Tag Archive for: Managed Services

Go West IT turns 13 today, and as we reflect on how far we have come, we want to thank our talented team, supportive vendors, and amazing customers for joining us on this incredible journey.

In these 13 years, Go West has gone from a small 4-person IT company to a robust 40+ person cybersecurity obsessed Managed Service Provider. While every step along the journey is significant to who we are and where we are going, we have laid out some of the stand-out moments.

May 15, 2010 – Go West IT was founded with four employees and a handful of great customers.

2011 – Go West IT makes a concerted shift from supporting and recommending on-premises server infrastructure to exploring a cloud infrastructure alternative.

2012 – Go West experiences significant growth in its customer base, including a concentration of customers in the financial services space.

2015 – Go West IT moves into new office space to accommodate a growing staff and to meet the support and cybersecurity needs of the company’s growing customer base.

2015 – Go West IT completes an extensive infrastructure “lift and shift” from a private data center to a public cloud (Azure) for a new customer.

2015 – After identifying and calling out a supply chain security weakness, Go West IT becomes a Microsoft Direct Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), a status normally available only to much larger organizations.

2016 – Go West IT engages an audit firm to prepare its first SOC 1 Type II audit.

2016 – Go West IT hires the company’s first full-time technical account manager(s), MSP Administrator, and adds multiple technical manager roles.

2017 – Go West IT completes the company’s first SOC 1, Type II, and SOC 2, Type II audits

2017 – Go West IT was recognized as Microsoft SMB West Region Azure Partner of the Year at Microsoft’s annual partner convention.

2017 – Go West IT adds additional office space as staff and customer base continue to grow.

2017 – Go West IT starts shifting from a traditional Value-Added Reseller and “Break-Fix” IT support provider to an IT Managed Service Provider.

2018 – Go West IT doubles down on cybersecurity focus and begins implementing cyber-specific managed service offerings to combat a growing threat.

2019 – Go West IT has another significant growth spurt and builds a leadership team to guide the company through the next phase of growth and development

2020 – Go West IT executes a new lease for expanded office space in January 2020, and the CEO moves into the new space, designed for 50, in May 2020 while most other employees work from home.

2020 –Go West IT’s customer base is particularly well-positioned to deal with the pandemic because they have moved to cloud-centric platforms or previously built solid and secure remote access solutions.

2021 – Go West IT experiences modest growth through the pandemic while maintaining the exceptional staff built in the prior decade with no layoffs and no disruption to operations.

2022 – Go West IT completes the sixth straight successful SOC2, Type II audit and sees another surge in customer and revenue growth.

2022 – Go West IT promotes Tom Hynek to the role of President, the first time this role has been held by someone other than the Founder.

2023 – Go West IT is the MSP of choice in the Denver market with customers across the United States and beyond. Go West IT has a staff of 43 with two open positions at the time of this re-cap.

At Go West IT constant improvement is one of our core values, so we know that this journey is just beginning. We are looking forward to continuing our mission of helping companies benefit from technology by guiding them to opportunities and protecting them from harm.

Join us in celebrating 13 years of Go West IT!

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform that provides users with a wide range of tools to communicate and work together effectively. One of the key features of Microsoft Teams is the ability to integrate and manage Microsoft SharePoint storage. Here are some reasons why Microsoft Teams is a great tool to manage Microsoft SharePoint storage:

  1. Permissions Management: SharePoint fails often come down to folder structure and permission management mistakes. Teams makes SharePoint file structure and user permissions a snap for less technical users. Simple add or remove users from a “Team” to grant or remove their ability to access the files for that Team.
  2. Seamless Integration: Microsoft Teams integrates seamlessly with SharePoint, making it easy to access, store, and share files. Users can access and collaborate on SharePoint files directly within Teams, without having to switch between different applications.
  3. Easy Sharing: Microsoft Teams makes it easy to share SharePoint files with other users within an organization. Users can easily share files and folders with others, collaborate on projects, and track changes to documents in real-time. For users who prefer the “old school” approach of accessing files using Explorer, simply “sync” a SharePoint folder to your Explorer using OneDrive (Microsoft’s built-in personal storage and sync tool).
  4. Centralized Storage: SharePoint provides a centralized location for storing files, which can be accessed from anywhere within an organization. Microsoft Teams provides a convenient and user-friendly interface for accessing and managing SharePoint storage, making it easier for users to find the information they need.
  5. Improved Collaboration: Microsoft Teams makes it easier for teams to collaborate on projects and share information. Users can use Teams to have real-time conversations, make comments on files, and share updates on projects. This can help improve collaboration and increase the productivity of teams.
  6. Secure Storage: SharePoint provides secure storage for files, which helps to protect sensitive information. Microsoft Teams adds an additional layer of security to SharePoint by providing a secure platform for communication and collaboration. A Microsoft 365 backup solution added by your Managed Service Provider provides peace of mind that your data is protected in the event of inadvertent or malicious deletion.

