Pros & Conversations

Episode 3: Understanding Automation & Security for Small Business.

May 11, 2022 Peter G. Reynolds / Damon Adachi / Shawn Huelin Season 1 Episode 3
Pros & Conversations
Episode 3: Understanding Automation & Security for Small Business.
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When starting a small business, technology is more than just deciding what laptops you’re going to buy. Technology impacts every aspect of your business, for productivity and accounting software, to marketing, automation and cyber-security. Host Peter Reynolds and Damon Adachi speak with Shawn Huelin, CEO of Discovernet, one of the 50 best managed IT companies in Canada, about this complex topic and offer some insights of where business owners should focus their attention and budget. 

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Peter Reynolds: [00:00:00] Hi, I'm Peter Reynolds and welcome to pros and conversations. The podcast that not only interviews, inspiring people from the world of science business and the arts, but also gives real tools that aspiring entrepreneurs can use to get their businesses started today. I'm joined by my cohost Damon Adachi, who's a marketing consultant with Seven-Fold Marketing. How are you doing? 

Damon Adachi: Good, yourself. 

Peter Reynolds: Excellent. Excellent. The, uh, now last episode, we talked about the five pillars of small business and, uh, we discussed marketing and branding. What's the second pillar. We're going to talk about today. 

Damon Adachi: Uh, well, interesting.

Interestingly enough, it's operations. And you would think that most entrepreneurs are the experts in the operations silo, because that's the core of your business, but there's a major subset behind that, which is your technology. And it's sort of constitutes the [00:01:00] backbone of what your entire process and operations.

Uh, and I think it's probably one of the more underserved parts of people's businesses, because it is, uh, very important. And you think you have some level of savviness as a, as a, you know, a tech savvy person. You've got a phone, you've got a laptop, uh, but there are a lot of other considerations that are not being considered necessarily, uh, to help small businesses thrive.

Peter Reynolds: Yeah, this is a pretty complex topic and, uh, to help, uh, you know, work our way through it. Uh, we have with, uh, Shawn Huelin and, uh, Shawn, you are the owner of Discovernet. Um, can you first just tell us a little bit about what Discovernet is? 

Shawn Huelin: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks. Sure. Discovernet that started 22 years ago.

And the, the concept behind it was take the technologies that large-scale businesses have and bring that technology scape to smaller sized businesses. [00:02:00] And that includes everything from software development, all the way to security services, help desk, business process, realignment automation. All things technical.

We even, we even look after coffee makers that plug into your network. 

Peter Reynolds: I tell you it's, it's amazing because I think for the, for the average person, when they're starting their business, they probably don't think about managed IT. You know, as something that they have to worry about, you know, they've got their laptop, um, you know, they've got Geek Squad, you know, You know, they're, they're probably not thinking about managed IT, but, but you're suggesting that it it's something you really need to think about right at the beginning.

Shawn Huelin: Oh, 100%. Yeah. 100%. Because you know, I, I haven't run into a business yet. You have to, didn't rely in some form in IT, right? Whether it's whether it's your operations, whether it's your accountant in your accounting system, like there's something there that is going to be technology related [00:03:00] that, that you really need to keep an eye on.

Damon Adachi: Yeah, in my experience, I would say that the thing that grinds your operations to a halt, the fastest is when your devices aren't working, you know, your wifi is not working. You are suddenly shut down. It's not like you can say, well, that check is going to clear soon. So finances can, you know, it gets a bit of a grace period, but when, when your technology is not working, you are not working.

Shawn Huelin: Yeah. Oh man. Like the support calls we get for if email was down. Like it could be a small blip in someone's home internet and, and within seconds, or like emails down the sky is falling, right? Like it's a critical tool that a lot of salespeople need for sure. 

Peter Reynolds: No I just experienced that myself because I had downloaded a piece of, of software, uh, to sort of clean up my, my Mac and, uh, and you know, sort of get rid of any unwanted files.

And it just asked me one little question. That, oh, do you need [00:04:00] this? And I said, yes. And all of a sudden, I go to my email and everything is gone and there's literally nothing there. And you know, my heart is in my throat. I'm having, you know, palpitations and the ability to call somebody and, and have them put you at ease and say, no, no, no, no, no, nothing is gone.

