We spoke with Jason Rorie, CEO of Elevated Technologies, about information technology and cyber security.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Hey guys, welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. Texasbusinessradio.com is the web site. If you hadn’t been there, do yourself a favor, you need to get out there and check it out. There’s a wealth of information on there as well as ways to get your questions in. A couple of other ways we monitor #TBR on Twitter. TBR, Texas Business Radio, TBR. And you can always call in 24 hour call in line 844-814-8144. Get your questions in and we’ll get the experts in here to get those questions answered. I’m your host Matt Register. Jay Curry had to step out. He’s going to join us here shortly. But in the meantime we’re talking about technology. Technology is a way now, especially in a downturn. You are able to, get, maximize your business by leveraging technology where you may otherwise not be able to afford to do some of the other things. Right? This is a fairly low cost multiplier of your effort. And we’ve got some guys in here that really help businesses like yours, your middle market businesses take advantage of what’s out there and grow your business. Jason Rorie is the founder of Elevated Technologies out of Houston, Texas. Jason welcome to the show sir.
Jason Rorie: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Matt Register: Elevated Technologies, what do you do? Who do you do it to?
Jason Rorie: Well, we provide outsourced I.T. support for small, medium sized businesses. We really, you know, take a focus on the relationship, being that trusted I.T. partners. So we handle every aspect of I.T. for that small to medium size business that doesn’t currently have anyone on staff as an I.T. person. So we’ll come in and help with purchasing, help with deployments, configuration and you know, ongoing support for every aspect of the network.
Matt Register: Well, because these guys on, on the smaller end of the scale, typically these guys they don’t even know what they need. I mean they, they know they have, they know what they’re trying to accomplish perhaps. Right? But they certainly don’t have any idea where to even start…
Jason Rorie: Right.
Matt Register: On configuring that. How deep into it do you guys get? You guys are starting from just figuring out what hardware they need. Right?
Jason Rorie: Well, exactly. I mean typically the first, you know, phase of the relationship will be for us to come in and do a network assessment. You know, sit down with the decision makers of the business, understand exactly what they’re trying to accomplish out of technology. Then we’ll take a look at what they currently have. And then just really kind of draw up a proposal and a plan or a road map to say “Okay, based on what you have now, this is what you need to add or change to accomplish the goal that you’re trying to get to”. You know, so then with, if it requires buying additional hardware, software, you know, we’ll go out and kind of vet the vendors on different solutions. Kind of bring that back to the business owner. I propose that to them and then just kind of move forward with the ordering. And then of course, you know, after that handle the deployment, the configuration, the documentation and training.
Matt Register: Maintenance.
Jason Rorie: Everything. So…
Matt Register: Well and I tell you what, you know, not that long ago you had to have a guy on staff. Right? You have your I.T. guy that can, you know, get everybody on the printer and fix everything but this is now something that’s very viable to use as an outsource service. Correct?
Jason Rorie: Yeah, very correct. Yes.
Matt Register: So even, even things like, you know, somebody needing help with their laptop. It’s something you guys can handle either offsite or you can get in, get in the vehicle quickly and get there and solve the problem. Right?
Jason Rorie: Yeah, absolutely. You know whatever it takes to get the quickest resolution is what we do. Whether that be over the phone using remote tools or like you said, if we have to get in the car and go on site, put our hands on it, we do that as well. You know all that’s you know covered within our support plans.
Matt Register: Well and part of the ongoing maintenance, we were talking during the break very, very briefly about the security aspect. Because that’s something that is very scary, as, as important company information, as trade secret type stuff goes from paper to digits.
Jason Rorie: Yes.
Matt Register: Right? And from digits to digits in the cloud. Right? That’s something that as a business owner, it’s very scary to have a lot of the value of your business now available, you know, for, for somebody to come take.
Jason Rorie: Exactly.
Matt Register: Talk to me a little bit about the security side of it because you are involved in cyber security as well. Right?
Jason Rorie: Yes, I am. I mean security, obviously in the small/medium size business sector is super important. I think there’s a lot of the small business owners out there who think they’re, you know, you know, it’s not going to come after them. Right? That the…
Matt Register: Well, sure. That they think the guys are after the big, big multi-billion dollar, multinational company. Right?
