How to Keep Your Network Safe

Maintaining the security of your business’s IT network safe isn’t an easy feat. Securing your network is a process requiring time and dedication even for those entrenched in the IT world. Doing it well on top of your everyday tasks can be daunting at best and fatal for your business at worst. Moreover, the sophistication of today’s hackers leaves no one’s system—not even your home computer—safe from threats.

To avoid these ongoing threats, consider the following tips to keep your business network safe.

Use encryption – Data that is encrypted requires a key or password to decode information, making it the most effective way to secure your network. At the very least, ensure that your Internet network has Wi-Fi Protected Access II encryption, the most up-to-date protocol, to eliminate the likelihood of a breach.

Change access passwords – When considering how to keep your network safe, also consider how conspicuous your passwords are. Of course, certain team members—if not all of them—will need to know your accessibility password. However, administrative passwords, where applicable, should be restricted. Also, if you notice too many users on your network and your bandwidth begins to suffer, consider changing your password and reinforcing its confidentiality to employees with whom it is shared.

Scan your system regularly – The point of malware and spyware is for it to remain undetected on your network in order to do as much damage to your system as possible. So, unless you take the time to regularly look for these programs, you won’t be able to detect their presence. Scanning your system will unveil viruses and spyware on your network, while scanning the ports will inform you of any accessibility issues. It’s recommended to scan your network on a daily basis to ensure security. This is ideal for outsourcing, since a trusted IT partner—like Infomax—will ensure this gets done regularly, whereas in-house staff might push system checks to deal with pressing issues.

Choose a smart SSID – Simply put, the Service Set Identifier (SSID) is the name of your Wi-Fi connection. Remember that this name will appear on a list that is available to anyone attempting to find a Wi-Fi network to join within a certain physical distance of your company. Naming your network after your company in any way provides an easy way for hackers to identify your network. A simple name like Wireless1 or WIFI1 strips your SSID of any company-related identifiers, adding an easy layer of security to your network.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the weight of keeping your network safe or you’d like more information on protecting your IT systems, contact Infomax today!

Quality and Affordable Printing Solutions for Every Office

Monochrome printers and multi-function printers (MFPs) have come a long way since dot matrix printing of yesteryear. Many companies might assume monochrome printing solutions are also becoming dated, as color devices rise in popularity. But, today’s black-and-white printers and MFPs have kept pace with modern technology and often include sophisticated features—including Wi-Fi, duplex printing, and mobile capabilities—to streamline efficiency in your office, while still remaining incredibly affordable.

Monochrome machines are often the most affordable option, making them an ideal option for businesses on a budget. If your office has a color printer or MFP and needs to supplement its network, additional monochrome hardware is your most economical choice. If you’ve already determined that your office can benefit from a monochrome printer, the next step is to decide how you want that machine to function in your office. Is it going to be your company workhorse, shared by more than ten people? Is your marketing team going to be using it, possibly requiring very small fonts to print legibly? How you intend to use your new black and white printer is the first step in your purchase.

Once you figure out the purpose of your new machine, the next step is to consider the specs of your top choices. Each printer’s capabilities are clearly outlined for every machine on their corresponding information sheets. Simply understanding printer specifications in order to compare models can save you time and money in the long-run.

Here are a few points to consider in order to get the best monochrome device for your budget:

Resolution – Resolution is the maximum number of printed dots per inch (dpi) both vertically and horizontally. The lowest resolution in modern printers is roughly 600 dpi, so consider the type of printing you’ll be using your machine for. If you are simply adding a new device for a few employees to share for everyday printing—where professional-quality outputs are not required—a 600dpi printer will do the trick. Looking for resolution specs may help you determine if your choice is the most economical choice.

Print Speed – The corresponding acronym for this spec is PPM, or pages per minute. Again, the function of the machine will help determine an acceptable range for how many pages you need your new machine to print per minute. Typically, the fewer pages printed per minute, the more economical the machine.

Connectivity – Connectivity is about how your printer links to computers and mobile devices. All printers have USB ports, allowing for a wired connection to virtually any device. Basic devices can connect to your networked print fleet via an Ethernet cable. For increased mobility, many models also support wireless printing. Look for how each model connects to devices to help determine your top choice.

Paper Handling – The type of paper you intend to use—everything from size to thickness to output tray capacity—is outlined in the paper-handling specs. Consider not only if you’ll be printing in different sizes, but also the type of paper that you intend to use. This point is particularly important if you intend to print addresses on envelopes on your new machine. Also, duplex printing is included in this spec, and should be considered as an eco-friendly, cost-effective option.

Monochrome machines are an affordable option for your next office technology purchase, as they offer significant features that can be incredibly beneficial to your business at a fair price. Knowing the function of your machine and understanding the meaning behind the spec sheet should help you make the best decision for a quality, affordable monochrome printer to add to your network.

For more information on black and white printing solutions, contact Infomax today!

Ensuring Mobile Devices Stay Secure

It’s hard to imagine how to effectively do our jobs without the use of smartphones and tablets. The benefits of incorporating mobile devices in our day-to-day workflows are significant—allowing us to go anywhere in the world, while remaining proactive and productive employees. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a way for employees to access work information via mobile devices, while companies are exempt from paying for the device itself, its maintenance, or any accumulating contractual monthly fees.

While the pros and cons of BYOD are debatable, keeping your company’s data secure is absolutely essential—every business should consider the security of its data a top priority. From internal emails, to client credit card information, and your employees’ social security numbers, there is plenty at risk when it comes to private company data. Setting a company-wide BYOD security strategy to ensure mobile devices stay safe is the first step in protecting your sensitive business data.

Consider implementing the following BYOD strategies to help keep mobile devices that access company files, email, or other data safe.

Remote Locate, Lock, and Wipe – No matter how diligent employees are with their devices, sometimes they are lost. With a remote locate, lock, and wipe system in place, you can find, password-protect, and delete all sensitive business data from an employee’s lost or stolen device from your office. This is a great feature when considering the devices of employees who are terminated or quit.

Device Backup and Updates – End users should be responsible for backing up their device to ensure their personal data is not lost. Doing so also entails processing any current updates or patches to devices, which increases that device’s level of security. So, encourage your employees to regularly backup and update each of their mobile devices used for BYOD

Beef Up Passwords – Ask your team to strengthen each device’s password and privacy settings on their apps to make hacking their devices more difficult. Passwords that are a minimum of ten characters long that use lower and upper case letters, numbers, and punctuation are recommended. Moreover, remember that recognizable words are easily hacked, so encourage employees to use meaningful acronyms as strong passwords.

Consider Outsourced Mobile Device Management – Companies like Infomax work every day to ensure the security of all of their clients’ technology, including across mobile devices. Infomax iGuard is a mobile device management service that provides an easy-to-use, cloud-based solution specifically designed to secure corporate mobile devices. Outsourcing mobile device management removes the onus from your IT staff and ensures that your data is always secure—even when accessed on a smartphone or tablet.

Setting a strategy and ensuring compliance are paramount when it comes to using mobile devices for work purposes. By developing a strategy and implementing it, you can protect your company’s sensitive information, while allowing your employees to be as productive as possible by using their own devices.

Contact Infomax today for more information on keeping your company data secure.