The TDSIT Blog

Beware of These Seven Types of Cyberattacks

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 @ 03:03 PM

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Today, every business regardless of size, needs to include cybersecurity in their business toolkit. The fact is, 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses and the threats and tactics they use are changing as fast as online technology.

These seven types of cyberattacks are a threat to every small business today:

  1. Denial of Service (DOS) – This attack is carried out by highjacked computers which are used to overload a network with requests and shut it down. Prevent attacks by monitoring analytics to identify unusual traffic patterns and keeping security software updated.
  2. Insider Attack – Sometimes the threat is more local. When employees leave their jobs don't just take their keys, be sure to terminate network access as well.
  3. Malware – Malicious software called malware lurks online looking to gain access to your system. Malware includes viruses, trojan horses worms and ransomware. Antivirus software and being cautious with email, like not opening unsolicited emails can significantly lower your risk.
  4. Password Attacks – Birthdays and “1234” are not good passwords. Password attacks are common - all it takes is one weak password and your network may be compromised. In fact, password related attacks are so common they make up the last three types of cyberattacks!
  5. The Brute Force Attack – Cybercriminals can use software that cycles through common passwords until one clicks. If they can access an employee list they'll start there with common names or birthdays and work down the list until they gain access.
  6. The Dictionary Attack – People tend to choose passwords that are comprised of words only. In a dictionary attack, hackers use software that will automatically enter every word in a dictionary to unlock passwords. Be careful where you login, unsecured WiFi connections are public and can be hacked.
  7. Key Login Attack – Hackers also embed software onto systems that track keystrokes, If you've ever logged into a portal using a username and password you're at risk. Multi-factor authentication can slow hackers and access codes can add protection.

Security is important. Take precautions to thwart attacks and lower the risk to your network. Being aware of the risks is the first step to protecting your network from attack. Many businesses are turning to Managed IT Services to help them protect their data. Want to learn more? Contact TDS IT for a no-obligation technology assessment today.

Tags: Managed IT Services

8 Steps to Increased Productivity Away From the Office

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Oct 31, 2017 @ 09:13 AM

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There's no place like home—or your own office. Long hours spent sitting in airports or on board flights, or nights spent in a strange bed can take their toll on even the most seasoned traveler. Increase productivity and make the most of time spent on the road with a little preparation and by utilizing the latest innovative technology. 

1. Get packing. Make a checklist of all the items you'll need for a successful trip, including  mobile devices such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet. Be sure to include any accessories or peripherals such as batteries, power and charging cords, and consider investing in a spare set to keep in your luggage if you travel often. 

2. Recharge your batteries. Plug in all devices the night before you leave to guarantee a full charge whenever you need it, and avoid the hassle of searching for an available outlet at the airport. 

3. Clear your mind. In the event any of your devices becomes lost or stolen, your sensitive data is at risk. Before you leave, upload information to a secure cloud storage and collaboration service such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, or Office365, before deleting those files from your laptop, tablet or smartphone.  

4. Be accommodating. Choose your hotel wisely, looking for a chain that is accommodating to business travelers with amenities such as free Wi-Fi, business centers, and ample work space in your room. Consider joining their loyalty program to enjoy perks and accumulate points, and book with them when possible. 

5. Timing is everything. Make every second count by using the time spent at the airport and on board your flight to complete any number of tasks from checking emails, to finalizing your proposal. 

6. End on a good note. Wrap up your paperwork before you leave with the scan, fax, and storage capabilities of Xerox Mobile Link App

7. Get on track. Xerox Mobile Print Solution uses GPS technology to locate a compatible printer, securely prints your information to it, and will only print and release your documents once you've input a unique pass code. 

8. Relax. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy, and take time for yourself each day to stay focused and increase productivity. 

To learn more about how to stay connected and productive while you're on the road, contact TDS IT today.

Tags: mobile print solution

How to Choose a Managed IT Services Partner for Your Healthcare Organization

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 @ 09:11 AM

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Managed IT Services offers healthcare organizations a wealth of benefits, from reducing costs to maximizing productivity. Choosing the right Managed IT Services provider for your healthcare organization is critical.

It's important to note that not all Managed IT Service providers are created equally as there can be some vast differences in the level of support they offer and the services available. 

