Managed IT Services

How Can Managed IT Services Benefit Small Businesses?

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, small businesses face numerous challenges when it comes to managing their IT infrastructure efficiently and cost-effectively. The evolving technology landscape, cybersecurity threats, and the need for scalability can be overwhelming for small business owners. This comprehensive guide explores in detail the numerous ways Managed IT Services can benefit small businesses, providing a deep understanding of this essential resource.

What Are Managed IT Services?

Before delving into the benefits, let's thoroughly understand what Managed IT Services entail. Managed IT Services involve outsourcing the management and maintenance of a business's IT infrastructure to a specialized provider. This provider, often referred to as a Managed Service Provider (MSP), takes care of various IT functions, including network management, cybersecurity, data backup, software updates, and more.

Benefits of Managed IT Services for Small Businesses

Cost Savings:

Small businesses often have limited budgets, making it challenging to hire an in-house IT team with the expertise required to manage complex IT systems. Managed IT Services provide a cost-effective alternative. By outsourcing IT management, small businesses can access a team of experts without the expense of hiring full-time staff. This means you can allocate your resources more efficiently and focus on your core business operations.

Enhanced Security:

Cybersecurity threats are a significant concern for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses, in particular, can be vulnerable to cyberattacks due to limited resources for robust security measures. Managed IT Services include robust cybersecurity solutions, such as firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, and regular security audits. These services help protect your business against data breaches, ransomware attacks, and keep your sensitive information safe.

Proactive Monitoring and Maintenance:

Managed IT Service providers offer proactive monitoring of your IT infrastructure. They can identify and address potential issues before they escalate into major problems. This proactive approach helps minimize downtime and ensures that your systems run smoothly, increasing productivity and customer satisfaction. With 24/7 monitoring, your IT provider can respond promptly to any emerging issues, reducing the risk of prolonged outages.


Small businesses often experience fluctuations in their IT needs. Managed IT Services are scalable, allowing you to easily adapt to changes in your business. Whether you're expanding, downsizing, or introducing new technology, your MSP can adjust its services accordingly. This flexibility ensures that you're not overpaying for resources you don't need or struggling to keep up with sudden growth. Scalability allows your IT infrastructure to grow seamlessly with your business.

Focus on Core Competencies:

Outsourcing IT management allows small business owners and employees to concentrate on what they do best – running the business. With IT concerns in capable hands, you can channel your energy into strategic planning, customer service, and business growth. Your staff can focus on their primary roles without the distraction of IT issues, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Access to Advanced Technology:

Staying up-to-date with the latest technology can be expensive and time-consuming. Managed IT Services provide small businesses with access to cutting-edge technology and software without the hefty upfront costs. This ensures that your business remains competitive and can take advantage of technological advancements such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and automation. Your IT provider can also advise you on the best technologies to adopt for your specific needs.

24/7 Support:

IT issues don't adhere to a 9-to-5 schedule. Managed IT Service providers offer round-the-clock support, ensuring that your systems are always available when you need them. This level of support minimizes downtime and reduces the impact of IT-related disruptions on your business operations. Whether it's a critical issue at midnight or a minor glitch during the workday, your IT provider is there to resolve it promptly, keeping your business running smoothly.

Disaster Recovery and Data Backup:

Data loss can be catastrophic for a small business. Managed IT Services include robust data backup and disaster recovery solutions. Your IT provider will implement regular data backups, both onsite and offsite, ensuring that your critical business data is secure and can be quickly restored in case of hardware failure, human error, or cyberattacks. This level of preparedness minimizes downtime, protects your reputation, and prevents significant financial losses.

Compliance and Regulation Adherence:

Certain industries have strict regulations regarding data security and privacy. Managed IT Services providers are well-versed in compliance requirements, such as HIPAA for healthcare or GDPR for data protection. They can help your small business adhere to industry-specific regulations by implementing the necessary security measures, conducting regular audits, and ensuring that your IT infrastructure aligns with compliance standards. This reduces the risk of non-compliance penalties and reputational damage.

Improved Business Continuity:

Managed IT Services play a crucial role in ensuring business continuity. By minimizing IT-related disruptions, your business can operate smoothly even in the face of unforeseen challenges. This resilience is essential for maintaining customer trust and business growth. With reliable IT infrastructure and disaster recovery plans in place, you can confidently navigate unexpected events, whether they are natural disasters, hardware failures, or cybersecurity incidents.

