Get unparalleled Managed IT Support when you partner with BCS Voice & Data Solutions in Virginia Beach. Read our latest IT support related blog posts.

Keeping Your Wireless Network Secure

Wireless networking means the improved access and availability of data, leading to an overall increase in your team’s productivity. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come without cost. When a wireless network is installed, there are added security risks that come along with it. It’s important to understand and take the appropriate steps to safeguard your data and infrastructure. As your network-integration partner, BCS takes security seriously, guiding you in keeping your wireless network secure. Here are a few wireless networking security basics to start with:

Change default settings.
With a new wireless network, we recommend creating unique usernames and passwords, just as in your personal life. Change the default router network name and password promptly. Often, the default router name contains information about the type of router you have, which hackers use to access network passwords. To further protect your data, make it a habit to update passwords regularly. 

Limit access to authorized users. Keep your wireless network safe by only allowing employees or other approved individuals access. Give visitors and the public a guest wireless network to prevent them from infecting your network with a virus. Consider limiting your wireless signal strength as well, setting it to cover only the areas that need access to your network.

Utilize wireless encryption. Wireless encryption secures your data by requiring users to authenticate themselves when connecting to your network. Multiple encryption protocols are available, so be sure to choose one that works with your router and provides the level of protection you need.

Don’t overlook physical security. Keeping the hardware and equipment of your system safe is just as important as protecting your wireless data. Place all network equipment, including routers, access points, adapters and range extenders out of sight and secured from the public and visitors. For extra security, lock equipment in a cabinet or consider video surveillance options.

As a full service wireless networking provider, BCS provides uncompromised security of your data and infrastructure. Call us at (800) 365-8067 to learn how we can assist you with your wireless networking needs. 

Cyber Security experts VA Beach

Common Cybersecurity Myths Busted

It’s easy to say “it won’t happen to us,” but cybersecurity is something that every business, large or small, needs to take seriously. It’s easy to underestimate cyber dangers if you believe certain myths that surround them. So, let’s take a look at some cybersecurity lore and why it isn’t always correct. 

Myth: We’re too small; no one will hack us. 

Small does not mean safe. No matter what it’s size, your company is a target for hackers. In fact, many hackers will purposely search for small businesses, correctly betting that they don’t have a secure network in place. Unfortunately, small does mean your company is hurt more significantly. As reported in Forbes, the average cost of an attack is more than $200,000!  That puts 60 percent of small companies out of business within six months of a cyberattack.

Myth: Anti-virus software and a firewall is enough security.

Cybercriminals are increasingly sophisticated. That makes it important to have multi-layered security protecting your data. In addition to the traditional end-point security of firewalls and anti-virus software, consider other measures like two-factor authentication, data monitoring and encryption software. While there is no perfect cybersecurity solution, make it your goal to have systems in place that allow for a quick reaction and comprehensive damage control.

Myth: You know right away if your computer is infected.

Gone are the days when slow loading times and non-stop pop-up ads were the obvious indicators of a virus. Today’s malware is stealthy and  hard to detect as hackers control webcams, access sensitive information or use an infected computer to attack other targets.

Myth: Cybersecurity is a technology issue only.

While your IT department or contractor plays a large role in keeping your data safe, employee education is critical when it comes to cybersecurity. Employees, rather than technology, are the most common entry point for hackers. Make sure internal cybersecurity training occurs at least once a year and covers topics such as phishing scams, password best practices and the ins and outs of wireless networks. 

 BCS Voice & Data Solutions works with its customers to provide guidance and support for implementing the most up-to-date cybersecurity practices. Call us today at (757) 497-3100 to discuss how we can assist you in creating a cybersecurity plan that is right for you. 

Mobile connection to office Va Beach

Build Better Client Relationships With Tech

February is the month of love! If you’re looking for ways to improve the relationship between your business and clients, take the seasonal opportunity to do so! Show clients and partners that you appreciate them with new technologies that improve their experience with your company.

Wondering how BCS can help? Here are some easily integratable tools that quickly show your clients how much you care:

1. Free WiFi

The need for visitors to connect is unavoidable. Granting unlimited access to everyone can introduce security issues, so many companies don’t offer up their private connection.

