Effective Monitoring Solutions

The Covid-19 pandemic has had lasting effects on all of our lives. With the increasing number of remote and hybrid workers compared to before the pandemic, many employers believe that they need to monitor their employees to keep them productive closely. Some organizations invest in software programs that enable the surveillance of employees while working from home. Research suggests that investing in these monitoring solutions may have the opposite effect. Besides being a privacy concern, monitoring workers can result in tension and resentment in the workplace. 

The adverse effects of employee monitoring

The surveillance of employees can significantly lower employee morale. Many people may feel hurt or offended that upper management does not trust them, leading to increased turnover rates. At times, too much control in monitoring can be dangerous. Personal information, such as bank accounts, medical health records, or private emails can be accidentally seen. Employees may feel that their privacy is being invaded. If the company’s software or system is hacked, this information can be leaked to others.

The positive effects of employee monitoring

The advantages of employee surveillance include increased productivity and workflow and cost-effective solutions. The research found that employees work better when they know they’re being monitored as they are more conscious of their actions while at work. Team performance has also been shown to improve as the strengths and weaknesses of each member are identified, and you can delegate employees to complete work tasks that they can be successful in. By implementing surveillance software, employers are more than likely to “get their money’s worth” while paying employees since employees will be paid for the time they are being productive. Employee monitoring software does not have to be expensive. It ranges from about $20 to $150 per user per year. The price depends on the number of features and licenses that are needed for the organization.

Is employee surveillance necessary?

It is essential to think about employee monitoring and how it can improve your organization’s needs. Many times, it is not necessary until problematic behaviors occur. Having a surveillance system can cause adverse effects within the company. Therefore, it should only be used when absolutely necessary.

Why monitor employees?

If you begin monitoring employees in the hopes of catching them in the act of doing things they should not be doing, such as wasting time, you are using employee surveillance for all the wrong reasons. Employee surveillance is used to measure productivity, but it can also be used to keep your company’s information secure. Monitoring employees can help detect suspicious activity like if personal information is being shared with outside sources or if private documents are being viewed. 

How can you effectively monitor employees?

As previously stated, employee monitoring software comes with various features. One feature is website tracking that can provide employers with employees’ web browser history and online activity. Application monitoring can track employees’ activity on various applications and software. Social media tracking can identify the amount of time people spend on various social media platforms and messages that were sent via social media. Email tracking is used to retrieve emails that were sent, received, or deleted. Keylogging software can keep track of what employees are typing.

AE Technology Group can help you identify and implement monitoring solutions that correspond with your organization’s goals. To learn more, contact us today at (516) 536-5006.

How to Improve MFA with the Use of Adaptive Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an electronic authentication method that gives users access to a website, application, or a VPN after successfully providing two or more verification factors. Utilizing multiple verification factors reduces the likelihood of a cybersecurity attack. Although Multi-Factor Authentication is highly recommended whenever it is available, it isn’t faultless. An improvement on these security methods is supposedly in the works. Continue reading to learn more about possible developments on the horizon. 

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Has its Issues

By providing additional authentication factors prior to accessing an account or various applications, it is clear that the account or application is made to be much more secure. However, there may be too many hurdles or obstacles that the members of your team may have to go through, which can result in employees becoming bothered, leading to decreased engagement.

In addition, the most commonly used mode of Multi-Factor Authentication is the use of a generated code provided through a smartphone. By doing so, this requires everyone to have their cell phones with them and ready at all times. Unfortunately, situations can occur and people may have either forgotten their phone, the cell phone battery dies, or their phone might have been broken. This makes the use of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) not as practical as one had hoped. 

It is obvious that there are many security benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication but there are added stresses that also come with it.

Adaptive Authentication Can Reduce This Stress

Some organizations have begun utilizing a new approach called adaptive authentication. Instead of having to provide multiple forms of verification as a means of authentication, adaptive authentication collects various kinds of data, mostly based on the user’s behavior. Majority of the time, the processes in a work day are regular and consistent. Users come up with a specific way of typing and utilizing the mouse and/or trackpad. Adaptive authentication analyzes a user’s patterns of behavior to determine whether or not the user is who he or she is claiming to be. Adaptive authentication then creates this profile to compare a user’s behavior and provides access when everything matches. 

If an action is seen as out of the ordinary, a multi-factor will be issued. For example, if an unusual device is attempting to gain access to someone’s data from a new place at a different time, a multi-factor is then requested. If everything checks out, users will be able to access whatever they need without any difficulty. 

