Malware on a computer

What Do Viruses and Other Malware Do?

The internet is remarkable, from streamlining our businesses to allowing us to co-work internationally to being the home to some really cute cat videos, but it’s not a place you want to find yourself unprotected. While the internet is full of convenience and opportunity, we’re not the only ones taking advantage of it. According to one report, 560,000 new types of malware are detected every day. The same report says that four companies fall victim to malware for each minute of the day. The most prominent malware threat comes from a Trojan, meaning it’s disguised as something legitimate, but it fooled you.

This is why educating yourself and your team to identify common malware pitfalls is so important. And why cyber security needs to be a top priority for your company. Even big corporations fall victim to cybercriminals, so you must take this seriously.  

 

What is Malware, and What Does It Do?

Malware is a severe threat. It’s software that sneaks into your computer and destroys everything on it. The term malware is short for “malicious software.”

You might think that malware only threatens your computer, but that’s not true. It can also hit your smartphone or tablet. Any device that connects to the internet risks being infected with malware.

Cybercriminals will often use malware to extract data from your computer. Then, they like to use it as ransom to get people to pay them to get the information back. It’s why having a managed security system is so important.

 

What Are Viruses and What Do They Do?

A computer virus is simply a type of malware that attaches to another program and replicates it after it’s used on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. 

Often, computer viruses are spread through email. They typically come in an attachment, and the virus loads onto your computer when you click on the attachment. You won’t even know you did it at first.

As with other malware, viruses can destroy your data and can also slow down your computer. For many people, that might be the first sign something is wrong.

This is a severe threat, especially for businesses that have employees are may not be as computer savvy when it comes to these threats. It’s just too easy for one employee to spread it to another. 

 

What Are the Negative Impacts of Both?

Malware and other computer viruses steal your data, hold it for ransom, slow your computer down, and spread quickly between employee computers. But other harmful things can happen when you are a victim of malware attacks. 

 

Expect Them to Steal Your Information

When you fall victim to malware, your personal and business information is now in the hands of cybercriminals. Sometimes, they won’t hold it for ransom; they’ll sell it to someone else. 

They now have your computer browser history, all your passwords, and your client’s information. 

 

It Will Not Be Business As Usual

Don’t expect your employees to be able to go about their jobs as usual. They’re going to run into many detours trying to use their computer, usually in the way of pop-ups. And some cyber criminals like to have a little fun by setting up, so they are constantly redirected to your competition’s site. 

 

What You Need to Do to Protect Your Business

You might not feel like your business can afford the extra expense of hiring IT services, but the truth is, you can’t afford not to. Managing your business’ infrastructure is a full-time job. Let our experts at Intuitive Network do it for you. Our experts are reliable and proactive. You can expect to feel peace of mind knowing they have your back.

Schedule an Appointment Now


Image of a computer search screen with the words “2023 Tech Trends” written on the screen.

How to Make Tech Work For You as We Enter 2023

As we head into these final months of 2022, it’s time for us to take a holistic look at the year ahead. We’re more than two years out from the beginning of the pandemic, and it’s clear that remote and hybrid work models are here to stay. A recent Pew Research Center Survey noted that nearly 60% of workers in the U.S. who can work remotely would continue to do so by choice. This new work model can come with many benefits - not the least of which is an improved work/life balance for your employees. This shift also necessitates new collaboration tools and technologies that make your company’s day-to-day operations smoother and more effective. Ultimately, these new technologies should make your business life easier.  

 

Top 5 Tips to Make Tech Work For You

When it comes to new technologies, it can often feel like the possibilities are endless! Luckily you don’t need a computer science degree to work through all these choices. We’ve created the following list of the top 5 ways to make technology work for you. This list aims to help improve your business workflow, and our team is here to ensure you won’t have any IT headaches as you head into 2023!

 

1. Remote CyberSecurity

Cybersecurity has always been an integral part of your company’s security efforts, but as remote work trends increase in popularity, it’s essential to invest in cybersecurity for your employees’ home networks. This can often seem challenging since it requires setting up Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or similar security measures to ensure security for employees working from home. Since this trend is here to stay, discussing ways to increase your company’s remote cybersecurity is important.

