Balancing Public Health With Business Health

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been on a rapid spread across the globe and affected widespread populations. Every day we have heard about increasing populations of individuals and families affected by the Coronavirus. This pandemic has had debilitating effects on the market, both small and large sized businesses, public health and all walks of life. 

In recent weeks, as the number of COVID-19 cases have decreased, the social distancing orders have begun to loosen up.  While we all strive for a sense of normalcy in our everyday life, it is crucial that we find ways to maintain business health without compromising public health and the health of individuals. Here are a few tips on how you can maintain business continuity during these times:

Explore Small Business Loan Resources

Before even considering operations, we have to take into consideration that business will be slow for the foreseeable future. Multiple industries are affected because consumer spending has drastically reduced all around and unemployment has been on the rise. So for the long term survival of your organization, you should explore different business loan resources the government has put in place for potential damages the pandemic may have on businesses.

Click here to learn more about the different resources

Work Remote

If you and your teammates are able to move your workload to working remote, then this is a vital consideration. Reducing the commute and physical interaction of staff members can better remedy the spread. Additionally, if your entire staff is infected and out sick, that affects your entire operational capabilities.  As businesses reopen, evaluate the occupancy limit of your office space and aim for alternating office days for your teammates or have some of your teammates work remote.  A healthy balance between remote and on-premise workload can help keep productivity high while also helping to reduce the infection rates within your team.

 

There are methods that teams can take to become remote-enabled.  Click on the button below to learn more.

 

Click Here To Learn More About Remote Work

Invest in Digital Marketing

The COVID19 Pandemic may cause a decrease in physical interaction and consumption, but there is an increase of digital engagements all throughout. As people work remote and stay home, they are on their computers longer. Additionally, current events today is consumed from social media feeds. Know who your ideal audience is for your business services/products and invest in content to target them. While short term purchasing may be slow, thought leadership in the long run can help you come out strong and build a strong relationship with your audience. However, when it comes to digital marketing, be sure to know what your specific goals are and closely monitor the expenses of the advertising next to the goals.

Move to the Cloud

 

As an IT Vendor, we can not encourage this enough. Have your data backed up into the cloud with the proper security measures (Multi-Factor Authentication tools.) Cloud-based tools can keep an organization remote-enabled and hybrid.  So when there are emergencies such as a stay-at-home order during a pandemic, the organization can become remote-enabled with much more ease.

Cloud technology is more than just storage in an off-premise datacenter.  Cloud-based technology also comprises of communications, and service management tools that can be easily accessed away from the premises.

 

Click Here For FREE Cloud-based tool

Business and operational continuity during the pandemic can prove challenging, since there are many setbacks in overall production to scale back infection rates.  Additionally, many business operations and interactions have migrated to virtual methods.  It is important that management and IT teams in different types of organizations work together on ensuring that the team as a whole are adapting well to the new normal.


We are currently offering a FREE trial to cloud-based communication tools from Freshworks. Click on the image below and sign up for immediate access to your FREE trial.

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FBI: 300% Increase in Cyber Crimes Since COVID-19

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) saw a surge in daily cybersecurity complaints since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI's Cyber Division, Tonya Ugoretz, said that the IC3 was receiving between 3,000 and 4,000 cybersecurity complaints each day, a major jump (300%) from pre-COVID19 pandemic when it was 1,000 complaints daily.

 

Around the same time, Google stopped millions of maliciious coronavirus-related emails from reaching their Gmail users.  According to the company, they saw 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19.  This was in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages.

 

The More Virtual You Go, The More Cyber Risks There Are

 

The surge in cyber attacks stem from the increasingly vulnerable IT networks in organizations as they enforce social distancing and move all their users into remote connectivity from home.  Even if an organization has an effective firewall, as most do, the vulnerability lies in the endpoint device usage via email phishing.  A single click can cause a malicious entry into your entire network, leading to network outage, ransomware, and theft of personally identifiable data.  Additionally, according to the Google reports mentioned earlier, hackers pose as public health organizations such as World Health Organization to solicit for donations or distribute malware.

 

The Alarming Costs

 

Here are a few alarming cyber incidents that happened before COVID-19 to that are indicators of a larger trend:

A key observation to note about all these incidents is they happened before COVID-19 pandemic.  As we have seen earlier, there is a surge in cyber attacks after the pandemic due to the vulnerability of remote work without proper security strategy.  A good question is: If organizations across industries faced this type of devastating cyber attack before the pandemic, during greener economic times, how would small to medium sized businesses respond to cyber threats during a pandemic economy with widespread remote employment?

