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BYOD: What is it, and why do it?

BYOD: What is it, and why do it?
 

BYOD refers to “bring your own device” — a business environment where employees of an organization are permitted to use their own laptops, tablets and other mobile devices in lieu of company provided ones.

Why is this done? Aside from saving money, the primary reasons companies allow this are:

  • Familiarity: This may be the most obvious reason for workers to bring their own tablet or laptop to work. It may be the operating system, web browser or other apps on their devices that they know and feel comfortable using. They don’t have to live in two electronic worlds at the same time.
  • Simplicity: Companies have been providing their employees mobile phones for business use for a few decades. Now those employees carry two phones, since everyone also has a personal phone. This can be a nuisance for your employees. It is hard enough to care for one mobile phone, and now they worry about two of them. The reality is that companies expect employees to be in contact 24/7, so company devices can’t be used only at work. They have to be carried home, out to the store, etc. If the employees have a choice they would much rather carry just one phone, their own, enabling them to be reachable by family and friends anytime. This can also be cheaper for everyone if the company offers to share the cost of using their device.
  • Productivity: Convenience can also result in better productivity. Having fewer devices means fewer distractions. Fewer distractions equals less wasted time. Saving time is always good for productivity.
  • Employee Relations: It makes employees feel good to be able to use their own devices at work. Higher employee morale is very important for any organization. Happier employees are more likely to work hard. So, if an employer gives its employees the liberty to bring their own devices to work, it may have more satisfied workers.

As a result, most firms have migrated to a BYOD policy. In later blogs, we’ll talk about why a BYOD environment leads to another reason to use an enterprise grade File Sync & Share (FSS) solution.

Increase Mobile Productivity with FSS

Increase Mobile Productivity with File Sync & Share
 
How often do you see people working on their laptops or tablets in coffee shops? Probably a lot, and this is going to become even more the norm as the traditional ‘workplace’ changes. For example, some companies don’t even give their employees personal workstations, and almost everyone is expected to be available 24/7. As a result, there is absolutely no place that is sacred from becoming a temporary workstation. Workers must now be able to access, share and collaborate on documents from anywhere, at any time.

If you are going to expect your employees to work off the clock, and to do so at home, in the car, in a hotel or the backyard, they are going to be far more effective and willing to do so if you make it as easy as possible. One way to do that is to provide them with a business-grade set of collaboration tools that make document sharing easy. Sending Word documents back and forth for markups among a group is tedious and is a recipe for version control tragedies.

Instead, consider the value of a complete collaboration tool that everyone can access from anywhere using any type of device that makes document access and collaboration easy and secure. Your employees and your bottom line will appreciate the increase in productivity.

Make File Sharing with Clients Easy

Make File Sharing with Clients Easy

As a vendor or even a customer, have you had the experience of working with a new company and having to learn yet another file sharing platform? Worse, have you found that it wasn’t compatible with your files, or that there were little quirks that slowed down the process as you learned the software? It can be annoying, and it can take a considerable amount of time.

What’s going on in your organization? Have you ever considered that your file sharing environment is a critical client touchpoint? Consider these questions:

  • Can they learn the system quickly?
  • Is it used across the entire organization, or do individual units use different tools?
  • Can a client access via any mobile device whenever it is convenient?
  • Is everything accessible via all operating systems?
  • Do they feel secure sharing confidential data?

Sharing and collaboration should be easy, intuitive and secure.

Every client touchpoint matters, and if your collaboration tools are perceived to be insecure, clunky, disjointed or inaccessible, you potentially damage a piece of your brand and your client relationships.

Check for Gaps When It Comes to Sharing Files

Check for Gaps When It Comes to Sharing Files
Every technology department is keenly aware of the risks of data breaches. Maintaining digital security is a key priority for CTO/CIOs. Technical departments launch fake internal phishing scams to test employees. Despite these efforts, there remains an important daily disconnect that risks the integrity of your internal data and your client’s confidential information. That disconnect is file sharing.

When an employee needs to share information, how are they doing it? There is a good chance they are emailing Word docs or PDFs, texting attachments or using any type of file sharing product they are familiar with. Perhaps when they work collaboratively with a client, they use whatever the client is familiar with.

An important factor in corporate security is implementing an FSS solution that provides not only ease of use, but the highest level of security available. A good FSS platform eliminates the need to email files. It also creates optional levels of access that includes password protection, view only and download permissions.

In short, give a serious look at what is happening with file sharing at the individual employee level when you do the next security audit at your company. You may find a significant gap that threatens your data integrity.

