Different sources will cite different timelines for the evolution of managed IT. Some date the conception of managed services back to the 1990s; others to the early 2000s. Regardless of origin – and the many metamorphoses that have transpired since – the model for managed services providers (MSPs) has remained relatively straightforward: An organization opts to outsource its IT operations to a third-party vendor, presumably to preserve resources in personnel, budget, and expertise; the vendor – the MSP – provides comprehensive IT care and proves itself invaluable to the organization’s bottom line, and everyone lives happily ever after. Right?
At Collabrance, a persistent challenge we hear from MSPs is the difficulty of hiring and retaining technical talent. And while working with an outsourced provider can relieve the strain of an understaffed team, it doesn’t eliminate the need to create a positive work environment. Keeping our team of service desk technicians engaged is something I think about a lot in my day-to-day, and I’ve learned a few things about employee satisfaction over the course of my career.
Business email compromise – abbreviated as BEC – is evolving every day. Yahoo business predicts the cost of BEC exploits to eclipse $3.3 billion by 2028. With attacks becoming progressively more sophisticated and deliberately targeted to specific industries – like financial services companies that manage accounting and online banking, among others – it’s imperative that all levels of a company’s employees be cognizant of what information they are receiving electronically and how to identify potential “spear phishing” attacks.
Last year, I took on the dauting task of redesigning the Collabrance website. The “old” website wasn’t that old, and it wasn’t bad; it had just become overgrown with too much information. Not only was it difficult for prospective customers to find the information they needed, it was difficult for us – Collabrance – to ensure the information we most wanted our customers to see was the information being surfaced. It was time to de-clutter.
During the holidays, our work hours, travel, spending, charity, and family activities are very different from the rest of the year. Cyber criminals are great observers of human behavior, and they see opportunity in these interruptions in routine.
When I first got into sales, one of my mentors taught me something I will never forget: Listen to understand, not to respond.
“Strategy” can be considered a buzzword in management. But do you really know what strategy is? Every time I present at a local university, I ask this question to students: “Is strategy a plan, is it a vision, or is it execution?” Well, it’s all those things. In its most basic form, strategy includes goals and objectives, analysis, tactical plans, management review, and follow-up readjustments. Working with business units – like Collabrance – on their strategic plans is one of the greatest professional highlights of my role as GreatAmerica Chief of Staff. After five years of leading planning processes, I’ve seen that successful strategic plans have certain elements in common, including:
We’re nearing the end of October, and the end of another Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Cybersecurity is important year-round, but with a heightened focus the last four weeks, we should maximize the opportunity to shine a light on cybersecurity-related topics. Call it opportunistic, but as security professionals, we need all the leverage we can get.
It’s October which means pumpkins are being judged for size and shape by clever decorators, and children are daydreaming about the candy treats they might receive on Halloween. But for the rest of us, it’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Started in 2004 by the Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an opportunity to educate your customers, coworkers, and friends on how to protect their identities and data.
October may be the official "cybersecurity month", but it appears some have missed the memo. According to Accenture’s State of Cybersecurity Resilience report, security attacks increased 31% from 2020 to 2021, with the number of attacks per company reaching 270 annually. A 2022 UpCity study found that only 50% of U.S. businesses have a formal cybersecurity plan, and of those, 32% haven't updated their plan since the COVID-19 pandemic introduced remote and hybrid operations.