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    No Worries. We Got IT.

Managed IT Services

Managed IT Services

Security Threat Protection

Security & Threat Protection

Cloud IT Services

Cloud IT Services

Data Protection and Backup

Data Protection & Backup


First and foremost, Beacon IT Services (BITS) brings an incredible amount of technical experience to its customers. Founded by Mark Dirks and John Scaramuzzo, Beacon IT services (BITS) has been providing solutions for clients since 1998.

Our goal is to provide IT services to small and mid-size businesses in the Triad so they don’t have to worry about their IT and can focus on their core business. We view it as a partnership with local Triad companies, providing dependable, affordable and consistent IT solutions to manage their infrastructure.

Who We Are
About Us


Unfortunately, IT problems can occur at any time.  Often, by the time the problem is realized, significant downtime and slowdowns in productivity are already occurring.  As it is with your health, the upkeep and maintenance of your IT network is important to ensure problems are kept to a minimum.  


In today's cyber world, it's more important than ever to protect your business infrastructure, computer networks, and data from unwanted intrusions. You need a team of IT experts you can trust to identify and protect your digital vulnerabilities. Find out how BITS can help you be like IT Ted, not Grumpy Gus!


Graham Personnel Services
NC 811
Lucent - Nashville / NAA


  • by Mark Bochkis | March  19, 2019

    “Necessity is the mother of invention” – English proverb Ever notice how one small change can cause a cascading series of bigger changes? It’s the classic butterfly effect in a nutshell – a butterfly flaps its wings in China, and 12 hours later a tornado hits, let’s say, Kansas. One small thing leads to a [...]

  • by Mark Bochkis | February  26, 2019

    Some of the biggest companies in the world were hit by some of the biggest cyber security breaches in 2018. Of the 24 largest breaches of all time on the USA Today list, three of the top 10 occurred last year - Marriott, Under Armour and Quora. But it's not just the digital novices who [...]

  • by Mark Bochkis | January  28, 2019

    Happy New Year! What are you looking to do better in 2019? The turn of the calendar tends to bring with it thoughts of personal growth and improvement.  But, for many business owners - their identity being tied directly to their enterprises - New Year's resolutions often translate to things they can do better for [...]

  • by BITS News | December  20, 2018

    This time of year many of us are on the hunt for presents. Toys and games for kids, sparkly jewelry for the ladies in our lives, gadgets and sports gear for the guys, pictures of the grand-kids for the grandparents… a little something for everyone. It feels good to bring joy to your loved ones. While [...]

  • by BITS News | November  27, 2018

    Let's be honest... blockchain is a confusing concept. Even for people who understand exactly how blockchain technology works, providing an easy to understand explanation is challenging. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, blockchain is relatively new tech, and new tech always takes a little while to sink into the public consciousness. We [...]

  • by BITS News | October  30, 2018

    The cloud is a powerful method of computing. When the term first entered into wide usage, it was ambiguous. No one really knew what it meant. Or, if they understood the concept, most people had no idea how it worked. Today, we're past the stage of being mystified by the cloud. Most people get the [...]

  • by BITS News | September  24, 2018

    Today's digital landscape is fraught with security pitfalls. In the pioneer days of the internet, hackers mostly went after digital conquests to gain notoriety or for the thrill of getting past the most advanced security setups of that early digital period. In 2018, however, that hacker mentality has long been replaced by a different ethos. [...]

  • by BITS News | August  16, 2018

    Many companies rely on managed IT services to help them keep their computers secure and in peak performing conditions. It isn't too difficult to find a provider that can keep your software up to date, make sure the latest security patches are implemented, or execute regular data backups. The decision to "farm out" the upkeep [...]

  • by BITS News | July  30, 2018

    For cyber-security professionals, 2017 may have been "The Year of the Data Breach." It's not that data breaches just started happening last year -- cyber-criminals have been at it for quite some time. But the number of high-profile breaches, as well as the sheer number of consumers being affected, seem to have hit an all-time [...]

  • by BITS News | June  19, 2018

    Is Cloud-based Computing as Secure as Server Hosting? Security questions have hounded cloud services since their inception. But, is the cloud an inherently less secure method of computing than in-house servers? The answer differs depending on who you ask. A 2014 study by the information security-focused Ponemon Institute found that about half (51%) of IT [...]

  • by BITS News | May  15, 2018

    Disaster Response Time If you've ever been in the unfavorable position of seeing your business IT infrastructure compromised, you understand the necessity of an expedient response from your IT vendor. If you haven't, thank goodness. Unfortunately, the rise in the number of successful web-based attacks increases the odds of you facing this situation sometime in [...]

  • by BITS News | April  12, 2018

    Atlanta Ransomware Attack The ransomware attack that took hostage a number of vital computer systems in Atlanta last month wreaked havoc on residents and sent the city’s administration scrambling. What can we learn from the situation? Considering that city officials were aware as early as last summer that “severe and critical vulnerabilities” existed within the [...]

