Let’s face it. Competition is fierce. Historically, the cloud computing technology used by larger companies was not available to smaller businesses. In the past, only large enterprises had the money to invest in IT infrastructure. But the cloud truly levels the playing field, giving companies of any size the ability to store information at a remote datacenter rather than on-premise.
Ready to learn about the Top 7 Reasons why now is the time to move from on-premise to cloud computing? Cloud enables you to do large-scale business at a lower cost, while improving service quality. In fact, cloud hosted desktops help make both your business and IT leaner, faster, safer, and more productive.
Here we discuss the benefits of switching from on-premise to the cloud to help you get your business ahead of the curve – not fall behind it. But before we jump into the top reasons, let’s take a step back to explain the core concepts in more detail.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is basically storing and accessing your data and applications over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. With an online connection, cloud computing can be done anytime, anywhere.
What is a Cloud Hosted Virtual Desktop?
A cloud hosted virtual desktop is moving your current environment (that conveniently sits on or underneath your desk) into a virtual machine safely stored in the cloud. Cloud hosted virtual desktops are a great way business owners can save money, time and hassle on a daily basis.
How does it work?
Each desktop in the cloud sits on a server dedicated to your company in secure data centers. In certain cases, you also get a fully-managed, secure and well-maintained working environment with access to IT Support for all of your company’s users — no matter where they are. The experience feels as if you were on your local machine, but it’s even faster, more secure, and more reliable than your local PCs.7 Benefits of Switching from On-Premise to the Cloud
Cost Savings: A Cloud Hosted Desktop provides you with scalable computing power, while minimizing IT requirements and physical data storage, providing you with significant savings.
Security: Perhaps the weakest link in the initial days of cloud adoption was security concerns. But today, more people have begun to realize these concerns are misguided. Cloud IT service providers actually provide higher levels of security and data integrity. Why? Because they make huge investments in the resources and technology, along with a skilled team of IT experts and engineers smaller businesses just can’t afford to do on their own.
Connectivity & Accessibility: Keep users connected no matter where they work with anytime, anywhere access. Users may access files anytime, anywhere, using any device. That means no more risk of files being stored on any computer.
Reduced Risk of Data Loss: Even more security for users by backing-up data offsite – decreasing the potential for hackers, viruses, ransomware, and other cybersecurity problems. Let’s repeat that again, more security. (Read: 3 Tips to Prevent Data Loss).
Faster Deployment: Cloud-based services can be deployed within just an hour or a few days rather than the weeks, months or years it can take to strategically plan, buy, build and implement an internal IT infrastructure with internal personnel.
Increased Collaboration: Cloud computing enables employees situated in various locations to collaborate easily. By providing simultaneous syncing, working and sharing documents and records in real time, cloud computing helps increase the collaboration and efficiency of employees.
Improved Efficiency: After migrating to the cloud, you no longer need to worry about power requirements, space considerations, expensive computer hardware, or software updates. You get to keep your entire company focused on generating revenue and relationships, not on IT.
Getting Started with the Cloud
Adopting the cloud doesn’t have to be complicated. The benefits of reduced costs and complexity, flexible scalability, and lower per-unit cost are simply too alluring to ignore. Concerns about security, costs and support are valid but today you may actually be exposing your business to more breach vulnerabilities by not being in the cloud.
The belief that data must be on-site to truly be secure is as misguided as the belief that money is safer tucked under your mattress than in a bank. A reliable cloud IT service provider is capable of investing far more into their security than you trying to run it on your own technology. Here are 4 key values to expect when utilizing the right Cloud IT Services Provider to move you to the cloud:
Security: FINTECH-grade security and compliance for your business
Productivity: Higher levels of efficiency with managed cloud solutions
Accessibility: Access Microsoft Windows desktop anytime, anywhere, on any device
Experience: Highly-skilled Cloud IT experts and support who become an extension of your team
To get started, here are some final points to consider:
Conduct a cost-benefit study.
