In this issue
Cut Down on Spam
IT Security Policy
Business Continuity TIp
A Must Have
by Blake Britton,
President of Axxys Technologies, Inc.
know we all feel that we do our best when it comes to securing both the
physical and tangible assets of our businesses. Most companies feel that
by simply locking doors, controlling who has keys and alarm codes,
changing passwords, and engaging in other basic security measures they
are doing their best to protect the business. I am not a physical
security officer, or loss prevention specialist, but I do know about
"basic" IT policy and how it can help your business protect its
So here are the questions of
the day: Does your company have an enforceable IT security policy? Who
is directly responsible for the management and enforcement of this
policy? How often is this policy reviewed and updated?
These are all very serious
questions that every business must answer. In a lot of cases the
"information" businesses possess is one of their most valuable assets.
Business Continuity Tip
Reap the benefits.
talk about the importance of creating a
comprehensive and actionable recovery plan.
It will come as no surprise, that most plans
are built with the worst-case-scenario in
mind. But the reality is that most business
interruptions are not major "smoking hole"
events. Employee illness, transit strikes,
religious holidays or even scheduled events
like the recent G20 in Toronto are just a
few examples of the many things that can
keep people out of work throughout the year.
comprehensive recovery plan takes these
"minor" interruptions into account. For
example, if you have a large group of
employees out of town for a tradeshow, who
will function as their backup? What's the
impact on your customers? How will external
audiences be notified? What's the procedure
for handling increased workload? Is your
current process efficient? You back up your
data every night, but have you made the same
accommodations for your people? A robust
recovery plan will help you address these
concerns throughout the year.
Quote of the Month
An optimist stays up until midnight to see the
new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure
the old year leaves.
Capitol Way, Suite 102
Bismarck, ND 58501
Welcome to 2011 and Happy New Year!
Wow! Where did 2010 go? If you are like me,
the year just seemed to speed by and was
over before I knew it.
The beginning of the year coincides with
many entities beginning their fiscal year.
Now is a good time to evaluate your IT
budget for the year, review your equipment
replacement schedule and to review any new
IT initiatives that may be on your “radar”
for 2011. A good rule of thumb for equipment
replacement is to schedule desktops and
notebooks for a 3-4 year replacement, and
servers for a 5-6 year replacement.
Networking equipment should be scheduled to
be re-evaluated every 4-5 years. Networking
equipment may not need to be replaced every
5 years, but technology keeps advancing and
you need to re-evaluate.
We have been receiving many questions lately
about upgrading to Microsoft Office 2010.
Office 2010 has many new features than
enable interaction with Exchange Servers and
SharePoint portals in a richer and deeper
way. If you analyze a lot of data with
Excel, Excel 2010 has a few new features
including Sparklines and Excel PowerPivot to
help you connect to your data easier. In the
past Excel was a tool just for spreadsheets,
but can now function as a powerful instrument
used to view your data stored in databases.
This time of year is also a good time to
review your disaster recovery plans.
Disasters and interruptions to your business
can come in many forms, as talked about in
the Business Continuity Tip in this
newsletter. If you think back to last year
and the horrible ice storms in southwest ND,
losing power for an extended period is a
very real possibility and is certainly a
disruption of your business. Let us know if
you would like assistance in assessing your
risks and developing a disaster recovery
plan. It is never too late to get started.
Until next time, take care and have a
Chris Brown, Vice President, NRG Technology
Don't Expect Consumer-Grade Technology to Meet Your
used with permission from
the Cisco Small Business Website
When you walk
into a business meeting, do you wear pajamas?
Do you let
your children manage the accounts receivable for your
When you buy
business technology, do you choose products designed for
The pricing on
consumer-grade technology is tempting. But the lower price
can end up costing your business dearly, in both
productivity and cash.
Ways to Save
Time and Money, by Not Going Home
"While you may be saving money now, you're spending more in
the long run," says Austin Smith, founder of Digital Son, a
Cisco Registered Partner. "One of the worst things that a
small business could do would be to go to a retail
establishment and purchase home gear for their business.
Home equipment is just not designed to provide feature sets
that businesses need."
report that products that are designed for doing business
are worth the price premium in at least four ways, because
they enable them to:
Combining the technologies that a business uses makes
processes more efficient. Work gets done better, and faster.
3 Essential Steps to Better
permission from the
Microsoft Small Business website
have too much information. What companies don't have enough
of is intelligence - and no, we're not talking about your
staff. Business intelligence refers to the insights you
discover when you turn all that data into something that
your employees can use to make smart business decisions.
and managers at all levels are bombarded with data from
accounting systems, CRM, ERP and other business
applications. Much of this information comes in the form of
reports, which can be difficult to read and understand, or
charts, which often lack necessary background detail.
Here are three essential steps to turning all those reams
and megabytes of information into vital business insights -
1. Remove the
Knowledge may be power, but information overload can weaken
even the best of us. The first step in combating this common
problem is to determine what information is important and to
whom. Every role has different information requirements.
Salespeople require customer information. The finance team
requires financial information. Manufacturing requires
There is some
overlap. For example, manufacturing might require
information on upcoming large orders to plan appropriately
It's Time to Cut Down on Spam
used with permission from Symantec
It’s no secret
that spammers count on current events to hoodwink email
users. In recent years, everything from the Beijing Olympics
to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama to the Oscar
ceremonies has provided fodder for their scams. But with the
economy in a tailspin, spammers are redoubling their
efforts. Continue reading to learn about the latest email
threats and what you can do to slow down and effectively
Beware of ‘economic spam’
concerns mount across the globe and media coverage of the
downturn intensifies, it’s clear that more and more spammers
view “economic spam” as a useful vehicle. According to a
recent Symantec State of Spam Report, emails with subject
lines such as “HURRY! I found you a new job” and “Global job
vacancy - apply now” are becoming increasingly common.
With more people
looking for employment, some spammers have even resorted to
using the rejection letter to dupe users. As the March 2009
State of Spam Report explained:
“In the particular
spam message observed, the messages states that
‘Unfortunately we have to inform you that your
qualifications and experience does not fit the position you
applied for.’ The URL links in the spam message point back
to a legitimate site of a particular company or recruitment
firm. The spam message indicates that ‘We have attached a
copy of your application you sent for us.’ If human
curiosity prevails and the recipient opens the attachment,
the user’s system becomes the subject of an attack from the
Hacktool. Spammer malicious virus. Hack-tool. Spammer is a
program that hackers use to attack mail boxes by flooding
them with email.”
purport to be from the Internal Revenue Service are another
common ploy of spammers to gain personal information,
especially Tax Day in April.