Micro Tech October 2018

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October 2018

Don’t Become an ITHorror Story

H alloween is just around the corner, and your most enthusiastic neighbors are turning their front yards into fog-filled cemeteries while all the kids pick out the most ghoulish masks they can find to earn some candy. But forget monsters; after years in the IT profession, the scariest thing I’ve seen hasn’t been walking corpses or Freddy Krueger — it’s the kind of technological catastrophes that put small businesses six feet under. I’ve been at this awhile. Over all that time, I’ve seen companies struggle beneath the weight of the smallest tech mistakes, bottom lines impacted after criminals penetrated the business’s network, and those crises that some IT amateurs imagine to be the “impossible” come true. I’ve had business owners call me up way too late, after the damage is already done. Many times, we’ve been able to salvage the business and save them thousands upon thousands of dollars, but in a few other cases, there was little we could do. The prospect of facing one of these disasters should keep any savvy business owner up at night, way more than the cartoonish CGI horror of the latest Halloween blockbuster. If there is one piece of advice I would give to every single business in the Treasure Valley and beyond, it’s this: When it comes to technology, there are a couple of things that you absolutely cannot compromise on. Security, for instance, may sound like nothing more than a buzzword that is splashed all over business news sites, but without adequate measures in place, it’s inevitable that you’ll eventually be forced to shell out thousands of dollars after a breach. And the solution won’t be to slap on some cheap Band-Aid antivirus; it will be a multi-layered approach that provides serious protection against even the most dedicated cybercriminals. Backups are another essential component of any company’s IT SOP. First things first: Put them in place. That’s a great starting point,

but you can’t stop there and call it good. You need to consider what constitutes an acceptable recovery time for your business’s data if the worst happens. If a breach means 60 hours of downtime for your company, will that put you out of business? If so, you need to work with professionals to design a strategy to trim those 60 hours down to three — it’s possible, it just takes a bit of due diligence and smart investment of your resources. If you’re set up correctly, even a serious tech problem can be fixed with a simple rollback. Ransomware infecting your network turns from a multithousand-dollar headache to a few hours of recovery and a prompt return to business as usual. Of course, I know that IT isn’t exactly at the top of the priority list for most business owners. Recently, MicroTech has been in the process of switching over some of our employee benefits from one vendor to another. Instead of a one-and-done situation, where I can just hire somebody to handle the entire problem, I’ve been getting frequent emails requesting information on the shift. The other day, after getting the 10th update on the switch-over, I just had to laugh — there I was, getting a taste of my own medicine! I’m constantly harping on business owners, trying to get them to take a proactive hand in their company’s technological future, when I myself couldn’t be bothered to stay involved with a vital vendor switch. There’s a lesson in all of this. You don’t have to become technology- obsessed to stay abreast of all that’s going on in the IT world, but you do need to allocate time and resources to protect and nurture your network. With the right team on your side, you can prevent your business from ever starring in those IT horror stories you hear about on the news, and stay one step ahead of the competition — and the cybercriminals — at every turn.

–Randy Amorebieta

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Done Is Better Than Perfect How One Simple Concept Can Change Your Business Forever

Isn’t Perfect Always Better? Detractors of the “done is better than perfect” mantra suggest that going the extra mile makes all the difference in a client-based relationship. And they’re right, but their interpretation of this philosophy is wrong. “Done is better than perfect” is not about churning out mediocre work. It’s about not wasting money. The Devil Is in the Details When you obsess over a given task, it’s usually not something foundational to the success of the project. It’s more likely that you spend your time in the weeds of what is relevant to the consumer. Trying to find just the right shades of blue in an email or type of lightbulb for your office isn’t going to drastically alter the course of your business. Spending a disproportionate amount of time on menial tasks that do not move your company forward is counterproductive. Pull the Trigger There comes a point in every project where you’ve reached the threshold of quality work. The measure of a great leader is knowing when this moment has arrived and marking the task as done. Every minute spent beyond this moment is time not spent on other important responsibilities — and that’s money down the drain. ROI on Perfection To see if your business needs a boost in productivity, try running an analysis on where the time in a specific project goes. You’ll find that the more time you spend chasing perfection, the less profitable that project is. Done is better than perfect because it’s efficient and cost-effective, but most importantly, because it’s done .

In the modern realm of business, you’ll find attention to detail and high standards are required for

businesses to be successful. With multiple markets oversaturated with similar products, marketing,

and services, the quest for quality has turned into a necessity for survival. But somewhere along the line, the focus put on providing superior

amenities becomes more of a hindrance than an assurance. The pursuit of perfection in daily tasks creates a paralyzing effect on productivity.

The concept of “done is better than perfect” has

rapidly circulated in business over the last couple of years. Current times require on-demand delivery of knowledge; paralysis by analysis can make a company less relevant if they can’t keep up. This fixation on the minutiae of a task not only hinders customer engagement, but it also has a negative effect on a business’s bottom line.

