2018 CRN 500 Cal Net Technology Group

Cal Net Repeats Elite 150 Status On 2018 CRN MSP 500 List

LOS ANGELES, CA - For the second year in a row, Cal Net Technology Group, the premier provider of Managed IT Services in Southern California, has been honored with Elite 150 status on CRN’s MSP 500 list, which celebrates the most innovative solution providers in the industry.

Cal Net’s proactive approach to managed services and comprehensive technology offerings help small to mid-sized businesses navigate an ever-evolving IT environment, streamline employee workflows, set long-term goals, and improve the overall operational maturity level of their organization.

“In 2017, our focus was on transforming our people, process, and technologies to best position ourselves for our next level of success and growth,” says James Hwang, CEO of Cal Net Technology Group. “I’m more confident now than ever that our team at Cal Net is prepared, ready, and deserving of the successes that will be presented in 2018."

MSPs Help Businesses Grow

As the technology of business progresses, MSPs like Cal Net play a defining role in helping organizations leverage new tools and opportunities, allowing CEOs, Owners, and Entrepreneurs to focus on their true passion: growing their core business.

CRN is a brand of The Channel Company. Their annual MSP 500 list helps prospective partners narrow their outsourced and co-managed IT options by showcasing the most cutting-edge leaders in North America.

“It’s a privilege to be included in this group of elite MSPs for a second consecutive year,” says Cal Net President and CCO Luca Jacobellis. “We’re not only focused on today’s best practices, but what’s on the horizon. That’s why our team is continuously assessing and implementing new technologies, from cloud configurations to collaboration tools, to help our clients achieve sustainable, long-term success.”

CRN MSP 500 Categories

The annual MSP 500 list is divided into three categories: MSP Pioneer 250, recognizing companies with business models largely focused on the SMB market; MSP Elite 150, recognizing larger MSPs with a mix of on-premises and off-premises services; and the Managed Security 100, recognizing MSPs focused primarily on off-premise, cloud-based security services.

Since 1995, Cal Net has built an award-winning reputation on equipping clients with the right kind of technology, guidance, and support they need to reach their full potential. With locations in Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire, the company offers Southern Californian businesses an extensive set of technology capabilities and a standardized customer experience framework that creates transparency in the partnership. Through this, Cal Net ensures that if they promise something, they deliver.

The MSP 500 list is featured in the February 2018 issue of CRN and available online at http://www.crn.com/msp500.

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About Cal Net Technology Group

Cal Net Technology Group specializes in IT outsourcing, consulting, and managed services for small to mid-sized businesses across Southern California. Delivering a unique brand of outsourced and co-managed services to over 700 organizations, the company’s three-tiered Cal Plans set them apart by delivering an entire IT department experience at a fraction of the cost. Cal Net’s approach to Managed Services allows clients with existing IT staff to augment their skills in areas where they may need additional assistance. The process begins with a free assessment of an organization's technology infrastructure, from network security and data backups, to cloud configurations, unified communications, and enterprise content management.

 

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Top 5 CES Products: The Best Way to Achieve Your Goals in 2018

It’s true that there’s never a wrong time to buy new technology, but what’s the best time? The beginning of a new year, of course! With every new year comes new technology innovating the way you get business done. Your goals are fresh in your mind with strategic plan to achieve them, and now you have a stronger infrastructure to support you along the way.

