10 05 22

20 Questions You Need to Ask Your IT Service Provider

More businesses than ever before are seeing the value of outsourcing their technology management to a managed service provider (MSP) and it’s easy to see why. The size of the IT industry is expected to touch $557.10 billion in 2028 at a growth rate of CAGR of 12.6% in this period.

With a more hands-off approach to technology management, businesses can focus on delivering quality goods and services instead of worrying about their technology.

If you are considering jumping on the MSP wagon, consider asking the following questions to make sure you understand what you are getting from your provider.

Aaron Hawke, CEO, Xari Group, says about a managed service provider, “Choosing an IT managed service provider is an important decision. The best approach is to compare several potential choices and ask relevant questions about their business, technical abilities, and service.”

1 – What Services Do You Offer?

It helps to know what services your managed service provider is capable of offering to your organization, specifically because it helps to establish expectations and inform your ability to add or remove services according to your specific needs.

For example, if you can foresee a situation where your business wants to move to a more cloud-based infrastructure environment, you want to ensure that your provider offers services like cloud hosting and cloud migration. Otherwise, why would you consider them?

2 – How Experienced Are Your Technicians?

When it comes to your technology, you don’t want some greenhorn handling it. You want a seasoned and experienced technician who has had their fair share of time working with business technology solutions.

This is especially the case in a world where security needs to be at the forefront of every business owner’s mind. You want technicians who both know what they are doing and are knowledgeable enough to distill complex ideas into easily-understood concepts.

3 – What is the Service Level Agreement?

The service level agreement, or SLA, is an agreement between your business and the managed services provider which dictates the services rendered and the costs associated with them. It might include information such as how much you pay, which services are included with that payment, how often you pay for your services, and so on.

Basically, asking this question helps to determine what kind of expectations you have from your MSP and the services they provide for you based on what you pay.

4 – Do You Have Client Reviews?

Even in this digital world, word of mouth continues to be a heavily relied method to find a good service provider. Client reviews and stories are a great way to find out how reliable and efficient your managed services provider is and what are its industry credentials.

5 – How Big is Your Company?

You don’t want to be doing business with a company that promises big things but delivers below your expectations. This is why it is important to know their technical staff and whether they are capable of handling your projects.

6 – What are Your Company Values?

Compatibility is an important factor when you partner with another company. It is a good idea to check the company’s values and whether they match yours. You don’t want to be at loggerheads with them, which will only waste your time, effort and money.

7 – Red Flags for Not Hiring the MSP

Most companies highlight their positives and the reasons why you should hire them. But it is also good to understand their weaknesses. See if your managed services provider is ready to have an open discussion about their weaknesses. This will give you an idea of how honest they are.

8 – How Much Do You Charge for Your Services?

Budget is one of the most important deciding factors in any IT company. The same is true for an MSP. You must check how much they charge for their services and choose the one that fits your budget.

9 – What is Your Onboarding Fee?

Certain companies charge an onboarding fee, which is in addition to the service charges they take. Usually, the onboarding fee depends on your requirements, however, it is always better to get clarity on the actual price. You must also decide if you wish to pay extra.

10 – What is Your Rationale Behind Your Charges?

No company will ever give you the entire breakdown of their fees and charges, however, they should be able to justify certain aspects of it. If they are hesitant about justifying their price, consider that they lack transparency, a big red flag.

11 – What Extra Fees do They Charge?

It is always better to clarify everything regarding the overall fee and respective fee structure before finalizing the contract. ” If you’re being quoted a fixed rate, you need to get an itemized list in the contract and you have to be sure you understand what each item covers,” says Aaron Hawke, CEO, Xari Group.

Ask them what services are charged and what is the overall package so that you have complete clarity. You must also ask if you would need to do monthly and annual payments and yearly rate hikes.

12 – How Long do You Take to Complete a Project?

Time might not always be on your side when you are looking for a managed services provider. You might want to start immediately or get certain things delivered urgently. Knowing how much time the IT company will take to finish their tasks is a good way to start. Also ask if they offer customized solutions.

