IT Services

Charlotte IT Services

neteffect technologies provides reliable, practical, and effective IT services to local, regional, and national businesses based out of the Charlotte, NC area. Our capabilities include:

Whether you need a team to provide ongoing IT support or a skilled set of hands on a one-time IT project, our professional, knowledgeable technology experts are available to assist your business promptly and efficiently. Learn more about us.

Let’s get started on finding solutions to your IT challenges. Talk with one of our IT experts about how neteffect technologies can transform your organization by calling 704-688-7170. Allow us to use our proven methodologies to find solutions tailored to fit your business’s needs. Our focus is using technology to increase bottom line.

Author Archive

Six Smart Reasons to Outsource Cybersecurity

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in ContentMX

No company, no matter the size or industry, is immune to cyber attacks. But for small- and medium-sized businesses, the risk is compounded.

These smaller companies typically have fewer resources and in-house cybersecurity expertise than large enterprises — and consequently, become easy targets for attackers.

A recent report indicates that 65 percent of all cyber attacks worldwide last year were against companies with fewer than 2,500 employees. And the number of attacks on businesses with fewer than 250 workers has been on the rise every year.

The cybersecurity environment has become too sophisticated to manage by small IT departments that have to handle every aspect of a company’s information technology. The need for specialized knowledge will only continue to grow as mobile devices, the Internet of Things and cloud computing add new layers to the security infrastructure.

Even companies that have resources for dedicated cybersecurity staff are struggling with the shortage of skilled security professionals.  This talent gap is projected to grow — with Frost & Sullivan predicting it will reach 1.5 million workers by 2020.

Why Outsourcing Security Is a Smart Decision

A new trend that continues to emerge is the outsourcing of information security. The market for managed security services is expected to more than triple between 2015 and 2020, growing to a $30 billion industry worldwide.

By outsourcing your security needs to a managed security services provider (MSSP), you meet a number of  IT challenges, such as:

  • Knowledge gap: Whether it’s ransomware or denial-of-service attacks, malicious actors are constantly adding to their arsenal. By outsourcing security, you leverage the expertise of a company whose sole focus is on protecting organizations from even the most advanced cyber threats.
  • Talent shortage: Focus on hiring talent for core areas of your company instead of struggling to compete with many other companies for the same limited security workforce pool.
  • Technology upgrades: The technology that helps protect your data is constantly improving and evolving. Keeping up with state-of-the-art technology is expensive, especially if you’re still using some legacy systems.
  • Budget limitations: Although companies are spending more money on information security, the budget still remains a top barrier. By outsourcing, you save the costs of maintaining and upgrading expensive security infrastructure on premises.
  • Incident response: Do you have an effective plan for mitigating a cybersecurity incident when it happens? An incident response plan is critical to the continuity of your business, and an MSSP has the verifiable experience to help you develop a plan.

Avoid Outsourcing Pitfalls

If you’re considering outsourcing security, avoid hiring a provider who:

  • Is based outside the country
  • Only offers remote solutions instead of a hybrid approach that combines on- and off-premises
  • Focuses strictly on point solutions instead of using a comprehensive approach

A Fortinet partner, neteffect technologies offers best-in-class outsourced security. By delegating your cybersecurity needs to neteffect, you can focus on what your business does best while trusting security to expert hands.

Recipe for Disaster: Dated Security vs DDoS

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in ContentMX

The Internet of Things (IoT) is full of promise. It’s also full of danger. Small, network-capable devices, individually harmless-looking, have grown into a huge security threat. They were a large part of the reason the Internet went bad on October 21.

They’ve escalated a familiar type of attack into one of the biggest dangers on today’s Internet: The distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. It doesn’t aim at stealing or damaging data, but at preventing access for hours.

Traditional forms of security, such as anti-malware software and firewalls, aren’t enough to stop DDoS attacks. They’re still valuable, but they can’t help against incoming data that wreaks havoc through sheer volume. Nor can they stop threats that sneak their way in using an employee’s credentials.

You need to take additional measures to keep DDoS attacks and other stealth threats from succeeding, and you need new contingency measures when they do succeed.

October 21 DDoS Attack

Twitter, Spotify, the New York Times and other major sites became unreachable for hours on October 21. One of the biggest DDoS attacks in history was to blame. The target was Dyn, the sites’ domain name services provider.

Dyn translates domain names into IP addresses so that browsers and applications can reach the right servers. Overwhelmed by spurious translation requests, Dyn couldn’t keep up with legitimate ones.

The power behind the attack was a piece of malware called Mirai. It linked together millions of common, poorly-secured IoT devices to bombard Dyn with requests to look up fake domains — the majority of which were networked DVRs. Many were operated with easy-to-guess default passwords.

