Ransomware: 3 Steps To Help Protect Your Business

According to a recent report published by McAfee Labs, ransomware will remain a major and rapidly growing threat throughout 2016. The number of known ransomware attacks doubled to more than 5 million by the third quarter of 2015 from the previous year.

What exactly is ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that allows a hacker to access an individual or company’s computer system, encrypt sensitive data and then demand some form of payment to decrypt it.

Ransomware essentially lets hackers hold a user’s data or system hostage.

In recent news…

You might have heard about last month’s ransomware attack at a hospital in Los Angeles. Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid $17,000 on February 5th to a hacker who was holding their computer systems hostage.

The hackers demanded 40 bitcoin, the equivalent of $17,000, in exchange for their medical records. Demanding cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, helps keep the attackers identity concealed because there is no traceable bank account attached to the transaction.

Some departments within the hospital had to completely shut down at the time due to its heavy reliance on technology.

The malware locked their operating systems by encrypting files and demanding ransom in exchange for the decryption key. In this case, the quickest way to regain access to their network was to pay up. Unfortunately, this is what the hospital did in order to restore normal operation.

This is just one of many malware attacks we have seen in the media targeting businesses.

 Think your safe using a Mac? Think again.

The first widespread ransomware attack on Apple computers was just announced in the first week of March 2016. According to Bloomberg Business an estimated 6,500 Macs were infected with malicious software designed to make files inaccessible to the  owners of Apple desktops and laptops.

Apple’s OS X software has for the most part always been off limits to hackers. This is in part due to their advanced software security. That is until now.  Cyber security experts say that the art of hacking Apple software has always been attractive to these attackers because of its exclusivity. It was just a matter of time until they were able to learn the vulnerabilities within the operating system.

The recent attacks on Apple OS X follows the ongoing legal battle between Apple Inc. and the U.S. government in which the government is asking Apple to decrypt information on an iPhone that belonged to a terrorists in the most recent attack in San Bernardino, CA. Apple is on the defense seeking to strengthen the security of their devices and protect the identity of their consumers, even in a criminal investigation.


These hackers performing the ransomware attacks are looking for fast cash. They are targeting businesses who heavily rely on their technology to run day-to-day operations.

Why? Because each minute that passes without being able to operate is costing the business money. Therefore, they are more likely to give in and pay the ransom as quickly as possible in order to restore operations.

What would you do if your businesses computer network was held for ransom?

Would you have the funds to pay up?

Or would you have the time to wait on an investigation to begin if you didn’t have the funds?

You probably answered ‘no’ to both of those questions.

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How prevent this from happening to you:

  •  Backup Your Data

A great way to prevent a major ransomware attack from ruining your operations is to have an offsite backup of your systems data. Performing regular updated backups-whether they be performed on a daily or an hourly basis.

Having a backup plan lets you rest easy knowing that files can be easily recovered and restored. Consider cloud solutions for data backup. Not only are they easily accessible when working remotely, but they serve as a great backup solution.


  • Update Your Software

Malware hackers heavily rely on targeting those running on outdated software with known vulnerabilities. Some vendors such as; Microsoft and Adobe, release security updates on a monthly basis. Having the latest software updates in place can significantly reduce your chances of being attacked. If possible, enable automatic updates to run so that you can be sure to never miss an update.


  • Use a Security Suite

If you are dealing with any type of sensitive information such as; banking and credit card accounts, social security numbers, billing information, medical records, etc. It is imperative to have a security suite in place to prevent any of this information from leaking into the wrong hands. Installing both an anti-malware and a software firewall is your best bet. Having both of these in place you’ll be able to identify any threats or suspicious activity.



In Conclusion

Applying these 3 simple steps to your personal or your business computer systems will greatly reduce your risk of an unwanted attack.

As a leading managed service provider in South Florida-  Netcom Solutions prides themselves on taking preventative measures to avoid any harm or threats to our client’s computer systems before it becomes an issue.

Don’t take our word for it, check out what our clients have to say.

Contact us if you would like to receive further information on how Netcom Solutions can help improve the efficiency of your IT infrastructure in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area.

