Why Conduct a Network Risk Assessment?

Why Conduct a Network Risk Assessment?

Is a network risk assessment really necessary?

Without a doubt, 2020 has been an unprecedented year. With pandemics, lock-downs, a planned recession and enormous amount of uncertainty, many things have changed but cyber threats remain the same.

network risk assessmentHackers and cyber criminals have not abandoned their nefarious ways in light of the pandemic. If anything, threats to network security have only ramped up, especially for those at high risk.

To alleviate some of this uncertainty, one of the best things you can do is begin securing your network through a network security assessment.

With an increasing number of employees working remotely on home networks, without the proper precautions in place, one wrong click could allow ransomware to infiltrate your network.

A few startling statistics from 2020 can shed some light on the state of cyber security:

  1. This year, we have seen an increase in targeted ransomware attacks aimed at newly remote workers. Hackers know home Wi-Fi networks are often inherently insecure and they are focusing their efforts on this weakness to exploit users at home.
  2. Businesses are now taking notice of these threats. Nearly 7 in 10 business leaders surveyed feel that cyber threats are increasing.
  3. There are many paths to network intrusion, but some of the most common are compromised passwords, social engineering, actions by disgruntled employees and back doors deliberately built into software and hardware devices.
  4. Security breaches were already at a record high in 2018, but since then the threat has only grown. Cyber security attacks have increased more than 10% since 2018, and 2020 is shaping up to be the worst year so far.

What can be done to combat network security threats?

Take the First Step by Conducting a Network Risk Assessment

The reality is that you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Think of a network risk assessment as a baseline or snapshot of your network security. Without knowing your weaknesses, protecting against them will be next to impossible.

What Are the Benefits?

There are many reasons why an assessment is so critical right now, from the need to reassure customers that their data is safe to peace of mind.

  • Concrete Evidence to Build a Case – A network security assessment can allow internal IT staff to pass on valuable information to business leaders, helping them see where they are vulnerable and how they can secure their infrastructure to minimize risk. Decision makers may be reluctant to invest in their network infrastructure, but seeing the deficiencies in black and white might be enough incentive to assure them that the investment in network security is necessary.
  • Business Insurance Policy & Compliance Approval – Business insurance providers want to know companies are doing everything in their power to guard against emerging threats like ransomware and phishing. Without this kind of reassurance, they may be reluctant to provide, or renew their policies. Your organization may be required to undergo a network security assessment in order to obtain a new cyber liability insurance policy or maintain an existing one. You may also need such an assessment to comply with regulations such as HIPAA.
  • A Network Security Benchmark – You cannot improve what you can’t measure. If your network has security gaps, it’s important to find solutions that will specifically address those vulnerabilities rather than a blanket one-size-fits-all network security solution.
  • Cyber security is a Process, Not a Project – New threats are always on the horizon. With new threats emerging, even if you have already undergone a network security assessment, conducting regular audits are the best way to guard against new threats as they continue to advance year after year.

When Should a Network Risk Assessment Be Conducted?

At Ontech Systems, we recommend conducting a network security assessment every one to two years depending on your industry and level of risk. Entities covered under HIPAA will need to undergo more frequent assessments, and nonprofit agencies may require more stringent audits as well.

Municipalities and local government agencies have not yet established frequency requirements for network security assessments, but that does not mean they can ignore the risks. Government agencies of all levels have been frequent targets of ransomware attacks, making network security assessments a critical part of doing business.

What is the Difference between a Risk Assessment and an IT Security Audit?

As with many aspects of IT, there are a variety of names for the same general IT solution. A risk assessment and an IT security audit are essentially the same thing.

Next Steps

Once a network security assessment is completed and the results presented, these important follow-up steps can get underway.

  • Procurement of managed security services and/or additional network security solutions
  • Security awareness training for management and staff
  • Ongoing vulnerability scans
  • The establishment of a cyber security policy
  • Budgeting for cyber security services

Get more details and a printable PDF on what is included in Ontech’s network security assessments here.

If you’re ready to schedule your first or your next, network security assessment, just give our support team a call at 262-522-8560 or reach out to us online.

