Ransomware attack halted thousands of businesses

Ransomware

Earlier this summer, another ransomware attack halted thousands of businesses around the world. Although there were attacks on a variety of US and European devices, the main focus of this attack was government, bank, and electrical companies in Ukraine. The hackers even went as far as to take down Chernobyl’s radiation monitoring system, forcing employees to manually monitor levels of hazardous radiation. This attack has been referred to as “Petya” across many channels, as it was thought to be a resurgence of an existing attack. In reality, it is a new virus that mimics some of the original attack’s code. And although there is a prompt for payment, the goal of this virus isn’t monetary. This blog is to help you learn more about the computer virus that shut down the national Bank of Ukraine and other critical government agencies.

This assault originated in financial software which used throughout Ukraine and spread first to the clients who were victims of a malicious link claiming to be a software update. Other hacks were carried out through phishing emails with various links that were used to lure victims. Some of these system vulnerabilities, known as EternalBlue, were identified during a rumored leak from NSA documents. Similarly to the code that was used in the “WannaCry” attack, this attack targeted only Microsoft computers. Once the virus was transmitted to a user with administrative capabilities, it gained the opportunity to execute commands on all of the network’s machines. The hackers then carried out an encryption of each machine’s files and restricted access to the windows platform. This way, when the computers were re-started, they would only show the notification of the hack, the monetary demand, and instructions for payment, which users falsely believed would result in their system’s restoration.

When users received a notification of the breach, a random string of characters was generated which was meant to mimic other attacks which produced a unique code that users would use to retrieve a correlating encryption code. However, unlike typical ransomware, these numbers didn’t align with an encryption key that could be entered to restore all of the information. With or without the payment, a majority of the data was transformed into an unreadable and unsalvageable format. This makes it clear that those who carried out the attack didn’t have monetary goals and were instead seeking to cause as much damage to these businesses as possible.

So, how do you prevent attacks like these from happening to your business? Implementing the latest software updates, utilizing 24/7 network protection, and monitoring your infrastructure is a start to ensuring your systems aren’t affected. During this preparation, it is also critical that you put a proper backup and disaster recovery plan in place. This will ensure that if your systems are compromised, you will be able to restore the information easily and completely. To learn more about how you can help protect your business from these vicious attacks, contact us today!

 

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To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Houston | Dallas | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

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Cookies: what are they and how are they affecting you?

Website Cookies In this week’s edition of our May Security Series, we’re going to discuss cookies. No- not that kind! Online cookies are text files that give you a unique ID which is tracked and used to create more customized web experiences. Although these are usually harmless, there has been a lot of skepticism over companies creating these features which are installed without user permission. This blog will teach you more about how cookies affect you and how to manage them.

Positive uses of cookies are those which save the items previously added to the “shopping cart” or store login information such as passwords. This information is stored in your server and when you visit websites your browser will pull up the cookie to customize the experience.  This process does not give any outside parties access to your servers but does allow them to see the personal information you’ve voluntarily entered on the website. Some cookies track activity only during access to a specific website while others last the entire browser session or for a set amount of time.

Many third party advertisers or analytics providers use this information to track your online activity across multiple websites. This raises security concerns because some companies then sell the demographic information and use it to more strategically target users for advertisements.  The more people that access webpages with advertisements, the more money the host website will make.

Flash-based cookies differ from traditional cookies because they are not stored on users’ computers and are harder to track. Institutions such as banks use these to add a second layer of verification for access. This means that when someone who has stolen bank login information tries to access it from a new computer, access won’t be granted. Because of user concerns, most of these types of cookies have been updated to require user authorization.

Thankfully, there are ways for users to manage their device’s cookies. Browsers allow users to completely disable cookies or allow only selected ones. We recommend dealing with these on a case-by-case basis because some websites require cookies for access and some of these features help enhance user experiences. These settings are different for every browser so be vigilant in checking each one. Click for easy to follow instructions are available for:

Overall, cookies are not a threat to your personal information security but they can be used to track your online behavior. It is important to stay aware of how your online activity is being monitored and how to protect yourself from cyber criminals. This month’s security series is complete but stay tuned to our blog for more tips and tricks, industry highlights, and company achievements!

