SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

5 Tips on Tightening Your Office Security

Office security and safety is a very important component of running a business. Not only do you want to ensure that you are safe, but you always want to be sure that your employees and valuable information are safe as well. Employees who feel safe in their place of work are generally better workers, and longer-lasting employees as well. For the benefit of the entire business, investing in security in all departments is vital. 

There are a number of practices you can implement within your company that can help to decrease the likelihood of security breaches. If you’re looking to increase the level of security in your building, consider the following tips on tightening your office security. 

1. Create a Plan 

Just like any other disaster or event, there needs to be a plan in place in case of a security breach within your company. This plan should be written out in your policies and procedures manual once it has been passed by your legal counsel. 

This plan should cover all sides of a security breach, including what employees should do, where they should go, how to react, etc. Make sure the plan is closely detailed concerning the actual layout of your offices so that employees are fully aware of where to go and what to expect. 

Once you’ve got a plan in place, go over the plan with each employee individually. This is especially important if you have a lot of turnaround with employees. Everyone should know the drill and be comfortable practicing it a few times a year. 

2. Have a Sign-In System 

If there are a lot of people coming in and out of your offices, your chances of a breach may increase if you’re not careful. This is especially true if your employees are hosting meetings with outside individuals and companies who will need access to your facilities.

To tighten the security of your office, implement a sign-in system that tracks who is coming and going and when. People who work for you full-time should have badges for easy entry, while those who aren’t full-time workers should require a name and proof of meeting to be allowed access into the building. 

A bright, visible badge or keychain should be worn by visitors at all times to ensure that your employees recognize them as an outside worker. This will make it easier for you to track who came onto the premises and who they were in contact with while inside. 

3. Install Security Systems 

 

This is one of the best ways to combat security breaches in your office, and it’s likely to deter many people from considering breaking and entering. While these kinds of systems may cost a pretty penny in the beginning, the investment is worth it. Consider researching some of the best security systems for offices and speak with a professional about the kinds of designs that would work for your office. 

Not only is having security a great way of keeping unwanted visitors out, but it also has the added bonus of keeping an eye on employees inside. Indoor security can help you keep an eye out for valuable items like quality office equipment and tools, and it can also help you get to the bottom of any problems that occur between co-workers. 

While you’re looking at installing security on the inside of your office, be sure to take care of the outside of your building as well. Stairways, doors, alleyways, and parking lots surrounding your building should be protected, and employees should know that they’re safe should they ever work late hours or experience a car break-in. Investing in outdoor security and adequate lighting will help to increase the safety of your workers. 

4. Implement Online Security 

Once you’ve covered safety procedures in your office space, you’ll want to consider your online property as well. There were some unprecedented online breaches in 2016, including hacks to large companies, including Target, Verizon, LinkedIn, Wendy’s, Snapchat, and Yahoo. 

To protect valuable information and accounts within your company, being diligent and investing in protection is a must. Investing in an online security system is one of the first things you should do to keep valuable information safe, and it is important to keep these systems updated to ensure they can perform at their best. 

It will also be important to keep employees up to date on the current scams to watch out for and to keep them educated about what to look for and avoid when they’re working online. Phishing emails are becoming more common, and hackers are quickly perfecting other company’s branding and voice – making it easy to fall for their tricks. The best way to avoid mistakes and phishing scams is to regularly educate your employees on security, update all passwords on at least a monthly basis, and always try to improve existing security.   

If you ever do experience any security breaches, take the time to make sure you get all of the necessary patching and recovery taken care of. Patching will ensure that there are no points of access into your database, so it’s important to take care of these issues right away. Hackers do not need a lot of time to find holes in open programs, so, the higher this is on your priority list, the better. 

5. Secure Physical Information

While online documents and e-mails are the chosen route for communication and information, these days, you’ll still want to ensure that physical copies of information are properly secured. To keep track of your important documents, make sure that you have a secure safe for things like passwords, checks, printed documents, and other vital information. 

Lock away any paperwork that needs to be shredded, until it can be properly disposed of, and be sure to store away and lock printers and computers that are not being used. Employees should never be able to take home office equipment, and all general passwords should be changed on a regular basis. 

Conclusion 

When it comes to the security of everyone and everything in your company, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Investing in the security of your company can prove invaluable on the off chance that someone decides to try to steal your information or bring harm to anyone in your building. 

Consider the tips suggested above to ensure that your office is a safe and secure place for everyone and everything within it. 

 

 

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Guide to Build and Grow Your MSP Business in the Cloud

 

Did you know? The cloud presents an unprecedented opportunity to transform and scale your MSP business while saving costs for your customers, and it is easier to do than  you think.

Why haven’t you embraced the cloud yet?

The cloud is complex, and understandably provokes hesitation for anyone not well versed in cloud infrastructure and architecture, or computer engineering.  For some, it may even represent a deterrent to growth.  It is not.  It is a prime opportunity to grow your MSP business.

With a few clicks, you can grow your profit with cloud solutions. Offer existing clients a better, cheaper IT solution that can be bundled with additional services to grow your margin.  Expand your customer base and geographic footprint with cloud-based offerings and no need to maintain on-premises hardware. Leave behind a project-based mentality for a stable, predictable monthly recurring revenue subscription model. And a stronger, more valuable MSP business.

All of this is possible to you today.

Deliver cloud solutions without being a cloud expert. You don’t have to hire cloud experts, you don’t even have to invest a lot to retrain yourself or existing staff. In fact, automation in the cloud frees up resources from mundane management and maintenance tasks to instead allow a greater focus on customer growth and support.

