Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a phone solution that has been slowly replacing traditional telecommunication services for many businesses over the past decade. With the steady increase in use, more businesses look to VoIP as their go-to telecom solution. These days, VoIP for small businesses is practically an essential technology.
As hybrid and remote work continues to rise in popularity, VoIP services follow suit. The market is full of various options that can be used for different applications or business sizes. Whether you use an outdated telecom system or need a new collaborative method of communication across your enterprise, VoIP is the small business investment that keeps on giving.
A VoIP phone system makes all the difference in your business, but it offers more benefits than simple connectivity upgrades.
What is a VoIP Phone Service?
VoIP is a communications technology that enables users to make and receive voice calls over an internet connection. This works by converting sound into digital packets of information so that it can be transmitted via internet broadband.
Following the rise in remote and hybrid work, many people are familiar with services like Microsoft Teams, which have allowed businesses to use voice and video calls over the internet. These are software applications and solutions that can be categorized as VoIP services. VoIP has become a staple technology in businesses across the world, especially for SMBs. If your business still uses private branch exchange (PBX) or other traditional phone systems, it may be time to invest in a better business phone system.
The Advantages of Using VoIP Phones
VoIP connects through the internet instead of a signal, meaning that it's far more reliable to send or receive a call. While it depends on where you're located, odds are that a consistent internet connection is more easily attainable and more stable than waiting on a tower signal. Additionally, making calls using VoIP software allows for greater transparency, oversight, and analytics. These are just a few of the many benefits VoIP offers small businesses, with the others giving you even greater control over your call quality and system management.
Traditional phones can be expensive to set up and manage. Comparatively, setting up and maintaining VoIP for a small business is much more cost-effective. Online voice and video calls between two or more devices are typically free. One of the benefits of VoIP phone systems is that communication between different employees and departments doesn't cost anything as long as they are made through your PC or VoIP phone.
Calls from a PC to a landline phone have a cost attached, though these rates are slightly lower than calls between traditional phones. The cost of your VoIP will usually only be based on the number of users you have.
The ease of integration for hardware with a wide variety of software systems is another benefit, giving you the flexibility and mobility to support people in your network from anywhere. With business VoIP services, they have access to all of your networks' remote conferences, file-sharing services, and email solutions at all times.
The call features of a VoIP service easily outpace traditional phone lines. These features, which include call transfer, call hold, call forwarding, conference calling, and more, are all available and useful to small businesses. While you still need the right VoIP provider to offer technology that includes these services, the bottom line is that you won't be sacrificing anything in terms of call features if you choose VoIP over traditional phones.
Staff productivity increases with efficient systems and VoIP offers some of the greatest efficiency on the market. From hosting virtual meetings and conducting international phone conferences to sharing important company documents, no matter what your business does, you stand to benefit from VoIP technology. Rarely will you encounter distorted or dropped calls as long as your internet connection is stable, so if you choose VoIP, also make sure you pick an experienced VoIP service provider like IntegriTel to back you up.
Business VoIP service providers offer you a solution that doesn't require additional expenses when adding or removing users, outside of hardware you may need like headsets. If your business is growing, your system grows with it. Lines can easily be reassigned from old to new members and new lines can be made for new employees on the fly.
Traditional phones aren't the easiest to set up and maintain. Hardware can break down, phone signal can be weak depending on your location, and more. There are too many variables. With VoIP, installation and maintenance are easy even if you don't have a dedicated IT professional (although it's advised). Most VoIP software solutions make the management aspect of your telecom a breeze for users, giving you the control you need to make everything simpler and more convenient.
The Ideal VoIP Provider
VoIP providers are everywhere, offering the same solutions as their competitors with the same promises. The ideal provider offers VoIP phone systems as one of many points of expertise. If they offered internet and technology expertise, that would be even better. This is where IntegriTel comes in.
Our solutions cover your telecom and technology needs without breaking the bank. We customize our solutions to fit your situation because at the end of the day, we understand the needs of small businesses best. All of our solutions are on-prem, meaning if something goes wrong, our team is there to fix it right away if it can't be handled remotely. If you're interested in setting up your VoIP phone system with an expert, contact our team of professionals today and we'll get you on the path to calling convenience.
Cyber threats appear when you least expect, knocking on the walls of your network, trying to gain access and steal as much of your information as possible. While larger businesses usually have the means to handle cyber attacks, small and medium businesses don't have the same resources. Often, your threat intelligence goes as far as general knowledge and what you've seen online from industry professionals. An MSP is an optimal answer, but there are certain threat intelligence services you should look for when choosing the best option.
What is Threat Intelligence?
Simply put, threat intelligence is information about dangerous cyber activity that threatens your data and systems. It compiles data to determine which of your assets are most at risk and help you decide which tools to use and where to take action when a cyber threat is detected.
Imagine that your data and digital assets are a house. You protect your home with locks, cameras, maybe a guard dog or two. If you live in a high-risk neighborhood, an alarm system may greatly deter break-ins. If you live in a mansion you may hire guards to monitor the perimeter at all hours.
