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Category Archives: Alpen Technology Group

4 Questions to ask about Small Business Cybersecurity

Alpen Technology Group, Cyber Security, Information Security, Information Technology, IT Security, Managed IT Services, Ransomware, Sacramento, Systems Engineer, Technology

By David Baker, Microsoft MCSA & MCITP, CompTIA+ & Network+, CSM

According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report via a Forbes magazine report, more than half of all cyber attack victims were small businesses.

As a Managed IT Services provider, we’ve seen many instances of our small business clients experiencing email phishing, ransomware, or other breaches in security.

Even if your small business uses an out-of-the-box security system, you still need a professional IT organization to help make sure the technology works optimally and is layered with firewalls, encryption, and more.

A Managed IT Services firm can help.

Here are some questions to ask when interviewing a Managed IT Services firm:

  1. Do you perform infiltration testing? This involves breaking into your network to expose security holes. Sounds scary, but this is necessary to find the gaps in your system and put together mitigation processes.
  2. Do you perform phishing email reaction testing and instruction? Creating a fake phishing attempt to see how staff responds can help identify what should be included in an organization-wide security training plan. According to the 2018 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium Size Businesses report by Ponemon/Keeper Security:

Over 80% of small businesses report that malware has evaded their antivirus software.

  1. How frequently do you survey digital security readiness? Digital security readiness focuses on preventative measures, as well as the actions to be taken when an incident does occur. Creating a culture of cyber readiness means creating a resilient organization.
  2. How rapidly would you be able to recoup basic information? It’s critical that your Managed IT Services firm can quickly retrieve your information from a backup or other reinforcement.

These are just a few questions to ask an IT services firm to make sure they provide comprehensive services to keep your business secure.

Interested in asking us these questions and learning more about how KAI Partners’ IT experts can help? Call 916-465-8065!

About David: David Baker holds certifications in Microsoft MCSA, Microsoft MCITP, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and has extensive experience in server, platform (HP/Dell). Mr. Baker has experience working with developers and supporting their development environment. In his current role, Mr. Baker monitors clients’ backups, active directory, DHCP and DNS, resolves helpdesk tier 1-3 support tickets, and has successfully completed AD migrations from server 2008 to server 2012 and 2016. Mr. Baker has successfully completed VOIP phone migrations, WAN ISP cutovers, network redesign and implementation, firewall replacements and security lockdown, AWS web server build out, AWS helpdesk call center engineering, and more. In his spare time, Mr. Baker enjoys BBQing, photography, and fitness.

How Managed IT Services and Cloud Computing can Save you Money

Alpen Technology Group, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Cloud Computing, Information Security, Information Technology, Innovation, IT Modernization, IT Security, KAI Partners, Managed IT Services, Non-profit, Project Management, Ransomware, Sacramento, Small Business, Systems Engineer, Technology

By David Baker, Microsoft MCSA & MCITP, CompTIA+ & Network+, CSM

We’ve talked before about how your organization can benefit from our managed IT services. We can help you reduce downtime, improve productivity, and more.

Something else we do is help you reduce the money you spend on IT services.

An IT company that helps you reduce IT costs? Yes! Our IT team is always on the lookout for ways to save our clients money.

We recently completed a phone migration and network infrastructure upgrade for one of our clients. We found a way to decrease their monthly phone bill by half, ultimately saving them well into five figures annually.

Another way to save your organization money? We’re a big proponent of cloud computing—for example, using Microsoft 365 or Google Cloud for your files, emails, calendaring, and anything else you need to run your business.

We know a lot of people are still hesitant to move over to “the cloud,” but here are a few examples of how migrating from in-house servers to cloud computing can save you money and peace of mind:

  1. Reduce hardware and electricity bill cost.Cloud computing means you no longer need to use certain computer equipment—you can repurpose the equipment for another use or donate it as a tax write-off. And, migrating your servers to the cloud can save money your electricity bill because you’re no longer paying for cooling costs.
  2. You don’t need to pay an internal IT staff. Especially when you take into consideration the hidden costs of FTEs—health insurance, payroll taxes, workers’ compensation, the list goes on—it’s often more cost-efficient to have a team like ours manage your IT needs. Our team handles the security and maintenance, and many other updates are automatic within the cloud.
  3. Disaster recovery. In the event of a building disaster, your electronic files are safe in the cloud. You and your team can still perform work duties and access any electronic files you need to. While this is never a welcome occurrence, you have peace of mind knowing your most valuable files are safe in the cloud.

KAI Partners’ expert cloud computing engineers are ready to help you meet your business goals. If you’re ready to let us take care of your IT needs, call 916-465-8065!

About David: David Baker holds certifications in Microsoft MCSA, Microsoft MCITP, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and has extensive experience in server, platform (HP/Dell). Mr. Baker has experience working with developers and supporting their development environment. In his current role, Mr. Baker monitors clients’ backups, active directory, DHCP and DNS, resolves helpdesk tier 1-3 support tickets, and has successfully completed AD migrations from server 2008 to server 2012 and 2016. Mr. Baker has successfully completed VOIP phone migrations, WAN ISP cutovers, network redesign and implementation, firewall replacements and security lockdown, AWS web server build out, AWS helpdesk call center engineering, and more. In his spare time, Mr. Baker enjoys BBQing, photography, and fitness.

