The Difference Between IT & “Almost” IT

READ TIME: 5 MIN

The Difference Between IT & “Almost” IT

What is IT and “Almost” IT? Well, IT is a Managed Service Provider (MSP), that employs hundreds of tenured IT experts available 24/7/365. “Almost” IT are 10 IT professionals in a 20-person company with 200 customers. Think Amazon versus a local delivery service: one has a multitude of staff, resources, and partnerships to deliver purchases the next day—or even the same day—across the country, and the other is a kind of local mom-and-pop service that has limited resources and takes a week to distribute packages two towns over.

If you think that “Almost” IT gives you the most bang for your buck, read on as we’ve broken down the differences between IT and “Almost” IT in a few light-hearted memes that could prove beneficial to your business’ IT strategy.

You’re welcome.

IT

An MSP’s Network Operations Center, or NOC, hosts a team of skilled IT professionals who work in shifts throughout the day, addressing tickets and IT concerns, monitoring systems, updating with security patches, and ensuring clients experience optimal IT performance. MSPs usually have not one but multiple NOCs in different locations. Think Marvel Avengers-style command centers on Helicarriers.

VS

Almost IT

A group of 10 or even 20 IT consultants may sound sufficient for your business’ needs…but physical limitations, including time and resources, adversely affect their bandwidth and capability to address your employees’ needs and resolve crises in a timely manner. Tickets can pile up quickly. “Almost” IT is kind of like Peter Parker running around in a ski mask before Tony Stark gave him the high-tech suit that made him both more capable and more efficient in helping the neighborhood.

IT

If there’s something strange in your network system at 2 a.m. Tuesday or 2 p.m. Saturday, who are you going to call? Your MSP. The NOC is a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year beehive on a caffeine craze. They are there for you whenever you need them. Even if a blizzard in Texas knocks out a NOC, there’s another in Colorado ready to help.

VS

Almost IT

Everyone has to sleep, including the “almost” IT team that operates on normal business hours. Even if the 10 IT professionals put in the extra effort and stay up all night fixing your system, they won’t be efficient—or awake—the next day. Also, don’t mess with their weekends. Trust me, they’re not answering your Saturday call even with their phones clamped in their hands.

IT

Being proactive is an essential IT strategy, which an MSP is all about. Their team of IT experts will not only install antivirus software and firewalls, but also audit your systems for risks, patch up weaknesses, and monitor your systems via their 24-hour Security Operations Center (SOC). An MSP can also implement data backup and disaster recovery services to ensure business continuity in case of a loss. Security does not sleep, and the SOC is ever watchful.

VS

Almost IT

Loaded down with tickets in a 9 to 5 setting, an “almost” IT business tends to be reactive, only having the bandwidth to respond to events rather than working ahead of time to prevent them; kind of like finding out your smoke detectors don’t work when you really need them instead of testing them every month. Antivirus software and firewalls are not enough. It takes a large team to effectively monitor systems 24/7. Also, what if your system is hacked the one week their lone cybersecurity expert is on vacation? Gulp!

IT

Innovation is one of an MSP’s greatest strengths. The size and experience of the organization allows the MSP to stay ahead of the digital curve. It acquires the latest technologies to keep its clients productive and secure and updates systems and processes to help businesses meet changing compliance standards.

VS

Almost IT

Your “almost” IT provider may still be putting out the fires from the weekend and digging themselves out of tickets. Their small business cannot invest time and finances into new equipment and systems as often as an MSP or hire as many IT specialists with varied backgrounds and expertise as an MSP. Let’s face it: They won’t mention the new standards unless you do.

IT

An MSP thrives or dives by their customers. If a client isn’t happy, an online review or verbal testimonial can damage an organization’s reputation. That’s why an MSP is committed to providing their clients superior customer service. A hundred live help desk and client care representatives are trained on the optimal protocols for various IT incidents and equipped with top-notch tools and IT specialists to efficiently resolve issues 24 hours a day. Basically, they close tickets like Yoda closes duels.

