How to Protect Yourself from a Ransomware Attack

A ransomware attack can be devastating to a small business. This is what you need to know to keep yourself protected.


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  • Next up: How Twitter Reacted to the 2016 CIO Symposium
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  • How Twitter Reacted to the 2016 CIO Symposium

    Roughly 200 IT leaders from across Northeast Ohio gathered last week to discuss the major issues impacting the local tech scene as part of the 2016 CIO Symposium. Topics ranged from talent, to data science, to leadership lessons from a former astronaut.

    Roughly 200 IT leaders from across Northeast Ohio gathered last week to discuss the major issues impacting the local tech scene as part of the 2016 CIO Symposium. Topics ranged from talent, to data science, to leadership lessons from a former astronaut.

    Attendees were quick to go to Twitter (this was a technology conference after all) to give their take on the symposium’s major themes. Below is a sampling of the Twitter reactions from the 2016 CIO Symposium.

     

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  • Next up: How Videos are Changing the Way We do Business
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  • How Videos are Changing the Way We do Business

    In the old days, we took 16 mm or Super 8 mm movies and edited film deep into the night. We produced case studies and product demonstrations often without sound. We thought that was cool. That was the 1970’s.

    In the old days, we took 16 mm or Super 8 mm movies and edited film deep into the night. We produced case studies and product demonstrations often without sound. We thought that was cool. That was the 1970’s.

    Today, every phone and SLR camera brings us as close to a Hollywood production as the common man might ever be. So, what we are observing in our businesses today has changed because video is everywhere.

    Following are 12 ways video is changing the way we do business.

    E-learning. Videos can be created to teach students of all ages those skills that are difficult to develop from printed pages or PDFs alone. When programming testing is possible, new software makes e-learning simple.

    White videos. So, you don’t have time to write a white paper? Talk to us through video. It works. It saves time. It may even be less expensive than other approaches.

    Reputation Management. Videos tell you what your body language says about you. That is part of your reputation. But why not find out from important publics what they think about you and your organization by getting them on video?

    Product Demonstration. Whether it’s a mommy blogger or an individual market influencer, a product demonstration remains as effective as they are. When it is difficult to demonstrate, videos are the next best thing.

    Facebook Live. The new thing in social media is Facebook Live. Your videos tell your followers what they need to know in real time. It is great for customer, patient and community testimonials.

    Crisis. Videos can capture wrongdoing by striking groups, clearing up misconceptions, set the record straight, tell key publics how you will be meeting—or exceeding expectations.  

    YouTube Channel. Your YouTube Channel can capture the kind of organization you are, what you stand for and why you deserve to be respected. Your best “TV commercials” should be on YouTube.

    Competitive Espionage. Your videos can tell a story about your customers, help you as a mystery shopper, capture focus group thinking on camera and discover why a new product is dominating at a trade show.

    Easily Updated. So, you think your current video is stale. For the most part, videos are easily updated. B-roll, photos and new point-of-view video makes the old new again.

    Upgrading your brand. When produced effectively, your brand can be elevated to a place you could have never achieved before. Using a high-powered talent can make the difference in terms of the way you or your organization are perceived.

    Virality. You want the world to know your organization. When Blendtec used their blender to “blend” cell phones and more, the world knew. Think of creative ways to market your product or business.

    Simplifying Instructions. Those teaching manuals are tough to follow. The more expensive new equipment is, the more important a video can be. It ensures you know what you are doing step by step.

    Are you convinced? Videos are changing the way we do business today. Send me your thoughts about the subject. I would love to hear from you. 

    Want more great insight like this? Check out COSE’s Expert Network for experts who can help you on a wide range of topics, including technology and strategic planning. 

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  • Next up: Improve Your Lead Generation with Interactive Content Marketing
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  • Improve Your Lead Generation with Interactive Content Marketing

    Content marketing is all the rage these days, but many people are simply littering the Internet with text, infographics and lists that are either just skimmed over or completely ignored. Gone are the days where writing general, broad or vague material can impact an audience. The future is engaging users with immersive, interactive content. 

    Content marketing is all the rage these days, but many people are simply littering the Internet with text, infographics and lists that are either just skimmed over or completely ignored. Gone are the days where writing general, broad or vague material can impact an audience. The future is engaging users with immersive, interactive content.

    Some examples of interactive tools are product configurators or calculators. A marketing budget calculator is a way for you to provide information or solutions to customers in highly personalized and engaging ways. Compare the experience of using this calculator to just reading a boring article about how to set a marketing budget. Most people just skim headlines anyways. An interactive tool gives them something to do. Learn how to go big and get better leads.