13 – How Long do Onboarding and Offboarding Take?

Sometimes, it can be a pain coming on board with a company as their processes are too long and cumbersome. An easy and hassle-free onboarding and the offboarding process is a sign of a professional approach.

14 – What is Your Response Time for Critical Matters?

You just can’t afford lengthy downtime, delayed response, data management, data leaks, regulatory compliance requirements or slow disaster recovery action from your MSP. So, clarify how they respond to critical situations and how long they take to fix them.

This is a critical aspect to maintain business continuity. A quick response time, especially to disaster recovery is a mark of professional service.

15 – How Soon Can You Start Onsite Services?

Onsite services are one of the most important additions to your business needs and workplace requirements. You must ask your service provider how soon they can start the onsite work and how efficient they are with it.

16 – Will You Provide Reports of Your Services?

Evaluating how well your managed IT service provider has done its job is a critical piece of information that you must be privy to. And different reports will provide you with that data. Ask your MSP about the reports they will deliver so that you can calculate your ROI.

17 – What Kind of Customer Support do they Provide?

An IT service desk team is a must that your right managed service provider should provide. Check how easy it is to communicate with them and what communication channels they are on.

Also check if they are available twenty four hours or not. This will be really helpful in times of urgency.

18 – What are Your Future Plans?

Having a proper future plan ready is extremely important. Your business will change and so will your IT requirements. Your MSP must have a future plan ready so that they are able to meet the evolving requirements.

19 – Can You Handle All Our Services?

The most obvious answer to this question will be a yes. However, an honest company would tell you if there are certain services that they are not efficient with. This displays their honesty and professionalism.

20 – Can You Provide Some References for Additional Services?

Asking for references is another way of finding out if your MSP has connections and industry knowledge. If they are not delivering all your services, you can connect with any of the references they provide.

Get Started with Managed Services Today

If your business is considering working with a managed service provider to fill the technology skills gap that so many companies find themselves with, we encourage you to think local and work with Point North Networks for your needs.

Our trusted and trained technicians can work with your team to ensure that technology is never a pain point for your business again.

Plus, depending on your specific needs, we can either fulfill the roles of a full-fledged IT department, act as a consultant, implement new technology solutions, operate as a help desk, and so much more. Our services are truly customizable to suit your company’s specific needs and IT infrastructure needs.

To learn more about how we can support your business goals, call us today at 651-234-0895.

Frequently Asked Questions About Your IT Service Provider

Why is it important to ask questions to your MSP before finalizing their services?

The right questions to ask managed service providers is a good way of finding out how well-equipped they are to handle your needs and how efficiently they can manage your IT infrastructure. This can be a deciding factor in a company’s success.

What are the things I must know before hiring an MSP?

A few of the most important things that you must be aware of before finalizing IT service providers are its size and IT infrastructure, workforce, can they host multiple clients, how many team members providing such services are there, what kind of experience the technical staff carry, strategy towards data leaks, if they have their own data centers, data management and correct size to handle big projects, what new technology developments do they work on, their values, the time they take to deliver projects, prices and fees and if there are any extra charges involved.

09 30 22

Endpoint Protection – A Crucial Missing Piece from Many Enterprise Network Servers

Almost 20% of Enterprise Windows Servers Lack Endpoint Protection… Does Yours?

What is Endpoint Security?

Endpoint Security, as the name suggests, is the phenomenon of securiting endpoints, i.e. the end user devices including but not limited to computers, laptops and mobile devices against dynamic security incidents, data breaches, file based malware attacks, suspicious behavior as well as cybersecurity threats.

At one point in time, endpoint security simply comprised traditional antivirus software, however, with the changing dynamics and emerging threats, today endpoint protection platforms offer a more comprehensive protection.

Who Needs Endpoint Protection?

While most small-scale businesses believe that only their large-scale counterparts require extensive endpoint protection, the fact of the matter is endpoint protection platforms are a must for organizations of all sizes! After all, hackers, masterminds behind organized crimes and evolving zero day threats are a modern-day bane for one and all. Hence, it can be said without a doubt that it is crucial that all enterprise networks are secured.

