Caution: Microsoft Terminates Support For Internet Explorer—Use at Your Own Risk!

Just want to make sure everyone is aware of an important change to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has decided to stop supporting the IE platform YESTEDAY, January, 12, 2016.death IE

What does this mean?

You still will be able to use Internet Explorer as a browser, but you risk security issues! Since Microsoft will no longer be making updates to the browser’s security, you open yourself up to more risks if you opt to remain an IE user.

Why did Microsoft do this?

Microsoft is trying to promote its new product that was released with the Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft Edge. Microsoft would prefer its customers to use Edge in place of Internet Explorer from now on. Microsoft is also trying to make it easier for web developers to be able to not worry about supporting too many versions of a browser.

But there are some exceptions!

If you currently run IE on any of the following platforms, you are safe for now. Microsoft has pledged to continue to work on security issues for the following operating systems until their end of life (i.e., when the operating system is no longer fully supported by Microsoft):

Operating System (IE browser version)
Windows Vista SP2 (IE9)
Windows Server 2008 SP2 (IE9)
Windows Server 2008 IA64 Itanium (IE9)
Windows Server 2012 (IE10)

Note: IE8 is no longer supported on any operating system.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at 678-745-5109

What’s New: Team MIS Sponsored Eagle Ranch, The Mercy Home, For Christmas

MIS Solutions was founded on the call to serve, built by developing long term relationships with clients and grown by an intense desire to deliver great value at every interaction. We are also passionate about serving kids so for Christmas, our team collectively donated all the gifts on the Christmas wish list for the Mercy Home at Eagle’s Ranch. Last month, we toured the campus, had fun together and visited with the Mercy home’s house parent’s Tom and Lisa to learn more about the ministry of Eagle’s Ranch and the girls that live at Mercy home.Eagle Ranch visit

It was an inspiring and peaceful experience. We enjoyed some laughs and giggles learning more about each other over the bond of servanthood. The mission of Eagle’s Ranch is: To make like better for children and their families, positively impacting communities for the glory of God. With your our team’s help, we were able to fulfill both Eagle Ranch’s Mission and MIS Solutions corporate purpose which is: To glorify God by always adding value to the people, organizations and communities we serve. Thank you for being friends of MIS and may God bless you always.

Top 5 Shiny New Gadgets for 2015

Last year, we saw some amazing new technology tools and toys come into the market.  Here, we’ve listed our favorites for you to take a 2nd look!

rocketbook

RocketBook

Rocketbook:  Rocketbook allows people to enjoy the pleasure of writing in a traditional paper and pen notebook, while digitizing all notes and sending them to the cloud, using your smartphone.

nestcam

Nest Cam

Nest Cam:  The Nest Cam security camera is designed to help you look after your home and family – even when you’re away.

navdy

Navdy

Navdy:  When you focus on your phone, you can’t focus on the road.  No more looking down to fumble with knobs, buttons or touch screens. 

prizm

Prizm

Prizm:  Prizm is a new kind of music player you can plug to any speakers. By considering who is in the room, what their music preferences are and the current mood, Prizm always knows what track to play.

textblade

Waytools TextBlade

Waytools TextBlade: A magnetic keyboard for your devices that magnetically self-assembles and packs to just 1/3 the size of iPhone 6.

Shiny New Gadget Of The Month: MagicLight* Plus

Who Else Wants A Little Music With Their Light?MagicLight Plus

The next time you replace a light bulb, you can now pick one that will stream your favorite music and light up your life in your choice of over 16,000 colors, all with a tap on your phone.

In case you haven’t noticed, some LED bulbs now include a Bluetooth- or Wi-Fi-controlled speaker. And at least one, the MagicLight® Plus, available on Amazon, also lets you pick a light color to suit your mood.

At anywhere from $15 to $129 or more, these bulbs can add music – and light – throughout your home or office in a matter of minutes, at a fraction of the cost of a wired-in sound system.

