5 Tips for Protecting your Data

It seems not a week goes by when you hear about some company getting hacked. Not only is this embarrassing, but also it can be costly if you compromise customer’s data. According to banks may pass along fines ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 for each infraction. So what can you do to protect yourself and reduce your risks? Here are 5 quick tips for you to consider: 1. Windows O/S Patch – Everyday there are new patches, updates, and hotfixes available from Microsoft for your computers. Many of these patches are created to close security holes for your PC. If your PC is at risk your network is at risk. This means your data is at risk too. By making sure ALL your systems are up to date on a DAILY basis, you will help protect your data, and your systems will run better too. 2. Antivirus – Keeping your Antivirus definitions up to date is another way to protect yourself from data loss. These Antivirus updates are designed to avoid dangerous attacks and to prevent malicious programs from destroying your data. Verify your Antivirus definitions are always up to date. 3. Malware – Malware is short for malicious software. These programs not only slow your computer and disrupt your work, but they can also gather information from your machine resulting in a breach of privacy. Many malware programs are designed specifically for capturing credit card information. There are many new programs designed to detect and destroy malware. Make sure you are ahead of these types of attacks. 4. Network Scan and Audit – You can identify security...

Top Small Business IT Trends in 2012

It is that time of year (again) when everyone puts together that list of stuff that is going to happen next year. Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy. According the the US Department of Commerce small businesses employ over half the workforce. Inc. Magazine says small businesses will spend over $268 billion on information technology and communications in 2012. Here is why: It is no surprise small businesses rely on information technology as much as larger businesses do today. Most have a website, some sort of PC based accounting system, email for communications, Internet access, firewall and WIFI access within their business. It is not uncommon to have more than one device per employee (eg. PC or Mac, Windows servers plus a mobile phone). By nature, small businesses have less working capital that big businesses. As a result, they are more dependent on current cashflows to make ends meet than their larger counter parts. Business interruption from systems downtime resulting from systems failure, natural disaster, loss of power, theft and security breach can have a bigger impact on a small business than a medium to larger company because small companies may be less resilient. With the absence of a crystal ball, it should be no surprise that the following Small Business IT Trends will become increasingly important in 2012. Business Continuity. Business Continuity is the planning and related process a business goes through to make sure operations continue in the event of a disaster. For example; taking orders, paying suppliers and employees, keeping the factory or store open. Business Continuity includes the ability to rapidly backup...
The Cloud is Too Big to Fail? Guess Again

The Cloud is Too Big to Fail? Guess Again

We live in a wonderful time. A new invention is changing the way we perceive the world. The grass is greener. The sky is bluer. Birdsong sounds sweeter. Trumpets are hailing a new carefree era with butler robots catering to our every need.This new technology is going to revolutionize our lives in ways that we can’t conceive of yet. I’m talking about, of course, The Cloud. Hyperbole aside, doesn’t it sometimes feel like we’re being sold a bag of beans? The experts would have us believe that the cloud is the Be All, End All of IT architectures. It promises to deliver ubiquitous access to business tools and information with an economy of scale that will revolutionize the IT industry. According to Gartner’s 2011 CIO Survey, cloud computing services are the top priority for IT organizations this year. Gartner goes on to predict that while today only three percent of CIOs have the majority of their IT environments running in the cloud or on SaaS technologies, that number is expected to jump to 43 percent over the next four years. But what really is the cloud? Should we trust our data to vendors who promise to secure our mission-critical information? What exactly is in the fine print in those SLAs we sign? Will the expanse of the Internet ensure that the cloud will never fail? Is our data truly safe? The fact is that we’re all are facing a radical consumerization of IT. Users are increasingly accessing business data, applications and email on mobile devices–often their personalhardware–making it hard to track and manage business data. With cloud applications managing...
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