In general, a Managed IT Service provider is able to offer the following services:

  • Application hosting
  • Application services
  • Infrastructure services
  • Strategic outsourcing
  • Computing solutions

Healthcare organizations need to do their research to select a Managed IT Service provider that is able to meet specific requirements to satisfy their industry needs. Here are several qualities that healthcare organizations should look for in a Managed IT Service provider:

  1. Offer guaranteed response times. Most healthcare providers operate 24/7, so their Managed IT Services partner needs to be available around the clock as well. 
  1. Support your organization's continuity plan. Healthcare providers need a Managed IT Services partner that is able to maintain redundant systems and provide the necessary recovery support in the event of a power outage or natural disaster. 
  1. Manage and maintain application performance. A Managed IT Services provider should proactively manage and maintain your network, databases, and ability to compute. 
  1. Provide proactive governance. The right Managed IT Services partner should offer a single view of all of IT resources under management. Being able to use a single interface to place policies around specific services and make changes as needed will give healthcare organizations greater control over their technology environment. 
  1. Provide proactive security. In the world of healthcare, security is especially important as there are a number of laws that require specific levels of security. Core security services should be offered by Managed IT Services providers for the healthcare industry. 
  1. Manage audits. Healthcare providers need a Managed IT Services partner that can deal with compliance audits as required. A Managed IT Services partner that understands the ins and outs of these audits will prevent healthcare providers from having to pay thousands of dollars in fines. 

Contact us to learn more about what to look for when choosing a Managed IT Services partner for the healthcare industry. 

 

 

Tags: Managed IT Services

Helpful Tips To Improve Your Meetings

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Sep 29, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

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The purpose of a meeting is to increase awareness, introduce new ideas, discuss business, and brainstorm ways to increase revenues and growth, yet most people will agree that meetings are often a waste of time.

Here are some tips to help improve your meetings: 

  1. Stick with the agenda. Ask for input from key players to formulate a short agenda and forward it to attendees ahead of time so they can become familiar with the topics for discussion. Use this tool to help keep the meeting moving, and participants focused.
  2. Stay on track. Shortly after the meeting send out an email to sum up key tasks and due dates so everyone is clear about their responsibilities.
  3. Limit attendance. It may not be necessary for every employee to attend every meeting. Limit the number of participants based on need and availability rather than inclusiveness.
  4. Wrap it up. Incorporate five or ten minutes at the end of the agenda to recap key points of discussion, review action items, and identify employee assignments and due dates.
  5. Leave early. Focusing on your agenda and limiting off-topic discussions helps to periodically end meetings early. The extra time can be used to ask questions not covered in the meeting.
  6. Take a day off. Daily meetings can wreak havoc on productivity and disrupt workflow. By designating a minimum of one day a week as "meeting free" employees can focus on key tasks more readily without fear of interruption. 
  7. Timing is everything. Strategic timing can result in greater outcomes; avoid Monday morning meetings, as people are often tired and still thinking about weekend activities, while meeting just before lunch will keep everyone motivated to finish on time.
Use these tips for more efficient meetings - youll have happier employees and more time to concetrate on core tasks. 

Tags: Small Medium business

6 Warning Signs of an Inefficient Print Environment

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 @ 09:58 AM

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Do you know how much print and document management costs your business each year? If the answer is no, chances are you're paying too much. While considered a necessary part of doing business, printing costs can be significantly reduced once inefficiencies have been addressed—but the key to your success lies in identifying the warning signs that something is amiss, including the following. 

  • You own several inexpensive printers. Cheap print equipment bought from office supply stores may seem like a bargain with their low initial purchase price, but savings are quickly negated through the inability to track usage or print costs, and expensive print supplies. 
  • Print jobs are left in output trays. Unclaimed or forgotten print jobs, or original copies left on the glass can be lost, damaged, or stolen posing a serious threat to data security. A Managed Print Services provider can help by implementing a user authentication system. In addition to eliminating the risk of your information falling in to the wrong hands, it will save you money on wasted paper and toner. 
  • IT personnel are fielding printer repair calls. Small to medium-sized businesses often rely on their IT team to maintain their print fleet when these valuable resources could be put to better use. In addition to outsourcing this task, a streamlined print environment with equipment from a trusted manufacturer can help alleviate the stress placed upon IT personnel. 
  • Several people are purchasing printer supplies. In an environment where there is no central purchasing system in place and printers and supplies are bought by individuals as needed, costs can quickly escalate beyond your control. Savings can be had with consolidated purchasing of toner, paper, and other consumables helping to regain control over usage and inventory.  
  • Everything is being printed in color. Color printing is more expensive than black and white, and should be reserved for departments where color will make the biggest impact such as sales or marketing. 

The Managed Print Services Solution 

A Managed Print Services provider can help you make the most of your print infrastructure, while helping you save as much as 30 percent on document management and print costs through increased efficiency. Contact us today and find out if Managed Print Services is right for your business.

