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24 Mar

Osterman Research shares why your ex-employees could be your next big security threat

What happens when an employee leaves your company? If you’re like many small and medium-sized businesses, you’ll collect their laptops and IDs and then quickly work towards filling the newly vacant position.  But if you’re not thinking about the IT access they’re bringing with them, then your company is at risk.

We recently released our new report: “The Ex-Employee Menace: 2014 SMB Rogue Access Study”. It explores the ramifications of ‘rogue access.’ And it provides practices for avoiding risk.

Michael Osterman PictureWe sat down with Michael Osterman of Osterman Research to shed some light on this issue. Below are a few highlights from our conversation:

Q. How big of an issue is this for organizations?

A. It’s a fairly serious one. And it’s fairly under the radar.  You don’t see a lot about this in the trade press. It’s the kind of thing that people understand intellectually, but they really haven’t done much about, because this hasn’t been a priority for them.

I think this report is going to help to shake some things up and hopefully make people more aware of the kinds of issues they face by not managing these applications well enough.  This really is one of the real implications of BYOD that a lot of organizations just have not considered yet.

Q. What are the ramifications of ‘rogue access’, particularly for SMBs?

A. First and foremost, if you have sensitive or confidential data stored in Dropbox or Google Drive or any of the other personal employee accounts, you potentially run afoul of data breach notification laws .This data is now is accessible by someone in another company.  That means, in many cases, you have violated the data breach notification requirement that requires you to protect that consumer financial data or protected health information from unauthorized parties. And certainly, an ex-employee would be an unauthorized party.

Another implication is gaining access to that data. If you ever have to go through e-discovery or some sort of regulatory audit, or if you just want to bring it all back in house, it’s much more difficult to do because now you’ve got all this access in a variety of repositories that other people in other companies also have access to.

And it means that you potentially could have spoliation of data: that an employee could then delete your information in their account. It might be information you need for a lawsuit or just want to have in-house, and now you don’t have it anymore simply because an employee has intentionally or inadvertently deleted it.

Q. Why aren’t SMBs doing more to address this issue?

A. It’s not a really visible issue.  For example, people will employ Dropbox or other applications, because they want to work at home or have files available to them while they are traveling and so forth. And in SMBs that don’t really have an IT department or a full-time IT person, someone might implement this IT technology for the good of the company and the good of their own job.

Organizations really don’t have policies around this. They don’t have best practices. They allow these things to grow organically. And they’re all done, in the vast majority of cases, for good purposes. But the problem is they turn into this ugly, unwieldy monster after a time that nobody really has control over.

Download the findings from our research report.

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16 Mar

The Ex-Employee Menace: 2014 SMB Rogue Access Study is here!

Let’s take a moment to think about the kind of data and systems your employees can access. Your client data, your sales numbers, your financial records, your strategy documents, your website system, your social reputation, and confidential files of all types.

Now imagine the risk if your ex-employees had access to the exact same systems.

According to a new survey by Osterman Research, an incredible 89% of knowledge workers retained access to Dropbox, Salesforce, email, SharePoint and other sensitive corporate apps from a former employer.

Even worse, 45% can access what they consider “confidential” or “highly confidential” data.

This problem of “Rogue Access” creates countless risks for companies: stolen secrets, lost data, compliance failures, data breaches, and out-and-out sabotage—to name a few.

We just published The Ex-Employee Menace: 2014 SMB Rogue Access Study. If your IT access management and employee offboarding policies are anything less than 100% watertight, you need to read it right now.

In addition to outlining the scope of the problem (which is far bigger than any of us imagined), it also provides three very important technical and procedural solutions—including access management best practices and an IT offboarding checklist.

Read the report now.

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13 Mar

Use our savings calculator to see how much you can save moving to Hosted PBX

Recently, we set out to prove our claim that businesses can “save 50% or more moving to Hosted PBX.” And prove it we did!

Our cost savings study looked at 19 businesses who were considering replacing their phone system and compared monthly phone service costs from their current provider against Hosted PBX. It then added how much they paid upfront for their phone systems. Findings from this cost savings study show that, on average, companies save over 50% on monthly phone service costs by moving to Hosted PBX. That number is even higher if you factor in hardware costs.

When you reduce your business phone services bill, the savings over time can quickly add up. Here’s what we discovered:

  • Per-line service fees. On average, the businesses were paying monthly per-line service fees of $44.64, compared with Hosted PBX’s monthly per-line service fee of $29.99
  • Carrier fees. On average, these businesses paid monthly carrier fees of $11.23 per line, compared with Hosted PBX’s carrier fees of $1.50 per line
  • Local and long distance fees. Like with Hosted PBX, many of the providers covered in the analysis charge no per-line local or long distance fees — although a few charge, per line, as much as $14.75 for local service and $5.00 for long distance service

Can Hosted PBX really cut your bills by over 50%?

The findings of our study represent the average savings these businesses experienced when purchasing Hosted PBX. However, not all companies are created equal. So don’t stop at averages. Use our savings calculator below to see how much you can save your business.

Ready to get started?

Give us a call at 203.638.7979 to discuss the before-and-after comparison of these businesses’ phone bills, how to untangle the phone bill mess and explore the hidden costs to avoid.

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06 Mar

Our Hosted PBX Cost Savings Study is here!

We love a good challenge. So when we were challenged to prove our “50% savings on Hosted PBX” claim, we couldn’t wait to dive into the numbers.

And a deep dive it was.

Our study looked at the phone bills of 19 small and medium sized businesses, and how much they paid upfront when their phone systems were installed.

The results didn’t surprise us. Will they surprise you? Read our White Paper.

Ready to get started?

Give us a call at 203.638.7979 to discuss the before-and-after comparison of these businesses’ phone bills, how to untangle the phone bill mess and explore the hidden costs to avoid.

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