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Preferred Michigan IT Company

As a preferred Michigan IT Company we want to keep technology simple for your business!

 

Does your company need to focus on running your business and not your technology? Why not take the next step in your success? At Cygnus Systems we deliver proactive flat-rate IT Managed Services designed to reduce your costs, increase productivity and mitigate your business risk.

As a IT Managed Service Provider, we’ll take care of your Microsoft Office 365, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Telco Services requirements and much more.

Cygnus Systems partners with you as your virtual IT department, allowing you to focus on running your business, not the technology.
As a Managed Service Provider (MSP), Cygnus Systems has the expertise to design a technology service plan that aligns with your business’s short and long-term goals. Cygnus Systems – Keeping IT Real.

Lastly, is your business interested in saving by using Unified Communications as a Service a.k.a. UCAAS Michigan. Learn more about our recent partnership with Windstream and start saving your precious dollars today! Read some UCAAS Facts here.

Check out our newest video on youtube here – https://youtu.be/9ix8TR7UlUM

Let us know if you’d like to discuss this further or if we can be of any assistance. You can reach us at 248.557.4600 x 107.    Want us to get in touch with you ? Contact us here cygnus-sys.com/contact.

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Cyber Security Concerns – FBI Recap

Are you concerned about cyber security for your business? You should be!

 

We were pleased to welcome Acting Supervisor and Special Agent Ryan Ormond of the Detroit Branch of the FBI Cyber Crime team as a guest speaker at our lunch and learn seminar on April 20.  During his presentation, he shared some statistics that are frightening for owners and IT professionals alike.  Here is a link to the FBI’s Cyber Crime home page with information and resources:  FBI Cyber Crime Unit .  Here are some highlights from the presentations that were made that day.

Crime started with a singular bad guy robbing a singular person.  A technological innovation came along that criminals soon learned to exploit that changed the way they did business, the locomotive.  With the increasing popularity of trains, criminals could now rob roughly 100 people at one time.  Additionally, because trains traversed vast distances, the bad guys could pick spots that were harder for law enforcement to catch them.  Like with trains, the Internet and proliferation of cloud computing now allow criminals to rob huge numbers of people at one time.  You may have heard about the data breaches at Home Depot, Target, and Chase to name a few.  In those instances, criminals literally robbed hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of people at one time.

Think the bad guys just target large businesses?  Think again.  Here are some statistics that should scare you.

  • 1 in 5 small businesses fall victim to cyber crime each year and that number is growing. (National Cyber Alliance)
  • Half of all cyber attacks are aimed at SMB’s. (Forbes)
  • 82,000 new malware threats are being released per day! (PC World)
  • On average it takes 6 months to identify a security breach. (FBI)
  • The average cost for a company data breach is $3.7M (FBI)

As you can see, cyber crime is a business.  It’s not just a single tech geek in a basement messing around for fun.  It is now groups of bad guys, organized crime, and even nation states according the FBI.  As you can see, it is a serious threat.  Data is the new currency.  If you have data, which we all do, then you are a target.

Businesses need to do all they can to ensure protect their data and client information.  The days of buy a basic firewall, set it, and forget it are over.  Businesses should ensure they have the level of protection they need.  Here are a few things you should consider:

  • Ensure your servers and workstations are patched.  This is still one of the largest security threats for SMB’s.
  • Have an acceptable use policy for employees for Internet usage at the office and for mobile devices that connect to a corporate network.
  • Have a next generation firewall where the settings are configured properly and updates are regularly administered.
  • Make sure you have up-to-date anti-virus/anti-malware software running on all servers and workstations on the network.
  • Implement an anti-spam solution.  Spam is not just an inconvenience.  Spam is used to try to get employees to click on links that can cause bad things.

Too often I talk with business owners and executives that are unaware of the threats that exist.  Because of that, they are not adequately protected.  This puts their data and organization at risk.  As Acting Supervisor Ormond said, the average cost to a business for a data breach is $3.7 million!  I don’t know too many SMB’s that could afford that kind of hit.

Let me know if you’d like to discuss this further or if we can be of any assistance. You can reach me at 248.557.4600 x 107.    Want us to get in touch with you ? Contact us here cygnus-sys.com/contact.

