Data has effectively become another currency - and just like any other currency, some is much more valuable than others. This is especially the case where your business’ data is concerned, and why it is so crucial that you keep it safe.
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Cybersecurity has become an overly complicated, increasingly important part of our lives. These days, many people are concerned about their privacy; who is collecting their data, what data is being collected, how to prevent information from being stolen, how to prevent breaches, etc. Then there are the traditional threats like malware, ransomware, and phishing that are not only becoming more common place but are capable of doing more damage.
I have a confession to make: it’s actually a pretty trying time to be in the IT business right now. A year ago, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement for IT and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) about an increased risk of being targeted by cybercriminals.
In managing business technology, we are always talking about downtime--how expensive downtime is, how downtime hurts productivity, how there are a multitude of separate situations that can cause downtime. That kind of doom and gloom may not get you to act, but it may just put you off. Today, instead of downtime, we thought we would talk about uptime.
We’ve been talking about Facebook quite a bit on our blog, and for good reason - we’re all concerned with our privacy, and Facebook has been notoriously front-and-center when it comes to Internet privacy. In this post we will break down Facebook’s privacy settings to help you gain control over your personal identity while using the social network.
Whether you love, hate, or are just indifferent about Facebook (no judgement here), it’s worth configuring and locking down your account to control what others can see about you.
Facebook is front and center when it comes to privacy-related issues worldwide, so in this blog we are going to discuss how you can take control of your personal information. This post will also serve as an excellent starting point for anyone who doesn’t understand 2-factor authentication.
For the modern business, not having a backup system in place is inexcusable. If you use digital data to run your business, you need to protect the data you can’t replace by having it backed up regularly. Some businesses have been around long enough to have files that don’t have any practical application in the course of business. You don’t need this data, and you don’t need a copy of it. Today, we will discuss how to select and choose which pieces of data you should seek to protect.
For many, Facebook is a huge part of daily life, whether you want to think of it that way or not. There are more than two billion active users. That means if you pluck any 4 random human beings from anywhere in the world, at least one of them likely logged into Facebook today.
It’s important to know that you still have control over your information, so in today’s blog we’re going to talk about a few ways you can take control over your online identity on the world’s largest social network.
If your business uses Office 365, your users get access to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage. Your employees can upload, sync, and share documents to collaborate with colleagues. This can be a good thing, but you may want to control how employees are sharing company documents.
Did you know that, of all the vulnerabilities your business has to cyberthreats, your employees are one of the riskiest, simply due to their exposure to your business technology? If your business isn’t secure, it will become incredibly more difficult to serve your clientele. For today’s tip, we’re breaking down a few ways that you and your employees can positively contribute to your business’ security.
IT inventory management is the process of making sure that your information technology resources are maintained to be their most effective, such as what needs to be updated, which licenses need to be renewed, and whether your resources are helping you accomplish your organizational goals. It is essentially a fancy way of saying asset management, specific to your IT - and it is a very important process for any business.
The information technology solutions that are out there for businesses to utilize are constantly improving. While these improvements are beneficial to your operational abilities, you do need to make sure you are staying up to date. This is where a managed service provider can help. Here, in the final part of our series exploring the value of managed services, we’re considering procurement assistance.
Imagine a world where there wasn’t a singular dishonest being. Passwords would simply vanish from our everyday lives, as we would not be paranoid of a breach or other forms of cybercriminal activity. The harsh reality is this will never become reality. Even worse, the cybercriminals don’t just skim for lack of passwords. Instead, the dishonest criminal goes even further; they take advantage of common or recurring passwords. So how do you know if your password practices are leaving you vulnerable? Google is here to help.
Data is of key importance to many modern businesses, and with the help of a managed service provider, it can become even more useful. Here, as we continue our series on the value that a managed service provider can offer you, we’ll focus on the ways that data can be harnessed to your business’ advantage.
Just a short time ago, applications were very specific to the type of devices they could be used on. Today, software communicates in a way that has transformed the usability of our apps. One of the most useful examples, are the expansions on messaging. Messaging no longer means cellphone-to-cellphone, or computer-to-computer. Today, we take a look at how you can utilize the iMessage application’s versatility, by getting it on your Windows 10 PC.