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The Takeaway

 

It is clear that decisions makers from varying industries need to think critically about their security strategy during this era of remote employment.  On September 17th, we are hosting an industry-leading expert on Cybersecurity provide free guidance for key decision makers on strategies they can adopt for their remote IT environments.  Click on the image on the left (or click here) for more information!

Compulink Technologies Ranks No. 84 On the 2020 CRN Fast Growth 150 List

CRN Recognizes the Top IT Channel Providers for Exceptional Growth and Performance

 

Compulink Technologies, Inc. is proud to announce that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company®, has named Compulink Technologies to its 2020 Fast Growth 150 list. Each year, CRN® recognizes the fastest-growing technology integrators, solution providers, and IT consultants across North America for the substantial growth and performance they’ve achieved over the previous two years. The elite group of companies named to this year’s list have generated a combined total revenue of more than $37.8 billion between 2018 and 2019. 

 

When asked about this award, Compulink's CEO Rafael Arboleda said "This award is not just one person's, but an overall team effort.  We are very thankful to each and every department in the Compulink Team for their persistent effort to ensure our services are sufficiently implemented and that clients are not just satisfied, but thrilled to be working with us."

 

Today’s solution providers vie for market share within the highly competitive, fast-paced IT channel, making sustained growth and profitability noteworthy achievements. Ranking within the top 150 requires companies to continuously evolve with the seismic shifts taking place within the marketplace. The 2020 Fast Growth 150 list recognizes these companies’ extraordinary accomplishments and dedication to the IT channel.

 

“Evolution within the IT ecosystem is occurring at breakneck speed. The CRN® 2020 Fast Growth 150 list highlights the achievements of elite industry-leading companies in the IT channel and their ability to innovate in an ever-changing market,” said Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company®. “The extraordinary group of companies on this year’s list serve as an inspiration, setting an exemplary level of excellence for us to follow. We are excited to honor these industry leaders and wish them continued success in the years to come.”

IT Tools That Can Facilitate A Productive Learning Environment

The quality of IT Solutions in an Educational Environment can have a direct impact on the learning environment. While we are experiencing the “new normal” of remote education, it is crucial to adopt educational technologies that can better foster a virtual learning environment. In 2020, there are many solutions that educational institutions can adopt for their IT environment to have such a benefit. Here are a list of products and solutions that can immediately impact education:

HP Classroom Manager

Classroom Manager is a tool mainly for educators and students. It is fitting for the Computer rooms of schools where students and teachers are all on different computers and engaging with the same content. Classroom Manager is a software the entire class would be using in their respective devices and the educator would have control over how the students use their devices.

The intention behind this solution is to prevent distractions among students and to foster a collaborative environment. This tool enables students to share their work from their computers with the class and has communicative capacities for instant messaging between students and teachers (in case they have a question). Additionally, teachers can lock/unlock devices; clear students’ devices, monitor their screens.

Managed Print

Every school, college, or university has print needs. Teachers need to print materials for their lessons and students need to print their assignments and/or the required content for class. Additionally, the administrators need printers for their official forms. Despite the importance of print in an educational environment, printers still have issues and cause delays. These delays have detrimental effects on the overall educational process.

Managed Print Service is a Solution where the school works closely with a Service Provider on their print environment. The Managed Print Service Provider would maintain the print security, closely monitor the supply quantities, assist with repairs, and facilitate the replenishment of necessary supplies. At the end of the contract, the service provider works closely with the school’s IT team on refreshing the print supply as well.

IT Network Security

With a high volume of students and educators using the network in a school, cyber threats can sneak in through the network. It is difficult to properly manage every small threat. At any given time an individual user can open a bad phishing email or download a suspicious program.

The lack of IT Security can leave room for a cyber breach into the school’s network. Reacting to this crisis would prove costly to the administration and cause significant delays to the educational process of students and teachers. Additionally, sensitive data of each individual user can be breached such as passwords, and personally identifiable information.

With the proper firewalls, IT officials can monitor the content each endpoint device has access to; and find suspicious activity in the network. In addition to firewalls, email security is also necessary as is insider threat detection. With the proper configurations and segmentation, the IT team can have an organized network where different levels of officials have different types of exposure into network data.

Compulink Technologies Now A Lot 3 (Cloud) Vendor For Cisco’s NYS OGS Contract!

Compulink Technologies has recently been awarded as a lot 3 vendor for Cisco System’s New York State OGS Contract! Lot 3 is Cloud Services and this means that Compulink can sell cloud products and services to New York City and State public institutions while leveraging the OGS Contract.

