Expanding Internet Access at a Materials Supply Company

wireless point to point case study

When Plaisted Companies needed to expand internet access to its landscape yard, Chief Operating Officer Mark Duitsman knew just the company to call. Now IT Connects had been Plaisted Companies’ managed IT partner for years, and Mark knew John and his crew could help them expand internet access to their new landscape yard building.

About Plaisted Companies

Located on 250 acres in Elk River, Minnesota, Plaisted Companies is a supplier of high-quality construction sands, soil, and maintenance products for golf courses, athletic fields, and other outdoor spaces. Plaisted Companies operates out of a large property in Elk River that includes a showroom and a landscape yard, where team members fulfill orders customers place at the showroom. The two buildings are approximately a quarter of a mile apart from each other.

Plaisted Companies’ IT Challenge

Salespeople had been running tickets with customer orders out to the landscape yard team on foot. Mark wanted to make this process more efficient by adding a ticket printer in the landscape yard. To accomplish this, the landscape yard needed an internet connection. However, the yard was too far away from the showroom to add it to the company’s internet infrastructure. Running cable or fiber out to the landscape yard was not logistically or financially feasible. That’s when Mark gave Now IT Connects a call.

Now IT Connects’ IT Solution

John and the Now IT Connects team came up with an innovative solution to Plaisted Companies’ internet infrastructure challenge. Instead of a wired connection, Now IT Connects would install a wireless point-to-point system. This affordable, scalable solution would provide an internet connection between the showroom and the landscape yard.

Once Mark and John decided to move forward with the wireless point-to-point system, installation took just a few hours. The Now IT Connects team had the landscape yard up and running within a day.

The Result

Now that it is connected to the internet, the landscape yard can receive tickets at the click of a button. The wireless point-to-point system has opened up other opportunities, too. Plaisted Companies is considering adding more workstations and a security camera network to the yard now that it has internet access.

“Our new wireless system works flawlessly,” explains Mark. “We saved money from not having to trench in fiber. We’ve already recommended Now IT Connects to other companies because they do a really great job for us.”


3 Innovative Uses for Microsoft 365 Forms

uses for microsoft 365 forms_now it connects

Forms make it easy to collect the information you need from your customers and team members. Microsoft 365 offers three options for creating forms that automate the information collection process. If your team runs on Microsoft 365 or SharePoint, discover how Microsoft Forms, OOTB SharePoint forms, and Power Apps can automate and simplify your data collection efforts.

1. Microsoft Forms for Simple, Public-Facing Forms

Microsoft Forms is Microsoft’s answer to Google Forms. Simplicity is the name of the game. Microsoft Forms are a breeze to put together and easy to share. You can send your Microsoft Forms questionnaires to people outside your organization or within it. They make great customer-facing forms to collect customer satisfaction surveys. Use Microsoft Forms to collect RSVPs or get feedback on an office initiative. Microsoft Forms are designed to be highly collaborative between team members, with entire teams gaining access to the data the form collects. As such, this platform may not be the best choice for collecting sensitive information.

To create a form with Microsoft Forms, access the app through your Microsoft 365 account. Choose from preloaded questions or create your own. Don’t forget to update the look of your form to align it with your brand. Once you’re ready to send it out, you can share your form via a link, as an embedded form on your website, or with a QR code.

2. OOTB SharePoint Forms for Simple, Internal Forms

For simple forms meant exclusively for your internal team, you can’t beat out-of-the-box (OOTB) SharePoint forms. These forms live on your team’s SharePoint platform and are accessible only to authorized users. OOTB SharePoint forms are simple and utilitarian. You cannot brand your form or use question logic, but you can ask simple questions to collect data from your team.

OOTB SharePoint forms are great for managing your company’s referral program or collecting information about a project or process. Form creators can set permissions so users can only see the information they submit, which can help keep sensitive data secure.

