The Technical Side of Your Business
By: Lou Pica, L Solution Products Inc. & BCRCC Technology Publication Committee
Back Up, Look, and Ask. BLA for short.
It’s a simple formula that I have been employing for years in my own business and also counseling my clients to apply when facing a difficult tech-related issue. For business owners, keeping pace with technological changes and adoptions has become more difficult to navigate. Technology has become inextricably intertwined with business operations and it is often very hard to distinguish between the tech and general operation boundaries that once were very clear.
There are significant concerns and costs associated with IT, including transformation, assimilation, change management, cybersecurity, training for employees, and in some cases, legal expenses. Business owners must constantly evaluate the costs, impact, risks and rewards before making a technological decision. These challenges can become overwhelming, especially for those of us who are not tech-savvy. If you are facing an important tech decision in 2019, I would encourage you to first apply “BLA”:
Back Up: When facing an IT decision or problem, it’s important to take a step back to prevent a wrong turn or costly decision.
Look: After backing up, look at the problem broadly. Think about how your decision will impact your company now and in the future.
Ask: Finally, ask for help. Having a trusted resource that you can use to clarify your picture of the “crossroads” of your business and your technological future is a critical part of any business plan. Ask not only what TO do but what NOT to DO.
Once you have been through the process, if you still haven’t found a clear vision of the path forward and you still have lingering questions; repeat the process as many times as you need until the direction is clear, and everyone understands the next steps. Hence the term “BLA, BLA, BLA”.
The BCRCC Technology Council has members with expertise in all areas of technology, including security and data privacy We are eager to serve as your sounding board for tech-related questions. With the help of each other, you can continue to improve the use of technology as efficiently and intelligently as possible.
BCRCC Technology Publication Committee Members:
Jerry Caruso, Networks Plus
Bryan Horung, Xact IT Solutions
Betty Maul, Front End Graphics Inc
Lou Pica, L. Solution Products, Inc
Kate Sherlock, Archer Law
Joseph Silva, Kokua Technologies
The Secret to Safe Passwords
By: Art Leiby, President, The Lerepco Group
Remembering and keeping passwords safe are chronic problems for most people and pose critical consequences if their devices are hacked. As medical practices, law firms and other businesses store vital data about clients, protecting their privacy is extremely important. The implications for such a breach include lawsuits, punitive regulatory fines and identity theft.
Many of us also have bad password creation habits. Using your name, address, kids’ names, birthdates or other personal info that could be gleaned from your Facebook page surely exposes you to unnecessary risk.
Here’s a quick rule of thumb for password creation; in 8 to 16 characters use a combination of uppercase, lowercase and special characters. Also, do not use the same password for every other login site you frequent.
How many times have you seen people’s sensitive passwords taped to their desktop? Instead of keeping such critical information on a bright sticky note for all to see, using a Password Manager can be a viable alternative. Here are a few advantages to using one:
- They are convenient and can be accessed from all your devices. Password Managers have the capability of storing many passwords.
- Complicated password creation is easier. Password Managers will help you set and store the assorted characters, cases and digits many secure sites are asking for these days.
- With a Password Manager, you’ll only have to remember one ‘master’ password.
- You can change hundreds of passwords within seconds due to a security breach.
Not ready for a Password Manager? Keep passwords on your computer in an encrypted file. If your desktop is compromised or stolen, access to your password files are protected.
Lerepco meets with clients to discuss the best options to securing passwords before implementing any programs. We help them establish the right policies and protocols prior to installing any additional software on their devices.
If you have any questions about which Password Managers would work best for you and your company, contact us HERE for a consultation.
Art Leiby is the president of The Lerepco Group. His firm specializes in IT managed services for companies that place security as a top priority, such as the medical and legal industries, and for other professional services as well.