  • by Kevin Lackey | March  12, 2018

    Your computer is acting funny. You can’t access certain files. Then, you receive a pop-up message. You read the message only to learn that your data has been encrypted and you no longer have access to it – UNLESS you send a large wad of cash to the hijacker in unmarked bit-bills. Unfortunately, bitcoin payments [...]

  • by Kevin Lackey | February  06, 2018

    To say that 2017 was a bad year for cyber security is an understatement. Security breaches were national news this year, with vulnerabilities at Equifax and Uber leading the evening news. And North Carolina businesses were not immune to the problem. In North Carolina, the Theft Protection Act of 2005 requires that businesses report any [...]

  • by Kevin Lackey | December  08, 2017

    Crypto mining is not against the law, nor is it a nefarious activity. At least not most of the time. But in order to fully understand why crypto mining can be a problem, we need to start from the beginning. Our story starts with the creation of a crypto currency called “Bitcoin”.  Like Paypal, Bitcoin [...]

  • by Kevin Lackey | November  14, 2017

    With cloud services becoming more and more popular, this seems like a good time to review the options available to us. Perhaps, by comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the three most common computing solutions, you’ll get a better idea of the service or option that can best suit your business. Do I need dedicated [...]

  • by BITS News | October  12, 2017

    If you haven't heard the particulars on the Equifax debacle, let me fill you in. There is a lesson to be learned for every business or institution possessing sensitive information. You may remember that the credit agency had a very serious hack in May or June of 2017. This hack affected over 143 million Americans [...]

  • by Kevin Lackey | September  17, 2017

    Back in the 80’s, when someone hacked a website, they left a message not unlike graffiti. “Hackers rule” or something silly like that. It was relatively harmless. These days, hackers have grown up and hack with resolve. If they should deem your website or business counter to their beliefs, you could find yourself out of [...]

  • by Kevin Lackey | September  06, 2017

    While advanced hackers may use malware, they often start by attempting to exploit the easiest point of entry. This typically includes phishing emails similar to the Google Docs email link that had Google on its toes recently. If your employees leave events such as this unreported, the consequences could be devastating to your cybersecurity. With [...]

  • by Kevin Lackey | August  21, 2017

    Despite significant investment in cybersecurity, businesses are seeing more cyber-attacks that ever before. Remember back to Black Friday, October 21. We saw the largest DDoS attack of its kind, bringing down sites such as Twitter, Netflix and CNN. And things are trending worse. There were almost 1000 reported data breaches in 2016 according to the [...]

  • by Kevin Lackey | August  07, 2017

    Applications are running slower. Productivity is suffering. So, you've decided to face the music and  update your network servers. But your business partner is singing a different tune. He wants to go with what’s trendy. It’s what all the kids are talking about, he says. It’s called Cloud Hosting. In our respective business spaces, we all [...]

  • by Kevin Lackey | July  12, 2017

    You may be asking this very question as cyber criminals find more and more ways to access databases for valid email addresses to exploit. Spam emails, malware and phishing messages aren’t going away any time soon.  But you can take solace in the fact that your Outlook office suite has a spam filter feature enabled [...]

  • by Kevin Lackey | July  06, 2017

    If you’re like most people, you know what a firewall does on a very basic level. However, many are unclear as to how they work – and in some cases, if they have one enabled in their network. Below, we’ll discuss the whys and wherefores regarding firewall protection and provide some clarity to anyone asking [...]

  • by Kevin Lackey | June  29, 2017

    You’ve upgraded the computers in the office. Everyone is enjoying the high speed, bells and whistles that come along with the latest technology. In addition, you’ve decided to do the socially responsible thing and donate the old computers to charity. You’re feeling pretty good about yourself. Then it hits you…. The old, retired PCs may [...]

  • by Kevin Lackey | June  20, 2017

    The importance of a sound email system for your business cannot be overstated. Each has its advantages. And while both hosted and local email solutions have their advantages, a 3rd party hosted solution has been an option exclusive to larger companies with more substantive budgets.  The good news is that a hosted email solution is [...]

  • by Caleb Pruitt | June  05, 2017

    If you’re currently running Windows 8 or 8.1 and didn’t update by summer of 2016, it’ll cost about $120 to upgrade to Windows 10. After the debacle that was Vista, one has to wonder if it’s worth updating to Windows 10 at any cost. Below, we’ll consider the pros and cons of updating to Windows [...]

  • by Caleb Pruitt | April  26, 2017

    A firewall is a network security system that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a set of security rules. A firewall acts as a barrier between trusted, secured internal networks and less scrupulous networks. These security measures work to prevent unauthorized access to or from private networks. They examine all messages entering or [...]

  • by Caleb Pruitt | April  04, 2017

    To say technology is a critical component in any small business today would be an understatement. However, there is an age-old question, “When should my company update its computer systems?” We all know the struggles we face using a computer that just isn’t quite up to snuff. We are all painfully aware of the early [...]

  • by BITS News | March  27, 2017

    After 8.5 hours of hard labor at M3 on St. Patrick’s Day, our newborn officially arrived at 3:20pm, weighing in at a hefty 4,621 pounds. Under trusted and constant care, Team M3 delivered a bright, healthy and colorful addition to the Beacon family.  We are so thankful for all the attention we are receiving for our carefully wrapped [...]

