Entrepreneurship, Press Releases

Rocket IT Named Inc. 5000 Company Second Year in a Row

Rocket IT

DULUTH, GA – Inc. magazine ranked Rocket IT NO. 3,571, up from the previous year’s spot at NO. 3,686, on its 36th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

“We’re very honored to be named once again to the Inc. 5000 list,” says Matt Hyatt, Rocket IT Founder and CEO. “Our ultimate purpose at Rocket IT is to help others thrive. We’re working hard to change the way people think about IT, and I’m proud of how far we’ve come.”

The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small businesses. Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, LinkedIn, Yelp, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

“This year, the winners have once again placed the bar very high,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “Companies that made the list, on average, have grown sixfold since 2013. Over a stretch when the economy grew just 6.7 percent, that’s a result most businesses could only dream of.”

This is the second year Rocket IT has been named to the Inc. 5000 list. Of the tens of thousands of companies that apply to the Inc. 5000 each year, only a fraction have made the list. Only one in three have made the list two times.

 

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Technology

5 Gadgets for Rainy Weather

Rocket IT

It’s been a very rainy summer here in Georgia. Since rain won’t really go away for another day, we’ve found five gadgets to keep you dry, no matter the season.

 

1.       A personal weather station that connects with your smartphone and Alexa

The Netatmo Weather Station connects to your smartphone (and Alexa!) to keep you up to date on the weather in real-time. Not only can it tell you the forecast, but it can also give information about wind speeds, solar exposure, and the humidity level outside. The device itself is fully weather-proof and comes with both an indoor and outdoor unit as well as a free-with-purchase lifetime personal account for access to detailed data anywhere, anytime.

The indoor unit can even let you know your house’s CO2 concentration!

 

2.       A waterproof (and vibration-resistant, AND shock-resistant) flash drive

Instead of worrying about the flash drive you keep on your keys getting damaged in your mad sans-umbrella dash to and from your car, consider investing in a waterproof one to hold your important files.

The Corsair Flash Survivor flash drive, modeled after military-style data transport, is the tank of USB drives. It’s a 64GB USB 3.0 (though this kind of comes in capacities between 16GB and 256GB), has hard-anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum housing, and an EPDM water seal and shock-damping collar, making it waterproof (to 200 meters) and shock resistant/drop-tested. It comes with a 5-year warranty and has universal compatibility.

 

3.       Waterproof and sweatproof noise-cancelling earbuds

Even weather forecast buffs can end up caught unexpected in the rain. If you like to listen to music while you run, hike, or anything else you like to do outdoors, then you may want to pick up a pair of water-resistant earbuds. This particular pair has the latest IPX7 waterproof rating and has up to 8 hours runtime with a full battery charge (240 hours of standby with a single charge). And the best part? It’s also sweat-proof, for those like our team who love doing 5ks, even in the humid Atlanta summers.

 

4.       A Lightsaber umbrella (that lights up and comes in seven different colors)

Whether you support the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance, this lightsaber umbrella will keep you covered. Rainy weather won’t always be with you, but the Force should be. Since this umbrella lights up, it’s also great for providing additional visibility at night or when it’s really raining buckets.

 

5.       A waterproof laptop bag

If you bike or walk to work, keeping your devices dry en route can prove a challenge in heavy downpours, especially if you arrive at your destination to find your handy umbrella wasn’t covering your bag fully or even if you’ve had an unfortunate spill, resulting in a soaked laptop case. Investing in a waterproof laptop bag can make your travels less stressful and protect all of your devices and important papers.

Since these come in all shapes, sizes, and designs, you can find the right one for you. Just be sure to check the dimensions and the reviews before purchasing to avoid buyers’ remorse upon delivery.

 

We hope these gadgets help you and your devices stay dry and focused on what’s mission critical.


 

cg-libraryAbout the Author – 

Caitlin Purcell is a rescue advocate, and she resides in Gwinnett County with her husband and their rescue baby, a pitbull named Hammer. Caitlin is the Sales Coordinator at Rocket IT. 

 

Inefficiency is the enemy of a profitable, thriving business. What would a 2.5% increase in utilization mean to your organization? Download our FREE whitepaper for five easy steps to increase employee productivity at no additional payroll cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News, Press Releases

Rocket IT Named to 2017 CRN Fast Growth 150 List

Rocket IT

Duluth, GA – CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, named Rocket IT to its 2017 Fast Growth 150 list. This list is CRN’s annual ranking of North America-based technology integrators, solution providers, and IT consultants that have experienced significant economic growth over the past three years.