 

2. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

This next trend continues our first tip. As the workplace moves to more flexible and hybrid work models, SaaS and cloud-based platforms are on track to eclipse on-premise IT approaches. A recent Gartner report predicts that cloud offerings will grow to $655 billion in revenue by 2023, up $111 billion from 2022. While these SaaS and cloud infrastructures are necessary to meet the demands of current work trends, there is also the added benefit of significant savings. According to a recent Microsoft IT Pros report, companies are seeing an average annual savings of around 30%. Moving to the cloud provides convenient scalability with seemingly endless data storage that can easily surface on-premise capacity limits. 

 

3. Device Flexibility

A flexible work model means more companies and employees seek flexibility in their work devices. Many are opting for the ability to work on lighter-weight handheld mobile devices. Since your company has already followed tip #2 and invested in SaaS and cloud-based infrastructure, you’ll have no problem keeping up with this demand! This software can make it easy for employees to work from anywhere, on any device. 

 

4. Adaptive AI

AI is quickly becoming an integral part of our daily work and personal lives. Predictive coding, data analytics, and smarter algorithms are becoming more effective and efficient than ever. Adaptive AI systems can dynamically use real-time feedback and shift learning while adjusting goals. Traditional AI functions on static learning capabilities with slower development times. Essentially it’s unable to learn from interacting with its data. This new adaptive AI can learn from new data and experiences and adjust accordingly. 

 

5. Superapps

You’ve heard of apps, but have you heard of a superapp? Simply put, a superapp combines the features of an app platform into one ecosystem. According to Gartner, half of the world’s population is expected to be a daily user of multiple superapps by 2027. This trend will affect workflow, collaboration, and messaging platforms, due to the ability of superapps to consolidate and replace multiple apps. 

 

Need Help Implementing with IT?

Whether you’re a small, midsize, or enterprise business, our team is here to support your IT needs. Our progressive IT services are customized to ensure we can alleviate your unique pain points while also helping you grow your company into the future. 

Contact Us!


Social media icons

Social Media Terms of Service

Social media terms of service, also known as terms and conditions, are typically extremely lengthy contracts in the tiny fonts that we tend to skip over as quickly as possible. However, those sneaky paragraphs we often skim past to get to the end of the page hold valuable information. Needless to say, privacy policy contracts are lengthy, and although everyone should read them, rarely does anybody. 

 

With an abundance of social media platforms and their corresponding apps, it’s quite difficult to get through all of the terms of service in one session. We get it; we don’t want to read long and confusing legal documents either. That is why we’re here to shed some light on social media terms of service. 

Understand What You Are Signing

 

So, what is hidden in those extensive paragraphs? 

When agreeing to a social media platform's terms and conditions, you are confirming the terms of their license. Mind you; this license is legally binding and quite serious in that it protects whatever you are signing up for. Contracts generally require an offer and consent. This means that the user must signal their compliance by clicking acceptance of the terms or providing a digital signature. Other social media platforms imply consent by the use of the platform, with the terms of service, or terms and conditions, provided in a link often found near the bottom of a platform's homepage.

 

One of the important terms to look out for is the intent for which a license is permitted. This may be specified as “for the sole purpose of promoting the website,” or a purpose may not be specified at all. It is worth knowing whether the purpose of a given license includes commercial use of copyright-protected work.

Understanding Your Privacy Rights

 

Although terms of service contracts may be a bit confusing and hard to digest, it is essential to know that any changes to the social media platform's terms of service must be easy to understand for its users. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has enforced actions against Google and Facebook for "unfair and deceptive" practices in how these giant companies provided their users notice on how their personal data are handled on a daily basis. This means you can relax knowing that the FTC has your back. 

 

However, don’t get too excited just yet. Courts have yet to assign any value to privacy rights. However, recent legislative changes are quickly shifting the conduct of social media platforms. While Europe's General Data Protection Regulation does not directly impact privacy protection for people in the United States, it has inspired the state of California to take some action. The requirements that mirror some of Europe's changes include – clear notice and consent requirements for the use of personal data, along with restrictions on how the personal data of social media platform users are handled.

