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Gotta catch em’ all? Watch out for these security concerns of Pokemon GO.

Gotta catch em’ all? Watch out for these security concerns of Pokemon GO.

Uncategorized | 0 comments

26907504 - happy african american career woman using cell phoneUnless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know something about Pokemon GO, the new mobile game app from Niantic that allows you to search and capture adorable virtual creatures anywhere in the world.

Due to its high popularity, Pokemon GO is now literally everywhere and chances are, your employees already play the game. According to multiple reports, the game has several security concerns for BYOD. This means that the next time your employees catch Squirtle, Charmander and others, your company’s data could be at risk.

There are two key security concerns of Pokemon GO, including:

Potential Android malware issues

According to Fortune magazine, Pokemon GO has only launched so far in a few countries. This means several mirror apps have been created, which could confuse people into downloading the wrong app. With mirror apps, Android mobile devices have a greater risk for malware. These third-party mirror apps can then in turn use malware to create a backdoor to the smartphone and steal any private data from the user. This could be even more dangerous if the smartphone is a company device or if it’s using company WiFi.

According to a statement in Fortune magazine, a version of the Pokemon GO app “included a remote access tool, or RAT, called Droidjack, which they say can give an attacker ‘full control over a victim’s phone.’”

Possible privacy issues
Multiple reports in early June pointed to a potential flaw when users sign in with their Google account to play the game on an iOS device. The flaw is that when a user signs in, the app then has access to everything in the Google account, including email, pictures and documents without the user’s permission.

According to a statement from Google and Niantic, the two companies are working to remedy the problem. The statement also says Google has verified that only basic profile information (user ID and email address) have been accessed by Google and Niantic.

If you have multiple employees in your company, there is a greater risk that someone is playing Pokemon GO and also doing business on the same mobile device. This may create security issues, but you can safeguard your business with the right tools. CloudTech1 offers network security solutions that can help. Learn more about our solutions here.

Do you have questions about Pokemon GO or any other security concerns? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Five tips for secure passwords that are easy to remember

Five tips for secure passwords that are easy to remember

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5019578 - login  password on lcd screen macroJust about every business these days is getting hacked. For example, at the beginning of June, the Twitter and Pinterest accounts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were breached because he used a common password: “dadada”. Zuckerberg was lucky, however, since the hack was conducted by a company testing his security.

Zuckerberg is not alone. According to a study by Statista, over a million people still use easy-to-remember passwords. The infographic below shows the 10 most popular LinkedIn passwords, obtained in 2012 breach of about 117 million accounts. According to LeakedSource, “123456” was the most popular password (over 750,000 accounts used it, to be exact).

Infographic: Social Media: People Still Use Pathetic Passwords | Statista

Want to keep your sensitive information safe from a possible security breach? Follow these five steps for secure passwords that are easy to remember:

1. Make it long. Security experts recommend passwords to be between 8 and 12 characters at the minimum. The longer the password is, the more difficult it is for hackers to use automated systems to crack it.

2. Avoid dictionary words, names and places. Hackers often use common words when trying to log into secure systems. It’s also best if you don’t use full words either. Consider using variations of words that you will remember instead.

3. Include numbers and special characters. Another way you can make your passwords more secure is by making them more complex with numbers and special characters. Include at least two of these for a stronger password.

4. Make it random. Rather than including special characters at the start or end of your password, consider sprinkling them throughout. Also, consider incorporating letters you wouldn’t normally use.

5. Use a random password generator. If you’re not sure what password you’d like to generate, consider using a password generator from a site like Random.org. Copy the password you generate and use an app like 1Password so you will always have it with you.

These five tips will help you create strong passwords that you will never forget. Just changing your passwords won’t prevent your business, however, from all possible security breaches. CloudTech1 offers robust services that will allow you to maintain the security of your network at an affordable price. Learn more here.

What is cloud computing and how can it help your business?

What is cloud computing and how can it help your business?

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12938502_SWhat is cloud computing? What is the cloud? Is the cloud something my business needs or am I already using it?

These are just some of many questions we receive on this subject and for a good reason. Cloud computing is the latest trend for businesses updating their computer systems today. In fact, cloud computing will cross the $270 billion mark by 2020 and thousands of companies every year are implementing it at rapid rates.

