Your business doesn’t have time for IT problems!

Call us now and we will work with you to find a solution any computer or network issues impacting your business. We’ll get the computer problems plaguing your office patched up quickly, and if you’ll allow us to, we’ll look into what is causing your problems in the first place.

With proactive monitoring, we  can help you prevent  your computer issues entirely! With our Managed IT Services we identify computer and network issues before they cause downtime or loss of productivity.
We can help provide a solution to turn your current IT mess into a beautiful system you love.

Call us now at (888) 799-4777 and we’ll start working on resolving your pressing computer issues.

Intrusion Detection System for Cybersecurity

Safeguarding Your Business Against Cyber Threats with an Intrusion Detection System

As businesses rely more on connected technologies, they become sitting ducks for cyberattacks. Malicious actors are hard at work developing new methods to infiltrate networks and steal sensitive data. Ensure your business has watertight security measures by implementing all 15 ways to protect your business from a cyberattack, including an intrusion detection system (IDS).

An IDS works like an advanced warning system, scanning your network activity for suspicious behaviors that may indicate a cyberattack. It provides an extra layer of protection to catch potential threats that other security tools may miss.

What is an IDS?

An intrusion detection system monitors network traffic by searching for patterns that may signify a network breach or data exfiltration attempt. It works by establishing a baseline of normal network behavior and sending alerts when any abnormal activity is detected.

IDS tools utilize either signature-based or anomaly-based detection methods. On the one hand, signature-based systems look for known threats by comparing live traffic against databases of attack signatures. On the other hand, anomaly-based systems try to detect deviations from normal patterns.

There are two main types of IDS deployments.

Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS)

A network intrusion detection system is like a security camera that monitors activity throughout an entire building. The security camera is installed to view all common spaces, halls, and entry points. It analyzes movement and behaviors, looking for suspicious activities like someone sneaking around who shouldn’t be there. The security camera provides extra visibility into what’s happening throughout the building, allowing security guards to detect intruders.

Similarly, a NIDS watches an entire network, inspecting all the data flowing through. It’s analyzing the network packets to identify unusual traffic that could signal a hacker’s attack. This gives IT professionals greater insight into network events to spot potential threats that other protections may miss. The NIDS acts as an extra set of eyes monitoring the network for breaches around the clock.

Host-Based Intrusion Detection System (HIDS)

On the other hand, a host-based IDS is like a surveillance camera inside a store, watching over just one cash register. It focuses on all activity happening at that specific checkout lane. The camera tracks every item scanned, register key pressed, drawer opened, and barcode scanned – anything that could look like suspicious behavior. With its targeted view, the camera can detect if a cashier is doing something shady, like pocketing cash or manipulating transactions.

In the same way, a HIDS zooms in on events within a single computer or device. It monitors low-level operations like system commands, log files, and file changes. Looking for abnormal patterns, the HIDS builds an understanding of normal behavior in that one host. If any abnormal activity deviates from the baseline, the HIDS can flag it as a potential security breach. So, this targeted monitoring helps catch threats like an employee illicitly accessing company data on their work laptop.

IDS Benefits for Businesses

Intrusion detection provides essential visibility into threats that other defenses like firewalls and antivirus software can miss.

Here are some key advantages an IDS delivers:

  • Early detection of attacks: IDS tools can spot malicious activity as it unfolds before severe damage is done. This grants responders a critical head start on investigating and containing the breach.

While anti-virus software relies on signatures to catch known threats, an IDS uses behavioral analysis to detect anomalous activity that could indicate zero-day attacks. This allows an IDS to catch incidents proactively before the antivirus recognizes them.

Therefore, an IDS provides a vital additional security layer by identifying stealthy or unprecedented threats that other defenses may miss. Implementing an IDS alongside antivirus software offers more robust protection.

  • Insight into insider threats: A HIDS monitors user activity for dangerous behaviors, like unauthorized attempts to access or modify data. You can catch potentially rogue employees before they do any damage. Your anti-ransomware or antivirus cannot do that.
  • Strengthening of incident response: While security awareness training is vital for reducing risk, IDS tools provide comprehensive visibility into malicious activities that allow responders to quickly determine the attack’s extent. This speeds up recovery efforts and informs preventative improvements to security defenses.
  • Prioritizing patch management: By revealing exploited vulnerabilities, an IDS highlights where patching efforts should be focused first. The real-time insight an IDS provides enables administrators to determine which systems are most vulnerable quickly. Prompt patching of these critical security flaws is essential for reducing attack surface exposure.
  • Compliance assistance: Audit logs and alerts generated by an IDS help demonstrate regulatory compliance regarding monitoring for threats. Detailed activity logs can provide proof of a robust security program to auditors. IDS alerts also supply documentation of response processes when incidents occur, further aiding compliance efforts.

With cybercriminals relentlessly attempting intrusions, businesses need proactive monitoring to detect threats. An IDS delivers this through round-the-clock surveillance, empowering rapid response.

Deploying an Effective IDS

To leverage an IDS most effectively, careful planning and configuration is required.

Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Place IDS sensors at key network choke points to monitor inbound and outbound traffic. Critical infrastructure like DMZs and database servers warrant extra monitoring.
  • Fine-tune the detection parameters to minimize false positives while still catching true threats. Start with looser settings while learning normal baseline behaviors.
  • Ensure the IDS has high availability, redundancy, and cyber attack resistance itself.
  • Establish proper logging and retention policies for the alerts and audit data produced. Integrate the IDS with a security information and event management (SIEM) platform for deeper analysis.
  • Set up notifications to receive immediate warnings of high-priority threats. Monitor dashboards regularly to stay on top of developing issues.
  • Keep detection rules and behavior profiles updated as new attack techniques emerge. Perform testing to validate that the IDS can catch known threats.
  • The optimal IDS approach combines both network and host-based systems to get a comprehensive view of threats across the enterprise.

Protect Your Business with Help from AZCOMP

While intrusion detection systems offer critical protection, they require know-how to manage and tune properly. AZCOMP has extensive experience when it comes to deploying and optimizing IDS to detect stealthy attacks other defenses miss. We offer 24/7 monitoring and response powered by our advanced Security Operations Center (SOC).

Beef up your cyber defenses and gain greater visibility into threats targeting your business. Contact AZCOMP today to discuss adding managed IDS capabilities and SOC services tailored to your operations. We help businesses across industries build robust, multi-layered security programs to protect against continually evolving cyber risks. Don’t leave your valuable data vulnerable.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions and services for businesses of all sizes. The purpose of AZCOMP IT Services is to help businesses improve operational efficiency, eliminate IT frustrations, and drastically reduce the risk of cyber attacks with robust cybersecurity solutions.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided technology solutions and services to businesses in Mesa, Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Gold Canyon, Glendale, Surprise, and more since 2000. Request your IT consultation today!

Hacks for Microsoft Teams to Boost Productivity

Microsoft Teams

Discover the 10 Best Microsoft Teams Hacks to Boost Small Business Productivity (2023)

Understanding the Power of Microsoft Teams for Small Businesses

Microsoft Teams has emerged as a go-to solution for small businesses seeking effective collaboration and streamlined team communication. With its extensive range of features, this software offers numerous benefits that can significantly improve employee productivity and operational efficiency.

By utilizing Microsoft Teams’ comprehensive suite of tools and features, small businesses can gain a competitive edge in their respective industries. Improved employee productivity leads to faster project completion times and enhanced customer service delivery. Furthermore, the streamlined processes and workflows help reduce errors and increase overall operational efficiency.

