verb 1. use (something) to maximum advantage.
"the organization needs to leverage its key resources"
Well, 2020 was quite a year! We were thrust into varying degrees of quarantines, lockdowns, restrictions in which to operate our businesses. Many were forced to find new ways to keep the lights on. Some weren't so fortunate and shuttered their doors for good. Those who remain are often forced to operate under tight restrictions. They need to be able to close their doors at the slightest hint of the dreaded word: "exposure" -- yet they can't just cease doing business. This is where businesses fell into one of two categories; they were either already set up to leverage cloud technology to be able to work from anywhere or they weren't.
So here we are coming up on the one year anniversary of 14 days to flatten the curve. We have vaccines starting to be distributed, but are we any closer to getting back to business as usual? Do you miss face to face meetings and handshakes as much as I do?
If you could go back 1 year ago before the pandemic started and get your business ready for mid-march, what would you have done differently? Would you have moved your file storage to the cloud? Would you have finally put in that VoIP Phone System? Maybe your business was one of the 63% of SMB's (small-to-medium businesses) that reported experiencing a data breach. Maybe you would have taking cybersecurity a bit more seriously?
New Years is a time of fresh beginnings. It's a time to make changes, dare I say the dreaded resolutions. While we might not hit our goal of that marathon, or climbing Mount Everest, we can make great strides with our business IT with relatively little effort. Changing the status-quo mentality is the toughest obstacle to overcome.
Perhaps one of the easiest transitions to the cloud to make -- is moving your communications away from your plain old dial-tone to a robust, efficient and effective cloud-based communications platform is one of the smartest changes a business can make. Stop being tied to that office that you might not even be using. Stop forwarding calls to your personal cell and being constantly interrupted for calls that aren't even meant for you. Give you and your employees the ability to work from anywhere. Make and receive calls as the business number from anywhere - a desk phone, a smartphone app, a desktop app. Work how you want, where you want.
UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service)
CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service)
Cellular Billing Management
Cellular Fleet Management
Do you some need fresh eyes on your internet connectivity? Have you consolidated locations? Have you expanded to new locations? Whatever your position, having capable and reliable connectivity is paramount in operating your business effectively in 2021. Maybe you need more bandwidth. Maybe you need secure connections between several offices. Maybe you need to allow your employees to seamlessly work from home at a moment's notice. Whatever it is, we have a portfolio of suppliers to procure connectivity to nearly any address in the civilized world.
Cellular Failover (or LTE primary)
Temporary/Emergency Office Connectivity (disaster sites, construction offices, etc)
Whatever the situation calls for, we can get it done!
The buzzword of all buzzwords today it seems; but what does it all mean? Well, let's start with a few statistics:
$7.68 Million: The Average Cost of an Insider-Related Cyber Incident for SMBs (<500 employees)
43% of SMBs Lack Any Type of Cybersecurity Defense Plans
One in Five SMBs Don’t Use Any Endpoint Security Protections (Antivirus/Antimalware)
60% of SMB Choose to Keep Their Heads in the Sand About Attack & Breach Risks
28% of the Breaches in 2019 Involved Small Business Victims
Phishing Is Top Threat Action for More Than 30% of Small Organizations
85% of MSPs Report Ransomware as the Biggest Malware Threat to SMBs in 2019
63% of SMBs Report Experiencing a Data Breach in the Previous 12 Months
46% of SMBs with < 1k Employees Had 5-16 Hours of Breach-Related Downtime in 2019
47% of SMBs Report Keeping Data Secure as Biggest Challenge
70% of SMBs’ Employees Passwords Were Stolen or Lost
Credentials (52%) Represents the Most Compromised Type of Data in 2019
74% of SMB Data Breaches Involve External Threat Actors
83% of Data Breaches Against SMBs are Financially Motivated
22% of SMBs Switched to Remote Work Without a Cybersecurity Threat Prevention Plan
Scare tactics, right? We wish. Businesses in an internet age have two choices. Either they can roll the dice and hope they can escape by sheer luck, (and pay significantly both in cost of downtime as well as professional services for remediation when a breach does occur), or they can make investments in their cybersecurity posture and help mitigate as many of the risks as possible to the extent possible.
Here is a brief list of some of the areas in which businesses can take proactive action to minimize exposure to cybersecurity threats:
Firewalls, antivirus, and endpoint security solutions
Network penetration testing
Cyber security audits
Computer use, device, and password policies
Access management and control policies and procedures
Email security solutions (such as anti-phishing solutions, spam filters, email signing certificates [S/MIME certificates])
Employee cyber security awareness training and phishing simulations
Incident response and disaster recovery plans
Current data backups
We know we just threw quite a bit at you. Sorry about that, but these things are just too important to not talk about. Now, of course each of these topics can be expanded upon in great detail, but let's at least get the conversation started. Let's make 2021 the year you commit your business to leveraging the right technology so that it doesn't end up as part of the statistics we'll inevitably be talking about this time next year; and so that it isn't left in the dust behind the competition who are making these investments in technology. Let's make 2021 a year of proactivity and not one of reactivity like 2020 was.