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The infiltration of mobile devices in the workplace isn’t new news; although it may be hard to believe, mobile devices entered the workforce just a little more than a decade ago. More recently, the influx of BYOD, the ever-growing number of remote workers, and the mind-blowing pace at which technology is advancing have kept IT departments on their toes and CIOs awake at night trying to manage it all. As such, it should come as no surprise that with this increase comes growing strain and an increasing number of obstacles facing a CIO; they and their staff need to continuously shift their priorities and strategies to accommodate the current challenges that are plaguing their organization and adapting to the constant changes.

Not surprisingly, CIO mobility-induced headaches run the gamut from mundane to major and can often be attributed to several different challenges simultaneously. Here, we’ll look at the seven biggest headaches that mobility is causing.

Lack of Resources

While many organizations—in particular enterprise organizations—are becoming increasingly ambitious with their digital transformation initiatives, new technology solutions may not be implemented very quickly due to the lack of sufficient IT and budgetary resources. Additionally, with BYOD and the remote nature of the workforce it takes more manpower than often what’s staffed to accomplish security, integrations, development, management and monitoring along with analytics.

Talent Shortage

In some areas of IT, in particular cybersecurity, there seems to be a stunning lack of talent in the industry; it is estimated that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. Mobility causes all sorts of challenges for IT, from security concerns like lost/stolen devices to mobile device management and BYOD policies.


As mentioned above, mobility brings an alarming number of threats to the enterprise and deposits them at the door of the CIO and IT leadership. Preventing the next cybersecurity attack, mitigating the risks employee devices bring, and leveraging the right solutions to do it all can keep a CIO up at night worrying about keeping the network, employees and customers safe.

Surpassing the Competition  

CIOs in particular are under a great deal of stress from the executive team to not just keep up with the competition but to outpace them. Mobility is the cornerstone to innovation and the leg up companies have when working to identify new revenue streams.  


Although it may be a year or so before 5G transforms the way business is done, 5G-enabled phones have already hit the market. 5G not only brings an upgraded network to the table, from 20 to 100 times faster than 4G, increased speed and bandwidth will lend itself to a boom of IoT devices (a forecasted 18 billion by 2022). Of course, the more devices that an enterprise has online, the greater the security risk and the greater number of devices that will need to be managed—all by the IT department.

Mobility & the Edge

“Edge computing is going to be huge going forward,” Jack E. Gold, president and principal analyst at J. Gold Associates says. “From an enterprise perspective, that will play out largely in the EoT (Enterprise of Things) space, but it also means we’re going to have distributed apps. Computing will be dispersed even more as mobile carriers add computer resources right at their cell sites.” Increased edge and fog computing will provide even more questions for the CIO regarding the network, data storage, cloud environments and colocation.

In response to mobility-induced headaches CIOs are facing, both traditional management vendors and AI companies have been focused on creating Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) and Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions. AI has the potential to help alleviate much of the IT burden placed on companies when it comes to mobile devices. As Gold puts it, AI coming in is a way to help IT manage devices… look for this kind of assistive intelligence – not just Siri or Alexa, but a concierge that understands me and can help me make the most of the device.”

Interested in learning more about how you can navigate the often-challenging field of mobility solutions? Contact us here.



It’s interesting to note that device loss accounts for 41% of breaches, compared with 25% that derived from hacking and malware, according to Trend Micro. Overall, there has been a 300% increase in mobile device OS vulnerabilities since 2011, and businesses are realizing the increasingly critical need to protect the company—and customer data. As networking environments have evolved, IT departments adapted to growing security threats in mobile devices. Cabir, the first virus that infected smartphones, reared its ugly head in 2004, and by the time iPhones and other smartphones emerged, a whole new generation of security woes had been born.

More than half of organizations have identified employees as the source of a major security breach, either due to falling victim to phishing, using unapproved apps, using unsecured Wi-Fi networks or through simple human error. In a report by Apricorn, nearly 20% of organizations believe their mobile workers don’t particularly care about security, with one in three experiencing data loss as the direct result of their mobile workforce.

