Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Republican Wife and the Communist Cat

This past Saturday, MRW and I headed down to our local PetSmart with the intention of adding a new member to our family. We were motivated by my incessant shouting of “I WANT A KITTY!” and MRW’s relationship with a CAWS volunteer (who informed her of the adoption fair).
The night before we purchased some of the basics – litter box, litter, food, scraching post et al. and waited until the next day to make our decision.
Well, sure enough, we looked at a few of the kittens and cats that CAWS had available and finally decided on a beautiful 4 year old Russian Blue.  He has quite the personality and is a talker, but we are very happy with our decision.

Being a Russian Blue, we naturally racked our brains to come up with an appropriate name. Sure enough, MRW stumbled upon the name “Ruski” after much soul searching between the both of us. In short, it appears that our bipartisan marriage has produced an evil commie-pinko cat with socialist sympathies, and (I am sure) breaks the political power stalemate that has existed for the past year.
In all seriousness, though, please consider adopting from CAWS – they are a no-kill group that fosters animals until they can find a permanent home.  Ruski was a great find and our decision was not an easy one thanks to so many well adjusted animals. to learn more about CAWS, visit and learn how to make a donation.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Small Business Network Security With Unified Threat Management Appliances

Many small and medium sized businesses operate a network and understand the importance of establishing a firewall, to prevent attacks from outside and to stop undesirables sending valuable company data out through the gateway.
Many businesses do not!
According to a leading security report, 13% of small businesses operating a network have NO protection.
Approximately, one-third uses a home edition security product or a free trial or assessment solution.
In short, almost half of small businesses do not have any effective protection against external attack.
Part of this malaise with small businesses is not due to ignorance, but a lack of the impending certainty of loss; financial loss, data loss, reputation loss.
There are broadly two types of security threat facing any business network whether a small retail operation or a Fortune 500 enterprise.
Firstly, there are the specific attacks which are launched against an individual target or small, select group of targets. Typically, these attacks are launched against the larger companies or those with a particular item of value, such as a bank or financial entity. It is unlikely that a small company is going to be of much interest to criminals who have a specific target in mind, so it makes no sense to worry too much about implementing security against such threats, and in any event it is probably going to be out of the budget for most small businesses.
It is the second general set of threats which are of most concern for small businesses, and these are the general attacks primarily using the web, and particularly the web traffic running in and out of your network. We are referring to malware, viruses, spam, Trojans and the generally nasty pieces of code which can hide behind internet traffic and can infect a network simply by someone surfing to a Twitter account and allowing a mouse to hover over a link (as recently happened last month and currently LinkedIn vulnerabilities are being exploited).
In this instance, what is needed is security which can act as a firewall, allowing access through the gateway to traffic and users you select, but there is more than this. Aside from inspecting network traffic, there is a need for anti-virus to weed out the malware, and because malware can be distributed by a user clicking on a URL in an email, there needs to be anti-spam capability too.
The Solution: Unified Threat Management Appliance (UTM)
One reason why so many small and medium sized businesses have neglected their network security is because of the complexity and cost associated with establishing different solutions for different problems.
For instance, one box acted as a firewall, another as a router (or wireless router) to connect the network to the rest of the cloud, another box performed anti-virus, yet another dealt with anti-spam and then there was the need for a solution to handle the load of traffic through these boxes and through the gateway (load balancing).
In short, it was complicated, expensive and very difficult to manage it all.
Unified Threat Management appliances did away with the need for all these "point" solutions and instead, integrated them into a single, unified solution. With a UTM solution, all you have to worry about is one box, with one set of management issues, one vendor to deal with and one support contract but most of all, the cost of a UTM solution is clearly within the budget for even the smallest of small businesses.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Business Networking - Is It an Art or a Science?