 

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To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Houston | Dallas | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

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The Safest Web Browsers

Web BrowsersThis blog is kicking off our August security series! Here at Percento, our clients’ security is our top priority and we want to do our part to make users more aware and proactive online. The web browser you use is the platform for all of your online activity and therefore its security is critical. A web browser is the application you use to access websites and load their content. Popular browsers include Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, and Mozilla’s Firefox.  Many users simply use the browser that comes with their operating system but it is important to consider the security risks of insecure or outdated browsers.  Without the proper protection in place, these browsers can leave your computer at risk for spyware, ransomware, and other threats.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team with the Department of Homeland Security says that people can fall victim to online threats through unknowingly clicking on malicious links and websites, un-updated software, and browsers which sacrifice security for performance. This team also advises that vulnerabilities in your systems allow hackers to steal information, destroy files, and use your computer as a means to attack others. In the end, users are responsible for their own web activity but there are some browsers that will better alert them of and deter them from threats.

Google’s Chrome

Every browser has security flaws, but the difference between browsers is how quickly and thoroughly companies respond to and defend against these threats. Because Google is a mature company, it has had the time and resources to build a strong reputation for security and protection. There are multiple built-in security features and the browser is updated frequently to defend against the latest threats. Besides its general security measures, Chrome also has some of the most powerful methods in place for keeping browser activity from affecting the system itself.

Also, Chrome has received recognition from multiple organizations. Browserscope, a community-driven project which tests features within multiple browsers, gave Chrome the highest rating in general as well as in security. The Pwn2Own annual competition aims to exploit widely used software and competitors had the hardest time attacking this browser.

However, there are some down sides to using Chrome.  Chrome stores all of your information within the browser and uses it to target you for advertisements. To some users this can seem invasive, but to those who use the company’s search, mail, drive, and video platforms it creates a more tailored experience.

Opera

As one of the oldest browsers still in use, Opera has had time to build its security measures.  The browser runs on the open-sourced Google Chromium system without enabling add-ons which can make browsers more vulnerable. Security features include malware and phishing blockers, advanced encryption which erases all private data, and customizable security settings. Other features include tab stacking which allows for vertical and horizontally organized tabs, multi-modal interaction which boasts both keyboard and mouse controls, and competitive launch and load times. The biggest downside to this browser is the fact that many outdated sites can’t be formatted by the browser and might block its access.

Epic Privacy Browser

Another browser using the open-sourced Chromium platform is Epic, which has stringent default security measures. This browser blocks all plug-in additions, keeps no records of user history, hides IP addresses, and blocks all third-party cookies. Ads & other trackers are blocked so your data will never be collected or sold. Also, because it blocks your location it allows you to access blocked websites (for example, accessing Pandora radio from other countries). With all of these additional blocks, the browser itself still runs up to 25% faster than other browsers. One downside to this browser is that because it keeps no history, it doesn’t auto-fill in the address of your favorite websites or your search terms.

Overall, it is important that you are aware of and proactively defending your browser from the various threats, trackers, cookies, and more that you will encounter on each website you visit. Having secure browsers is the first step in protecting your computer, but it is also important to use the proper security measures. Stay tuned to our blog for parts 2 & 3 of the May security series where we will discuss how user activity is tracked online and how to manage cookies.

Contact Us

To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Houston | Dallas | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

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The Future of User Interface (UI) – Check it out!

User Interface (UI)User interface, also known as UI, is the presentation and interactivity of a brand. This is a broad term which encompasses the product’s many factors into the user experience to make it attractive and responsive to (potential) customers. This differs from user experience, or UX, which is the more analytical and technical design process. Both of these designs must work together in order to create a successful user experience. As today’s users are becoming more dependent on technology, there will be many changes in the way UI is designed and received.

  • Hapnotic feedback is the user’s sense of touch when using the interface. Brands will begin to create more engaging tactile experiences to persuade a person to buy a product or dissuade them from exiting the screen. Companies use electro vibrations to create pulses and vibrations for the user which can mimic different textures and depths. Other companies achieve this effect through the use of ultrasound speakers.
  • In previous years, user experiences were designed to be linear and simple. Now, advancing technology is giving users multiple ways of interacting and achieving a goal. The process of giving users more control is known as de-linearity. This includes being able to go back by pressing the traditional back button or by swiping left. However, designers must be careful to not overwhelm or confuse users.
  • Age responsiveness is the ability of websites to adapt to the age and interests of its users. All of this information is likely being tracked from your computer usage so it should be no surprise that not only will ads fit your lifestyle but other websites will as well. Customization will include smaller text and more bright colors for teens and adults and a more simple design for pre-teen and younger users.
  • Microinteractions are the animations which communicate status, provide feedback, and help users visualize their actions. Common examples of these include a notification that an item has been added to a cart, a pull-to-refresh option, and a toggle button. When these are designed stylistically similar, they create a more user friendly experience which can help shape the behavior of users.