Rocket IT also earned this recognition in 2016. This year, Rocket IT placed #70 on the collection of prestigious companies, up from #138 last year.

“We’re very pleased to be included on the Fast Growth 150 list this year and to see how our ranking has improved,” said Matt Hyatt, Rocket IT’s Founder and CEO. “We’re working hard to change the way people think about IT, and our growth reflects that.”

The companies recognized on this list represent a total combined revenue of more than $16.7 billion.

“The companies on CRN’s 2017 Fast Growth 150 list are thriving in what is now a very tumultuous, demanding IT channel climate,” said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company. “This remarkable group of solution providers has successfully adapted to a landmark industry shift away from the traditional VAR business model to a more services-driven approach, outpacing competitors and emerging as true channel leaders. We congratulate each of the Fast Growth 150 honorees and look forward to their continued success.”

The Fast Growth 150 list is highlighted in the August issue of CRN and can be viewed online at http://www.crn.com/rankings-and-lists/fast-growth-2017.htm.

 

 

 

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Technology

Ten Articles You Shouldn’t Miss about Security

Rocket IT

Security has been the hottest tech topic this year, and it isn’t about to die down any time soon with all the evolving threats emerging to target businesses of all sizes. We’ve created articles over the years designed to keep you informed about the latest threats and how you can protect your organization.

To make things a little easier on you (working to keep your organization safe is no easy task, we know!), here are our Top Ten Security Articles.

What is Ransomware?

This is everything you need to know about ransomware. From what it is to how to avoid it and what to do if you’re already infected. Check out this article to get started with Ransomware 101.

Don’t Take the Bait

Social engineering is one of the most common ways individuals and companies become infected with malware or end up losing money to phishers. Here are some key things to watch out for in your inbox.

Protecting Yourself from Phishing Attacks

Architects of phishing scams are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts. Here are processes you can enact at your organization to prevent becoming a victim.

How to Tell if an Email is Valid

Not sure if that unexpected email with a PDF attachment in your inbox is really from your printer? Here are the red flags you should be aware of when validating the legitimacy of an email.

WannaCry Ransomware: The Biggest Ransomware Outbreak in History

WannaCry swept the globe on a scale never before seen in the history ransomware. Here’s how it affected users.

NotPetya Ransomware Variant Targets Human Resources

Following soon after the WannaCry onslaught, NotPetya infiltrated multiple organizations through their HR departments. This article details how it gets in and what it does once it’s installed on a system.

Security in an Increasingly BYOD Culture

How do you control data information security in an office where employees use their personal devices for work purposes? Check out these best practices.

Staying Secure While Shopping Online

Let’s face it. Online shopping is way more convenient (sometimes addictive!) than driving across town to traipse all over the mall. And with the rise in Cyber Monday and other online deals days’ popularity, the stories of those who received something entirely different from what the pictures online, or never received their order at all, are rising. Here’s how to stay secure when shopping on the web.

Why Turning It Off and On Again Actually Helps

Okay, so this doesn’t really sound like a security article. But your devices need to run important security patches regularly, and not restarting them every 10 days can leave them vulnerable to known threats.

Don’t Install on Autopilot

Paying attention to what you’re installing and (just as important) from where is crucial to the security of your devices.

Over 77% of small businesses think they’re safe from cyber attacks, yet more than 40% have already been victims. Don’t become another security statistic.

 


 

 

About the Author-

Jacque McFadden is the marketing specialist at Rocket IT. While a large portion of her job focuses on the more traditional side of marketing, she is also responsible for finding great new employees. Jacque is originally from Indiana. 

 

The average cost of unplanned downtime per minute in 2016 was nearly $9,000 per incident.

Your organization doesn’t have to eat the cost of dead time. Download our free whitepaper now to learn five easy steps you can take to capture dead time.

 

 

 

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Technology

What is Cybersecurity Insurance?

Rocket IT

Cybersecurity insurance is a type of standalone coverage that helps organizations recover after a major data loss due to a security breach, ransomware, or other cyber incident. Much like general liability insurance, cybersecurity insurance protects you in the event of a virtual calamity.

