This is a fundamental question asked by new customer inquiries at The Selenium Group. We are here to help guide you through the process, discuss and evaluate the options for your company that will enable your start-up to thrive, right from the start.
The simple approach is to view our services as your complete IT department. With all the functionality, all the benefits, and the best part is you get to focus on your business and leave all the IT to us. All at a fraction of the cost of having to hire your own IT technician.
How do we do make this happen?
Our proactive approach to information technology (IT) solutions and services are to understand your business model through our over 20 years’ experience with technology, evaluate what technology can get you started, and what you will need to keep growing your business.
Regardless of which IT vendor you’ll choose, there are a number of technology services and hardware you’ll need to look at. Here is a short-form overview of the items.
- Secure Email Services (Microsoft 365, GMAIL, or A Hosted Exchange). Lots of options in this space. A Hosted Exchange like Selenium’s, offers a flexible service with a granular support service.
- Secure public cloud data storage (Amazon, Dropbox, OneDrive). This is always a risk. Depending on the confidentiality of the data, it might be sufficient. A private cloud data storage is more desirable if it’s in your budget.
- A firewall. Preferably a high-end UTM firewall. If you’re spending less than $500 for your firewall, it’s probably not going to be protect you as much as you think. Ask us what models might work for your situation.
- Desktop Hardware. You will be better off getting at least 16 GB of RAM. A 1TB SSD drive, and a 6 Core CPU. If you need more analytical fire power, get an 8 Core CPU, and 32 GB RAM. Don’t spend more than $2,5k. The typical user, that’s overkill.
- Laptop Hardware. If you bent out of shape wanting a laptop instead of a desktop. It’s going to be expensive. Can be as high as 50% more than a desktop. Keep that in mind. If you need help on choices, just ask us.
- MAC versus PC. In our opinion, MAC’s are perfect if you’re only doing online and using MAC software and hardware. Anytime you have to deal with at least one non-MAC system – leave the MAC at home with the rest of your toys, don’t bring it into the office. MAC’s and PC systems don’t always do well together. MAC’s are ridiculously expensive, so keep that in mind too. We love our MAC’s, but they’re not well suited in most enterprises. Law firms we support – they love them. It must be a law, to pass the bar, you must own a MAC.
- Backup Plan. You need one. Have at least two running copies of all your data. In separate locations. One disconnected from all networks, the internet and your computer. Use an encrypted external USB drive.
- Virus Software. Always choose the high-end on this piece of software. Never use free stuff. There are four vendors that really stand out. Ask us what might work best for your situation. We like Sophos, Kaspersky, Check Point, or Webroot. The free one from Microsoft is actually not that bad, but don’t rely on it.
- Mobile phone. Android or Apple, doesn’t matter. Choose your poison. Just make sure you get virus software for your phone.
- MFA. Multi-factor authentication. Use it on email, and your computers.
- A passwords manager. Use one. Never write down your passwords. Lots of options to choose on this one. Ask us for our opinion.
- File Transfer / File sharing. There are a few trusted vendors for this. Just keep in mind, don’t leave confidential files on cloud systems if you can avoid it. Trust the big boys on this. Microsoft 365 (OneDrive) or Google Drive.
- Audit and Support. Have an IT person you trust or a managed service provider oversee everything on a regular basis. A single or a few computers in our support model is NOT that expensive. Much less than you think. It’s worth having someone manage your systems for vulnerabilities, patching, and security updates. Contact us to get pricing.
- Insurance. Get cyber security insurance.
- Consultation. Arrange to have a consultation with a service provider on overviewing everything you need. It can be well worth the cost. Selenium provides a two hour consultation for $200 USD. It’s well worth it to get your business off to the best start with the right set up.
What questions should you ask your IT provider?
That’s a great question. Protect your interested and protect your start-up. It’s critical you choose the right IT service, so here are three questions you can ask your potential IT service.
- Where will my data be stored and what procedures and policies are in place to manage the security, access, and fault tolerance of my client information?
- How often does the IT service audit its own procedures, and do they have a fully transparent service offering? You don’t want to find out your provider uses a public cloud to store your data.
- How does the IT service monitor the network, firewalls, and manage cybersecurity threats? Does it perform regular penetration testing and vulnerability testing of all your company assets and its own? That’s very important too as both networks are typically connected.
Contact us to discuss your exciting new venture, we would be more than happy to partner with your business and get you started.
The Selenium Group Team