The 3 Necessities of True collaboration: A Primer

The 3 Necessities of True collaboration: A Primer

Today’s blog is a basic primer on what a complete File, Sync, and Share (FSS) solution includes.

Very simply, FSS is a software service that allows you to share all manner of files, documents, spreadsheets and images within an organization as well as with outside third parties, such as customers and prospects. For the average user, the benefit is the ability to work collaboratively using any device or operating system, without having to figure out how to make that all work. However, there is more to a holistic FSS than ease of use. There are 3 key aspects to any complete FSS platform.

1) Collaboration:

These are features such as:

  • Easy access to documents, from anywhere, at any time.
  • All changes to any file are immediately synced across all devices and file servers without any active intervention by the customers.
  • No size limits.
  • Integration with your existing systems, such as Salesforce, Outlook and Microsoft 365.

2) Security:

This is the “behind the scenes” part of a complete FSS solution. File sharing for businesses should be easy and totally transparent. However, it must also be secure. Most importantly, it needs to be meeting industry standards for security. Consumer-grade sharing tools for family photos aren’t appropriate in a business setting. Effective security should include encryption that covers all three points in the content lifecycle: in-session, transit and on-device.

3) Mobile:

Collaboration isn’t effective until you permit universal mobile access that is simple to use. This is the final key to an enterprise FSS platform. As people are pushing their work to mobile from every location imaginable, the ability to access via iOS and Android is an absolute requirement, along with the entire file sharing process. Features such as automated document QR coding make it easy to quickly find a document from a small screen device.

In summary, a complete FSS solution must address the need for workplace collaboration, security and easy mobile access. Without all three, your FSS solution won’t support the needs of your organization.

Checklist for Reopening the Workplace – Prepare!

Thinking about your business reopening? The problem is, if you just pick up and go, and don’t prepare for having people back in the workplace, you may run into issues that could have been easily avoided. Now is the time to prepare – click here for a free checklist.

The big picture on access: Is it time for a policy?

The big picture on access: Is it time for a policy?
Autotask offers a set of tools that allow you to ensure optimized collaboration across all levels within and outside the organization. A key part of this collaboration is the security features that permit you to create access settings for content, people and devices. These features are critical for maintaining security and protecting the integrity of confidential data.

The availability of these features is a great starting point for your organization to discuss broader policies for determining access.

When you adopt a File Sync & Share (FSS) solution, it’s a great opportunity to define internal policies about file access (who should see it), content (who can change it) and data integrity (from where can it be accessed). As your enterprise grows, the need for strict policy guidance to control your data will only become more important.

Does two-factor identification matter for file sharing?

Does two-factor authentication matter for file sharing?
 
Today, let’s look at two-factor authentication and its value in protecting your file sharing efforts.

First, what is it? Two-factor authentication requires two different forms of identification to verify an employee. In general, the idea behind it is that the two forms of identification aren’t necessarily closely linked to each other: the possession of one form of ID doesn’t reveal the factor in the other ID.

What does this have to do with File Sync & Share (FSS) platforms? Organizations routinely share very confidential files among employees as well as third parties. All this sharing is occurring on external networks and via a wide variety of non-secure devices. This means the security that is built into an FSS platform is exceptionally important.

Anyone who follows any business news is aware of the severe consequences of a data breach. You should look carefully at the level of security offered by any file sharing tool that your organization is using. One of the security factors you should be using for everyone is a two-factor system. Your business data is too important to not need that extra step.

End Version Control Nightmares

End Version Control Nightmares
 

Did you send out a Word document for a client or colleague to review today?

If you answered yes, here are four reasons to stop doing this:

  1. Time delays – Edits cannot happen in real time. You write the document, send it, they review and edit it, add comments, then they send it back to you. You receive it and make the changes, then send a revised version back to them. Meanwhile, they’ve moved on to some other task. Now you’re waiting for their second review.
  2. Version control – Each time you create or edit a Word doc, you save it before you send it. And the recipient who edits it does the same. No matter how careful you may be with naming protocols, the fact remains that there are multiple versions of that document out there, and there is no guarantee that an older version won’t be used or distributed improperly.
  3. Lack of collaboration – Because reviews can’t take place in real time, there cannot be any real-time, on-screen “conversation” among collaborators, increasing the potential for miscommunication and a poor flow of ideas in the document.
  4. Impractical for life on the move – When you’re offsite and mobile, it’s frustrating to have to try to make edits to a document that can only be accessed from one machine.