It's just communicating with your email server that's been disconnected. And that is so critical because I think as entrepreneurs, you know, we want to get back to the, to the business of running our business, you know, and if we can have, you know, somebody as a member of our team, you know, who might not be in the actual building, but is there who can handle those situations either day-to-day or when there's a crisis.

I think that's just going to help us focus where we need to focus. 

Shawn Huelin: Yeah. And, and the setting your systems up, right? So you can have that comfort that you can call somebody and say, Hey, no, no, everything's fine. Because you know, [00:05:00] maybe you happen to delete your email. And if you didn't have systems in place to, to recover from that, then you know, a lot of people miss that.

And they're like, ah, I don't need to back stuff up. Yeah. 

Damon Adachi: Guys are making me nervous. Okay. Starting to get tight, I'm sweating a little bit over here. Cause we've all had those moments. Um, but uh, Looking at the overall concept of technology and small business. I think that you can sort of talk about it from three angles.

One is your hardware and your devices. Uh, and the second one is the software and the, and the systems that you're running. And lastly is a very important one for me, would be security and making sure that not only is that being, uh, no downtime and it's sustainable and nothing's wrong with it, but that it's also secure in privacy and in data protection and things like that.

Is there anything you think you'd want to add to those three? 

Shawn Huelin: Well, I would actually the third one, I would just call it business continuity or business recovery. Um, security and hacking is sort of an event of that. And we can, we can put a lot under business continuity, [00:06:00] um, to cover security and backups and operations.

Damon Adachi: Okay. Makes sense. So from a hardware perspective, Um, I know personally, you know, when I started, I bought my Mac being a graphic designer by trade at the beginning. So, um, I've gone through three in 13 years and they've been super reliable and, and, and it's a business machine. Like I went high end with it cause I knew I was going to be doing high processing.

Um, but if you've got a team of people, does it make sense to have an expert tell you what you need for your business in terms of hardware and the right types of laptops in the right types of, of, uh, processing speed in those things. And making sure that the whole staff is well equipped rather than handing down the 2008 Mac book through for people as it usually happens.

Shawn Huelin: Yeah. And you're going to have to help your consultant or your IT guy. I understand your business and a really good IT person is going to want to understand what you're doing so they can make the best recommendations. Um, [00:07:00] so, you know, if you come to me and say, yes, you're a graphic designer and I'm going to have a team of 15, then we're going to try to set you up.

So you've got those plans and those things in place. So it makes it easier. Now from a, from a support perspective, the more things that you can have in common. Um, and repeatable and the same, the easier it will be for anyone to then step in and help out and support if you've got different devices and different plugins and different.

Well, just, just look at cell phones and the different USBC and adapters and fire wires and all those different cables. Like consistency helps so much. 

Peter Reynolds: Yeah, I can, I can totally see that. I mean, I was. I mean, I'm in video production and I went to PC route very early, sort of in my journey. Um, mostly because of cost, you know, at the beginning of the Mac was very expensive and, um, you know, [00:08:00] very quickly I got on the kind of anti Mac bandwagon.

I don't need a Mac. The, uh, you know, I'm not a fan boy, I just need something for work. And then funny enough, the people that I was working with, the freelancers that I was hiring. They all use Macs and it just became a situation where it just, it just made sense for us all to be working from the same system, to have the same tech, the same technical issues that would come up.

So I, so that, that consistency, I guess not only with the people in your office, but with the industry is probably a consideration.. 

Shawn Huelin: Yeah, 100%. You have to look at who you're working with. Um, and where are you going to be exchanging files and, and that whole ease of use. There are in businesses. There's this bring your own device?

Because people like, you know, the max, they like their surface, they like a desktop. So how do you keep that consistent? Then there's some technologies [00:09:00] using remote desktop where, you know, your corporation itself has access to log into a windows machine and you can log into it from an iPad. Like I'm talking to you now from my iPad through a remote desktop.

And, but I'm running a windows, desktop, basically windows on an iPad. So that keeps that consistency and those people bring their own device. And you can have wifi. As long as you've got wifi, you can get access to that information. Um, that helps with the consistency aspect. 