Advancing technology is bringing more capabilities every day that enhance the interactions users have with brands. With these additional abilities, it will be important for brands to keep a consistent look and to not overwhelm users. Our team is excited to learn more about the process of creating a successful UI and incorporating those skills into our website design services. For more information on our design capabilities, visit our website.

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4 Ways To Protect Your Business From A Ransomware Attack

One of the fastest growing malware threats, ransomware attacks have occurred a whopping four thousand times since January 1, 2016. An incredibly profitable scheme for cyber criminals, ransomware attacks have affected everyone from online casinos to retailers to hospitals. In case you didn’t know that already, a ransomware attack is a virus that infects your computer files by locking them. After locking the files, cyber criminals demand a ransom to unlock them. Today, this malware threat is on the rise and is affecting businesses across the globe.

A software application or malicious code containing viruses, ransomware is getting tougher to prevent. For businesses, the consequences of a ransomware attack can be devastating. If they affect the shared location within an organization’s network, ransomware attacks can completely paralyze the operations of that organization. For this reason, businesses, regardless of their size, need to find out how they can prevent and defend against such attacks. Before we find out the ways of protecting your business from a ransomware, let’s take a look at the three levels of ransomware.

Three Levels of Ransomware

Malicious software, ransomware blocks access to files on a network until a ransom is paid. There are three levels of ransomware attacks. Let’s take a look at them.

Scareware

This is the low-grade level of ransomware. When this type of ransomware attacks occurs, a payment will be demanded from you to fix malware issues detected by fake antivirus tools.

Browser or Screen Locking Ransomware

This is the middle grade level of ransomware. When this type of ransonware attack occurs, you’ll receive U.S department of Justice or F.B.I messages asking you to pay a fine for an illegal activity detected on your computer. The messages will be from law enforcement scams.

Encrypting Ransomware

This is the most dangerous level of ransomware. When this type of ransomware attack occurs, you’ll see pop-up messages that inform you that your files are encrypted and that you must pay a ransom before a deadline to get them back.

There you have it—the three levels of ransomware attacks. Of the three types of the ransonware attacks mentioned above, the most dangerous is the encrypting ransonware. So, how dangerous is encrypting ransonware to your business? Let’s take a look.

How Dangerous Is Encrypting Ransomware To Your Business?Ransomware Attack

Regardless of their size, all businesses are vulnerable to ransomware attacks such as encrypting ransonware. In fact, more than a million ransonware attacks on businesses are attempted each year. An encrypting ransonware can encrypt the most important files of your business including confidential customer information, medical data and accounting records. Once you suffer from an encrypting ransonware, you won’t be able to get your files back until you pay a ransom.

According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, businesses can expect to lose more than $65,000 if about thousand of their records are breached by a ransonware attack. In addition to returning encrypted files, some new types of ransonware attacks are demanding ransom from businesses to not leak their data online. Now, many businesses want to know whether or not they should pay the ransom if they suffer from a ransonware attack.

Since it’s the quickest way to retrieve files, law enforcement agencies such as the F.B.I encourage businesses to pay the ransom when they suffer from a ransonware attack. However, cyber security professionals recommend otherwise. According to them, there’s no guarantee that a business will be able to access files again after the payment of the ransom. Also, once you pay a ransom to retrieve your files, you become an automatic choice for future malware infection.

Are You Vulnerable To A Ransomware Attack?

Today, many businesses and even some individuals want to know whether or not they are vulnerable to a ransonware attack. While predicting right away whether or not you’re vulnerable to a ransonware attack is not possible, there are some things that make some businesses more prone to ransonware attacks than the others. A business is a vulnerable to a ransonware attack if:

  • It uses legacy software
  • It has an unpatched browser and/or OSes
  • It uses outdated equipment
  • It doesn’t have a legitimate back up plan
  • It lacks a comprehensive cyber security strategy

Using the aforementioned information, you can determine whether or not your business is vulnerable to a ransonware attack. If it is vulnerable to a ransonware attack then you can protect your business in the following ways:

Back Up Your Files

The first thing you need to do to protect your business from a ransomware attack is backing up your files. By backing up your files, you’ll ensure that you don’t have to pay a hefty ransom for files that you’ve lost to a ransomware attack.