From network security assessments, to budgeting and even vendor management, Ontech Systems is your full service cyber security partner. We stay on top of the latest threats and vulnerabilities so you don’t have to.

How to Change IT Providers

How to Change IT Providers

When considering how to change IT providers, the choice is one of the most consequential decisions you will make for your business. Get it right and you can sit back and relax, knowing your IT operations are in the best possible hands. Get it wrong, and you could suffer annoying outages, time-consuming delays and even a devastating loss of data.

Hopefully you got it right the first time, but if not you can change IT companies and enjoy all the benefits that come from working with a true professional. Unfortunately, many businesses are reluctant to switch IT providers, putting up with subpar service out of fear or reluctance to abandon the status quo.

Changing IT providers can be a daunting proposition, and there are many unknown variables to the equation. Businesses considering a change in IT company may face challenges such as:

  • Contract issues: Some businesses don’t even know they are in a contract. Others don’t understand the intricacies of their existing contract, including the terms of the agreement or the penalties for an early exit.
  • Uncertainties over backups, hardware, licensing and email: Can you say with certainty that you own your backups? In many cases, backups are held in the name of the IT company which can make it difficult (but not impossible) to change providers. In addition, some organizations run into issues where hardware, licensing, and subscription services like email are owned by a previous IT company.

At Ontech, we are committed to full transparency, including who owns your backups and how these essential files are handled. When you choose Ontech as your outsourced IT provider, all backups are stored in your company’s name, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Questions to Ask When Changing IT Companies

No matter how dissatisfied you are with your current provider, switching to a new IT company requires an adequate amount of consideration to ensure they will be a good fit both now and into the future as your business grows. There are a number of key questions to ask when evaluating IT providers.

  1. How large is your company and are your services scalable? You need to know your new provider is committed to growth, both yours and theirs.
  2. What parts of the country (or the world) do you cover? Is the IT company regionally based, or do they provide service from coast to coast?
  3. Do you offer multiple types of service? There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managed IT services. Ask about various levels of support, from basic data protection to complex IT integration services.
  4. Are response times guaranteed? When your servers are down and your website is offline, every minute feels like an hour. Guaranteed response times help ensure your IT infrastructure, and your business, will be up and running as quickly as possible.
  5. Will my business have a dedicated account manager? Having a single point of contact is essential, so ask who will be handling your account and how you can get in touch with them.
  6. Will I have a dedicated technician? Always ask if you will have your own assigned technician, a professional who you can rely on to know the ins and outs of your network.
  7. What type of training program do your technicians undergo? Managed IT is a complicated industry, and ongoing education is an essential part of the process. Be sure to ask about training programs the company provides for its front-line technicians and other essential staff members.
  8. How will I be charged and how can I pay? Ask about pricing plans, payment terms, and available methods of payment.
  9. Do you support vendor management? Often times it can be daunting to identify the right equipment or vendors needed for a project. Some IT companies handle everything for you, while others require you to do the research and purchase equipment on your own which can be overwhelming and cause problems down the road.
  10. Do you supply the hardware or just support? Managing IT infrastructure is the job of the company you are hiring, but some firms also take care of the hardware requirements. Knowing what you are getting is essential if you are to budget properly.
  11. What happens if I cancel? Hopefully you will be happy with your new IT provider, but it is still important to understand their cancellation policy, including how your files will be transferred and whether or not an early cancellation fee will be assessed.
  12. What is (and is not) covered under the contract? It is important to know exactly what is covered under the support contract with your new IT company. Just as importantly, you need to understand what is excluded, so you can factor those exclusions into your future plans.
  13. Do you work with preferred providers? Some IT companies work with specific hardware and software providers, while others are more flexible. If you have a specific software product or hardware brand in mind, make sure the IT company supports it.
  14. Ask about remote management and monitoring. Ongoing monitoring can spot intrusion attempts, stop ransomware demands in their tracks and help your business run more efficiently. Always ask if remote management services and ongoing monitoring are included as part of your contract.

We invite you to contact us at 262-522-8560 and consider Ontech Systems as your IT partner. Our support team will gladly answer these questions and any others you have in order to make a smart decision.