Peter Reynolds: Shawn, is it changing now with the cloud?

And I know we're going to talk a little bit more about that later, but the fact that we can, once we get onto the internet, you know, we can interact with Google docs and all this different software out there. How is that changing the, the technology, uh, requirements for businesses to, to be consistent, if we can all go on the cloud.

Shawn Huelin: Yeah, the cloud still has requirements on making sure you're up to date. So if you've got your own PC and you know, we've got some clients that are running windows 7 because of some business [00:10:00] software that they have that won't go to the cloud easily. Um, so they have to run windows 7. So if they have another division that's in, um, a cloud service and they don't have the up-to-date browser.

That will help run some of those cloud apps. Then, you know, the cloud isn't going to help them in that case. Google has been really, really diligent on blocking down or locking down things that just don't make sense from a security perspective. Um, you know, from a graphic design perspective when flash disappeared.

Right. But no more Adobe flash, because it was so insecure like that impact on websites and marketing and, and systems just. Just disappeared overnight, which sort of brings up sort of cloud systems is, is cloud. When you move to the cloud, unless you control what you're putting in there for systems, the cloud controls you in a sense.

So say I'm running my accounting package in the cloud and they decide, [00:11:00] well, we're not going to support HST anymore. But I charge HST, like, what am I going to do? Right. And that does happen. Like you, you use a feature and they decided to take that out. Um, which is, which is a risk, but. You know, people don't think about that and they just think, oh, I have this and it's going to be the same forever.

Peter Reynolds: No, absolutely. Absolutely. We even do that now. I mean, we're recording, uh, you know, using a cloud-based, uh, recording software. If that company decides to change how they do business or how many people they support in a stream that has a direct impact on my business and I'm relying on it. So probably. I don't know.

I don't know. What would you think, Damon? I mean, we're both in sort of the graphics field. It, this whole idea of now, you know, you don't buy software, you know, you rent it, you know, members, you know, subscriptions drives me crazy. And I, [00:12:00] I guess that's a trend that's just with everything now. 

Damon Adachi: Well, I actually appreciate it.

And, and there were times when I would borrow software from somebody who had already purchased the license and there were still a licensed key available, and those are, you know, I'm dating myself here. It was in the past. It's past the statute of limitations. It's no problem now, but at the same time, you know, I really appreciate a recurring.

Uh, predictable cost click of a button charged to the credit card. I get the latest version and I'm sort of selling a commercial year for Adobe, but it actually makes my operations run much smoother, um, and not having, uh, version issues with clients and things like that. So, um, I like the software subscription, uh, concept and recurring and I'm, I wouldn't talk anybody off of that.

Shawn Huelin: Um, but he's one of the companies that did it really really well. Right there, their cloud suite or creative suite for 70 bucks or 50 bucks a month, whatever it is like to get access to [00:13:00] all the apps. Whereas, you know, Microsoft, they have different plans and it's like Microsoft. Like there are Microsoft licensing specialists, like that is a career just to understand the different options.

And it's, it's insane. It's absolutely insane. 

Peter Reynolds: I'll tell you a little secret. I don't know if you've done this Damon. Um, when, as you're, uh, as your license is coming up for renewal and, and I, somebody told me to do this. They said, cancel your subscription. This is for Adobe. If you cancel your subscription, you will get a fantastic deal.

And I said that can't be the way. And so... 

Damon Adachi: It works for Rogers or I shouldn't say worked for Adobe. 

Peter Reynolds: So I went on and I said, cancel subscription. It said, you know, sort of sorry to see you go, are you sure you want to cancel? You say yes. It says, what if we offer you one month free? Okay. You say, Nope, it [00:14:00] comes back.

How about three months free? And I could not believe it, that you really have to go through the whole process and then you just, yeah. Oh, well that sounds great. I'll take three months free. And then you, you renew, I mean, it's a game, I guess, you know? 

Shawn Huelin: Well, that actually brings up a really good point about automating your business, right?

