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Security Problems That Shape the Way Businesses View Cybersecurity in 2015

b2ap3_thumbnail_data_security_400.jpgSo far, 2015 has been relatively calm compared to the hack-fest that was 2014. However, we’re only halfway through the year, and there’s still plenty of time for hackers to make short work of networks. Remember, all it takes is a single mistake to expose your business’s network to a host of different threats. Understanding what these threats are and how to handle them is of the utmost importance.

Calyptix Security explains in-depth how some of these threats will react to the measures taken by even the most cautious businesses.

Phishing Emails Often Pose as Your IT Department
Hackers are thinking logically when it comes to phishing scams, and who better to impersonate than your trusted IT department? They realize that you’ll turn to them for help, and that you might willingly give away credentials to your IT department in order to access your infrastructure to perform “maintenance” or “resolve a critical issue.” If you feel your IT department shouldn’t be privy to certain information they are requesting, or if you receive suspicious emails from them concerning the integrity of your network, reach out to them via the phone number you have on record, rather than the one which might be in the email you’ve received.

Hackers Won’t Need Your Card to Scam You
Believe it or not, card-not-present (CNP) fraud is the real deal, and growing more common. According to Verizon’s 2015 PCI compliance report, payment fraud due to lost or stolen cards is decreasing, while fraud stemming from CNP situations only grows more prevalent.

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These statistics reflect a shift in the manner through which hackers steal information (at least, in Canada it does). This change in tactics likely reflects hackers’ adaptation to the increase in card security.

VPNs Are Being Targeted
Some VPNs can be cracked if the hacker has access to sophisticated tools. One way this happens is when you use a VPN that only requires a username and password, rather than a more secure one which also uses two-factor authentication. It’s recommended that you always use two-factor authentication, especially when accessing corporate data through a mobile device.

Retail and Financial Hacks Are Growing More Common
Many big-box stores, like Target and Home Depot, have been hacked over the past year, and this trend will only continue in 2015. In fact, not too long ago, the IRS was hacked in an event which allowed hackers to access tax information for over 100,000 taxpayers. Businesses that take advantage of POS (point-of-sale) systems like cash registers and card readers will need to emphasize security and make it a top priority. Otherwise, you could face fines for allowing financial information like credit card numbers and Social Security numbers of customers to get stolen, which nobody will be happy to find out.

If you’re not sure how to take the fight to 2015’s security threats, there’s still time to get your network security situation under control. Give Total Networks a call at (602)412-5025 to learn more.

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3 Ways Your Business Can Benefit from a Private Cloud Solution

b2ap3_thumbnail_private_cloud_is_secure_400.jpgBusinesses are embracing the cloud model as the accepted form of computing, but some are finding that they want more control over their data. When you use a public cloud, you’re relinquishing some control so that you don’t have to deal with network security and hosting. If you’re serious about protecting your data and maintaining the infrastructure yourself, there are several benefits of operating your own private cloud infrastructure.

Of course, you need to ask yourself if the private cloud is the right computing solution for your business. It largely depends on how much control and responsibility you want placed on your shoulders. Businesses who prefer a hands-off approach to their technology will find that the public cloud is better suited to their needs, while those who want to have more control over their data will opt for the private cloud.

You don’t want to jump into a private cloud project without knowing what you’re getting yourself into. There are many factors that need to be considered before switching from a public to a private cloud, including new software, hardware, and network restraints. At the very least, your private cloud will need a virtual machine with a network that can back it up, as well as cloud computing software to distribute your applications and data throughout your infrastructure.

Here are three primarily benefits of integrating a private cloud computing solution to your business model:

  • Enhanced Security Possibilities: Security is always an important goal to shoot for when integrating a cloud solution, but when you’re looking to integrate a private cloud infrastructure, it’s essential. Normally, the cloud service’s provider would handle the security measures in a public cloud setting; but in the case of the private cloud, it’s up to the business to protect their data. This can be both a positive and negative aspect of the private cloud, as it presents the ability to either ignore or augment your cloud’s security with external solutions.
  • Greater Control: As previously mentioned, you’re in control when you decide to integrate a private cloud solution. This means that you’re in charge of hosting and maintaining your cloud server. This might not sound like a benefit, but beneath the surface, you have greater access to data and admin settings than you would if you were using the public cloud.
  • Customization: Many cloud vendors will give you several options for hosting on a public cloud, but when you host your own cloud server, you can integrate it your way. Choose which applications your team has access to, how much drive space is available for each of them, and of course, how much you want to invest into it.

If you’re not sure whether a private cloud is right for you, there’s always the choice of going with a hybrid cloud solution. This combines the ease of use and reliability of the public cloud, with the security and control of a private cloud. Just give us a call at (602)412-5025 for an IT consultation. We can help your business get started with its new cloud adventure.

