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Securing Remote Locations in 3 Steps

VPNs, protected devices, and secure wireless LANs are keys to successful remote security.

Everyone understands how important it is to batten down the security hatches at company headquarters. But in the haste to protect the network and devices that store a small company’s critical business data and host its key applications, remote offices are sometimes forgotten. You need to make sure remote offices are equally secured, with an eye toward handling a few challenges specific to a location far from headquarters.

Any place someone works outside of your main facility can be considered a remote office, whether that’s an employee’s spare bedroom or a rented suite in a different state. All remote offices share a few security risks: a connection to your network via the public Internet; personal devices used for work, such as laptops; and the potential for unauthorized access to your company’s computing assets, both the equipment and the data stored on it.

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SCORE Veterans’ Fast Launch Program Answers the Call to Support Our Veterans

SCORE has been a leader in providing mentoring and training to entrepreneurs through its network of 13,500 volunteer mentors and trainers for over 45 years. Together with corporate partners, SCORE has created the new Veterans’ Fast Launch initiative to help accelerate veterans’ ability to succeed as small business owners.

The new program will be a combined package of services, scholarships, and free software (provided by corporate partners), and SCORE’s mentoring program. Assistance will be provided to 16,000 military veterans and their families to help launch 3,000 new businesses during the first year. Partners include: The Walmart Foundation, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, AVG, Cisco, ConstantContact,, HP,, Microsoft,,, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC). SCORE will work closely with the VBOCs, which reach over 45,000 veterans, service members, and spouses nationally.

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Seven Questions to Ask Your Partner About Service Plans

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti

With all the interest and decisions around the products and new capabilities involved in your next IT upgrade, it’s easy to have key questions about the service plans slip through the cracks. Don’t worry. I’ve got your back. Here are a few suggestions:

Who delivers the services?
In this wild, woolly world of contracting and subcontracting, you can’t necessarily assume that the company that closes the service contract will actually be the one that fulfills that contract. This is especially true if you have facilities in multiple locations. So if subcontractors are involved, you’ll want to know who those subcontractors are, what specializations, certifications, or other qualifications they have in place, and what their customer satisfaction scores look like.

Which organization is the point of contact for engaging the services?
If more than one provider is involved, does one organization serve as the entry point for access to services, or do you have to pinball around until you find the subcontractor who maps to the specific need?

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10 Ways to Improve Your Business’s Facebook Security

Brought to you by the Cisco Innovators Program

Small businesses are a growing fan base for Facebook. Seventy percent of U.S. local small businesses interested in online marketing now use Facebook for marketing, up from 50 percent one year ago, according to a February report by MerchantCircle. Many businesses consider Facebook their best friend for low-cost brand marketing. Some also enable shopping on their pages, using Storefront, Payvment, or another ecommerce application.

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Tailoring Unified Communications to Fit Your Small Business

These 3 steps will ensure you get the right solution to meet your needs now—and in the future.

A unified communications (UC) solution means different things to different people. In a broad sense, it integrates your voice and data networks. It can show up as a simple integration of your email with your voicemail into a single messaging inbox. It can be far more complex with presence and instant messaging technologies, fax, SMS, video and web conferencing applications all tying employees together. Or, you can have a UC solution somewhere in between—one that is tailored specifically to the needs of your small business.

No matter which components you choose, all unified communications solutions offer the same benefits to your employees: they can reach one another on the first try, they can be more productive, and they can collaborate more effectively. As a result, UC can reduce network and communications costs.

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