IT support is an important part of any business. If you don’t have the proper IT support and security, your company is going to face a number of issues. Your team may not have the support they need, reducing productivity. Your network could be open to attacks, resulting in lost data and damage to your reputation. A lack of strong IT support can also result in higher costs and lower efficiency as your network provides subpar performance and hardware failures.
Wooden Spoon is here to assist you with all of these issues and more. As one of the top IT support companies in Santa Rosa, we work with many local businesses to ensure that their servers and networks provide everything they and their customers need. We also work with companies outside of the area via remote support. Here are a few of the reasons why working with Wooden Spoon is the right move for you.
We Start with Planning
Before you jump in and start making any changes to your hardware or software, you need to have a plan. While many business owners do have a business plan and a strategy for their overall company, they don’t always have a specific technology plan. This plan outlines more than what hardware and software you want to use. It should include specific upgrade plans, assessments, and scheduled maintenance. This plan should also be revised regularly because you can never fully predict what your IT needs are going to be, especially if your business grows or shrinks unexpectedly.
Without a plan, your IT support will always be reactive. You’ll replace a hard drive when it fails. You’ll add servers when you reach the limits of the ones you currently have. Using a reactive approach means you’re always fixing problems after they occur. Because the problem has to occur first, you run the risk of losing data and productivity. A failed hard drive means you have to pull from a backup, and that backup may not contain the most recent information. If a server goes down, your online store may not be able to process orders for several hours, or your employees may not be able to access vital software they need to do their jobs.
Your IT support plan will allow you to be proactive instead. You’ll plot out when you purchase hardware so you have a good idea of when it’s going to start to fail. This way, you’ll be able to purchase a replacement and install it using a scheduled downtime rather than dealing with a hardware crash in the middle of the day. You’ll also be able to plan out the cost of this new hardware, allowing you to stay within budget. With scheduled maintenance, you’ll be able to track how well your system is performing and take steps to boost its performance before anything bad happens.
This plan will also help you understand when it’s time to expand your system to accommodate new workers or a larger number of clients. If you don’t have such a plan, it’s possible you’ll overload your network. Your clients will find that your online portal or website is very slow. Your employees may experience slowdowns or even frequent crashes. Neither of these is good for productivity or business.
Wooden Spoon IT Support and Security
Another very important part of IT support is your cyber security. Without good security, your entire network is vulnerable to hackers and malware. While many people think in terms of “when” rather than “if” they get hacked, working with an experienced security issue can greatly reduce the risk of being attacked. However, some business owners aren’t concerned—some don’t even know if they have a security plan in place. Wooden Spoon will make certain you have a plan as well as boost your security. We protect you from future threats and continually evaluate your network as you grow to make certain the changes you make don’t conflict with your security.
Wooden Spoon’s professional cyber security team will first look at your overall system to evaluate your current security. Then we will work with you to create a security plan. Just like your overall IT plan, this plan will outline current and future needs. However, it goes beyond that. For example, one part of the plan will involve categorizing your data. Data that you determine is very sensitive and must always be secure will need to be kept separate from data that all of your employees or customers will have access to. This allows us to implement a type of tiered security that keeps your most sensitive information behind several layers of protection.
Part of our security also involves monitoring your system for suspicious activity. It may be easy to determine when someone is trying to brute force their way into your system. If you see someone trying to log in with multiple incorrect passwords in a very short period of time, it’s potentially a bot. You can easily lockout that account. But what do you do when an employee account correctly logs in but then attempts to access protected data? Was it a mistake, or was the account compromised? Our real-time network monitoring will flag that account and watch it. If it continues to try to access information it doesn’t have access to, the system will send an alert to your team to begin an investigation.
Hardware and Software Conflicts Often Leave Security Holes
Part of our on-site support is to look at your hardware and software to make certain that it all works together properly. One issue we often see is with companies that are using software or versions of software that are no longer updated. These programs may no longer receive security patches, which means if they still have vulnerabilities, those issues will never be fixed. You could have multiple backdoors into your network and never realize it. Even though you may prefer using these older programs, we will work with you to find a solution that gives you the same functionality but is still supported by the developer.
Another issue we often see with these older pieces of software is that they don’t work together with current apps or with your hardware. They make be compatible enough that they do what you want, but you may have to get creative with a workaround or two. Unfortunately, these workarounds or slight incompatibilities often leave holes in your virtual armor that hackers and malware can take advantage of. For example, a piece of software may not use complex encryption for data. Anything sent to that program would have to use weaker encryption that could be broken.
Wooden Spoon will carefully evaluate your software and hardware to find these incompatibilities. We’ll then help you to swap out the incompatible tool or find a way of closing any security holes.
We Will Make Certain You’re Compliant
Another part of IT security and IT support in general is compliance. All businesses should be compliant with the NIST cyber security guidelines. These guidelines are the recognized best practices for protecting data. However, depending on the industry you’re in, you may need to go above and beyond what the NIST recommends. For example, if you touch any data related to someone’s health, you likely fall under HIPAA and the security requirements that come with it. If you handle credit card numbers or social security numbers, you’ll also need to employ strict protective measures. Being compliant also shows your customers how seriously you take security. It will help boost your reputation among customers, potential customers, and business partners.
The team at Wooden Spoon understands the various requirements each industry has and will work with you to ensure you meet or exceed those requirements. In addition to making sure you meet today’s requirements; our team also keeps up with any revisions or additions to those guidelines. We will ensure you’re always compliant, so you avoid fines and other repercussions.
Do You Need IT Services and Support?
If you’re a small business owner, you may not have the budget for the IT support and security team you truly need. That’s where Wooden Spoon comes in. We offer the affordable on-site support and remote IT support you need. All of our services are customized for each client, so you’re never paying for something you don’t need.
Our team includes experts in a wide range of fields. We have team members who are recognized names in the security field, of course, but we also have experts in network optimization, cloud services, and more. You have access to all of these professionals and more. It would be very difficult to have an in-house team with such a wide range of skills without a large budget.
If you’re in the Santa Rosa area, we’re more than happy to come to your office to discuss how Wooden Spoon can help. We also provide remote support and can work with your team over video conferencing. Either way, we want to make certain you have the IT support and security you need to protect your customers, your employees, and your business. Contact Wooden Spoon IT today to schedule a consultation or to ask any questions you may have.