Complex workloads and solutions like remote desktop and application delivery in the cloud can be achieved with just a few clicks. Sophisticated, enterprise-level security and compliance solutions are available to you. The cloud makes things easier.  It is time to embrace it.

This e-book overviews the benefits of the public cloud for you and your customers.  And outlines key considerations and options in planning your move to the cloud. Download here.

 

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laetitia MOREAU
C’est un très joli article, super agréable à lire et très intéressant .
Friday, 13 October 2017 21:00
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Why Entrepreneurs Need To Embrace A Spirit Of Continual Reinvention

Chris Myers, CONTRIBUTOR

I write about my journey as a first-time CEO and startup founder

Entrepreneurship, and life in general for that matter, is a never-ending cycle of creation and destruction. Ideas, beliefs, and behaviors ebb and markus spiske 104913flow evolving to influence our lives in different and often unexpected ways.

Central to this truth is the concept of reinvention. I think that many times, entrepreneurs feel like the act of personal reinvention is tantamount to admitting failure. They’re not wrong.

Failure is an integral part of my life, both personally and professionally. To claim otherwise would be disingenuous. However, I’ve found that failure, while often painful, provides the catalyst for change.

My overarching goal is to acknowledge my mistakes, failures, and shortcomings while working towards becoming a better person and leader.

As Hemingway once said, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.”

However, this radical commitment to self-improvement often easier said than done. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned along my journey.

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Twitter’s Apple Watch app has disappeared

by Sarah Perez (@sarahintampa)

apple watch event0309

The big Twitter news currently may be the expansion of tweets to support 280 characters instead of just 140, but a number of Twitter users recently spotted another notable change, as well: the Twitter Apple Watch app has disappeared. The app’s iTunes App Store page no longer notes compatibility with the Apple Watch, and users who have updated to the latest versions of iOS and watchOS note the Twitter Watch app is no longer available on their smartwatch.

Specifically, with the rollout of the Twitter for iOS (version 7.8) iOS app, the Apple Watch app was removed, we understand.

Twitter would not be the first major tech company to stop supporting the Apple Watch via a native app. Several major app makers, including Google, have abandoned Apple’s smartwatch platform in recent months. For example, Google pulled support for Google Maps on the Apple Watch earlier this year, and retailers including Amazon and eBay did the same.

The challenge for these watch apps in some cases has to do with the fact that a smartwatch is not necessarily the ideal platform for traditional mobile app use – like shopping, for example. But with Google, it was likely also too difficult to compete with the better-integrated Apple Maps app that’s designed to work with Apple’s wearable.

But those removals went largely unnoticed, which indicated that perhaps these apps weren’t as heavily used as the companies had hoped when the Apple Watch app store first launched.

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Office Depot Takes First Step in Strategic Transformation to Become Business Services Platform with Acquisition of CompuCom

Adding Market-Leading Provider of World-Class IT Services with Approximately $1.1 Billion in Sales to Create a Powerful Omnichannel Tech Services Platform

Combines CompuCom’s Broad Set of Managed Technology Services with Access to Office Depot’s Extensive Customer Base and Last-Mile Advantage to Generate Substantial Growth Opportunities

Expects Over $40 Million in Estimated Annual Cost Synergies within Two Years; Acquisition to be Accretive in Year One

Attractive Free Cash Flow and Significant Financial Flexibility to Implement Office Depot’s New Strategy to Grow Recurring Business Services Revenue

Office Max

Corporate/Financial News, Products and Services News
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 4:35 pm EDT
BOCA RATON, Fla.

NASDAQ:
ODP
US6762201068

BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Office Depot, Inc. ("Office Depot” or the “company”) (NASDAQ:ODP) today announced it is pivoting the company from a traditional office products retailer to a broader business services and technology products platform. As the first step in this new strategic direction, the company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire CompuCom Systems, Inc. (“CompuCom”), a market-leading provider of award-winning IT services, products and solutions that enable the digital workplace for enterprise, small and midsize businesses. The company also provided a preliminary estimate of third-quarter financial results and a lowered outlook for Office Depot’s stand-alone business for 2017.

“Technology is the office supply of the future,” said Gerry Smith, chief executive officer of Office Depot. “Today marks a significant milestone as we move to provide a unique business services platform for our current and future customers. Acquiring CompuCom is the first step in this new strategic direction. The combination of CompuCom’s enterprise IT services with our millions of customers and approximately 1,400 distribution points gives us the credibility and scale to build a sustainable platform and stand apart from the competition. The company will create value for shareholders from a diversified revenue base with a clear opportunity to grow higher value services and business-to-business revenues.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Office Depot will acquire CompuCom from Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. ("THL"), a premier private equity firm, for a total consideration of approximately $1 billion, which includes the repayment of CompuCom debt and issuance of new Office Depot shares. Following the transaction, THL will hold an equity position in Office Depot of approximately 8% of total shares outstanding.

Founded in 1987, CompuCom provides highly-rated managed IT services to businesses with over 5.1 million unique end users. CompuCom’s team of approximately 6,000 licensed technicians is the largest employee field technician workforce in North America, providing remote and onsite technology support. CompuCom procures, installs and manages the lifecycle of hardware and software for businesses, and offers IT support services including remote help desk, data centers and on-site IT professionals. CompuCom was positioned in the Leaders quadrant of Gartner's® most recently released Magic Quadrant® for Managed Workplace Services, North America. CompuCom has established long-term relationships with hundreds of blue chip customers, including six of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies, and many small- and medium-sized businesses, including local franchises of national brands.

Compelling Market Opportunity

The combination represents a unique opportunity to bring world-class IT support services to all of Office Depot’s customers, particularly underserved small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

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