Category: Technology

Business ProductivityCorporate ITIT SecuritySoftwareTechnologyWindows
Imminent Retirement of Windows 10

In the realm of technology, change is the only constant. As businesses navigate the digital landscape, staying updated with the latest software and security measures becomes paramount. Microsoft, the juggernaut of operating systems, is set to cease support for Windows 10 after October 14, 2025. This impending deadline should serve as a clarion call for businesses to upgrade their systems promptly. In this article, we delve into the significance of this upgrade, especially concerning factors like HIPAA compliance and cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

The End of the Line for Windows 10

Microsoft’s decision to end support for Windows 10 marks the culmination of a remarkable era in operating systems. Since its launch in 2015, Windows 10 has been a stalwart companion for businesses worldwide, offering stability, productivity, and security features. However, every software has a lifecycle, and Windows 10 is no exception.

After October 14, 2025, Microsoft will cease to provide security updates, bug fixes, and technical support for Windows 10. This means that businesses still clinging to this operating system will be left vulnerable to emerging cyber threats, putting their data, operations, and reputation at risk.

HIPAA Compliance: A Non-Negotiable Priority

For businesses operating in sectors like healthcare, compliance with regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is non-negotiable. HIPAA sets stringent standards for the protection of patient health information (PHI) and imposes hefty penalties for non-compliance.

Running an outdated operating system like Windows 10 beyond its end-of-support date could result in HIPAA violations. Without regular security updates, businesses may fail to meet the technical safeguards required by HIPAA, exposing sensitive patient data to potential breaches. This not only jeopardizes patient privacy but also invites legal repercussions and reputational damage.

Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities: A Looming Threat

Cybersecurity threats evolve at an alarming pace, with hackers constantly probing for vulnerabilities to exploit. Unsupported operating systems like Windows 10 become low-hanging fruit for cybercriminals seeking to infiltrate corporate networks, steal data, or launch disruptive attacks.

With the cessation of security updates, Windows 10 will become increasingly susceptible to malware, ransomware, and other cyber threats. Even the most robust cybersecurity defenses will struggle to mitigate the risks posed by unpatched vulnerabilities in the operating system. For businesses, the potential fallout from a successful cyberattack includes financial losses, operational disruptions, and irreparable damage to brand trust.

The Imperative of Timely Action

Given the stakes involved, procrastination is not an option when it comes to upgrading from Windows 10. Businesses must proactively plan and execute their transition to a supported operating system well before the end-of-support deadline.

Microsoft offers a couple of alternatives to Windows 10, including Windows 11 and subscription-based models like Microsoft 365. These newer platforms not only provide enhanced security features but also offer improved performance, user experience, and compatibility with modern applications.

The Road Ahead: Navigating the Upgrade Process

Upgrading from Windows 10 is not a trivial undertaking, especially for large enterprises with complex IT infrastructures. It requires careful planning, resource allocation, and stakeholder coordination to ensure a smooth transition without disrupting business operations.

Key steps in the upgrade process include:

  1. Assessment and Inventory: Conduct a comprehensive inventory of existing hardware and software to identify compatibility issues and determine upgrade requirements.
  2. Pilot Testing: Deploy test environments to evaluate the compatibility and performance of critical applications and workflows on the new operating system.
  3. Training and Support: Provide training sessions and support resources to help employees adapt to the new operating system and maximize productivity.
  4. Migration Strategy: Develop a phased migration strategy to minimize downtime and mitigate risks, prioritizing mission-critical systems and user groups.
  5. Post-Upgrade Monitoring: Continuously monitor the performance and security of the upgraded systems, implementing patches and updates as necessary to address emerging issues.

The end of support for Windows 10 represents a watershed moment for businesses reliant on this operating system. To safeguard their data, comply with regulations, and fortify their cybersecurity defenses, businesses must prioritize upgrading to a supported platform before the October 14, 2025 deadline.

