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

Robert Bruce

Robert Bruce

Recent Posts

MFP vs Desktop Printer: Which is better for your office printing needs?

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
February 23, 2016

The multifunction printer (MFP) has greatly improved document management, workflow and office efficiencies, but desktop printers can still be found at some workstations. In fact, despite the many technological advantages of the MFP, the desktop printer hasn't completely disappeared from the modern office environment. 

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How Much Copier Speed Do You Need?

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
December 8, 2015

One of the most important qualities of a printer/copier is ppm or pages per minute. It’s not the only factor, not by a longshot. But, copy speed is certain to be heavily factored in when deciding on which copier, or multifunction printer (MFP), to lease or buy.

Much like an automobile’s horsepower, top printer speed is not always utilized, but it’s nice to have it when it’s needed. On the other hand, do you really need to lease a Corvette when most of your driving occurs within a radius of 10 miles or less, on city streets?

For now, let’s take an objective look at MFP ppm speed. We'll start with one question: is faster always better?

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5 Key Principles for Data Security

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
July 21, 2015

The amount of digital information out there is mind boggling. 

A study by a group of scientists at the University of Southern California estimated that there have been about 295 exabytes, or 295 billion gigabytes of stored data worldwide since 1986.

I could type the full number out, but my zero key might jam. I don’t know about you, but my mind is boggled.

And keeping all that data secure is no easy task.

Whether you administer your own enterprise IT security or partner with a managed services provider, some basic principles of data security apply:

  1. Inventory your data
  2. Keep what you need
  3. Discard unneeded data
  4. Secure it
  5. Plan for the unexpected

Read on to learn more about each of these five principles. 

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Who Needs to be HIPAA Compliant?

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
June 24, 2015

The common misconception that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is just for medical companies is one that could have serious consequences, especially for a small-to-midsized business (SMB).

The act has official rules that specify required compliance by covered entities (CE), which are: healthcare providers, health plans, or healthcare clearinghouses, and business associates — that is, any company that comes in contact with electronic protected health information (e-PHI). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, all of these are considered covered entities and must comply with HIPAA encryption requirements to protect the privacy and security of protected health information.

Keep reading to learn more about:

  1. Who needs to be HIPAA compliant
  2. Why being compliant is a necessity
  3. PHI implications
  4. And more
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What DC Businesses Should Know About Mini PCs and Micro Computers

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
June 10, 2015

In business, sometimes good things come in small packages. The desktop (literal not virtual) is a valuable piece of real estate — especially in the DC area, where office space typically comes with a high price tag — and anything that can expand its usable space is worth a look.

One way is to get a bigger desk. Another, more practical solution is to replace that cumbersome desktop computer with something that has a smaller footprint. That could be a laptop computer, an all-in-one PC, or a third option that is gaining in popularity - a mini desktop PC.

They're not for everyone, and there are pros and cons. But, mini PCs can fill some niche business needs, and in some cases may even suffice for all your computing needs. 

Mini desktops come from a variety of manufacturers, including Apple, Dell, Google, Asus, and HP, just to name a few. Small, compact desktop PCs are generally not as quick as full-sized desktop computers, but they make up for that by taking up less space, a trait that’s valuable for those with cluttered desks, or cramped workspaces. Since real estate and rent values in the DC area are so high, this may be an appealing option for many local businesses. While not as powerful as large desktops, most mini PCs can keep pace with, and even surpass, the performance of most laptops.

Read on for the PROs and CONs of mini PC's and micro computers, as well as the bottom line: are they a fit for DC businesses, or not?

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5 Factors for Secure Guest Access to Your SMB Wireless Network

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
May 13, 2015

Wireless access to the Internet has become nearly ubiquitous, and it is the rare small-to-midsized business (SMB) that doesn’t wish to provide wifi access for guests. But some caution is needed. Connecting to a company’s wireless local area networks (WLAN) should be quick and easy for customers, contractors, business partners, and others with smart devices. However, without a WLAN security policy in place for such access, you could open the door for some major network security vulnerabilities. 

Here are the five factors an IT department, or managed service provider (MSP), should consider in provisioning wireless guest access without sacrificing WLAN security for SMB networks:

  1. Know who your guests are
  2. Use session based security keys
  3. Have a splash page agreement
  4. Set access time limits
  5. Use identity management

Read on to learn how you can implement each of these important factors for security.

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5 Most Common Ways Hackers Use Social Networking for Cyber Attacks

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
May 5, 2015

Internet social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook have revolutionized the way we interact and conduct business. Tweeting, liking, and Googling have become the action verbs of the 21st century, similar to the way faxing and texting entered our vocabulary in the 20th century.

Today, Facebook has over 1.4 billion members. If it were a country, it would be the most populous nation on Earth. And, like any large population base, there are people on Facebook who are trying to get away with a variety of scams.

From fake apps to fake like buttons and more, cyberattacks are emerging on social networks at an alarming rate. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) even has a webpage devoted to the subject. It’s a recommended read for any individual or small business owner with a social media presence.

There are lots of risks in cyberspace, and here are five of the most prevalent social networking scams currently out there:

  1. Fake news
  2. Fake offers
  3. Fake apps
  4. Like jacking
  5. Click jacking

Read on to learn more about each of these scams, as well as how to spot and avoid them.

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(Anti)Social Engineering – The Hacker's Simplest Weapon

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
April 28, 2015

The attacks are relentless. Last year, the global cost of phishing breaches was an estimated $4.5 billion. Hackers, like other thieves, look for the path of least resistance, and at many enterprises that is the employee. Educating workers in data security and the latest impersonation and phishing techniques is a critical foundation for any security program. The best firewall and anti-virus software is useless if hackers simply walk in the front door – a door that is too often opened for them by a trusting, but unsuspecting, employee.

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Green is Good for Business: 4 Easy Ways to Go Green at Work

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
April 22, 2015

Greening your enterprise is a win-win situation. Earth Day is here again, and it reminds us that the modern office presents a wonderful opportunity to simultaneously conserve natural resources and save money. Because we are at the office so much, it is a natural starting point to incorporate sound environmental policies. It is estimated that the average American office worker spends about one quarter of their waking hours at the office—and that doesn’t include commuting a half hour (or more) each day. So what are some of the things we can all do to help Mother Earth get healthier and at the same time save our respective enterprises a little green as well? Here are four easy, simple ways to green up your office life.

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5 Stages of an Advanced Persistent Threat Attack on Your Network

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
November 6, 2014

Enterprises that handle a lot of proprietary information such as law firms, accountants, financial entities, defense contractors, medical offices, and government agencies have increasingly been targeted by hackers seeking to steal their classified data. The term advanced persistent threat (APT) originally referred to nation states engaging in cyber espionage, but cyber criminals are now using APT techniques to steal data from enterprises for financial gain. What sets an APT apart from the rest of the pack of malware, spyware and other assorted types of network viruses is that an APT is targeted, persistent, evasive and advanced. 

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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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