The more valuables you have in your house, the more you're willing to spend to keep them safe. Threat intelligence is the information that informs your decisions on what to protect and how to do it. Collecting and acting on your data makes threat intelligence important and challenging.
The Six Steps of Cyber Threat Intelligence
Whether your MSP uses tactical intelligence, strategic intelligence, or operational threat intelligence, the process is still complex and requires careful oversight. Collecting and leveraging your threat intelligence is difficult and usually out of most small businesses' wheelhouse.
Phase 1: Direction
In the direction phase, you determine where to focus security efforts and how you will set your security up for success. This is basically the goal stage of your threat intelligence initiative. This includes going over which assets and processes take priority, the impact on your business if those assets are compromised, the types of intelligence you need, and where to focus your efforts. Since you can't deal with every threat, you have to choose the most important assets to guard and focus your efforts on keeping them safe around the clock.
Phase 2: Collection
This phase involves collecting threat data on potential threat sources, either through automated technology or manually. There are multiple sources for this stage, including metadata and logs from applications, security tools, monitoring human interaction, network infrastructure, reading threat data feeds, consulting with security teams, and more.
Phase 3: Processing
The processing phase involves collecting, exporting, and standardizing your data, identifying duplicates and anomalies, and creating stakeholder reports. At this point, your complex data turns into actionable intelligence that your cyber threat intelligence analysts can use to create effective incident response procedures.
Phase 4: Analysis
Processed data is accurate and actionable, so you can extract intelligence from the collected information to create your threat intelligence plan. Analysis is the process of reviewing all of the collected data to identify evidence of compromised systems and the actions required to fix them. Depending on the information presented, that decision might involve investigating a potential threat, immediately blocking an attack, or taking even more aggressive steps.
Phase 5: Dissemination
The next step involves sending the information to stakeholders who can act on the findings. This is done through threat indicators, security alerts, threat intelligence reports, and tool configuration information.
Strategic threat intelligence is sent to executives to help them plan business strategies around potential risks. Operational intelligence goes to the security and network managers so they can focus on defending your network against known threat actors. Tactical intelligence goes to IT services and security operation center (SOC) managers and architects who focus on adversaries' threat intelligence platforms.
Phase 6: Feedback
Finally, feedback from those that received threat intelligence data is collected. This includes getting updates on the type of data they need and how processes could be improved to streamline the overall experience. This should be an ongoing process since there are always new threats on the horizon and your needs may change daily or weekly depending on the threats you face.
Your Local Cyber Threat Intelligence Experts
Finding the right MSP that will handle all of your cyber threat intelligence needs may feel like finding a needle in a haystack. For local SMBs, your IT search ends with IntegriTel. Offering onsite support, remote monitoring, threat intelligence solutions powered by Bitdefender, and a slew of other services, your systems have never been in better hands.
If it's time to update your virtual solutions to the next level, contact our team of experts today. We're always available to discuss IT solutions with you.
You've heard it before and you'll hear it again. Small businesses are the easiest target for cyberattacks because they typically have a smaller or nonexistent IT department. If you fit under the small business umbrella, you know the struggles of managing IT. You also know the threat of losing your sensitive data is a real challenge you face daily.
One of these major attacks against your data comes in the form of an advanced persistent threat. Understanding the danger you face and how detection keeps persistent threats at bay keeps your business safe and helps you identify issues that may have otherwise been hidden.
Advanced Persistent Threat Targets
Due to the level of effort needed to carry out the attacks, advanced persistent threats (APTs) are usually aimed at high-value targets. The ultimate goal of an APT attack is to steal information over a long time, rather than skim attacks.
APT is a method of attack that every business, no matter the size, should be aware of and protect against. Just because the main targets are enterprises doesn't mean SMBs are immune from these attacks. With over 50% of all cyber-attacks being done against SMBs, you can't afford to be complacent.
The Evolution of Advanced Persistent Threat Attacks
The purpose of an APT attack is to gain ongoing access to your systems, which is done through five stages.
APT Security Measures for SMBs
Corporate cyber defenses tend to have sophisticated networks and dedicated teams designed to repel something like an advanced persistent attack before it makes any headway. They're able to detect issues before they impact the bottom line, sealing off or counteracting these attacks to keep them isolated. SMBs don't often have the same resources available to handle an advanced persistent threat attack, relying instead on either the hope of not being a target or a service that provides solutions tailored to situations like this.
In this instance, a solution like RocketCyber does wonders for SMBs by providing a managed SOC that keeps your intellectual property safe. Using a built-in app store that has purpose-built threat detection apps, RocketCyber gives you the means to protect your business through endpoint monitoring, network security, and cloud protection. If committing to the solution alone is intimidating, then the next step is finding an MSP that offers RocketCyber in its collection of services.
Your Dedicated Digital Security Team
Small businesses have enough to worry about, choosing your cybersecurity solutions shouldn't be another worry to add to the mix. With an IT service provider like IntegriTel, you have professional security services through some of the latest and greatest vendors in the industry. Alongside RocketCyber, we also employ solutions through Bitdefender, providing consistent services across every aspect of your technology needs.
