Should You Make The Move To G Suite?

Should You Make The Move To G Suite?

Just a few months ago, Google rebranded its Google Apps for Work enterprise cloud suite to its new name G Suite. Its intent is to go head to head with its top competitor, Microsoft Office 365.

In many ways, Google has set the standard for cloud application based systems. In a short amount of time, they have proved that you don’t need a program sitting on your desktop in order to be successful. They have proved that a browser window is all you need to create a fully functional client for common office applications such as word processing, spreadsheets and more.

That means your apps will work smoothly and consistently from wherever you choose to access your information, from the office or the road, from your desktop or your smartphone.

It also means that Google offers everything in one neat package. Email, calendar, team collaboration, personal and team file sharing, document creation, spreadsheets, presentations, audio and video calls, even its own internal security and compliance is all there ready and waiting for you on a pay-as-you-go basis. You only pay for the users who use G Suite instead of loading up software that can go untouched.

What’s holding you back?

Maybe you have programs already in place. You’re comfortable with them. They work for you. Why change? Many businesses start with a small team using G Suite while others in the company stick with the old systems. The great news is G Suite is compatible with most of the old file formats: .doc, .xls, .ppt. Which means teams can go back and forth using the old and new formats to get work done faster than ever before. We usually find that once people see the power of working online, they end up phasing out their old tools completely as they discover the real power of being able to collaborate and use tools from anywhere.

But Google has free products; why should you pay for G Suite?

Google does have a variety of free consumer based products. Using them can introduce you to the features and control they offer for running a business. With G Suite, you get things like a professional, business-grade email system, and extra storage for Gmail and Drive. You also get some crucial advantages like security management and full administration of all your user accounts.

Why should you work with a G Suite provider?

It starts with migration and management support. You don’t know what you don’t know. And when integrating a new platform throughout your business, it can have significant implications if it’s not done right. The more people you have to manage, the more G Suite systems you choose to operate with, the more support you’re likely to need along the way. That’s where working with a provider really becomes handy. That way you can focus on what you do best while getting the data you need to analyze and see the big picture. You worry about your business, we deal with things like the implementation and licensing for you.

How could working with G Suite improve the way you do business?

Designing The Perfect CIO and Other C-Level Partnership

Designing The Perfect CIO and Other C-Level Partnership

CIOs and other C-levels aren’t known for always having the friendliest business relationships. While they all might be reaching for a common goal, the approach varies, and with that comes differences. Sometimes major differences.

But in today’s digital age, thriving means forging an effective partnership to create the best customer experience possible while doing so at the highest profit levels achievable. C-levels can do that in many ways.

Focus on the customer experience

Through all of the digital transformation that has occurred over the past decade, a vast majority of business professionals stated that customer experience is one area they are pursuing in greater depth. Why? Because customer expectations are higher than ever before.

Customers now have the tools to learn whatever they choose and make decisions based on data that is available right in the palms of their hands. This power is changing the way consumers shop, and the way businesses approach the sales process. You have to know who your customer is, what they want, and provide them with the right resources. That means both on the digital and the experience side.

Collaborate on data

Big data is on everyone’s mind. And every department uses it in different ways. While a CMO uses the data, the CIO manages it. And without the knowledge and experience of a well-informed CIO, the data provided to the rest of the company may be risky and inaccurate at best. A clear data strategy can bring everyone on board to understand the ultimate goal and stay on track for getting there in the best way.

Develop quick thinking

Let’s face it; your customer won’t wait. If your website is slow, if your data isn’t accessible, if they can’t get the information they want when they want it, they can find another company that can deliver. While metrics are important to the overall health of an organization, speed is a requirement to bring everyone on board. Sometimes that means relying on outsiders to provide up-to-date information when you need it most. Giving all departments space to be at the top of their game will help you achieve in a more responsive way.

Create alignment

Cross-functioning is now more important than ever. If one department doesn’t understand what the other department is doing, it can cost you your business. It’s important that C-levels meet not only on a regular basis, but also work together every day. If one side doesn’t understand what the other is doing, they can’t watch out for the best interest of the company. Transparency is key now and in the future, especially as things change at digital speed.

How are you handling your C-level partnership? Is your CIO responsibilities everything they could be?

What’s Your Security Plan For A Power Interruption?

What’s Your Security Plan For A Power Interruption?

Has this ever happened to you?

You are working on an important document, a proposal for a client or a customer report. All of a sudden, everything goes blank, and your computer shuts off. The power has gone off.

After a few mumbled words under your breath, you think back to the last time you hit the save button. Seconds before? Minutes before? Did you hit save at all?