Compare private cloud IT service providers to discover what kind of computer hardware management technology and VM technology they offer and what their team’s strengths are.
Virtualize your existing environment as much as possible.
Finally, don’t do it alone. Whether your organization is new to the cloud, or you need to expand or consolidate existing cloud services, turn to a trusted and proven Cloud IT Services provider to help you navigate through the cloud confusion.
Do you understand cloud computing? If you’re like most business owners, you probably have some idea of the basics. Yet, many small and midsized businesses often resist moving from traditional servers to the cloud because they don’t fully understand the technology. Often, they fear the risks and costs of investing in new technology because they lack the knowledge and support.
If you are concerned with cloud, you’re not alone. According to “A Walk in the Clouds” Analytic Report of Cloud Computing by Informationweek, 81% of business owners say security is one of their top concerns. The truth is the cloud is one of the most secure platforms to protect your data.
The purpose of this article is to help end the fear and cloud confusion. From the CEO to the individual who has access to an organization’s information systems needs a thorough understanding of the cloud. In this guide, we explain the differences between consumer vs. business cloud in layman’s terms and demystify the cloud for business.
Ready to start your learning journey? Let’s get started.
What is the Cloud?
The cloud isn’t new. You’ve been using it for years. If you are Googling something, using a smartphone, or accessing your Facebook account, or any other mobile application, you are using the cloud.
The “cloud” is just a sexy word for the Internet.
The problem is this sometimes nebulous or subjective term doesn’t make it very clear to what “the cloud” actually means to consumers vs. businesses.
When tech companies say your data is in the cloud, or that you can work in the cloud, the cloud refers to software and services that run on the Internet versus locally on the hard drive that’s typically located under your desk or in the office.
Most cloud services are accessed through a Web browser like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or other dedicated mobile app. Some examples of cloud services include Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Netflix, Gmail, and Dropbox. There are also many business applications for cloud computing.
The advantage of the cloud is that you can access your information on any device with a connection to the Internet connection. It’s what allows you to make edits to a file in Google Docs on your home computer, and then pick up where you left off when you get to the office.
Another benefit of the cloud is that you don’t necessarily need an expensive, high-end machine to get your work done because the remote servers handle much of the computing and storage. For this reason, many companies are turning to low-cost computer options over more expensive ones to cut on costs.
To get better familiarized with your options, let’s address this topic in more detail.
What is cloud computing?
In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. What cloud computing is not about is storing data on, or running programs from your hard drive. That’s called local storage and computing. There’s a major difference. Storing data on a home or small office network does not count as utilizing the cloud.
For it to be “cloud computing”, you need to access your data and your programs over the Internet, or at the very least, have that data synced with other information over the Web.
If you are an IT professional in a large business or an administrator of a small office, you may already understand all there is to know about what’s on the other side of the online connection. As a typical end-user, however, you may not fully understand the data processing happening on the other end. Yet, the result is the same. With an online connection, cloud computing can be done anywhere, anytime.
Consumer vs. Business Cloud
Let’s be clear here. Up until this point, we’ve been talking about cloud computing as it impacts individual consumers—those of us who sit at home or in small offices and use the Internet on a regular basis.
The cloud enables your IT infrastructure to evolve as quickly as your business does. But there is an entirely different experience when using cloud hosted desktops. The cloud has 3 deployment models:
Since most small and midsized businesses don’t typically have the resources and infrastructure to build private clouds, most rely on public clouds. Public cloud deployments are completely virtual, which means less hands-on management is required since the infrastructure, such as the hardware (servers, storage devices, networking equipment, and firewalls) is all off-premises.
In an economy where many businesses find themselves having to stretch their technology investment as far as it can go, the benefit of not having to pay for hardware, employees to maintain and manage that hardware, software licensing, deployment, and updating is critical.
Businesses typically focus on implementing one of these 3 categories of cloud computing services. They are:
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – This is where a business can create its own custom applications for use by everyone in the company like Amazon Web Services.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)– This is where big players like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Rackspace provide a backbone that can be “rented out” by other companies. For example, Netflix provides services to you because it’s a customer of the cloud services at Amazon.