It wasn't too long ago that we had to lug a computer into the shop to get it fixed if something were to go wrong with it. Frankly, with the pace that business is conducted at today, this approach simply isn’t effective for businesses any longer. Now, with the support of a managed service provider, support is available much more efficiently and affordably than ever. Check out our series for more information into other subject.
Information technology plays a crucial role for today’s businesses, but in order for it to do so, these businesses need technology to use. IT procurement is a crucial part of any business’ success, which means that any business needs to have a provider that can deliver the value that they need. The last part of our series will take a look at hardware procurement and the value it brings.
Managed services offer businesses an improved means of obtaining and managing the technology they rely on. With data being so important to the modern business, much of this technology is devoted to storing, securing, and leveraging this data. Working with a managed service provider can help a business get the most value out of their data management practices. Let’s go over how.
While information technology is an important part of the modern business and its processes, it isn’t always the easiest topic for the average business user to figure out. In this series, we’ve been exploring how a managed service provider can add value to your business and its IT. Here, we’re focusing on how the managed service provider can serve as a knowledgeable consultant.
Information technology support has developed and evolved as the methods and equipment used have improved. As a result of this development, there are a variety of ways that managed IT providers can deliver additional value through their services. In this series, we’re exploring the many benefits a business can gather through managed services - here, focusing on the support available.
In order for one methodology to replace another, it has to provide more value than the one that came before. In terms of IT support, managed services can deliver far greater value than the familiar break/fix method. In this series, we’ll explore the value that managed services contribute to a business, starting with their proactive nature.
Why do we focus so strongly on business productivity? In many cases, it can be boiled down to a basic equation: the more productive a business is, the greater the value that its actions will have. This is just one way that managed services can bring a business value - by helping to make its actions more productive. That’s why it is only fitting that we look at productivity in this first installment of our series examining the added value that managed services provide.
Sometimes, your business may have a need that requires you to bring in an external resource, including assistance with the technology it leverages. Here, in the third part of our series, we’ll see how a managed service provider can act as a consultant for your various business needs.
Emails are a wonderfully useful solution, and quite possibly one of the most commonly used ones in the workplace today. However, not everyone is using every capability that their email solutions offer - and it has led to a lot of time being wasted in the workplace. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how to help cut back on the time spent organizing your emails.
Cybersecurity is a big point of emphasis for the modern IT administrator. For the private business, it’s important for enough to be done in order to secure the business’ assets, and the integrity of the network itself. Unfortunately, when looking at public computing resources, there isn’t enough talent available to properly secure the systems that government entities rely on.
Technology is a requirement in today’s businesses - but just having technology isn’t nearly enough. You need to make sure that you are performing the proper maintenance activities as well, to prolong the useful life of your solutions. Here, we’ll review a few basics to keeping your technology solutions ready for your use… and how we can help with that.
You may not think much about managing mobile data, but if your business routinely transmits sensitive data over the Internet, you should. Today, businesses of all types are using the Internet as a tool to drive their sales and marketing processes, but they don’t often consider the threats that come in when they use it for productivity. Today, we will go over what a Mobile Information Management solution is, and how to leverage it for your business.
If you’ve spent any time using a computer, you probably know what a URL is. It is the address of a website. It typically starts with “http//:” or “https://” and directs the Internet browser on where the user would like to surf. Nowadays a threat could be created by manipulating the URL. Today, we’ll take you through this threat.
Controlling your organization’s data relies on keeping your network and computing infrastructure free from threats. Early detection allows your business to actively confront risks before they develop into major issues. However, threats are becoming more difficult to detect in early stages, and one hidden threat could doom your entire business.
To keep your business’ network free from threats, and to keep your software working effectively, patching the software it uses is extremely important. The reason is that the threat landscape is always evolving. Recently, Microsoft announced that they have released an emergency out-of-band security update to fix two security issues, an atypical act for the software giant.
Gmail and the applications associated with it seem to have some level of inherent trust among users. We just don’t anticipate threats to come in via something from Google. However, it does happen, as a recent spat of phishing has shown using Gmail and Google Calendar. What’s worse, this particular scam has been around for some time.
