Author: Anne McAuley Lopez

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Construction IT Services

The construction business is a fast-paced industry that requires constantly evolving technologies and cybersecurity measures. As a Construction IT services provider, we help you stay ahead of the curve. The team at PCC does this by integrating and maintaining the  IT infrastructure, implementing cybersecurity, and monitoring the network around the clock.

Construction IT Services

As a home construction business, you’re handling proprietary information from architects, banks, investors, subcontractors, accountants, inspectors, and your own staff. Much of this is software based and may include:

  • CAD
  • Cost estimating and financing.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Procurement and scheduling
  • Project management
  • Worksite coordination
  • Team collaboration
  • Inspection and quality control
  • Regulatory and safety matters

How secure is the information? Is the network secure? Are the blueprints safely stored? Have databases been backed up? How much downtime could your business afford? If you’re like most home construction businesses, you’re focused on the customers, and not on Construction IT Services. That’s where PCC can support your current team or become your Managed Services Provider, ensuring data is backed up, monitored, and secure.

We pride ourselves on our ability to understand the technical side of construction so that we can assess and implement the right services.

Hackers are always looking for ways to gather sensitive information like credit card numbers, social security numbers, or proprietary information. They can shut down systems and cause you to pay ransom to get the network key returned so you can access your own company’s information. We don’t want this to happen to your business.

Our Construction IT Services provide technical support for your industry-specific software, workstations, and more. From estimates to CAD drawings and accounting software that manages multiple subcontractors and projects, we work with you to identify where there are gaps in security, where we can improve processes and update software and hardware, add workstations, and provide cloud storage for seasonal business fluctuations.

We want to give you back your time to focus on clients and projects, and not construction IT services.

Your team will have access to our help desk 27/7/365 so when you’re away from the office, they still have the support they need, if they need it. We monitor systems around the clock in an effort to thwart hackers and keep networks and data as secure as possible.

Our plans are cost-effective and designed with your business in mind. We provide recommendations and options so we can grow our relationship with you as your business grows. Call PCC today for more information about Construction IT Services.

What can your business outsource?

IT Consulting

As you review previous months, quarters, and years of financial reports, consider what can your business outsource versus the resources spent to do certain functions. Often accounting, marketing, administrative tasks, seasonal work, and IT consulting are on the table. Look at what you’ve spent in time and money in these areas and whether these are in the core job functions for whoever is doing them. Consider whether it makes sense budget wise to make these changes to your business.

Bookkeeping & Accounting

As a business owner myself, I was not aware of how much I was spending in certain areas because I wasn’t up to date on my financials. Not only that, but I also didn’t know how to use the reports to make business decisions. Since hiring a bookkeeper who is also an accountant, I now know my income and expenses monthly and can now set goals and make informed business decisions. The result is growth in my business over just one year. Was it worth the expense? YES! The service pays for itself, and I can focus on my core business.

Marketing & Social Media

This is often the second function that a business outsources. I like to say that as a start-up it is important to get a feel for marketing but then hand it off to the professionals. Social media posting, for example, is different than running an ad campaign for a product, analyzing results, and making changes for the next ads. There’s research and strategy as to how and why certain businesses are marketed in certain ways. If you’re busy studying the ins and outs of marketing, you’re likely not focused on the core business or highlighting your own expertise. It’s time to consider outsourcing marketing and social media.

Administrative Tasks

No matter the business, there are always administrative tasks like answering phones, setting appointments, and emailing. While there are scheduling and automation tools, it doesn’t replace the human touch. If you find yourself in need of assistance and don’t need someone full-time, consider hiring a virtual assistant (VA) who can help on a project or part-time basis. Websites like Upwork or the International Virtual Assistants Association are resources for these services.

Seasonal Work

Is your business busier at certain times of the year? I think of accounting and tax preparation as one of these industries. Consider hiring temporary help for the busy seasons. There are lots of parents in need of part-time work while their children are in school who may have experience in your industry. Ask your network who they know that may be interested. Be specific in the job functions so you find the right person faster.

IT Consulting

If you’ve read the news recently, you’ll know how important cybersecurity is for businesses of all sizes. If you’re not sure you’ve got the security in place to protect business, client, and customer data, it’s time to consider IT Consulting from PCC.