So that was all automated. It was the system they had in place that helped you through that cancellation. You didn't have to call, you didn't have to deal with people. And that's just the way it is. Um, and, and that alleviates you as a, as a business owner from taking that call, right? You've got your followup or your funnel, you know, just like you have a funnel for marketing, you've got a funnel for dealing with your clients and the more you can automate, and now you're happy, you're paying a little bit less and you still have the product.

Female Voice: We hope you're enjoying this episode so far. Pros and Conversations is brought to you by For the Record Productions, providing video production services, to corporate and nonprofit clients for over 20 years, [00:15:00] to learn more about how we can help your business visit VideosThatMatter.ca and by the Business Alliance, a professional peer group that helps you grow your business through networking collaboration and sound advice.

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Damon Adachi: So to that point of automating your business, what do you say to the smaller companies and entrepreneurs who are still in the dark ages using Excel to invoice and, uh, and things like that. Like, those people who are just kind of a step behind and not working on a CRM system.

Where's the, where's the motivation to invest in that kind of systems and, and enterprise software. 

Shawn Huelin: I think it depends on what you want to do with your business. So do you want to be sort of an independent contractor and you're just, you're happy with the level that you're making. You're okay with [00:16:00] doing that.

There's not going to be any desire to change, but if you, if your vision is to grow your business, to make, you know, to eventually have you not be in the business, you know, 18 hours a day, like some of us have all had to do, but have other people work for you for 18 hours a day. But I, I joke, but if you want to get to that level, you're going to have to do automation.

And there's a big part about automation because in order for me to automate something. I need to know what my process is, and that normally starts with some sort of document, flow chart back of the napkin doesn't matter. Um, cause you have to, if you can't automate it yourself, you're going to have to explain that to someone who can help you automate it.

But then you're gonna have to explain that process so they can, they can do it for you. And the more you're doing manually. And the more that you have to do as the owner, the more you become the bottleneck, the more it limits your ability to grow beyond just [00:17:00] yourself. 

Damon Adachi: Excellent point. 

Peter Reynolds: Can you give us another example?

I know we talked about invoicing and the example with enough sort of Adobe give you a deal. If you try to cancel, can you, some other examples of automation that, that listeners out there might not be aware of. 

Shawn Huelin: From a, from a smaller business perspective, just dealing with your accountant at year end. Um, how, you know, having a good relationship with them, understanding what they need to help you do your taxes.

You can start to set up some automations there. So one of them could be expense report items. So you'd take your gas, take a picture with your phone. Um, there some great apps on there that when you take a picture, you can then categorize it and then send that to your, send that to your accountant, as opposed to like the shoe box accountants that have, you know, you send them the box and here's all my receipts and you go through it, you know, those types of processes, anything that's repeatable, uh, on a daily basis, um, you know, in dealing with [00:18:00] incoming customer emails.

So if you've got a, uh, a specific person at one of your key clients, you can set up an Outlook rule or, you know, email client of your choice rule that says, if I get an email from this person, I can automatically reply saying, thank you very much. I got your email. Uh, I'm in the middle of something right now.

I'd be happy to look at that by this time, like setting expectations with your customers in an automated. I mean, obviously you gotta make sure you follow up and, and commit to what you put in your automation. Um, but doing that gives a sense of I'm being looked after. 

Peter Reynolds: Yeah. I've noticed that happening more and more.

And I, for example, a couple of, of clients that I work with, um, when I send them an email, I get an automatic response and they say, um, you know, thanks for touching base. Uh, go to my online calendar and book 30 minutes with me and I get [00:19:00] access to their calendar immediately. And I book my time. I spoke, speak with no one and it's all set up and, uh, and I get a calendar invite, uh, from them.

And so I, I was blown away. I experienced that for the first time last year and was thinking maybe I should be doing something like that myself. 

Shawn Huelin: Yeah, honestly, this week alone, today's Wednesday. I think. So this week I have spent three hours trying to book a meeting with someone. Like if a meeting takes more than two emails to pick a time, like use something like Calendly, it's free for one meeting type, like send them the link.

Say, here you go. Find the time. Not that I'm not willing to give you my time, but my time is way more valuable helping you through a situation versus spending a time booking a meeting. 

