Secure Password Practices for IT Teams and Employees

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We’re halfway through June and I’m sure you’ve read more best practices and tips on Internet safety than you can even recall. However, our focus for today is one you don’t want to overlook. Today, we’re talking passwords – both what you can do from an IT perspective and what you can recommend to employees.

In previous posts, we’ve talked about how employees tend to be our biggest weakness when it comes to security; poor or uninformed habits open the door for phishing attempts and hackers. One of those biggest doors is through passwords, which we now use in nearly every facet of our workday – computer logins, wi-fi access, email, servers, and so much more. Knowing that almost two in three consumers (65%) either mostly or always use the same password, and nearly half store (and share!) passwords in a spreadsheet, it’s not difficult to see how serious problems could stem from password habits.

Tip #3: Establish password policies: Almost a quarter of people do not consider themselves informed on the best practices for password protection, so you can enhance your company security with a rather simple focus on passwords.

On the corporate/IT systems end, set up requirements for employees, including mandatory password changes every 30, 60, 90 days (you choose the increment), requirements for strong passwords, and enabling two-factor authentication on all systems that house important data.

For employees, setup a password security crash course and highlight the value this has not only on their work life, but also helps them prevent a breach in their personal accounts as well.  Educate employees on what it means to have secure passwords. This means not only creating strong passwords for your accounts, but also not sharing them with co-workers, friends and family, using a password manager to store passwords, changing passwords often, and using unique passwords for multiple accounts. Also, it might sound like a no-brainer but make sure employees are not using the same passwords for both personal and work accounts.

         

Educate your employees during Internet Safety Month

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In honor of Internet Safety Month, we’re offering up some of our best tips that help small businesses keep their employees and company information safe from fraud and hackers.

Your company is only as strong as your least-informed, most insecure employee; nearly 30% of companies say employee apathy is a big threat to their company’s security. It’s worth the time and investment in educating your employees, reinforcing the risks of weak security habits and instilling good habits, which is the focus of this week’s Internet safety tip.

Tip #2: Establish device management policies: It’s clear that how we get work done every day has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. It’s becoming much more uncommon to find desktop computers and the prevalence of laptops, tablets, and smartphones in the workplace has risen dramatically. With these devices, employees are able to work out of the office far more frequently. But that means IT teams need to be even more diligent with device management and BYOD policies, including encryption, firewalls, VPN requirements, and more.

However that’s only one side of the problem. Be sure to instill good practices with your employees. Encourage them to lock their computers before walking away from them or keep them securely stored somewhere while traveling, especially while traveling in places like airports or hotels. Also be sure employees understand not to connect outside devices – like external hard drives – to their work computers because of the risk of what those devices might bring to the computer.

Check out Tip #1 on safe browsing practices and stay tuned next week for another tip!

         

Customer Spotlight: Tom Hayden, Store Systems Manager at Cosi Restaurants

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A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to speak with a few of our local Central customers at our Boston office, and one of those customers was Tom from Cosi, a nationwide fast-casual restaurant group – he’s been using Central for many years now at multiple companies and currently keeps all of Cosi’s POS terminals online with LogMeIn.

Here is a snippet of our conversation with Tom about how he uses Central in his day-to-day:

Let’s start off with what your role is and how you use Central.
I manage all of our POS systems at Cosi based here in Boston, and I use LogMeIn to manage all POS machines in every corporate and franchisee location across the country. We have over 500 terminals. I have to meet PCI compliance and LogMeIn is basically one of the only secure ways out there right now, especially with SSLs. Other than that it’s a VPN connection.

How did you first learn about Central?
Previously I worked for Elephant & Castle and while I was there, I implemented Central. Everywhere I go, LogMeIn follows. It’s a great product and easy to use. At Elephant & Castle they were using PC Anywhere and we had to connect to the network with a VPN, and I really don’t like that approach. It’s archaic and slow. So I rolled out LogMeIn to all of our machines. It was a no-brainer.