3. Microsoft Power Apps for Everything Else

Power Apps gives creators the most control over their forms. While it’s possible to create simple forms, Power Apps shines when a form requires question logic and customized fields, locked-down permissions, and a branded user experience.

Creators can use Power Apps to create a stand-alone form or customize an OOTB SharePoint form. Power users of Power Apps can pull in data from SharePoint and external sources to use in their form, customize fields, and use question logic to tailor the user experience to user responses. Power App forms can be branded and shared through SharePoint. They are only accessible to people on your internal SharePoint platform.

Microsoft 365 offers three robust ways to survey customers and collect information from your team. For help putting these tools into practice at your business, get in touch with Now IT Connects today.


Introduction to Microsoft Azure

introduction to microsoft azure_now it connects

Hitting a wall with your local server network? Keeping your company’s data on local servers can limit your productivity and your ability to scale your business. When we encounter businesses who’ve reached this stage of frustration with their local servers, it’s likely we’ll recommend a cloud-based solution such as Microsoft Azure.

What Is Microsoft Azure?

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud-based server product, where your data is stored remotely on the cloud rather than in a server closet in your office. It offers companies Microsoft’s computing expertise and reliability as well as multilayered security and scalability. Manufacturers, health care organizations, retailers, and financial service providers all use Azure to run their business networks.

How Can Azure Help Me Save Money?

Not only is Azure often more affordable than other cloud-based network options, such as AWS, it can also save you money in the long term. Azure is more than cloud-based storage. It’s powerful software that helps you understand your company’s data better. This can lead to cost savings in other areas of your business. Azure also offers ways to optimize your workloads and your spending on cloud computing to optimize your costs.

Can Microsoft Azure Help My Team Collaborate?

When your company’s data is managed on Azure, it empowers apps, software, and your team to communicate more effectively than is possible on a local server network. You can gather data from across different systems and view and analyze it from a single dashboard. Azure can host and support your favorite collaborative tools, such as Teams, OneDrive, and Outlook, too.

What Does It Take to Migrate to Azure?

Moving your entire network from local servers to the cloud may seem like a big deal, and it is. Fear of the unknown and the work of moving a network to the cloud keeps many companies from taking the plunge.

But with the right support, migrating to Azure or any other cloud-based network can be the move that takes your business to the next level. It can improve your team’s productivity and make it possible for you to scale your business.

Now IT Connects has helped all sorts of businesses move to the cloud. Give us a call or shoot us an email today to learn how we can help you take your business to the next level.


Wireless Point-to-Point (P2P) Applications and Benefits

wireless point-to-point applications_now it connects

If your company operates out of multiple buildings, it can be complicated and costly to create a network connection between the buildings with fiber or cable. The same goes for sprawling properties with video surveillance systems. In both of these cases, a wireless point-to-point (P2P) system can provide affordable, secure connectivity.

Wireless Point-to-Point Connects Multiple Buildings

A wireless point-to-point system create a network connection between multiple locations securely and reliably. Wireless P2P is a good option for both urban and rural properties. In urban settings, wireless point-to-point is ideal for buildings located on the same parcel, since environmental interference from other networks can make it difficult to connect locations across wider distances. But in rural areas with low building density, wireless P2P can connect buildings miles apart.

Wireless P2P Can Support Video Surveillance Systems, Too

In addition to network connections, wireless point-to-point can provide a secure, dedicated network for video surveillance systems. For businesses with acreage, sprawling outdoor storage yards, or expansive parking lots, wireless P2P can make it easier and more affordable to maintain 24/7 video surveillance on the property. The network collects all the video data from the field cameras and transmits it to a central point for monitoring.

You’ll Avoid the Costs of Laying Fiber or Cable

One of the most significant benefits of a wireless point-to-point system is its cost. The investment in wireless P2P hardware, installation, and management is a fraction of the cost of fiber and cable. Fiber and cable require trenching and physical modifications to facilities to hardwire the network. Applications over long distances are often cost-prohibitive or impossible. With wireless point-to-point, the devices are installed discreetly on the roof.