But first let's define Business Networking and then discuss what it is and what it is not.
Wikipedia defines Business Networking as a "socioeconomic activity by which groups of like-minded business people recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities".
Business Networking organizations have created models of referral networking activities, and teach their members, that when followed, these models will allow the business person to discover and build new business relationships which will result in more business referral opportunities.
However, these activities will not give rise to generating business opportunities without the participant successfully building relationships with other participants deep enough where trust is established. The process required before trust can be established is often referred to as the Know Me, Like Me, Trust Me Learning Curve.
Know Me, Like Me, Trust Me.
Like any process, it's a series of steps where business professionals take the time to get to Know, Like and Trust others before feeling comfortable referring their best clients to.
The Know Me, Like Me, Trust Me Learning Curve takes time to complete. Therefore, Business Networking activities are designed to shorten that learning curve time thus maximizing the participant's rate of return on invested time.
So how does this referral marketing methodology work?
First, they need to Know you.
It may seem obvious, but people have to Know you exist before they'll do business with you. They need to be keenly aware of the product and services that you offer. More importantly, they need to understand what makes you and the way you render your services different from your competitors.
Not only must other business professionals be aware of you and your business, but they need to Know what makes you different. They need to answer the question for themselves, "Why should I use you over your competition?"
Secondly, they need to Like you.
Your prospective referral sources need to answer the question, "Would I feel comfortable working with this person?" Unfortunately, many people judge a book by its cover. Therefore, a professional appearance is paramount. Even the roofer, plumber, etc needs to be aware of this when they are out in public doing their business networking activities. Enhancing your appearance will only increase the number of folks who are willing to get to know you better.
But your appearance is only one small piece of getting people to Like you. What you say and how you say it will play a large role in your likability. People are always watching you even when you are not speaking directly to them. Your attitude will determine your altitude in business. People naturally gravitate to likeable people. Always be warm and genuine and folks will see someone they want to get to Know better because they are starting to Like you.
The third step in the learning curve is Trust.
Once someone Knows you exist, recognizing what you offer is different and finds you Likable to the point where they are comfortable speaking with you, it's time to establish Trust. Many times in the Business Networking environment, the Trust factor is not established without at least a small leap of faith.
A cautious potential referral source may engage your services for them personally before referring you to others. This is called a First Degree Referral. The First Degree Referral is a lower risk proposition than referring you to their clients (i.e. a Second Degree Referral).
This first referral will either establish Trust or it won't. Most of that will be up to you.
So, is Business Networking an art or a science?
So it can be argued, that Business Networking is both an art and a science. The art is successfully making and developing relationships which is hinged upon successfully navigating the Know Me, Like Me, Trust Me Learning Curve.
The science is creating the best or optimized environment for the Know Me, Like Me, Trust Me process to successfully take place and maximizing the desired outcomes as efficiently and quickly as possible.
From both respects, one thing is clear. People are apt to only do business with people and organizations that they Know, Like and Trust. Business Professionals who learn how to effectively and efficiently use Business Networking as the center piece of their marketing plan will be rewarded the most.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Networking Success Tip - Develop a Business Networking Plan

You've made your choice. You've decided to use business networking as a way of "getting" more clients, more referrals and more sales.
What are you "getting" yourself into?
You're getting yourself into a process where relationship building comes first and business building follows.
Networking is the most effective face-to-face business building tool in existence.
Business networking is all about establishing and maintaining relationships that foster trust, friendship and referrals.
A referral is the act of introducing someone you trust to someone you care about.
People buy from people that they like and trust. People give referrals to people they like and they trust.
Those who are ready, willing, and able to give referral leads want to know that you can be counted upon, and that you can be trusted to "deliver as promised."
Now you know everything about networking there is to know.
You're ready to jump in. You're ready to make the most of every business and social networking opportunity.
You load yourself up with your business cards. You create flyers and brochures to serve as handouts. You practice your introductory "elevator" speech.
You get in your car. You drive to the meeting location. You enter the gathering. You begin to follow your predetermined networking plan.
What is your business networking plan? What goals are included in your plan?
Whether you network to promote your business, get referrals or build a database, you must have goals. You must have a plan.
What is your networking plan? Is it written out?
You may ask, "Why do I need a written plan?"
After all---you may want to go to the event and just "schmooze." (Schmooze is a technical term for friendly communication in a group setting).
The "all I want to do is schmooze a little" mindset is the companion piece to the selling strategy entitled, "I'll just go into the appointment and see what happens."
Effective business networking, and effective selling, can certainly include some "schmoozing." However, any expectation of consistent networking or sales results without a well-defined strategy falls into the category of wishful thinking.
Your networking goals should be clearly defined within your overall marketing strategy.
If you're like most business people, you don't have a marketing strategy. Most business people "wing it."
Your networking strategy is clarified in your marketing plan. A written business plan includes a marketing plan component.
A well written business plan contains the goals and fully researched projections for your business. It is against these goals and projections that you measure your business successes and shortcomings.
If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.
I believe that every business should have a written business plan. If you've not yet gotten around to the task of developing a full business plan, you can still develop a simple, stand-alone marketing plan, one that places the spotlight on business networking, on a single sheet of paper in an hour or less.
Decide on your networking strategy. Make the strategy simple, e.g. collecting names for your newsletter database.
Decide on your networking goals. An example of a networking goal might be, "Out of the people I talk to at the networking event, I will find three who have an interest in receiving my newsletter."
Please keep in mind that a well conceived marketing strategy does not equate to a business "quick fix." As with any marketing or advertising plan you must have patience. Effective marketing is a process, not an outcome.
If you don't have a networking plan, you're not alone. 9 out of 10 of my clients ask for some assistance in formulating both a "do-able" networking strategy and an effective introductory "elevator" speech.
If you are interested in receiving a set of questions that will make it easier to complete your simple marketing plan project, please go to the resources section of the website and download your complimentary copy of "A Simple Plan."
Networking Success Tip from Ike - Write out your networking plan. Make your goals accomplishable. Commit to your plan and follow it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ideas For A Business: Network Marketing Online Is Easier

