5 Simple Steps to a Millennial-Friendly Network

5 simple steps to a millennial friendly network

The millennial generation is different in many ways, from its reluctance to invest in the stock market in the wake of the Great Recession to its preference for experience over material goods. But for businesses, there are other, more important differences to consider.

In the next few years, the millennial generation are expected to make up half the workforce, and their influence is growing daily. Millennials, it seems, do everything differently, and that includes the way they work.

If you want to manage the members of this incoming generation effectively, you need to think the way they think, and that can mean changing the way you manage and secure your corporate network. Follow these five simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to a millennial-friendly network.

1) Embrace the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Trend

Millennials love their devices, and more than 7 in 10 say the way an organization views technology influences whether they want to work there.

With businesses competing for millennial talent, a robust BYOD policy could prove essential to retaining members of this massive generation. Aside from keeping them happy, BYOD is great for productivity. There is compelling evidence that a well thought out BYOD policy increases productivity.

A BYOD policy also settles the endless debate over Apple vs. Android. Millennials have strong feelings on these matters, and allowing them to bring their own devices is a great way to avoid feuds over competing platforms and technologies.

2) Implement a Mobile Device Management (MDM) Plan

For millennial employees, access to mobile devices is not optional – it’s essential. If you want to create a millennial-friendly workforce and at the same time, keep your data safe, you need to have a mobile device management (MDM) plan in place.

Some millennials may be skeptical over the amount of privacy they will have on their devices, so it’s important to create an MDM policy that stresses security and privacy.

Educating your workforce on what your MDM policy is, what it covers, and how it works can set millennial minds at ease. For example; when Ontech implemented BYOD and MDM, we brought each employee in the manager’s office separately and showed them the portal and exactly what Ontech can and can’t see. 

In addition to a MDM plan, it’s also a good idea to lock down your network with a secure VPN. A mobile workforce is convenient, but you can’t afford to sacrifice security for convenience. Millennials don’t want to be chained to their desks or trapped in their cubicles – a secure and robust VPN gives them the freedom they need, whether they’re working from home or grabbing a bite at the local coffee shop.

3) Put a Solid Data Backup and Business Continuity Solution in Place

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of businesses that suffer a major data disaster never reopen. The loss of network data could be an existential threat. A business continuity plan to restore critical files is not only your first line of protection, it’s also the path to a more productive millennial workforce.

Ontech crafted these steps by going ‘straight to the horse’s mouth’ and asking millennials exactly what they do and don’t like about their place of work.

One millennial worker expressed how her paperless office suffered mightily from network outages – network-stored blueprints were often unavailable, and work ground to a halt until connectivity had been restored.

But it’s not just millennials who feel the pain, younger workers in general are more attuned to these problems. If you want to keep your millennials happy and productive, a reliable wireless network, robust data backup and business continuity plan is an absolute must.

4) Make Company Tech EASY

As digital natives, most members of the millennial generation have never known a time before computers, cell phones and other tech devices. They’ve grown up with these devices in their pocket, and they are used to fast response times, intuitive designs and simple operation.

If your own tech is not easy, your millennial workers could move on to greener, more tech-friendly pastures. If you want to attract the best millennial talent and convince them to not only stay, but grow with your business, focus on ease of operation.

There are many ways to make your network easier to operate such as cloud-based software and storage systems used in conjunction with mobile apps.

Millennials prefer clear, step-by-step processes from employers. Microsoft Sharepoint allows those processes to be easily documented and shared between appropriate team members.  Microsoft Sharepoint also allows your management team to lock down those specific documents to not be edited without the proper user permissions in place.

Dual monitors are another must for the millennial-friendly workplace, allowing employees of all ages the flexibility and freedom they need to stay happy and productive on the job.

Strong support is another key to ease of use. If your business operates in multiple shifts, a 24/7 help desk could be a lifesaver. Nothing is more frustrating to a millennial than needing help and not being able to perform their job due to lack of support.

For some companies, a millennial friendly network might extend beyond making things easy. A well-known pioneer of healthy workplace culture is Google who offers a wide variety of perks for employees. But at a smaller scale, this might mean opening up the firewall between 11:30am – 1pm for millennials to stream content or browse social media over lunch. After all, a healthy work/life balance is key to keeping millennials happy.

5) Create a Collaborative Environment

This generation is increasingly looking for a collaborative work environment that encourages the sharing of information and free exchange of ideas.

