Technology Information & News

Canadian Healthcare Organization Breaks Trail In Health IT

Canadian Healthcare

This innovative Canadian health care organization is making waves in the industry when it comes to health IT. At Humber River Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, IT is being integrated into just about everything the organization does, and it is being done with great enthusiasm. This is wonderful news for health care organizations around the country and the world, as Humber River is providing a road map as to what other organizations can do to make things better in every way for employees and patients alike.

Bringing Hospitals into the 21st Century

Traditionally, hospitals have not been known as organizations that change quickly or dramatically. Until recently, Humber River was no exception. However, things changed when they hired their current CIO, Peter Bak. Peter has a commitment to defining a culture of innovation at Humber, and he entered his current position with this goal. Since he arrived, things at Humber River have changed in a variety of ways, and all for the better.

Some of the IT innovations that Bak has spearheaded at Humber River Hospital include:

  • Having all of its information available in electronic form
  • Increasing and improving digital patient engagement
  • Robotic appliances that travel around the hospital to deliver supplies
  • Automating whatever can be automated, in order to create safer and more efficient workflows
  • Linking people to assets in the hospital, such as using IT to help employees find available wheelchairs or other necessary supplies

Improving Employee Communication at Work

The connectivity that Bak supports and promotes is not just limited to inanimate objects, either. He encourages the same type of connectivity among employees. This includes connecting the various care teams of the hospital, which often have significant communication gaps between them. With Bak’s innovations, this is no longer an issue, which creates a better experience for employees as well as patients.

Interpersonal connectivity between care teams is encouraged through the use of telecommunications tools. The hospital uses the highest quality telecommunications tools to allow employees to more easily talk to each other, as well as allowing them to communicate more easily with the IT in the building. The tools also ensure that the right alerts and alarms go off to the correct clinicians in the building, which improves patient safety and outcomes, and makes for a better patient experience, while allowing clinicians to do their jobs to the best of their ability with greater ease.

Using Analytics to Improve Outcomes and Communication Efficiency

Another thing Bak has emphasized since taking on his role at Humber River is analytics. The goal was to leverage electronic data in a way that provided the hospital and its various care teams with good analytics in a simple and easily accessible way. With the correct analytics in hand, care teams can see exactly how they are doing, what they need to do to improve, and how to get patients what they need in a more timely and efficient manner. The hospital is currently experimenting with the use of analytics to eliminate never events there.

Humber River Hospital’s ultimate goal with all of these IT innovations is to provide their patients with the highest quality of care, while giving them the best possible outcomes every single time. Leveraging the use of IT in this goal is helping them be among the best in the industry. What they are doing shows other hospitals how to do the same thing to improve their own employee experience and standard of care for their patients.

Providing an Innovation Map for Others

In any industry, someone has to be an innovator and lead the way into the next level way of doing things. Among Toronto’s hospitals, that entity is Humber River Hospital. It is serving as an inspiration and a guide for others to do the same.

The lack of good use of IT in the health care field is something Bak definitely noticed. The consumer world had already mastered the use of IT in efficient communication. However, the health care industry was languishing in the Dark Ages by not using those available technologies. He saw how using old-fashioned methods of communication was resulting in poorer outcomes for patients, and determined to do something about it. He pushed Humber River Hospital into the 21st century in terms of using technology for improving communications. Today, his efforts have tangible successes. Other health care organizations would do well to follow the map this one innovative place has created for them.

Celebrate World Backup Day on March 31st

When Was Your Last Backup?

Data backups are a critical part of protecting the information and files you cannot afford to lose. And yet, many people have bad backup habits – or no backup habits at all.

March 31st is World Backup Day – a perfect opportunity for you to update your existing backups, double-check that your backups are functional and retrievable, or create that backup you’ve been meaning to get around to.

Data Backup

Need help creating or maintaining your data backup system? Give MAXTech a call at (813) 333-2878 or email us at and talk to our technology experts today.

What Exactly Does A Managed IT Services Company Provide?

Managed IT Services Company

Running a business requires a great deal of focused attention. Unfortunately, when your technology team is spending a great deal of time dealing with login problems, software licensing, cybersecurity and more, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for growth activities and strategic thinking. As businesses grow, many organizations find that it makes sense to work with an IT managed services company to maintain a high level of security and staff productivity that would be nearly impossible using only internal assets. These technology partners provide best-in-class tools and support that can scale with your business as you expand. Here’s an overview of the type of services that many of these technology partners provide.