Looking at ideas for a business? Are you serious about building a business of your own? Take a look at network marketing as you can make a lot of money as an MLM distributor if you do it the correct way.
In the past MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) opportunities were tried and failed by many people. Today the success ratio has increased greatly. This is because the Internet makes it possible to build a very large network marketing business from the comfort of your own home.
The business opportunity enables you to make money when products are moved through your MLM organization. This is done by building a downline of distributors and then wholesaling and retailing products.
1. Selling products to retail customers is important. To exist every business needs to sell products. When you sell at the retail level you are increasing your cash flow because of the markup of the products themselves.
A fast way to get products out to customers is by using the internet. The MLM company will ship the products for you. They even collect the money from the customers and send you commissions on a predetermined basis according to the compensation plan.
2. Building a large downline of distributors is where the money comes from in network marketing. You do this by personally enrolling people.
The more people you personally sign up the larger your group can become. You also make money when the people you enroll are enrolling new distributors.
Most MLM distributors will buy their own products and the company will reward you on a percentage basis for those purchases as well. Your income can increase dramatically as your group develops into hundreds or thousands of people.
Using Internet based products allows you to build a worldwide operation much faster. Because there is so much competition in physical products such as nutritional supplements online, Internet products are a great way to build an MLM business.
Ideas for this include membership training sites, shopping clubs, domain names, and much more. Anything that provides instant access online gives you the chance to build your business all around the world with no shipping involved.
The Internet enables you to present your business opportunity by using a company provided website or by developing your own website. Many MLM companies provide excellent marketing materials that you can plug your Internet business into.
We suggest network marketing as a perfect business opportunity for all the above reasons. As you look at ideas for a business you certainly want to closely analyze MLM opportunities.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Finally - Home Based Business Network Marketing Explained In Simple Language

If people all around you are speaking about getting involved in home based business network marketing, and you are not sure what they are talking about or why they are so excited, your questions will be answered by the end of the short article. You are going to know what that means and why it may be in your best interest to find one that is perfect for you.
It you hear the term, network marketing, and all you can think of is those TV channels that sell products to lonely people, you are probably doing too much channel surfing. Actually it is another term for multi-level marketing. Many individuals have been able to use it to become financially free and make various dreams come true.
Regardless of what you might refer to it as, home based business network marketing really can be exciting since you have the opportunity to work in tandem with a group of individuals who share a common set of dreams and goals. When you recruit other people to join you, the better they do, the better you will do. When the system works as it is designed, no one is left to themselves, and everyone works with each other.
When you join a network marketing company, you agree to buy a set amount of products on a monthly basis. You have to option to buy more than the minimum and to sell the extras to people for a higher price, but it is not required. In the past that was expected, but these days the purchases are generally for the purpose of personal consumption.
When you join a network marketing program you sign up for monthly products, for a cost of about fifty to one hundred dollars. The people that you sign up to join your downline also make the same purchase minimum each month. Your direct referrals are your 1st level, and their direct referrals on your 2nd level.
This downline will go on about five or ten levels deep. You make money from everyone on your team that is below you. On the other hand, everyone on your team that is above you, makes money on your purchases.
In time and with work, it is possible to make some very good monthly income with MLM network marketing. You will need to have duplication in your organization. This means that you not only must get good at finding referrals, but you need to train them to find referrals and they need to train their referrals to keep the process going.
Many network marketers have built teams of hundreds of individuals in their downlines, earning them a lot of money each and every month. Home based business network marketing is not guarantee to make you rich, but with work and dedication, you may find yourself more than making up for that job that was lost, or you might even finally be able to fire that boss you don't like.
People are very excited about home based business network marketing, and for good reason. A lot of money can be made while helping other people to be successful. When they do well, then you also do well. Sometimes it seems complicated, but it really isn't. You refer people to join under you and teach them how to refer people to join under them. Everyone makes purchases each month, and you will earn a profit from all your team members who are below you. You team members above you make a profit from your purchases. When your referrals start duplicating what you are doing, and it continue to grow downward, you can end up with some very good monthly income.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Business Networking International Review - Review on BNI

Business Networking International otherwise known as BNI was founded by business consultant Ivan Misner in 1985. The company forms referral networking groups all over the world. These groups meet on a weekly basis and the objective to attend and become a member in a BNI group is to increase your referral business.
There are many benefits to joining a BNI networking chapter or any other networking group. The number one reason anyone joins a networking group is to gain referrals and increase business. The larger your network is the more business you are going to create. Another great benefit of networking is the knowledge and information you will receive from other professionals in various different fields. Your public speaking skills will also improve with practice.
There are several strict rules and guidelines that members in BNI have to abide by. Some of these rules include: Only one member from each profession or industry are aloud into a BNI Chapter. You are only aloud to miss two meetings per year. Members of a designated chapter are not aloud to visit other chapters. This is called cross chapter networking.
Costs and Start-up
BNI recruits business owners to start chapter networking groups in their community. The presidents receive training to start and run a networking group. The president of the new chapter receives a free membership for the first year of the group starting up. The president position is rotated every year through an election process. The president does not receive any compensation for running the group. The membership cost for BNI members is $330 with an additional first year registration fee of $100.
BNI has been a very successful business model for many years and seems to be very effective for small business owners to generate referrals. The only real problem that I see with BNI is their inability to pay the presidents that run and manage the group. The presidents do a lot of work soliciting and recruiting potential members to the group. They are benefiting for their business, however this takes a great deal of time away from them actually running their business.
There are many competitive business networking groups out their and BNI is definitely the largest networking organization out there. I would make sure to research diligently and choose the right networking group for yourself.
There is a new business networking organization that is looking to revolutionize the networking arena. The Biz Society is based on a social networking platform and pays their presidents 20% of all membership. This organization allows any business professional to start a group in their area. They give them the tools and instruction on how to start and run a successful group.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Business Networking in China

