26-Dec-2016   |   ,,   |   0

An Extreme Example of a Fired IT Administrator Taking Revenge

A former system administrator for the ISP was recently handed down a prison sentence of two years and a fine of $26,000 for his activities on the company network–activities that ultimately caused the network to crash, plunging thousands of residents and businesses into an Internet blackout in 2010. The perpetrator, Dariusz J. Prugar, had been fired days before by PA Online, but his credentials were still valid.

With these credentials, Prugar attempted to steal software he believed to belong to him by planting backdoor access points into the network. In an attempt to hide his theft, Prugar also enabled scripts that were intended to delete access log files

What happened was somewhat more extreme. In reaction to those scripts, the entire system crashed, plunging thousands of users into Internet darkness. Prugar was called in to help, but aroused suspicion by demanding that the rights to the stolen software be renegotiated. PA Online called in the FBI on their suspicions, and the rest is history.

At the end of it all, PA Online’s customers spent a week waiting for the network to be rebuilt, and the company eventually had to close its doors–and all because a former employee could still access the company network.

The lesson here is clear: if an individual doesn’t need access to your infrastructure, they should not be able to access it. Enforcing this in your business could be the difference between a secure and successful business, and what happened to PA Online.

COMPANYNAME can help you manage your solutions to make sure that those who shouldn’t be able to get in, don’t. In fact, a managed IT service provider like COMPANYNAME can manage employee permissions for you, meaning that all you have to do is contact us about who needs to be removed from your systems and we’ll remote into your network and take care of the rest. For more information, give us a call at PHONENUMBER.

14-Nov-2016   |   ,,   |   0

Study Shows How Reading Novels Can Help Your Business Succeed

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson has a reading list, and you might be surprised to hear it features a number of critically acclaimed literary classics. Here are just a few of them:

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  • Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie
  • The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
  • The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • 1984, by George Orwell

While there are others on his reading list, this goes to show that the classics are still very important. In fact, reading helps to improve your emotional intelligence and better understand those around you.

We’re sure you’re already aware of this, but running a business means that you’re communicating with people on a daily basis. Your organization wouldn’t exist if not for your employees or your clients. You need to understand both if you want to guarantee the survival of your organization. Venture capitalist Mark Suster states, “You need to understand power, ownership, leadership, performance, relationships, motivations, alcoholism, depression, resentment, jealousy, scorn. They all exist and ignoring them is like ignoring human norms.” In other words, the better you understand humanity, the better you understand your employees and how they work–hopefully yielding a return on investment in the form of higher retention rates and lower turnover.

Behind the Science
The first connection between literary fiction and improved emotional intelligence was introduced by David Kidd and Emanuele Castano–two psychologists who published their findings in Science. The study used random samples from literary and genre fiction, but was judged as too inaccurate as it overly relied on sweeping generalizations. In the second phase, 2,000 participants were asked to identify familiar authors from a list, and to analyze the eyes of others to determine their current emotion.

The results of this study determined that there was a direct connection between well-read people and the ability to judge emotion in others. This was true even when including other variables such as education, gender, and age.

While this study suggests that literary fiction offers insight into how you understand others, we’d like you to keep in mind that it’s still only a theory, and that the only way you’ll know for sure if it works for your business is by giving it a shot. What are some of your favorite literary classics? Let us know in the comments.

12-Oct-2016   |     |   0

Tip of the Week: 4 Odd Productivity Tips from Successful People

Work Allegro – Ludwig van Beethoven
There are those who rely on a cup or two of coffee each day in order to be productive, and then there’s Beethoven. History records that the famous composer required his morning cup of coffee to consist of 60 beans. Suffice to say, if you’re able to accomplish work at the pace of 60 coffee beans, you’re going to get a whole lotta work done, and in a very short period of time.

Although, what goes up must come down, so the side effects of such an extreme productivity measure might have actually led to the deterioration of Beethoven’s health. Plus, seeking the aid of drugs to enhance one’s productivity is never recommended. However, a cup of joe here and an energy drink there might be just enough to provide the occasional productivity boost you need to see a project through.

The Freedom of Air Baths – Benjamin Franklin
It turns out that Benjamin Franklin was a big fan of nudity, so much so that he would spend the first hour of his morning reading and writing, whilst in the buff. It’s humorous to picture the founding father naked and at his desk, putting his notes together for what would become the Declaration of Independence, and it’s easy to see the genius of such a move when you consider how much precious time and mental energy is taken up by selecting outfits and putting on clothes. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg, who wears the same sweatshirt every day.

By the way, Benjamin Franklin was also an early proponent of the standing desk–something to think about.

The Case of the Missing Desk – Agatha Christie
Fact: Successful author of beloved mystery novels Agatha Christie never owned a desk. While a deskless workflow today is tangible thanks to mobile devices and cloud computing, keep in mind that Agatha wrote her most famous stories at a time when computers were still a novelty. This means using a pen and paper or borrowing typewriters, and keeping notes and manuscripts stored in some kind of a carriable case.

In your own office, it’s important to keep in mind that there may be workers like Agatha that aren’t necessarily “desk people.” Workers like these may otherwise flourish if given the chance to go mobile. Plus, unlike Agatha Christie’s situation, it’s much easier to go deskless today, thanks to the help of dynamic mobile solutions.

Scary Discipline – Stephen King
Famous author Stephen King once said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” When it comes to his line of work, writing spooky stories, Stephen King is a workhorse, writing 2,000 words every single day. This kind of commitment to his craft is one big reason why he’s able to consistently churn out one hit book after another.

Therefore, ask yourself what 2,000 words per day would look like in your line of work. Is it writing 25 emails each day? Reading one book every week? Making ten sales calls each business day? However you define success, there’s no denying that a consistent and disciplined approach of chipping away at your goal will eventually pay off.

Mobility, consistency, coffee, nudity; do any of these extreme productivity tips sound appealing to you? Does your own workflow include anything out of the ordinary? If so, then share your thoughts (and your secrets) in the comments.