An Overview of the Fundamentals of IT Consultant Success

For those who are thinking of becoming an IT consultant, this is a great position for those who have the experience and skills necessary to deliver successful projects and assist clients in a timely manner. The fact is that numerous companies are in need of consultants with expertise in numerous areas including big data, data center transformation, IoT, and cybersecurity. Because this is such a period of need, the pay for IT consultants is also on the rise. There are a few skills that every successful IT consultant must have to be successful in this rapidly growing field.

Strong Interview Skills

There are some people who feel like IT consultants spend their days working with machines; however, this is only part of the picture. In order to land a job, IT consultants will be interviewed by multiple people throughout the company. They are going to be asked a number of important questions that are going to ask them to elaborate on their IT skills. In this position, IT consultants will have to possess strong interview skills to ensure their responses are polished and professional. This will allow them to go into the interview with a sense of confidence, which will be noticed by the company. The best way to approach this issue is to practice interviews with a mentor.

Review Contracts and Agreements

Often, IT consultants work with multiple clients at the same time. This means that multiple contracts are going to be drawn up for each separate job. It is important for consultants to read their contracts carefully to make sure they are actually signing up for the position for which they interviewed. Sometimes, there might be discrepancies between what is in the contract and what was discussed. Some of the common issues that IT consultants must explore in the contract include hours, costs, who covers outside expenses, milestones, and deadlines. It can be hard for someone without a lot of contract experience to pick up the legal jargon. In this situation, it could be helpful to hire a contract professional to review the agreement.

Have the Right Credentials and Affiliations

When companies are hiring an IT consultant, they want to make sure the consultant knows his or her stuff. Credentials and affiliations are a reflection of this knowledge. For example, some consultants have a certification in project management which is specific to certain skills. Other certifications might include AWS Certified Solutions Architect. There are also professional affiliations that some IT professionals can earn. It is important to examine these credentials and affiliations, presenting them in a manner that meets the needs of the client.

Networking Is Key

One of the challenges of being an IT consultant is that the position might not be permanent. Once the job is done, it is time to find new work. In order to keep up a steady stream of work, it can be helpful to network and collect references. Furthermore, when applying for a new gig, any potential employer is almost certainly going to ask for references. While this can be a challenge when first starting out, building good relationships with peers and prior clients can be an important advantage when applying for a new job. Some of the information to include on any application include past experiences, research positions, industry relationships, colleagues, and anyone else who might be willing to vouch for the quality of prior jobs. This can make or break a potential new gig.

Rely on the Professional IT Consultant Services of Secur01

At Secur01, we are a rapidly growing cybersecurity and managed IT services firm. From the first day we opened our doors, we have placed the needs of our clients first. Our professionals are highly trained and experienced, protecting clients against the latest cybersecurity threats while also providing cloud migration and maintenance services. If you are looking for professionals IT services, give us a call today to learn more about our services! We would be happy to help you with all of your IT needs.

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The Most Important Skills that Every IT Person Should Possess

Among the various industries, one of the fastest-growing is information technology. Often shortened to IT, nearly every industry requires advanced IT services in order to efficiently handle tasks and process information. This is critical for making sure companies are able to keep up with their competition. For this reason, IT professionals are some of the most sought-after individuals in the world. At the same time, it is important to hire the right IT professionals for the job. There are a few key skills that every IT professional must possess.

The Ability to Fix Basic PC Issues

It should go without saying that this is the most essential skill. When PCs go down, companies grind to a halt. For this reason, basic PC issues must be handled quickly by trained IT professionals. Some of the most important issues that an IT professional should be able to handle quickly include mapping a printer, backing up files, adding a network card, examining graphics card issues, and identifying issues that might be related to power problems. Now, an IT professional doesn’t have to be a professional who can hack into networks, but if someone works as an IT pro, they should be able to handle basic problems related to computers.

Handle the IT Help Desk Efficiently

In addition to fixing PC problems, IT professionals need to be able to handle the help desk with ease. Everyone from the CIO to the senior architect must be able to sit at the help desk and answer phones, respond to emails, and handle chat assistance with ease. It is important to not just be able to fix problems but to be able to fix them efficiently. As IT professionals get used to working the help desk, they should get faster at handling a variety of issues. Furthermore, this skill is important because it could prevent problems from escalating and mushrooming into major issues in the future.