In this age of “supermobility” in which mobile devices provide all the tools employees need to be productive away from the office and IoT initiatives increase, there are a seemingly infinite number of endpoints that need to be secured. Mobile device security is the measures taken specifically to protect sensitive data stored on portable devices. Additionally, it refers to the ability to prevent unauthorized users from accessing mobile devices and the enterprise network. Devices that require protection of this sort include laptops, tablets, smartphones, wearables, and other portable devices. Today, the majority of businesses are using these devices to conduct routine business and the devices themselves could contain hundreds of gigabytes of private data on them—everything from healthcare information to customer credit card and social security numbers and more.

While the first instinct might be to lock everything down like Alcatraz, company security policies, an efficient security posture and back up plans for mobile devices can help align policy with culture and avoid the airtight seal on the organization.

In an article in Computerworld, Adrian Duigan has some suggestions about establishing a successful security policy; in addition to the suggestions we’re digging into in this blog post, here are a few other considerations to consider when implementing or updating your company’s security policies:

  • Check out what organizations similar to yours are doing
  • Ensure your policy conforms to all legal requirements
  • Overprotection could be a liability, as well; sometimes an Employee Code of Conduct may be all you need
  • Include staff members in policy development; being a part of the process not only helps with policy adoption, it also makes them a part owner in its success
  • Make sure your policy is in writing and that all employees have acknowledged their acceptance of the policy in writing
  • Set clear penalties and enforce them

Employee training

Security awareness training should be rolled out to all existing mobile workforce employees and become a part of on-boarding for new employees. This training should be held annually as both a refresher and a to update any outdated information. Similar to in-office security training (such as keycard usage and clean desk policies), the training for a remote workforce should focus on things like the dangers of public Wi-Fi spots, the usage of removable media (such a USB drives), what to look for in phishing emails or spoofed accounts, and the security and password requirements for smartphones, laptops and other mobile devices. Ensuring that the policy put in place is representative of the overall culture of the organization is a key factor in guaranteeing that employees will follow the policy once it’s rolled out.

mobile-powerMobile Device Management

Work with a mobile security vendor who can help IT with adding and provisioning apps, policies and devices. IT can then better and more easily activate users, set policies and restrictions, deploy apps and connect to VPN, configure email, connect to Wi-Fi, intranet sites and other resources, remote lock and wipe. Deploy multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA is a critical component that is virtually no cost, a security system that requires more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify the user’s identity for a login or other transaction. Combining two (or more) independent credentials consisting of a combination of three things: what the user knows (their password), what the user has (a security token) and/or what the user is (biometric verification). This layered defense makes it more difficult for an unauthorized person to their target (in this case a mobile device). If one factor is compromised or broken, there is still one more line of defense in place before the attacker can successfully break into the target.

BakerHostetler’s 2019 Data Security Incident Response Report notes that raising employee awareness and employing multifactor authentication are still two of the best defenses to address the employee risk factor. “Now more than ever, mobile devices have a target on their back,” said Mike Feibus, principal analyst with FeibusTech. “It’s ironic, but the more mobile devices are used as a multi-factor option to secure PCs, the more desirable they become to hackers. And as everyone knows, where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Virtual private network (VPN) technology was developed to enable remote users and satellite offices to access corporate applications and resources, securely. Previously, VPN’s were created for fixed networks with high bandwidth and relied on the user having a stable IP address. Now, forward-thinking companies are applying this same technology to their mobile workforces to enhance the privacy and security of their devices. Special care should go into determining which VPN provider is right for your company. Make sure to consider the type of devices, the devices’ OS and the VPN hardware to ensure the solution is a good fit for each of these.

Understanding the risks

It’s easy to underestimate the risk mobility provides to an organization. Whether used by in-office personnel or a remote workforce, mobile devices should not be the source of truth for any of your data. Companies should operate on the assumption that a stolen, misplaced or breached device is highly likely, and therefore plan, accordingly. Examples of this preparation include backing up mobile devices, daily and ensuring that a data classification policy is put into place and followed; allowing users to make more informed decisions about the data that can or should be copied to a mobile device and what data should never leave the network.