Choosing the Right Managed IT Service Provider

Evaluating Your Business Needs:

Before partnering with a Managed IT Service provider, it's crucial to evaluate your specific business needs thoroughly. Consider factors such as the size of your business, your industry, your current IT infrastructure, and your growth projections. Understanding your unique requirements is the first step in selecting the right IT provider.

Researching and Selecting the Right MSP:

Not all Managed IT Service providers are created equal. Take the time to research and select a provider with a proven track record, industry expertise, and a commitment to meeting your unique requirements. Seek referrals, read customer reviews, and ask potential providers about their experience in serving businesses similar to yours.

Cost Considerations:

While cost savings are a significant benefit of Managed IT Services, it's essential to understand the pricing structure of potential providers fully. Compare pricing models and ensure that you receive a transparent breakdown of costs. Understand what is included in the service agreement and any additional fees that may apply.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs):

Review the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) offered by Managed IT Service Providers. SLAs outline the level of service you can expect, including response times, uptime guarantees, and problem-resolution procedures. A clear SLA helps set expectations and ensures that you receive the support and service quality you require.

Implementing Managed IT Services

Onboarding and Integration:

Once you've selected a Managed IT Service provider, the onboarding process begins. Your provider will work with your team to integrate their services seamlessly into your existing IT infrastructure. This process involves assessing your current setup, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing the necessary changes. Effective onboarding ensures a smooth transition to Managed IT Services without disruptions.

Training and Education:

Ensure that your employees receive adequate training and education on the use of Managed IT Services. This step is essential for maximizing the benefits and efficiency of the services provided. Training sessions can cover topics such as using new software tools, following cybersecurity best practices, and understanding how to access IT support when needed.

Monitoring and Performance:

Ongoing monitoring and performance assessments are essential to ensure that Managed IT Services continue to meet your business needs. Regular reviews with your provider can help identify areas for improvement and optimization. Monitoring tools and reports allow you to track the performance of your IT infrastructure, ensuring that it operates at peak efficiency.

Adapting to Changing Business Needs:

As your business evolves, your IT requirements may change. Work closely with your Managed IT Service provider to adapt and scale services as needed to support your growth and evolving technology needs. Your provider should be a strategic partner who can advise you on technology investments and solutions that align with your business goals.

Unleash the Power of Managed IT Services for Small Business Success

In conclusion, Managed IT Services offer small businesses a wide range of benefits, from cost savings and enhanced security to scalability and access to advanced technology. By outsourcing IT management to a specialized provider, small businesses can focus on their core competencies, improve productivity, and ensure the continuity of their operations.

If you're a small business owner looking to harness the advantages of Managed IT Services, consider partnering with Unique Computing Solutions. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing secure, scalable, and reliable network support tailored to your specific needs.

Contact us today to learn more about how Unique Computing Solutions can help your small business thrive in the digital age.

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Elevating Your Small Business's Security with Password Managers

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, securing sensitive information is paramount. Small businesses, forming the backbone of many economies, are no exception to this rule. But with the multitudes of platforms and services necessary for operations, password fatigue makes it easy to get bogged down. The solution? A password manager. This tool is a simple yet potent ally in safeguarding your business data. Let’s delve deeper into elevating your small business’s security with password managers.

Understanding Password Managers

A password manager is a software application that helps store and manage passwords for various online services and applications. The primary purpose of this tool is to foster more robust security practices by encouraging the use of complex, unique passwords for different platforms without the need to memorize each one. You only need to remember a master password, which grants access to your secure vault of passwords.

How It Works

The functionality of a password manager can be broken down into these core steps:

1.) Installation & Setup: You begin by installing a password manager application on your devices. During the setup process, you will create a master password. This master password is the key to accessing your password vault.
2.) Adding Passwords: Add your existing usernames and passwords to the password manager. Once set up, you can add these details manually or let the password manager prompt you to save credentials as you log into various services.
3.) Generating Passwords: Password managers can generate complex passwords for you, which are hard to crack compared to user-created passwords. These generated passwords are stored securely in the password vault, ready for use.
4.) Auto-Fill & Auto-Login: One of the significant benefits of using a password manager is the convenience it offers through auto-filling and auto-login features. It automatically fills in your username and password fields on recognized websites, saving you time and protecting against phishing attacks.
5.) Multi-Device Synchronization: Many password managers offer the ability to synchronize your password vault across various devices, ensuring that you have access to your passwords whether you are on your mobile, tablet, or computer.

