Would you drive around in a car without car insurance? Then why would you run your business without cyber insurance?
If you’re in business, chances are you handle large amounts of electronic customer data. Whether that’s email addresses, payment information, or personal health information...every business these days has access to some sort of sensitive data.
Our government protects this sensitive data by establishing various privacy and security regulations. Have you heard of HIPAA, PCI, GDPR, or FERPA? How about CCPA? The list of regulations that businesses need to comply with is growing every year.
Although most businesses strive to follow all of the rules and best practices, many are not. It’s simply too much for many companies to keep up with the latest cybersecurity trends, threats, and best practices. And this struggle to keep up with cybersecurity has shown in the business sector. In 2019 alone, over 7.9 billion records were exposed through data breaches.
A security breach can be detrimental to your bottom line. No matter what company you are, or what industry you’re in it’s important to ensure compliance to avoid penalties.
Breaches in HIPPA can range from $50 to $100,000; GDPR has strict fines for non-compliance, up to 4% of global revenue (this is currently only in the EU, but similar issues will be coming to the US very soon). Cyber insurance is relatively easy to get and cheap, but make sure you get the proper provider. A breach in cyber security can be extreme. For example, Target just sued their cyber insurer up to $74 Million for a 2013 breach.
Compliance management is essential for anyone doing business in today's digital age, it can save you from negligence and losing millions of dollars. The United States version of GDPR will be coming soon, within the next year or so; make sure you are ahead of the curve. If you’re not compliant you won’t get MIPS rebates. Allow Method Group to ensure that you are safe from penalties, and fully compliant so that you can focus on what you do best; growing your business.
Thinking about implementing a Microsoft Office 365 solution? First of all, good for you! When implementing any IT-related migration, there are many moving parts that need to be considered. At Method Group, our team evaluates how legacy systems and databases, existing software, and core processes will function within the new environment. We focus on discovery, strategy and roadmap planning, migration, implementation, user adoption and, of course, managed services.
Here are some of the reasons we recommend Office 365:
By maintaining your current processes and systems, you’ll be simplifying the management of your infrastructure, reducing costs, and greatly improving your mobile access to information. You’ll also have access to the latest features Office 365 has available instead of waiting months for the next service pack to be released. We’ll help you augment your current business processes without the need to start from scratch. Sounds good, right?
Migrating to Office 365 increases the efficiency of existing software so you can dramatically improve productivity. Sharepoint allows teams to easily remain in contact while working on a project and share files and updates at the same time. It allows real-time streaming of information allowing improved access to information.
Teams is a chat-based workspace that features group and private messaging, with threaded and persistent conversations. Within each team, users can create different channels to organize their communications by topic.
Here’s a bit more about Microsoft Teams:
● You can create multiple chat rooms or channels within a Team and help keep chats easy to follow, conversations are saved in threads, flow from top to bottom and notify users of updates.
● If users need face-to-face conversation, they can jump straight into voice or video chats with other channel participants with a single click. The number of participants in a video chat is also set to grow, with Microsoft integrating the Kaizala messaging service for large-group communication into Teams.
● Any documents, spreadsheets, presentations and the like that are shared within a Team are synced with a copy stored in Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage and a local SharePoint environment, so every Team member always has access to the latest version.
● Collaborative editing of this shared content is also possible, with each user's changes reflected in the Office software in real time.
You get world-class data security and are able to completely control and set the transparency of your company’s data. Check out these additional benefits:
● Free storage: OneDrive offers users 15GB of free storage space as well as the chance to earn extra free storage space. Additional storage is also offered if users link OneDrive to their mobile phone’s camera so that it automatically backs up their photos online.
● Easy organization: You can store any kind of file on OneDrive like photos, video, and your most important documents, and then access them from any of your Windows PCs or mobile devices.
● Close collaboration with Office: As a Microsoft platform, OneDrive works closely with Microsoft Office apps like Word or PowerPoint – when you launch one of these applications you’ll see a list of recent documents, including those saved to OneDrive.