Damon Adachi: That brings up a point for me is, you know, where I found I wanted automation to be most effective in my business is in project management.

So, Peter, I'm sure you can relate to this when you're running multiple clients, multiple projects, and you're having to manage your [00:20:00] time and remember what's priority, having a system that has it documented. I mean, people used to have whiteboards on the wall. Like that's how it used to work. Right. Where you would sketch out everything you're working on.

Uh, but having that automated shared across multiple users, you know, updated from anywhere that's super beneficial for a project-based business like mine. And then you can have people book into that calendar right through Calendly or other applications. So do you have any recommendations for that kind of system software and support?

Shawn Huelin: Yeah, it's going to be industry specific, but for, for some of the, you know, generic ones like monday.com for project management, Calendly for sure. To book calendar entries, it's compatible with, um, Google apps, outlook, there's some plugins, you know, you name the client, they've got access to it. Um, and even Calendly can be for teams.

So we run a service desk. So what we do is we actually have a service desk account [00:21:00] that says, book it in the calendar and it will book in the, it will book an appointment in, you know, three people who are free and then whoever is available will then hold on and take it. So, you know, it does scale from one to multiple.

So, and that's a good point when you're looking at tools, just make sure it's scalable. Um, you know, the process that works for a solopreneur may not quite work when you have to start getting. Um, some of the other tools that are really good for my productivity perspective is a video speed tool. So if you're watching, you know, YouTube got the ability to, to speed it up by, you know, one, two times.

But if, if you're watching videos or listening to podcasts, not all sites support that. So you just get a plugin for your browser. You know, I, I watch a lot of training videos on two and a half, three times speed. I know when I listen to this podcast, I can guarantee I'll be listening at two or three times speed.

For sure. 

Peter Reynolds: That is so incredibly disheartening to [00:22:00] hear that you do that Shawn. Because I carefully craft okay. training videos. Okay. To have the right pacing, tempo, that emotional grab at the beginning. And here you are watching it at twice speed. So. 

Damon Adachi: Oh, I'm just, I'm just reminded of Rick Moranis and Ghostbusters saying he watched a 20 minute workout and fast forward, and it only took him eight minutes.

Shawn Huelin: That was great. 

Damon Adachi: That's Sean. 

Shawn Huelin: Yes. 100%. 100%. So I go back to the creators because they don't get compensated. They get compensated on actual watch time, not, not sped up. Watch time. So you guys, I do. 

Damon Adachi: Uh, we talked earlier about, um, you know, when you can automate and when you can get away with not doing it, if you're a smaller business unit might not necessarily invest in big systems, I'm going to, I'm going to inject a bit of marketing angle on the technology discussion and bring it around to a bit [00:23:00] of a public service announcement for your website.

If you're not investing in this, in the technology that makes your website effective and, and supportive for your business, you are not just missing out. You are costing your business money from poor branding, poor representation, and this things like having, you know, a login for your clients, things like that, where they can view their invoices, where you've got to build in some automation, you've got to build in some intelligence into a database behind the scenes, but I'll give you an example of, um, a home-based, uh, spa that I was working for.

And they needed the very best systems where you can book their practitioners and you have an account for your waivers and all of these things and their competition was a toilet paper roll website with just promotional jargon and pictures. And that was it. It was like a bad real estate flyer. And that was the whole website at the bottom was "email us to book".

The representation of that business is so terrible because they did a cheap cousin built [00:24:00] website or something like that. I know it's probably not in your bread and butter service, providing stuff, Shawn but speak to website and online presence and involvement in, in things that are forward facing to the client.

Shawn Huelin: Yeah. The easier you can make. It for someone to do business with you, the likely the higher likelihood that they're going to continue to do business, you just don't take the technology out. Um, I have to get an oil change. I'm not calling a service advisor. I want to book my appointment online and I'm going to tell them what I need.

And I'm going to see the appointment. Just like the Calendly link thing that we talked about. Like the easier it is. Now, it doesn't all have to be, you know, true automation. If someone wants to call, then make sure your phone system has the ability to get through to you or someone so they can pick up a call, especially if you have that option to it.