Day-to-Day Operations

Technology teams often refer to “death by a thousand cuts” — which is what happens when you have dozens of people relying on you to provide technical support for your organization. Everything from computers that refuse to reboot to conference rooms where the projection isn’t working all come into your help desk. This can overwhelm the individuals in IT and also cause a productivity loss for the staff members who are waiting on a response or support. IT managed services providers are able to step into this gap and solve a variety of simple challenges, including:

  • Retrieving lost files or folders
  • Resetting passwords
  • Issuing software licenses (based on pre-set business parameters)
  • Troubleshooting network connectivity
  • Rebooting servers

These are only a few of the “Help me now!” requests that technology professionals receive on a daily basis, and all of these options can be resolved remotely by a friendly technician from your IT managed services provider.

Creating or Refining Cybersecurity

Ensuring that your business information stays safe is a primary directive for today’s organizations. With many companies storing personal financial and health information for clients or staff, cybercriminals are enjoying access to data from organizations of all sizes — especially those businesses without a robust security posture. Staying current with the latest threats takes time and attention, and can be challenging for technology staff members to juggle with other priorities. When you work with a managed services provider, you have easy and immediate access to cybersecurity professionals who are able to review your current processes, make recommendations for improvement and then even help with the implementation of those suggestions.

Long-Term Technology Strategies and Budgeting

Even things that you might think of as integral to your business can be supported through a trusted IT managed services provider. A good technology partner may have access to dozens of business models and be able to make recommendations for your business based on a broader scope of understanding. Your external IT team can help with research on new vendor partners, negotiating better pricing on software due to shared buying power and even help create budgets based on the unique needs of your business.

Advanced Backup and Disaster Recovery

Should the unthinkable happen, it definitely pays to be prepared. There are any number of reasons you might have to restore operations from a backup, but without a proactive backup and disaster recovery process in place this can be a big challenge for businesses. Massive fires, flooding or other natural disasters claim thousands of businesses every year, as those businesses are unable to restart operations after a disaster. Cyberthreats or data loss could also spell doom for your business, especially if the loss leads to an extended period of time without access to your business data. With an IT managed services partner, you’re gaining access to advanced backup and disaster recovery software and protocols that will help protect your business in the event of an emergency — and help you restart operations quickly. More than 96% of businesses with a disaster recovery solution in place continue operations, but the same cannot be said of those without the forethought to create a comprehensive plan.

There are hundreds of scenarios where an IT managed services provider can help support your business. The bottom line is that you are gaining access to a deep bench of qualified professionals who are solely focused on helping make your business successful. Whether you need immediate assistance with help desk support or longer-term strategic advice, IT managed services providers serve a vital role in today’s business world.

Is Your IT Company Offering vCIO Services?


If your IT department is like many in the U.S., you are struggling with day-to-day operations — leaving very little time for strategic thinking about your business. Even if the time was available, would your team have the expertise and skillsets necessary to create a fully-featured technology plan, budget and business plans for the future? Organizations often hire all-purpose employees, people who are able to wear multiple hats. These generalists are excellent at keeping the business running and creating a great deal of value, but may not have the depth of knowledge required to survey the technology landscape and make recommendations that will guide the future of your business. As organizations turn to IT managed services partners to outsource more of their technology needs, there’s still a gap in terms of strategic thinking. A virtual CIO can help step into that gap and provide your business with the long-term strategic insight that will help you optimize your operations and crush the competition.

What is a vCIO?

Chief Information Officers, or CIOs, are rarely found in small to mid-size businesses as this can be an extremely expensive skillset. You may not need someone employed at this level full-time, but there are several times throughout the year when their guidance would come in handy. Budgeting, competitive analysis, operational efficiency planning and cybersecurity are a few of the topics that a CIO would address in an enterprise, and smaller businesses have the same concerns with a greatly reduced annual budget. A virtual CIO is a high-level executive who is able to step into your organization, understand your business needs and model, and make solid recommendations that will help your business be competitive in the future.

How Can a vCIO Help My Business?