Why Your Business Needs a Password Manager

Enhanced Security

Using a password manager promotes using unique, complex passwords for each service, minimizing the risk of password reuse, which is a common avenue for cyber-attacks. Furthermore, it helps to protect your business against phishing scams, as it only auto-fills credentials on genuine websites.


By preventing data breaches through robust password management, your business can avoid the potential financial losses associated with cyber-attacks. It also saves time for your employees, as they no longer need to reset forgotten passwords constantly.

Simplified Compliance

For businesses required to adhere to various data protection regulations, using a password manager can be a step towards compliance, demonstrating that your company takes data security seriously.

Employee Education and Adoption

Implementing a password manager is also an opportunity to foster a security-conscious culture within your business. By encouraging employees to use the password manager for professional and personal use, you promote better security habits across the board.

Integrating a password manager into your business operations is not just a smart move; it’s a vital step towards safeguarding your business assets in the digital age. As you venture forward in bolstering your business’s cybersecurity infrastructure, consider adopting a password manager as a foundational tool in your security toolkit. Start today, and take a proactive step towards a safer, more secure business environment!

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Why the Animal Care Industry Needs a Robust Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan

Every industry, from finance to healthcare, requires a steadfast approach to securing operations. The animal care industry, which plays a critical role in ensuring the welfare and health of our beloved animals, is no exception. As an IT company, we cannot stress enough the significance of having a Business Continuity and Disaster recovery plan for your animal care establishment. Here's why the animal care industry needs a robust Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan.

Dependence on Digital Systems is Growing

From patient records to billing, scheduling to procurement – modern animal care facilities increasingly rely on digital tools and software. The loss of such devices, even temporarily, can cripple operations and jeopardize animal care.

Natural Disasters Can Strike Anytime

Hurricanes, floods, fires, or earthquakes can have a devastating effect on physical infrastructures. In the blink of an eye, a facility can be rendered inoperable, placing the animals and the business at risk.

Cyber Threats Are Real

The digital age brings the risk of cyber-attacks, data breaches, and ransomware. Protecting sensitive data is not just a legal obligation but is critical for maintaining the trust of your clients and stakeholders.

Steps to Create a Robust Continuity and Recovery Plan

Risk Assessment

Begin by identifying potential threats – both digital and physical. Understand the vulnerabilities of your existing system. This could range from unprotected patient data to a lack of backup power solutions.

Prioritize Critical Functions

Not all functions are of equal importance. Prioritizing will help ensure that the most critical operations are restored first during an outage or disaster.

Develop a Communication Plan

During a crisis, effective communication is vital. Whether it's to notify staff about operational changes or inform clients about the status of their animals, a communication strategy will keep everyone in the loop.

Data Backup and Recovery

Digital data should be backed up regularly, both onsite and offsite. Consider cloud solutions for added redundancy. Regularly test your backups to ensure they can be restored quickly when needed.

Physical Infrastructure Protections

For those in areas prone to natural disasters, think about structural reinforcements or relocation options. Invest in backup power solutions to keep critical systems running during power outages.

Train Your Team

Everyone should know their role during a crisis. Regularly review and rehearse the plan with your team to prepare them to act swiftly and decisively.

Review and Update Your Plan

A continuity and disaster recovery plan is more than just a one-and-done deal. As your business grows and evolves, so should your plan. Regularly review, test, and refine your strategies.

In the animal care industry, we deal with lives that depend on our timely and effective care. Just as we wouldn't compromise on the quality of medical tools or facilities, we shouldn't compromise on the systems that underpin our operations. Remember, it's not just about protecting your business; it's about ensuring that no matter what, our furry friends are always taken care of. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help your practice build a sureproof Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan, please click here.

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Essential Cybersecurity Practices for Remote Workers

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically transformed how we work, with remote work becoming the new norm for many organizations. While remote work offers numerous benefits, it also brings its fair share of cybersecurity challenges. As more employees access sensitive company information and systems from home, organizations must prioritize cybersecurity practices to safeguard their digital landscape. Let's explore essential cybersecurity practices for remote workers, helping businesses maintain robust security in an increasingly virtual work environment.

Strengthen Password Security:

Strong passwords are the first line of defense against cyber threats. Remote workers must adopt good password practices, such as using complex and unique passwords for each account. Encourage the use of password managers to store and generate strong passwords securely. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible to add an extra layer of security.

