Silhouette of men on the duck hunting with his hunting dog highly advance tech gadgets.

Arming Your Hunting Dog with the Coolest Tech Gadgets

Are you ready for the hunt? Is your partner your hunting dog? There are traits every champion hunting dog should possess before he steps out on the field. But if you are ready to take you best pal to the next level, you should arm him with some of the coolest tech gadgets.

Love of Fetch

Finding the perfect hunting dog that possesses a keen sense of playing fetch is a number one trait! He should have an instinctive nature to chase the scent of game, but with the electronic handheld wind meter Wind Wizard II, you’ll be able to detect wind speed at a great value and help your dog accurately determine his trajectory of pursuit.

Great Nose

Every great champ needs to be able to sniff out his prize. If you’re looking to gain the upper hand over the game, look no further. Ozonics Hunting machine is a silent fan that circulates oxygen molecules into ozone molecules. This nifty tech gadget can be used next to a treestand or ground blind and covers the scent of you and your pup.

Disciplined

A winning dog is one who is the most disciplined. Do your buddy a favor and get him an odorless gas cartridge repellant. This simple tech gadget will keep mosquitoes and other flying insects away so he can focus on the hunt.

Genetically Gifted

Those who got the juice are born with the juice. The tech gadget, Garmin Astro, will help you stay connected to your hunting dog 24/7. The transmitter collar allows him freedom of tuning in to his naturally gifted talents while you track where he is running, sitting, or treeing a bird.

Water Lover

Perfect hunting dogs are not afraid of water or of gun shots. The Contour HD video camera is waterproof and rugged, and it fits snuggly behind the neck of your dog. This will help you watch what he was able to see the moment after take off.

Energetic

Your hunting dog is ready to go at the snap of a twig and has a thirst to catch his prey. Make his job that much easier with the Swann Outback Cam that straps to a tree and captures both video and photos. He will be able to exert his energy positively and more efficiently.

Having second thoughts if your canine is up to handle all these technical gadgets? Partner up with some IT experts who will focus on your business while you focus on helping your hunting dog.

Patient release of information form with HIPAA compliance regulations documents. Names, serial numbers, and/or dates, are random and any resemblance to actual products is purely coincidental.

Top 5 Signs You’re Out of HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA compliance refers to a set of regulations by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which sets the guidelines designed to protect important medical documents. Similar to constant technology updates, there are continual changes regarding HIPAA regulations. If you have any follow up questions or concerns in regards to HIPAA compliance, check out this handy checklist for protecting the privacy of personal health information. Here is a quick overview to check to see if you are currently out of HIPAA compliance.

Access Control

Have you assigned a unique name or number for identifying and tracking user identity? You should establish procedures that will help you obtain protected health information in case of an emergency. By implementing software that encrypts and decrypts electronic health information, you are ensuring clients’ protection.

Audit Controls

If you have not implemented tracking software that records and examines activity in information systems, which is the set of information resources that share the same common functionality,  then you are not properly protecting electronic health information.

Person or Entity Authentication

Do you have procedures that will confirm a person or entity who is seeking access to protected health information? Have you established policies and procedures that safeguard electronic health information from improper alteration or destruction? Be sure to implement appropriate security measures to guard against unauthorized access to electronic protected health information to ensure that documents are not modified without detection or improperly disposed of.

Transmission Security

Are you able to implement software to encrypt electronic health information whenever deemed appropriate? This will encompass all of the administrative, physical, and technical safeguards in your information systems.

Failure to follow HIPAA compliance can result in civil and criminal penalties. Make sure you are following the law and properly protecting the health information of individuals. If you are feeling lost, we will be able to help you get back on track. Call Cognoscape  today for a free consultation.  