And when we emphasize the need for network security, we want to stress that the chosen endpoint security solutions should offer extensive security features as well as automation capabilities to ensure the protection of corporate devices from potential cyber threats.

Why is Endpoint Protection Important?

Endpoint security solutions
Endpoint Security Solutions

There are numerous endpoint protection features that make an EPP an indispensable part of cybersecurity.

In today’s times, data is considered to be an organization’s most valuable asset and a data breach can prove to be an irreaprable loss. Endpoint solutions enable the protection of sensitive data, and ensures that it remains safe, irrespective of the potential cyber threats.

The rise in number of devices that use network access, as well as the types of endpoints, have further highlighted the importance of endpoint protection. Then again, it has become imperative for organizations to offer an endpoint security solution with remote management capabilities to ensure that hackers are unable to gain access to data and other sensitive information from employees who have opted for remote work. Thankfully, sophisticated endpoint security solutions are more than capable of offering such extensive protection, as they are bestowed with unmatched investigation and remediation capabilities.

We’re not shy about sharing how important it is for a business to have comprehensive cybersecurity throughout its entire infrastructure. That’s why we wanted to share what some recent data has shown about the importance of having visibility into your infrastructure.

Spoiler alert: it’s really, really important.

Data Shows that Enterprises Suffer from Considerable Vulnerabilities

Compiled by Sevco Security, the State of the Cybersecurity Attack Surface report took data from over 500,000 IT assets. This data, compiled from enterprise-level businesses, revealed that a substantial number of the assets these businesses rely on are missing critical endpoint protections or aren’t being actively patched.

According to Sevco Security’s research, the businesses they surveyed were lacking endpoint protections at a rate of 12%, while 5% of them were lacking enterprise patch management. Compounding these issues, 19% of Windows servers were missing endpoint protections.

Furthermore, “stale” IT—assets that are present in the security control console and register as installed on a device, but haven’t checked back in for a few weeks—is a small but serious issue for these enterprise organizations. 3% of the IT assets have stale endpoint protections, while 1% have stale patch management. However, since they are supposedly accounted for, these risks are harder to spot and more likely to create issues.

Of course, these findings were all based on research into enterprise-level companies, with enterprise-level capabilities. Now, just consider what that suggests about the small or medium-sized businesses and their comparative capabilities.

Endpoint Security and Antivirus Programs

Endpoint Protection
Endpoint Protection

Traditional antivirus solutions are an important facet of endpoint security. While an antivirus program may not always protect individual devices and servers, when combined with endpoint protection, the network security threats can be curbed to the maximum possible extent. This two-proged approach enables the protection of individual devices, as we as of the network that they are connected to.

Trust Us to Help Prevent These Vulnerabilities from Presenting Themselves in Your Business

Part of our proactive remote monitoring and maintenance services is to catch these kinds of issues before they result in larger problems for your business. To learn more about how we accomplish this, give us a call at 651-234-0895 today and we will help you with the most reliable endpoint protection solution!

Frequently Asked Questions About Endpoint Protection

How can Endpoint Protection Solutions help?

A reliable Endpoint Security Software can offer multiple benefits including the following

  • It can help ensure that only trusted devices can connect to your network
  • It can ensure the safety of endpoints for remote devices accessing the network
  • It can help avert network security threats by continuous monitoring of endpoints
  • It can detect malicious activity and malware, and prevent them from harming your network
  • It can help you gain deep visibility across all your endpoints and their activities

What is EDR?

EDR is short for “Endpoint Detection and Response”. It is essentially an endpoint security solution which enables the continuous monitoring of the devices of the end users, in a bid to detect and repond to online threats in a timely manner. In some cases EDR is also known as “Endpoint Threat Detection and Response”.

What is XDR?

XDR is short for extended detection and response. It is yet another endpoint security solution that enables the collection of data related to security threats from isolated security tools across the technology stack of an organization. It is done to ensure quicker and more extensive investigation, threat hunting, threat prevention as well as response.