You can see how a vCIO could help with budgeting, and longer-term strategic planning, but are there other ways that these individuals could add value to your business? Planning for the next several years requires a solid understanding of your business model, employees and competitive landscape. Your vCIO will also need to a great deal of research to understand your current software and hardware platforms and other options that are on the market. Your vCIO can also:

  • Provide crossover business knowledge as a subject matter expert on a variety of topics
  • Define IT infrastructure lifecycle recommendations, feeding into your multi-year technology budget
  • Target inefficient operations, proposing changes that will save time and boost productivity
  • Align technology strategies with business objectives to facilitate business process improvement throughout the organization
  • Review vendor contracts and relationships, looking for economies of scale and reducing overlap
  • Make suggestions for new business technologies that have recently entered the market
  • Review overall disaster preparedness, including backup and recovery procedures and cybersecurity posture
  • Determine operational readiness to deliver key product offerings
  • Competitive analysis with an eye towards consolidation and information business technology solutions in the future

As you can see, these services are best delivered by an individual with over a decade of experience in business and technology, with the insight needed to recommend solutions that will meet core business requirements.

Getting Started with Your vCIO

Before your virtual CIO makes any recommendations for your business, they will be doing a great deal of listening and learning from your internal teams and may even request to interview vendors. They will review the competitive landscape, see what type of technology your partners and competitors are using and make lists of the current technology being used in your business. Your vCIO should ask a lot of questions, trying to determine where there are logical breakdowns in operations that could be addressed by advanced technology solutions. Finally, they will need to understand the budgetary landscape — is your business going to be able to make significant investments in technology in the near future, or are you looking for ways to reduce overall expenses? All of this information will go into their overarching analysis, as they attempt to plot a workable technology roadmap for your business.

Understanding the Technology Landscape

The technology landscape is complex and ever-changing, and your vCIO needs to have a solid understanding of the technology that will impact your business — as well as any future functionality for core software and hardware. Understanding your services delivery model and staffing requirements allows your vCIO to appropriately scale software and hardware rollouts, determining whether it’s time to move critical functions to the cloud, for instance. A firm understanding of the value proposition for cloud-based storage and applications versus the value of on-premise solutions is crucial, as technology and business teams become more mobile and look for flexible work solutions that are less dependent on their physical locations. Physical security as well as cybersecurity are hot topics for Chief Information Officers, as the threat landscape continues to morph and cybercriminals become more aggressive.

Having access to a vCIO provides your organization with a broad-spectrum talent, someone who can look not only at the problems of today — but at the solutions that will drive your business in the future. Your IT managed services provider may be able to provide this type of support, with the added value that they are already familiar with your business model and needs.

What Is Windows Lite?

Is Windows Lite Microsoft’s Answer to Google’s Chrome OS?

Microsoft is working on a new operating system — Lite — with a different look that’s designed for the casual computer user while targeting Google’s Chrome OS  

Windows Lite

Windows Lite is the oft-rumored, highly anticipated stripped-down operating system that Microsoft is reportedly working and could be unveiled sometime in the spring of 2019. What exactly is Windows Lite and why is Microsoft investing in it?

What Is Windows Lite?

Rumors began to surface in late 2018 that Microsoft was working on a new version of its Windows 10 operating system. While details have spotty at best, it appears that Windows Lite is intended to be Microsoft’s latest attempt to compete with Google’s Chrome OS, the driver of its popular Chromebook product line.

Windows Lite reportedly will be faster and leaner than other Windows operating systems. In fact, some reports indicate that the new operating system will be so different from other Windows products that Microsoft may remove the “Windows” name from it altogether.

How Will Windows Lite Work?

The new operating system reportedly will only run apps from the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) downloaded from the Microsoft store. It will also allow progressive web apps, which are applications that are run through an online service but operate like an offline app. Microsoft is exploring whether Lite will eventually be able to support Win32 apps as well.

Windows Lite will also be instantly on and always connected. It will be designed to work with multiple CPUs, providing flexible options for device manufacturers and consumers.

The focus is on building a product that emphasizes simple interactions and maintenance.

It’s expected that Windows Lite will not be available directly to consumers but rather to OEMs as a way to offer an alternative to the increasingly popular Chromebook. Instead, it will come pre-installed on laptops marketed to the home user and students.

The product is designed for users who only need “light” computing without the power, complexity and strength of traditional Windows operating systems. For users who need to write an essay, chat with friends or listen to music, Windows 10 is a bit of overkill.

Will It Look Like Windows?

The Lite OS will likely look very little like Windows. The interface is expected to be cleaner and more modern. The Start button is in the middle of the screen, for example. The search box is reminiscent of Chrome OS, with suggested and pinned applications listed prominently.

That said, there are some familiar components. File Explorer is still there and foundational components like Settings are present at this time.

The divergence from Windows is why some believe that Microsoft will remove the Windows branding entirely from the new product. Why would Microsoft intentionally move away from the established, decades-long Windows brand?