Wireless Point-to-Point Scales with You

Another great benefit of a wireless point-to-points system is that it scales as a business grows. Adding additional connection points is more affordable and straightforward than laying more cable or fiber. It is possible to transfer a wireless P2P system to a new location, something that’s impossible to do with a hardwired network.

Wondering if wireless point-to-point is the network solution you’ve been looking for? Get in touch with the wireless P2P experts at Now IT Connects. We can find the wireless P2P or other network solution that’s the right fit for your needs.


Case Study: Upgrading a Construction Company’s IT Infrastructure

upgrading construction company's IT infrastructure_now it connects

When Lakehead Constructors was moving not one but both of its locations, IT director Matt Dallam knew it was time to upgrade the company’s IT infrastructure from localized servers to cloud-based solutions. He knew the upgrade would make the company’s entire operation more efficient, but he didn’t realize just how much more time he’d be able to redirect to other projects.

About Lakehead Constructors

Based in Superior, Wisconsin, with an office in Aurora, Minnesota, Lakehead Constructors is a commercial construction company that got its start in 1916 building large-scale harbor facilities. Today, the Lakehead team completes large-scale commercial and industrial construction projects across the Upper Midwest. Since its staff is split between two locations and maintains a large field crew, the company relies on its IT infrastructure to keep its team connected and productive.

Lakehead Constructors’ IT Challenge

Matt knew that most of Lakehead Constructors’ IT infrastructure was reaching end-of-life, and some legacy hardware and software were well past that milestone. With the company’s impending moves at both of its locations, it was a great time to upgrade its localized IT infrastructure and move to cloud-based solutions that would require less hands-on maintenance and allow the company to scale.

Now IT Connects’ IT Solution

Matt contacted Now IT Connects for help moving their on-premises systems to the cloud. After reviewing Lakehead Constructors’ IT needs, the Now IT Connects team chose Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Exchange to host the company’s servers, email, and other applications. Older switches and routers got upgrades, and the Now IT Connects crew installed new firebox equipment as part of an improved cyber security plan.

The Result

Now that Lakehead Constructors’ system is cloud-based, the crew has an easier time working remotely. The improved IT infrastructure is easy to manage and maintain and offers much more peace of mind than the on-premises system did. Since the new system has been in place, Matt has spent less time on weekends managing the hardware, too.

“Since working with Now IT Connects, our system has been much better everywhere,” explains Matt. “It’s faster, it’s more secure, and I spend less time on infrastructure and network management.”


Cloud-Based Computing for the Remote Workforce

Cloud-Based Computing for the Remote Workforce

The past year definitely made the case for cloud-based computing, as the cloud is what empowered many companies to move to a remote workforce in 2020. Cloud-based technologies have more than proved their worth these last 12 months. If you’re still running your business off local servers in your office, or have hobbled together several cloud-based technologies out of necessity, it’s time to get strategic about the cloud.

The Case for Cloud-Based Computing

Imagine a workweek where every tool you need is at your fingertips, whether you’re at the office or at home. These tools work seamlessly together. The document or spreadsheet you’re working on is automatically saved and backed up, so you never lose your work or your data. You never accidentally delete an email. The recording of your last meeting with your client is available to review as soon as it wraps up, and you can share your notes from that meeting with your colleagues with a click of a button. When you log off for the weekend, you know all of your data is safe from harm because it’s protected by two-factor authentication and automated backup.

That’s what cloud-based computing can do for your workweek. It takes away many of the frustrations you have about storing and sharing files, collaborating with your team, and backing up physical servers.

Choosing a Cloud-Based Server

So, how do you go about moving your operations to the cloud? Find an IT partner like Now IT Connects! Having a knowledgeable, professional, and cloud-smart team like us takes the stress out of setting up your new work environment. We have the product expertise, know-how, and experience to develop a cloud-based strategy for your company.