 

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Using Motion Sensors To Protect Your Home

The Incorporation of Motion Sensors in Home Security Systems

More people than ever are using technology to protect their homes and businesses. If you wanted to have a security system back in the day, the best you could do was analog video, which produced tapes that you could evaluate at a later date. But technological advances have come far enough to where you can have a digital video security system that live-streams directly to your smartphone, tablet, or computer over the internet. One of the biggest new features that homeowners and business leaders are taking advantage of is motion sensors. Motion sensors take technology that used to only be available to the military, and make it available to those who want to keep their homes or enterprise facilities safe from intruders. Although motion sensors are primarily used as anti-theft technology, they have other uses too — such as informing you if a teenager has missed curfew and is arriving home late or alerting you if a customer has entered your business. Motion sensor technology works by using microwave pulses, infrared sensors, or a combination of both to detect movement. Once detected, notifications are sent to your monitoring center, letting you know exactly where the motion was found.

Different Types of Motion Sensors

There are several different types of motion sensors that you can use to keep your home or business safe. Passive infrared, or PIR motion detectors, detect body heat. They are the most common form of motion detectors used in home-based security systems. Microwave, or MW motion detectors, are another option. They send out microwave pulses, which reflect off of a moving object, tripping the sensor. Although these sensors can cover large areas, they aren’t as widely used because they are prone to electrical interference issues. There is also the option of choosing a dual technology motion sensor, which combines both of the features of the MW and PIR sensors.

Different Ways You Can Use Home Security Systems

Although motion sensor technology is typically used to protect against theft and home invasion, you can also use them for other purposes. You might connect your motion sensors to your lights, for example, and save money by only having the lights on while you are moving in a particular room. You can use motion detectors to restrict the movement of pets or small children while you are in the house as well. Motion sensors can alert you to when a friend or neighbor is at the door, so you know to expect them before they ring the doorbell. Motion sensors are versatile and can meet all of your home/business security and safety needs.

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New Obama Executive Order Creates Investment In Smart Guns

Obama’s New Executive Order

President Obama has long been frustrated by the lack of gun legislation in Congress and earlier this month, he announced an executive order that would clarify some existing laws already on the books. President Obama’s new executive order will expand background checks to include gun shows and some private sales, which previously allowed buyers and sellers to come together and complete a transaction without doing a background check. President Obama will be hiring more ATF agents and other federal agents to ramp up enforcement of gun laws. But the President also did something else fascinating — he created an investment in smart gun technology.

The Investment in Smart guns

President Obama’s interest in smart gun technology is not accidental. The President knows that while stricter gun legislation and potential penalties would be nearly impossible to pass through Congress, smart gun technology could make sense for responsible gun owners, law enforcement, and the greater population alike. The executive order creates three directives for federal departments on smart guns:

  • It authorizes research and development spending
  • Departments must now review the availability of gun safety technology and possible improvements
  • It permits research on how smart technology can limit gun-related homicides

Smart gun technology is appealing because it uses sensors that can read fingerprints or radio waves to determine who is authorized to use the weapon. Some smart guns are even using more complex indicators, such as grip recognition. This technology could keep guns out of the wrong hands and prevent violence if guns are stolen or sold illegally.

Detractors

Even though President Obama’s executive order was applauded by many, some groups have claimed it is illegal and unnecessary. Among these groups are the NRA, which is perhaps Congress’s strongest lobby. There are legitimate concerns about the accuracy of smart gun technology, but perhaps extensive research could curb some of those fears.

What is the Future Of Smart Gun Technology?

In the future, smart gun technology could be incorporated into all federal agencies. Once the federal government proves that smart gun technology is accurate and can work within its departments, it will likely filter down through the states and to the US population as states and localities pass their own laws. President Obama’s hope is that smart guns will eventually have legislation in Congress, making the technology a key component in owning a firearm.

Online Security

What Gamers Need to Know About Online Security

Remember when video games were limited to Player 1 and Player 2? The explosion in video game technology has made it possible for gamers to evolve from playing Pong alone in their bedroom to becoming part of a complex online network of games. Massive Multiple Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs), such as World of Warcraft have millions of players online at any given time.

By 2017, the video game industry worldwide is expected to generate over $80 billion in revenue, due largely to online gaming. Like anything that exists on the Internet, there are increased online security risks, questioning the safety of online gaming. Below we discuss the risk assessment involved with playing video games online and how to protect yourself.

