Author: Mary Gordon

05 Jun 2018

Email Encryption Options

For many of us, sending secure mail is becoming a regular practice. It’s required by U.S. law now for certain types of data. I anticipate that ALL email will be securely delivered, by default, within two more years. The various software out there to get the job done is daunting. Every company seems to choose a different service and it’s a horrible mess. We have three encryption choices that we have found to work well depending on your needs.

Azure Rights Management (ARM) works without requiring the recipient to establish an account with the encryption authority. ARM does not require any add-ons or additional software to send OR receive. ARM costs less than everything else.

CipherPost Pro (CPP) provides the email sender with two great benefits. First, they get a Send Secure button in Outlook sitting next to the Send button. Second, their conversations stay within Outlook, if they are using the CPP Outlook add-on.

EchoWorks (EW) could not be easier. Every user in the domain has encrypted email capability, not just those, as above, who get signed up. Everything is encrypted if it meets the sending rules established and customized by the client. No add-ons, no fuss, no mess. If the email cannot be sent securely, the recipient gets a secure link to read the message – without any authentication.


ARM $2.50 per user. No minimum.

CPP  $8 per user. $25 minimum.

EW  $8 per user for every domain user plus a $1,000 setup fee.


Do you have questions about which option is best for your business? Call the Help Desk today and choose option 2 for Wise Counsel. 

30 Mar 2018

Lions and Tigers and Bears. Oh my!

The admin emailed her boss again, just to be absolutely sure he wanted to send this $100,000 wire transfer to a Vietnam supplier. “Yes, make sure it is sent today” was the response. Money transferred.

Unfortunately, this true story happened last week. The owner’s email account had been compromised several days, if not weeks, earlier. His password was “guessed” by the hacker. Using the information found in the owner’s mailbox, the hacker was able to contrive a request for funds and convince the admin to send the money. Whenever she questioned the transfer, he would respond quickly, and delete her emailed questions, along with his replies.

When the owner returned from his trip, the admin asked about the transfer. The owner turned pale and began to shake, as the reality of the stolen $100k took hold.

The money was recovered, fortunately, but not without more drama. Moral of the story: Use two-factor authentication for email! If a hacker guesses your password, they cannot get into your mailbox without you physically opening the door by clicking “Allow” on your mobile device.

I cannot stress enough the need for two-factor authentication with email and remote access!

30 Mar 2018


They are not lying – they are just seriously deceived – and compensated to remain ignorant.

That’s my current view of all these purveyors of “fiber” – which is now available in your building… or your block. Not unlike the stock broker who calls with a quiet tip to get your retirement fund back on track by morning, the pleasant sales person calls to let you in on the ground floor. Fiber is in your building and they are willing to waive the installation fee. Just say “yes!” But don’t take the time to call your IT support…

We might give you a different perspective, and the guy selling fiber doesn’t much appreciate it. One of our clients was recently offered the great privilege of moving from their current 50 x 5 cable connection to smokin’ fast 25 x 25 fiber connection. Fabulous sounding phrases like, “no shared bandwidth” and “dedicated fiber circuit” are used to give you the impression that this is the greatest technology update since Apple’s iPhone.

Here is some simple math (and wisdom) from a simple man looking to make a simple decision.

  1. Your Internet pipe is a pipe. The medium (copper pairs, coaxial cable, fiber) is largely irrelevant if we are comparing quality circuits.
  2. It is absolutely not true that fiber is faster than cable. Fiber circuits can most definitely provide higher speeds than cable can, but it costs a small fortune. Scratch that. It costs a large fortune.
  3. If you change your Internet speed from 50-down via cable to 25-down via fiber, you can spin it any way you like, but you have HALVED the download speed. It’s simple math.
  4. Fiber is synchronous. Cable is asynchronous. Right. Lowering the download speed (which everyone uses) and making it sound like the greater upload speed will “make up for it” is hogwash.

A pipe is a pipe. Call us. We often can call your current Internet provider and get you double the speed for half the price. We just did that. The client was paying $260/month for 50×5 cable. He was offered 25×25 fiber for $400/month. Mary got him 100×10 cable for $135/month! You read that right. She got him double the speed for half the price – instead of half the speed for double the price.

Your mileage may vary. Call us, that’s always a free call. 🙂

30 Mar 2018


The workstations for which we care are now so complex! There are often intricate software installs and settings to keep track of. We found ourselves with stacks of notes and pages of instructions to follow. A normal WinInit (new computer) which used to be a simple task of removing all the “bloat-ware” preinstalled by DELL and installing Office from a CD has become a tedious, time-consuming effort.

We have begun cloning workstations at each client site to make the WinInit and Wipe’n’Types (existing computer) a snap. We make the clone from a well setup computer in your office. You store the USB drive in your desk until it’s needed. In under an hour all the software is installed properly and configured correctly – from the clone.

Work smarter, not harder!