 

So, what's the deal with TikTok?

 

TikTok has been in the news recently for its fine print within its terms of service that nobody reads. 

 

Here is a snippet from their privacy policy for your reference:

 

Device Information

We collect certain information about the device you use to access the Platform, such as your IP address, user agent, mobile carrier, time zone settings, identifiers for advertising purposes, model of your device, the device system, network type, device IDs, your screen resolution and operating system, app and file names and types, keystroke patterns or rhythms, battery state, audio settings, and connected audio devices. Where you log in from multiple devices, we will be able to use your profile information to identify your activity across devices. We may also associate you with information collected from devices other than those you use to log in to the Platform.

 

In short, the concern with TikTok is legitimate, and it would be a good idea to look through their privacy policy fully during your downtime. Better yet, give us a call and ask us about true mobile security for your devices. 

 

Can TikTok access your camera even if the app is closed?

 

Although this still remains under debate, we are now aware that TikTok has full access to the audio, video, and address book on any given device while the app is open. While it isn’t surprising since TikTok is an audio-visual application, what is rather shocking is the GPS tracking mentioned in their privacy policy. This is especially surprising because TikTok videos don’t inherently display location information for other users to see. In conclusion, TikTok should be treated with caution, just like any other social media platform. Always remember that whatever you record will be seen by others whether you like it or not. 

 

Protect Your Rights and Intellectual Property

 

Social media has become a much-integrated part of both our personal and professional lives. Learning how to stay safe while posting on social media is especially important with the increasing amount of integrated payment systems, apps, phone verification, and touchless technology. Here are some best practices to stay safe while using your favorite social applications.

 

  1. Adjust your privacy settings.
  2. Be cautious of sharing too much personal information.
  3. Verify who you are connecting with.
  4. Use strong passwords (mix these up for each of your social media accounts).
  5. Click links with caution.  
  6. Become familiar with the privacy policies of the social media platforms you use on daily basis.

 

Here at Intuitive Networks, we're not just all about IT services - Contact us today and get real IT support from industry experts.

Schedule an Appointment Now


Managed service provider fixing a piece of equipment.

What Is An MSP?

Do you feel like you're constantly playing catch-up when it comes to IT support? You're not alone. Business owners are often overwhelmed with the number of options and technologies available today. But what if there was a way to simplify things for you? 

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a great option for business owners who want to outsource their IT needs. In this blog post, we'll discuss what a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is and how it can help your business be safe so it can grow effectively. Think of it as an easy button for your tech business needs. 

 

What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

 

A managed service provider (MSP) is a type of IT service provider that delivers network, application, system, and security services on a subscription basis. MSPs are usually multi-service providers, offering a range of services such as 24/7 monitoring, help desk support, data backup, and disaster recovery. They can be used to supplement in-house IT staff or to completely outsource IT functions. MSPs typically use a remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform to deliver their services. 

 

What can an MSP do for you?

 

An MSP can help you with a number of different tasks related to your business's IT infrastructure and support your remote employees. They can manage your entire IT infrastructure or just specific parts of it such as your network, security, data backup, or help desk. Managed service providers can also provide you with access to their IT experts, who can advise you on the best way to use technology to improve your business.

 

They can be a cost-effective way to manage your IT infrastructure, as MSPs can often provide services at a lower cost than if you were to do it yourself -- evidentially freeing up your time so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.

 

What are the common types of Managed Service Providers out there?

 

While MSPs can offer a wide range of IT/security services, they are typically classified into a few main categories:

 

Network MSPs: Network MSPs provide network-related services such as network design, installation, monitoring, and maintenance. 

 

Security MSPs: Security MSPs provide security-related services such as malware protection, intrusion detection and prevention, firewalls, and web filtering. 

 

Data MSPs: Data backup MSPs provide data backup and disaster recovery services. This can include on-site backups, off-site backups, and cloud backups. 

 

Time and Material MSPS: Time and material MSP is for one-off IT projects that may be needed throughout the course of your business ownership. Whether that be setting up computers or dealing with a catastrophe. 

