Make Sure Your Mobile Device Management Platform Has These Features

Businessman hand using laptop and mobile phone on wooden desk

Your mobile device management strategy is going to bleed into every other part of your business, especially in the realms of security and productivity. It is of critical importance that you ensure that your mobile device management platform is working toward your company’s operational goals, but it can be challenging at times to look at this type of technology with its many complications. Let’s dive into what makes for a solid MDM platform.

Now, we know that there are a ton of great features with mobile device management platforms, but there are some that you absolutely should never leave home without, so to speak. Here are just a few of them.

The Ability to Lock and Remotely Wipe Data

While you certainly hope that you never need to wipe your data, this feature is still necessary. If employees lose devices or if someone else steals them, you need to have a plan in place to respond to them. This includes wiping the data from these devices. This ensures that your data privacy remains intact.

Whitelisting and Blacklisting Apps

If your business has employees using mobile devices for company purposes, you should make sure that they are not downloading whatever applications they want. With a company policy in place that governs the use of applications on your mobile devices, you can control the flow of data to external applications and help to minimize data leakage. Plus, if an employee has a list of acceptable applications, they will be less likely to look for their own solutions to specific problems.

Device Tracking and Inventory

Your mobile device management platform should give you the ability to track devices and to know who is using which devices and for what purpose. With the right solution, you can collect information on how the devices are used. It can also provide you with paths to connect with employees should you discover anything about the device that presents a security problem. At the end of the day, you’re not out to breathe down your employees’ necks about how they use their devices; you just want to make sure that the device is being used for the right purposes.

Enforcement of Security Features

Mobile devices, due to their nature, should be protected in as many ways as possible, but don’t stop short at the password. You should also implement features like multi-factor authentication, including biometrics, and powerful encryption tools that can keep data located on such devices locked up tight and safe from prying eyes.

If your business wants to fully leverage the potential of its mobile device management platform, AE Technology Group can help. To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

Developing Technologies and Their Possible Business Applications

man's hand on a tablet. business technology concept

Being future-minded means that you are always on the lookout for the next big thing and how it might affect your business, be it technology or otherwise. Many developing technologies might seem like they will never see the light of day, but the reality is that many of them do have the potential to see business applications in some capacity. Let’s take a look at some of these oddball concepts and how they might transition to business use in the future.

Repurposing the Heat Generated By Computing

Computers have the ability to output a ton of heat, something that can actually cause damage to them if left unchecked. This is why it is so important to keep your server units and other computing devices cool. Rather than keep the heat down, there is now some interest in taking this heat and using it elsewhere.

Even if the computer or server unit doesn’t enjoy the heat, there are plenty of folks in colder environments that might appreciate it year-round. Considering that cloud servers can be accessed year-round, it might even be possible for computing jobs to shift from cloud servers in the north or south hemispheres as needed to account for the time of year and to utilize the heat more effectively. Cloud servers might even be hosted in residential areas so the heat can benefit the residents.

This scenario actually has some traction already, with a Facebook server in Odense, Denmark providing heat to thousands of homes there.

Medical Diagnostics from the Small Screen

In Star Trek, there is a device called the tricorder. This medical device, used by Drs. McCoy, Crusher, and Phlox, can diagnose illnesses with just a couple of chirps. It’s not unheard of for Star Trek technology to make its way into reality (think of the smartphone as a great example), but some of this technology sat firmly in the realm of fiction until recently.

Researchers have been working on pocket-sized tech to pull off all kinds of diagnostic achievements. Some are accessible, while others are more expensive, like CT and MRI scanning, simply due to the cost of components involved in them. By making them smaller and more compact in nature, it is possible that even these technologies could become commonplace in the future.

That said, science fiction cannot predict the future all the time, and while it might exist in some capacity, this technology also comes with limitations. The advancements might seem impressive, but it is still a far cry from the capabilities of Star Trek.

Raspberry-Flavored Cloud Clusters

The Raspberry Pi and other low-cost single-board computers might be seen as hobbyist toys, but they can be used effectively in the business environment thanks to the redundancy they provide.

Each Raspberry Pi is a single, self-contained device. Therefore, it is secure by nature. A virtual machine, on the other hand, shares hardware with others. The Pi clusters can be used to inexpensively run algorithms while consuming a comparatively small amount of energy. In fact, some businesses are already using these to an extent.

Innovation in IT is always leading to brilliant and interesting ways to take advantage of developing technologies, so make sure you stay on top of things, too. AE Technology Group can help you implement any developing technologies that you see as a boon for your organization.

To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

Start Investing In Your Team’s Technology

Business multiethnic colleagues having meeting in modern office. Smart business partners planning work together. Young businessman with boss working together on laptop.

We don’t believe for one second that employees want to do the wrong thing; after all, they work for you for a reason, that reason being they want to do the job you hired them to do. Unfortunately, technology can often make it so that this process becomes difficult. If you don’t invest time and effort into ensuring that your team’s technology and resources are available when they need them most, you risk them choosing unproductive or even unsecured work methods.

