5 Ways to Maximize Your Employees’ Mobile Productivity

BYOD

Virtually every employee today has a smartphone. Many also have tablets, such as iPads and Android devices. Most businesses are underutilizing these devices, because in most cases they belong to employees. These devices are BYOD, “bring your own device,” as they say.

Ignoring these devices is a mistake. Your hyper-connected employees are glued to their mobile devices, and savvy business owners and executives have realized the secret to higher employee productivity is embracing mobility and the BYOD trend. Find ways to help your staff work more, work smarter, and serve your clients better. The key is to empower the mobile experience of your staff, without compromising security and control of your corporate data.

Business-class file sync services can give you the best of both worlds: you can allow your corporate data to be synced to employee mobile devices, without giving up control of your corporate data. Here’s how:

  1. Sync to smartphones
    Business-class cloud file sync services allow employees to sync their critical work files between their desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and the cloud. Your staff becomes more nimble and productive when they have their files at their fingertips, no matter where they go. Whether it is iOS, Android, or Windows Phone, business-class sync keeps users connected on the go.
  2. Empower your employees with tablets
    Tablet users today are usually your cutting edge staffers. More and more, everyday computing tasks once performed on laptops are now being done on iPads and Android tablets. Tablets are great for field-based staff, often sales professionals. Whether your staff is visiting a client or working a tradeshows, tablets are fantastic for demos, show and tell, and visual content to share with prospects and clients. Growth-oriented companies should encourage tablet use and help users leverage all of their files and corporate data, securely from their tablets.
  3. Sync your file server
    Mobile devices are the lifeline for remote employees. But it is easy to feel cut off from HQ if all the content, files, and data you need is stuck back on the corporate file server.  Business-grade sync services allow you to cloud connect your file server and in turn sync the content to mobile users and other remote computers. On-the-go professionals are in sync with HQ and better able to serve clients and prospects in the field.
  4. Don’t lose control
    Leveraging employee mobile devices is not without risks. Data privacy and security has always been a balancing act. With BYOD, it is no different. But with business-grade sync services, you can connect employees with your corporate data without losing control of that information. Business-class services allow you to implement fine-grained controls on employee sync and share behavior. For instance, you could allow employees to sync to their iPhone and iPad, but not a remote Windows or Mac machine. You may also evolve your security policy over time, either loosening or strengthening your policies depending on the circumstances. The choice is yours.
  5. Be ready when disaster strikes
    No matter which security policies you implement, you need to be ready for when disasters strike. Everyday disasters are all too common, such as lost or stolen smartphones. With business-grade file sync, you can remotely wipe corporate data off of a lost device. In more serious situations, such as an employee termination, you are also ready. Remote wipe actions can be taken on a whole user account and across devices that were previously synced, eliminating corporate data from smartphones, tablets, and remote computers.

Balancing security and convenience is a necessary choice in today’s workplace. Fortunately, business-class file sync helps business owners and executives ride the mobility wave, while safeguarding corporate data.

Three Reasons to Cloud Connect Your File Server

Half of your employees love the file server, since it is fast, easy, and centralizes all work files in a single location on the network at the main office. The other half of your of employees likely hate the file server, since they must login with their VPN to sync up with the server when they are remote and more often than not, they often are missing critical files when they are in the field. The problem is especially acute for employees who are always remote. Over time, difficulties with remote access cause employees to get out of sync with the rest of the company, leading to data sprawl for corporate documents and to critical content becoming trapped in personal silos. There is a different way.

Business-class file sync services implement a feature call File Server Enablement . File server ennoblement connects the existing server to the cloud and permits discrete folders from the file server to be logically mapped to users and team shares using the sync services. With this technology, all the data from the file server is available in real time on users’ mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and remote laptops and home office PCs. As new content is created on a remote tablet or PC, the data is instantaneously synced back to the server.

Here are three reasons to consider file server enablement:

  1. End data sprawl
    Outdated means of remote access, like VPNs, contribute to data sprawl, as users shun the cumbersome process of logging in remotely. Over time, many users will build up large libraries of valuable work product that is less protected when housed on a remote PC, rather than synced to the file server. File server enablement reverses this trend and provides bi-directional sync between the file server and remote users.
  2. Keep people in sync
    Remote employees usually have a long list of complaints when it comes to IT support. Top among them is the feeling of being out of sync with the rest of the organization. With file server enablement and business-class file sync, you can level the playing field. Remote employees are now able to access all of their files and team share content from any mobile device, be it their laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Field employees are the closest to the customer, thus it makes to have these critical team members in sync with the whole company and all the files they need to do their jobs best.
  3. Empower your employees
    Savvy and growth oriented companies should view their hyper-connected workforce as untapped opportunity. Smartphones and tablets, even if they are BYOD devices and owned by the employee, can vastly improve the productivity of your workforce. The trick is to balance convenience with security when it comes to corporate data. Business-class file sync and file server enablement put corporate data on BYOD devices, but you now have critical capabilities to protect your data, such as fine-grained audit trails, per user security policies, and remote wipe of lost or stolen devices. The key is to focus on employee empowerment, no matter the device they choose to access corporate data.