Thousands of foreigners from all parts of the globe are currently residing and doing business in China. Physically removed from their home business contacts, networking becomes doubly important for building new business relationships, as well as for enjoying social intercourse necessary for keeping one's sanity while living in a new and different country.
To fill this need, business associations and networking groups organize hundreds of networking events throughout the year. Most of these take place in two of China's biggest cities, Shanghai and Beijing, which are home to a large percentage of foreign business people working in China.
Let's look at some of the business networking opportunities in China.
Some of the best networking events are organized by the various chambers of commerce. The largest chamber, the American Chamber of Commerce, organizes dozens of events throughout the year. Many of these take the form of lectures or seminars with guest speakers. Others are "membership mixers" especially designed for networking.
The chambers also organize less formal events such Aussie Drinks, a weekly gathering of people interested in business networking and meeting socially. It's sponsored by the Australian Chamber of Commerce.
You don't necessarily have to be a member to attend chamber events -- guest are usually welcome.
The Fortune Connection Club in Shanghai (FC Club for short) is part of a global networking organization. They sponsor excellent events in stylish venues such as Shanghai's Azul restaurant. Examples of typical FC Club events are the Entrepreneur, Business and Finance Social Networking Evenings and the Fashion, Media and Creative Industries Social Networking Evenings.
Another networking organization that puts on good events is the OK, Deal! Club in Shanghai. An example of an OK, Deal! event is the Business Mixer and Social Networking Night which brings together business people, entrepreneurs and head hunters. Attendees must be at least 25 years old and have a minimum of 4 years work experience. The event is held in a 5-star hotel.
Other regular networking opportunities are provided by Green Drinks Shanghai. Green Drinks is mostly for people working on environmental issues, but anyone can come including people from business or government.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Business Networking - How To Effectively Compete When You Are Not Alone

Business Networking - How To Effectively Compete When You Are Networking In A Non-Profession Exclusive Group
As many seasoned Business Networking professionals know, there are a number of organizations that offer the very best training to its Members in the art and science of Business Networking. Personally, the 5 years I that received Business Network Referral training and guidance with the number one Business Networking organization in the world has been nothing short than life changing for me. Learning and mastering proven referral based marketing techniques of accelerating relationship building is the most important factor in my many years of success in business.
Without this education and training, I would have surely failed.
But what do you do when you are outside the confines of your Business Networking organization? You know, in the real world where there may be, in my case, two or three other computer guys in the room. How do you compete with that? The answer is quite simple.
But first, let's talk about what not to do.
First, don't get up tight and defensive. People can sense this. Yes, it's disconcerting at first to realize you are not the only one who, in my case, "sells" computer services. You must get a grip and realize that the way you render your services really is quite different than any of your competitors.
Secondly, don't resort to price competition in your Business Networking. Simply stating that you are cheaper than anyone else is only going to bring you short term customers who will quickly move on to the next service professional who may be cheaper than you the next time they have a need. In the service business, price is much further along in the sales process as it should be. People hire service professionals based on "Know, Like and Trust" and then price.
Thirdly, don't make the mistake of not observing how your competition presents themselves. Remember, it's not about you! It's about your prospective customers and potential referral sources. You can learn a lot about your competitors by watching how they present themselves.
Listen carefully to what they say and how they say it. Pay close attention to their entire presentation "package" - How they look; How they say what say; Be keenly aware of their body language; Watch their audience's reactions as they speak and interact with others. With a little time spent observing and talking with your competition, you'll be amazed how much you'll learn.
OK, so what should you do with this observed competitor "intel"? First things first.
First, adjust your own emotional attitude about competitors being present. You should truly be glad that they are present. If you are mentally defensive, trust me, it will show and you'll be think more about how you feel vs what you should do. You should openly embrace your business networking competitors. Your frame of mind is the most important thing to adjust to effectively compete.
Secondly, you need to show your audience that the services you offer are different than anyone else in the room. Though everyone says they want to save a buck but, in reality, price is usually the last consideration before someone hires a service professional. The most important factors are they need to Know, Like and Trust you first, long before price comes into the picture. (Yes, this was worth repeating.)
In a technical service industry, like the computer repair and network support business, most consumers are afraid of the technical stuff. They need to feel comfortable that YOU are the right person and the process of working with you will be painless; maybe even enjoyable.
Thirdly, Do Not use any technical jargon, what-so-ever, unless it's absolutely necessary. If you do, you should give a very simple explanation of each term, etc. Speak to their fears. Use simple language when describing what you do and, above all, comfort them that they have nothing to worry about if they use your services.
Your message must convince them that you, personally, will take great care of them and their issues. For example, one of the most successful insurance companies on the planet, Allstate, tells their audience that they are "In Good Hands". You need to communicate this same message too.
So the next time you are doing your Business Networking thing and or avoiding going to networking events because there may be competition there, remember the following:
  1. Go with the idea that you are there to learn about other people including your competitors and, yeah, to have an enjoyable time.
  2. Use your Business Networking skill set and do some reconnaissance. Learn how to best differentiate yourself from your competition in ways that are important to your potential customers.
  3. When you have an opportunity to get in front of a prospective customer and or referral source don't use industry jargon, ask questions and speak to their concerns.
  4. If you find yourself talking "price" right away, you're probably not in front of the right prospect anyway. Move on and adjust your approach.
Referral based marketing is one of the most powerful tools a service professional can use to siginficantly boost their business especially during economically challenegd times.
The next step is yours. Learning and mastering effective Business Networking techniques will ultimately determine your business success or failure. Obtaining solid Business Networking training is where you should start. Knowledge and skill in Business Networking separates you from your competition.