By embracing the latest technology and security standards, businesses can future-proof their operations, enhance their competitive advantage, and demonstrate their commitment to protecting the interests of their customers and stakeholders. The journey may be challenging, but the rewards of a secure and resilient IT infrastructure are well worth the investment.

 

 

Business ProductivityCorporate ITDigitalInternetIT for the Medical IndustryIT SecurityManaged ITTechnologyUtah IT Company
Do You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan?

If you suddenly lost access to documents and applications pertinent to your daily work life, how would you cope? Would you know where to go, or who to look to for help? Whether the loss occurs because of a natural disaster, hardware failure, human error, or cyber-crimes, a Disaster Recovery Plan (DR) is essential for businesses of all sizes!


A *2023 survey found that only 54% of businesses had an established company-wide disaster recovery plan in place. That is barely more than half of all businesses. Aside from having the plan in place, it’s also important to regularly review and test your plan to ensure your team knows how to execute the strategy. Ponemon Institute estimates the average cost of downtime at a staggering $9,000 per minute or $500,000 per hour. Being able to restore systems and operations quickly is imperative to recovery from a disaster. Those averages might look high for your small business, but the fact is downtime is expensive. It’s not just the direct financial losses but also the expense of lost productivity, missed opportunities, customer dissatisfaction, and long-term reputational damage.

Though most owners believe they are unlikely to suffer a cyber-attack, small businesses suffer 43% of all data breaches. Do you currently have strategies in place to protect your data? A solid DR plan is crucial as it aims to minimize downtime and data loss, enabling a company to swiftly return to normal operations following a catastrophic event. This guide breaks down the various elements of a disaster recovery plan, highlighting their significance and demonstrating real-world scenarios where such planning proves invaluable.

Understanding Disaster Recovery

At its core, disaster recovery involves preparing for and recovering from events that can significantly disrupt business operations. These events range from natural disasters like earthquakes to man-made challenges such as cyber-attacks. A well-structured DR plan addresses these threats by outlining steps to resume critical operations swiftly and securely.

Key Components of a Disaster Recovery Plan
Risk Assessment and Business Impact Analysis (BIA): This involves understanding a business’s specific risks and potential impact on operations. It helps prioritize the recovery of critical systems and data.

  • Data Backup Strategies: Robust data backup strategies ensure that critical data is regularly backed up to secure, offsite locations, allowing for the restoration of lost data.
  • Recovery Solutions: DR plans must detail the solutions for restoring IT systems, applications, and data, including both on-site and cloud-based options.
  • Communication Plan: A clear plan for notifying employees, customers, and stakeholders during a disaster is vital for maintaining transparency and minimizing panic.
  • Regular Testing and Updates: Regular testing and updates ensure that the plan evolves with the business and remains effective over time.

The Importance of Each Component

Each component of a DR plan plays a critical role in safeguarding business operations. For example, the BIA guides resource allocation during and after a disaster, while data backup strategies prevent catastrophic data loss. Recovery solutions bring data back into action, and the communication plan maintains trust and order. Regular testing guarantees that the plan will work as intended when needed.

Real-World Applications

Consider a business that experiences a severe data breach. With a comprehensive DR plan in place, the company can quickly identify the breach’s extent, revert to recent data backups, and effectively manage customer expectations and regulatory requirements. Regularly tested recovery procedures ensure a swift return to operation, minimizing downtime and financial loss.

The Value of Preparedness

In today’s digital age, disasters are inevitable. The examples above underscore the value of a DR plan, providing a blueprint for action that can mean the difference between a setback and a complete shutdown. Investing in a thorough disaster recovery plan is critical for responsible business management, ensuring resilience, and maintaining trust.

Avoid becoming another cautionary tale of poor planning. Please give us a call. We would be happy to help you implement your disaster recovery plan or review your current plan!

