April Showers Bring May Floods and TORNADOS! Is Your Business Ready?

symbol-30390_640Does Your Business Have A Reliable Business Continuity Plan? 

Take This Short Quiz …

If your current backup provider doesn’t score a “YES” on every point, you could be wide open to a very expensive, very frustrating computer disaster:

  • Do you have an off-site backup of your data in a secure data center that could be retrieved within 24 hours or brought online virtually from the data center?
  • Do they INSIST on monitoring an offsite/onsite backup system, or are they letting you rely on outdated tape backups?
  • Do they INSIST on doing periodical test restores of your backups to make sure the data is not corrupt and could be restored in the event of a disaster?
  • Have they provided you with written, network documentation detailing what software licenses you have, critical network passwords, and hardware information, or are they the only person with the “keys to the kingdom?”
  • Did they explain to you that data backup is NOT disaster recovery, and that simply having an offsite copy of your data does NOT ensure you could be back up and running fast?

If your answer to any of these questions is, “I don’t know,” or “I’m not sure,” you are taking a HUGE risk with your company’s most important asset – the data on your network and your ability to access it. Just imagine what would happen to your business if you lost your entire client database…

…Lost all accounting documentation and history…

…Lost all the work files you’ve spent YEARS developing…

…Lost the work files and documentation you so desperately need to service your customers…

Can you even put a price tag on it? Probably not – yet so many business owners aren’t 100% certain that they could be back up and running after a disaster and are purely hoping that their current tape drive or backup is working and storing a usable copy of their data.

Hope Is NOT A Good Strategy When It Comes To Your Company’s Data!

CALL 314-414-8400 NOW and ask for the TORNADO SPECIAL to get 10% off our backup and disaster recovery service!

How Much Does “Cyberloafing” Cost Your Business?

Are You Paying 80% Of Your Employees To “Cyberloaf” On The Internet, Watching Cat Videos, Searching For A Better Job Or Accidentally Downloading A Virus On Your Network?

Recently, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of local businesses suffering significant financial and productivity losses due to employees inappropriately using their Internet access during work hours – and much of this is fueled by social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube. Studies have shown that between 60 and 80 percent of people’s time on the Internet at work has nothing to do with work! 

What makes this situation so dangerous is that the majority of business owners don’t even realize that it’s going on until it’s too late. By then they have found themselves in the middle of a costly and embarrassing lawsuit because an employee posted something inappropriate online OR downloaded a virus.

In other cases, the owner NEVER finds out, but is inadvertently losing THOUSANDS of dollars because employees are spending 2-3 hours a day to goof off online – and you’re footing the bill. Lost productivity alone is a huge cost.

And age of the employee doesn’t affect an employee’s ability to waste time on the Internet. Older employees do things like managing their finances while younger employees check social media.

 A Company Internet Policy Is NOT Enough!

A recent study showed that the presence of a strong Internet policy at work was not enough to curb activity, as many employees don’t think it’s wrong to surf the web and a policy was not going to change their minds. Unfortunately, the only way to curb this activity is not only to threaten consequences, but to actually take action and reprimand employees. 

Our Free Internet and E-mail Usage Audit gives you the    answers to whether you have a problem on your hands. 

Schedule your Internet and E-mail Usage Audit today by calling our office at 314.414.0072 

Solid Strategies = Solid Success

CIO is more than just a tech company. We are a partner in your success. So we are calling all experts to share their fresh ideas to help you succeed. This fresh idea is from Dr. Nido Qubein, President of High Point University, an undergraduate and graduate institution with 4,500 students from over 51 countries. He has authored two dozen books and audio programs distributed worldwide.

Solid Strategies = Solid Success

Success results from a solid strategy. Even the greatest ideas are of little value unless they are backed up by a practical and workable plan of action. The word strategy comes from an ancient Greek term which literally means to be a general, leading troops into battle. Setting up a good strategic plan involves five steps:

The first step is to translate your vision into measurable and achievable goals. You decide specifically what you want to accomplish during the next five to ten years – those are your long range goals. Next, you break those goals down into intermediate goals – things you wish to accomplish during the next six months or year. Then you break them down further into short term goals covering the next month or six weeks.

The second step is to break your goals down into achievable objectives. Dr. Robert Schuller says, “Yard by yard life is hard, inch by inch it’s a cinch.” Working by objectives helps you concentrate on what’s important, instead of spinning your wheels on those things that seem urgent, but don’t lead to your long term goals. Objectives add purpose and direction to all your activities.

The third step is to set up your strategies for accomplishing your objectives. Strategies are the specific ways you will go about achieving your objectives.  The more clearly thought out they are, the more effective they will be.

Fourth, you choose each task you must complete each day to achieve your goals. This is where most planning breaks down. We tend to leave it vague – thinking that, as long as we are working hard all the time, we are achieving our goals. Most people I talk with are extremely busy – and most of them are working hard to do things right. The problem is they are not doing enough of the right things – the things that will help them achieve their goals. It is not enough to merely list each task you need to do; you need to build it into your schedule. So many hours every day you are working on specific actions that will lead to accomplishing your definite objectives.

And, finally, build in the monitoring mechanisms that will help you keep track of your progress toward implementing your plan. It’s one thing to have a “gut level feeling” that you must be doing something right because you are always working hard. But it is far better to design simple mechanisms to let you know precisely how much progress you are making. Look for a few key indicators that will help you stay on track, and monitor those like a doctor would monitor the vital signs of a patient. It doesn’t matter how much activity is going on. What matters is how well you are doing at achieving your objectives. One good example would be that you would target to contact three people each day to generate new business. At the end of the day, you’d know whether you have achieved that goal. Your plan is not complete until it has been communicated satisfactorily to every person in your organization who must help to implement it.