The Ability to Train New IT Professionals

As companies grow, so will their IT needs. This means that companies might need to hire more IT professionals. In this situation, they are probably going to turn to their existing IT professionals to teach the new hires. Therefore, not only should a professional be able to handle issues on their own but they should be able to train new individuals as well. The reality remains that the best way to learn is to teach. The mantra of see one, do one, teach one is alive and well in the world of IT.

Handle Basic Networking ISsues

Regardless of the position someone occupies in the IT field, they need to be able to handle basic networking issues. It is critical for professionals to understand how networks are designed, how they handle inputs from users, and how they help the company handle issues efficiently. This means that IT professionals should be able to handle simple troubleshooting issues as well. It is important to understand DNS, how to check this, how to ping, and how to trace-route machines. These skills will place some IT professionals above their peers.

Take Care of Basic System Administration

Finally, IT professionals are also going to be asked to handle basic system administration issues. Some of the topics covered under this category include file permissions, various access levels, and how machines communicate with domain controllers. While IT professionals might not be expected to be experts in this field, it is still important to know the basics because this can save time and stress on behalf of both the IT department and the company’s leadership staff.

Rely on the Services of Secur01

At Secur01, our goal is to provide advanced, professional IT services for our clients. This includes cybersecurity, cloud migration assistance, backup services, and disaster recovery services, if required. Our professionals have been trained to handle IT issues efficiently. If you are in need of IT professionals for your business, give us a call today! We would be happy to help you with your IT needs!

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How the Internet of Things Is Changing Cybersecurity

It’s no secret, the internet and the way we use it has changed a lot within the last few decades. Our society has become more and more dependent on the internet and there is no sign of this trend slowing down. Nevertheless, in an age in which more and more things are being done online, finding the best methods of maintaining optimal cybersecurity has become essential. That said, the following is a closer look at how the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the world of cybersecurity.

What is the IoT?

For those who are yet unfamiliar, the IoT is a term used to describe any type of device that has an on/off switch being connected to the internet. This includes everything from cell phones and TVs to parts of complex machines such as jet engines or oil rig drills. In other words, the IoT is a blanket term to describe the massive network of things that are connected via the internet. This also includes the people who help to operate and repair these devices.

Advantages of the IoT?

Although some people are naturally fearful of new concepts and technologies, there are plenty of advantages to the IoT. Some of which are as follows:

  • Remote Access: One of the biggest benefits of the IoT is that it allows both business owners and homeowners the ability to control IoT devices remotely, from virtually anywhere in the world. This means they can do things such as lock doors, check appliances, turn off lights, etc. without being physically present. This is a major game-changer in terms of how businesses and properties are managed and maintained.
  • Preventative Maintenance: Additionally, the IoT allows to collect data that can be used to uncover the early warning signs of potential mechanical failure. This not only saves time but it can also save money. For instance, this can allow businesses and homeowners to make more informed decisions about energy and equipment usage.

How the IoT is Changing Cybersecurity

Now that we have learned what the IoT is and why it is so important, let’s take a look at how it is changing the world of cybersecurity. In particular, given the widespread use of the IoT, hackers have more opportunities than ever to find ways to breach various networks across the globe. Additionally, hackers also have the potential to IoT devices as a part of botnet, which is a large number of computers and devices that are under one hacker’s (or one group of hackers’) control.

For instance, in January 2014, it was discovered that just one of these attacks allower hackers to seize control of over 100,000 devices such as televisions, routers, multimedia centers, and more. To make matters worse, the hacker then used the devices to 750,000 malicious emails to companies and individuals worldwide, in just a two week time span.

Additionally, in the same year, German officials revealed that after hacking into the system of a steel manufacturer, hackers managed to cause massive physical damage to the facility by disabling one of the company’s blast furnaces. Moving forward, experts are concerned that hackers may be able to hack and control more complex pieces of machinery, such as vehicles, and being able to hijack them with the click of a button. Based on these examples alone, it should be clear why the use of the IoT has created a major need for products that help businesses and individuals maintain optimal cybersecurity.

The Future of the IoT

The widespread use of the IoT has created a time of vulnerability and extreme uncertainty. Nevertheless, there is an undeniable value and convenience of using IoT technology, as long as it can be safely implemented. For this reason, many businesses and homeowners are collaborating with their trusted IT partners to create safe solutions in a timely manner.

 

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Fundamentals of Penetration Testing

Although the world of cyber threats has evolved in recent years, so has the world of cybersecurity. There are now new methods of protecting your computers, devices, and personal information emerging on a regular basis. Penetration testing is an example of one of those innovations.

What is Penetration Testing?