Educate Your Employees

Education is the key to preventing ransonware attacks. The majority of these attacks occur via infected emails. By training your employees to never open emails from people they don’t know, you’ll decrease your chances of being infected by ransonware.

Patch Your System

As mentioned above, businesses with unpatched browsers and/ or OSes are vulnerable to ransonware attacks. For this reason, you must keep your software applications, OSes, and browsers patched and up-to-date.

Centralize Security

The final thing that you can do to protect your business from a ransonware attack is centralize security. A ransonware attack is more likely to affect businesses with computers having individual antivirus security protection. If you want to minimize the risk of ransonware attack then you must centralize security by using a security solution that protects everything on your business’s network.

As seen above, ransonware attacks can be devastating for your business. The good thing is that you can protect your business from such attacks by using the aforementioned ways.

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The Best Business Analytics Platforms

These days, terms such as “business intelligence” and “big data” are used frequently by business-people. One of the biggest parts of operating a successful business is collecting accurateBusiness Analytics Team performance data and analyzing it correctly. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from business analytics software’s ability to not only store data in an intelligent way but to present user-friendly reports on that data. This blog will explore different platforms used to support, manage, and analyze this information.

IBM Analytics

$30/user/month

This company offers SPSS which performs predictive analytics, IBM DB2 which manages databases, IBM Congos Analytics which governs and creates reports on data, IBM BigInsights offers Hadoop, and IBM Planning Analytics which helps users analyze financial performance. IBM Machine Learning uses self-learning behavioral models to analyze real time data and trends to get the most useful information possible from your data.

Woopra

$79.95 per 400,000 actions per month (free under 30,000 actions)

Users love this platform’s ability to track their customer data through email, mobile, web, and more. This will provide valuable insight on a live dashboard which presents real time data through customized analytics, retention reports, and more. Your company’s social media websites such as WordPress, HubSpot, DropBox, and more can be integrated into this platform through a simple code. Each customer will have their own profile and the analytics are customizable so users can analyze the information that is most useful to their sales.

Sisense

Pricing varies

Users will love having the ability to drag & drop information to create dashboards which can quickly analyze data. The addition of third party plugins only requires a few simple clicks. Business AnalyticsAdministrators will appreciate this platform’s implementation which can be done within hours or days rather than weeks or months.  This is also due to the fact that they are dedicated to customer service and will support 1,000 users on a single machine.

Jinfonet Software

Pricing Varies

This platform is user-friendly as it has both drag and drop and drop down menu features. Users will enjoy being able to simply scale the data to accommodate different timelines and products. JReports are even available for use on mobile. Not only can business users see this data, but it can also be easily communicated to customers.  For more info:  Click Here

BOARD International

Pricing Varies

BOARD considers itself a decision making platform because it analyzes data from various sources into a data repository which the entire organization can access. Not only does this platform provide business intelligence, but it also provides performance management which helps with planning and control cycles. Because there are multiple features, the entire organization benefits from the software and can use it to better their practices.

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Why Data Analytics Is Important For Retail Businesses.

The aim of every retail business is attracting new customers, retaining existing customers, and selling more to each customer. To ensure this, a retail business needs to offer customers the products they want at the right prices. Moreover, it needs to ensure the right customer experience. In order to achieve the aforementioned objectives, many retail businesses today are using data analytics.

Customer sentiments and brand power are two major factors driving the retail industry. For this reason, data analytics is extremely important for businesses in the retail industry. The value of customer data is something you cannot afford to ignore whether you’re a small retail business or a big one. By understanding the sentiments of customers, retail businesses can increase their value and thrive in this competitive world.

Information is power: the sooner you understand this, the better it will be for you. The retail industry has been revolutionized by the abundant product information available to consumers around the clock. Today, consumers can use the data available online to research, compare and buy products from anywhere at any time. Thanks to the retail data available online, shoppers can make informed buying decisions. As seen above, information is helping shoppers to make better buying decisions. Secondly and more importantly, it is changing the game for retailers and brands.  By using retail data analytics to uncover and interpret online and in-store shopper patterns, retail businesses can stay ahead of shopper trends.