As you can see, the lines can sometimes become blurry between local computing and cloud computing. That’s because the cloud is part of almost everything on our computers. For more information, check out the The Best Cloud Storage and File-Syncing Services.
Common Cloud Scenarios
A common cloud example you may be using for your small business is Microsoft Office 365, which is a local piece of software that utilizes a form of cloud computing like Microsoft OneDrive for storage. It includes access to Office applications, plus other apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote) that can be accessed through your Web browser without installing anything. This makes them a version of cloud computing.
Here are some other common cloud examples you’re probably using:
Google Drive is a cloud computing service with file storage and synchronization service that allows users to store files in the cloud, synchronize files across devices, and share files. It can work with the cloud apps: Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. Drive is also available on more than just desktop computers. You can use it on tablets or smartphones. Most of Google’s services could be considered cloud computing: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, etc.
Apple iCloud is simply a cloud service used for online storage and backup, keeping all your devices in sync such as your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and/or computer. The information on each device is automatically updated. All the data is available to you on your devices.
Amazon Cloud Drive storage is essentially storage for anything digital you’d buy from Amazon, baked into all its products and services.
Hybrid services like Box, Dropbox and SugarSync all say they work in the cloud because they store a synced version of your files online, but they also sync those files with local storage.
Ethereum is probably a term you’ve heard of, but if you’re like many people, you may be having a hard time wrapping your head around the concept. Here is something you need to know: The technology that underlies bitcoin, ethereum and other digital assets is the foundation to the next paradigm shift to our internet connected world of cloud computing.
It’s this giant swarm of internet technology buzzing with excitement and with “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out). Of course, everyone wants to be in the ground floor of future technology to own stock in the next Apple, Microsoft, Google, or Amazon.
Below are some links and information that may help you further understand this “blockchain” technology and keep up with the exciting news.
What is an Ethereum token?
As a business owner or IT professional, staying on the cutting edge of the latest digital trends is imperative. One rapidly growing trend I have been researching and studying are Ethereum tokens—digital assets that are being built with the Ethereum blockchain as their foundation, thus benefitting from Ethereum’s existing infrastructure. For those of you who may be new to the world of digital assets, you’ll find the following beginner’s guide a helpful tool in understanding Ethereum, Ethereum tokens, and the difference between the two.
Ethereum is a decentralized platform used to create smart contracts that represent digital assets called Ethereum tokens. This is similar to the App Store providing a platform for iOS apps with some apps issuing their own digital currencies that are used within the game or system. However, unlike Apple, with Ethereum there is no centralized entity deciding what gets added to the App Store. Anyone can create a token on top of Ethereum.
Ethereum tokens can represent anything—real objects, such as gold (Digix), or a native currency used to pay transaction fees for specific services or resources (Golem). In the future, tokens may even be used to represent stocks and bonds. The purpose of each token is determined completely by its intended use. Tokens can have a fixed supply, constant inflation rate, or even a supply determined by a sophisticated monetary policy. Tokens can be used for a wide range of functions, such as paying to access a network or for decentralized governance over an organization.
Tokens are usually issued to the public through a crowd sale, or initial coin offering (ICO). The token’s creators will issue the token to others usually in exchange for ether, but sometimes bitcoin or other digital currencies are also used. The recent increase in ICOs has completely changed project funding. Ideally, if you are building a decentralized application, you want the tokens to be owned by as many people as possible, but that is not necessary.
Several resources can take you through the process of creating a token and explain how they work. For example, Token Factory provides a simple user interface that allows you to create your own Ethereum token with custom parameters.
Since Ethereum tokens are just a specific type of smart contract included on the Ethereum blockchain, Ethereum tokens, like bitcoin and ether, are also tracked on the blockchain which is the public ledger of all transactions that have occurred.
