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Showing posts from March, 2019

SMBs: It is Hackers v. You - Don't Let Them Score

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SMBs: It is Hackers v. You - Don't Let Them ScoreSelling stolen IDs and other personal data is a lucrative trade for hackers. They are always looking for sources where vital information is stored. As a small to midsize business you store your client's personal information, collected from different sources, on your computers and servers. Your Point-of-sale (PoS) terminal and some website transactions can be completed by use of electronic banking, credit cards or debit cards only. Your customers have to key-in their pins or passwords to make payments. That information has to be saved. Also, depending on the kind of services or products you provide, you may be collecting Social Security numbers, addresses, driver's license numbers and DOBs of your clients. Information that personal is as important as it can get. Any source of that information is like a gold mine for a hacker. All this means only one thing for you: A data security nightmare.

Here are the channels hackers can us…

Unified Communications can save money and improve customer satisfaction

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Unified Communications can save money and improve customer satisfaction

We discussed in our last blog how unified communications can hoster greater collaboration and workplace functionality, but today we’ll look its value to the “back of the house” and external customers. Unified communications offers opportunities for operational improvements and cost savings, as well as opening up new pathways to create greater customer satisfaction.

Move many IT expenses out of the expense budget - Unified communications can migrate many of your channels to the cloud, eliminating a lot of IT hardware expenses, and moving them into a more predictable, monthly expense.Cuts down on internal IT support - Because much of Unified communications relies of the cloud and the SaaS (Software- as- a -service) model to integrate communications, you have less hardware and software on the ground that all require support, upgrades, backups, and maintenance.Create a more centralized point of responsibility - When you…

Business Disaster: What Threatens Small Businesses the Most?

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Business Disaster: What Threatens Small Businesses the Most?There are many threats to the integrity of a small business, and not all of them are as dramatic as a cyberattack or a hurricane. Every small business needs to do a risk assessment to determine all the threats that exist that could bring harm. External threats are the ones that get the the most attention. These can be big snowstorms or hurricanes that bring down power lines and network connections. They can also be man-made. A power outage due to a grid failure, or an act of terror. Also in this category are phishing scams, cyber attacks and data theft from external sources.

All of these are the ones that make the evening network news, and every business needs to plan how to handle them. However, there are some internal threats that can be just as serious, but are far less attention getting.

For example, human error. Stolen data can occur because someone forgot about changing their passcode, or they left a smartphone containing…

Four ways unified communications can improve productivity Part II

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Four ways unified communications can improve productivity Part II

In our last blog we suggested that unified communications has value to an organization's efforts to increase productivity. It can facilitate smoother, more efficient collaboration in a 24/7 workspace.

Unified communications can
Improve the functionality of our 24/7 workplace - The reality of 24/7 availability has been around for a while, and learning to place constraints on that is for another e-guide. However, unified communications can play a role on the 24/7 expectation problem. For one thing, with a single portal to an individual’s multiple communication channels, an employee can more easily communicate across those channels that they are not available and therefore limit expectations for an immediate or timely response when that is not possible. Also, with a unified portal, responding to different channels in off times can be easier and therefore less time-intrusive.Improve client satisfaction - Nothing is more i…

Data Protection and Bring Your Own Device to Work

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Data Protection and Bring Your Own Device to WorkBYOD refers to a firm's policy of allowing employees to use their own personal phones, tablets and laptops for all their work applications.This is a pretty common policy, and it has many benefits, but it brings along risks. How are you addressing these risks?

Here are some of the issues raised by BYOD
A lost device - If you issue company phones, you have the ability to remotely wipe the unit clean if it is lost or stolen. With employee's personal devices, do you still have that ability. If not, your data is at risk.Software updates - Is the employee responsible for updating all the software and virus protection programs on their own devices? If that responsibility transfers to them, you are at the mercy of their willingness to keep track of such tedious tasks. If you accept responsibility for it, do you have the in-house staff to handle all the extra work?Back ups - with data being entered on many different devices, something must…

Four ways unified communications can improve productivity Part I

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Four ways unified communications can improve productivity Part I

Today's blog will give a quick definition of unified communications and then explain reasons why this concept can lead to improved productivity in the workplace. So what is unified communications? First of all, it is more of a broad concept than any specific, concrete product or service that comes in a box. There are many different vendors that offer some form of unified communications technology and there are many flavors of it. In general, however, unified communications can be understood as the effort to unify the communications channels that we use singularly and/or in parallel and pull them together. For example, a unified communication system might create a unified mailbox whereby a user could access email, v-mail, voice, text and video using only one number. It works to eliminate the parallel structure of our communications channels. Unified communications may also be applied to begin to integrate our social me…

Everyday Human Error Can Affect Data Protection

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Everyday Human Error Can Affect Data ProtectionAre you under the impression that data loss is all about putting up firewalls to protect against evil cyberattacks? Some of the biggest sources of data loss include sloppiness, human error, and just plain forgetfulness.

What are some of the unglamorous things that we do everyday that leave us vulnerable?

Passwords
Old or easy passwords are a good first example. Employees set up simple passwords that are easy to crack. More importantly, employees may share passwords, and many often fail to create new ones on a frequent basis. Both of these represent critical breakdowns of good data protection practices.

Emails
Another significant problem caused by bad judgment is the tendency of people to open phishing scams. Almost everyone now knows about the Nigerian who wants to send money to your bank account, but many new scams come along every day and people fall for them. This is such a serious source of virus infection that some companies now deliberat…

So, what is this “Unified Communications” thing, anyhow?

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So, what is this “Unified Communications” thing, anyhow?

Have you heard the term unified communications tossed around lately? It seems to be used a lot in IT, telecomm, and work collaboration circles. Unified communications is a newer concept that refers to a conceptual platform where multiple communications channels can join together to increase productivity and facilitate collaboration. Here’s one way to look at it. Imagine that you only own one car. And imagine it is a sporty two seater. And then imagine you decide to invite five of your friends, none of whom are able to drive, out to dinner. This means you would have to pick each one up separately and drive him or her to the restaurant. And of course, one of them lives down an old rough farm road, so you have to drive very slowly so you don’t damage the underside of your expensive little two seater.

This scenario is pretty similar to the way we handle business communications today. We aren't able to just throw everyone together …