Cloud Security Breaches and How to Avoid Them

There have been more cyber-attacks in the past year than any other time in history and 2018 will likely match, if not exceed, that record. Adnene Guabtni, Senior Research Scientist and Engineer at Data61 states, “We are producing more data than ever before, with more than 2.5 quintillion bytes produced every day, according to computer giant IBM.” Because of increased demand, cloud solutions are evolving from simple online backup services to comprehensive storage services. Let’s take a closer look at how to approach the topic of cloud security and how we can help our clients provide the most current information and support they require to prevent attacks. (If you have yet to consider the topic or need help starting a dialogue, read the Top 5 challenges when moving your business to the cloud, and how to overcome them.) To help you begin this discussion, here is a list of the top five cloud security threats and what our clients need to know.

1. Data Breaches Leading to Loss of Intellectual Property

All cloud environments employ security measures, but these platforms are still subject to threats much like traditional networks. Although each cloud service implements its own security protocol, these are not all created equal. Data breaches can expose sensitive customer information, intellectual property as well as trade secrets and can have substantial consequences such as lawsuits, large fines and loss of trust in the brand by the public. Analysis indicates more than 20 percent of the data stored on cloud platforms includes sensitive information. Any cloud security breach can compromise this confidential information. In recent years, Target and Home Depot have experienced significant data breaches including theft of customer credit card and personal information. In his article, Hybrid Cloud Security: Achieving Full Protection, Daniel Newman states, “While the cloud offers numerous financial and operational efficiencies, the hard truth is those gains can be wiped out almost instantly with just one data breach.”

2. Poor User Credential Maintenance

Companies have a responsibility to encourage users of their online platforms to create and maintain strong passwords which can go a long way to prevent many security threats. Businesses also need to have proper procedures in place to identify critical changes made by other users that can adversely affect the security of their information. This is where multifactor authentication, which includes the use of smartcards, phone-based authentication and one-time passwords, is vital in helping to prevent unauthorized users from logging into customer accounts. Poor certificate and key management, weak passwords and inadequate authentication protocol are often causes of cloud-based data breaches. In addition, companies frequently fail to update or remove access privileges when a user changes roles or leaves the company. Disgruntles ex-employees, inattentive or incompetent users can cause a lot of damage unless you implement the proper security precautions and procedures.

3. Application Program Interface (APIs) Threats and Hacking

APIs, sets of programming instructions and standards for accessing a web-based software application or web tools, are used by cloud services to communicate with other cloud services. Consequently, proper API security directly affects the quality of the overall security of the cloud platform. When a company allows a third party to have access to an API, it can leave the corresponding cloud platform open to attack. In How to mitigate your cloud computing risks, Jason Parms writes, “To provide services such as platform services, application programming interfaces are made available to integrators and developers…Malicious attackers can access the service using an API, essentially building their own application, and use it to manipulate a customer’s data.” The best methods to prevent API hacks are to incorporate threat modeling applications and systems into the cloud development process and to conduct comprehensive code reviews to help identify and correct security gaps. APIs are fairly accessible via the Internet, so focus on a proactive security approach. Enterprises must understand that they, not the cloud environment, are ultimately responsible to maintain proper information security. As integrators, we should encourage clients to adopt layered security protocols that include encryption and multi-factor authentication. For more detailed encryption tips, check out Six Cloud Encryption Tips to Put in Place Now by Shelly Kramer.

4. Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks

DoS attacks, which monopolize server processing power and impede cloud availability and speed for users, are on the rise. While this type of attack has been around a long time, cloud services are frequently targeted due to the network of virtual machines and multiple points of entry common with these platforms. Our PSNI partner, HB Communications encourages you to “stay on top of your cloud provider’s security practices, be wary of any sudden changes to your account and protect yourself in every way you can.” Prevention, including regular security audits to identify vulnerabilities, is crucial. Once an attack occurs, the only option that remains is to wait for it to end. Companies must pay for the additional server load caused by attacks, and in severe cases, can result in substantial financial losses.

5. Regulation and Compliance Violations

There are many types of compliance requirements, including HIPAA guidelines in handling private health information and federal regulations governing student information. Enterprises need to make sure their cloud storage and application service providers adhere to regulatory directives. Business leaders risk loss of important data, loss of revenue as well as a hit to their reputation when they neglect compliance monitoring and maintenance of their cloud services. According to Dan Newman, a well-developed cloud security monitoring solution offers businesses more control over accessibility, improved regulatory support, better reputation management and faster threat response times.