Friday, March 18, 2011

5 Business Networking Tips Anyone Can Follow

Learning how to network well is essential to job search and career success. It doesn't matter what level of business networking skills you have. These 5 business networking tips can either help you get started or serve as a good reminder. Use these 5 business networking tips at any event and see results.
  1. Be focused and specific - know exactly what you would like to get out of a business networking event. "I want to build more contacts" or " I hope to find some good leads to job opportunities" are good intentions but TOO VAGUE. If you only have a general idea of what you want out of an event, you will only get general suggestions in return. Try this instead "I want to find entry-level product manager positions in the high-tech industry. As a result, at this event, I want to connect with product managers or recruiters in high-tech companies - to 1) find out what it takes to get into product management or 2) see if they would be willing to give me feedback on my resume by email or 3) find out what they like or don't like about their job." You can have 2 or 3 areas of focus for one business networking event. This way you can adapt your conversation based on who you meet. It also helps to know well what kind of people will be at an event so you define your focus accordingly.
  2. Have low expectations - Now you know what you hope to accomplish, it's important to NOT expect it. Expecting a certain level of results puts undue pressure on yourself and can lead you to sound stiff or pushy or rigid at an event. I usually tell myself, if it doesn't seem like I am having fruitful conversations then I can always leave early. This gives me a relaxed mindset and any results I get would be bonus. Also, there are plenty of networking events out there. It's better to go to a few more and therefore allow some to be "duds" than force yourself to make each one very productive. Maybe you are just off one night as well - better cut your losses and go home early.
  3. Practice being bold - Once you are at the event, remember to talk to strangers and engage in conversations that may help with your focus. It's amazing how many people go to business networking events only to stand in a corner with a drink or food or talk only to their friends and who they know. I know I have done this plenty of times. Most of us are shy with strangers. But the nature of networking well requires us to go beyond our comfort zone and talk to new people. Remember why you are there (see #1). Don't go with friends to networking events. They can become an easy crutch. Go by yourself and if you have access to a description of the people who are attending, look at it in advance and circle anyone you may want to meet. Then just do it when you are there - start conversations to get to know people. Most likely they also have a level of discomfort and probably appreciate you striking up a conversation, so they are not standing alone. Also remember #2 - you may not always be smooth or graceful in every conversation - how you start it, how you lead it, how you end it, but it's okay. You are allowed to make mistakes - it's the only way to practice. Besides, these are all strangers. If it doesn't work out or you did something awkward - shake it off! They don't really know you anyway.
  4. Pay it forward - You cannot just take from networking events. You also gotta give when you can. This business networking tip is essential as you also want to build a reputation as someone who can help others. No one likes "networking stalkers" who just want stuff. If you know a recruiter who specializes in the finance function and you met someone looking for work in that area, offer to connect them. This person will be super appreciative and they do not need to be someone who can also help you. Think of this as good karma and you are just paying it forward - you help someone and they can help someone else. Eventually, that will come around in a good way for you. Trust me. So in your conversations, not only guide it toward what you need but also consciously listen for how you can help.
  5. Follow up - it's fruitless to follow all the business networking tips above at an event if you don't put efforts to make the most of it afterwards. Follow up does not mean emailing everyone you met. Remember your focus and prioritize your follow-up activities - they can include connecting with people on Linkedin, sending emails to people who agreed to provide information to you, and also emailing people to help them with something.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Securing Your Business Network

This article is going to explain how to secure your business network. There are a number of things every company should have implemented whether they are small, medium or large. Improving your network security and policies will help to prevent any problems that could occur now or in the future.
The first one is rather obvious, or at least I would hope it is. A good antivirus is essential, there are a number of software packages available for business users, however if you are a very small business (below 5 computers) you can probably use free antiviruses legally.
The second is another given, a good firewall to protect your business network from the outside world. This will prevent any bad packets accessing your network and help to prevent hackers from breaking in.
Peerblock is another great program you should have on your network. This program can be configured to block bad servers, known hackers and other various people from accessing your network. It works using pre set lists and blocks or allows all the IP addresses on each list. This program also helps keep your online and downloading habits protected.
Every user should be made to have a strong password. As well as this they should be made to change their passwords every few months. A good password policy is essential these days to help fight against brute force attacks and dictionary attacks, as a simple password would be cracked fast.
Site blocking is another option. Some businesses may choose to block specific websites such as Facebook, MySpace or YouTube, to try and improve worker efficiency and to prevent users going on bad websites and exposing the computers to malware.
User access rights must be properly set, this means that a new user doesn't have full access to the network as they are not yet trusted. By implementing this change, if a new users account gets breached the attacker will only have the same rights as the user they breached.
Although there are a number of things you can do to try and protect your network, unfortunately there is never anything yon do that will protect your data and network 100%. You will usually find, the thing that lets the whole system down will be the users. so it always essential to make sure all your business network users are fully trained and know the consequences for their actions.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Optical Transceiver Modules Can Meet Business Network Designer Specifications

