Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Why do some companies fail their disaster recovery plan (DPR) audit?

Why do some companies fail their disaster recovery plan (DPR) audit? Perhaps because they did not get the right information for it. They say experience is the best teacher; thus, nothing beats what you can learn from real-world case studies. See what you can learn from the following case.

Hosting certain types of data and managing a government network legally bind you to maintain DRPs. After an audit of the Michigan Department of Technology and Budget, several failures led to a trove of helpful tips for small- and medium-sized businesses attempting to create a bulletproof disaster recovery plan.

  1. Update and test your plan frequently.
    What was one of the first and most obvious failures of the department’s DRP? It didn’t include plans to restore an essential piece of their infrastructure — the department’s intranet. Without it, the employees are unable to complete even the most basic of tasks.

The reason for the oversight? The last time the plan was updated was in 2011, leaving out more than six years of IT advancements. If annual revisions sound like too much work, just consider all of the IT upgrades and improvements you’ve made in this year alone. If they’re not accounted for in your plan, you’re destined to fail.

  1. Keep your DRP in an easy-to-find location
    It may seem a bit ironic that the best way to store your top-of-the-line business continuity solution is in a binder, but the Michigan Department of Technology and Budget learned the hard way that the alternatives don’t work. Auditors found the DRP stored on the same network it was meant to restore. Which means if something had happened to the network, the plan would be totally inaccessible.

Your company would do well to store electronic copies on more than one network in addition to physical copies around the office and off-site.

  1. Always prepare for a doomsday scenario
    The government office made suitable plans for restoring the local area network (LAN), but beyond that, there was no way for employees to get back to work within the 24-hour recovery time objective.

Your organization needs to be prepared for the possibility that there may not be a LAN to go back to. Cloud backups and software are the best way to keep everything up and running when your office is flooded or crushed beneath a pile of rubble. For more information on the benefits of the cloud go to www.nsa-nv.com/cloudservice.

 

Your DRP is more than just a pesky legal requirement. It’s the insurance plan that will keep you in business when disaster strikes. Network Security Associates professionals know the importance of combining both academic and real-world resources to make your plan airtight when either auditors or blizzards strike. Contact us today at www.nsa-com or 702-547-9800.

4 Debunked Myths About Cloud Services

The cloud has grown in popularity in recent years and continues to do so. However, there are some common misconceptions about cloud services that still prevent people from trusting this technology. Here are some of the top myths about the cloud you shouldn’t believe.

Myth 1: The Cloud Isn’t Secure

Don’t Believe These Myths About Cloud Services

There are a couple underlying concerns behind this myth. One contributing factor is the reality most companies will have to work with a third-party provider to receive cloud services. You may have concerns this company doesn’t take the necessary steps to secure your data. However, Network Security Associates utilizes multiple safeguards to make sure your information is protected, such as:

  • Data encryption
  • Firewalls
  • Monitoring 
  • An intrusion detection system
  • Antivirus
  • Anti-phishing

Address any concerns you have about data security with your potential cloud provider.

Myth 2: Cloud Services Are Too Expensive

Although cloud services may be costly upfront, it’s important to remember the benefits of the cloud exceed monetary savings. The cloud ensures your business always has backups of its data, software, and programs. If a natural disaster or device theft occurs, these backups mean your business will have minimal downtime. Cloud services also make it more convenient for your employees to work remotely; they can access the cloud from a secure connection and quickly pull up the files or programs they need. Downtime impacts profitability and revenue generation, which can be challenging to determine assign a dollar value to the impact.

Myth 3: Small Businesses Can’t Benefit From the Cloud

Businesses of all sizes, from sole proprietorships to large corporations, can benefit from using the cloud. Small businesses have many of the same needs as larger organizations, such as the need for reliable data and software backups, secure remote access to their information and multiple security initiatives to safeguard their valuable information.