Some of the largest Ethereum tokens by market cap are Augur’s REP and Golem’s GNT. Both of these developing projects have a combined market cap of about $450 million. To give you a better understanding of the vastly different functions an Ethereum token can have, we’ll briefly go over how each of them work.
Co-founded by Joey Krug and Jack Peterson, Augur is a decentralized prediction market which allows users to bet on the outcome of different events. It can also be used for hedging purposes. For example, if you own 1 bitcoin that is worth $2,000 and want to hedge that holding, you can bet that by a certain date the price of bitcoin will be below $2,000. If the price of bitcoin goes up, your holdings will be more valuable. However, if it goes down you will offset your losses through the prediction market. There is no centralized source that reports on the outcome of events. Though this decreases the risk of a corrupt reporter, it creates a need for a decentralized reporting source.
To fill this need, Augur has issued an Ethereum token called Reputation (REP). There is a fixed supply of 11 million REP tokens in existence, 80% of which were sold through a crowd sale raising $5.3 million. These tokens are used for reporting on the outcome of prediction market events. REP holders must report on the outcome of randomly selected events, providing the decentralized reporting pool needed to settle the outcome of Augur’s prediction markets. REP holders receive half of all transaction fees generated by prediction markets on the platform as compensation for this valuable service. The penalty for false reporting is a fine in REP, and if the majority of REP holders are dishonest then ultimately Augur’s credibility is damaged and the value of REP goes down. As a result, honesty is incentivized.
Golem , headed by Julian Zawistowski, allows people to rent out their spare computing power. The idea is that by creating a worldwide supercomputer, computing power will become less costly and more accessible to everyone.
Golem’s Ethereum token, Golem Network Token (GNT), has a fixed supply of 1 billion GNT in existence, 82% of which were sold through a crowd sale raising $8.6 million. These tokens are required for interacting with the Golem network and is the currency used as payment when renting computing power. The limited supply of tokens for accessing this network drives up the value of GNT as more people want to use Golem. Theoretically, this aligns the incentives of people holding GNT with those using it.
You may have heard about ERC20 tokens. The initial ERC20 page “describes standard functions a token contract can implement.” ERC20 is a standard interface for tokens and are simply a subset of Ethereum tokens. In order to be fully ERC20 compliant a developer must include a specific set of functions into their smart contract that at a high level will allow it to perform the following actions:
get the total token supply
get the account balance
transfer the token
approve spending the token
ERC20 allows for seamless interaction with other smart contracts and decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain. Tokens that have some but not all of the standard functions are considered to be partially ERC20 compliant and can still be easy for external parties to interact with depending upon which functions are missing.
Many Ethereum tokens have been created and many more are up-and-coming. Below are some useful links to help you better understand Ethereum tokens as well as stay updated on the most recent news:
The best path to continued success in any business is to be on top of the trends. As you know, that is most true in the digital world. We at IBIS are motivated by your success, and helping you stay up-to-date is our top priority. For any questions, feedback or comments, please feel free to contact us. We are here to help you solve problems and find new ways to improve your business through technology.
Hospitals, companies and government offices have been hit by a massive wave of WannaCry Ransomware Cyber-Attack.
The WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack that swept the internet isn’t dead yet. We have been fielding questions all week on the situation. Please be aware those businesses that use IBIS Technology for cloud-hosted desktops and servers are fully-protected (by design) and were not impacted by this latest scare.
Here is a demonstration of the attack.
What is WannaCry ransomware?
WannaCry exploits vulnerabilities in older Windows operating systems, including Windows XP. Microsoft issued a patch for those systems on Friday, but that didn’t stop it from hitting more than 200,000 machines in 150 countries. The malware encrypts files and then requests ransoms be paid in bitcoin.
The first targets of the attack were hospitals in the U.K., which froze computers and forced emergency rooms to close. Dozens of large institutions and companies were impacted, including the U.K.’s National Health Service, China’s National Petroleum Corporation, and Renault factories in France.