The Relevance Of Data In Retail

Considering that retail businesses run mostly on trends, it would be foolish to ignore the relevance or importance of data in retail. The prevailing customer sentiments determine the latest trends, the repeated trends, and the trends that do not work. Trends can be long, medium, or short-term. For this reason, data gets quickly recycled in the retail industry.

Today, successful retail businesses rely on solid facts, metrics, and up-to-date data to make key business decisions. There are a number of things that make data analytics a retail business necessity. Following are some of them:

Improved Customer Experience

In order to predict the needs of shoppers and provide uninterrupted customer experience, retail business use data analytics to make potent, customer-centric decisions. By allowing you to know which buyers are buying which products, data analytics can help you to improve customer experience and loyalty. Moreover, you can use the shopper data to personalize your marketing. According to the experts, businesses can improve customer satisfaction, customer engagement, repeat purchases, customer referrals, customer loyalty, and revenues by delivering a seamless shopping experience.

Better Strategic Decisions

Often, the functions of retail businesses work in silos. This means that their data insights are splintered and seized in pockets across the company. Until you fuse and combine all of your business data, you won’t be able get a wide-ranging view of business results including growth strategies and consumer trends. By consolidating your data and using a single, trusted information source, you’ll be able to make better strategic business decisions. Moreover, by using a retail dashboard, you will get an overview of important metrics such as promotion and pricing.

Improved Operational Performance

By allowing them to monitor demand in real time, retail data analytics helps retail businesses to ensure that their bestselling products do not go out of stock. Moreover, data analytics allows the aforementioned businesses to identify opportunities, popular items, and seasonal trends and adapt their replenishment, forecasting and marketing tactics. All of this results in improved operational performance across all channels.

Why Data Analytics is Important for Retail Businesses

If you want to maximize profits and gain customer loyalty then you must understand your customers better. One of the best ways to do this is using data analytics. Today, big retail businesses use data analytics at all stages of the retail process. They are using data analytics to forecast future demand and sales, track emerging popular products and optimize product placement. Considering what’s just been said, every retail business should consider using data analytics. Following are some of the reasons data analytics is important for retail businesses.

Cost Reduction

By identifying the more efficient ways of doing business, data analytics can help retail businesses to lower costs.

Demand Prediction

Retail businesses can find out the areas with high demand by getting a good understanding of the buying trends of customers. To find out the customers buying trends, retail businesses need data analytics. By using data analytics to understand the buying trends of customers, retail businesses will be able to identify the areas with high demand. This is turn will help them to predict demand and improve inventory management.

Forecasting Trends

In order to understand the current trends, retailers today can use a number of advanced tools at their disposal. By using data analytics, businesses can forecast what trends need to be promoted and what trends need to be ignored.

Developing New Products and Services

Thanks to data analytics, businesses today can ascertain customer satisfaction and needs. The ability to gauge the needs and satisfaction of customers and give them what they want is encouraging many companies to develop new products and services to meet customer needs.

The Omni-Experience

The final and probably the most important reason data analytics is important for retail businesses is the Omni-experience. The main purpose of using data analytics is ensuring an interrupted experience for everyone involved. Data analytics can help retailers to get maximum efficiency in all departments of the company.

In order to understand the desires and sentiments of customers, you need data. In today’s competitive world, you have two choices: use data analytics to better understand customers and maximize profits or ignore the importance of retail data and run the risk of becoming obsolete.

To discuss how we can assist in the management of your Big Data; contact us:  800-614-7886 or percentotech.com/contact

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Facebook’s Journalism Project

With 1.86 billion users worldwide, it is no surprise that Facebook is the world’s most popular social media site. Out of these users, 1.15 billion of them access their mobile platforms daily. This demand makes it obvious that this is a great platform for journalists and content creators to share their content and for users to receive information. Facebook aims to foster this journalistic growth through their Journalism Project. This includes efforts to produce a collaborative development of news products and provide training and tools for both journalists and regular users.

To better accommodate the need for interactive and targeted news, Facebook partnered with a variety of news organizations to create a more refined product. They are working to hear from both US and international based companies on best practices and ideas for growth. Developers from Facebook are also increasing the number of Hackathons they host, allowing them to learn from developers currently working with news organizations.