For one, ‘Windows’ carries with it certain expectations about functionality and capabilities. Microsoft may well want to begin reshaping how people think about what an operating system is, what it looks like and its user interface. It could be the beginning of a new direction for the company.

It could also be a way to circumvent the notion that Windows is too complex, complicated or fully featured, attracting those who have sworn off Windows operating systems in the past.

When Will Windows Lite Be Available?

There has been no official announcement or scheduled release date published. Given that hints about the new operating system are beginning to appear in Windows Insider builds, it’s likely that Microsoft is quite far along in its development. One possible target for an unveiling would be at the Microsoft Build 2019 conference in May 2019. Wider testing could begin this summer.

Cybersecurity Basics For Small Businesses

Small Business Cyber Security

Small businesses are at considerable risk of cyberattack. With fewer staff resources available to maintain and monitor networks and fewer defenses in place, small businesses are an attractive target for hackers and other criminals.

The risks of a cyberattack are considerable. Companies could spend tens of thousands of dollars just to recover from an attack. There’s also the reputational and regulatory downsides if businesses allow data to be compromised, stolen or accessed by unauthorized parties.

To help businesses better understand the risks and solutions, this guide serves as a comprehensive introduction to cyberattacks and how to prevent them.

Defining Cybersecurity and Cyberattacks

Cybersecurity is a collection of preventative measures designed to defend computers, data, mobile devices, servers, networks and users from malicious attacks. Cybersecurity generally focuses on issues that arise from internet-connected devices and systems.

Cyberattacks are criminal activities designed to disrupt networks, prevent access to data, websites and systems, or extract valuable information. Some cybercrime is done solely to wreak havoc on websites and computer systems. Other activities are intentional attacks designed to steal and sell personal information, company secrets or intellectual property. Other cyberattacks are done for geopolitical reasons to disrupt governments, elections or economies.

Business Computer Security

What Are the Types of Cyberthreats?

Each day, there are new techniques, threats, codes, programs and approaches used to commit cybercrime. Businesses need a firm understanding of what these threat types are in order to choose the right defenses. Below are definitions of the most common threat types.

  • Malware. Malware is a portmanteau of “malicious” and “software.” It is an umbrella term that covers programs designed to cause harm once installed on a targeted computer or server. Malware includes:
    • Trojans – Programs that hide a virus or other malicious program. Many “free software” offers trick unsuspecting users into downloading and installing other apps that are actually Trojans.
    • Adware or Spyware – These programs can take over web browsers and redirect activity to other sites, usually e-commerce pages. These can be difficult to remove and frustrating, as they often use pop-up windows or pages that appear behind another. More nefarious adware can monitor which websites you visit or track keystrokes.
    • Viruses – Often spread by using removable devices on otherwise clean machines, visiting malicious pages or clicking on email attachments, viruses are designed to damage or destroy files stored on a network.
    • Worms – A kind of virus that replicates and propagates itself from computer to computer connected to a network. Typically, worms consume computing resources, slowing or stalling your machine.
  • Advanced Persistent Threats. Most hackers do not break into systems in one fell swoop. Instead, they stage their attack in phases. These advanced persistent threats (APTs), one embedded in a computer, may lie dormant for a period before they are activated. The program may also embed itself differently in different parts of the system, so if one threat is detected and eliminated, others can continue to cause harm.
  • DDoS. A distributed denial of service happens when outside players overload a server with requests for access or connection. Quickly a DDoS can shut down a target’s networks or websites.
  • Rootkits. Rootkits are a small piece of software that’s installed by another, larger software program or attacker that’s gained access. While rootkits may not be malicious, they can harbor malicious operations. Using rootkits, an attacker may be able to monitor activity, access information, change programs or use your computer to complete other actions.
  • Botnets. Botnets are networked, automated programs that can be controlled by one or many outside persons. Botnets are used to spread spam or viruses or to facilitate a DDoS.
  • Ransomware. A form of malware, ransomware infects your computer system and disables access or functionality, usually to your website. The cybercriminals usually demand a ransom in the form of bitcoin or other difficult-to-trace cyber currency in order to release control of your systems. If the ransom goes unpaid, the hackers usually threaten to release or sell information about your company, customers or employers.
  • Phishing. Phishing is a common way hackers steal personal information, logins and credit card information. Phishing attacks usually begin with an email urging a user to visit a known website. Once there, a user can unwittingly reveal information that compromises their identity or finances.
  • Fake Anti-Virus. An unsuspecting user may see an email from their anti-virus provider and install a fake update or upgrade. Instead, the installed software begins to make system modifications (including issuing false threat alerts) that make it difficult to eradicate the program.
  • Corrupted Files. Even common file types, such as those used for word processing, spreadsheets, images, videos and presentations, can be corrupted by malicious code that’s embedded in a seemingly legitimate file. These programs can execute malicious scripts that consume memory or bandwidth, add or delete files, allow attackers access to your computer or use your computer to attack other machines.
  • Zero-Day Attacks. When attackers unearth a security flaw or vulnerability in a piece of software before the developers do, it’s an incredible opportunity. Hackers exploit the vulnerability that can extract information or cause damage. The scope of a zero-day attack can be staggering as it can take months or years before the flaw is detected and a corrective patch is built and deployed.
  • Password Attacks. The more characters and choices your company requires of users when creating passwords, the less likely you’ll be to fall victim to a password attack. A brute-force attack occurs when a hacker uses programs or guesses until they are successful in gaining access. Other attacks include the use of dictionaries to find common words used as passwords and keylogging, which captures keystrokes to steal login IDs and passwords.
  • Email Spoofing. It is far too easy for hackers to create an email that looks to be from someone, even a known colleague or leader. However, these programs instead are imposters, looking to steal passwords or financial information. A recent series of spoofing emails asked employees at colleges and universities to purchase gift cards for their “colleague,” scratch off the protective coating and send the card authorization codes. If spoofing is used to contact your customers or partners, you may find them leaving to do business with someone else.
  • Insiders. There’s a good reason to limit the number of employees who have administrative privileges. Inside attacks are often conducted by employees with administrative rights. They use credentials to get access to confidential information and use it for their own benefit or sell it to the highest bidder. Other inside threats manifest themselves when companies fail to remove access rights or user accounts of employees who leave the organization.