Last month’s 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place in Las Vegas, attracting over 170,000 attendees and showcasing thousands of new technologies, and these five CES products are going to skyrocket your productivity:

  1. Asus Lyra Trio
    Think of all the spots in your office that your Wi-Fi signal doesn’t reach. Now, imagine all the tasks you could cross off your to-do list if those dead spots didn’t exist. Asus announced the release of the Lyra Trio and the end of your dead spots. The Lyra Trio is a dual-band, tri-hub mesh Wi-Fi system with unique antenna placement that delivers Wi-Fi to every corner of your office, so you can check off all of your online tasks with no interruptions.
  2. Lenovo Miix Tablet 630
    Who wants to lug around a laptop while traveling? But on the other hand, some tablets just don’t offer the functionalities you need to get work done. The new Lenovo Miix Tablet 630 brings working on the go to a whole new level. The tablet provides the power and productivity of a laptop with the always on and connected mobility of a smartphone while weighing less than three pounds. You can even get up to 20 hours of work done before needing to find an outlet.
  3. The Pup Pocket Scanner
    Doesn’t it seem like you only ever need a scanner when you don’t have access to one? Well, say goodbye to low-quality images of documents taken on your phone, and hello to high quality and easily stored images. The Pup Pocket Scanner, dubbed the world’s fastest pocket scanner, is a powerful tool that allows you to scan, store and share all of your important documents with just one click.
  4. Aura
    Among the hundreds of CES products unveiled last month, smart home security systems were a hot topic. And, among those products, Aura was by far the most popular. With this new security system, you no longer need a camera or infrared sensors to track unusual activity in your home or office. Just plug Aura into an outlet and she’ll monitor the WiFi radio waves that fill your office. When these patterns are interrupted, Aura knows that motion is occurring, so you can keep track of who comes in and out of your home and when someone’s in there who shouldn’t be.
  5. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 
    Old machines slow you down and hold your productivity hostage. You need a laptop with functionality that makes your workday easier. The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is all that and more. Fold it back to form a tablet with its 360-degree hinge and utilize its 15-hour battery life while enjoying its portability.

We understand that finding and implementing new technologies to your infrastructure that help achieve your goals can be challenging and overwhelming. We’re here to make it easier for you and help you succeed. Get in touch with us today and schedule your free consultation.


pci-compliance

Is PCI Compliance Just Too Complex?

Turn on the screen, open the newspaper or scroll through social media and you’re sure to see a headline of another cyber hacking or breach of security. Why? Many businesses are extremely susceptible to data breaches and the worst part – it’s at their customers’ expense. Take a look at these three major data breaches from the past and the heavy fallout:

  • Home Depot – Malware infected Home Depot’s point-of-sale systems resulting in 56 million credit cards compromised.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill – Hackers used malware to gain access to customers’ credit card information that affected roughly 2,250 restaurants.
  • TJX Companies – More than 45 million credit card numbers were stolen from TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods over a period of 18 months before they were able to detect and halt the breach.

Here’s the kicker, these breaches could have been avoided through PCI compliance. Inadequate software solutions and policies created a major gap in security for Home Depot, and the use of antivirus software failed to monitor the network for unusual behavior. The case of the Chipotle hacking could have been avoided with stronger security measures and better monitoring systems. And, reports show TJX companies failed to comply with nine out of the twelve PCI requirements.

So, if hackings are on the rise and businesses know they’re vulnerable, what’s going on? Is PCI compliance just too complex?

compliance PCI

Falling Out Of Compliance

PCI is comprised of 12 security requirements, and while the number of businesses achieving full compliance with their annual review reached a record of 55.4 percent last year, nearly half of companies fall out of compliance within a year. Once you’ve reached compliance, the challenging part is maintaining it. You need routine testing and the ability to recognize and remediate any issues quickly.

The truth is, PCI compliance isn’t too complex – you just need a dedicated expert who understands the requirements. We don't want you to become the next big headline of another data breach, the consequences are too great.

Get started today by talking to a PCI compliance expert.

Schedule a Free Tech Assessment!

During your on-site assessment, our team of experts will identify vulnerabilities in your computer network and technology infrastructure that could be putting you at risk.