Data loss costs companies more than you think. According to cloud data protection company, Druva, “every lost laptop costs an organization approximately $49,000.” These costs are obviously not related to the actual value of the device but rather the value of the data on the device, the loss of intellectual property and the impact of potentially compromised proprietary data. Add to that the inevitable loss of productivity/employee downtime and the financial impact of that data loss increases even more.

In 2018, the University of Utah Eye Center identified that a computer and its associated external storage device had been stolen from their facility. Due to data privacy laws, the university was required to notify more than 600 patients that their protected health information was potentially at risk. As an added measure, they also proactively established a dedicated call center to help the affected patients navigate the aftermath. The potential damage to the Eye Center’s reputation could have reached a point of no return if the University hadn’t mitigated the damage and proactively attempted to retain their patients’ trust.



While most businesses have adopted some type of cloud-based technology, not all of them have implemented a unified multi-media communications platform that integrates phones, chat, email, web conferencing, and file sharing into a single cloud-based platform. UCaaS offers many benefits such as mobility, improved voice quality and exceptional reliability that Broadsoft predicts more than half of all organizations will adopt by 2020.


There are several ways that you can optimize your customer’s business savings by deploying UCaaS, outlined below are three considerations.




Enable Global Collaboration. UCaaS allows businesses to take geography out of the equation when hiring talent. With unemployment rates low, it’s already difficult for organizations to fill vacant positions from limited talent pools. Out of necessity, some employers are using alternative methods to find talent by utilizing freelancers and contractors and actively recruiting non-traditional workers.


UCaaS enables employers to readily hire contract workers and employees alike that reside in different time zones—and even different countries—while retaining the ability to offer a collaborative, team environment. Some of the ways UCaaS can enable collaboration and communication include:


  • Intelligence-based productivity features. These features can include automated access to information and files team members need.
  • Mobile features like multimedia meetings that integrate features such as video conferencing, screen sharing and video chatting as well as click-to-call options.
  • Built-in project management capabilities that allows users to assign tasks, attach files or communications, or create projects.

As an illustration of this, a global manufacturing company with more than 300 locations around the world had separate voice and video infrastructures in place, which was hindering global collaboration between teams. They also had numerous third-party endpoints and gateways as well as complicated integration requirements.


The solution was to implement a single UC solution throughout the entire organization. Once the UC solution had been deployed, the company gained a unified global dial plan integrated with business video to support any-to-any collaboration. All of their existing third-party endpoints were integrated, and today full interoperability exists between Tier 1, Tier 2, internal, external, polycom, and desktop video endpoints and devices, thus enabling simple and robust means of immediate global communication and collaboration throughout the organization.




Incorporate social media. Social media can be integrated with cloud UC functionalities, so that organizations can better understand the mindsets/needs/wants of their customers.


According to Jimmy Rohampton, Forbes contributor, millennials have a strong preference for social technology-based modes of work, including social tools for employee recognition, workplace learning, and collaboration. Employee engagement as well as customer happiness can be improved with a UCaaS solutions by encouraging:


  • Real-time feedback. Increase agility by leveraging social media’s real-time features to promote internal collaboration and engage with employees and customers immediately.
  • Improve customer service. By leveraging your CRM together with social tools, you can aggregate customer feedback from various social media networks, enabling your organization to more fully understand your customers’ needs and potentially be empowered to proactively address problems.

A mid-sized company, which helps its customers create custom photo books and gifts, realized the number of inquiries they were getting via their social media channels (primarily Facebook) was outpacing their “temporary” workflow, which involved their Social Media Specialist copying the messages and comments received, pasting them into an email which they then forwarded to the Customer Support department. Those emails were then put in a queue via their CRM with all the inquiries from the website and inbound calling center. Once Customer Support had responded to the Social Media Specialist’s email, they then had to go back into Facebook and post the appropriate response and/or direct them to reach out to Customer Support directly—every single time. If a conversation ensued, this could get very cumbersome, and the immediacy of the platform was completely negated.


By integrating the social media platform with the UCaaS solution, the Customer Support people were able to engage directly with their customers via Facebook, and there was a noticeable uptick in leads converted from social media in the months that followed. 




