Nonprofit Departmental Systems Sharing

CommunicationHave you thought about whether your departmental systems are sharing well enough at your nonprofit?

What would you do if the various departments in your organization failed to communicate with one another? No matter how well a single department handles its own business functions, the organization is guaranteed to run into serious challenges if information isn’t effectively exchanged, especially for leadership who focus on “big picture” matters. Only when an organization is well-connected, can questions like the following be tackled:

  • How does the organization demonstrate its values, social return, and success?
  • How does the CEO, or the Executive Director, make proper financial, staffing, or other critical decisions without seeing how all the pieces fit together?
  • How does the board accomplish its oversight role without utilizing the relationships that run through and across organizational territories?
  • No good leader would tolerate such dysfunctional siloes in their organization, yet, many accept this lack of communication and integration in their departmental technology systems. Why?
  • We found that no good solutions exist in the market that help companies create the bridges and tunnels that join the departmental systems together.

The 2018 Software Advice issue reviewed 145 NonProfit Applications which placed all of them into the following 8 Categories:

  1. Accounting
  2. Fundraising & Donor Management
  3. Membership Management
  4. Volunteer Management
  5. Marketing & Outreach
  6. CRM
  7. Event Planning
  8. Grant Management

None of these categories tie these various systems together in a way that successfully inform decision making to help a non-profit achieve its mission and goals.Yet, increasingly, non-profits are seeing the need to tie these categories to various systems. The Non Profit Times (1/17) identified “Integration and the free flow of information and data between software solutions” as an important and crucial trend going forward. However, this is just a first step. The real utility comes when business intelligence is overlaid on to this, causing leadership to have a much stronger visibility into the things it deems important.So to fill the need, we are developing a solution that fits the following criterion:

    1. It’s inexpensive.
    2. It’s easy to use.
    3. It adapts and scales to the organization.
    4. It creates direct ties to the mission.
    5. It highlights areas deemed most important by the organization regardless of whether there are clear metrics yet created for these areas.
    6. It provides insight into the key questions, both expansive and contractive, that the organization wants to ask.

Are you getting excited? Even if you are just curious, we hope you will get in touch. We can give you a few good thoughts on how to move forward.

Bruce Golboro
COO, ITDATA, Inc.

 

 

Who Is In The Driver’s Seat?

A Story About Understanding Our Dataimages

Once upon a time there was a business. It was a good business, but for many reasons it was getting harder to predict how well or poorly they were doing based on the various measures they were accustomed to using. The market place was changing and so were the revenue sources. Little by little they were losing touch with what the real risks or opportunities were ahead.

This particular business had a board of directors and they were starting to ask different questions. They had an executive team who wanted to not only answer those questions, but they had their own questions that sounded different. They had staff, and they had customers, and other constituent groups with various interests. Why was this becoming such an issue? It never was before.

Regardless of why they were in this predicament, they were in it. They needed to pull together all of this information from many different places and make sense of it. “Well that’s easy”, they thought, “We’ll just ask our IT folks”. Now all of a sudden the IT people were asking questions. Geeze Louise, when was the merry go round ever going to end?

So they hired IT consultants. The questions kept coming, but they thought “hey the consultants at least will help us get through this maze, right”. Well, not exactly. After many hours, days, and months, the questions kept coming and the merry go round continued. They were exhausted.

Until one day they decided to take a different approach. Maybe chasing down all of this information was not the place to start. Maybe they needed to make better sense of the questions first. What were the right questions? What real problems was all this information going to solve?

Well, it was not easy, but they did it. They managed to find the right set of questions that aligned with their strategies – the questions that could help to solve the major issues. So, they went back to the drawing board with these questions in mind and somehow it started to come together. They were getting information to the right people, ahead of the curves, and making real time adjustments to their business.

The moral of the story, “ask the right questions and you might find the answers”. “Ask the wrong questions and enjoy the merry go round.

Peter Blau
CEO, ITData, Inc.

Binswanger Management Corporation

Binswanger Managed IT Services and Support, CIO Servicesquotation bubble

“It is not often that you get asked to do a favor and you actually enjoy doing it. You have asked me to share my experiences working with your organization and it is my distinct pleasure to do so.

Binswanger Management Corporation established a relationship with ITData three years ago. At the time, Binswanger was struggling with a number of IT initiatives that had stalled as well as an IT infrastructure that had not kept pace with the needs of the business and technology. After a very brief integration period, you and your colleagues became an integral part of the IT operations of Binswanger. ITData provided Binswanger with staffing, systems and an IT project plan to upgrade the Company’s IT Infrastructure, protect data integrity and implement best practices. Additionally, ITData took ownership of the uncompleted IT initiatives and was instrumental in seeing them through to completion.