There is no question that Google is an absolute giant in computing, having moved from web search functionality to a much wider variety of applications. These applications now make up the G Suite, and are used by many, many businesses to accomplish their goals. Here, we’ll go over some of these features and how they can benefit your operations.
One of the most - if not the most - critical resource your business relies upon is your workforce. Your employees are what keep your operations, well, operational. As a result, they are one of your most important resources to maintain as well. They are human beings, and without the correct treatment and management, even your best employee could burn out.
Phishing has quickly become the most predominant form of cyberattack due to the method’s simplicity. It solely relies on a user’s gullibility. The weakest link to any business is typically the employees. In order to protect your business, you and your team need to identify these social engineering cyberattack attempts. Let’s look at a few tips on how to recognize a phishing attempt.
How concerned are you with your business' cybersecurity? When you envision your business in the future, do you see yourself constantly fighting cyberattacks, or paying ransom? Hopefully not, but what if cybersecurity turns into one of the most difficult parts to maintaining a steady business? Today, we will look into the future and hypothesize what your business may need to do to defend against cybercriminals.
Traditionally, small businesses don’t use their data in the same way as larger companies. This is largely because they may not think they have a lot of data. Well, I’m here to tell you that even small businesses can have big data. Let’s go over three ways small business can use their data to their benefit.
There have been people talking about the oncoming AR trend for almost a decade now. Google Glass was supposed to revolutionize technology as we know it, but due to security and privacy concerns, it has never come to pass. AR is, however, a growth market and applications for the technology are growing rapidly. Today, we’ll take a look at augmented reality, and what to expect from the technology in the coming years.
The more time that passes the more files your business accumulates. These files need to be stored in a place where your staff has access to them. Since a lot of today’s work is collaborative, finding the right file sharing and collaboration solution is extremely important for the growing SMB. Today, we will tell you some things you need to do to maintain efficient file management systems.
If you were given the task to look up a phone number, call a business, and navigate to the new-to-you area, would you be able to without your smartphone? For some of us the answer will still be yes, for a vast majority, the answer is no. Smartphones have quickly transitioned from a calling device, to one of our most valuable tools. Shopping, navigating, video streaming, and an unbelievable amount of other capabilities are all at the palm of your hand.
With all the communication options available today, it can still be hard to beat the convenience and simplicity of the telephone. However, the phone is far from a perfect solution - it can be expensive, for one. However, what if there was a way for you to get a fully-featured telephone service with a variety of tools, without having to pay an arm and a leg?
The way a business approaches its network security is a crucial consideration - especially to a business that is planning to have a future. This has contributed to cybersecurity becoming a multi-hundred-billion-dollar (per year) industry. In its short history, cybersecurity has had a huge impact on businesses, so we felt it would be useful to go through some of the highlights of its deployment.
When it boils down to it, there are really only two ways to operate a business: proactively, or reactively. While many businesses still rely on their reactivity to deal with their technology issues, the opposite approach is demonstrably more effective for the modern business. Let’s explore some of the effects that a proactive and reactive strategy can each have on your operations.
Is your business equipped with the necessary tooling to adopt remote working strategies? Remote workers have an incredible amount of benefits to contribute to your business’ operations. Remote work is not possible without a well-thought-out strategy. Today, we’ll review what your business needs in order to capitalize on remote workers.
We typically use this blog to share information about the technology that a business should be leveraging - but in this blog, we’ve decided to focus on a different group that is increasingly reliant on technology: students. As these pupils will someday make up the workforce and almost certainly utilize technology on a daily basis, it is important that their education reflects this increase in their curriculums. Here, we’ll consider some of the effects (good and bad) that this has had.
It isn’t uncommon for business owners to keep their knowledge close to the chest, hesitant to share what some might consider valuable proprietary information with their staff or - heaven forbid - their clients. While we agree that you shouldn’t necessarily overshare with your clients, your staff needs to have access to some information in order to do their jobs
Despite its whimsical name, phishing is a very serious threat to everyone, especially today’s businesses. This means that you need to be prepared to identify its warning signs and avoid risky situations. Here, we’re offering a few tips to help you do so - make sure you share them with your employees as well!
