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What Does the End of AOL Instant Messenger Mean for Your Business?

On December 15th, 2017, AOL will officially discontinue its free AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service, ending a 20-year run for the free chat app. The end-of-life announcement came earlier this fall, and although the number of AIM users had dropped significantly, many still bemoaned the loss of their @aim.com email addresses, their chat histories, and all the images and files shared through the app’s many years of operations.

The death of AIM highlights a growing need for businesses to rely not on free services but on secure business-grade applications. As cybersecurity worries have increased, free apps have become prime targets for hackers peddling spyware, malware, and other illicit viruses. We see this with fake holiday shopping apps that often disguise themselves as the real thing, free email programs that often lack the robust security protocols needed for specific industries like health care and legal, and a recent surge in infected Android apps that, as of September 2017, had racked up more than 4 million downloads from the Google Play store.

Even trusted chat platforms like Skype have been hit by spam and malware; earlier this year, malicious in-app ads tried to offer up a fake Adobe Flash update that could have led to an infection. So what is a business that relies on such services to do, especially in a fast-paced digital world?

Proactive, multi-layered security solutions that protect your company, your data, and your employees are key. At CMIT Solutions, we dedicate ourselves to keeping desktops, laptops, and mobile devices updated with the latest security updates and software patches while surrounding your systems with several layers of protection. We take this approach because we know how dangerous the Internet can be — and because proactive monitoring and maintenance is the most important building block toward comprehensive security.

Here are 3 more methods to avoid cybersecurity worries and keep your network safe:

1. A multi-pronged approach that includes anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware, anti-spam, and more is key.

Cyberattackers are constantly changing their tactics, which means you deserve a security solution that is constantly evolving to meet the current threat landscape. The best services several solutions into one package, which when implemented properly with the help of an IT provider can surround your most important business assets with strong defenses.

2. But new network security measures are also required to work toward the goal of comprehensive protection.

As new exploits and vulnerabilities pop up, enhanced tools are required to combat them. At CMIT Solutions, our high-level security services can analyze Internet traffic looking for exactly the kind of exploits listed above, along with new forms of malware and sophisticated phishing attacks that target specific users at your company. By identifying these attacks in advance, we can prevent them on both local networks and mobile devices, enforcing acceptable use policies through content filtering and providing an “umbrella” of security that’s unprecedented in the IT industry. Of course, even the densest layers of security can’t provide 100% protection, which is why we also require all of our clients to have…

3. Remote backup and disaster recovery plans in place to protect data.

If your data is hacked by ransomware or malware, often the only way to get it back without paying a hefty ransom to international criminals is by accessing a regular, remote, and easily retrievable backup. If you work in an industry that requires daily or even more frequent “snapshots” of backed-up data, you can often be back up and running after a cyberattack in a matter of days or even hours.

The nonstop stream of news about data breaches, cyberattacks, and other breaches can be disheartening. But with proactive services, backup and disaster recovery, business continuity, data encryption, email archiving, and other services at your disposal, day-to-day business operations can continue without interruption. With a trusted IT provider by your side, you can survive (and thrive) in today’s complicated IT world.

At CMIT Solutions, we defend your network, secure your data, and empower your staff to be more productive. Contact us today so that we can help you boost productivity and efficiency with the right enterprise-grade applications to assist your business growth.

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