31 Flavors: A Variety of Email Threats to Beware of

Every business relies on email to communicate effectively. Unfortunately, email-centralized cyberattacks are a growing trend around the world. For this reason, businesses of all sizes are focusing on email security more than ever before. There are many ‘flavors’ of email threats out there with the potential to harm your network. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common types that are making the rounds in 2017.

Phishing
Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly popular. This is when a cybercriminal impersonates a business or person with the intent to steal personal data or login credentials. It’s usually in the form of an ‘urgent’ message that attempts to scare users into giving up vital information. Defensive technology is important to prevent employees from falling victim to phishing; however, do not overlook the importance of ongoing education and awareness for all users on your network.

Spear Phishing
This type of attack is on the rise in the ever-growing world of social media. Attackers create fake profiles on social media sites to gather information on unsuspecting users. This information is then used in email attacks. It is again important for users to be educated on how to safely navigate social media sites, especially in the workplace.

Ransomware
Ransomware has frequently been in the headlines over the past year or so as more and more businesses, hospitals, and government agencies fall victim to these attacks. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victim’s data and blocks access to it until a specified amount of money—a ‘ransom’— is paid. This epidemic is spreading quickly through emails that contain malicious links or attachments.

User awareness is an important component of protecting your business from these types of attacks. Along with this awareness, defensive technology also needs to be in place to balance out the risk of human error. Cybercriminals are constantly trying to fool users with new schemes; blocking these malicious emails from your network is your best bet to remain secure. For more information on how to protect your business from email threats such as phishing, spear phishing, and ransomware, contact Infomax Office Systems today.

Spare a Landfill: Recycle that Toner Cartridge

That pile of empty toner cartridges can get pretty big, pretty fast in a busy office environment where a good deal of printing takes place. When it comes time to dispose of them, it’s essential to our environment to recycle those toner cartridges. Of the more than 500 million toner cartridges sold each year in the United States, an astonishing 350 million of those are sent to landfills. Considering it takes hundreds of years for the cartridge plastic to biodegrade, this is a problem that needs to be addressed in the name of corporate social responsibility. Fortunately, there are eco-friendly solutions that are readily available to businesses.

The many hazards of toner
Before we get into those eco-friendly solutions available to aid in recycling empty cartridges, let’s quickly go over how much damage toner can do to our environment. Toner ink contains toner dust, which can be carcinogenic. Among other health concerns, a recent study shows that the dust can cause issues with people’s eyes, lungs, and skin when in direct contact. If inhaled, it can lead to respiratory issues such as bronchitis.

Convenient solutions
Fortunately, there are options available for recycling your empty toner cartridges. The first option should be to find a local recycling facility. Infomax Office Systems has partnered with a number of vendors with locations that will accept toner cartridges for recycling. If you can’t get to a local facility on a regular basis, you can refill your cartridges. There are refill kits available to help you reuse your empty cartridges for as long as possible until you can get them to a recycling facility. These are simple solutions that can make recycling a routine part of your business and make your office a more sustainable one.

With so many empty toner cartridges ending up in our landfills, it’s essential that more businesses get on board with toner cartridge recycling solutions to help minimize the impact on our environment. For more information on how Infomax Office Solutions can assist with your recycling efforts and help you ‘green’ your office, contact us today!

Why More Businesses Are Embracing Mobile Device Management

It’s no secret that people love their smartphones. People around the world are glued to them for a number of reasons. Businesses too are embracing mobile device technology with the intent of changing the way they operate. Mobile technology gives employees the freedom to create flexible work plans in remote locations. The opportunity to work remotely will drive results that cannot be achieved sitting behind a desk in an office all day.

There are benefits of mobile device management that cannot be dismissed. Many of these benefits revolve around security. Since mobile devices allow your employees to work from multiple locations on a daily basis, security is a top priority. Your business is made up of sensitive data that you need to protect, even while your employees are out and about doing their jobs. Here are some of the ways mobile device management will help you secure your information.

