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Entries by Neil Lobocki

5 Elements of a Great Conference Call

Conference calls are a critical element to businesses today. As companies move further away from having an in-house staff and more toward a mobile and BYOD-friendly workforce, conference calls are becoming the new face of meetings. But how do you make your conference calls as close to interpersonal communication as possible?
1. Evaluate Your Invite List
Most professionals who sit in a lot of business meetings would agree that there’s nothing worse than being forced to attend a meeting that doesn’t require your presence. Time is a valuable resource for busy professionals, especially high-level employees, so carefully evaluate who should be involved as well as who should be excluded before sending out that invite. The most productive conference calls typically only have about 4-5 people in attendance.
2. Create an Agenda and Stick to It
A quality conference call begins with the circulation of an agenda prior to the meeting. This helps provide structure to the call as well as a guidebook for call attendees to use in preparing themselves ahead of time. An agenda also helps to avoid getting sidetracked into another issue or concern that is better to be dealt with at a different meeting. Review the agenda at the start of the call so everyone is reminded of the sequence of discussions.
3. Delegate Roles
Because you carefully evaluated your invite list, everyone involved in a conference call should play a designated role. Delegate an attendee who is in charge of the time and continuous flow …

Smart Data Solutions: Combatting Common Data Security Threats

Data security continues to be a growing concern among businesses today – both large and small.  Rightfully so, with 43% of businesses reporting they have experienced some form of security or data breach within the last year. However, despite the risks involved, a majority of organizations still don’t have a data solution system in place to protect their sensitive company information and systems.

So what can you do to start the process of ensuring that you aren’t becoming one of those impacted businesses? It begins with understanding what causes these attacks and preparing your business accordingly.
Risk #1: Former Employees
One of the biggest security threats against business security today is its employees. Disgruntled former staff (especially those with IT controls) pose a tremendous risk against the security and confidentiality of company information. In order to prevent malicious attacks from those with access to data centers and administrational information, there must be a policy in place that monitors and controls all privileged accounts. Additionally, this process should ensure all former employees are immediately terminated from company systems and data access points. Make this one of the first courses of action after an employee leaves the organization.
Risk #2: Current Employees
Beyond former employees, there are also employees who may be uninformed or careless about how to protect the organization from a security breach. More specifically, they may use weak passwords or keep their devices unlocked frequently – putting the company at significant risk if lost or …