To learn more about Dr. Qubein, visit http://www.nidoqubein.com

 

One Word To Change Your Business

Can you believe it’s March?!? As always the year is flying by. Most New Year’s resolutions and goals are long forgotten by now, while others are still riding the false start and failure roller coaster. 

Did you know eighty-seven percent of people make New Year’s  resolutions every year? Each year we roll up our sleeves full of willpower and goals, ready to get to work. Yet each year 50 percent of us give up by the end of January and  the rest of us fade by summer.

Why are these self-proclaimed important goals so quickly abandoned?

This month’s Juicy Read (on page 4 of our print newsletter- email me if you want added to our mailing list) caught my attention for its simple answer to this crazy cycle of goal setting and failure. It claims it’s not motivation or lack of time, or any of the other excuses we’ve all made by now that allow these resolutions to slide by. It’s a lack of clarity, focus and simplicity that makes our resolutions so hard to hold onto. The solution: simplify the change you seek in a New Years resolution to just one word.  One word creates laser like focus that lasts and makes a real impact. One word sticks. 

This book claims you can simplify your life and business by focusing on just one word for the entire year and that this simplicity and focus will  lead to real success and change.

I am still trying to select my one word. It’s not as simple as it sounds!

If you had to pick one word to keep you focused on your goals and what you want to change for your business, what would it be?

wendysig

 

 

Juicy Read: One Word

one word

One Word That Will Change Your Life

By Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page

Simplify your life and business by focusing on just one word for the entire year. The simplicity and focus leads to success and clarity. What makes this book so powerful is that it gives you an action plan and process to discover your word and impact every dimension of your life.

 

 

 

Luck Is Not Enough To Protect You From A Cyber-Crime That Could Cripple Your Business

feeling-luckyIf We Knew A Dozen Or More Ways That Cyber-Criminals Could Steal Thousands Of Dollars From Your Company’s Bank Account, Damage Your Reputation And Cripple Your Operations

Wouldn’t You Want Us To Tell You About It?

Imagine walking into your office one morning to discover your computer network was breached by a hacker, exposing not only YOUR company’s data, but also your clients’. Imagine the embarrassment of having to notify your clients that, because of you, their personal information may now be in the hands of cyber-criminals. And hopefully that’s the only damage done…

Operations could be halted or severely limited for days, possibly weeks. Your data corrupt to the point of being useless. Clients lost. Potential lawsuits and government fines for violating data-breach laws. The exorbitant emergency IT fees to get everything restored to working order fast. Then there’s the risk of your bank account being drained dry – and because you’re a business, you are NOT protected by the banks in the same way individual consumers are.

You’re At Greater Risk Than You Think

With St. Patrick’s Day this month, I want to take a moment to remind you that just because you’ve been “lucky” enough to avoid an incident like this in the past doesn’t mean you’re not at risk – in fact, that’s exactly what cyber-criminals want you to think.

That’s why I’d like to offer you a FREE comprehensive Cyber-Security IT Audit that will reveal your exact risk score on over 50 common security loopholes cyber-criminals use on a regular basis to get around firewalls and antivirus software to gain entry to your computer network.

Normally we charge $800. for this service, but we’ve decided to give it away to the first 5 companies who request it before April 1st.

All you have to do is call our office at 314.414.8400 or email us to find out more details.

 

An Employee Had Their Smartphone Stolen…Pop Quiz: Quick, What Do You Do?

Mobile-Apps-300x162Over the last couple of months, we’ve come across some alarming statistics that you should know. Studies show that as many as 16% of smartphones are lost or stolen each year with only 7% of the stolen devices ever being recovered. Despite the fact that 60% of the missing smartphones are deemed to contain sensitive or confidential information, 57% of these phones were not protected with available security features, leaving the company exposed! In fact, only 14% of companies currently have a mobile-device security policy in place. The bottom line is, no matter how careful your employees are with their smartphones, losing a smartphone (or having one stolen) is likely to happen to you or your employees at some point in time.

In the hands of even a relatively unsophisticated hacker, all of your smartphone information can quickly be siphoned off. And time is of the essence for taking action. Criminals will remove the battery of your phone to prevent “remote wipes” of your data by your IT staff and then use a room without mobile access to break into the phone. This is akin to giving a thief the key to your data and the code to deactivate the alarm.

Asking employees to be more careful IS a good step in the right direction, but accidents happen and thieves are always on the prowl. That’s why it’s so important to take measures to lock down and secure any mobile devices you and your staff use to access your company’s network.

Here are just a few steps you can take now to be prepared:

1. Strong Passwords. Enforce a strong mobile-device password policy and make sure your employees can’t leave devices unlocked and vulnerable.

2. Enable Device Wiping. Prepare to be able to wipe both company-issued and personally owned devices that access company data. Make sure your employees are signing off on this before they add company data to their phones.

3. Have A Plan In Place. If a phone is lost or stolen, act quickly! If you happen to find the phone again, then the data can likely be replaced; however, stolen data in the hands of a criminal can rarely ever be taken back!

The evolution of personal mobile devices and the rise of how necessary they are to business success these days are forcing many small business owners to make a choice – “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) vs. “Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled” (COPE).

Struggling to figure out which option is best for your business?  Our FREE Mobile Device Policy Consultation ($297 value) helps point you in the right direction for your business.

To schedule call 314-414-8400 or email answers@cioservicesllc.com

Call 314-414-8400 or Email answers@cioservicesllc.com