5 Steps Construction Companies Can Take to Prevent Ransomware Attacks

When your schedule is based around deadlines, there is no time to worry about what may be lurking. Because of this, the construction industry is more at risk of ransomware attacks that hold your plans, data, and more hostage until you pay up the big bucks. Even then, there is no guarantee that your files will be returned intact or at all. This is why the best course of action is to prevent any chance of this happening from the start.

INI Solutions specializes in securing businesses just like yours from outside threats. Follow along as we give tips and tricks to keep your business running no matter the cyber threat.

Preventing Ransomware in the Construction Industry

With 73% of ransomware attacks proving successful in 2020, it’s important to have foundations in place to prevent them from happening to you. These can include:

1. Identity Management and Verification

Implementing a system where only those within your organization have access to is key. This is more than just making your data private from the open public. It takes it a step further by allowing access to those within your organization that should have access to certain things, such as Mike from Accounting not having access to the IT data. Each team member has their own logins and access to their respective files. When combined with multi-factor authentication, the chance of someone using a login to break in drops considerably.

2. Making IT Security Basics Common Education

Has your boss ever stepped into your work space to ask you to buy $1000 worth of Visa gift cards with your own money with the promise they’ll pay you back? Of course not, so why would they ask you to do it over email? 

This is a typical case of a phishing scam and is just one instance of what team members should be educated in for IT security. Scams such as this often lead to ransomware invading your systems after an employee clicks a link they shouldn’t. Once it’s in, it’s hard to get out so preventative training is key.

3. Back Up, Back Up, And Back Up!

Data being held hostage means little when you have the same exact data backed-up from the morning or night before. Sure, you may lose a couple hours of work but when it comes down to the big picture, that’s easy to do again.

Most Cloud Managed Systems include automatic backups that take place every few hours, just in case of emergency situations like this. Hosting this Cloud system with an external party, such as INI, also increases the level of security by distancing the data from attackers while still providing reliable access to your productivity applications, mission-critical business data and other essential software.

4. Lock ‘Em and Toss ‘Em

Unfortunately, even with all of these practices, ransomware may still break through. When this happens, it’s imperative that your organization moves fast to contain the threat before it begins spreading through the system. 

Once the threat has been contained, it must be purged from the system through the eradication process. This includes backing up all files and restoring after in a selective process that allows your team to continue working.

5. Hire Experts To Do It For You

We know how important it is to stay on schedule. If this all seems like a lot of work, it is. Preventing ransomware attacks and eradicating them with minimal damage when they do occur can take a lot of time, money, and resources. 

Working with an IT team like Intuitive Networks can change that. Our team is constantly on the attack against virtual threats to your business. From preventative measures to getting your system back to the way it was before, we are there to keep your business running.

Are you ready for security?

Contact us to start your personalized IT journey today.

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Best Mobile Apps for Construction Management

Have you heard the old saying, “Measure twice, cut once?” When it comes to construction, accuracy is everything. People have gotten pretty good at building over the last few millennia but there is always the chance of human error in every step of the construction process. 

This is where construction management apps come in. Software that has previously been limited to desktops is now accessible through mobile applications that can be used anywhere, anytime. Plans can be viewed and paperwork signed in seconds. Budget reports can be made and stored in a Cloud server for easy access. All of this and so much more is the reality of mobile Construction Management.

With so many apps breaking into the market these days, how do you know what’s best? Don’t worry, we’ve gone through them all and we’ve got favorites! Check out the ones that made the top 5:

5. Procore

From bid building to email marketing, Procore is often the entry program to take construction companies into the digital world. It has many user-friendly features that make transitioning from paper to digital a breeze, including:

  • Dashboard to create and manage RFIs
  • Individual locations for each project that can be updated with cost, photos, and subcontractor information
  • Email marketing and tracking
  • Bidding and budget creator
  • Mobile drawing management
  • And more!

These features are a gamechanger for on-site work, but with as most cloud-based systems, it is susceptible to outages that can leave your team restricted. Because of this, we give Procore an INI Rank of 4 out of 5 stars.