Remote management
You can guarantee the security of the mobile devices connected to your network 24/7 through features such as remote locate, lock and wipe, device restriction settings, restriction of website browsing access, and BYOD (bring your own device) privacy settings.

Compliance reporting
Adherence to regulatory compliance standards is a major concern for many organizations today. You cannot afford to have an unauthorized device on your network. With mobile device management, you will have end-to-end control of your devices through registration and configuration. You can track and monitor your organization’s compliance initiatives, along with analytics and reporting.

Secure Document Sharing
Employees rely on a variety of documents to carry out their daily responsibilities. For example, sales people rely on updated presentations and contracts that vary from customer to customer. With mobile device management, you can securely and quickly share documents amongst the users on your network.

Mobile technology is making it easier to conduct business on the go. With mobile device management, you can implement a secure system that will allow your employees to operate from anywhere without the worry of compromising any of your vital data and information. If you are ready to implement an easy-to-use mobile device management plan for your business, contact Infomax Office Solutions today to learn more.

Keep Your Team Connected with ConnectPlus

Businesses have become increasingly dependent on technology to handle their day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, much of the technology we rely on is exceedingly complex, and employees with the knowledge, training, and skill set required to install, set up, and optimize our systems are hard to come by. Not to mention expensive. Few organizations can afford to keep someone on staff to keep their office technology devices connected, or to reconfigure equipment they already have in place.

Thankfully, Infomax Office Systems offers an affordable program to help keep all of your equipment connected. Our ConnectPlus program is a comprehensive service package for organizations that rely on interconnections between desktop PCs, networks, and imaging systems like printers, copiers, and multifunction printers (MFPs). ConnectPlus is a completely hands-off approach to your office technology, one that keeps your systems up-to-date and working together as efficiently and securely as possible, all for one flat fee.

When your systems are linked, as is typically the case in today’s high-tech office environment, you need each piece of equipment to perform as strongly as the next. There’s no room for a weak link in this chain, as it could result in unexpected and costly downtime, or inefficiencies in your business processes and workflows. ConnectPlus eliminates these headaches and hurdles, ensuring that all of your office technology devices are working correctly and economically, at maximum efficiency. Whether our service professionals are setting up new machines in your office or reconfiguring ones you are currently utilizing, ConnectPlus puts all of Infomax Office Systems’ invaluable resources at your disposal.

Our Connect Plus program includes:
• Basic Installation & Implementation Package
• Ongoing User Training on Document Output Devices
• Network Installation of Document Output Devices
• Ongoing Loading & Training on Print/Scan/Network Drivers
• Initial Software Enabler Installation and User Training (eCopy, Paper to Office, Essentials, PPDM)
• Installation of Remote Output Device Monitoring Software on Applicable Network Devices
• Ongoing Remediation Assistance for Print/Scan/Network Fax Issues
• Ongoing Assistance for any Infomax Provided Applications
• Unlimited Help Desk Phone Support.

Today’s businesses can’t afford inefficiencies or downtime when it comes to their office technology. Contact Infomax Office Systems today to learn more about how our ConnectPlus program will keep all of your office technology connected!

Gain a Strategic Advantage with Color Printing

Color printing is essential in the workplace. A simple equipment upgrade to accommodate color is surprisingly affordable, and it nets both measurable and intangible benefits for virtually any business in any industry. Here are just a few the ways printing in color can help your business gain a strategic advantage over the competition.

Detail and Quality
Color images can pack more detail into the same space as their black and white counterparts. They add dynamics and entire dimensions to any message, and the color is able to capture detail that improves overall image quality. Remembering that printing is ultimately just another form of communication, these are important facts. Any printing that is intended to convey instructional or emphatic information is more effective when presented with color. In fact, a great deal of research has investigated the topic, and the results are clear: color messages are 65 percent easier to understand than black and white. This leads to an 80-percent reduction in error and a 3.9-percent drop in failure costs. In this way, color printing can easily save money in long-term operational costs.

