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The Secret to Overcoming Employees’ Fear of Automation

The Secret to Overcoming Employees’ Fear of AutomationThere are lots of reasons an organization may struggle with the decision to automate. For instance, there’s the financial investment and, of course, the time and resources it will take to integrate and roll out the new platform. But perhaps the biggest hurdle many companies face when it comes to successfully adopting automation is the resistance they get from employees.

Whether they’re just uncomfortable with change or they’re worried that the technology will make their jobs redundant, without buy-in across the board, your automation implementation project will be much more difficult than it has to be. Thankfully with the right approach and some strategic planning, this fear of automation can be overcome.

What’s the secret? One word: communication.

The reality is, people fear what they don’t understand. The mistake many organizations make when implementing automation is to leave employees out of the loop. Not only does this lack of communication breed fear of the unknown, but it also allows legitimate questions to go unanswered and irrational concerns to go unaddressed.

Instead, part of the planning process that happens well in advance of the new technology being implemented should include a strategy for letting employees know what’s happening, why and – most importantly – how it will actually benefit them (as opposed to ruin their lives and career.)

Some important factors to keep in mind:

  • Buy-in starts from the top and trickles down, so make sure executives and managers are on-board, positive and openly supportive of the new automation platform.
  • Keep the lines of communication open in both directions. Encourage employees to voice their concerns and ask questions and respond honestly.
  • Whenever possible, include end-users in decisions, even if it’s through polls and surveys. When people feel heard and empowered, they’re more likely to view change in a positive light.
  • Don’t just tell them the features of automation, but demonstrate how those features will benefit them. For instance, instead of saying automation will improve efficiency, show them that they will no longer have to be tied down by those boring manual tasks anymore.
  • Have a plan in place for those whose roles will be changing. In some instances, automation will inevitably result in significant changes to particular roles held by humans. If possible, offering options like upskilling, further training and other career path opportunities can ease this transition and make it a more positive one.

Of course, in order to achieve this level of open, honest and positive communication, organizational leaders must themselves have a clear understanding of what automation is and how it will impact the day to day lives of their employees. Designating a Chief Automation Officer (CAO) to spearhead training, planning and communication can be highly beneficial, both with the initial roll out as well as the ongoing utilization of the technology as it continues to evolve and improve in the future.

Want to experience automation in action? Now you can with our free 30 day trial of the Ayehu platform. Click here to download your copy today!

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

MSPs, What’s Holding You Back? Overcoming Common Barriers to Growth to Scale and Succeed

http://www.msptoday.com/topics/from-the-experts/articles/430971-msps-whats-holding-back-overcoming-common-barriers-growth.htm

Article originally published as a guest post on MSP Today.

Moving up the stack from basic IT support to a full-fledged MSP isn’t necessarily an easy transition. There will inevitably be a number of obstacles to overcome along the way. Thankfully, many have gone before and essentially paved the way for newer players to enter the field. Learning in advance what challenges you can expect and the best way to meet those challenges head on will help you avoid potential pitfalls that might otherwise become a barrier to growth. Let’s take a closer look at the three most common issues today’s MSPs struggle with.

Fear of Change

Let’s face it. Making a major change to your business model is scary. What if things don’t work out? Will you be able to recover? The reality is, however, that success requires a certain degree of risk. If your team is feeling particularly leery of making the shift to MSP and/or pursuing aggressive growth initiatives, the key will be communication. Be open, honest and transparent. Acknowledge the uncertainty many of your staff members are experiencing and take the time to address those concerns and put them to rest.

Additionally, there may also be an underlying fear that switching to managed services will result in the loss of business. Chances are very good that this will, indeed happen, as not everyone is suited for an MSP level of support. Understand, however, that while you may very well end up saying goodbye to a small portion of your customers, over time you will gain others to replace them. It’s just part of the shift.

Lack of Differentiation

Without question, the MSP field is highly saturated. The organizations that thrive are those that have found a way to stand out from the competition. This is especially critical for those just entering the marketplace. If potential clients can get the same service from an established player that they already know and trust, why would they take a chance on you? It’s up to you to convince them otherwise.