Partnering with PCC means a complete analysis of IT systems currently in place, recommendations for improvements, and an implementation plan to fit your budget. We’re here for you. Contact us today to learn more.

Questions About Cybersecurity Insurance Compliance

Cybersecurity Insurance Compliance

Years ago, we never talked about whether small businesses needed cybersecurity, much less cybersecurity insurance. All that was needed, in many cases, was an updated operating system, anti-virus protection, and an internal file saving system. That has changed in the last few years because hackers are no longer interested in exclusively targeting big box stores or hospitals for vast amounts of personal information.

Hackers are now interested in any place where they can breach data and gain access to information. In the case of ransomware, they make money when businesses pay a ransom to release the files, so it doesn’t matter the size, only that they have access. That means any business is vulnerable, making cybersecurity insurance compliance an important part of business continuity planning.

  1. What is Cybersecurity Insurance? As with any insurance, cybersecurity insurance is obtained to offset the financial loss of a cyberattack or breach. These may include system damages, downtime, privacy issues, contractual breaches, cost of data recovery, and professional IT services fees. There are requirements with this type of insurance depending on the risk profile determined by the insurer, including when and if they will pay a claim.
  2. What needs to be met to qualify for cybersecurity insurance compliance? The policy will detail the qualifications. These may include regular data backups, updated antivirus protections, authorization and authentication of users, ongoing monitoring of accounts to identify risks and compromised accounts, and consistent patches and updates. For small businesses, this type of cybersecurity insurance compliance can be challenging to obtain without the help of a Managed Service Provider (MSP) like PCC.
  3. Who needs Cybersecurity Insurance? All businesses need cybersecurity insurance. From small law firms to large conglomerates, hackers are seeking data. If your business saves data, it is a good idea to research your cybersecurity insurance options before data is breached.
  4. Why do small businesses need cybersecurity insurance? It’s likely small businesses are taking care of their own technology. I worked in a small office and our IT guy was the husband of the owner. While he is a smart person with tech knowledge, it is likely our data could have easily been breached because we didn’t have the right systems in place. This is common, especially for smaller organizations; these are also likely targets for hackers today.
  5. Who can I call to support my business for cybersecurity insurance compliance standards? Whether you need cybersecurity insurance or cybersecurity insurance compliance services, PCC is here to support your business.

Our team is ready to take steps to ensure your business complies with the insurance standards of your policy so that in the event of a breach, you are protected. Call us today to learn more.

How Ransomware Protection Can Save You

ransomware protection

Picture this: You walk into work on a Monday, and everyone is standing around. No one can access the servers, including confidential client information. Business is at a standstill because someone has hacked into your network. To prevent this from happening at your business, consider ransomware protection.

Ransomware attacks are increasingly happening to smaller businesses, even personal computers. Hackers aren’t just going after large organizations like hospitals, oil companies, and big box stores; anyone is fair game for them now. It’s a bit scary but PCC can support your business and protect networks and servers from being compromised.

How Ransomware Protection Can Save Your Business

The Identity Theft Research Center reported a 17% increase in the number of data breaches from 2020 to 2021. Because of how the numbers are reported, this may even be a larger percentage. The cost of a data breach is an average of over $4 million, according to IBM, with others reporting even higher costs. What does this mean for your business? It means it’s time to consider ransomware protection that can save your business.

  • Educate employees. Human error is responsible for as many as 95% of all successful cyberattacks. This is due to employees not being educated about email phishing scams, updating operating systems, and upgrading hardware. Training your team is part of what we do when we implement a ransomware protection plan.
  • Install firewall protection. Protect files and emails from hackers when a firewall is installed and updated.
  • Monitor internet usage. It’s not that you don’t trust your employees, it’s that certain websites pose more of a threat to security than others. The more we can monitor internet usage, the more protected your business is.

Ultimately, we want to protect business data and keep systems updated and secure. Our team constantly monitors the network, prevents breaches, and keeps technology working. We don’t want the Monday scenario described above to be your business.

If you’re wondering if ransomware protection is worth the investment, consider that even when a ransom is paid to release your business information back to your control after an attack, there can be information missing that you can never recover. Not only that but data can be copied and sold to anyone around the globe. Why not act ahead of the hackers and protect your business today? PCC is here to help. Contact us today to learn more.