 

 

Sources:

Creswell, J. (2014, Sept 19). Ex-Employees Say Home Depot Left Data Vulnerable. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/20/business/ex-employees-say-home-depot-left-data-vulnerable.html

Kollmeyer, B. (2017, May 30). Chipotle’s Data Breach: How to Tell if You May Have Been a Victim. Retrieved from https://www.marketwatch.com/story/chipotles-data-breach-how-to-tell-if-you-may-have-been-a-victim-2017-05-27

Vijayan, J. (2007, Oct 26). TJX Violated Nine of 12 PCI Controls at Time of Breach, Court Filings Say. Retrieved from https://www.computerworld.com/article/2539588/security0/tjx-violated-nine-of-12-pci-controls-at-time-of-breach--court-filings-say.html

Kawamoto, D. (2017, Aug 31). Verizon Report: Businesses Hit with Payment Card Breaches Not Fully PCI-Compliant. Retrieved from https://www.darkreading.com/endpoint/verizon-report-businesses-hit-with-payment-card-breaches-not-fully-pci-compliant/d/d-id/1329778?piddl_msgorder=asc


IT Company Los Angeles Net Neutrality

How Does The End Of Net Neutrality Affect My Business?

On Thursday, December 14th, the FCC voted to repeal regulations that prohibited Internet providers from speeding up or slowing down websites, paving the way for a new kind of information super-highway.

You'll hear a lot of pundits debate the decision on TV, but what does the end of net neutrality really mean for your business?

Bundling Like Cable

Net Neutrality Affects Businss Cal Net Technology Group

Randy Nieves, CTO of Cal Net Technology Group, compares one possible future of the Internet to your cable TV package.

"In reality, the Internet has never been fair or neutral. ISPs have always charged different rates for access speeds, and traffic prioritization has been around for years. What’s different about this though is the theoretical concept of bundling sites into packages like the cable company does with channel lineups. What happens to the small business whose website generates most of their revenue if they get de-prioritized, and some of their market can’t even find them? Can the business ‘pay-off’ the ISP to include them in the lineup? Will you have fights between Google and Verizon like CBS and Spectrum? That’s the fear."

The Good News

Don't head for your bunker in the hills just yet! Nieves explains why there's still hope.

"The reality is that innovation always wins. No matter what the ISPs try to do to control traffic, there will be innovators that will find ways around it and/or create new business models because of it. Look at what Hulu, Roku, and Netflix did to cable."

What You Can Do

Net Neutrality Affect My Business

While we wait to see how the new Internet frontier plays out, there are plenty of steps you can proactively take to ensure your business maintains its competitive edge.

  • Enterprise Content Management eliminates manual paperwork and data entry, improving your client response time while maximizing your ROI for hourly staff.
  • Moving to a Cloud Platform makes it easier for teams to access information as you grow your operations.
  • Unified Communications - including phone systems and scheduling software - reduce wasted time "trying to connect."
  • A Managed Firewall gives you and your prospective clients the confidence that their information is protected. Nobody wants to kick off 2018 with a data breach.
Get started today by talking to an IT expert.

Schedule a Free Tech Assessment!

During your on-site assessment, our team of experts will identify vulnerabilities in your computer network and technology infrastructure that could be putting you at risk.

 


IT Company Los Angeles Cal Net

Is Your Organization's Tech Ready for 2018? (Checklist)

As we near the end of 2017, it’s time to start planning for the New Year. Now, before you start making all your personal New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to think about how you plan to make 2018 a better work year, too.

Your technology plays a big role when it comes to workplace efficiency, productivity and expenses. We’ve created a quick checklist to help you determine whether your technology is ready to power you through another year:

  • Do you recall your computer crashing on you?

  • Did you experience unexpected server downtime?

  • Where your networks knocked offline due to a bad storm?

  • Do you plan on implementing new technology products?

  • Were you affected by any natural disasters?

  • Did you experience a ransomware attack or cyber threat?

  • Have you run out of server space?

  • Are your cloud subscriptions about to expire?

  • Did you overpay for technology support this past year?

  • Did you ever experience email downtime?

  • Was it difficult to communicate with employees outside of the office?