VS

Almost IT

The problem with hiring your friend’s small IT business to manage your company’s IT systems is the familiarity. The very thing that was supposed to make the business alliance easier is the very thing that makes it that much harder. Have you ever tried to tell your friend they’re overcharging you? Or they’re listening but not really hearing you? Or that their one customer service representative had you on hold for an hour on Friday and since they didn’t get to it then, you request the security breach be fixed over the weekend? But it is their cousin’s best friend’s baby’s 1st birthday party! Oh, and you’re invited. Don’t forget a gift!

IT

Who doesn’t love predictable spending for reliable budgeting? A fixed monthly fee ensures that your business will receive the utmost care and end user experience, all for a consistent sum, even if there is an incident like a downed server. That kind of cost savings is something to shout about.

VS

Almost IT

AIT 6

Unpredictable costs are no laughing matter. If a server goes down, your “almost” IT provider will charge your company for extra hours and maybe even overtime if they work outside the normal business hours. That bill will throw your budget for the month out the window. And that makes Leo snicker.

Now that you know the distinctions between IT and “Almost” IT: Who would you rather have maintaining your business’ IT infrastructure, supporting your employees’ IT needs, and securing your sensitive data?

As an award-winning MSP, NexusTek strives to help your business’ IT infrastructure and operations thrive, even if it is just enlightening you with IT-related memes. As a true IT provider, NexusTek’s 300 staff and 24-hour NOCs and SOCs can help your business step up its managed IT and cybersecurity game and balance its monthly budget, all while delivering a local and dedicated customer experience.

youre welcome

We welcome you to join NexusTek, a true IT provider that focuses on the customer experience.

NexusTek Boot Camp: Cybersecurity Basic Training & Quiz

Cyber Security Basic Training and Quiz

READ TIME: 4 MIN

Cyber Security Basic Training and Quiz

NexusTek Boot Camp: Cybersecurity Basic Training & Quiz

Welcome to NexusTek Boot Camp! In this crash course on Cybersecurity Basic Training, you will learn both offensive and defensive tactics to safeguard your business against cyberattacks from cybercriminals. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, global cybercrime costs are expected to rise to $6 trillion in 2021, and businesses are predicted to experience a ransomware attack every 11 seconds. It is important for companies of all sizes and in all industries to fortify themselves against cybercrime, so let’s begin this training with security awareness fundamentals.

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the process of protecting networks, systems, devices, and data from cybercriminals who want to access, capture or destroy information to extort or impede individuals or businesses.

Who are cybercriminals?

Whether a novice or an experienced threat actor—or team—cybercriminals utilize technology to execute malicious attacks that target infrastructure vulnerabilities and manipulate people.

How do cybercriminals attack?

Attackers rely on human psychology to trick users into completing a dangerous digital action, such as clicking a link, or divulging confidential information like passwords.

Here are a few common social engineering strategies you should examine in your cybersecurity training:

  • Phishing attacks send fraudulent communications, including email, text or phone calls, to deceive the recipient into revealing sensitive data.
  • Malware, including spyware, ransomware and viruses, can be installed on a device where the user clicked a suspicious link or downloaded a false email attachment.
  • Spear phishing employs personal information, sometimes pulled from social media accounts, to make the targeted email attack appear legitimate.

Now that you know the enemy and their preferred forms of cyberattacks, let’s discuss four crucial steps in developing robust cybersecurity practices to protect your business.

1. Assess risks in your environment.

Not only is a cybersecurity risk assessment critical for the overall safety of your business and data, but it may be required for compliance with common industry standards such as NIST or HIPAA. A risk assessment will identify vulnerabilities within your networks, systems and devices that could pose risks to your business, finances, customers and reputation if left unguarded from a security breach. Employees who cannot identify malicious attacks also pose a risk. Gauge your employees’ knowledge with a mock phishing email campaign to gain a benchmark on their threat awareness before implementing cybersecurity training.