Implementing efficient team communication software like Microsoft Teams becomes imperative in today’s fast-paced business environment, where staying ahead of the competition is crucial. It empowers small businesses with the necessary tools to collaborate effectively internally and externally while maximizing productivity across all levels of the organization.

In this article, we will explore 10 hacks on how to use Microsoft Teams effectively, specifically focusing on its impact on productivity in a Phoenix business environment. Implementing these tips will enhance your team’s efficiency and streamline their workflows for optimal results.

Microsoft Teams Productivity Hacks

Hack #1: Utilizing “Channels” for Streamlined Communication and Organization

Microsoft Teams channels offer efficient team communication and organization. Access channels through the Teams app’s sidebar tab.

Effective channel use enhances collaboration and communication. We’ll explore tips for organization, communication, and maximizing search capabilities.

Organize channels with clear names reflecting their purpose. This helps with quick identification and accessibility. Create sub-channels for focused discussions.

For better communication, use @mentions to notify specific individuals or groups. Define thread guidelines for structured topic discussions.

Boost collaboration with file sharing, document editing, and app integration. Streamline workflows and centralize information.

Filter and search in Teams for quick message and file retrieval. Save time and enhance productivity.

Channels in Microsoft Teams optimize team communication and organization. Organize effectively, communicate efficiently, and utilize search features for enhanced collaboration.

Hack #2: Leveraging Tabs and Apps for Enhanced Collaboration and Workflows

Microsoft Teams offers a range of tabs and apps that can greatly enhance team collaboration and workflows. By leveraging these features, users can streamline their work processes, improve efficiency, and boost productivity.

One key advantage of Microsoft Teams is its integration with various tools and applications. Users can integrate popular third-party tools such as Polly, Trello, Karma, Wiki, Workbot, Asana, Power BI, Salesforce, and many others into their Teams workspace. This allows for seamless access to important information and tasks without switching between multiple platforms.

Any of these productivity apps can be installed directly within Teams. With these apps installed, users can perform various tasks without leaving the Teams interface. From creating polls and surveys to managing tasks and tracking time, these apps provide additional functionality that enhances collaboration and workflow efficiency.

Tabs in Microsoft Teams provide a centralized location for team members to access shared resources. These tabs can be customized to display relevant information from different apps or websites. For example, a tab could be set up to show project timelines from a project management tool or analytics dashboards from Google Analytics.

By leveraging tabs and apps in Microsoft Teams, teams can work together more effectively by having all the necessary tools and information readily available in one place. This eliminates the need for constant switching between different applications, saving time and improving overall productivity.

Hack #3: Maximizing the Power of Bots for Automation and Assistance

Microsoft Teams chatbots bring automation and assistance benefits. Integrated into Teams, they’re easily accessible.

Using chatbots in Teams automates tasks via AI. They handle routine queries, provide data, and perform actions, saving time and freeing employees for strategic work.

Teams’ chat bots foster efficient collaboration. They give real-time updates, schedule meetings, and run polls, streamlining processes and boosting productivity.

Integration also means personalized user experiences. Bots adapt based on user input, increasing engagement with accurate information.

Harnessing Microsoft Teams chatbots offers task automation, better collaboration, heightened productivity, and personalized engagement. Organizations can streamline workflows and maximize platform efficiency.

Hack #4: Making the Most of Scheduled Meetings and Live Events Features

Microsoft Teams offers effective virtual collaboration through scheduled meetings and live events. Leveraging these enhances productivity and engagement.

Scheduled meetings let users plan in advance, sending invitations and setting agendas. This ensures preparedness and resource availability.

Live events step it up, hosting large webinars, conferences, or town halls. Broadcasting video and audio connects diverse locations seamlessly.

To excel, follow virtual meeting best practices. Clear objectives and agendas focus discussions. Screen sharing presents materials in real time.

Engagement grows with interactive elements like polls and Q&A during live events. Recording content benefits absentees.

Utilizing Teams’ features and virtual meeting practices maximizes remote collaboration’s impact.

Hack #5: Collaborating on Documents with Real-Time Co-Authoring

Microsoft Teams’ real-time co-authoring streamlines document collaboration. Multiple users edit together, eliminating emails and delays.

This feature fosters seamless teamwork, no matter the location. Real-time updates prevent duplicate work and conflicting edits, boosting productivity.

Version control is maintained as changes are tracked automatically. Accessing previous versions is easy, ensuring accuracy.

Real-time co-authoring transforms document collaboration in Microsoft Teams, offering efficiency and version control.

Hack #6: Using @mentions to Get Attention and Keep Conversations Focused

@Mentions in Teams grab attention and maintain focus. Notify specific members for engaged conversations.

Notifications cut through the noise. Vital messages aren’t missed, which is ideal for busy team settings.

Use mentions sparingly, highlighting important info or seeking input from team members.

Strategic mentions direct relevant details to the right people, keeping discussions on track.

In Teams, type “@” + name or select from the options to mention. Notifications highlight your message.

Leverage mentions for efficient communication, prioritize messages, and keep everyone engaged and informed.

Hack #7: Use Do Not Disturb or Customize Notifications for Better Focus and Productivity

Optimize focus and productivity with Microsoft Teams’ Do Not Disturb (DND) and tailored notifications. Manage alerts for better concentration.

Customize notification settings in Teams to prioritize important alerts and silence others. Tailoring minimizes unnecessary interruptions.

DND feature goes further by silencing all notifications temporarily. Ideal for deep, uninterrupted work periods.

Leverage DND and customized notifications for a focused digital workspace. Reduce distractions, and maximize workflow efficiency.

Hack #8: Leveraging Analytics and Insights for Data-Driven Decision Making

Enhance efficiency by integrating apps into your workflow. Microsoft Teams is a prime platform for this.

Third-party apps merge tools and services, centralizing your hub—no need to switch apps constantly, saving time.

Benefits are abundant. Streamline collaboration, access files and data in one interface. Automation speeds up tasks, like creating project items from chats or updating CRM records.

Leverage specialized tools via integration: project management, customer support, and marketing analytics. Microsoft Teams’ unity elevates efficiency.

In summary, merging third-party apps with Microsoft Teams optimizes productivity. Unify tasks, automate actions, and elevate teamwork.

Hack #9: Live Transcripts, Meeting Summaries & To-Do Lists in Meetings

In 2023, revolutionary AI meeting features were introduced with upgraded Teams licenses. Live transcripts transcribe speech in real-time, capturing discussions accurately.

Automatic meeting recordings replace manual note-taking, preserving crucial details.

AI generates summaries, extracting key points, actions, and decisions post-meeting: these aid follow-ups and references.

AI-powered to-do lists organize tasks from summaries, enhancing productivity and progress tracking.

These 2023 AI additions save time and enhance meeting organization. Live transcripts, summaries, and to-do lists promote effective collaboration.

Hack #10: Save Costs with Microsoft 365 and Teams Integration

Streamline operations by leveraging Microsoft 365 and Teams, replacing platforms like Zoom, Slack, Monday, and Basecamp.

In the digital era, trimming expenses is crucial. Uncover savings by maximizing Microsoft 365 and Teams.

Eliminate redundant services. Teams’ video conferencing competes with Zoom, offering screen sharing, chat, webinars, and more.