Our favorite cloud computing tool is Microsoft Azure. It’s built specifically for businesses and contains hundreds of apps so you can move your entire operation to the cloud. Azure uses AI and machine learning to uncover data insights and keep your data safe.

Microsoft Exchange is an email and calendaring tool that helps teams communicate more efficiently. It’s highly customizable, has tools to foster collaboration, and makes setting appointments a breeze. Microsoft Exchange email servers are highly secure so your inboxes and data are continually protected.

Making the Migration to the Cloud

It’s easy to grasp the benefits of migrating your business operations to the cloud. The hard part is making the move to your new cloud-based system. Migrating any process from one tool to another is complicated and time-consuming, which is why we recommend you work with an experienced team of IT professionals. The Now IT Connects team will work with you to design a cloud-based solution for your business, then complete the migration and implementation for you.

Ready to learn more? We’re here to help. Contact Now IT Connects today to discover with the cloud can do for you.


Case Study: An IT Partnership Nearly Two Decades Strong

When it was time to outsource some of the IT tasks he was handling himself, Seacole CFO John Bell turned to the person he knew could help: Now IT Connects founder John Koshiol. That was back in 2004. Since then, Seacole and Now IT Connects have formed a strong partnership, working together to install and maintain systems that keep the chemical distributor productive and secure.

About Seacole

Seacole is an ISO-certified chemical manufacturer and distributor based in Plymouth, Minnesota. The company’s headquarters houses its front office as well as its production and warehouse space. In addition to the industrial equipment on the production floor, Seacole maintains and manages 30 to 40 PCs and nearly a dozen servers, as well as other pieces of hardware.

Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work and the chemical products they stock, Seacole takes network security and reliability very seriously. The company cannot risk their systems going down at any point without a viable backup system and rapid recovery response.

Seacole’s IT Challenge

CFO John Bell is fluent in IT and cyber security systems and had managed the company’s IT and cyber security systems on his own until 2004. By that time, the ongoing management of Seacole’s IT systems had become a full-time job on their own, and he did not have an in-house IT team to delegate tasks to.

John Bell knew that Seacole’s IT demands would only grow, and it was time to find an outsourced partner. That’s when he called John Koshiol for help. John Koshiol was an experienced IT professional who had just started his own company, Now IT Connects.

Now IT Connects’ IT Solution

Since 2004, Seacole has relied on Now IT Connects to maintain and expand Seacole’s entire IT program. While John Bell still performs smaller day-to-day tasks, he relies on John Koshiol and the Now IT Connects team to do the heavy lifting to keep Seacole’s network secure and performing optimally.

Over the nearly two decades the companies have worked together, Now IT Connects has expanded the Seacole network from a single server in 2004 to nearly a dozen today. Now IT Connects supports Seacole’s staff devices and maintains the company’s cyber security systems. The Now IT Connects team installs hardware and software on the front end and maintains and manages devices and software on the back end to ensure every staff member is productive and secure. As Seacole’s technology needs grew and IT solutions evolved, Now IT Connects innovated and adapted its services to ensure Seacole’s IT solutions were always state-of-the-art, including automating system updates and other essential tasks.

Recently, John Bell created an IT committee at Seacole to continuously monitor and review the company’s systems and security. He asked John Koshiol to become a member of that committee so he can share his expertise. As a result of the committee’s work, Now IT Connects will update and expand Seacole’s seven-year-old wireless system so it can support more devices at a faster connection speed.

The Result

By outsourcing their IT needs to Now IT Connects, Seacole has been able to grow its business sustainably and securely. Recent audits by agencies that oversee Seacole’s operations have applauded the company’s top-notch IT program, which John Bell attributes to Now IT Connects.

“Without Now IT Connects, we wouldn’t be able to survive. Their support is that important,” explains John Bell. “We’re constantly working to improve our IT, and without Now IT Connects, none of that would be possible.”


