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Small Business

What Can We Learn from the Super Bowl?

While I’m sure we can learn something, I think we can all agree defense is boring. The same is true for security. Your defensive security, that blocked someone from potentially getting into your network, is a lot less impressive than saying you hacked NASA.

But to win the Super Bowl the Patriots defense needed to be one step ahead. Yes, Tom Brady is who everyone talks about, but if the defense hadn’t done their job, they would not have won the game.

So, I’m going to spend the rest of this time talking defense. The unsung heroes.

Stop Running your Business like it is 2001

This is more of a rant, but it has to be said.  Too many of you are running your business like it is 2001.  Your business might be growing, you are adding more relevant product, but your systems and your processes have not changed.  Specifically, your security.

Let me give you some examples.  A company has this amazing firewall that can process 1,000’s of packets per second, a SIEM that is monitoring every server and workstation, but low and behold the helpdesk is saving all the passwords in an excel document on the file server. Unencrypted.

Server and Network Log Monitoring

Many of us wake up in the middle of the night in cold sweats thinking, do we really know what is happening within our network? This is normally after another story about how a large or small company was hacked and their data was stolen and strewn throughout the Internet. But then you resign yourself to the fact that your firewall will protect you and you go back to sleep.

Although your firewall is an indispensable part of your security posture, it isn’t the only way to protect yourself. Many people in the security industry describe security as an onion. It has multiple layers to protect you and give you time to find and fix the issue prior to something happening.

So while your firewall will protect you from bad people trying to get in, it is only as good as the rules that are configured. If you allow access to your wiki from the Internet, then your wiki is now available and can be hacked and potentially exploited. Even if it is properly secured there are always new vulnerabilities. So how do you protect against this?

The Key Network Security Issues for 2015

The battle between network security experts and hackers is an ever evolving and unending conflict. No matter how hard security experts attempt to keep Internet and computer users across the globe safe from harm, hackers are continually finding new ways of

In accordance with this, here are three of the biggest network security issues that the world will face during 2015.

How to Avoid Choosing the Wrong Outsourced IT Provider

Outsourcing has been growing in popularity. It represents an opportunity for companies to expand, as needed, while cutting the costs associated with new technologies and services. Recent studies conducted by Computer Economics, Inc. showed outsourcing made up only 4 percent of IT costs in 2008. By 2009 this percentage increased to more than 6 percent. By 2011, outsourcing IT services made up more than 10 percent of the total IT expenditures, and this trend has only continued in 2012.

This means that choosing the right outsourced IT provider is now more important than ever. There is a lot at stake in terms of business continuity, company productivity, growth of revenue, and company expansion.

Part of choosing an outsourced IT provider is knowing what mistakes to avoid. Investing the time at the beginning means fewer headaches over the long term and minimizing the potential for unexpected costs as a result of making the wrong decision.

How to Use a Hosted Cloud Email Platform

When your business migrates to a hosted cloud email platform, the user experience will be very similar to using an in-house infrastructure only with a few enhancements and new procedures. Hosted email allows you to increase productivity while reducing costs associated with maintaining an in-house infrastructure.

Hosted cloud email is also commonly referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS). This type of service provides you with access to the latest applications in business class email without being required to purchase the necessary infrastructure and maintain it on the premises. Instead, you pay a monthly subscription fee while the hosted email provider worries about maintenance and upkeep of the infrastructure. You can also access the email service from any location that provides a connection to the Internet.

Why You Should Take Spam Email Seriously

There can hardly be a person who has used a computer in the last ten years who hasn’t received a spam email at some point or another. For most of us, this is a daily occurrence, a nuisance that can be filed alongside the daily commute and packaging that won’t open properly. It rarely occurs to many of us why we receive so much spam. While it is pretty obvious that there is a basic commercial imperative behind a lot of spam, why is this particular marketing technique so prevalent in the modern world?

Quite simply…because it works! Pitching goods via spam earns the people engaged in it hundreds of millions of dollars per business per year, while the cost and time involved in sending spam is somewhere between negligible and non-existent.

Website Plagiarism: Is Someone Stealing Your Content?

Website plagiarism is a problem that is overlooked by most businesses. When you put your content on your website, you trust that someone won’t copy it and pass it off as their own. That would be too easy. Who would steal your content? Speaking from experience, the answer may surprise you. In 2011, Thrive Networks discovered that a Managed Services Provider in Australia had not only plagiarized our entire website, but they also were republishing our monthly Tech Brief newsletter as their own. After getting our legal department involved, the competitor was forced to take the content down from their site.

Recently, Thrive discovered more than a dozen new instances of website plagiarizing involving one or more pages from our site. If it can happen to Thrive, it can happen to any small business. Here’s what you need to know and how you can protect yourself.

Server and Network Management Challenges

Server and network availability is an essential aspect of maintaining business productivity and continuity. IT administrators face many challenges and responsibilities when it comes to maintaining the network and keeping downtime at a minimum.   Depending upon the size of the organization there are many components to keep track of such as device management, updates, patching, new application configurations, compliance requirements, and issues that arise as the result of human error or environmental factors.  So, what are some of the challenges that IT administrators face and what are some of the ways you can overcome these issues?

How to Choose the Best Data Protection Solutions

Every company is aware that the proper data protection measures are of utmost importance. Yet many businesses still utilize older methods of data backup such as tape systems, costly onsite backup methods, and offsite systems that may mean several days until recovery takes place.  These methods consume resources and pose more risks of failure in addition to being complex, costly, and labor intensive.

New data backup and recovery technologies eliminate