With cyber threats on the rise, your office could benefit from Managed IT Services

As cyberattacks continue to rise, businesses of all sizes and industries are scrambling to ensure their data is secure. IT departments can be overloaded at the best of times but throw a data breach into the mix and it may not be possible to reverse the damage before it’s too late. Just a single cyber-attack can permanently devastate a business. 

More than half of IT decision-makers have seen an across-the-board increase in security threats, and about one-third acknowledge that their organization lacks the necessary level of on-premises and private cloud staff and skills, according to research by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). 

IT Infrastructure is essential to a company’s ability to survive and thrive, but it requires vast amounts of resources to manage effectively. That’s where Managed IT Services come in.  

Companies have shifted to outsourcing IT departments to gain access to tech experts through a service, so they don’t have to manage the task internally. Scalable solutions offer businesses options if they already have a trusted team in place. Managed IT Services can supplement existing teams who may be overloaded, or even monitor systems after-hours. 

There are several important benefits for companies who decide to outsource their IT to a Managed Service Provider (MSP).  

MSPs Help Cut Costs 

Businesses don’t have to worry about taking the time and resources to vet and hire competent staff who they can trust to keep their data secure. Labor costs are drastically reduced because full-time employees won’t need compensation through salaries, benefits, insurance, and training. This is all provided by the MSP. 

A recent survey by CompTIA noted that 50% of companies who hired an MSP saved 1-24% in annual IT costs, 33% saved 25-49%, and 13% reported savings of more than 50%. 

Expertise is Important in Keeping Data Secure 

Investing in Managed IT Services gives companies the ability to leverage the experience of highly trained technology professionals. Staff from businesses that provide Managed IT Services are more likely to have the extensive knowledge, skills, and resources needed to manage IT with optimal efficiency.  

These experts are certified to deal with and thoroughly understand the latest technologies, threats, and solutions. Staying up to date on the newest ransomware targeting companies, hardware and software upgrades, and issue resolution techniques ensures businesses run smoothly.  

Improving Processes Increases Efficiency  

Most businesses think they are properly backing up their data but may not be running regular tests or even know the proper restoration process if data is stolen or lost. 

Managed IT Services focus on improving processes with results-driven strategies to improve IT escalation processes, meet customer service standards, and proactively manage key technologies, ultimately increasing operational efficiency. 

The best way to prevent data loss is to take a proactive approach. Managed IT Service teams navigate full life cycle support of operating systems. Through proactive IT service monitoring, technicians are available to continuously monitor systems and data. They can run external vulnerability scanning on a regular basis to stay on top of weak points within a system, breaking down reports with expertise, and implementing patches before it’s too late.  

Managed Antivirus is another benefit MSPs provide, establishing proper installation, regular updates, firewall monitoring and implementation of a ticketing process to fix issues fast. In-house teams don’t always place high priorities on details of this process or may not have the bandwidth to do so. This can lead to weak points that quickly expose networks to breaches.   

The implementation of additional security measures, like multi-factor authentication, can also be led by MSP teams. By placing a priority on cybersecurity across the entire organization, awareness of cyber threats will help keep data secure.  

As threat actors continue to target businesses, the trend of outsourced Managed IT Services will only continue to grow. Business leaders should heavily consider how this service could benefit their own organizations. 


Alan Estes, GDC IT Solutions Director of Business Development 

Interested in learning more about how your business could utilize Managed IT Services? Please feel free to reach out with questions or to schedule a free consultation. 


Windows 7 is no longer supported, what’s an un-updated business to do?

Windows is no longer providing tech support or security upgrades to its Windows 7.

If your business’ computers are still running on Windows 7, you no longer have technical support or security updates coming in from Windows.

As of Jan. 14 Windows stopped providing all support for Windows 7, which was released in 2009 and encouraged those still on the old system to upgrade to Windows 10, the latest version of Windows, which has been available since 2015.

Dave Dooley, president and CEO of EZ Micro Solutions in Whitehall, said those in the managed IT industry have known for some time that Windows was planning to disengage from Windows 7 in much the same way it did with Windows XP several years ago. So, most of his firm’s clients have already been upgraded to Windows 10.

He said it’s mostly smaller businesses or individual users that are left with the now unsupported Windows 7, but even there he said there’s still no reason to panic.

“Some people thought their computer would stop working on Jan. 14, but that obviously wasn’t true,” he said.

Others have been worried that without ongoing security updates they’ll be left wide-open and vulnerable to hackers.

While Dooley said it is possible that some hackers may have been holding off on attacks until Windows ended support for 7, at least in the short term he doesn’t expect those computers to be significantly more vulnerable to attack.

That doesn’t mean they’re safe, however.

“In general, Windows 10 is just significantly more secure than anything they had for Windows 7,” Dooley said. And, he thinks it would be worth it for companies to make the upgrade.

But therein lies the rub. Updating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 isn’t all that easy, and Dooley said for most companies it might be simpler, and maybe cheaper, to buy new computers.

There are options for people who want to continue a level of security support on their existing Windows 7 system – but it’s not cheap.

Businesses must go through a Windows Cloud Service Provider, like EZ Micro Solutions, to purchase an Extended Security Update at the cost of $61 per PC per year, with the price likely increasing in the second year.

A company can just update its systems to Windows 10, but if Windows 7 is running on an older computer, about four years or older, it likely won’t be compatible because it doesn’t meet the speed requirements.

If the computers are newer, updating to Windows 10 is still a bit more complicated than pressing a few buttons and waiting. Some applications many not be compatible and IT professionals will be needed to install it.

If going through an outside provider, the cost of the work hours to install Windows 10 may be close to what a business would pay for buying a couple of new computers that come pre-installed with Windows 10.

For some, making the change may not be a choice. Dooley noted that many industries, including the financial and medical fields, have strict regulations over companies having the latest security software to prevent data theft.

For those who haven’t already made the migration, Dooley said a company should be ready to spend a little time and money to upgrade to Windows 10. He believes most will ultimately find the investment worth it.