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What is The Internet of Behaviors (IoB)?

Every day, companies collect data from everything we do. From taking a phone call to buying your morning breakfast, data information is a part of our lives and can identify our behaviors. The Internet of Behaviors (IoB) is a term you may or may not have heard of but is extremely important to understand as we head into a digital future. Here is a general overview of IoB and how it works within your life. 

What is the Internet of Behaviors?

The IoB is entirely focused on collecting data from people then using that data to understand human behaviors. IoB can be seen in marketing departments as it is a great tool to understand consumer behaviors through analyzing data. What is interesting about IoB is that it is descriptive and proactive at the same time. Having a descriptive and proactive system means that IoB collects data to analyze behaviors and understand psychological components to know why people do the things they do. What does this do? It adds value for the company and consumers as a whole.

Having IoB in place generates additional efficiencies while ensuring companies are meeting consumers’ quality and experience expectations. An example of IoB can is our vehicles. When braking too hard in your car, telematics can alert the driver of the issue so it can help safely change your braking habits—examples like this show what exactly IoB does when collecting data.

Benefits IoB Can Have for Your Business

There is no question that IoB is an excellent resource for any business to use going forward. Many big companies like Facebook already use IoB when pop-up ads appear on your home page, showing you products you recently looked for. This ad experience encourages consumers to buy a specific company’s product as a result. The benefit of using IoB is that you can collect valuable data in favor of your product/business. Managing this data ultimately can improve your products/services to consumers making everyone excited. Another excellent benefit of IoB is how companies can study data that has previously never been utilized before. This data shows how consumers are interacting with products, and again, indicates the behaviors consumers have. This information is valuable for any business in helping reach more consumers. 

A Concern with Internet of Behaviors

Although IoB has many benefits, there are still some concerns with the technology and its data collecting. The biggest problem with IoB is its ethical practices. Collecting sensitive information from consumers can pose a significant security risk for any individual. By companies accessing your data, you are allowing them to access your private information. On the other side, companies have a significant responsibility to encrypt and secure this data. This concern could sometimes welcome unwanted cybercriminals to collect and sell your information if a security breach ever were to occur. Luckily, there are many ways to help reduce this risk, but it is vital to understand how valuable your data is and why you or your company should be cautious. 

What To Do Next

Knowing the benefits and dangers of sharing your data are essential for any individual or business as we embark on a data-driven future. As Internet of Behaviors becomes more popular, teaming up with Johnson Service Group’s IT Consulting professionals can help you understand what security measures you should take when thinking about IoB in the future. We provide analytics, consulting, round-the-clock remote support, and more to get you up and running. Contact us today to discuss how we can safely aid your IoB efforts!

Cloud Computing & The Value It Adds To Your Business

In today’s world, cloud services are a vital component to any business involved with having access to a world of technology. Unfortunately, many companies still invest in in-house resources that can barely keep up with the evolving cloud infrastructure that supports businesses everywhere. Here’s an introduction to cloud computing and how it can add a wealth of value to your business now and in the future.

What is Cloud Computing? 

Cloud computing involves many computing services that traditionally, businesses would not consider using for their IT services. Cloud computing is centered around taking those traditional IT services, but using them through the internet, thus using fewer resources. As a result, all of your IT resources are available to you through the cloud instead of having them in-house. Ultimately, this is a huge money-saver. Cloud computing services also includes having servers or databases utilized over the cloud instead of maintaining them in-house from your business.   

Benefits of Using Cloud Computing

The ability to use cloud-based services like cloud computing can be very beneficial for any company. The most significant advantage of all is savings. Using cloud-based services, you are enrolling into lower costs associated with infrastructure investments, with services and the management needed to perform similar performance for internal resources. This allows you to scale change in how you want to run your business without paying high costs. It is also a great way to maximize the potential to utilize prebuilt resources.

