Boost user productivity with secure devices  Digital devices are an integral part of the modern workplace, helping users become more flexible, efficient and productive - with the ability to work whenever and wherever they need to.  The downside is that organisations must stay abreast of technology as well as all the associated risks the digital era brings. With users increasingly accessing critical business information on the go – via their smartphones, tablets and laptops – security concerns should be front of mind. The most obvious risks include using unsecured networks, having a device stolen or misplaced, and more aggressive threats like viruses and malware.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


           Despite this, the productivity advantages of secure devices are undeniable: here are five key benefits.      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      1. Instant document access   Having instant access to your documents on your mobile device means no more lost documents or confusion over version control. You can also collaborate on the fly, retrieve and share data when and when you want, or make meeting notes before you return to base.  Unfortunately, instant access also means other people could gain access to your data, so your IT team needs to have a clear idea of what the principal threats are and put measures in place to combat them.   2. Connection security   Having absolute peace of mind when you are on the road means being able to connect securely, so you can collaborate and communicate freely with colleagues and customers. Here, all your critical data must be safeguarded, which makes a mobile device security policy essential for all mobile users on your team. You could also consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to secure connections between your users’ mobile devices and your servers.   3. Full device control   Having a security-aware environment also means giving all your users better insights into how their machines work and how to use them more effectively. User education is key – and needs to be led by the IT function, who must onboard all users so they are aware of all the relevant security threats as well as your mobile device management policy. A seamless experience from all devices is necessary to maximise the productivity potential of a mobile workforce.   4. Time savings   Devices that function smoothly can also help your teams save time – but only if they are not being distracted by IT glitches and housekeeping. This means devices must receive ongoing security and software updates, and get automatic backups so your users can focus their energy and time on being productive.   5. Having the right hardware   Having the right hardware can also help ensure your users are productive. Machines like HP’s EliteBooks – such as the flexible EliteBook x360 1040 G6 notebook – enable users to have total peace of mind with a range of integrated security management features. This includes hardware-enforced security features that can help to proactively prevent threats, such as automatically recovering from a firmware attack or security breach.  At the end of the day you need to strike a balance between IT security and business productivity. By adopting the latest technologies, prioritising user education and reviewing your policies regularly, you’ll be in good shape.

Digital devices are an integral part of the modern workplace, helping users become more flexible, efficient and productive - with the ability to work whenever and wherever they need to.

The downside is that organisations must stay abreast of technology as well as all the associated risks the digital era brings. With users increasingly accessing critical business information on the go – via their smartphones, tablets and laptops – security concerns should be front of mind. The most obvious risks include using unsecured networks, having a device stolen or misplaced, and more aggressive threats like viruses and malware.


     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Why you need to separate work from home on your devices   The line between our work lives and our home lives is blurring more than ever as we all negotiate the 24/7 demands of the global economy. At the same time, developing technology is empowering us to spend less face time in the office as a litany of mobile devices and cloud-based platforms allow us to take our work home with us.  That has led to many of us using the same devices at work and home, which begs the question: are you keeping your professional and personal information safe, secure and separate?  While it would be ideal to maintain separate devices for work and personal use, juggling two smartphones, tablets or notebooks is not always practical or even possible. Here’s what you can do to draw a digital line between your work and home usage.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Choose flexible hardware   Not all devices are created equal, and some are more equipped to handle dual uses than others. If you will be using the same device for work and play, consider how you will be using it for both purposes. The HP EliteBook x360 1040 G6, for example, is a powerful, flexible PC with a 360-degree hinge offering five different operating modes:    Conference mode: for collaboration and conferencing    Laptop mode: for typing, working on documents, and multi-tasking    Media mode: for watching video and other informational content    Tablet mode: for writing and note taking    Tent mode: for presenting and sharing information    It can be used as an on-the-go device with the optional HP Active Pen and App Launch for handwriting notes, annotating documents, and more creative pursuits.   Set up separate user accounts   Consider setting up different user accounts on your devices – one for work and one for home. That will help keep personal and professional files separate, as well as protect your privacy at work and keep your work files secure when you’re at home. The last thing you want is your spouse or kids accidentally deleting an important work email or file while they’re using your device at home.   Create separate browser and email profiles   It can also be helpful to set up separate work and personal profiles in your web browser. This will enable you to set different bookmarks for your work and personal profiles, which will keep your work web browser more organised. The same goes for keeping your email separate – if your work email is managed via Outlook, set up a personal email account on a separate cloud-based platform like Gmail. And be sure to use your personal Gmail address to sign up for any services that are not work related.   Choose different cloud storage platforms   We all know the importance of regular data backups, but you may want to keep your work storage and personal storage separate to avoid unwanted file mix-ups. For example, if your company favours Dropbox for file storage and sharing, use Google Drive to store and share your personal files.   Use good antivirus software   Whenever you’re using work devices for personal tasks, it’s vital to use good antivirus software with malware detection. The last thing you want to do is infect your professional networks with malware or other viruses that have been unwittingly downloaded from personal emails, unsecured apps or suspicious websites.  Taking a few simple steps to set a digital boundary between your work life and your personal life will likely benefit both. You’ll be more organised at work, and won’t have to worry about compromising work files in your downtime.

