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by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Square Peg in a Round Hole

 

Jeff Gorman Keller Schroeder PresidentJeff Gorman  – [President]

Years ago, a commercial aired with two mechanics pounding on an obviously incorrectly sized car part saying, “It will fit, we’ll make it fit.”  The advertisement worked because the concept of forcing the wrong solution onto a problem was relatable.  Common sense tells us square pegs do not belong in round holes.  If the problem you are trying to solve is filling in a round hole, and someone offers to assist by giving you a square peg, you will likely suggest they help someone else instead.

Square Peg in A Round HoleAs simple as that concept is for people to understand, somehow it frequently gets lost in the world of technology.   People become infatuated with the newest “square peg” technology and become fixated on pounding it into a “round hole” issue just to have the privilege of using the latest and greatest.  As a technology company in the performance improvement business, Keller Schroeder firmly believes the role of Information Technology is to make businesses perform better.  Information Technology companies and departments should serve the business functions, not vice versa.  IT professionals should have a box full of different shaped pegs, and when they collaborate with business units, should be able to identify solutions that specifically address business needs and improve overall performance.

Business units should not play the role of being a showcase for technology; technology should be used to better showcase and empower business units.  Your company and companies you partner with for technology must understand and perform in a manner which makes it clear everyone agrees with that intent.  If not, you may end up with some really cool “square pegs,” having made no progress in filling your company’s “round hole” issues.

Look for our newsletters this year to follow this theme.  We will talk more about the issues affecting different industries and how to apply technology to solve specific problems.  For more than forty years, we have grown relationships by first seeking to understand the business of our partners and then leveraging technology to improve their business’ performance.  If you want to talk more with us about how technology might be able to solve a business problem you are experiencing, we would love the opportunity to meet with you.

 

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Making Positive Impacts – You Did The Golfing, We Did The Giving

 

Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt Golf and Giving Recipient

Keller Schroeder continues its effort to make positive impacts in our communities by hosting unique events that allow us to enjoy the company of our current and potential clients, as well as give back. We recently hosted a Golf and Giving event at Top Golf in Nashville (home to our second office) where attendees golfed to earn points toward charitable giving. (Thus the tagline – you do the golfing, we do the giving!)

The clients in attendance had the opportunity to vote for their favorite charity to receive the donations for the day. The winning charity was Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Principal Consultant Rob Wilson and Director of Impact Growth Leesa Richardson delivered a $500 check to help fund the amazing work the organization is doing. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped us make a positive impact in the Nashville community!

 

 

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Simple, Sneaky Ways Cybercriminals Access A Small Business’s Network

Sneaky Ways Cybercriminals Access Small Business Networks

Hackers prefer the little guy. The high-profile data breaches you read about in the news — your Facebooks and Equifaxes and T-Mobiles — are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the digital crimes being perpetrated day after day, especially against small businesses. Today, according to a report by the National Cyber Security Alliance, 70 percent of hackers specifically target small businesses. Attracted by the prospect of easy money, they search for those organizations who underspend on protection, who have employees untrained to spot security risks, and who subscribe to woefully out-of-date practices to protect their data. As a result, more than 50 percent of small businesses have been hacked, while 60 percent of companies breached are forced to close their doors within six months.

Most business owners have no idea the danger they are putting their livelihood in by leaving cyber security up to chance. According to a survey conducted by Paychex, 68 percent of small-business owners are not concerned about their current cyber security standards, despite the fact that around 70 percent of them aren’t adequately protected. In the face of an imminent, global threat to the very existence of small businesses everywhere, most CEOs offer up a collective shrug.

The tactics and software available to hackers become more sophisticated by the day, but with so many unwitting victims, most criminals do not even need to work that hard to net a six-figure income. By sticking to three tried-and-tested tools of the trade — phishing, ransomware and the subtle art of guessing users’ passwords — they leech comfortably off the earnest efforts of small businesses all over the world.

So, what has to be done? Well, first things first: You need to educate yourself and your team. Protect your organization against phishing by fostering a healthy skepticism of any email that enters your inbox. Make it a habit of hovering over hyperlinks to check their actual destination before you click. If an email is coming from someone you know, but the email address is different, verify it with the other party. And never, ever send passwords or personal details to anyone over the internet if you can avoid it.