Netcom Solutions recognized on CRN’s MSP 500 list for 2016

Official Press Release from The Channel Co. :


Netcom Solutions Recognized for Excellence in Managed IT Services

Miramar, FL, February 18, 2016 – Netcom Solutions announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Netcom Solutions to its 2016 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Pioneer 250 category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Their top-notch offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments.


In today’s fast-paced business environments, MSPs play an important role in helping companies leverage new technologies without straining their budgets or losing focus on their core business. CRN’s MSP 500 list shines a light on the most forward-thinking and innovative of these key organizations.


The list is divided into three categories: the MSP Pioneer 250, recognizing companies with business models weighted toward managed services and largely focused on the SMB market; the MSP Elite 150, recognizing large, data center-focused MSPs with a strong mix of on-premise and off-premise services; and the MSP Hosting Service Provider 100, recognizing MSPs focused primarily on off-premise, cloud-based services.


Netcom Solutions believes in simplifying technology in the workplace. By embracing technology, Netcom Solutions is able to stay ahead of the game when it comes to managed service providers. Their team of certified technicians are dedicated to delivering excellent service and solutions for businesses throughout Miami and Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Netcom Solutions focuses on building trusted relationships with their clients in order to further align them with their company’s goals and objectives.


“MSPs meet a critical need in the IT market, providing customized, turnkey services that allow for predictable operational expenses, effective control of expenditures, precise allocation of limited resources and convenient access to on-demand and pay-as-you-go technology,” said Robert Faletra, CEO, The Channel Company. “We congratulate the service providers of the MSP 500, who continually reinvent themselves to successfully meet their customers’ changing needs, helping businesses get the most out of their IT investments and sharpen their competitive edge.”


The MSP 500 list will be featured in the February 2016 issue of CRN and online at www.CRN.com/msp500.


About the Channel Company

The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequaled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace. www.thechannelco.com


Melanie Turpin

The Channel Company

(508) 416-1195



Beware of the Crash Safari Link


A new malicious link is going around social media claiming to crash your Safari web browser. According to sources, the name of the site is crashsafari.com (do not visit this site!). However, these hackers are using URL shortener’s – commonly seen on social media, which makes the URL unrecognizable. Fortunately, CrashSafari.com does not contain any malware nor does it cause any severe problems. There has not been any cases of permanent damage reported from this link, however it will crash your web browser.

On iOS devices, such as your iPhone, the browser will crash and possibly cause your phone to reboot. Meanwhile, on a desktop the browser will freeze up requiring you to force quit the program. Windows Chrome browsers have also been reported to be affected by the Crash Safari link. As a reminder, always use caution when clicking on links you are not familiar with.

This is not the first time we see these types of bugs on web browsers, and it definitely will not be the last. Netcom Solutions is here to help you and your staff with any of your IT needs. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or concerns.

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Managed IT Service Provider

Managed IT Services Proven To Drive Results.

Let’s be honest.

Trying to build your businesses IT infrastructure without the guidance of a Managed IT Service Provider can be quite a challenge.

Today, we live in a world where technology is always changing. Even when you think you’ve got the most up to date technology out there, it’s difficult to stay ahead of the curve. The IT landscape is constantly evolving and the need to integrate new technologies into your organization will require a lot more than a basic understanding of IT.

Simply purchasing the latest technology isn’t going to resolve any of your issues if you don’t know how to support them. When something goes wrong, are you as the business owner going to know how to fix it? Or more importantly, will you even have the time to fix it?

How a Managed IT Service Provider can save you time (and lots of it)

As a business owner, you have enough on your plate. The last thing you want to worry about is some piece of equipment failing on you and how your going to get it back up and running.

This is when a Managed IT Service Provider would come into play. Rather than hoping everything is set up correctly, you can have peace of mind knowing that someone else is taking care of it.

A Managed IT Service Provider takes the worry off of you and your staff when it comes to overseeing your technology. Working with a Managed IT Service Provider offers your organization an optimized system, along with high quality support solutions.

Imagine having your very own tech support staff that’s just a phone call away? Not to mention, a Managed IT Service Provider will know the in’s and out’s of your IT infrastructure. Making life a whole lot easier on you.