Aesthetics
There is a more obvious reason to use color: it’s prettier. This is easy to dismiss until you dwell on it for a moment. In terms of advertising and attention grabbing, color will obviously do better than simple monochromatic approaches. The same studies that looked at interoffice impacts also compared the effects of color on customers. Color printing increases readership by 55 percent. This applies to promotional emails and static advertisements (like billboards, posters, or fliers). Implementing color designs also improves brand recognition by 80 percent and boosts attention span and recall by 82 percent. These are large numbers that show color’s aesthetics will nearly double your returns on any given outreach to customers.

Accessibility
These statistics are powerful, but a business always has to consider their bottom line. If the cost of color printing isn’t returned to a company, then there is little reason to invest in it. This argument crumbles pretty quickly—except in terms of plain-text documents, color printing averages a lower cost per page than monochrome. There are obvious exceptions to this, but generally speaking, a high-resolution black-and-white photo is more expensive to print than its color counterpart. This loops back to packing more information in a given space. For any particular image, a monochromatic print requires more dots per inch to convey the same quality as a color print. So, unless you are printing a word-only document (which probably doesn’t need to be more than an email), you save money by going with color.

If you want to push your business to the next level, there is little reason to avoid a color upgrade to help you do so. It isn’t a business expense, it’s a savvy investment. Contact Infomax Office Systems today to find the right color printer for your organization.

Is Your Business at Risk?

If you pay attention to the news, chances are you’ve heard about some of the major cyberattacks crippling organizations across the world. For example, cybercriminals recently targeted the United Kingdom’s National Health Service through ransomware, which resulted in hospitals having to postpone surgeries and divert ambulances to other facilities. Some patients weren’t able to receive vital care because of this attack. Organizations in all industries and vertical markets are susceptible to cyber attacks and IT failure, which is why threat management and business continuity is even more important than ever in the Digital Age.

Is Your Business at Risk?

IT failure comes in many different forms. Cyberattacks are simply one example of what IT failure can look like for a business. Another common example of IT failure is a natural disaster or emergency, which can put network servers out of commission. No matter which form IT failure takes, it is essential that all companies have a plan in place to ensure they will be able to operate and access corporate and client information even in the event of a failure.

Business continuity refers to the ability of a company to continue providing customers with products and services even after a disruptive incident. For example, you may have employees relocate to another site after a natural disaster to get back to work. Resilience is the name of the game when it comes to business continuity. Threat management refers to network security approaches that focus on identifying and eliminating threats before they have the chance to infiltrate the system. Usually, such network security approaches have multiple layers that interact with each other to make it more difficult for threats to go undetected.

If a company fails to take threat management and business continuity seriously and an IT failure ends up occurring, this scenario can have a disastrous impact on a company. Unmanaged IT failure can have major financial implications. This is particularly true if your business is unable to operate at all after an IT failure, as your company will lose sales revenue until the issue is resolved. IT failure can also damage the reputation of your organization among customers. Many companies have had customers abandon them and switch to their competitors after a major IT failure due to a lack of trust.

As you can probably tell, IT failure has become one of the greatest threats for companies in this day and age. Therefore, it is essential that you refuse to be complacent when it comes to business continuity and threat management for your company. If you’d like to learn more about the solutions available to protect your organization, contact Infomax Office Systems today.

Reduce Costs with MPS

Every busy company knows how expensive printing services are. Between printing, copying, and faxing, the average U.S. office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year. Depending on the size of your team, this figure can multiply quickly, affecting your printing costs and your bottom line. With Managed Print Services (MPS), companies can reduce printing costs, translating into significant savings for your business. By helping organizations gain control of their printing expenses and uncover hidden savings, MPS can lower printing costs by as much as 30 percent. If you’ve ever wondered how MPS can help your company save money, consider the following.

MPS quantifies your printing
Many businesses fail to tally up how much they actually spend on printing, oftentimes not taking the price of supplies, parts, maintenance, and repairs into account when doing so. While consumables and service can be easy to forget, these factors can be very costly. Between maintenance issues and overprinting, the total cost to print in the office is more expensive than one would think. Without having data to analyze, there is no way to determine exactly how much you’re spending on printing, what aspects can be reduced or consolidated, and how to accomplish your printing budget goals. With an  MPS solution, professionals collect and analyze your data from your infrastructure, enabling companies to quantify how much they spend on printing. From there, it’s easier to determine in which areas you are overspending and what steps to take to reduce your overall printing expenditure.