For those who are yet unfamiliar, penetration testing is a type of test that is designed to assess your system before a hacker does. By simulating real-world attack scenarios, conducting a pentest helps companies find and fix security gaps that could lead to security breaches. In other words, penetration testing involves creating fake attacks to mimic the attacks of most cyber hackers. From there, it fixes the issues to prevent these attackers from stealing records, intellectual property, personal identifiable information (PII), cardholder data, protected health information, compromised credentials, and more.

Stages of Penetration Testing

Now that we know what penetration testing is, let’s take a look at the stages of this process. They are as follows:

  • Recon & info gathering: Before your system is ready to undergo penetration testing, it must gather suitable information on the potential target. This is done in order to establish an attack plan that is as effective as possible.
  • Scanning: From there, a series of scans are performed on the target to assess how the systems will prevent multiple potential attacks. Once the system finds the vulnerabilities, open ports, and other areas of weakness, this helps dictate how pen testers will proceed with the planned attack.
  • Gaining Access: Once data has been collected, penetration testers use common web application attacks such as SQL Injection and Cross-Site Scripting to better analyze any existing vulnerabilities. Once they have gained access, testers attempt to mimic the actions that most hackers tend to take to cause harm to your system.
  • Maintaining Access: The main goal of this stage is to try to remain in the system as long as possible. This allows the testers to mimic advanced persistent threats that can cause long-term damages.
  • Covering Tracks/ Analysis: Once the engagement is complete, any trace of the attacks are removed. Log events, scripts, and other executables that could be discovered by the target should be completely untraceable. They are then sent a comprehensive report with an in-depth analysis of the entire engagement. This will be shared with the target to show the great threats to security, gaps in security measures, the potential impact of a breach, and a variety of other security-related issues.

How is penetration testing performed?

Penetration testing can be performed by an in-house team using pen testing tools or with the help of a professional, such as a penetration testing service provider.

How Do You Test the “User Risk” to Your IT Security Chain?

Users also present an additional risk factor. Systems can be attacked as a result of human error and/or compromised credentials. If the cybersecurity attacks and data breaches have taught us anything, it’s that the easiest way for a hacker to enter a network and steal data or funds is still through network users. Nevertheless, a pen tester can attempt to use password guessing of existing account users to gain access to systems and applications, and assess the overall risk.

The Bottom Line of Penetration Testing

Through penetration testing, security professionals are able to find and test the security of networks of all kinds. These penetration testing tools and services help you quickly gain insight into the areas of highest risk. This makes it possible for companies to effectively plan security budgets and projects. By thoroughly testing a business’s IT infrastructure, businesses are able to take the precautions needed to secure vital data from cybersecurity hackers, while also lowering the response time of an IT department in the event of a cyber attack.

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AuthPoint Supports Remote Cloud-Based Work

AuthPoint MFA is your first line of defense against hackers and other threats against your cloud-based applications and services. The format is as simple as it gets – you just sign up and use the existing programs to greatly improve your data protection while embracing the benefits of cloud-based services and data storage. Here is a closer look at how it works and will help your business do better.

How an MFA Service Helps

MFA is short for “multi-factor authentication” and requires more than just a simple password. With AuthPoint MFA, you can approve or deny various login tries with one touch on your smartphone or other mobile device. The simple yet effective program is easy to load, simple to use, and highly effective at protecting your vital and sensitive information. You get multi-layered protections that prevent unwarranted access and intrusions in the cloud-based

How to Get Started with AuthPoint MFA

Getting started is incredibly simple. There is no special equipment or specialized skills You just connect AuthPoint to your lightweight directory access protocol, which the digital technology industry commonly refers to as LDAP. The directory works as a database listing and firewall to prevent unauthorized access. You simply download the AuthPoint Gateway and connect to the RADIUS client tool. You do not need hardware of any kind or any special software to set up and start enjoying the benefits of AuthPoint MFA security protection.

How Subscriber Accounts Work

We provide subscription-based security that licenses and tracks each user. Our WatchGuard portal lists active AuthPoint user licenses and the history of use for each licensed user. You just click on the listed user license by using WatchGuard Cloud Subscriber accounts to view the relevant information and data. As a service provider, AuthPoint lets you add new licenses, add more users to an existing license, and extend user licenses while enabling full user data tracking.

