This rogue IT asset is costing you money – here’s how to spot one

printerIt’s not every day you find $21,000 lying around your office. And no, we’re not talking about fixing improper software licensing or avoiding a ransomware attack. We’re talking about your printers.

When one organization took a closer look at its printers, it uncovered 281 so-called “problem devices” – printers that were too old, too expensive, or weren’t being used to their full potential. Refreshing just 153 of those devices could save the company $21,000 a month. (more…)

4 steps to create a CIPA-compliant network for your school

internet schoolsThis question will be on the final exam, and it’s one you don’t want to get wrong: Are you CIPA compliant?

We’re talking about the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the federal legislation that requires schools and libraries to restrict access to obscene or harmful content on the internet.

It’s so important that eligibility for E-Rate funding hinges on schools’ and libraries’ CIPA compliance. They must certify that they’re enforcing a policies relating to internet safety, including blocking or filtering access to material considered obscene, pornographic, and harmful to minors.

Are your students protected? Does your school network fit the letter of the law? Here’s how to make sure you’re CIPA compliant. (more…)

Here’s how a company patched up its crumbling IT foundation

colocation 2The company had a problem: Its IT environment was so disjointed and outdated, it was a proverbial house of cards, teetering on collapse. The outdated infrastructure was unreliable and slow, which caused delays in sales and inventory reporting. If one system failed, it could shut down the entire IT infrastructure and paralyze sales management and order fulfillment.

For small and medium-sized businesses with more pressing budgetary priorities, it’s easy to see how such a situation could arise. When an external audit found that the company had severely underfunded its IT department for years, management took notice. (more…)

Here’s why unstructured data is putting your organization at risk

dark dataBig data seduces us with potential. Industries from retail to health care collect untold terabytes of data in hopes of finding correlations and connections that drive sales and improve patient health.

But beneath the depths lies dark data, or data whose value hasn’t yet been identified. We’re talking about documents, images, PDFs, videos, and other data that often aren’t work related, include sensitive information, or duplicate files many times over.

Many organizations do the right thing by regularly backing up their data (everything from email servers to file shares to individual user folders), but this process amasses tons of unnecessary unstructured data. It clogs up storage arrays and hard drives, creating big bills and unknown risks.

Is your organization hoarding this kind of unstructured data without realizing it? Let’s shine a light on dark data to uncover how you can move your organization toward better storage and improved efficiency. (more…)

Prove it or lose it: Why proof of concepts are a must do for many IT projects

Proof of conceptFew of us would buy a car without first taking it for a test drive. But this is exactly what organizations do when they purchase new technology without completing a Proof of Concept (POC).

In the IT realm, a POC tests how potentially disruptive technology interacts or integrates with an existing environment. These experiments can give an organization the confidence to adopt new and emerging technologies, or fair warning for what challenges must be solved first.

While you don’t need a POC to buy some new laptops, you should test any significant implementation you’re planning. Here’s why. (more…)

How one health care provider learned that compliance does not equal security

Health care compliance and securityWhich causes business leaders to buy into an IT security assessment quicker: ransomware or a data breach?

Both.

Unfortunately, that’s just the situation a regional health care provider network faced a few years ago. Although the IT staff knew a review of the security of the network and file server was overdue, the C-suite remained focused on existing HIPAA compliance guidelines.

That’s when a ransomware attack hit, resulting in a data breach. A user simply clicked on a popup, ransomware was then installed on the machine, and health care records stored on the user’s hard drive were compromised.

After the breach was fixed and the damage assessed, management realized many questions needed answering: Why did this attack happen? What should be IT’s first step in protecting data? What data should be secured? How could the organization balance compliance and security to stop attacks in the future? (more…)

Earth Day review: Here’s how much pollution we prevented in 2015 through asset recovery

Earth Day review of asset recoveryIf you read our blog post highlighting the 5 hallmarks of successful asset recovery, you might remember why asset recovery – the proper disposal or recycling of hardware devices – is so important: It’s a versatile, economical solution that protects your organization and simplifies IT asset management.

One of the biggest advantages to asset recovery is the environmental benefits. Adopting an asset recovery program guarantees devices are responsibly disassembled and recycled, and the precious metals, toxic materials, and extra components aren’t dumped in a landfill. If you throw those same devices in a standard garbage can, they end up feeding the growing global environmental issue of e-waste.

E-waste contains various hazardous metals that can harm the human immune, nervous, and reproductive systems, as well as pollute the air, water, and soil. By handing off end-of-life devices to an asset recovery provider, you are not only protecting the environment but the rest of humanity as well. (more…)

How to pick the best colocation option for your company’s needs

serversOrganizations considering colocation should be wary of big promises not documented in a contract, and costs much lower than other providers. As in most situations, a colocation data center offering that sounds too good to be true probably is.

Colocation has become a competitive landscape, and data center providers are offering superb benefits for seemingly great prices: metered power, attractive space costs, and endless connectivity. But there are specific aspects of these three components that need to be studied and questioned.

Before signing the dotted line, take a closer look at power, space, and connectivity. You should also investigate the best way to make the physical migration to a colocation data center and how to optimize your colocation benefits, especially if you’re expanding to new markets. (more…)

7 reasons why colocation makes sense for your business

colocation data centerData centers are a lot like cafeterias for most organizations — a necessity, but not something they want to manage. Frankly, most organizations are not in the business of making sandwiches or building and managing data centers. Owning and operating an in-house data center is just not aligned with their core business.

Compared with operating an in-house data center, leveraging colocation services from a data center provider offers numerous benefits that have driven steady adoption of these services over the years. Here are seven reasons why you should consider colocation data center services for your organization. (more…)

How many laptops has your company lost this year?

How many laptops has your company lost this year?It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your laptops are?

A misplaced laptop is no surprise to IT – many a laptop has been left in a public place or lost in plain sight on shelves or in drawers. And unfortunately, employees moving into a new job with a different company have been known to take their laptop with them. On average, 10 percent of IT hardware assets are in a state of purgatory, leaving no trace but a record in the books.

But is this a cause for panic? What’s the true cost of a few missing laptops to a business, especially one with increasing revenue and growing profit?

The real – and hidden – cost of lost laptops

Fact: Laptops are relatively cheap. Another reality: The content on those laptops is an organization’s lifeblood. If an employee loses a laptop, organizations can be faced with the loss of financial documents and information, HR records, regulatory filings, and valuable intellectual property. In addition, lost content could put an organization at risk of falling out of compliance with HIPAA or the SEC. (more…)