Nearly two thirds of workers ages 18 to 34 say they are motivated by video meetings and team messaging apps. Microsoft Teams is one of the most valuable tools for collaboration in the modern workforce, and adopting it can give your organization a powerful edge when attracting and retaining talented millennials.

Members of the millennial generation are already having a profound impact on the modern workplace, and their influence is only expected to grow. If you would like more information on any of the steps described, just contact Ontech’s support team by phone at 262-522-8560 or send us a message online.

We will work with you to create a powerful, secure, and stable network – one that will enhance the productivity and job satisfaction for all of your millennial staff.

Introducing Webroot Enhanced Security Training

Cyber security is a top priority for most businesses, and if it isn’t, it should be.  Cyber security basics can protect your business from cyber threats through a layered security approach. One of the most important fundamentals of cyber security involves educating staff through security awareness training

Webroot Enhanced Security can ease the stress that comes with training staff on how to spot a potential cyber security threat. 

“A study by the Ponemon Institute on the value of employee training showed that businesses who roll out security awareness training programs see improvements of between 26% and 99% in their phishing email click rates, with an average improvement of a 64%.2  “

2 Ponemon Institute. “The Cost of Phishing & Value of Employee Training.” (Aug 2015)

Webroot Enhanced Security provides a phishing simulator allowing you to create realistic phishing scams, that can mimic threats your business could potentially face.  This simulator enables you to track each email and how each user responds. Being able to see this data allows you to fill in those cyber security educational gaps with a full course library to assign the appropriate training to specific end users.

View more key features and courses included here.

For a limited time, Ontech is waiving the set-up fee for your first campaign!

Contact us today to learn how 262-522-8560 x2 or insidesales@ontech.com  

Mobile Device Management Event: Learn On Lunch

What: Support BYOD & Enhance Productivity with Complete Mobility Management. Enjoy lunch and learn about this important topic!
When: April 10, 2019
Time: 11:30am-1:00pm CDT
Where: Highland Hall (located inside the Hartford Senior Center)
730 Highland Ave Hartford, WI 53027 (View Map)

Fees/Admission:
$15.00 per participant
(includes a boxed lunch from MJ’S Market)

Keep Your Employees Happy (And Your Data Secure)

Smartphones and tablets continue to flood the workplace, and businesses everywhere are racing to appropriately regulate and manage these mobile devices.

To support today’s bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement, you’ll need a mobile device management (MDM) solution that keeps your employees happy – and keeps you in control.

Ontech’s Mobile Device Management is an affordable, easy-to-use cloud platform containing all of the essential functionality for end-to-end management of today’s mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads, Androids, Kindle Fire devices, Windows Phones and BlackBerry smartphones.

With MDM, you can provide users with fast and secure access to corporate data from their personal devices. And with the industry’s broadest device support, intuitive workflows, simplified deployment options, and advanced management and security features, we make BYOD simple.

Unparalleled Peace of Mind Ontech answers the MDM challenge, with an easy-to-use platform that simplifies the management of personal devices – without compromising the user experience, security or privacy. Our solution provides flexible approaches for enrollment, asset management, policy enforcement and the distribution of profiles, apps and docs, all based on device ownership (whether corporate- or employee-owned).

We’ll even handle day-to-day MDM monitoring and management, and only escalate back to you the alerts that you want. It’s truly a set-and-forget solution.

Getting started couldn’t be easier. In just a few quick clicks, you can start enrolling devices and immediately manage the entire mobile device life cycle — from enrollment to enterprise integration, configuration and management, monitoring and security, support, and analytics and reporting.

Separating Work & Play Your employees want to maintain one device for both work and play – they want to access corporate email, then check Facebook, jump back to email and review an upcoming presentation over lunch.

This need for “dual personas” is exactly what our MDM solution aims to address. So go ahead, let your employees leverage their devices – and rest assured that critical business data and applications will remain safe, secure, and accessible. On your terms.

 

Take the Pledge on World Backup Day

The world has gone digital in a big way, creating a host of issues as well as enormous opportunities. The way we store and use data has undergone a profound shift in a short period of time, but all too often the security of that data has been in question.

Now industry, government and concerned citizens are coming together to address those issues. World Backup Day is a time to back up your data and check your files, but March 31st is about much more than copying files.

On March 31st, the founders of World Backup Day are banding together to raise awareness of a serious issue, one that affects businesses large and small and individuals alike. From the books we read and the movies we watch, to the music we listen to and the photos we store, digital data is everywhere. The digital nature of our cultural heritage makes secure backup an absolute necessity.