 

Help Desk MSPs: Help Desk MSPs provide help desk support services. This can include 24/7 support, email and chat support, and phone support.

 

Remote Work MSPs: Remote Work MSPs allow for remote support within your business and can help your employees fix software-related issues. 

 

How can Intuitive Networks MSPs help?

 

Here at Intuitive Networks, we offer some state-of-the-art MSP tools to ensure you have the most seamless outsourced experience for your business:

 

Managed IT Services

 

Server and Network Management: We take care of monitoring your systems and keeping them up-to-date, so you can focus on running your business. And in the event of an outage, we're there to help you get back up and running as quickly as possible. So you can rest assured that your business is in good hands.

 

Remote IT Monitoring and Maintenance: With assistance from our experts just a phone call away, we can provide quick resolutions to your computer troubles. We'll keep your drivers and software updated, manage your licenses and integrate them with your current equipment. Plus, we'll keep a watchful eye on your devices to prevent downtime from occurring in the first place.

 

IT Help Desk Support: With our IT help desk support, you can easily get in touch with a technician who can help you sort out the problem. We'll work together to find a solution quickly, and we'll also keep an eye on your infrastructure so we can prevent issues from popping up in the first place. 

 

Email Support:  Without proper management, your inbox can quickly become cluttered with spam and phishing emails. These unwanted messages not only take up valuable time but can also pose a serious security threat to your business. As a trusted IT managed service provider, we thoroughly examine devices and systems connected to your email service. Our email performance monitoring and content filtering helps to proactively identify and block spam and phishing emails before they reach your inbox!

 

Managed Security Services

 

Security As a Service: Our team of expert technicians will work with you to assess your specific needs and design a customized security solution that includes authentication, antivirus and anti-malware, SIEM, and more. By outsourcing your security tasks to us, you can focus on running your business without having to worry about the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape. 

 

Data Backup and Recovery: Data backup and recovery services are necessary for peace of mind when it comes to your company's data. Our professionals will help you back up regularly, so there is no need to worry about losing any important information ever again!

 

Endpoint Protection: We offer an innovative multi-layered security solution that blocks malware while giving you peace of mind knowing endpoints will be safe from phishing attempts or other online threats for good.

 

Computer and Network Security: Antivirus software for your business isn't enough; our approach takes into consideration all of the other important areas. Such as monitoring 24/7 for malicious activity (and training employees on how best to protect themselves) and updating hardware as necessary so it remains protected against future malware attacks.

 

Final Thoughts

 

If you're thinking about using an MSP, it's important to do your research and choose a reputable provider. MSPs vary in terms of the services they offer and the pricing structures they use, so it's important to find one that matches your needs. They can be a great way to offload some of your IT tasks and free up time for other parts of your business. If you're considering using an MSP, reach out to our team of IT experts at Intuitive Networks today so they can guide you on the best match for your business.

 

Call Us Today


A male accountant with glasses sitting at a desk with files, paperwork, and a computer screen in front of him.

How Are CPA Firms Thriving In Today’s Competitive Market

Looking back at the year 2020, when most of the world was shutting down, and accounting firms were gearing up for their busiest time of the year; tax season. During this time, accountants were handling tax write-ups and other tasks for their regular clientele when new clients suddenly started pouring in with fear and panic behind their eyes. Business owners were frantically looking for solutions to their challenges and ultimately wanted to keep their businesses alive and well despite all that was happening in the world. 

An urgent need for practical solutions presented established CPA firms and accounting professionals with a unique challenge. This challenging situation tested professionals in the finance industry and introduced new ways of handling their day-to-day operations. While small CPA firms may not have survived this intense time of growth and change, the majority had to shift and elevate their current business effectiveness.

 

The Ability to Adapt to Current Circumstances

While some CPA firms may have worked remotely before the pandemic, most of them did not and therefore had to make the shift to remote work – the ability to work from home was and still is a notable contributor to many CPA firms' continuous strides to increase profitability moving forward. In addition, accountant's roles have adapted to also become an advisor to their clients through these unprecedented times. 

