not outsourced, downtime and energy savings. The costs to manage a distributed and varied network of systems is significant in any business. If we have to manage a central set of servers where all of the hardware and software is carefully controlled, then we can do the job in less time and do it with more confidence. When we have to configure central servers to service distributed clients with different operating systems on different networks and with different configurations, things get much more complicated and our confidence drops. Remote desktops solve this because the data, the users and the servers are all on the same highly controlled network. By following this way of thinking, we can lower the complexity and lower the cost of managing almost any system. By following this way of thinking, we can also do a better job of securing data, users and systems.
When we setup remote desktop services, we have no single point of failure, so we make sure your remote desktop is never down. If you tried to build a computer that had no single point of failure and complete redundancy, it would cost more than double the cost of a single computer and would be more complicated and again cost many hours of expensive IT people to maintain. When we build redundancy and high availability into our remote desktops, those up front costs are spread out over many users and many months to keep it affordable and a great value to you.
A remote desktop looks very much like a regular Windows desktop. It has a Windows start button/menu. It has File Explorer, Internet Explorer and the same applications and apps that you’re used to using on your local desktop like Chrome and Adobe Acrobat. What you see in a remote desktop is very similar or nearly identical to what you see on your local Windows desktop too. The biggest difference is that in a remote desktop your applications, users, and data are in one place that you can access from anywhere an internet connection is available.
A remote desktop is a place where your applications, users and data are secured, monitored and backed up. A remote desktop is fully up to date with the latest security updates and operating systems and applications, so you don’t have to worry or spend money on that either. A remote desktop serves these benefits to businesses for a fixed price per user per month.
How much do your Managed Services cost?
We have several managed services to choose from and each has an easy to understand price and quantity discounts are available. The following are descriptions with list prices:
Desktop Care+: 24x7x365 monitoring, asset collecting/documentation, hardware and software audits, S.M.A.R.T disk monitoring, performance and preventive maintenance reports, automated optimization and management, automated patching with patch whitelisting service, antivirus management, desktop performance monitoring, remove/cleaning of temp files, administrative scripting, policy management, client communicator with self-help center, antivirus software and discounted service rates.
$25 per device per month
Business Hours Help Desk - Everything in our Desktop Care+ plus: 8 AM - 6 PM US-based, unlimited end-user help desk support for Windows, Mac and mobile devices, administrative tasks, virus and malware removal, software installations.
$60 per device per month
24x7 Help Desk - Everything in Help Desk Business Hours plus 24x7x365 support, holiday support, weekend support, and after-hours support.
$75 per device per month
Elite Server Care - We keep tabs on your network activity around the clock, and when a system or function fails, our support teams immediately jump in to investigate. Once the problem is identified, we’ll work to fix it — in many cases before you’ve even realized there’s an issue. Our Network Operations Center (NOC) monitors all your servers, and our expert NOC technicians will call you – day or night – when critical issues arise. Remote restart minimizes down-time and reduces after-hours call volume. In addition to creating alerts and tickets, we leverage our extensive knowledgebase to provide tips and information for remediation and resolution. We ensure that AV software is up-to-date, preventing security breaches and providing peace of mind. We whitelist Microsoft security patches, so that when patches are deployed you can be confident that they won’t disrupt workflow or create extra problems. Our NOC technicians will troubleshoot and proactively address issues on monitored servers, and independently resolve alerts and tickets for you – further minimizing downtime for your business. Our AV management is expanded – we proactively update definitions and reinstall AV software as necessary, keeping you and your servers secure with the knowledge that they are always protected. The NOC team will delete unwanted logs or clean up disks as needed, so you and your servers will never miss a beat. We can create and assign issue-based tickets to our NOC technicians for full problem resolution. Time-consuming routine maintenance tasks can also be outsourced to the NOC team, freeing you to focus on growing your business. NOC will reboot any server identified as offline, regardless of alert or issue.
$175 per server per month
How much does Office 365 cost?
We’re Microsoft Cloud Solutions Partners and we help many different sizes and kinds of businesses with Office 365. Basic plans for Exchange Online and Business Premium start at $5 and $12.50 per user per month respectively. We have many additional options for Office 365 subscriptions including Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), Enterprise subscriptions E3 and E5, Academic pricing and subscriptions, Government pricing and subscriptions, and Dynamics 365. Please contact us with your needs and we’ll match the subscriptions and get you the absolute best pricing and services. Those prices cover the subscription services only. We offer migration and support services to help your business get to Office 365 and get the most out of it. Please let us know about your project and we’ll get you the absolute best service and support.