If advanced persistent threats or other forms of malware are on your radar and you need a solution dedicated to keeping you safe, IntegriTel has you covered. Give us a call if you're interested and we'd love to talk through how we can keep you protected well into the future.
Even the best preventative tools have a weakness; if the attack breaks through your defenses, the tools you rely on are unable to help. Through the use of threat detection, you can identify, eliminate, and recover from cyberattacks on your network and continue working without issue. But what is threat detection at its core and how does it make a difference in your small business?
Defining Threat Detection
Let's start with a brief overview. Threat detection is a crucial part of your cybersecurity strategy because it allows you to identify when your network is compromised by intruders. Without threat detection, cybercriminals could access your network and stay there for unknown amounts of time.
Similar to how canaries were used to detect gas leaks in mineshafts, your threat detection software acts as a means of alerting you to the dangers of a cyber threat before it has a tangible effect on your business.
Unfortunately, you can't block every cyberattack on your business. Cyber threats are constantly adapting. They're smart, ruthless, and adaptable. Maybe the first few fail, but eventually, you'll be faced with a digital Terminator whose eyes are fixed on your sensitive data. Skynet may not be real, but malicious activity online certainly is.
It's critical that businesses spend as much time considering what happens after an attack occurs as they do trying to prevent them. Without threat detection and a recovery plan to back it up, you are at the mercy of your attackers. Attackers then have full access to your network because you don't know they're in and have no plan of action to stop them because of this. Then, they rip your defenses apart and grab the sweet nectar of your business fight from under your nose; your data.
Identify Threats With Specialized Tools
Keeping your data under wrap starts with strategy. Threat detection tools give you the means to track different types and vectors of attacks, with different tools providing differing benefits. Some of these detection techniques include:
Where Your Security Teams Stand Without Threat Intelligence
A lack of effective threat detection tools in place can lead to business problems, some obvious and others not so much. Obviously letting cybercriminals roam freely across your network isn't exactly a positive for your business, but this can lead to more than lost data. Your data security could be compromised, threat response could be prevented or blocked long enough for them to make off with the vital information, or it could result in privacy invasion. The list goes on and on.
Undetected malware can sit dormant for a long time, gathering data and analyzing your network. Cybercriminals use this time to gain a greater understanding of your defenses and prepare for a larger or future attack. Additionally, long-term data theft harms your business, customers, and employees. Not only can the loss of data cause lasting damage to you and your clients, but it can also result in large fines if your security solutions are found to be non-compliant with certain security regulations.
Threat Detection and Response Options
Implementing advanced threat detection tools into your business gives you a security boost, especially if you have a small or nonexistent IT or cybersecurity team. Threat detection technologies give you an edge over attackers by giving you the heads up before disaster strikes, with many also providing you with disaster recovery solutions to combat any damage done.
Relying on cybersecurity solutions like IntegriTel gives you an edge over potential attackers, as our cybersecurity solutions encompass threat detection, disaster recovery, zero trust, and more. If you want flexible, all-encompassing security solutions for your small business, contact the experts at IntegriTel today.
Cloud services are nothing new. Businesses have been using them for years at this point, with their popularity only growing due to the myriad benefits they provide. Many companies take this a step further by using managed cloud services to take the hassle and struggle out of their technology.
With cloud-managed services projected to rise from $86.1 billion in 2021 to $139.4 billion in 2026, it's the perfect time to update your cloud services to the next level. But what can managed cloud services offer your business, especially if you're an SMB?
What are Managed Cloud Services and Why Do You Need Them?
If your business hasn't already shifted to a managed cloud service, then you should research whether this is feasible. Should you decide to migrate to the cloud, you are faced with two options. Either work with a cloud services provider and be limited to their services or use a full-scale managed cloud services provider that will stick around even after you've set up your cloud solutions.
When you choose to use a cloud service provider, you receive cloud solutions that are based on the needs of your business, whether that be cloud storage, cloud security, native development, etc. However, the need for effective management of your cloud infrastructure comes alongside all these services. This could be used as a way to save costs, but unless you have trained internal IT teams that can handle continuous cloud infrastructure upkeep, you should look into using managed cloud service providers.
With someone like a cloud computing managed service, you have the all-encompassing managed services that include maintaining, updating, and troubleshooting cloud infrastructure with constant monitoring and supervision.
The Benefits of Managed Cloud Services
The cloud offers more than just secure storage for data. For instance, IntegriTel offers cloud migrations, desktop and server virtualization, and SD-WAN services for scalable cloud solutions. The benefits are further reaching than just alternative solutions, with some including:
Creating Consistent Cloud Services
The cloud offers small businesses the flexibility they need to continue growing and the convenience of any time, anywhere solutions. When it comes to cloud solutions, IntegriTel is your local specialist that provides managed cloud, cloud service migration, desktop virtualization, and more. If you need managed cloud security or managed cloud services, we've got you covered. If you're ready to start your journey to the cloud, contact the experts at IntegriTel today.