Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

How do you give thanks during the holiday months?

November is the month when we spend one day with our families and/or friends, we feast on generations-old dishes, and we post on Facebook all the things for which we are thankful, but we at Cognoscape want to take it further this year. We want every one of our friends, clients, customers, employees and partners to know we are truly thankful for their business and support. Even if customers or business relations have long left our side, we want them to know they matter, too. Without each and every person we work(ed) with, we would not be the company we are today.

There are many ways we can give thanks and do often. Giving thanks can be buying coffee for the person behind you in line, shaking hands with a vet or active duty service member and thanking them for their service, baking a pie for your neighbor, giving your child’s bus driver or teacher a special gift, treating a neighbor or co-worker to dinner, or simply hugging a friend or relative and telling them how much they mean to them. Maybe your mentor is on your mind around the holidays. You can reach out and thank him/her for supporting and inspiring you. For some—including many here at the office—giving thanks includes volunteering around the holidays. Even though we will eat good food and drink good wine, we are aware of the fact that many people do not get that. Cognoscape strives to be a good citizen. Giving thanks can also take the form of writing thank-you letters, and this is ours to you: Thank You.

This is the month that allows Cognoscape to reflect on past experiences—failures and triumphs, present operations, and future goals to determine what it is we want the world to know about us and our brand. What is Cognoscape’s legacy? For what are we admired, whom can we help in the process, and whom do we have to thank for our successes?

Our legacy mindset is your promise. This Thanksgiving, we at Cognoscape—both leaders and employees—are tuning-in to our legacy mindsets to create an environment of transparency, reliability and client-focused attention. Our legacy transforms with each and every experience and interaction we have, and we have you—our clients—to thank for that.

What is our legacy-driven mindset? To us, it is our process of both evaluating and reflecting upon the stages through which we have traveled to get here. We consider our mentors, our employee relationships, our business decisions, our daily interactions with our clients, and the progress we have made thus far to create an environment of trust that we and our customers can be proud of.

With that in mind, we want to reflect on our legacy and take a moment to thank for getting us to this point. Thank you for your support, your dedication, and for the future we hope to share together.

Take Advantage of A Network Security Specialist for Your Business

The more our society becomes dependent on technology, the more we see an increase in data breaches, cyber crimes, and leaking of sensitive information. This is why the government and businesses of all sizes are focusing more of their efforts on network security. When it comes to keeping your information safe, you can’t go at it alone. Network security specialists are in high demand for assisting companies with their online safety needs. Below we discuss the importance of working with a network security specialist to keep your business secure and information safe.

 

Role of a Network Security Specialist

Your network security specialist is in charge of safeguarding your computer system and protecting it from threats. Threats may be external or internal in nature, but some of the biggest threats to network security generally come from outside sources. The network security specialist will install firewalls and programs that issue alerts when there is an attempt to infiltrate the system. Network security specialists are constantly updating their level of knowledge to keep up with the growing technology industry.

 

Advantages of Hiring a Network Security Specialist

Having a network security specialist in your arsenal of weapons to combat hackers has many advantages, including:

 

Protection of Company Data

Part of the job of a network security specialist is to constantly monitor the flow of information within the network, prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data, and check on bandwidth usage. This data may be pertaining to customers when dealing with companies like banks or other large corporations. Information such as phone numbers, account numbers, credit card numbers, addresses, and emails can become exposed. Government agencies will have information that pertains to internal communications and secret operations, posing as threats to national security. A network security specialist is vital to the safety of these organizations’ information.

 

Setting IT Infrastructure Usage Rules

A network security specialist is one who is in charge of designing and implementing security protocols within a computer network. This involves having control over the data that users have access to and setting up password authentications and firewalls. The specialist is able to block access to particular websites as well as prevent the installation and usage of certain applications that may pose a threat to the network infrastructure. With a network security specialist on board, they will be able to catch employees violating company computer policies and notify their manager.

 

Custom Security for Your Network

Your network security specialist will sit down with you and create a plan that is specific to your business’s needs. There is no “one-size-fits-all” model for any company and should never be offered to clients. Your custom network security plan will help your business grow much quicker by eliminating potential technology roadblocks that pop up. If you do not have a network security specialist working with your organization, you run the risk of losing customers to security breaches.

 

We want to be your network security specialist! Contact us today and we will discuss the best path for your company to follow when it comes to data and network security.

