Tech Talk Newsletter – January 2017 – Resolution

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Featured Article

Your #1 MUST-DO Resolution For 2017

With every New Year comes the chance to reset priorities. OCP-new-years-resolution-3Unfortunately, when the topic of implementing a data recovery plan comes up, the comment we most often hear is “I know I should, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet…”

So…what if the pilot on the next flight you’re on announces right after takeoff, “I know we should have run through our preflight checklist, but we haven’t gotten around to it yet…”???

Without a solid backup and recovery plan in place, just one mission-critical file that gets lost or stolen could put your company in a world of serious hurt. When you compare the high cost of replacement, repair and recovery to the relatively trivial price of keeping good backups, the choice is an absolute no-brainer.

Why disaster recovery planning matters more than you think

Let’s face it, data is the nucleus of your business. That means that a single ransomware attack could wipe you out in a matter of minutes. Today’s cybercriminals are raking in literally billions of dollars (yes, billions) preying on the unwary, the poorly protected and those who “haven’t gotten around to it yet.” Let’s consider the facts…

Ninety-seven percent of IT services providers surveyed by Datto, a data protection company, report that ransomware attacks on small businesses are becoming more frequent, and they expect that trend to continue. These attacks are taking place despite anti-virus and anti-malware measures in effect at the time of the attack.

Windows operating systems are most often infected, followed by OS X. Cloud-based applications, particularly Dropbox, Office 365 and Google Apps, are also being targeted.

Ransom demands typically run between $500 and $2,000. About 10%, however, exceed $5,000. And even at that, paying a ransom demand is no guarantee that encrypted files will be released.

For a typical SMB, downtime from ransomware can cost around $8,500 per hour, and will take an average of 18.5 hours of the company’s time. That’s a hit to your bottom line somewhere in the neighborhood of $157,250. Yet in many cases the ultimate cost has reached into multiple hundreds of thousands.

In a recent survey of 6,000 IT professionals by the Ponemon Institute, 86% of companies had one or more incidents causing downtime in the past 12 months. Typical downtime was 2.2 days, with an average cost of $366,363. And that’s just the average. Could your company survive that kind of hit? It’s no wonder that 81% of smaller businesses suffering such an attack close their doors within three years.

It’s tragic. And yet the solution is so simple…Disaster-Recovery-Planning1

The #1 antidote for a data disaster

What’s behind these costly incidents? Here’s the breakdown of contributing factors:

  • Human error: 60%
  • Unexpected updates and patches: 56%
  • Server room environment issues: 44%
  • Power outages: 29%
  • Fire or explosion: 26%
  • Natural disasters: 10%

Note that human error accounts for 60% of the breaches. It’s no wonder then that ransomware attacks are on the rise, since they can be triggered by just one employee inadvertently clicking a bad link in an e-mail or social media site. Human behavior is hard to control. However, the #1 antidote for a ransomware attack is having a secure backup ready and waiting to replace encrypted files.

And when you scan through the rest of the list above, it becomes clear that, while you need to implement a comprehensive set of data security measures, having a solid and reliable data recovery plan in place and ready to go the moment disaster strikes is still your best defense.

Protect Your Company From A Knockout Blow In 2017

Cyberthreats are proliferating and are expected to grow throughout 2017 and beyond. Will this be the year you finally get your data backup and recovery plan DONE?

The choice is yours—exposure to a devastating loss…or rock-solid security. Let us help. Contact me at <PHONE> or <E-MAIL> and let’s schedule a thorough Backup And Recovery Plan Audit for your company, absolutely FREE. Do NOT wait until disaster strikes. Let’s make 2017 the year you finally get this DONE. Contact me TODAY so we can keep your company’s story from becoming yet another unfortunate statistic.


Free Lunch & Learn

Discover the most prevalent threats to your business and how to safeguard against them!

February 15th, 2017, from Noon – 1PM
American Business & Technology University

1018 W St. Maartens Drive (off Frederick)
Saint Joseph, MO 64506

This one hour class will outline in plain, non-technical English the most likely ways your business could be in danger, and the number one way to safeguard your business against data loss. Attendees will receive a wonderful lunch and one lucky person will walk away with a brand new Amazon Fire Tablet.

Seats are limited and filling up faster than we expected, so hurry and reserve your seat at www.tsconard.com/events.

Fire

Guest Article

3 Ways Smart People Blow The CloseGeoff Smart

By Dr. Geoff Smart, PhD

The weirdest thing happens when it’s time to close a deal.

Smart people turn to mush!

I’ve seen it a hundred times. Many of my teammates have PhDs and MBAs from the toughest universities in the world. They’ve performed at the top of their peer groups at places like McKinsey, Bain, the White House, GE, Marine Force Recon and Goldman Sachs.

While they’re doing the work, they’re confident, caring, even daring. But when it comes to selling the work, many of them struggle, before they overcome the three simple closing errors I’ll describe for you here.