Ontech Has Taken the Pledge – Will You?

Creating and securing that digital heritage is what World Backup Day is all about. From ordinary users who have never backed up their data to businesses looking for a more secure data backup solution, everyone can get involved this year on March 31st.

Every Day is Backup Day

World Backup Day is coming fast, but you don’t need to wait to take action. Every day should be backup day, and it’s never too early to start – or too late to improve your company’s backup strategy.

The shocking data backup statistics surrounding personal and business backups are troubling – further proof that World Backup Day is sorely needed. Studies show that nearly a third of all data disasters are the result of an accident, and 10% of all computers are currently harboring at least one virus. If you think your system is immune, you could be in for a rude awakening.

Data Backup is a Must for All Businesses

No business is too large or small to benefit from a solid backup plan. As World Backup Day approaches, now is the perfect time to improve your backup strategy – or create a backup strategy for your business.

Backing up your data is more than inserting a thumb drive into your desktop computer or connecting an external hard drive to a critical server. Developing a backup plan requires a comprehensive checklist, one that Ontech Systems is happy to assist with.

Whether you already have a backup plan in place or you’re just getting started, our expert staff can help you create a plan that protects your data in an increasingly dangerous digital world.

Data Backup Checklist

Backing up your data may seem like a daunting task, but not if you break it down the right way. If you want to secure your data and protect your business, the following data backup checklist can help.

It’s time to get real about backing up your data, so why not use World Backup Day as the catalyst? This checklist could save your data – and your business.

If you’re not verifying the validity of your backups on a regular basis, you are flying blind, so checking your existing backups should be the first order of business. Once that task has been completed, you can move on to the rest of the checklist.

  • Make sure your backup includes ALL your files, including operating system files, software application files, lesser used data files and all data files from every company server.
  • Verify that your backups are running on schedule. Do not simply assume your backups are running every night – until you check, you can never be sure.
  • Address the frequency of your backups. Is backing up your data on a nightly basis really enough? Can you afford to lose an entire day’s work? You may need to adjust the way your backups run and how often your data is archived.
  • Ensure every device is being backed up. These days tablets, smartphones and other devices store enormous amounts of data. Is the information they contain included in your backup plan?
  • Give your backup a backup plan. It’s not enough to have a single backup – your backup also needs a backup. Making two backups builds redundancy into your network and adds an extra layer of security to your business.
  • Think in terms of recovery. Having a backup plan in place is only the first step. If you want your business to survive a disaster, you need a plan for fast recovery. If your disaster recovery plan is robust and well thought out, your customers never need to know about the temporary loss of a server or critical device.

A Quick Note for Windows 7 Users

Having a solid backup plan is critical to the health of your business, but so is the right software. After many years of faithful service and regular updates, the Windows 7 end-of-life date is rapidly approaching.

As of January 14th, 2020, extended support for this popular operating system will officially come to an end. If you are still running Windows 7, it is time to develop an upgrade plan for all your devices.

Once again, the experts at Ontech Systems are here to help you develop a comprehensive upgrade strategy that maintains support and helps you protect your data.

Just give us a call and contact us today at 262-522-8560 to discuss your Windows 7 concerns, backup issues or anything else in the tech universe.

Or, get started by requesting a free network discovery to get an assessment of your network.

Start Planning Today and Avoid the Heartbreak of Downtime

How to minimize downtime

In the modern business world, even a few minutes of downtime could cost your business big time, and an extended outage could leave the very survival of your company in doubt. The heartbreak of downtime is real, but there are solid ways to protect a business and reduce the risk of downtime.

Even if you do everything right – backing up your data, patching your servers and training employees, Mother Nature could still put your business at risk. Every part of the country faces its own weather challenges, including the state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin businesses may not have to worry about mudslides or hurricanes, but power outages, tornadoes, or flooding could strike at any time without warning. Without a disaster recovery plan in place, just think of the hardship your company would face if the local electric grid went down or water invaded your server room.

Timing is Everything

In the cutthroat world of online commerce, there is never a good time for downtime, but Black Friday is arguably the worst possible day for a website outage. Yet that is exactly what happened to retail giants Lowes and Wal-Mart; when both companies experienced significant downtime on the biggest shopping day of the year.

Even online behemoth Amazon.com is not immune to unexpected downtime, and once again the outage happened at the worst possible time. After weeks of promoting its Prime Day shopping extravaganza, Amazon.com saw its website crash just as the fun was getting started. No one knows for sure how much money was lost, but it’s almost certain that some shoppers took their business elsewhere during the extended online outage.