5 Tips For Optimization Of Your Mobile Website

51 Did you know that by the end of 2014 there will be more mobile web surfers than stationary ones? That means more prospects are accessing your business website more through their smart phones, tablets or other mobile devices than with a laptop or PC. If you thought you had time to make the switch closer to 2014, you may want to reconsider in light of new research. A recent study revealed that around 40% of prospects move on to a competitor if they have a poor mobile experience. How prepared is your business for this change? Well, if you are just starting out, the following checklist will help…

1. Make sure your mobile site is different from your regular website – While you must stick to your branding standards, your mobile website should be simpler than your web version. The reason being is that complicated designs that load well and look good on computers are often distorted when accessed through a mobile device. Plus, mobile surfers don’t really have the time to sift through a lot of content. Bottom line: your website’s mobile friendly version should be short, simple and sweet…offering your viewers the most important and basic sections of your website.

2. Option to access the actual website – That said, do provide your viewers with the option to access your regular website through their mobile device, as some viewers will prefer to stick with what is familiar.

3. Sitemap – Whether it’s your actual website or the mobile version, make sure you have a sitemap in place. A sitemap just makes it easier for your viewers to navigate through the site.

4. Get rid of flash – Most mobile devices don’t support flash. Keep this in mind when optimizing your website for the mobile surfer. Simple images that load fast are your best bet.

5. Testing – Make sure you test your mobile website thoroughly on different operating systems, browsers and devices. What looks good on one device might be totally distorted on another.

You could also develop a mobile application instead of a website, but most SMBs find that option too expensive and complicated. So, for now, put the 5 tips mentioned above into use and get your mobile-friendly website into action…

CLICK HERE for a free technology assessment.

Breach at eBay – Change Your Password Now

The following article is from krebsonsecurity.com

“eBay is asking users to pick new passwords following a data breach earlier this year that exposed the personal information of an untold number of the auction giant’s 145 million customers.

In a blog post published this morning, eBay said it had “no evidence of the compromise resulting in unauthorized activity for eBay users, and no evidence of any unauthorized access to financial or credit card information, which is stored separately in encrypted formats. However, changing passwords is a best practice and will help enhance security for eBay users.”

Assisted by federal investigators, eBay determined that the intrusion happened in late February and early march, after a “small number of employee log-in credentials” that allowed attackers access to eBay’s corporate network were compromised. The company said the information compromised included eBay customers’ name, encrypted password, email address, physical address, phone number and date of birth. eBay also said it has no evidence of unauthorized access or compromises to personal or financial information for PayPal users.

The company said it will begin pushing out emails today asking customers to change their passwords. eBay has not said what type of encryption it used to protect customer passwords, but it previous breaches are any indication, the attackers are probably hard at work trying to crack them.

If you’re an eBay user, don’t wait for the email; change your password now, and make it a good one. Most importantly, don’t re-use your eBay or PayPal password elsewhere. If you did that prior to today, it’s a good idea to change that password to something unique at the other sites that shared it. And be extra wary of phishing emails that spoof eBay and PayPal and ask you to click on some link or download some security tool; attackers are likely to capitalize on this incident to spread malware and to hijack accounts.

eBay and PayPal users who haven’t already done so should consider using the PayPal Security Key, a two-factor authentication solution that can be used to add for additional security on both sites.”

With as many breaches occurring in only the first half of 2014, the necessity for internet and information security is at an all time high. SMBs and healthcare providers dealing with sensitive information need to protect this info from security breaches and potential data loss as a result. CLICK HERE to sign up for a security audit.

The Catch-22 Of Technological Dependency

Technology dependency jpeg

Addressing Executive Management’s Fear of Downed Networks

For the past two decades, advancing technology has unquestionably enhanced the way we conduct day-to- day business. A stable, reliable and secure IT system means efficient operations and optimized productivity, service, and communications. It fosters greater opportunity and increased revenue potential. Today, through technology, small-to-medium sized businesses anywhere can serve customers globally twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, which was unfathomable 5-10 years ago. In today’s business world, anyone can be as big as they want to be.

This greater dependency on technology also presents a paradox in the sense that the consequences of network failure can often be fatal to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

While system outages and failures can result in service hiccups and lost profits for large companies like Blackberry, Intuit, or Virgin Blue, these companies typically have enough resources to bounce back and continue on with business as usual once the underlying issue is resolved. Smaller and midsize companies don’t have this same luxury.

For example, if a law firm pays $20,000 to recover from an email virus that corrupts their client data, or an online nutritional supplement company shells out $40,000 for data recovery and repairs after hard drive failure takes them offline for ten days, these companies are dealt a significant fiscal blow that they may never recover from. The National Archives & Records Administration in Washington found that 93% of SMBs file for bankruptcy within twelve months of experiencing data loss and prolonged downtime of ten or more days.

The National Archives & Records Administration in Washington found that 93% of SMBs file for bankruptcy within twelve months of experiencing data loss and prolonged downtime of ten or more days.