● Social networks: On the web version, leading social networks can be linked to your OneDrive account. This allows the sharing of files with colleagues and permissions can be set for each user from read-only to complete access to editing documents.
With Office 365, you get 99.9% uptime and so you know all your important work is accessible no matter what the circumstances may be. Our services offer built in security, unparalleled privacy, continuous compliance and transparent operations!
At Method Group we have experience handling both simple and complex Office 365 migrations and are well-versed in the intricacies involved. Whether you’re simply looking to migrate email to Office 365, or you need assistance with a full-scale digital transformation and content migration, we’ve got you covered. We also provide post-migration training and technical support, ensuring all departments experience a smooth transition.
Office 365 is constantly changing and evolving, so you’ll need us to ensure that you get the greatest possible benefit out of the suite of products. We offer long-term strategic guidance to help make Office 365 work for your organization, both now and in the future.
Project management (PM) software plays a critical role in how successfully you implement a new solution or resolve a task. In fact, a study by Hive found that 77 percent of high-performing projects use project management software. So, if projects are more successful using PM software, why aren’t more companies using it?
The answers are as unique as each company, with one of the top responses being that there is a general misunderstanding of how project management impacts your services. But, how do you know if a project management software solution is truly right for your business?
Start by filling out this checklist:
0-3 Yes: You need a project management software solution ASAP. You’re likely losing valuable time, money and resources on projects that you don’t quite have a handle on. You’re missing deadlines and struggling to get the entire team on board with process changes. By adopting a PM solution, you’ll gain visibility and control over your projects and deployments – helping you keep on schedule and budget.
4-7 Yes: You have a handle on some things, but you’re likely losing valuable visibility when it comes to where projects are being held up or how your team’s time is being spent. Don’t let a deployment come to a screeching halt because your teams lack communication about when a task has been completed and when another task should begin. A PM solution will help your team stay on the same page and work towards a common goal – total project euphoria.
8-10 Yes: You have a handle on most things, but do you have a comprehensive solution that lets you assign tasks, track time, create project reports and manage timelines all in one place? A PM solution makes it easier to monitor and manage your team and work together across different departments. Cut out the costs of adopting multiple software programs when a single solution can help you streamline and optimize your business.
To learn more about project management software, which solution is right for your business and how we can help you keep it secure, contact us today.
As your business grows, you’ll eventually need someone to help you choose and deploy technology to protect your business, improve processes and support your organization’s goals. If you’ve never heard of a virtual CIO, you might assume you don’t need one – but virtual CIOs, or vCIOs, give companies the benefits of a high-level technology executive without the cost of hiring an in-house CIO.
Virtual CIOs examine your current infrastructure, locate gaps in security and productivity, and implement solutions to improve your business operations. They bring their personal experiences and a network of technical resources to work with you and determine the best IT solutions for your business. Here are five aspects of your business that you can outsource to a vCIO:
Have you been putting off large projects because you’re worried about not having enough bandwidth to successfully manage them? Virtual CIOs can be brought in on an as-needed basis to oversee strategy IT initiatives that promote long-term growth and competitiveness within your organization.
Business Continuity Planning
Natural disasters, employee errors, even potential data loss during a planned system update or migration – there are numerous threats facing your business’s mission-critical information. A vCIO designs a comprehensive strategy to keep your business in operation during and after a disaster.
Technology trends come and go, but the right solutions can make a measurable impact on your efficiency, growth and profit. Your vCIO keeps on top of emerging technologies and identifies opportunities for innovation in your business to help you make higher-ROI technology investments.
Small and medium-sized businesses aren’t immune to cyberattacks – in fact, hackers often view them as easy targets. With help from an experienced vCIO, you can protect your business by implementing strong security measures to deflect malicious software and unauthorized access.
Technology costs can vary wildly from month to month – or, you can partner with a vCIO who helps you stick to a predictable IT budget. Plus, virtual CIOs implement technology strategically to reduce operating costs and drive revenue, allowing a larger budget for your business to expand and thrive.