*Statistics are taken from the article “Disaster Recovery Statistics Every Business Should Know.” At https://phoenixnap.com

 

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Reliable IT: The Key to Sustained Business Success

Businesses of all sizes rely heavily on technology for streamlining operations, enhancing productivity, and driving growth. Managing IT infrastructure efficiently while staying within budget constraints can be daunting, especially for small businesses. That’s where TEK Utah shines as Utah’s premier managed IT service provider! For the past 20 years, we have offered unparalleled support to small businesses at a fraction of the cost of maintaining a full-time IT employee. By honoring our core values of reliability, responsiveness, accountability, decisiveness, and integrity, we aim to deliver exceptional IT services tailored to each client’s needs.

Living our Values is What Sets us Apart

Our distinctiveness in managed IT services arises from our steadfast commitment to regularly reviewing and embodying our core values. This introspection sets us apart, ensuring our actions align with our principles. Reliability is pivotal among these values because a reliable IT setup is vital for a smooth customer experience.  To support this commitment, we actively seek feedback from our clients, valuing their perspectives as a compass for improvement. By prioritizing reliability and actively engaging with client insights, we not only meet but exceed expectations, fostering a technological environment where our clients can trust in a consistently superior experience.

To ensure the delivery of top-tier service, we are implementing a new support request system. This system will:

  1. Make it easier for clients to submit support requests.
  2. Offer clear communication and documentation for all service requests.
  3. Allow the Client to view the status of the request.
  4. Allow the client to participate in a post-service survey to ensure we exceed expectations.
  5. Provide real-time reports to create greater security, improve performance, and insights to grow your business.

This system will equip clients with the tools to facilitate clear communication of their requests and enable the consolidation of related inquiries, ensuring transparency and prompt responses.

Why Reliability Reduces Costly Risks

Having a managed IT service provider dedicated to reliability is crucial. Businesses rely heavily on their IT infrastructure to maintain operations, support critical functions, and safeguard valuable data. Any disruption or downtime can lead to significant financial losses, tarnished reputations, and lost opportunities. A managed IT service provider like TEK Utah, with an unwavering focus on reliability, offers peace of mind to clients by ensuring that their systems are consistently up and running, minimizing the risk of costly disruptions. By trusting us with their IT needs, clients can focus on their core business objectives, knowing that their technology is in capable hands. A dedicated commitment to reliability isn’t just a luxury—it’s necessary for businesses striving for sustained success in today’s digital age.

How to Leverage Managed IT and Elevate Reliability Today!

As a client:

We’d welcome your feedback on how we’re supporting you through all our values by completing our customer satisfaction survey. Go here!

If you’re ready for your executive technology review, where we’ll perform an audit and provide custom reports and strategies to reduce your bottom line and increase performance, contact us directly. If you’re unsure if you’re eligible for a review, reach out, and we’ll share the options available.

In the meantime, stay tuned for updates on using our enhanced support services and elevate the benefits of reliability in your business!

Not a client yet:

If you’re curious about the benefits TEK Utah can provide for your business, we’ve got you covered! Take advantage of our complimentary consultation, where we’ll review the results of our custom assessment and provide at least one strategy to enhance your IT goals. Get access here!

 

 

AI TechnologyBusiness ProductivityCorporate ITIT SecuritySoftwareTechnologyUtah IT Company
Why Regular IT Reviews are Critical for Your Business Growth and Management

In today’s business landscape, the role of technology is crucial. Ensuring your IT system operations are seamless is paramount for business success. Regular executive technology review meetings play a key role in detecting and addressing potential issues and fortifying a company’s foundation for future growth. There are five main areas of focus in TEK Utah’s technology review, identifying and addressing risks, evaluating hardware and software efficiencies, investing in employee security training, streamlining operations, and planning for future growth. Proactively responding to items revealed in our review meeting will save a business time, money, resources, and potentially a company’s reputation.

Identifying and Addressing Risks

A primary goal of regular IT review meetings is to assess and improve data management and security protocols. In an era where cyber threats are prevalent, safeguarding sensitive information is essential. IT reviews provide a platform to examine existing security measures, identify vulnerabilities, and implement solutions. Proactively addressing potential risks helps companies avoid data breaches, protecting their assets and reputation.