Managed Service Providers Benefits

optimized-istock_000016987294small

Managed Service Providers can decrease the overall IT support costs of small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) by as much as 30% to 50%. While a managed service provider can most assuredly assume full responsibility for IT operations, and operate as a remote IT department if desired, they can also be a valuable asset to an in-house technician or team. MSPs can support existing internal IT staff by taking on the more routine proactive and reactive daily responsibilities. Many of which can be automated. This allows in-house IT personnel to focus more on the company’s business needs and revenue generating projects. Download the E-Guide – THE VALUE OF A HELPING HAND – Reducing the Business Costs of Network Failure with a Managed Services Provider In This E-Guide You Will Learn: How to once again focus on core business operations with a managed service provider monitoring and securing your network. The advantage of breaking away from a sure-to-stay-small break/fix mentality with the support of a team of experts helping you accelerate growth The benefit of having access to the expertise, best practices and world-class tools and technologies offered by managed service providers

Keeping up with Technology – Speaker for your event?

With the rate of technology ever increasing and the importance it has on becoming a successful business, Michael is increasing his number of speaking engagements as a value add activity to surrounding communities.   He can easily adapt his talk to the audience or topic and speaks on all things technology and how to maximize it for your desired results.   Please let us know if you are interested in having Michael speak at your upcoming meeting.   Read Michael’s full bio below.   Thanks!

Keeping up with Technology Michael St Martin|Cognoscape|ITServices

Michael St. Martin

Learn what’s up with the latest technology trends and how “Strategic Technology Acceleration” can rocket your business forward.  Is your technology a competitive advantage?  Do you know how to leverage Cloud Computing? Mobile Devices? Is your network secure? Michael St. Martin will provide information and real world tips that you can use immediately to make your systems an asset instead of a liability.

Michael St. Martin is an entrepreneur and founder of Cognoscape, a Business Technology company that specializes in bringing Enterprise Class technology solutions to Small and Medium Business. While Cognoscape is the newest of Michael’s successful business ventures, his experiences include executive positions with Accenture, building sales organizations with NetIQ and Permeo and adding value to multiple IPOs’ and M&A’s.   His current passion resides in assisting business owners to utilize technology and gain a competitive advantage while streamlining their business.  

Michael has spoken to audiences both large and small, always imparting insight into the latest technology and how to apply it to the audience.   “My goal as a speaker is to give the audience something to take away immediately and apply to their business that day, while entertaining them along the way,” says Michael.   So… great and timely content, mixed with Michael’s engaging style motivates the audience into action!

Cognoscape to Host North Dallas Chamber of Commerce AM Exchange

Cognoscape LLC to Host North Dallas Chamber of Commerce AM Exchange – check out our new office!

Cognoscape the IT Services Company from Addison Texas will be one of the host for the upcoming North Dallas Chamber of Commerce AM Exchange. This early morning networking opportunity is hosted quarterly by different chamber members at their place of business. This event is an excellent venue for chamber members to showcase their office location and products and services.

  Date Wednesday, October 23
  Time 7:30 a.m.
  Location 16479 Dallas Parkway, 1st Floor in Addison

Co-hosted by Armor Wealth Management, Cognoscape and Hudson Peters Commercial Real Estate

Cost No charge for members who pre-register, $5/members at the door, $15/non-members.

Register online or by phone at 214.368.6485. Please RSVP by October 21.

Sponsor

BBVA Compass
 

Chamber contact:
Carol Short
Senior Vice President, Public Affairs

Register Now

Cognoscape, Dallas IT Company to help sponsor the Dallas CPA Society Annual Golf Tournament

Cognoscape is honored to help sponsor the Dallas CPA Society Annual Golf Tournament today at Gentle Creek in Prosper, TX.   Join your colleagues and friends for lots of fun, prizes, awards,  food, and more!   Prizes will be awarded for Closest to the Pin, Longest Drive, Straightest Drive, etc. Say hi to Chad King, Director of Sales and Marketing who will be manning the beverage cart :-) 

Cognoscape sponsors Dallas CPA Society Golf Tournament

Cognoscape Dallas IT Company is honored again to help sponsor the Dallas Bar Association Pro Bono Golf Tournament

DBA Pro Bono Golf Cognoscape Benefiting the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program – Join us for a beverage at the DBA Pro Bono Golf Tournament – Chad will the one in the Beverage Cart  helping to keep you hydrated.

Date: Thursday, May 2, 2013

Time: Registration: 10:00 a.m.

Tee-off: 1:00 p.m.

Location: Brookhaven Country Club Registration: To register, click here. For more information: Contact Rhonda Thornton.