Go Paperless More

May 19, 2016

We’ve all been using electronic calendars and contacts for quite some time.  But there are many other areas in your business where you could operate more efficiently by using electronic media instead of traditional paper.  Here are a few examples.
  • Timecards.  Instead of the traditional punched time card, electronic time cards don’t need to be punched.  And when someone forgets to punch out, they don’t need to call back to the shop – they can pull up their time card on their home computer or smart phone.  Electronic time cards can hold much more information – not just times in and out, but times that can be billed to a specific client or activity.  From an administrator’s perspective, electronic time cards can feed directly into your billing system, making it easier to generate invoices.  There are a number of excellent programs for electronic time cards.  Contact Emerson Technologies to find out which is right for your organization.
  • Documentation.  Twenty years ago offices had rows of thick manuals. Ten years ago people were using PDF files for documentation. Now imagine your own wiki or knowledge base, much like those you draw from when you do an Internet search. This runs as a web site – something you can access from any computer, tablet or smartphone on the Internet. When one person makes a change, everyone else sees it right away. This works well for internal processes, client specific processes, or anything that is to be referenced more than once. And access can be tailored for each individual. Let us chat so we can find the best solution for your use.
  • Notes. Do you still walk into meetings with writing utensils and paper? We’ve all had the problem of loosing the scrap of paper we wrote a note on. When taking notes electronically they can be accessible on all your devices – work laptop, home computer, tablet and smartphone. Copying and pasting your notes to give to someone else is trivial. Depending on the program you use to take notes you can even share a notebook with someone, such as people in your department, to ensure everyone is on the same page.
This is just a few examples of the benefits to taking the next step into a paperless mode. There are certainly many others and more are coming all the time!

Beware of Ransom-ware!

May 19, 2016

This past winter, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in California was hit with malicious software encrypting patient files for roughly $17,000. After speaking with tech professionals they decided it was in their best interest to PAY the ransom.
On Friday, March 4th, ransom-ware known as “KeRanger” had found its way onto Mac OS X. The breach was detected within a matter of a few hours. Over the weekend about 6,500 users downloaded the infected version of this software. This is the first successful known “ransom-ware” attack on Mac OS X.
Business’ across the world are being hit by Ransomware – malicious software that encrypts files and demands payment to restore them. They target large and small business without bias and have for years. The worst part? It’s growing!  These attacks are so successful because they are taking advantage of known vulnerabilities and utilizing one of our best security features against us: encryption.
Encryption is the process of encoding information in such a way that only those with authorization (the code) can read it. Encryption is used to protect vital information from physical theft, making the data incredibly difficult to obtain, often overwriting the data upon failure to present the proper code within the number of tries provided.
How can you defend yourself against ransomware?
  • It is paramount to have anti-virus software, keep it up to date, and have it report to a central repository to ensure issues get noticed.
  • Maintenance for your computer, updates from Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Java and more, plug known security holes and other vulnerabilities.
  • Solid offsite backups ensure your data is safe and secure, even if something gets lose on your network.

Many organizations have not implemented these simple, quick, and effective security measures to protect themselves.  To discuss your network integrity contact Emerson Technologies at 651-454-7729 or email help@emersontech.net