How’s the sound quality? It depends on the one you select. And it may not resonate like Carnegie Hall live…but hey, it’s a light bulb – what did you expect?

 

The 5 Biggest Mistakes All Leaders Make

Although everyone agrees that hiring is tough, most managers struggle with an even more prevalent leadership mistake. It’s an affliction as prevalent as the common cold, and one of the least recognized in the workplace today.geoff smart

Over the last 20 years at ghSMART, we have been able to empirically observe where executives excel and where they get in their own way. We have conducted five-hour interviews with more than 15,000 leaders across every major industry, producing more than 9 million data points.

So, what is the No. 1 most common mistake that holds leaders back?

The complete inability to remove underperformers.

And why do we all struggle with this? Here are the top five reasons that we see:

  1. You are an eternal optimist. You somehow believe that you will fix poor Mark in Finance or Emma in Marketing. Or, even better, perhaps they will magically fix themselves.
  2. You don’t want to rock the boat. You believe in accepting the cards that you are dealt. You have been taught to make do. As kids learn at daycare today, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”
  3. You dislike conflict. Difficult conversations are difficult. So it is easier to suffer through it even if your whole team can now get less done.
  4. You will look bad. You may have hired or promoted them into the role. You don’t want to just pass the buck.
  5. You excel at procrastinating. Why do today what can safely be put off for another day? Besides, who knows? He or she might resign, and that would make it easier for everyone.

You may suffer from just one, or more likely a combination, of these reasons.

And yet our research found that executives who excelled at removing underperformers from their teams are more than twice as likely to have had a successful career than all other senior leaders.

Yes, that’s right: twice as likely. The best leaders we meet tell us that it makes all the difference.

Panos Anastassiadis is one who does it very well. He was the CEO of Cyveilance, which grew over 1500% in five years. His secret? “I have simply been constantly averaging up who is on the team.”

Yet how do you do that and still do right by the individual in question?

You can set them clear goals and craft the role to play to their strengths. But when it clearly isn’t working, it’s time to take action. Run a fair, objective talent management process, tell them that their performance isn’t where it needs to be and give them 30, 60 or 90 days to turn their situation around.

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to have that tough conversation that deep down you know you should have had six, 12 or maybe 24 months ago.

Once done, yet only then, can you hire that A player you really need.

Geoff Smart is Chairman & Founder of ghSMART. Geoff is co-author, with his colleague Randy Street, of the New York Times bestselling book Who: The A Method for Hiring and the author of the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller Leadocracy: Hiring More Great Leaders (Like You) into Government. Geoff co-created the Topgrading brand of talent management. Geoff is the Founder of two 501c3 not-for-profit organizations. SMARTKids Leadership Program™ provides 10 years of leadership tutoring and The Leaders Initiative™ seeks to deploy society’s greatest leaders into government. Geoff earned a B.A. in Economics with Honors from Northwestern University, an M.A., and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Claremont Graduate University.

 

Upgrading To Windows 10? Avoid Headaches, Downtime And Frustrations By Following This Advice

For the past few months, we’ve been swamped with questions about Windows 10.windows 10

If you’re wondering whether now is the best time to upgrade your system, here’s what you need to know:

First and foremost, if your organization relies on your computers in any way to make money or save lives, consider the risks carefully.

As with any software upgrade – but especially your computer’s operating system – you’ve got to weigh the advantages of upgrading now against potential downtime if there are problems with the new code.

A good rule of thumb regarding any operating-system upgrade is to wait six months after the product release before deploying it into any system or group of systems that your business depends on.

Since January 29 marks six months since the Windows 10 official release date, it’s a good time to look at whether it’s wiser to upgrade now or wait for further fixes and improvements.