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How Fast Can Your Business Recover from a Data Breach?

b2ap3_thumbnail_efficient_recovery_time_400.jpgHow much thought have you honestly put into your business’s data recovery procedure? It’s likely that you, like many other businesses out there, are taking a minimalist approach with both your data backup and disaster recovery. It’s not that you aren’t aware that they’re a good thing; you might just feel that you don’t need it because you feel hackers have no reason to compromise your data. Unfortunately, that’s what hackers are counting on: complacency.

One of the many reasons your business needs a data recovery solution in place is data theft from hackers. If this occurs, you won’t be able to access mission-critical information that’s necessary for operations. That’s not mentioning the compliance problems you’ll find yourself in shortly following the breach, especially if sensitive customer information was stolen.

Naturally, the first thing you want to do in the event of a data theft is consult your current backup and recovery solution. However, you might be distraught if the recovery process is long, and you might run into complications if your data backups are out-of-date. While this is vastly superior to losing all of your data permanently, you want to recover as much data as possible in order to minimize your overall losses.

Furthermore, if your business has no discernible data backup and disaster recovery plan in place, you stand to lose everything in an instant. You should never underestimate the value of your business’s data. A company normally holds onto financial information of clients, Social Security numbers of employees, and other sensitive information which can be very lucrative to hackers when sold on the Black Market. This is more than enough reason for a hacker to try to access your network.

When your business’s network faces a data breach, you need a lifeline to hold onto. This is what Total Networks’s Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution accomplishes. In terms of recovery speed, you won’t find a better resolution for your business’s troubles. The BDR takes continuous snapshots of your data throughout the day, then sends them to an external data center for secure storage until they’re needed. This means that your data is always up to date, which minimizes data loss in the event of a disaster.

Furthermore, the BDR solution enables rapid data recovery, which helps your business get back on its feet following a data breach. It does this by acting as your server in the event of a data breach or hardware failure. Your data is restored to the device, which temporarily resolves your downtime issues while you decide on a fix for your server woes.

For more information about how your business can protect itself from data theft and loss, give Total Networks a call at (602)412-5025.

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If Only Managed IT Service Extended to Your Car

b2ap3_thumbnail_cost_cutting_solutions_400.jpgFact: Every piece of equipment requires maintenance on some level. The more intricate the equipment, the more maintenance that’s required. For enterprise-level computer networking equipment, maintenance can be outsourced and done remotely. Wouldn’t it be great if this kind of service were available to other pieces of equipment that you use every day?

For example, consider your vehicle. It’s an expensive machine that needs constant maintenance. Unless you happen to be a skilled mechanic, most consumers approach vehicle maintenance with a break-fix approach; when the car breaks down, it’s taken to the shop for a fix. As you may well know, this break-fix approach leads to hefty, unexpected repair bills, and of course, breakdowns happen at the worst possible times.

Generally speaking, the reason why maintenance is performed applies to both cars and computers; it keeps the equipment in tip-top shape. A piece of machinery in excellent condition will operate at maximum efficiency and will have far fewer breakdowns. On the contrary, by skipping out on maintenances, the probability of a major breakdown increases dramatically.

Therefore, if maintenance is the way to prevent such breakdowns, the next question to ask is, “How much maintenance must be done in order to circumvent these expensive repair jobs?” Answer: The more regular maintenance you can perform, the more reliable your equipment will be.

If we apply this principle to cars, we quickly see that there’s a limitation to the amount of maintenance one can possibly perform. For example, cars can’t be worked on while they’re cruising down the highway, and it’s not like you can change the engine oil while you’re sleeping. But what if you could?

This is the idea behind managed IT service from Total Networks. We provide your company’s IT network with 24/7 remote monitoring, and we’re able to jump into action and remotely take care of an issue as soon as they’re spotted. This is in addition to performing regularly-scheduled maintenances, like installing security patches and upgrading software. This managed approach prevents issues from becoming problems that turn into expense breakdowns. As far as maintenance goes, this level of equipment care is unprecedented.

Think what it would look like if your car received managed maintenance service that included 24/7 oversight. In order to pull this off, a licensed mechanic would have to show up at your home and work on your car while you sleep. Despite the fact that power tools would keep you from getting a good night’s rest, your car would be working at optimal efficiency for your morning commute. And here’s the best part; you would never again have to worry about your car breaking down!

Additionally, when you’re driving down the highway in a car that has managed maintenance service, the car would be uplinked to your mechanic’s computer. This would allow him to monitor the vehicle’s performance, and even make adjustments to the car’s settings so that it gets maximum power and fuel economy.

Obviously, a managed-car maintenance service like this is too good to be true. However, what makes managed IT service so attractive to SMBs is that it provides this kind of comprehensive maintenance at an affordable rate. With our managed IT service, computers are remotely worked on after-hours and our team of IT technicians monitor your equipment 24/7 for errors and potential threats.

One benefit to this approach to computer maintenance is that your staff will come to work each morning and have access to workstations that are fine-tuned and error free. This allows your business to operate at maximum efficiency and minimizes the amount of downtime caused by preventable computer errors. To learn more about this revolutionary approach to computer maintenance, give Total Networks a call at (602)412-5025.

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