Any business in operation today needs to keep modern realities concerning cybersecurity at top-of-mind if they are going to successfully maintain the business going forward. One major issue to be cognizant of is the increasing prevalence of phishing attacks.
For many consumers, carrying cash is a rarity. Debit and credit cards have taken over as the most widely used payment method. The convenience of not being given a handful of loose change must come at a price -- so how much will it cost you?
Business communications, which is the succinct way to say the sharing of information between people both internal and external to a company, is a key player in that company’s success. Here, we’ll analyze the different types of communication that a business could leverage, and the solutions that best enable them.
There is no denying that the cloud has exploded into the fastest growing business computing method, and for good reason. The cloud has a plethora of options that are designed to meet the needs of the modern business. Today, we examine how your business can leverage the inexhaustible supply of cloud options.
For many tech-savvy individuals, the expression “Google it” is a well-tested, and approved, method to researching. Are you getting the most out of Google search? Today, we share useful tips on how to better optimize your Google search queries.
Microsoft offers solutions that have a proven history of being assets when businesses adopt them - but like most any solution, what may fit well for one, may not fit well for all. Here, we’ll consider one of Microsoft offerings to help you determine if it is the right solution for your needs and requirements.
With more than $16 billion being scammed from more than 16 million people, there is clearly an issue at hand that could use some expert insight. Those who are familiar with Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can might know that the movie was based on the memoirs of Frank Abagnale, former con man and longtime security consultant of the FBI. With his 45 years of experience with the bureau, Abagnale can safely by considered an expert in cybersecurity and fraud protection.
Green technologies just a short time ago had a reputation for being costly, rather than cost-saving. However, business owners are starting to see a multitude of benefits for going green, from cost savings to increased customer appreciation for environmental conservation.
You would think that Upstate New York would be the last place cybercriminals would pay attention to, but as recent events show us, no place is safe from fraud. In May of this year, our area was under attack from a SMiShing scam, then in June there was a rash of phone scams. Now, our area is facing a skimming attack. Read on to learn more about it and how to protect yourself.
Many users want to use personal devices in a business setting, but some businesses do not support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) due to fear of data loss. There are a few options to separate work data, but not restrict users from their own personal apps or data. Today we will look at how your business can take advantage of employees that already having a capable device, and how you can keep them from compromising security.
We spend a lot of time talking about managed IT services. That’s where you pay a monthly contract to have your technology taken care of for you. There are a lot of pros to this, especially for a business that values uptime and efficiency... but sometimes, you just need that certain computer working, and signing another contract isn’t in the cards. We get it. Here’s how we can still help.
For the small business looking to transform both their communications system and their IT budget, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a great solution. VoIP can deliver clear and reliable calling services that some landline services simply don’t offer. We take a look at VoIP’s more interesting features in this week’s blog.
The Chromecast, Google’s offer to the growing streaming market, is a pretty handy device - even in the business setting. I know, I know, it is a consumer device, but some of its capabilities directly translate to professional use. Here, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up your Chromecast, four useful-for-business features, and the process of resetting your Chromecast if it ever needs it.
While the issue of cyberbullying is often associated with young people, in reality it is a phenomenon which transcends age, gender, and class. The 24/7 online, anonymous, and always available without respite virtual environment has changed not only how we communicate with each other, but the mores of society - including the business world.
Every summer, there is a new crop of recent graduates seeking employment opportunities. This is especially true here in Oneonta. Area businesses should be paying close attention to these young graduates and trying to entice them into employment, as they are likely to have fostered precisely the skills these businesses are seeking.
It’s not a secret (well, not anymore) that the big tech companies have influence. These companies, that include Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, have been in the spotlight more and more as the argument of data privacy has gotten louder and louder. Public sentiment is starting to blow back on their business model--and since, Yahoo, once the predominant name in Internet-based services, was broken up and sold to Verizon for cents on the dollar after being at the center of the largest data breach in recorded history--there have been rumblings that there has to be something done to protect the public from major publicly-traded technology companies that use individual’s data in ways that some deem unethical.
Do you use different passwords on every account you’ve created? Are these passwords sufficiently complex? Chances are at some point you have used a repeating password. Remembering 35 different logins for 35 different applications is hard enough, so it’s not surprising that the majority of people will use the same password for many applications. Bad password practices are all too common. So, how can you fix this?