MPS improves productivity
Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to shed some truthful light upon a situation. While your company may believe that their office equipment devices are set up in a manner that maximizes efficiency and contributes to an overall better workflow, it actually may do the exact opposite. MPS professionals are trained to scout out the common mistakes in office print infrastructure configurations and address them with strategic solutions. For example, while it may seem like a good idea for every employee to have his or her own printer, it is actually much more productive and cost efficient to have one network multifunction printer in the office.

MPS frees up employee time
Employees are hardly productive when they spend their time waiting for documents to print. Similarly, your IT staff members can utilize their time much more wisely than by resolving office equipment maintenance and service issues. Time is money, especially in the office, and it should be utilized on value-adding tasks whenever possible. When your printing environment is managed by an MPS provider, you can help your staff maximize their time by eliminating the need for them to deal with printer-related issues.

Most companies would be shocked by how much they actually spend on printing. Moreover, they would be pleasantly surprised to know how much they could save by simply utilizing an MPS solution. Contact Infomax Office Systems today to schedule an MPS assessment for your business.

Is On-site IT Services Right for Your Business?

When something goes wrong in business, time is of the essence. When it comes to information technology (IT), problems or crises are magnified, as most businesses are heavily reliant on IT for everyday functions. Many companies rely on off-site IT departments or specialists to handle related issues, which can result in delayed responses and resolutions to serious dilemmas that can negatively impact their bottom line. If this sounds like your company, consider the following questions to help determine if on-site IT services are right for your business.

Do we communicate more effectively in person?
When discussing an issue over the phone, email, or online chats, details and particulars can be lost in translation. Most of the time, employees do not understand the exact nature of the situation when problems arise or how to relay this to their IT staff. All that is truly identifiable is a general issue, but that observation doesn’t provide IT services with the proper information to address and resolve the situation. If you and your coworkers are like most people and are better at communicating in-person, having someone on-site to help solve problems will prove helpful.

How often do we like to stay updated on the problem?
When you’re facing an issue that is restricting your employees’ ability to do their jobs, there is nothing worse than sitting around waiting to hear about an update. If you’re relying on off-site IT services that aren’t on hand to keep you abreast of the situation or if your outsourced IT team is working with numerous other clients simultaneously, it may be time to consider an alternative. Having trained IT professionals on-site ensures that the technician is in position to keep you informed about the situation while putting all of his or her attention on your team’s problem, rather than multitasking with other clients.

Are we shy about asking for assistance?
When dealing with an off-site IT team, many employees don’t report issues because they don’t want to bother another an external vendor with issues. This can be compounded if there are numerous or frequent issues and these problems remain unreported. Bringing an IT team on-site to answer questions and fix your problems feels like less of a burden than contacting an already-overloaded vendor off-site. IT issues that are reported and a healthy IT infrastructure ensures productivity and efficiency never suffer due to unresolved IT pitfalls.

Think it might be time for your organization to turn to an on-site IT service provider? Asking yourself the above three questions will help you determine whether you’d be better served working with a provider who offers more than just remote support. Contact Infomax Office Systems today to learn more about our on-site IT services.

Why You Need to Protect Yourself against Ransomware

Everyone has seen a movie or TV show where a criminal kidnaps a victim and demands a ransom in exchange for their release. What some people do not realize, however, is that demanding a ransom is not just confined to kidnappings. Today, many criminals employ ransomware, a form of malware or computer virus that locks a user’s keyboard or computer and holds their data ‘hostage’ until the victim pays a ransom in exchange for restoring access to it.

Recently, computer criminals used ransomware to conduct the largest cyberattack in history. More than 200,000 Windows operating systems in more than 150 countries—including the United States, England, Germany, and Japan—were infected with the ransomware strain WannaCry or WanaCrypt0r2.0. Victims had the data on their computers encrypted or scrambled, effectively locking them out of it while demanding they pay a ransom of between $300 and $600. The attack was not limited to personal PCs—WannCry victims included hospitals, banks, and government agencies.