In other news, I was surprised to see how the media responded to ‘why’ this type of incident occurred. According to this recent interview posted on Bloomberg: “Some of these companies and institutions that have been hit have, of course, been perhaps not the most tech savvy…,” said Caroline Hyde of Bloomberg News.
In my opinion: Is that a good excuse? Not tech-savvy?
Vigilance and common sense are difficult to control in a fast-paced environment. That is why businesses need to have an IT infrastructure in place to help prevent this type of tragedy from happening.
Let’s face it. Most people don’t always take the time to update their machines. If just one employee’s computer lacks the latest security software, it can infect other computers across the network – leaving vulnerabilities for malware and other viruses to get in.
What can businesses do to protect themselves from ransomware?
Security experts say the malware that paralyzed these victims may have initially infected computers by getting employees to download via email. After that, it spread like wildfire across the entire network of computers that were linked through the Windows file-sharing system.
First and foremost, shift from on premise to the cloud-hosted desktop and infrastructure to protect your business. By design, this is a safe and secure platform intended to prevent, and more importantly, quickly recover your data.
Here are some of the benefits for switching from on premise to the cloud:
Reduce Risk of Data Loss: This means more security for users by backing-up data offsite – decreasing the potential for ransomware, viruses and other cybersecurity problems.
Ease of Use & Collaboration: Saving and accessing files through the cloud lets your staff work from the same master documents and folders – keeping you safe.
Improve Efficiency: After migrating to the cloud, you no longer need to worry about power requirements, space considerations or software updates. Keep your entire company focused on generating revenue and relationships, not on IT.
Anytime, Anywhere Access: Users may access files anytime, anywhere, using any device. No more risk of files being stored on any computer, leaving you vulnerable to problems.
As you can see, the best way to accomplish this is to engage with a Cloud IT Services company like ours. Outsourcing these IT concerns to a firm that specializes in this every day is critical to protecting you from intrusion and disaster. More importantly, contributing to the success and longevity of your business.
Even the Israeli Defense Force, one of the most technologically advanced militaries, is not immune to social engineering and cyber attacks. Leaving technology security in the hands of “common sense” is naive and dangerous. We all can fall prey if the trap is set right.
Cyber fraud victimizes millions of people every day. In 2016, three billion passwords and user credentials were stolen. As of April 2017, 8.2 million passwords were being stolen daily. That is equivalent to around 95 passwords per second. Cyber Attacks are not confined to ordinary individuals who use the Internet, but more so for businesses and public organizations.
Using Social Media for Cyber Attacks
Recently, Bloomberg reported of a security breach in the Israeli army that was caused by unassuming social media relationships. The phones of the Israeli troops were infected by Hamas after militants posing as women struck an online relationship with them. Using Facebook Messenger, Israeli cadets began the online relationship with a “friend request” supposedly from a woman from either the U.S. or Europe. With a special app to talk to the cadets, a code was then stealthy inserted into the phone of the cadet exposing its contents such as SMS, location, and photos to the Hamas spy. Similar social media engineering tactics have been used by Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The Hamas cyber attacks were only detected by accident by Kaspersky Labs in July but continued up to February of this year. According to Aaron Joseph of Cisco Systems, it is virtually impossible to have an airtight defense against cyber attacks even with simple technology like social media platforms. Joseph says, “terror organizations will try to get information any way they can and all of us have some kind of connection to social media.”
According to Facebook, about 2% of the profiles are fake although there is no software that can detect these bogus accounts. The IDF had to initiate a massive campaign to educate and inform its forces on phone and Internet security.
Another relatively recent development is a stealth file-less malware that has been affecting businesses in North America. Ransom-ware hijacks critical business systems and data only to release it after a random is paid – usually through bitcoin. The attack operates under the radar of top security software and many businesses have opted to pay rather than restore the system because doing so would cost them more. In addition, they worry about their business reputation and operation downtime.
