Copeland News - January, 2018
We welcome you to a new year and the Winter Edition of our Copeland Newsletter.
Security continues to be front and center not only in the news, but it is also affecting corporate users and home users. We must all continue to add layers of protection and learn about these new threats as the cost of ignoring them is loss of data and money. We discuss ways to address the ongoing challenge of security in this newsletter.
We continue to see an increasing gap in the success of organizations that leverage technology opposed to those whose technology remains stagnant. The right use of new tools in any aspect of business can improve productivity, reduce cycle times, reduce costs, improve quality of your product or help your group attain compliance. Later on, we discuss what it means and costs to ignore your systems and provide some examples of how some simple applications can help with communication in the workplace.Please take in all of this important information, as it is pertinent to businesses of any size or industry. With that being said, if you think of anything today or in the future that you would like to discuss as it applies to your situation, never hesitate to drop us a note. We are here to educate and help you in any way we can.
In this issue of Copeland News
We continue to see the same trend when it comes to security and the perception of it in the past few months. A percentage of organizations are taking it very seriously and some continue to think it does not pertain to them for many reasons.
We all need to start thinking differently about security as this is no longer a passive responsibility. It is an ongoing challenge that needs a strategy as it is an ever-changing world. Secondly, as a whole, we are aggregating a tremendous amount of data compared to 10 or even 5 years ago. It is no longer just customer and vendor data we are storing but employee data, personal data of customers, credit card data and more. With more data comes more responsibility to protect that data. Here some tips to get the ball rolling, however, an overall strategy that is revisited yearly is essential:
Strong Passwords across all systems, changed them routinely and kept confidential
Implement a patch management system that installs updates for windows, adobe, chrome and any other common applications
Have a documented security program that includes policies for acceptable data use, BYOD, incident response and other policies. ** Ensure this is communicated and reviewed yearly **
Ensure email, Wi-Fi and remote access are all done under secure connections
3-2-1 Backup: Have 3 copies of your data, ensure that these backups are on 2 different media types, and ensure at least 1 of these backup sets is located offsite. This is critical for when something does slip through the cracks to limit the time to restore information
Have a Disaster Recovery Plan, keeping in mind the timing you need for your business to survive. What is your timing in terms of "return to operation"? How many days and/or hours can you tolerate being without your systems before it affects you from a true loss standpoint?
Implement a vulnerability scanning tool that can let you know if there are holes in your network
True Cost of Dated Equipment
The technology that runs your business today can also be rather complex. With these complexities in mind, studies have been done showing a trend that surprises many business people. Once hardware or software reaches a certain age, it actually doubles the cost of upgrading when the time does come (or is forced).
Dated systems (usually workstations and servers that are five years old or greater) actually cost more to keep online than a suitable replacement for those same systems. The reason for this comes back to a few factors, all related to the "support" of a system. Support costs and the time required to bring the dated system back to a better state is expanded for the following reasons:
- Older systems have older hardware, which also means that the failure rate for this hardware is increased over time. These systems tend to be slower as well causing performance issues.
- Older systems (hardware or software) are no longer supported. This means security patches, drivers and bug fixes are no longer released.
- Software may stop working altogether. For example, Microsoft stopped supporting Outlook 2007 due to security and one day users that had this program could no longer get their email.
- We typically see older PCs attached to manufacturing equipment or other equipment. These are typically not backed up and when these go down, so do your operations
In summary, it is critical that you purchase good quality equipment that can last five years and that you do a 1/5 refresh of all your equipment each year. It is also critical to ensure all software that your organization requires is supported and has a backup/recovery plan. Keeping these systems running because they "just work" is no longer cost effective and is putting your business at risk
Meetings, OneNote and Collaboration
We all know that meetings are an essential part of business and we all know that we wish they were shorter, more productive and the information is retained a little better. While meetings have been around forever, how these interactions can go today can increase the productivity of your organization. Here are some examples:
Old School: Meeting participants bring paper and pens and take notes. When the meeting was complete, the notes would leave with the individual. That information may or may not be converted to usable information and part of the meeting would be lost in translation. There would be no central location for action items and due dates and rarely does the content of the meeting live past 90 days.
New School: Meeting participants bring their favorite device: A tablet, a notebook, a laptop, or a smartphone. Using this device, the participants may use tools like Microsoft OneNote and project the notes on screen for all to see. These notes are stored and organized and can be shared with all users. The content can be backed up and lives on for as long as needed. You can have ongoing tasks lists and use checkboxes to mark items complete with accountability as it is shared to all.
Old School: When collaborating, users would email a group of people information and the exchange would go back and forth via email. Users would forget to hit Reply-All or would reply at the same time which excludes some of the information from the thread. At the end, the information will sit in the inboxes and eventually will be deleted or just remain unavailable to the rest of the organization.
New School: Collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams are used to bring groups of people together. These integrate chat threads where nothing is lost and is searchable to everyone and allows for better communication when done properly. These platforms also integrate with other tools to become a productivity suit. For example, you can add OneNote notebooks to Teams so that each team has their own notebook. You can add OneDrive files, To-Do lists and other applications from the Office 365 suite.
In summary, companies have been using these latest technologies to gain advantages – even in the meeting room. Microsoft OneNote and Microsoft Teams are available in the Office 365 suit of products and is easily attainable.
Now is a good time to think beyond email and start building business practices that utilize these latest tools from Microsoft.
Copeland Technology Solutions – New Look
Copeland Data Systems was started in 1979 which is a long time by today's technology standards. In the world of minicomputers and business systems, "Data" was a popular naming convention of the time and our name fit well in the early years.
The world has changed over these past 40 years, and so have we. We started off with software development, became early adopters of Microsoft in its first stages of growth and then brought on the web/mobile development and integration piece when the internet and smartphones became common in the technology world.
Today, we are central to technical solutions across many platforms. With that in mind, the "Data" in Copeland Data Systems no longer means what it did when we first opened shop. As we continuously improve and grow, we will be seen by many in the future as "Copeland Technology Solutions".
While we will always be Copeland Data Systems from a legal standpoint, Copeland Technology Solutions better speaks of the services we provide in this digital age of business. We are excited to move forward for challenges ahead, where our technologies and the application of these technologies can move business forward. Now, our name speaks of that: Copeland Technology Solutions: Moving Business Forward.