4. Fieldwire

Fieldwire does exactly as it’s named. It connects your team no matter where they are by providing a platform that makes document sharing and collaboration easy. Other great features include:

  • Scheduling and performance tracking
  • Task and team management
  • Role-specific access
  • Interactive and editable drawings 
  • Cloud-based using Amazon Web Services
  • And more!

On the other hand, Fieldwire tends to trend on the pricier side with a base price of $39/user per month. There are also bumps in the road when it comes to being user-friendly, so we give Fieldwire an INI Rank of 4 out of 5 stars.

3. CoConstruct

CoConstruct brings in many features dedicated to making a big world small. With pricing based on the amount of open projects rather than users, it allows everyone on a team to join in. Not to mention these great features:

  • Client-facing platform for clear communication
  • Budget management system with visibility to clients
  • Team and task management
  • Subcontractor communication and scheduling
  • And more!

There are very few glitches with this software and if there are, the CoConstruct team is easy to contact. Because of this, we give CoConstruct an INI Rank of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

2. Aconex

Aconex is an Oracle-powered software that allows businesses to customize their interface to their specific needs. This level of customization brings the benefits of:

  • Controlling documents and how they’re shared
  • Drawing management with alterations ability
  • Project performance visibility and real-time costs
  • Team ownership of projects
  • And more!

With all this capability, no wonder we give it an INI Rank of 5 out of 5!

1. Plangrid

We saved our favorite for last! The others listed above are all great options for high-level software management but what makes Plangrid stand out is its focus on team collaboration, as well as:

  • Mobile RFI creation and management
  • Viewable 3D models on-site
  • Automatic Cloud backup that’s accessible on any device
  • Version control of drawings with editing capabilities
  • Status logs for individual projects that can include images, videos, etc.
  • And so much more!

The list of benefits is never-ending. That’s why we are happy to give Plangrid an INI Rank of 5 out of 5 stars.

Want to learn more about Plangrid? Read our latest blog HERE.

What it comes down to.

Each construction management app is as unique as your company. Finding the right fit whittles down to what features your team needs the most and the accessibility it offers. Trying any of the above is a great place to start!

However, if you would like to learn more and discuss which software is the best for you, give us a call. We’re your IT partner, invested in your success. We’ll help you find the right path to propel your business forward.

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3 Ways to Leverage Your Technology in 2021

Every investment you make for your company should be made with confidence. While it’s hard to be sure which new technologies have staying power over others, one thing remains certain – your employees will always need to communicate and collaborate. Whether your team is working from the office or remotely, it’s vital for their workflow to occur unimpeded. With the right solutions, your business can efficiently operate without breaking the bank.

Scalable communications and collaboration solutions don’t come cheap when you handle them alone. But with a technology partner working by your side, you can get the tech you need for less. Learn about the technologies available and see how a managed services provider (MSP) can help you maximize your investment.

1) Understand the Importance of Modern Tech

Have your employees switched to remote work? Are they back in the office? Even if you plan on operating a hybrid of remote and in-office staff, you need to ensure their workflow remains uninterrupted. But there is a lot to consider when choosing the right tech. Most business leaders can boil their concerns down to three primary questions:

  • How can I best keep my data secure when it’s accessed remotely?
  • Will my staff be able to share files and data seamlessly?
  • What is the best solution to keep my team in contact from all locations?

Unless you spend your day-to-day in the IT communications world, it can be challenging to know what you need. However, there are simple answers to these common questions.

  • For the first question, cybersecurity software, like firewalls, two-step authentication and a VPN can keep your data protected from all access points.
  • For the second question, Microsoft’s 365 suite contains a useful cloud file-sharing and storage application called SharePoint.
  • For the third question, a VoIP solution that enables your team to call via video and voice over your internet connection.

Having the solutions you need to deal with the unexpected gives you more time and resources to grow your business.

2) Use IT Solutions for Different Situations

There are many reasons your staff may need to work from locations outside of your office. But they shouldn’t have to suffer through extensive downtime when they could be working. As long as they have the technology they need, it’s no longer a worry.