To do so, you must identify what new and better services your company can offer. For instance, if your prospects are seeking growth themselves, focus on services that help maximize efficiency and empower them to achieve those goals. If you’re unsure of what angle to take, tap into your sales team to find out what they’re hearing in the field. Or, better yet – ask your clients and prospects directly.

Underpricing

Finally, there is the challenge of how to appropriately price your services. In fact, making a switch from fixed price to a more profitable pricing model can be a difficult transition. This is often compounded by a mere lack of full understanding and a subsequent underestimation of the true value of the services you will now be providing.

At the end of the day, you want your customers to pay you what you’re worth. If you are undervaluing your services, chances are you are also underpricing yourself, which means you will not be able to achieve sustainable growth. Be honest and do your homework. Figure out what you are worth and what you will need to make in order to bring your business to the next level and then implement the necessary changes to make it happen.

Now that you’ve got a clearer picture of what may be standing in your way, it’s time to get to work turning things around. Here are a few helpful pointers, to overcome these common issues:

  • Evaluate your current business plan and strategy, as well as team member skills and abilities.
  • Utilize technology and tools, like automation, to make service delivery much more efficient.
  • Build technical credibility through key certifications and specializations.
  • Understand your pricing model to ensure that it properly supports your level of service.
  • Keep in close contact with customers to recognize and capitalize on trends and opportunities.

Making the transition from basic IT support to full-fledged managed services may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, with a well thought out plan backed by a confident team and advanced technology, you will be well positioned to compete in today’s fast growing market.

How to Create an Effective Information Security Policy

How to Create an Effective Information Security Policy

The cornerstone of any good cybersecurity strategy is a formal policy with the purpose of protecting sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. It should, at the very least, reflect the overall security objectives of the organization as well as include details on the agreed-upon strategy for managing and securing company information.

Beyond this, however, figuring out what other material should be included in a policy of such high importance can be challenging. To clarify, we’ve narrowed down some of the basics of a strong, effective infosec policy.

 

Scope – List and address any and all information covered, including systems, programs, networks, data, facilities and all users within the organization.

Info Classification – Definitions that are as specific as possible. Avoid blanket terms like “restricted” or “confidential” unless they are used as part of detailed statements.

Goals – Define the objectives for secure information handling for each info classification category (i.e. regulatory, contractual, legal, etc.) Ex.: “prevent asset loss,” or “customer privacy prohibits access to customer data for anyone except authorized representatives and only for the purpose of customer communication.”

Context – Defines policy placement within the context of other managerial directives, along with supplemental documentation (i.e. “agreed upon by all parties at executive level” or “all additional information handling must be consistent with…”)

Supporting Documentation – Incorporate any relevant references to supporting documents, specifically as they apply to cybersecurity processes, roles and responsibilities, technology standards, guidelines and procedures.

Instructions – Delve into specific instructions related to already established company-wide security mandates (i.e. network/system access requires identity authentication and verification; sharing of individual authentication method is strictly prohibited; etc.)

Responsibilities – Document specific designation of established roles and responsibilities within the organization as they relate to information security (i.e. the IT department is the sole provider of telecom lines, etc.)

Consequences – Outline specific consequences for non-compliance (i.e. “up to and including termination”)

Of course, this policy is meant to be the foundation of your organizational cybersecurity strategy. Once in place, it should be supported and bolstered by implementing the right team, tools and technology. For instance, companies should ensure that IT personnel are well-versed and kept up-to-date on appropriate security measures and arm them with the tools they need, like automation, to help them do their jobs more effectively.

Don’t have the right tools and technology in place yet? The time to hunker down is now. Start your free trial of eyeShare today and make your information security strategy as strong as possible.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Improve Help Desk Functionality & Boost User Satisfaction with IT Automation

Improve Help Desk Functionality & Boost User Satisfaction with IT AutomationWithout question, technology has become the foundation of business operations across every industry. As a result, help desk functionality is becoming increasingly critical. Help desks provide end users with a direct point of contact through which they can receive support for any and all IT issues they experience. The goal of any help desk operation is to provide fast, efficient first call resolution to reduce down time, thereby improving service levels. Adding IT automation can help facilitate this goal to not only meet, but exceed customer expectations at every turn.