Improve the security of mobile technology. As BYOD (bring your own device) becomes more commonplace among organizations of all sizes, there is a corresponding increase in the security challenges being faced by IT departments. A cloud UC system allows access via a single app rather than juggling a variety of apps that haven’t been approved by IT. Companies can reduce or potentially eliminate risks associated with unapproved file-sharing software or employees who may download data directly to their personal devices by implementing cloud-based access to sensitive information.


Although BYOD security concerns aren’t eliminated with UCaaS, providing employees a central point for accessing work-related communications does decrease the risks associated with the BYOD movement. Additionally, by providing a convenient, centralized way to securely access information, it does encourage employees to behave in more secure ways.


Take for example a small midwestern school district who didn’t have enough computers for every student and wanted to enable a BYOD program to their schools. To do this, the district would need to make a variety of improvements to their network, including replacing multiple PBX systems at the various buildings.


The district began by deploying a UC solution in the district office and connecting schools one at a time. By implementing a UC system, they managed both the wired and wireless networks simultaneously and continually save money on technician visits, since the network administrator can manage various systems from a single platform.


UCaaS allows business of all sizes an incredible amount of flexibility and money-saving options to expand their communication and collaboration tools. UC can be scaled up or down in real-time while also having the ability to adopt new technologies, immediately. There is also a huge benefit from mobile-first, user-friendly tools that are designed to evolve alongside the evolution of a company’s collaboration habits.


We’ve highlighted only three of the many solutions and features that can be added to a UCaaS customer over time, based on ever-changing business and technology needs. Ensuring you are well-versed in the multiple ways UCaaS can help solve various challenges—alone or in conjunction with an integration—you are setting yourself (and your customer) up for success. Delivering a single, globally-accessible communications platform is setting the stage for you to play a starring role in your customers’ digital transformation journey.



How The Cloud Can Improve Business Communications

Article by ATI Partner Fernanda Elizalde, Marketing Communications Associate – Nextiva

Communication is a critical aspect of business operations, whether your customers are collaborating with fellow employees or seeking new clients. The cloud has changed the way businesses communicate, as an innovative solution which is transcending communications. Flexible cloud-based solutions enable employees to communicate regardless of their geographic location.

Technological advancements have improved productivity and lowered operational costs, allowing greater productivity in the workplace. The ability to access communication tools from anywhere in the world can be leveraged to great advantage, especially in a constantly evolving business landscape. By failing to capitalize on the proficiency of cloud technologies, customers run the risk of getting left behind. This underlines the importance of cloud-based solutions.

But how exactly can the cloud improve business communications? If you’re curious about the specifics, fortunately you’re in the right place.

Here are some of the top ways the cloud can improve business communications:

Master Remote Working

Work environments once relied on everyone being in the same location, which was restrictive in relation to expansive goals. In today’s business culture, it’s impossible to grow in this environment, especially when working across different time zones. With cloud computing, efficiency is enhanced because employees can work from anywhere in the world. This creates a level of convenience which makes for a happier, more productive staff. The ability to work remotely creates freedom and flexibility, while reducing the costs associated with buying fixed assets. Companies can also hire from a much larger talent pool. Cloud communication services also facilitate audio and video conferencing, essential for the growth of modern businesses.

It Costs Less Than Premise-Based Solutions

The cloud will change your customers approach to expense management, which will ultimately improve their bottom line. Companies conventionally needed to acquire phone systems upfront, but cloud systems are paid for on a month-to-month basis. What’s useful is they only pay for the services they need, meaning they won’t accrue costs on communication channels which are not used. By not needing to purchase hardware and other devices, they’ll reduce replacement costs significantly. Instead, they can focus on upgrading features which benefit their organization the most, with access to the latest and greatest software.

Employees Can Work On Multiple Devices

Information stored on the cloud can be accessed from any device that can connect to the internet. Organizations can consequently capitalize on the benefits of working from mobile devices, which include greater mobility, flexibility, and convenience. With mobile providers offering faster internet connections, employees are afforded the luxury of communicating on the go, enhancing access and efficiency tenfold. Key business processes can be executed with ease, with real-time communication that’s important in today’s fast-moving society. Employees are not required to use specific devices, allowing collaboration within a business network from tablets, smartphones, or desktops.