So why are some CPA firms thriving while others struggle to stay afloat?

 

Keeping Up With Latest Technologies

One of the biggest reasons is the inability to keep up with technological advances. Accountants have an inherent need to update their firm's technology to provide better and more efficient services to their clientele. 

The best thing accounting firms can do, is find a trusted service provider to help guide them in their decision-making process. Top-of-the-line service providers will grant CPAs access to new accounting technology such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotic Process Automation at a fraction of the cost. 

Utilizing these technologies to facilitate efficient workflows and automate mundane tasks such as bookkeeping, appointment scheduling, and transaction processing can be extremely cost-effective.

 

Staying Cost-Conscious

Another competent that is helping CPA firms thrive is low operating costs. This goes hand-in-hand with working remotely and staying up to date with current technologies. Utilizing both factors alleviates the pain of costly employee salaries and overhead costs you would otherwise be forced to maintain or let your business crumble. 

The ability to have a hybrid schedule or work from home eliminates a multitude of costs associated with working in an office five days a week. Also, if you are making use of modern technology, there is no need to invest more money into resources promising to drive revenue or complete work faster.

 

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity

Even though cybersecurity and data privacy are essential in all aspects of any business, it is especially prominent for accountants and accounting professionals. A security breach has the ability to steal sensitive information and harm a CPA’s reputation. 

The best way to protect clients' data privacy is by using an integrated IT security system instead of a plethora of unintegrated software products. In addition, thriving CPA firms use secure client portals and are constantly reviewing their security systems to analyze further how to prevent data from ever leaving their firm.

 

Final Thoughts

Truth is, there is a lot to keep in mind and figure out in order to have a thriving accounting firm, but you do not have to do it alone. At Intuitive Networks, we are not solely focused on IT services – our business is centered around providing an unforgettable customer experience. Your success is our success, and that’s why we deliver progressive IT services customized to alleviate your unique pain points while growing with you into the future.

Are you interested in a consultation? If so, give us a call today to discuss IT service needs for your business. After all, we want you and your business to thrive!

 

Speak to an IT Expert Today


Accountant suffering from burnout

Accountant Burnout Is On The Rise – How Technology Can Help

Today, we’re diving deep into the cause of accountant burnout, why the struggle exists, and providing some keen tech solutions to help ease the issue at hand. 

The pandemic was hard on everyone, but it seems to have taken a particular toll on the financial industry. A recent study found that accountant burnout is at an all-time high, with nearly half of respondents saying they feel burnt out from their job. Even before the pandemic, accountants were struggling. It wasn't uncommon for them to log 60-70 hour work weeks. Then came the pandemic, change in work style, and the sheer messiness of adapting to a new financial ecosystem.

 

So, what was the initial cause of the burnout cycle?

Well, there are a few factors at play, but most signs point back to 2020. This was a time when many people shifted from in-person work to working from home. Financial worries were at an all-time high (and with recession worries trending, they still are). Many people in the financial space report that they found themselves working longer hours from home while trying to balance childcare and other responsibilities.

Along with the onset of the pandemic, there was also an increase in regulation and paperwork for accountants. With so many businesses struggling to stay afloat, there was and has been a lot of pressure on accountants to make sure everything is in order to avoid any IRS issues for these businesses.

To sum it up: What started in 2020 caused a domino effect, and burnout has now reached an all-time high.

 

Why are accountants struggling presently?

AS we explained above, the professionals in the financial industry are under more pressure than ever before. The demand for accounting services has gone up, accompanied by rapid legislation changes and heightened client expectations.

These factors have placed pressure on firms to not only deliver great results, but also take on more advisory positions. The sheer volume of work can be overwhelming, and the need to be up-to-date on the latest legislation means that many accountants are struggling to keep up with the demands of the job.

Though the demand on the industry is unlikely to lessen anytime soon, technological advances have come a long way in helping firms automating systems, streamline day-to-day tasks, and serve clients more efficiently.

 

How technology can help alleviate accountants’ burnout

Automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks can free up accountants' time so that they can focus on more value-added activities.