Microsoft 365’s tools replace Slack and Monday. Real-time document editing, shared calendars, and task management enhance collaboration.

By centralizing with Microsoft 365 and Teams, cost savings and integrated workflows result. Managing access and data security is simpler.

Embracing all that Microsoft 365 and Teams have to offer will cut expenses by replacing redundant tools. Savings add up while productivity and collaboration thrive.

Adopt These 10 MS Teams Hacks to Beat the Competition

Microsoft Teams provides a user-friendly interface that facilitates effective communication and collaboration among team members. With its extensive features and integration capabilities with other Microsoft tools, such as Microsoft 365, it has become an essential tool for businesses navigating the challenges of efficient office work.

Adopt these 10 Microsoft Teams hacks in your business to transform your business into a modern workplace and start beating your competition.

Get Expert Help with Microsoft 365 from AZCOMP Technologies

Do you want to adopt Microsoft Teams or any other aspect of Microsoft 365 in your office? We’ve already helped dozens of businesses in the Phoenix area switch to Microsoft 365, and we’ve helped those that have already switched to start using MS365 more efficiently and effectively. Call us and tell us what you’re working on, and we’ll help you achieve your business technology goals.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies, as a full-service IT solutions provider in the Phoenix/Mesa area, is committed to assisting you in implementing Microsoft 365 solutions for your business. By embracing MS 365 now, you position your business to stay at the forefront of technological innovation and drive growth in the future. We’re also helping businesses establish a solid technological foundation to grow and achieve their business goals. Should you require any guidance or support in implementing Microsoft 365, feel free to reach out to us. Let us know how we can help your business by requesting a technology consultation.

Security Awareness Training – Empower Your Employees to Help Protect Your Business

Security Awareness Training

Security Awareness Training cannot be overlooked as one of the more critical aspects of your business network security plan. Even with robust cybersecurity defenses, cybercriminals can easily bypass all that when an employee unknowingly lets them in.

Security awareness training is more than simply telling employees to be careful with their email.

You see it in movies all the time where a criminal dresses up as a janitor or a doctor, and the person at the front desk lets them right into the building with no questions asked. That happens in real life too! In the cybercrime world, this is called “social engineering.”

Remember the famous Target data breach? Criminals posed as HVAC contractors to breach the company servers, and employees unknowingly let them in.

Incidents like this show how good and smart people can be tricked if they lack awareness. Watch Catch Me If You Can or Ocean’s Eleven for examples of how people can infiltrate your business and steal from you.

Email scams are another significant threat. Strategies like phishing, spear phishing, whaling, smishing, vishing, CEO fraud, and many more are used by hackers to trick your employees and gain access. Search the internet for “real-life examples of phishing attacks,” and you’ll see more examples than you can imagine of businesses falling victim to cybercrime through email scams.

To protect your business, training your employees to recognize and identify threats is critical. When properly trained, employees become suspicious and cautious, which will dramatically improve your business’s security.

This article will cover the best practices for training you and your employees on security awareness.

The Power of Security Awareness Training

Security Awareness Training educates and empowers your employees to recognize potential cyber threats and adopt best practices for safe online behavior. You create a human firewall that complements your technical defenses by arming your workforce with the knowledge and skills to identify and respond to cyber risks.

Key Components of an Effective Security Awareness Training Program

1. Cultivate a Security Culture:

Developing a security-focused culture is vital for an effective awareness training program. Encourage employees to take ownership in safeguarding data and spotting risks. Top management should clearly communicate the significance of cybersecurity, fostering an environment where open discussions on security concerns are welcome. By ingraining security values into daily practices, employees will proactively defend themselves and the business against cyber threats. Top management should also embrace the constant and good-natured razzing from employees they’ll receive every time cybersecurity is brought up. This will make it more fun for everyone (speaking from experience).

2. Simplicity in Comprehensive Training:

Simplicity is key when training all employees. New hires receive thorough onboarding regarding security policies and best practices. Regular, ongoing training ensures updated knowledge and vigilance. This approach prevents complacency and empowers employees to make informed decisions protecting personal and company data.

3. Unannounced Testing and Simulation:

Regular unannounced testing is essential. Simulating real-world scenarios, like phishing exercises, helps evaluate employees’ responses to potential security incidents. Identifying weaknesses allows targeted training to bridge gaps. Empowering employees with hands-on experience fosters vigilance and strengthens the organization’s defense against cyber threats.

How To Implement Security Awareness Training in Your Business

Any business with staff with the knowledge, expertise, and time to implement a do-it-yourself training program certainly can do that. Honestly, though, that is rather difficult, time-consuming, and isn’t the typical way to get it done.

The best way to implement a security awareness training program is through your IT partner. Your IT partner will likely have an established relationship with a 3rd party vendor with very affordable training programs already set up. Alternatively, suppose you don’t have an established relationship with an IT partner that can provide this solution for you. In that case, you might be able to purchase security awareness training programs directly from a training vendor (most of these vendors will only work directly with an IT partner). These 3rd party vendors have gone through all the hard work of developing a very effective program and can sell it to you.

Get Started With Security Awareness Training

No matter where you are in your cybersecurity defense implementation journey, do not overlook the significance of security awareness training. The human element remains the linchpin in any cybersecurity plan, and investing in educating and empowering your employees is essential for maintaining a strong defense.

The easiest way to get started is to contact AZCOMP Technologies or your IT support provider. When you contact us, let us know you’re interested in getting started with security awareness training for your employees, and we’ll take it from there.

Lastly, don’t forget to review the remainder of our free infographic – 15 Ways to Protect Your Business from Cyber Attack. These 15 ways are the foundation of building an effective and layered cybersecurity plan for your business.

Do you need to talk to a cybersecurity expert to go over the unique details of your business? Contact us for a free cybersecurity consultation and evaluation.

About AZCOMP Technologies:

AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of Managed IT services and technology solutions for businesses. AZCOMP’s mission is to help enterprises to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided business technology solutions and cybersecurity services since 2000. AZCOMP offers these services in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Gold Canyon, and more. Request your IT consultation today!

10 Tech Problems Arizona Healthcare Providers Are Eliminating From Their Business

Tech Problems

Many service businesses seem content with providing subpar service, possibly influenced by a few common excuses they’ve adopted as their own. Blaming “inflation,” “COVID,” or “the labor shortage,” some businesses expect a free pass even as they raise their prices. If your vendors use these excuses to justify poor service while increasing costs, you don’t have to accept it.

There is a better way to handle this.

While you might be able to tolerate underperforming vendors in certain areas, doing the same with an underperforming IT vendor could lead to disastrous consequences. Justifying poor performance with excuses can result in unproductive employees, compromised client services, failing computers, cybersecurity breaches, lost data, clients, and profits.

Your business thrives on technology, making it crucial to ensure seamless operations for maximum employee productivity. Staying ahead of competitors and maintaining your edge in the market requires embracing the latest technological innovations. Moreover, constant protection is vital to safeguarding your business from potential catastrophes.

In this article, we will delve into ten common tech challenges, complaints, and service failures that plague both businesses and healthcare providers. We aim to provide effective solutions to eliminate these issues from your operations completely. While you may find some of these problems familiar, fear not – we have the answers to help you overcome them.