  • by Caleb Pruitt | March  17, 2017

    Did you know $209 million was paid to ransomware criminals in Q1 2016? A ransomware attack is scary when it occurs. There is little that can be done to stop a ransomware attack that is in progress. The easiest way to mitigate the damage that can be done is preventative care. First, it is important to [...]

  • by Caleb Pruitt | March  03, 2017

    A common issue we hear from time to time is “why is my internet speed so slow”. A slow internet connection can be caused by many reasons. Internet speed can be influenced by a need for a higher tiered Internet Service, too many people using your connection and hardware issues. If you feel like your [...]

  • by John Scaramuzzo | November  30, 2016

    We understand and know that managing technology and users is an everyday task. However, for many business owners, managing the IT infrastructure that keeps their business running can be a very complex and intimidating undertaking. This is when partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can be extremely beneficial as they can focus on [...]

  • by BITS News | April  22, 2016

    Electronics warranties have been and probably always will be a contested item.  Whether you are buying a TV, stereo, or IT equipment for your business, the decision to add an extended warranty always comes up.  While the idea of protecting our recent purchase may be initially appealing, most of us will quickly decline the option to [...]

  • by Caleb Pruitt | March  23, 2016

    One of the top complaints I receive from day to day is "my PC is booting slowly". This can be caused by many different factors, but below are a few tasks that any user can do to help speed up boot time of their PC. Cleanup of Startup Items While logged into your Windows profile [...]

  • by Mike Ratcliffe | March  10, 2016

    Earlier I stumbled across a hidden set of features and settings in a TZ215 by going to /diag.html and figured Id share this with everyone in case you were unaware of it as I was.  It appears to be available in all of the TZ series devices, the SOHO, and likely others.  On the main [...]

  • by Mike Ratcliffe | February  29, 2016

    When backing up large VMs and keeping a high number of restore points with Forever Incremental it is important to have the occasional full backup to minimize the time it takes to restore data. For the sake of speed, Synthetic full backups are the obvious choice. Unfortunately the Veeam Backup and Replication UI only allows [...]

  • by BITS News | February  29, 2016

    Welcome to the Beacon IT Services (BITS) blog.  My name is Ryan Bowles, Account Executive for BITS. This blog is intended to be a resource for small/medium sized businesses to help better take control of their IT.  You will notice that my title does not include any words like Network, Systems, Engineer, or Administrator (even [...]

  • by Jason Canter | February  03, 2016

    If you're one of the many people that's already made the switch to Windows 10, you've probably already gotten over your initial curiosity of Microsoft's newest operating system. You might have even double clicked on the iconic blue E, surfed the web for a bit and then went back to your browser of choice. But [...]

  • by Cody Earp | November  17, 2015

    Your computer is at the end of its illustrious life and it is time to get a newer, more powerful, model.  But what are you going to do with your old one.  Give it to charity?  Sell it to get some final value out of it?  Just dump it in the dumpster out back?  Not [...]

  • by BITS News | June  25, 2015

    Windows Server 2003 and its subsequent versions was a great buy back in its day, especially for the Small Business.  It gave small businesses access to IT functionality typically reserved for their larger medium to enterprise counterparts.  Many business took it a step further and invested in the “All-in-one” Small Business Server and took advantage [...]

  • by Mike Ratcliffe | May  21, 2015

    In today’s post I am going to walk you through configuring a SonicWALL TZ-105 Network Security Appliance. In part one I will be covering basic connectivity, configuring the LAN and WAN interfaces, setting port assignments, the DHCP Server, Access Rules, Service Objects, Log Automation, exporting your configuration, and upgrading the firmware. Future posts will include [...]

  • by Caleb Pruitt | April  27, 2015

    What Technologies Does The Host Offer/Support? What Types of SLA's (Service Level Agreements) Are Offered? Are Web Developers Available To Assist In Case Of Emergency? Does The Host Offer Dedicated, Shared, or Hybrid Hosting Environments? Does The Host Offer A Content Management Solution? 1. This is the number 1 question for a good reason.  If [...]

  • by John Scaramuzzo | April  07, 2015

    In today's growing IT economical tech world what are some considerations that may cause you to entertain the idea of having a dedicated IT provider? Even though there are a myriad of reasons to consider a dedicated IT provider, I am going to address three of the primary reasons we normally hear from clients. 1. Infrastructure [...]

  • by Mike Ratcliffe | October  01, 2014

    When important files and folders turn up missing, in addition to restoring the data, typically users want to know what happened to them.  Very often files and folder can be found in a surrounding folders due to an accidental drag and drop however in other cases someone actually deleted their files and folders. When this [...]

  • by Mike Ratcliffe | September  29, 2014

    As an MSP who implements and administers Microsoft Exchange environments for an abundance of clients, I find myself doing certificate related tasks quiet often.  In most cases Exchange certificates are handled via a third-party certificate authorities however I recently had the need to generate a self-signed/internal CA Exchange certificate and figured I would write a [...]


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