Currently, platforms such as Live, 360, and Instant Articles are the most popular for these news organizations. Instant Articles is in the testing phase of providing packages of articles to more engaged followers.  Engagement will also be increased through the focus on increasing the amount of their partners’ subscribers, attained through simple links within Instant Articles. The team also recognizes the importance of local news and is working on ways to support and promote smaller companies.

In order to provide the most supportive environment for journalists, Facebook will begin offering e-learning courses in addition to their existing newsroom training. These will cover the products, tools, and services that benefit these creators. To further this effort, Facebook has partnered with Poynter to design a certificate curriculum. (This is not yet available.) Another strong partnership that Facebook boasts is one with First Draft News and 80+ other successful publishers. This partnership aims to provide a means for verifying and publishing content obtained through social media, including eyewitness testimony, images, and videos. Additionally, by working with CrowdTangle, Facebook has given the publishers access to important metrics. This helps writers find content, measure performance, and identify influencers.

In today’s day and age, no matter how many measures are in place to promote the growth of successful news organizations, there will still be a significant amount of “fake news” stories. In order to create a more meaningful product for users, Facebook will provide training and tools for users to find news stories from sources they trust and communicate more effectively with these partners. Research is still underway on the proper way to train users on news literacy. While this program is in development, Facebook is producing PSAs alongside the News Literacy Project. Also, Facebook is supporting the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter’s service of non-biased fact-checking of media. If users do come across hoax stories, there will be a simpler way to report them. The producers of this “fake news” will also be affected by efforts to reduce the financial incentives that they benefit from.

Now more than ever, people are relying on social media to inform them of news about politics, celebrities, and more. It is admirable that Facebook recognized its position as the top social media provider and developed a plan to provide the most trustworthy and user-friendly news. We look forward to hearing more about these efforts and the transformation of the way news is presented, analyzed, and accessed. Stay tuned to our blog for more news on the industry, company achievements, and more!

For information on how Percento can assit with your web development project and promotion: Call 800-614-7886 or visit: percentotech.com/contact

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Top 4 Technologies Driving The Digital Workplace

The digital revolution isn’t coming, it has arrived. This is something businesses must understand if they want to survive and thrive in today’s digital-first environment. Today, it is extremely important for businesses to find out how they can better utilize their digital workplace. If you don’t want to be left behind then you need to act fast.

Today, the workplace is much more than space that employees occupy during office hours. An environment that’s always connected, today’s workplace makes everything employees require instantly available. Following are the three reasons the workplace has changed at an accelerated pace in the past ten years:

An Ageing Workforce

The first and foremost reason the workplace has changed rapidly in the past ten years is the ageing workforce. Baby boomers are retiring and they are taking a considerable amount of information with them. For businesses, this is a problem because without the aforementioned information, they cannot lay the foundations for the future workforce.

Information Overload

Today, a significant amount of data is created each day. The exponential growth of information has made it difficult for businesses to determine what they require and when they require it.

The Need To Work Faster

Today, the work environment is extremely fast-paced. In such times, employees need to collaborate better and work faster to meet deadlines and finish their jobs. Intranets have helped businesses considerably in this regard but digital workplaces are the need of the hour.

Understanding The Digital Workplace

The digital workplace has allowed the workforce and upper management to collaborate and communicate in many new and effective ways. Today, businesses can share knowledge across the organization as the aforementioned workplace has made it possible for them to combine productive business relationships beyond the natural work groups. In order to manage the changes brought forth by the digital workplace, many businesses are implementing a digital workplace strategy.

The aforementioned workplace is transforming employee experience and breaking down the communication barriers by intelligently combing the technologies already used by businesses. This in turn is helping businesses to promote innovation, growth and efficiency. However, businesses can achieve the aforementioned benefits only if they implement a digital workplace strategy capable of driving true change within the organization. Basically, you need to create a digital workplace that can be customized to your company’s liking. Following are the four qualities of a good digital workplace:

Holistic Workplace

The intranet and its associated tools and applications shouldn’t not be the only things making up the digital workplace.  Instead, the digital workplace should be a holistic workplace that includes the physical workplace, business systems, connectivity and all productivity tools.

Coherent Workplace

Generally, in a large organization, countless projects are underway at the same time. Often, these projects can flap and cause uncertainty. For this reason, coordinating the elements of a digital workplace to allow them to deliver the required project results is important. To ensure this, you may need to allocate resources.