Our Clients Say It Best

“My company has been with MicroTech for about two months. They are fantastic! I worked with a previous tech firm for about 1 1/2 years to solve our IT issues with no satisfactory results. Since switching to MicroTech, our IT issues are being solved quickly. The techs are highly skilled and

able to explain in layman’s terms what the issues are and the next steps needed. When unexpected issues occur, their response time is immediate. I would highly recommend them for your IT needs.” -Christine S.

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Keep Your Small Business Secure

HOW YOUR BUSINESS IS BEING THREATENED BY HACKERS

The internet has created endless opportunities for small-business owners, connecting them to an array of customers — and unfortunately, hackers as well. It’s common to feel safe from hackers as a small-business owner, given the consistent news stories about intrusions occurring at big companies. But scammers and hackers just want information and benefits for themselves, and they are willing to even step on “the little guy” to get there — especially if it’s easy.

You should support employee education and keep your business safe by offering security awareness training. Teach workers about methods that hackers use — such asking for verification on passwords and email addresses — and continually train your employees as the ever-growing digital landscape continues to expand and scammers become more advanced. Encourage pausing and asking questions upon receiving suspicious “verification” emails. Business owners also need training of their own. Programs and software designed to protect against an attack — such as malware or antivirus programs — can only do so much of the work. You also have to monitor your systems.

Most cyberscammers and hackers have become skilled in manipulating people and using small, unnoticeable tactics to hurt an entire business. Security can be compromised by a variety of sources, including through employees and old techniques.

Checking failed logins on your system and keeping track of who is accessing your data will give you insight into who is in your digital system. Having to constantly

keep track of this information may seem exhausting, so contracting an IT expert who is well-versed in monitoring these systems will give you the peace of mind that your data is being safeguarded. If you’re looking for more cybersecurity for your small business but are not sure what you need, contact MicroTech by calling (208) 345-0054 or visit Microtechboise.com to get started.

Employees who think they are being helpful by verifying email addresses, or poorly trained employees who give out passwords and codes, are just allowing your business to be compromised by its own people.

Have a Laugh!

Spiced Pumpkin Seed Crunch

Ingredients

Inspired by Bon Appétit magazine

• • •

1 large egg white

1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds

1 teaspoon light agave syrup 1/2 teaspoon garam masala or curry powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

• •

1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Directions

1. Heat oven to 300 F. 2. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. 3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg white, agave, salt, and spices. Add nuts and seeds and toss until evenly coated. 4. Using a slotted spoon, strain spoonfuls of mixture over bowl and transfer to baking sheet. Discard excess egg white mixture. 5. Bake 20–25 minutes, tossing once. 6. Let cool and serve.

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

12592 W. Explorer Dr. #100 Boise, ID 83713

Inside

Don’t Become an IT Horror Story

Why Done Is Better Than Perfect

Our Clients Say It Best

Protect Your Business From Hackers

Spiced Pumpkin Seed Crunch

Discover ‘The Art of Learning’

‘The Art of Learning’ A Child Prodigy Rethinks Success

This is a book about a journey. It chronicles a life of international chess tournaments, high-stakes martial arts competitions, a boy who found too much success, and the man who had to relearn everything because of it. Yes, “The Art of Learning” reads like a gripping, emotional memoir, but make no mistake — Josh Waitzkin’s work doubles as an effective guide for business owners striving to attain perfection in their fields. Josh Waitzkin’s name will be familiar to longtime chess fans and movie buffs alike. As a child prodigy, Waitzkin won his first national chess title at age 9, which quickly made him an international sensation. His father, Fred Waitzkin, wrote the renowned book “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” chronicling his young son’s journey into the world of chess. This then inspired the movie of the same name. Now, one does not normally think of child prodigies as being great sources of insight into finding success. By definition, prodigies are exceptional — exceptions who operate on a different playing field than most. But Waitzkin firmly positions his journey through the chess world as the antithesis of what he calls “the art of learning.” As the author states, “The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability as opposed to resilience

and hard work, we will be brittle in the face of

adversity.” Waitzkin was very gifted at chess, and he didn’t have to push himself early on, but by the time he did find challenging opponents, he found loss and adaptation impossible to handle. It wasn’t until he stepped out of the rigid grids of chess and into the flowing movements of tai chi that Waitzkin was able to formulate a guide to success.

Appropriately subtitled “An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance,” Waitzkin’s story of grappling with childhood stardom and climbing the brackets of the tai chi chuan circuit is full of wisdom applicable to anyone looking to achieve mastery in their field. With compelling personal anecdotes and a unique perspective on what success really looks like, “The Art of Learning” is a fresh, vibrant addition to the personal development genre.

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