  1. When you request help from your IT company, your request goes without a response for hours (or days, or never). You’re stuck waiting and wondering if your issue will ever get addressed.
  2. When you really need to get a hold of someone, it’s impossible to get anyone on the phone. Either they don’t answer the phone, or it goes to voicemail, or you’re stuck in an automated phone tree you can’t get out of.
  3. When you request help, you often have to follow up with them multiple times to get status updates, timeframe estimates, and ultimately the problem resolved. No one ever proactively contacts you to give you updates.
  4. Your IT company doesn’t have the ability to remotely monitor, patch and update your computers and servers and other critical hardware, leaving your entire business vulnerable to threats and attacks.  
  1. Your IT vendor won’t help out with other vendors (like your internet service provider). Every time you call for an issue with your internet, they tell you everything should be working right from their end and instruct you to contact your internet provider.
  2. Your IT company doesn’t meet with you regularly (or even try to meet with you) to discuss their performance, report on what they’ve been doing for you, review projects, answer your questions, or offer recommendations for improving your technology, performance, and security.
  3. Your IT company has new support reps frequently because they have a hard time keeping the same employees. Or, every time you talk to anyone (even if it is the same tech), they have no idea what happened on previous requests for help because they don’t keep notes or any records. Whenever they work with you, it feels like a different process for delivering help because they have no process. You frequently have to request help for the same issues over and over.
  4. Your IT company doesn’t talk to you about cybercrime or other threats to your technology and business. They don’t provide any suggestions to improve your cybersecurity defenses. They don’t offer any security awareness training for your staff to prevent scams or phishing attacks.
  5. When your IT company comes to your office to perform work, techs arrive late, dress like they just got out of bed, and have poor hygiene, manners, and communication skills.
  6. You cringe every time you need to make a request for help because they’ll make you feel dumb or like they are ‘doing you a favor’ even though you’re paying them!

For Arizona healthcare providers, resolving these ten common tech problems is essential for maintaining smooth operations, protecting patient data, and delivering exceptional care. By collaborating with a reliable and proactive IT support provider like AZCOMP Technologies, healthcare providers can eliminate these challenges from their business forever.

Don’t settle for substandard tech support when the well-being of your patients and business is at stake.

Schedule a free 10-minute discovery call at and experience the difference a dedicated IT support partner can make. With AZCOMP Technologies as your partner, you can focus on what truly matters: delivering top-notch healthcare services to the Arizona community.

The Misunderstood Threat of Ransomware

Shedding Light on the True Impact of Ransomware Attacks

The world has become increasingly dependent on technology, and with it, the peril of ransomware looms large, capable of crippling businesses of all sizes. The risk of ransomware has grown to epic proportions within the last few years, and no business is safe.

As long as a business uses a computer system, network, or online resources such as banking, it’s at risk. It’s not a concern just for big businesses but also for small businesses.

Despite the risk, many business owners remain oblivious to the severity of the threat or fail to grasp the potential impact of ransomware infection.

In this write-up, we aim to simplify the message and drive home a crucial point: ransomware has the power to bring your business to its knees. Here’s how:

Ransomware Can Bring Your Business to a Standstill

Imagine a situation where your ability to serve clients, collect payments, and acquire new business abruptly stops. Even the thought of it is devastating!

That is the harsh reality of falling victim to a ransomware attack.

Whether you rely on local servers or cloud-based applications, no matter your technology setup, the impact is the same—temporary yet devastating disruption.

As a business owner, it is crucial to recognize that ransomware is not a mere inconvenience. It has the potential to jeopardize your entire business. Or even shut it down permanently when the recovery cost becomes too much.

The Aftermath of a Ransomware Attack

When ransomware strikes, the repercussions go far beyond inaccessible data. Your computers, online accounts, and vital business functions are rendered useless. Projects remain unfinished, productivity plummets and revenue streams dry up.

The road to recovery from a cyberattack is long and arduous, requiring significant time, effort, and resources. Often, the damage inflicted on your business’s reputation and customer trust can have lasting effects. Convincing your clients and business partners that you can safeguard their privacy and data becomes a challenging task. How do you convince them that the same thing will not happen again?

When protecting your business from ransomware, the key is to take it seriously and act proactively. Prevention is the best defense against cyber threats. Don’t wait for an incident to happen and regret not taking action earlier. There are numerous cybersecurity tools available that can effectively safeguard your business. By implementing these measures, you can avoid becoming a victim of ransomware and prevent irreversible damage to your company.

Collateral Damage to Employees and Financial Stability

While you grapple with the consequences of a ransomware attack, spare a thought for your employees. With systems compromised, their productivity grinds to a halt, leaving you with difficult choices regarding payroll and financial stability.

Perhaps a business has computers that are part of a network and don’t have a central server. The company could do all its computing through internet-based apps such as QuickBooks Online, Microsoft 365 (or G-Suite), an online CRM, online EHR programs and more. Ransomware will prevent access to all these online services, leaving your employees helpless to do their jobs.

In this situation, it isn’t easy to generate new sales or fulfill existing ones without the ability to access any of your systems and work. As a result, cash flow dwindles, leaving little to cover staff wages, bills, and payments to suppliers.

Ongoing expenses, such as rent and insurance will continue to pile up while revenue is severely hampered. Ransomware disrupts your business’s operations and affects the livelihood of you and your valued workforce.

HIPAA Compliance and Ransomware

For healthcare providers, the stakes are even higher. HIPAA compliance, designed to protect patient privacy, cannot be ignored. The devastating impact of a ransomware attack goes beyond financial losses, potentially breaching regulations and incurring severe penalties. Ransomware gives the attackers access to patient data.

Failing to pay the ransom may see the patient’s data sold on the dark web. The regulatory consequences are dire, as the regulators may issue crippling fines and penalties. On the other hand, the media can have a field day with news about patient data breaches. Once the information is out there, the reputation and brand image may take a nosedive.

Patient trust, essential for the success of healthcare businesses, is jeopardized, and the company is now in a pickle.

Interested in real-life examples? Take a look at this recent article on our site. It outlines the experiences of several businesses that faced ransomware attacks and how they managed the situation.

Rebuilding from the Ruins

Recovering from a ransomware attack is a challenging and time-consuming process.

Rebuilding trust with clients and partners while facing the consequences of an attack is no easy task. Building a new client network takes time and the internet’s memory can haunt a brand affected by a ransomware attack. Rebuilding employee confidence and productivity is another hurdle, as they may need to relearn safe internet practices. Additionally, the emotional toll on business owners and staff should not be underestimated. Recreating lost data, addressing security vulnerabilities, and implementing strong cybersecurity measures are essential steps in the recovery process.

After surviving a ransomware incident, business owners often realize the overwhelming challenge of rebuilding and addressing all the necessary tasks, leading some to close their doors ultimately.

Protect Your Business, Secure Your Future

In a world where cyber threats abound, complacency can be a business owner’s greatest downfall. Ransomware poses a clear and present danger, capable of erasing months or even years of hard work in a matter of moments.

But you can dramatically increase your ability to avoid such a scary scenario by embracing a healthy fear of ransomware and adopting robust cybersecurity practices.

Whether your business is based in the Phoenix metro area or elsewhere in Arizona, the need for heightened cybersecurity is universal. Feel free to give us a call to discuss your unique cybersecurity needs, or check out our 15 ways to protect your business against cyber attack for more insight. Remember, your business’s security is in your hands.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of technology solutions and cybersecurity for businesses of all sizes. AZCOMP’s mission is to help enterprises to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided technology solutions and services to businesses since 2000. Our experienced and committed professionals spend most of their time working on clients’ computers and systems. 

