Before you download that app to your smartphone, consider these questions:
If you want to better protect your privacy and greatly improve your smartphone’s battery, don’t install those free apps. But, if you still want to access those sites, here is a much better way:
It’s just as convenient and a similar viewing experience, while saving your privacy and phone battery by using this browser approach instead of the app. Most people see a significant (10% or more) savings in their phone battery level each day, by making this simple change. With this insight and these few adjustments to the way you access information, you can help keep your personal information private, and greatly improve the battery life of your phone.
Technology plays a key role in all businesses today. The right technology can provide a competitive advantage and be a valuable asset for your business, and conversely, the wrong technology and/or an unsuccessful technology implementation can be devastating. So, before you make that key technology decision, consider these key points in selecting the right technology guidance:
We see the headlines too often — another company's information systems have been breached and sensitive data has been stolen. Sony, Anthem, Home Depot, Yahoo, Target, and others are recent examples that come to mind. If these massive companies with their full scale technology teams can be exploited, it can make a business owner wonder: “How secure is my businesses?”
Cybersecurity: A Growing Challenge
Industry experts are predicting that the challenge of cybersecurity is likely to get worse, and that the damages will become even more devastating. When this happens, the company image and credibility is damaged, loss of customers, huge financial impact, and typically the CEO and CIO are fired. In the case of a small business, most can’t endure the damage and are ruined.
So, why does this serious problem continue? How can it be avoided?
Most companies are not taking the right approach to cybersecurity.
Addressing Your Company's Cybersecurity
To address your cybersecurity the right way, you need to properly assess your vulnerabilities and capabilities. Here are 10 common cybersecurity issues businesses face:
Cybersecurity is vital for your future, and doing it the right way makes all the difference.
Technology protection has improved over the years and hackers have shifted their focus from technical vulnerabilities to individual vulnerabilities. Tricking one person into giving up computer access is the easiest path to sensitive information, and hackers have developed some clever strategies for doing so through email.
Below are some of the top email threats, and how you can protect against them.
Cybersecurity threats have evolved over the years. And for business owners to be prepared, it’s important that your protection and knowledge evolve accordingly. In the past, the right technology safeguards, such as firewalls and anti-virus/malware protection were adequate.
But now, hackers have responded by shifting their target from technical vulnerabilities to PEOPLE vulnerabilities. It’s much easier for a hacker to trick you into unknowingly giving up access to your computer and sensitive information. Hackers often utilize our everyday habits and familiar tools for their exploits. Below are 5 of these hidden threats, and how you can protect against them.
1. Portable drives
People often use USB portable drives for storing and transferring files. Hackers know that they are a commonly used technology, so they’ll often load their viruses/malware on a USB portable drive and drop it near the entrance of a building. They’ll even add a label titled “Confidential”, “Company Salary Information”, or other intriguing labels to entice you into picking it up and plugging it into your computer. As soon as you plug it in your computer, the malware is immediately transferred to your computer and spreads to other computers on your network. So, make sure you never plug in drives from unknown sources.
2. Beware of “FREE”
Free apps and free social media services are frequently used to collect and sell your sensitive personal data. Your contacts, pictures, messages, and other very sensitive information are gathered by the app, and — unknown to you — are often uploaded to the provider to be sold to others. Your privacy and personal information is valuable. So, be careful with “free” apps and always look over the privacy policies for the social media websites you use.
3. Don’t use public or free WiFi
While the free WiFi at the coffee shop, airport, or other public location may be convenient, it is also dangerous and best avoided if possible. Hackers can use free WiFi to gain access to your PC and steal information. Instead, try using the tethering option on your cell phone to setup your own private, secure internet connection (be sure to check your cellular data plan usage), or wait until you are back to your office or home to use a private, secured connection.
4. Secure your paper documents
Don’t leave confidential/sensitive documents lying around on your desk unattended. Hackers can walk around an office environment looking for unattended documents they can use to gain access. Before you leave your office, put away and protect those sensitive documents. Implement a “Clean Desk Policy” at your company.
5. Report suspicious activity
If you see an unknown person walking around the office, or your computer system has changed in some way with no notice from your IT team, communicate it to management. Communication is vital to address these issues as you can work with your team to minimize the threat.
Information Technology ("IT") is rapidly changing. The type of initiatives, the timing and pace, the right expertise and required resources, the available solutions, the way you procure and host the solutions (SaaS, Cloud,...), and other variables have changed and will continue to change. Over the past 25+ years, I have worked as a global CIO, as well as a trusted technology advisor to CEOs and other C-level executives, including CIOs and CMOs. I have found that some leaders get it, and others don't. Some leaders understand the changes and fully embrace and leverage them, and others are still holding on to the ways of yesteryear.