Common Mistakes When Changing IT Companies

It’s helpful to learn from others’ mistakes to ensure your transition is as easy as possible. These are some common mistakes to watch out for:

  • Making significant changes immediately: Ensure your new IT provider fully understands your network, along with your current and future growth plans before making significant changes. Many IT companies kick things off by implementing a significant number of changes that can send your operations and staff into a flurry to get acquainted with the new system. This is also a red flag that they don’t fully understand your systems and aren’t willing to take the time to do so.
  • Not conducting thorough research: Be sure to take the time to thoroughly check the new company’s references. This includes conducting online research to read unbiased reviews from past and current customers.
  • Choosing a provider that does things “their way”: Some IT companies like to do things their way and their way only. As a new client, they push their preferred software and hardware solutions rather than evaluating your network and making recommendations that are best for your business. Be sure your new provider plans to kick things off with a complete audit and assessment of your existing network before they make recommendations for improvement.
  • Choosing a provider that relies on the break/fix model: Proactive monitoring is the modern day approach that your new IT company should adhere to. The industry has shifted away from the outdated break/fix model in support of a proactive approach that can help alleviate smaller issues before they become major problems.

Ontech’s Approach to Onboarding

At Ontech, we know that changing IT companies is a critical time, and we strive to make the process as simple as possible. In the end, it is our approach to onboarding that makes all the difference. When you switch to Ontech for your managed IT service, we will:

  • Identify your needs: Ontech’s complementary Network Discovery process identifies the documentation needed, simplifying the onboarding process.
  • Plan the move: Once you decide to move forward, Ontech provides a letter to the existing IT provider, asking for the necessary documentation to guide the process forward.
  • Plan the kickoff: Next we will schedule a kick-off call to introduce the members of our team, review the necessary documentation, install an inspector program to automate the pulling of data and schedule an in-person onboarding visit.
  • Implement the move: Once the necessary steps have been completed, we will settle on a date for the implementation. Once that date is agreed to, we will begin to load the documentation into our IT Glue Documentation platform. We will also change passwords, removing access for the old vendor, providing a safe and secure onboarding process for your company.
  • Review the results: The final steps ensure you are happy with our services. During the 30-day review we will send a customer satisfaction survey and sit down with you to discuss the implementation and answer any questions you have. We will also schedule a 90-day review, along with an annual IT review meeting and a budget meeting if necessary.

If you are tired of slow, unresponsive service and a lack of expertise, it may be time to change IT companies. At Ontech, we are dedicated to making the transition as simple and painless as possible, and it all starts with a quick 10-minute call to see if we’re a good fit: 262-522-8560

We encourage you to contact Ontech today to share any concerns, ask questions and learn more about our exceptional IT services and reputation.

5 Reasons Businesses Switch IT Providers

5 Reasons Businesses Switch IT Providers

The way we work is rapidly changing. Many companies are moving employee workspaces out of the office and into their homes – permanently. With these changes, there are bound to be businesses leaning more on their IT provider than ever before. And what they find, they might not like.

From slow response time, to poor documentation, in the current work climate, you may find yourself unhappy with the current level of service you’re receiving from your IT provider. And you’re not alone – these are the top reasons businesses switch to IT companies, contrasted with the way we do things here at Ontech Systems.

1) Lack of Consultative approach

The “other guys”: Our technicians regularly meet with prospective clients who are investing a lot of money into IT without any reports whatsoever from their current IT provider. Rather than keeping a pulse on their IT infrastructure, they are in the dark about what is happening with their data, they aren’t aware of weaknesses in their network, and they have no clue when the latest backup was done.

Ontech: The IT industry is becoming less of actual IT support, and more about planning. At Ontech, our people is our product. We look for IT consultants who are good with both clients and IT. We do a 60 and 90 day review – as your methodology changes, we can adapt with it. We also conduct regular 3, 4, and 5 year budget plans with clients to help them with expenses and offer flexibility.