Unfortunately, that creates a negative experience for the visitor. That’s why you should consider establishing a convenient guest WiFi, instead. A dedicated guest network lets visitors quickly connect with a simple password and no red tape. It’s a thoughtful and appreciated convenience that all clients and guests will enjoy, and it protects your business systems.

2. Professional Conference Calling

Do you have regular in-person meetings with  customers? Whether they come to you or you go to them, someone adds minutes and sometimes hours onto their workday just getting to the meeting. One easy way to streamline communication with clients and improve your overall relationship is to integrate video conferencing. Professional video conferencing, like our StarLeaf technology, allows you and your client to get that face-to-face contact without the burden of travel, something your everyone will thank you for.

3. Eliminate Wait Times

Being able to talk with a real person when you need help is an important demand for clients and customers across all industries. If your phone system is too complicated or employees can’t connect quickly, communication falls apart. Show your clients that you understand their needs. Upgrading to a seamless and easy to use business phone system with BCS.

BCS Voice and Data is here to make you and your clients happier! Call us at (800) 365-8067 to learn how we can eliminate the barriers to building great relationships and set your business apart.

Achieve Active Growth with BCS Voice and Data

What are your business goals for 2020? If you’re like most companies, they likely involve expansion. Whether growth for your company means a larger physical space, more employees or increased sales flowing into your processes one thing is for sure–you need backend systems ready to handle more volume in place before you start scaling. 

That’s where BCS Voice and Data comes in. We are an amazing partner for growing companies. Not only because we know what’s needed to allow for easy growth, we know scalability too, so you don’t outgrow a new solution quickly. If you’re on the path to bigger and better this year, here are some ways BCS Voice and Data can help: 

Virtualization: 

For any business seeking growth in 2020, new tech will keep you competitive, especially when it comes to Virtualization. Our virtualization services allow you to keep up with adding more employees and contractors as you scale, by increasing the speed of your data sharing and allowing everyone to have the access they need, when they need it. All while keeping costs manageable and data safe.  

Improved Communication Systems: 

One thing is for sure in this day and age–customer service is key. Don’t expect to grow if you can’t communicate well with your customers, clients or partners. If you plan to increase communication with clients or remote employees, ask about our telephone and video conferencing system options. Our options are easy to use with no interruptions and best of all, your entire team can be easily reached. Customers have high expectations for good, consistent and reliable communication, no matter what industry.

Structured Cabling: 

Structured Cabling is an underrated but extremely important consideration in any physical space. If your network suffers from aging infrastructure or lacks organization, it will show as you grow. Position your company for growth by having our engineers and systems specialists create an organized framework that is easy to configure as your business expands, meaning you’ll be able to adapt quickly, without ongoing additional investments.

BCS Voice and Data not only makes the growth of your company easier, we create the systems that encourage expansion. Call us at (800) 365-8067 to learn how we can help you achieve your business goals this year.

Video conference room

Your Next Decade of Conference Calling

Don’t you sometimes wish that conference calls were… easy? We get it! With most providers, telephone conferencing is a horrible experience. Lines are dropped, important people can’t dial in and there’s static or an echo coming through that no one knows how to stop. We’ve all been there.

That’s exactly what the experts at BCS know how to fix.

With our technology and experience, conference calls may just become the easiest part of the day. Make this the year to finally create a clear, crisp and easy-to-use environment for clients, prospects and employees.

The BCS Voice and Data team creates individualized solutions for our clients, especially when it comes to phone and video conferencing. For some companies, the solution is as simple as replacing an aging phone system with a cloud-based phone system and newer, more robust hardware. Other clients, particularly those with high call volumes or a variety of geographic locations to connect with, benefit from a fully remodeled and re-outfitted conference room. Still other clients are in need of high-quality video-conferencing solutions. The type that beat consumer-grade video calling technology in terms of ease, image clarity, call quality and integration with the cloud. Then again, some clients need all of the above!