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  • Next up: Inbound Shipping: 4 Easy Ways to Keep Your Costs Down
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  • Inbound Shipping: 4 Easy Ways to Keep Your Costs Down

    With more freight being shipped than there are drivers on the road, taking steps to ensure your business is effectively managing its supply chain is as important as ever. And as you assess the overall health of your supply chain, keep these four money-saving tips in mind, courtesy the shipping pros at Ascent Global Logistics.

    1. Understand shipping instructions and payment responsibility.

    Before you create a purchase order, ensure that all instructions and payment responsibility have been negotiated and submitted. This will help your company avoid any excess costs and inefficiencies that might crop up because of miscommunication.

    2. Take control of inbound freight charge.

    Generally speaking, you’ll want to have control over shipping, handling and processing fees because the party responsible for freight charges has control over your shipment’s route. Some vendors have identified freight control as an additional stream of revenue, which means you might pay above a fair market rate for that service. But if you partner with a 3PL—such as Ascent Global Logistics—you can take control of inbound freight by creating vendor compliance programs and providing technology to ensure the best rate, route and mode.

    3. Don’t use “Best Way” as a shipping instruction.

    Economy, delivery time, risk of damage: There are a lot of variables that go into shipping freight. The “best way” might be least expensive, but it doesn’t mean it is the best value when it comes to the delivery of your freight on time and intact.

    4. Plan ahead.

    Placing shipments with plenty of load time will you help save both time and money. High traffic, weather and breakdowns can create havoc on your shipments and prove costly, especially when everyone is trying to ship at the end of the month.

    How can I leverage these tips to improve my own supply chain?

    Ascent Global Logistics is happy to answer any further questions you might have about how to manage inbound freight costs. Contact Ascent Global Logistics to leverage these tips to improve your supply chain. 

    Check out Ascent Global Logistics’ 4 Tips for Controlling Your Inbound Freight Costs, and their eBook titled Inbound Shipping 101: The Secret to Saving Money for more on how a properly managed inbound shipping program can help you save.

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  • Next up: Innovation, Security, Disruption Key Themes at CIO Symposium
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  • Innovation, Security, Disruption Key Themes at CIO Symposium

    Innovation, security and disruption took center stage during the opening session of the OHTec CIO Symposium last week, which brought together about 200 top tech leaders from around Northeast Ohio. The OHTec CIO Symposium was a full-day conference with four focused, intense breakout sessions and four, distinct, eclectic, strategic Tech Talks by regional and national IT thought leaders.

    Innovation, security and disruption took center stage during the opening session of the OHTec CIO Symposium last week, which brought together about 200 top tech leaders from around Northeast Ohio. The OHTec CIO Symposium was a full-day conference with four focused, intense breakout sessions and four, distinct, eclectic, strategic Tech Talks by regional and national IT thought leaders.

    Innovation

    Innovation is a top-of-mind issue at the Cleveland Museum of Art, said Jane Alexander, the museum’s CIO. She told the crowd about the museum’s installation of technology that allows a visitor to draw an image on one of the museum’s walls, and then that image can be matched to an item in the collection. “It’s magical,” she said during the event, which was hosted by OHTec, COSE and the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

    Information about the museum’s collection can also be beamed directly to a user’s device. Why did the museum invest in such technology? Alexander said it’s a crucial part of creating an atmosphere at the museum and also a way to engage with guests at a deeper level.

    “We don’t want gadgets,” she said. “We want to create things that heighten the visitors’ experience.”

    The technology wall is continually updated so that it always has the freshest information for guests. “We’re in ongoing beta,” she said.

    Security

    Data security is an ongoing concern for many businesses. Sean Gallagher, CIO at NASA Glenn Research Center, said one way to take stock of a company’s tech defenses and also potentially foster innovation is through the advent of “hack-a-thons.”

    Such events can help businesses design custom solutions to any number of challenges they might be facing, he said.

    “We engage citizens across the globe in some of our innovation efforts,” he said.

    Disruption

    Greg Flanik, CIO at Baldwin Wallace University, said disruption has taken root in the education industry. He pointed to start-ups such as Packback that allow students to rent textbooks by the day.

    In an effort to protect their business model, Flanik said universities launched massively open online courses, which is a model that aims to deliver courses to anyone interested in taking them on the Web. While Flanik said the so-called MOOCs haven’t been as successful as universities might have wanted, technology borne out of the initiative could help universities take their space back from the disruptors.

    For example, he alluded to adaptive learning techniques that delivers more educational content as students grasp an idea or concept as a way university business models could potentially evolve.


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