Avoid Downtime with Proactive Planning

You may not be able to predict a disaster, but you can prepare for the worst. Proactive planning is the best way to avoid downtime, and now is the time to start.

Both data backup solutions and disaster recovery planning are important, and these two measures can work together to reduce downtime and prepare your business for the unexpected. Backing up your data to the cloud is a good place to start, but even the best data backup plan is no substitute for a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.

Disaster recovery involves the creation of a comprehensive plan of action, one that can be put in place the minute a disaster strikes. Whether that disaster is a fire, flood, tornado or something else, the process is pretty much the same.

The exact process of a disaster recovery plan will vary from one network to the next, so at Ontech Systems, we always customize the plan to the unique needs of your business.

The Cost of Downtime

The cost of downtime is enormous, and a significant percentage of businesses that close during a disaster never reopen.

“If you would like to calculate the potential damage for your own business, this popular downtime calculator can help.”

The direct cost of downtime is only the beginning – the indirect damage can be far more severe. A business that suffers from an extended period of downtime or data loss could lose the confidence of its customers, and that lost confidence may never be restored.

Other indirect costs of downtime include, but are not limited to:

  • Lost sales.
  • Fines from governmental agencies and private organizations.
  • Loss of productivity.
  • Significant recovery costs.
  • Higher costs for overtime and wages for members of the IT team.
  • For publicly traded companies, loss of shareholder value and investor confidence. As a result of downtime, many companies experienced stock market losses, and while some have recovered, others have seen a long-term decline in share prices.

What Are the Causes of Downtime?

Aside from natural disasters, other common causes of downtime include hardware failure, software glitches, and attacks by hackers such as ransomware assaults. Disaster recovery for small businesses is of particular importance since cyber criminals target smaller businesses, given their track record for weaker network security.

Insider sabotage is another common cause of downtime, and this threat often goes undetected. It’s easy to overlook the threat of an insider attack, especially given the current focus on hackers and other forms of cyber-attacks. Solid employee screening, access restrictions and ongoing monitoring can reduce these internal threats.

How to Prevent Downtime

While it’s not always possible to avoid downtime entirely, there are things you can do to reduce the risks and mitigate the damage.

  • Maintain Functional Backups: Making sure your backups are actually working as intended is a great step in the right direction – and it’s one that is often overlooked.
  • Define a Disaster Recovery Plan: A well-rehearsed and comprehensive disaster recovery plan is a necessary step to prepare for a disaster. Practicing this disaster recovery plan at least once a year and making sure all IT staff are fully trained can make the plan more effective should a true disaster strike.
  • Plan Ahead: As the saying goes, “fail to plan, plan to fail”. Businesses today face a variety of threats, and many security experts agree it’s not a matter of if, but when your business will face a cyber-attack. Unfortunately, in the volatile digital world we live in, planning is no longer optional.

The good news is that you are not alone in your struggle to maintain a secure, stable network. Help is just a phone call – 262-522-8560 or click away. Ontech Systems works with small to mid-sized businesses throughout the southeast Wisconsin area to create reliable, stable, and customized data backup and recovery solutions.

To get started, you can request a Free Network Discovery where Ontech will evaluate your network and offer data recovery solutions to secure your network and minimize downtime.

Have You Fallen Victim to These Social Media Scams?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites are great for reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, but these networks also present a massive security risk for users.

Over the past few years, social media sites have become a hot spot for nefarious criminals, bent on wreaking havoc and separating innocent victims from their hard-earned money.

If you’re not careful, you could find yourself the next victim of these social media scam artists. In an effort to spread awareness about this reprehensible activity, we’re sharing some of the most common social media scams – and how to protect yourself against them.

Scam 1 – The Hoax Hack

This scam notifies victims that their Facebook accounts have been hacked, but it is all a hoax. Responding to the warnings could put your real account at risk, and your personal information with it.

How It Works

The hoax hack appears as a warning from a Facebook friend. The message claims that their account has been hacked, and warns you not to accept any of their friend requests. In some cases, the message will come in the form of a private message notifying you that your account has been compromised.  

What to Look For

This particular hack report is a hoax, and it has a number of distinguishing characteristics.

The biggest giveaway is a sudden message from a friend, warning that their own account has been hacked and cautioning against accepting new friend requests. If you are concerned about the legitimacy of the message, contact the friend in question – off the Facebook platform.

