Tag Archives: SaaS

Financial Services IT: Add Business Continuity to your Bottom Line

As a financial services firm, your clients depend on your guidance to help them make the most out of their fiscal decisions. From accounting to hedge fund management, your clients gain peace of mind when appropriately advised. These relationships require trust, often built over time. What would happen if that trust were threatened? How long could you keep your clients at ease if they could not retrieve information or make withdrawals? What would happen if you couldn’t get their tax returns filed in time? What would happen if someone’s identity were stolen and you couldn’t access their information to stop it? 

In the financial industry, downtime can be detrimental to your ability to do your job and customer relationships. Nowadays, downtime threats are not only weather-related. Entire systems can fall victim to ransomware, and individual identities can be stolen. In these instances, your clients will turn to you for financial security. Being able to deliver that service is crucial to your reputation and business’ livelihood. 


A False Sense of Security 


While you may be taking some precautions, such as securing and backing up your sensitive data, sometimes that’s not enough. There is a common misconception that data is safe if backed up once a day. Still, this outdated practice is no longer sufficient for several reasons: 


  • If you forget to perform the backup or the backup process fails, you’re not protected.
  • If you only back up your files once a day, you’re left vulnerable to the loss of an entire day’s work. 
  • If you don’t correctly validate your backup files, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise when trying to use those files to restore your company’s operations. 
  • If you only back up your files on-site, you could lose them too—leaving you with no way to meet client requests. 
  • If you only back up your raw data, rather than all your application and server configuration files, it could take several days to restore your practice —because you will also have to rebuild your servers, operating systems, applications, etc. 


Some financial services firms turn to business interruption insurance to cover the costs to rebuild, restore, or regain lost income. While an insurance provider may write you a check for the cost of a server that gets damaged due to a broken pipe, it won’t protect you from damaged client relationships. Ultimately, your reputation isn’t something for which you can easily be compensated.


How Vulnerable Are You? 


If your company identifies as a business that doesn’t have the IT resources to effectively recover from a significant outage, make sure you’re weighing all of the factors around the costs of downtime. Here are the facts: 


  • US businesses lose $12 billion annually due to data loss. 
  • 93% of companies that lose their data center for 10+ days file for bankruptcy within one year.2  


Best Practices for Financial Services IT 


In a 2017 survey by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, 71% of financial services firms reported cyber risk among their top five concerns. Their concern seems justified as 2017 was a costly year for the financial services industry. The Ponemon Institute reported that the cost of cyber attacks in 2017 averaged $18.28 million per financial services company. These costly incidents seem to be on the rise, but there are some precautions you can take to safeguard your data: 

  • Outsource your company’s IT needs to an expert who has experience in the financial industry. 
  • Don’t sacrifice quality to save money when purchasing hardware. It will benefit you (and your bottom line) to have robust technology in the long run. 
  • Perform timely hardware and software updates, maintenance and backups. 
  • Establish, review and maintain system security of all practice technology. 


Any company that has not recently re-assessed its backup and disaster recovery procedures should therefore do so to conform to these industry-standard best practices.


The Better Way: Business Continuity 


Business continuity describes a complete solution for backup and disaster recovery. A proper business continuity solution will protect data on-premises and in the cloud. Whether data is on servers or in SaaS applications, it needs to be backed up. Business continuity goes a step further and offers you the ability to restore your data, which we call disaster recovery. 

Whether a business is faced with a natural disaster or one human-made, a robust solution will have you up and running in minutes. Solutions that leverage the hybrid cloud can guarantee a quicker restore time as well. Why? Local backups are great to keep data stored on local devices, but what happens if something happens to that device? A hybrid cloud backup solution takes an initial backup on a local device and then replicates the backup to a cloud server. Cloud-only solutions are not as reliable on their own due to bandwidth issues. A hybrid model works to alleviate the vulnerabilities by implementing both processes to fill in the gaps. That’s intelligent business continuity. 

At Hemi IT Solutions, we offer incredible Managed IT solutions for businesses in Calgary and Edmonton. Our focus is creating and maintaining partnerships with our clients based on trust, efficiency and follow-through. For over 10 years, we have engaged our clients through excellent service and pragmatic advice.



Book a consultation with us if you are interested in outsourcing your IT.



How to Ensure Your Team Can Securely Work From Home

work from home

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, many companies continue to assess how they can best prioritize their employee safety and maintain regular business operations. Many companies and governments recommend employees work from home, where possible, to avoid exposure to illnesses and the subsequent loss of productivity. This article will cover some of the ways your company and employees can work from home safely, securely, and productively.


How Businesses Can Securely Work From Home

With the increase in remote work, companies have to respond in various ways to avoid cybersecurity risks or interruptions to business. “When supporting a remote workforce, understand that security controls shift. Therefore, firewalls, DNS, and IDS/IPS could be ineffective when employees head home. Most environments that support VPNs should be able to protect the remote user, be sure to account for the bandwidth of users and remote desktop sessions,” said Dan Garcia, Senior Information Security Engineer II at Datto.