Whatever your needs, we know that selecting the right business telephone and conferencing systems is a daunting task. We’ve helped thousands of clients and find consistent questions and functions that need to be addressed with all, no matter what size the business. Take a look at our guide to choosing the right system for your business for guidance.

Want to make conference calls less stressful and more collaborative for you and your business this year? BCS can help you find the perfect solution and dominate your business’ technology in 2020. Give us a call today at (757) 497-3100 or contact us online.

Young woman at computer

What To Be Thankful For in Your  Business Phone Provider 

Finding a great business phone system provider is difficult, especially with the overwhelming amount of options available. How do know if you selected the right phone system, and more importantly, the right provider?

In the spirit of the holidays, we’re outlining the top five qualities that all good providers should have and why you and your office should be thankful when you find this combination!

1. Confident and knowledgeable about the products they sell.

Many business communications companies leave it entirely to the consumer to research, compare and learn the ins-and-outs. Choose a provider that loves what they do and is passionate about what they’re selling. You should partner with experts who are willing and able to guide your decisions.

2. Offers reliable support.

What’s the use of investing in a new phone system if installation and training is sub-par? This commonly happens when providers are headquartered across the country or overseas. System installation, training, maintenance and repair should be a breeze. Choose a provider that is geographically close and makes IT support top priority – or one what has stellar support, including video conversations.

3. Provides knowledge and expertise.

These days, a company’s communication strategy is anything but simple. The phone system is often tied to the internet service and ultimately to the cloud. A good provider understands the complex mechanics of the latest advancements in information technology, and can help guide you to the right solution for today and the future.

4. Understands local challenges and circumstances facing your business.

We recommend partnering with a local or regional company to manage your communication needs. They will know what you’re up against, including any unique access or service limitations, and can integrate that knowledge into your technology recommendations.

5. Invested in your company’s success.

Choose a provider that does more than drop a phone system in your lap and collect their money. A good provider wants to see your company grow, evolve and come out on top. A great provider partner will help you get there with proactive advice and support.

At BCS Voice and Data Solutions, we’re thankful for our clients and we make sure to provide top tier services. If you are looking for a reliable partner you can be thankful for, contact us today.

How To Tap Into The Remote Workforce 

New technologies are making it easier than ever to collaborate with teams of freelancers and remote employees. With less overhead, greater flexibility and access to a bigger talent pool, many companies are eager to tap into this modernization advantage. 

Read more

Cloud Storage is Risky

The Risks of Consumer Cloud Storage

You’ve undoubtedly heard the names and would recognize the logos of the biggest players in the current cloud storage market. This widely used software provided by GoogleDrive, Dropbox and Amazon Cloud Drive have millions of users between them. Just because they’re popular, doesn’t mean you should trust them with your company’s important data. We recommend ignoring the hype and doing some research before signing up. 

The convenience of consumer cloud storage: inexpensive syncing among employees and their devices, isn’t necessarily a fair trade off for the risks your company takes. These file share solutions answer a single problem while opening you up to many more. Here are three big risks you take when using cloud storage for your company: 

  1. No Tech Support:

    Users of cloud-based storage technologies must deal with slow to non-existent tech support. Many of these large companies divert frustrated customers (you) to a robot chat box or delayed online support for answers. That means, there will be little help and potential long-term downtime when you or your team has trouble accessing important data.

  2. No Control Over Data:

    Data is nothing to play with. If your employees and customers trust you with sensitive information, it’s your responsibility to keep it out of the wrong hands. You allow data to be stored in servers around the world by using third-party cloud-based services. That means, no assurance of what laws are protecting it or when. One thing you can be sure of, it’s only a matter of time until someone unauthorized attempts to access it. 

  3. Remote Devices:

    Using a remote staff will save on traditional costs associated with running a business. However, allowing remote workers to use their own devices introduces a significant security risk, especially if you’re using cloud sharing software. Remote employees’ devices are rarely adequately protected and easily become another portal for cyber criminals and hackers to access information. 

 

It’s critical that organizations keep the above security issues in mind before making the switch. Instead, hire a company like BCS Voice and Data, who will design and implement a secure wireless network to meet your specific needs. The cloud may be right for your business, but there are alternatives that significantly help mitigate the risks. Contact us today for a consultation or with questions about our services.

