ProStar Solutions was founded in 1999 as a value-added reseller and traditional networking solutions provider. By 2009, as managed services started gaining momentum, ProStar capitalized on the industry-wide transition and moved all of their clients to this proactive approach to IT services. They ramped up their offerings with a full range of on-premise and hosted cloud solutions, further minimizing the risk to business owners at the mercy of the old reactive break/fix service model.
Everything we do is in support of keeping our clients not just in the race but extremely competitive and performing in the front of the pack
Lukow explains, “Managed services allow a truly proactive means for small businesses to grow and scale with the same IT resources, tools, and support powering the largest enterprises.” The company provides economical IT Outsourcing and Virtual CIO (Chief Information Officer) services enabling clients to align technology with strategic business objectives.
Widening IT Security
From a security consulting standpoint, ProStar engages with clients by carrying out an exhaustive review of their entire network including outside penetration testing and internal scans that cover core elements like spam email filtering, passwords, updates, training, advanced security, firewalls, encryption, and backup. Once these things are analyzed, ProStar Solutions addresses strategic business initiatives with specific solutions that offer significant ROI while allowing clients to have instant access to data. “Everything we do is in support of keeping our clients operating at a true level of business continuity,” says the CEO.
Further elucidating on the IT security aspect for enterprises, Lukow refers to backup along with disaster recovery and business continuity as the three critical pillars of data security. In case of a disaster or a threat, companies with inadequate business continuity plans or procedures suddenly face serious trouble even to that of shutting down. Once data loss occurs due to human error or any other threat, businesses need to identify their recovery point objective—a point from which they need to retrieve their backups to avoid any hassles and recover in a timely fashion. The disaster recovery portion drives backup technology that includes local backups and backup servers. To that end, ProStar uses backup servers that perform bit-level encryption where data is encrypted locally. The encrypted data is also sent to data centers so that in the event of a total disaster businesses can virtualize in the cloud via VPN in just a matter of a few hours. Designated employees having access to the internet can retrieve the corporate data through their device without any downtime.
Driving True Business Continuity
ProStar Solutions emphasizes the importance of business continuity as most clients understand the importance of a backup solution but do not pay attention to business continuity. An example of this is the San Francisco Bart system whose ticketing system was hacked on the Thanksgiving Friday of 2016. The Bart system had a backup hence they refused to pay the ransom, but it took two days to recover from that backup. They were down during the busiest weekend of the year and lost $1.4-$2.8 million as they had to issue free rides. Another interesting fact that Lukow pointed out is that it can take as much as 18 hours per terabyte to decrypt the data. This means that even after paying the ransom, a company is at the mercy of the time required for decrypting the data. “The only way to properly carry out a solid business continuity solution is with a dedicated backup server that marries data as often as every 15 minutes and allows for spinning up recovered servers in less than two hours,” he explains.
Over the years, ProStar Solutions has coached, mentored, and supported hundreds of businesses to weather cybersecurity storms while also pushing them to not only survive but thrive. “I believe our success and growth is in helping our clients think differently and be strategic with their data and the application of technology to drive their businesses forward.”
As part of ‘The 20’—a results-oriented business development group for the IT Industry focused on ultimate scalability and aggressive growth for MSPs—ProStar Solutions is making headway into the IT industry with its powerful strategic business solutions. Reminded of the quip “you cannot steer a parked car,” Lukow believes that as the outsourced CIO for their clients they are the professional engineers, builders, pit-crew, and drivers of these high-performance IT machines of business. “There is no race, no finish line to drive toward without the fine-tuned car and the people and processes working in perfect coordination. That’s our “Why”. Everything we do is in support of keeping our clients not just in the race but extremely competitive and performing in the front of the pack. Our value is in our relentless pursuit of Business Continuity for our clients. Sometimes you blow a piston (hardware failure, human error created data loss) or get driven into the wall (hackers, viruses, malware, cyber-attacks). You better have another car ready to race in order to continue executing on that business strategy. All of our services and expertise in one way or another is to drive our clients toward true Business Continuity.”