Usable Workplace

Great capabilities are available to your employees at the tip of their fingers. They only need to find out and understand how to make use of them. A usable workplace ensures simple and seamless user experience that match actual employee behaviors and working practices.

Productive Workplace

As a result of the platforms, tools and assisted environments that help employees to perform their job, personal productivity is one of key features of the digital workplace.

The four qualities mentioned above make up a good digital workplace. There are many reasons to adopt a digital workplace including attracting talent, increasing employee productivity, increasing employee retention, and improving communication. Let’s now take a look at the 4 technologies driving the digital workplace.

4 Technologies Driving The Digital Workplace

Technology is changing everything around us including the workplace. Following are the top 4 technologies driving the digital workplace:

ESN

The social networks used by organizations, enterprise social networks or ESN have made social collaboration in the organization easy. One of the most popular tools for business communication today, enterprise social networks is expected to have more than 600 million users by 2020.

BYOT, BYOA

BYOA and BYOT are popular concepts in the digital workplace. Today, the workforce is ready and willing to bring their own technology (devices and apps) to the workplace for work purposes. This is a growing trend as employees feel empowered when they’re allowed to use their own technology for work.

Video Technology

The increase in network and internet speed has allowed people to use videos for real time communication. Today, real time video communication is considered essential for running a business. By helping the workforce to stay efficient, productive and engaged, video communication is driving the digital workplace. Evident across the organization, video communication applications can be seen in product development, training & development, the adoption of the latest communication tools and marketing.

Wearables

One of the most popular trends in today’s digital workplace, wearables in organizations is fast changing the workplace. Considering this, it is safe to say that wearable devices will make a permanent place for themselves in the office soon. Experts believe that in the not so distant future, a number of wearable devices will feature on the work floor in organizations.

Today, you will witness wearables in the workplace in health and wellness, access control and safety monitoring. According to the technology experts, future workplaces will feature wearables such as fitness trackers, smart watches and smart glasses. Whether that actually happens or not is something we’ll have to wait for.

The digital revolution has changed how things are done in the workplace and the aforementioned technologies are driving the changes in today’s digital workplace.

 

For information on how we can help your organization move to the digitial workplace, Contact Us today:  800.614.7886 or visit percentotech.com/contact

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Google Targeting Bad Advertisements.

Since 1998, Google has determined the importance of pages around the entire World Wide Web and organized this vast amount of data to give users a simple way to prioritize information. Today, the company has over 60,000 employees and operates websites such as YouTube, Android, and their original search engine.  Marketers love the ability to advertise on Google and its partner sites, and are able to target customers via keywords, topics, placements, demographics, locations, and devices. With these capabilities, hackers and other organizations can sometimes use these services to take advantage of web users.

Last year, Google blocked 1.7 billion “bad ads” and removed many websites from their search results.  Some of these ads were created to mislead customers on products or the purpose of downloads. Other banned advertisements include payday loans which have interest rates above 36%. This move in particular, affecting five million ads, was predicted to cause millions of dollars in lost revenue. Google also took their own stand against “fake news”, or websites which claimed to have certain stories but took users to their sales websites. Other removed websites were designed to impersonate legitimate news organizations or misrepresented their content.

A large portion of these banned ads included malware, which is software with the ability to damage or disable certain applications, software programs, or even infrastructures. Advertisements that were illegal because they were for counterfeit goods or violated healthcare or gambling laws accounted for a larger portion than they did in 2015, and Google worked hard to remove those as well.

Other changes to Google‘s advertisements debuting this year include:

  • Removing support for flash ads.
  • Removing the converted click metric which advertisers used for measurement of their ad’s success. This will be replaced with a more sophisticated metric.
  • Increasing text capacity in advertisements.
  • Introducing bulk editing features.
  • Introducing local search ads to Google Maps.
  • Introducing responsive display ads which will be created by Google to adapt to their placements.
  • Allowing users to bid on devices differently.

We look forward to seeing how Google will continue to innovate their processes for filtering advertisements and content. As illegal, misleading, or harmful content becomes easier to disguise, the company will have to develop a strong defense method. Stay tuned to our blog for more information on industry news, company achievements, and more!

For more information on how Percento can help your organization with your web presense, visit:  www.percentotech.com/Websites

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