Myth 4: You’ll Lose Ownership of the Data You Store in the Cloud

Most reputable cloud providers permit their clients to retain ownership of the data they store in the cloud. Make sure you read and understand the terms and conditions of your service agreement to ensure you retain all the rights to your information.

Help Secure Your Company’s Data With Cloud Services

Ready to learn more about how cloud services can benefit your business? Contact Network Security Associates at 702-547-9800 today to schedule a network security assessment.

The Importance of Proper Server Maintenance and Managed IT Solutions

Your servers are the foundation of your computer network. To keep these systems performing optimally, it’s important to have sufficient managed IT solutions in place to prevent security breaches and data loss. 

Server Maintenance

Protect Your Servers With Network Security Associates’s Managed IT Solutions

Proper server maintenance keeps your organization operating efficiently and can help prevent unexpected downtime. Your server maintenance should include the following tasks:

  • Reviewing logs
  • Verifying automated systems and utilities
  • Identifying potential security risks
  • Maintaining a robust backup system

It’s important to complete these tasks before something goes wrong; what could have been a small preventable issue can bring your office down.

Server maintenance and IT alone require full-time attention, and while many businesses try to adhere to a strict maintenance schedule, it’s easy to let these tasks fall by the wayside when business is booming or you’re short-staffed. 

Instead of trying to handle your server maintenance internally, consider outsourcing the job to a company specializing in managed IT solutions, like Network Security Associates. We’ll take care of all the tasks required to maintain your servers so your company can devote its resources to other projects.

IT Maintenance Best Practices

To maintain reliable servers, Network Security Associates can help your organization implement best practices to help ensure your data is always secure.

One of the most critical maintenance steps is verifying your backups on a regular basis. Data loss from server failure can be catastrophic for your organization. Our team will monitor your daily backups to make sure they are occurring as scheduled.

Monitoring disk storage should also be done on an ongoing basis. Clearing out and archiving files in storage will keep your empty disk space at a healthy percentage. It’s also important to review your CPU, RAM and network utilization.

Updating your operating systems and applications should be an automated process, as security patches and other updates are frequently released. Our cloud-based computing services automate the update process so your devices are always running the latest software versions. We will schedule routine checks to make sure all updates are occurring as planned.

Some of the other maintenance tasks Network Security Associates provides include:

  • Implementation of Our Remote Monitoring Tool

Our remote monitoring tool makes it simple to monitor your hard drive usage. If your hard drive runs out of space, this constitutes an emergency that will bring your server to a standstill. Constant monitoring prevents this from happening. We can also remotely manage your devices to make sure your free space remains at a safe level.

  • Systematically Reviewing User Accounts

It’s vital to review user accounts to check that individuals no longer with the company have their access revoked. Those with high-level access accounts should have their accounts regularly reviewed and all inactive ones removed. Network Security Associates offers custom software that checks all your company accounts and discontinues those that are inactive after two weeks.

Comprehensive IT Solutions

Network Security Associates is your go-to provider of managed IT solutions in Las Vegas. Our expert technicians will handle your server maintenance and are available to assist 24/7 in the event of an emergency. Contact us today at 702-547-9800.

Network Security Solutions for the Gaming Industry

Keep Your Data Safe With Our Network Security Solutions

A data breach is one of the most significant and potentially expensive threats companies face each day. Casinos and gaming establishments are particularly susceptible due to the large amount of sensitive customer information they must retain and transfer.

2018 study conducted by IBM estimates the breach of a single record costs a company $148; if a breach results in the digital theft of 1 million records, this can cost your organization about $40 million. To mitigate this risk, gaming establishments must use an IT company licensed in Nevada to provide all their information security services. Network Security Associates is licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission to offer network security solutions for all of your IT needs. 

This license means we have the knowledge, experience, labor, and resources to correctly and efficiently handle the distinct requirements of companies in the gaming industry. Our IT experts provide network security solutions to combat a variety of digital threats to your cloud services, such hacking attempts or the intentional use of malicious software. 