Employees Using Unsecured Devices

Employees will prefer to use their work technology to fulfill their day-to-day obligations. These devices might include a desktop, a work-issued laptop, and maybe a mobile device. If these devices are not maintained properly, they will not work properly, leading your employees to find solutions that are outside of your purview. This might include their personal laptop or smartphone, devices that are not secured using your company’s security solution.

The importance of maintaining your team’s technology and devices cannot be understated, so we recommend implementing a solution that allows you to manage and maintain your devices with ease. Furthermore, you should add in a Bring Your Own Device policy that determines how and when your employees are allowed to use their personal devices for work-related purposes. This will be beneficial for your company in the long run.

Unauthorized Software Downloads

Your staff might occasionally require specific tools to do a specific task or perform a function. If they do not have access to these tools, then they will find a different way to do the job, or they won’t do the job at all. It’s like trying to use a butter knife like a flat-head screwdriver. Sure, it might get the job done in the moment, but if you strip the screw, you risk the job being much more difficult or downright impossible later on. The same can be said for when your staff tries to download alternative solutions to do a job; these freeware applications can be dangerous for your business for several reasons.

For one, all software your business uses on the regular requires a software license. If the software license on any of your employees’ computers expires, they will experience a disruption to their productivity and be required to find another way to get the job done. If they download the wrong application, they could put your business at risk of experiencing a security breach or using a counterfeit software license. It might solve an issue in the short term, but it creates long-term problems, especially if you ever become subject to a security issue or network audit.

The best way to prevent your employees from inadvertently causing trouble for you by downloading unauthorized software or using unsecured devices is to make sure that they have consistent and reliable access to the tools you provide, as well as ensure that the tools are properly maintained. You can make this happen through the use of proactive maintenance and management. If you are proactive in this regard, you prevent your team from being proactive in finding alternative ways to do their work. You can further augment this by giving your team someone to contact in the event they cannot access the tools they need throughout the workday.

AE Technology Group can help your team’s technology by providing them with a trusted IT resource for any questions or concerns they have about technology during the workday. Furthermore, we can also keep your technology in proper working order so that your staff naturally experience fewer issues while going about their day-to-day tasks. This gives your team the confidence that their technology will not create unexpected troubles for them and can help encourage them to appropriately handle issues when they do arise.

Let AE Technology Group be your business’ trusted IT resource! To get started, give us a call at (516) 536-5006.

Blockchain Technology Solutions For Your Business

Blockchain technology concept. Chain in form of pc circuit board with cpu on blue futuristic background.

Blockchain technology might be best known for its use with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin, but that’s just one type of blockchain. There are other varieties that could prove useful in certain sectors. Let’s take a look at what they are, how they might be used, and what some of their benefits and shortcomings are.

The largest benefit of the blockchain, which is essentially a decentralized ledger of transactions, can be seen in Bitcoin, but the shortcomings are also notable. Blockchains consume a considerable amount of energy to operate, making them difficult at best for businesses to take advantage of. Bitcoin operates using what is called the public blockchain; as such, it cannot store sensitive information or proprietary data without putting it all at considerable risk. Here are the four varieties of blockchains that organizations can utilize.

Public Blockchain

The public blockchain is the most open form of blockchain, and anyone can participate in transactions and maintain their own copy of the ledger. The only prerequisite is a connection to the Internet. The public blockchain was the first type created, and it is the most common one used by cryptocurrencies, but it has other applications that could be considered in the future, such as voting and fundraising. All of these uses are only possible due to the openness of the system.

While the openness is a great benefit to the public blockchain, there are other challenges that can get in the way of its use–namely the fact that these transactions happen at a slow rate, which also limits the scope of the network in question.

Private Blockchain

Rather than being accessible to all, a private blockchain is a closed network that is maintained by a single central entity. Unlike the issues with the public blockchain, the private blockchain has greater security and trust within its own operations. Besides this difference in centralization, the private and public blockchains are similar in functionality.

The efficiency of this centralized system makes the entire blockchain operate more smoothly, but at the same time, security is hindered somewhat. Some of the key uses for a private blockchain include supply chain management, internal voting, and asset ownership–all uses that really want that security. It is critical that any organization seeking to implement a private blockchain consider this weakness.

Hybrid Blockchain

When you combine the public and private blockchains, you get a solution that can leverage the advantages of both. A hybrid blockchain allows users to connect to the public network without sacrificing privacy. Organizations can use customizable rules to keep data secure.

There are some downsides to this solution, though. A hybrid blockchain lacks the transparency of other blockchains, and as such, there is no prerogative for organizations to go through the adoption process. Despite this, there are some notable uses for a hybrid blockchain. For example, industries like real estate and retail might find it palatable.

