Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
From businesses in Southwest Florida, to U.S. government agencies, to schools and universities in Eastern and Central Europe, more and more organizations are moving to Microsoft Office 365. For this suite of software, it’s all about the cloud.
Office 365 is a subscription service that offers hosted email and all the latest office programs such as Word, Excel and Access. Businesses that want to have immediate access to their data at any time in any place where there is an Internet connection are warming up to it.
Office 365’s full office suite includes many of the same types of software programs that you use every day – word processing, spreadsheet, database, Outlook mail, the instant-messaging client Lync, and publishing apps among them. A small business can sign up for an annual subscription for $150 a year for five users. These are full-featured applications plus “extras” that include a shared calendar, a 25GB mailbox with virus and spam protection, and 10 gigabytes of cloud storage space per user. Other per-employee packages are also available.
Office 365 is also proving to be a prudent tool in terms of a business’s budget. Many of our clients are realizing the economic advantage of having software products working off the cloud as opposed to being on-premise: reduced maintenance time and costs, and transfer of liability. That’s because Microsoft maintains the IT servers, not you. So the real savings is not having to service equipment because there is no equipment when you’re hosting in the cloud.
There are many good reasons to look into an annual subscription to Office 365, but it may not make sense for every business. Give us a call, or send an e-mail now, and we’ll set up a consultation to see if Office 365 is right for you.
Monday, April 9th, 2012
A recent technology security report uncovered that 97 percent of all attacks could have been avoided.
For business owners big and small, hackers are nothing but trouble when it comes to IT security. Don’t think for a minute that hackers target just the big guys with big bank accounts. Some of them are just as interested in small businesses whose owners are not keeping their eye on the security ball.
A recent study headed up by communications giant Verizon points out that 79 percent of attacks are crimes of opportunity, and 96 percent of the attacks were rated “easy and inexpensive” for the bad guys to carry out. Essentially, some business owners are not doing all they should be to help thwart these thieves through the use of proper security measures.
In one recent case, four people carried out what authorities consider a simple security attack on hundreds of sub-shop franchise stores in the United States. The robbers’ targets were point-of-sale machines – something that all of use almost every day to pay for goods and services. They successfully searched for and located remote access points in the systems then used the machines’ default credentials to get in. That’s when they began stealing consumers’ passwords and other confidential information as it was typed in. They then sent that info electronically to their website or FTP server where someone else put it all together and sold it on the black market.
Here are few tips to think about this week:
- Make sure you have a firewall on Internet-facing services to protect your data because hackers are unable to steal something that is out of their reach.
- Point-of-sale machines and other such systems are installed with credentials that are pre-set at the factory. Make sure to have that changed to prevent unauthorized access.
- If you have a third-party company monitoring your POS system, make sure to monitor them. Have they implemented proper security measures on your behalf?
- Educate employees about IT security, such as guarding against social phishing and other tactics because sometimes you can have the most robust security in place but the weakest link might come in the form of a human being.
If you’d like more information about security technology and how it should be working to help keep your business successful, give us a call at CRS Technology Consultants at (239) 542-8450 or (239) 643-1888.
Jordi Tejero is President of CRS Technology Consultants. He can be reached at 239.643.1888 or email@example.com.