Now that we’ve demonstrated the importance of cloud computing, you’re likely asking:

So, what is cloud computing then?

The simple definition: Cloud computing is essentially storing and accessing data and programs online instead of on your computer’s hard drive. You likely use the “cloud” already. Every time you write or send an email, you’re using the cloud. Any time you take a photo on your smartphone and it’s then stored to Google Photos, iCloud or Dropbox, you’re again using the “cloud.”

Cloud computing is only accessed over the Internet. If you’re offline, it is not considered cloud computing because you’re then storing files and information on your computer’s hard drive.

How can cloud computing help my business?

Cloud computing offers many benefits over storing data, programs and applications on your hard drive. For one, you can access your information from anywhere, whether you’re at the office or on the go. It saves plenty of space on your computer so you’re not bringing down speeds or productivity. Plus, you don’t have to keep purchasing and installing expensive software programs consistently to make sure your systems are up to date. All of your programs are online, so they’re updated automatically.

With cloud computing, your computer is also protected in the event that someone steals your desktop or laptop from the office. Since your data and programs are all online, you can still access them and even change your password so thieves won’t be able to steal private data. Cloud computing is even secure, especially if you purchase it through CloudTech1.

How can I get started on implementing cloud computing for my business?

If everything we said so far about cloud computing is peaking your interest, you’re not alone. We’ve helped many businesses implement cloud computing services and they have all had similar questions like you. Learn more about our cloud computing services here.

If you have any questions about cloud computing or have had a successful experience with it, feel free to post a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

CloudTech1 to host showcase featuring Bring Your Own Device

CloudTech1 to host showcase featuring Bring Your Own Device

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23297772 - a word cloud of byod related itemsA new trend for business decision makers today is to invite employees to BYOD or Bring Your Own Device. BYOD sports many benefits, including saving time and money and boosting employee morale. If done improperly, however, a BYOD strategy can cause a disaster for a company.

At the next CloudTech1 Showcase on July 20, we’ll share why preparation, monitoring and security are crucially important for an effective BYOD strategy. The event will take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Spalding DeDecker Office Building, 905 East South Boulevard at Rochester Hills, MI.

There will also be a 3 p.m. showcase for sales agents and partners. You can register for the event here.

We will also host an event in August and September. You can find more information about these events below:

August 17th – Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
September 21st – Network Security

The showcase is just one of the many exciting things happening in 2016 at CloudTech1. At the beginning of the year, we celebrated the launch of our brand new facility and kicked off our first CloudTech1 Showcase in June. We also recently had a booth at the MICPA Management Information and Business’ Novi Suburban Showcase. There was a positive response to our Managed Services at the event as many business decision makers in attendance saw the value in our ability to help clients save money on IT.

If you are a CFO or CPA, we highly recommend checking out the association at MICPA.org. In addition, if you’re looking for a speaker on IT and cloud services, contact us by phone at 855-6CLOUD-1 or by email at info@cloudtech1.com.

MiTechNews Podcast with CloudTech1 CEO, Rick Beckers

MiTechNews Podcast with CloudTech1 CEO, Rick Beckers

By Nathan Burns | Uncategorized | 0 comments

BYOD

FARMINGTON HILLS – Rick Beckers, CEO of Managed Service Provider CloudTech1, provides details on the next session of CloudTech1 University. On July 20, CloudTech1 University will focus on Bring Your Own Device – BYOD. Employees want to bring their own laptop or smartphone to connect to the corporate Internet. But by doing so, they threaten the cybersecurity of the corporate network.

Now technology exists to provide security for companies that want to let employees use their own devices. This technology will be the focus on the July 20 CloudTech1 University event. Business decision makers are invited to attend at 11 am at CloudTech1’s corporate headquarters in Farmington Hills. Lunch is included. At 3 pm a second session is aimed at agents and IT professionals to teach them how to keep the corporate network safe from cyber hackers.

But Beckers said this session of CloudTech1 University also is about mobility and how businesses need to use it more effectively to remain competitive in our digitally connected world.