No, no, I don't want to deal with chat bots or I don't want to deal with automation. I want to deal with a person, right? So the more you [00:25:00] can make that interaction seamless, easy for your customers, the way better chance you got of in retention and even gaining, gaining new clients. 

Peter Reynolds: So we've talked about automation and, uh, uh, want to sort of shift gears and talk a little bit about security, um, because we talked about that at the beginning, um, and sort of, you know, You know, how important sort of is that?

And, uh, you know, for this again, the starting business, you know, maybe they have, it's a couple of people working, you know, from home and they've got the computers and, you know, and it's kind of shifted because it wasn't sort of a time when we all were downloading, you know, McCaffrey and all these different, uh, you know, virus, uh, protections.

Um, and, um, and now it's sort of evolved into ransomware and, you know, you hear these crazy news stories. Obviously there's, it's important. The, uh, but, but it's sort of how [00:26:00] important and how much should that be? Top of mind. 

Shawn Huelin: Yeah. And not to sell with fear. It's not a matter of if you're going to get hit it's it's going to be a matter of when, because it's, it's a, without getting too far into the weeds on bitcoin..

And blockchain currencies and alternate currencies without the ability to track who owns that money, it is very difficult to catch the people who are hacking your systems without that traceability. Right. And so while there is systems still in place that allows for transfer of money, pretty much anonymously.

Then these things will continue to happen. And it's, it's, it's lucrative. Like right now you can go into the dark web, which is a whole other podcast discussion. And I could hire a hacker to [00:27:00] say, you know what, Damon's my competition. And I, and I'm going to launch this new service and Damon's launching a new service.

So I'm going to take his website offline for the day. Well, I launched mine and that sort of espionage happens. It happens around mergers and acquisitions as well. So a long way of saying it's going to happen to you at some point. So what we have to change the conversation is, is what is your risk profile and what is your risk tolerance like, you know, five or six years ago, people would say, well, I don't need to back up because you know, or I don't have to worry about security because you know what data does a hacker want.

Right. Well, they're going to try to hack you to see what they can get from you. It's either who, you know, right. What do you know? And do you have any information that I can use to make more money somewhere else? Like your, your email list, right. If I can spoof Damon's email just enough, right? Because not a lot of people look, you know, very [00:28:00] carefully.

If I throw a throw the number seven in Seven Fold versus spelling out seven. Is someone going to notice that right away? Maybe, maybe not. If the E happens to look like an O and at a quick glance, right? You could get tricked. I could send that link out to Peter. Peter clicks on that link. Now I've access to Peter's computer, Peter than signs on to online banking.

But your identity is huge, right? Like if I can take out a mortgage on your home with the information that you, that I get from logging into the computer, I can walk away with a hundred grand in this market, especially if I can do that. And then the money's in my account and I leave like, that's, that's important.

Now you have employees and your HR system gets hacked. Like the spread of that is insane. Absolutely insane. 

Damon Adachi: Well, and aside from the more nefarious things that you have to deal with, there's still crashes and, and a fire in your office can destroy your hard drive and you've got no backup of [00:29:00] that data. So there's, you know, beyond security, like you had said earlier, business continuity is more of the right umbrella to say, you know, what do we do in the case of a data loss?

Um, whether it's because it's sensitive information or because it's vital to our operations, um, 

Shawn Huelin: Thanks for leading back because I can 

squirrel off these topics. 

Right. But that's a good point. So we talked about automation and all the, how your systems are interconnected. Now, do you have that documented? Right. So if that automation breaks.

Can you still serve as your customer. And we always, we always try to talk to our customers about, you know, what do you have in place and what can you do to continue to serve your customer? Damon brought it up earlier. Like, you know, you get a check, it goes in the bank, whatever, not a big deal. That that process will still happen.

What if I can't ship? What if I can't invoice? Right. What if I can't take phone calls? Because we have, we have a client who, who takes 95% of their business over the phone. If their phone system goes down, How are they, how are they doing business? And they [00:30:00] have a website you can go online, but their customers love their sales staff.

So that's the continuity. And at some point you're gonna have to look at budget and say, okay, well, where do I need to focus? And the answer is going to be, it depends. Right? So in that example, they put all their money into their phone system and, and automation on, on, on fail over and disaster recovery. So they can actually have a phone call.