2. Train early and often.

Security awareness training should be an essential requirement of every employee—no exceptions—within your business. Cybersecurity training should be included in the onboarding process for new hires and assigned regularly to the whole company. Cybercriminals continue to develop new and more sophisticated tactics, so it is important to stay up to date on the latest defenses. Threat awareness training should not be an annual evaluation but a biannual or quarterly review. After a training session, you could also continue to issue mock phishing campaigns to track improvement and even assign refresher training to those who fail the phishing test.

3. Prevent and prepare for cyberattacks.

Even with cybersecurity training, employees may still become a victim of cleverly disguised malicious attacks. Actively prevent cyberattacks and decrease the margin for error with a strong spam filter. Utilize strong passcodes (not passwords) and Multi-Factor Authentication to stop breaches from fully penetrating the system. Routinely monitor your systems for vulnerabilities, perform alert response checks and keep antivirus software updated. Continuously backup your data and ensure rapid data recovery in the event of a loss to keep your business moving.

4. Establish an incident response plan.

An incident response plan informs employees who to report cybersecurity breaches to, such as the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), and what procedures to follow to ensure business continues without interruption. The CSIRT comprises skilled personnel who have the experience to conduct a structured investigation into the threat and provide a targeted response to contain and eradicate the threat. Once the security breach is resolved, the CSIRT focuses on recovery with patches and system updates to prevent another cyberattack from exploiting the same vulnerability.

Test your knowledge of security awareness and strategies in this 5-question quiz!

1. What does CSIRT stand for?
2. What is the first step you should take to begin developing a cybersecurity strategy for your business?
3. At a minimum, how often should your employees receive security training?
4. What are the benefits of continuously backing up your data? (Select all that apply)
5. Which of the following is NOT part of an Incident Response Plan?
Name
Email

Has your business completed the four steps to a strong cybersecurity program?

NexusTek’s Cybersecurity Services provide comprehensive threat evaluation, detection and prevention.

NexusTek Names Donald DeMarco as Regional VP of Eastern Sales

Donald DeMarco Regional VP East Sales
Donald DeMarco Regional VP East Sales

NexusTek Names Donald DeMarco as Regional VP of Eastern Sales

IT sales leader with 30 years of experience will introduce managed IT, cloud and cybersecurity services to businesses in eastern U.S.

Denver, CO (March 9, 2021) – NexusTek, a national provider of managed IT services and full IT outsourcing solutions to businesses across the U.S., today announced the appointment of Donald DeMarco as Regional Vice President of Eastern Sales. DeMarco will be responsible for introducing NexusTek’s managed IT, cloud and cybersecurity services to current and future clients in the eastern region of the U.S.

“Donald has a natural ability for scaling companies. He understands the challenges business owners face as they try to grow and adapt in an increasingly complex technology landscape,” said Michael Hamuka, NexusTek Chief Revenue Officer. “His client-centric approach makes him a trusted advisor for NexusTek’s customers and prospects. We’re thrilled to have him join the team.”

DeMarco’s deep expertise in cloud platforms, cybersecurity and IT services comes from a successful 30-year career at IBM, where he most recently led Sales for a multibillion-dollar unit as VP of North America Services Sales. His experience creating meaningful service offerings and powerful value propositions for clients will enrich daily business processes and enhance NexusTek’s presence on the eastern half of the U.S.

“I am excited to be part of the NexusTek team, who are dedicated to their customers and to delivering a superior end-user experience,” said DeMarco. “I look forward to helping companies stay focused on what they do best by removing the information technology headaches and surprises that often create unnecessary distractions from them executing their daily business.”

In addition to expanding its employee footprint in the eastern U.S. region, NexusTek maintains a strong influence across the country, delivering end-user services, cloud, infrastructure, cyber security and IT consulting to customers in 48 states. As an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic, NexusTek has converted a multitude of companies to remote operations since the beginning of 2020. DeMarco’s deep knowledge of cloud services and skills in customer satisfaction will augment NexusTek’s continued conversions of eastern businesses to remote functionality.

DeMarco will join the company’s senior leadership team and report to the CRO.

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