Tech Gifts for Mother’s Day

If the mom in your life is a tech fanatic, or she would just love to have a bit of control over the technology that has invaded her life, we’ve got a few suggestions – curated by the moms at BEI!

Device Charging and Cord Control

With so many devices the charging situation can quickly become a mess. Suki loves the iClever Power Strip because it has traditional power plugs as well as USB ports and built in surge-protection. Ellen has her eye on this bamboo device organizer and charging station. It doesn’t have power plugs but it does have room to store a laptop, tablet and up to three other mobile devices like smartphones, cell phones or portable gaming devices.

Photo of iClever Power Strip

Digital Photo Frames

This category has traditionally focused on simple metal frames that look much like a monitor, Aura Digital Frames are well designed and look much more like a traditional photo frame. Nixplay and Pix-Star also get great reviews. All three of these will allow family members to post photos remotely – a great way to connect in this time of social distancing!

Virtual Keyboard

Your mother will look impressive using this virtual keyboard. Tonia thinks the KeyLess Pro laser keyboard is the ultimate gift. A small pocket size device that projects a keyboard anywhere, it can turn a phone or small tablet into an easy-to-use device. Type with ease as your travel or use on your smart tv from up to 20 meters away!

Keep it Clean!

BEI bought an electronic phone cleaner at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and so far the results are good! The PhoneSoap 3 is on backorder until June.

When we’re home all the time, we can’t help but notice how dirty the floors can become! Katherine has two Roomba Robot Vacuums to help keep up with two kids and two dogs. iRobot also has a line of Braava Robot Mops, designed for hardwood, tile and ceramic floors (these were formerly known as Scooba). Jennifer is a fan!

And of Course, Coffee!

If you hit the lottery this year, it is time to share with Mom. And if she is a coffee fiend, consider the DeLonghi Dimamica. Whether you need a simple cup of awesome coffee, or want to grind, ice, steam or froth, this machine has got your covered.

BEI named Best Place to Work in Washington DC for third straight year!

BEI – Best Places to Work 2018, 2019 AND 2020!

BEI is thrilled to announce that we are one of the Best Places to Work in Greater DC according to the Washington Business Journal! Three years in a row BEI has been voted to be one of the Best Places to Work in Washington D.C. in a survey of our staff that was run by the Washington Business Journal.

The Best Places to Work award recognizes the best workplaces and company cultures based on employee reviews, looking for companies that go beyond the norm to foster an enjoyable and meaningful work experience. We very much appreciate the time that our staff took filling out the survey, and we look forward to reading their detailed input and comments.

We are looking forward to finding out where we placed at the celebration in August!

Lunchtime Webinars with BEI

If you have 15-30 minutes to spare at lunchtime, we’d love to have you join our monthly lunchtime webinars. Targeted toward end user (translate – not technical!) these are designed to help you conquer technical issues and save time. Upcoming are:

  • Tips & Tricks for Using Microsoft Teams – lunch with BEI – Tuesday, May 19 at 12:00 pm Register
  • Physical Security Solutions – lunch with BEI – Tuesday Register
Soup and Sandwich for Lunch
  • Time Saving Excel Tips – lunch with BEI– Tuesday, June 23 at 12:00 pm Register

We record all of these and have posted them for you to watch at your leisure!

IT Security in the time of Covid-19

IT Hackers

The increase in working from home and disruption in normal work flow has resulted in many IT security issues. The most significant is risk is your staff, who may be more stressed than usual and out of the normal routine. Bad guys thrive in bad times, and lots of them are out there with phishing schemes and other ways to attack your IT network.

Let us know if you would like to run a fake phishing campaign – we’ve found this to be one of the most effective ways to focus attention on security. We’re also strong believers in online security training and weekly security updates. All of these tools, and a free dark web scan are included in many of our Managed Services programs – let us know if you are interested.

CMMC Level 2 – Building a Bridge to Level 3

(Note: The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is a unified standard for implementing cybersecurity across the defense industrial base (DIB). Right now this impacts firms working in the DoD world, but down the road will likely influence standards for all firms doing business with the U.S. government.

CMMC Level 2 Builds a Bridge to Level 3

What’s the Point of CMMC Level 2?

You have probably heard a lot about the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Level 1 and Level 3. But, have you noticed that CMMC Level 2 is rarely mentioned? There are a couple reasons for that and you should be aware of those reasons before getting ready for certification.

But First, What is CMMC Level 2?

CMMC Level 2 introduces maturity into CMMC. There are currently no processes (also called maturity) in CMMC Level 1. Simply, the two processes for CMMC Level 2 are to establish a policy around each of the CMMC domains and to document that your practices implement the policy. Keep Reading

Windows Virtual Desktop – a Game Changer!

VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) has been around for many years, but the economics just haven’t worked well outside of large enterprises.  Some smaller organizations have been forced to use Citrix because of line-of-business vendor requirements, but Citrix is expensive.

Many small organizations use Remote Desktop because it is more cost-effective, but people have mixed experiences with Remote Desktop.  It uses a server interface, which never feels quite right for those used to a PC and the graphics and usability over an internet connection can result in latency and a poor overall user experience. Remote Desktop has lower ongoing operating costs than Citrix, but the upfront licensing, servers and labor are significant. Enter Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)! Keep Reading…

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