 

Tags: managed print services

How to Keep Your Copier Operating at Peak Efficiency

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 @ 09:03 AM

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The copier is a staple in the workplace and helps employees to carry out critical everyday tasks such as copying, printing, scanning and faxing. With frequent use, these complex pieces of machinery will wear down over time. However, here are several best practices to keep your copier operating at its peak efficiency:

1. Offer training. Train your employees on how to properly use the copier. Educating your employees about the copier's various functionalities will go a long way.

2. Choose the right copier for your needs. The best way to choose the right copier for your company's needs is to have a proven Managed Print Services provider conduct a print assessment. This fact-based report will reveal your actual printing volumes and behaviors and will serve as a useful guide for selecting the optimal copier for your needs. 

3. Clean your copier. Dust is your copier's worst enemy as it can scratch the glass, cause the rollers to slip and affect output quality. Clean glass weekly and vacuum out paper drawers monthly. Don't allow employees to eat or drink near the copier.

4. Keep sharp objects away from the copier. If the glass on the copier is scratched, it will have negative repercussions on output quality. 

5. Turn off the copier when it's not being used. Make a habit of turning off the copier outside of business hours to conserve power and prolong the useful life of your copier.

6. Wipe the copier's hard drive clean at the end of its useful life. Your copier has a hard drive that contains confidential information that is transmitted to and from your network. When it comes time to replace your copier, be sure to either wipe its hard drive clean or destroy it. Otherwise you risk having sensitive information fall into the hands of the wrong person. 

7. Choose the right Managed Print Services provider. Partnering with the right Managed Print Services provider can help to ensure that you have the best copier for your company's needs and that your machine is routinely serviced. Your Managed Print Services provider will help to keep your copier operating at its peak efficiency so that there are no interruptions in workflows. 

The copier plays a critical role in the workplace and embracing these best practices will help to keep your office productivity rolling. 

Print Assessment

Tags: copier

Recruit and Keep Millennial Talent For Your Team

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 @ 12:33 PM

 

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Are you having a tough time recruiting and retaining millennial hires on your team? Millennials aren't like previous generations. Their primary motivation for working isn’t money - they are looking for a company whose philosophy they can believe in, the flexibility to do the job their way and value a work/life balance in their lives.

Here are four ways to attract and retain millennial talent:

  1. Flexibility at Work – Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) are mostly looking for flexibility in the workplace. They are seeking a good work/life balance and value their happiness more than money. While they're technically savvy and device oriented, what they're really seeking is an open, social, creative environment. They're not cubicle dwellers. If there's a task that has clearly delineated instructions and a specific deadline, they want to work where they feel the most comfortable, and that might not always be the office. Focus less on the time clock and more on the final product and you'll keep them happy and productive.
  2. Personal and Professional Development – Millennials value personal development even more than flexibility. They want more challenging work and are eager to advance quickly. The average time on the job for Boomers is 7 years, Gen-Xers 5 years, and Millennials just 2. They won't hesitate to change jobs if they feel they're not receiving substantial personal development.
  3. Mentors not Managers – Millennials don't want to be over or under-managed. The right balance gives them the freedom they need to express their feelings (even when they're bored) and it also gives them steady mentorship. Studies show that employees who are mentored have a 23 percent higher retention rate.
  4. Tangible Opportunities For Advancement – In the past, career advancement was about paying your dues. Seniority was the path to advancement. Millennials want to be challenged and when they prove themselves, promoted. If they don't feel that their work is being recognized and they aren't working towards real opportunities they will get frustrated.

If you want to retain millennials it's important to find ways to acknowledge their work and reward their talent. Structure momentum into their careers and keep them on your team.

 

Tags: Small Medium business

Protect Your Data With the Right MFP

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 @ 09:16 AM

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Small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) face a number of unique challenges in regards to growth and success, not the least of which is security. Cybertheft is a relatively new concern which makes news when it affects large scale corporations—but a recent report from Smallbiz.com shows that 43 percent of phishing schemes are aimed at small businesses.

According to the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance only 40 percent of them remain up and running six months after a cyberattack, while the rest are forced to close their doors. 

The best way to reduce the risk of a data breach is by identifying all areas of vulnerability, including multifunction print devices. When it comes time to upgrade your equipment, be sure to look for the following security features, designed to protect your information from a number of common threats.  

Encryption

Sensitive data travelling across your network on its way to or from your printer can easily be intercepted by hackers. Data encryption solutions prevent access by effectively scrambling information, ensuring it remains protected. 

User Authentication

Documents left unattended in the printer tray may be read, copied or stolen by anyone passing by. Choose a printer that enables user authentication which requires individuals to input a security PIN code or swipe card at the printer before documents are printed and released. 