That being said, here are a few of the key questions we’ve been fielding – and pitfalls to avoid:

Q. It’s free for a “limited time” – don’t I have to act now?

A. No. You have until July 2016 to take advantage of the free upgrade. And, if your system hasn’t prompted you to upgrade yet, you’ll need to wait. If and when your system is deemed capable of adapting to the upgrade, your current Windows OS will notify you. Either way, you have until July 28, 2016. If you do plan to upgrade, we strongly advise that you get it done well before that date, in order to avoid any last-minute scrambling.

Q. It’s better and/or faster, right?

A.  Maybe… It depends. Here’s what we’re seeing:

  •  Windows 10 radically changes how your system operates, compared to Windows 7.  While some computers make the change with no problem at all, it can cause older systems to lose key hardware drivers (like networking or printing), rendering them an “instant brick.”
  • Some systems, even those certified by their manufacturers as “Windows 10 ready,” start misbehaving after being upgraded. That means undue downtime while you reinstall or upgrade MS Office or other software – or even revert back to your older OS.
  • Some older systems actually run slower on Windows 10 than on Windows 7 or 8.1.

Q. Will my computer work with Windows 10?

A.  Age is probably the biggest factor for any Windows-based device. Anything older than three years is not worth upgrading. At three years old, your machine is nearing the end of its useful life. You are better off leaving the old operating system in place and waiting for Windows 10 until you upgrade to a new computer.

Q.  I’ve heard Windows 10 transmits all of your personal information to Microsoft. Is this true?

A.  This is true, unless you opt out of some of the most attractive features, such as the MS Store and Cortana, the voice-controlled virtual assistant. According to Windows 10 terms of service, Microsoft can:  “access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services.”

If you decide that giving that kind of control of your personal and business data to Microsoft is not in your best interest, you can still install Windows 10; just call us and we’ll help you adjust the settings to keep all your information from being sent to Microsoft.

Q.  We use some custom software here. Will it run on Windows 10?

A.  Until your custom software vendor blesses Windows 10 for that program, the answer is no. In all cases, we advise against upgrading to Windows 10 until your custom programs are 100% fully vetted, compatible and supported for it.

Deciding when to upgrade to Windows 10 isn’t as simple as Microsoft and some pundits would have you believe. But if you know the pitfalls we’ve laid out for you here in advance, you’ve at least got a fighting chance for a smooth, headache-free transition.

Want help setting a target date and plan for your business to upgrade to Windows 10?   Call us at 678-745-5109 or e-mail Becky at bjoubert@mis-solutions.com to schedule a free Windows 10 Readiness Assessment.

Over 600 Million BYOD Employees Worldwide: Do Your Existing Policies Keep Your Company Safe?

With the holiday season upon us, you may find a few new threats to your network. Everyone loves bringing their new computer, tablet or cellular device to the office to put it good use. So, how can you ensure your company stays safe?  mobile insecurity

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)  This is a massive phenomenon in business today, according to the Gartner research firm. Half of the companies they surveyed planned to move exclusively to BYOD by 2017.  However, this can pose security problems on your network.  Proceed with caution and ensure you have policies and procedures to revoke access and secure intellectual property.

Holiday device boom.  The 4th quarter of 2015 brought a variety of new toys into the market that will undoubtedly show up in offices around the world. A survey from Webroot published this year showed that 61 percent of companies had employees using personal smartphones or tablets for work-related activities.

Post-holiday BYOD problems.  If your company allows mobile devices and personal computing equipment, but does little to manage them you may see a significant increase in IT costs. It is common for users bringing outside devices to the workplace to save information to their personal cloud, plug their personal devices into their computers at work to transfer files or charge their battery. While these things may seem like harmless acts, they can actually lead to very expensive security breaches or infections.

1/3 of employees don’t have any security in place!  Webroot, a Colorado-based Internet security company, found that one-third of employees using their devices for work don’t actually have any security installed on them. Companies worry that the devices could include apps or links that make the device vulnerable to hackers and data leakage or loss of the entire device with everything on it.

How can we let employees use the technology they already own while keeping company data and systems secure? A private phone or tablet used for work may contain company passwords and proprietary information. Take steps to create and enforce a BYOD policy for your organization and review it annually or more with all of your employees.