Sometimes IT security can be as simple as setting stronger passwords. Recently, a local business encountered a security breach within its email system. An unauthorized individual gained access to the administrator account, primarily due to the absence of multifactor authentication and the use of overly simple passwords. The intruder then created a new user account to impersonate the business owner, attempting to defraud the company financially. The breach was only discovered when a vigilant vendor flagged a suspicious email.

A routine check-up would have helped prevent this security incident. Regular IT reviews are the perfect time to assess security measures and identify potential weaknesses that could lead to substantial financial losses. Outside of regular reviews we offer cyber security products to help ensure your systems are secure. Check out this video where we address three key solutions for your business’s security needs.

Evaluating Hardware and Software Infrastructure

Outdated hardware and software can hinder productivity and expose a company to security risks. Regular IT reviews allow decision-makers to evaluate the current technological landscape, identifying areas that require upgrades or replacements. Investing in the latest hardware and software solutions optimizes performance, reduces downtime, and enhances efficiency.

Not long ago a client suffered severe data loss due to a failed hard drive. The user was not backing up their data externally, and unfortunately, crucial information was lost and unable to be recovered. While this incident did not permanently cripple the business, it highlighted a critical oversight. This issue could have easily been avoided had the user been regularly backing up their data. It’s easy to overlook backend systems because they are not meant to be in the foreground. However, a routine IT review is the perfect time to look in the background at all the systems that we take for granted and make changes where necessary.

Investing in Employee Training

The strength of a company often lies in its employees, but human error can be a vulnerability. “A joint study by Stanford University Professor Jeff Hancock and security firm Tessian found that a whopping 88 percent of data breach incidents are caused by employee mistakes” (https://securitytoday.com/articles/2022/07/30/just-why-are-so-many-cyber-breaches-due-to-human-error). It doesn’t matter how robust your security measures are if your employees are opening the door for attackers. Regular IT review meetings offer an opportunity to assess employee skill sets and identify areas for additional training. Investing in ongoing training programs ensures that staff members are well-equipped to navigate the evolving technological landscape, reducing the likelihood of errors and enhancing overall IT system effectiveness.

Streamlining Operations and Reducing Inefficiencies

Efficiency is crucial for success in any business. Regular reviews enable executives to scrutinize IT processes, identify bottlenecks, and streamline operations. By eliminating inefficiencies, companies can save time and resources, redirecting them towards more strategic endeavors that contribute to overall growth. Whether your business is ready or not, AI is fast becoming the key to increased productivity, and if your business is not equipped, you’ll be leaving profits on the table. But you’re in luck we recently added AI training to our list of services. This training is completely customizable and may be just what your company needs to update and enhance your processes. Read our blog article to Unlock your Business success through AI.

Planning for Future Growth

Businesses are dynamic entities, and their IT infrastructure must align with future growth plans. Regular IT review meetings provide a strategic forum to discuss and plan for future technological requirements. Whether it’s scaling up existing systems, implementing new technologies, or expanding digital capabilities, a proactive approach ensures that IT infrastructure evolves in tandem with the company’s broader objectives.

How can you save time, money, and resources?

The practical significance of regular IT review meetings is undeniable. By addressing critical areas such as data management, security, hardware and software improvements, employee training, and operational inefficiencies, these meetings contribute to significant savings in time, money, and resources. Moreover, they act as a shield for a company’s reputation, preventing potential setbacks caused by data breaches or technological failures.

In the fast-paced world of business, staying ahead requires a vigilant eye on the technological pulse. Executive IT review meetings serve as a practical measure and empower companies to thrive in an ever-evolving digital landscape. Prevention is key, and in the realm of IT, it translates to sustained success and growth.

Click here to schedule your executive technology review meeting.

Not a client yet? Click to schedule your free assessment and consultation!