Supports Mobile Technology

Your AuthPoint subscribers can use their mobile phones, tablet devices, and other mobile technology to sign up and use your system. Mobile technology is the preferred way for the vast majority of consumers to access the internet. Our cloud-based program fully supports mobile technology and ensures the widest reach for your base of subscribers. That gives them the greatest flexibility in signing up by

AuthPoint Supports Third-Party Apps and Software

AuthPoint works perfectly with Microsoft Office 365 and Firebox Mobile VPN. Several easily installed programs fully support two of the most commonly and widely used programs for communicating online and with mobile devices. The security is first-rate and continually optimized to ensure the best possible performance and results. You can add external users and ensure the system will perform flawlessly.

Try AuthPoint Free for 60 Days

You can learn firsthand just how well AuthPoint can serve your needs and protect your data. All new AuthPoint users get to try the platform free with a 60-day license. If you decide AuthPoint is the ideal solution for your 21st century computing and business needs, you can turn your 60-day free trial into a permanent paid service subscription.

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Rethinking Your IT Hardware Maintenance & Support Strategy

If you are running your own business, then you know just how integral your technology is. Your networks, servers, hardware, and software all play a role in the way your business functions. While it is important for you to think about your overhead costs, it is also critical for you to invest in the latest hardware and software, as this is going to influence your ability to compete in the modern world. This means that you are going to have to change the approach that you take to technology. Instead of focusing on how expensive everything is, what kind of business could you create if you geared your IT towards growth instead of focusing on keeping the costs as low as possible?

This is a type of mindset that every company should take when it comes to maintaining, deploying, and managing their various technology assets. Some of the areas in which they should focus include upgrading their components, relying on specialists to manage their IT, and rethinking how they can extend the life of their gear and select the equipment they use. In order for your company to grow, it needs to have the right technological support. This means coming up with a strategy that encourages the company to develop and refine its technology assets instead of dealing with fixed assets. This means that companies need to look for ways to both grow and improve on what they are already doing.

Not All Equipment Is The Same

The reality is that this type of mindset must apply to the procurement of equipment as well. Not all equipment is the same. After all computers, routers, and servers are all different. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to treat all equipment the same. It is a good idea to turn to the secondary market to look for new pieces of equipment, as there might be some equipment that still works very well despite being considered “old” by the people who make them. This means that you should rethink how you procure this type of equipment. Sure, the shiny, flashy, new equipment might be great in some situations; however, the secondary market might also provide some great items in some situations. Of course, in order for you to know which equipment is good to purchase on the secondary market, it is a good idea to rely on the professionals for help.

In many cases, equipment that is only one generation old is found on the secondary market. Similar to smartphones that are only one generation old, they provide a tremendous opportunity for savings while still providing exceptional functionality. In some cases, people might be able to get ten years of life out of some of this equipment. The savings could be 50 percent or more off of the original price. Think about what you can do with this type of financial flexibility.

Furthermore, many of the options for pre-owned equipment also arrives fully configured and assembled. This makes it easier to deploy. This is one of the most important reasons why companies need to turn to the secondary market and invest in some of the equipment they find there.

Engaging with the Secondary Market

Of course, it is also important for shoppers to be informed so that they can make the best decisions for their company. Try to make sure there is guaranteed authenticity of whatever is purchased by the company. Make sure to get a guarantee for firmware updates as well. If the purchase comes bundled with software, it is important to figure out what this software is and why it is being included with the bundle.

When buying servers, it is important to be aware of what the server can handle and what the needs are. While many companies do like to have the most powerful server, this isn’t always necessary for what they do. For other companies, this type of power might be necessary. Don’t spend money needlessly.

One good facet to consider is the confidence of the seller in the product. Sellers who are confident in the quality of the material they sell will offer a warranty of at least a year. They might even throw in replacement guarantees if something goes wrong. The seller should be willing to provide this type of coverage if they are confident in the equipment they sell. If they are unwilling to provide this warranty, then this is a reflection of how they truly feel about the equipment they are selling.

An Innovative Approach to IT

In today’s era, there is a constant push to innovate and change the way organizations approach the field of IT. There are a tremendous number of misconceptions in the world of technology. Yes, it is great to have the latest and greatest equipment on the market; however, companies need to know that this isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, something that is one generation old could provide savings of 50 percent and still get the job done. Instead of focusing on the flashy ads, take the time to truly understand the needs of the business. Then, invest in technology that will meet those needs.

Of course, we also understand that not every company has the time to knowledge to fully understand their needs. That is why we are here to help. If you are looking for technology professionals who can help your company, then rely on us.