Federated Blockchain

Similar to the hybrid blockchain, a federated blockchain combines benefits offered by the public and private blockchains, keeping some records open while securing others. This is beneficial because multiple organizations might get value out of the network, and thus, keeping it decentralized works in their favor. The federated blockchain is both customizable and efficient, but even with the use of access controls, this blockchain is more vulnerable, less transparent, and less anonymous than the others. Ideas for how to utilize the federated blockchain include banking, research, and food tracking.

Have you considered the use of blockchain technology for your organization? The latest blockchain technology solutions can be a great boon for your business if implemented properly. Contact AE Technology Group for an IT consultation; let our technicians help you determine the best path forward. To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

How Old Technology is Actually Recycled

Pile of old computer monitors and keyboards on grass. old technology.

Regardless of how well a new device or gadget works when it is first acquired, they certainly don’t last forever. Eventually, the time comes that your old technology needs to be replaced, leaving you to dispose of it. This requires more than just a quick trip to the dumpster, however. These devices need to be properly recycled, as many contain hazardous materials.

Let’s take a few moments to look at the process that this old and discarded technology undergoes when it has been recycled properly. But first, let’s briefly go over what kinds of devices now count as “e-waste”, and what about them has the potential to be recycled.

What Qualifies as E-Waste?

Effectively, anything that can be described as an electronic device would become e-waste if it were to break. This includes, of course, the computers and laptops, mobile devices, batteries, drives, monitors, and such things that we all rely on today, but it also lumps in our other appliances, things like air conditioners, televisions, kitchen appliances, radios, fans, and such things.

It isn’t uncommon to hear people complain that things “just don’t last as long as they used to.” While the reasons for this is another can of worms that we won’t be opening, this has contributed to a growing amount of e-waste to contend with. Projections from 2019 estimated that over 52 million tons would be produced annually by this year.

Unfortunately, much of this waste is destined for the landfill. Recent data suggests that only about 20 percent of e-waste around the world is reportedly collected and recycled, the rest presumably winding up buried deep in landfills. This is not good.

Why Should Old Technology Be Recycled?

There are numerous reasons that recycling e-waste is a better alternative to utilizing “fresh” raw materials, in a manner of speaking. First off, let’s consider the types of materials we’re talking about here. You have your metals, like:

  • Iron
  • Tin
  • Aluminum

Accompanying those is a small, yet significant, portion of valuable metals, like:

  • Titanium
  • Gold
  • Silver

Finally, there are plenty of other recyclable materials involved in making these components, including:

  • Plastic
  • Glass

You’d be surprised to hear what can be extracted from your devices through the recycling process. Circuit boards contain recoverable materials like tin, copper, and various valuable metals like gold, silver, and palladium. Hard disks contain aluminum that can be repurposed into creating an automobile. Batteries can have their contents recovered to produce new batteries. This helps us make the most of the resources we have already invested so heavily into procuring, and it creates jobs to boot! Someone needs to take on the responsibility of recycling these materials to be used again, after all.

Furthermore, recycling e-waste helps prevent many of the more hazardous materials incorporated into our devices from being introduced into the natural environment, where it could cause some harm.

How is Old Technology Recycled?

As you might imagine, there is no single procedure for recycling e-waste… there’s simply too many different variables to consider in terms of the materials used and how they have been incorporated into the device in question. Despite this, there is a somewhat uniform process that each of these procedures will follow.

Collection and Transportation

After the electronics to be recycled are gathered in an established place, these materials are brought to the recycling facilities that will process it.

Disassembly and Dispensing

The collected electronics are then shredded—in a very literal sense, broken down to pieces small enough to be sorted by hand, unless the nature of the product means it shouldn’t or can’t be broken down—and sorted out by type.

Dusting, Magnetic Separation, and Water Separation

Next, the shreds are spread out and broken down even more, with all dust produced drawn out and safely discarded. Once this is accomplished, magnets are used to pull out the metallic elements from the rest of the waste along with other methods, with water separation used to pull glass and plastics away from one another.

Purification

Finally, any leftover metals are removed from the plastic wastes to ensure that the waste stream remains as pure as possible.

Preparation and Resale

Finally, all the sorted materials are processed back to a more raw state to be reused in the production of new products.

Before You Recycle Your Old Technology

Before you hand off your older computers, laptops, and mobile devices over to be recycled, donated, or any other track where it leaves your possession, you’ll want to make sure that they are properly wiped of any data. This doesn’t just mean deleting files or reinstalling Windows – it needs to be done so thoroughly that there is no chance your sensitive information can get accessed. Old drives can not only contain files, but your web history, passwords, and plenty of other personal information can be pulled, sometimes even if the drive has already been formatted. You’ll want a professional to handle this for you if you aren’t 100 percent positive how to handle it correctly.

Fortunately, we can help! Give us a call at (516) 536-5006 before you get rid of your old technology.