Fighting Cyber Attacks
The best strategy in preventing cyber attacks is vigilance, an effective company-wide information campaign on Internet security and the use of social media, and a professional security team with a clearly defined and tested Backup and Disaster Recovery plan. The fact is cyber attacks are a form of terrorism and modern warfare. You can be absolutely certain that without a clear and detailed security plan, any individual or group intent on hacking into your system will work day and night without letup to gain unlawful entry. Why? For some, it’s for money and prestige and for others, it’s just a game.
The words ‘spear phishing’ may look like a misspelled sport, but it is in fact one of the most lethal computer scams. In 1995, phishing made its debut with emails and instant messages from unscrupulous individuals posing as legitimate employees requesting account verification and billing information with the intent of using the information illegally. After a massive information campaign, phishing all but withdrew to the shadows. That is until a few years ago when it took the form of “spear phishing.”
The Truth About Spear Phishing
According to experts, about 70% of all spear phishing emails are opened. Why? Employees open the spear phishing email because it looks legitimate – coming from a superior or business owner, if not top executive of the company. It preys on employees who want to get ahead; be noticed; please their boss.
Unfortunately, spear phishing comes in many forms: instant messaging, VOIP, social network sites, and SMS, among others. In addition, it can legitimately come from someone within an organization by a crafty employee who knows how to create email baits. Modern spear phishing is a major security wake-up call for all IT professionals, business owners, and corporate management.
Recently, the FBI revealed a new version of spear phishing which they have called “BEC” or Business Email Compromise scam. These spear phishing emails pretend to come from a top executive requesting for confidential data or funds. Since 2013, over $2.3 billion has been lost to these type of emails.
These BEC emails commonly request the following:
Credit card information
Copies of invoices
Employee personal information
As you can see, these are confidential data found that can be found in Human Resources, Accounting, Finance, Sales, and Legal departments. If the requests are granted, your company can stand to lose not only business funds but also damage to reputation, invasion of privacy, and the trust of your existing customers. If the scam becomes public knowledge, it could cause the downfall of your business.
How to Prevent Spear Phishing
The most sophisticated security system is always the most recommended strategy but it would be an incomplete plan because spear phishing targets human weakness. Thus, employees must be educated on how to handle all corporate information.
Training should involve:
How to detect possible spear phishing emails. There are telltale signs such as inconsistencies with past emails, strange greetings or use of formal name instead of nickname, abnormal tone, fake CVs to Human Resources (aimed at delivering malware), disregard for chain of command, or out-of-the-blue request
Confirm before acting and stressing the need to authenticate any request for confidential information
Possible consequences of emails scams and the need to be vigilant
Methods of approaching a superior regarding a suspicious email
On the side of top management, top executives and supervisors including the Chief Finance Officer should stay on top of all disbursements – even petty funds. In addition, officers should do the following:
Conduct periodic reviews and send out alerts to remind employees of the damage of spear phishing
Lay down the ground rules for a safe culture where rank and file are allowed to question emails and other sensitive matters without fear of being rebuffed or punished
Be part of the global environment on cyber security, not just on spear phishing, but all possible attacks on a corporation
Establish a check and balance system with dual authorization for sensitive and confidential information or transfer of funds
It would be wrong to think that scammers only target large corporations. Studies show that as recent as 2016, these types of scammers prefer small to medium enterprises because they have fewer layers, more overworked staff and officers, and a more laid-back approach to emails. It’s time to address spear phishing no matter the size of your business or charity because scams will never stop evolving and attacking.
To learn how to protect your company or more information on this topic, please contact us or call us directly at 954.603.1515.
People who work in technology and business are prone to hero worship. As such, it is not surprising that my management team and I found ourselves discussing a recent stakeholder letter from Amazon founder, chief disruptor and hero, Jeff Bezos.
In his letter to the employees of Amazon, Bezos talked about companies being in Day 1 and Day 2. He describes Day 1 as the time when a company, its employees, its shareholders, and its customers thrive. In Day 1, companies continuously work hard at perfecting the business, changing and renovating to keep customers happy. Bezos emphasizes that no business should ever want to transition to Day 2…the dawn of Day 2, the day we accept “comfortable” is the beginning of the end.