 

Technological Risk Assessment of Online Gaming

There are a number of technological risks to your computer system when one becomes involved with online gaming.

 

  • Worms and Viruses: Instant messaging programs and email messages can house viruses that arrive as attachments, or are hidden in game files that are downloaded or found in installed software.
  • Malware: Worms and viruses can be used to install malware in order to take advantage of the social networks associated with online games that use email, chat or voice communication. The malware is used to invite you to visit fake websites or to open up email attachments that contain malicious software and install it on your computer. This software is then used to gain access to personal information for financial gain.
  • Compromised or Insecure Game Servers: When software on a game server has been compromised, any computers that connect to it can become compromised. By exploiting vulnerabilities, online criminals can gain access to your computer and control it remotely. Malicious users can use your computer to install Trojan horses, spyware, adware or access personal information on any computer that connects to yours during gaming or communications.
  • Insecure Game Coding: Some game protocols for communicating information between machines are not as secure as other protocols. Game code may not be monitored as well as other commercial software. Erratic behavior on your computer can introduce dangerous vulnerabilities.

 

Social Risks of Online Gaming

Now that video games involve community chats, talks and instant messaging, a whole new batch of social risks are involved, such as:

 

  • Identity Theft: Malicious gamers can take information from your profile created in games and use it to set up accounts in your name, access your financial accounts or sell your personal information.
  • Social Engineering: Cyber-criminals try to trick gamers into installing software on your computer that they can use to control it, launch attacks on other devices or monitor your online activities.

General Security Practices for Online Gamers

Here are the most common ways to protect yourself when participating in online gaming:

 

  • Securely configure your web browsers.
  • Use antivirus programs.
  • Do not open files attached to email or instant messages without being cautious.
  • Use a firewall.
  • Verify the security and authenticity of new software and downloaded files.
  • Update and patch your application software.
  • Identify then back up financial and personal data.
  • Create and use strong passwords that are unique to that system.
  • Use administrator mode only if the vendor is reputable.
  • Play the game at the game site and save web browsing for a later date.

 

Contact us if you have any questions about security for online gaming or for your personal or business network.

Business Success

4 Business Tips for the Modern World

In today’s world, businesses enter a harsh arena every day. The challenges that face owners are staggering and constantly changing. So how do you stay competitive while keeping your employees and your customers in focus? Here are four simple things to keep in mind for running a 21st Century business.

 

  1. The Wide Angle Lens

When it comes to business, it’s easy to get too focused on minute details. Everything seems important. It shows your commitment and your passion, but it can also lead to some shortsighted decisions. This is made all the more complicated if you have clients or customers in the picture making even more demands on your time and attention.

The key is to make sure that you’re occasionally taking a step (or three) back to look at the entire picture. Often this means hiring the right managers. Having the opportunity to keep track of how the many pieces of your business work together is essential.

 

  1. Apply Technology; Don’t Rely on Technology

This ability to see how systems actually affect each other is critical when it comes to Information Technology. These days, too many businesses think that buying a new platform or productivity suite or cloud-based database is going to make all of the difference. It’s a natural temptation and in some cases it can boost your output.

Here’s the problem with technology: without the right workforce matchup, it’s a tool without a user. Always build IT systems and additions off of your core needs regarding your employees or your customers. If there isn’t a clear problem your tech is solving, it may not be the right tech.

 

  1. Find the Simple Balance

So what is the right tech? With new options coming out every day, the right tech threads the needle between smart complexity and elegant simplicity. More than ever before, businesses are in the driver’s seat of function. Open source programs like Google’s or adaptive platforms like Office 365 give tremendous control to how that technology gets tailored and used.

The main thing to avoid is overcomplicating your infrastructure. Make sure that as you’re adding that much-needed functionality, it isn’t bloated or needlessly tangled with a host of new procedures.