Cyberattacks can take many forms: targeting your users, your networks, your devices, your software or your websites. That’s one of the critical reasons why you need cybersecurity solutions that can address all of the potential threats.

Cyber Security Small Business

Who Commits Cybercrime?

Many people imagine cyberattackers as hoodie-wearing, sunglasses-toting bad guys in their basement inflicting harm for personal gain or “fun.” While there is an element of truth in that stereotype, there are other players in the cyberattack realm. The criminals may be:

  • Single actors or groups looking to disrupt or steal
  • Political operatives looking to steal information for nefarious means
  • Nation-states authorizing attacks that cripple electronic systems and defenses, disrupt communications or infrastructure, or corrupt or steal data
  • Corporate actors or individuals looking to steal information that allows for an economic, strategic or military advantage

While there may be many players involved in cybercrime, the common theme is that your business needs to be protected.

Are These Threats Overblown?

No. Consider some of these statistics from the Ponemon Institute’s global 2018 Cost of a Data Breach study:

  • The average data breach costs $3.86 million, a 6.4 percent increase from the previous year
  • The cost per stolen record is $146
  • The mean time it takes to identify a data breach is 197 days
  • The mean time to contain a data breach is 59 days

When looking at the impact of cyberattacks on small businesses, the 2018 HISCOX Small Business Cyber Risk Report notes:

  • 47 percent of small businesses had at least one cyberattack in the last year
  • 44 percent had two to four attacks
  • 67 percent of business owners and executives indicated they were concerned or very concerned about cyberthreats
  • The average cost to a small business for a cyberattack is $34,600
  • Small businesses incur indirect costs from a cyberattack, including customer loss, difficulty in attracting new customers, brand damage, distraction and productivity loss and staff hours committed to a resolution

Small businesses have other characteristics that contribute to their vulnerability, such as the lack of available budget and qualified personnel to manage the protective measures necessary.

What Kinds of Cybersecurity Tools Are Available?

The number and type of threats are constantly changing. That’s why small businesses need to be vigilant about how to address the potential attacks.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently released a helpful and clear framework that can help companies understand the layers and purposes of different cybersecurity solutions.

The NIST framework lays out five cybersecurity functions:

  1. Identify – Asset management, business environment, governance, risk assessment and risk management strategy
  2. Protect – Access control, awareness and training, data security, security processes and procedures, maintenance and protective technology
  3. Detect – Anomaly and event detection, continuous monitoring and detection processes
  4. Respond – Response planning, communication, analysis, mitigation and response improvements
  5. Recover – Recovery planning, improvements and communication

Another way to look at the scope of solutions is to group them into categories based on the type of security they provide. These broad security categories of protective measures collectively provide your business with a comprehensive cybersecurity solution.