5 IT Tools Your Business Needs in 2021

5 secure IT tools for 2021_Now IT Connects

With a remote workforce and cyberattacks on the rise, you need to be sure your data and your customers’ data are secure yet accessible. After spending much of 2020 helping our customers safely move to a remote workforce, the Now IT Connects team has come up with a list of must-have IT tools for 2021. Which ones do you already use, and which ones are you going to adopt this year to keep your data safe and your team productive?

1. Two-Factor Authentication

With the rise in cyberattacks in recent years, securing your data is more important than ever. Two-factor authentication is an affordable, powerful way to immediately improve data security. It requires your team to use two login methods to access their email, web apps, and other business tools. Two-factor authentication can protect your data from phishing and from bad actors gaining access using weak or stolen passwords.

You’ve likely run into two-factor authentication at your bank or other online retailers. To get access to protected accounts, you need something you know, such as a password, and something only you have, such as your phone. Anytime you’re texted a code or asked to verify your account through email after you’ve entered your password, that’s two-factor authentication.

Other systems use a two-factor authentication app that generates a random code for you to use after you enter your password. AuthPoint and Duo are our favorite two-factor authentication apps. To use them, your team downloads the AuthPoint or Duo app on their phones or smartwatches. When they log into a connected account, the app will send a push notification on them to approve or deny the login.

2. Cloud Backup

With so many people working remotely, offsite access to files and collaboration tools is essential to your team’s productivity. Cloud backup not only provides a fast and secure way for your team to access the information they need from home, it also protects your data from being lost or erased on physical servers. Cloud backup is also affordable, as it requires no infrastructure investment from you.

The Now IT Connects team recommends a SaaS backup for Microsoft 365 and all associated apps in their suite, including Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Groups. This SaaS solution is easy to set up and integrates with all Microsoft products and will back up all files on your Windows computers.

3. Endpoint Protection

Endpoint protection tools are the applications on your computers and other devices that protect your network from cyberattacks. Examples of endpoint protection tools include the antivirus and antimalware apps on your laptop, desktop, or mobile device. They are your last line of defense against cyberattacks.

With so many endpoint protection tools available, it can be difficult to decide which ones to use at your business, and another thing altogether to manage these tools. That’s why we recommend Webroot’s suite of endpoint protection tools. It allows your managed IT provider to monitor and update your endpoint protection tools across all devices from a single dashboard they access on the cloud.

4. Microsoft 365

If you run your business on Windows, integrating the full suite of Microsoft 365 products into your business is a smart move. Not only does this product include the full Office suite, it also includes video conferencing, project management, cloud storage, email, and calendaring. Built-in security features ensure your data is protected.

Microsoft 365 is the most underrated and underutilized tool you likely already own. When we fully integrate Microsoft 365 into our customers’ businesses, we’re often able to save them money and improve their team’s productivity and collaboration.

5. Managed IT Services

If finding, installing, and monitoring these IT tools seems like a full-time job, it is! That’s why most businesses partner with a managed IT service provider to take care of IT. At Now IT Connects, we work with our customers to identify the secure IT tools that will best serve them and their team while keeping their data secure. We handle all updates, upgrades, and security remotely and in real time so your team doesn’t miss a beat.

To work with a managed IT provider or learn more about the five secure IT tools your business needs in 2021, get in touch with the Now IT Connects team today.


Registering Your New Domain Is Easy with Our Tool

how to register your website domain_now it connects

Registering your company’s domain is the crucial first step toward setting up a new website. But choosing a domain provider can be confusing. That’s why Now IT Connects offers domain registration right on our website. Get up and running in just a few easy steps.

1. Come Up with a Great Name

The best name for your domain is one that is easy for both your audience and Google to understand. Choose a name that is simple and easy to remember. Your best option is to simply use your company name.

2. Use Our Domain Registration Tool

Once you’ve settled on a name for your site, visit our domain registration site. There, you can search for and purchase your domain, web hosting, email, and other essential website tools.