Virtual CIOs are ideal for businesses that don’t have the budget for a full-time, in-house CIO. With our vCIO services, you get access to a team of knowledgeable IT experts at a price that makes sense for your business. To discuss how a vCIO fits into your company, contact us today and start your business transformation.
Updating your technology can be complicated and overwhelming – especially if you try to do all the research and make decisions on your own. Don’t let this year’s choices close your doors in the new year. As your partner, we’ll help you identify areas for improvement and research the latest tech trends to help you make informed decisions.
Whether you’re looking to improve security and reduce costs or increase your productivity and efficiency, we’ve analyzed hundreds of tech trends and found three trends that you should implement to enhance the way you do business.
As cybercriminals gain more knowledge, they’re coming up with smarter, better ways to obtain your confidential data. One way is through phishing emails. With sophisticated graphics and language, they’re designed to look credible and legitimate. Training your team to recognize the differences and having a good backup strategy can mitigate the risk of falling for this scam.
So, what happens if your confidential information is stolen? The dark web offers a complex network for exchanging stolen information and selling it on the black market. But, encrypting your crucial data ensures that the information taken can’t be sold or acted on by unauthorized users.
Conclusion: Protect your customers’ confidential information with multi-layered security that includes training and encryption.
Microsoft announced that in January 2020, they’re ending support for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Exchange Server 2010. That means you have one year to upgrade your systems or migrate your servers to the cloud. Updating your older Microsoft solutions ensures that you keep your systems secure and clean up the gaps in your defenses from outdated tech – preventing cybercriminals from exploiting your weaknesses.
Improving your productivity doesn’t have to involve redesigning your entire infrastructure. Research from Fujitsu Siemens Computers found that adding a monitor to your workplace setup improves productivity by 35 percent. By simply installing dual, triple or quadruple monitors, you’ll be able to work on several projects at the same time or display multiple documents or spreadsheets to make writing and data entry easier.
Conclusion: Upgrading your technology provides a better user experience for your employees and helps keep your business safe from cyberthreats.
Migrate to the Cloud
Cloud computing continues to gain momentum, and for a good reason. With solutions like server hosting, hosted applications and Office 365, you improve efficiency, reduce costs and streamline operations – it’s hard to justify not making the move.
As cloud solutions improve in popularity, the question becomes less, “should you migrate?” and more, “when will you migrate?” Make this the year that you create a cloud migration plan or modify your existing plan to incorporate operation-enhancing solutions.
Conclusion: Migrating to the cloud streamlines your operations by providing more storage, easier app updates and additional flexibility without raising your costs.
Researching trends and knowing which ones to adopt is difficult without extensive industry knowledge. That’s why we evaluated the upcoming trends of the coming year and decided which ones would be easiest and most beneficial for your business. Are you ready to work toward a more fruitful future? Contact us today to see how these trends could improve your business.
Understanding ethics and privacy may seem simple at first, but when you start to dive in, you discover that finding the balance between being supportive and intrusive is difficult. Data helps you understand your audience and customers better, but how far is too far when it comes to monitoring their physical and digital footprint?
Deciding what is and isn’t ethical doesn’t have to be determined on your own. Here are five things you should understand about ethics and privacy:
1. Digital ethics makes up your online moral code.
Digital ethics includes the principles of conduct practiced online or in a virtual environment. How you handle your customers’ confidential data and what security you put in place to protect it contributes to your digital ethics. Do you record digital footprints? Do you sell that information to advertisers so that they know which of your users like certain products? All of these things and more contribute to your digital moral compass. So, what path is your business on?
2. The GDPR affects your business – even if you’re based in the US.
The EU created the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to ensure websites are doing everything they can to protect the information they gain from users. This act requires companies that have EU users – essentially any company around the globe – to update their policies and promote more rigorous privacy strategies. Security concerns include, but aren’t limited to:
3. Digital ethics involves three practices – monitoring, transparency and the fine line.
Distinguished VP and Gartner Fellow, Frank Buytendijk, suggests that digital ethics has three key guidelines – monitoring, transparency and what he calls the win/win. When it comes to practicing digital ethics, these can be considered the golden rules.