How do I protect my computer?
For many years, we’ve helped our clients understand how to keep their data and computers safe. We build systems that are safe by default. Here are some links to presentations we’ve done:
Some things you can do to protect your computers:
Only use administrator and root level accounts for administrative tasks. NEVER browse the internet or open an unknown file or link with an administrator account. Use standard or limited accounts for routine tasks, email and browsing. Separate these functions into the two different kinds of accounts if you have administrative responsibilities of any computer system.
Lock down your login: Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. Strengthen online accounts and use strong authentication tools like a unique, one-time code through an app on your mobile device and multi-factor authentication (MFA).
Keep a clean machine: Keep all software on internet-connected devices – including personal computers, smartphones and tablets – current to reduce risk of infection from ransomware and malware.
When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts and online advertising are often how cyber criminals try to compromise your information. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or, if appropriate, mark as junk.
Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely. If you have a copy of your data and your device falls victim to ransomware or other cyber threats, you will be able to restore the data from a backup.
Personal information is like money. Value it. Protect it.: Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it is collected.
We don’t have a big budget for Cyber Security. How can we protect our small business?
America thrives with small businesses in society. There are numerous opportunities for small businesses to fill needed niches within the industry. However, many small businesses may not have all the resources they need to have a strong cybersecurity posture. By implementing simple cybersecurity practices throughout the organizations, small business can safeguard their information and data for increased profits.
DID YOU KNOW?
44 percent of small businesses reported being the victim of a cyber attack, with an average cost of approximately $9,000 per attack. 1
Nearly 59 percent of U.S. small and medium-sized businesses do not have a contingency plan that outlines procedures for responding to and reporting data breach losses. 2
Make sure all of your organization’s computers are equipped with antivirus software and antispyware. This software should be updated regularly.
Secure your Internet connection by using a firewall, encrypt information, and hide your Wi- Fi network.
Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information.
Educate employees about cyber threats and how to protect your organization’s data. Hold employees accountable to the Internet security policies and procedures.
Require employees to use strong passwords and to change them often.
Invest in data loss protection software, use encryption technologies to protect data in transit, and use two-factor authentication where possible.
Protect all pages on your public-facing websites, not just the checkout and sign-up pages.
1 2013 Small Business Technology Survey, National Small Business Association
Do you have any Quick Tips for How to Secure Printers?
Quick Tips for Copier/Printer/Fax Security:
Digital copiers, printers and fax machines are computers too.
Ensure devices have encryption and overwriting
Take advantage of all the security features offered
Secure/wipe the hard drive before disposing of an old device
Change the default password to a strong and unique passphrase
Do you have any quick tips on how to secure email?
Quick tips for email security: When in doubt, thow it out, be extra cautious when it comes to email.
Require strong, unique passphrases on email accounts
Turn on two-factor authentication
Do not use personal email accounts for company business
Train employees to know not to open suspicious links in email, tweets, posts, online ads, messages or attachments – even if they know the source. Train employees about your company’s spam filters and how to use them to prevent unwanted, harmful email
Learn More: https://www.ic3.gov/media/2017/170504.aspx
Do you have any quick tips for file sharing?
Quick tips for file sharing. Sharing is caring, only when done securely.
Restrict the locations to which work ﬁles containing sensitive information can be saved or copied
If possible, use application-level encryption to protect the information in your ﬁles
Use ﬁle-naming conventions that don’t disclose the types of information a ﬁle contains
Monitor networks for sensitive information, either directly or by using a third-party service provider
Free services do not provide the legal protection appropriate for securing sensitive information
Do you have any quick tips for protecting my mobile phones?
Quick tips for mobile devices. Keep a clean machine for on the go devices.
Update security software regularly. Go ahead, update your mobile software now.
Delete unneeded apps and update existing apps regularly.
Always download apps from a trusted source and check reviews prior to downloading.
Secure devices with passcodes or other strong authentication, such as fingerprint recognition .
Turn off Discovery Mode.
Activate “find device” and “remote wipe”.
Configure app permissions immediately after downloading.
Do you have any quick tips for point of sale systems?
Quick Tips for Point of Sale Systems (POS). Hackers are often financially motivated. Don’t make it an easy payday.
Create unique, strong passphrases.
Separate user and administrative accounts.
Keep a clean machine: Update software regularly.
Avoid web browsing on POS terminals.
Use antivirus protection.
Learn More: https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/merchants/
Are small and Medium businesses (SMBs) really being targeted by Cyber Criminals?
