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Garmin Surrenders, Pays Millions In Ransom…And Other Small Business Tech News

By August 9, 2020August 10th, 2020No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Garmin reportedly paid millions to resolve its recent ransomware attack.

Recent reports detailed that fitness device maker Garmin paid millions of dollars in response to an outage the company dealt with last month due to a ransom attack. The attack impacted several of Garmin’s systems, taking many of them offline. Although it is unknown who was responsible for the attack and who the ransom money went to, individuals researching the attack suspect the event could be connected to Evil Corp, a cybercriminal organization from Russia. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

Think about it: Garmin is a big company with plenty of IT resources and yet they fell victim to a ransomware attack and had little choice but to cough up the cash. What does this mean for your small business? It means that if hackers can extort money from a company like Garmin they can do it to you too…and probably easier. Backup your systems. Get your employees trained. Install security software on all devices. And for goodness sake makes sure every device everywhere (yes, even at your employees’ homes) are running the most recent operating systems.

2 — Intuit is introducing Quickbooks Cash, a new business bank account with a 1% high-yield interest rate.

Intuit is rolling out Quickbooks Cash that will be able to be integrated with the entire QuickBooks suite in order to simplify the way that small businesses manage their finances. QuickBooks Cash will not have any fees for opening an account, will not require maintenance fees, will not require a minimum balance or charge overdraft fees, and will have a 1% high-yield interest rate. The new platform will also allow small business owners to project cash flows for up to 90 days as well as whether or not invoices will be paid on time. (Source: Intuit)

Why this is important for your business:

Is this the end of small business banking as we know it? Not yet. But soon. And it makes sense. If QuickBooks is accounting for all your cash, why does it have to be reconciled with a bank account somewhere else? Intuit is already making loans. Now it’s creating checking accounts. Toaster ovens are next (and if you’re too young to know what I’m talking about then…sorry!).

3 —Starbucks is betting on contactless options.

With the coronavirus pandemic changing the way businesses operate, Starbucks is making new plans regarding the way their stores are formatted. The coffee giant is expecting for the use of their drive-thrus to grow and they are ramping up curbside pickup in at least 700 stores throughout the country. Similarly, Starbucks will be introducing a “walk-through” feature in urban stores where curbside pickup or drive-thru are not possible, aiming to have several hundred throughout the United States over the next couple of years. (Source: USA Today)

Why this is important for your business:

Necessity is the mother of invention and many innovative companies are creating new ways to do business as a result of the pandemics. In some cases, those ways are even better and in my opinion, anything a coffee shop – be it Starbucks or a local business – can do to speed up the process using technology is good for me. And it will be good for many customers too.

4 — This tool can gather remote employees in a shared virtual office

E-commerce platform Powerfront has adapted to the coronavirus by tweaking their existing platform— initially designed for retail— to work with companies in other areas. According to the company’s CEO, “the ‘virtual’ offices allow staff to have their own Zoom rooms that work like a meeting space and where folks can find you if they need to ‘pop in’ and chat. Folks can move from office to office and very easily create meetings. The ‘status’ setting also promotes visibility. You can immediately see if a co-worker is on vacation, at lunch, in a meeting, etc. Hovering over a co-worker’s photo reveals their working hours, their local time, their title and department, and offers you the ability to meet with them. No need to go searching through emails or calendars or files – it’s all possible in one click.” (Source: Silicon Republic)

Why this is important for your business:

I’ll be closely watching new technologies that enhance the virtual meeting experience because let’s face it, it isn’t so great right now. I’m betting that those Zoom backgrounds will look like ancient stuff in just a few years. Companies like Powerfront and others are coming up with new ways to make virtual meetings real, interactive and productive. Look out for more on the way.

5— Cashdrop raised $2.7M to change how small businesses do e-commerce.

Cashdrop – a startup based in Chicago that has created a small business commerce platform allowing contactless purchases similar to Venmo – has raised $2.7M. (Source: American Inno)

Why this is important for your business:

The startup is rapidly rising in popularity throughout the country through assisting small businesses in making online storefronts sans monthly fees or charging any commissions. Over the last year, CashDrop has acquired over 200 businesses in a wide range of industries such as fashion, dining, events, and more.

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