The power of three words: “Disagree and Commit.”
Good leadership knows how to harness the power of these three words. Agreeing to “disagree and commit” will not only save you time when making decisions, but will also motivate your people to strive for higher but achievable objectives. In his letter, Bezos gave the example of a project he disagreed with, but, in support of one of his teams, he committed to the project nonetheless. He gave the green light and not once regretted his decision.
In the same manner, sometimes resources are wasted and decisions are delayed for fear of overlooking every minute detail. A quicker “Yes” can be far better than a protracted “Yes” for several reasons:
Delays in decision-making and vacillating can dampen your team’s enthusiasm for the project.
Commitment provides opportunities to the team to prove themselves and grow better as professionals and future leaders.
Acknowledging you don’t have the exclusive on great ideas and allowing your people enough leeway to find solutions, ultimately brings innovation into the organization. According to Bezos, “thinking your team is wrong and missing the point” is missing a golden opportunity to show true support.
Great leadership should be willing to venture outside the comfort zone or risk taking their organization into Day 2. “Venturing” should include making sure that projects have sufficient resources to succeed. Effective leaders know when to trust gut instinct and when to hold back, and phenomenal leaders know when to trust the instinct of their people.This means giving people the opportunities to experiment rather than stifling their creativity.
Better Leadership for Life
This kind of leadership works not just in the corporate environment but also at home and in personal relationships. Instead of crushing suggestions or being critical, let others take the lead. You might find yourself enjoying it. After all, you are with people you love and giving them the chance to take the reins is sometimes more important than being assertive.
For more information on this topic or to exchange ideas and perspectives, please contact us to discuss further.
I have been working with technology for over three decades. I have witnessed and marveled, first-hand, at the enormous benefits brought to our world through the computer and the internet. Who would have thought that the entire planet’s body of knowledge could be delivered to individuals and businesses – merely upon request? Read: “Google it.”
However, with this incredible evolution comes an unfortunate, darker
side. The side of those who would take advantage, expose our weaknesses, and steal our hard work to either hold hostage or, worse yet, destroy years of diligent effort.
Every day, we hear stories of individuals and businesses falling prey to cyberattacks, scams and fraud.According to one study, 60% of cyberattacks were perpetrated against companies with less than 250 employees. Cyber criminals target this vulnerable group because they typically don’t have the proper defenses or resources.
An unfortunate misconception: The black box under your desk or that server in your closet is safe because it is on your site, within your reach, and behind your locked door.But the internet does not know about physical doors. Doors are not keeping your business safe. It just takes one unsuspecting employee to inadvertently click on a malicious link or access company data while on public WiFi to bring your whole business down and make years of data unrecoverable.
Our goal is not to make you fear technology.In fact, we want to help you embrace technology and leverage the benefits of the internet — the cloud — to help enhance your business and your life.Over the years, we’ve recognized that in order to keep yourself safe, you must stay up to date. But, many business owners may not fully understand what that really means. Many do not understand the benefits of the cloud and all it has to offer in keeping your business safe, secure and productive.
We’re excited to have this platform to share information that is relevant, interesting and thought-provoking in the tech world.We hope this issue is a welcome addition to your inbox and if you are visiting us for the first time, we encourage you to subscribe here. With every issue, we give you inside access to what we have been researching, seeing and hearing. We encourage you to provide feedback to help us continually improve with each issue. This ongoing exchange of knowledge, ideas and insights is what we look to pass along to our readers.
On behalf of everyone at IBIS Technology, we are motivated by your success. Listening to you and educating you is our top priority. We work hard to provide high-quality cloud solutions aligned with the key objectives of your business—disciplined technology, strategic roadmaps and access to a full IT department to help you operate and grow. We do this with a positive attitude, flexibility and a nimbleness that fits your objectives—not ours.