ITData is now positioned as a business critical resource in the operations of Binswanger. Throughout the tenure of the relationship, you have provided the Company with both best in class systems design and configuration, as well as policies and procedures to effectively execute the strategic plan you have created for the Company’s IT function. You and your colleagues are very responsive and thorough and have added tremendous depth to many facets of the operations of Binswanger.”

Peter D. Miller
Executive Vice President, Binswanger

Tips from the Help Desk: GodMode Management Feature

Omnipotent Windows 10 Management Featureapplication-icons-computer-technology

Millions of people have now taken advantage of Microsoft’s free upgrade and are running the Windows 10 OS. Windows has some new features that make management an easier process. Windows now has a hidden feature called “GodMode” that allows for easier management. In GodMode a user can view and manage over 262 different settings all in one view. Add printers, uninstall programs, schedule de-frags, customize your layout and restore to a backup all in one place.

To set up this folder for yourself just right click the desktop and select “new folder” and rename the folder GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}. The folder will take on the appearance of the control panel icon and you can now manage your PC from a central location. Enjoy the easy access to all of the built in management tools in one view.

Contact ITDATA today if you need help managing your Windows environment.

Zachery Albeitawi
Help Desk Technician, ITDATA, Inc.

Tips from the Helpdesk – The Good, The Bad and the Browser Extension

The Good, The Bad and the Browser Extension

GHOSTERY

When downloading files from the internet, many of us have a healthy suspicion of what we are downloading. We can check the file name and run scans on downloads to ensure integrity of the download. However, these healthy habits do not translate over to browser extensions for many of us. Extensions are very easy to add on, and seem safe enough. Unfortunately many companies have been exposed to be pre-loading their extensions with tracking software. These companies then sell your browsing history to the highest bidder. The website “How to Geek” exposed multiple extensions and add-ons that have known trackers built in, check out the somewhat outdated list here. If you are using an extension that is on the list, delete it.

If you would like to download a beneficial add on that lists and blocks all trackers on any website you visit, join the 2 million people already using Ghostery. Ghostery will show you every tracker, including Google, attempting to mine your data. Keep your browsing history and personal data safe and secure with these quick solutions.

Contact ITDATA today if you are in need of higher level internet security.

Zachery Albeitawi
Help Desk Technician, ITDATA, Inc.

Urgent Alert for Businesses Using Gmail

scam alertAn Attempt to Capture Credentials

If you receive an email with the subject “VALIDATION Required for” with a “Continue with Verification” link that redirects you to what appears to be a Google Sign In page, do not click on the embedded link or enter your information.

A member of our team recently received a phishing email appearing to be from Google, requesting verification.

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This is an attempt to harvest log in credentials.  Take note of the “From” line in the phishing email.  Both Google and gmail in the email address are spelled incorrectly.  The salutation is from “The Adrnin tearn” instead of “The Admin Team.”

Noticing these small details can be helpful in spotting phishing emails and avoiding being scammed.

Please share this alert with your business colleagues that you think could be affected. If you are unsure of how this email phishing tactic pertains to your company, feel free to contact us to receive more information.

Tips from the Helpdesk: Flash Problems in Internet Explorer

Having Trouble Viewing Streams in Internet Explorer?flash_player_11_icon_rgb

If you have experienced issues with streaming video in Internet Explorer 11 in Youtube or elsewhere on the internet, you are not alone. If you have to be in Internet Explorer to run a certain application for work, this can be a frustrating issue to deal with. One quick fix is to enable ActiveX Filtering. This will block certain apps and content from loading in the browser. By default ActiveX filtering is turned off. Enable it by going to tools- scroll down to the ActiveX filtering tab and release to enable. Restart Internet Explorer and hopefully your stream now works.

If you can pinpoint when the issue started occurring you may be able to narrow it down to an Adobe Flash upgrade. Before you revert back to an older version of Flash that you know worked, first make sure there is not a newer update that you need to install first. Adobe usually catches these issues and will release a patched version so check to make sure before you revert back. If you end up needing to revert back, check out Adobe’s guide here.  To see which version you have installed click the gear icon a the top right and scroll down to “Manage Add-ons”. Click on “ Toolbar and Extensions and click on “Shockwave Flash Object”. You should be able to see the version listed at the bottom.

Another solution is to turn off Enhanced protected Mode in Internet Options. Go to the gear icon in the upper right hand corner and click on Internet options. Click on the Advanced tab and then scroll down to the Enable Enhanced protected Mode check box.

The last option is to add the website you are having problems with to the Compatibility View Settings list. To do this go back to the gear icon and choose Compatibility view settings. Add the website you are using. If you are stuck using IE for a specific application and are not able to use it, try these solutions to be able to view your stream.

For more information about how we setup networks to avoid small glitches like this  Contact ITDATA today.