What is the difference between EPP and EDR?

EPP refers to ‘Endpoint Protection Platform’. EPP is a proactive endpoint security solution that prevents security threats. On the other hand, EDR refers to ‘Endpoint Detection and Response’. It is a reactive tool for protecting endpoints. It effectively detected and reponds to threats have may have been missed by other security tools deployed within your network security. An advanced endpoint security platform offers an optimal combination of EPP and EDR for enterprise network security.

What are the components of endpoint security?

To provide comprehensive protection across multiple endpoint devices and operating systems, a reliable Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP) software usually comprises of few or all of the essential components listed below-

  • Machine-learning classification
  • Antimalware and antivirus protection
  • Proactive web security
  • Data classification and data loss prevention
  • Integrated firewall
  • Email gateway
  • Actionable threat forensics
  • Insider threat protection
  • Centralized endpoint management
  • Endpoint, email and disk encryption
09 28 22

Security Doesn’t Always Have to Be a Grind

At first glance, cybersecurity might seem incredibly complicated and difficult to understand, but even a baseline understanding of some of the principles of cybersecurity can go a long way toward protecting your business. Let’s discuss some of the common-sense ways you can keep your business secure, even if you don’t have an internal IT department to ask for help from.

Keep Your Antivirus and Security Tools Updated

What’s better than eliminating a threat from your network? Stopping it from getting that far entirely. With antivirus, firewalls, and other security measures in place, you can keep your business secure from the majority of threats before they even become a problem in the first place.

Use a VPN

In case you or someone else on your team has to travel, or if you have a team that works remotely, a VPN is incredibly valuable. Public Wi-fi is notorious for being quite dangerous, and a virtual private network can offer a safe haven for you to access the Internet without fear of being observed by any onlookers.

Utilize Multi-Factor Authentication

You can take your security practices to the next level through the use of multi-factor authentication. A password can only do so much in today’s threat landscape, so you should back it up with biometrics, generated PINs, and other secondary measures that can make things much more difficult for any would-be hacker.

Use a Password Manager

We know you’ve heard it a thousand times; “always use a different password for each and every one of your accounts to maximize security.” While this should be practiced, it can be difficult to observe if you don’t have a password manager keeping tabs on each of your credentials. Plus, let’s face it, you don’t want to rely on your browser’s password management options if you can help it.

Avoid Phishing Scams

While it would certainly be amazing to win the lottery, a free vacation, or catch some juicy gossip in your email inbox, the fact of the matter is that phishing emails know that these kinds of temptations make you want to click on links in emails, regardless of how likely you think they might be. Other tactics used include fearmongering and threats, which aren’t nearly as fun to receive, but are equally as effective, if not more so under the right circumstances. Either way, you should use extreme scrutiny when navigating messages from unknown or unsolicited sources—especially if they contain links or attachments.

Let Us Help Your Business Keep Itself Safe

While you can certainly do all of the above on your own, why not work with a managed service provider like Point North Networks? We can take the stress out of managing your network security. To get started, call us at 651-234-0895.


How to Get Cybersecurity Through to Your Staff

Getting your staff to care about your organizational network and data security may be more difficult than you might think, but it’s not a lost cause. Today, keeping your business’ organizational security strong relies heavily on your staff’s willingness to follow the right practices, so today we thought we’d give you seven tips to get your people to care about security

Be Up Front

One of the main reasons employees don’t often care about cybersecurity is the overt secrecy surrounding it. Today’s organization needs to come clean when it comes to the constant threats that are out there. If you want your people to have a vested interest in keeping your business’ information systems and data secure, you need to level with them. After all, they can’t help if they don’t understand.

Make it a Personal Investment

Your company holds a lot of your employees personal data. Let them know that along with any sensitive and proprietary data that could be lost in a data breach, that their data could also be vulnerable. In order to sufficiently secure your data and theirs, they need to know what’s at stake if they don’t actively follow cybersecurity procedures.