Jason Rorie: Exactly. You know, which is kind of the, they are going after those those big boys but they’re also coming after you as well. You know at this point now, I mean with all the different types of ransomware out there it’s, it’s just a money making machine. So they’ll, you know, try to, you know, hack or infect, you know, anyone that they can get to. You know, because they’re looking to get paid to decrypt the information. So, you know the small business owners that think it wouldn’t happen to them, it’s not an if, it’s a when, it’s going to happen. So you just have to have those different security solutions, you know, put in place. You know as far as, you know, the proper firewall, you know, the proper patching solution, the proper backup solution, you know including disaster recovery to get your data offsite, you know, and the biggest one is user training. You know without that, you know, you’ll always be vulnerable. You know, so until you can bring, you know, an expert in to maybe sit down with everyone on your staff, teach them about phishing e-mails and other things that could happen to where, you know, they’re going to let the infection in. So until you train them, you know, you’ll always be vulnerable.
Matt Register: Well, you know, one of the interesting things I find about this is, you know, yes, the bigger multi-billion dollar companies is a bigger check. Right?
Jason Rorie: Exactly.
Matt Register: If they are able to infect them. But it’s a whole lot harder to get in there.
Jason Rorie: Yes.
Matt Register: Right? The small mid-sized business is relatively simple to get in. Because for the most part, you don’t have processes and procedures in place to ensure that your employees aren’t again, opening the door for them. Right?
Jason Rorie: Yeah, exactly. I think, you know, a lot of the bigger corporations, it’s more of the hackers going after them. People trying to penetrate the network, you know, and steal information, you know such as credit card information or whatnot. But I think the small/medium sized businesses it’s more spam targeted. You know with these phishing campaigns where, you know, a user might see a fake e-mail from FedEx or Docusign. You know it looks very legitimate. Some I’ve even seen, they look like they come from Microsoft directly.
Matt Register: Sure.
Jason Rorie: You know and then they have bogus links in the e-mail and you know an untrained user, you know, may not know any different, think it’s legitimate. They click that link and as soon as they do, that installs the malware on their computer. And you know depending on what type it is, it could spread across the network and cause some real damage.
Matt Register: How often do you get the call once the problem has taken root? Right? I mean how often do you get… I mean cause a lot of these small/midsize businesses, they don’t think about cyber security until the point that they, you know, do have some ransomware or something has, has taken root. How often is it preventative? How often is it to solve them, solve the problem?
Jason Rorie: Yeah. I say if you can get out in front of it. I mean it’s, it’s pretty easy to prevent. You know most of our clients, they don’t deal with it because, you know, we, we are very proactive with our customer base to make sure that they have the proper protection solutions in place, such as the firewall and the anti-virus and the backup and the training. But the ones who do call us, yeah, out of the blue, it’s typically after the fact. You know, I mean you don’t really know you’re infected until you click that link and try to access a file. And basically a pop up comes up on the computer screen that tells you, you’re infected, it’s going to cost you X amount of money, you know, to get your files back. And typically we’ve never spent that money or our clients have never spent it. So, I mean the rumor is you can spend that money and still not get everything decrypted. So essentially, you know, they d, they d, you know encrypted your files and stole your money at the same time.
Matt Register: Well, and that’s not the time to think about, do I have a legitimate backup for this, where I still have my data?
Jason Rorie: Right.
Matt Register: That’s a little bit too late. And sometimes, quite often, some money and effort on the front end, will just keep them from ever becoming an issue. Right?
Jason Rorie: Absolutely.
Matt Register: All right, good deal, what’s the easiest way for somebody to get in touch with you? Should somebody want to?
Jason Rorie: They can check us out on our Web site at www.elevated-tech.com or just simply give, give our office a call at 281-653-7726.
Matt Register: All right. Elevated-tech.com. Guys, we’re going to have everything, every company we’re talking about here linked there from Texasbusinessradio.com. So don’t bother taking notes. We’re going to have it linked right there. Elevated Technologies, fast growing companies, made all kinds of Houston business journalists. Really interesting company. Jason Rorie, the founder. Thank you very much for joining us.
Jason Rorie: Oh, thank you Matt for having me.
Matt Register: All right guys, we’re just getting warmed up. We do however have to go pay a couple bills. We’ll be back right after this. Don’t go anywhere.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.