The takeaway? Now is a good time to start using a secure enterprise grade file sharing solution.

Use FSS as a Good Branding Opportunity

Use FSS as a Good Branding Opportunity
 
Are you letting your employees use any file sharing solution they want?

Are they collaborating with clients over different platforms?

Sharing files via email, text and consumer-grade File Sync & Share (FSS)?

Aside from the security risks you are taking and the (in)convenience factor, is this really putting the company in the best light?

Think about the impact to your branding when you share files with a client using clunky, hard-to-use tools, methods that risk data security, or unintuitive platforms that require a learning curve for your clients and prospects. You inconvenience them and you put their files at risk. It sends a negative message—one that could harm your brand.

Remember, any customer touch point is a “branding”moment.

Don’t allow Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)? Yes, you do.

Don’t allow Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)? Yes, you do.
 

It is most likely your company allows some or all your employees to use their own devices in lieu of work-issued laptops, tablets and mobile devices. There is almost no way to enforce a no-BYOD policy outside office walls. Inevitably, someone will receive a text or email that is work-related on their personal device. Somewhere along the line they will open confidential documents. If that device gets lost or stolen, your data goes with it.

 

Instead of worrying about this, change the landscape entirely. A complete File Sync & Share (FSS) system can ensure that whatever device is used, and from wherever it is used, your data remains secure. Its simplicity means employees will want to use it. More importantly, you can retain control over document sharing. For example, access levels can be passcode protected and restricted, and time limits can be placed on that access. Inactivity timers can be utilized to end unwanted, unsecured viewing. In short, whether you allow BYOD or not, some form of it is occurring and you are facing an inherent risk to data security. Sidestep the entire issue by using a complete FSS platform that supports mobile productivity, high-grade security and quality collaboration tools.

WFH Tip – Keep Distractions to a Minimum

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re in a video meeting. Turning on your camera (and turning off other notifications) gives you the incentive to be present in the meeting instead of handling other issues during the call.

Social Distancing For The SMB

Social Distancing for the SMB: Explore whether you can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance. Click here for more info.

WFH Tip – Use Secure WiFi Connections

When working remotely, connect to your secure, private home network instead of relying on public WiFi. If you send your data through an unsecured public WiFi connection, you lose the power of privacy making it possible for cybercriminals to intercept your data. Learn more here.

WFH Tip – Keep Your Tech Up To Date

When WFH, ensure you have fully patched and updated anti-virus and anti-malware software. It’s important to follow the same best practices you would as if you were in the office, and report any suspicious activity or concerns to internal IT or your MSP. Click here for more information.

Ransomware – SaaS

All it takes is one click by an employee to put your data in jeopardy. Protect your business with a Ransomware Protection and Recovery Solution. Contact us to learn more.

Ransomware – Everyday Devices

The best way to prepare employees to stop #ransomware attacks is to train them. Train new employees at orientation and all employees bi-annually. We will train your team and follow up with onsite and remote support. Contact us here.

Our RMM Uses World-Class Security

World-class security means security measures at every point. We use Datto RMM as our Remote Monitoring and Management solution because it has comprehensive security at every point. Learn how we ensure that you’re IT is safe and secure here.

Protect Your Investment with Remote Management

Technology isn’t only an asset. It’s a major investment. Let us arm you with actionable insights, to optimize that investment. We provide detailed reports that are easy to understand and are relevant to your business. Click here to learn more.

Rapid Response

Our team’s rapid response means supporting any device, from any location, at any time. Find your peace of mind here.

Using an RMM Brings Proactive Support

With Datto RMM, we address potential issues before they become a problem because we have the ability to monitor your businesses’ devices, applications, and systems continuously. Learn how you can add peace of mind to your business here.

Are You Prepared?

In the case of cybersecurity, offense wins and the defense loses. Interested in learning more about cyber resilience or risk assessment? Give us a call.

Goodbye Windows 7!

Goodbye Windows 7. Hello Windows 10, the “last” Windows. No more difficult upgrades. Let us help you migrate. After migration, let us show you the benefits of a managed services agreement. All your IT, managed, maintained, backed up, and secured. No worries, no fuss, easy to budget. What could be simpler? Contact us today!

Still Using Windows 7 In Your Business? Don’t Risk It!

Don’t leave your business open to security vulnerabilities. Migrate to Windows 10 with minimum downtime and maximum peace of mind. Protect your business with the latest operating system, we train your team, and watch your KPI’s go off the charts! Let Smart Technology Solutions show you how cost effective and worry-free a managed services agreement can be for your company. Contact us today!