Protect yourself by creating a safety culture at work

Creating a Cyber-Safe Culture 

In this cyber environment, business owners and employees must be aware of the horrors of an insecure system. Criminals can hack into corporate property and compromise customer information, sometimes even holding it for ransom. Methods such as these recently brought the entire city of Baltimore to a halt for multiple days.

Although it’s everyone’s duty to assist their organization against targeted attacks and security breaches; the importance of cyber security should be strongly delivered from your top management team at all times. Here are three tips to build a sound cyber security culture in your workplace.

1. Maintain a sound password policy
The most common passwords of 2018 were “111111”,  “12345678” and “password”. Many of us, including your employees, will forgo a safe password for one that’s easy to remember or quick to type into their login screen. With data that must stay secure, you can’t risk anyone using something easily guessed. Avoid this issue by instituting a proper password policy. This policy should make common passwords off-limits and create a required framework for combining numerals, letters and punctuation. It should also force frequent password changes.

2. Train employees on Workplace security
Conduct regular training for employees to learn how to identify suspicious cyber activities and report them. Educate teams on how to use their resources to analyze emails and attachments and be wary of activity they did not do or request. Additionally, make it easy for employees to report anything out of the ordinary. Share incidents of cybercrimes with your employees and discuss how your organization is equipped to combat similar attacks.

3. Act as a Role Model
If you are a manager or business owner, it is up to you to enthusiastically communicate security objectives and adhere to them. Practice what you preach and lock your system whenever you leave your desk. Doing so will encourage your employees to contribute to a positive and secure environment as well.

If you have any questions about how to better protect your systems, don’t hesitate to contact us at BCS Voice and Data. We offer solutions and support for any business with safety concerns, and provide additional services depending on your business needs. Contact us today for a no-obligation conversation about how we help keep data safe.

Costs of Choosing Reactive IT Services

Profit is normally the end goal for businesses, so it makes sense that owners look for the most cost-efficient options when it comes to outsourcing work. But sometimes frugality results in costly mistakes down the road. We often find that’s the case with IT support services, particularly when we are called in to fix problems that could have been avoided.

When technology works, it’s tempting to believe it always will. That belief can make it hard to see the value in a long-term IT service, so many businesses cut costs by forgoing them. In its place, they respond reactively tech problems, only calling professionals when there is an issue. Even then, many owners will put off calling support thinking the problem will fix itself. Unfortunately, this approach leads to temporary patches, poor security and inefficient billing, creating more issues and higher costs over time. 

Here are some of the typical costs associated with reactive IT methods:

Temporary Solutions: Finding support sporadically means inviting someone with a minimal understanding of your network into its delicate environment. They attempt to rectify an issue without knowing the underlying cause, resulting in patch or temporary fix. These methods leave your internal systems haphazardly chopped together, creating more issues. Without a doubt, you will need to call again. An IT service like BCS creates a finely tuned and fully functional system that’s maintained by a professional familiar with your network.

Poor Security: Viruses and Ransomware don’t download themselves. User must facilitate it. Disgruntled or unknowing employees and anonymous visitors commonly introduce malicious software into networks. Not every IT company is equipped to step in when these disasters hit. If you only hire support reactively, you’ll waste time finding a capable provider while your network collapses. This severely limits what you’ll recover. Not only will long-term IT help defend you against disaster better, but they will be on call for you when it hits. 

Additional Hourly Time: Most outsourced IT companies have hourly or block billing. That means you’re billed during the time a technician is learning about your network before solving the issue. They may use hours of paid time to research your problem and educate themselves at your cost. Avoid these costs by investing in a consistent service, with a team who provides ongoing monitoring and understands your system, and can therefore work quickly. 

Don’t cut corners by only hiring IT help during a problem. You’ll get inadequate protection in the least cost-effective way. BCS Voice and Data provides managed IT support for any small to large business with monthly proactive services. Learn more on our Managed Support page or call us today for more information on what we can do for you.