3. Purchase Your Domain and Choose a Hosting Platform

To see if your first-choice domain is available, search for it with our tool. If it’s available, great! If not, make sure you have a couple of backup options. If the .com extension is available, we recommend going with that (unless you’re a nonprofit, in which case .org is a good option for you). Notice that the cost of the domain changes depending on the extension. Once you’ve made your decision, add your selection to the cart.

Then, click on “Hosting” in the top navigation bar to select a hosting environment for your domain. This is where your domain will live on the internet. cPanel is a popular choice, as is WordPress. Or, you may choose to host your domain on a dedicated, private server.

4. Add Not-So-Optional Extras

If all you’re interested in is the domain, you could check out at this point. However, we encourage you to consider purchasing some essential security tools first. An SSL certificate lets users who visit your site know you keep their data safe. Google considers SSL certification in its search results. Sites without an SSL certificate are ranked lower than sites with the certificate in place.

Website backup is another service we highly recommend. Don’t put a lot of time, effort, and money into a new site you are not planning to back up and keep safe. Website backup is affordable, automated, and provides a lot of peace of mind.

5. Purchase Email and Online Storage

Don’t forget to add email and online storage to your domain purchase. These services will allow you to send emails from your website domain (john@nowitconnects.com, for example) and add and remove email users with ease. Online storage is a good option for backing up files to the cloud and making it easy for your team to collaborate. Call Now IT Connects to learn more about your Microsoft 365 email and online storage options.

6. Get Online!

You’ve purchased your domain, hosting, SSL, backup, email, and storage. It’s time to get online! The next step is to design a beautiful, optimized website. There are several good DIY options, but we recommend calling in the pros to maximize your investment in your new website. For a recommendation or for help registering your domain, contact our team!


Despite Uncertainty, You Should Still Plan Now for 2021

2020 has been a challenging year, and the one thing we can all rely on is that life is unpredictable. But uncertainty is no reason to forgo 2021 planning. Your business will still need to maintain or update its hardware and software and be protected against cyber threats. Now is the perfect time to start thinking through your IT plan for the year.

Plan for Hardware and Software Updates

Your business’s hardware and software requires regular maintenance and updating. The Now IT Connects team can perform most of this maintenance remotely. But if it has been a few years since you’ve replaced your hardware or reviewed your software to see if it still serves your business, 2021 is the perfect time to assess your IT needs.

If your servers are older or if you still rely on old removal devices to protect your data, consider upgrading your hardware and moving your backup process to the cloud. New systems are faster, more reliable, and can process more data, while cloud backup can save you space in your server room and time switching removal devices, as well as improved peace of mind knowing your data is securely backed up in real time.

You likely also depend on a variety of software or web-based applications to run your business, including project management tools, accounting software, and inventory management applications. Unless you perform regular audits of your IT inventory, you may be missing out on new tools that could improve your team’s productivity and efficiency. In 2021, take a look at all of the systems you have in place at your business. If your list includes several programs that no longer serve you, or if none of your tools are integrated, give Now IT Connects a call.

Protect Your Business against Cyber Threats

This year, we’ve featured several blog posts from our partner Secure Net Pros. If cyber security is not a priority at your business, plan to make it one in 2021. Cyber attacks from bad actors will continue to threaten companies, with small businesses being especially vulnerable to cybercrime. If you do not have a cyber security plan in place for your business, we recommend connecting with the experts at Secure Net Pros.

Find a Trusted IT Partner

Finally, if you are managing the IT at your business all on your own, make 2021 the year you partner with a managed IT provider. Not only will you save hours of time, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your systems and data are maintained and protected. Contact the Now IT Connects team today to discover the possibilities.


Keeping Your Employee Email Safe

employee email safety_Now IT Connects

Email is one of the most powerful tools you have to stay connected to your team and customers. But because it is so essential to doing business, email is a very popular target for hackers and other bad actors. Here are a few email security tips from the Now IT Connects experts. Which ones will you implement today?

