“New Standard”

Nearly all businesses rely on email to assist with day-to-day activities. But many businesses haven’t addressed new and seemingly unavoidable vulnerabilities.  If you are running an Exchange server on-premises or if you lack certain email security capabilities, your email could be at risk.

Here are 5 ways your email could be vulnerable:

  1. Unprotected infrastructures.

For on-premises deployments, physical security needs to be considered because the facilities where servers are located may be vulnerable. Many businesses don’t think about these risks until their offices are burglarized and their email servers are stolen or damaged. It’s especially risky for regulated businesses because this constitutes a data breach that may result in public disclosure and even fines.

  1. Lack of support.

Today’s standard requires email to be available 24/7/365.  However, most businesses run lean IT departments and lack the ability to offer 24/7 on-call service.  Unfortunately, when nobody is on-call, this can allow bugs to compound and increase in scale, causing critical security issues or costly downtime.

  1. Natural disasters.

Natural disasters are unavoidable and most businesses lack the ability to protect themselves against local outages or disasters because the necessary solution is extremely complicated to deploy.  As a result, if a disaster was to strike, they are left to deal with costly downtime and lost data.

  1. Cyber threats.

Cybercrime is on the rise and as criminals use more sophisticated tactics, email administrators need to find new ways to combat these threats.  The trouble is many businesses don’t have the right infrastructure or resources to keep up with the changes in technology. This could result in stolen data, passwords or worse, millions of dollars.

  1. Lost data.

Nearly half of all email sent and received today offers some business value to an organization.  But what happens if an employee deletes an email?  Or if someone sues the business?  If emails can’t be found or restored, it could result in permanent loss of data.

To mitigate the risks inherent to today’s email, your business must embrace a “New Standard” that requires high reliability, high security and intellectual property protection.  Does your business meet the standard?

Take this self-assessment to see how vulnerable your business is. Download Here.

Kickball, Pottery, and the Pursuit of Leadership

Too often we hear excuses from managers and frustration from team members about the lack of leadership development opportunities.  “I don’t manage people, so how can I get people management experience?” or “I’m field based working with customers, how can I get to work with people from other departments?” These plus hundreds of other excuses are common and often valid refrains.

Enter the best leadership training that money can buy: Team Building. 

Sure, on the outside it looks like a great way to waste an afternoon, but when executed properly it’s a priceless training opportunity. Here’s what we do at Thomas Office Solutions and why:

  1. There is no senior director of team building.  We rotate the leader role regardless of title.  Everyone in our company runs one team building event from A-Z.  ~Leading the event is the most important part of team building
  2. The leader is in charge of picking the event .  ~They have to think of the well-being of the entire team and make sure the activity doesn’t exclude anyone.  Also, it forces the leader to take risk.  What happens if the team doesn’t enjoy it?
  3. The leader is in charge of setting a date and making sure people attend.  ~No one wants to be the reason why a free afternoon off is cancelled.  If they don’t execute we will cancel that quarter’s event.  Talk about peer pressure.  If someone won’t step up to lead an afternoon of bowling, do you think they’ll go the extra mile for a client?
  4. The leader is the judge and jury. ~How awesome is it for Kyle from shipping, who has been with the company for a year, to tell the president that he is out at third.  Communicating bad news upstream is hard.  Why not get some practice in a safe environment?
  5. The leader is responsible if things go sideways.  If it’s a rain out or the bowling alley doesn’t actually open until 5 PM the leader must step up and find an alternative.  ~When do things ever go according to plan?  Talk about a great opportunity to learn how to plan for the worst and think on your feet.

I would love to hear how your organization provides leadership training or about unique team building events. We love getting new ideas.  Just comment or drop me a line at michael@leapmanagedit.com.

Tech Top 5

We spend a lot of time listening to our partners and developing ways to help them work smarter.  Several key memes have risen to the top this year during our technology reviews.  We thought you would enjoy seeing what hot buttons your peers are focused on this year.  As always, please let us know if you have any questions.   

  1. Network Investment –Since more companies are headed to the cloud not enough thought has been giving to the small business network. The growing demand for data, cloud, mobile solutions and video will force the need for reliable, secure and stable networks. Outdated wiring, consumer grade hardware like switches can cause huge issues for increased network traffic.
  2. Security for the SMB –You wouldn’t leave your car unlocked, keys in the ignition, wallet on the dash and doors wide open then walk into a store for a few hours. Developing a security plan and incorporating next generation technology is critical for minimizing risk of outside threats for your network.
  3. It’s Not If, But When –It’s not if your kid falls of the bike, it’s when. Having that same mindset to backing up data on servers and workstations is a must. Developing a disaster recovering plan for addressing data loss before it happens is critical for sustainability. Without advanced BDR technology, the average server rebuild takes 7-21 days.
  4. Mobility & BOYD –Bring Your Own Device and mobility are growing concerns for security, data compliance and end-user issues. Most companies lack protocols when devices with company data are lost/stolen or when an employee leaves the organization.
  5. Process is Key –Overhead is expensive so improving processes to leverage knowledge and technology is the next big cost savings. Using tools like www.flowmingo.comto assign jobs and create automated checklists is a simple way to be consistent and deliver success.  Need to get two apps to work together?  Try www.zapier.com.