Press Releases

Sinu Blog: Playing with Sand

  • Tuesday
    May262015

    Sinu offers 'Tech as a Service'

    While Sinu always offers full-time support and management for its customers as part of its monthly subscription service, we have found that some organizations would like to supplement the Sinu Solution with a dedicated on-site technician. Along with its SaaS (Software as a Service), HaaS (Hardware as a Service), and unlimited support, Sinu offers 'Tech as a Service' for those businesses and nonprofits that have more demanding on-site technical needs.

     

    With Sinu's 'Tech as a Service,' your organization can have a dedicated on-site technician as a subscription service. There are several benefits to Sinu's 'Tech as a Service' as compared to hiring an in-house technician:
    1. You can choose your tech for as many days as you need – from one to five days per week; 
    2. The technician is hired by Sinu, so we take care of payroll, insurance, and vacation time; 
    3. Because the technician is a Sinu employee, he/she will experienced with the Sinu Solution you use daily; and 
    4. 4) Your organization will continue to have the full support of the Sinu management and support team.
    To learn more about Sinu's 'Tech as a Service, ' contact Sinu CSO, David Owen, at dowen@sinu.com.

     

    Tuesday
    May262015

    Understanding the Risks of Local Administrative Rights 

    Sinu co-founder & COO, John Christie, about the risks of Local Admin Rights: "We have seen Trojans execute six figure wire transactions and major banks deny responsibility. We’ve had multiple networks crippled for days – even up to 2 weeks." There are a number of reasons employees may ask for local administrative rights, or the ability to download software on their workstations, with convenience and expediency topping the list. However, business owners may not be fully aware of the risk: the more people and time spent working on desktops with local administrative rights, the greater the chance that malicious software exploits a weakness. 

    With local administrative rights, the security controls used to protect a company’s systems including password controls, anti-malware software, and similar tools, can be shut off. Unapproved software could also be installed, breaking business-critical applications and causing disruption and downtime. A company can also be exposed to malware, including a number of different phishing scams that can deliberately run code on systems with full permissions if someone inadvertently clicks on a malicious link or opens infected email content.

    Today's malware is harder to detect and uses sophisticated social engineering that can leave most people unaware of the problem before it is too late. For example, Bank Info Security reports that there have been increased incidences of phishing scams using a malware called Dyre Wolf, which is usually distributed via an attached document or zipped executable. IBM senior researcher John Kuhn was quoted in the report: “The Dyre Wolf malware was used to make fraudulent wire transfers totaling between $500,000 and $1.5 million from various businesses that are IBM customers in recent weeks.” IBM was not aware of any institution or business that had recovered stolen funds or stopped fraudulent wires linked to a Dyre Wolf attack.

    According to Sinu co-founder and COO, John Christie, “We have seen Trojans execute six figure wire transactions and major banks deny responsibility. We’ve had multiple networks crippled for days – even up to 2 weeks – because of a virus inadvertently installed on a person’s machine, which then replicated as an auto-run on the file server, then spread to every machine that touched the file server. It also used peer-to-peer methods exploiting machines that did not have a patch applied.”

    Christie explained, “IT best practices dictate that employees not be given local administrative rights. Auditors also frown upon the practice because of its inherent risk. At Sinu, we install software updates and patches weekly to protect our customers, however the system is only as strong as its weakest link. By allowing local administrative rights, companies expose themselves to malicious attacks and the risk of losing time, data, and money.”

    Thursday
    May142015

    What small business can learn from the Verizon-AOL deal  

    Verizon is betting on online content and distribution with its $4.4 billion AOL acquisition. According to the New York Times, with the purchase of AOL, Verizon will add a layer of entertainment, advertising and services to its vast network of smartphones in order to attract more customers and find new sources of revenue. The deal is expected to close this summer, pending regulatory approval.

    This tactic to preserve the value of Verizon's distribution channel – their mobile service – by developing exclusive content is not new. Prior to the AOL offer, Verizon had already been investing in its mobile video services and said it plans to launch its own mobile video service later this year, reports ZDNet. AOL has been making original video for a number of years, often viral and reality-TV based, and this content will likely be added to the Verizon offerings. 

    Verizon is not alone in its focus toward video content and distribution. In the NYT report, "Verizon is following other big media companies down the same path. Comcast, the biggest cable operator, acquired NBCUniversal, the big television and movie studio group. AT&T, Verizon’s nearest rival, is in the process of acquiring DirecTV, the satellite television business. And Sprint, another wireless operator, is making its own forays into content."

    It isn't just big business that can gain by focusing on video in their marketing. According to The Guardian, small businesses should pay attention to this trend: "With online video quickly becoming a key means for people to satisfy their information and entertainment needs, small businesses that fail to include it in their internet marketing strategies will do so at their peril."

    The Guardian makes a good argument for using video in content marketing campaigns: "Engage viewers and they will share the video with others. They will spend longer on your website and more time interacting with your brand. For any social media campaign, any SEO exercise, video is without doubt one of the best tools in the kit."

    The Guardian reported some interesting statistics to bring home the point:

    • By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic (source: Cisco) 
    • Video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost trippled by 2017 (source: Cisco)
    • More than half of companies are already making use of video marketing 
    • 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their marketing strategies in the near future (source: Nielsen) 
    • YouTube receives more than one billion unique visitors every month
    • If a picture paints 1,000 words then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million (Forrester)
    • Seven in 10 people view brands in a more positive light after watching interesting video content from them (Axonn Research)

    In the past, video content development has been expensive, difficult to create in-house, and often beyond the budget of most small businesses. The Guardian argues that today most businesses can take advantage of the popularity of video to reach consumers because production costs have fallen and video is easier to produce. The report also suggests that apps such as Twitter's Vine, with its six-second maximum clip length, have dramatically increased the opportunity for businesses on a limited budget to participate. 

    There are several considerations to keep in mind should your business want to maximize return on a video marketing campaign investment, advised The Guardian:

    • Know the audience you are trying to reach and make sure the content is relevant 
    • Consider whether online video is the most appropriate means of getting your message across
    • Use social media and be sure to promote your video across multiple channels – make it easy for users to find and share it 
    • Don't neglect mobile - 10% of all video plays happen on mobiles and tablets, and it's a growing segment 
    • Be creative with the video content as well as the campaign and its delivery

    There is no one "silver bullet" to create a successful content marketing campaign, however data show that video – when done right – can be a powerful vehicle to engage customers and distribute your message.