To be most effective, today’s help desk operations must adhere to the following best practices:

  • Provide a single point of contact to report all IT incidents
  • Staff help desk with skilled, knowledgeable support personnel
  • Efficiently track all incoming notifications
  • Implement appropriate escalation procedures
  • Deliver fast and accurate problem resolution

So, what’s the best way to consistently achieve all of these best practices? The most successful help desk operations leverage advanced technology to handle incoming incidents, both reactively – by more effectively managing incoming notifications, and, in ideal cases, proactively – addressing potential problems before they have a chance to develop in the first place. IT automation provides this added level of efficiency and helps to improve the satisfaction levels of both the end user as well as the help desk agents.

IT automation can enhance help desk operations in a variety of ways, including:

  • Real-time, end-to-end incident management
  • Seamless notification and escalation process
  • Improved accountability and ownership
  • Remote incident management
  • Ability to incorporate automated response with human decision making
  • Self-service options for improved end-user experience
  • In-depth reporting to measure incident resolution performance and mean-time-to-repair (MTTR)

IT automation can also improve the internal functionality of a help desk operation. Typically, this department is comprised of personnel at differing levels of skill and expertise. Each level has different responsibilities and expectations. For instance, level 1 support personnel are typically the first point of contact for incoming incidents and may have the authority to provide support for more basic requests, such as password resets and system restarts.

Should the first level support team be unable to resolve the issue at hand, it is then escalated to the level 2 group, who are usually more knowledgeable and possess the experience and advanced IT skills necessary to provide more in-depth support. Finally, level 3 support is usually obtained directly from the software or hardware providers as needed. Of course, the goal of all three levels is to restore functionality and get the end user up and running again as quickly as possible.

What if there was a way to alleviate some of the more basic functions of level 1 support, freeing these staff members up to be able to improve their skill levels and assist those at higher support levels?

How much more efficiently would the help desk run in such a scenario?

Or better yet, what if there was a way to manage IT incidents so that problems could be identified and resolved prior to an alert even coming in?

With IT automation, you can accomplish all of this and more.

By automating custom workflows and supplying end-users with self-service options, level 1 support personnel are free to focus their efforts on more important tasks and projects. This instantly optimizes your resources, allowing for an enhanced level of support without the need to bring in additional personnel, which, in turn, looks good for your bottom line. And by automating and executing certain sets of checks and recovery procedures, incidents can be identified and addressed as soon as they occur, in many cases before a help desk call is even necessary.

Want your help desk to function as effectively and efficiently as possible? Want to improve and exceed service levels and create a better experience for both your end-users and your team? IT automation is the powerful tool that will help you do just that, improving business operations overall.

Try it for yourself FREE for 30 days! Click here to download.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

7 Ways to Spot a Phishing Scam

7 Ways to Spot a Phishing ScamDid you know that upwards of 85 percent of all organizations today have been victims of some type of phishing attack? And with the average cost of a successful phishing scam ringing in at around $1.6 million, the problem is very real. What’s more, it’s not just everyday employees being targeted. In fact, 1 in 3 companies are routinely attacked in the form of CEO fraud emails.

These statistics should bring to light the critical importance of protecting your organization – regardless of size or industry – against potential malware attacks, and as always, the best defense is a good offense. To prevent your employees (particularly those in the C-suite) from being bested by a hacker, here are things to train them to watch for.

 

Poor Grammar and/or Spelling – One of the first clues that a particular message might have been sent with malicious intent is the quality of the content within. While most monitoring programs successfully filter out most harmful emails, some will inevitably sneak by. A message from an unknown sender containing poor grammar, misspelled words or content that isn’t logical should raise some red flags.

Mismatched URLs – The goal of a phishing campaign is to give the appearance of authenticity in order to convince the recipient that it’s ok to open an attachment or click on an embedded link. In the latter, the URL may look completely legitimate when, in fact, it actually redirects to a malicious site. To avoid this, all employees should be encouraged to hover over URLs to verify that the actual hyperlink matches.

Misleading Domain Names – Another trick many hackers use in phishing scams is to use misleading domain names to make unsuspecting recipients believe a URL is trustworthy. This can easily be identified by how the URL is laid out. For instance, a phishing artist may attempt to trick a victim by creating a child domain with a familiar name, such as Apple and then linking it to a malicious site. The result might be something like: Apple.malicousdomainname.com. Educating employees on how DNS naming structure works can help quickly detect and address any potential fraudulent messages before they are successful.