The line between our work lives and our home lives is blurring more than ever as we all negotiate the 24/7 demands of the global economy. At the same time, developing technology is empowering us to spend less face time in the office as a litany of mobile devices and cloud-based platforms allow us to take our work home with us.

That has led to many of us using the same devices at work and home, which begs the question: are you keeping your professional and personal information safe, secure and separate?

5 must-know IT trends in 2019

IT budgets are set to swell in 2019 as organisations continue to embrace a suite of rapidly developing technologies. With the arrival of 5G set to send mobile network speeds soaring and long-hyped technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain approaching maturity, 2019 will be a transformative year for IT. Here are five key trends to watch this year:

1. 5G is here!

The arrival of 5G in 2019 will send the wireless revolution into hyper-drive. Your landline could be set for extinction as 5G mobile devices benefit from broadband network speeds. 5G also has huge implications for Internet of Things (IoT) technology that will soon have access to much faster mobile network speeds than was possible with 4G. This will drive a range of new innovations and capabilities as the first next-generation 5G mobile devices are launched in the coming months.

2. Blockchain goes mainstream

While blockchain has been present in the world of cryptocurrency for the last few years, it has had limited mainstream use – until now. With big players like IBM investing in blockchain development, we’ll likely begin to see a more digestible version of blockchain emerge that a range of businesses will be able to use to create more secure systems for recording and verifying transactions. The financial services industry is already making early moves into blockchain, and predictions are that the logistics sector will follow.

3. Artificial intelligence (AI) gets real

AI has been making big promises for some years now, but 2019 could be the year that transitions from theoretical musings into actual business tools. AI is tipped to move beyond data science to take on a more developer-centric focus. That means 2019 could be the year that developers start building genuine AI technology into a range of new mainstream apps across business functions.

4. NoOps transforms IT

DevOps could become NoOps in 2019 as software automation and cloud-based SaaS (software as a service) continue to take the software development and maintenance burden off in-house IT teams. As such, IT will need to accelerate its philosophical and cultural shift from an operations-based department to an outcomes-based department with a heavier focus on value-adding innovation.

5. Chatbots go to the next level

While frustrations have been common with early chatbots, that’s set to change in 2019. Advances in natural language processing (NLP) and sentiment analytics will drive the development of much smarter chatbots that will be capable of delivering more personalised customer experiences. Expect to see more sophisticated chatbots that possess a greater understanding of empathy and other human emotions.

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Preparing for Windows 7 end of support

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Why Office 365 is vital to the modern office

Why Office 365 is vital to the modern office

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Here's what's trending in the world of SMB

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This month we cover a range of bases, including security, the rise of chat apps, real-time banking payments and consumption-based IT – a pay-as-you-go model that promises SMBs greater flexibility in the way they access infrastructure, software and services.

Simple steps to keep your systems safe

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For years, process control systems were secured with a combination of “security through obscurity” and wilful ignorance. Increased threats from malicious hackers, often sponsored by nation-states and criminal organisations, are demonstrating that neither of these approaches is sufficient.

If you are to have a hope of keeping your manufacturing processes safe, you have to lock them down.

Server, Hybrid or Cloud? Here's your guide

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Modern manufacturing is all about innovating with digital prototyping and technologies like 3D printing – all of which require a high degree of raw computing power.

Workstations are ideal for providing this resource, where their large processing power can crunch complex formulas and graphics, while a screen provides a valuable visual interface for an engineer or operator.

2019's IT trends have been revealed

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Responses from 186 IT decision makers across Australia and New Zealand reflect confidence in 2019 with IT budgets increasing or maintaining in the coming year.

Critically, we explore the differences between successful businesses and unsuccessful businesses.

Is your business ready for cyber litigation?

Is your business ready for cyber litigation?

When household brands suffer data breaches, you’re on notice that your business could be the next potential target for cybercriminals.

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CES 2019 showcases latest PC tech

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Which laptop (for your SMB) in 2019?

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SMBs typically watch every precious cent they spend, and IT hardware

And while it may be tempting to go for a cheap and cheerful model, the last thing you want is an underpowered laptop that doesn't have all the features you need, or is obsolete in a year or less. The key is to choose a machine that is durable, secure, powerful, lightweight and has all the features you need. does not come cheap – especially when it involves laptops. This makes choosing the right laptop for your business an important box to tick.

State of cybersecurity 2019

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Cybersecurity outlook for 2019

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