Gain a Competitive Edge

Small organizations can compete with bigger companies if they leverage cloud communication methods. They can scale up operations quicker than ever before, without being held back by costs. Small businesses can gradually increase their cloud usage over time, depending on budget and scale of growth. With a self-sufficient communication service like the cloud, small businesses don’t need to worry about the expenses associated with hiring IT staff, often a restrictive factor. In business climates which are dominated by the big dogs, the ability to engage cheaply and quickly, with quality in mind, offers small companies a competitive edge vital for success.

Less Outsourcing & More Decentralization

Though outsourcing has its advantages, businesses can suffer from less quality control, a lack of customer focus, and hidden costs. Fortunately, the cloud’s rise to prominence has eliminated reliance on outsourcing, where employers can hire full-time employees who are not in the same location as company headquarters. With business communications conducted globally, between diverse employees, companies can benefit from decentralization. More job opportunities have been generated, allowing people to apply their skillsets accordingly. This is facilitated by video conferencing, which has become an integral component of business communications.

Go Global

Organizations were once restricted by geographic location, where technological limitations made it difficult to extend beyond local communities. This impacted small companies the most, who didn’t have access to the cloud features which allow organizations to expand. Because smaller companies can now utilize cloud-based solutions, at reduced costs, everyone has the capacity to collaborate with global partners. This means you can go global if you are a small business, facilitated by the enhancement of business communications.

Business communication tools are rapidly changing as the cloud’s capabilities enhance. Small businesses have the opportunity to reach goals which would’ve seemed unlikely in years past, providing they’re willing to adapt. Enjoy the improved quality of business communications with cloud technologies, and remember, evolve or risk becoming extinct.

Article by ATI Partner Fernanda Elizalde, Marketing Communications Associate – Nextiva

Learn more about cloud communications with our no obligation Cloud Consultation


Most employees today eschew the traditional 9-to-5 workday in favor of work-life balance and the ability to work when they want (and often where they want). The result often is an increase in productivity and a more satisfied workforce—a win-win for companies and their employees alike.

Is your PBX system supporting your employees or hindering them? Are employees able to have the full functionality of their desktop phone wherever they are? Are they able to access customer information through the PBX to streamline customer interaction? Are they able to collaborate with colleagues on the fly by simply pressing a button?

Chances are, your current system offers basic calling functionality and not much else. Plus, you’re probably using a separate collaboration platform, which means employees must maneuver two systems to do their job effectively. The result is a slow, kludgy system that does anything but enhance productivity.

To truly be productive in and out of the office, your employees need more. They need a complete communications and collaboration system on one platform to help them work smarter, faster. They need:

  • The ability to have all of their desktop phone calling features on any device—PC, tablet, smartphone.
  • Collaboration capabilities—including audio and video conferencing, instant messaging and online meetings—no matter where they are.
  • Integrated customer information at the touch of a finger, to enable richer customer contact experiences.

Most legacy PBX systems lack mobility, flexibility and collaborative capabilities, keeping employees tethered to their desk or forcing them to use their mobile phones to conduct business while away from the office. Either way, they don’t have the power of an integrated communications and collaborations platform. A cloud-based communications system may be the answer for your company, providing a robust, full-featured, integrated communications and collaboration platform that’s accessible anywhere at any time. Not only do your employees get all the tools they need to do their jobs effectively and efficiently, your business benefits from a system that’s scalable and flexible, and at a price that’s much less than the cost of upgrading your current PBX (which most likely doesn’t include collaboration capabilities).

Other benefits of a cloud-based communications system include:

  • The ability to get back online quickly should the unexpected happen, such as a natural disaster, fire or weather-related event.
  • Low or no hassle for the IT department, since a cloud communications system is a hosted system managed offsite.

In today’s business environment, your workforce must be productive no matter where they are. Take a look at the benefits of a cloud-based communications system and what it can do for your company.

