In today's world of rampant cybercrime, every savvy business owner knows the necessity of locking down their data.  However, we find that the cyber security technologies used by the vast majority of businesses are woefully out of date. Sure, your current solution may have worked great, but digital threats to the safety of your company are constantly evolving. Criminals will eventually attempt to breach your data — and your barriers are not as secure as you might think.

Before World War II, the Germans developed a technology that would prove to be a key player in the conflict: its family of infamous Enigma machines. These devices, about the size of a small microwave, were composed primarily of a typewriter and a series of three or four rotors. By using a set of rules contained in a corresponding codebook, German soldiers would use the machine to encode vital messages to be sent covertly over the airwaves. The number of potential permutations — and thus solutions — for the code was in the tens of millions. The Germans were confident that the code could never be broken and used it for a vast array of top-secret communications.

The code’s impenetrability didn’t last. Via photographs of stolen Enigma operating manuals, the Polish Cipher Bureau reconstructed one of the stubborn Enigma machines, internal wiring and all, enabling them to decrypt the Wehrmacht’s messages from 1933 to 1938. Facing an impending German invasion, Poland decided to share these secrets with the British. But, at the outbreak of the war, the Germans increased the security of the Enigma initiative by changing the cipher system daily. In response, a British code-breaking team, led by genius English computer scientist Alan Turing, constructed primitive computers, known as “bombes,” that allowed them to decrypt the incredibly complicated ciphers faster than ever before. But it wasn’t until the capture of the U-110 warship and the seizure of its Enigma machine and codebooks that the British were able to decrypt the most complicated cipher of the war, the Kriegsmarine Enigma.

The information gleaned from these decrypts are believed to have shortened the war by more than two years, saving over 14 million lives.

Just like you, the Germans believed the systems they had put in place to defend their secrets were impenetrable. And it’s true: the system had few cryptographic weaknesses. However, there were flaws in German procedure, mistakes made by Enigma operators, and failures to introduce changes into the Enigma formula — along with the Allied capture of key equipment and intelligence — that ultimately allowed the Allies to crack the code once and for all.

Take this as a cautionary tale: the most advanced, complex cryptography system in the world became obsolete within 10 years. The same goes for your potentially outdated cyber security measures.

Though they may not be led by Alan Turing and his crack team, you can bet criminals are constantly chipping away at the defenses of even the most powerful firewalls. The arms race between cyber security companies and cybercriminals rages on behind the scenes, and you can bet that they’ve already cracked your business’s “Enigma.” Just look at the massive European cyber-attack this past June, which infected computers from over 27 companies across the continent, including those of the largest oil company in Russia, with ransomware. The unimaginable cost of that attack is something you certainly don’t want your business to shoulder.

As technology evolves, so does crime. New threats arise each and every day. While solutions are available (and needed), they are notably absent in older software developed at a time before these constantly morphing attacks even existed.

Once the enemy has found a way to pick your lock, you need a new lock. Luckily, you have your trusty IT provider, constantly on the lookout for cutting-edge solutions that protect our clients from even the nastiest malware.

Don’t be like the Germans. Constantly look at options to upgrade to more robust, better cyber security to defend yourself from the bleeding-edge hackers, and sleep safe knowing your business is secure.



Casey McCarthy

When you call in for assistance with your phone system, you'll more than likely find yourself speaking with our Service Manager, Casey McCarthy. Casey, who has joined our team just this past year, is dedicated to making sure you get the help you need as quickly and as skillfully as possible.

As Service Manager, Casey is responsible for fielding most emails and phone calls from our customers who are seeking to have work done on their systems, scheduling and dispatching all of our technical staff, maintaining our inventory, and making sure that all of our customers' needs are met to the best of our abilities. If you're in need of our services, whether it's a visit from a Technician or just having a few questions answered, Casey is waiting for your call.

In his personal time, Casey enjoys playing guitar, building computers, hiking and being with his family and friends.



Robert Stevenson

Recently, while working on a program for a company that has been in business for over 64 years, I came across a particularly compelling value statement: “In the pursuit of excellence, adequacy is unacceptable.” It’s stuck with me since then as a perfect encapsulation of forward-thinking business philosophy.

Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google, and thousands of other digital tools have completely changed the way companies must do business if they plan on surviving. With two taps on their smartphone, anybody can go online and check out your company. In 10 seconds, they can see everything that’s being said about you and your team. In an instant, potential prospects can type your company’s name into the search bar and sift through your dirty laundry. If people are complaining about your service, your demeanor, or your product, you can say goodbye to this potential customer, because they’re moving on. Sometimes, all it takes is a single colorful review to stop us from ever doing business with that company.

So where does “adequacy is unacceptable” enter the mix?

The truth is, people don’t go online and write comments about adequate experiences they have with companies. When a customer decides to take time out of their busy day to write a review, you can bet they’re going to either rave and rant about their fantastic experience, or go far out of their way to drag your company’s name through the mud after the horrible time they had. The smartest companies realize this and bend over backwards to elicit descriptors like “superior,” “awesome,” “amazing” and “excellent.” If your business is doing a middling job, or even a “good” one, it might as well be invisible.

“Adequacy is unacceptable” is a perfect ideal not only for the hugely successful business I worked with recently, but for all companies. “Adequate” is just another word for average — are you looking to hire average people or do business with average companies? Of course you’re not. The consequence of being merely adequate is always disappointment. An adequate experience captivates no one, does nothing exceptional, and has no distinctive qualities. There is no way to differentiate yourself from the competition while doing an adequate job.

Instead, consider what your company can do to impress, astound, and excite those for whom you are working. The company that consistently not only exceeds expectations, but blows them totally out of the water, will always be in high demand.  Do more, be more, give more, and you’re sure to achieve more. This isn’t third-grade soccer; nobody’s going to give you a trophy for an adequate performance.

Robert Stevenson, along with being a best-selling author, is among the most successful public speakers in the world. His years of service-minded experience owning and running numerous companies have given him the real-world knowledge to help fellow business owners thrive.



Building A Smarter Shower

The cutting-edge U by Moen Smart Shower is looking to revolutionize your shower experience. With digital valves and a corresponding controller, the U by Moen can make any shower a lot smarter.

After users install the digital valves and controller — a task that takes a few tools and a little bit of handiwork — the U by Moen allows them to sync their showers with their smartphone. The system then makes it easy to customize the showering experience, choosing the perfect temperature and saving preferences for future use. Start the shower remotely, and it will let you know when it’s ready, automatically shutting off until you step in. Available for showers with either two or four outlets, the U by Moen is the perfect addition for those looking to digitize every aspect of their home.



Your Copier Is Spying On You

It may sound paranoid, but it’s true: the machines you use every day around the office could be spying on your data. Copiers and multifunction printers, particularly, are some of the leading causes of business data breaches. When you consider it, it makes sense. They’re among the only devices on the network that rarely have their default password changed. But these advanced copiers and printers often house images of all the pages they’ve ever scanned on an internal hard drive, making them the perfect target for thieves. Make sure to change the password from the default on every network-connected device in your office. This one simple step can save you a costly headache down the road.


Your Best Employee WILL Quit…Are You Prepared?

Employee churn is a fact of business. It’s important to take steps to ensure that regardless of an employee’s importance, their loss won’t be catastrophic. Consider everyone on your team. If they left, what would it do to your business? Make sure to document indispensable knowledge. In the end, you should keep your team as happy as possible, but be supportive if they make the decision to leave.


Fight Traffic Tickets WITHOUT Leaving The Comforts Of Home

“Off the Record” is a new app that allows you to contest those pesky speeding tickets without ever leaving your house. All you have to do is take a picture of your ticket, answer a couple questions, and pay a fee (ranging from $53 to $599, depending on your area). The app will then assign the case to a local lawyer to contest the charge. It may sound too good to be true, until you consider its 97% success rate. Best of all, if the ticket is not dismissed, deferred, or reduced to a nonmoving violation, you’ll get a full refund!

lifehacker.com 7/7/17



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