Top Down Security

Every member of your organization needs to understand that they could be targeted by hackers and fall victim to these threats. The more your employees understand that management is actively complying with security policies, the more willing they will be to alter the way they consider cybersecurity.

Gamify Your Process

People tend to be more engaged when there is incentive baked into a policy. Gamification is the strategy of scoring a person based on their efforts. This strategy works wonders for productivity so it stands to reason that it would work for cybersecurity awareness and following any organizational policy that’s in place to keep your systems and data secure.

Standardize Procedure

One of the most important variables to get your people to follow the rules, is to have them in place to begin with. In cybersecurity, confusion can be a huge albatross, so ensuring that everyone is playing with the same rulebook is a must. This includes building procedures to handle attacks such as phishing as well as password hygiene and many other security-based policies. The more consistent your procedures are, the more likely your staff is to understand and follow them.

Start from Day One

With all the threats that are out there at the moment, you will want to stress the importance of cybersecurity with current and new employees, alike. If you start hammering home the importance of compliance with security procedures from the day an employee starts at your business, the more likely they will continue to comply with them as they undertake their job; which for most of your staff, isn’t strictly cybersecurity.

Keep Training

Employee Cybersecurity training 1

Employee’s Security training is becoming commonplace at almost every organization, largely because the threats that it faces could have devastating consequences. You will want to invest in comprehensive training and re-training to ensure that your employees understand the importance of your cybersecurity initiatives, and that they are up-to-date on any and all changes to policy or strategy.


Cybersecurity is a team effort today and if your organization isn’t stressing the importance of it, it’s only a matter of time until it rears its head. If you would like to learn more about training your employees on the best practices of cybersecurity,  creating a cybersecurity policy that works to keep your information systems secure, or if you would just like to talk to one of our IT professionals about cybersecurity best practices and procedures, give us a call today at 651-234-0895.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does cybersecurity awareness help employees within an organization?

With the increasing threats across the globe, it is becoming extremely important for the employees of every organization to be thorough in their knowledge of cyber security. A simple training session can enable the employees to know and beware about the – 

  • Device loss or theft
  • Social engineering tactics
  • Phishing attacks
  • Malware and ransomware attacks
  • Zero-day exploits
  • Macro and script attacks
  • Botnet attacks

When the employees are aware of the severity and consequences of these attacks, they are more likely to stay on top of OS Patches and antivirus updates, unlike earlier when they would almost always neglect them. They are also more likely to ensure that they accept all critical upgrades for their devices. 

How can employees keep their devices safe from Cybersecurity Attacks?

In order for employees to stay safe from cyber-attacks, they must –

  • Understand and respect the difference between personal and corporate usage of devices
  • Have a work account that is well-monitored
  • Agree to have restricted installations and web filters on their work device
  • Be aware of the possibilities of data loss and theft
  • Ensure that they follow all security patches and OS updates. 


What are some of the easiest ways to spot suspicious activities related to cybersecurity threats?

Employees can easily gauge a threat of cyber security attack by noticing one or more of the following – 

  • Unexplained appearance of new apps or programs on their devices
  • Unknown pop-ups during startup
  • Numerous pop-ups while working on day-to-day tasks
  • Slowed down the functioning of the device
  • Unknown extensions in the browser
  • Unexplained tabs in the browser
  • Loss of control of the mouse or keyboard


Does the US Government Provide Any Courses on Cybersecurity Awareness?

While they don’t host any program themselves, the National Institute of Standards and Technology does offer a list of free and low-cost online training content. These courses include webinars, quizzes, and certifications, and are specifically designed for employees.

Effective Digital Transformation

3 Variables You Need to Consider for an Effective Digital Transformation

For decades, technology has been the driving force behind some of the biggest and most radical shifts in business. Therefore, it makes sense to assume that the keys to your organization pushing past its limits and becoming truly exceptional lies in the implementation of new technologies that change operations in a profound way. The process of digital transformation does not have to be difficult, but it is important in a business environment so that you can stay competitive.