Email Security Tip 1: Encourage Strong Email Passwords

A strong password is an email account’s first line of defense. Encourage employees to set strong passwords and require them to change them every so often. Strong passwords use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. They do not include personal information that could be looked up on social media.

To create very strong passwords, ask your employees to think of a memorable phrase (for example, “I Love Now IT Connects”). Then, shorten it to the first letter in each word (ILNIC). Next, add numbers in between each letter (I1L2N3I4C). Put an exclamation point at the end (I1L2N3I4C!), and you have a password that will be very difficult for hackers to guess.

Email Security Tip 2: Require a Secure Internet Connection

A strong password won’t protect an email account that is accessed on public WiFi or other unsecure internet connection. Unsecure networks are easily accessible by bad actors, leaving you and your employees exposed to all sorts of cybercrimes, including identity theft, malware, and ransomware attacks.

Work with your managed IT and network security team to secure your network with a combination of hardware, software, and employee education. Once you have the appropriate hardware and software in place, train your team on why it’s important to only access their email and work applications over a secure network. If they are working remotely at home or at a coffee shop, require them to use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, that will make it nearly impossible for bad actors to find and gain access to your network.

Email Security Tip 3: Teach Email Smarts

Attacks on email are constantly evolving, which is why it’s important to provide regular employee training on new email threats and how to spot and prevent them. Phishing scams, for example, are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Phishing emails may look completely legitimate to an untrained eye or an employee in a rush. But clicking on a link, opening an attachment, or taking another action from a phishing email can create an IT disaster for your company. Train your employees on the types of cyber threats they may encounter. You can even hire Now IT Connects to test your employees with a fake phishing email.

Protecting your employees’ email keeps your entire network and company safe. Protect your data with robust email security. Contact Now IT Connects for expert email support.


Cloud-Based Spam Filtering with Now IT Connects

cloud-based spam protection_Now IT Connects

Malware and ransomware attacks are big business for bad actors. Dozens of high-profile ransomware attacks have already occurred this year. It’s more important than ever to understand this cyber threat and protect your network with cloud-based spam filtering.

Understanding Email Spam Threats

The most common and troublesome email spam threat in 2020 has been ransomware, a subset of malware. Malware is a program a bad actor puts on a computer, often by tricking an email recipient into downloading an attachment or installing fake antivirus software. Once downloaded, malware can wreak havoc on a computer or entire network.

The most devastating malware attack in recent years has been the ransomware attack. In these types of attacks, malware encrypts all the data on a network, holding it ransom until the network owner pays the hackers. Ransomware attacks are a big deal. Experts predict a business falls victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds. Collectively, ransomware attacks are estimated to cost $20 billion by 2021.

Step 1: Encrypt Your Email Data

Protecting your business from ransomware and other cyber attacks starts with a robust, cloud-based spam filtering tool. There are many choices on the market, and Now IT Connects can help you choose the right application for your business. The best cloud-based spam filtering tools encrypt your email data to protect it from the prying eyes of hackers and other bad actors. This makes it harder for cyber criminals to target your network and get their emails through to your employees’ inboxes.

Step 2: Detect and Neutralize Email Attacks

While encrypting your email data can prevent many malware attacks, hackers are constantly evolving their tactics, and some spam will make it through. Your cloud-based spam filter should quickly detect and neutralize these threats so your employees are never tricked into downloading malware onto your network.

Step 3: Continually Update Cloud-Based Spam Filtering

The best cloud-based spam filtering tools are continually learning and updating their protocols to constantly protect your email. This is where cloud-based spam filters outperform anti-malware software you may purchase and download. Since they are based in the cloud, they can be continually updated in real time with no action required on your part. If your spam filter is not cloud-based, you’ll have to remember to update it yourself.

Protecting your email and your employees from malware and ransomware attacks is an essential part of your cyber security plan. Now IT Connects can help you find the cloud-based spam filter that’s right for you and your team. Contact us today.