Contact Secur01 Today

At Secur01, we are a rapidly growing and developing IT and cybersecurity firm. We have worked hard to position ourselves to provide the local area with the IT assistance necessary to grow and develop a business. We provide maintenance plans to ensure that your company gets everything it can out of its IT assets. We also provide assistance for companies looking to migrate to cloud servers. Finally, we also make sure that our clients have access to the latest cybersecurity tools on the market. If you are looking for reliable IT professionals, then please contact us today!

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What Is the Definition of Sustainable IT?

As a business leader, you might feel like sustainability and profitability cannot go together. In some cases, this line of thinking is correct; however, the discussion should not end there. Instead of assuming the two are diametrically opposed, it is a good idea to try to find a way to get them to work together. When it comes to IT, this type of reconciliation is possible. Sustainable IT is a possibility; however, it is something that requires a comprehensive approach. In many cases, this entails a fundamental shift in how someone approaches problems and how businesses value not only their own success but the future of the global community as well.

Invest in Used Hardware

Often, businesses are focused on investing in the latest equipment and hardware in the field. In many cases, companies simply do not need this type of power. They end up spending more money when they don’t receive any benefit from it. In reality, investing in used hardware is great for business. In some cases, this hardware will last just as long as something new while also helping businesses cut their overhead costs.

Furthermore, this is good for the environment as well. Sustainable IT means investing in equipment by recycling, reusing, or repurposing IT equipment. Even equipment that has been deemed to be at the end of its life will still last for years if handled correctly. In order to ensure this equipment lasts as long as it possibly can, it is important to stick to a proper maintenance schedule. When something isn’t maintained properly, the result is a catastrophe. This also means having a backup plan.

In reality, having a backup plan is one of the greenest investments someone can make. Anyone who aims to have a piece of equipment as long as possible should have a backup plan. Finding affordable maintenance partners is one of the keys to the success of any green strategy. While many companies like to save money by skipping this type of maintenance, the reality is that this is only going to drive up costs in the future.

The Relationship of IT Waste and Growth

There is an inherent line of thinking that consumption is a good thing; however, this consumption also comes with a cost. That cost is borne by the environment. It is critical to separate the idea of waste generation as a necessity in the world of growth. This is one of the biggest challenges of business today; however, this is also one of the most pressing issues.

The reality is that the Earth is getting warmer as a whole and this is leading to catastrophic environmental consequences. If it seems like there is a consistent setting of “hottest day” records in a given location, that is because this is the case. Recently, a slew of environmental disasters led to more than $1.5 trillion in damages in a single year. As the Earth warms up, severe hurricanes are going to become more common, leading to even more expenses in the world of disaster relief. As a people, we are pushing the environment to its limits and we do not have a solid maintenance plan in place.

Why does this matter to the IT  field? Because the field of IT is contributing to the problem. There are a few ways in which the approach to technology needs to change for the good of the environment as a whole.

Technology Requirements Must Change

The reality is that new technology does not always mean that it is going to be better. This is especially true is the requirements of new technology are inherently opposed to any climate goals that have been put in place. Today, many people look at “new” technology as “better” if it is faster, bigger, stronger, or possesses other innovations. Sure, some of these benefits are great for certain companies that have these needs; however, it is just as important for technology to focus on how they are going to prevent the generation of waste that could be damaging to the environment. Furthermore, this should be mandated that should be included in all new devices. With the massive mismanagement of IT assets, there is a tremendous amount of environmental damage that stems from IT waste.

Some of the major contributors to climate change include electricity generation, manufacturing, transportation, and even buildings. All of these are major contributors when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these have roles when it comes to IT. This is why it is important for companies to take a hard look at their own infrastructure and ask whether or not it is sustainable.

Is Your Business Infrastructure Sustainable?

If you are in a leadership position in your company, then you need to take a close look at the choices you make and ask whether or not the decisions you are making are sustainable. Many companies tout having the latest in the world of energy-efficient processors. At the same time, think about the waste you are generating when you replace something constantly. This simply isn’t sustainable. You often have to replace the entire system to upgrade a single piece. This generates a lot of waste.

The goal should be simple. Companies need to adjust their mindsets. This means having both profit and environmental viability KPIs. Build indicators of success around sustainability that includes both revenue and the environment. Sustainability must go beyond individual companies and look at the world as a whole. When the entire global community scales with the environment in mind, this will benefit all of us. That is where we can help.

Trust Secur01 With Your IT Needs

At Secur01, we provide advanced and innovative IT support to our clients. We provide maintenance and cloud migration plans that are designed to last. We will also protect your business against the latest cybersecurity threats. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you! We look forward to meeting you!

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