Network Services
Finding the right wireless solutions for your business means keeping abreast of the innovations as they come down the pipeline. The speed of technology means that there are new wireless options for virtually every purpose being developed every day. The following are 5 innovations that are in their nascent stages, or even just visible over the horizon that have piqued our interest:
  1. Mobile Virtual Networks

Back in March, Google announced their plan to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). That means they would be able to route data as well as voice calls through both cellular and WiFi networks. The goal for Google is to use the network for their branded Nexus phones but, of course, the implications of such a big player entering the space means that more opportunities for MVNOs will certainly be on the horizon. For users, these types of networks could mean better connectivity around the globe, even where cellular coverage is limited.
  1. Peer-to-peer Communication

Just as mobile virtual networks rely less on cellular towers, peer-to-peer wireless options take cell towers out of the equation entirely. LTE Direct, as the technology is called, allows wireless devices to connect to one another directly from up to 500 meters away. The technology is deep into the development phase at Qualcomm and could potentially allow wireless users to discover things nearby with virtually no effort, their mobile phones letting them know about restaurants, events, and friends that are in the area through this peer-to-peer communication. LTE Direct also has the potential to offer more private communication options when communicating between wireless devices.
  1. Sound as Data

Using sound to transmit data can’t really be described as an innovation at this point, since that was the idea behind the most ancient modems. However, this type of wireless transmission has made a big comeback and is successfully making the leap to wireless solutions, from Google Chromecast (which uses ultrasonic sounds to transmit data to televisions) to a mobile app called Clinkle that allows wireless users to transfer money to one another using a patented technology called Aerolink. A new use for older technologies can certainly be touted as innovation and probably something most people with an old-fashioned modem never conceived of.
  1. Wireless Charging

In a move that is not only innovative but could be an ultimate convenience, with auto manufacturers Hyundai-Kia as well as Mercedes-Benz and General Motors hoping to implement wireless charging for electric cars. Small-scale wireless charging, such as cell phone charging mats, are not new but these automotive innovations are on a much larger scale. Current tests have the inductive chargers operating at as high as 85% efficiency, making electric cars that much more appealing.
  1. Super WiFi

Unused TV spectrum channels, specifically UHF, are so underutilized that wireless technology is being developed that can use these channels for fast, reliable wireless communication. Technology is currently in the works at Rice University that would help to create these super WiFi channels, which could be specifically useful in densely populated areas where other channels are jammed with wireless devices. For consumers and businesses alike, continued innovation in wireless solutions means more opportunities to live lives that are better connected and continually more convenient.


What Wireless Solutions is your Small Business Utilizing

March 8, 2016 – It’s no secret that employees and businesses are expected to be more productive than ever. Smartphones, broadband, and 24-hour connectivity means that everyone is expected to up to speed and on top of things all day, every day. If you’re a small business owner, you might feel pressure from clients to work harder than is humanly possible, and it’s easy to pass those expectations on to your employees. Luckily, there are ways to give yourself a leg up and improve productivity across your business, using the technology you already have. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Mobile Apps

There are plenty of mobile apps designed to improve business productivity. From note-taking apps like Evernote to collaboration tools like Basecamp to secure document signing apps like Docusign: make the most of your mobile device by downloading apps that actually make your life easier instead of just wasting time.

Take Collaboration Online

Apps like Basecamp, Dropbox, and Google Docs make it easy to collaborate with your team at all times. That means even if your right-hand man is asleep, you can make edits, send messages, and make sure everything is ready for the moment he wakes up. When you don’t have time to sit down at a desk, these types of wireless solutions can be a life saver.

Set Measurable Goals

Goal setting apps can be a huge benefit to small business owners. Setting measurable goals and writing them down can be the best way to get things accomplished. Small business owners are often running from one task to the next and leaving things unfinished to put out fires. Set a mobile reminder for yourself of one or two “must-dos” each day and watch your productivity – and feeling of accomplishment – skyrocket.

Unified Communications

When all your communication systems work together, you can get more done. If you’re on the go and can’t pick up your office phone, ShoreTel’s unified communications systems can ensure that you answer the phone just the same as if you were sitting at your desk. This means you don’t have to be tied to one place or make sure everyone has your cell number so you can get more done all the time.


