Monthly Archives: May 2018

IoT 101: What is IoT?

IoT otherwise known as the internet of things – a broad name for a broad concept. Internet of things is a broad concept because “things” could literally mean anything. The internet of things provides connectivity to objects that would otherwise be known as “dumb.” All that is required to make an object “smart” is an IP address, a processor, and a wireless network.

Example of IoT devices:

Connectivity is powering the smart city, smart business, and the smart home phenomenon, creating a connected life. Some example of inter-connected devices can smaller such as a toothbrush or a lightbulb. Connected devices can also as big as an autonomous vehicle or an engine on an airplane.

Internet of things is growing, with no signs of it stopping. In fact, HP estimated that there were about 9.0 billion IoT devices used in 2013. They also predicted that number will jump to 1 trillion by 2025. These devices are working to bridge the gap between the digital and physical world, increasing productivity and quality of life.

IoT in various industries:

Truthfully, the internet of things is beneficial to businesses in in countless ways. Devices can be used in different ways for different industries. Here are some examples:

  • Manufacturing
    • Machine to machine communication is derived from embedded sensor systems, allowing organizations in manufacturing to run without having to be actively monitored.
  • Transportation and Logistics
    • Data accuracy increases with mobile scanners, RFID systems, etc. enterprises gain visibility of assets and operations are better streamlined.
  • Healthcare
    • Having connected devices is evolving patient care, being used to monitor medical assets, and maintains life-saving equipment.
  • Energy
    • Utility companies use IoT to gather necessary data for energy cost prediction, pinpoint outages, and schedule repairs as needed.

The biggest issue with IoT:

The main issue with device connectivity is that security is an afterthought. Sometimes, IoT devices are being sold to individuals and businesses completely unencrypted. Also, connected devices operating systems and software will eventually become outdated with no ability to update.

As the world of IoT continues to grow, the number of devices behind the same firewall (if any) also grows. Connected devices allow for an increased chance of getting hacked due to the vulnerabilities of outdated software. It is important to ensure your business is taking the proper security measures for all connected devices.


For more information on IoT security, contact us today.

Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365: What You Need to Know

As a business it is important to know the difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365, while most people use the terms interchangeably they actually are different. Both are extremely helpful to businesses of any size including enterprise level, and it is helpful to know the difference when determining what solution is best for your business.

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is known and loved for subscription based productivity applications. Depending on what Office 365 subscription your business decides to run with, various applications are available:

  • Outlook
  • Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote
  • Exchange
  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint
  • Skype for Business
  • Microsoft Teams

These applications are used to increase overall business productivity. Office 365 is a cloud based suite of applications, they are accessible from virtually anywhere. There are three subscription plans for businesses: Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Premium, Office 365 Business Essentials. All of which are available at an annual or monthly commitment.

What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 and Office 365 should not be confused with one another. Microsoft 365 is much more than productivity applications, it is considered an “a complete, intelligent solution” according to Microsoft.

Here is what makes Microsoft 365 different from Office 365:

  • Includes all Office 365 applications.
  • Includes a Windows 10 upgrade.
  • Increased security options.

A new feature for Microsoft 365 users was announced at Build 2018, it is known as Microsoft Graph. Microsoft Graph is the API for Microsoft 365, it essentially serves as a gateway to all of your organizations Microsoft applications.

There are three separate versions of Microsoft 365: business, enterprise, and education. While they all have similarities it is important to know the difference between the business and enterprise subscription options.

Microsoft 365 Business

Microsoft 365 Business is designed for both small to medium sized businesses. It is able to support up to 300 users with different pricing and application availability based on business needs.

Microsoft 365 Business allows for a single console to manage user and device settings, automatic office application deployment to Windows 10 devices and also includes Windows Autopilot.

Microsoft 365 Business uses Windows Defender to help protect your business from malware, viruses, and other forms of unauthorized access to business network. Security features also include controls to protect company data across multiple platforms, including employee’s personal devices.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise

This solution is designed for large organizations and includes Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility and Security. It includes a variety of services including information protection, advanced compliance, and analytics.

There are different levels of Microsoft Enterprise, with various capabilities depending on what level is chosen.


CompuOne successfully deploys Microsoft 365 plans for both business and enterprise. Contact us today.

Revamp Your Business Password Management

Let’s be honest, we use passwords for everything. From computer logins to retail sites, the use of passwords is so frequent it could potentially put professionals and consumers at risk. According to TechRepublic, 19% of business professionals use poor quality passwords or shared passwords, which could make accounts easily compromised.

It is in every organizations best interest to develop a password management plan to increase security and reduce the risk of data theft. Easy passwords simply won’t do any more. The following tips should be considered for business level password management:

Frequent password changes

Organizations must impose rules on frequent password changes. Password changes should be as frequent as 30 to 180 days; passwords should also never be repeated. Best practice is to ensure passwords have letters, numbers, and special characters.

Depending on the industry, this may already be a requirement under regulation. However, for smaller businesses, this could be a potential life-saver from security breaches. On a user level, frequent password changes may prevent unwanted access to personal information such as social media pages, bank accounts, etc.

Two factor authentication

Two factor authentication is used to confirm the end-user’s identity with a two-factor process. The first step in the process is the actual password, remember all decent passwords must have letters, numbers, and special characters. The second factor is something that the users will only know the answer to; such as a specific pin, answer to a question, or an association of an image.

Why should your business use two factor authentication? Simply because depending on your industry your password may not be enough. Passwords alone can be breakable by social engineering or brute force attacks, no matter how strong your password is. Implementing a two factor authentication can give an employer ease, knowing that employees or consumers have that added password protection.

How to store passwords

As mentioned previously, one user can have too many passwords to remember. There are many password management software’s out there, so many that it’s hard to determine what is considered the safest most reliable option. If choosing to go this route, remember that security mistakes can happen and be wary about what passwords you are storing.

Our recommendation to store passwords is to write them down with pen and paper.  Place your written password sheet in an area where you will remember it for safe storage. While this may sound tedious and paper theft is a concern, consider the fact that cyber crime is only increasing and a sheet of paper cannot be hacked.


For more information, contact us.

Spring Clean Your I.T.

Spring has fully matured, with summer fast approaching it is time to take a good hard look at your organizations’ current information technology state. While it seems like it could be a daunting and never ending task, it is beneficial for organizations to devote time to reorganize and freshen up space both in office and in technology.

Here are a few tips on how to organize your technology before summer hits:

Out with your old tech

As your cluttered and hazardous closet full of old technology continues to grow, it may be time to consider disposing of your organizations old technology. It’s important to dispose of technology the right way, consider reading our blog on how to recycle old tech.  

Build an inventory list of all your organizations software assets, then take a hard look at your software list and use it to discover unused assets.  Unused software may take up a lot of storage space and slow down operations. It would be a good idea to uninstall old software to make room for applications your organization does use and to speed up business operations.

Clean up business data

Organizations rely on data every day in some way, shape, or form. Whether it is customer contact information or details regarding invoicing, companies use data for EVERYTHING. A data cleanse is crucial for businesses, it makes for correctness and consistency.

IT departments will appreciate a data cleanse, tidying up data can be helpful in many ways. Clean data allows for more strategic decision making, better timing, and improved relationships.

Set up a system for organization

When your company decides to clean up its technology, they should take the time to set up a system to ensure technology is organized going forward. Every new addition to your technology infrastructure should be properly placed in your framework and categorized.

Rather than dig through your technology framework trying to find certain information, having your technology organized can ensure ease of use for employees, better decision making, and happy clients.


To learn more, contact us.