Scam 2 – The Catfishing Scheme

Catfish may be a fun TV show, but it is much less entertaining in real life. The catfishing scheme was very popular on Facebook this year, and it’s rapidly spreading to other social media sites.

How It Works

Catfishing happens when someone creates a fake profile on social media or other online sites. The goal of the catfishing scheme is to prey on the good nature, naiveté or loneliness of the intended victim, and the results can be personally, emotionally and financially devastating.

What to Look For

Catfishing scams are rampant on social media and dating sites, and they often follow a familiar pattern. The scam artist may reach out in search of a romantic relationship or pose as a long-lost friend. They may express feelings of love and affection after just a few days in an attempt to foster an emotional connection.

As time goes by, the perpetrator of the catfish scam may ask for money or spin tales of sudden financial woes. Those who respond could lose thousands of dollars, or even their life savings.

Scam 3 – The Hijacked Profile

The hijacked profile scam also uses a fake profile, posting real photos and authentic details to pose as legitimate social media users. Once they have been accepted as legitimate users, the hijackers may try to extort money from their victims – or obtain sensitive personal information that could aid a future identity theft.

How It Works

In some cases, the profile hijacker will make up an account, swiping legitimate photographs and personal information gleaned from existing Facebook or other social media accounts. In other cases, the hijacker will take over an authentic account by guessing the password or scraping it using black-market software.

What to Look For

A request for money or stories of financial distress are some of the warning signs of this scam. Even if your heartstrings have been tugged, take a step back and add a healthy dose of skepticism. Taking the time to make sure the request is legitimate could protect your pocketbook – and your privacy.

Scam 4 – The Lottery Win

Everyone would love to win the lottery, and the scammers know that. The fake lottery scam is always a popular one, and it has already ensnared lots of victims.

How It Works

In this common scam, Facebook users are notified that they have won the lottery, but there is a catch. In order to claim their winnings, the victim will have to pay a fee, purportedly for taxes. Once the money changes hands, the lottery official disappears, along with the victim’s funds.

What to Look For

An unexpected lottery windfall may be enticing, but if it comes out of the blue, it is most likely a scam. If you bought a lottery ticket, you can check it yourself, without the social media outreach.

A request for up-front payment of taxes or other fees is a dead giveaway; legitimate lotteries do not operate in this manner. If you receive such a message, just ignore it – your wallet will thank you.

Scam 5 – The Online Quiz Fishing Expedition

If you have ever clicked on an online quiz in your Facebook newsfeed, you may be a victim of this scam. The quizzes are real, with real results, but their purpose is to mine information, not reveal your personality or tell you which Star Wars character you are.

How it Works

Information is a valuable commodity, and scammers will go to great lengths to get it. The perpetrators of this common scam create quizzes designed to spark curiosity and a sense of fun, but those who click can have their personal information gathered, often for nefarious purposes.

What to Look For

The presence of an innocent-sounding quiz in your newsfeed is the thing to look for, so watch your Facebook feed carefully and resist the urge to click. If you do decide to participate, know that the quiz could be fishing for your personal information, and the information of your Facebook friends.

Scam 6 – The Short URL

Facebook and other social media sites have become popular venues for sharing news and information, and the posters often include links to the original news sources. The shortened URL scam takes advantage of this trend, using the shortened version of the URL to mask a malicious website.

How it Works

In this scam, social media users see a shortened URL, a common sight on the internet. What makes this scam so dangerous is that the shortened URL actually points to a malicious website, one that could harbor malware or download and install a key logging program that captures user IDs and passwords.

What to Look For

The sudden appearance of a shortened URL in your Facebook feed or private messaging system is the most obvious thing to look for. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy or usefulness of a linked site, just don’t click.

Scam 7 – Chain Messages

Chain letters used to be a popular snail mail scam, and now they are migrating to social media. Facebook and Snapchat are the most common venues for this scam, but chain messages can show up anywhere.

How It Works

Chain messages can take many forms, from warnings that your memories and photos are about to be deleted to promises that a charitable donation will be made in your name if you pass the message along.

What to Look For

The writers of these chain messages often use urgency to their advantage, encouraging victims to act now or forever lose their data. This urgency can be frightening, but it pays to wait a minute before acting. Research the chain message by Googling a block of text – you may encounter a warning that the social media chain letter is really a scam.

Social media scams are not going away, so it is important for you to protect yourself. Even if you have not fallen victim to one of the scams listed above, it’s only a matter of time before the next attempt lands in your news feed.

A little skepticism goes a long way online, so always think before you click.

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