Not only should you monitor how prospects and customers are visiting your site, but you also need to monitor your own systems for vulnerabilities. A large part of meeting compliance involves transparency. You need to ensure that the data you’re tracking doesn’t violate the privacy of the customer. Finding that middle ground or fine line is what Buytendijk’s refers to as the win/win. There’s a fine line between being helpful with personalization and algorithms and being creepy. Always make sure your processes are on the cautious side of that line.
4. Security should be your number one priority.
Even if your customers and visitors give you permission to collect their data, you still have a responsibility to keep their confidential information safe. With cyberthreats escalating, you need absolute diligence when it comes to protecting the data you collect. From natural disasters – like fire, hurricanes and power outages – to malicious intent from ransomware and cyber criminals, you need a security solution that protects your business and customers’ data from all angles. But, how do you ensure that your solutions are enough to keep customers’ information safe?
5. How can a managed services partner help?
Understanding and implementing best practices for ethics and privacy can feel overwhelming. You don’t have to do it alone. As a managed services provider, we’ll evaluate your security processes and make suggestions to eliminate risks and keep your collected data safe.
For more information on how we can help keep your business and customers’ data safe while helping you balance the fine line of digital ethics, contact us today.
One of the best things about the holidays is the opportunity to show the people who help your business the most how much you appreciate them. They may be employees, investors, partners or vendors, but they all have one thing in common – they make a huge contribution to the organization, and you want them to know that you know it.
Any of these seven hot tech gifts should do the trick.
Samsung Galaxy Note9 or iPad with OneNote
Executives love mobile devices that allow them to hand write with a stylus and save them to the cloud. Both the iPad with OneNote and the Samsung Galaxy Note9 provide that capability. You just need to know whether the recipient prefers Apple or Android.
iPhone XS or XS Max
The CPU inside the iPhone XS is 50 percent faster and 50 percent more efficient than that of its predecessor, the iPhone X. What that means for the lucky person you give it to is an even more brilliant screen and better camera that work faster.
HP Spectre X360
Finally, a Windows laptop that rivals the MacBook Pro in power, weight (as light as 2.78 pounds), speed and long-lasting battery. Available with a 13 or 15-inch 4K resolution LED backlit touchscreen that is compatible with a digital pen. Who wouldn’t love this?
Apple Watch Series 4
With its Series 4 Watch, Apple has improved the hottest thing going on. There are still ways to track heart, health and fitness, redefining what a watch is. And now the watch face is 30 percent larger while the sound is 50 percent louder. The only thing that has shrunk is the price, which is way smaller.
4K UHD TV with HDR
First there was Full HD TV, then 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV. Now, there’s 4K UHD with High Dynamic Range (HDR). With HDR, a TV displays a heightened difference between the brightest whites and the darkest colors. Huge price drops have helped make them a very hot gift.
Linksys Velop Mesh WiFi
WiFi signal drop-out is real for folks with a large home or yard. Linksys Velop Mesh WiFi solves the problem quickly and easily with small, attractive nodes that are daisy chained to provide seamless WiFi coverage indoors and out. Each node adds 2,000 square feet of coverage.
Bose Home Speaker 500 Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa
At just eight inches high and less than seven inches across, the Bose Home Speaker 500 is the little speaker that could. Could what? Fill a room with impressive wall-to-wall stereo sound, connect to WiFi for wireless music listening that supports the most popular music services, stream directly from compatible devices and give Alexa voice commands.
Any of the items on this list that made you say, “I want that,” would make a terrific holiday gift Now, we have a gift for you. We’ll be happy to analyze your IT infrastructure and show you how it could be improved to better serve your organization. No obligation, just valuable information. Contact us today.