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Network Innovation Solutions has been serving the West Virginia area since 2013, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Don’t Miss World Backup Day (But Don’t Wait For It, Either)

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World Backup Day is March 31st, each and every year. However, while there is value to having a dedicated holiday to raise awareness of the needs of backup, it should not be the only time it is considered. Let’s go over the importance of proper backup practices, just in time for the holiday, so that you can establish the backup that your business needs.

What is a Business Backup?
Let’s respond to this question with a few of our own: how reliant are you on your business’ data, and what would happen to your business if you were to lose that data? The answer to the first question should be a very obvious “very.” The answer to the second is equally obvious: “nothing good.”

Your backup is meant to prevent you from ever having to find out that second answer firsthand. The idea of a backup is simple: with an extra copy of your data squirreled away for safekeeping, you don’t need to panic if something happens to your original copy. What that something could be, we’ll touch on later,


What Does a Proper Business Backup Look Like?
We always recommend that a business’ backup be considered redundant—in a good way. Rather than something being unnecessary due to its repetition, its repetition is its strength. In this context, having a redundant backup simply means that you have multiple copies of this backup.

We always recommend that you have multiple copies of your data backup, stored in numerous different places, in different formats. This is commonly summed up as the 3-2-1 Rule:

At least three copies of your data, stored in at least two different formats, with at least one copy stored in the cloud.

This helps protect your backup from any event that might impact your local files. So, if your office experiences some kind of disastrous event, you won’t find all your backups destroyed or damaged as a result.

To truly be redundant, it also helps to keep multiple versions of your data, just in case an attack of some sort manages to infiltrate your data and you want to restore your data from a clean version.

These kinds of backups should be taken periodically—ideally, every 15 minutes or so. That way, you’ll lose a minimal amount of data should a disaster take place between backups.

Why Might a Business Need a Backup?
There are a great many reasons that a backup could prove useful. Naturally, your mind might go right to the largest disasters: fires, floods, and other such things that would completely wipe a business off the map. However, disasters large and (relatively) small can all result in data loss—data loss that your backup can help you avoid. Whether a device fails, ransomware encrypts your entire network infrastructure, or a disaster occurs, a proper data backup can do a lot to resolve your potential data loss issues.

Whether It’s World Backup Day or Not, We’re Here to Help
Backup practices are important all year round. That’s why NIS is here to help you prepare a data backup or review your existing strategy. Give us a call at (304) 781-3410 option 2 to get started now.

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3 Ways Technology Will Help Pull Us Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Many businesses and people are struggling as the COVID-19 Pandemic closes restaurants and bars, cancels events, and forces people to practice social-distancing. Technology on our side allows us to maintain productivity and ensure life will continue at a somewhat normal clip. We believe there are three key reasons why technology will pull us all through the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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5 Tips for Successfully Working from Home

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COVID-19 has forced event cancellations, school closures, and a consideration for remote work where possible. As more companies are sending their employees to work from home, we compiled this list of tips to be successful away from the office.

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7 Necessities Before Sending Your Workforce Remote

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Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many companies are considering work from home options to facilitate social-distancing and keep their workforce healthy. However, it’s not as simple as sending your employees home, firing up personal laptops and getting back to work. Here are seven things you need to have lined up in order to successfully deploy your remote workforce.  

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The Employee’s Guide to Working Remotely

It’s not uncommon where a situation arises and you will find yourself working from home. To make this work, it is important that you keep a few additional issues in mind so that you can make the most of it. We have put together a few simple best practices that you should keep in mind as you operate remotely.

Security Considerations

Even though you aren’t in the office, you still need to follow the same security protocols and the processes you would need to follow if you were working in the office. In fact, these processes become even more important, as your home network is likely less secure than the one in the workplace. Here are some tips:

Be Hygienic
We aren’t telling you to brush your teeth or wash behind your ears, we are talking about practicing good security hygiene while you work remotely. Don’t reuse your passwords, use multi-factor (or two-factor) authentication to secure all accounts, and don’t share out information over email if you don’t know for certain who will read it. In other words, all the basics still apply.

Be Mindful
For similar reasons, you also need to be extra careful of online scams or phishing attacks while working remotely. Lost business data is lost business data, regardless of where you were when it was left vulnerable. Make sure you are up-to-speed in terms of identifying and mitigating breach attempts.

Use a VPN
Finally, because you will not be protected by the defenses on the company network, you need to implement a few extras, such as a virtual private network. A VPN uses encryption to conceal the contents of any data you transmit over the Internet, protecting the contents from virtually all attacks.