Conclusion

File server enablement and business-class file sync can help you better organize your company and your data, while fully maximizing the power of employee mobility.

Health Care Providers and Managed IT Services: Why are They Inseparable?

Half of your employees love the file server, since it is fast, easy, and centralizes all work files in a single location on the network at the main office. The other half of your of employees likely hate the file server, since they must login with their VPN to sync up with the server when they are remote and more often than not, they often are missing critical files when they are in the field. The problem is especially acute for employees who are always remote. Over time, difficulties with remote access cause employees to get out of sync with the rest of the company, leading to data sprawl for corporate documents and to critical content becoming trapped in personal silos. There is a different way.

Business-class file sync services implement a feature call File Server Enablement. File server ennoblement connects the existing server to the cloud and permits discrete folders from the file server to be logically mapped to users and team shares using the sync services. With this technology, all the data from the file server is available in real time on users’ mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and remote laptops and home office PCs. As new content is created on a remote tablet or PC, the data is instantaneously synced back to the server.

Here are three reasons to consider file server enablement:

  1. End data sprawl
    Outdated means of remote access, like VPNs, contribute to data sprawl, as users shun the cumbersome process of logging in remotely. Over time, many users will build up large libraries of valuable work product that is less protected when housed on a remote PC, rather than synced to the file server. File server enablement reverses this trend and provides bi-directional sync between the file server and remote users.
  2. Keep people in sync
    Remote employees usually have a long list of complaints when it comes to IT support. Top among them is the feeling of being out of sync with the rest of the organization. With file server enablement and business-class file sync, you can level the playing field. Remote employees are now able to access all of their files and team share content from any mobile device, be it their laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Field employees are the closest to the customer, thus it makes to have these critical team members in sync with the whole company and all the files they need to do their jobs best.
  3. Empower your employees
    Savvy and growth oriented companies should view their hyper-connected workforce as untapped opportunity. Smartphones and tablets, even if they are BYOD devices and owned by the employee, can vastly improve the productivity of your workforce. The trick is to balance convenience with security when it comes to corporate data. Business-class file sync and file server enablement put corporate data on BYOD devices, but you now have critical capabilities to protect your data, such as fine-grained audit trails, per user security policies, and remote wipe of lost or stolen devices. The key is to focus on employee empowerment, no matter the device they choose to access corporate data.

Conclusion:

File server enablement and business-class file sync can help you better organize your company and your data, while fully maximizing the power of employee mobility.

Five Common Disasters

The challenges that small businesses deal with never end — and for the small number of employees who have to take on these tasks, it can quickly get overwhelming. No wonder, then, that many small businesses have all but ignored the important task of developing a disaster recovery plan, which involves understanding the risks of the disasters that small businesses face, figuring out how best to prevent against the deleterious effects of these disasters, and implementing a business continuity solution to minimize downtime.

Importantly, the disasters that cause small organizations the most damage are the ones that many business owners may not consider to be all that common, such as hardware failure and power outages. This blog post aims to illuminate five common disasters that small businesses face, so that business owners have a sense of perspective when considering the importance of a disaster recovery strategy.

They Are:

  1. Hardware failure
    One of the most disruptive disasters that can strike a small business at any time is hardware failure. Whether it is a clicking hard drive in an email server or a fried motherboard inside a central file server, any kind of hardware failure can result in the inability to access critical data. Possibly the worst aspect of hardware failure is that it is inevitable, yet completely unpredictable. In fact, a recent survey of nearly 400 partners by data protection firm StorageCraft revealed that 99% of them had experienced a hardware failure, with 80.9% of those failures attributable to hard drive malfunctions. Failed hardware leads to downtime and lost productivity, both of which can cost small businesses dearly.
  2. Software corruption
    Permanent corruption of server data, such as corruption of the server’s operating system or damage to line-of-business applications that run on the server, could lead to significant downtime. Even the most sophisticated storage apparatuses are not immune to software corruption: a study by CERN, the world’s largest particle physics lab, revealed software corruption in 1 out of every 1,500 files. Software corruption could severely disrupt small businesses that do not have a backup and disaster recovery solution in place.
  3. Cyber-attacks
    Viruses, worms, Trojans — any and all forms of malware can wreak serious havoc on small businesses. According to the National Small Business Association’s Year-End 2014 report, 1 out of every 2 small businesses reported being the victim of a cyber-attack, with the average cost of each cyber-attack exceeding $20,000. The consequences stemming from cyber-attacks – such as data theft, data corruption, and permanent data deletion — can seriously affect businesses and their customers. Though deploying a firewall and security software is an important first step, having a fallback continuity strategy in place in case cyber-attacks get through to a company’s systems is crucial.
  4. Power outages
    Blackouts, power shortages, and other power-related issues are not as uncommon as many businesses think. In fact, a 2014 survey by power management firm Eaton Electrical revealed that 37% of IT professionals had dealt with “unplanned downtime due to power-related issues in the last 24 months,” with 32% of outages lasting longer than four hours. Even more concerning are the high costs of downtime; according to a May 2013 survey by research firm Aberdeen Group, the average cost of downtime for small companies was a whopping $8,581 per hour. Electrical issues are real — and they are costly.
  5. Natural or site-wide disasters
    Natural disasters, such as include tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes, can cripple small businesses. Even more threatening are fires, floods, and other common catastrophes that can occur regardless of a particular geographic location’s propensity toward certain natural disasters. Since these disasters and catastrophes almost always lead to site-wide damage, small businesses with only one or two locations are especially vulnerable. No amount of money spent can prevent site-wide and natural disasters from occurring; the only recourse for businesses affected by these calamities is to get back up and running as soon as possible after they happen.

Conclusion:

The aforementioned disasters that could befall a small business are relatively consistent across different organizations and industries. Understanding these disasters is just the first step; the next, and more important, task is for every small business to figure out how best to guard itself against these threats.
Adopting business continuity services is essential for every small business looking to protect their data and quickly recover from disasters. Business continuity services ensure that all of a business’s digital data is securely backed up off-site and recoverable whenever necessary. Learn more about our business continuity services by visiting Business Continuity.

Why You Must Proactively Address the Threat of Mobile Hacks

mobile

More cyber criminals are targeting small-to-medium sized businesses. One reason for this is too many workplaces have insufficient bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies in place. Some have none at all. Although firms are generally more knowledgeable about network security risks than in years past, they still woefully underestimate the security vulnerabilities linked to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

This is a real cause for concern since data breaches have the ability to put many already financially challenged SMBs out of business.

If customer/client data has been breached, there could be potential litigation costs, and naturally, lost goodwill and an irreparable hit to brand or company reputation.

Don’t Just Say You’re Worried About the Bad Guys… Deal With Them

SMBs say they view network security as a major priority but their inaction when it comes to mobile devices paints a different picture. An April 2013 study found that only 16% of SMBs have a mobility policy in place.

Despite the fact that stolen devices are a major problem in today’s mobile workforce, only 37% of mobility policies enforced today have a clear protocol outlined for lost devices.

Even more troubling is the fact that those firms who have implemented mobility policies have initiated plans with some very obvious flaws.

Key components of a mobility policy such as personal device use, public Wi-Fi accessibility, and data transmission and storage are often omitted from many policies.

Thankfully, most SMB cybercrimes can be avoided with a comprehensive mobility policy and the help of mobile endpoint mobile device management services.

A Mobility Policy Is All About Acceptable/Unacceptable Behaviors

Your initial mobility policy doesn’t have to be all encompassing. There should be room for modifications, as things will evolve over time. Start small by laying some basic usage ground rules, defining acceptable devices and protocols for setting passwords for devices and downloading third-party apps. Define what data belongs to the company and how it’s to be edited, saved, and shared. Be sure to enforce these policies and detail the repercussions for abuse.

Features of Mobile Device Management Services

MDM services are available at an affordable cost. These services help IT managers identify and monitor the mobile devices accessing their network. This centralized management makes it easier to get each device configured for business access to securely share and update documents and content. MDM services proactively secure mobile devices by:

  • Specifying password policy and enforcing encryption settings
  • Detecting and restricting tampered devices
  • Remotely locating, locking, and wiping out lost or stolen devices
  • Removing corporate data from any system while leaving personal data intact
  • Enabling real time diagnosis/resolution of device, user, or app issues

It’s important to realize that no one is immune to cybercrime. The ability to identify and combat imminent threats is critical and SMBs must be proactive in implementing solid practices that accomplish just that.