Requests for Personal Information – Regardless of how official an email may appear, if the message contained within requests personal information, proceed with extreme caution. Remind employees to always take a step back and assess the logic of these types of messages. Banks or credit card companies don’t need customers to provide their account numbers. Likewise, reputable senders will never ask for things like passwords, credit card numbers of anything else that’s confidential in nature.

Unsolicited Contact – If receiving an email filled with lofty promises seems too good to be true, it probably is. Furthermore, if you didn’t do anything to initiate the contact in the first place, it’s almost certainly going to be some type of scam. Any such message should always be regarded with suspicion and great caution.

Messages Containing Threats – While most phishing campaigns lure victims with the promise of enrichment, some hackers resort instead to rely on intimidation tactics to scare recipients into giving up sensitive information. For instance, an email like this might appear to be from a trusted and respected sender, such as a bank or the IRS, and it might contain a message threatening account closure or asset seizure if money or personal information isn’t provided. These types of intimidating messages should raise a red flag.

Something Just Doesn’t Look Right – Last, but certainly not least, intuition can often be enough to flag a potentially harmful email. Teach employees that if they receive a message that gives them pause, for whatever reason, they should trust their gut and escalate it accordingly. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Are you doing enough to protect your organization against phishing and other malicious campaigns? Educate your employees on what red flags to watch for and remind them to never click on a link or open an attachment from an unknown or suspicious sender. Then, fortify your cybersecurity incident response strategy with automation.

Click here to start your free 30 day trial today and get the peace of mind you deserve.





How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes




The Secret to Improving IT Operations Performance and Service Quality

The Secret to Improving IT Operations Performance and Service QualityThere’s no doubt about it. IT automation is the biggest driver for increasing the overall performance of operations and service quality for businesses today. It allows the streamlining of workflows by automating the time consuming day to day tasks that normally bog the busy IT team down, and facilitates technology as the heavy lifter so talented personnel can focus on more important mission-critical issues.

IT automation can be applied to almost any pain point your organization may face, from frequent password resets to service restarts to disk space cleanups and much, much more. The key is to begin with a few small things so that the value can be easily quantified and then steadily work up to automate more complex projects and workflows to utilize this advanced technology to its fullest potential.

Best Practices for Systems and IT Operations Managers:

As with anything else in business, there are certain “best practices” that have been established and should be implemented to achieve optimum results with IT automation. Here are few basic guidelines to follow:

  • Pick one or two pain points to start. What simple processes or routine tasks are critical to your organization but are bogging your team down? Pick points that you will be able to quickly and easily measure the value of once you’re up and running.
  • Carefully evaluate available IT automation tools to help you choose the right product and then learn as much as you can about the one you choose so that you can truly convey the benefits that it will have for your business operations.
  • Develop and foster IT automation skills within your team. Make it clear to IT personnel that automation isn’t something to fear. That it’s not there to eliminate their jobs, but rather to make them more efficient and productive, and to provide the opportunity to enhance their skills, become more marketable and achieve more growth in their careers.
  • Encourage communication between IT teams and other departments. For instance, dev-ops and IT automation go hand in hand, with the shared goal of bridging the gap between IT personnel and those on the operational end of the technology. For optimum results, a solid relationship built on trust and open communication should be developed and fostered.
  • Develop key performance indicators and measure results. Once you’re up and running with IT automation, it’s critical that progress is continuously monitored, measured, analyzed and modified accordingly. Develop a list of which performance indicators are most important to your organization and then measure regularly to ensure optimum results.

In summary, organizations that follow these best practices will not only increase agility and reliability, but they will also have a more productive, happier staff. Additionally, IT teams that know how to utilize these tools will have more opportunities for growth, both within the workplace and beyond, as demand for these skills continues to grow.