Secure Network Connections:

Remote workers often rely on home networks or public Wi-Fi, which can be vulnerable to attacks. Encourage employees to secure their home networks with strong, unique passwords for their routers. Encourage the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) to encrypt internet connections and ensure secure data transmission, especially when accessing company resources remotely. To learn more about the importance of a VPN for your business, please see our blog post here.

Update Software Regularly:

Outdated software is a common entry point for cybercriminals. Remote workers should regularly update their operating systems, applications, and security patches to protect against known vulnerabilities. Employ automated updates whenever possible to ensure employees run the latest, most secure software versions.

Implement Robust Endpoint Protection:

Endpoint security protects remote work devices from malware and unauthorized access. Ensure all remote work devices, including laptops and mobile devices, are equipped with up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware software. Enable firewalls to prevent unauthorized access and configure devices to lock automatically after a period of inactivity.

Educate Employees on Phishing and Social Engineering:

Remote workers are often targeted through phishing emails and social engineering tactics. Provide regular cybersecurity awareness training to educate employees on identifying and reporting suspicious emails, links, and attachments. Encourage a culture of skepticism and vigilance when interacting with unfamiliar or unexpected communication.

Enforce Data Backup and Encryption:

Remote workers should be encouraged to regularly back up their work-related data to secure cloud storage or external devices. Implement robust encryption protocols to protect sensitive information during transmission and storage. In a security breach or device failure, regular backups ensure that critical data remains safe and accessible.

Monitor and Control Access:

Implement access controls and privilege management to limit access to sensitive company data and resources. For secure access, use robust authentication methods, such as biometrics or smart cards. Regularly review and revoke access privileges for employees who have changed roles or left the organization to minimize the risk of insider threats.

Establish Incident Response and Reporting Procedures:

Despite implementing robust cybersecurity measures, incidents may still occur. Establish clear incident response procedures that outline steps to be taken in the event of a security breach. Encourage employees to report any security incidents promptly to the designated IT personnel. Conduct post-incident analyses to identify weaknesses and improve security protocols.

As remote work reshapes the modern workplace, organizations must proactively address the evolving cybersecurity landscape. By implementing the essential cybersecurity practices outlined in this blog post, businesses can mitigate risks and maintain a secure digital environment. Prioritizing password security, securing network connections, updating software, educating employees, and implementing robust endpoint protection are critical steps toward safeguarding your organization's valuable data and infrastructure in the remote work era. Stay vigilant, adapt to emerging threats, and ensure cybersecurity remains a top priority for your remote workforce.

Person Hacking Computer

Poison Attacks 101

Smart technology is everywhere. Not just in our offices, but even in our day-to-day lives with tools like Google Home and Alexa becoming a commonplace. With technology becoming smarter every minute, the risks are increasing by the minute as well. Cyber-criminals are finding new ways to corrupt our IT networks to disrupt our businesses, hold our data hostage and even clear out personal bank accounts. Some of the more overt, commonly known acts of cyber-crime include hacking, phishing, and ransomware attacks. This article discusses a lesser-known cyber-crime. Let's take a look at Poison Attacks 101.

What Are Poison Attacks

Poison attacks are attacks on the ability of a system to make smart decisions. Think about this for a second. How do systems make intelligent decisions? Based on the training or data they receive. This data is used to hone the artificial intelligence of the system to help make smart decisions. Poison attacks mess with the very base layer – the training data set - by skewing the system’s data model in such a way that the output is no longer as intended. They create a new normal for everything and are primarily used as a backdoor attack method. In a backdoor poison attack, the attacker creates a loophole in the core data rule and trains the system to adhere to that rule so it can be exploited at a later time.

For example, let’s say the access control for a particular file is set such that it will allow only those beyond the VP level to view the data. If someone changes the main parameter to include manager level access, the core data set is violated and the system will not detect an intrusion by someone at the manager level, even if they log in with their credentials.

Poison Attack Methodologies

Poison attack methodologies typically fall into one of the following 4 categories:

    • Logic Corruption
    • Data Manipulation
    • Data Injection
    • DNS Cache Poisoning

Logic Corruption

In Logic Corruption, the attacker changes the basic logic used to make the system arrive at an output. It essentially changes the way the system learns, applies new rules and corrupts the system to do whatever the attacker wants.

Data Manipulation

In Data Manipulation, as the name suggests, the attacker manipulates the data to extend data boundaries that result in backdoor entries that can be exploited later. Unlike Logic Corruption, the attacker doesn’t have access to the logic, so they work with the existing rule and push data boundaries further with a view to accommodate them later.