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Moving Your Office – With Cygnus Systems

Moving Your Office Next Year? DON’T… Until You Read This First

Moving is always a big pain for those involved, but it doesn’t have to be a horrific, expensive experience. The number one complaint from someone who’s experienced a “bad” move is, “I didn’t know I needed to…” followed closely by “I completely forgot that…” In other words, it’s what you don’t do that makes the move a disaster. Contact us at Cygnus Systems to learn more about how we can help – http://cygnus-sys.com/contact/

To make your move easy and effortless, here are the 4 most common mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1 — Not Using A Checklist

This may seem like a no-brainer to those who manage projects, but project management may not be a forte of someone placed in charge of your move (like an office admin). Even those who use a list typically fail to make the list detailed enough.

Mistake #2 — Trying To Save Money By Moving Your Own Computer Network

Don’t ask your staff to disconnect, move and reconnect computers, phones and other devices just to save a few bucks. You’ll frustrate them and end up with phones ringing at the wrong extension, lost cables, and workstations that get dropped rendering them useless. You don’t want to let the movers do this job either; they may be great at moving furniture, but a network is a lot more sophisticated and sensitive. Be smart and hire an IT pro to pack. Get your comprehensive IT assessment from Cygnus – http://cygnus-sys.com/it-assessment-and-planning-services/

Mistake #3 — Not Hiring The RIGHT IT Firm To Move Your Network

Make sure you know what to look for when outsourcing the move. A few things to look for would include references from other clients, proof of insurance, a service level guarantee limiting the amount of time you are down, and a professional, organized approach to quoting the move. A real pro will insist on visiting your current location as well as your new location to conduct a detailed site survey. NEVER hire anyone who wants to quote moving your network over the phone. You can choose to receive our technology consultation by visiting http://cygnus-sys.com/technology-consulting-services/. Additionally, look for an IT company that will apply the charges for conducting your site survey against the total cost of the move if you choose

Mistake #4 — Not Giving Your Phone, Internet And Cable Vendors Enough Advance Notice

80% of unexpected communications, blackouts and cost overruns on network moves are caused by failure to properly plan voice, data and electrical installation in advance. Just because the prior tenant had computers and telephones is no guarantee that the cabling is suitable for your phones and your computer network. Advance planning will help you avoid emergency rush fees or band aid fixes to make things work.

Internet and telephone connections require as much as six weeks advance notice to be installed, tested and ready the day you move in.

And if you are building a new office, don’t leave it up to the builder to decide how many power outlets, network and phone connections you will need. Remember, changes and additions after the walls are up are at your expense. With printers, scanners, faxes, and other technologies connecting directly to the network these days, the rule of thumb of one electrical outlet, one phone and one network connection per employee is woefully outdated.

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Save Time and Money with Managed IT Services

If there is one thing most small businesses can agree on it’s that time equals money. Small business owners are in a position where they have to be a jack-of-all-trades, often spending most of their day wearing different hats. This is the nature of the small business and while expected it’s not always the best use of time. In order for a small business to be successful and remain competitive in an industry, there must be designated time for the owner to focus on growing and building the business. In many cases, small businesses fail as a result of being unable to handle emergencies or other situations that are simply beyond the control and expertise of the owner. Leveraging Managed IT Services can help.

Any business that relies on technology, which covers almost every business operating today, can benefit from managed services. Managed Service Providers (MSP) understand that not every business has the ability to pay for an internal IT department which can be very expensive yet necessary to ensure all aspects of technology are supported. Without this backup, many small businesses find themselves in a position where they have to foot a very expensive bill to recover from a disaster or emergency. In other situations, using out-of-date or ineffective technology is simply a waste of both time and money on the part of the small business.

Here we look at how small businesses can make the most of their time and money by hiring a Managed Services Provider.

  • Focus on running the business- One of the major benefits of outsourcing your technology needs is that the owner and employees of the company can focus 100% on their individual duties to keep the business moving in the right direction. This is the most valuable use of time for all parties involved; instead of hours or even days lost when trying to deal with technological issues that in house employees are not trained to handle.
  • Offer expert advice – There are many small businesses that simply do not know what they need to improve the functionality of their business. The old adage, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” does not apply in all cases. By consulting with a Managed Services Provider you may discover areas of your business which can be improved that you previously thought were working “just fine”. Expert advice may be able to help you improve the efficiency of your business while positioning you better within the industry.
  • Support when you need it – Managed IT Services Providers are not only there in the event of an emergency or recovery, but also provide monitoring which can be invaluable in preventing problems before they can impact the business.

It is important for every small business to carefully examine their technical needs in order to see what services will be most beneficial to the company. Managed IT Service Providers can offer services that not only reduce technology costs over time but also improves functionality which in turn saves time. When this balance is achieved a small business is in the perfect position to thrive and grow.