2) Poor Response Time

The “other guys”: Aside from lack of communication, poor response time is a common problem we hear about from prospective clients. If a problem arises, it is often the client who has to bring it to light rather than the other way around.

Ontech: Ontech stands behind our 1-hour response time – no more waiting weeks to hear back from your IT support provider. Unlike many IT companies, we return phone calls or emails within an hour during normal business hours. We have excellent communication and we don’t lock our clients into long-term contracts. If you’re not happy with our services, simply let us know.

3) Poor Documentation

The “other guys”: Poor documentation is another common frustration prospective clients share with us before they make the switch to Ontech. Either their IT provider is holding logins/data hostage or they don’t have them documented which creates even more problems down the road.

Ontech: Ontech clients use a cloud based system called “My Glue” to access their login details where all credentials are stored in one place that is accessible to client, Ontech, and in-house IT staff.

4) Holding Your Network Hostage

The “other guys”: It’s common for ransomware to hold your data hostage – but your IT company? Unfortunately, this situation can occur the moment you inform your current IT provider that you are switching providers.

In an effort to retain your business, they tell you that if you switch, your data will be wiped out permanently. Or, they simply don’t provide you with the logins you need to make the switch. Ethics aside, this type of action demonstrates a clear lack of concern for your businesses welfare, emphasizing the importance of doing your research before you enter a business relationship with a new provider.

Ontech: The way we see it is this; it is your network. We are your partner and we will never hold your information hostage or keep any data from you. This is an approach that is especially useful for companies with internal IT staff.

5) No Active Certifications

The “other guys”: Many IT companies do not make it mandatory for their technicians to stay on top of the latest certifications. This is in turn doing you a disservice given the rate at which technology changes and vendors update their hardware and software systems.

Ontech: Ontech requires our technicians to obtain one major certification per year to ensure that the advice and direction we provide is up to date with the latest technology available. We know the products and we can help you define a plan.

A True Partner

From our consultative approach, to our exceptional expertise and communication, if you’re frustrated with your current IT provider, Ontech Systems is ready to be your IT partner. We go above and beyond for our customers by helping them streamline their vendors, manage their subscriptions and design an IT infrastructure that can grow with their business.

Contact our support team at 262-522-8560 and let us know how we can help. We’ll work with you to make the transition as seamless and stress free as possible.

Business Communication Trends in 2020

Business Communication Trends in 2020

Without a doubt, 2020 has proven to be an unprecedented time, calling for a new way of doing business. A recent study by Wrike revealed that nearly half (49%) of their respondents had never worked from home prior to the pandemic.

How has your organization been affected? You can use the following survey questions to poll staff and get a feel for the success of your transition to a remote workforce.

  1. How seamless was your transition to remote working?
  2. Are there additional tools or technology that would allow you to have a better remote working experience?
  3. Are there ways the organization can help support you more while working remotely?
  4. Are you experiencing any challenges while operating/working remotely that you do not face in the office?
  5. On a scale from 1-5, please rate your feeling of connectedness to other team members and employees.
  6. On a scale from 1-5, please rate your overall experience working remotely.

While it may require some level of adjustment, working remotely doesn’t have to be daunting. With the right tools, it can even help you become more productive.

Through advances in communication, many of these work at home trends will likely have staying power and continue to be utilized for years to come.

At Ontech Systems, in the greater Milwaukee area, we’re seeing an influx of interest in businesses adopting the cloud, interests in mobile security, and requests to streamline remote communication.

The following tools can help your organization achieve these goals – and then some!

1) Instant Messaging Through Microsoft Teams

Teams originated as Skype until Microsoft acquired the tool and ultimately created Microsoft Teams in 2017.

Deploying Teams doesn’t have to be difficult and it’s easier than you might think. While the cloud based phone system functionality of Teams is still in its infancy, this tool is an incredibly easy-to-use instant messaging app and it’s great for internal calls as well. Accessing chat within Teams is as simple as logging into your Office 365 account.

On the flipside, you may need a technician to help you set up some of the advanced features such as screen sharing, webinar access, and presenting mode. Ontech Systems is available to help you build out Teams to its fullest extent. Just contact us online or reach us at 262-522-8650.