Robust cloud security is essential in today’s business world and it is everyone’s responsibility. Our clients need to be equipped with the most current knowledge and tools to prevent common security threats and attacks. A proactive approach is best including regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure the best possible protection against an unwanted breach.

If you want to continue the conversation and learn more about cloud security breaches and how to avoid them, be sure to contact Backman Vidcom today.

Keys to Collaboration Spaces – Here’s Why They Work

Collaboration spaces are here to stay. Shared desks and open workspaces that promote employee creativity by giving them spaces to brainstorm as a group and making working as a team easier are proving to be more and more successful. As an AV Integrator, we can present companies with several options for collaboration technology that will not only enhance their space but give their team the most effective tools for sharing ideas and creating visions.

We consider a lot of things when assisting a client in creating the perfect collaboration space for their employees. These spaces – when developed correctly – foster friendships and camaraderie within the workplace and improve productivity as employees work together to reach common objectives.


Meshing of Personalities

One of the best things about the collaboration of employees is that they all bring different ideas to the table. We know from our own company that having fresh ideas has great advantages when it comes to problem solving. However, these personalities often need different things from a collaboration space in order for them to do their best work. There are a lot of different types of personalities in an office environment and the type of space they need isn’t always the same.

Introverts need the option to have their own space for down time and will need to access group documents and plans in their own independent workspace. Extroverts can live with no walls and thrive where they can be in the hub of work life. That means that creating a network that allows both introverts and extroverts to do their thing is ideal in every office environment. Here are some of the things to consider as you strive to create their perfect mix of open and private spaces.


Using Technology in Collaboration Spaces

The most important thing you will be doing to create the ideal work environment for your employees is setting them up with the most up-to-date technology for their collaboration spaces where everyone can thrive. Creating a space where the technology isn’t intrusive – but perfect for their needs – is a great place to start.


Brainstorming at its best

Consider an area with camp-fire like seating and digital whiteboards. With a whiteboard available, everyone would be able to share information through their own devices which is key to collaboration. Having that type of technology available in a comfortable setting allows for the sharing of ideas that will ultimately benefit the entire company in a relaxed environment that promotes creativity. It’s a win-win situation.


Including the remote worker

The number of remote workers has increased over the last several years. Many organizations have team members that live out of area or even out of the country. Because there are often members of the team that won’t be in the physical space, conference rooms need to have the capability to include telecommuters in the conversation. There are several video conferencing options available as a way to include these employees. Having the perfect setup for all devices to be able to see everything at the same time, is also key. Collaboration technology ensures that everyone is on the same page no matter where they are in the world which should be a very attractive option for companies with remote workers.

When the intent of an office space is to foster collaboration, that space must optimize teamwork, especially in today’s environment of the office with no walls. Telecommuting is the new collaboration space because the office essentially has no walls. Collaborative technology works well in this type of environment, and it can be seamless if all the pieces are in the right place.


Consider the introverts

Not everyone is comfortable sharing their ideas with large groups of people. For a space that is set apart and affords some privacy, there are huddle rooms. These smaller rooms can be fitted with a digital display and can allow about five people to meet and collaborate in a more intimate setting. Connectivity, printer hookup, and plenty of outlets will allow for this to be a comfortable room for mini meetings.


More reasons for collaboration spaces

If you are hesitant (for whatever reason) to create a space where employees can congregate and work as a whole, consider the following benefits of collaboration spaces to help understand the value:

  • Collaboration spaces create an environment of teamwork over a feeling of competition among coworkers
  • Collaboration spaces will prove to be a melting pot of new ideas that may have never developed without the space to share them
  • Collaboration spaces increase the energy in the company by serving as a place where employees can become excited about new ideas and working with others
  • The team atmosphere created by a collaboration space will increase morale and decrease the amount of stress and incidents of depression in employees by giving them the opportunity to build friendships and share ideas

There’s no doubt that a lot of companies are looking for new ways to increase employee productivity and creativity. Collaboration spaces are key in order for this kind of teamwork and idea sharing to take place. The available technology to assist organizations only adds value to these spaces.

To learn more about how collaboration space and technology can help your organization reach its business objectives, contact us today.

The IT Pro’s Guide to User-Friendly Meeting Rooms

Download the Guide Here

Want Productive Meetings and Fewer User Issues? Keep It Simple.