Investing in a Managed IT Service Provider will save you money

Would you be able to predict your IT expenses without hiring a Managed IT Service? Probably not.

If you currently use a contractor who you have on-call when something breaks, how can you budget for it? How do you know how serious the issue is? And more importantly, how long until your back up and running.

It is likely that your one man IT guy is contracted by multiple people.

So how can you be so sure that in the event of a disaster, he will be available when you need him?

Can you afford to wait a few days or maybe even weeks before he can come and take a look at your network?

Probably not.

And when he does take a look at it and tells you that you need a complete overhaul on your system, will you be caught off guard? Probably so.

Working with a Managed IT Service Provider helps eliminate these unexpected expenses. A Managed IT Service Provider will constantly be monitoring your network to help detect and prevent a problem before its too late and drastic measures need to be taken.

Not to mention, you will receive unlimited IT support at a fixed monthly cost. No surprises.

Printer not working?

Important files have gone missing from your computer?

Think you might have a virus or malware on your computer?

Your Managed IT Service Provider is simply a phone call away.


As a business owner, wouldn’t you like to…

Improve the performance of or optimize a business process?

Support a growth opportunity for your business?

Get rid of your current IT solution that isn’t producing the results you want?

Protect your companies precious data and financial information from a security breach or natural disaster?

Keep up with the technology your customers are using?

Have the ability to access business files & documents across multiple platforms?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, than a Managed IT Service Provider is something to consider.

Netcom Solutions provides effective solutions in Managed IT Services to help further the growth of your business. Servicing businesses throughout the Miami and Fort Lauderdale region.


Here’s exactly what you’ll get with Netcom Solutions Managed It Services:

Unlimited Help Desk Support- Were just a phone call away. Get professional support without the extra cost. Unlimited help desk support is already included in your Managed IT Services agreement, so call us anytime!

Network Monitoring- Our team of IT experts constantly watch over your systems so that you can rest assure your network is running smoothly.

Comprehensive Backup Disaster Recovery Solution- Never worry about data loss with Netcom Solutions comprehensive backup disaster and recovery plans. We perform hourly backups, so in the event of a server shut down or a cyber security breach, we’ve got your data covered.

Virtual CIO- Netcom Solutions will ensure that your business stays efficient and sustainable. Our IT consulting team will meet with your company quarterly to discuss how to streamline business processes with IT solutions.

Cloud Services- We offer cloud services for secure off-site backups, desktop, server and email tools.

Enterprise Level Antivirus, Anti-spyware & Malware Protection- Our managed IT services package includes the latest malware protection and anti-virus programs. Reducing your risk of malicious cyber attacks.

Proactive Approach- Rather than waiting until there’s an issue, we proactively monitor your network daily to ensure everything is running smoothly.


Contact Us 



clinton datto backup cloud

Clinton’s deleted emails found stored in a cloud; now in FBI’s hands.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton surprised everyone by having her ever-so controversial emails backed up on a Datto Inc. cloud storage system, designed to optimize data recovery.

Datto Inc. turned in the contents of her storage backup to the FBI on Tuesday, October 6th 2015. A Republican Senate committee chairman, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, also has asked the firm to provide the committee copies of any data from Clinton’s account still in its possession. It is rumored that the backup system was able to retrieve more than 31,000 of Clinton’s personal emails, which she said she deleted from her private server upon turning over her work-related emails to the State Department in December 2014.

The FBI is investigating whether or not Clinton’s emails put classified information at risk, but has yet to be characterized as a criminal offense.

Datto, based in Connecticut, is now the second data storage firm involved in the Clinton email investigation. Platte River Networks, an IT firm based out of Colorado, had been managing her primary server since June 2013. Datto was hired to help back up data in May 2013 by Platte River Networks, the Colorado-based tech company that managed Clinton’s server and has already been cooperating with the FBI investigation.

However, the IT firm claims they were unaware that Clinton’s emails were being backed up after the firm purchased a device from Datto that constantly snaps images of a server’s content. This content was being stored in an offsite data center, via the cloud.