These cyber liability policies tend to cover any variety of the following:

  • Liability for privacy breaches, including the theft of confidential information through unauthorized access to computer systems
  • Extra expenses due to unplanned downtime and other costs incurred by a security breach
  • The costs of restoring, updating, or replacing lost data, as well as consumer notification, client support, and the provision of credit-monitoring service to affected customers
  • Expenses related to cyber extortion, such as paying ransom for data recovery
  • Coverage of costs related to regulatory compliance

This insurance coverage exists to protect small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from what can be the bankrupting costs of a cybersecurity breach. After all, few SMBs can afford to lose the over $700k in average downtime costs in 2017.[i]

But there are more benefits to an organization from purchasing cybersecurity insurance than just liability coverage.

Like with other insurance coverage, providers analyze the insured’s risk and create (and price) the policies accordingly. To receive a lower price for the insurance, companies have to match industry standards of best practices for security. When organizations do that, their security risk is reduced significantly.

Not only do companies receive a price break for keeping systems secure, backed up, and up to date on all the latest software, but they can also receive a discount for providing cybersecurity training to their employees. This is a critical piece of security that is often overlooked by employers.

The majority of ransomware and other phishing attacks are successful because of social engineering. By training your people how to spot suspicious emails and links, you’re greatly reducing your risk of becoming infected through a rogue click. By incentivizing this training, cybersecurity insurance providers are helping you enable your people to become security stewards for your organization.

Is it right for your company?

That depends! It’s certainly very important to adhere to industry standards for compliance and security, to keep your systems and devices updated and backed up, and to train your employees on cybersecurity, but these are all things you can do before (and without) purchasing a cyber liability policy.

Just like any other insurance policy, buying coverage for cybersecurity is buying into a pot with the insurance company where they’re betting something terrible won’t happen and you’re betting you might. If you aren’t as concerned about the cost of a potential security breach because you’re confident in your organizations’ security policies and protections, then paying a recurring cost for insurance you may never use might not be worth it to you. For some industries, you may soon be required to purchase cyber liability coverage to remain compliant. For others, you may just want the peace of mind.

No matter what your choice, you should always work to keep your organization secure on multiple levels with the right tools, backups, and training. If you have any questions on what you can do to make that happen, join us for our next security webinar.

 

 


[i] http://files.server-rack-online.com/2016-Cost-of-Data-Center-Outages.pdf

 

About the Author – 

Jeremy Butler is one of the Support Professionals at Rocket IT. He is obsessed with cars and loves working on them. Jeremy also served in the Marine Corps and is a huge college football fan.

 

 

Inefficiency is the enemy of a profitable, thriving business. What would a 2.5% increase in utilization mean to your organization? Download our FREE whitepaper for five easy steps to increase employee productivity at no additional payroll cost.

 

 

 

 

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Best Practices, Entrepreneurship, Technology

Security in the Age of Ransomware Webinar

Rocket IT

Nearly 77% of small businesses think they’re safe from cyber attacks, yet more than 40% have already been victims. Where is this disconnect, and how can you protect your organization?

In the new age of ransomware, security has to be a top priority for every level at your organization. Find out what you can do to decrease the risk of costly downtime and data loss due to a security breach.

Join Rocket IT vCIO Eric Henderson on July 27th, 2017, at 1:00 PM EST for our Security in the Age of Ransomware webinar.

Eric Henderson is the virtual CIO for Rocket IT, a technology company based out of Duluth, GA.  He received his B.S. in Management from Georgia Tech in 2003, and has worked in a variety of industries.  Eric serves on the National Board for 48in48, a nonprofit dedicated to creating websites for other nonprofit organizations, and on the Endowment Board for the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology. He is passionate about technology, leadership, and seeing people and their businesses thrive. 

Eric lives in Atlanta with his wife Heather, and their two sons, Thomas and Jonas. 

 

 

 

 

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Best Practices, Productivity, Tips & Shortcuts

Ten Productivity Hacks

Rocket IT

With everything you can do from any of your devices, technology can sometimes be more of a distraction than a help. But there are several great tools and tricks to keep you on track with your tasks. From waking up early and engaging in regular exercise to attempting to manage all of your social media pages at once, here are ten ways you can increase your productivity this week:

1. Wake up early

Sleep Cycle can help you wake up at the right time so that you can maximize how much rest you are getting. By waking up during your lightest sleep stage you will feel energized and ready to take on the day, thus increasing your productivity.

2. Exercise

Research has shown that a midday workout can dramatically increase your productivity. Only have 30 minutes to spare? Check out the Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout app. All you need is a chair and (literally) 7 minutes to get your blood flowing.

