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Showing posts from October, 2018

Why SMBs Must Proactively Address the Threat of Mobile Hacks

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Why SMBs Must Proactively Address the Threat of Mobile Hacks More cyber criminals are targeting small-to-medium sized businesses. One reason for this is too many workplaces have insufficient bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies in place. Some have none at all. Although firms are generally more knowledgeable about network security risks than in years past, they still woefully underestimate the security vulnerabilities linked to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. This is a real cause for concern since data breaches have the ability to put many already financially challenged SMBs out of business. If customer/client data has been breached, there could be potential litigation costs, and naturally, lost goodwill and an irreparable hit to brand or company reputation. Don’t Just Say You’re Worried About the Bad Guys... Deal With Them SMBs say they view network security as a major priority but their inaction when it comes to mobile devices paints a different picture. A recent study found…

Ransomware attacks just keep increasing: Vet practices aren’t immune

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Ransomware attacks just keep increasing: Vet practices aren’t immune This cyberattack scheme isn't new, but it has become increasingly common over the past several years. Many of the viruses lurking out there steal data to be used for nefarious purposes. The goal has long been to access important financial and personal data that can be sold off. For example: credit card numbers that can be sold and used to buy things or social security numbers that can be sold to be used to create fake identities. In the case of many viruses, victims may never even be aware their data has been accessed. Typical malware and spyware tries to go undetected. Not ransomware. Ransomware generally does not access your data to sell off to criminals. Instead, the virus kidnaps your data until you pay ransom. Ransomware stops you from using your PC, files or programs. It holds your data, software, or entire PC hostage until you pay a ransom to get it back. When an attack occurs, you suddenly have no access t…

3 Things to Consider Before Jumping Into BYOD

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3 Things to Consider Before Jumping Into BYOD You’ve read it time and time again. “Bring Your Own Device” isn’t a trend, it’s the future. Workplaces where companies let workers use their own devices for work purposes are the new normal. BYOD attracts new hires and lifts employee morale and productivity. But this doesn’t mean a small business owner should recklessly jump right into BYOD just because everyone else is doing it.  Data and network security concerns have to be thought out, defined, and addressed in a comprehensive BYOD policy. Here are three things to consider. Cost of Support Most businesses salivate at the thought of the money saved by having employees participate in a BYOD program. With employees using their own devices for work, there is no need to shell out thousands of dollars for desktop PCs, smartphones, tablets, and laptops. While that’s undoubtedly a huge incentive, extra support costs must also be factored in. Chances are your employees aren’t necessarily tech savvy…

Three responses after a Ransomware attack

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Three responses after a Ransomware attack If you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a ransomware attack, there are basically only three options open to you. Ransomware is a type of computer virus that kidnaps your data and holds it hostage for money. It has become increasingly common; attacking governments and all manner of business as well as non-for profit institutions. Why is ransomware so nasty? Because it steals the most important thing your contact center possesses. Data. Worse, once infected there isn’t generally a way out. No one can “disinfect” your machine. You aren't going to be able to call in IT support to solve the problem. Basically, you have three options. Pay the ransom. This payment is usually via credit card or bitcoin (a digital currency). Some ransomware viruses even provide help lines if you're having trouble. Of course there are no guarantees your will get access to your data - these are thieves you’re dealing with.Don’t pay and lose your data - Th…

A Smarter Approach to Mobile Device Management

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A Smarter Approach to Mobile Device Management More people today use personal mobile devices like smartphones and tablets for business purposes. Such devices, coupled with greater Wi-Fi accessibility and cloud services, have empowered us with the ability to access data and do business from practically anywhere at anytime. Needless to say, many small-to-medium sized business owners have embraced the BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) revolution. The benefits are obvious; increased employee productivity, enhanced services to customers/clients, and better overall customer and employee satisfaction. But what about the potential consequences associated with this mobility revolution? Are small business owners doing enough preemptive planning to address potential risks that could arise with the use of BYOD devices? Mobile Device Management - Questions Every SMB Should Ask First, it is important that small business owners honestly assess whether their systems, networks, data, and overall infrastructure …

Omni- v multi-channel communications: the difference.