2) Collaborating with Microsoft SharePoint

Many people confuse Microsoft Teams and SharePoint because they are frequently used together. Here’s a quick overview to help you keep them straight:

  • Teams – Primarily used as an instant messaging tool.
  • SharePoint – Used as a collaboration tool that integrates Teams group chat, announcements and OneNote features.

*Also worth noting is the difference between OneDrive vs SharePoint.

For a real-world example, let’s say your sales team wants to create a training portal.

You would begin by creating a SharePoint site that corresponds with a Teams SharePoint channel. The data in this case resides in SharePoint, not Teams. Communication through this portal could take place on Teams group chat.

You could additionally connect a OneNote notebook with the sales team’s SharePoint channel to share sales meeting agendas and build out the training library to for the rest of the sales team to view. What this amounts to is an “intranet” that can be developed for internal use and added onto as resources and team members grow.

3) Remote Access through LogMeIn

Need to access your work computer from a different location? No problem, LogMeIn to the rescue. This widely used remote access tool allows you to gain encrypted, secure access to your computer from anywhere, at any time. In fact, this is what Ontech uses exclusively to support our clients.

Note: Ontech’s managed service clients already have access to LogMeIn since this tool is included with all managed service subscriptions.

4) Advanced Phone Features through Allworx

Allworx is a cloud based phone system that is great for businesses who need advanced control over calling features. An app called Allworx Reach essentially turns your cell phone into an office phone, complete with extensions where you can see when other people are on the line, and others don’t see your personal cell phone number. This is a perfect solution for healthcare organizations or attorney offices since it will appear to callers as if you are calling from the office.

Allworx Reach is available as an Android or iPhone app and it allows your organization to save money by paying for a user license rather than an expensive phone system.

Whether you need to quickly instant message a co-worker, gain access to your work computer, collaborate with your team or maintain a professional phone support experience for customers, chances are good that you have questions, and we have answers.

Give Ontech’s support team a call with all your remote work questions at 262-522-8560 or send us a request online.

An Inside Look at IT Budgeting

An Inside Look at IT Budgeting

In the world of business, a sudden unexpected expense can send even the most well financed business into a tailspin. While an IT budget is essential, what’s more important is that it is comprehensive enough to cover every possible scenario, robust enough to ensure everyone has what they need, and flexible enough to account for the unexpected. Most businesses begin IT budget planning between July and September. By this time of year, there is typically enough data available to identify deficiencies in the current IT budget. Decision makers can then make timely changes and adjustments going forward.

Benefits of an IT Budget

A smart IT spending plan is helpful in several ways:
  • Lifecycle and end of support – It is important to take note of software and hardware end of life dates. An annual budget review is the perfect time to identify and plan ahead for any necessary upgrades or changes.
  • Make decisions based on the numbers – There is nothing like seeing the budget in black and white. The budgeting process lets you make sound decisions based on realistic financial projections.
  • Keep vendors honest – From time to time, vendor fees can gradually (or not so gradually) creep up, especially when no one is watching. By conducting an annual IT budgetary review, you can identify price increases and if necessary, switch to a different vendor or solution.
  • Make long term decisions based on forecasted budgets – An annual IT budget allows you to compare the merits of managed services vs. hourly services, so you can make a sound decision based on careful forecasts.

A Note on IT Budgeting for Government Grants

While an IT budget is necessary for every for-profit business, a smart spending plan could be even more critical for non-profit agencies and government agencies. These organizations cannot rely on customers to fund their IT budget – they often need government grants to make ends meet. Typically, there is a governing body that requires non-profits to meet certain IT requirements, including the security of client data and the safeguarding of personal information. If the organization in question has not taken sufficient steps to guard against cyber-attacks and the growing threat of ransomware, they could be denied of government grants.  With critical funding on the line, non-profits and governmental agencies cannot afford to take chances with their annual IT budgeting process.