To Upgrade or Replace? That is the Question!

To upgrade or replace devices, that is the question when it comes to Windows 10. Some older machines may have the power to handle an upgrade to Windows 10, others may need to be replaced. How can you know for sure? We’ve prepared a checklist for you here.

Hindsight Is Always 20/20

Ask the 30% of companies who lost data from SaaS applications according to a recent survey if they backup their SaaS data. Hindsight is always 20/20, but why wait to protect your important data? Learn more here.

Thoughts On Data Retention

Would you rather retain your Office 365 data forever, or for a few months? Depending on your industry, there may be retention regulations that go far beyond Microsoft’s default policy (which is just a few months). Plus, in today’s litigious age, it pays to be safe and not sorry. Learn more here.

Is Your Office 365 Data Backed Up?

Office 365 may host your data in the cloud, but how do they back it up? They aren’t responsible for your data, they only make sure that you can access their service to send and receive email. Find out how you can safeguard your company’s cloud data here.

How to Lose Cloud Data – Tip #3

How to lose cloud data, tip 3: make an employee angry…really really angry. Have you followed Street & Smart’s A Method for finding, recruiting, and retaining employees, and were slow to hire and quick to fire? With a SaaS backup solution in place, your company data is safe from disgruntled employees. Find out more here.

Be Part of the Solution! Protect Your Data!

IT pros say there’s a lack of cybersecurity training across businesses worldwide. Why put your data in jeopardy? Be a part of the solution, not another statistic. Contact us today, and we’ll show you how a business continuity/disaster recovery solution can fit into your budget.

Just One Click, and Poof! Then What?

All it takes is one click by an employee to put your data in jeopardy. Protect your business with a Ransomware Protection and Recovery Solution. To learn more about these solutions, contact us. You’ll be glad you did – in today’s digital environment, it’s not a matter of IF you and your company are attacked, it’s a matter of WHEN you’re attacked.

Cybersecurity Training? Yep, We Do That!

The best way to prepare employees to stop ransomware attacks is to train them. Train new employees at orientation and all employees bi-annually. Bet you didn’t know that Smart Technology Solutions will provide cybersecurity documentation and train your team on how to avoid cybersecurity risks, and, the best part is, if you’ve got the support hours available, it may not cost you anything! Contact us to find out more!

Be Proactive, Not Reactive!

We take a proactive approach when it comes to the #technical needs of our clients. No matter what the day might bring we’ll ensure that your business continues to run smoothly. #businesscontinuity

Business Owners Need to Teach Staffers About Password Safety

Business Owners Need to Teach Staffers About Password Safety

When was the last time you thought about your passwords? If you’re a business owner or manager, have you trained your employees how to choose good ones AND how to keep them safe? Even basic cybersecurity needs to be intentional – think about asking a professional for help. That’s what we’re here for.

Read the full article here.

We’re a Trusted Resource

Offload difficult, time-consuming tasks to a team of technology experts. We have the resources, flexibility and experience. Contact us today! #MSP

Too Many Hats?

Are you running a business AND managing your IT? Let’s take some of that responsibility off of your plate. Check out this eBook to learn more.

Leave IT To The Pros

Allow us to secure your business systems and data from all threats with ongoing technology monitoring and management. Download this eBook to learn more.

You Need a Break!

Let us take on the IT responsibility of your plate. We’ll ensure that your business continues to run smoothly no matter what the day might bring. #MSP

Stretched Too Thin?

Feeling stretched thin when it comes to managing day-to-day IT tasks? It might be time to consider moving your IT workload to a managed service provider (that’s us!)

Guardians of Your Technology

As an IT Service Provider, we are the guardians of your IT. Contact us and reduce your business risk by putting complex tasks into the hands of experts. #ITpro

Sanity Check

For your own sanity and the sake of your business, it’s time to consider outsourcing your IT to a tech expert. Download this eBook to learn more about the benefits.

Cheaper Than An Employee!

Did you know that outsourced IT is generally more cost effective than hiring in-house IT staff for smaller businesses? Get proactive with your IT. Contact us today!

Law Firm Tip – Be Prepared, Not Blindsided

It doesn’t matter if it’s severe weather or #ransomware, if your systems are offline or you’ve lost valuable client data, it could be disastrous for your firm. Learn more about the #legal industry’s unique risks and best practices here.

Focus On Your Business, Not Your IT

No time to manage the tech that supports your business? It might be time to consider outsourcing your #IT. We have the resources, flexibility and experience to manage a law firm’s unique IT needs.