Mike Grout Promoted To Vice President Technical Services


GroutWebsiteC-Forward, an Information Technology (I.T.) Services firm headquartered in Covington, KY is announcing a new Vice President of Technical Services.

Mike Grout, who is now in his 11th year with C-Forward, is being promoted to that position.

Said C-Forward President Brent Cooper, “Mike’s dedication to improving and growing the organization has been critical to our success.  He leads technical services not only in Northern Kentucky, but in the Lexington/Central Region as well.  He has become a key resource for our staff and our clients.

As a Technical Services Manager, Mike hired and developed many of C-Forward’s service team members.  An NKU graduate (Class of 2006) and a Leadership Northern Kentucky Graduate (Class of 2013), he has been leading the service team and is essential in the company’s internal operations.

As Vice President, Mike will continue leading the team towards more operational efficiencies and improved service delivery. Continuing as part of C-Forward’s leadership team, he will provide his expertise in sustaining C-Forward’s growth and providing future direction.

“Like many C-Forward employees, Mike has served the community in a number of ways. He served on the Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, the Leadership Northern Kentucky Advisory Council, and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, just to name a few.  His dedication to our community is impressive and is a wonderful example for other millennials within our organization.” Cooper said.

Said Grout, “It’s an honor to be promoted to Vice President at C-Forward.  I am extraordinarily passionate about our mission and vision and I love the team that we’ve built. For me, trying to make our business, our employees, and our clients a little better is what gets me out of bed each morning. I always strive for continuous improvement in everything I do and I enjoy trying to instill that drive in others.”

Mike lives in Edgewood, KY with his wife Lisa and their dog Scooter.

C-Forward President provides insight on the rise in Cybercrime

Cybercrime reaches ‘epidemic’ levels in Greater Cincinnati

by Andy Brownfield – Reporter for Cincinnati Business Courier

A local cybersecurity expert says it’s not a matter of if your small business is being hacked, it’s how often.

Brent Cooper, president of Covington-based tech firm C-Forward, said there were 140 million new cyberattacks in 2014, which increased to 250 million in 2015. He said those attacks could be as much as four times higher in 2016.

“Cybercrime is now at an epidemic level and people don’t know just how bad it is,” Cooper told me. “We’re seeing attacks daily, and you can see them coming in minute by minute on firewalls and different security tools.”

Most attacks aren’t the giant breaches like what rocked Target in 2013 where thieves stole every credit card used at its 1,797 U.S. stores. Most cybercrime looks relatively benign, but it only looks that way. Most attacks are coming in as emails designed to trick the recipient into thinking it’s from an official or trusted source but in reality carries malicious software or malware, often something called “ransomware” that holds a computer system hostage until the owner pays hackers a ransom.

“These attacks can cripple a business,” Cooper said. “The criminals are getting paid, so they’re acting with impunity. The majority of small businesses are not even reporting them.”

BDO consulting director Jessica Allen told me cyber criminals have shifted their focus away from consumer data to attacking companies themselves. She said a CEO she worked with kept getting calls from his company on vacation and when he finally answered, his team wanted to double-check that he authorized a suspicious-looking $1 million payment. The hackers who sent the email even knew that the CEO was on vacation.

“There are two types of companies: ones that have been breached and ones who just don’t know it yet,” Allen said. “A lot of people think they’re too small, but there’s no such thing.”

One thing companies can do to safeguard against the kind of social engineering attacks like what the CEO Allen mentioned is to have a process in place where two different people have to authorize any payments that go out or use multiple means of communication such as a phone call to backstop email communication.

Cooper recommends multiple factors to authenticate any login or online transactions: something you have and something you know. The something you know would be a password or security question, while the something you have would be a token that is randomly generated and good for only 30 seconds so only the person in possession of it would be able to authenticate themselves.

“We are genuinely scared,” he said. “If we don’t start taking cybersecurity more seriously, it’s not going to get better, it’s going to get a lot worse.”





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Best Smartphones for Mobile Employees

Best Smartphones for Mobile Employeesphones

Mobile devices have offered the enterprise productivity platforms that allow employees to stay connected even while away from their desks.

The ‘Bring Your Own Device’ scheme has offered businesses a way to encourage their staff to utilize their own smartphones and tablets for work purposes. Research states mobile devices for work will be a necessity and no longer an option for employees by 2017. According to Gartner, 50% of employers will start requiring their staff to supply their own device for work purposes by next year.

Businesses have seen the benefits of BYOD, such as creating new mobile workforce opportunities, reducing or avoiding costs, and increasing employee satisfaction. However, having a smartphone alone is not enough to become a productive mobile employee. Each smartphone has specialized features targeting specific users. Tech page O2 has featured particular handsets that fit the requirement of employers. Regardless of the price range, these are high-performing devices with biometric sensors, faster processors, bigger memory, and longer lasting battery life. If you want to know some of the best smartphones for on-the-go employees, then read on below to find out.

OnePlus 3
It’s obvious in today’s market that the performance of a smartphone is no longer measured by its price, as some low-range handsets now have premium features. This is what the OnePlus 3 offers to those who have a very limited budget for mobile devices. The smartphone comes with the latest technology with its AMOLED display, its Snapdragon 820 processor, a huge 6GB RAM, 3000mAh battery and fingerprint sensor for added security. It also has a slim, strong, and sleek design, so users don’t need to compromise between beauty and performance.

iPhone 7
Although many iFans were disappointed with the disappearance of the headphone jack on the latest iPhone, Apple gave the handset plenty of new upgrades. First, they finally made the handset waterproof with its IP65 certification, making it a perfect fit for field workers, as it is now able to withstand bumps, drops, and liquids. Second, the A10 processor is “the most powerful chip ever in an iPhone,” making it two times faster than its predecessor and more efficient with longer battery life. Lastly, Apple has incorporated a faster 4G LTE (450Mbps) with the best worldwide roaming that is compatible with up to 25 bands.

Galaxy S7 Edge
Samsung retained the design of their Galaxy Edge series and added more durability and improved the performance with the release of the S7 Edge. It comes with a 200GB expandable memory slot for more file storage, better battery life, and waterproof features. The handset also features the SmartCall app that immediately identifies spam and unwanted calls as well as the Always-On Display (AOD) that keeps useful information on the screen even when it’s idle. The edged, curved screen also allows users to have more space to work with as quick app icons can be placed on the side-to-side display.

As a different modular smartphone experience, the LG G5 comes with great technical specifications that fit the needs of every mobile employee. The external memory card slot can take up to 2TB of microSD storage with a 32GB internal memory. Being a modular device, LG has introduced two modules – CAM Plus that enhances the camera features of the device, and the Hi-Fi Plus that improves the audio quality of the handset. The company is working with a third-party module provider to create more compatible ‘bloks’ for the handset.


Exclusively written for CForward
by TechnoloJtoday