What’s Included With Our Network Security Solutions

Keep Your Data Safe With Our Network Security Solutions

In addition to offering network security solutions, you can expect our team of experienced IT professionals to:

  • Maintain your wireless networks
  • Set up remote network access for your employees
  • Establish cloud-based servers for sensitive data
  • Implement a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)
  • Optimize inter-office connectivity

We offer 24/7 emergency service to ensure our gaming clients receive the security solutions they need to keep their valuable data safe. 

Contact Network Security Associates Today

Don’t put your company at risk of a data breach. Our network security solutions and cloud services will ensure you worry less about the safety of your network or losing data. Contact us today at 702-547-9800 to request a consultation.

How to Set Your Remote Workers Up for Success With Cloud Desktop Service

A 2018 study indicated, 70 percent of global workers work remotely at least one day a week. Telecommuting has benefits for both the workers and the employer. Employers can reduce the expenses associated with maintaining permanent office spaces and work stations, while workers can boost their productivity and achieve a healthier work-life balance.

Giving your employees the ability to work remotely may pose some challenges for your company, especially when it comes to keeping your sensitive data secure. If you want to give employees the option to work remotely, here are a few things to do to ensure their success:

Establish Your Expectations

Clearly communicate your expectations to your remote workers, so they understand what steps are necessary to keep you informed of their daily projects and to maintain optimal security levels for company information. You may need to offer clarification regarding the following areas:

  • Device usage (can employees use their personal devices to work or should they stick with company-issued equipment?)
  • System security guidelines (password specifications and requirements for two-factor authentication)
  • Physical device security
  • Data storage rules

Set Up a Cloud Desktop Service

You can bolster the security of your business’s data with a cloud desktop service. A cloud desktop service permits your remote employees to send, receive and store data using a virtual cloud. They can access and use the cloud anywhere they have a secure connection.

The cloud desktop service makes it simple to grant employees access to the programs and software they need to telecommute. Instead of having to install software on each individual device, you can just add it to the cloud.

Another option to help keep your business’s data secure is to set up a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN makes it possible for you to extend your company’s private network to remote workers. You won’t have to worry your workers might conduct sensitive transactions or send private information using a connection that is not safe. Make it clear to your workers they are to always use the VPN for work-related matters. You can even set some systems up, so they will only work with a VPN.

Not only does a cloud desktop service provide secure backups of your employees’ work, but it also allows for easy data restoration in case of a natural disaster or device accident. Contact Network Security Associates at 702-547-9800 to set up cloud desktop service today.

Advantages of Virtual Cloud Desktop Service

Advantages of Virtual Cloud Desktop Service

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), sometimes called a cloud desktop service, is a way to host a desktop operating system on a centralized server typically located offsite in a data center. The user simply logs in using a PC, tablet or even a smartphone. If you’re wondering whether VDI* is right for you, there are several benefits to consider.

Benefits of Using a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Get the Best Cloud Desktop Service With Network Security Associates

1. Lower Cost
Because the processing power happens at the remote server, each user does not need to have an ultra-modern computer with all the latest upgrades to have an excellent experience. Older devices will work just fine.

2. Greater Security
With a cloud desktop service, all data resides on a server in a data center, not on a laptop or computer, which can be stolen or damaged. When it’s time to update security software or implement new protocols, there’s no need for an IT employee to travel from desk to desk – it can all be implemented at the server. Additionally, you’ll never have to worry about natural disasters wiping out your data; it’s all secure in the cloud.

3. Full Desktop Experience
Your users will not have to deal with the hassle of a frustrating transition. Cloud desktop service users will be presented with a regular desktop with all data and applications ready to use – just like they’re used to. That makes the switch to VDI seamless for all users.

