October News:

On The CalendarOctober at The Fulcrum Group

Fulcrum Group's Microsoft Teams Tips & Tricks video training sessions are still happening.  Next session will be Thursday, October 29th at 2 p.m. If you can't join us in person, check out our Playlist.  While this series continues, it can be accessed from our Events page.  

If interested in attending the next Teams Tips & Tricks meeting, reach out to david@fulcrumgroup.net to be added to the calendar appt of the next session.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month!October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month! 

A few times a week, we're posting tips and helpful hints on our blog, on keeping your business secure as it can be.  Be sure to share with a friend of colleague, or print out any infographics or tip sheets and hang around your office space!  

We'll let you know about any additional upcoming special events through our social media pages, which we'll update on our Events page as they occur. Quick links to our social media pages are accessible right from our website and in every monthly newsletter email you receive from us.

If you're new to our newsletter and you'd like to subscribe, let us know.

Project Management Basics

Project Management Basics

Here at Fulcrum Group, we are often involved in large, multi-phase IT projects that require significant scoping and planning.  If you’re planning any type of large project, IT-related or not, here are 6 points we tend to focus on, to pull the project together:

  1. Scoping – Start with the customer outcome. The Scope of Work will help determine: Necessary Asset; Hardware, Software, People (Resources) Realistic Timeline depending on the complexity of the project (Time), Cost of implementing the project (Budget), Management of Changes and Variables (Risk).
  2. Risk (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed matrix & Risk, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies matrix) – Mitigate Customer and Project Risk
  3. Resources – People, Hardware, Software, Vendors
  4. Time – Start getting ROI as quickly as possible
  5. Budget – All about the Money
  6. Communications – Communicate often, bad news does not age well.

Project Managers are responsible for:

  • Planning and directing work
  • Monitoring progress and corrective action plans
  • Managing through changes; customer or vendor
  • Communicating to stakeholders and decision makers
  • Keeping the project on time, on / under budget and within agreed scope

If you have an upcoming IT project, don't hesitate to reach out to The Fulcrum Group. A streamlined, proven Project Management process can increase the likelihood that projects are successful, on-time, on-budget and meet your business requirements.

What To Do If Your Cloud Software Vendor Is Hit By Ransomware

What to do when Ransomware hits your Cloud Software Vendor

Many businesses, healthcare practices, non-profits, and local government agencies rely heavily on Cloud Software Vendors such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and others.  These Software as a Service (SaaS) providers can help organizations reduce capital expenditures as well as on-going maintenance costs by moving software applications from in-house servers to the Cloud.

But what happens when these Cloud Software Vendors are hit with a cybersecurity breach such as ransomware?

Tyler Technologies, a Texas-based company that bills itself as the largest provider of software and technology services to the United States public sector, is battling a network intrusion that has disrupted its operations. The company declined to discuss the exact cause of the disruption.

Initial indications are that "an unauthorized intruder disrupted access to some of Tyler's internal systems." and that Tyler has engaged outside IT security and forensics experts to conduct a detailed review.

If you are a client of Tyler Technologies, or you work with another Cloud Software Vendor that experience ransomware or other cybersecurity breach, we highly recommend that you take the following steps:

  • Temporarily disable any and all access to your IT systems from the Cloud Software Vendor.  Reach out to your IT team to conduct an audit of the Cloud Software Vendor’s remote access.
  • Confirm with your IT team that your backups are functioning properly, and are protected against ransomware or other cyber attacks.
  • Understand that access to your Cloud Software Vendor’s technical support may be slow or unavailable during the next few days.  Delay any changes to associated IT systems that house or interact with the Cloud Software Vendor’s applications or data.
  • Notify your internal staff of the Cloud Software Vendor’s cyber attack, and ask them to be vigilant and look for anything out of the ordinary when it comes to your IT systems or any related Cloud systems.
  • Make plans to go to manual/paper processing in the event that your Cloud Software Vendor applications or related IT systems have a breach.
  • Check your Incident Response Plan and make sure you are ready to implement.

Reach out to The Fulcrum Group if you’d like to receive a FREE sample Incident Response Plan.

October 2020 Security Awareness Newsletter

Click to read this month's Security Awareness Newsletter.

Cybersecurity SPOTlight: Insider Threats

Here's a great resource to share with your employees so they can sharpen their cybersecurity awareness skills, protecting your organization.  Click to read this month's Cybersecurity Awareness Newsletter.

As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have questions.

Vistage Executive News - Goodbye LIBOR, Hello SOFR!

Contributed by Kyle Gemas, Vice President of Commercial Lending; Comerica Bank

Vistage Executive Group Kyle Gemas Goodbye LIBOR, Hello SOFR!

Let's dig a little deeper into the subject of debt...Although a necessary evil, debt is also a tool that can help individuals and businesses alike achieve the process of acquiring new equipment, machinery, inventory and a cash flow help.  One of the most important parts of any debt offering is the interest rate; the lower the better!

Debt instruments, such as lines of credit, tend to be priced on a variable or floating rate index, with the majority being based on LIBOR.  So, what is LIBOR and its new forward-looking 2021 successor, SOFR?  Vistage member, Kyle Gemas, explains for this month's Vistage Executive News.

As always, feel free to check out the growing list of valuable links for Executives on our Media Page.

Fulcrum Group Did You Know

Did You Know...? IT Project Management

Did you know...that when you hire The Fulcrum Group to perform IT projects for you, Project Management is included?  Reach out to us if we can assist!