On a daily basis, what do you turn to Central for?
We use Central for anti-virus management to meet our PCI compliance requirements, as well as two-factor authentication. And I look at the reporting in Central to see if any threats have come in. In addition to that we use Central for installing new software and running scripts remotely.

We use an outsourced helpdesk to manage our help desk tickets and they all connect through Central. With that setup, we’re always actively creating new accounts and moving accounts out as end users get hired with the helpdesk vendor.

What keeps you using Central?
It’s simple. If the POS isn’t up, we don’t make money. With LogMeIn, I have an alert that goes out when a POS terminal is offline for 15 minutes. When it’s down for 15 minutes, there’s a problem. I get the alert and call the store, usually before they even know it’s down.

 

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4 Tips for SMBs During Internet Safety Month

Happy June and Happy Internet Safety Month! In a world where one in five IT professionals has experienced a malicious attack on their systems or accounts in the past year, Internet safety and security are more top of mind than ever.

As a small business, you need to be smart about how you protect your most valuable data and information, and we’re here to give you to the tools and resources to protect your organization. It’s important to understand possible threats, identify your organization’s security weaknesses, and establish processes to address internet and device safety, and protect the organization from risks.

Over the next four Fridays in June, we will offer up a new tip for SMBs on how to handle internet safety in their company.

Tip #1: Create Internet Browsing Awareness: Whether it’s while perusing websites or checking email, employees need to be aware of suspicious activity and links. As a company, establish internet browsing guidelines. For example, do you block all social media? Video streaming? Music streaming? Also what categories of sites do you block due to inappropriate content or potentially suspicious activity? Put these rules and regulations into a document that you share with employees on their first day of work and post it where it can be found at any time.

Email fraud and phishing is another very serious threat, mostly because of how common it is. According to recent research we conducted, phishing is a top 3 concern among IT teams (behind malware and hacking).  Prepare employees to look for potential phishing attempts that are designed to steal personal and valuable information. Safeguard your company by understanding the key signs of a fraudulent email and communicating them to employees. Have employees ask the 5 questions below if they suspect a phishing attempt. If they can answer ‘yes’ to one or more, the email might be suspicious.

Stay tuned next week for Tip #2 in support of Internet Safety Month!

 

         

Introducing a New BoldChat

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Recently, I’ve spent a good amount of time speaking directly with companies about challenges and opportunities with regards to today’s customer experience.  It’s surprising that regardless of the industry and even geographical region, most agree that while exceptional customer experience has always been important, it’s never been more difficult to achieve.

This is a fact of doing business in the world which we live in today.  Customer experience is rapidly changing by the likes of Uber and Amazon – customers expect everything to work effortlessly and instantly with a single click.  “Click” and a car arrives to pick me up….  “Click” and a box is delivered to my doorstep in an hour… It’s magic.

So when it comes to Customer Engagement and Support, it’s not surprising that customers expect the exact same thing.  And the expectations of today’s customer makes it hard for today’s contact center to keep up.

Given technology advancements, millennial trends or a number of other factors, a stellar customer experience is absolutely required in order for companies to either compete or go the way of the dinosaurs.  But as the world of customer experience continues to rapidly evolve, we have seen more than a few challenges in traditional customer engagement which are completely avoidable.   These include:

  • Siloed Communication – Moving from channel to channel was often not seamless. Customers who started their communication via Twitter might be escalated to a phone call. The problem is that the agent responsible for social was often not the agent in the call center – leaving the customer needing to explain their question or issue over again.
  • Inefficient Use of Channels – Simple questions, like a password reset for example, can generally be best answered through lower touch channels like an FAQ or Live Chat, but often higher touch channels like phone are being used for these simple questions. While those channels will certainly get the question answered, it is likely not the most efficient for the customer and more expensive for the company.
  • Disjointed Customer Information – In traditional multi-channel situations, information about a customer is housed in a variety of different repositories requiring agents to toggle between various locations to understand the full scope of the customer query and resulting in incomplete information and longer time to resolution.