Ontech’s Approach to IT Budgeting

Whether your business operates for profit or not, when you partner with Ontech to build your annual IT budget, you get access to a granular level of budget-specific detail you might otherwise overlook. Our approach is very much consultative vs. break/fix. While some businesses take the approach of waiting for things to break and fixing them, a process euphemistically known as break/fix, Ontech takes a difference approach. Prevention as a Practice We believe in prevention as a practice. This approach involves regular IT maintenance and monitoring to ensure that minor issues are fixed before they become big problems. When planning your IT budget, we encourage a 3 to 5 year hardware replacement plan so you can avoid unpleasant surprises and security risks down the road.

Our Approach with Inside IT Techs

When it comes to IT budgeting, Ontech takes a collaborative, team-based approach with inside techs. IT budgeting is most helpful once you have been an Ontech customer for over 1 year, but it might be worthwhile to work with Ontech to come up with ways to get the most out of your budget or fund certain projects you’ve been wanting to begin for some time now.

Four Key Budgetary Categories

At Ontech, we break down the annual IT budgeting process into four main areas. By breaking this complex process into four key areas, we make it easier for you to see the big picture without losing sight of the little things than can make a big impact overall. These are the four categories we break down in an IT budget:
  • Hardware and licensing
  • Cloud services
  • Managed services
  • Hourly maintenance/project

The IT Budget Spreadsheet

Ontech's IT Budgeting spreadsheet    
Ontech’s IT Budgeting Spreadsheet
We begin by defining all spending for the upcoming year through our IT budget spreadsheet, time-tested and perfected over the last 15+ years.

Free IT Budget Meeting For Ontech Customers

We know developing an annual IT budget can be difficult, but we can make it easier.  Ontech offers free IT budget meeting for customers. Just give us a call at 262-522-8560 to schedule a time to get started. *If you are NOT an Ontech customer, we encourage you to schedule a free Network Discovery where we can help you get a better handle on your current IT infrastructure and close any potential security loopholes. Feel free to call our support team at 262-522-8560 with any IT budgeting questions! Ontech maintains detailed records for all customers, so there is no need to dig through your old IT documents – we’ve got you covered. One less thing for you to worry about. We keep record of:
  • All software and hardware your company has in place.
  • Anticipated software and hardware lifecycles along with upgrade strategies.
  • All renewal periods and project fees.

We Price Shop for You

With many different options and support levels, IT prices can be confusing. When you work with Ontech, our dedicated account team will assist you with renewals and answer any questions you may have about what you‘ve purchased, how it is supported, and how much that support will cost. We also compare prices across platforms and providers, so you can get the lowest price and keep your IT budget in check. Our process even pits vendors against one another, so you get the best pricing possible.

We Help You Make the Best Hardware Decisions

From choosing the right servers to selecting firewalls to keep your network safe, we’ll share the inside scoop on what you need – and what you don’t. We also have know-how on which hardware will work seamlessly with your existing software and which planned upgrades could cause problems down the line. And since we have a comprehensive list of all software in your organization, we can cross-reference to help you avoid incompatible hardware choices. Easy, right?

It is Time to Make a Switch?

Did you know end-of-life is near for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008? We can help you develop an upgrade plan that makes sense for your business. It’s never too late to start thinking about IT budgeting for the coming year. If you’re ready to make a change, Ontech is here to help.

Get Started with a Network Security Assessment

If you’re in the midst of IT budgeting, a good way to “test the waters” with Ontech Systems is by scheduling a Network Security assessment. Ontech’s IT Security Assessment scans your network and gives you an in-depth look at network areas that are typically the most vulnerable. We then provide you with 6 comprehensive reports that deliver all the information you need to know – right at your fingertips. Sign up for a network security assessment by September 30th and save $250! Learn more or contact us today at 262-522-8560 x2 or insidesales@ontech.com
5 Easy Ways to Speed Up Your Windows PC

5 Easy Ways to Speed Up Your Windows PC

Whether you’re running a resource intensive software program for work, managing your email, or just surfing the web, you want your computer to be as fast as possible. In the age of streaming and instant gratification, even a small slowdown can be a big problem, leading to slower performance over time.

If you purchased your Windows PC some time ago, you’ve probably witnessed this slowdown firsthand. Your brand new computer, once blazing fast, now just drags, weighed down by various factors impacting performance.

