What is a managed service provider? Many companies have internal IT staff who handle the day-to-day maintenance of their systems, manage end-user support, and generally keep things functional. This can work for smaller organizations with only a few workstations, but as your business grows, support with more reach and expertise becomes critical.

An IT managed service provider {MSP} handles all things IT, from cyber security to your email platform and every system critical for your operation. An MSP can work independently or in conjunction with your existing staff to create a tailored solution that meets your needs.

How a Managed Security Service Provider Keeps You Safe

While an internal IT staff will likely have some experience with cyber security, their capabilities are inherently limited. Unless you’re employing a massive IT department (unlikely for most companies) an MSP will have far greater expertise and resources to deal with cyber threats. 

Cyber security is often one of the core competencies of a good MSP. Not only can they keep you safe from threats like malware attacks, but they will often offer training solutions or consulting on company policy. Well-educated employees are your first line of defense against threats. An MSP can help ensure that your organizational policy and employee practices are up to snuff.

Depending on your industry, regulatory compliance can also be a major factor. Certain regulatory frameworks like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act {HIPAA} and Payment Card Industry {PCI} exist to protect confidential information, among other things. If your security profile is not up to these standards, your organization may be at legal risk. While compliance is not a standard service offering through many MSPs, it should be considered when choosing a provider.

Efficient Communications With Managed Network Services

Outside of security, a critical component of any operation is their communications infrastructure. From VoIP phone systems to wireless networking, an effective MSP will be able to create the network infrastructure that allows your organization to function.

Capabilities vary from MSP to MSP, which is why it is critical to communicate your needs before signing on the dotted line. Imagine if half of your employees knew how to write and the other half simply used images to communicate. Your operations would grind to a halt, right? An improperly set up communications infrastructure poses similar, though less comical, problems. 

Managed Services Solutions in Eastern Ohio

Security and communications are just two aspects of a complete IT strategy. You could be leveraging the cloud, employing effective business continuity planning, using geolocation and other technologies, and much more. The only way to fully take advantage of technology to meet your business goals is to consult with a qualified managed service provider. 

Computer Technology Management Services is one of the premier MSPs serving Eastern Ohio and the Pittsburgh region. To learn about our capabilities and where we could fit into your business strategy, let’s connect!

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will end its support of Windows 7. After that date, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support, software updates, or security updates for Windows 7. Windows 7 captured 37% of the market share last year, which means that hundreds of millions of users will be affected by Windows 7 end of life. If you are one of those users, here’s what you need to know about this process.

Your Network Will Lack Security

After the end of life date hits, your network will stop receiving security updates from Microsoft. It’s important to note that mainstream support for Windows 7 ended on January 13, 2015. After that, no new features were added to Windows 7, and warranties for it were no longer valid. January 14, 2020 marks the end of extended support for Window 7. When an operating system (OS) enters the extended support phase, the software provider still offers extended security updates and patches, so the OS is still safe to use. After end of life kicks in, however, that extended support goes away, and if your network still uses an OS that’s in the end-of-life phase of its support lifecycle, it will be exposed to all sorts of security threats. In fact, hackers often wait until after an OS’s end-of-life date hits to unleash attacks on newly unprotected systems and networks that are still in use. 

Consider Updating Your Operating System

If you upgrade to Windows 10, you will receive mainstream support until October 13, 2020, and extended support until October 14, 2025. Even if you decided not to stay with Microsoft for your OS, you should select an OS with end of mainstream and extended support dates that are several years away. This will allow you to install and activate a system that will offer you strong security updates as well as new features, if it’s still in its mainstream support phase. If you decide to move to Windows 10 or another OS, you should do so before Microsoft stops supporting Windows 7 so that your network will stay secure.

What Happens Next?

Ultimately, you can choose what to do when faced with Windows 7’s end-of-life date. You can continue to use Windows 7, but you’ll have to accept that your network will always be at risk without Microsoft’s Window 7 support. You can also choose to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft is currently offering free upgrades to Window 10 for Windows 7 users. You can also choose to move away from Windows operating systems. The choice is yours, but you should make it an informed one.

Managed IT Services For Your Ohio Business

At CTMS, we can work with you to make sure that your network transitions smoothly from Windows 7 to your new OS. If you are interested in our services or if you have any question about them, contact us today.

With the days of Windows 7 hanging by a thread, it’s officially time to install Windows 10 in our homes and offices.

Mark your calendars for January 14th, 2020 because that will officially be the end of Windows 7 as we know it. While this may be a stable operating system for your office, expect for Microsoft to change the technology landscape for businesses with the introduction of Windows 10.

This blog will show you why it’s best to kick Windows 7 to curb now.

Don’t Wait for Windows 7 End of Life to Upgrade

We understand that change can be hard, so you might have a difficult time saying goodbye to Windows 7. Trust us though, because this is ultimately for the better. Now you could sign up for extended support to preserve your operating system for a few more months, but why bother? Windows 7 is facing extinction regardless, so there’s no need to waste your money on something that will just slow you down anyways.

So instead of preserving an old software program, it’s best to say “out with the old” and make room for the new. Here’s what you can expect when you upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10:

More Layers of Security:

When extinction kicks in, Windows 7 users will bear a massive target for malware attacks and other malicious cyber threats. Upgrading to Windows 10 will help take these targets off your back though. New security features include a sophisticated malware detection system and ransomware isolation. These solutions automatically thwart cyber-attacks as they emerge.
Furthermore, users will also be able to capitalize on Microsoft’s advanced threat detection support system. By subscribing to this program, you’ll be able to get access to information which helps you perfect your cybersecurity strategy.

Safer and More Efficient Web Browsing:

Windows 10’s default web browser is Microsoft Edge, one of the web’s most advanced applications. With Microsoft Edge, users will be able to safely explore any web source without making the mistake of running into a malicious website. This web browser is equipped with a defender application guard, which is a tool used to detect malware during web explorations. It’s also worth noting that Microsoft Edge is the fastest browser on the market. This presents users with a more efficient way to secure the information they need whenever it’s needed most.

Faster Downloads and Intuitive Updates:

Updating to Windows 10 is practically a breeze. The upgrade process is very easy to conduct and it only takes a few minutes. A unique feature that streamlines the installation is Windows 10’s Unified Update Platform (UUP). The UUP is responsible for shrinking download packages, which helps increase installation speeds by 35%.

Seamless Configurations:

Windows 10 comes equipped with your favorite Microsoft office utilities and then some. When updating to Windows 10, users will be able to connect any company-owned computer, smartphone, or tablet to their business’ network. This gives you the ability to rescue your personal files from a Windows 7 database. Since it only takes a few minutes to install Windows 10, you’ll be able to conduct business with a more advanced version of your favorite Microsoft applications in practically no time.

Universal Accessibility:

One of the best parts about Windows 10 software is that all applications are universal, meaning that they can be accessed on virtually any computing device. So when you download or purchase an app, it will be available on any platform supported by Windows 10 software. This could be your desktop, tablet, smartphone, and even on the Xbox One system.

Call Computer Technology Management Services to Take Advantage of the New Windows XP

You have less than a year to move on from Windows 7, which means that now is the perfect time to makeover your IT system with something fresh and innovative like Windows 10. By working with the experts at CTMS Ohio, you’ll be able to make the switch with ease.

Want to know more about Windows 7 End of Life and how you can capitalize on a free upgrade offer for Windows 10? Contact us today to schedule an IT consultation with the Computer Technology Management Services team!