Data Injection

In Data Injection, the attacker inserts fake data into the actual data set to skew the data model and ultimately weaken the outcome. The weakened outcome then serves as an easy entryway for the attacker into the victim’s system.

Protecting Yourself Against Poison Attacks

Data poisoning by way of logic corruption, data manipulation and data injection happens when the attacker finds a way to access your data set. The kind of poison attack varies depending on the level of access the attacker is able to achieve. Here’s what you can do to ensure such access is prevented:

  1. The data poisoning attacks discussed above adversely affect your IT system’s machine learning capabilities. So, the first logical step would be to invest in a good machine learning malware detection tool. These tools are different from the typical anti-malware tools you get in the market and are specifically designed to prevent machine learning capability poisoning.
  2. Always follow general IT security best practices such as:
    • Training your employees to identify spam, phishing attempts, and possible malware attacks.
    • Following good password hygiene, which means never sharing passwords and only using passwords that meet the required security standards.
    • Having a powerful IT audit process, tracking and version control tools, so as to thwart any possible insider attack.
    • Ensuring the physical security of your IT systems by way of bio-metric access, CCTV systems, etc.

DNS Cache Poisoning

In one of the most common poisoning attacks, the attacker poisons the DNS Cache with the aim of leading visitors to a fake website. In a DNS cache poisoning case, the attacker gains control of the DNS server and then manipulates cache data such that anyone typing the URL of the actual website is redirected to the fake one. This could be a phishing site where the attacker would have carefully laid out a trap to capture the unsuspecting victim’s personal data or secure information. For example, the visitor thinks they are logging into their bank’s website online, but are actually on the attacker’s phishing site, where they enter the login credentials.

Protecting Yourself Against DNS Cache Poisoning Attacks

As discussed before, one of the most common poisoning attacks are DNS attacks. You can prevent this by bringing a trained professional onboard for your DNS server set-up. An expert will know to set up your DNS server such that it has a minimum relationship with other, external DNS servers, thus limiting your attacker’s ability to corrupt your DNS server using theirs.

As a best practice, ensure that your DNS servers only store data related to your domain and not any other information. It is harder to corrupt the system when it focuses on a single element.

Another best practice is to ensure that you are up-to-date on all DNS security mechanisms and are using the most recent version of the DNS.

Ensure your site has an SSL certificate and is using HTTPS protocol. Using encryption, a site with HTTPS protocol allows for a more secure connection between its server and the internet and is better at keeping cyber-criminals out. Have an SSL certificate also ensures your site’s name shows up alongside the URL in the address bar. This is an easy way for visitors to identify if they are on a genuine site or not, thus helping them steer clear of phishing attacks and clone sites.

Data poisoning is one of the lesser-known and hence less talked about forms of cyber-crime. But, it can inflict great damage – perhaps even more damage than the other obvious threats such as viruses and ransomware, because, unlike a Denial of Service (DDoS) attack or a Ransomware attack where you know the moment the malware has hit your system, in a data poisoning attack, the malware is incorrect data that slithers into your system quietly and changes its overall functioning before delivering the big blow.

Preventing attacks on your data and infrastructure is where Unique Computing Solutions specializes with comprehensive Managed Security Service packages an a complete team of professionally educated technicians to back it all up. Give us a call today to see how we can help improve your security from day one: 708-922-9444

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Cloud Security Essentials

More and more businesses are switching to the Cloud to store their data and rightly so. The Cloud offers numerous benefits over the traditional, physical on-site server, however it also comes with it's own potential issues. Follow along as we explore Cloud Security Essentials in the article below.

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Employees and Cybersecurity

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IT Checklists for SMBs

Whether you have your own in-house IT Team, or have outsourced your IT needs to be taken care of by a Managed Service Provider, you need to have a bunch of ‘IT Checklists’ readily available...and that can be a daunting task. Stay tuned and follow along as we provide our Must-Have IT Checklists for SMBs that you can use for your own business.

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SMB Security Tips - Our Top 7

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Windows Feature Updates - What, Why, How?

Over the past few years Microsoft has worked heavily on creating a new style of Windows OS that is packed full of features, applications and optimizations that have helped countless number of organizations and users transition into the modern, technology driven environment we all experience today. We’ve all seen the ads on TV, or the stickers on devices when you walk into an electronics store, and it’s likely that the most significant of these upgrades you have experienced in recent years was the move from Windows 7/8 to Windows 10.

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