Speaking of passwords, you probably need to upgrade yours. The majority of folks use the same password for everything from their Facebook account to their business email. The fact that this includes your employees should make you shudder. It may not seem like a big deal — who is going to take the time to guess SoCcErMoM666? — but aside from the fact that simple software enables hackers to guess even complicated passwords in minutes, that’s not even usually necessary. Instead, they can just look at the data dumps from a recent more high-profile breach — think the Equifax fiasco — pull your old website from there and type it into whatever profile they want to access. If you keep all your passwords the same across sites, it will not take them long to dig into your most precious assets. To avoid this, implement a strict set of password regulations for your business, preferably incorporating two-factor authentication and mandatory password changes every few weeks.

While educating yourself and training your team on the latest hacking techniques is a great line of defense, it is still always possible for a data breach to occur. Cybercrime is constantly evolving, and staying abreast of its breakneck pace takes a dedicated awareness of the latest protective tools and measures. That is why your single best weapon to defend you against the hackers at your door is to find a trusted technology partner with a background in defending against digital threats. With a proper backup and disaster recovery plan in place, if a crisis strikes, they will be able to help get your network back up in minutes rather than days.

In today’s digital world, leaving your cyber security up to a subpar antivirus and some wishful thinking is more than irresponsible — it’s an existential threat to your company. However, with a little savvy, a bit of investment and a second opinion on the circumstances of your company’s security, you can rest easy knowing that no matter what comes, you’re protected.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Nashville Update – New Year, Same Focus

 

Leesa Richardson Director, Infrastructure Growth

Leesa Richardson – [Director, Impact Growth]

Keller Schroeder Nashville Heritage

Although we have been headquartered in Evansville, Indiana for over 40 years, Keller Schroeder has successfully served the Nashville area for many of those years. As our desire to make a greater impact on those we could potentially serve kept increasing and knowing how proximity is important to those we currently serve, we decided to open a new office and become a proud member of Nashville’s heritage in 2018.

Over this past year, we have found the hearts of the people in Nashville are very similar to the hearts of those in Evansville.  This made our journey to connect with IT and business professionals to discuss the possibility of partnering in business and giving back to the Nashville community, a successful and rewarding one.

2018 Keller Schroeder Giving Alive Hospice

In 2018 we met with over 200 business professionals in the Nashville area and partnered with several businesses who have the same passion for community.  It was a simple concept, for meeting with us they chose their favorite charity, and we did the giving.

Through the contacts we met, we impacted businesses through the use of our talented IT staff from application development/integration, to infrastructure solutions, and staffing/contractor needs.

Even more exciting than the new business partnerships formed, we also donated thousands of dollars to many local United Way charities like Second Harvest Food Bank, Alive Hospice, and Renewal House to name just a few.

As we move into our second year of having a physical presence in Nashville, we look forward to the opportunity of connecting with many more Nashville area organizations. If you would like to connect with us, please give us a call at 615-208-7726.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Save the Date – 2019 Technology Vendor Summit

Technology Vendor Summit Logo

Our second largest event is coming back in 2019! Mark your calendars for our second annual Technology Vendor Summit on April 10th, 2019 from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM (CST) at the Old National Events Plaza in Evansville. Further details will be coming to your inbox soon.

As with last year’s event, you can expect the area’s largest gathering of technology vendor partners, high-quality key note speakers, informative breakout sessions, your opportunity to network and collaborate with fellow IT professionals, and a chance for you to help us give back to our community.

Technology Vendor Summit
Wednesday, April 10th, 2019
Old National Events Plaza
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

If you would like to hear from clients who attended last year’s event, take a look at this video:
2018 Technology Vendor Summit | From a Client’s Point of View

Photos and a list of vendor partners who helped make last year’s event such a success can be viewed here:
2018 Technology Vendor Summit

If you loved last year’s event and want to go ahead and register, you can sign up here:
Register for the 2019 Event

Additional details will be online soon, stay tuned!
by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Veeam Office 365 Backup version 2

Matt Barton Keller Schroeder Engineer

Matt Barton  – [Senior Consultant]

Do you have control of your Office 365 data? Do you have access to all the items you need? The knee-jerk reaction is typically, “Of course I do,” or “Microsoft takes care of it all.” But if you really think about it — are you sure? Microsoft takes care of quite a bit, and provides a great service for their customers. However, Microsoft’s primary focus is on managing the Office 365 infrastructure and maintaining uptime to your users. They are empowering YOU with the responsibility of your data. The misconception that Microsoft fully backs up your data on your behalf is quite common, and without a shift in mindset, could have damaging repercussions when this responsibility is left unattended. Ultimately, you need to ensure you have access to, and control over, your Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business data.