Using cloud computing allows your company to have more flexibility in focusing on all your goals instead of spending all your time on IT issues. So, it creates an effective business model to push your business to focus on what’s most important and reach your goals. Additionally, cloud services are easily accessible for your entire business. No one will be left out of the loop as they can all have instant access to cloud services. This accessibility creates a lot of flexibility for employees and how they work to be more effective while also being more satisfied within their job. For a complete list of benefits in regards to cloud computing, check out our list below:  

  • Collaboration 
  • CRM 
  • Expertise on-demand
  • Flexible storage 
  • Improve accessibility 
  • Infrastructure-as-a-service 
  • Low-no infrastructure costs 
  • Platform-as-a-service 
  • Reduce capital costs 
  • Scalable services and billing 
  • Secure systems and environment 
  • Service reliability 
  • Software-as-a-service 
  • Streamline processes 
  • Support on-demand 
  • Systems and platform integration

How Can I Start Using Cloud Computing? 

If you think it is time to start using cloud computing, there is no better time than now. But how do you get started? With so many resources available, it is important you chose the cloud service that will align best with your business goals. That is why we recommend partnering with an experienced technology team like Johnson Service Group.

As a technology partner, we are capable of helping companies select, move to, and manage a best-of-breed, practical cloud computing solution. We understand how hard it can be switching from older technology investments to the cloud. Additionally, we know how important it is that you take the right direction in a challenging call. We can develop an integrated approach and customized solution that reduces IT costs. All while adding new capabilities, more outstanding performance, and new efficiencies to your business. Above all, this will help make the switch to using cloud computing services an easy transition while avoiding problematic issues.  

So, are you ready to learn more about making the switch to using cloud computing services for your business? Contact us today  to discuss your cloud computing strategy! 

The Rise of Ransomware

In 2020, ransomware attacks made a significant jump for corporations across the world. Last year, a new company fell victim to a ransomware attack every 10 seconds. With millions of companies supporting a mobile workforce during the pandemic, companies are more vulnerable to these attacks. Although these attacks are becoming more common, many people don’t understand the severity of them. Here is a brief overview of what ransomware is and how your team can protect yourself from these atrocious attacks.

What is Ransomware?

According to CISA, “Ransomware is an ever-evolving form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Malicious actors then demand ransom in exchange for decryption.” And unfortunately for the victims of these attacks, these actors threaten to sell or leak the exfiltrated data or authentication information if you don’t pay a ransom.

A recent example of one of these vicious ransomware attacks is video game developer CD Projekt Red (CDPR). Attackers stole source code to several of their video games and threatened to auction it off if they don’t pay a ransom. CDPR refused to pay the ransom, and the attackers sold the source code in an auction for a reported $7 million. CDPR decided not to pay the ransom, but there are many other costly impacts of this attack, such as a hit to their brand image, unhappy shareholders, and delays in future projects and updates.

Such an attack can be crippling to your company’s bottom line, and the scary part is, these attacks can be many different shapes and sizes. A ransomware attack can start with the infiltration into a single user and can quickly affect your entire company.

Thread hijacking is skyrocketing

Essentially, thread hijacking is when an attacker infects a single user and then accesses their email to spread malware to all of their contacts. “This makes it easier to trick new victims that are within the victim’s social and professional domain, as from their perspective they’re receiving an email from a trusted colleague concerning a known subject,” according to CISA.

In a blink of an eye, your entire staff and their contacts (possibly even customers) can fall victim to this malware. These vicious attacks can spread like wildfire and can bring your operations to a screeching halt. 

Malware attacks have hit the healthcare industry the hardest because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Attackers are targeting vulnerable healthcare organizations with malware attacks while they are busy fighting the virus. Monthly attacks on healthcare organizations jumped 37% last year.

So, what can your team do to mitigate the risks of these attacks?

How to protect your company from Ransomware

Proactively monitor your servers and network

The best offense for ransomware is a solid defense. Proactively monitoring your servers and network to identify any suspicious activity is the best way to avoid these attacks. Monitoring your services before an attack is the best way to prevent one.

Encourage best practices

Encouraging your staff to use best practices when accessing online applications is an excellent way to protect your company from ransomware. Send frequent reminders, encourage them not to click on suspicious links or provide personal data to unknown sources, and inform them about potential attacks to keep them from spreading.

Always backup your data

Regularly backing up your data is a great way to mitigate the impact of a ransomware attack. If an attacker infiltrates you, you can quickly restore your services from a recent backup. The faster you can restore order to your network, the smaller the impact of the attack.

