The Meridian Blog: Tech News, Tips & More for SMB and Enterprise Environments

Biggest Security Threats Facing Employees Today

Caroline McKee

Posted by Caroline McKee
Wed, Dec 28, 2016

In today’s workplace, you can never be too safe. With threats such as helpdesk support scams, CEO imposter scams, phishing, social engineering, malware built into ads and hijacked websites, its hard to know what can — and, more importantly, what can not — be trusted.

Luckily, by knowing what to look for and being able to quickly identify the telltale signs of threats like these, you will be better enabled to navigate securely through your workdays.

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No More Excuses: Erase Tape Backups From Your Business Continuity Plan

Erjon Xhepa

Posted by Erjon Xhepa
Tue, Dec 20, 2016

I saw a payphone last week, and it wasn’t even in a museum...

It reminded me of how we're sometimes slow to embrace technological advances. First, there was resistance to cell phones (the brick-sized Iridium phone didn’t help the cause). Then, there was recognition that big change was on the way (massive advertising didn’t hurt). Today, most of us wouldn't even leave home without our smartphones.

In fact, mobile phone adoption is so widespread that some people even develop Nomophobia, or the fear of being without a mobile phone. Even more surprising is the fact that — according to the UN — worldwide, there are more people with mobile phones than there are people with access to toilets. Which segues into today’s blog topic: magnetic tape data backup systems.

Magnetic tape as a backup storage medium is still used by many today, and it may never go away completely, just like green screens and typewriters can still be found in some offices (and museums). But, the Digital Age is upon us, and it’s time to embrace disk drive storage and really embrace cloud-based backups, and let magnetic tape go the way of the payphone.

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Business Continuity Planning: Don't settle for satisficing

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Tue, Jan 12, 2016

When choosing or creating a business continuity plan suitable for your organization, “satisficing” is not a viable option.

Simply put, satisficing is accepting an available option as satisfactory. The trouble with that is, when your business continuity plan only reaches satisfactory levels, you are choosing to sacrifice your company’s ability to deliver products or services in the event of a disaster or disruptive incident. So, when thinking of your company’s long-term success and all of the hard work that was put into it, settling for satisficing could be disasterous.

Read on for ways you can protect your data and choose the best partner to assist in creating an ideal business continuity plan for your organization.

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Best Practices for Secure, Responsible Disposal of Computers & Devices

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Wed, Dec 23, 2015

Many people will purchase or receive new computers and devices this holiday season. In fact, according to ForbesIDC predicts the worldwide smart connected device market will accelerate past 2 billion units by the end of 2015. If you're among the lucky owners of new computers and devices this year, you or your company may be planning to get rid of the old computers or devices, which have been replaced by newer versions. If so, I urge you to do so with caution!

Along with a collection of potentially harmful toxins, computers and other connected devices house vital information including passwords, registration numbers, account information, addresses, telephone numbers, and a host of other private information. Your hard drive is a goldmine for identity thieves and it is important to use proven methods to wipe this data from existence, before disposing of devices. Simply throwing the devices or their hard drives away could potentially cause more harm than good.

Below, we reveal the proper techniques to dispose of computers and devices, guard against identity theft, and protect the environment:

  1. Backup significant files and information
  2. Sanitize your hard drive
  3. Dispose of your computer

Read on to learn more about each step.

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Why Your Association Must Build a Technology Roadmap

Jordan Arnold

Posted by Jordan Arnold
Tue, Oct 13, 2015

It’s critical that associations, non-profit organizations and businesses, alike, proactively document and maintain a comprehensive, technology strategy, or as we like to call it, a technology roadmap.

With new desktop, mobilevirtual and BYOD integrations, technology has the potential to be one of the most important allies an organization could have. But, if you don't have a clear plan or strategy for the future, technology could actually become a barrier to your organization's growth.

Your technology roadmap must incorporate your:

  1. People
  2. Devices
  3. Applications
  4. Data

Read on to learn more about why it's so critical for your association to have a technology roadmap, how often you should update it, and why it must include each of the four components listed above.

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What SMBs Need to Know About Data Breach Notification

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Thu, Sep 17, 2015

 What You Need to Know...