BYOD stands for “Bring Your Own Device.” Quickly fading are the days when people were willing to carry a Blackberry strapped to their belt and a flip phone in their pocket. People want the comfort and personalization of their own mobile device. And the truth is that a BYOD mobile solution can actually make employees more productive. Not only are they more willing to take calls and read emails during off hours, they’re more likely to add their own apps that they know how to use and that help them work smarter. It’s a win-win. Mobile technology can be a powerful wireless solution for small business productivity if you take the time to set it up to work for you. In the hectic world of business ownership, it’s easy to get distracted so let your technology work for you to make all your business goals become a reality. Learn more about a VoIP platform that can connect your workforce no matter where they are, here.

January 8, 2016 –

Telco Truth: BYOD Security IS Possible

Bring Your Own Device or “BYOD” as it is more commonly referred as, means a company allows their employees to use their personal communication devices for work-related activities. It’s a move that not only can cut expenses, but enhances and improves employee productivity. In a study by Tech Pro Research, they report that about 60% of companies now allow their staff to use their own devices for business. But with all the sensitive company information floating on devices that aren’t controlled by the company, many IT professionals get concerned this move puts the organization’s data and software at risk. However, with the proper BYOD security policy in place, it is possible to safely take advantage of all the benefits this mobile transition can offer.

Truth #1: Personal Devices Need Monitoring and Protection

Because of this, you should install a reputable security product that protects the personal devices being used. Utilizing a reputable mobile antivirus product will help to protect the system from a host of outside threats. When selecting the service, check user reviews and expert opinions.

Truth #2: Protect In-House Systems, Too

Confidential company information must be protected, regardless of what devices have access to it. Software should be implemented that makes it difficult for outsiders to obtain sensitive information. This information should include:
  • Real-Time Traffic Scanner: Monitors any suspicious activities
  • Malware Removal: Detects and removes threats
  • Scanning Engine: Checks and analyzes traffic and sites being accessed

Truth #3: Encrypt Company Files and Communication

After converting to BYOD, all types of devices contain sensitive information including financial details and private corporate communications. This is exactly the type of information that is sought out by hackers looking to sell it to the highest bidder. Because of this, encryption methods should be implemented. The easiest way most companies encrypt data is through a solution like a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Truth #4: Avoid Spyware

Spyware tools monitor online traffic to retrieve data from your system. However, if the system becomes infected, spyware causes issues like slow-downs, excessive pop-up advertisements, and annoying error messages. These annoying problems can quickly turn into a crisis when corporate data gets thrown into the mix. To prevent these types of problems, these precautions should be taken:
  • Avoid unknown emails and social messages from unknown senders
  • Avoid putting excessive personal information on social media
  • Avoid free software downloads onto any systems containing corporate data

Truth #5: Back Everything Up. Yes, Everything

It’s simply not a choice anymore whether or not to back up your systems, it ‘s a necessity with a multitude of devices carrying your company information virtually everywhere. Today’s data breaches come from a multitude of sources, including ransomware that blocks systems for a ransom payment, as well as aggressive Malware that steals information and erases it after the fact.

Truth #6: Passwords are King

Nothing protects systems better than strong passwords, so every personal and corporate account should require access with passwords that contain letters and numbers as well as capitalization. Implement policies that require BYOD users to create a multitude of passwords as well as double authentication practices that better protect all private information. And lastly, prevent the browser from filling in the password credentials. BYOD is a wonderful convenience, and many companies have found it to be an answer to many productivity and budgetary issues, but it must be done wisely. However, with the appropriate precautions in place, your company can remain protected while enjoying the conveniences that BYOD provides.[divider]
Learn more about Business BYOD here.  Business VoIP phone system that incorporates a great BYOD strategy. Contact ATI to learn more.

