Relying On A Good Luck Charm?

img1Carrying a four-leaf clover might work for leprechauns. But when it comes to Internet abuse by employees, you’re gonna need more than sheer luck…

Did you know that…

  • 70% of all web traffic to Internet pornography sites occurs during the work hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Non-work-related Internet surfing results in up to a 40% loss in productivity each year at American businesses.
  • According to a survey by International Data Corp (IDC), 30% to 40% of Internet access is spent on non-work-related browsing, and a staggering 60% of all online purchases are made during working hours.

The list goes on, and the costs to your company can be staggering.

What types of web sites present the greatest risk? Categories include abortion, alcohol, dating, death/gore, drugs, gambling, lingerie/swimsuits, mature, nudity, pornography, profanity, proxy, suicide, tobacco and weapons.

Risks these types of web sites expose your business to include malware, viruses, fraud, violence, lawsuits, loss of confidential and/or proprietary data and more. Even social sites, while perhaps not quite as risky, can have a major impact on productivity.

Barriers that once stood at the edges of your office network have been annihilated by digital media.

Web content filtering is now crucial to network security – not to mention employee productivity – in this emerging environment. It can be deployed in a number of ways, but basically they boil down to two: inline and endpoint filtering.

Inline Web Filtering
One way to filter web content is to control it at the entry point or gateway to your network. This technique intercepts all web traffic and applies filters that allow or block web access requests. Because the entire network is filtered, no access to the user’s device is required.

With inline web filtering, there’s no need to expend resources managing content at each endpoint – your employees and their computers, whether desktop or mobile.

Inline filtering not only saves bandwidth, it goes a long way toward mitigating cyberthreats. For securing activities that take place within your network, it’s a critical and potent strategy.

Yet, with the shift away from traditional office-bound work routines to a work-from-anywhere culture, the effectiveness of inline filtering has diminished.

When employees access the web outside your network’s gateways – via home networks, hotels, coffee shops, etc. – their devices become vulnerable to attack.

And any employee can carry an infected machine into and out of your company’s building and network on any given day, exposing your entire intranet to infections.

And that’s why so many companies are moving to endpoint-based web filtering to complement their inline filtering.

Endpoint-Based Web Filtering
Endpoint-based filtering protects employee devices from infections, no matter where they connect to the web. Software at the endpoint – your employee’s device – carries a predefined filtering policy from the central server that can be intranet-based or cloud-based.

This method assures that web filtering is always active, no matter where the employee’s computer is.

A great advantage of endpoint-based filtering is that it addresses stringent employee privacy regulations that are quickly becoming the norm in Europe and elsewhere around the world.

Because it keeps browsing-pattern information within the user’s device, endpoint-based filtering provides a fairly non-intrusive way to handle employee privacy concerns.

And finally, while endpoint-based filtering really is the only way to protect a network without boundaries, as most companies now have, ideally it works hand in glove with inline filtering.

Forget the Charms – You Can Bet On This

We highly recommend rolling out not only inline and endpoint filtering, but also an effective training program for your staff to encourage best practices and assure compliance with your company’s web security policies and procedures.

Want to make sure all gaps are sealed and you won’t have to count on a four-leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot or knocking on wood to keep your network secure?

Contact us today at 724.235.8750 or email at for a customized Web Content Filtering Review and Analytical Report on your system.

4 Phrases of Amazing Customer Service

I’ve grown my companies by focusing on great customer service. We didn’t always have the biggest names in business working at the firm, and we sure couldn’t always afford the flashiest equipment. What we did better than all our competitors was ensure that our customers were thrilled.

In fact, superlative customer service can be your very best (and cheapest!) form of marketing. Customers talk about their experiences, especially if those experiences are unexpectedly good. Sometimes even the most difficult situations can yield satisfied customers, depending on how you and your team handle the problems that arise. Even a failure to meet expectations can offer an opportunity for a great recovery and a happy customer.

Here are four phrases that will help you bring up the level of service your customers receive:

1. “I don’t know, but this is what I’m going to do.”
You’re not always going to have the answer to every question at your fingertips, and your customers will understand that. What they expect in exchange, though, is honesty and follow-up. The key here is to make a clear commitment like “I’ll call you by 5 p.m. with the answer,” and then keep
that commitment!

2. “I am very sorry.”
When you or your company has made a mistake, the customer wants to hear you accept responsibility and apologize. Too many customer service reps have been trained not to accept responsibility, in some cases because they fear the legal record of having admitted failure. Realistically, though, the probability of a lawsuit is minimal, while the chance of losing a customer is virtually guaranteed. The apology is only a step, albeit an important one, and the goal is to turn the failure into a success by determining what your company can do to make it right.

3. “Yes.”
“Yes” is what your customer wants to hear, and your goal should be to say that word whenever possible, even if – especially if – you’re working through a problem. Customers want progress. Say yes to reasonable requests as soon and as often as possible, and leave your customers pleasantly surprised at how easily the problem was resolved.

4. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
Here’s your perfect wrap-up. Not only does this question give your customer the opportunity to bring up additional concerns, but it also lets the customer feel like they’re in control. They can ask for additional information or they can thank you for your spectacular service.

Great customer service relies first and foremost on authenticity, and being trustworthy is the foundation. If your customers trust you to keep your word, then you’re more than halfway there. If your customers know they can rely on you, even if there’s a problem, that’s the rest of the journey.

Work on training your customer service reps to listen, determine what the customer expects and do what they can to make sure that customer is satisfied.


Shiny New Gadget Of The Month:
New App Tames Expense Tracking


Business Travel and Entertainment is one of those expenses that can bleed cash from company coffers – IF you or your CFO don’t keep an eagle eye on it.

And no wonder: it often entails hand-entered data, widely disparate vendors, no real time reporting and, until now, an out-of-office transaction with no mobile reporting back to a central corporate database.

Enter Concur. This automated, mobile expense management system lets business travelers focus on their jobs while giving finance leaders complete and real-time visibility into spend.

It automatically captures and categorizes company credit-card transactions, making it simple for traveling employees to review, reconcile and submit statements for approval.

At the same time the immediate insight it provides helps you and your finance team stop bad spending decisions before they happen, manage budgets more effectively and drive better business performance.

Learn more at

Read This: It Will Scare Your Pants Off

IMG_8430Last month I had the opportunity to meet with and talk to Ryan Archer, Engineer at security firm Sophos about the cyber threat landscape.

Because I am constantly reading about cyber threats to be on top of IT security for my clients I thought there was little new he could uncover for me. Boy was I wrong!

The threats to small businesses keep growing. Hackers keep getting more sophisticated. They might be in your network now and you don’t even know it. They DO want your data. If not to use for some nefarious purpose, then to encrypt and hold it ransom for money. They DO want to use your network to infect other companies.

There was so much information he downloaded to me, that I can’t fit it here. I wrote it all in an article and posted it on my website. You can find it here:

I HIGHLY recommend you read this, and do what it says.

The threats to your business are REAL, people!

To your continued success,

Who Else Wants To Win A $25 Gift Card?

Here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a $25 VISA Gift Card.

According to US government statistics, as of December 2015, which Internet browser had the highest overall usage share around the world?

a) Safari
b) Chrome
c) Internet Explorer
d) Firefox

Email us right now with your answer!