Costs of DDoS

As DDoS attacks grow in power, they impose increasing costs on affected sites. Big sites are preferred targets, but organizations of all sizes get hit. A report by the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a data center outage in 2016 was $9,000 a minute, up 38% from 2010. Crime is the fastest growing cause.

Costs can include:

Loss of business during the outage

Loss of customer trust

Malware removal

Data theft

Intellectual property loss

Taking defensive measures

Security threats play on vulnerabilities. Old software has known vulnerabilities, and criminals know that a lot of machines have vulnerabilities. System software, applications and security software all need to stay up to date to provide the best protection.

Zero-day attacks that exploit new weaknesses can beat even the best software protection, so your organization needs an incident response plan as a central part of a security strategy. If something does go wrong, quick mitigation can reduce its cost.

With new and bigger risks constantly appearing on the Internet, your business can’t afford to neglect securing servers, including backing them up and making copies of backups.

It takes time, effort and expertise to stay current. Trying to go it alone is difficult. Working with a managed security services frees you to focus on what you do best and can be considerably less costly than a cyber attack. Contact neteffect at 704-688-7170 to learn more.

Social Engineering Scams Make Your Workforce Your Biggest Threat

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in ContentMX

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The urgent email from the company bank asks you to check a statement. Do you click the attachment?

This is what social engineering looks like from the perspective of someone about to give a cyber criminal the keys to the enterprise.

Social engineering is methods used by criminals to get one of your colleagues to hand over company information. It could be an email with malware buried in an attachment. It could be an urgent demand from what looks like a senior staffer seeking banking details or logins. Or it could be blackmail – any way to trick staffers into allowing access.

In the above example, an unknowing employee can look at the sender of the email, not catch that the email is from “banc” and not “bank,” and click the attachment containing malware. The malware can then track the actions of the employee, lying quietly for months while infecting other networked computers until, eventually, the entire company network is taken down, millions of dollars missing and business comes to a halt.

As security protocols tighten and anti-virus software gets better, criminals are attempting increasingly elaborate ways to fool employees into giving them access to prized data. With each attempt, the ruse becomes more ingenious until finally, someone opens a way into the network.

According to the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, “23% of users open phishing emails, 11% click on attachments, and nearly 50% open emails and click on phishing links within the first hour.”

However, those same employees being targeted by con artists can be your first line of defense.

Protect your enterprise.

  1. Teach your employees what to look for, and that goes beyond just fishy-looking attachments to encompass:
    • Phishing scams have the criminal pretending to be a trusted source seeking credentials.
    • Spear phishing is a very targeted attack on one trusted employee armed with information gleaned from social media and other public sources.
    • Employees must even be careful of physical baiting – where an innocuous memory stick is left near a trusted employee, even on his desk, but the tool contains dangerous malware.
  2. Help your employees by setting policies for security. Require your workforce to create and maintain strong passwords that are not easily guessed (birthdays, names of children). Use multi-factor authentication so more than one password or key is required to gain access.
  3. Patch and update systems and software on schedule. This is a no-brainer when you consider that most attacks exploit never-patched known vulnerabilities for which patches have been available for months.
  4. Reinforce your cyber-hygienic workforce with the protection of a layered security technology infrastructure. Build a platform that integrates sandboxing with next-generation firewalls, internal segmentation firewalls, virus/malware scanners and content filtering so that attacks that get past one defense can be stopped by the next; or at least slowed to a rate where they can be detected and harm mitigated.

Your layered security approach needs to be tailored to your business needs, assets and biggest vulnerabilities. Perform periodic cyber threat assessments to assess. A partner of Fortinet, neteffect can assess your cybersecurity infrastructure and put our expertise and best-in-class technology to work for you.

Security Is Top of Mind As CIOs Bring Digital Transformation Into New Year

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in ContentMX

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The digital-centric and customer-centric market is expanding the role of CIOs. As the New Year looms, CIOs must be prepared to lead their company’s digital transformation while securing the safety and integrity of the data.

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In its recently released predictions for 2017, Forrester says that the age of the customer presents an opp

ortunity for CIOs to get out “front and center” and “grab the brass ring” to lead the technology agenda. The research authority goes on to say that “There has not been a time when technology has had a more profound impact on customer experience and revenue performance.”

With their combined technical and business acumen, CIOs are well-positioned for the challenge. They’ve already been championing the organization to take full advantage of emerging trends and technologies.

The new challenge is to ensure that the security infrastructure is adaptive and agile enough to meet the demands of converging technologies such as the cloud, big data and the Internet of Things.

The year 2017 will be a progressive one for many CIOs — and security must be an enabler, not a distraction as new, exciting opportunities take shape.