Emails sent between Datto and Platte River Networks during that time, indicate there was confusion about where the backed up data would be stored, and for some time it was backed-up to an off-site Datto server, apparently against the wishes of Clinton staff.

The confusion comes from the fact that Datto was hired by Platte River and not the Clinton team, so the company had no idea it was backing up data for Clinton until August of 2015 when company officials read news reports about Platte River having the high-profile contract.

Questions still remain as to whether or not Datto actually transferred the data from its off-site data center to the on-site server, what data was backed up and whether Datto wiped the data after it was transferred.


Netcom Solutions is a proud partner of Datto Inc.

We offer our clients comprehensive backups & data recovery with Datto Inc. With Datto backups, your data is not only backed up onsite, but also backed up offsite via the cloud.

This is the most effective way to secure your company files in the event a disaster were to strike and affect your onsite backup. Like in Clinton’s case, our Datto backup systems capture images of your files and data on an hourly basis. This is to ensure your data can be recovered quickly, in the event of an outage or a data-erasing disaster.

Learn more about Netcom Solutions comprehensive backup & recovery plans for your South Florida business.

Netcom Solutions provides effective solutions in IT Consulting to further the growth of your business. Serving Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miami, Coral Gables, Miramar, Pembroke Pines and Plantation, we develop effective solutions with Virtual CIO and IT outsourcing that take the worry out of technology.


Contact US


CNN Politics– Article

McClatchyDC– Article


it support service provider

Have you outgrown your current IT service provider?


Do you find yourself having to deal with the same recurring computer issues? Does it feel like these issues are just being patched over but never completely resolved?

Do you find yourself waiting for hours or even days for an issue to be resolved? If so, these are clear signs that your business has outgrown its current IT service provider.

As your business continues to grow and expand, technology begins to play an even bigger role in your day-to-day operations. A growing business means- more phone calls, additional computers and workstations for your staff, reliable backups to store your company’s data and the list goes on. It is no longer a luxury for your business, but a necessity to have a proper IT service provider look after your businesses network.

You might be thinking to yourself- “our current IT guy has got it covered, everything’s working fine”. But how can you be so sure he’s really got everything covered? Unless you have an extensive background in information technology for businesses, it’s going to be pretty difficult to make that call on your own. In today’s rapidly evolving technology driven world, it takes an expert to really dig deep into the core of your businesses infrastructure.


Here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself if you think you might have outgrown your current IT support:


Is my current IT provider making suggestions on how technology could assist in growing my business?

Your IT provider should not only resolve your IT issues, but they should also have your businesses best interest in mind. You should expect more than just a simple break-fix service from them. The reason you hire an IT service provider in the first place is for their knowledge and expertise in the tech industry.

Not only should they solve your issues, but they become your business partner offering IT consulting aligned with your company goals. Your IT service provider should consistently make suggestions on how technology can better your business to maximize productivity and ultimately your profit.


We already have an independent contractor we rely on when we have issues, isn’t that good enough?

This is the common route most small businesses take when it comes to having someone to rely on when your technology stops working. An independent contractor only looks at your network when you call him for a problem. They work on a break-fix model, something breaks you call them. While this might seem like the cheaper route, there are a few key factors most small business owners don’t take into account.

Sure you might only be paying your contractor sporadically when an issue arises, but how can you possibly have a budget for these expenses? Technology is unpredictable, and unless you have a managed IT service provider, your IT budget will also be unpredictable. Not only is your budget for IT expenses unpredictable, but so is the quality of service you will receive from them.

A managed IT service provider is not only a more reliable solution to your technology problems, but rather than calling them when there is an issue, your service provider will be monitoring your network daily to prevent issues from happening in the first place. Not to mention, having a team of IT professionals working on your network versus one person trying to solve all of your problems is much more efficient.


If you are running a growing small business and see it expanding within the next few years, then you definitely need to consider bringing on a team of IT professionals to monitor, prevent and resolve your technology issues for you so that you can focus on running your business.


Netcom Solutions providing Managed IT services for small to mid-sized businesses for over 10 years throughout Miami & Fort Lauderdale, FL.