There’s no shortage of equipment options for huddle spaces and meeting rooms. But what’s the smart investment that will deliver the best user experience and minimize support tickets? Find the answers in the IT Pro’s Guide to User-Friendly Meeting Rooms, presented by PSNI and Biamp.

This guide takes on:

·         The technology deficit between how small meeting rooms are equipped and how they need to be

·         Collaboration capabilities users consider most important to working effectively

·         Essential hardware components that enable collaboration

·         Selection criteria for cameras and mics that deliver the necessary quality to take desktop collaboration to the meeting room

·         How to bring the room together and keep it simple for every level of user

Get your guide now!


Improving Employee Engagement with Digital Signage

The multiple benefits digital signage can provide for businesses have been well documented. No doubt you already know that eye-catching displays and the sharing of relevant content directly to consumers are proven to increase sales. But have you ever considered discussing how digital signage can also impact your employees? Do you know all the ways to increase employee engagement using digital signage? Increasing employee engagement is easier than you may think, and the benefits are staggering. Let’s examine exactly how digital signage can impact employee engagement.

How to Impact Employee Engagement with Digital Signage

Even when we aren’t talking about digital signage, efficient and effective communication is the key to increasing employee engagement. Companies already cater their content to consumers—altering that content to appeal to employees as well isn’t that much of a stretch. The use digital signage in the workplace to display performance dashboards, employee bulletin boards, memos, and announcements has the potential to increase employee engagement by over 22 percent.

As mentioned before, digital signage creates more eye-catching displays than generic signage and has the capabilities to grab the attention of employees more so than traditional communications. Take memos for example—many employees open a company emailed memo and immediately disregard it as junk mail. If a company is still using an antiquated system that involves paper memos, there’s a strict possibility these memos are getting lost in the shuffle.

Using digital communications—digital signage in particular—to display company memos not only ensures employees are engaged with company information, it also allows companies to display the most relevant content available to employees. More efficient communication leads to a more engaged and productive workforce.

Digital Signage and Employee Recognition

While many companies have some type of employee recognition program—employee of the month, top salesman, etc.—digital signage allows companies to display real-time progress and results. Adding this element as a gamification aspect to performance is an exciting way to improve employee engagement. Employees respond, become more engaged, and more productive when content is displayed and shared with peers.

Digital Signage and Corporate Social Responsibility

As new generations enter the workforce, so do new expectations. It has become apparent that younger generations—both consumers and employees—want to feel connected to a brand or company that makes corporate social responsibility (CSR) a priority. With digital signage, companies can display and promote CSR initiatives. In turn, this will like improve employee pride and increase employee engagement.

The Takeaway

Digital signage has already proven its worth for companies looking to increase consumer engagement. However, improving customer experiences isn’t the only thing digital signage can do. Many companies have started to use digital signage in the workplace to increase employee productivity. Digital memos, dashboards, bulletin boards, employee recognition tracking, and CSR displays are all being used to improve employee engagement. Digital signage can display and convey a variety of relevant information to employees in real-time. For companies that want to improve employee engagement and create a desirable workplace, digital signage has seemingly endless possibilities. Sharing these benefits lead to happy employees on their end and, in turn, increase productivity and profitability. It’s certainly a win/win situation.


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Backman Vidcom Joins PSNI Global Alliance


HALIFAX, NS (September 1, 2017) — Backman Vidcom announced today that they have accepted an invitation to become a member of PSNI Global Alliance.

PSNI Global Alliance is a global network of independent audiovisual technology integrators and service providers. Formed in 1986, PSNI brings together selected best-in-class integrators (affiliates) who contribute and share access to forward-thinking ideas, education, resources, collaboration and support across the globe to establish client-centered solutions and industry best practices.

PSNI affiliates design and implement audiovisual and technology solutions for government, education, corporations, healthcare, houses of worship, broadcast, entertainment, digital signage, hospitality, legal and museum customers. Regardless of the geographic location of the client, PSNI affiliates can work independently or collectively through the network to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Each PSNI member is carefully selected and peer-reviewed annually to ensure commitment to the organization’s values and beliefs which centers around the network’s common purpose to ensure the highest standards, best practices and integrity of the industry are delivered.