To listen to this podcast, click on https://soundcloud.com/podcastdetroit/m2-episode-39-cloud-tech-1-university

6 Mysterious Myths of Managed Services Providers

6 Mysterious Myths of Managed Services Providers

By admin | Uncategorized | 0 comments

As a consultant and marketer I am always searching for the best ways to communicate the CloudTech1 brand. In my communications I am occasionally overlooked or ignored. Which is alright. I know respectful cold calls, kind handshakes and inviting emails will not get a 100% return response. I want to improve. The best question a wise businessperson can ask themselves is ”why,” right? So, here I am asking “why?” Why wouldn’t an organization listen to a Managed Services Provider like CloudTech1?

Myths-myth-facts-fact-e1449655475369
I’ve come to realize much of the resistance is due to self-imposed myths. Here are 6 common myths that could answer “why”:
1- An MSP will force me to fire my IT staff
An MSP makes your IT team more valuable and can be an extension of our expertise. We also have the capability to monitor the network and find problems before they occur and inform your IT guy so they can keep continuity. Utilizing an MSP removes the “Break/Fix” gamble.

2- An MSP won’t care about my IT because they won’t be on-site
This is where we find the differences in MSPs (and where CloudTech1 excels.) An MSP has a vested interest in the continuity of business and a smooooooooth IT network. The client pays an agreed upon FLAT FEE. Now the time spent on the infrastructure comes out their pocket. Not salary to a technician or hourly charges from an outside company. An MSP’s REPUTATION is also on the line. 85% of the work can be done remotely, and should be transparent with problems and solutions.

3- Cheapest is the best
When has that been the best strategy for business growth? VALUE is best!

With CloudTech1 you pay for what you use, and never have to worry about vendor management. So you only have “one neck to choke!”

Your organization could be missing out on services that improve efficiency with little investment. So find someone you can trust and genuinely cares about your organization.

4- MSPs are glorified IT people that do the same thing my technician would
They are experts. At least they should be. The benefit of an MSP over an in-house tech is you are receiving a team of knowledge and expertise.

5- An MSP is for corporations
CloudTech1 services make sense for Small-Medium Businesses (SMB) that have to be wise with their expenses.

6- “I don’t have the time to implement a new IT strategy”
Check out the video below. There is nothing wrong with a 30, 15, 10 or 5-minute conversation. You could be missing significant time and money savings. We can do a FREE assessment while you continue on with your day.

 

Were you familiar with what an MSP can be for the organization? Maybe it is time to investigate on how an MSP can help. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Rick Beckers of CloudTech1 promotes community growth and cloud services. He has been managing organization networks for 35 years. Even if you don’t begin a conversation with CloudTech1 we highly encourage MSP or cloud service research.
info@cloudtech1.com or 1-855-6CLOUD-1 (1-855-625-6831)

Trending: BYOD, Security and the Questions you should be asking.

Trending: BYOD, Security and the Questions you should be asking.

By admin | Uncategorized | 0 comments

by Nathan Burns, CloudTech1 Consultant

BYOD or Bring Your Own Device Strategy is a growing trend among successful businesses. Having employees utilize their own devices can save an organization a significant amount of time and money while boosting employee morale and limiting stress and confusion.

Business Decision Makers (BDM) have to stay up on new trends, opportunities and technologies in order to stay competitive. When entertaining the thought of a BYOD strategy there are many pros and cons to consider. What questions should a BDM ask before implementing a strategy like BYOD?

“Do I have a security strategy in place?”

Having genuine trust of core employees is this first level of security a BDM. Knowing they won’t betray you or the sanctity of your data is a great start when considering BYOD strategy. Faithful and trustable employees are a company’s most valuable asset.

Even with confidence in employees, mistakes happen. Malware and Phishing is a concern in which every BDM should educate themselves. Phones and laptops can get lost or stolen. Therefore, part of your strategy must include secure infrastructure preparation on attacks, mistakes, and upgrades. A good business should have these in place already so integration is the first challenge. If there is no security strategy in place and constantly tested BDM needs to find a trusted IT manager or company that can educate them on the proper.

The TRUST of your primary employees utilizing BYOD in the network is the most common scenario. Working from home, on the road, or connecting while on vacation are obvious situations to benefit the core employees. Is that really where the true benefits are?

One of the best benefits for a BDM may be for BYOD use for part-time employees. The BYOD strategy should be able to consider permissions and policies for part timers. This can limit the accessibility of data, keeping it secure, and saving a significant amount of money on devices alone!

“How/who manages my BYOD security and strategy?”