When it comes to the law and data breaches, what you don’t know can hurt you. Small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) face many of the same data breach notification requirements as large enterprises. Most SMBs, however, do not have the same resources often available to bigger companies, such as a dedicated IT department, or a team of attorneys on staff. Now there is new federal legislation pending, in addition to the currently existing 47 state laws on the books, that requires organizations who store sensitive information to notify customers and clients if their personally identifiable information (PII) is breached.

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Low Tech Ways to Protect Your Data Security

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Wed, Sep 16, 2015

Much of data security involves high tech solutions such as having the right firewall, antivirus software, and threat monitoring system installed on your network. However, there are simple physical, common sense steps that can be taken that provide a foundation for data security. In the same way that leaving your keys under the welcome mat negates even the best home protection service, people often leave similar openings in their data systems for thieves to take advantage of.

Here are some tips that any small-to-midsize business (SMB) can follow for better data security. All involve zero, or minimal, technical know-how. For SMBs without a dedicated IT person, a knowledgeable managed services provider (MSP) can handle the technical aspects of your network security, (installing patches and updates, performing regular updates, monitoring your system, etc.), but you and your employees can effortlessly adhere to these basic data security best practices that help secure your data.

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Is Your Data Security Vulnerable to Low-Tech Hacking Techniques & Physical Security Flaws?

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Wed, Sep 09, 2015

Hackers are constantly looking for system vulnerabilities in order to plant spyware, malware and ransomware on unsuspecting computers, thus allowing them to infiltrate networks and steal data. They spend considerable time and resources writing new virus codes that can sneak past firewalls and antivirus programs. In fact, it's estimated that about 10,000 new threats are discovered every hour, over 200,000 new malware definitions show up globally each day.

Fortunately, security firms have gotten very good at thwarting most cybercrime attempts. If — and it is a very big if — your firewall and antivirus software are constantly monitored and updated, and your organization adheres to some basic data security best practices, then the chances of getting your system compromised digitally via the Internet can be minimized.

RELATED: 5 Key Principles for Data Security

A far more likely way that crooks get their hands on proprietary data, even in today’s Digital Age, is by using very low tech analog techniques such as simply walking into an office or cubicle and physically stealing it. Read on to learn more about these common low-tech hacking techniques so that you can better protect your data.

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Best Practices: Data Breach Response for SMB Business Continuity

Adam Siegelbaum

Posted by Adam Siegelbaum
Wed, Sep 02, 2015

Last year set a record for enterprise data breaches, and 2015 is on a pace to break that dubious achievement.

Small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) can no longer assume that they are too small or unimportant for hackers and cyber thieves to target. Criminal enterprises consider many types of SMBs, such as medical practices, law offices, engineering firms, and educational institutions to be low risk, high reward targets holding valuable personal identifying information (PII) about their clients.

RELATED: Biggest Data Breaches in 2015 (Part 1)

Business owners need an incident response plan in case their SMB gets hacked, and the time to formulate one is before a data breach incident occurs. For SMBs with fewer technical resources, partnering with a trusted managed services provider (MSP) is an option to consider.

Best practices for dealing with a data breach involve the 3 Ps:

  1. Preparation
  2. Promptness
  3. Protection

Read on to learn about each of the 3 Ps and how they contribute to a solid incident response plan.

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5 Data Backup Method Options for SMB Business Continuity Plans

Erjon Xhepa

Posted by Erjon Xhepa
Thu, Aug 27, 2015

Data backup is essential for any business, and the small-to-midsized business (SMB) is especially vulnerable to the effects of a data loss, either as the result of a natural disaster or a data breach. After deciding on the type of backup to use (full, differential, and/or incremental), as I discussed in a previous blog, the next step is to choose a storage medium (or mediums).

Choosing the right data backup method for your small business is a serious matter. Often the best route is to consult with a managed services provider (MSP), preferably one who is brand agnostic and who aims to understand your business.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and each data storage option has its pros and cons. Read on to learn about each of these five data backup methods:

  1. Magnetic tape
  2. Hard disk drive
  3. Optical media
  4. Solid state storage
  5. Cloud-based storage
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News, best practices and more to help you get the most out of your office technology. Whether you're an SMB owner who wears a lot of hats, or an enterprise IT director, facilities manager or just someone who wants to work smarter — this blog has the resources you need to maximize the business impact of all your tech investments. Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates about new posts!

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