Click here to learn how Cygnus Systems Inc. can help you save time and money with our Managed IT Services for your business in Michigan.

 

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How to Create a Basic Businesses Disaster Recovery Plan in 4 Steps

Loss of data is a common problem for businesses. Fortunately, it’s a problem that can easily be avoided with the correct preparation. While devastating amounts of data can be lost during catastrophes like hurricanes, terrorist attacks, fires and floods – it doesn’t take such large events to cause a business to lose important data. It can be as simple as dropping a laptop to the floor, or a power surge that results in burning out a storage device. If you don’t have your crucial data backed up, even a small situation can turn into a disaster. That’s when having a business disaster recovery plan can help.

If you still think natural disasters are the leading causes of data loss – and that the chances of it happening to you are pretty slim, take a look at the results from a study by Strategic Research Corporation of the leading causes of business continuity and disaster recovery incidents:

  • Hardware Failures (servers, switches, disk drives, etc) – 44%.
  • Human Error (mistakes in configurations, wrong commands issued, etc) 32%
  • Software Errors (operating systems, driver incompatibility, etc)14%
  • Viruses and Security Breach (unprotected systems are always at risk) 7%
  • Natural Disasters 3%

Establishing a disaster recovery plan can be done in the following four steps:

1) Take a potential risk inventory. Make a list of every potential cause of data loss and the solutions to each. Your list should include losses that won’t affect the business very much, and those that would shut the business down temporarily or permanently. Information Technology experts can assist you with creating the potential risk inventory – as they will have the knowledge and experience to identify possibilities that you are not likely to think of but need to plan for all the same. These IT experts will also be able discuss preventative solutions to guard against each type of potential data loss.

2) Rate each of your potential data loss situations. How likely is it for each of the items on your risk inventory to occur? Rating them in order of importance and likeliness to occur will help you determine where to focus your disaster recovery plan efforts.

3) Develop your disaster recovery plan. Go through each of your potential risks and their solutions, and determine how long it would take you to recover from the loss of data for each risk. Could your business be offline for 24 hours? A week? Depending on the nature of your business, being offline for even just 24 hours could result in your losing customers to your competition. Look at ways to reduce the length of time it would take you to recover from each type of data loss risk.

4) Put your disaster recovery plan to the test. Once you’ve created your plan of action for recovering lost data, you should test your solutions. A disaster recovery plan is just a plan until it can be tested and proven.

Click here to learn how Cygnus Systems Inc. can create a business disaster recovery plan for you with our Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Services for your business in Michigan.

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When Is Your Business Ready For Managed IT Services?

If you are a small business owner and considering whether or not Managed IT Services will benefit your company, the answer is almost always- yes. There is little doubt that most small businesses can benefit from Managed IT Services, yet that in itself does not always justify the cost of bringing on a third party provider. Accepting that Managed IT Services Providers can offer solutions to common problems found in small business operation, the real question is: when does it make sense to switch from in house IT solutions to the next level which includes Managed IT Services?

There is a good chance if you are already considering Managed IT Services the time might be near when you are ready to make the switch. Small business owners do not have the luxury of a never ending IT budget, therefore it is very important to recognize when your current IT management is no longer cost effective. For most small businesses this occurs when the business grows to the point of needing either a contract with a local service provider who is “on call” for IT needs or hiring a full time IT person to remain on staff. There is of course another option for small business owners to consider and that is hiring a Managed IT Services Provider to oversee their IT needs.

If you are still unsure that your business is ready for the switch, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you find IT costs are continually increasing?
  • Is it difficult to find and retain quality IT staff?
  • Is your network and workstation performance and speed decreasing?
  • Are your employees spending more time dealing with IT issues than focusing on job they have been hired to perform?
  • Do you have problems with viruses, spyware and other security issues that could threaten the confidentiality of proprietary information?
  • In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, would your network be at risk? Would recovery be a concern?
  • Do you find network downtime is increasing?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, then your business is ready for Managed IT Services.

Now that you have determined Managed IT Services are right for your business, the next challenge is finding the right provider of these services. This is a decision that should not be made lightly or rushed as the wrong provider can end up costing your company more money than your current situation. Before you begin the search for a Managed IT Services Provider you should first consider your IT budget as well as issues or problems you want to be addressed. It is important to remember that Managed IT Services are not a one-size-fits-all type of solution to business problems. Each business and industry has their own issues to contend with and a qualified Managed IT Services Provider will work with you to find the solutions that will benefit your company the most. If a potential provider is more intent on selling you services and not listening to the needs of your business, move on to another provider who is willing to listen to your concerns and offer customized solutions that address these needs. The point of outsourcing your IT management is to save money while freeing up time to focus on other business operations. For this reason it pays to put forth the effort to find the best Managed IT Services Provider to oversee your technology needs.