Compulink Technologies holds a strong, longstanding relationship with both Cisco Systems, and the procurement community in New York. As we reach a new normal under the novel COVID19 pandemic, we need to become flexible with how we approach IT. This includes having a hybrid approach to our IT environments that enable our teams to access their work and data from anywhere. Since the need for cloud services is quickly growing across sectors, we are excited to become an IT Resource to public institutions, and small-medium sized businesses.

Under Lot 3 of Cisco’s OGS Contract, Compulink is able to better assist with the following solution sets:

Cisco Flex

Get cloud, on-premises, and hosted collaboration in a user-based subscription. You can buy meeting, team collaboration, calling, and contact center services for all employees, or simply purchase what you need today and grow at your own pace. With the Flex Plan, one agreement includes software, upgrades, and support.

Cisco Webex Meetings

Don’t let being away from the office slow your business down. Experience engaging, productive meetings from wherever you are.

Cisco Webex Meetings delivers over 6 billion meetings per month, offering industry-leading video and audio conferencing with sharing, chat, and more. 

General features:
• Join and present from any meeting, event, or training session
• Hands-free voice commands with Google Assistant and Google Home Hub
• Seamless joining directly from your calendar or customizable widget
• Schedule meetings or playback recordings directly from your app
• Customizable video layouts
• Share your screen to everyone

If you have not considered cloud solutions for your organization’s IT environment yet, do learn more about it! Contact the Compulink team to learn more about how cloud solutions can benefit your IT environment!

IT Concerns About Consciousness In The Cloud

In May 2020, Amazon Prime Video released a new show called Upload. The premise of this show was that it was in the future, and there is a new technological tool called “Upload” sponsored by the company Horizon Technologies that enabled individuals to extend their lives by uploading their consciousness into the cloud. They navigate the digital atmosphere through their avatars which are designed to look like them. Uploads also need to pay for perks such as food, drinks, stay, and other types of experiences in their environment. The characters escape into the deep web to purchase illicit services and upgrades for their avatars.

The show delves into many interesting philosophical questions such as whether the uploads are actually alive or deceased, and the ethical connotations of individuals living in the physical world developing a connection with the “deceased” who are uploaded into the cloud.

There was one interesting incident in the show that was worth noting if you follow information technology. The uploads are all stored in a datacenter located on-premise. So this was a hybrid cloud. In this incident, an unknown character attached a device to the datacenter that caused a shock throughout the network. This affected the entire graphics of the system and put the overall digital atmosphere at risk.

As part of the IT industry, the disruption in their datacenter was alarming. I have come up with a few suggestions for IT environments that will be handling these types of software-based consciousness:

Disaster Recovery and Backup

If the data you are storing in the cloud is vital to your organization, as it is for most, then disaster recovery backup solutions are essential to have in place. With the proper disaster recovery solution, your data will be protected during emergency disasters. Typically in a disaster recovery solution, when a datacenter faces a physical or cyberthreat, the data automatically transfers into another datacenter in a separate location. In the show, if Horizon Technologies had a disaster recovery in place, the sensitive data (human consciousness) would be well protected in the event of a disaster.

Cybersecurity

Since in this show, human consciousness are digital entities, they are prone to cyber attacks. The uploads interact directly with their customer service personnel which are individuals in the physical world. The customer service professionals work through a user interface on their office desktops and speak through a microphone and virtual reality gear.

This direct interaction on the office desktops can make the programs vulnerable to threats. In the employees’ desktops, there can be a cyber breach via phishing emails, or web access. To take preventive measures against this vulnerability, the company should adopt high-level firewalls (which they probably already have), email security gateways, and insider threat detection. This can help protect some of the actual lives at stake in this cloud environment from cyber breaches that can literally impact their conscious existence.

In Summary

Every IT environment has delicate data involves sensitive work for the organization involved. In this case, the data are the extension actual human lives and conscious realities. So when it comes to a product as crucial as this, it is important for the decision makers of the organization to develop a robust, IT solution with attention to security and data recovery.

This is not isolated to the fictional company in the television show. It applies to all different types of companies in reality as well. Every company and organization deals with products, services, and data that are sensitive and require protection measures. It is vital for IT and management to align on their environment in order to ensure business continuity, and overall protection of the organization at large.

Compulink Technologies is an MBE Certified Firm that has been bringing top-notch IT Service solutions to businesses and government agencies across the nation since 1986.

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