Entries by Alan Sielbeck, Jr.

Is There A Safe Way to Use The Cloud?

Cloud technology has grown to new heights in recent years. Ten years ago ‘the cloud’ was jargon almost nobody was aware of, today it is a phrase used almost daily in offices worldwide. More and more businesses today are taking advantage of the huge benefits cloud services have to offer.

The sudden and widespread adoption of this new technology has raised questions too. Some want to fully understand what the cloud is before committing their vital company data to it. Most want to find out what the cloud can do for them. Everyone wants to know, is it safe?

What Is The Cloud?

The Cloud is an abstract name for an engineering principle that allows you to store, retrieve, and work on your data without worrying about the specifics of precisely where or how it is kept. Storing your data on the cloud essentially means saving it on a server without worrying …

What Can an MSP Do to Kickstart Your Business?

Business today relies on technology in a way which we have never seen before. It makes up the core of almost every firm currently in existence. Today going digital impacts small companies more than large ones; it can make new opportunities possible and accelerate your path to success.

The advantages of modern technology to small business is likely to be present already within your firm, but so too are the disadvantages. Faster transactions, quicker payment, accurate inventory, and improved customer outreach serve to boost our capabilities. While complex set-up, systems management, and ever-present security threats hold us back from our full potential.

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can eliminate the drawbacks, sharpen up your systems, and allow your business to grow to its full capacity in the modern business landscape.

What An MSP Does For You – There are a staggering number of systems a modern business is expected to keep tabs on …

Book Recommendation – The Dream Manager

Title: The Dream Manager

Author: Matthew Kelly

The Problem:

Facing a turnover rate of over 100% for a quarter, Admiral
Cleaning had a massive issue with turnover, morale, and engagement from their
staff.  Managing profitability and
productivity as a small business owner is challenging enough, particularly so in
a tight job market.  The cost of continual
hiring, dis-engaged employees, and low morale contribute to thin margins and
missed targets.  The reality is, few
people work for money alone.  To unlock
the potential of your team, you’ve got to ensure 1.) your employees have dreams,
2.) actively learn what those dreams are, and 3.) facilitate the planning to
reach those dreams.

By seeking to understand each team member – their reason for
being – their wants, dreams, ambitions, and hopes – you can attain happier
customers, healthier margins, and stronger relationships with happier, more engaged
employees. 

Takeaways:

When facing turnover, disengaged employees, and low productivity, many companies throw money at the problem.Rarely do employers seek to understand why …

Has Your Email Been Hijacked?

A common complaint by many users in recent months has been spam emails appearing to come from their own accounts.  Despite not knowing why, reports of friends, family, and contacts receiving spam email that appears to come from them has worried many people.

Some have had their accounts suspended or shut down by their service providers as a result.  For many, this experience can be highly disruptive. It’s a problem that can cause many issues in both your professional and personal life.

The key to defense is learning how these attacks happen, and figuring out what you can do to protect yourself and your contacts against them.

Hackers Using Your Email Against You

Scammers that send out spam messages are continually looking for ways to make the process faster, cheaper, and more efficient.  It’s the best way in which they can make more money every day by scamming unsuspecting victims for even …

Don’t Get Hooked by Spear Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks have been around for a long time in IT. Designed to steal your credentials or trick you into installing malicious software, they have persisted in the IT world precisely because they have been so devastatingly simple and effective. Today, a more modern and more effective version of the same attack is commonly used.

A typical phishing attack involves an attacker sending out a malicious email to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of users. The attacker’s email is designed to look like it comes from a bank, financial service, or even the tax office. Often aiming to trick you into logging in to a fake online service, a phishing attack captures the login details you enter so an attacker may use them to enter the genuine service later.

By sending out tens of thousands of emails at a time, attackers can guarantee that even if only one half of …

Professional Businesses Deserve Professional Setup

Watching a business grow is as satisfying as it is rewarding. Whether opening a new office, starting a new department, or bringing in a new employee; it’s a positive step in the right direction. Upward growth often requires new office tech and IT changes to bring new staff fully online.

At a minimum, a new computer will be needed for employees to get started quickly and hit the ground running. New staff or an entire department may require a server, printer, or additional networking hardware to cope with extra demand.

A tech smart business should give careful consideration to how it sources and sets up its hardware and software. It can be tempting to pick a simple solution off the shelf from the nearest retailer.

Modern manufacturers often make it easy to get set up with a new device straight out the box. Using default settings and a simple setup means a …

Is Your Physical Security as Good As Your Cybersecurity?

Headlines are often made by firms that have been hacked by “elite” cybercriminals. These events sound high tech, sophisticated, and interesting. The truth is almost always an amateur attacker chancing their luck with an unpatched security hole or bad password. Physical break-ins affect businesses far more commonly and cause much more damage, but get talked about far less.

Similar to technology hacks, most physical security threats come from criminals that chance their luck on businesses that look poorly secured. On a rare occasion, they may strike a business owner that has forgot to lock up or failed to set the security alarm.

By breaking in, these criminals exploit poor physical security to cause damage and steal valuables. Typically, by destroying or taking critical assets, a criminal may make a few hundred in profit while the total damage done to the business is counted in the tens of thousands.

While most IT security …

Invest Well in Your IT Security

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a common and useful rule for many business owners. It serves to protect your business against unnecessary costs and unneeded downtime. While protecting your business against many types of danger, it poses an outright threat when it comes to IT security.

Security threats to your firm move so fast that your IT should be working twice as hard as your company just to keep up. Every day, hundreds of thousands of new malware threats are released. Falling even hours behind means any one of these attacks can threaten your business.

The single most dangerous thing IT security can do is stand still. Keeping up with the latest advice, technology, and updates the security industry offers is vital to keep your business safe. This makes up much of the unseen job of IT professionals. Hackers never stop looking for new ways into your system, …

Save Money and Time with Managed IT

IT services can be one of the largest and most unpredictable expenses within a business. Unexpected failures, mandatory upgrades, and sudden staff changes can happen quickly and be very expensive.

These factors, a part of the IT world, make IT departments costly, hard to manage, and difficult to budget for.

Switching your business to managed IT services can lower costs and reduce unpredictable expenses. Making the switch can cut down management overheads and reduce budgets to a fixed period cost. Here’s how.

Reducing Infrastructure

It’s common in many firms for single tasks to be required to pass through multiple devices before they can be delivered or shipped. Invoices, payroll, and digital deliverables are particularly common culprits. When looking to improve efficiency and lower unnecessary costs, this is typically the first place to trim fat.

Instead of adding office clutter with more devices, cloud resources can streamline processes. Using cloud-based technology to do some …

Build Better Meetings

Business meetings can be a double-edged sword. Often they are as likely to rally staff and build momentum as they are to halt progress and kill productivity.

Productive meetings are key to keeping team members on track and everyone on the same page. A poor meeting is as harmful to the progress of a project as losing multiple members of staff.

Finding the balance is important for good business. There are tools and techniques to make sure that your meetings are not standing in the way of your business.

Streamlined Scheduling

One of the biggest hurdles to planning a meeting can be simply booking a space. Finding an available room, with the right equipment, in a time and place which everyone can agree on can be a logistical nightmare. Repeated emails back and forth to agree on the venue alone can consume hours out of the day.

There are technical tools available to …