Contact us today for more information about our cybersecurity solutions in Phoenix. 

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting a Full-Service Managed IT Provider

IT Provider

Selecting the right IT provider for your Phoenix area business is a critical decision.

It’s not like shopping for a new car; you can’t simply see the product and know it’s the right fit. Finding the perfect IT provider requires careful consideration because not all providers are created equal. Unfortunately, most business leaders have a hard time figuring out how to properly vet an IT business and resort to making their choice based primarily on price. While price and budget are important, price should not even be close to the determining factor.

Imagine if you were choosing a physician for an important medical procedure. Would you base your decision solely on price? Of course not. The same applies when hiring a key employee for your company. You wouldn’t hire a new CFO based on the lowest hourly wage.

Choosing the wrong IT support company can have serious consequences that are challenging to overcome. That’s why it’s important to know how to identify the best IT firm for your business.

To help you navigate this decision, we’ve compiled five common mistakes to avoid when selecting a full-service managed IT provider. By steering clear of these pitfalls, you can find an IT partner that will enhance your business’s productivity, security, and overall success.

Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Looking for The Right IT Provider!

1: Choosing Based on a Single Phone Call

One of the most common mistakes businesses make when selecting an IT consultant is basing their decision solely on a single phone call.

While a phone conversation can provide a preliminary impression, it’s never sufficient. Take the process further. Invite potential consultants to your office and ask for a written proposal tailored to your business needs. This way, you can gauge their suitability as partners for your business success.

Meeting them in person lets you gauge their professionalism, communication skills, and overall fit for your organization. A competent IT consultant should offer to audit your network before providing any recommendations. They must demonstrate that they know what they are getting into because one business is different from another. When it comes to IT solutions, it’s never a one-size-fits-all kind of situation.

Similar to hiring a full-time employee, have face-to-face interaction and gain confidence in their abilities. It’s up to them to convince you. Not the other way around!

2: Failing to Check References

Another critical mistake is neglecting to check references when selecting an IT consultant. Something that most businesses never forget to do when hiring employees.

Perhaps most business leaders are probably in a hurry to hire an IT firm that “seems” competent because they don’t want to navigate the intricacies of their technical know-how.

Whatever the case, ask for references as they provide valuable insights into the consultant’s track record, reliability, and customer satisfaction.

While a salesperson may provide positive assurances, speak directly with several current clients. Request at least three to four references from clients similar in size and industry to your business.

These references provide better insights into the consultant’s capabilities, responsiveness, and overall quality of their services. They speak in your language, which is in terms of the overall business value.

A reputable IT consultant should be willing and able to provide references. If they hesitate or cannot provide references, treat it as a red flag about their performance and customer satisfaction.

3: Overlooking Remote Monitoring and Support Capabilities

In today’s digital age, remote monitoring and support capabilities are essential when selecting an IT consultant. Of course, on-site visits are necessary in certain situations, but a competent IT provider should offer robust remote monitoring and support services. You can ask the references provided about the firm’s remote monitoring and support capabilities.

But why is it important?

Remote monitoring enables proactive identification and resolution of potential issues before they escalate, ensuring maximum uptime and minimizing disruptions to your business operations.

Furthermore, remote support allows for faster response times, immediate assistance, and quick problem resolution, which is crucial in an increasingly interconnected business environment. Choosing an IT consultant with remote solid monitoring and support capabilities helps optimize your network’s performance, enhance security, and reduce downtime.

4: Not Prioritizing Defined Processes and Results

Choosing an IT consultant without a defined process for supporting and managing your technology is a significant mistake. An exceptional IT service provider should have well-defined systems and procedures to deliver consistent, reliable results.

These processes ensure your technology infrastructure is efficiently managed, secure, and aligned with your business objectives. A structured approach to service delivery sets great IT consultants apart from average ones.

Before deciding, inquire about their methodologies, service frameworks, and incident management processes. By selecting an IT consultant with a clear and defined approach, you can have confidence in their ability to consistently meet your technology needs and drive positive results for your business.

5: Failing to Select a Specialized Healthcare IT Provider

For businesses in the healthcare industry, choosing an IT consultant with specialized expertise in healthcare IT is imperative. But why’s that?

The healthcare sector has unique regulatory requirements, such as protected health information (PHI) security and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance. An IT consultant who understands these requirements makes it easier to protect patient data and maintain compliance. Compliance is vital to any healthcare institution; overlooking it can affect its continuity.

A healthcare-focused IT consultant will have in-depth knowledge of practice management software, electronic health records (EHR) systems, and other industry-specific technologies. They will understand the critical nature of these systems for your practice’s operations and patient care.

By entrusting your network and data security to a healthcare IT specialist, you can ensure that your IT infrastructure aligns with industry best practices, ultimately reducing risks and avoiding costly compliance violations.

Additional Tips for Hiring the Perfect IT Provider for Your Business

To access more valuable tips on selecting the perfect IT company for your business, download our Complete Guide to Hiring an IT Consultant. With this guide, you’ll learn everything to know about hiring an honest, competent, responsive, and fairly-priced computer consultant.


Selecting the right full-service managed IT provider is a pivotal decision that can significantly impact your business’s efficiency, security, and success. It’s a decision directly connected to your business’s lifeline.

By avoiding these five common mistakes—choosing based on a single phone call, failing to check references, overlooking remote monitoring and support capabilities, neglecting defined processes and results, and not selecting a specialized healthcare IT consultant—you can make an informed decision and forge a beneficial IT partnership.

Contact us for a 15-minute phone call to explore how our services can help your business thrive with technology.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies provides Managed IT services and technology solutions for Mesa/Phoenix metro area businesses.

Do you wish IT was easier? We do that!

We make it easier for you to get help. We make it easier for your employees to be productive. We make it easier for upper management not to have to deal with IT frustrations. We make it easier for you to leverage technology in your service or product delivery. We make it easier for you to be secure and compliant. We help your technology improve and become a driving force for success in your business.

We make IT easier so you can make your patients happy, run an efficient business, AND never have to be stressed about IT again.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided business technology solutions and cybersecurity services since 2000. AZCOMP offers these services in Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix, Glendale, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Gold Canyon, and more.

Request your IT consultation today!

AI-Powered Cyberattacks and Scams Are on the Rise – Are You Prepared for What’s Coming?

AI-Powered Cyberattacks

In an alarming AI-powered cyberattack incident, an Arizona family recently fell victim to a harrowing ransom call that utilized the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to clone their daughter’s voice. Even more surprising is that the mother couldn’t tell the scammers were using a deep fake.

But how could they when it sounds so real?

This chilling example showcases the growing trend of cybercriminals employing sophisticated AI-powered tools to extort money from unsuspecting people.

It’s emerging as the new way of doing business for cybercriminals.

With the rapid advancement of AI technology, it has become imperative for individuals and businesses alike to understand and prepare for the imminent dangers posed by these evolving cyber threats. The technologies are making it easier to break into systems.

And so, more than ever, prevention is better than cure, especially in the current era of AI and automation.

The Deep Fake Dilemma

The ordeal faced by the Bock family sheds light on the disturbing reality of deep fakes, where scammers can convincingly mimic voices to manipulate emotions and extract sensitive information.

If it weren’t for the police, who were aware of the scam, the target family could have quickly fallen victim and only realized later it was a scam. Using deep fake voices is the next level of scams. Anyone could be the next victim as it’s becoming harder and harder to authenticate voices.