In the end, it’s a triple win: employees, your business and your customers all benefit in multiple ways through the use of IT automation. As such, the question then becomes not “should you automate”, but rather, “why haven’t you started yet?” To experience for yourself how IT automation can help bring your organization to a new level, start your free trial today!



eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




Cybersecurity Tips: 5 Ways to Guard Against Insider Threats

Cybersecurity Tips: 5 Ways to Guard Against Insider ThreatsWhen it comes to the topic of cybersecurity, most of the talk around the industry is about protecting networks and sensitive data from external forces. In reality, the threat from within an organization is equally dangerous. In fact, according to a recent report from Intel, 43 percent of all security incidents (and subsequent data loss) were caused by insiders. That means that nearly half of the risk your company is subject to will come from employees. Are you doing enough to protect against this? Here are five things you can start doing today to create stronger internal security protocols and mitigate risk.

Educate and train employees.

Do your employees truly understand what’s at stake when it comes to protecting the organization’s sensitive data? According to recent statistics, probably not. In fact, Forrester research revealed that 49 percent of knowledge workers are either unaware of or don’t understand the cybersecurity policies of the companies for which they work. And since half of all internal security breaches are caused by accident, this is a key area to focus your efforts.

Make it clear to employees that they are the first line of defense and arm them with the information and support they need to adequately fulfill this responsibility. Educating and training employees can greatly reduce the risk of vulnerabilities due to human error. Even things as simple as creating secure passwords and remembering to log out of the network whenever they leave their workstation can significantly reduce potential exposure.

Test and audit regularly.

Don’t just assume that because you’ve established and communicated clear cybersecurity protocols and educated your employees that there’s no more risk to worry about. A recent study by Forrester indicates that some 42 percent of cyberattacks are initiated by interaction with an internal party, such as a phishing, ransomware and other malware infiltration launched via a malicious email attachment. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are becoming savvier by the day, perfecting their craft by creating material that appears authentic.

Avoid becoming a victim by keeping employees well-versed and up to date on the many different tactics that hackers use and educating them on what to watch for. Then, follow up by performing regular spot-tests and audits to ensure compliance and identify areas where additional training may be warranted. Have employees take pop quizzes on security protocol, conduct routine workplace checks, and perform regular simulated email attacks.

Don’t forget third party associates.

Permanent employees aren’t the only “insiders” that can wreak havoc on an organization’s cybersecurity. Chances are there are a good number of external parties who have some type of access to the inner workings of your company, whether it’s temporary workers, contractors, consultants, vendors or someone else. These third parties effectively widen the attack surface and open additional avenues for cyber criminals to find and exploit vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized network access.

The recent publicized attacks on such big-name corporations as Home Depot and Dairy Queen were ultimately traced back to exposures that occurred with third-party suppliers. This risk can be mitigated by developing and/or strengthening security alliances with all business partners. By working together, sharing experiences and best practices, everyone will become a stronger fortification against all those attackers out there lurking in the wings, waiting to pounce on any opportunity they see.

Fight fire with fire.

You’ve probably already invested in safeguards like network access controls, firewalls, encryption and SIEM technology, but as recent history has proven, this simply isn’t always enough to keep the enemy at bay. Remember – insider accidents are responsible for half of the breaches caused by employees. That means that opening a suspicious email or clicking on a malicious link could provide hackers the foot in the door they need to access your network, systems and data.

Double down on your cybersecurity by incorporating advanced automation technology. This can serve as a force multiplier for your existing incident response strategy so that even those instances where a threat is able to penetrate the hedge of protection you’ve got in place, it can be quickly detected and isolated, thereby mitigating the damage that could potentially be done. An automation and orchestration platform like this will allow you to effective fight fire with fire for a much stronger defense.

Plan ahead for crisis management.

With the relentless number and increasing complexity of incoming attacks, the question is no longer will an organization be targeted, but when. That’s why it’s critical to have an existing plan in place that can be activated the moment a breach is discovered. Start by establishing a crisis management team that includes top leadership from each department (remember – cyber-attacks can occur anywhere, not just in IT).

Your crisis management plan should include details about what actions should be taken, how and when based on various if/then scenarios. It’s also good practice to determine in advance the level of transparency you are comfortable with following a breach. For instance, who should be informed and what information should be passed along pertaining to the incident. It’s also important to communicate with employees so they’re aware of how they should respond should they be questioned about the breach.