 

  1. Don’t Forget the Old School

Lastly, in a world that is obsessed with technology and moving faster and with greater efficiency, be sure not to lose sight of the old ways. It’s true that analytics can cut down the time it takes to find a qualified applicant or new customer preferences, but the human side is what will make the difference. Don’t rely solely on testing for the same reason you wouldn’t hire someone sight unseen because they have a diploma. Make sure what you add works on a human level as well as a big data level.

NBA Basketball

3 Leadership Lessons Learned From NBA Basketball

It is undeniable that sports offer invaluable lessons and offer essential leadership
roles for people of all ages.

The NBA provides many essential examples for success. Ifyou consider yourself a leader, or you are in the beginning stages of becoming one, at
work, home, in the community, or in an educational setting, the NBA offers more than
entertainment; it is a critical leadership model for every stage of life for high-end results.

1. Adopt the three Cs: charisma, challenge, and control
To be an effective leader, you need to know how to inspire and challenge others
to do their very best. Be consistent when you lead. Charismatic leaders bring as
much energy to the court as they do to the boardroom.
The second C is challenge, empowering others to do their best to become
leaders as well. An effective leader needs a role model from which he/she can
learn and observe. Challenging others is a democratic process that employs
members of the team to make decisions, work together, and to contribute to the
overall success of the company. When employees and/or team members don’t
feel their contributions matter, they are less likely to take pride in or responsibility
for the result. Leaders can challenge without condemning team members.
Control is essential when you are tasked with leading an NBA team or a sales
squad. Being a leader requires rationality, empathy, and an overall sense of
calmness, all without compromising assertive leadership and emotions. Leaders
can inspire confidence in his/her team without feeling exposed or distressed.
Your emotions create the environment in which they are communicated. You
have to decide how you want your message to be heard AND perceived. It’s
okay to be down-to-earth, but fierce when the time is right. Know when to use the
right emotion to inspire and lead.

2. Get the right people on your team and get to know them
You cannot be a good leader without knowing exactly whom it is you are leading.
When you understand your team better, you can utilize the best strategy to
inspire and generate an environment for personal and professional successes.

Every NBA coach knows a player’s position, strengths, weaknesses, goals, pet
peeves, communication strengths and weaknesses, and what inspires them.
Leaders know exactly what it is each team player needs to perform their very
best in a game or at the office, and how to communicate the goals and
aspirations of the team.

3. Treat the team as it is—a team
This idea goes back to grade-school basketball teams: ‘there is no I in team.’ A
leader does not raise one member of the team on a pedestal and ignore the
supporting members who contribute to the success of the team. The goal of the
leader is to look out for team members, help them achieve successes, and ultimately assist them with understating and staying focused on their goals. As a
leader, you must focus on the small victories of the team, as well as the larger
wins.

A leader also prepares the team for challenges before the come to fruition
on the court or in the office.

 

…Can you think of any more leadership lessons learned from NBA Basketball?

Let us know in the comments below!

 

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Top 5 Reasons You Need Network Security At Work

Conducting day to day business can be consuming and stressful. Making sure that your company network is secure does not always rank number one on your list of things to do. There are so many things that need to be tended to! Here are the top 5 reasons why network security should be your top priority:

1. First and foremost, without network security at work your livelihood is at stake. As a business owner, most of your important documentation and records are stored on a computer. Leaving your network unprotected means that at any time your system could be infiltrated by unwanted viruses, trojans or even worse – malicious hackers who could obtain and distribute personal information.

2. Not only can your vital company information can be compromised, your identity could be stolen and used. Different types of computer viruses and trojans do different things. If a virus relays information to a third party your identity could be used by that person or worse. It could be sold to other people.

3. If losing your identity isn’t bad enough, it can get worse. Without network security you could unknowingly provide internet predators with your customer’s information. This means that your reputation as a company is at stake. Any business owner would agree that a good reputation is your best asset and a bad reputation could mean your demise.

4. By having a good network security system in place, you will be saving money in the long run. Companies that are constantly putting out fires and spending unnecessary money to fix problems as they occur. Each time they pick up the phone to call an IT specialist money flies out the door. By being proactive you will keep your budget minimal.