In this case, the scammers expertly replicated the daughter’s distress, leaving the parents vulnerable to their malicious ploy. This incident serves as a wake-up call, emphasizing the need to stay vigilant in the face of increasingly sophisticated AI-driven deception.

AI in the Wrong Hands

The exploit deployed by the scammers in the Bock family’s case is just one example of how hackers are utilizing AI to produce deep fakes for their illicit gains. Imagine the implications of AI-generated simulations of CEOs’ voices, signatures, or writing styles used to deceive employees into unauthorized actions that could compromise an organization’s security.

Additionally, cybercriminals may employ similar tactics to defraud clients or patients, coercing them into divulging confidential information or making fraudulent payments. When misused, AI’s power can substantially harm individuals and businesses.

Password Vulnerabilities and Beyond

As AI technology continues to evolve, so does its capacity to crack passwords swiftly. Studies reveal that over half of the commonly used passwords can be deciphered using AI algorithms in less than a minute.

Even complex passwords with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols provide minimal resistance to AI-powered attacks.

So, what does it mean for organizations and individuals?

The changing cybersecurity risk landscape underscores the importance of implementing robust cybersecurity measures beyond reliance on strong passwords and basic antivirus software.

One way to do this is through security awareness.

Security Awareness

As a business owner, you must prioritize security awareness training for your employees as a crucial defense mechanism against cyber threats. Simply sharing educational resources like this article can significantly enhance employees’ ability to detect and thwart scams.

However, occasional information-sharing is insufficient. It’s just a part of other measures you require to safeguard your business.

Consistent reminders and formal training programs are also essential to ensure employees remain vigilant and maintain a proactive stance against potential attacks. The misconception that employees are “too smart” to fall for scams must be dispelled, as cybercriminals can exploit even the most cautious individuals.

For example, deep fakes are a relatively new concept; most of your employees haven’t heard of it. Others have heard of it and may be casual about it because they don’t believe they could also be victims.

Awareness of deep fake technology and understanding how it can be used to manipulate media is vital. Evaluate the context in which the content is presented. Deep fakes are often used to spread misinformation or propaganda, so your employees should be skeptical of content that aims to provoke strong emotions or manipulate public opinion.

The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to detect potential deep fakes and other emerging cybersecurity threats.

Also, repeated education and reminders play a critical role in reducing human errors that risk your organization’s computer systems and network.

Collaboration with IT Service Providers

A proactive partnership with a reliable IT company is paramount to safeguarding against cyber threats. Businesses must ensure their IT service providers have implemented robust cybersecurity tools, comprehensive protection measures, and efficient disaster recovery protocols.

But why do I need an IT service provider?

You see, keeping your devices and software up to date with the latest security patches and anti-malware solutions is only part of the measures you may take yourself. It can help protect against hacking attempts or malicious software that may be used to create or distribute deep fakes.

You need hands-on experience, expertise, and round-the-clock availability to keep your business secure. A competent IT service keeps tabs on the available deep fake detection tools and techniques.

Investing in top-tier cybersecurity solutions should be viewed as a critical necessity rather than an area to cut corners. Many business owners underestimate the potential severity of a cyber or ransomware attack, which can inflict significant financial and operational damage. Prevention is far more cost-effective than recovering from a devastating cyber incident.

Building a Resilient Cybersecurity Strategy

To help businesses devise a comprehensive cybersecurity plan, we have prepared a valuable resource, “15 Ways to Protect Your Business from Cyber Attacks,” which provides specific recommendations and best practices.

Access the infographic by visiting, and empower your organization with actionable steps to mitigate risk.

Need help with implementing any of those 15 items, or help with any other aspect of the technology in your business? Contact us today for a free 15-minute IT consult, and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of Managed IT services and technology solutions for businesses. AZCOMP’s mission is to help Arizona businesses to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided business technology solutions and cybersecurity services since 2000. AZCOMP offers these services in Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix, Glendale, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Gold Canyon, and more. Request your IT consultation today!

How to Spot a Phishing Email: Protecting Your Business from Cyber Threats

Cybercriminals use tons of different strategies to infiltrate business networks to steal data or money. Even though phishing emails are one of the oldest tricks in the digital book, it is still one of the most common tactics because of its effectiveness.

Phishing emails are fake emails sent to you by scammers. They are designed to trick you into clicking on malicious links or divulging sensitive information. The attacker then uses the information you provide to steal from you or extort you or initiate something bad for your network like ransomware.

As a business, educating your staff on how to spot phishing emails must be at the top of your to-do list early and often during employment at your company. Your employees should be able to spot phishing emails to prevent potential security breaches and prevent losing money.

Want to learn more about phishing emails? Read this other post of ours for more information.

Here are a few practical tips to help recognize phishing scams so you can avoid becoming a victim:

Check the Sender’s Email Address

The devil is in the details. If the sender’s email is suspicious or unfamiliar, take caution.

The first step in the phisher’s playbook is to make the emails look as legitimate as possible. They’ll use email addresses that closely resemble legitimate organizations or individuals.

Like in this obvious example:

Phishing email example

In the screenshot example above, the sender’s name is manipulated to make the recipient think it is a trusted source but does not match the sender’s email address. They attempt to distract you from the sender’s email address by providing some information in the sender’s name that appears to be safe. But upon closer inspection, the sender’s email address is unfamiliar and not to be trusted.

This other example isn’t as obvious:

The sender’s name is Corporate Office. That is an immediate red flag because I know there isn’t an AZCOMP “corporate office.” However, a newer employee might easily fall for this. But then the email address contains our actual domain of That is a trick called “spoofing.” These hackers have successfully spoofed our email address. But then, once again, using the email address is easy for me to spot as a fake because I know that address doesn’t exist. Other employees may have no idea if that is a legitimate email address.

Lesson number 1 – if you have any doubts or questions, just delete the message or ask someone.

What are the principles of identifying a suspicious email address?

  • Pay close attention to misspellings or variations in the domain name. For example, an email claiming to be from “” could be a phishing attempt if the actual domain is “your” More specifically, as an example, they could use an email address like when the real email address is
  • Be careful when the correct domain name is in the email address, but other words are included. For example, instead of “,” the email may come from “” In the example below, the sender’s email address is is a real domain name, but it’s been sneakily altered to I don’t know if the email address of @ is real, but that would be trickier to determine if the email is fake or legit.
  • As we talked about earlier, be careful of spoofing. Spoofing is where they create a phony email server using your company’s actual domain but then use a fake email box. Our business domain is In the past, we have received emails from fake email boxes like,, or Those email addresses don’t exist here. Don’t trust emails coming from addresses like that.

Beware of Urgent or Threatening Language

Phishing emails often employ urgency or threats to manipulate recipients into taking immediate action. Be cautious of messages that insist on urgent action or threaten negative consequences if you don’t comply.

Legitimate organizations typically communicate important matters professionally and avoid alarming tactics.

For example, if you have an account with Netflix, and there is something wrong with your account, they likely won’t send you an email asking you to click a link from the email to update your credit card information urgently. Instead, they will send you an email informing you that they’ve noticed your credit card will expire in the next 30 days and will ask you to log in to your account by going to the Netflix website and will tell you to get it figured out within the next 30 days.