The misunderstanding falls between Microsoft’s perceived responsibility and the user’s actual responsibility of protection and long-term retention of their Office 365 data. The backup and recoverability that Microsoft provides and what users assume they are getting are often different. Meaning, aside from the standard precautions Office 365 has in place, you may need to re-assess the level of control you have of your data and how much access you truly have to it.

Microsoft Office 365 offers geo redundancy, which is often mistaken for backup. Backup takes place when a historical copy of data is made and then stored in another location. However, it is even more important that you have direct access to and control over that backup. So if data is lost, accidentally deleted or maliciously attacked, for example — you can quickly recover. Geo redundancy, on the other hand, protects against site or hardware failure, so if there is an infrastructure crash or outage, your users will remain productive and often oblivious to these underlying issues.

6 reasons why backing up Office 365 is critical:

  1. Accidental Deletion
  2. Retention policy gaps and confusion
  3. Internal security threats
  4. External security threats
  5. Legal and compliance requirements
  6. Managing hybrid deployments

Go ahead and take a closer look. There are security gaps you may not have been aware of before. You already made a smart business decision by deploying Microsoft Office 365, now find a backup solution that offers you both complete access and complete control of your Office 365 data and avoid the unnecessary risks of data loss. To learn more, reach out to your Keller Schroeder Select Account Manager.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Top 4 Ways Hackers Will Attack Your Network

Know Before Think Before You ClickMost small and midsize business (SMB) owners exist in a bubble of blissful ignorance. They focus on the day-to-day operations of their organization, driving growth, facilitating hiring and guiding marketing, without a single thought given to the security of the computer networks these processes depend on. After all, they’re just the little guy – why would hackers go to the trouble of penetrating their systems for the minuscule amount of data they store? And eventually, often after years of smooth sailing through calm seas, they get hacked, fork out thousands of dollars to malicious hackers and collapse beneath the weight of their own shortsightedness.

The facts don’t lie. According to Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report, a full 71% of cyber-attacks are aimed squarely at SMBs. And while it’s unclear exactly how many of these attacks are actually successful, with the sad state of most small businesses’ security protocols, it’s a safe bet that a good chunk of the attacks make it through. But why? As Tina Manzer writes for Educational Dealer, “Size becomes less of an issue than the security network … While larger enterprises typically have more data to steal, small businesses have less secure networks.” As a result, hackers can hook up automated strikes to lift data from thousands of small businesses at a time – the hit rate is that high.

Today, trusting the security of your company to your son-in-law, who assures you he “knows about computers,” isn’t enough. It takes constant vigilance, professional attention and, most of all, knowledge. Start here with the four most common ways hackers infiltrate hapless small businesses.

PHISHING E-MAILS

An employee receives an e-mail directly from your company’s billing company, urging them to fill out some “required” information before their paycheck can be finalized. Included in the very professional-looking e-mail is a link your employee needs to click to complete the process. But when they click the link, they aren’t redirected anywhere. Instead, a host of vicious malware floods their system, spreading to the entirety of your business network within seconds, and locks everyone out of their most precious data. In return, the hackers want thousands of dollars or they’ll delete everything.

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the hacker toolbox, but today it’s easier than ever for an attacker to gather key information and make a phishing e-mail look exactly like every other run-of-the-mill e-mail you receive each day. Train your employees to recognize these sneaky tactics, and put in safeguards in case someone messes up and clicks the malicious link.

BAD PASSWORDS

According to Inc.com contributing editor John Brandon, “With a $300 graphics card, a hacker can run 420 billion simple, lowercase, eight-character password combinations a minute.” What’s more, he says, “80% of cyber-attacks involve weak passwords,” yet despite this fact, “55% of people use one password for all logins.”

As a manager, you should be bothered by these statistics. There’s simply no excuse for using an easy-to-crack password, for you or your team. Instead, it’s a good idea to make a password out of four random common words, splicing in a few special characters for good measure. To check the strength of your password, type it into HowSecureIsMyPassword.net before you make it official.

MALWARE

As described above, malware is often delivered through a shady phishing e-mail, but it’s not the only way it can wreak havoc on your system. An infected website (such as those you visit when you misspell sites like Facebook.com, a technique called “typosquatting”), a USB drive loaded with viruses or even an application can bring vicious software into your world without you even realizing it. In the past, an antivirus software was all that you needed. These days, it’s likely that you need a combination of software systems to combat these threats. These tools are not typically very expensive to put in place, especially considering the security holes they plug in your network.

