Would You Buy A $6,000 Apple MacBook?—And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 —The most expensive MacBook Pro will set you back $6,099.

This past week, Apple revealed its new MacBook Pro. The new laptop comes in both a 14 and 16 inch and features new M1 Max and M1 Pro chips. The base cost for the 14-inch is $1,000 and it has a 512GB SSD and 16GB of RAM. The base cost for the 16 inch is $2,499 and it has 1TB SSD and 16GB of RAM. However, for users who would want to get the top-notch options for the laptop such as 8TB SSD and 64GB of RAM, the additions would bring the total to an astounding $6,099. (Source: Laptop Mag)

Why this is important for your business:

My take: you get what you pay for. If your business relies heavily on technology that needs to handle significant graphic, design and processing demands then the extra money is probably well worth it. 

2 — Paychex added support for vaccination status tracking to its COVID-19 solutions.

Paychex, Inc. —which provides businesses with insurance, benefits, payroll, and human resources services— shared that it has developed a function that will help businesses track employee vaccination status. This change comes as part of the enhancement of its Paychex Flex Document Management feature. Employees who are vaccinated will be able to digitally upload a copy of their vaccine card. Employees who are not vaccinated will have the ability to continually upload COVID test results as needed. (Source: WIBW)  

Why this is important for your business:

Disclosure: Paychex is a client of my company, The Marks Group. But no, I’m not being compensated to report on this public news. I’m bringing attention to this because Paychex, and other payroll and HR service providers, are stepping up their technologies to help small and mid-sized businesses with their COVID compliance requirements. If your business is facing these regulations then you should reach out to your payroll provider for help.

3 —Facebook plans to hire 10,000 workers in Europe to build a ‘metaverse’.    

Facebook recently announced that it is planning to hire 10,000 employees throughout the next 5 years in the European Union. The move comes as the company works to create a computing platform that will virtually connect users. According to Facebook, the hired workers will assist in developing what is being called “the metaverse” which will utilize virtual and augmented reality to connect users online.  (Source: AP News)

Why this is important for your business:

The metaverse is coming and it’s going to impact the way we do business. Want to know more? Read my take on it here.

4 — Ransomware gangs are complaining that other crooks are stealing their ransoms.     

It has been reported that hackers committing cyber-attacks using ransomware have shared complaints that the source in which they get the malware is potentially stealing ransom payments. The organization behind one of the most common and notorious forms of ransomware— REvil— rents out their ransomware to other hackers and requires a piece of the profit in return. However, it was revealed recently that a little-known piece of code lets REvil restore the hacked files without the attackers renting the ransomware. (Source: ZDNet

Why this is important for your business:

How great is this story? Crooks stealing from crooks. Hopefully this behavior will limit some of their activities but probably not. So in the meantime: get your employees trained, use backup software, invest in up-to-date security software and most importantly keep everyone’s operating systems – Windows, iOS, Android – up to date.

5—Scammers cloned an exec’s voice and stole $35M from a bank.  

A court document released in the United Arab Emirates revealed details of a bank heist which cost a bank $35 million. According to the document, a manager at a Dubai bank got a phone call where the caller claimed to be the director of the company and said that $35 million was needed to seal an acquisition deal. The bank manager also received emails that looked to be sent from the director’s lawyer who was assisting with the deal. However, it was later revealed that scammers used “deep voice” technology to duplicate the director’s voice in order to carry out the heist. (Source: Newser)

Why this is important for your business:

This is a concern. While much of the media has been paying attention to “deep fake” videos that can alter the content of a video, there hasn’t been as much concern about “deep voice.” And yet it’s this type of technology that can really harm businesses.  What would your employee do if a genuine impersonator called and told them to transfer money from the business? Immediately comply? This is something that needs attention.


Christin Hakim

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