The IT Support Learning Hub
The most educational business technology blog for Southern California executives, featuring insider tips, articles, and videos on how to get the best IT results.
Have you ever tried to go to sleep in a noisy place? Let’s say you’re on a plane and you want to catch some zzz’s before arriving at your destination. You try to drift off, but you hear the people talking in the seat behind you, the baby crying four rows ahead, and the high-pitched squeal of your air vent. Although you’re trying to sleep, your mind focuses on the noise in your environment, causing you to arrive at your destination just as tired as when you departed, plus annoyed and irritated that your plan to be well-rested for your meeting (or vacation, or your day) was disrupted.
I like watching professional magicians. I recently had the opportunity to see David Copperfield live at the MGM Grand and, I must admit, I found him absolutely amazing. When you watch him up close, it’s impossible to tell exactly what he does to create his extraordinary illusions.
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In a recent blog article, Marty Kaufman recounts the story of meeting with a business owner who was panicked and in crisis mode because of a cyber attack. If we could backtrack to the days, weeks and months before the attack, we would probably find that the business owner did not pay much attention to cyber security at all because he didn’t think that a data breach could happen to him. Well, it could, and it did. We can’t go back in time and undo all the damage that has been done by this cyber attack, but we can help other executives avoid stumbling over some common misconceptions that unknowingly increase cyber risk.
Just recently, I learned about a local business that experienced a cyber attack. All of the employees were sent home to work from their personal computers because the owner was afraid that using their business systems would make matters worse. This business owner called and asked me to come over to talk with him about the situation. As I sat in his conference room and discussed what was going on, he was actually being attacked while I was there! Bank accounts and financial information were being compromised real time.
Threats from malware, complicated projects, and out-of-date equipment are front and center in executive conversations with Information Technology (IT) support firms right now. This past month, demand for my consulting time has been at an all-time high. As I advise business leaders and managers who are trying to get better results from IT, the first part of the discussion usually consists of defining exactly what IT is.
I bet most of you don’t wake up in the middle of the night sweating about Internet Bandwidth – my team and I do. Over the course of the last few years, the Internet and connectivity have become one of the most important topics of business conversations. Why, you ask? Today, almost every organization uses the Internet and its associated bandwidth for mission-critical applications. Companies are using cloud based-applications ranging environmental control systems (thermostats) and billing software, to ERPs and Shop Floor Control systems. Software manufacturers and the users of these systems (you and your employees) have become completely dependent on Internet availability. We expect it from jacks on the wall and from Wi-Fi systems, and we’re lost without it. Even a little blip in business Internet performance today interrupts voice calls, manufacturing production, billing, warehouse management, distribution systems, medical office patient processing, etc.
This month has been a security and compliance whirlwind! The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018. I’m sure you’ve received a LOT of emails from companies notifying you that they’ve updated their privacy policies. This is just one step companies are taking to become GDPR compliant. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about GDPR and compliance, so here’s a brief overview about what’s going on, and what you may need to do.
Congratulations, we’ve made it through the first quarter of 2018! Usually, the first few months of the year are spent working out the kinks in your strategic plan and fumbling around with planning and KPI software (…or is that just me?). I hope you are getting your stride and hitting your 2018 milestones. Now’s the time when business owners and executives typically start thinking hard about using technology as a competitive advantage. Tax season is behind us, and many companies have begun focusing on Information Technology (IT) related objectives. The problem is, many people have very little idea about how to approach the subject of IT problems and opportunities.
March has been all about IT security and compliance inquiries – and it’s a good thing. This month alone, there’s been over 2 million documented cases of data breaches and cyber attacks – and that’s just the ones that have been reported! It seems that cyber criminals have shifted their focus to ransomware and data breaches. Why? Well, the financial opportunity for hackers is enormous. There’s a general lack of security precautions being implemented and enforced throughout companies, leaving a ton of personal information and corporate data vulnerable to attacks.
With the holidays firmly behind us, 2018 is in full swing. February always seems to be the time when activity in the business world increases dramatically. We’re seeing business owners and managers focusing on their strategic objectives. Their first order of business: getting rid of any obstacle in their way. In some cases, this obstacle is information technology (IT).