5.  Using network security guarantees that you will be successful in your endeavors. By protecting your assets you will be able to focus on what you do best. Safeguarding your network allows others to trust in your ability to conduct business and do what is best for everyone.

Network security at work is beneficial in many ways. It helps you to save money. It also offers security to your team of employees and customers. Network security prevents unexpected problems. In conjunction with these benefits, network security is necessary to safeguard your personal information and that of your affiliates. Without network security your business could be in serious jeopardy.

Top 4 Ways Cloud Computing Will Make Your Life Easier

Your life if full of decisions. If you own a business, there’s no doubt you have to make several important choices on a daily basis that contribute to the success of your business. With the help of cloud computing, you can rest assured knowing you’re making the right decision for the growth and future of your company. Here’s why:

Financial Savings

You don’t want to spend more money than you need to. Imagine if you could reduce your spending by limiting your need for hardware, IT system maintenance, downtime, and even the amount of electricity you use. Over a period of time, cloud computing can provide you with some AMAZING cost-cutting benefits!

Flexibility

Flexibility is extremely important for a business. To be truly effective, you need to be able to adapt to most situations in a timely manner in order to be successful.

With cloud computing, you have a TON of flexibility. You can access your information from anywhere, at any time, and you can move your information from one server to another – so you’re no longer restricted by the limits of your hardware!

Disaster recovery

Preparation is often the key to success.

With the aid of cloud-based services, you’re not only preparing your company for any future problems, but you’re preparing to succeed. Cloud computing providers will help solve most issues you encounter, and they’ll help you do it quickly and efficiently.

With the cloud, you no longer have to worry about losing your valuable information to power failure, natural disasters, or any other crisis. Once your data is stored in the cloud, you’ll have peace of mind knowing it’s backed up and protected in a secure location.

By utilizing the cloud, you’re making complex and time-consuming disaster recovery plans a thing of the past.

Communication and Collaboration

A lot of important things happen at the work place, and communication and collaboration are often overlooked as necessary tools for company growth.

One amazing benefit of cloud computing is the ability to improve communication and collaboration within an organization. By converting to cloud based services, you and your employees have all the necessary resources they need to work efficiently from almost anywhere. Regardless of where they are located or which devices they’re using, the cloud will allow immediate distribution of relevant information to everyone within your company, ensuring constant productivity.

Overall, cloud services can be a huge asset to your company. Contact Cognoscape today, and let’s work together to build the perfect infrastructure for your business!

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How Managed IT Services Can Help You Succeed

As a business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. You daily grind probably requires a lot of intense decision-making and planning for the future of your company.

It’s important to take advantage of easy ways to improve your business and make your workday go more smoothly. Here are 4 ways managed IT services can do that:

 

Managed IT Services Help You Regain Focus

It’s pretty difficult to focus on your actual job duties when technology issues are constantly distracting you. When you hire a managed services provider, you take the burden of IT problems off of your shoulders and let a team of trained professionals handle those problems for you.

 

Managed IT Services Help You Stay Secure

Managed IT services providers can take care of your security issues so you don’t have to. For example, they’ll make sure your firewall is up to date and work to keep hackers from infiltrating your system.

 

Managed IT Services Help You Remain Compliant

PCI compliance in your industry is not an option – it’s an absolute necessity. If you are not compliant, you could be fined up to hundreds of thousands of dollars! That’s a lot of money to lose, especially when it is completely preventable. And that’s not all – you could lose the trust of your customers if you put their information at risk by not adhering to PCI compliance standards – hackers can steal debit card and credit card information. With a managed services provider, you can rest assured that you will adhere to all of the PCI compliance standards set for your industry.

 

Managed IT Services Help You Promote Growth

When you use technology strategically and have experts on your side helping you innovate, it’s easy to grow; that’s what you’ll gain with a managed services provider.

 

Here at Cognoscape, we are the managed services provider you need to reach success. We take the time to get to know you, analyze your company needs, and create a unique technology solution based on those specific needs. Contact us today for a free consultation!