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Omni- vs. multi-channel communications: the difference.

Do you frequently hear references to the omni-channel communications model or the multi-communications model? Wonder if they are they just jargon terms for the same thing? Marketing lingo can be thrown around very loosely, but these two terms actually refer to very different customer communication models and they shouldn't be confused. This blog will give you a quick primer. It is easiest to understand the two models chronologically. Multi came before omni. Multi is good, omni is better. A communication channel is just a reference to the specific method that you use to communicate with your customer. Voice is a communication channel.  In the multi-channel model, we create more than one channel where customers can interact with us. It is done primarily for their convenience. We create touchpoints that are helpful for them. (Of course there are other internal reasons to build multiple channels, but that is a different blog) Nonethe…

4 Essential Pieces to Any Small Business BYOD Strategy

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4 Essential Pieces of Any Small Business BYOD Strategy Believe it or not, once upon a time, kids at the bus stop didn’t have cell phones and the mobile device strategy of many businesses was typically "you’ll take what you’re given, refrain from using it for any personal use, and the data may be scrubbed clean whenever we please." We’ve come a long way.  Today, businesses really have no choice but to let employees use personal devices for work purposes.  Blurred lines now make it difficult to differentiate between what is professional and what is personal.  A company or organization may partially pay for an employee’s tablet computer or smartphone, but that same device is used to upload photos to Facebook or download torrents of this season of Game of Thrones. Naturally, security and privacy issues are a concern since these devices sync to the company network.  Larger corporations may be able to hire IT support or produce sophisticated BYOD guidelines for employees to adhere to…

Why you need omni-channel communications: Your own experience is a guide.

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Why you need omni-channel communications: Your own experience is a guide. Omni-channel communications refers to the channel model, where all of the data collected with a customer is immediately transferred to every other available communication channel. For example, if a customer places an order on the phone with a customer rep, that person could also be simultaneously logged into the website order page to verify the order has been placed and scheduled for processing. If you are wondering why you need to meet this expectation of immediacy, think about your own frustrations when this model isn't available. Who hasn't called in to a customer service site with a problem or issue which needs resolution. Let’s take a billing error as an example. You call the central 800 number, which takes you to a general customer service call center. You explain the problem you are having in considerable detail. Unfortunately the service representative can’t handle the issue because it requires an a…

Keep Your IT Guy and Outsource IT Services, Too

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Keep Your IT Guy and Outsource IT Services, Too Everyone in the office loves Eric. Sporting a different ironic t-shirt everyday, Eric is the one we call when technology spits in our face. Whether it's a slow system, a bug that needs to be squashed, a website issue, or a crash that results in unexpected downtime and data loss, Eric is right there. Not only does he get to the bottom of any issue but he also rights the ship like he's some sort of miracle-working captain who just happens to have a pretty wickedly funny Peter Griffinfrom Family Guy impersonation. But business is growing and Eric is overworked. Eric has certain skills that you'd love to use to develop innovative applications and revenue-generating projects-- but he's too busy running around fixing things that break. Or he's performing the most mundane and routine tasks day-in-and-day-out just to keep things secure and running smoothly. You get a sense that Eric's overburdened and he's saddled with t…

Why Omni-channel communications are the way to go

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Why Omni-channel communications are the way to go Keeping up with customer expectations is what marketing is all about: Meeting them where they are. One of the more important trends in customer communications is the omni-channel communications model. Today’s blog defines the omni-communication model and discusses why it is absolutely necessary for meeting the demands of customers in the digital world. To provide some background, when we talk about channel communications, we are referring to the specific path of communication used to interact with a prospect or customer. For instance, voice ( a.k.a. telephone) is a traditional channel for communicating with a customer. Email is another. It is pretty much a given that businesses now offer more than one channel for communications. Most everyone now offers voice, email and text, just to name a few options. If you offer more than one channel, this is commonly referred to as a multi-communications model. When we talk about omni-channel communi…