 

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How to get the best bang for your buck when purchasing a computer

It’s back to school time! If you are considering buying a new computer for work, school, or home, this article is for you! Buying Computers

Technology has become an increasingly important part of students’ lives. According to a recent study, students who use technology in the classroom tend to perform better on exams. This is likely because technology allows for more interactive and engaging learning experiences. More and more students use technology to collaborate and work on projects. Using online platforms like Google Drive and Zoom makes it easier than ever for students to connect and share their work.

So, how do you find the right computer for your needs?

Buying a new computer can be overwhelming, with confusing terms and endless choices. But don’t worry! We’ve created a simple guide to help you find the perfect computer for your needs. And if you want to save money, we’ll also talk about the benefits of buying a refurbished computer.

The first step is to determine your needs. How will you use the computer? And what features are important to you?

Processing Power

Consider how powerful of a processor you will need. A processor is like the brain of a computer. You’ll need a powerful processor to edit videos or play the latest games. According to Consumer Reports, “any of today’s Intel Core or AMD Ryzen processors can do well with basic daily tasks like web browsing and email.” Gaming requires a mid-range processor (the graphics card is the more important item). For video editing, you’ll want a mid to upper-range processor. And if you’re an extreme multi-tasker or dealing with massive databases and complex math and willing to fork out the big bucks, a high-end processor will run your programs seamlessly.

Storage

Storage is where your files, pictures, and games live. More storage means more room for your stuff. There are two types of storage: Solid -state drives (SSDs) and hard drives. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are the best option for speed, ruggedness, form factor, and noise. If price and capacity are your main concerns, a traditional hard drive is your best bet.

Graphics Capabilities

There are two types of graphic cards integrated and discrete. Integrated graphic cards are preinstalled on a motherboard and are perfect for standard tasks like surfing the internet, creating documents, or watching movies. If you’re branching out into gaming or video editing, a discrete graphics card is usually needed to speed up the image processing time. There are several brands to choose from that have varying options for different needs and price points. NVIDIA and AMD are two well-liked graphic card makers.

Selecting a Brand and Considering Your Budget

There are many computer makers Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Below is a quick overview of what you will find with each brand.

Apple: Fancy and easy to use, but can be more expensive.

Dell: Good and reasonably priced, with options for gamers and workers.

HP: Known for reliable computers that won’t break the bank.

Lenovo: High quality and reliable, great for gaming and work.

Computers can cost from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Decide how much you want to spend and look for options that fit your budget.

Have you considered a Refurbished Computer?

Refurbished computers have been fixed and made to look and work like new. The benefits of choosing a refurbished computer are:

Money Savings: They often cost less than new computers.

Good as New: Experts have restored the product to a like-new condition.

Eco-Friendly: Buying refurbished helps reduce waste.

Finding the right computer is easier than you think when you take the time to consider your needs. Determine the primary use for the device and evaluate the different features. Ascertain your price range and find the best features for the lowest cost. Consider refurbished options. You will likely find better and more features at a lower price point. No matter what computer you land on, there’s a perfect computer for you.


Overview

When considering your next computer purchase, ask yourself these five questions.

  1. What’s most important in a computer? Processing power is vital, especially for heavy tasks.
  2. What’s the best storage? SSDs are fast but can be costly. Hard drives are less expensive and have greater capacity.
  3. Mac or PC? Macs integrate with other Apple products but have a higher price point. PCs are more versatile and offer more choices, with a variety of software and upgrade options. You can find a wide range of devices at different price points.
  4. Can I upgrade my computer? Some computers let you add more parts later.
  5. Laptop or desktop? Laptops are portable, while desktops are often more powerful.

Still, have questions? Want to know more about refurbished computers? Don’t hesitate to call TEK Utah. Our friendly team is here to help you find the perfect computer for your needs. Your new (or refurbished) computer is just a call away!

AI TechnologyBusiness ProductivityTechnology
Can the use of AI in my business increase productivity and growth?

In the fast-paced business world, technology is constantly transforming industries, and one exciting innovation taking center stage is Artificial Intelligence (AI). From large corporations to small enterprises, AI has the potential to revolutionize day-to-day operations. But what exactly is AI?

