The Meridian Blog: Tech News, Tips & More for SMB and Enterprise Environments

How to Take Stress Off Your IT Department: Go Hybrid

Matt Williams

Posted by Matt Williams
Tue, Jan 30, 2018


Outsourced IT professionals can support existing departments.

Partnering with a managed IT services provider (MSP) for a Hybrid IT approach enhances your internal IT department with much-needed support, specialized skills and more — without the expense of adding headcount.

Not every business has the staff within their existing organization that they may need, especially with today's quickly-evolving technology landscape

As Gordon Haff states in his article, Why IT Went Hybrid (And Why It Matters), "it's probably impossible to do everything in-house — and it's certainly not economically sensible." 

Haff is right on target, as more and more situations require specialized skills, such as those specific to cybersecurity, physical security, strategic planning or technology upgrade projects. When these situations arise, a company that attempts to solely handle them in-house, on top of their existing workload, can put too much weight on internal IT departments, leaving them less likely to succeed.

Read on to learn how we partner with many of our clients to alleviate these stresses, because your team deserves the resources and support necessary to succeed.

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The Shift to Predictable Billing for IT Services: Break/fix won't be missed

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Oct 17, 2017

Have you ever wondered how IT vendors get away with hourly or timed billing for maintaining systems they were supposed to prevent from having issues in the first place?

Well, the short answer is simply because they could. Because they held a grip on your technology and everyone else in the profession charged the same way.

But not for long...times are definitely a-changing.

The good news is that the introduction of new all-inclusive business models is driving the market towards a fixed fee culture — though the majority of IT providers still use hourly billing under a "break/fix" business model.

But how exactly does the fixed-fee model work? How can one expect to maintain secure, speedy and scalable systems in the face of relentlessly evolving technology, with a predictable monthly bill?

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Unsecured File Sharing is Risky Business

Erjon Xhepa

Posted by Erjon Xhepa
Mon, Jan 09, 2017

File sync-and-share apps have become increasingly popular with enterprises, both small and large.

In some organizations, the ability to share and edit electronic documents is essential to their operations. Used properly, file sharing can enhance productivity, creativity, and collaboration. Used improperly, it can cause data security nightmares.

Hackers and other cyber crooks are always looking for the weak spot in any network security system. They're constantly probing and testing firewalls and antivirus software, or going on “phishing” expeditions looking for victims. But, sometimes, they get lucky and an unsecured document or email just drops into their laps.

RELATED: Is Antivirus Software Really Dead?

A mistake in peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing can result in anything from a slight inconvenience to a major security breach. As a member of Meridian’s VCIO Team, I consider secure file sharing to be a top priority. In this post, I'll explain why it should be one of your top priorities, too.

Read on to learn more about:

  1. Key points that should be included in your policy for secure file sharing
  2. Risks associated with unsecured file sharing
  3. Advantages of secure file sharing practices
  4. Guidelines to help determine who should be responsible for preventing unsecured file sharing in your organization
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Connecting the office means more options for businesses [Video]

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Nov 15, 2016

 

New advances in technology are making everything smart, and offices are no exception.

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Top 5 Most Read Technology Tips & Posts from June

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Wed, Jul 06, 2016

During the month of June, we delivered informative content outlining topics — including what to expect during IT onboarding, cyber security and cyber attack prevention, how to avoid printer jams and more — from which all organizations can benefit.

These posts were created to be used as a guide, helping to relieve anxiety, answer questions, and ultimately assist organizations with making the best business decisions related to office technology. 

As we continue to rev up valuable content for July, take a minute to soak up the information in our five most popular blog business technology posts of June:

  1. What to Expect From Your New Managed IT Services Provider During Onboarding
  2. How to Avoid and Reduce Paper Jams in Your Office Copier or Printer
  3. Top 10 Messy Desk Mistakes That Threaten Security in Your Office
  4. What the Healthcare Industry MUST Know About Ransomware Attack
  5. IT Can No Longer Guarantee Cyber Security

Keep reading for more info on each of these topics.

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What the Healthcare Industry MUST Know About Ransomware Attack

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Wed, Jun 01, 2016

The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) has deemed 2016 as the “year ransomware holds America hostage” and states that attacks will “wreak havoc on America’s critical infrastructure community." As several healthcare facilities and providers have already fallen victim to ransomware, healthcare data security has become a top security issue and a regular headline in the news.

Pushed into a corner and faced with two options — to pay, or not to pay — facilities are scrambling to create an environment free from data breach. Sadly, there seems to be no end in sight for healthcare ransomware attacks. No organization, regardless of size, structure, function or status can assume they are safe from attacks, and simply ignoring the problem can invite even more chaos. Therefore, you must take all of the necessary steps to stop ransomware attacks in its tracks.

You may have questions — What is ransomware? What happens if my healthcare facility is a victim of data breach? How can it be prevented? 

Read on for answers to these questions, as well as other vital information regarding healthcare data security.

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4 Technology Game-Changers That Empower People Living With Disabilities

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Fri, Apr 08, 2016

The term disability can be tricky. It is defined as, "a physical or mental condition that limits a person's movements, senses, or activities." Not too long ago, those who had any issues with their sight were considered disabled. In today's times, this is fixed with a simple pair of prescription glasses or contacts. With emerging technology, we can shape the way we define something as a disability.

Here are 4 technology game-changers to empower those living with disabilities.

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Cybercrime Knows No Borders

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Nov 03, 2015

One reason that small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) are now being targeted more by hackers is the borderless, international nature of the Internet. When valuable data is stolen it often can be quickly turned into a cash profit for hackers at underground forums on clandestine virtual private networks (VPN) known as the Darknet. This makes it all the more important for enterprises to promptly notify clients, employees, and any involved persons that their personal identifiable information (PII) has been compromised. It also means that organizations have to stay informed about cybercrime laws not just in their own jurisdictions, but other countries as well.

Plus, here in the United States, since California passed the first data breach notification law in 2002, 46 other states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico have enacted similar legislation – each with their own version and definition of what constitutes PII and “sensitive information.” A description of each state’s data breach notification laws is available at this webpage provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)

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DC Cyber Security Alert: "BadUSB" Malware Concerns for USB Storage Drive Users

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Tue, Feb 03, 2015

Information security requires constant vigilance. The latest evidence of this was recently emphasized at the Black Hat Hackers conference in Las Vegas when researchers demonstrated how USB (universal serial bus) devices can be reprogrammed to deliver malware to unsuspecting networks. Yes, something as innocuous as that thumb drive on your key chain can now be turned into a cyber-weapon. But there's no need to panic. As long as you're aware of the dangers and take certain common sense precautions, the chances — as of now — of infecting your system with a bad USB device are small.

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Before I go into the very interesting story of how this flaw in USB devices, now called “BadUSB,” was discovered, and how it was revealed to the general public, here is some good, common sense advice from the security experts at Symantec on how best to avoid a bad USB infection:

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SMBs - Let Your MSP Patch Those Network Vulnerabilities

Trent Edwards

Posted by Trent Edwards
Thu, Oct 23, 2014

Not a day goes by without a new software vulnerability being brought to my attention. As a member of the Virtual CIO (VCIO) team at a managed services provider (MSP), I receive an astounding amount of information daily on new security threats. Much of it deals with software vulnerabilities in both new and existing products that are installed on our clients’ computers.

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News, best practices and more to help you get the most out of your office technology. Whether you're an SMB owner who wears a lot of hats, or an enterprise IT director, facilities manager or just someone who wants to work smarter — this blog has the resources you need to maximize the business impact of all your tech investments. Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates about new posts!

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