Laurie MacKeigan, President of Backman Vidcom said: “We consider it a real honor to join PSNI Global Alliance. To be part of our industry’s elite group of integrators is an endorsement of the quality of our people and our company.” She added, “knowing we can leverage the strength of like-minded partners within the PSNI network eliminates both project risk and geographical barriers allowing our company to provide an exceptional client experience for opportunities beyond our region.”

“We are proud to welcome Backman Vidcom to the PSNI global alliance and look forward to their participation and contributions,” said Chris Miller, Executive Director of PSNI. “The company brings to the network dynamic leadership, leading-edge approaches to business and a strong commitment to customer satisfaction.”


About PSNI Global Alliance

Professional Systems Network International (PSNI) is an alliance of elite technology integrators, manufacturers, distributors and service providers across the globe. At PSNI, we not only unite industry leaders, our network supercharges them by extending their reach, complementing their strengths, and multiplying their resources, all combined with a commitment to the highest industry standards. For organizations seeking AV solutions, PSNI affiliation is the ultimate industry credential. More than that, it’s a promise that you’ll receive the smartest solutions, the smoothest installations, and the best training, service and support. For more information, visit

Backman Vidcom Awarded for Discovery Centre

Company Recognized by Industry for work at Halifax’s Discovery Centre

ORLANDO, FL and HALIFAX, NS (June 14, 2017) — Backman Vidcom announced today that the company has been honoured with a 2017 Commercial Integrator (CI) Integration Award for their recent project work at the new Discovery Centre on the Halifax waterfront. The CI Integration Awards recognize and showcase the most outstanding technology integration projects in North America and Europe over the past year in a variety categories. The winners are chosen by a panel of industry experts, integrators and the editors of Commercial Integrator.

“It is a tremendous honour to receive this recognition from a distinguished panel of industry leaders. This award acknowledges the hard work and passion our team puts into every job,” says Laurie MacKeigan, president of Backman Vidcom. “The Discovery Centre project had extra special meaning for us as it is such an important and highly-regarded institution in our community.”

The 2017 Integration Awards presented by Commercial Integrator recognize top organizations who successfully address client needs with innovative and noteworthy installations. Commercial Integrator awarded multiple technology partners in different categories for outstanding solutions. Backman Vidcom’s recognition was in the museum category. Judges review a solution’s “wow” factor and whether the project exceeded client expectations.

In February 2017, the Discovery Centre opened its doors to a new 40,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art science museum on the Halifax waterfront, within an existing historic building that served as a former electrical power station. Highlighted by four marquee galleries – Health, Flight, Energy and Creative Kids – and unique spaces including an Atrium, Travelling Exhibits Gallery, Innovation Lab and Immersive Dome Theatre, the AV technology at the Centre represents a significant aspect of the museum experience.

Backman Vidcom’s scope of work included the AV supply, installation, and integration with creative treatments and scripts for interactive multimedia across all exhibits, including interactive touchscreens, video, RFID and other AV media productions. The firm worked closely with exhibits fabricator, Kubik (Toronto), digital media contractor, NGX-Interactive (Vancouver), and the architect responsible for overall museum build, Aldrich-Pears (Vancouver) to ensure the technical functionality of the exhibits and galleries were produced to the highest standard.

Dov Bercovici, president & CEO of the Discovery Centre commented, “Technology in our new location and in today’s modern science centres necessitates extra consideration to the unique challenges associated with its daily use. We have welcomed over 80,000 visitors in less than four months, so the AV technology deployed required a high level of quality and durability. Backman Vidcom understood the importance of this.”

Award winners were announced today at a ceremony at InfoComm 2017, in Orlando, Florida. InfoComm is the AV industry’s annual global trade show and convention. As a category winner, the company and project will be featured in the July issue of Commercial Integrator magazine and on


About Backman Vidcom

Backman Vidcom, a locally owned Nova Scotia company founded in 1976, is the established market leader for commercial audiovisual design and integration services in Atlantic Canada. Our diverse team of professionals carry the highest industry credentials and work diligently to help our clients connect, communicate and collaborate. We optimize technology for our customers so they can achieve greater business results and believe a customer’s experience with technology is more important than the technology itself. For more information, visit

About Commercial Integrator

Commercial Integrator (CI) is the first publication dedicated to address the business needs of professional integrators who serve the small and midsize business (SMB) market. Beyond products and installations, Commercial Integrator tackles operational topics like job-estimating, project-bidding and big-picture market forecasting and more. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Tom Murray,
Vice President, Backman Vidcom
Tel: (902) 219-2285