4. Flexibility
Remote users, telecommuters, frequent travelers, and anyone who bounces between them will have complete access to everything needed to get the job done from anywhere with an internet connection. From shared files to company apps, your employees are free to work in a way that is convenient for everyone.

Get More With Cloud Desktop Service

When you need reliable, secure access to your data and applications, VDI provides a solution that won’t get in the way of productivity, while also making it easier to support your company’s technology. To learn more about cloud desktop service, or for a free assessment, contact us at 702-547-9800 today.

*VDI provided by terminal services

Gaming License

What It Means to Be Awarded a Service Provider Gaming License

When perusing potential IT services for your gaming-based business, you may come across IT providers with a service provider gaming license. Network Security Associates (NSA) was recently awarded this valuable designation. Read on to learn the details regarding this license and how it can benefit your gaming business.

What Is a Service Provider Gaming License?

In the gambling industry, it is imperative for casinos to have 24/7 access to IT services to ensure their businesses operate efficiently. Nevada requires companies that offer certain IT services in the gaming industry to have a gaming license. The Nevada Gaming Commission awards the service provider gaming license to companies that have the necessary infrastructure, knowledge and experience to provide IT services to businesses in the casino and gaming industry. Possession of the license means the IT company is equipped to properly support the casino.

Why Select IT Companies With Service Provider Gaming Licenses?

When you hire an IT company with the service provider gaming license, you have the assurance your network and gaming operations will be handled by a team of credentialed, experienced IT professionals. Casinos and gaming businesses possess a large amount of sensitive data, including customer information and info regarding financial transactions. It is imperative networks always remain secure and up-to-date. 

Gaming-based companies also want to maximize the satisfaction of their customers. Customers prefer businesses with reliable, easy-to-use gaming interfaces that don’t glitch or award false payouts. By working with experts who thoroughly understand these gaming systems, you can keep your customers happy and prevent negative feedback due to malfunctioning software. 

Get Quality IT Services from a Company You Can Trust

Network Security Associates is dedicated to providing the best IT services in Las Vegas. We’re available 24/7 to ensure you receive the support you need, when you need it. Contact our team at 702-547-9800 to schedule your free assessment today.

Benefits of the Cloud

If your business still uses a computer or physical server for its digital storage or software operations, it is time consider a move to the cloud. The cloud consists of Internet-based software that securely stores your company’s data and permits users to conduct certain activities. Here are a few ways switching to cloud computing can benefit your business:

1. The Cloud Requires Less Infrastructure

A primary benefit of the cloud is it requires less infrastructure than local storage and computing. Instead of having to outfit each computer with software and investing in multiple local servers, a cloud service subscription provides all of the computing services needed to efficiently run your business. The switch to cloud computing may also improve your cash flow and decrease operating expenses. You don’t have to worry about paying a significant sum of cash to invest in new software or servers; just pay for the cloud service each month.

2. Cloud Security Makes It Easier for Your Company to Preserve Its Data

It is essential that your business be prepared for multiple scenarios, from natural disasters to theft. Cloud security allows your business to rapidly recover from unexpected events. When using cloud computing, all of your documents, data, and programs are backed up to the cloud. Should you lose a computer to a burglary or hardware failure, everything needed is accessible from the cloud.

3. The Cloud Gives Your Business Flexibility

An amazing advantage of the cloud is that it can be accessed from any location where there’s internet access. This means you and your employees now have the option to work remotely. Many employees value a healthy work-life balance. Switching to cloud computing is one way to help them achieve this goal. If your employees need to collaborate, cloud computing allows them to work together, regardless of their physical locations.

4. It Is Easier to Install Updates With the Cloud

Regular updates are essential to maintaining a high level of cloud security. Fortunately, when using the cloud, your service provider takes care of essential updates to keep systems and data secure.

Ready to experience the benefits of cloud computing? Contact Network Security Associates at 702-547-9800 to schedule a free consultation today. Our on-site monthly maintenance ensures that your cloud security is always maintained at the highest level.