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What You Need to Know to Manage a Remote Workforce

There are many reasons that your team may want (or need) to work from home, and there are many reasons to allow them to do so. A 2019 survey by OwlLabs indicated that 71 percent of remote workers are happy with their job (as compared to 55 percent of on-site workers); remote workers responded that they are 13   percent more likely than onsite workers to stay in their current job for five more years than onsite workers will; and when respondents claimed to be working longer than 40 hours per week, onsite workers were doing so out of necessity, while remote workers did so out of desire and enjoyment.

These statistics outline that by allowing employees to work from home, your company will see some very tangible benefits. Like any human resources strategy, however, you’ll need to keep a few considerations firmly in mind to get the most out of it.

Treat It Like Business as Usual

When you are working with your remote employees, it is important that you don’t focus exclusively on your in-house staff. Maintaining communication with every one of your staff is necessary for your operations to continue, so if anything, you need to encourage your in-house workers to regularly check in with your remote employees and involve them in their processes. You should also avoid the temptation to hold off on meetings. Again, don’t act like anything has changed as a result of your employees working from home. If you have regular meetings at a given time, continue them, and simply use the technology available today to include your remote staff members.

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To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade...

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TO UPGRADE OR NOT TO UPGRADE?

SHOULD YOU GET RID OF WINDOWS 7 AND SERVER 2008? WHAT IF YOU DON'T SWITCH?

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will end its support for Windows 7 and Server 2008. But just because you can continue to use Windows 7 after the end of life date, it doesn’t mean you should. Businesses who rely on technology to keep them running are proactively upgrading their Windows environment to avoid downtime, user issues, poorer functionality and increased security vulnerabilities.

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To Renew or Not Renew, That Is the Question

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You’re prepared, at least mentally, to begin your migration to Windows 10 because you’ve read What Does Windows End of Life Mean to My Business? and Getting Ahead of Windows End of Life. Is your hardware ready, though? How you handle your IT (on your own, as needed support, or with a fully managed agreement) will change how you will have to deal with your transition. The following items should help you decide how to prepare your hardware for the Windows 10 migration.

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Getting Ahead of Windows End of Life

Getting Ahead of Windows End of Life

With Windows 7 end of life quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what needs to be done to prepare. Technically, regular Windows 7 support has been dead since 2015, however, the extended support period is over January 2020, which means no more updates or security patches. What should you be aware of for EOL? Get ready, you may have some work to do. 

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What Does Windows End of Life Mean to my Business?

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You’ve all heard the panic. Windows is cutting off support for its widely popular version 7 software. January 14, 2020 will officially mark Windows 7 End of Life. Many companies have used Windows 7 since it launched in 2009 and are still actively using it today. So, what’s the big deal? Can you just stick with Windows 7 or will your computer self-destruct?

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4 Ways a Managed Service Provider Can Help Your Business

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How much does your business rely on technology to keep your organization running forward? As business technology becomes more complex, it’s becoming increasingly popular for organizations to have their own internal IT departments to manage and maintain it. Yet, small businesses don’t often have the necessary funds for such a feat. How can your company afford quality IT service? You can start by pursuing managed IT solutions from a managed service provider.

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When it Comes to Security, Two Factors are Better Than One

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The password isn’t nearly as secure as it used to be. Hackers have begun to take advantage of extremely powerful solutions designed to brute force their way into accounts by using software to rapidly guessing thousands of passwords per second, making it extraordinarily difficult to prepare yourself for them.

What’s the best way to guarantee that passwords aren’t going to be the downfall of your company? A great start is by taking a close look at password best practices and two-factor authentication.

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How to Avoid Becoming the Next Data Security Cautionary Tale

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Data security isn’t a matter to be taken lightly, as too many businesses have found out the hard way. Unfortunately, there are far too many simple ways to correct common security issues - enough that it’s foolish not to do so. We’ll review a few ways to fix security issues, after discussing one of, if not the, most egregious security failings in modern history.

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Is Your Cloud Solution Actually a Money Pit?

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The cloud has proven to be an extremely useful tool for the modern business. Not only does it provide anywhere-anytime access to applications, processing, storage, et al; it also delivers those products as a service, allowing you to budget for recurring costs rather than major upfront ones. This provides your organization with functional, supported, and secure computing environments that eliminate a lot of the support costs that traditional computing environments require. It sounds like a perfect scenario for small and large businesses alike, but things aren’t always what they seem, as a lot of cloud users have found that they have incurred several hidden costs by using cloud platforms. Today, we take a look at these hidden costs.

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Why (and How) SMBs Should Strategically Adopt Technology

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There is no question that a small business can benefit from technology, as has been proven time and time again. However, an issue can arise if a business bites off more than it can chew, so to speak, and ultimately creates a spike in costs. A responsible business owner will resist this temptation and prioritize the solutions they need over the ones they want - building profitability and generating capital needed to make other improvements.

In this blog, we’ll examine some of the implementations that can deliver a good return on investment to a small business.

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