If you can remove these barriers, you can begin to take back and own the customer experience.  This is where an omni-channel approach to customer experience is emerging.  One that provides the right channel to the right customer for the right situation.

We’ve been talking about the merits of an omni-channel experience to help our customers move beyond these challenges for a while and today we announced a brand new version of BoldChat that continues our mission to provide a market-leading live chat and omni-channel customer engagement solutions which gives businesses the control and flexibility to distinguish themselves in the marketplace.     The latest BoldChat adds new channels including video chat and auto answers – ensuring that whether the customer query requires a high-touch interaction, a self-service question, or anything in between, BoldChat can meet those needs.   We also added a new UI that provides agents a consolidated view of all customer communications and relevant information in order to provide a more personal experience with faster resolution times.

We’ve all been in situations where customer service has made or broken our relationship with a brand.   We remember those times, we tell our friends and families about those experiences.  Today’s announcement takes customer service to the next level.  By providing a seamless omni-channel experience for customers on the front end and all the tools agents need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively on the backend, companies can elevate and personalize the customer experience to a level that will make them stand out against competitors, boost sales and increase customer loyalty.  Making a strong relationship between the customer and brand, not breaking it.

         

Customer Spotlight: Running a Live Performance with Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Earlier this year we traveled to Chicago, Illinois to visit with Dan and co. at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), where they’ve been using Central for nearly a decade.

What we love about Dan and the CSO (other than the fact that they’re long-time users of Central) is how they embody that behind every great company, organization, or even performance, is an IT team, working at all hours from wherever they might be to keep everything up and running. As outsiders, we usually don’t see all that goes on behind the scenes and the CSO is a great example of what goes into ensuring an entire orchestra is able to perform night after night.

Dan and his team use Central on a daily basis to ensure that all of their computers and servers around the orchestra are up and running. With Central, they’ve made impressive improvements to their IT processes, including cost savings on licensing and hardware, decreased IT time spent on support requests, and increased proactive identification of critical software updates and machine health.

Watch the whole story here:

         

NEW: Collaborate with your team on shared documents

How many times a week – or even a day – do you send files back and forth for review and editing? Given that most of us live in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, the answer is probably a lot. With new user-level access controls for file storage in LogMeIn Pro, you never have to send another file via email ever again.

With LogMeIn Pro, you can now share folders with individuals or teams, and collaborate by viewing and editing the contents of that folder. Whether you have a client presentation that requires input from product, marketing, and sales, or you want a central location for all team documents, file storage in Pro gives you the access and collaboration tools you need.

Simply hover over the folder you’d like to share and click “Share folder.” On the next screen, you can add the email address of the users – with no limit on how many users – you want to share with, or choose to generate a public link. The best part? The users you’re sharing with don’t have to be connected with your Pro account in order to access the file. You can share with anyone – vendors, clients, colleagues, whoever!

Log in to get started or watch the video below about file storage in Pro.

         

Mac remote control & support just got better

As an internal IT team or service provider for customers, it’s likely that you’re supporting at least a few Mac computers. You might even be on a Mac yourself. With LogMeIn Central’s latest product update, it’s now even easier to manage and support those Mac end points.

Whether your network includes many or a few Mac computers, Central offers you an improved remote control experience and additional insights into those computers that allow you to provide more comprehensive remote support.

New and improved features for Macs allow you to:

  • Setup and manage alerts for connectivity, CPU usage, disk storage, and more on Mac host computers
  • Enable Wake on LAN from the Mac desktop client to switch on computers that are in sleep mode
  • Pull inventory information about Mac computers in your network, including hardware, software, and operating system details on installed Macs
  • Remotely access Mac computers in a more seamless, HD experience, especially when viewing streaming video
  • Easily switch between a host computer’s two monitors during a remote session – Coming Soon

Log in now to try out these updates!

