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IT Focus: Cybersecurity dealerships helping customers protect digital assets

Altek’s Chief Technology Officer discusses mitigating cyberthreats through Managed IT Services

BTA OFFICE TECHNOLOGY MAGAZINE • MAY 2024
In a world of constant cyberthreats, is your dealership working to help your customers mitigate the risks? The following profiles provide a brief look at three BTA member dealerships in terms of their common focus on providing cybersecurity. Perhaps the comments they share will provide you with some welcome insight.


ALTEK BUSINESS SYSTEMS
Founded in 1991, Altek Business Systems is headquartered in Telford, Pennsylvania, with a second office in Marlton, New Jersey. The dealership, which offers Canon, Kyocera, and Xerox imaging devices and has approximately 30 employees, began offering IT services 14 years ago. Six years ago, when Wilhelm Rebmann joined the dealership as chief technology officer, Altek expanded its IT services offerings. “We consciously decided that we were not going to have break/fix IT customers,” he says. “Instead, today, if you are an Altek IT customer, you are fully managed.”

The five-person IT department at Altek is profitable and growing, Rebmann says. “We are at more than a million dollars in managed customers,” he says, noting that the number includes IT services, but also Altek’s document management and VoIP sales. “Six years ago, we only had two or three customers that were fully managed. Today, we are at 50.”

Altek offers base-level IT services, with advanced security services layered on top of that, Rebmann says. “We just started adding advanced security in the last couple of months,” he says, noting that there has been an “amazing increase” in the need for cybersecurity. “Two years ago, about 90% of our job was to provide support and functional efficiencies and about 10% was security. About a year ago, it was 50/50. Now it’s almost 80% security and 20% support. We’re still doing the same amount of support. It’s just that we’re doing a ton more in terms of security.”

“The volume of attacks is increasing drastically,” he says. “Unless a company disconnects its network from the internet and does all of its work internally, cybersecurity services are going to be necessary.”

 

Wilhelm Rebmann
Chief Technology Officer
Altek Business Systems 

To demonstrate IT vulnerabilities and provide educational opportunities, Altek uses a cybersecurity penetration test conducted by Galactic Advisors for prospects as part of the sales process and quarterly for existing customers. “In each test, the prospect or customer clicks on a white hat phishing link [referred to as ‘ethical hacking’] on a few computers on their network and answers a few questions, such as ‘Do you have phishing training? (Altek partners with INFIMA for the training),’” Rebmann says, noting that Galactic Advisors and Altek sign a nondisclosure of what is found as a result of the phishing link. “Galactic Advisors then prepares a report on the network’s vulnerabilities [with specific information blocked out]. The report shows user passwords, passwords that are being reused and passwords that are also on the dark web. In addition, the test will look to see if it can find information containing Social Security numbers. All this information can be obtained in about 20 to 30 seconds with a single click.”

Rebmann says most prospects and customers are supportive of the penetration tests. “We haven’t had a lot of pushback,” he says. “We explain it up front and tell them it will allow us to see whether they have issues. Most think they are going to do great and have no issues. They are surprised by what is found. We can mitigate those issues easily once we start providing our cybersecurity services.”

There are two primary reasons for more dealers to begin offering cybersecurity, Rebmann says. First, he says, cyberattacks are not going to go away and, so, the vulnerabilities will always need to be addressed. “The volume of attacks is increasing drastically,” he says. “Unless a company disconnects its network from the internet and does all of its work internally, cybersecurity services are going to be necessary.”

The second reason for office technology dealerships to pursue cybersecurity is the advantage they have over IT only managed services providers (MSPs), Rebmann says. “I like being an IT person in the MFP world,” he says. “I see the advantages of the sales teams and the structure of the dealerships. In contrast, MSPs may attempt to hire salespeople occasionally. Usually, they just get referrals — if they are lucky. Dealerships have a huge advantage. They’ve had the sales process down for years and they are good at it. So, there are tons of opportunities for them.”  read full article

Did you know that 60% of companies go out of business within 6 months of a breach? And 80% of risks are due to internal negligence? Now more than ever, we need to be mindful of cyber protection and data loss!

About Altek

Your Complete Service Provider

Since 1991, Altek Business Solutions has been providing the latest in business technology and award-winning customer satisfaction. Our staff, with 30+ years of technology experience, provides cutting-edge Managed IT, Print Solutions, Workflow Solutions, and Document Management. At Altek, we take the consultative approach. By focusing on your business goals, we create an individually tailored solution. We enhance efficiency and profit while ensuring your goals and objectives are being met by providing training, support, and ongoing maintenance.

We Take Service Seriously

Many companies claim their service is “The Best Service in the Business”, but we have the scores to prove it. Over the last 5 years, we have received a Net Promoter Score® of over 95, which puts us in the top 3% of companies in North America.

We know our success is tied to our client’s success, so each customer we have is a relationship we invest in.

NPS Score: 5 Year Average

95%

IT Management

Security, Support, and Infrastructure

Ensuring business continuity with disaster protection, help desk support, on-site service, and integrated solutions to streamline processes and proactively safeguard your business.

Print Solutions

Production, Print, Copy, and Scan

A custom tailored solution is essential. Whether it’s office workflow or high volume color management, you need only the highest rated BLI products combined with award-winning service.

Smart Office

Remote, Collaboration, and Automation

Work anywhere while integrating the software and technology you use every day. Simplify workflows with electronic document management software solutions.

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