October 19, 2015 – Remember the days when the only way you could empower your team to collaborate was in face-to-face meetings that required time and travel that were planned far in advance? That brings up not-so-fond memories of securing landlines, delayed flights, flip charts, windowless meeting rooms and maybe even slide projectors! Of course in today’s business world, this is an outdated and impractical proposition. You and your team are mobile, on demand. Most companies today need flexible business communication tools that enable quick teamwork to solve business problems, wherever a worker may be, on multiple devices. But how do you create collaboration when you and your staff may be located all over the state, or even the country?

Communication Tools that Drive Collaboration

It all depends on the tools you are using to gather team members together to share information, plan and innovate. Many businesses lack the communication equipment their teams need to work together effectively. In today’s business world, your employees access information from their desks, laptops, cell phones and a variety of other devices, wherever they may be.  To share that information they use email or separate web applications that require additional steps to use.  Even with web conferencing, the personal cell phones that remote employees rely on may not be connected to the company’s main phone system to join a conversation. Unfortunately, your current phone system may be creating limitations for you and your team.  It’s drastically more difficult for remote employees to access company systems for conferencing and voicemail with personal landlines and cell phones.  And since it doesn’t make business sense to fund frequent company meetings, you need another way to encourage employees to work together whenever and wherever they need. Thankfully, there’s a relatively simple way to solve that problem: Implementing a company-owned communication system that’s flexible, mobile, and collaborative.

Enable Mobile Employees with Functional and Professional Tools

A unified communication system encourages collaboration. Team members can make and receive company calls, access corporate voicemail, setup virtual conferences and instant message from a basic Internet connection. It’s one click to start a meeting or share a document.  No more separate emails, links and phone numbers.  It just happens in the flow of the conversation. Traditional phone systems, on the other hand, often hinder collaboration because of their limited mobile capability. This results in lost money, lost productivity and lost opportunities.  To top it off, you may be paying more in the form of multiple carriers and disparate systems. Cloud communication systems give you a continuous connection to your partners, co-workers, customers and suppliers from almost any location your employees are working.  Your teams can collaborate as easily from the road as they can from the office. Forget about fragmented conference calls and impersonal emails.  In today’s business environment, it just makes sense to bring teams together using cloud technology.

Growth in technology now happens in leaps and bounds, and it doesn’t take long for news to be old news. In order to keep up with trends of the present, know what is coming in the near future and avoid being left in the past. Once just a platform for the most advanced companies, unified communications is now being used by small and medium businesses, education, hospitality, healthcare, and across other industries. And with every advancement, the standards to which phone systems must adhere raise a little bit higher.

1) Mobile Access Emphasis

The expectation for constant connectivity, anytime and anywhere, is only increasing. As businesses continue to build in ways for mobile workers to communicate more effectively, platforms will need to continue to innovate and extend even more office applications to devices as they travel. From executive to entry-level, workers now demonstrate productivity through constant availability.

2) Increased Web Real Time Collaboration (WRTC)

Communication barriers that had previously prevented true collaboration continue to disappear, as WRTC becomes the standard. Employees and clients can enter video and phone conferencing on a single platform and tools for group chats, screen sharing, and other collaboration allows companies to communicate better than ever before.

3) Unified Communications

So many businesses of all sizes are using unified communications to cut costs and simplify their communications infrastructure. In the coming year, enhanced collaboration will be seen through improvements in unified messaging, presence, instant messaging, and web conferencing.

4) Outsource Telephony

As IT departments become more and more overwhelmed maintaining network security, application development and other inner technology demands, businesses will look for systems that can maintain business phone systems for them. This will allow internal departments to focus on business-centric missions and will remove an unnecessary burden from the company’s time and energy.

5) Social Integration

Still at the beginning of its importance, organizations will continue to learn how maintaining a strong social media presence can benefit their business, and what that even will look like. In the past, social media sites have been perceived as highly distracting, and it is only recently that companies have begun to see the benefit of integrating communications. Companies who find new ways to communicate instantly with social media sites via UC applications will find themselves at the forefront of this long-lasting trend. The ability to realize and react to upcoming trends happening in your industry and affecting your company will set you apart as a business and open up new possibilities. And when it comes to communications trends and changes, it is especially important to be among the first to join the most cutting edge technologies and stay connected to the rest of the world.