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

Why and When Email Encryption is Important for SMB Security

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Aug 16, 2016

I can’t stop thinking about encryption.

Right after Google announced plans to release an extension to its Chrome browser called “End-To-End”, with the goal of facilitating easier email encryption, I found a postcard on the sidewalk. The postcard was addressed to a house three doors down from where I found it, so I simply took it there and dropped it in their mailbox. But, in the process of searching for the address, I inadvertently read the greeting — “Dear Aunt Sally.”

Having no interest in Aunt Sally, I read no further — but I could have — and that is the point of this blog. Unencrypted email can be less secure than sending a post card via snail mail.

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3 Steps to Avoid Analysis Paralysis and Right-Size Your Printer Fleet

Todd Stanton

Posted by Todd Stanton
Tue, Jul 26, 2016

I hear it all the time—"Help! I have all this information and don't know what to do with it!" It begins with a print assessment—an overview of how many printers and devices your organization has. Then, an overview of the cost per page, utilization per employee and overview of cost savings once the number of devices is reduced.

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The 3 Phases of Successful Printer Management

Todd Stanton

Posted by Todd Stanton
Mon, Jul 25, 2016

Every day, I’m on the front lines of Managed Print Services, working with clients to resolve business challenges associated with the operations and management of their print fleets. Fleets vary, but the challenges they produce for IT, Facilities and Purchasing can be quite costly to an organization’s bottom line.

Take into consideration the effect that a solid decision-making process can have on the efficiency of operating a large fleet of assets. Most organizations have traditionally acquired multifunction devices (MFDs) from a single provider that delivered a break-fix model within the operating costs of the equipment. However, since printers have always been peripherals to computers, they have generally been managed and deployed out of IT departments. Somewhere in the middle, purchasing processes POs for their copier management and buys supplies for a heterogeneous fleet of inkjet and laser printers. IT is then typically left to manage this hodgepodge of printers, copiers and fax machines. 

With each operation trying to independently handle these shared machines, it's not shocking to hear that 24% of IT helpdesk calls are related to issues on these devices.

Read on to learn about each of these 3 phases of successful print fleet management, as well as how you can implement them and reduce the burden on IT, facilities management and purchasing personnel:

  1. Management and reporting
  2. Optimization
  3. Innovation
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How to Avoid and Reduce Paper Jams in Your Printer and Copier

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Jun 28, 2016

Modern copiers and MFPs are one of the marvels of the digital age...it may sound silly, but I don’t say that lightly. Not too long ago, office copy rooms used offset presses. After a day of squeezing tubes of ink onto rollers, we'd all have a greater appreciation for today's advanced bizhubs.

Although office print solutions have evolved, they still share one main ingredient with their predecessors: paper

That said, there are some basic paper properties that anyone who has ever loaded an empty printer paper tray should learn:

  • Curl
  • Weight
  • Grain
  • Caliper
  • Moisture content

Why are these things relevant to you? It's simple — understanding these factors is the key to producing high-quality print jobs, with the lowest instance of jamming or malfunction. Read on to get started reducing your printing headaches!

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What to Expect from Your New Managed IT Services Provider During Onboarding

Erjon Xhepa

Posted by Erjon Xhepa
Fri, Jun 24, 2016

Bringing on a new managed services client—onboarding—does not happen overnight. It is a process, not an event that requires a team effort by both the service provider and the client. But this initial stage of managed services is critical, and careful attention to the client’s IT needs and capabilities here will result in smoother sailing down the road.

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10 Messy Desk Mistakes That Threaten Data Security in Your Office

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Jun 14, 2016

It may sound like simple common sense, but keeping your desk and work area tidy is an often overlooked component of data security. It’s also the perfect place to start improving your security habits.

A messy desk also makes it more difficult to realize something is missing, such as a folder with hard copy print-outs of customer lists. In addition to increasing the likelihood of something being removed, a cluttered desk means that the discovery of any theft will likely be delayed — perhaps by days or even weeks if the victim is out of the office or distracted by competing projects or priorities. Such delays make it more difficult to determine who the perpetrator is and where the stolen material might now be located.

Encouraging yourself, your team and other coworkers to maintain a neat desk pays off in two ways. In addition to making digital and paper assets more secure, people with clean desks are more apt to be productive, and therefore happy, because they can quickly — and safely — access the tools and resources they need to do their jobs.

Read on to learn about the top 10 most common messy desk mistakes that you should start avoiding TODAY!

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Top 3 Browser Threats to Secure Website Browsing

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Jun 07, 2016

When you venture out onto the Internet, it’s easy to get tangled up in the vast web of threats lurking on many website pages, often without even realizing it. Plus, today's threats are constantly evolving, usually much faster than we (the general population of law-abiding citizens) learn about them. Some of them are readily apparent, but others are well hidden, and getting sneakier each day.

Read on to learn more about each of these top browser threats and how to avoid them:

  1. Malvertising
  2. Social Media Scams
  3. Web-Based Exploits
  4. PLUS Best Practices for Secure Web Browsing
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How a Virtual CIO (VCIO) Can Help DC Small Businesses Budget Better

Trent Edwards

Posted by Trent Edwards
Thu, May 05, 2016

Most businesses spend about 6-8% of revenue on technology-related expenses. I'm quite familiar with this statistic because, as the chief information officer (CIO) here at Meridian, or VP of Technology as I’m officially known, I am constantly involved in both technology and finance.

It's vital I see to it that my company utilizes the best technology that it can:

  1. afford to purchase, use and maintain
  2. leverage to improve its ability to pursue its core mission and meet goals
  3. increase the bottom line and generate revenue

A virtual chief information officer (VCIO), at least ones like we provide here at Meridian for small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs), has the same set of responsibilities. Read on to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a traditional CIO vs VCIO, as well as how they help businesses create and stick to a predictable technology budget.

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5 Benefits of Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS)

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Apr 26, 2016

Moore's Law — a concept named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that's often used broadly to refer to the quick pace of technology advances — states that computer chip processing power doubles every two years. Today, about half a century since the creation of Moore's Law, that time frame is usually quoted as only 18 months, and sometimes even less than that.

Moore’s observation is especially applicable to many small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs). That's because, as challengers to the big, well-known brand names, SMBs have a critical need and opportunity to leverage technology for a competitive edge. However, they also don't always have anywhere near the resources or cash-flow necessary to keep up with technology changes through conventional methods. A great way to keep current with rapidly evolving IT innovations, while still controlling costs, is Hardware-as-a Service (HaaS). 

Read on to learn more about HaaS and the top 5 benefits that come along with it.

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Top 5 Risks of Using Outdated Technology

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Thu, Apr 14, 2016

The rotating hourglass. The spinning rainbow ball. The constant string of pop-up notifications begging for this update or that patch. You've been there before. At one point or another, we've all felt the frustration that comes with using outdated technology.

Unfortunately, using outdated technology in business comes with much bigger risks than just pain and frustration. In fact, according to this Microsoft infographic, 70-80% of the top 10 malware could be avoided if technology was updated correctly.

Read on to learn the top 5 risks that will make you re-think using outdated technology.

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About this blog

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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