  • Are you thinking about implementing a cloud solution?

  • Did you miss opportunities due to missed phone calls?

Cal Net Technology Group IT Company Los Angeles

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have a little extra work to do before you pop the bubbly and celebrate the New Year. Now’s the time to take a close look at your current infrastructure needs, how you’re utilizing the cloud, any gaps in your security, and how you can improve communications.

We want you to enjoy the New Year, not dread the countdown to January 1, 2018. Whether you just need help figuring out where to start, or want us to take a look at your entire system, we’ll make sure you have everything in order to make 2018 your best year yet.

Need some extra help evaluating your technology?

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During your on-site assessment, our team of experts will identify vulnerabilities in your computer network and technology infrastructure that could be costing you business.

 


Holiday Hacker Traps To Avoid

Avoid These 6 Hacker Traps This Holiday Season

Holidays are stressful enough without having to worry about your business.

As employees prepare for the long weekend, they’ll be swapping Black Friday shopping tips, recipes, and travel plans. But did you know that every single one of their mobile devices could be a backdoor to your business’ network?

Stop what you’re doing right now and email your employees telling them to avoid these six hacker traps this holiday, before it’s too late…

1. Avoid Airport Charging Kiosks

hacker traps

Did you know that hackers can upload malware to your mobile device through a USB charging port?

Sure, your phone only has 15% battery left and you really, really want to watch a movie on the plane. But by plugging into a comprised charging kiosk while waiting at your terminal, you could be putting ALL of your data at risk.

Text messages. Emails. Work contacts. Even your most personal, private photos.

holiday hacker traps

The USB port you use to charge your mobile devices is also used to transmit data. If the port you plug into has been sabotaged by a hacker, there's no limit to what information they can get their hands on.

Even worse, if you work at an organization with a ‘Bring Your Own Device Policy’, the next time your phone connects to the Wi-Fi, you could risk bringing the entire network (and this quarter’s revenue) down with you.

2. Don’t Charge Your Phone While Ridesharing

holiday hacker traps

With any ridesharing service, you face the same security concerns as an airport kiosk. There’s just no way of knowing exactly what you’re plugging into.

Instead of using your driver’s USB cable to charge your phone, invest in a portable battery pack, also known as a ‘power bank’. Or just bring your own charger and wait for a wall outlet.

3. Beware Of ‘Black Friday Special’ Links

holiday hacker traps

You just received an email from a company you’ve been a customer of for over 10+ years. Surely there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to this amazing Black Friday deal they’re promoting, right?

Wrong!

To combat evolving email security and spam filters, hackers have gotten sneaky. They know how to copy and paste the logo of your favorite brand into an email so that it looks like it’s coming from them. This is called a ‘phishing attack’, and the only goal is to get you to click the link in the email.

“But the deal is just TOO GOOD to pass up!” you say?

holiday hacker traps

Hover your cursor over the hyperlink to reveal its true URL. Even if the link reads “yourfavoritebrand.com/BlackFriday”, it could be sending you to a phishing site with a landing page that has all the logos of your favorite brand, but is really a cleverly disguised trap.

All hackers want is for you to ‘login’ on the fake page they’ve created so they can steal your username, password, and whatever other information you provide. Then they’ll use those same credentials to try and log into every major banking network, your server at work, your social media profiles, and more.

4. Your Messy, Messy Desk

holiday hacker traps

Sounds easy enough, but how many employees or coworkers do you know who still have their passwords written on a Post-It note they’ve stuck to the bottom of their computer monitor?

If you answered more than ‘zero, make sure your staff takes 5 minutes to clean off their desks before taking off for the long weekend.

Believe it or not, hackers have been known to bring down entire businesses simply by snapping a picture of a password, IP secret, or other privileged data that had been left out on an employee’s desk.