In order to create a fluid network that will allow transfer of data from a source to an end receiver via a wireless network, particular optical transceiver modules with varying bandwidth capacities and transfer speeds were made attainable for the market to utilize. Supplying speedy transmission with minimal amount of interference and increased signal security, MSA specified innovative solutions are unlike the average use of RF integrated circuits. Among the optical transceivers commonly used today are XENPAK modules, built in a variety of physical layer interfaces upholding fiber optic modules that are of multiple or single modes.
Built in accordance to IEEE's 10 Gigabit Ethernet standards, XENPAK modules are made in line with leading transceiver and equipment producers' specifications. They make integration tasks much simpler because these devices are hot-removable and hot-insertable. It can convey information transfers in bulk within a transmission distance of 100 meters to 80 kilometers on standard CX4 cables. They are able to upgrade circuit capacity without the need for cable reinstallation and are likewise very efficient to operate on various wavelengths. To the contrary, compact form factors like SFP modules are currently trending more, even though these modules are guaranteed to deliver better system performance.
Traditional soldered-in modules of the past are now inferior when compared to these convenient, small, modular optical interface transceivers. The SFP modules, or small form factor pluggable transceivers, are not only applauded for their compact size, but also their sturdiness when it comes to their industrial performance. These hot-swappable devices are also very useful in implementing Gigabit Ethernet and Fiber channels in storage area networks and data centers.
Models made by Cisco are widely used and have become the industry's standard even though Huawei and Hewlett Packard are amongst the leading brands for SFP modules. This is probably because Cisco SFPs are backed by a multitude of switches, routers, and optical transport devices. Containing an assigned serial number, as well as the vendor name and ID, and a unique security code, Cisco SFP modules are safeguarded with a serial EEPROM.
Most of their choices in the use of modules are based on price, reach, type of supported media, device size and power consumption as software designers are searching for quicker time-to-market options to aid multiple capabilities. They can be encouraged that they can have the right distinctions to address their needs, regardless of whichever optical transceiver they implement into their systems. Businesses and industries' fervent demand for better performance will definitely be achieved as this phase of innovation moves ahead.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Benefits Of Business Networking

Are you starting a new business? Or maybe you already have a small business? Whichever is the case you will no doubt have made business plan, forecast your cash flow and probably frightened yourself as to where all your money has gone.
In order to generate new business it's essential to market your business and certainly this can be a very costly business. Advertising is seriously expensive and in my mind it works best for those already with an established brand because it's about recognition and repetition, so unless you're already in the league of Coca Cola it's probably not a good solution.
Business networking is not about a closed shop where everyone gives each other work, it's much more powerful than that. It's fundamentally about the act referring business to people that you have grown to know, like and trust, and for them to do the same for you. Understanding how to give a quality referral is an art itself and something that I cannot cover today so for the time being let's just consider the benefits of business networking.
It is not a well known fact but 70% of new business that your company gets is through word of mouth. Networking allows you to formally explain what your business is about and as fellow networking business people get to know you so you will naturally start to win new sales leads because people like to pass business to people that they know.
Simply attending a networking event will raise your profile especially if you network on a regular basis. Remember my earlier point about advertising; recognition and repetition, attending a regular networking event achieves this.
Not only do you have the opportunity to present your business, you also get to meet with a lot of business people from other walks of life that will inevitably be able to help solve some of your problems. And you will be able to do the same, it's all part of the relationship building process and at the end of the day it's this relationship that counts when recommending someone's services.
You'll also get to know an awful lot of people that will be able to help you when you have a problem. Have you ever picked up the yellow pages and looked for a particular service? How do you choose? It really is hit and miss. By getting to know reliable contacts who can provide you with what you want and who can be trusted is worth so much in terms of your time and money.
Likewise, if there's no one in your network who can help, the chances are that someone knows someone who can and will recommend them. Suddenly you find that your business is moving forward at a much more rapid pace. Your confidence will soar!
Sharing experiences is also part of the game. Just talking to people about their experiences, their goals and their problems will stimulate lots of new ideas and open your mind to new opportunities. All of a sudden you have a completely new approach to doing something or even a new business venture that you may never have otherwise thought of.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Small Business Network Security

