5 Cyber Security Risks Facing Your Business

Cyber security is a nebulous concept for many business leaders. There are, it’s true, a complicated array of risks to data security, and, as a result, it can be easy to throw one’s hands up and ignore them all together. After all, you have a business to run, and that’s complicated enough. However, as countless companies making news headlines have found out, turning a blind eye to cyber security can be catastrophic for your business.

Read More

What Is vCIO, and Is it Valuable to Your Company?

If you’ve ever worked with a Managed Services Provider (MSP), you’ve probably heard the term “vCIO.” “What does that mean?” you might have wondered. You might have been told that the “v” stands for “virtual,” and CIO stands for “Chief Information Officer”—the position in a corporate environment responsible for aligning technology strategy with business strategy. The idea is that, with the MSP, your business will have a virtual CIO – someone to provide strategic technology consulting.

But not all vCIO services are created equal. Just because two MSPs both offer vCIO, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can expect the same thing from both of them. The right kind of vCIO service is truly valuable. But, in some cases, it doesn’t amount to much more than project sales pitches.

Read More

Two Opportunities to Hear Sean Wright Speak on Cyber Security!

Two Opportunities to Hear Sean Wright Speak on Cyber Security!

This month, Sean Wright, Affinity’s President and Founder is speaking at two cyber security events that are open to the public. On March 6th, Sean will speak at a SCORE Network event titled “Cyber Security for Small Business: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” held at the Pathway Women’s Business Center. And on March 15th, Sean will join a panel of experts for an seminar titled “Real-World Cyber Security” at Pinnacle Financial Partners’ Brentwood office. Information and registration for both events can be found below.

Read More

Why It's Not OK to Use Personal Dropbox Accounts for Work

One common instance of the drive for convenience leading to poor security—and poor business practice—is the use of personal file syncing accounts, such as Dropbox, for work purposes. Perhaps an employee uses his personal Dropbox account to access work files at home. Or a CEO uses her personal Dropbox account to share a file for review with an important potential client.

While it may seem like the employee is simply taking praiseworthy initiative and that the CEO is taking necessary steps to grow the business, the use of personal file-syncing accounts is highly problematic from a technical perspective for at least two reasons.

Read More

3 Hidden IT Costs, and What You Can Do About Them

When you think of your company’s IT costs, what comes to mind? Odds are, hardware and software top the list, as well as the costs of IT support, like salary and benefits for in-house staff or fees for an outsourced IT provider. These costs are easy to quantify and predict. The problem is that they are just the tip of the iceberg. Within your organization, there may be hidden costs associated with your IT that can linger under the surface and hinder your business’s growth.

Here are three examples of hidden IT costs that many businesses face:

Read More

Meltdown and Spectre: What Your Business Needs to Know

2017 was a year of highly-publicized malware attacks and security vulnerabilities, and it appears that 2018 will be no different. You may have heard about Meltdown and Spectre—two widespread security vulnerabilities—in the news recently. But how do they affect your business, and what (if anything) can you do about it? Read our quick guide below to find out.

Read More

Does Your Team Work Remotely? You Need a VPN

Technology has enabled today’s workforce to become increasingly mobile. Your company may have employees in numerous locations across the country. And even if it doesn’t, odds are you and your employees do at least some of your work outside the confines of your office—whether from home, coffee shops, or customer locations.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals have also developed sophisticated ways to use this increased mobility to gain access to your network and your data. Thankfully, there is a security measure that can drastically reduce the risk of a breach while still allowing for mobility— a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Read More

The Affinity Team Volunteers at ThriftSmart

The Affinity Team Volunteers at ThriftSmart

Part of Affinity's vision is "to benefit our community and the greater world through philanthropic partnerships and servant leadership." For us, that means rolling up our sleeves and helping in our community.

This holiday season, we did that by spending a morning volunteering at ThriftSmart, a nonprofit thrift store whose proceeds support worthy charities in our community and around the world. We spent our time sorting donations, organizing clothes on racks, and moving furniture.

Read More

10 Tech Tips for Growing Your Business in 2018

For many business owners, a new year sparks renewed focus on putting ideas into action that will help their businesses grow.

As you sit through brainstorming sessions and consider ways to do things differently in the new year, don’t forget to pay attention to the health of your technology systems. Odds are, you rely on technology to communicate, make business decisions, and complete projects. In other words, it’s just as crucial to your success as a new hire.

Read More

What Parents Need to Know About Facebook Messenger Kids

Last week, Facebook released Messenger Kids, a version of its popular Messenger app designed specifically for kids under 13. These younger kids are technically not allowed to create full Facebook profiles, so Facebook developed Messenger Kids as a standalone app with some important parental control and safety features.

Still, while Facebook seems to have put a lot of effort into safety, some parents may feel uncomfortable with allowing their children to use this app. To help you make the best decision for your family, read on to learn what Messenger Kids does well, as well as what concerns it might still raise for some parents.

Read More

Why Your Business Needs Email Journaling

While cloud based team collaboration tools are rising in popularity, good ole’ fashioned email is still the primary tool for communication within many organizations. It’s familiar and easily shared among customers, vendors, and work teams. Because of its reach, we take the usual steps to keep our email safe and accessible, like implementing backups and archiving old emails so that we can restore deleted or lost messages or access old ones. But, there’s an extra step that many of us miss in our efforts to safeguard company email contents: email journaling.

Read More

 Is Your IT Services Provider Proactive or Reactive?

An internal IT department’s primary responsibility is to make your whole operation run more efficiently. So that means consistently making sure that your company’s systems are up to date, secure, and efficient.

Affinity believes that you should expect the same thing from your outsourced IT provider (sometimes called a ‘Managed Services Provider’ or MSP). But how can you tell if your provider is truly proactive or just telling you want you want to hear? Here are 4 questions to ask.

Read More

3 Safety Tips for Parents Buying Tech Gifts

3 Safety Tips for Parents Buying Tech Gifts

It’s that time of year again! Time to make your holiday shopping lists and find the best deals on gifts for friends and family. And if you’re shopping for kids and teens, there’s a good chance that a number of those gifts involve technology. From smartphones and tablets to gaming systems, kids and teens love devices that keep them connected.

As fun as these devices are, they carry hidden dangers, such as potential exposure to pornography, sexting, and cyberbullying. So, before you hit the stores on Black Friday, gift yourself peace of mind by putting healthy guardrails around the technology you give your kids this holiday season.

Read More

Affinity Proudly Sponsors "The Bike Thing," an Annual Fundraiser for Daystar Counseling Ministries

We're thrilled to announce our sponsorship of "The Bike Thing," an annual bike ride fundraiser for our friends at Daystar Counseling Ministries, a nonprofit organization providing counseling to kids and their families in the Middle Tennessee Area. Daystar provides these services on a sliding scale, allowing them to help kids in need.

Read More