Power outages may seem infrequent; maybe a few have occurred in your office and your home this year. But what about other forms of power interruption? There are four main types of power disturbances:

  • Voltage dips
  • Electromagnetic interference
  • Radio frequency interference
  • Power surges

Power surges are considered to be the most destruction of them all.  They are brief, lasting only milliseconds. And they can vary from unnoticeable to completely destroying everything in its path. They can originate from an electric company making switches to a power grid, from a lightning strike, or from a large appliance like an air conditioning unit turning on and off.

None is out of the question. All can happen and impact your business any day of the year. The question is: are you prepared?

Surge Protection

As a business owner, there are three simple steps you can take to ensure you are ready for any power surge that threatens your business.

  • Use point of use surge protectors for every piece of equipment you own. Be aware that these can wear out as they take on surges; replace often.
  • Install a heavy duty surge suppressor at your main service panel. This will deal with large transient voltages that enter your building.
  • Make sure you are protected with insurance. Your agent can recommend coverage that will ensure all equipment is protected for both repair and replacement.

Regular Backup

No matter how careful you are, there is always a risk of your hardware being destroyed, leaving your data vulnerable. Backing up regularly is the only way to ensure you don’t lose valuable resources if the unthinkable happens. Regular backup ensures:

  • Simple recovery. Mistakes happen all the time. Whether you forget to hit save, or a power surge destroys your equipment, having a backup system in place ensures that every word is saved off site and is available whenever you need it.
  • Avoiding downtime. Studies show that up to 43 percent of all businesses that shut down after losing major data loss never reopen. Not only can it impact your relationship with your customers, but it can ruin your reputation as well.
  • Never do work twice. Nothing is more frustrating than having to recreate something you got right the first time. Editing is easy. Recreating is time consuming and difficult. With a solid backup system in place, you’ll never have to worry about that again.

What’s your security plan for power interruption?

How To Embrace The Power Of Data

How To Embrace The Power Of Data

Have you ever thought about how much data exists in the world?

Have you ever thought about how much data is created on an average day?

The statistics are staggering, especially when you consider how far we’ve come in such a short period of time. For example, according to Forbes:

  • By 2020, over 6.1 billion smartphone users will exist throughout the world
  • By 2020, there will be over 50 billion smart devices developed to collect, analyze and share data
  • In 2015, over 1 trillion photos were taken, and billions of them were shared online
  • In 2017, over 80 percent of all photos will be taken with smart technology
  • Every single minute of the day, over 500 new websites are developed
  • We perform more than 40,000 search queries a second on Google alone
  • The total volume of data that the industry captures and stores doubles every 1.2 years

What do we do with that much data? How can we possibly use it to our advantage?

Big Data is a concept that seems to be popping up everywhere in the business world, no matter what industry you’re in. Big data can be defined as extremely large data sets that are analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions.

The power of big data lies in its ability to drive decisions.

In many industries, such as medical and technology, new research and content are added and updated all the time. Every year on PubMed, for example, more than 25 million references and 1 million biologically focused articles are published and uploaded to the database. As a researcher, in the traditional sense, it could take weeks, even months to find all the relevant data needed to make an informed decision. And by the time you find what you need, more content is added to the pool.

Fortunately, technology has come so far that there is no reason to have manual approaches. Embracing today’s research solutions can provide answers quickly and accurately. Rather than feeling daunted by the barrage of possibilities that exist and are at your disposal, we help you utilize the power of the modern ways to mine, analyze, and manage the vast amounts of resources you have at available to you, right now.

Secure Texting Can Be A Weak Link

Secure Texting Can Be A Weak Link

Imagine getting a text that says “your daughter has been in a serious accident.” Of course, you go into panic mode. Adrenaline rushes in, and the only thing your brain can process is how to gain more information.

At times like this, we’re at our most vulnerable point. We click. We answer calls. We say yes.

And we set ourselves up for security risks.

Studies show that when we receive a text message, we pay attention.

Currently, texting is the most widely-used app on a smartphone, with 97 percent of Americans using it at least once per day. And when we get a text message, they have a 98 percent open rate, and on average we’ll read it within 5 seconds of receiving it.

Not a lot of decision making time to determine if it’s real or if it’s fake.

That can be a big problem, especially as we move texting into more professional contexts. The health and wellness industry is ripe for patient-centered care options using technology, especially with secure texting and secure messaging. Not only is it increasingly being used for provider-to-provider communication, but providers are using it to stay in touch with patients as well.