Scrutinize Requests for Personal or Financial Information

A common tactic used by phishers is to request personal or financial information. Legitimate organizations rarely ask for sensitive data via email, such as credit card details.

Exercise caution and only provide such information after verifying the authenticity of the request through alternative channels, such as a phone call to the organization’s official contact number.

If you’re ever suspicious, use the phone number on the back of your credit card to call the credit card company. Or find the phone number on their authentic website. Or log in to your account from their authentic website.

Look for Poor Grammar and Spelling Mistakes

Many phishing emails originate from non-native English speakers or automated systems, resulting in poor grammar, spelling errors, and awkward sentence structures.

Take note of these linguistic red flags, as they can indicate a phishing attempt. Legitimate organizations typically maintain a higher standard of writing in their official correspondence.

Hover Over Links to Reveal the True URL

Hovering over hyperlinks in an email can reveal the genuine destination URL, even if the email text suggests otherwise.

Phishing emails often employ deceptive tactics by masking malicious links with innocuous text. Before clicking on any link, hover your cursor over the link to ensure the URL matches the stated destination or leads to a legitimate website. If you’re looking at emails on your phone, you can press and hold the link with your finger to get the URL to display without clicking the link.

Here’s an example:

The intention was to trick the target victim into clicking the “download audio message” link.

But if you hover over it, you’ll see the URL is a dead giveaway. If they were a little more sophisticated, they could have manipulated this link to look like it was

That spot with the 00info in the URL is called a subdomain. Anybody can take a URL they own and then make any subdomain they want.

Using a recognizable name in a subdomain, coupled with a fake domain, is a way to trick you into thinking the link is legitimate.

Do not click links if any part of an email seems suspicious. Another way to say this is if you’re not 100% convinced any email is legitimate, do not click links.

Be Wary of Attachments

For this article, the last thing we’ll discuss is attachments.

Attachments in phishing emails can contain malware or viruses that can compromise your system’s security. A long time ago, there were only a few specific file types you needed to be cautious of. It was mostly a .exe file type.

Now, almost any attachment type has the potential to be dangerous. Even if the file is a .pdf, .doc, .txt, .MOV, or .mp4, or any other file type, the file could have malware or spyware or ransomware coded into it. Be very certain you trust the file before clicking to open it.

Exercise caution when receiving unexpected or suspicious attachments, even if they appear to be from a trusted source. If in doubt, contact the sender through a separate email or phone call to confirm the authenticity of the attachment.

About AZCOMP Technologies

At AZCOMP Technologies, we understand the importance of safeguarding your business against cyber threats. We are a trusted IT service provider based in Phoenix, Arizona, specializing in the healthcare and dental industry. We offer comprehensive IT services and security solutions.

Our team can help train your employees to identify phishing emails, implement robust security measures, and provide ongoing support to protect your business.

Reach out to learn how we can assist you in creating a secure and resilient IT infrastructure that safeguards your sensitive data and dramatically decreases your risk of a cybersecurity disaster.

Ready for better technology results?


Computer Updates – Safeguarding Your Digital Fortress through Software Updates

Do you know the saying “the devil is in the details”? Computer updates, which are also called software updates or patching, are one of those pesky details that deserve your dedicated attention.

Computer updates are #4 on our 15 ways to protect your business from a cyber attack. See the entire list in this article here.

Updates may seem rather small and insignificant, but still, to this day, cybercriminals are exploiting networks that are not updated with the latest security patches.

What is it about updates that the experts make sound so critical? Is your dental or medical practice in the Phoenix area vulnerable to attacks just by falling back on a few updates?

The Patchwork of Protection

What Are Computer Updates, Software Updates, and Patches?

When we talk about updates, we encounter a vast realm of possibilities.

Software updates, computer updates, or “patching” are ways to improve and fix problems with your computer’s programs and operating system. It’s like getting minor upgrades or fixes to make your computer work better, faster, and more securely. These updates are similar to updating apps on your phone, keeping your computer up to date and protected from bugs or security issues. They help ensure your computer is more secure, runs smoothly, and stays compatible with new technologies and features.

Software updates hold one of the keys to safeguarding your digital kingdom.

According to Verizon Data Breach Investigations, 70% of attacks came through known vulnerabilities on unpatched computers (and a patch was available).

An unpatched computer or old software is like an open gate into your facility’s computer systems and network, and there’s nothing that intruders love more!

This is true, and this is such an easy way for hackers to gain access to a system because software vulnerabilities are published to the public when a software update becomes available.

An Explanation of Why Patching Is Critical

Imagine you have a computer with a new operating system, like Windows 11 from Microsoft. When it was first released, the developers knew it wasn’t perfect because creating flawless software is challenging. They had to meet deadlines, so they made it “good enough for now.”

As people started installing Windows 11, the developers continued working on the program to fix minor issues and make the software more secure. When they made significant improvements, they released an update, along with release notes explaining what they fixed and how they enhanced security.

Here’s where cybercriminals come in. They analyze these release notes to identify vulnerabilities they can exploit. Once they understand how to exploit these weaknesses, they search for computers without the updates. Finding an unpatched computer is like finding an open door—it gives them easy access to that computer or network.

That’s why it’s crucial to install updates promptly!

You might wonder why developers publish release notes if it gives cybercriminals insights into vulnerabilities. The truth is, if developers didn’t share release notes, people wouldn’t know why they should update. Simply saying, “Update #1 is available. Trust us!” wouldn’t give enough information to understand why the update was released.

By publishing release notes, developers inform users about the fixes and security enhancements, encouraging them to stay protected by updating their systems. It’s about transparency and keeping everyone informed to avoid cyber threats.

Extreme Example: 2017 WannaCry Ransomware Outbreak

The 2017 WannaCry outbreak is a perfect example of how dangerous it can be to have unpatched computers.

If you’re unfamiliar with this event, an estimated 230,000 to 300,000 computers across 150 countries were infected with the WannaCry ransomware over just a few hours. The estimated damages range between hundreds of millions of dollars to billions of dollars.

The hackers were obviously skilled at their craft, but the only reason they could inflict so much damage so fast was due to unpatched computers. If you want to get more detail on this, read the first two paragraphs on the Wikipedia page about this incident.

This is an extreme example. However, computers with unpatched operating systems or other software are getting exploited every day, so it is vital to stay vigilant in keeping all the computers and other devices in your organization up to date and patched.

What Needs to be Updated or Patched?

Operating Systems:

Operating systems like Windows, macOS, or Linux often require updates. These updates include fixes for security vulnerabilities, improvements to system performance, and new features. Updating your operating system ensures that your computer or device remains secure and functions optimally.


Web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge also require regular updates. Browser updates often address security issues, enhance compatibility with websites and web standards, and introduce new functionalities. Updating your browser is essential for safer browsing, improved performance, and a better web experience.

Phone Operating Systems:

Phone operating systems, like iOS (for iPhones) and Android, frequently receive updates. These updates bring security patches, bug fixes, performance enhancements, and new features to your phone. Updating your phone’s operating system ensures you have the latest security protections and access to the most current capabilities.

Phone Apps:

Mobile apps on your phone, such as social media apps, productivity tools, or games, also need regular updates. App updates often include bug fixes, performance optimizations, new features, and security enhancements. It’s important to update your apps to ensure they work correctly, remain secure, and provide you with the latest features and improvements.

Other Software:

In addition to operating systems, browsers, and phone-related software, other applications on your computer may also require updates.

