When you eat food, it’s nice to know exactly what you are putting into your body, be it good or bad. This helps you make better, more educated decisions for the future. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could do that with your business’ technology, too, just by glancing at the label? Well, a new initiative may do just that for certain Internet of Things devices.
When you experience technical difficulties, do you have a process in place to make sure that the problem is resolved in a timely fashion? This process is known as troubleshooting, but it can be a lengthy process when pulled off correctly. Let’s make sure that your staff are all on the same page with the five critical steps of troubleshooting any problems your business encounters with technology.
Can you remember the last time you took a good hard look at your organization’s technology? Chances are they might be getting on in years. You will need to know just how outdated this technology is if you want your company to succeed long-term. Let’s have a discussion about the importance of upgrading your technology, as well as how you can make that determination.
Even if virtual private networking is not a household term, it is, if nothing else, seemingly a pretty straightforward concept. However, there are certain complications that can make it a little difficult to understand for some users. Take, for example, the fact that there are two different types of VPNs. Let’s take a look at what makes them so different and which kind your business should prioritize.
The desire to implement new technology for your business is born from the desire to solve some sort of problem, such as issues with productivity or operational inefficiencies. The end result should be progress and forward momentum that allows you to improve your business, not over-complicate your infrastructure and bog it down with unnecessary technology.
When you think about technology maintenance, how often do you tend to address issues with your infrastructure? Do you wait for something to go wrong before addressing it? If so, you are going about technology maintenance all wrong. When you take this break-fix approach to your IT infrastructure, you run the risk of serious complications that could result in expensive downtime and costly repairs.
The telephone may have once been the dominant form of communication for the office, but video conferencing has quickly overtaken it and become one of, if not the most popular ways for remote and hybrid workplaces to communicate. We think there is a certain value in looking at the many opportunities businesses have to improve their video conferencing solution, so let’s dive into some of the best features you should look for!
When it comes to network security, there are a lot of complex solutions that solve multi-faceted issues, some so mind-boggling in scope that it is simply overwhelming. Then there are the small-scale solutions that you can implement on a day-to-day basis that can make significant changes over time. Locking your computer is one of these tactics, and it should not be overlooked in your security strategy.
There is no greater tool for your business’ success than the technology it uses, at least in theory. If you want to maximize the value you get from your technology, you need to make the correct decisions, which is easier said than done. Let’s go over some of the things to not do with your business technology.
What Do Our Smart Assistants Actually Hear? We all know that person that claims that the smart assistants are being hacked into by the government and they are listening into our conversations. For the majority of us, that conspiracy doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. That said, these devices do listen, when they are prompted to. Here is how to trigger four of the most popular assistants: Amazon Alexa devices respond to the term “Alexa,” ”Computer,” ”Amazon,” or “Echo.” Google Home devices wake up to “Okay/Hey, Google.” Apple’s Siri responds to “Hey Siri.” Microsoft’s Cortana reacts to its name, “Cortana,” or “Hey, Cortana.” There have, in fact, been instances where these smart assistants, and especially with the smart speakers, pick up some things they weren’t supposed to. If you have one of these speakers in your home, there have to be some natural security concerns, but they probably aren’t from the manufacturers. The Analysis Researchers looked into the question of what exactly these smart assistants hear and formed a paper titled, Unacceptable, where is my privacy? Exploring Accidental Triggers of Smart Speakers. They analyzed when the terms that successfully activated the assistants were spoken, finishing with over a thousand phrases. They then further analyzed them into their phonetic sounds to try and ascertain why there were so many false positives. Depending on how a user pronounced a word, some triggers were found, including: Alexa devices also responded to “unacceptable” and “election,” while “tobacco” could stand in for the wake word “Echo.” Furthermore, “and the zone” was mistaken for “Amazon.” Google Home devices would wake up to “Okay, cool.” Apple’s Siri also reacted to “a city.” Microsoft’s Cortana could be activated by “Montana.” Of course, these assistants are used on devices all over the world, and as a result found that when used in other languages had a lot of the same issues. For example, the German phrase for “On Sunday” (“Am Sonntag”) was commonly mistaken for “Amazon.” What Does This Mean for Individual Privacy? Even with the interesting nature of this analysis, the findings are a little more disconcerting. The study shows that once the wake word or phrase is recognized by the device, it immediately starts listening for queries, commands, and the like. So even though they claim to only start listening when prompted to, several different iterations of phrases can cause the assistant to start listening. The complications don’t end there, since the data is reviewed manually by people—which already destroys any notion of privacy—one of those technicians could potentially be given information that wasn’t intended to be captured by an assistant. This could potentially be devastating if the technician whose job is to manually check this information were to gain access to account information or some other PII and use it in an unethical way. The smart speaker, and smart assistant are useful products that need a little more refinement before we can completely trust them. To learn more about new technology and how it is being used, check back to our blog regularly.