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5 Productivity Tools Your SMB Should Be Using

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In honor of Small Business Week where a popular topic is productivity, we did a quick survey around the LogMeIn office of sites and apps we use every day that keep us productive. The results were pretty widespread, but a few names came up over and over, so we’re giving our favorites a shout out. Here are the top 5 productivity tools we love here at LogMeIn and we think you should too:

Evernote – I’m hard pressed to go into a meeting where a colleague doesn’t open up Evernote to take notes and keep track of to do’s. Whether you use it in its most simplest form to take notes, or you take a more complex route and integrate with Google, Salesforce, Sunrise, or one of their other partners, Evernote helps us remembers things when our brains don’t. Who doesn’t love that?

Nexonia – If you travel a lot for work, you know how painful it is to do expense reports after the fact. Painful. With Nexonia’s mobile app, you can fill out your expense report on the go. Picture this – order dinner at the bar, sign the check, take a photo, upload it to Nexonia. Boom, no receipt needed. The trick? Your company has to be a paid user of Nexonia in order for you to take full advantage of the app and its amazing time-saving features

LogMeIn Pro – We know we’re tooting our own horn here, but Pro recently amped up its productivity game. Not only can you quickly remote into your computer from your phone or tablet (or web browser), but now you can store all of your files – photos, presentations, finances, whatever – for anytime, anywhere access. Not just a few files, but 1TB worth of files. Plus, you can share your files in Pro with anyone – a summary report with your client, a presentation with a vendor, even school photos of your kids with Great Aunt Mary.

Trello – We all know and love Trello but a recent story from a co-worker took that love to a new level. He loved this project management tool so much that he now uses it for his personal life. We’re talking, it’s Saturday morning, time to check the Trello board, check that box productivity. Enough said.

Rising Star: LastPass – Again with the horn, we get it. But really, have you tried LastPass? Here’s the gist: create your account and a Master Password (make it tricky, but something you can remember), and then add a few logins to your LastPass account. From there, you just need to know your Master Password to access those logins – and it works with a browser extension or mobile app so you’re not tied to a specific device. In a nutshell, it means you’ll never have to reset a password again. Talk about productive!

That’s the scoop on what we’re using here at LogMeIn. Give these productivity tools a try at your office and see how much time you can save in a day!

         

LogMeIn Rescue Heads to San Diego for the Technology Services World Conference

This week our team is headed west for the Technology Services World conference in San Diego.  In addition to the excitement of traveling where the sun shines all the time, we are really excited for the opportunity to spend a few days with thought leaders in the tech-as-a-service industry to learn about the latest technology trends and share innovative ideas and best practices about being successful in an industry that is constantly changing.

One of the areas that we will be exploring closely at the show is around the concept of Support of Things.  As we know, one key component that is continuously evolving is the customer – who they are, their expectations, their technical prowess – and the Internet of Things makes this challenge even more complex. Today, the number of ‘things’ that need to be supported is growing rapidly; and the modern day customer is evolving at a similar pace. Today’s customers have high expectations around speed and quality of service.  They require an immediate response and quick remediation of any customer service issue.   Why is this important?  Well more than ever, these customers are making buying decisions based on customer service experiences.  Brands are gaining and losing customers based on the quality of support offered.  So with this new landscape, how do accomplish best-in-class support?

That is one of the key questions we will be examining this week.  Our Director of Products, Peter Zeinoun will be joining Radial Point’s VP of Services & Solutions, R.J. Stangle for an interactive session, “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s the Internet of Things! Using the IoT to Generate Revenue Via Super Support Experiences.” This session will highlight real-life examples of how technical support for the IoT is evolving and how support can be leveraged in service offerings to drive IoT adoption and better customer experiences. It is time to start thinking about preparing your business for the new opportunities the IoT brings.

If you’re attending the event, we encourage you to join Peter’s session and come check us out at Booth #10, where you can steal some awesome SWAG and watch our Rescue and Bold Chat products in action.  If you aren’t attending, keep an eye on this blog as we’ll be following up with a post around some of our learnings.