The Business Journals conducted a study about the primary causes of downtime. Topping their list were hardware failures, power or internet outages and most importantly, cybersecurity threats. With occurrences like this looming, it’s no wonder the fear of downtime is so persistent. But fortunately, the technologies you invested in for your remote work can help keep your staff working. Suppose your employees are displaced, or an internal system goes down. In that case, your remote technologies can double as backup systems for the day or for as long as you need until you can return your primary systems to their everyday operations as long as you need until you can return your primary systems to their everyday operations.

Don’t allow a cyberattack, natural disaster or other unforeseen situation to stop your company. Leverage your communications and collaboration tech investment to the fullest.

3) Leverage the Power of CaaS

The middle of a network or systems failure or natural disaster is the worst time to consider your technology. But getting a head start and deploying it yourself can be time-consuming as well. Partner with an MSP and see how their Communications as a Service (CaaS) can make a positive difference.

Your MSP partner will take the time to understand your communications and collaboration goals. They will then plan, deploy and maintain your solutions to your communications concerns from the very start so that you can stay focused on your daily tasks.

We’re Your Solution Provider

Once you get the communications and collaboration technology you need, you can stay focused on growing your business. As your technology partner, we want you to have confidence in your ability to communicate and collaborate in any location with reliability, efficiency and security. Our expertise can get you there with the value you need.

Let’s build your solution now.


The Dos and Don’ts of Communications

Do you have staff working remotely for the foreseeable future? It would be nice to ensure your entire team could collaborate efficiently, no matter how far apart they work. Don't you wish there was an easy way to make it work? The secret is excellent communication solutions provided by a technology partner.

With an entire technical team supporting your employees, you will enjoy boosted collaborative efforts and productivity for a fraction of the cost of multiple, ununified solutions. Discover what you need to achieve tremendous success in the modern business world as we discuss the dos and don'ts of communications and collaboration.

1. Examine Your Current Situation

It's very easy for businesses like yours to remain comfortable in maintained business rather than pursuing growth amid the current uncertainty. But if you aren't making an effort to get ahead in your channel, any competitor making those preparations will surely outpace you. This brings us to our first point:

  • Don’t ignore the uncertainty that next year could bring.
  • Do invest in a solution that will improve your company in any circumstance.

You want to be ready to hit the ground running once the market stabilizes. That means ensuring your team has everything they need to work together unimpeded. Give your employees the collaboration tools they need for every part of their workday.

2. Discover What’s Available

The key to a successful collaboration and communication solution is unification. With so many technologies out there, the time and money you could spend making them work together aren’t worth it when you can invest in a unified solution. Our next point:

  • Don’t allow your internal collaboration to fall apart.
  • Do hold it together in a unified solution.

With powerful solutions like Microsoft Office, you can ensure an industry-leading technology backs your employees' success. Microsoft Office's suite of tools allows for communication and collaboration to flow freely between direct messages, video conferences, Word documents stored in the cloud and more.

Don’t ignore your employees’ frustrations caused by remote work hurdles. With the right technologies, you can provide them with the communication solutions they need.

3. Bring It All Together

Moving your organization onto a centralized application like Microsoft Office on your own is a daunting task – especially when you have a business to run. With a trusted technology partner on your side, it’s not a problem. This brings us to our final point:

  • Don’t try and solve all these issues yourself.
  • Do use Communications as a Service (CaaS).

Allow a professional technology team to take on your technology needs, so your day-to-day operations continue seamlessly. This IT ally takes on the data migration and has your organization running on a reliable system with little to no downtime. Let a unified solution be the reason you succeed well into the future.

We’re Your Solution Provider

Once you get the technology you need, any worry that you can’t complete your daily tasks fades away. As your technology partner, we want you to have confidence in your ability to communicate and collaborate in any location with reliability, efficiency and security. Don’t start next year worrying about what may come next. Let us support your efforts with our expertise.

Do get in touch with us to get started today.