We have all heard the story of the hacker "taking down" a corporate network, maybe stealing corporate data or even someone's personal information. The millions of dollars lost, the credit card numbers now publicly available, or even private photos stolen and now not so private.
What we don't often hear is of hackers targeting small to medium-sized businesses. The sector, in fact, is under serious threat. Verizon's 2011 Data Breach Investigations Report indicates that the small to medium businesses have become the main target for hackers. This is clearly linked to the lack of security investment made by smaller companies that has created an environment where there is relatively low risk for hackers compared to targeting major corporations.
What does it cost?
According to Symantec's SMB Information Protection Survey, the average cost of cyber attacks for a small to medium business is $188,242. This number is especially daunting since smaller companies are typically not insured against cyber theft or hacking (usually covered by a cyber insurance endorsement). Clearly, most small businesses simply cannot afford to take the risk of a hacking incident.
Why does this happen?
Small businesses maintain valuable employee, customer, and industry data just like large businesses. Because small businesses often fail to adequately protect their networks, hackers can automate the hacking process and steal valuable data easily. Additionally, small businesses often don't notice hacking activity until it is too late - which allows for hackers to breach networks and steal data without detection.
1. Implement a firewall appliance in business office and home offices. Also, install a software firewall on all machines used on public networks (coffee shops for example). Simply put, a good firewall is a barrier that keeps hackers out.
2. Develop a corporate security policy. This policy should include password protections including creating complex passwords and changing passwords at least every 90 days. Additionally, the policy should direct employees to safely use the internet and network resources provided them by the company. Consequences for violating this policy should be also included.
3. Install and maintain anti-virus software that automatically updates, scans and protects all computers. Employees should be educated about viruses and discouraged from opening emails with suspicious attachments or from unknown senders.
4. Keep operating systems up to date each month. Microsoft releases patches and updates on the second Tuesday of each month and updates should be installed shortly after on each computer. Additionally, ask your IT Service Provider to check updates on your server(s), network equipment and PCs regularly.
5. Implement email security. Outsourcing email security to a known email security provider will allow emails to be cleaned prior to ever reaching business networks. This will cut down on maintenance costs and threats. Additionally, ensure that the company antivirus product chosen integrates with your email application.
6. Update your insurance policy. Small businesses should ask their insurance agent to add a cyber insurance endorsement to their business insurance policy. This will alleviate the cost of breach notices, damages and possible litigation.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Becoming a Business Network Celebrity

When you get into business networking, your life will change. Your inner celebrity will begin to emerge. When you change peoples' lives you will start to impact your community. YOU will get to be KNOWN. Having top of mind awareness in the community will not only bring you money in your business, it will elevate you to being a celebrity in your community and you will have to have the standards. Follow these simple rules and bring out the celebrity in you.
1. LIVE WITH INTEGRITY: When you were a child, do you remember your parents, teachers or peers say, "DO what is Right!" In life, it's all about making a CHOICE and using Integrity above all else. When doing what is RIGHT, it's not always comfortable and at times you might feel like you are on a path less traveled or unpopular. Integrity is about "Who You Are" and "What You are All About" and "What Your Values Stand For".
2. DON'T BLAME OTHERS: We all have WOES. It's easy to blame others for our woes. It's a CHOICE to make the DECISION to own your life and own your own woes. Being a Business Network Celebrity, you will have the choice to let the World affect you or go out into the World and affect others in a positive way!
3. BE AUTHENTIC: Come from the HEART. Give up pretending to be somebody that you are not. Express yourself, be courageous and don't be afraid to show the world "Who You Are and How Special and Unique You Really Are". When we pretend, we keep others from meeting the "REAL YOU". Be okay to open your heart fully and allow yourself to experience pain as well as joy.
4. MAKE CHANGES: If you always DO what you have always done, you will always get what you always got! In other words, nothing changes, if nothing changes. Let go of FEAR and take a Risk to make the changes needed in your life and business.
5. EVERYTHING IN LIFE HAS A PURPOSE: I found that by recognizing and having Faith in the Lord, I TRUST that HE is in control of my life and my circumstances and HE has given me everything I need to take on the Challenges that life presents to me at every moment. I want the BEST for all of the people that I meet. I know that by Letting Go and Letting God, giving up resisting what you can't control and just allowing yourself to go with the flow of life, rather than against it, will allow you to live in the present moment with JOY - whatever it brings your way!
With these tips and putting them into practice you will get your inner personal celebrity to come out. Being a Business Networking Celebrity will change not only your life, but all of those whom you come in contact with. I write these thoughts to help you gain the Relationships necessary to be Successful in both your Personal and Business Life.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Home Business - Network Marketing

Let's take a look at how things used to work... You are on your way to the homes of friends or family and find yourself knocking on the door. Who's There? The outdated marketer attempting to convince you to sign with my business is at the door. Won't you please, please sign up? It's a dandy opportunity and the advantages are amazing! I simply know you'll love it and you'd be perfect for it - it's totally what you need! Please do this favor and take a look at the info on my company. I simply know you'll agree with me that there's nothing else like it out there today. Are you ready to get started? Sign here, please.
Sound like something you've been through? Regrettably and unhappily, we have all been there, haven't we? We have been ostracized by neighbors, friends, even the letter carrier runs past the house in order to avoid you answering the door for fear of hearing about your home business. This is dinosaur marketing. That's what we were instructed. Everybody is a candidate for your business or products. That is not always true nowadays.
Thank goodness, things have evolved and marketing for your home business has evolved also. No longer is it essential to beat individuals up attempting to convince them to sign up with your opportunity. Reality is, every opportunity out there is unique and everybody has something special. But how do you pull in the individuals to you that truly want what you have?
Get them to come to you to find out about your home business. That's correct. Get individuals to come to you by branding yourself as somebody exceptional. People want somebody who's well-educated in their field. They also want somebody who's seen as a leader. Somebody they prefer to do business with and not somebody who they would like to run away from when they come along. We must utilize attraction marketing. We've heard the term many times recently (unless you've been on a deserted island) but not everybody is quite up to speed on what it is and how it goes.
Essentially, attraction marketing has the following elements:
• Draw in candidates to you
• Build a Relationship with your candidates with your net content
• Pre-sell with your content - Give 1st, Take 2nd
• Constitute trust and place yourself as an authority with branding
This is the fresh prototype when it comes to selling in today's market. No longer do you have to go after candidates, hoping they'll join your home business or opportunity. It's constructing a warm market on the web. The goal is to generate attraction between us and our prospects by supplying value based info. People need and require info that they can utilize in the marketplace. Info that will help boost their business or their brainpower about home business.
It doesn't matter what you write on, as long as you target your market, supply useful info, and establish a relationship with them by continuing to provide this info on an ongoing foundation. Provide a free e-book, a free newsletter; anything that will get the candidate returning for more as they begin to see you as a leader in your area.
Individuals start to know who you are and trust is finally built because of that familiarity. Relationships take time to grow and this is no different. You need to take the time to work on that relationship on-line as contrary to face to- face but the outcomes can be amazing.
The Net provides the chance to reach the masses with a touch. Outmoded marketing calls for a lot of leg work (literally) to establish these relationships and there's no guarantee that these relationships will be individuals who are targeted for your particular market.