Click here to learn how Cygnus Systems Inc. can help you benefit from Managed IT Services for your business in Michigan.

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Can Small Businesses Afford Managed IT Services Providers?

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When determining the affordability and ROI of engaging with Managed IT Services Providers, small business owners often find themselves in a position of trying to balance a limited budget while making sure they have the proper tools to grow their business. It is a challenge many business owners face, in that they recognize the need for additional products or services that will allow their business to continue to thrive. However. funds may be in short supply to achieve these goals. This is especially true today, when small business owners find financial institutions less willing to extend credit in the current economy.

Faced with this challenge, many small business owners are forced to make difficult decisions as to where they can afford to spend money to improve their business. One of the areas in which business owners are on the fence is whether or not hiring a managed services provider is something they can afford. In some cases the cost is not worth the benefits, however there are many situations where cutting costs will end up costing you more money in the long run. Here are a few reasons why managed service providers may be more affordable than the alternative.

Technology – In order to be competitive in this day, small businesses must remain up-to-speed with current technology. The amount of money invested in this area can be quite large, making it necessary to ensure you have someone in your corner who can help manage and support the technology used in your business. While the average person is becoming increasingly well versed in the use of basic technology, there remains a need for experts in the industry to ensure your business can stay up and running on a daily basis as well as in the event of a natural or man made emergency.

Internal IT – Larger corporations have the budget necessary to support an internal IT department that provides expertise and support of the technology used by the company. Small businesses do not have the same resources and often find themselves either without backup or paying a high price when they have to bring in an outside expert.

Services provided by MSP’s- When a small business enlists the help of a managed service provider, they will agree to a contract which covers specific services at a specific price. This allows the the small business owner to see upfront what they are paying for and how it will work in the budget. Some of the services provided by msp’s include; computer and server support, data backup and disaster recovery, network security, custom software solutions, remote network monitoring and technology evaluation and planning. Depending on the business these services can be customized to meet the specific needs of the client, making it possible to reduce costs in certain areas.

There are many reasons why a small business owner might feel managed services providers are not something they can afford. Unfortunately the services provided are often not realized until there is an emergency, where small business owners quickly discover the amount of money spent to “fix” a problem or recover from a disaster is much more expensive than planning for it in the first place. In this case it is not a matter of if you can afford manages services, rather if you can afford NOT to have them.

Click here to learn how Cygnus Systems Inc. can help you save on IT costs with our Managed IT Services for your business in Michigan.

 

 

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5 Reasons to Implement a Managed IT Services Solution

Take The Next Step In Your Success. Contact Us Now!

 

Information Technology services are essential to the success of every organization, large or small. With increasingly competitive business environments, CEOs and small business owners are under great pressure to maintain a highly qualified staff and to make sure their technology is obtaining a better ROI than their competitors’.

These goals are not easily achieved, particularly for young or small businesses with less financial resources and time available. Having your own successful information technology department can eat up too much of the company’s budget and time resources, and eventually cause a loss of its competitive edge. These disadvantages of maintaining an in-house IT department are why companies of all sizes have turned to using managed service providers to either assist their existing IT department or become their virtual IT department, handling all of the technology involved in keeping their businesses running at optimal levels.

The benefits of using a managed IT services solution are numerous, but the top 5 benefits of managed services for business include:

  1. Benefit from the expertise of a specialist, without having to spend time and financial resources training your staff to become experts
  2. Decrease your technology risks with Managed IT Services. Your company doesn’t have to worry about losing and trying to replace trained staff members, or about repairing, implementing or replacing complex technology solutions with Managed IT Services
  3. Enjoy access to the most up-to-date, sophisticated technology solutions without having to invest in expensive equipment.
  4. Experience ultimate control over your business technology without having to manage an information technology department. This gives you the time you need to focus on what you do best: your business functions.
  5. Reduce stress and improve efficiency of your staff. When you make good use of Managed IT Services resources, your staff isn’t tied up with IT concerns and they have more time to focus on tasks that are productive for the business.

Click here to learn how Cygnus Systems Inc. can help you benefit from managed IT services in Michigan.

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