  1. Hit mute.

Recently I was with a colleague in the boardroom of a billionaire CEO of the #1 company in his industry. Getting this client to sign on the dotted line was a layup. After the CEO talked for the better part of an hour about the ways he wanted our help, he asked a question to wrap up the conversation. Rather than bring it to a close, my colleague’s mind hit “mute.” Silence. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock… The clocks on the wall (showing local times in NY, London, Mumbai, Shanghai…) were ticking so loudly they sounded like the drumbeats you hear before a public hanging. I heard 20 drumbeats—20 seconds of silence while the client was expecting us to wrap up the conversation and close this deal! Finally my colleague recovered, and we ended up with a happy outcome. But the 20 seconds of mute didn’t help. Clients want help wrapping up a conversation and turning it into an action plan. Don’t just sit there—close!

  1. Dazzle with complexity.

Another teammate and I were sitting with a private equity investor who wanted our help. My colleague talked at 90 mph, offering complex, nuanced analyses, interspersed with questions that had multiple parts, lots of commas; and even a semicolon here and there, just like in this sentence. Her intent was to show how smart she was. And this was supposed to dazzle the client into hiring us? The actual effect was the client felt he couldn’t get a word in edgewise. This is a common pitfall for smart people coming out of consulting backgrounds—the urge to overwhelm the client prospect with data, analysis and complicated questions that are designed to show how smart you are.

  1. Win the argument (lose the deal).

My eyes went big and I felt hot flashes creep up my neck when I witnessed a cardinal sin. One of my colleagues put his hand up in a “stop” gesture. In the face of our client. The consultant said, “Let me stop you there. I think your logic doesn’t hold. The data tells a different story. Here’s why…” The client was not impressed. Folks, serving clients isn’t about winning arguments. It’s about understanding the client and figuring out how to get them what they want. You are on the same team. If you forget this, you may win the argument, but lose the deal.


Useful Tidbits

Beat the odds and be a small business “survivor.” You’ve heard the scary stat: 70% of all small businesses fail within the first five years. And let’s face it, it all boils down to how you manage your cash flow. So what can you do to be one of the 30% that beat the odds? 1) Hold off on spending, even when you can afford it. First, become known as really good at what you do. 2) Notice the small things. The difference between $198 and $198.37 matters—a lot. Plug the leaks and take every cent seriously. 3) Avoid bank loans for now. Options like peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding and invoice factoring can help you grow without piling on debt. HuffingtonPost.com, 10.26.16


Do you have the right CRM system for your company? Job #1 for any business is to anticipate and meet customer demand. Yet today’s tsunami of customer data makes it hard for sales, marketing and service reps to keep track of it all. A good CRM system helps your team collect, sort and make informed decisions on critical data. To ensure having the right system from among the dozens of great choices out there, use one that 1) integrates with your e-mail marketing tool, 2) lets you track if and when a sent e-mail has been opened and 3) comes with iOS and Android mobile apps—you don’t want your team to have to wait till they get back to the office to input data. PCmag.com, 11.10.16


Get your desk in order with these three handy gadgets. Got piles of books and magazines stacking up that you haven’t read yet? Clear the clutter with the IRIScan Book Executive. About the size of an ordinary pen, it scans all that reading material into digital files you can take with you to catch up on while waiting in line at Starbucks. Or in flight on your next business trip. If you need a clock on your desk but find it distracting, try the Click Cube Clock. With its attractive, minimalist design, it shows the time only when you tap it or snap your fingers. Then top off these gadgets with the Happylight Energy Lamp for a bright outlook on the New Year! Inc.com, 10.26.16.


Are spies watching you through your webcam? A hacker uses a link on a social media site to trick you into visiting a page that secretly installs a bug on your computer. That bug quietly takes over your webcam, allowing somebody to watch your every move. You can block these Peeping Toms with a piece of electrical tape over your webcam’s “eye.” Or you can get an app to help keep them out entirely. Oversight for Mac, built by former NSA employee Patrick Wardle, runs in the background, looking for attempts to take over your webcam. Windows users can use Who Stalks My Cam. It too runs in the background and alerts you to any suspicious activity—like shifting your webcam into secret spy mode. FieldGuide.LifeHacker.com, 10.26.16


This may be the #1 way to cut your customer acquisition costs by 86% or more. Did you know that, on average, acquiring a new customer costs seven times more than keeping one you’ve already got? Not only that, an existing customer is 14 times more likely to buy from you than a non-customer. And one of the best ways to keep the customers you’ve got is to use a mobile customer-retention app. In a study of 621 people by mobile app builder Apptentive, 66% of businesses that saw a decrease in customer loyalty over the past year did not have a mobile app. The right app keeps customers happy and coming back for more—and sharing the experience with their friends across social media. SmallBizTrends.com, 09.29.16

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