Spring World 2017

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Bonus Journal

Volume 29, Issue 5

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Jon Seals

Jon Seals

You’re probably familiar with phishing, in which hackers try to trick users into unsafe practices by sending phony emails. Popular lore suggests that “phishing” is derived from “fishing” and the idea that hackers, for some reason, like to replace the letter “f” with the letters “ph”.

A more recent addition to the hackers’ arsenal is whaling. In this case, hackers try to imitate the email style of a high ranking member of a company, like a CEO, and trick another employee into transferring company funds (or is that “phunds”) to a bogus account. What then is the best way to fight such tactics?

Whaling emails usually contain few or no indicators that conventional anti-virus software can pick up.



Emily Wilson, CEO of decade old Computer Troubleshooters of Greensboro, NC, shares three suggestions she'd apply if she were launching an MSP from scratch right now.

1. Carefully choose products and vendors - It’s really important to figure out what products and solutions you want to offer by evaluating what is most important to your target market. Backup and security are probably the most important things that your client will be looking for. They must have a way to protect and recover their information. Once you decide what solutions you want to offer your clients, selecting appropriate vendors to partner with is critical. You want to find a reliable vendor that offers a quality product and is "channel-friendly." They should not sell directly to your client, but should understand the importance of your role.



It’s no secret that many businesses have high hopes for using big data. With few exceptions, big data analytics has been subject to some massive hype. The promises have been many, from greater capabilities, more efficient operations, better understanding of customers, new product ideas, and so much more. Big data can certainly deliver on all that, but recent surveys and studies have found that living up to that hype has proved challenging. It’s mainly a case of organizations not seeing the type of returns they hoped for. In other words, the payoffs aren’t showing up as expected. For obvious reasons, this has been the cause for concern among businesses as the amount of investment being spent on big data analytics continues to grow. Getting to the root of why they’re not seeing those payoffs then becomes a priority.

In one report from Mu Sigma, it was shown that many executives have become dissatisfied with the results they’re having in the analytics realm. They’ve put a lot of resources and effort into making big data analytics lead to a substantial return on investment, only to see the payoffs come up lacking. There’s no single reason for this failure, but a number of factors have appeared to offer good explanations for payoff woes. Part of the problem stems from placing so much emphasis on the technology being used for analytics rather than the role that decision-making plays in the process. The technology plays a pivotal role, no doubt, but a failure to understand how to properly use it to achieve business goals means much of that technology is going to waste.

Some businesses were quick to embrace big data in the early days when many organizations were still skeptical. Investors at the time had high expectations, but it’s possible that those expectations missed the mark. It wasn’t that they were wrong to have certain milestones and goals in mind, it was more a problem of underestimating the challenges businesses would face. They may have even completely overlooked some possible issues altogether. It all comes down to analytics performance. They may have all the right technology on hand, but it analytics is performed in the wrong way, the results will reflect that.



Developing a high-performance business continuity program is hard work and requires significant resource commitments and upper-management support. Respondents to the MissionMode Readiness Survey report varying levels of readiness with under 40% claiming to have business continuity management (BCM) plans in place across a wide number of potentially disruptive event types:

  • 38% – Comprehensive BCM plans developed and trained across a wide variety of event types
  • 37% – Plans developed and trained across a limited number of event types
  • 25% – No plans or preliminary plans drafted but not trained

These respondents were most likely to be prepared for weather, power and IT-related incidents and least prepared to manage physical security threats, theft and product safety-related events. Developing and training a wide variety of BCM plans can seem like an insurmountable challenge, but MissionMode can help you both prioritize and prepare your plans.



The ongoing flooding in Louisiana is being described as the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy of 2012.

Latest reports indicate that at least 11 are confirmed dead and more than 30,000 have been rescued. An estimated 40,000 homes have sustained flood damage statewide, but local reports put that figure higher.

Some 20 Louisiana parishes have now received a federal disaster declaration.

Flood damage is excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies, but available as a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and some private insurers.