Password Protection

Scan hardcopy documents to digital files where they can be securely stored and password protected.  

Print Monitoring

Create an audit trail to ensure compliance with industry regulations, and to keep track of who uses each printer, when, and for what purpose. 

Cloud Automation

The cloud has revolutionized a number of office processes but it's only effective when the proper security measures are in place. Prevent users from scanning sensitive data to unauthorized cloud applications by automating cloud-to-device workflows within your organization. 

Restricted Scanning Capabilities

Unrestricted scanning leaves data unprotected and vulnerable. The right MFP will allow you to password protect files so that only authorized users can access the information. 

Data Clearing 

As a vital component in your office network, your MFP requires the same consideration given to all other devices that contain a hard drive. Opt for a printer that is capable of periodically deleting unnecessary stored data using approved algorithms for data clearing. 

Keep your sensitive data safe by choosing the right MFP, with enhanced security features and solutions. Download our free MFP Buyer's Guide to help you make the right choice for your business. 

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Tags: MFP

6 Tips to Make Your Workday More Productive

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 @ 08:52 AM

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As your work stacks up and the clock ticks towards the end of the day, it may feel like you’re not making any progress. Many workers find it hard to work productively, causing the need for overtime, increased stress and decreased performance. With a few tweaks, you can turn this around, making the most out of your workday.

Be More Productive

1. Stop Multitasking. Even though it feels like you’re getting more done, multitasking is actually hurting your efficiency. Pick one task to focus on at a time, and complete that before moving on.

2. Turn off Notifications. In today’s world, smartphones have people responding to every ding and chime signaling email, texts and voicemail. Turn off these chimes and lights on your phone and your computer to help eliminate this distraction.

3. Schedule Time to Email. Not only are notifications distracting in and of themselves, once you open your email you may find yourself completely taken away from what you were doing. Schedule time within your day to attend to email, and try to avoid checking it between these times.

4. Let Technology Work for You. Speaking of email, dealing with your inbox can be a significant time waster. Most email programs allow you to set filters that will automatically sort your email into folders based on sender, subject or priority. This way, when you go to check your email, you can focus on the most important topics and save the rest for later.

5. Take Breaks. Breaks are beneficial to your body and your brain, allowing you to return to your work clear-headed. Schedule breaks throughout the day, and use this time to stretch, take a walk, meditate, or otherwise clear your mind. You’ll be more productive afterwards.

6. Minimize Meetings. Meetings – especially those that take you out of the office – can eat up a large portion of your workday. While some meetings are necessary, most times you can more effectively solve the issues with email or a phone call. Try to schedule in-person meetings only when necessary, and aim for a time of day that won’t disrupt the flow of your work.

With a limited amount of time in the day and so much work to be done, it’s essential to work more productively. Making a few simple changes to your routine can dramatically impact your productivity, with benefits for you and your company.

 

Tags: Small Medium business

Does Your Business Have a Mobile Print Strategy?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 @ 07:52 AM

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While mobile is the buzzword of the day, the truth is, mobile is here to stay.  The rise of mobile technology has created opportunities and demand for businesses to implement on-the-go mobile print services.

Mobile printing is a cloud-based solution. That means any employee with an Internet connection can print from any device from anywhere. But there's more to mobile printing then just hitting the print button. As mobile print tools continue to evolve, businesses across all industries are reaping the benefits of mobile print. Are you ready?

Here are four ways mobile print can help your business, and why you need a mobile print strategy:

• Improve productivity and convenience for employees

If you have workers on the road, in remote offices or at home, printed documents are most likely a part of their daily workflows. A mobile print strategy keeps all of your team on the same page, no matter their location. Standardization isn't just convenient, it can increase productivity.

• … and for your IT Team

Mobile print allows anyone (visiting clients, customers, contractors and new hires) to easily print within your network without involving your IT team. A mobile print standard creates consistent process, which makes printing easy. This frees your IT team's time to focus on critical business operations.

• Enhanced security

Mobile security should be an important part of your overall mobile strategy, giving your business full control over which documents are shared and printed within the network and helping to avoid the chance of a security breach. Standards for encryption, user authentication and audit capabilities should be clearly outlined making mobile print convenient and secure.

• Improve your bottom line

When it comes to business, it always comes down to your bottom line. Mobile print offers significant cost savings; especially if you have employees working from the road. Mobile print improves productivity, reduces the burden on your IT staff, improves security and saves you both time and money.

While the paperless office isn't here yet, many offices still rely on paper for critical business workflows. A mobile print strategy can help your business throughout the information management process.

Want to know more? Contact us and let us show you how, with the right tools, your information can be as mobile as your workforce!



 

Tags: mobile print solution