Take a moment to discover the benefits of cloud virtual desktops for your business or enterprise.We are passionate about this technology and its ability to address the many dangers that used to “keep us up at night.” We are committed to your satisfaction and excited for the opportunity to hear your aspirations in growing your business.
For any questions, feedback or comments, please feel free to contact us. We are here to help you solve problems and find new ways to improve your business through technology.
As always, thank you for choosing IBIS Technology.
It only takes seconds for ransomware to block access to an entire network, but the vast majority of businesses remain locked out of crucial files and systems for a week or more, with the impact causing severe financial and reputational damage.
Data gathered from over a thousand businesses which have been victims of ransomware within the last year suggests that 85 percent of those infected by the malicious file encrypting software had their systems forced offline for at least a week, while a third of cases resulted in data being inaccessible for a month or more.
Worryingly, 15 percent of those targeted with ransomware found that their data was completely unrecoverable.
That’s particularly dangerous because the effects of a ransomware attack are almost instant. Sixty-eight percent of businesses surveyed said that their networks went from functional to encrypted and useless in mere minutes, while almost a quarter revealed that the lockdown occurred in just a few seconds, bringing operations screeching to a halt.
Ultimately, the report paints a picture of businesses still being massively underprepared for what’s now a significant cyber threat — and that needs to change, say the report’s backers.
“It’s critical that all organisations, no matter what size, acknowledge the increasing and evolving threat of ransomware as attacks become ever more frequent and instil a policy, that is regularly updated, to educate staff on what to do if the business comes under attack,” says Nabeil Samara, chief digital officer at Timico.
“Protection and communication are key to the difference between success or failure and will save the business infinite costs in the long run.”
What is BYOD and How Can It Bring a Company to its Knees?
Smartphones, tablets and personal laptops are just a few of the BYOD – “Bring Your Own Device” craze in full swing throughout corporate America. It is common practice for an employee to bring their high tech gadgets to work. Seems pretty harmless, right?
But consider this: Are employees using these devices to access company servers to download proprietary and sometimes confidential documents on these devices? How can your company manage the demand for accessing this information?
It may be the right time to establish a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) protocol for your company. Having IT policies in place can open up the doors to a nonstop flood of concerns, starting with the hazard of unsecured devices. And yes, the advantages are equally hard to deny. That leaves your IT personnel to handle the fallout from these policies and eliminate the ‘high-risk’ portion of their default high-risk and high-reward state.
The BYOD – Bring Your Own Device Craze Creates Risks
Here are five issues you’ll want to pay attention to moving forward with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device):
1.) Lost Devices. All the security protocols in the world won’t do any good when a person outside of your company gets control of their device. Whether it’s been lost or stolen, a device in the wild can’t be left free to spill whatever data it may contain. Lockdown procedures are extremely important with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), so make sure you have this security hazard in order.
2.) Personal Use. Draconian control of personal use is possible, if not efficient, when you’re dealing with company property. The idea becomes laughable when dealing with a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. However, if you try to keep people from using their mobile devices for their own purposes at work, or especially at home, all you’re going to do is waste a lot of effort and gain nothing in return. You need to teach and reward good security behaviors on and off the clock, because you can’t force them.
3.) Acquisition and Maintenance. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) doesn’t mean leaving employees to find their own way to shoddy products and questionable vendors. It’s in everyone’s best interest if IT offers a list of certified vendors for maintenance and procurement. Easy and reliable for the user will mean less headaches for IT and better performance of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategy across the board.
4.) Who Owns Data? There’s no true answer to this question, but discussion of this issue must be handled as early as possible. If you don’t take a firm, clear position on the subject of data ownership, problems will arise in short order. Making it easy to segregate data goes a long way in alleviating the complicated problems that arise in this arena.
5.) Hardened Devices. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) doesn’t mean employees get to take undue risks. Some industries demand a certain level of ruggedness—you don’t want an endless flood of complaints and requests because someone’s tablet froze solid or shattered on concrete floors.
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