For example, cloud-based automation software can be used to generate reports, reconcile accounts, schedule appointments and send invoices. Modern day technology allows accountants to spend less time on mundane tasks and more time on strategic planning and client relations.

In addition, automation technology can help to reduce the error rate by ensuring that data is entered correctly and eliminating the need for manual input. As a result, automation technology can help to improve accuracy and efficiency, making life easier for accountants and reducing the risk of burnout.

 

Here are a few top automation tools for accountants

  • Xero:

Xero Practice Manager is an essential tool for streamlining workflows, timesheets, and invoicing. Xero lets you assign work to staff, track and invoice for time, integrate with other software tools for invoicing and payments, and create customized reports. It is based on the cloud infrastructure, which allows you to access your data from anywhere in the world. It’s best known for its powerful mobile app, robust time and billing system, and ability to allocate various jobs with specific due dates.

  • Taxdome:

TaxDome is an all-in-one practice management platform designed to help accounting firms streamline their workflow and improve efficiency. Accounting firms can manage their client accounts, emails, invoices, and current jobs in one shared space. The platform also includes client-facing tools such as document management, e-signatures, and messages. This allows firms to provide a seamless experience for their clients while reducing the amount of time spent on administrative tasks

  • Karbon:

Karbon is a great tool for accounting firms, as it helps manage deadlines and has a feature that turns emails into tasks. This program is important for financial service providers since most finance-related tasks are completed on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. The platform’s built-in CRM feature helps manage and maintain client relationships through information management and automation. Aside from that, this tool also allows firms to send reminders and continue bringing in client business regularly. While these are some of the stronger points of the software, one of the most notable downsides for users is the lack of seamless outbound email integration.

If you're feeling burnt out from your job as an accountant, don't despair. Automation technology can help take some of the burden off of your shoulders.

 

Wrapping It Up

Overall, accountant burnout is caused by several factors however, there are ways to combat accountant burnout using automation technology. Automation technology can help by taking on repetitive tasks, improving accuracy and efficiency, and freeing up time for accountants to focus on more value-added activities. 

If you're feeling burnt out and ready to take control of your business using tech solutions, Intuitive Networks can help. Use the button below to schedule with one of our MSP experts today and create a customized solution for your business.

 

Schedule with an expert


CPA Tax Practice 1040 tax form with calculator, and papers on top of a desk.

5 Crucial Technologies to Improve Your Tax Practice and Increase Your Profit Margin in 2022

The accounting industry is swiftly changing due to the effectiveness of modern technologies. Thanks to these advances, certified public accountants, also known as CPAs and other finance experts, are able to take advantage of essential technologies and accomplish their daily duties without being bogged down with repetitive tasks. 

Accounting procedures are becoming more efficient through automation and other present-day technologies, changing the way accountants operate on a daily basis. Today, accountants can help businesses make critical decisions regarding their finances without having to collect and track the company's finances with a naked eye. This shift in daily operations enables CPAs to dive deeper into their client's records, serving as an accountant and business advisor at once. 

 

Needless to say, modern-day technology is key to increasing the annual revenue of any business. Here at Intuitive Networks, we know how much automated processes can benefit your tax practice, so we have decided to compile a list of five crucial technologies to help streamline your business and increase your profit margins in 2022. Continue reading to find out what technologies you need to make this shift in your tax practice in 2022.

 

 

Automation 

While face-to-face communication and detailed human review are essential to a successful tax preparation procedure, a balance of both human reviews along with digital automation is game-changing for all accounting professionals. Softwares such as ProSeries Professional, ProConnect Tax, TaxAct Professional, Drake Tax, Lacerte, and CCH Axcess Tax are all among a list of the best tax software programs today. Ultimately, automation reduces errors and removes uncertainty, which is why tax preparers choose automated solutions in the first place. 

 

Cloud-Based Technology 

If your business is not utilizing cloud technology, you are definitely missing out on effective tax solutions. Cloud-based technology permits clients to receive updates in real time.

 

At Intuitive Networks, we have a team of experts who specialize in resolving challenges and collaborating with your business to optimize your bookkeeping and accounting activities. Our team combines companies with the most up-to-date technology and innovations to revamp your tax practice. 