Zachery Albeitawi
Help Desk Technician, ITDATA, Inc.

 

Tips from the Helpdesk – Ensure File Integrity by Comparing Hashes

Ensure File Integrity by Comparing Hashes

Buying-Tips-for-Performance-Appraisal-Software

Downloading a program off of the internet these days is all too easy. Often times you may go through two or more websites trying to find a good file that is not corrupt, or has not been altered in any way from the original. Saving documents onto a shared drive at work may feel a little less secure than you would like. How do you know that the file was not altered while you may have been away? Luckily most files and programs have what is called a “digital signature”. When someone wants to ensure that a file is not altered from when they last utilize it, they can input a hash algorithm to the file which will generate a unique key of different characters. You can then compare this key with the digital signature of the file or program when you come back to it to make sure that nothing has been altered. If the file has been altered in any way, the hash value will be completely different, no matter how small or large the change might be. This ensures file integrity, a key concept in IT security.

Many companies already offer their hash values so that users are not fooled into downloading files that may contain malware. Microsoft offers their hash values to be compared with the file downloaded.hashtools-1

If you are using  a windows machine and want to start generating some hash values for your documents and programs, you need to download a third party software to generate and compare hash values. There are many options on the market, a very easy one to use is called “Hash my files” and can be downloaded here https://www.raymond.cc/blog/download/did/1823/. You can also generate hash values for your own files at home or work, to make sure that no one is altering important documents without your approval. Many times you can find a hash value of a program or file and copy and past it into a browser like Google. If it is a common file, the search results may be able to tell you that the file is known to have malware attached to it. Spending a few minutes researching a hash value before you click the download button may save you hours of battling a Trojan virus or other malware. You don’t have to be an IT forensics specialist to utilize this great tool to keep your files safe.

For more information about file hashing and data secure, contact ITDATA today.

Zachery Albeitawi
Help Desk Technician, ITDATA, Inc.

New Android Malware Alert

Two New Kinds of Android Malware: SlemBunk and Marcher

May 2016android-antivirus

ITDATA’s cybersecurity partner, Layer 8 Security, has an on-going relationship with local and federal law enforcement. We receive bulletins from the FBI on a continuous basis. We are sending this alert because it is important to us that your company stays informed on the latest cybersecurity updates to keep you and your business protected. If you have questions or concerns regarding this alert please contact us at sales@itdata.com.

The FBI has identified two new kinds of Android Malware; SlemBunk and Marcher -designed to target US financial institution customers. These two bugs are phishing for specified US financial institutions’ customer credentials. The malware monitors the infected phone for the launch of a targeted mobile banking application to inject a phishing overlay over the legitimate application’s user interface. The malware then displays an indistinguishable fake login interface to steal the victim’s banking credentials. It defeats two factor authentication by its ability to monitor SMS (Short Message Service) messages. This also obscures the cell phone as the source of the infection. The Slembunk malware infects social media phone apps as well as instant messaging apps, using the same fake login overlay to collect data.

The malware is downloaded to the phone in one of the following ways: 

  • SMS or MMS phishing, with messages requesting the user to install malicious Adobe Flash Player software
  • Malvertisements or pop-ups from an adult website prompting the user to download malicious Adobe Flash update
  • Mobile applications downloaded from third-party vendor sites
  • Phishing emails

For further details regarding this alert and recommended cyber hygiene protocol to avoid infection please see our blog, Savvy New Android Malware – Buyer Beware.

For more information about avoiding malware and system security, Contact ITDATA today.

Security Insights: Speeding Ticket Spear Phishing

Security Insights: Speeding Ticket Spear Phishing

Spear Phishing Alert – Wednesday, May 4, 2016fake-speeding-ticket-email

There is a new local email scam: fake speeding tickets. The spear phishing email appears to be a speeding ticket. Several people in Tredyffrin Township have received emails which appear to be from their local police department. The emails contained accurate driving information: date and time, speed, license number and street address. Even more shocking, the drivers were actually speeding on the dates and times listed in the emails, which demands payment through an attached link. There is no apparatus for payment, instead the link downloads malware onto the user’s computer.

Authorities suspect the accurate information is being obtained through a traffic app which tracks a smart phone’s GPS data. It is believed the hacker was able to exploit a security flaw but it is still unclear exactly how the app is able to access this data.

The Tredyffrin Police Department warns that “citations are never emailed or sent in the form of an email attachment.” Scam Alert Speeding Ticket Email Scam – Tredyffrin Police Department

Please contact ITDATA to discuss ways to help your team avoid downloading malware, ransomware or other malicious software that can negatively impact your technology.

Related Links

A New Scam Sends Fake Traffic Tickets to Speeding Drivers – Yahoo Finance

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