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IT support Miami Fort Lauderdale

3 Reasons Why You Need A Network Audit.

What is exactly is a Network Audit you might ask?

To put it simply, a Network Audit is a health report of your company’s IT infrastructure. Think of it like visiting your doctors office for your yearly check-up. You go for a check-up to make sure your blood pressure isn’t too high, your cholesterol level is where it needs to be and your blood work comes back normal.

Your businesses IT infrastructure needs to be healthy in order to prevent data loss, reveal any vulnerabilities that could expose your network to hackers, and even to make sure your not overpaying for services you don’t need. A Network Audit looks at your IT setup from the inside out.

3 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs A Network Audit

1.) If you don’t have a plan, plan to fail.

Technology is a large expense in any business. If you don’t know how much your business will be spending on IT for the next six months or even a year from now, you will likely not be prepared to pay for an unexpected technology disaster. Something like this could completely throw your budget off course and likely take a chunk out of your profits. If your business only spends on IT when something breaks, you might have a few unwelcome surprises coming your way within the next year. Technology is unpredictable, your budget shouldn’t be.

2.) Having a decent IT infrastructure isn’t enough.

Imagine trying to build a house from the ground up without an expert, such as a contractor or an architect? Most people wouldn’t dare to start such a costly project without an expert opinion. The same goes for your businesses IT infrastructure. Unless you yourself are in the IT industry, how can you be so sure your up to date on the latest software? You have a proper backup system in place? Or you know how to efficiently set up a network that best suits your businesses needs? If your business relies on data (customer information, medical records, legal files, ect…) don’t leave this vital information to chance- go with an expert.

3.) Your “IT guy” could be failing to provide you with proper advice.

Sure, you might have a “guy” you pay to come and install new software and do backups. But how do you know if they are properly working? If you are only relying on a one man operation, whose to say he’s doing everything he can to keep your network protected? In fact, the #1 issue revealed in hundreds of Network Audit’s has been that backups are not working. Can your business survive if you lost all of your data tomorrow? Did you know that 43% of companies that suffer from data loss never reopen and 51% of those close within two years.
A Network Audit could be that one simple solution to be sure your IT infrastructure is where it needs to be in order to successfully and efficiently run your business.


Contact Us to see if your business qualifies for a FREE Netcom Solutions Comprehensive Network Audit. We service clients throughout the Miami Dade and Fort Lauderdale region.

Content Filtering

How Your Business Could Benefit From Content Filtering.

Content filtering isn’t just for keeping your kids away from inappropriate content on the web or television. Have you ever considered content filtering for your office? Content filtering can not only prevent your employee’s from wasting time online (updating their Facebook status or catching up on last night’s reality show), but it can more importantly help protect your network’s security.

Content filtering software can be used to block malware and other content that contains hostile, intrusive or any other threatening information including; computer viruses, worms, adware, trojan horses, spam and spyware.


So what exactly is content filtering? Content filtering, also known as information filtering,  is the use of a program that screens and limits and/or denies access to certain web pages or e-mails that seem questionable to your organization.  Have you ever received an email you were cautious to open because you weren’t sure if it might contain a virus and infect your computer, or even worst your entire network? This is when content filtering comes to the rescue.


Types of filtering can include:


  • Browser Based Filters – this is the most basic content filtering solution and is implemented via a third party browser extension.
  • Email Filters – scan information in the body, header, sender, subject and attachments within an email to determine whether or not it accept or reject the message.
  • Client Side Filters – this type of filter is installed as a software on each computer where filtering is required.
  • Content Limited ISPs – are internet service providers that offer access to only certain approved sites.
  • Network Based Filtering – this type of filtering software may offer a data loss prevention function that filters inbound and outbound information.
  • Search Engine Filtering – many search engines have the option to turn on safety filters. When this feature is turned on, it filters out any inappropriate links from all search results.


Curious to learn more about content filtering?

Contact us, we’ll be sure to implement the appropriate solutions with your business in mind.


Best Website Designer of Miramar 2015 Award

Best-Website-Designer954 Inc, a Netcom Solutions company, is a proud recipient of the Best Website Designer of Miramar 2015 Award.  We believe business should express them self online with a unique web design.

