Do you need a phone solution that offers the flexibility to make and receive all business calls, without disruption or downgraded performance? The COVID-19 pandemic has left many companies with no choice but to instruct staff to work remotely or from home.As we settle into this new norm, the challenge for some organizations is the ability to maintain productivity and meet client needs with the tools they already have. For many, the solution can be found in their Cisco Unified Communications phone system.
The cybercriminals have small businesses in their crosshairs. Verizon's Data Breach Investigative Reports states phishing is the number one cause of data breaches and 43% of cyberattacks are targeted at small to medium-sized businesses (SMB.) The frequency of attacks is on the rise and in today's COVID-19 environment, cybercriminals see this as an advantage and are taking the opportunity to attack.
Like many of you, we are working remotely as a company following the declaration of the COVID-19 national emergency. As previously stated, Systems Engineering is well prepared to continue working and supporting our customers during this time. As expected, the morning began with higher than usual support request volume. Many customers began their work from home experiences for the first time, and we were able to get them up and working along with our regularly scheduled services.
In 1970, around the same time David Bowie was writing “Changes”, Alvin and Heidi Toffler wrote a book entitled “Future Shock,” arguing that the ever-accelerating rate of technological and social change would create fear, confusion, and tension across the globe. In the last 50 years, their predictions have been largely prescient. While technology keeps getting better and has improved our lives in a myriad of ways, there is no doubt that it leaves some people’s heads spinning. What can you do? You can start by asking your IT partner for help.
With the heightened awareness around the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we would like to share how Systems Engineering has prepared to handle potential upcoming challenges, as well as how you should be thinking through your approach. Over the years, we have worked with a number of our clients to develop Business Continuity Plans, applying critical thinking to how they would handle a pandemic scenario. These organizations are generally going to be better prepared to handle the uncertain path ahead.
Due to the COVID-19 national emergency, we will be placing our new patching procedures on a temporary hold. We will reassess next month. When we are ready to implement the new process, we will get in touch with you ahead of time. For any questions, please contact your Account Manager.
Beginning Thursday, March 19, 2020, Systems Engineering will be enhancing our patching services. Before we communicate these enhancements, it's essential to understand the motivation behind them. Our patching service changes are in response to Microsoft's new way of servicing Windows known as Windows as a service.
On Jan, 14, 2020, Microsoft retired the popular Windows 7 operating system (OS). For businesses who have not upgraded to a supported version of Windows, Microsoft allows them to purchase extended support via Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU). With this service, businesses will continue to receive security updates at an extra cost.
In 2016, Systems Engineering launched our first ever summer internship program, which has continued to grow and develop over the last four years. With unemployment levels for technology workers at record lows, and a steady increase in open tech positions, students have a unique opportunity with Systems Engineering to gain real-world experience through on-the-job training for a quick transition into full-time careers. Several of our past participants have chosen to take positions within Systems Engineering once they have completed formal studies, which is a testament to the strength of our program and the quality of candidates accepted into the summer internship.
Systems Engineering is aware of wide-spread internet service provider outages affecting clients. Ticket volumes and metrics suggest these outages are impacting a large area of the northeast. Systems Engineering is operating under our standard business and after-hours coverage plans and is prepared to help clients through our routine service delivery models.
Recently, Cisco released a series of ‘High Severity’ vulnerabilities that relate to the Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP), which is Cisco’s proprietary mechanism used by their devices to broadcast identities to one another across private/secured networks. For example, accessories such as VOIP Phones will use CDP to determine which VLAN the switch is using for voice traffic.