As you can see, the statistics are alarming and the threat is real:
14 Million small businesses were attacked over past 12 months
36 percent of cyber-attacks are conducted against SMBs
48 percent more SMBs experienced a breach due to employee neglect in 2017 vs. 2016
60 percent of small companies that suffer a cyber-attack go out of business within 6 months
Do you have any quick tips for routers?
Quick Tips for Routers
Your home or business network is not too small to be hacked.
Change from manufacturer's default admin password to a unique, strong passphrase
Use a network monitoring app to scan for unwanted users
Restrict remote administrative management
Log out after configuring
Keep firmware updated
Learn More: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST15-002
Do you have any tips for staying secure on social networks?
Quick tips for staying secure on social networks
Socialize online with security in mind.
Limit who has administrative access to your social media accounts
Set up 2-factor authentication
Configure your privacy settings to strengthen security and limit the amount of data
shared. At the very least, review these settings annually
Avoid third-party applications that seem suspicious and modify your settings to limit the
amount of information the applications can access. Make sure you’re accessing your social
media accounts on a current, updated web browser
Learn More: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST06-003
Do you have any quick tips for staying safe when using software?
Quick Tips for software
Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system are the best defense against threats.
Make sure your computer operating system, browser, and applications are set to receive automatic updates.
Ensure all software is up to date. Get rid of software you don't use.
Your company should have clear, concise rules for what employees can install and keep on their work computers.
When installing software, pay close attention to the message boxes before clicking OK, Next or I Agree.
Make sure all of your organization’s computers are equipped with antivirus software and antispyware. This software should be updated regularly.
Limit access to data or systems only to those who require it to perform the core duties of their jobs.
Do you have any tips for staying secure with third party vendors?
Quick Tips for third party vendors.
Do your due diligence; get it in writing and monitor compliance.
Spell out your privacy and security expectations in clear, user-friendly language to service providers.
Understand how their services work and to what you are giving them access .
Build in procedures to monitor what service providers are doing on your behalf.
Review your privacy promises from the perspective of a potential service provider.
Spell out expectations and scope of work in a formal agreement/contract.
Do you have any tips for using USB drives securely?
Quick Tips for USB drives.
These small devices can easily create huge security issues.
Scan USBs and other external devices for viruses and malware.
Disable auto-run, which allows USB drives to open automatically when they are inserted into a drive.
Only pre-approved USB drives should be allowed in company devices. Establish policies about the use of personal, unapproved devices being plugged into work devices.
Keep personal and business USB drives separate.
Don’t keep sensitive information on unencrypted USB drives. It is a good practice to keep sensitive information off of USB drives altogether.
Learn More: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST08-001
Do you have any tips for keeping our website secure?
Quick Tips for website security.
Create a safe online shopping experience for your customers.
Keep software up-to-date.
Require users to create unique, strong passphrases to access.
Prevent direct access to upload files to your site.
Use scan tools to test your site’s security – many are available free of charge.
Register sites with similar spelling to yours.
Do you have any tips for using wifi safely?
Quick Tips for safely using wifi. Think before you connect.
Use separate Wi-Fi for guests or customers than you do for business.
Physically secure Wi-Fi equipment.
Use a virtual private network (VPN) when using public Wi-Fi.
Do not connect to unknown, generic or suspicious Wi-Fi networks. Use your mobile carrier's data plan to connect instead.
Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use on your devices.
Secure your internet connection by using a firewall, encrypt information and hide your wifi network.
How do I protect my network?
How do I protect my email?
How do I protect my phone?
How do I protect my router?
Why does Microsoft keep updating their software?
Microsoft keeps releasing updates for their software for many reasons. First, Microsoft is a business and they’re in the business of making money. Releasing new updates can help them to stay profitable by removing the number of different configurations they have to support. By having a regular update release schedule, Microsoft can have fewer numbers of configurations that they support and that saves them money. Another reason Microsoft releases frequent updates is that their software and all software is written by humans. Humans make mistakes and that leaves holes, called vulnerabilities in the software that has to be patched to make it secure. These regular patches fix those holes. When you apply updates to your systems, you are getting the latest software available and that’s a good thing, usually. Usually running the latest software means that your systems have fewer known vulnerabilities that unpatched systems. Sometimes blindly applying the updates can cause a system to stop working. When Microsoft and other vendors release patches to their software, sometimes they haven’t fully tested the patches and unexpected things can happen on production systems. We recommend testing all updates on non-production and non-critical systems before deploying them on production and critical systems. Our managed services performs vetting of all Microsoft and third party patches before deploying them and we schedule all patches for delayed deployment to give Microsoft and extra day to re-release any bad patches.