Right. If you're all through email and you don't ever talk to your customer on the phone, or it's occasional, then you want a good, reliable non-free email service. Right. And from marketing perspective, get your own domain. Like if you're a real estate agent and you've got, you know shawn@gmail.com. No, no, it's it's 60 bucks.

Go get yourself a domain a year. Like, I don't even think it's 60 bucks. Damon could probably have a better idea.

Right. Yeah. Have those processes documented, put your money where it is, [00:31:00] and if you don't know where that is right away, then absolutely talk to a consultant. Talk to your IT person, talk to someone else in your industry that you trust, where they're going to put their money. For sure. 

Peter Reynolds: Shawn let me back it up just a little bit.

Cause I'm just thinking about those listeners who are never going to open their computers again. Um, and I'm just wondering, I'm just wondering, you know, can you give sort of one piece of advice or what's, what's one thing they can do to kind of dramatically reduce, reduce the risk. Is it a piece of software? You know, what, what is it that they can do to, to obviously they can't cover everything, but, but what's something that they can do.

Shawn Huelin: Facetiously, get a typewriter, go back to ribbon and paper. No, but unfortunately there's no one thing and I can use the analogy of your home. So, you know, just because you get an alarm system doesn't mean you're going to take the locks off your doors, right. Um, [00:32:00] when you add video in, you know, to see in case something happens, you don't remove the alarm system, right?

It's about layers, go Shrek reference. So ogres are like onions because they all have layers. Um, if you have enough layers in place, then. There are people who are trying to do things nefariously we'll move on to somebody else. Who's a little easier to get through. So, you know, having a good domain name service, so at DNS service.

So that's the thing that translates like google.ca into an IP address. There are services that will filter that. So if you happen to type in, you know, G zero, zero, instead of goo for Google, it will say, is that what you really meant versus letting you go to that site. Uh, good malware product. Um, none of the free ones like ABG offers free and paid always take the paid cause you get the updates first.

Um, they offer you a few more benefits and features, uh, whether it's a McAfee AVG, [00:33:00] Persky there's, you know, if it's named, if it's a brand name. Great. If it's. Julian's backdoor, anti virus, maybe not. Um, those types of things definitely have an automated backup for sure. In case any of that stuff fails, you know, stay away from public hotspot.

Damon Adachi: The one thing, that's the one thing you need to know there, Peter. I hope he got that one thing down. There's a lot. There's a lot. And, and you know, it's great to have somebody we trust to talk about this. It's been a very enlightening, uh, I'm sure you've learned stuff. Peter, I've learned tons of I've learned also not to wear the same color shirt as my background.

It looked like a head from Futurama. Should it be, uh, You know, what I think we should plug for Shawn is, you know, Discovernet that is one of the 50 best managed IT companies in Canada. And this man knows what he's talking about. What's your, what's your, um, client range in size? You know, it's probably not the entrepreneur.

Who's just starting up a business, probably a little too small fry for you, but where do [00:34:00] you, where do you service the market? 

Shawn Huelin: So we do, we do have conversations with the smaller companies where they want to, where they want to go. We don't typically help, um, implement some of those, um, but happy to have just a half hour, 45 minute conversation of tools, tips, and tricks.

That's great. Um, but typically we're in the 10 employee range, um, and above, um, yeah, whether it's work from home or one's location across Canada into the US. That's sort of the size. 

Peter Reynolds: Well Shawn, this has been a really complex topic and I know as you said, we could, you know, have multiple episodes on various 

Shawn Huelin: Alison Wonderland and like, 

Peter Reynolds: but thank you so much for helping us, uh, decode it and, uh, and lending us your, your time and your expertise.

Shawn Huelin: Absolutely. My pleasure 

Peter Reynolds: And Damon, thank you very much for, uh, filling the co-host chair again. We've been talking to Shawn Huelin from Discovernet [00:35:00] and I'm Peter Reynolds, and you've been listening to Pros and Conversations. See you next time.

(Cont.) Episode 3: Understanding Automation & Security for Small Business.