Why Law Firms Need IT Services

legal IT services

Businesses, including law firms, are experiencing data breaches. That means the information you thought was secure is being compromised by hackers. It has been reported that as many as 25% of law firms experienced, will yours be next? We don’t know. What we do know is that having a team of legal IT services professionals working around the clock to secure and monitor the network and data will help prevent a data breach.

Whether your firm is a small estate planning firm or a large corporate entity, we know two things:

  1. Your firm is held to compliance and industry standards, including keeping client information and conversations private.
  2. Hackers are constantly finding ways to breach business data.

That means being prepared by having systems and education in place to thwart such an attack.

Why Law Firms Need IT Services

The American Bar Association offers The ABA Cybersecurity Handbook for attorneys, law firms, and related business professionals. While this is a useful overview, the reality is that cybercriminals are quickly changing how they are accessing data that you may think is secure, making it important to have a legal IT services team working side by side with you.

  1. Protect Client Information. We collaborate with you and your staff to ensure digital client data is protected. From where scanned paper files are stored online to antivirus software, firewalls, and updated operating systems.
  2. Expand the team. If you’re seeking to hire new employees, our legal IT services team will set up a secure workstation with appropriate security. Only at the highest levels is it usually required that an employee has access to all information about the firm and clients. In the wrong hands, this is a security risk. The “wrong” hands could be an employee who simply isn’t educated on what malware is and what it can look like. They click a link, and the entire firm has been compromised.
  3. Improve Processes and Procedures. As your firm changes, so will technology. Having the right processes and procedures in place will ensure everyone has the tools they need to do their jobs. We will work together to ensure systems are updated and upgraded as needed or wanted so that processes are streamlined.
  4. Increased flexibility. As with many businesses, there comes a time when administrative tasks are taking too much time away from working on the business, or in this case, with clients. Rather than spinning your wheels, partner with a legal IT services firm that understands what you need and will manage those tech-related tasks on your behalf, thus giving you flexibility on your schedule.
  5. Improved bottom line. We offer a flat rate monthly fee for services that fit the needs of your law firm. You won’t have to worry if one more call to the help desk will increase your bill. Rather, we build in that time, along with securing and monitoring systems all day, every day.

Bottom line is that when you have a legal IT services partner, you can focus on your clients and your team and not technology. Protect your law firm, stay compliant with standards, and let us take care of the rest. For more information, please visit our website and contact us today.

Data Breaches, Cybersecurity, Ransomware….Oh My

If you asked the companies that were hacked in 2021, they’d tell you data breaches, cybersecurity, and ransomware mean a lot more to their business now than before their systems were compromised. It can happen to your business too. PCC is here to support your business and protect data.

The Identity Theft Research Center reported a 17% increase in the number of data breaches from 2020 to 2021. Because of how the numbers are reported, this may even be a larger percentage. The cost of a data breach is an average of over $4 million, according to IBM, with others reporting even higher costs. What this means for your business is that you need a cybersecurity plan in place before your business becomes the next victim of a data breach or ransomware attack.

Cybersecurity for San Francisco Area Businesses

Any business anywhere can be the victim of a cyberattack. It can cost millions of dollars to get the data back from hackers holding it for ransom, not to mention what it costs in reputation management. Look at big brands like Facebook, Volkswagen, and T-Mobile, a few of the companies affected in 2021, and how they had to spend time, money, and resources to make sure data is better protected. Can your small business survive? Most would struggle, making the case for cybersecurity even more of a priority.

Cybersecurity protects systems, networks, and software programs from attacks. Hackers try to access, change, or destroy information. They may extort businesses, hospitals, and governments, and interrupt workflows. They can take down entire systems with a few keystrokes. One employee opening the wrong email can cause a chain reaction.

  • Educate employees about spam emails and phishing scams. Scammers have gotten better about creating emails that look like they are from trusted sources. Check who sent the email address. If it looks odd, don’t open it and ask an IT administrator.
  • Provide firewall security. If it’s too challenging to access your organization’s data, the hackers will move on to the next.
  • Regularly back up data so that in case of a breach, information can be restored once it is safe to do so.
  • Secure Wi-Fi and provide secure access to remote employees
  • Hire an IT Services company like PCC to assess current systems, update workstations, and create and implement a cybersecurity plan to protect company data.

Partner with PCC and give yourself peace of mind that your business is as protected as it can be. Cybersecurity can save your business. It’s worth the investment.