With insider threats making up nearly half of all successful cybersecurity breaches, the importance of protecting your organization from the inside out has never been more evident. The steps above should help you fortify your defense – both internally and externally – to keep your network and data safe from potential harm.



eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




4 Tips for Executing IT Process Automation

4 Tips for Executing IT Process AutomationLeveraging IT process automation within your organization can dramatically cut costs, improve efficiency and service levels and reduce human error. These results ultimately depend, however, on how successful you are at rolling out the right ITPA platform. If you’re planning on bringing automation into your IT department (or workplace on a larger scale), here are four expert tips to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.

Develop and document specific goals.

As with anything else, executing IT process automation successfully requires that you have real, measurable goals in mind ahead of time. Determine in advance what you’d like to accomplish by adopting automation. Be as specific as possible, as this will allow you to ascertain progress at various integrals throughout the process as well as identify areas where changes and adjustments can and should be made. Having clear goals will also allow you to more accurately assess your return on investment.

Determine which areas to automate first.

Most organizations that have adopted IT process automation on a larger scale did so in smaller increments. Start by identifying which key processes your company would benefit from automating first and work from there. What pain points are plaguing your IT personnel? Which areas are resulting in the biggest waste of time, money and other resources? Begin by automating something simple, like password resets, and then work your way up from there. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

To effectively identify areas where automation should be leveraged first, perform the following:

  • List out each task and workflow being performed and how frequently
  • Document each step of each process or workflow, including who is responsible and the resources required
  • Identify specific pain points, bottlenecks and other issues that are currently hindering operational efficiency and performance
  • Determine how and where automation could improve some or all of the documented tasks, workflows and processes

Choose your IT process automation platform.

Now that you’ve gained a clearer, more accurate understanding of what you’d like to get out of ITPA and which processes you’d like to automate first, the next step is choosing the right tool or platform. Keep in mind that while selecting a solution that is robust and scalable is important, it’s equally important not to fall for every bell and whistle out there. We recently highlighted some of the hidden costs of supposed “free” automation tools, but you should also beware of products that have way more features than what you actually need, otherwise you will be trading one area of wasted resources for another.

The idea should be to choose a platform that best aligns with your business objectives, including both short-term and long-term goals (i.e. if future growth and expansion is something your organization is striving for, you’ll want your automation platform to be able to evolve and scale up seamlessly). You’ll also want to think about how well the solution you choose will integrate with your existing systems, programs and applications. This will facilitate a more synergistic infrastructure.

Finally, consider how easily and painlessly the solution you’re considering will ultimately be deployed. How much training is involved? Are there existing workflow templates that you can use from the get-go, or will your IT department have to invest a ton of time creating them? Can it be customized to suit your business’ unique pain points? Performing thorough due diligence up front will improve your chances of selecting the ITPA platform that most closely aligns with your organization’s needs and goals.

Jump in and get your feet wet.

With your chosen platform in place, it’s time to officially begin your journey with IT process automation. To prepare, your team should be well aware of the changes that are about to take place and training should have already begun. If you encounter some resistance, don’t be dismayed. Focus on communication and keep reiterating the benefits that ITPA will afford to the IT department (i.e. less time wasted on manual tasks, ability to apply skills to more important projects, etc.) as well as the company as a whole (i.e. self-service automation to reduce routine help desk tickets).

Here’s where the platform you selected will really come into play – or rather, the provider of that platform. You should be able to rely on them for service and support before, during and after implementation. Don’t be afraid to call on them if questions, concerns or issues arise. The more closely you work together, the smoother and more successful your ITPA deployment will go and the sooner you’ll be able to begin taking advantage of the many benefits automation can provide.

Try our IT process automation platform, absolutely free for 30 days. Click here to start your trial today.





IT Process Automation Survival Guide




5 Ways to Ensure Maximum Cyber Security with Your Remote Workforce

5 Ways to Ensure Maximum Cyber Security with Your Remote WorkforceWith technological advancements like the cloud, more and more companies across the globe are adopting a mobile work environment. Whether your firm offers the option of working from home some of the time or is entirely virtual, one of the most important things you must consider is how to maintain maximum security with those who are working remotely. Are your cyber security measures up to par? Here are five things you can do to make sure.

Educate them on proper mobile cyber security techniques.

For employees who work remotely, everywhere they go could potentially be an office. The first step toward keeping your data secure is to make sure all employees understand the importance of not working on insecure networks, such as free WiFi at the coffee shop or a home network that isn’t adequately protected. Education and ongoing reminders are key.