So, how does ransomware work? Well, just like in the movies, someone takes something you own and holds it hostage until you send them the money they demand in return. The individual requesting the ransom infects your computer with a virus, usually by sending an email that requests the user to click on a link. Once the virus infects the system, the hacker can lock down the computer’s files and extort the user until he or she is paid the money.

While this may seem like a relatively simple issue to resolve, the problem lies in the information that is being held hostage. Few organizations can operate without their data, and if one doesn’t have this data backed up, the impact of a ransomware attack can be crippling. In addition, the FBI, Department of Justice, and many technology firms suggest you don’t pay the ransom. Doing so does not guarantee you’ll regain access to your data, and since you’ve already been exposed to the virus and shown a willingness to pay the ransom, you’re vulnerable to be re-targeted again in the future.

How can you protect yourself against ransomware? To help prevent these kinds of attacks, there are a few steps you can take to mitigate risk. First, regularly install Microsoft security patches and system updates, frequently backup your files, secure your router, and—perhaps most important of all—don’t open suspicious emails. If it’s too late and a virus has already taken over your system, the most crucial step is disconnecting from the Internet to prevent the virus from spreading. Then, you should report the attack to authorities and file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Finally, wipe your PC and restore your data and files from backups.

Big risks can sometimes yield big rewards, but not when it comes to cybersecurity. Be sure your organization is doing all it can to protect itself from ransomware and other cyberattacks. Contact Infomax Office Systems today to learn how our on-site Managed IT services can help give you peace of mind from ransomware attacks.

Is Your Printer a Green Printer?

It is not a secret that printing a significant number of documents is not exactly the most environmentally friendly office practice. Despite this knowledge, having a printer in the office remains absolutely essential to a company’s success. That said, all printers are not created equal; some printers are greener—or more environmentally friendly—than others. Here are some easy ways to determine exactly how eco-friendly your office printers really are. It is never too late to ‘go green’ in the office, and this post will arm you with the information needed to help you do so, starting with your printers.

How much electricity is your printer using?

Energy consumption is generally an afterthought for most businesses; however, it must be considered more regularly in order to create more sustainable offices. Generally, business-grade inkjet printers use less electricity than other printers that rely on heat to fuse toner to paper. Fortunately, many printer manufacturers understand this issue and now make printers that are not as reliant on energy for efficiency. Look up the product specs for your printers to find out exactly how much power they use. This information will help you determine how your devices compare to other models when making future purchases.

Does it allow you to print on both sides of paper?

Printing large documents on individual sheets of paper is much more wasteful than necessary. Especially when the documents are only being used internally, as opposed to being handed off to a client, vendor, or partner. A printer that is equipped for duplex printing will enable you to easily print your documents on both sides of paper. This green option can cut your company’s paper consumption in half.

Is the printer multi-functional?

The more machines kept in the office, the more energy and consumables necessary to keep these devices up and running. Instead of having numerous machines that only have one purpose, consider investing in an all-in-one or multifunction printer (MFP). An MFP enables you to print, copy, scan, and fax from one single machine. Not only is this more efficient economically, but also logistically, as MFPs enable employees to multitask for a more efficient workflow and take up less office space.

Is it certified green?

ENERGY STAR certifies office technology devices that minimize operational power. For the most part, these machines stop using power and go into a ‘sleep mode’ when they are not used for a certain amount of time. This reduces the amount of energy used to operate certified machines. Additionally, they are easily programmed to go on standby mode, and in doing so, can save companies anywhere from 15 to 30 percent on printer-related expenses.

Businesses considering ‘going green’ can get started on their way to corporate responsibility by addressing simple technology devices like their printers. Spending a little extra time understanding how to improve your printer’s efficiency and effectiveness in the office can benefit your business, the environment, and your reputation with both clients and employees. Contact Infomax today to learn more.