The categories and the protections that fall within those groupings are outlined below.

Operational Security. Processes and procedures for handling, storing and securing data, including user permissions, data locations and sharing guidelines.

Cyberthreat Assessment. Companies looking to provide blanketed cybersecurity protection should first conduct a thorough assessment of their existing IT infrastructure. Managed IT providers usually begin their engagements with new customers with this deep dive, which provides a baseline understanding of the data, processes and protection in place and the vulnerabilities that need to be corrected.

Security Policies and Practices. There needs to be a collection of well-defined and articulated policies and procedures that address what data is available, what its business function is, how and where it is stored and who can access it. These cybersecurity policies, and the consequences of not following them need to be spelled out for employees, taught and reinforced. Policies should also include the use of personal devices, peripheral devices, home computers, public WiFi and corporate credit cards or purchasing cards.

Access Control. Small businesses should have clear guidelines in place for who determines access to files and servers. Administrative rights should be limited as noted above. Access should be requested and approved using a clearly delineated process that presents clear business reasons for allowing permission. Access should be provided on a need-to-know or need-to-use basis. Access policies should also consider physical access to servers, data centers, data closets, physical media and off-site locations.

Regulatory Mandates. Many industries are subject to government agency or sector-based requirements for the storage and usage of data. These mandates are especially critical to those companies that collect or use personal health information, collect payment information, manage legal documents or do business with certain federal or state entities. Knowing these mandates is critical, as they inform the decisions about what solutions are used and what reporting is required to demonstrate or maintain compliance.

Insurance. Purchasing cyberattack insurance helps to reduce the financial risk of a potential assault. Like with other insurance products, demonstrating the existence of protective measures may result in lower premiums.

Information Security. Ensures data integrity and privacy when information is in transit or at rest.

Data Backup. Backing up your data (and applications and operating systems) is essential to making sure it’s protected and accessible in the event of an attack or natural disaster. Data backups should be done for information stored in the cloud or physical servers. Backup services should use most advanced security measures and best practices, including backing up data in out-of-region locations, automating backup functions and scheduling backups at regular intervals.

Encryption. Encrypting your data while it’s being backed up and when it is stored in the cloud or on-premises makes it that much more difficult for hackers to use the information, even if they can access it.

Network Security. Secures your computer network from intruders, attackers and malware.

Wireless Network Security. Protecting your wireless network is an absolute must. Next-generation firewalls secure your network’s perimeter, detecting, containing and destroying unwanted activity before it can cause significant harm. Network security should also include continuous monitoring with automated alerts if suspicious or unusual activity is detected. Wireless network segmentation and segregation can also prevent the co-mingling of use by employees, visitors and web visitors.

Passwords and Authentication. Your small business needs password creation guidelines, multifactor authentication procedures, guest access policies that make it difficult for hackers to break in and access systems.

Website Security. Maintain your website’s security with limited privileges to the web server and content management tools, multifactor authentication, aggressive password changes, application whitelisting, adequate resource availability, web firewalls and dynamic security scans.

Application Security. Protects your software applications and the devices that use those apps.

Hardware and Software Updating. Providers regularly distribute updates and patches that address important security issues, fix bugs and remove emergent vulnerabilities. The challenge for small businesses is making sure each connected computer, mobile device and server has the required updates installed. Automated updating is much easier with managed IT services and cloud-based applications and servers.

Mobile Device Security. Mobile devices enable employees to access information and networks from anywhere and at any time. However, mobile devices are especially vulnerable, especially when employees are required to provide their own equipment. For example, employees may not install the necessary updates, access information on unsecured public WiFi networks, or have devices stolen or lost.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. Plans and policies to recover from a cyberattack and ensure business operations are up and running with little to no downtime.

Business continuity is the overarching guidance, policies, methods and protocols that ensure that a business can continue operations during and after a natural or manmade event. Disaster recovery is a subset of business continuity, focused on the procedures used to restore systems, access data backups and deal with the incident at hand.

End-User Education. Training and awareness programs for employees and other users.

In many ways, education and awareness are the first lines of cyberdefense. Employees need to understand the scope of cyberthreats, how those threats appear and what they can do to defend themselves and the organization.

Cybersecurity is an absolute must for small businesses today. Knowing the types of attacks and the available solutions is the best defense against criminals looking to do harm.