AI refers to intelligent machines and computer systems that can perform tasks that usually require human intelligence. One powerful AI tool is ChatGPT. Think of ChatGPT as a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows you to have “human-like” conversations and much more with the chatbot. You’ve likely used a chatbot feature when requesting support online and chatting with the automated assistant. With ChatGPT the language model has been greatly enhanced and can now answer questions and assist you with tasks such as composing emails, marketing content, writing code, and much more.

AI, in the form of ChatGPT and similar tools, present an exciting opportunity for businesses to streamline their operations and enhance productivity. This article will uncover how AI, particularly ChatGPT, can empower small businesses by improving client relations, reducing costs, and automating repetitive tasks.

 

Client Relations

Imagine having an assistant accessible who can craft tailored emails for your clients to make them feel important and valued. Or design personalized marketing campaigns that are clear and engaging to drive more interest in your offerings. Have a proposal deadline but low on creativity? You can leverage the quick ChatGPT features to custom-write content of any kind in minutes and often seconds. With AI-powered chatbots like ChatGPT, small businesses can open up many possibilities to communicate with their clients.

By integrating AI-powered chatbots into customer support channels, organizations can provide instant and personalized assistance, relieving staff from routine inquiries and allowing them to focus on higher-value tasks. Customers can receive immediate responses to their queries, creating a seamless experience that enhances satisfaction and fosters loyalty. Leaving business owners and staff more time to focus on building relationships and delivering exceptional service.

Cost Savings

Businesses striving for more efficiency and less overhead to impact their bottom line often face limited resources. One way AI can assist is by reducing the time spent on mundane tasks. ChatGPT, for example, can automate data analysis, helping small businesses gain valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. These insights enable strategic decision-making and targeted marketing campaigns, maximizing the return on investment.

Another way to reduce costs is AI’s ability to automate repetitive tasks like report generation and inventory management. Small businesses can save time and money by using custom algorithms to perform the functions typically delegated to a staff member, allowing them to allocate the team’s talents and resources to other areas of their business.

Automation

Do you ever wish you or a staff member could be in two places at once? Small businesses often face resource constraints, and AI can help bridge the gap by automating.

AI-powered tools like ChatGPT can handle repetitive tasks with speed and accuracy, freeing up valuable time for business owners and employees to focus on strategic planning and fostering innovation. For instance, AI can assist in generating social media content, comparing data, and managing routine administrative tasks. By embracing automation, small businesses can optimize efficiency, enhance productivity, and position themselves for growth in today’s competitive landscape. Empowering business growth automation is a game-changer for small businesses.

How can we effectively introduce AI into our processes? 

Implementing AI in small businesses can be approached step-by-step. Identify areas within your operations that would benefit most from AI integration, such as customer service, data analysis, or process automation. Research AI-powered tools or platforms that align with your specific needs and budget. Collaborate with technology experts to assist in implementing AI solutions or customize something to fit your needs.

TEK Utah is actively creating a workshop designed to help our retainer clients unlock the potential of AI within their organizations. This workshop will equip them with the knowledge and tools to understand AI resources and effectively integrate them into their business operations. By educating and showcasing the benefits of AI, we aim to empower our clients to leverage this technology to drive innovation and growth.

AI, including ChatGPT, holds immense potential for small businesses to improve productivity and foster growth. By harnessing AI-powered chatbots, organizations can enhance customer support and engagement. Additionally, utilizing AI for data analysis and process automation enables small businesses to make informed decisions, streamline operations, and allocate resources more efficiently. With careful planning and an open mindset, organizations can leverage AI to drive success, foster innovation, and achieve their goals in today’s technology-driven world.

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Mac vs Windows Equipment

Whether you’re looking to replace outdated and broken equipment or to buy computers for the first time, it can be hard to decide what is best for your business. When you’re searching for the right computers for your small business and buying in bulk it is important to do your research. Computers can be an expensive investment- is Mac or Windows better from your business?

 

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