Rethinking Wide Area Networking

There is a shift in how businesses use technology. New applications, including Voice over IP VoIP phone systems, Cloud Based Email, File Sync & Sharing all require solid network infrastructure. According to a recent report from the Enterprise Strategy Group, Demonstrating SD-WAN Business Value: Rethinking WAN for a Modern Age, distributed organizations with multiple Remote Office/Branch Office (ROBO) locations may need to reduce unnecessary deployment and management of network infrastructure. Elements of infrastructure, such as head-end devices or appliances at branches, can be replaced with simple appliances supported by Cloud-based services. Here is a highlight of ESG’s findings: Simplify your Wide Area Network Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology can act as an enabler for Hybrid WAN technology by combining multiple transports, such as MPLS networks and business-class broadband networking. Managing your network can be streamlined by centralizing policy management, monitoring, and systems for troubleshooting. What’s more, reducing dependency on specific network suppliers and transport mechanisms results in the flexibility to find lower-cost alternates without compromising service levels. Minimize Operational Expense By using a zero-touch deployment model, companies can reduce truck rolls by remotely managing installation, configuration updates, and troubleshooting. Like Software as a Service (SaaS) works for application deployment, SD-WAN can remove the complexity of managing a Wide Area Network (WAN) for Remote Office/Branch Office (ROBO) environments. Reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of Your Wide Area Network Implementing SD-WAN technology is expected to save costs related to bandwidth by providing more flexible networking options. In addition, by reducing the operating expense of service delivery related to installation, configuration, operations, and management additional costs will be...

Considerations for Cloud Migration

The market for Cloud Computing is maturing. According to Trends in Cloud Computing, a recent research report by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), 90 percent claim using some form of Cloud Computing. In fact, the report provides insights that 43 percent of the Companies using Cloud Computing are migrating from one Public Cloud Provider to another for a variety of reasons including security, cost and open standards. Here are a few considerations for Cloud migration gleaned from the report. Cloud Application Usage Many companies turn to the Cloud for applications including business productivity, Email, Analytics/BI, and Collaboration Applications. Other applications of Cloud technology include Virtual Desktop, CRM, Call Center and Voice Applications. When you migrate to Cloud from “on- premise” applications your business will gain a variety of benefits, provided you consider network security and performance in your planning. Without these migration considerations you may not achieve the full benefit of your Cloud Migration.   Benefiting from Cloud Computing Cloud Services offer a range of benefits. Cloud Computing may offer the ability to cut costs, reducing capital expenditures and operating complexity. In some cases, cloud offers simplicity or speed of deployment. You may also benefit from modernizing your legacy IT environments. Some companies turn to the Cloud for new software licensing and upgrade models, favoring the predictable pricing of Cloud subscription models over the up-front costs of a “on-premise” deployment. Cloud Computing can also offer your business new capabilities and features not available in on-premise versions of your favorite applications. Many companies report that Cloud solutions are simply a better option. Challenges of Cloud Migration The majority of...

Internet of Things: Reality or Myth

Technology is always evolving, with new ways to benefit always on the horizon. Like Mobility and Cloud, Internet of Things (Iot) is a shift in computing that will impact many businesses and organizations within the next few years. According to research from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), IoT is expected to drive over 50 billion connected devices by  2020. Read on to explore why this new emerging area of technology is expected to grow at a dramatic pace. Internet of Things (IoT): Why Now? Internet of Things is driven by the ever-rising availability of computing power and storage capacity combined with the ever-lower pricing of these valuable services. Combining the availability of miniaturized low-cost sensors and chips with robust wireless network and software defined networking, the deployment of IoT is practical and affordable. What’s more, the standards for Internet Protocol v6 (IPv6) hurdle the limitation of 64-bit IP Addresses by adding 128-bit addresses to identify IP address connections. This moves the theoretical limits of connected devices from 30+ billion to over 30 trillion trillion trillion. That is a lot of connected devices compared to prior eras of computing. Isn’t Internet of Things (IoT) Just for Consumer Devices? We live in an age of consumerization of IT. This means innovations in technology are now derived from consumer applications and applied to business. In past eras of computing, innovations coming from government or universities’ investments trickled into consumers’ hands after passing through the business world. Many consumer-related devices and sensors are already deployed in the home. From climate control to smart TVs, our households are full of Internet of Things....

Cyber Threats You Should Protect Against

Defending against Cyber threats is no easy task. Understanding the risks and designing a defense strategy are important steps in protecting yourself from Malicious actors and Cybercriminals. Staying current on Operating System and Application Patches, Restricting Network Access, and maintaining antivirus and malware protection are known ways to protect your network. Employee awareness and education on how to identify threats, and the importance of adhering to policies, also bolster your defense against cyber attack. If you’re not convinced, review the following Cyber threats you need to protect against.   How Malicious Software (Malware) Works Malware is self-propagating software designed to infiltrate your network. This software can come in the form of a worm that will infect your network via your router via your Internet Protocol (IP) address. If it doesn’t find a hole in your network it may automatically update to scan for the next sequential IP Address, infiltrating and corrupting networks as it goes along. Avoid Malware by proactively scanning your network and keeping your network in compliance.   Why Phishing Could Put You Out of Business Every year, millions of SPAM emails are sent to unwary recipients with the hope of collecting private and personal information including, account/password, privacy data and other information that can be exploited for profit. What’s more, Phishing is a popular way for Cybercriminals to distribute Ransomware, a form of malware that holds your systems hostage in exchange for payment. In the event of a data breach, your company may need to disclose the impact to customers and other stakeholders. In addition to ransom and legal fees, your company’s reputation may be on...

Cybersecurity is Everybody’s Business

It is no surprise, technology flattens the world for many businesses. What’s more, nearly every business sector finds it necessary to collect, maintain, analyze, and monetize user data. Many think Cybersecurity risks only apply to highly regulated industries, such as legal, healthcare and financial services. Cybersecurity Risks Go Beyond Borders Factors outside industry, including geographic considerations and sensitive consumer data, can create cybersecurity risks that need to be managed. These factors run the gamut of domestic and international laws, regulatory bodies, and private-party business agreements. Cybersecurity compliance can touch every business to some degree. Internet of Things (IoT) and Cybersecurity Adding to the list of concerns are non-traditional technologies entering your businesses network. IP-enabled technology called Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly being adopted in the workplace.  The Cybersecurity threat is moving beyond desktops, laptops and services. A new generation of mobile devices–Point of Sale (POS), IP video surveillance, embedded sensors, VoIP, and others–is just the first wave of emerging technologies that need to be secured. How to Minimize Cybersecurity Risks There are many things a business can do to reduce Cybersecurity threats. According to the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the following elements are the building blocks for a cybersecurity program: Documented policies, procedures & standards Asset management Identity & access controls Risk management Vendor management Physical & environmental security Compliance Privacy Remote access Data backups Data destruction Cybersecurity threats are a reality of today’s world. The risks of data compromise and/or loss can cost more than dollars; such risks can cost your reputation. Your business is only as secure as your Network. If you have questions about...
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