Sure, you could buy a new computer, but before you do that, try these proven ways to enhance the performance of the PC you already have.

Tip #1 – Add More RAM

One of the most effective ways to boost performance on a Windows PC is to add more memory. Adding RAM will make every program on your computer run faster and more efficiently – and this upgrade is easier than you might think.

Adding RAM to your desktop computer or laptop doesn’t require much more than a screwdriver to install the part, but if you need help, ask your IT provider to install the memory for you.

Tip #2 – Remove Unnecessary Programs

Some computers come pre-installed with bloatware, unnecessary programs and trial packages you may or may not want to keep. In addition to those bloatware programs, you may have installed additional packages along the way, including software you no longer use.

Removing those programs can speed up performance in your Windows PC so you can focus resources where you need them most. You can access your list of installed programs through the Control Panel on your Windows PC and from there, select which you would like to remove from the machine.

Tip #3 – Free Up Hard Drive Space

Most modern PC’s offer plenty of hard drive space, but they can quickly fill up over time, especially if you’re not saving data to the cloud. When free space begins to diminish, the performance of your PC can suffer dramatically.

If your Windows PC is running more slowly than it used to, check the amount of space you have available. If space is running low, backing up large files or moving to the cloud could make a big difference.

If you have the capacity, copying rarely used but important files to multiple places builds in redundancy which can help you avoid data loss.

Tip #4 – Reboot

This is perhaps the easiest way to boost the speed of your Windows PC. Simply rebooting can restore lost speed by freeing up memory, clearing away temporary files and giving the computer a fresh start.  Microsoft releases updates on the second Tuesday of every month, the majority of these patches are security related and rebooting allows for these updates to be installed.

Even if you leave your desktop or laptop on 24/7, you should always reboot occasionally. Rebooting once a week or a couple of times a month is good for your computer, and you should notice an increase in speed when the reboot process is complete.

Tip #5 – Close Some Windows

Multitasking may seem like a good idea, but it often causes more problems than it solves. The human mind can only focus on so many things at once, and exceeding that limit could make you less productive instead of more.

Keeping too many windows open can also slow down your PC, so try closing some inactive windows to boost performance and free up resources whenever your PC starts to drag.

A Worry-Free Approach

There are a variety of causes of computer slowdowns and working through them one by one is generally the best way to resolve the issue.

For a worry-free approach to desktop management, you could keep all PC’s on your network running at peak performance with Ontech’s Total Desktop Care.

Through this done-for-you managed service, you can leave all PC maintenance issues to us. Ontech will be notified if your hard drive is full, if you’re reaching maximum capacity, or if your PC needs a reboot. With Total Desktop Care, we evaluate the performance of your Windows PCs, so you can worry less and get more done.

Hidden Causes of Computer Slowdowns

Some causes of computer delays are obvious, but others are more sinister. Hidden dangers like viruses and spyware can slow your Windows PC down to a crawl – and put your personal information and sensitive data at risk.

These hidden dangers also pose a significant risk to your business network. A single connected computer harboring a virus could spread the infection company-wide in a matter of minutes, compromising the security of company and customer data.

Stop Security Risks in Their Tracks

Security is a hot topic these days, and for good reason. Today, there are a variety of tools available to business users to help secure desktops and laptops across your entire network.

Security awareness training is one of the best ways to turn your biggest security threat (computer users) into your first line of defense.

Ontech offers comprehensive training for business users, such as running simulated phishing scam tests to gauge cyber security awareness throughout the company.

The accounts receivable department could, for instance, be tested with both legitimate and scam emails masquerading as invoices. This simple exercise can uncover vulnerabilities while enhancing the security of your network.

For a limited time, Ontech is waiving the set-up fee for your first security awareness training campaign! Contact us today to learn how at 262-522-8560 x2 or insidesales@ontech.com  

Alternatively, if you simply have a troublesome desktop or laptop device on your network that’s running slower than you’d like, just contact Ontech at info@ontech.com

We can help you determine if a hardware upgrade is needed, if the device is infected by a virus, or if another type of intervention is needed.