Let me ask you a simple question: how many cell phones have you had over the years? For some of us, upgrades are a yearly occurrence. For others possibly bi-yearly. Have you ever wondered where your old cell phone goes after it is out of your hands?
Thanks to the increasing capabilities of modern computing networks, businesses have been able to experience enhanced productivity. One such capability, cloud computing, has allowed businesses to reach outside of their physical location to conduct their operations. Here, we’ll review some of cloud computing’s other benefits.
Budgeting for your technology can be pretty difficult. You never really know when some problem is going to present itself and cost your business an arm and a leg. Since you can’t always see what’s coming, saving money when you can is important. Let’s take a look at a few ways that you can save money on your business’ IT.
We have finally reached the end of our guide to help you purchase your next computer. In the other four parts, we covered how you could identify the specifications your device would need for your intended use of it. Here, we’ll review some other assorted considerations to keep in mind as you finalize your new device.
Maintaining network security is always a priority for the security-minded company, but if your organization’s strategy is to fly under the radar, you need a new plan. No business is too small to be a victim of a network breach. What most people who are tasked with coming up with a network security strategy for a small business don’t always realize is that threats are everywhere. Today, we’re going to take a look at planning a secure and reliable Wi-Fi strategy that doesn’t inherently add to your business’ risk.
No matter how well your new computer works, you aren’t going to be able to do much with it if you can’t see what you’re doing. You will need a display. Of course, there are a lot of considerations to make when selecting one. Here, we’ve outlined these considerations, with some of the options you’ll encounter.
Picture this… In your office you have a bag filled with thousands of envelopes. In each envelope there is $242 in cash. Unbeknownst to you, a thief has gained access to your office, but you don’t realize this until 279 days later. How much is this going to cost your business?
When it comes to addressing bullying in our schools, whether it is ‘traditional’ or cyber, communication is critical to not only support victims of bullying, but also to prevent it. We’ve been following debates held by the Cooperstown PTA to discuss how to handle bullying and wanted to share our thoughts. Although bullying and cyberbullying are very tricky subjects, we feel that we can learn a lot about how schools handle these sensitive issues and share these insights with other businesses.
As we continue our computer buying guide with part three, we’re diving into the topic of storage space. As a general rule, modern gadgets have a few available options in terms of storage - not to mention external storage options - but the brand and version of the device can have an impact on the amount of space available. As you select your desktop or laptop, its storage capacity is crucial to consider.
Deep web and dark web. What’s the difference? Perhaps you’ve been using these words interchangeably. The dark web has a reputation for being the most toxic place on the internet, and for quite a few good reasons. Today we will dive deep into the dark web and why this reputation has been formed.
Downtime is a major problem for businesses, and it’s largely a result of technology taking over the workplace. Since many jobs rely on technology to be done properly, it stands to reason that broken-down technology can pose a considerable issue for businesses--not to mention the costs that are associated with downtime and maintenance. A help desk can alleviate some of the pressure that the average employee feels as a result of relying on technology in the workplace.
Part two of our desktop buying guide will dig into the details of RAM, or random-access memory. We hope to clear up misconceptions about what RAM actually is, as many users don’t understand the difference between storage and memory. Who knows? You might learn a thing or two to take with you when you purchase your next desktop.
Without a doubt, the Internet is one of humanity's most impressive inventions. 50 years ago, the predecessor to the Internet that most of the world depends on, called ARPANET, was launched. Today, we will talk about how that innovation turned into the Internet, and reorganized the way people interacted with computing systems.
When you are in the market for some new computers for your business, ensuring that you are targeting the right hardware is important. To educate people on what they should be looking for in a new computer, we have decided to put together a multi-part series detailing the different parts of a computer. In part one, we will take a look at the CPU.
There’s a reason that cybercrime is so popular: it is no longer reserved for those with extensive programming knowledge to profit from. Now, according to a report by Deloitte entitled Black Market Ecosystem: Estimating the Cost of “Pwnership”, there is a complete economy built around easily accessible hacking tools that don’t require specialized knowledge to leverage.