Don’t ever pay a ransom

If you fall victim to an attack, don’t ever pay the ransom. Paying the ransom only encourages the attackers to commit further attacks and funds their malicious activity to target other companies. Plus, there is no guarantee that they will return the data once you pay them.

Enlist the help of an IT consulting firm

If this sounds complicated or your IT department doesn’t have the resources to prepare for such an attack, consider using an IT consulting company. JSG’s IT Consulting Services team can work with your IT team to build a defense against ransomware. Our team can monitor your network for suspicious activity and create a contingency plan if an attack occurs. We can help back up all of your files and employ our IT experts to help with any necessary disaster recovery efforts. We can build a custom suite of services to fit your IT needs, so you only pay for what’s needed. Reach out to us today to learn more about our IT services!

The Results of An Understaffed IT Department

One of the biggest obstacles for IT departments is staffing shortages. Approximately 63% of companies struggle with understaffed IT personnel. Moreover, 51% of companies cannot source the talent with the skill sets they need. The results? Your employees cannot receive the support they need, projects are going over budget, and worse, your network is left vulnerable to a possible cyberattack.

So, how can you identify if your team is suffering from being understaffed?

Signs of an understaffed IT department

Your team is overworked

If your IT department is understaffed, your team is suffering from being overworked. Their attention is spreading too thin, forcing them to wear too many hats to ensure they meet all your IT needs. Overtime is becoming a weekly occurrence, which is hurting your bottom line. Your team is becoming stressed and irritable, and as a result, their work is suffering.

Mistakes are occurring

Overstaffed IT departments are more prone to making mistakes. These mistakes may begin as overlooking small details or tasks being left undone. However, over time, these mistakes can add up to a huge security risk that can bring your network to a screeching halt or other services experiencing downtime for unexpected maintenance.

Projects are running late

Another common trend of understaffed IT teams is missing crucial deadlines. When projects are running late, your team’s attention shifts away from other projects or concerns, which can quickly create a backlog of projects. As a result, the costs associated with each project begin to rack up, raising red flags to senior leadership.

Employee turnover

If your team is experiencing the above signs, the risk of higher employee turnover occurs. If your team is overwhelmed and overworked, they will ultimately seek other opportunities that offer more resources and better work-life balances. When employees start leaving, your quality of work further declines, projects become impossible to complete, and your company loses money by the fistful.

Solutions to understaffed IT teams

So, with 29% of IT departments believing they lack the adequate personnel to function properly, what can your team do to solve this issue before it transpires into something much graver?

Address the situation with your team

The first thing you should do is address this understaffing issue with your team and identify the cause. Provide examples to your boss or leadership team of why your department is understaffed and the results of the dilemma. Solving this problem may be as simple as bringing it to light to the right people. Share where you are spending your hours and each task you are responsible for working on. Once you identify the source of the problem, you can work on a solution.

Hire a contract worker

If the root of the problem is simply being understaffed, the only solution is to bolster your IT group. One way your team can get support is by hiring a contract worker. If you need help in one specific area, hiring a contractor might be a great solution. You can hire a temp worker with a flexible schedule that meets your department’s needs. If you only need to enlist help for a particular project, this might be the best option. Once their support is no longer needed, you can terminate their contract, saving your team the hassle and costs of laying off a permanent employee.

If this sounds like the best solution for your IT needs, JSG can work with you to source qualified contractors that will fill any critical staffing gaps.

Outsource some of your IT projects or tasks

Moreover, if your staffing shortages are more critical, it may be time to consider outsourcing part of your IT tasks. Now that you understand where your team’s deficiencies are, you can outsource those responsibilities. So, if your team is getting bogged down with troubleshooting hardware devices, you can easily outsource your helpdesk support. Whatever your shortcomings are, you can outsource those tasks to a certified JSG expert with our IT Consulting Services.

With JSG’s extensive IT consulting service offerings, we can create a custom solution that is the perfect fit for your organization. We offer 24/7 support and are ready to alleviate your IT team’s staffing shortages. Therefore, if this solution sounds like an excellent fit for your needs, reach out to our IT Consulting Services experts today, and let’s have a conversation!