The seamless integration between Teams and SharePoint, combined with the ease of permissions management, file structure design, sharing, centralized storage, improved collaboration, and secure storage, make Teams a valuable tool for organizations looking to manage their SharePoint storage effectively. Contact Go West IT to help you leverage your Teams solution.

Third party VPN services do not secure your data.  They may provide an additional brick in your security bunker but they are not the invisibility cloak they claim to be and in some cases they may actually do more harm than good.  For starters, who is your third party VPN service provider?  Are they trustworthy?  Are they subject to US or EU privacy laws?  Or, did you just decided to pipe 100% of your data through an unknown third party?

Three very popular third party VPN service providers, NordVPN, VikingVPN, and TorGuard, were recently breached due in part to poor security practices that resulted in leaked expired TLS (encryption) keys.  Now users of these services may be sharing their data with an unknown criminal instead of the third party service provider.

Just like all security measures, they are only as good as the weakest link.  Businesses and individuals need to discover their vulnerabilities, prioritize their vulnerabilities, and then systematically work to layer security to mitigate the risk.  Start by securing corporate networks with a good Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliance, making sure 100% of your devices have good business class endpoint protection software that is automatically updated, patch all of your hardware and software on a routine basis, BACK UP YOUR DATA, implement phishing prevention measures, and TRAIN YOUR PEOPLE.  This is just a start.  If you don’t know how to do this, put something in your budget to work with someone who can help and get started on the path to better security.

– Go West IT

I really hate hearing from customers and prospective customers that we were right and that they wish they had taken our advice to harden their systems and implement tighter security controls before their breach. Feedback from customers suggests the inconvenience of implementing additional controls is often what keeps them from taking action as opposed to the cost, which is negligible for some of the most effective controls like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). If you think the controls are inconvenient, you should spend some time visiting with someone who has been through a breach.

The most likely cyber-attack a small business will experience is an email breach which quickly lead to real payment fraud losses, reputational damage, and compliance risk. Once a criminal organization (yes, there are organizations attacking your small business) has success breaching one email account, you can expect the attacks to increase in volume and sophistication. Businesses can dramatically reduce email breach risk with relatively little cost and yes, some minor inconvenience.

Take the Next Steps

If you own a business or have are responsible for managing business risk, you need to take steps to protect your business, your shareholders, your employees, your vendors, and most importantly your customers. You must take action to implement additional controls. Start by asking your IT professionals to implement controls for yourself so you can understand first-hand how the controls protect your business and the level of inconvenience the controls may cause. This puts you in the best position possible to make informed decisions about how to protect your business and champion initiatives to tighten controls.

If you’ve done nothing to date, start with implementing MFA for your business email and then work with an IT professional to constantly review and improve security controls around all your systems and data.

I’m right and I hope I never have to tell you “I told you so”.

Your credentials can be phished, period.  If you think you’re above being phished, you’re wrong.  We all have weak moments and the criminals are really good at praying on our whims and emotions.  Trust me, you can be phished.  Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.  Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible to protect your accounts even if you are phished.  This is so important that we put together a video to show you how.  Watch this video.  Please just give us a call if you want help or want to discuss additional configuration options to ease implementation for your business.  We will be happy to help.

If you don’t know anything about Office 365 Multi-Factor Authentication please check out our blog and video from December 2017 for a complete overview https://www.gowestit.com/office-365-multi-factor-authentication.



Your business is vulnerable to cybercriminals, period. So, workforce security should be top of mind for you and your business.

Workforce security matters

The truth is that no business is fully “secure”. Rather, businesses assume various amounts of acceptable risk. Your responsibility is to figure out where your organization lies on the workforce security spectrum, how much cyber risk you are willing to comfortably assume, and continually act to reduce your risk to those levels.

We understand that most businesses, especially SMB’s, can’t and won’t do everything their IT provider may recommend. This is true for a myriad of reasons including operational efficiency, timing, focus on your core business, and of course budget considerations. We also believe that most businesses do not realize the amount of risk which they currently assume. If you did, you would likely already be doing more!

To this end, Go West IT has developed our “Top Ten Task to Mitigate Cyber Risk”

Review your workforce security posture with your current IT provider and discuss how to implement the next best thing you can do to reduce your risk (HINT: If you’ve done nothing to date, start with backups, patching, and multi-factor authentication). If you need help please give us a shout, our experts will help you recognize, plan, and take the steps to mitigate your risk.

Understand where you are today… know where you want to be tomorrow… build the roadmap to get you there. You can reduce your risk, get started today! Give us a call, email us, or contact our support. You can get secured today! You can check out more about our Go Managed Security Plans here. If you have any questions, please reach out to us.

David Lewien
President, Go West IT

Download the PDF: Top Ten Tasks to Mitigate Cyber Risk