Digital transformation is the process of implementing new technologies and rethinking the relationship that your goods, services, and operations have with them. It can be seen as a way to innovate and make advancements in ways that might not otherwise be possible. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to accelerate their adoption of technology, so digital transformation is a trend that is rapidly increasing in popularity. To help your company make the best decision possible regarding technology, we have put together an easy three-step process you can follow when implementing new technology for your company.

Make Sure Your Objectives Align with Your Business Goals

The technology you implement should align with what you are trying to accomplish as a business. If your goal is to develop products, consider technology solutions that streamline that process. If your goal is to get the word out about services, consider ways that technology can help you get the word out. If your goal is to provide exceptional customer support, think of ways that technology can streamline the process for customers to receive the help they need when they need it. In other words, implementing technology without a clear and defined goal is not going to help your business; if anything, it will make your infrastructure more complicated and bogged down, so we encourage you to think about what your business does well and how technology can help you do it better.

Lean On Your IT Department or IT Resource

When it comes to your business’ implementation of new technology solutions, you want to take as hands-off a position as possible. Too often management and the C-suite get too involved in the decision-making process regarding IT. It is important to remember that you have an IT department or IT resource for a reason; respect their opinions and consult them on the implementation process. Understand that you may have a biased opinion of the technology because you want it to succeed and you think that it can be a great asset, but know that the ones making the cold and calculated decisions are often the IT resources implementing the solution. Just because something works perfectly for one organization does not mean that it will for you, and you should ensure that any solution you choose to implement is right for your organization well before the implementation process begins.

Get Your Staff On Board

Any new tools you implement will surely come with some resistance from your staff. Sometimes those who have been with you for a while are stuck in their ways and might not immediately see the benefits of implementing great new technology solutions. Therefore, it becomes your responsibility to show them just how much they stand to gain from not just learning your new tools, but mastering them as well. Implementing new technology is most beneficial when it’s done in a top-down manner, meaning the boss shows the employees just how confident they are in the solution by actively using it themselves. Employees are more likely to buy in when they know there is some passion behind it, and they will appreciate any training you can offer so they too can learn as much as possible about it.

Get Started with Digital Transformation Today

Point North Networks, Inc., can help your organization adopt new technology solutions and improve operations for the better. Our trusted technicians can be there for every stage of the process, from design to implementation to training and support. To learn more about how we can make a difference with your digital transformation strategy, reach out to us at 651-234-0895.

password best practices

Password Best Practices from the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Passwords are probably the most important part of keeping accounts secure. That’s why it is so important to follow industry best practices when creating them. Today, we’ll take a look at the standards outlined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in creating the best and most secure passwords.

What Is NIST?

For years, NIST has been the predominant organization in the establishment of password creation standards. They continuously change their advised practices to meet with the current cybersecurity demands. They recently updated their guidelines so we thought we would go over what strategies they suggest, to give you an idea of what makes a secure password.

New Guidelines

Many corporations are currently using the NIST guidelines and all Federal agencies are expected to utilize them. Let’s go through their newest password guidelines step by step.

#1 – Longer Passwords are Better than More Complicated Ones

For years, it was preached that the more complicated the password, the more secure the account. Today’s guidelines refute that notion. NIST suggests that the longer the password, the harder it is to decrypt. What’s more, they suggest that organizations that require new passwords meet a certain criteria of complexity (letters, symbols, changes of case) actually make passwords less secure.


The reasoning behind this is two-fold. First, most users, in an attempt to complicate their passwords will either make them too complicated (and forget them) or they will take the cursory step of adding a one or an exclamation point to the end of a password, which doesn’t complicate the password as much, if at all. Secondly, the more complex a user makes a password, the more apt they are to use the same password for multiple accounts, which of course, is not a great idea.

#2 – Get Rid of the Resets

Many organizations like to have their staff reset their password every month or few months. This strategy is designed to give them the peace of mind that if a password were compromised that the replacement password would lock unauthorized users out after a defined set of time. What NIST suggests is that it actually works against your authentication security.