Often I find that Chief Marketing Officers are the ones that really get it, and are doing the best job of leveraging the new information technology landscape. They start with the CUSTOMER in mind... not the tech. They set goals that are bold, creative and extraordinary. They can clearly articulate the right business value of the I.T. initiative, and get the full buy-in of the stakeholders and executive team. They quickly define the goal and set a plan that will produce timely results. They understand that innovation and the advantage of creative I.T. is a limited time window. In understanding this window of opportunity, they look across all potential resources and find the best expertise that could produce the right results in a timely manner. They don't limit themselves or the initiative to just internal resources, they find external, trusted partners that can augment them and/or can provide the targeted turnkey solution within the required time frame. They get the new business environment for IT... they get the "new IT".
In contrast, too often I see Chief Information Officers that are stuck in the old paradigm of "command and control". They insist on everything being controlled by internal IT resources, but complain that they don't have the time or necessary resources to deliver what the customer demands. They have inadvertently set themselves up to be a barrier and/or business constraint, which causes tension within the organization. CIOs and IT organizations must evolve, reexamine their approach, and be open to alternatives. Yes, having been a CIO myself, I do understand the importance of security, integration, and the other concerns that IT leaders throw out for why they can't consider alternatives. But the truth is, you can successfully execute the timely approach being applied by CMOs that I described in the previous paragraph, AND also do it in a manner that is secure and integrated. Now I do know many progressive CIOs that get IT... we just need a lot more that get the new IT.
The pace of business and information technology will continue to increase. Windows of opportunity will continue to shrink and become tighter. To be successful, leaders must adapt, continuously take a new look at their approach and options, fully leverage ALL the resources and expertise available, and understand the "new IT".
Having worked in the healthcare industry for more than 25 years and serving as the CIO and CTO for healthcare organizations, I have seen a lot of information technology challenges in the healthcare industry. There was Y2K ... upgrading the extensive list of legacy systems and ensuring information systems, biomedical systems and devices, and the wide-array of technology used in the healthcare system was not impacted by Y2K. That challenge was successfully met by most healthcare organizations with little to no impact thankfully. Then there is "Meaningful Use", which has driven a rush for organizations to implement Electronic Health Records and other systems, which again placed a major impact on internal Information Technology organizations. And of course there have been others, which have all kept healthcare CIOs and their I.T. organizations very busy for many years.
But now there is a swirling of many simultaneous I.T. initiatives that could become the perfect storm that crushes many healthcare I.T. organizations. Many healthcare organizations are still in the midst of their system implementations and other activities driven by Meaningful Use. Now along comes the required ICD-10 updates, which must be completed by October 1, 2015. The work required to successfully switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 should not be underestimated, which unfortunately some organizations inevitably will do. And as if those simultaneous, major initiatives aren't enough to keep every CIO and CEO awake at night, the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obama Care") and the new healthcare exchange is generating new I.T. initiatives and an I.T. surge in demand within most healthcare organizations. And then there's also the pinned-up demand for the I.T. projects that were put on hold in the past in order to focus on Meaningful Use and the other initiatives I mentioned.
And with all those challenges to juggle, healthcare organizations need to also focus on Cybersecurity. Healthcare is now a top target for hackers, and most healthcare organizations are not properly prepared and have inadequate cybersecurity.
So, as you can see the next year will be extremely busy for most healthcare I.T. organizations.
Like all industries there will organizations that will be well-prepared, and there will be those that are not. The difference is, in healthcare the impact can be more than just financial, it can impact patient safety and lives.
1) Augment internal I.T. resources with the "right" external resources that can contribute immediately. You don't want to just throw "bodies" at such a challenge. This situation requires resources that know healthcare and I.T. and can make a meaningful contribution with minimal supervision. The challenge CIOs and healthcare leaders will face is the race to acquire these resources. Since everyone is facing the same deadline(s) and similar challenges, the will be a scramble to acquire these scarce resources.
2) Unfortunately, some CIOs and IT organization will follow their historical approach of trying to just do it all themselves. Good luck! While heroic efforts may have worked in the past, this unique combination of initiatives hitting at the same time will bury those that don't take the right actions. This tsunami is too big!
As an technology leaders we need to encourage and assist those fellow technology leaders that are facing these challenges. It's bad for all of us, when one fails. Leverage your network to find the right resources, set the right plan(s), and take action now!
This image shows the impact that storytelling has on the human brain. It's a great example of why your presentation should include storytelling.
So next time you prepare your presentation, don't create the same old boring, bullet-point style presentation ... instead, think about how you can create a great STORY that will engage and leverage the affects that storytelling has on the brain of each of your audience members.
Mark Johnson is the Chief Executive at Xtrii. He is an award-winning, global CIO, CTO, CEO and business leader. For more than 30 years he has helped some of the world's best organizations achieve extraordinary success. For more details visit his LinkedIn profile or follow him on Twitter @johnsonme.