Why does Apple keep updating their software?
Apple keeps releasing updates for their software for many reasons. First, Apple is a business and they’re in the business of making money. Releasing new updates can help them to stay profitable by removing the number of different configurations they have to support. By having a regular update release schedule, Apple can have fewer numbers of configurations that they support and that saves them money. Another reason Apple releases frequent updates is that their software and all software is written by humans. Humans make mistakes and that leaves holes, called vulnerabilities in the software that has to be patched to make it secure. These regular patches fix those holes. When you apply updates to your systems, you are getting the latest software available and that’s a good thing, usually. Usually running the latest software means that your systems have fewer known vulnerabilities that unpatched systems. Sometimes blindly applying the updates can cause a system to stop working. When Apple and other vendors release patches to their software, sometimes they haven’t fully tested the patches and unexpected things can happen on production systems. We recommend testing all updates on non-production and non-critical systems before deploying them on production and critical systems. Our managed services performs vetting of all Apple and third party patches before deploying them and we schedule all patches for delayed deployment to give Apple and extra day to re-release any bad patches.
Why does Google keep updating their software?
Google keeps releasing updates for their software for many reasons. First, Google is a business and they’re in the business of making money. Releasing new updates can help them to stay profitable by removing the number of different configurations they have to support. By having a regular update release schedule, Google can have fewer numbers of configurations that they support and that saves them money. Another reason Google releases frequent updates is that their software and all software is written by humans. Humans make mistakes and that leaves holes, called vulnerabilities in the software that has to be patched to make it secure. These regular patches fix those holes. When you apply updates to your systems, you are getting the latest software available and that’s a good thing, usually. Usually running the latest software means that your systems have fewer known vulnerabilities that unpatched systems. Sometimes blindly applying the updates can cause a system to stop working. When Google and other vendors release patches to their software, sometimes they haven’t fully tested the patches and unexpected things can happen on production systems. We recommend testing all updates on non-production and non-critical systems before deploying them on production and critical systems. Our managed services performs vetting of all Google and third party patches before deploying them and we schedule all patches for delayed deployment to give Google and extra day to re-release any bad patches.
Why isn’t the internet safe?
There’s absolutely no doubt that the Internet is and will remain a critical component of the business world. Indeed, businesses just can’t function without it anymore.
That’s why everyone also needs to remember that the Internet is anything but a safe place. For example, a new web security study conducted by Webroot recently discerned that most organizations allowing employees to freely access the Internet are experiencing high rates of malware threats, including phishing attacks, spyware, “keyloggers” and hacked passwords.
Indeed, Webroot’s study reveals that Internet-borne attacks are impacting businesses, with the majority of them reporting significant effects in the form of increased help desk time, reduced employee productivity and disruption of business activities. Here are just some of the firm’s worrisome findings:
8 in 10 companies experienced one or more kinds of web-borne attacks in 2012
88% of Web security administrators say web browsing is a serious malware risk
Phishing is the most prevalent web-borne attack, affecting 55% of companies
Webroot’s study, which surveyed Internet security decision-makers in the U.S. and United Kingdom, found an overwhelming 79% percent of companies experienced web-borne attacks in 2012 and that almost all of the web security administrators polled agreed that Web browsing is a serious malware risk to their companies.
Yet despite the obvious awareness of the risks, only 56% of participants said they had implemented Web security protection and more than half of companies without web security had web sites compromised.
"Protecting against Web-borne malware should be a high priority for all organizations since once inside a network, the propagation of malware can take down the entire company, effectively disabling an organization," argued Sara Radicati, president and CEO at Radicati Group, who participated in the survey.
The major trends that are driving businesses and information technology today—mobility, social networking, “Bring your own device” or “BYOD” policies, along with cloud computing—are also making organizations more susceptible to security attacks, added David Duncan, chief marketing officer at Webroot.
More than ever, cybercriminals are taking advantage of these web-based vulnerabilities, making the threat landscape more challenging, with “phishing” representing one of the fastest-growing causes of breaches and data loss as cybercriminals become progressively adept at luring users into divulging sensitive corporate data, he said.
"It's no surprise that the latest study shows that attacks are increasing in frequency, complexity and scale,” Duncan noted.
“Organizations need to implement layered defenses from the endpoint to the network to understand not only what is happening but where the attacks are manifesting from and when,” he stressed. “Given that instantaneous attacks are morphing constantly and are eluding traditional detection mechanisms, organizations require a cloud-based solution that is effective in this new environment, as well as easy to deploy, quick to respond and flexible to address today's sophisticated cyber-threats."