SOCIAL ENGINEERING

As fallible as computers may be, they’ve got nothing on people. Sometimes hackers don’t need to touch a keyboard at all to break through your defenses: they can simply masquerade as you to a support team in order to get the team to activate a password reset. It’s easier than you think, and requires carefully watching what information you put on the Internet – don’t put the answers to your security questions out there for all to see.

We’ve outlined some of the simplest ways to defend yourself against these shady techniques, but honestly, the best way is to bring on a company that constantly keeps your system updated with the most cutting-edge security, is ready at a moment’s notice to protect you in a crisis, and can train your end-users. Hackers are going to come for you, but if you’ve done everything you can to prepare, your business will be safe. To discuss how Keller Schroeder can help you develop a comprehensive strategy to protect your business, contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager today.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Partnering Together Again! Second Quarter Give Back Winner Announced

Carissa Eatmon- Keller Schroeder Marketing and Communications CoordinatorCarissa Eatmon  – [Marketing & Communications Coordinator]

We are excited to announce our second quarter “Partnering Together In Business & Community Giveback” $500 donation recipient is Alive Hospice, nominated by Maria Conatser from Ingram Barge Company. Maria was recently joined at Ingram’s offices by Keller Schroeder’s Select Account Manager Lee Barron and Alive Hospice’s Judy Orr and Taylor Thurston to accept the donation. Thank you for partnering with us in giving Maria!

Keller Schroeder’s recent efforts to create relationships with new clients and prospects has extended an opportunity to partner with us, both in business and also in giving back to our community. Each quarter, we are holding a drawing for a $500 donation to a United Way-approved organization nominated by a prospective client we have recently met with.

2018 2Q Nashville Giving Recipient

 

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Keller Schroeder Opens Nashville Office

Rob Wilson- Keller Schroeder Vice President, Greater Nashville AreaRob Wilson  – [Principal Consultant, Greater Nashville Area]

Keller Schroeder is excited to announce the opening of our Nashville, TN office at 901 Woodland Street. The East Nashville office is the first hub outside of Evansville for Keller Schroeder since our founding in 1978.

Nashville TN SkylineKeller Schroeder has solid partnerships with Nashville-based businesses and technology partners. We have successfully supported a number of them from Evansville for several years. Our Nashville team has worked hard to gel with the local business and tech communities in Nashville, as well as the community at large. We’re excited about the message the opening of this office sends to our clients, partners, and prospects in Nashville. We know the close proximity will be a welcome benefit to them and to our team that serves them regularly.

As an employee-owned organization, Keller Schroeder exists to make positive, personal impacts on our employee-owners, clients, and the communities we serve. We’ve made positive impacts on many businesses in Nashville through our work. Through volunteering and giving back, we’ve impacted a number of community organizations in the region just as we have in Evansville. We are humbled by how we have been welcomed by the business leaders in Nashville, and are expecting great things to come out of our expansion there.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

The Definition of Success

Jeff Gorman - Keller Schroeder PresidentJeff Gorman  – [President]

Quickly, name someone you consider highly successful.  Success is such an abstract concept, with wildly different definitions even within the same culture, that it is really challenging to get consistent answers to that prompt.  Some people will quickly conjure up names of leaders of large businesses.  Some people will default to celebrities from the entertainment or athletic world.  Still others will lead with a family member that has no exceptional level of wealth or celebrity status but had a profound impact on them.  While the word ‘success’ is readily understood, it’s scored abstractly for everyone based on what is most important to us personally.

If asking people to name someone successful can lead to answers that diverse, it stands to follow that asking employees if their team or business is ‘successful’ at a given point in time is likely to have a myriad of answers as well.  Successful teams, and therefore businesses, require clarity.  Part of clarity means success criteria are defined and leaders generate ‘buy-in’ on that vision.  If the business is not taking time to generate clarity and ‘buy-in’ on what it considers success to look like for the company, it can assume people are applying their own interpretation of success – and those views are not going to be consistent, which will lead to breakdowns in commitment and accountability.  The process of defining and reiterating that clarity is a critical task in the process of getting employees engaged in a common pursuit.  Those engaged employees, and the teams on which they participate, are the path to having a company which consistently pursues the same objectives, knows how that pursuit is progressing, and holds each other accountable for the process of achieving collective success.

If it feels like an employee, team, partner, or anyone else you have a relationship with is completely missing the mark with your expectations, consider how well you have shared in the process of creating support for a clear, shared definition of success.  What feels like a performance issue could possibly be as simple as leaving some portion of ‘success’ to personal interpretation.  Clarity and buy-in could be exactly what is needed to move the needle in a more positive direction.

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