If you take a look at any computer in an office environment, there is a solid chance that it is running the Windows operating system. Whenever we have the opportunity, we like to share tips and tricks to help both normal and power users alike get the most out of their operating system. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to make navigating your computer just a little bit easier.
Ransomware attacks grew less common in both 2018 and thus far in 2019 when compared to 2017. Unfortunately, recent events have made it more likely that this trend will reverse in the near future. Why is that? Simple: some municipalities have set a precedent of paying up.
It’s imperative that you keep your IT infrastructure under control, but many organizations push it to the side. The problem is that ignoring IT often makes it so that you aren’t properly evaluating your technology infrastructure and support, meaning that you could be wasting time and resources that would be better spent elsewhere. Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not your IT systems are being maintained properly.
Consider something for a moment: aside from their size and the resources at their disposal, what makes a small to medium-sized business so different from a large, enterprise-sized one? If you really consider it, there isn’t all that much. This is why many SMBs have turned to managed services… to receive IT support comparable to what the large businesses get.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
This quote is frequently attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and while it may not have actually been said by the Founding Father, it still teaches a valuable lesson - especially where disaster recovery is concerned. In other words, you need to make sure you have a working disaster recovery strategy - working being the key point.
If you've ever had your smartphone stolen, you can attest to the frustration and potential risk that it brings. Many organizations and legislators are working to muzzle the issue, and there are steps that you can personally take to help prevent your device from being stolen. Let's take a look at how to prevent smartphone theft, and how to respond if your gadget is stolen.
Nobody enjoys getting spam in their email inbox. It's annoying, it can take up precious time to sift through, and did we mention that it's annoying? Every email user is familiar with spam, but not everyone may know how spam got its infamous name. The answer may surprise you and make you chuckle.
Some terms are thrown around like everyone knows what they are. This is especially the case with IT and technology solutions. Perhaps it’s a result of them being around for quite some time in professional environments, but it doesn’t help those who are unfamiliar with the technology. One term that we should all understand is “firewall,” as it’s omnipresent in the business sector, but it’s far from the only security solution you’ll need to guarantee safety.
Windows 10 calls on the success (and failures) of previous versions of the operating system to deliver a truly dynamic solution to users. To get the most out of your Windows 10 workstation, we recommend following these five tips. They are simpler than you might think, and you can get unprecedented value out of them.
Many businesses have taken the cloud into consideration as their next technology implementation… but there’s more to adopting a cloud solution than going to the cloud store and asking for one. First, you need to determine what kind of cloud solution is best suited to your needs.
Business owners try to avoid downtime like the plague, but it’s often a challenge to do so. The impact of downtime can be devastating for even the most well-to-do business, and this is even more so the case when you bring profits and bottom lines into view. We’ll take a look at how you can calculate the cost of a downtime event.
Mobile devices accompany us more or less everywhere, leading us to use them more and more frequently in all aspects of lie, including for business purposes. As a result, cybercriminals have even more motivation to target them. To help you avoid a mobile device being the downfall of your company’s security, we’ve assembled a few practices you and your staff should adopt.
Just like you can form habits to be more productive, you can also form habits that expose your organization to risky situations, namely security problems. Your employees in particular are likely to have picked up a couple of nasty habits over time, so it’s up to you to address them and keep them from becoming an issue in the long term.
“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti
While breakfast is commonly known as the most important meal of the day, lunch can be an influential part of the workday, especially where team building and morale is concerned. Here at Directive, we’ve long used our Crock-Pot Thursday lunches as a means of creating a more cohesive team.
We are in a very interesting part of history. Technology is becoming more and more prevalent in and for every part of our lives. For the modern business, emerging technologies can mean big profits if they are implemented and utilized properly. Today, we’re going to take a look at a couple of the emerging technologies that businesses are using to enhance the long-term outlook of their endeavor.
Cloud solutions have proven their value in many different business applications, a major one being the ability to use a cloud service as a storage solution. By doing so, a business can enjoy a few additional advantages as compared to one that relies on more traditional storage solutions.
While each business today features its own balance of company culture and processes, there are certain varieties of software that all companies in operation today should be leveraging. Here, we’ll go over what these solutions are, and how they can benefit you.