The BDM has made the decision of who is involved in the BYOD and which devices will join the network…now what? Do you have an able IT team in place that can find, educate, deploy and monitor a successful BYOD strategy? Even if there is a solid IT team in place a Managed Service Provider may be the smart and financially savvy way to go.

A Managed Service Provider often has the experience and has implemented BYOD strategies previously. They have experienced trials and errors, and can advise on proper implementation. The backup and security strategy is crucial when utilizing BYOD. If a Managed Services Provider is already holding the umbrella over a small to medium business network they should have the ability to advise, implement and monitor a BYOD strategy.

“The BYOD is about to be deployed. Am I prepared?”

A “Break/Fix” attitude and strategy is dangerous. Waiting for the problem to come to you is the first mistake in business. Therefore, preparing with policies and procedures (try to say that 3x fast without accidentally spraying your monitor) with data breach, disaster recovery

Policies when a device leaves the network must be enforced. Employee policies must be documented, signed and emphasized of their value. Security must be taken seriously by all involved. If proper documentation is an issue for an employee, they will not need to be a part of the BYOD network.

“With all this talk of security and policy; what are the perks?”

Now that I’m done scaring BDMs it is time to get into the benefits of BYOD. This strategy wouldn’t be a popular trend if failed. The fact is most BDM are smart enough to prepare and protect their data properly through an MSP or internal tech team. Here are some of the reasons BYOD are popular and become a positive tool for the growth of a company.

*From Management standpoint

-Flexibility and speed. Work-from-home employees allow a company to scale down the office, or utilize it for training or new employees. New sales reps can hit the streets immediately, issues can be handled on the fly, and even part-timers can enter the infrastructure safely.

-Employees are likely using their devices for work anyways. Assuring the device is secure while touching the network is smarter than assuming it is not entering the infrastructure at all.

-Saves money. If a company utilized an MSP they have access to many deals. However, the obvious savings of purchasing devices on the company dime.

-Consistent communication and updates. Being a part of an emerging business, it is crucial to communicate at all times. The 9-5 mind state should be of no concern to the dedicated employees looking to grow with you.

-Enhances Productivity. The BYOD strategy unhinges the employee from a limited schedule and flexes freedom. This is assuming their tasks and role allows them.

-Eases up on the IT department. At least when securely implemented. The BYOD strategy often puts the role of upkeep on the employee.

*From Employee standpoint

-Very convenient.

-Shows trust. Being a part of the network and having trust is a great feeling for a dedicated employee trying to grow.

-Boosts morale. The personal device will have their whole life on it already. With music, pictures, and apps readily available for a distraction, the employee will appreciate the convenience.

-Tax write off. The BYOD shifts the taxable benefit from the company to the employee. The employee is paying for the devices anyways. They might as well get a bonus from Uncle Sam.

“Is this really how BYOD works?”

Alright, honestly…it all depends. Tons of articles suggest it is as simple as connecting the device to the network and everyone is happy assuming proper policies and permissions are in place. The employees are happy because they can do what they want and the managers are happy because they don’t have to buy extra devices while still getting the connection to their employees. What the true benefit comes down to is COSTS and CONVENIENCE plus whatever the unique situation is for the company. That benefit may be INVALUABLE for one company and meaningless to another. That is why an assessment by a trusted MSP can go a long way.

The beauty of business is each organization is unique. Even a McDonald’s franchise has different demands, benefits and challenges compared to the next. So when a BYOD strategy is implemented it is almost ALWAYS a HYBRID.

The BYOD network will always be moving and hopefully growing (isn’t that the whole idea behind business?). There will be times where the company’s best interest IS to provide a device. Part-time, Full-time, Internships, Contract workers, salaried and consultants all play factors in what comes into the network.

“How do I ensure we are prepared?”

The best advice CloudTech1 can provide is to map out a strategy with a company that knows the fluidity of BYOD and has taken time to understand the value and security of your data. Then, gradually roll out the strategy while consistently testing both the communication and continuity but ALSO the disaster recovery. Finally, educate all users in the network on threats and how to best prevent them. Education is key in all business activity, and even though the employees may lament the meetings and emails it is imperative the message is ingrained in the mind. They’ll get over the meetings and emails.

Did we miss anything of value? What do you think about BYOD? Tell us about your BYOD experience in the comment section. Or email us at info@cloudtech1.com.

Happy BYOD’ing, everyone!

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