CES 2019

With everything from vinyl LP record players to virtual reality kits and all the amazing things in between, the CES, or Consumer Electronics Show, has just wrapped up in the United States.

This means brands from all over the world have been showing off the new tech they have in store for us in 2019 and what a great way to start.

Among the gadgets and funky toys on display, there are usually a handful of things which can really look exciting for those of us in the managed IT and related service sectors.

Labelled one of the hottest products at CES by TechRadar, is the Royole FlexPai, a phone and tablet in one, which opens to be a 7.8 inch tablet, or, thanks to its flexible LED screen, folds in half to be a reasonable size smart phone. Flexible screens have been coming for a while, but to see one implemented into a real product is exciting. It opens the way for designers to start creating some exciting new tools for the personal and business markets.

Imagine being able to roll your laptop up and stuff it in a corner of your tool bag? Could mobile computing become the new “soft furnishings” of IT? This kind of next level portability will no doubt highlight the need for IT departments to be on top of their mobile security more than ever. Just as the shift from chunky tools to personal statements and fashion accessories changed the way we looked at our phones, flexible screens could create just as big a shift in how we use and think about mobile devices.

Related to this, wearable technology had a strong presence, with 2019 promising growth in this field. Wearable tech is dominated by watch style devices, but that is not the entire field, and smaller rings were on display, such as the Sphero Specdrums, rings which allow you to play drums by tapping your fingers. Also, Virtual Reality shoes (yes, shoes) have demonstrated potential to step VR and AR up a notch, bringing limb monitoring technology to gaming and potentially physiotherapy applications. The inclusion of ECG technology into the watches, and potentially rings, could have enormous health industry ramifications down the track.

All these new mobile technologies are entering the market at a time when security in business is more critical than ever and will be watched closely by managed service providers the world over. What is convenient for the user, is convenient for others after all.

Robots were another prominent feature, demonstrated as assistants for a wide range of day to day activities, both in the home and in business, and given such devices could become interactive with clients or other outsiders to a business, this once again, opens a new world of possibilities and risks for IT experts.

Naturally the computing power on display with new products and greater performance across hundreds of new laptop and desktop devices was as always a staple, but the innovation on display has blossomed far beyond the humble PC. Stay with us in 2019, as the technology takes us to new ideas as well as new places, and who knows what will be here by 2020.

 

Data and the Cloud

With the ever increasing reliance on the digital economy to get things done, our data footprint is growing exponentially. We depend daily on our access to information, and the types of data being created, consumed and transmitted is changing. Now we are generating data not just by typing into our word processors or filling in paper forms.

We are creating it with our phones and our GPS devices, with our routine technology use, and with the daily interactions of workers with corporate systems. Enabling real time monitoring of productivity and the streamlining of bureaucratic processes is creating a world of data like none before.

While data is an intangible thing, the servers on which it is stored are very real and over time can come to occupy space not just in the office, but in the balance sheet as well. Whether it is a partial migration to facilitate data sharing and collaboration, or a complete shift of technology to remove the need for heavy file storage on site, cloud services are here to provide the flexibility and scalability this booming data resource requires.

So what are the advantages over the old world of paper? Two big ones are physical space and scalability.

“Cloud storage has infinite possibilities and unlimited storage potential. An organisation can keep adding layers without limit to acquire as much or as little storage as they need, without having to factor in physical capacity requirements.”

– techworld.com.au

Efficiencies are beginning to appear where we had not even sought them in past decades, with the data generated by our phones and wearable technology becoming useful for things as simple as ordering our morning coffee, to monitoring our health and wellbeing, to tracking our productivity in real time. All that data needs to be stored somewhere for it to remain useful. As long as it remains secure and in context, the benefits are enormous, and secure cloud services strive to achieve just that.

The challenge is to shift our understanding in business from seeing the cloud as just a giant bucket we throw our data in. Instead, we must see it as a tool of varied and complex ability. Something which can be harnessed to drive collaboration, productivity, and growth, through the use of cloud based software solutions to manage, create and utilise our data across wide ranging facets of our businesses. We can streamline processes which rely on that data, while ensuring our activities remain correct and appropriate to the evolving business environment.