Software like antivirus programs, productivity suites such as Microsoft Office, media players, and graphic editing tools often release updates. These updates address security vulnerabilities, fix bugs, introduce new features, and enhance performance. Staying up to date with software updates helps maintain a secure and efficient computing environment.

Regularly checking for and installing updates helps keep your digital experiences smooth, secure, and up-to-date.

How to Stay Current with Updates & Patching in Your Business

For business owners in the Phoenix/Mesa area with multiple employees and various devices to manage, keeping everything up to date can be daunting. However, you don’t have to do it all alone. Here are a few options for how to implement patching:


Educate your employees about the importance of updates and security practices. To ensure patches and updates are installed on all company-owned computers, you can require that your employees promptly install updates. Regular training sessions and communication about the significance of updates can create a culture of proactive security within the organization.

This is a quick and easy way to check the box of trying to accomplish patch management. However, it can lead to many questions, and if employees choose not to do it, it’s hard to know that all systems are up to date.

In-House IT Team:

An in-house employee, such as a junior IT engineer or any other employee, can manage and implement updates across the organization. This task can be done by going from one computer to the next and installing updates. This task should be done weekly.

This option is a little resource-intensive but is also a quick and easy way to check the box of trying to accomplish patch management. This method can also be disruptive to your employees, who will need to step away from their computers temporarily while installing the updates. If not well managed, this method will likely lead to unpatched computers and vulnerabilities in the system.

Outsourced IT Service Partners:

Business owners can work with outsourced IT service providers, such as AZCOMP Technologies, that provide comprehensive IT support. These providers can take care of patching and updates. They have the software tools to handle updates and patching automatically after hours or over the weekend. Outsourcing IT responsibilities to a trusted IT partner will ensure that the patching gets done every week without fail and without disrupting your operations.

This option is the best in terms of making sure that patching is actually done on a schedule. Rest easy knowing that your computers and software are up to date. The downside is that it is an extra expense to the business.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that one-way-or-another, patching needs to be done every week without fail. If not, the business is needlessly at higher risk of cyberattack.

About AZCOMP Technologies:

AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of Managed IT services and technology solutions for businesses. AZCOMP’s mission is to help enterprises to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided business technology solutions and cybersecurity services since 2000. AZCOMP offers these services in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Gold Canyon, and more. Request your IT consultation today!

Ready for better technology results?

Cybersecurity Headlines May Be Hyperbolic, But the Stakes Are Real


In an increasingly plugged-in world, the sophistication and frequency of cyber-attacks have upped the ante. Cyber-attacks are now more sophisticated and common, and, as expected, tabloids have been having a field day with the topic of cybersecurity.

But with or without the screaming headlines, the stakes are real. There is news of major cyber-attacks on large corporations such as T-Mobile, Nvidia, or Colonial Pipeline everywhere you turn. You may have also come across headlines about Russian cyberwarfare against Ukraine. 

The thing is, these headlines are often sensationalized. They can make it seem like large corporations are the main targets of these cyberattacks. Of course, it’s bigger news when the big boys are on the receiving end. But not so much for the little businesses. 

However you look at it, it doesn’t hide the fact that cyberattacks are also a concern for small businesses. There are no favorites!

Small businesses are also a target 

The widespread misconception among small business owners is that their businesses are too small for cyberattacks. They think that their enterprises don’t have anything of value to hackers. But this is a perilous line of thought.

You see, small businesses are low-hanging fruit because of their weaker security measures than large corporations. If it’s easy to get, why not? Breaking into some small firms’ systems is like shooting fish in a barrel for cybercriminals! 

The cyber pirates are aware of the vulnerabilities of small businesses and are always more than ready to grab the chance. 

While small businesses may fail to make the headlines, it doesn’t mean they’re immune to cyber attacks. They are as much a target as the big corporations, and sometimes more! 

According to a report by Verizon, 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses. That means more than four businesses in ten are a target. A sad state of affairs! 

Common cyber-attacks on small businesses

Ransomware attacks are a dime a dozen for small businesses. In other words, the percentage of small firms falling for ransomware attacks is growing by the day. But what is ransomware?

Ransomware is malware that scrambles a victim’s files, intending to make them inaccessible to demand payment. The impact of ransomware on a business can be devastating. 

The firm cannot access its files, which means it cannot work, make new sales, or collect on accounts receivable. This can stop a business from generating income until the ransomware situation is resolved.

The consequences of a ransomware attack are not limited to just the business itself. The attack can also affect the business’s customers and partners. This potentially leads to lost business and damage to the business’s reputation. 

Cybersecurity is not just a business issue; it is a community issue.

Examples of small businesses that have been a target 

Attacks on small businesses may not make big headlines, but they do sometimes make the news. If you look hard enough, you’ll find them. 

Some examples of recent attacks include the Brookside ENT and Hearing Center in Battle Creek, Michigan. The attack forced the business to close its doors permanently.

Dr. Shayla Kasel in Simi Valley, CA. permanently closed her 20-year-old practice four months after the attack. Also, The Heritage Company, Arkansas, had to lay off 300 employees during recovery efforts, but no follow-up information has been provided.

We know numerous other examples of attacks because these businesses called us asking for help. Full details are not disclosed because releasing this information is not our place. 

  • A small doctor’s office with 20 employees in two locations (Mesa and Scottsdale, AZ) was the victim of a ransomware attack. They had to cancel all appointments and surgeries for about five days. In the second week, they could slowly return to normal operations.
  • A small cloud software provider in Mesa, AZ, with 50 employees, suffered a ransomware attack. All their clients were offline and unable to use their software for four days while they completely rebuilt their entire environment.
  • Another small cloud software provider in Austin, TX, with 35 employees, experienced a ransomware attack. All their software clients could not access their systems for nearly two weeks while they rebuilt them. 
  • There was another small cloud solutions provider in Southern California with over 100 users who suffered a ransomware attack. All their clients could not access their services for over three weeks while they rebuilt their systems.
  • A small medical billing business in Florida with four employees experienced ransomware attacks three different times over 18 months. She rebuilt her business from scratch with new data the first two times before deciding to close doors on the 3rd ransomware attack.

Those are a few examples we’ve recently heard about within our limited network. And those stories never made it into the news. Ransomware cases like these happen daily but never get reported in the news.


The sad truth about all these examples is that the ransomware or cybercrime event is preventable. With today’s tools and security services, these ransomware attacks could have been stopped before they became major problems for these businesses.

Many business owners are complacent about security or ignorant of the risks. Others may think it is inevitable, so there is no need to burden about trying to stop it. 

But the fact is that if small businesses implemented the security recommendations that are out there, they could prevent all the shutdowns. They could stop the wanton job losses, the extra IT expenses, the lost revenue, and the massive headaches.

The information is accessible to those who want to take a stand against these criminals. For example, check out our guide – the 15 ways to prevent cybercrime for your business. 

Many small businesses are interested in implementing a cybersecurity system but lack the skills or the time to do it independently. For those businesses, let us at AZCOMP Technologies help. 

Our team can implement a simple or comprehensive security solution for your business, depending on your budget. Contact us today for a brief cybersecurity consultation to get the process started.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of Managed IT services and technology solutions for businesses. AZCOMP’s mission is to help enterprises to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided business technology solutions and cybersecurity services since 2000. AZCOMP offers these services in Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix, Glendale, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Gold Canyon, and more. Request your IT consultation today!

Ready for better technology results?