 

Blockchain

Another way to improve your tax practice is through blockchain technology. Blockchain technology deals with the transfer of ownership of assets and maintaining accurate financial records. The finance industry is being altered by decreasing the expenses of balancing and managing accounting data through blockchain technology. It also gives the necessary accuracy in profitability, safe asset keeping, and source. 

 

Remote Accounting

Working remotely has been an upward trend over the past couple of years due to the pandemic. While it can be tough to accomplish all work-related tasks from home, CPA firms can still provide impeccable service to their clients through digital accounting practices. CPA firms must take into account several factors regarding information security to minimize cyber attacks and data theft. Regardless of possible security threats, many areas of accounting operations can be done remotely and correctly.

 

Social Media Marketing

There's no doubt that social media can benefit all businesses in a positive way. From establishing relationships to gaining visibility online and increasing revenue, social media marketing can positively impact your business's profitability. Although social media can't do it all, it can boost growth, reach, and exposure when used correctly. 

 

Final Thoughts

Utilizing automation, blockchain, social media, and cloud-based technology can significantly increase profitability in 2022. Technology can be a deciding factor between a decent and phenomenal tax professional. These are just five of the many ways business owners can advance their tax practice. With the appropriate technology, accountants can have a more efficient and effective tax practice which would provide advancement to their profession. Talk to an INI specialist and start building a plan for your CPA firm today!

Get IT Support from Industry Leaders

 

How to Eliminate the top 5 IT challenges in your CPA firm.

Download CPA Guide


Three Major Ways COVID-19 Impacts Your Business

You don’t have to turn on your television to see the impact of COVID-19; simply go for a drive and you’ll see the “closed” sign in business windows. In light of COVID-19, companies everywhere are looking for ways to flip their closed sign back to open. The key is to understand how this situation impacts various aspects of your business, and to learn from it so you can bring in profit and ensure business continuity in the future.

 

What is the Impact to Your Customers?

When customers face a disaster or crisis, their priorities change. What was once important may no longer seem essential. Your customers will be more cautious about how they spend their money and will only maintain or seek out the necessities. It’s important to understand where your product or service lands on your customers’ list of priorities. If you are seen as essential, you need to make sure you’re able to continue to deliver for your customers. If not, take a look at your capabilities and see if there’s something you can reposition to help them through this tough time. Depending on the customer’s ability to buy, you’ll need to take into account the potential of having to scale back your resources to lower overall costs.

 

What is the Impact on Your Workforce?

In the wake of COVID-19, we’ve seen many businesses reallocate some or all of their staff to a mobile workforce. This would also be the case if your business was ever impacted by a fire, flood or any natural disaster that might displace your staff for an extended period of time. The key to a successful remote workforce is the ease of accessibility matched with security. Even before COVID-19, remote access was an accessible entry-point for cybercriminals. Business owners need to make sure they have the right technology in place to monitor remote access and keep out malicious users.

 

What is the Impact on Your Revenue Stream?

According to Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 a minute. How long can your systems be down until you reach an unrecoverable amount of revenue loss? In regards to COVID-19, businesses are facing tough numbers. Many are counting down to how long they can continue to pay their employees with their door closed, while others have seen a significant number of layoffs. The sooner a company can get back to work, the faster they can regain revenue and keep its people and business afloat.

 

The Impact of a Business Continuity Plan

Having a business continuity plan in place creates a safety net for business owners. It helps businesses get back to “normal” as quickly as possible in many different worst-case scenarios. It ensures you have the proper technology in place to maintain operations, keep your people productive and service your customers. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you implement a business continuity plan, or discuss other services that can help you during tough times, please contact us.


Don’t Wait Until After an Attack to Protect Yourself

From uniformed employees to cybercriminals, your digital business is constantly being threatened. Are you prepared for when that threat becomes an attack? Having a watchful eye on your information and having a plan in place if you are comprised is at the heart of digital risk management.

Prepare today so you can grow tomorrow.

Is Digital Risk Management Right for Me?