By having a balance of security with convenience, this idea of adaptive authentication is ideal for most people. This method has been adopted by many companies in various industries. Although it may not yet be available to small- or medium-sized businesses, it is definitely something to keep in mind for the future. 

At AE Technology Group, we are always striving to help you and your business maintain a sense of security within your business operations, in hopes to improve the overall productivity and efficiency of your company. For any questions or to learn more about adaptive authentication, give us a call today at 954.474.2204.

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Downsizing Offices: Hybrid workplaces

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way business operations are run all over the world. Both in-person and remote operations provide unique value to the processes and procedures of an organization. Hybrid work has become a popular and possibly, the more preferred approach, by many employees as it gives them a more flexible schedule. Due to this, many businesses had to reconsider how their office space is being utilized and how much of that space is actually needed. Continue reading to learn how many businesses are reassessing their office setups as a response to these changes.

Businesses Are Utilizing Less Space

A workplace management software development firm, Robin Powered, released a study in July that asked 247 respondents who are in charge of their office space and documented their responses. Robin Powered, then, created the 2022 Office Space Report with the statistics as follows:

  • 11 percent of businesses are continuing to use all of their available office space
  • 46 percent of organizations were using, at most, half of their available office space
  • 48 percent of respondents were using less of their office space before the pandemic
  • 60 percent of those organizations that were using, at most, half of their office space had started downsizing before the Covid-19 pandemic even began
  • 46 percent of businesses plan to continue reducing their available office space in 2023 with 59 percent of them planning to reduce the space by at least half

Some Businesses Might Not Be Cutting Down Their Office Space But They’re Using It Much Differently

The businesses that are not reducing their available office space are choosing to use it in a different manner. Research director of International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Future of Work, Amy Loomis, states that many organizations are remodeling extra office space for increased flexibility. In other words, the removal of cubicle desks allows for creation of multipurpose rooms and collaborative technologies in order to connect in-person employees with those people who work remotely. 

International Data Corporation administered a survey back in April that revealed companies around the world are adapting their approach in the workplace. Instead of being seen as an area where employees physically go to work to be productive and efficient, the office is becoming more of a collaborative space for training and meetings.

With Today’s Technologies, Hybrid Operations Are Much Easier

With the advancements in business information technologies, a hybrid schedule for employees has become much more accessible, while providing them with a more flexible schedule. Collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Docs, and Zoom allow for teamwork and cooperation from all employees, whether they work from home or in the office. 

We can help you turn your office space into a hybrid-friendly area for increased productivity and efficiency. 

At AE Technology Group, we can offer you and your team various IT services, solutions, and softwares to help implement hybrid operations within the organization. By doing so, employees will continue to collaborate with each other while also having a flexible schedule to allow for a better work-life balance. Give us a call at (516) 536-5006 today.

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Data Backup and Disaster Recovery

The backing up of data is a crucial part of any thriving business. Due to its simplicity and ease, it can be overlooked by many. Listed below are the steps needed to ensure your business has a successful backup solution so information can be easily recovered if a situation were to arise. 

Data Backup vs. Disaster Recovery

The terms data backup and disaster recovery have been used interchangeably and although they are closely linked processes, they are not the same thing. The practices of data backup and disaster recovery target a specific part of the organization’s business continuity process.

Data backup is the act of creating a separate, physical copy of your data that can be restored at a later date, whereas disaster recovery is the act of restoring the data using the data backup. Ultimately, one cannot happen without the other; therefore, both data backup and disaster recovery are important to the successful restoration of information for a business. 

Data Backup

It is imperative to understand which data and how much data should be backed up. Not all data is as critical as others, so it is important to determine which information is necessary to keep the business operations afloat during any and all situations. As a general rule of thumb, one should attempt to back up as much data as possible. Ideally, the backup process should happen automatically without the need for employees to run it. User error has been known to negatively harm businesses as data is not backed up regularly, resulting in the loss of pertinent information.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is the process of restoring data after a disaster. The main way to measure the effectiveness of disaster recovery is speed: how fast can data be restored in order for business operations to run smoothly? It is important to consider where the data will be restored from. Best practices indicate that one should have at least three copies of data: two physical copies that can be found in the office on two different devices and one copy stored offsite in the cloud. One should also consider running automated tests to ensure the disaster recovery process will work the way it should if an unexpected disaster were to come up.

Does your business have a backup solution that can restore important data needed to run your company? AE Technology Group has an all-in-one Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) service that can provide preventative solutions to ensure your business can continue thriving when an unexpected situation arises. For more information or to learn more, give us a call today at (516) 536-5006.

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