Tag Archives: security

5 Tips on Moving to the Cloud

Move to the cloudCloud computing will continue to grow over the next few years. If your business is done with handling bulky, expensive on-premises IT systems, consider moving to the cloud today. It’ll free up IT resources, streamline and add to your productivity, enable your remote workers, provide business recovery benefits and more.

If you’re like most people, though, you have fears of moving to the cloud — from talking with employees about which data moves to security. Address those fears and get the most out of your move. Here are five tips on how to start:

1. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing

You don’t have to be fully on-premises or in the cloud. Many companies benefit from a hybrid IT environment. If you don’t believe you can move all your operations to the cloud, choose the ones that you can and keep the rest in-house.

2. Create goals

You need to develop a mix of short- and long-term goals for what you want to accomplish through moving to the cloud. This way, you’ll know you’ll be on track for reaching your main objective — a successful cloud migration.

3. Improve communication channels

Everyone should be in the loop during a major IT system restructuring like this. Take time to keep everyone informed and give periodic updates or hold Q&A sessions to give employees a chance to respond. This involves bringing them into the process before decisions are made. This will increase buy-in and ensure a higher adoption rate.

4. Address security concerns

Due to many high-profile data breaches in recent years, your clients and personnel may be concerned about the security risks from a cloud migration. Despite these worries, many companies actually boost their security abilities by switching to a cloud storage provider. Address their concerns to alleviate fears.

5. Use this time to consolidate and reorder data

Like spring cleaning, moving to a cloud-based data center is a great time to consolidate and get rid of excessive data or structures that are no longer relevant or needed. Again, you don’t have to do all or nothing.

Need more tips?

Get more information in our ebook (PDF), Move to the Cloud. You can even start small and move your communications system to the cloud.

Go Cloud Communications

IT Professionals Are Like Star Wars Characters

star wars charactersAs many of us are still recovering after seeing “Rogue One,” mourning the passing of Carrie Fisher and greatly anticipating the next “Star Wars” film coming out later this year, you might have this iconic series on the mind. While the IT world is galaxies away from stormtroopers and Jedi knights, we still believe there are some similarities between the classic film characters and certain individuals you will encounter at work.

Han Solo: The Rebel

You’ve all known these IT professionals. They are great at what they do and not afraid to show off a little or bend a few rules, just like one of my favorite Star Wars protagonists, Han Solo. While tough to work with at times, they’ll always have your back when times get tough. They can go rogue, but it’s usually for good reason. And the Force is always with him.

Luke: The Newbie

N00b. We’ve all been the new guy or girl before. Just like Luke getting his first lightsaber or starting to learn about the ways of the Force, you need to be patient with this type of IT employee. While he or she might have a lot of hidden talent, this individual might also be intimidated by the weight of new responsibilities. Don’t scare workers like this off before they’re able to save your back when your industry’s equivalent of a Death Star shows up.

And … maybe be wary of their parents.

Princess Leia: The Fighter

She’s scrappy. She’s independent. She knows her way around a blaster. Much like the Han Solos in your office, she knows she’s good at what she does, but mostly prefers playing by the rules and knows how to work a crowd. Don’t let her imprisonment by Jabba the Hutt fool you — she’s always ready for a challenge. She’s always got a few tricks up her sleeve. And she’s definitely no damsel in distress. She’s the perfect gal to have on your team.

No one would know you’re related to the newbie.

Yoda: The Expert

Knows the ways of IT, he does. Mysterious. Wise. Every office needs a guru, just like all fledgling Jedi knights need masters like Yoda to show them the way. Whether you’re the Yoda of your department or know who is, don’t take these experts for granted.

Darth Vader: The Tyrant

Security. Standards. Order. Yeah, “no” is your middle name. Although you’re probably involved in your own Shadow IT projects, you have alarms, traps and systems set up to uncover rebels in your company who use unapproved software. But you’re not a bad guy. You’re just misunderstood. In your heart, you want to do the right thing; it’s just your company is preventing you from it.