5. Be Careful What You Share On Social Media

holiday hacker traps

Who doesn’t love sharing the perfectly framed selfie, or gloating about the glorious vacation you’re about to embark on? But did you know that hackers could also be stalking your social media profiles, waiting for the perfect opportunity to break into your home, office, or even pretend to be you and trick coworkers into sharing company secrets?

Take a look at the privacy settings on your various social media profiles, and make sure anything set to 'public' as a default is immediately changed to 'friends' or 'private'.

6. Don’t Trust Your Caller ID

holiday hacker traps

Phishing scams aren't confined to emails. Hackers are now fabricating Caller IDs.

Say you hear your phone ringing in the other room. You go to pick it up, but it's a number you don't recognize. Luckily, you have Caller ID, and it's telling you that the caller is Your Bank. Must be something important, right? Maybe something to do with your direct deposit and the holiday?

Wrong!

Just because Caller ID says your bank is calling, it could be a hacker hoping to steal your account information. If the person you're speaking with tries to make the situation sound dire, or claims that your "urgent attention" is needed, hang up the phone. Then, call your bank back and ask to speak to a representative. If they have a record of the call, then you're all set to proceed. If they have no idea what you're talking about, then you just outsmarted a hacker!

holiday hacker traps

All a hacker needs to disrupt your life is one email, one username, one password - which is why you should NEVER use the same login credentials for multiple websites, let alone your work and personal devices.

Remember: educating your employees on how best to avoid hacker traps is only the beginning. To truly protect your business from growing cybersecurity threats, you need a managed service provider that can outfit you with the latest firewall, data backups, cloud storage, and an IT infrastructure equipped to handle the demands of the 21st Century.

Want to learn more?

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During your on-site assessment, our team of experts will identify vulnerabilities in your business' computer network and technology infrastructure that could be putting you at risk.

 

 


Here’s How You Can Minimize the Cost of Downtime

Technology is the backbone of your business, so downtime can dramatically damage bottom line. According to a 2016 ITIC survey, one hour of downtime can cost you more than $100,000. The longer it takes to get your system back up, the scarier the numbers get.

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How to Leverage Virtual CIO Services to Achieve Your Business Goals

Today’s business challenges require leaders to think more strategically about IT—not just whether or not your systems and network are up and running. An increasing number of business leaders are realizing how dramatically technology decisions impact their business. To stay competitive, you have to view IT as a strategic asset—not just an operational expense.

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IT support Los Angeles

Why Cloud Computing?

These days, everything is in the cloud or happening in the cloud. Simply google cloud computing and your search results will be endless. So, what’s up with all the hype? Does the cloud really call for all this attention and are you missing out? Yes, yes you are.

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IT support Los Angeles

Questions to Ask Before Committing to an IT Managed Service Provider

You’ve already taken a step in the right direction—you’ve admitted that you need help managing your infrastructure and technology budget. The next step is to weed through the myriad of managed service providers and find the perfect fit for your organization—but, that’s easier said than done if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.

 

Apply the same tactics to finding the right MSP partner as you would when dating. Reflect on the challenges you’ve experienced, consider what’s worked and define your deal-breakers. Put all that on the table upfront and make sure they can answer the following questions before you seal the deal.

 

How proactive is your service?

 

How do you deliver and charge for your solutions?

 

Is there a usage-based service option?

 

Is co-management an option?

 

Can you provide 3-5 references of organizations that are similar to ours?

 

How do you approach data backup and business continuity?

 

Do you offer virtual CIO and CISO services?

 

A reliable technology services provider will be prepared to answer these and more questions without hesitation. Be wary of providers that distract you with deceptively low monthly fees. An MSP should save you money. However, if their pricing sounds too good to be true—and they can’t provide proof that they can address your concerns—it’s likely you’ll end up shelling out more cash for service upgrades. A reputable MSP provides a hassle-free, comprehensive service plan, often with a trial period that allows you to back out if you're not happy with their service. Contact us to see if we’re a good match.