The Miramar Award Program is an annual program that recognizes the achievements of local businesses throughout the area. Each year, the Miramar Award Program selects companies with outstanding marketing success in their local community and business category.

954 Inc is a full service web development company; specializing in web design and online marketing for small businesses. We optimize websites for visibility on hundreds of local directory sites and search engines such as; Google and Bing.



Website Designer best of  2015


The 5 Most Important Things You Should Do To Make Sure Your Company Is Protected From A Disaster

Have you ever lost an hour of work on your computer?

Now imagine if you lost days or weeks– or imagine loosing your client database, financial records, and all of the files your company has ever created.

What if a major storm, flood, or fire destroyed your office and all of your files? Or if a virus wiped out your server…do you have an emergency recovery plan in place that you feel confident in? How quickly do you think you could recover, if at all?

Many small business owners tend to ignore or forget about taking steps to secure their company’s network from these types of catastrophes until disaster strikes. By then it’s too late and the damage is done.

What’s most frustrating about this situation is that 100% of these disasters and restoration costs could have been completely avoided easily and inexpensively.

Most small business owners are clueless on the importance of regular preventative maintenance and disaster recovery planning because they are already swamped with more immediate day-to-day fires demanding their attention. If their network is working fine today, it goes to the bottom of the pile of things to worry about. In most cases, no one is watching to make sure the back ups are working, the virus protection is up-to-date, or that the network is “healthy”.

The same holds true with your computer network. Obviously the information on the disk is far more valuable than the disk itself. If your company depends on having access to the information stored on your server or PC, then it’s time to get serious about protecting it from damage or loss.

The 5 Most Important Things You Should Do To Make Sure Your Company Is Protected From These Types Of Disasters:

While it’s impossible to plan for every potential computer disaster or emergency, there are a few easy and inexpensive measures you can put into place that will help you avoid the vast majority of computer disasters you could experience.

Step#1: Make Sure You’re Backing Up Your System

It is so important to back up your network. There are a number of things that could cause you to lose data files. If the information on the disk is important to you, make sure you have more than one copy of it.

Second, it’s absolutely critical that you keep an offsite copy of your data. No one expects a flood, fire, hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster. But did you ever consider theft? What if someone breaks into your office and takes every single piece of computer equipment you have? It has happened.

What if a neighboring office catches fire or if a faulty sprinkler system waters your server room?

What if your data becomes corrupt or a tape drive hardware failure erases your data? That’s why you want to not only keep an onsite copy of your data, but also an offsite copy. Your businesses data is just too important to not do everything possible to protect it.

Step #2: Perform A Complete Data Restore To Make Sure Your Backups Are Working Properly

Many business owners set up some type of backup system, but then never check to make sure it’s working properly. It’s not uncommon for a system to APPEAR to be backing up when in reality, it’s not.

Step #3: Keep A Copy Of Your Backups Offsite

What happens if a fire or flood destroys your server AND the backup tapes or drive? What happens if your office gets robbed and they take EVERYTHING? Having an off-site back up is simply a smart way to make sure you have multiple copies of your data.

#4: Make Sure Your Virus Protect Is Always On And Up-To-Date

With virus attacks coming from spam, downloaded data and music files, web sites, and even e-mails from friends, you cannot afford to not be protected.

Not only can a virus corrupt your files and bring down your network, but it can hurt your reputation. If you or one of your employees unknowingly spreads a virus to a customer, or if the virus hijacks your e-mail address book, you’re going to make a lot of people very angry.

#5: Set Up A Firewall

Small business owners tend to think that because they are “just a small business”, no one would waste time trying to hack in to their network, when nothing could be further from the truth.




It’s only a matter of time before the network crashes. Make sure your business has a proper backup & recovery solution. Netcom Solutions has worked with countless businesses to help develop a comprehensive backup solution catered to their needs and budget. With state-of-the-art data backup, computer hard drive backup, and complete hardware and system recovery from Netcom Solutions, your South Florida business is safe from unpredictable threats.

For more information on Backup & Recovery Solutionsclick here.