Use a VPN on all mobile devices.

Most companies who offer the option of working remotely utilize a VPN to protect company-issued devices. Remember, however, that your virtual team members are very likely also accessing your corporate systems via their personal phones or tablets. To prevent any potential breaches, identify a VPN application and ask employees to install it and use it on their personal devices.

Prohibit the combination of work with personal data.

Transferring sensitive data from a company-issued device to a personal one may seem harmless enough, but it leaves your organization more vulnerable to a potential cyber security attack. Make it clear to all remote workers that all work-related information absolutely must remain solely on company devices. Set ramifications and enforce them as needed.

Make sure software and plugins are up to date.

Cyber criminals are constantly looking for vulnerabilities to exploit, and outdated software as well as plugins, like Java, Adobe Flash and Acrobat Reader often provide the perfect opportunity. All remote employees should be made aware that even trusted applications, software and plugins should be updated regularly on all of their devices. Whenever possible, automatic updating can help prevent anything from slipping through the cracks.

Employ the latest in cyber security technology.

Finally, whether you have a small portion of workers who are remote or run an entire virtual organization, protecting your sensitive data starts with you. Make sure that you are utilizing all of the technology and tools available to you, including up-to-date monitoring systems and automation for incident management and response. This will provide an added level of protection and improve the chances of keeping your company information secure. It will also ensure that should an incident occur, you’ll be able to address it quickly and effectively to mitigate damages.

The ability to work virtually has broken down barriers and opened up many doors for businesses of every size to access global talent and become more competitive. Unfortunately, there are certain risks associated with these types of policies. Being proactive by implementing the above security measures should keep your remote workers and your organization safe.

Want to strengthen your cyber security strategy? Launch a free 30 day trial of eyeShare today. Click here to get started.





eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




Implementing Self-Service Automation? Here’s What NOT to Do…

Implementing Self-Service Automation? Here’s What NOT to Do…Self-service automation is becoming more of the norm rather than the exception. In fact, at last check, some 56 percent of businesses have implemented or are currently working on some type of self-service initiative. And it’s not only for making your customers’ lives easier. Many organizations are realizing the benefits of providing self-service options to employees to eliminate the need for many of the common issues plaguing the help desk, such as password resets and system refreshes. If you’re thinking about jumping on the bandwagon, here are a few common mistakes you should actively avoid.

Inadequate Communication – If you want your employees to adopt and embrace self-service technology, you have to ensure that they understand its many benefits. This is particularly important for your IT team, some of whom may feel uneasy or even threatened by the thought of automated technology handling some of their tasks. Gain acceptance and buy-in by communicating how self-service options will actually make the lives and jobs of everyone easier and more efficient.

Lack of Knowledge – What types of activities can you – and more importantly – should you be transitioning over to self-service? Many otherwise savvy IT decision makers rush into self-service implementation before they truly have a good understanding of what tasks are most beneficial to automate. Take time to learn about what your IT team is bogged down by and also what areas the end-user might not only benefit from, but actually appreciate the ability to handle things on their own.

Not Choosing a Tool Carefully – Not all self-service automation tools are created equal and if you don’t carefully and thoroughly do your homework, you could end up with a less-than-ideal result. Not only does implementing a faulty tool mean more headaches for your IT department, but the frustration of everyone who has to use it will ultimately lead to disengagement, resistance and/or complete lack of adoption. Make sure the tool you choose is robust, user-friendly and versatile enough to handle both full and semi-automation needs.

Setting and Forgetting It – Like anything else in technology, self-service automation isn’t something that you can simply put in place and never think about again. Not only is it important to keep up to date from a tech standpoint, but it’s equally important to ensure that the system you have in place remains as effective as possible. Conducting regular audits of both the IT department and the end-users can help you determine whether new tasks could be automated or if existing ones could use some tweaking.

Forgetting the Intangibles – Last but not least, maintaining an environment in which self-service automation is embraced and celebrated involves regular assessment and selling of the many benefits this technology provides. When calculating ROI, don’t forget to also consider the intangible ways self-service is good for your organization, particularly how it allows IT to improve its meaningful contribution to the organization. That is a value that can and should be recognized across the board.

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EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)