3. Humin

This app was created to connect your phone, Facebook, and LinkedIn contacts, in addition to information pulled from your calendar, email, and voicemail to help categorize your contacts and give some context as to who they are and how you know them.

4. Strict Workflow

This Chrome extension uses the Pomodoro technique which breaks your work into 25-minute intervals with short, 5-minute breaks in between. One Pomodoro is a focused 25-minute working interval, with one 5-minute break; complete four and you can reward yourself with a longer break.

5. Roboform, LastPass, and Dashlane

These password managers help you save time from resetting your password for the third time this week. One of the nice features of LastPass is the password generator. Let it generate your password and then save it for you, all in one place.

6. To-do lists

Wunderlist has compatibility for almost all devices so you can have access to your list on your phone or computer. Easily turn emails into actions, set reminders, and share your lists with colleagues with this app.

7. Keep track of your notes

Stop searching for the notes from last week’s meeting and start using OneNote. This app allows you to keep everything organized and all in one place by simply clicking between various tabbed sections.

8. Rescue Time

This download tracks your computer usage to show you just how well, or not well, you are using your time. The premise is for you to understand your daily habits so that you can increase your productivity.

9. Social Media Management

If you are managing multiple social media accounts, I recommend Buffer. Not only does it post to all of your social media accounts from one place, it also helps you to schedule your posts for later so that you can share content at the best times possible.

10. Team Collaboration

Trello is the easy way to visually manage and organize your projects with all the team members included. From start to finish, Trello helps to outline each project, assign tasks, and see the progress that has been made along the way.

 

Do you have any other great productivity hacks? We’d love to hear about them! Join the conversation and tweet us @RocketIT.

 


 

About the Author – 

Bria Mays is the Office Administrator at Rocket IT. Bria has a BS in Psychology and is passionate about volunteering and blogging.

 

 

 

Nearly 77% of small businesses think they’re safe from cyber attacks, yet more than 40% have already been victims.

Join us to learn how to mitigate this risk and what comes next after being infected by ransomware on July 27th for our Security in the Age of Ransomware webinar presented by Rocket IT’s vCIO, Eric Henderson.

 

 

 

 

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Press Releases

Georgia Trend Magazine Names Rocket IT Best Place to Work

Rocket IT

Duluth, GA – Georgia Trend Magazine named Rocket IT as a 2017 Best Place to Work in Georgia this week, one of only 15 organizations headquartered in Georgia to be selected. This accolade recognizes organizations for going above and beyond in creating an environment where employees feel valued and engaged. Among other winners in the Gwinnett community are Edwards Jones, BrandBank, and Mighty 8th Media.

Based on the annual survey, managed by an independent research firm, employees rank organizations higher based on flexibility, recognition, career development, wellness opportunities, charitable work, and more. While special perks like ping-pong tables and bringing your pet to work are certainly icing on the cake, workers are looking for leadership that values and invests in their employees.

“We’ve faced a lot of changes and challenges that come with rapid growth as a team, and we’ve had a blast doing it. Rocket IT has always been a best place to work for me,” says Eric Henderson, Rocket IT’s Virtual Chief Information Officer and longest-term employee. “Developing our people has always been a priority, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”

This is the second accolade recognizing Rocket IT as a “Best Place to Work” in 2017. Additionally, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce named Rocket IT their Overall Winner for the 2017 IMPACT Regional Business Awards earlier this year.

Rocket IT is the IT partner of choice for Gwinnett County organizations, providing both the strategy and support they need to thrive. By providing a client’s leadership team with the strategic foresight necessary for them to align technology investment with business goals, they can work from a shared vision, which increases efficiency, decreases risk, and increases revenue.

 

 

 

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Technology

NotPetya Ransomware Variant Targets Human Resources

Rocket IT

Another in a long string of recent cryptovirus attacks, a variant of the Petya ransomware known currently as “NotPetya” is striking HR departments around the globe. Currently disguised as an employee candidate email, malicious links in emails disguised as a Dropbox link to resumes and CVs are infecting computers and locking their files.

Instead of encrypting your files one-by-one like other cryptoviruses such as WannaCry, Petya and its variant operates by first encrypting your PC’s Master Boot Record which also contains your boot loader – special code that always runs before your operating system (OS). Once infected, your boot loader will load the ransomware instead of your OS.

What does it look like when you click on one of these corrupted links?