The reason for this is that if people have to set passwords up every few weeks or months, they will take less time and care on creating a password that will work to keep unwanted people out of the business’ network. Moreover, when people do change their password, they typically keep a pattern to help them remember them. If a previous password has been compromised, there is a pretty good chance that the next password will be similar, giving the attacker a solid chance of guessing it quickly.

#3 – Don’t Hurt Security by Eliminating Ease of Use

One fallacy many network administrators have is that if they remove ease of use options like showing a password while a user types it or allowing for copy and pasting in the password box that it is more likely that the password will be compromised. In fact, the opposite is true. Giving people options that make it easier for them to properly authenticate works to keep unauthorized users out of an account.

#4 – Stop Using Password Hints

One popular way systems were set up was to allow them to answer questions to get into an account. This very system is a reason why many organizations have been infiltrated. People share more today than ever before and if all a hacker needs to do is know a little personal information about a person to gain access to an account, they can come across that information online; often for free.

#5 – Limit Password Attempts

If you lock users out after numerous attempts of entering the wrong credentials, you are doing yourself a service. Most times people will remember a password, and if they don’t they typically have it stored somewhere. Locking users out of an account, at least for a short period of time is a good deterrent from hackers that use substitution codes to try and guess a user’s credentials.

#6 – Use Multi-factor Authentication

At Point North Networks, Inc., we urge our clients to use multi-factor or two-factor authentication on every account that allows them to. According to NIST they want users to be able to demonstrate at least two of three authentication measures before a successful login. They are:

  1. “Something you know” (like a password)
  2. “Something you have” (like a mobile device)
  3. “Something you are” (like a face or a fingerprint)


It stands to reason that if you can provide two out of three of those criteria, that you belong accessing the system or data that is password protected.


Security has to be a priority for your business, and password creation has to be right up there with the skills everyone should have. If you would like to talk to one of our IT experts about password management and how we can help your business improve its authentication security, give us a call today at 651-234-0895.

VoIP system

How to Get the Most Out of Your VoIP System

By now you’ve heard of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), the telephone system that runs through your Internet connection rather than a phone line. VoIP can save your business up to 60 percent off your current phone bill. What many people don’t know—even ones that utilize a VoIP platform—is that there are many available options that can have major benefits for your business. Companies that have VoIP typically only use between one-third and one-half of the available options. Today, we wanted to showcase five VoIP features that you may not be taking advantage of.

Call Screening

Of course, nobody will ever really admit that they are screening their calls, but most people are guilty of it. Whether you just don’t cop to it or not, it can keep you from having to have conversations that you just don’t have time for. With VoIP, you can send the call to voicemail, disconnect it without giving the caller the chance to fill up your email with solicitation, or you can push it to your mobile phone. Either way, you have complete control.

Auto Attendant

One useful feature is the auto attendant. It’s basically a simple automated receptionist that can facilitate call transfers, send callers to voicemail, or even provide basic information and support. A lot of businesses completely forego having an actual receptionist and use the call attendant feature as a call hub to direct calls. It’s extremely useful.

Find Me, Follow Me

Some members of your staff are always on the move and it can be difficult for clients and other people to get them on the phone in their office. The find me, follow me feature is a sophisticated form of call routing. It provides a person to go where they are needed and still get the calls that come through for them by calling multiple phones at one time.

Hold Music

Many VoIP platforms don’t just make the people you put on hold listen to the same ol’ elevator music, you can pick your own. This may be a completely aesthetic feature, but it can be a benefit and fit in nicely with the company culture you are trying to cultivate. Insert marketing messages, promotions, and helpful advice for your callers.

Do Not Disturb

This is a feature that is not used enough. If you want to stay productive you need to be able to eliminate distractions. Nothing is more distracting than your phone blowing up constantly. In fact, studies have shown that people take over ten minutes to get back into the flow after a call. If you want to shut it down and focus on the task at hand, using the do not disturb feature can help you get in the headspace you need to be truly productive.


With other features like text messaging and video conferencing, VoIP can add a lot of value to your business’ roster of communications tools. If you would like to learn more about VoIP or other productivity-boosting tools, give us a call today at 651-234-0895.