Stepping into the world of digital transformation can seem intimidating, but the benefits are incredible. And it is only going to get better. Read though our case studies to see some examples of digital transformation in action, and if you have any questions about how you can use the cloud for the benefit of your business, give MicrotechDPS a call.

Email Fraud Increases

Phishing attacks on businesses, where fake emails are used to direct unsuspecting users to malware or fraudulent websites, are on the rise. According to MailGuard, there has been an increase of 46% in phishing attacks since 2017.

“The total number of phishing attacks detected by survey respondents in Q1 2018 was 263,538; up from 180,577 in Q4 2017.” – MailGuard.

MailGuard further quotes the FBI stating an increase in phishing attacks since 2015 of an astonishing 2,370%. This incredible figure is backed up by data from the Anti Phishing Work Group (APWG).

The global cost of this kind of cybercrime is now in the billions of dollars. As the scams become more sophisticated, and the use of email for business activities continues to grow as the facsimile and other outdated technologies decline, it is more important than ever to ensure your business is protected.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) states that 43% of cybercrime targets smaller businesses. The dangerous idea of being “too small to be worth targeting” can make some businesses particularly vulnerable to this kind of attack. The scary truth is, according to Kate Carnell of the ASBFEO, 22% of small businesses which suffered from this kind of attack were so affected they could not operate.

“60% of small businesses that experience a significant cyber breach go out of business within the following six months.” - Kate Carnell (ASBFEO)

Protecting your business from these attacks is a complex matter. It is no longer possible to rely only on hope and good fortune. And with the use of phishing emails to trap unsuspecting users, simply running antivirus can no longer guaranty your protection.

Phishing emails target the users, not just the business. Every user you have is likely to be targeted at some point, and it only takes one incident for an attack to occur. The emails will look like genuine contacts from suppliers or utilities, or financial institutions. They will direct the user to a link which opens a fake login page, and once the user “logs in”, the scammer has all they need to achieve their goal.

They will obtain credentials for email accounts, bank accounts, or other online services, and with those fraudulent or extortionist activities can be carried out against the target.

“The explosive growth of email-based fraud requires a multi layered approach to security that includes virus scanning software, staff training and cloud-based email filtering. There’s never been a better time to take on the challenge of breach-proofing your company.” – MailGuard

If you are concerned with your current level of security or wish to ensure you are fully protected against the rising levels of phishing scams and other cybercrime, call us. MicrotechDPS are here to help and can provide you with all the tools and expertise you need in this era of digital evolution.

Griffith Relocation

We are pleased to announce that in September, our Griffith office has relocated to a new office space a short distance from our previous location.

ReceptionAt MicrotechDPS we are always interested in providing the best possible service to our clients, and that includes improving our office experience to enable better service. With the convenience of the new location, and the greater visibility it affords us, this relocation will enable us to serve your needs even better.

The new location is near the Ulong St roundabout at 139 Yambil St.

We look forward to seeing you there. Please be aware of the new location should you intend to visit our Griffith offices.

New office exterior

 

Eastern Regional Dealer of the Year

Last week representatives from MicrotechDPS attended the Ricoh Dealer Strategic Business Meeting held in Sydney. The focus of the event was to give dealers information on the strategies and initiatives Ricoh are working on in a range of areas, including consolidation, business practice, and future paths.

It's been an exciting time for Ricoh as a company, with internal changes and a refocus of attention in directions which promise to be exciting for the brand, and for us as a dealer. As a result, MicrotechDPS are very confident in Ricoh and the direction they are heading. We look forward to our partnership becoming even greater, and an even brighter future for the brand.

ricoh award

We are immensely proud of our entire team and the work they have put forward over the past year, which has allowed us once again to succeed in being awarded Ricoh's Eastern Regional Dealer of the Year for 2017/2018. This is an award we take great pride in as a business, and feel it is a testament to our growth and our innovation as a company, as well as our success as a dealer of Ricoh products.

Of course, this is all made possible by you, our loyal staff, clients, and customers. Thank you all for helping us to continue to succeed.


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