VPN Guidance from CISA

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an alert to encourage organizations to adopt a heightened state of cybersecurity. According to the CISA, remote work options require a VPN solution to connect employees to an organization’s network. The CISA encourages organizations to review the following recommendations when considering alternate workplace options: 

  • Update VPNs, network infrastructure devices, and devices used to remote into work environments with the latest software patches and security configurations. See CISA Tips Understanding Patches and Securing Network Infrastructure Devices. 
  • Alert employees to an expected increase in phishing attempts. See CISA Tip Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks
  • Ensure IT security personnel are prepared to ramp up the following remote access cybersecurity tasks: log review, attack detection, and incident response and recovery. Per the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-46 v.2, Guide to Enterprise Telework, Remote Access, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Security, these tasks should be documented in the configuration management policy.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all VPN connections to increase security. If MFA is not implemented, require teleworkers to use strong passwords. (See CISA Tips Choosing and Protecting Passwords and Supplementing Passwords for more information.) 
  • Ensure IT security personnel test VPN limitations to prepare for mass usage and, if possible, implement modifications to prioritize users that will require higher bandwidths.

In addition, managed service providers (MSPs) are recommending the following best practices and advice for how businesses can remain secure through remote work scenarios.

  • Use a Secure WiFi Network: If possible, all remote workers should work on a secure, private home network instead of relying on public WiFi. Suppose employees send data through an unsecured WiFi connection. In that case, they lose the power of privacy, making it possible for cybercriminals to intercept data. Employees may be putting personal information at risk if they access email accounts or send sensitive data over a public WiFi network. It’s essential to ensure your network is secure by using a VPN and a strong password that isn’t easily cracked. 
  • Secure Home Workstations: Ensure everyone has fully patched and updated anti-virus and anti-malware software. It’s essential to follow the same best practices you would in the office and report any suspicious activity or concerns to internal IT or your MSP.
  • Coordinate With Your Internal IT or MSP: When working remotely, it’s crucial to continue your typical cybersecurity best practices and reach out with any questions or concerns.


Protect Remote Workers from Data Loss

As small and medium-sized (SMBs) businesses worldwide continue to adapt to remote work, there has been a surge in the use of cloud collaboration apps. According to research from Techaisle, 74% of SMBs are using collaboration focused SaaS solutions. 

In adjusting to a completely remote, digital workforce, businesses need tools to quickly and effectively enhance how they handle new compliance, security and data loss risks. Many companies have turned to cloud-based solutions like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. At one point, Microsoft Teams gained more than 12 million daily users in a single week – up 37.5% – and then suffered an outage due to the rapid rise in demand. 

While Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace may make collaboration more efficient, data protection and management remain challenging. To address that threat, SMBs need a reliable solution for this growing reliance on the cloud and Datto’s SaaS Protection can help.


Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace Data are not Automatically Protected 

SaaS data is not immune to permanent data loss. Both Microsoft and Google make no guarantees when it comes to restoring deleted data, whether it’s human error or a malicious ransomware attack. Also, the move to remote work has triggered a wave of new cyberattacks. Previously, only 12% of all malicious traffic was directed at remote workers. Still, according to ITProPortal, this has jumped to 60% during the pandemic. 


Reduce Risk and Avoid Downtime with Datto SaaS Protection 

An independent data backup separate from the SaaS app itself is necessary to avoid the most common data loss pitfalls. Setup, backup, and recovery can all be made remotely by your MSP, ensuring data is protected and managed efficiently. Want to learn more about our reliable SaaS backup and easy recovery? Contact our product experts today!


Services Protected by Datto SaaS Protection
Microsoft 365

  • Exchange
  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint
  • Teams
Google Workspace 

  • Gmail
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Shared Drives


Staying Connected & Productive When Working Remotely

Whether your team consists of members across different geographic locations or you have full remote employees, there are ways to work within the confines of temporary team member isolation. Here are some tips and suggestions for how your company can stay productive and communicative while working from home:


Communication tools need to be your go-to solution
  • Video conferencing systems, like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, will be your best friend. Ask yourself, “Is this conversation better-suited face-to-face?” If so, book 15 minutes with someone over your video conferencing system instead of managing these communications over email or a messaging tool. It will go the distance to keep you and your teammates in sync.
  • Slack and Microsoft Teams messaging tools are a great way to continue moving through processes and asking critical questions to team members. This is a quick way to get answers and to communicate small needs or changes with the group. 
  • Don’t be afraid just to pick up the phone and call someone. Share your phone number with your colleagues when you need to have a quick conversation.


Block off “Do Not Disturb” time on your calendar each day
  • Communication tools, especially when remote, can become your entire day if you don’t manage your time appropriately. Establishing blocks of time where you request not to be interrupted to concentrate on your work is crucial.
  • Utilize the “Do Not Disturb” feature to limit your notification overload. Getting constantly pinged can be overwhelming for anyone. Do your best to reduce distractions when you need to go heads down on problem-solving for an hour.


When you’re in a video meeting, turn on your camera and pay attention
  • It’s easy to get distracted by other inquiries you’re receiving when you’re on a video meeting, especially when you can’t just close your laptop like when you’re in a conference room with team members. The only way to avoid this is to turn off notifications and focus on the session’s content. 
  • Turning on your camera allows people to read your expressions and interact with you more effectively. Additionally, it gives you the incentive to be present in the meeting instead of handling other issues during the call. 

Working from home is about balance. Make sure you take frequent breaks and monitor your working hours as you would if you were commuting. It’s easy to burnout when you work from home, so talk with your manager if you feel that you are struggling to be productive. Use the tools you have at your disposal to continue being effective contributors and collaborators with your remote team members.



Book a consultation with us to learn how you can improve your company’s work from home processes.