Sending a text to your spouse to pick up a few items at the grocery store for dinner isn’t the same as revealing private health related content. Release the wrong data at the wrong time, and you can quickly have a disaster on your hands. Not only can it impact your relationship with your clients, but it can also destroy your reputation as well. .

Security in the texting realm isn’t just for the security officer or the IT department; it’s for every single person in the chain: medical professionals, office staff, and patients. You have to create a system that is not an overly burdensome process for the end users, yet difficult enough to prevent easy penetration by hackers and other less-than-forthright users.

The weakest link in and security program is the user. So it’s important that people consistently are reminded and trained on what to look for in all communication –  including emails and texts – and what to avoid.

Phishing attacks, for example, are often used to gain access to inside systems using employees credentials. And over the years, these fake messages have become increasingly more believable. When you train end-users on what to look for, they learn how to recognize questionable messages that come through. They have a procedure in place to test real from fake, to question before releasing anything that may potentially harm the overall system.

And while that can be more difficult when reaching out to patients, if you build security into the process throughout your organization, you’ll have procedures in place to alert your patients quickly when things go awry.

Does MDM Threaten Employee Privacy?

Does MDM Threaten Employee Privacy?

For years, the concept of bring your own device (BYOD) into the workplace has integrated into most offices. It’s hard to imagine a world where an office employee doesn’t pick up their personal phone or tablet to perform some needed task. But even the smallest of tasks can be damaging to an organization. Even the smallest misstep can have a disastrous impact.

Which is how Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions were born.

But are they the right solution for your company?

MDM solutions can be scary for an employee. To install something that allows their employer to have complete visibility into their actions at the click of a button can leave them worrying about privacy issues. And once the solution is installed, there is little to indicate that monitoring is taking place. How do you ensure you are doing all you can to secure your company’s data without infringing on your employee’s privacy rights?

One of MDM’s biggest selling points is also the one thing ripe for abuse: the ability to monitor all incoming and outbound traffic. With an MDM solution, security can visibly see all emails, browser searches, personal information such as passwords, and more. This means if an employee uses a computer to do what they might consider to be personal activities, such as accessing personal health information, searching Amazon for a product, or viewing financial or political information, it could be held and used against them at some point in the future.

And it isn’t just what an employee accesses. It can also include what apps an employee downloads. While this may seem innocent, it gives an organization the ability to track what an employee does even in their personal time. It can lead to building a detailed profile of employee behavior. All of a sudden, an organization can see what sports teams a person follows, what dating sites they use regularly, or what news organization they access on a daily basis.

And because smart devices are attached to geotracking, MDM solutions can also be used to determine employee locations 24/7. This capability has the potential to record far more damaging information than merely finding a phone if it’s lost.

Employees expect freedom to use their phones and tablets as they see fit, especially during non-working hours. But do simple security measures such as PIN codes and disk encryption offer enough security to protect a company’s information?

What’s your policy on BYOD and MDM?

Insider Threats: Do You Know Where Your Biggest Threats Are?

Insider Threats: Do You Know Where Your Biggest Threats Are?

Security is always a major concern, no matter where your data currently exists. And consistent reports of high-profile attacks on brand name companies do little to appease fear.

While a lot of press covers how to protect data from external threats, it’s also important to remember that an even bigger challenge is protecting against insider threats. Insider threats are more than employees with weak passwords, or an angry employee with malicious intent. There are two pieces to the insider threat issue which all businesses need to address:

  1. Insider behavior
  2. System configurations

Insider threats reach beyond the employee population. They extend to anyone who may have had legitimate, inside access to the company’s networks at some point in the past. That can include employees, vendors, contractors, partners – anyone who was given a key to enter the system, no matter for what purpose.

We give access to different people for various reasons. But in all cases, it creates an opening, no matter how small, that didn’t exist before. It creates a tiny crack in the overall structure.

Imagine a building with hundreds of windows. One person opening one window just a crack may not impact the safety and security of the building and its contents. But what happens when another is opened? And another?

Each of these points causes a gap in the system. They are entry points that allow external factors to get in and impact the overall structure and security of the system. Even if at one point the external elements had every reason for having access to the system in the first place.

Any type of system breach, no matter how small it may be, can be a business’s worst nightmare. Yet it’s more common than most business owners believe. It takes just one ignorant employee leaving a door open to put your data and your company at risk.

Diligence is essential. Security isn’t a one-time thing; it’s a lifetime endeavor. Just when you have one area under control, another potential problem opens up.

Do you know where the biggest insider threats lie within your business environment?