Digital risk management is a protection plan made to fit your business. From early risk detection and training employees to an action plan if an attack occurs, your MSP will work with you to make sure you are ready for whatever happens. Hackers are not picky; according to Accenture, 68 percent of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing. No matter how unique your business is, you are still at risk. Working with an MSP who can deliver digital risk management solutions is the best defense against evolving threats.

What Threats Should I Be Worried About?

Picture this; you’ve just fired an employee who feels you’ve wronged them in some way. They have the password and username to your most valuable client. Are you prepared for an attack if they were to give that information away? From disgruntled employees to ransomware attacks to skilled hackers, your evolving technology comes with evolving threats. We know how overwhelming this can feel, but there’s no need to panic. By having a digital risk management plan in place to detect threats early or to revive your business after an attack, you can worry less and grow more.

I’m A Small Company. Can I Afford This?

According to Verizon, 43 percent of breaches victims were small businesses. A digital risk management plan may seem like an unnecessary expense, but will you be able to afford to pay a million-dollar ransom for your information? And even if you get your information back, will you have enough money to rebuild? Although your MSP will work with you to build a plan within your budget that offers the best protection they can, know that investing in an excellent digital risk management plan can help you avoid losing money in the long run.

Let Us Help

Running a business means constantly juggling responsibilities. Let us take one off your plate. As your MSP partner, we’ll make sure your efforts stay focused on the continued growth of your business, not rebuilding it. Contact us today to create a plan for a worry-free tomorrow.


6 Steps to Regain Control During a Cyberattack 

When faced with a cyberattack, the worst thing you can do is panic because time is of the essence. Your top priority now is limiting the damage by securing your unaffected data. On your worst day, it helps to have a technology service provider who can help guide you through this tough tech situation. Here are six steps you and your TSP can follow during a cyberattack to minimize damage and speed your recovery time.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Protect your business from cyberattacks.

Step 1: Assess the Situation

Before sounding the alarm, you need to know if this is simply an error or the real thing. Once you know for sure, notify whoever within your organization that can determine what type of attack you’re dealing with and how to stop it

Step 2: Contain the Breach

After determining that this isn’t a glitch, your next step is to protect your unaffected network by containing the breach. First, figure out which servers are compromised, then contain the breach by doing the following:

  • Disconnecting from the internet
  • Changing passwords
  • Disabling remote access
  • Installing any pending security upgrades or patches

It may seem easier to erase everything from an infected server, but containing it will allow you and your tech team to figure out who broke into your network, how they were able to do it and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.

Step 3: Get Your Backups Ready

If you have backup servers and data ready, now is an excellent time to use them. However, before you turn them on, have your IT team check to find out if the backups were also affected by the attack. Backup servers can keep your networking running while you continue trying to stop the breach. 

If you don’t have backup servers, simply turning your main servers off and on again won’t help. Keep your main ones on, so you and your team can analyze the breach and stop it without shutting down your entire network.

Step 4: Notify the Authorities

While it may be tempting to think of a cyberattack as an internal problem, it’s not in your best interest to keep this under wraps. Notify your local police department to inform them that you’ve been hit with a cyberattack. Also, keep in mind that you may need to contact more government agencies or industry organizations, depending on the type of data compromised or the notification processes within your field.

Step 5: Don’t Pay the Ransom

If the hackers are demanding a ransom in exchange for giving back your data, don’t do it. There is no guarantee the hacker will honor his end of the deal after you’ve sent the money. According to CSO from IDG, about 45 percent of organizations pay at least one ransom when hit by ransomware attacks. Paying the ransom will only encourage more hackers to do this kind of attack in the future.

Step 6: Notify Your Clients

This can be one of the most challenging steps following an attack, as many companies can be reluctant to share their bad news. However, you must let your customers who had their information compromised know what happened. That way, they can start to take action to prevent further damage. 

How We Can Help

The best time to prevent a cyberattack is to have a complete security solution in place before a hacker attempts to break in. Don’t wait until it’s too late, have our team of cybersecurity experts run a security audit and create a solution that protects your business from the cybercriminals of tomorrow.

Secure Your Data

Find out how we can keep your network safe from threats. Contact Us Today.