Users see a Stop Error screen (popularly known as the “Blue Screen of Death”), and their computer reboots into what appears to be the Check Disk screen. This is when the virus encrypts your PC’s Master File Table, which acts as the map to your stored files. Once this is encrypted, it makes it virtually impossible for your computer to locate a specific file.

After the ransomware is done with these processes, the ransom message appears. Unfortunately, NotPetya disables your ability to access the internet through this computer since at this point it has effectively placed itself between you and your OS. In order to pay the bitcoin ransom, you have to use another computer to do so in order to get the decryption key and save your files.

This is not the first time Petya has hit organizations; only now it’s using the EternalBlue Exploit recently patched in the latest Microsoft updates to spread from one PC to the rest of the network. There may be additional methods being used by this virus to infect whole networks that have not been determined yet.

Phishing attacks like NotPetya, WannaCry, and Locky have been so successful because of the social engineering aspect of the hackers’ strategy. Human Resources and recruiters receive unsolicited resumes on a regular basis, so an email like the ones that have been distributing the NotPetya malware don’t look innately suspicious.

Be cautious of unexpected emails with links or attachments. As long as it continues to pay, phishers will continue finding new ways to deliver this ransomware to end users.

Interested in more information on ransomware and how to protect your organization? Check out these additional articles below.

What is Ransomware?
How to Tell If an Email is Valid
Upsurge in Phishing Activities: Don’t Take the Bait!
Protecting Yourself from Phishing Attacks

 


 

About the Author-

Jason Hand loves making music, serving his church and getting people excited about technology tools. He currently lives in Georgia with wife and two adopted sons.  Jason is the Systems Administrator at Rocket IT.

 

Inefficiency is the enemy of a profitable, thriving business. What would a 2.5% increase in utilization mean to your organization? Download our FREE whitepaper for five easy steps to increase employee productivity at no additional payroll cost.

 

 

 

 

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Entrepreneurship, Leadership

What is a Business Continuity Plan, and Why Do I Need One?

Rocket IT

Between natural catastrophes, unfortunate accidents, and cybersecurity threats, it’s not a question of if something will happen to your organization, but when.

Does your organization have a business continuity plan in place? Do you know how your team will respond?

A business continuity plan is a documented strategy outlining the steps and processes to ensure your business operations continue to run should disaster strike. In case of significant data loss or even loss of leadership, this plan gives your organization the support and tools it needs to recover.

How do you know if you need one?

If you have a business, then you need a business continuity plan. When calamity hits, you don’t want to scramble around trying to decide how to handle it. The more time you spend choosing an action path and reacting, the more downtime your organization is going to have. And with the average cost for end-user productivity downtime at over $740k in 2016 (and rising), the less downtime you have, the better.[i]

Who needs to be involved?

Typically, your leadership team, IT, and head of Accounting/HR should be included in the creation and execution of your business continuity plan. Their roles need to be defined in the documentation of the plan so everyone knows who the point person is on each task. This way your team won’t be stumped on who should be doing what and who has the authority to approve decisions.

You should also clearly define who has final authority should you or others not be available and able to carry out a leadership role. In some cases, this may mean that you need to legally name someone who can make important choices in your absence.

Do I need to test it?

Yes. You need to test it. You’re not going to be simulate perfectly an unexpected event (thus is the nature of unexpected events), but you can make sure your team is familiar with it and there aren’t any preventable kinks in the process.

Think about it this way – If you built an emergency bunker (not that you should need one for your business continuity plan!), you would want to test that your ventilation sources were functioning properly and any radio equipment you had functioned while the bunker was sealed. Testing your plan won’t go exactly the same way as it will in true action, but you’ll see what parts work well and what others need some improvement.

Should anything happen to your organization’s data, systems, or even to a member of its leadership, a business continuity and disaster recovery plan will help ensure that the organization will be able to recuperate and continue thriving, enabling you to build a legacy to last.

If you’d like strategic insight on security vulnerabilities and expert advice on how to build your own business continuity plan, contact us. We’d love to help you.

 


[i] http://files.server-rack-online.com/2016-Cost-of-Data-Center-Outages.pdf

 

About the Author-

Eric Henderson is Rocket IT’s virtual Chief Information Officer. He is also the tallest person at Rocket IT (by a fraction of an inch).

 

The average cost of unplanned downtime per minute in 2016 was nearly $9,000 per incident.

Your organization doesn’t have to eat the cost of dead time. Download our free whitepaper now to learn five easy steps you can take to capture dead time.

 

 

 

 

 

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