How the Certified ScrumMaster® Training can Help you Prioritize your Work

Agile, Alpen Technology Group, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Corporate Training, Information Technology, KAIP Academy, Learning, Sacramento, Scrum, Training, Workforce Development

By David Baker, CSM

I’ve been in IT for 10 years—both as a helpdesk admin and system engineer. In these roles, I regrettably had little exposure to business or project management methodologies.

As a recent hire to KAI Partners as an IT services delivery network administrator, I was pleased to be given the opportunity to attend the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) class through the KAIP Academy.

I came into the class completely new to the subject—I had not heard of or been exposed to scrum. I was eager to learn something new outside my skill set that would increase my marketability, expand my breadth of knowledge, and bring that learning to my new role to provide greater value to my customers and the company.

The course was well-instructed and very easy to follow. I especially enjoyed the real-world stories shared—I could see the results practitioners were achieving using the scrum methodology. Students also engaged in exercises where individuals were split into teams and performed timed activities that required everyone on the team to participate.

While in my current role, I do not work on a traditional scrum team environment, I do have a back log of activities to prioritize. I am excited to use scrum methodologies to help me organize my day-to-day work requests with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

If you are someone who is ready to increase your value and provide better services to your customers—not to mention keeping your mind sharp and engaging in new ways of thinking and approaches—I highly recommend signing up for the CSM course at the KAIP Academy. It will change the way you look at project management and individual workflow. Being a CSM will give you the tools needed to meet your customer’s expectations faster, deliver exceptional customer service, and make your work load easier to execute.

Interested in taking our Certified ScrumMaster®, Certified Scrum Product Owner®, or Agile Jumpstart courses? Visit our Eventbrite page to see our full schedule of upcoming courses!

About the Author: David Baker has 11 years of experience in IT ranging from help desk to network/systems engineer. Working with different technologies like Cisco, SonicWALL, Dell, VMware, and Microsoft. Mr. Baker currently works for  KAI Partners as a Systems Engineer, helping clients meet their IT needs. For fun, Mr. Baker enjoys BBQing, photography, and fitness.

WEAVE’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2018

Alpen Technology Group, Community Service, Event Recap, KAI Partners, Sacramento, Small Business, Team Building, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, WEAVE


Some of the KAI Partners’ men getting ready to walk a mile!

By Michele Sadowski

As a recent transplant to Sacramento, it has been on my to do list to meet new people. Community service is a great way to meet new people.

One of the reasons I chose to work at KAI Partners is because of its strong commitment to community service, so when it was announced that KAI Partners would participate in WEAVE’s “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” annual fundraiser, I immediately signed up. In Sacramento County, WEAVE is the primary provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

It was a bucolic day—light wind and unseasonably cool for this time of year (or so they tell me)—perfect for a long walk in some stilettos…or crazy boots…or well, anything that had high heels on them.

As I walked into Crocker Park, I was greeted by luxurious trees and teeming, lively, cheerful people sitting on blankets, tables, or walking around with their adorable dogs. Many were sampling the flavors of food and drink from a long line of food trucks stationed at the park for the hungry walkers and their supporters. It was the first time I have ever seen a lobster food truck. For all of the crazy weird foods you can find at a festival in Wisconsin, where I’m from, you will not find a lobster truck—a deep fried Oreo cookie or pickle, sure. In the background a rock band was playing and there were more than a couple of folks swaying and singing along, and just off the side of the stage was a giant red shoe!

The WEAVE team, all in their purple shirts, were amazing! To see all those young people there to make a difference—to support and commit to something so strongly and with such energy—was absolutely life affirming. I caught them in a quick game of kick ball in-between manning their booth—it looked like so much fun I wanted to join in.

While the event opened at 11:30am, the walk didn’t start until 1pm. So, after a long leisurely walk about, I went to go find my cohorts. KAI Partners was a sponsor of the event and of course our team was out in full force. Working onsite for a client, I don’t get much time with my teammates, so I truly enjoyed having the opportunity to get to know them a little better.

The time finally came for the walk to begin, and a mass of humanity began walking towards the start line, and then they were off. About 15 minutes later the walkers began to return. They were greeted with cheers and cow bells—yup, cowbells—and I think my ears are still ringing. Each participant received a rope with cowbell on it and a medal as a memento of their achievement. One man twisted his ankle just as he was coming over the finish line and wow it looked excruciatingly painful. Been there done that!

I’m so proud of the men and women who put those heels on and walked that mile. It was a nice day, but a mile in heels is hard (and painful, right guys?)! All in all, it was a great day to be outside and to support a great cause. I look forward to participating in next year’s event.

About Michele: Michele is a recent Certified ScrumMaster with 20+ years of communications and project lead experience in small and large technology firms. After a 15-year stint in Wisconsin, Michele recently returned to California. When not at work, she spends her time learning about her new home, Sacramento, CA, and enjoying time with family and friends.