Friday, January 14, 2011

An open letter to the Utah State Legislature

Dear members of the Utah State Legislature,
I was troubled (but not surprised) by a recent blog post by Speaker Lockhart posted regarding the redistricting process and the complaints that have arisen from it.
In essence, she speaks down to the complaints of those who feel that the process has been unfair – emphasizing that the process has been perfectly legal. This, I feel, is a true statement; however her words (and by extension the words of the body) reflect a hubris that many are truly complaining about.
This complaint is nothing new – indeed some form of it has existed since the dawn of civilization. But the degree and duration of such holier than thou attitudes seem to have increased over the past five or so years (certainly it seems this way for as long as I have been following the Legislature). This seemed to have reached its peak with the HB 477 debacle – but, in the eyes of many, both Republican and Democrat, the redistricting process has been some cruel encore presentation.
It appears that the Legislature has, once again, willfully ignored the will of (at the very least) a sizable minority of the people in an effort to maintain political power at the expense of the citizens of the State of Utah.
It is said that politics is dictated by those who show up. And time and time again, from all corners of the state, those who chose to show up to the public meetings regarding redistricting overwhelmingly asked that communities be kept together; that city, county, and regional lines be kept together as much as possible. On top of this we drew maps, joined coalitions, and aired our concerns to you – all in the hopes that you would listen.
But no one was really all that surprised when you attempted to push through a federal map that had been unseen by the public – amended from a basic map that did not conform to the wishes of those who voiced their concerns.  Were we angry? Yes. But in reality we were disappointed.
We were disappointed that you continue to hide behind disingenuous defenses.  For example, it is true that a “community of common interest” is an intangible that can not easily put down, but to quote Justice Stewart “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.”
We were disappointed because in one breath legislators say that they should be in charge of the process because they know the state and its citizens, and in the next they seem to say that they cannot see the difference between Salt Lake City and Monticello because the term is too vague.  Having lived in this state my entire life, I can tell you that they have very little in common – yet this concept seems to evade you. Furthermore, having lived in this state, I can tell you that there are four unique regions: Salt Lake Metro, Provo Metro, Ogden Metro, and rural Utah.  Of course each area has its own unique quirks, but it seems bizarre that you can’t even find a general boundary to agree upon.
We were disappointed because you continue to hide behind the argument that an urban/rural mix would ensure that all of the states interested would be represented by all of its representatives.  I would posit this point to you: The Constitution specifically set up the Senate for the task of representing the interests of the state, not the House. Indeed, the House was designed to be as representative of the passing whims of as many varied and different interests of the districts. Representatives were designed to represent the specific interests of specific people – the idea being that the multiple, various, and in many cases opposed, viewpoints would have to debate issues on a national stage.  By spreading a Representative out across various urban/rural districts, you are asking those in Congress to simultaneously vote for a water bill that helps the urban and hurts the rural area of the district, to vote for an urban rail line and not improvements to a country road, to fight for inner city school programs and against country development programs – the list goes on and on.
We are disappointed because you argue that no independent commission is unbiased…yet somehow neglect to mention the fact that you too have very specific biases that enter into the equation. When this is brought up, you state that, because you are elected officials, the voters can ultimately hold you accountable. Two points: First, the bias an independent, bipartisan commission may favor one political party over another, however this bias is reduced by having equal representation on both sides, thereby making it more likely that they will listen to the concerns of the citizenry. The second point is that the legislature still  has ultimate approval of any map; so even if an independent commission did propose a map, you still would vote on it and still be responsible to the voters.
We are disappointed because we know your bias is much more immediate and much more personal. An independent commission could be created and dissolved in relativity short order. You, however, in order to do the business of being a legislator, must make deals to advance your agenda – and to that point, sometimes advancing your agenda means advancing your career. We know you are too close to the process and that you can’t admit that you have a horse in the race beyond representing the people.
And this brings me back to my ultimate point: we are disappointed because you can rightly claim up and down that the process is legal, but we all know that you can not claim that the process is fair. You continue to talk out of both sides of your mouth, thumb your noses at legitimate requests from community members, and act as if you are above the process when we all know you are not.
So, in the end, we are not angry – just disappointed and hurt that you feel you can continue to treat us this way.
You will do what you will do, but you need to know that why we are upset, not why you think we are upset.