Build a good BYOD policy for your company.  Start by developing a set policy explaining privacy, security and terms of use. Have an IT professional check to ensure the devices are using safe encryption and that they aren’t jail-broken, but don’t go overboard. We recommend a full list of recommended applications and suggested internal programs.

A company application store. Some businesses are even creating their own app stores for employees to access on their internal websites. They are like Apple’s App Store or Google Play but include only apps the company has vetted or that are designed to work appropriately with its network safely.

Some states are beginning to regulate.  Analysts at USA Today say another situation with BYOD is the California 2012 ruling that employers must reimburse employees for work-related calls made on personal devices. It means that companies will probably have to contribute, but could also mean they have more rights to oversee security too.

Quick tips to follow:  Plan well, establish a companywide policy, and train your employees. If you do not have a current BYOD policy, sit down with your leadership team and develop a plan. Establish a policy that administers guidelines that prevent confusion and keep your company data secure. Most of all, train your staff extensively so they see why the policy is so important. Keep compliance requirements in the forefront of everyone’s mind because all company data housed on any device is subject to the same regulatory mandates as your other IT systems.

Questions?  Give Becky or Kary a call at 678-745-5109 or email Becky at bjoubert@mis-solutions.com  for a full review of your BYOD policy.

 

 

 

Security Alert: Active Cryptowall Virus and How to Recognize It

cryptovirusWe are continuing to see the spread of the “Ransomware” virus known as Cryptowall and wanted to bring this to your attention.  A virus, CryptoWall 2.0, comes through as an email attachment–often claiming to be an invoice, purchase order, bill, complaint, or other business communication. Thus it disguises itself as a credible email attachment to entice the user into downloading it. Once downloaded, it renders the data on your computer inaccessible, leaving no easy way to recover your information.

If you receive any unusual emails containing ZIP or PDF attachments, do not open them without first confirming with the sender that they are legitimate files.  If you think your computer may be infected with this threat, contact your IT manager or call Becky or Kary at 678-745-5109, or email bjoubert@mis-solutions.com for more information.

Free Webinar: How To Protect Your Business From Becoming A Victim of Social Engineering

When: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015

Start Time:  3:00 PM ESTsocial engineering

End Time:  4:00 PM EST or until all questions are answered.

In today’s interconnected world, fraudsters hide in the anonymity of cyber space.  They can infiltrate even the best managed companies through what’s called Social Engineering Fraud – deceptively gaining the confidence of an employee to induce him or her to part with money or securities.  A fraud scheme by someone who is posing as a trusted vendor, new client or employee may cost a company hundreds or thousands of dollars – or more.

Even if your company conducts vendor background screenings, employs fraud detection systems, segregates financial duties, and educates employees on how to detect fraud, it may still be vulnerable. The first step in protecting your organization is to learn more about this growing trend so you are prepared to avoid being a victim.

 On This Webinar You Will Learn:

 – What is Social Engineering?

– What are the latest trends and how to avoid falling victim to them?

– The #1 thing you must do to protect your business from fraud

– What is Imposter Fraud and how to avoid it?

 To Register, Call Becky or Kary at 678-745-5109; email bjoubert@mis-solutions.com or register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6316089940983513857

Free Report Download: What Every Small Business Owner Must Know About Protecting And Preserving Their Company’s Critical Data And Computer Systems

You Will Learn:FreeReportpg2

1) The only way to know for SURE your data can be recovered if lost, corrupted or deleted—yet fewer than 10% of businesses have this in place.

2) 7 critical characteristics you should absolutely demand from any off-site backup service.

3) Where many backups fail and give you a false sense of security.

4) The #1 cause of data loss that businesses don’t even think about until their data is erased.

 

Claim Your FREE Copy Today by calling Becky or Kary at 678-745-5109 or email bjoubert@mis-solutions.com.