Challenges Can Become Opportunities

Emerging technology trends will bring new pressures — from competing cloud initiatives to adding more values and services. While embracing their expanding business role, CIOs can’t lose track of ensuring that the cybersecurity infrastructure keeps pace with these changes.

As we head into the New Year, let’s take a look at some of the key challenges organizations will face that are converging into a perfect storm of opportunities for CIOs:

Improving the customer and brand experience: Customers are the fundamental drivers of the changes organizations will undertake. Not only are they more empowered, they expect experiences that capture them at a specific moment in time.

Massive quantities of data that are gathered and analyzed are unlocking the mysteries of customers’ behaviors and providing insights into their expectations. Successful CIOs must find ways to capture data residing on devices.

With this data at their fingertips and a better ability to anticipate customer needs, CIOs will be positioned to identify new revenue streams while improving the customer experience.

At the same time, there’s a legal responsibility to protect this data — and CIOs will play a critical role ensuring its protection not only for the sake of compliance, but also the reputation and integrity of the brand.

Bigger shift to the cloud: With more workloads moving into the cloud and the hybrid cloud becoming the new business model, CIOs will be able to shed the burdens of cloud IT management while getting back savings by outsourcing to vendors.

By investing those savings into the digital transformation, CIOs can leverage resources even as budgets remain flat. This will heighten the focus on third-party cloud vendors.

But at the end of the day, accountability for data privacy and integrity falls on the organization. Verification of third-party policy enforcement protocols and approaches to securing traffic across cloud and on-premise environments will be key.

Growing skill gap and diversity: While disruptive technologies like the Internet of Things put more demand on IT staff, cybersecurity needs to evolve in order to stay ahead of the new threats. Yet the cybersecurity industry is facing an estimated shortage of 1.5 million workers by 2020.

At the same time, women comprise only 10 percent of the information security workforce and 22 percent of technology jobs. Diversity brings strengths and innovation to an organization, and CIOs have a tremendous opportunity to lead the effort to bridge the diversity gap.

 

 

 

Need Super Fast Internet? neteffect technologies Can Hook You Up With Google Fiber

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in ContentMX

Google Fiber Tech Partner

What if you no longer noticed your Internet connection? How would a more reliable, lightning fast Internet change the way you run your small business now, and in the future?

For Stacy Barter’s Roasterie coffeehouse in Kansas City, it meant live streaming important community events to loyal customers while up to 400 people simultaneously stream fresh coffee and fast Internet on-premises.

For craft software builder Marcelo Vergara of Propaganda 3, it means no longer noticing the Internet at all. As a software developer who works exclusively online, having a turbocharged, consistent Internet connection is a transformative experience that improves everything from ideation to product development to delivery.

Google Fiber Will Change The Way You Think About Your Business

Running a small business is challenging enough without having to worry about losing connectivity or waiting Google Fiber Tech Partneraround for uploading speeds to catch up your current project delivery. Small businesses and their employees need to spend less time on stand-by and more time proactively developing ways to make their operation more successful.

That’s why neteffect technologies is excited to announce we’re partnering with Google Fiber to bring its superfast Internet service to our small business customers.

How Can neteffect technologies, as a Google Fiber Partner, Improve the Way I Connect?

neteffect technologies knows that every business is unique. Growing, small and mid-sized businesses need the fastest Internet possible not only to innovate, but to thrive. To accommodate the growing demand for Fiber, they’ve launched a series of new, tiered service levels to accommodate businesses of all sizes:

Fiber Business 100 provides up to Mbps download and upload speeds, with the capability to backup up to 100 GB of data in as little as 20 minutes.

Fiber Business 250 gives you up to 250 Mbps with the capacity to backup up to 100 GB of data in about 8 minutes.

Fiber Business 1000 offers speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps with enough bandwidth to connect everyone and every device simultaneously, and the power to backup 10GB of data in around 2 minutes.

All plans have zero-data caps for backups and come with network box, high- performance Wi-Fi, gigabit routing, and advanced firewall protection with up to 13 static IPs available. Support is available 24/7/365.

Google Fiber and neteffect Will Transform the Way You Conduct Your Business

Super fast downloads. Rapid uploads. Faster connections to everything and everyone people need to get their jobs done.

From live, real-time video conferencing and instant access to cloud technology to jam sessions between musicians in multiple locations, Fiber brings your business to the next level by allowing business owners and employees to communicate more efficiently and more reliably than ever before.

neteffect technologies can help you find out when Google Fiber will be available in your small business’ area and hook you up with the fastest, most reliable Internet available as soon as you’re ready. Visit our website to learn more. For information on how Google Fiber can improve your business’ connectivity, call us today at 704-688-7156.

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