Small Business Tech Changes for 2016

New Years Eve is tonight and J.J. Micro isĀ putting a big focus on fourĀ things for 2016:

  • SSD hard drives
  • SaaS (software as a service)
  • Cryptoware/Ransomware protection
  • HIPAA Compliance

SSD hard drives have come way down in price over the last two years. Spinning disks have continued to drop in price per gigabyte over that same time so it’s still not cheaper to buy an SSD, but the benefits of SSD have clearly begun to eclipse the cost savings of spinning disks. The major benefit my clients see with an SSD drive is speed. An SSD can make even an underpowered computer seem fast. An SSD can be a cheap way to refresh a desktop or laptop without replacing it if the only complaint is slowness. Even in a server environment, an SSD can make a huge difference in data transfer rates across the network or SQL read/write rates for database intensive apps.

SaaS has been emerging for a long time. But 2016 is shaping up to be a major year for my clients to move as much software to the cloud as possible. Office 365 from Microsoft allows major pieces of my clients’ workflow to be managed by Microsoft for a price that is comparable to running everything in house. And many of my clients’ smaller industry specific apps are offering an SaaS option that in some cases can take a major burden off of a local under-powered server and save my client from an early server refresh.

Using mainly social engineering techniques via email, cryptoware / ransomware has been striking with greater and greater frequency. Good SPAM filtering, strict software policies, and smart file server rules are a must to protect against these attacks. But even more important is user education. We are putting a big focus in 2016 on working with our clients to help them understand how social engineering works and how to avoid it.

HIPAA compliance is something we’ve only recently begun to focus on. We received multiple HIPAA certifications over the last year and have been able to identify many key areas where our medical and dental practice based clients are leaving themselves vulnerable. HIPAA compliance is important not only to protect patient data but to protect your business from large fines and bad press if a breach were to occur.

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