Boba Fett: The Mercenary

You’re an original. You play by whatever rules you want, moving from gig-to-gig. You consult, sharing your expertise for the highest bidder. And you don’t take flack from anyone. Teams love to have you because you solve big problems. Some people don’t like working with you, but that’s not your issue; it’s theirs.

Love sci-fi? Me, too. Take Sci-Fi Personality Quiz to determine your sci-fi personality. This quiz totally groks you.

Lower Your Risk for Security Issues

While you may believe that your company’s chances of encountering a catastrophic natural disaster are slim, do you have the same outlook toward threats to your IT system? Do you believe that your cybersecurity measures are adequate enough to withstand a full-scale breach? Think again.

Protect your company with securityThese days, it would seem that no company is completely safe from data breaches. Take Target and Neimen Marcus, for example. In 2014, Target reported that 40 million customers had their debit and credit card information stolen during the holiday season, while hackers installed malicious software at Neimen Marcus stores in 2013, collecting consumers’ payment data during a four-month period, Forbes reported. Your company needs to take steps to protect its systems – today.

How important is cybersecurity?

A recent report from Bay Dynamics, a cyber risk analytics company, found that 26 percent of surveyed board executives said that cyber risks were their top priority this year. Surprisingly, in the survey, cyber risk fear outranked legal, competitive, financial and regulatory worries.

There’s bad news for IT professionals as well – 59 percent of board members who participated in the survey stated that one or more of their IT security executive team will lose their job should they fail to provide actionable information to prevent potential attacks.

How are you putting your systems at risk?

Your company cannot afford to fail to adequately protect its IT system. While creating a comprehensive risk analysis and securing your system are two major steps, there are more areas where you could be putting your business at risk.

For example, BYOD programs are increasing in popularity throughout the country. While useful for remote work policies, most studies show that these programs significantly heighten your chances for a data breach, according to Inc. Though organizations that handle sensitive information set up secure channels, an Advisen report indicates that 40 percent of BYOD employees don’t follow any security protocols to protect their devices from hackers.

Get more ideas about security

Your Competition Is Listening to Your Meetings

Data security is a hot topic today for CEOs, CTOs and IT professionals across the country. Data security, and breaches, are often front-page news where companies spend potentially billions of dollars to protect their customers and employees, as well as regain their brand’s reputation.

Security is important even in meetings. In fact, the Incident Management Group (IMG) lists its top five tips for planning a meeting. Besides venue security, they indicate how crucial it is to protect the content of your meeting and guard access control. CNN recently covered that hackers could secretly tap into corporate meetings – including board meetings. And ResearchGate noted that corporate spying is easier these days because of more open IT networks and policies.

Why should you secure your meetings and their access?

No matter whether you’re holding a meeting for all employees through a webcast or asking your team to collaborate on a new product – your company’s information and meetings are important and should be secure from potential hackers or your spying competition. A breach in your company’s security could lead to a potential loss in revenue, innovation and consumer respect.

Beautiful young businesswoman using mobile phone while working with laptop in office. Upset or dissapointed expression at her faceIf you’re holding an all-employee meeting, what were to happen if your competitor caught wind of a new product? Or what if that team you’ve asked to collaborate is hacked, releasing notes about the product they’re working on? And when your brand is impacted, it’s difficult to recover. Target’s data breach from 2014 cost the company 10 million dollars in refunding customers due to lawsuits, but think about the impact to the brand. AdvertisingAge indicated Target had to scrap some expensive ad campaigns after the breach as well as ramp up others to help the brand recover.

Here are two thoughts about how you can know without a doubt that your meetings are completely secure:

How is your network security and redundancy?

As your online meeting service must travel along network paths to communicate with the central service and meeting attendees, you want to ensure this pathway is fully encrypted.

Not all online meeting services have encryption – some are open, like Google Hangouts.

How is your meeting data stored?

Following a successful presentation, are you confident that no unauthorized companies or hackers are able to access this data? Especially if you are dealing with sensitive company information, you want to be confident that no entity with malicious intent will be able to target or access any information shared in your meetings.

Someone should conduct, host or monitor the meeting. You should have access to these stored and protected files, keeping your company and the contents of your meetings available and yet safe from prying eyes or ears.

Get the latest on secure meetings.