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The FBI Sends A Warning About Multi-Factor Authentication…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

By October 16, 2019No 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 — The FBI is warning companies about attacks that bypass multi-factor authentication (MFA).  

Last month, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shared information with private industry partners that the threat of cyber-attacks that can bypass multi-factor authentication (MFA) for employees and companies is on the rise. Citing several events where hackers were able to bypass MFA, the FBI maintains that multi-factor authentication is still effective and that the alert should merely be used as a precaution, rather than discrediting the effectiveness of MFA. (Source: ZDnet)

Why this is important for your business:

As I wrote here, all of this is awful and annoying, but there’s some good news: Most security experts and even the FBI still recommends using MFA. Why? Because it’s not perfect, but for now it’s pretty darn close. But that’s just for now. So go ahead and stick with MFA as your go-to security solution for all of your company’s applications, and try to use the strongest tools available. But don’t let your guard down. I’m betting, as hackers get smarter and figure out how to automate these attacks, MFA will become more and more susceptible.

2 — A blockchain startup promises to bring down the steep cost of managing invoices.    

Param Network—a Bengaluru and Singapore-based blockchain startup—is looking to bring down costs of managing invoices by more than 60 percent. The startup is looking to streamline some of the complexity when it comes to invoices, such as obtaining multiple approvals and verifying their authenticity. (Source: Your Story)

Why this is important for your business:

Here’s another example of how blockchain technology can improve productivity and lower our costs. For the last two years, Param says its technology will eliminate the use of paper, make it easier to share invoices electronically, make digital signatures possible, and also leave a trail to simplify the auditing process. The platform will also easily integrate with technology systems that are already being used within companies.

3 — IT laggards could lose up to $20 billion in revenue over the next 5 years, according to Accenture.    

A report released by Accenture predicts that companies that do not meet scaling expectations could be projected to lose nearly $20 billion within the next five years. Companies who fell into the top 10% were defined as “leaders”, while companies that fell in the bottom 25% were labeled as “laggards.” The report determined that companies either succeed or fail based on the decisions they make surrounding information technology. The report identified that the companies showing growth in the next five years are investing in emerging technology, and that they are using those technologies in a holistic way, while the struggling companies see enterprise technologies as quick, independent fixes. The report—which surveyed more than 8,300 companies throughout 20 industries and 22 countries—evaluated companies on their cultural readiness and the depth in which they adopted technology. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

Although this report was geared towards the enterprise, its findings are very relevant for small and mid-sized companies too. Take your IT seriously. Pay attention to emerging technologies if you want to grow. Don’t buy into the myth that tech can provide a “quick fix” for your problems. Good companies invest in technology for the long term.

4 — Small business websites are taking revenge.   

Small business (SMB) websites continue to be an important part of delivering content to consumers, despite the prediction over the years that SMB websites would become obsolete due to other avenues such as Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp.  While those third party platforms have taken some consumer traffic away, SMB websites remain an integral part of delivering content to consumers, which has been proven by several major investments. (Source: Search Engine Land)

Why this is important for your business:

Your website is as relevant as ever and you need one even if you’re active on Google, Facebook or Yelp. Make sure its content, design and user experience is up to date. Your website is not a one and done expenditure. Budget for revisions and upgrades annually.

5— Tile unveils Sticker, an adhesive device for tracking objects.

Tile— the startup that helped pioneer tracking technology for personal items— revealed a new waterproof tracking device named Sticker. Sticker uses an adhesive that was created in partnership with 3M in order to attach the device to objects such as keys, wallets, phones, and other small devices to help track them using Bluetooth within a 150-foot range. Tile also announced improvements to some of their popular devices to help conceal the technology, extend range, and improve battery life. (Source: (Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

This is an example of just how mature Radio Frequency ID (RFID) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are becoming. Tile’s low cost tracking products are not only a great idea for consumers, but an even better idea for small businesses that are looking for an inexpensive way to keep tabs on inventory and fixed assets.

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