Heartbleed Bug: What a Business Owner Should Know

The name Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability (aka Heartbleed bug) is as scary as it sounds. Some reports say up to two thirds of all secure websites (e.g. those with a web address starting with a green https://) are using OpenSSL.  It has been reported that Google was first to discover the Heartbleed bug  that compromised sites including Yahoo, Tumblr, Flickr, Amazon, and other websites relying on OpenSSL for security.  This security breach may provide hackers access to accounts, passwords, and credit card information. Heartbleed and Your Systems Business owners using OpenSSL for their email, website, eCommerce applications, or other  web applications should take action to prevent data loss or theft.  The fix for the Heartbleed bug should be installed on your operating systems, network appliances, and other software to ensure that confidential information is protected.  Consider having your IT professional test your public web servers to determine if they are safe. Heartbleed and Your Employees Your employees may have used websites that were exposed to the Heartbleed bug.  This means their username and password combinations may have been compromised by hackers tapping into what was supposed to be encrypted communications.  Employees should be reminded to reset passwords within the guidelines established by your company.  There are plenty of resources on creating a secure password.  Microsoft offers tips for creating a strong password on their website. The Need for IT Security Because the Heartbleed bug is pervasive, most internet users need to change passwords on sites like Gmail, Yahoo, and Facebook.  The Heartbleed bug is a wake-up call to the importance of having an IT Security policy that includes strong password...

Why You Need a Bullet Proof Computer Network

Your Computer Network is the information pipeline of your business. But what if your network goes down?  If your computer network is not operating properly, you may lose access to critical applications and their data.  If you are using mobile applications, software as a service, or other types of Cloud Computing, your computer network needs to be highly reliable and readily available. While reading this article, you will learn about information technology trends that impact your Computer Network. Cloud Computing and Your Network With Cloud Computing, your employees require consistent and reliable bandwidth over the internet to connect with the most popular cloud applications.  As Cloud Computing is becoming more important in business, it is becoming increasingly necessary to protect your network. Cloud Computing is an undeniable trend.  Most industry analysts forecast strong growth for The Cloud.  From a September 2013 forecast from International Data Corp., worldwide spending on public IT cloud services is predicted to reach $107 billion by 2017, an increase from $47.4 billion in 2013.   This trend in cloud computing is driving mega deals, such as the acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast, as cable is a popular option for business class internet. Is your Computer Network ready for Mobile? A WiFi network is a practical way to connect laptops, convertibles, tablet PCs, and smartphones to your business.  However, mobile devices can tax your computer network performance and security.  To ensure smooth and consistent network connectivity, your computer network needs to accommodate the additional bandwidth requirements of those mobile devices.  Additionally, mobile devices may be a source of virus, Malware, or phishing schemes on your...

Avoiding Pitfalls to Cloud Computing Migration

It seems a majority of companies are adopting Cloud Computing as a significant portion of their IT infrastructure.  According the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) 4th Annual Trends in Cloud Computing, sixty percent of companies surveyed, reported they rely on Cloud Computing for at least thirty percent of their IT infrastructure. Transitioning to Cloud Computing?  Here’s How to Avoid the Turbulence. There are number of implementation challenges to cloud computing deployment.  As a result, it is important that your cloud computing deployments are carefully planned and part of a holistic information technology roadmap. According to CompTIA, integration with existing technologies, changes required to IT policy and the learning curve of the cloud model top the list.  Less than half of those surveyed cited, cost overruns, justifying the  return on investment and transitioning from legacy systems as issues.  In fact,  the majority of business reported performance and availability levels were as expected from their cloud provider. What can a Business do to Avoid the Pitfalls When Transitioning to the Cloud? Cloud Integration There are a number of issues that can impact the success of your cloud computing deployment.  Software as a Service applications (SaaS) rely on Application Program Interfaces (APIs) for integration.  It is important to ensure your SaaS suppliers use common APIs so they can easily integrate with one another  Understanding your requirements is key to identifying when integration can become an issue. IT Policies and Cloud Computing Keeping your IT policies and procedures up to date is also an important component of a successful Cloud Computing Deployment.  Cloud Computing solutions can be rapidly deployed so it is easy...

Do you Have a Strategy for Online Backup?

Online Backup is one of the more popular deployments of cloud computing. Online backup can be a cost effective part of your data protection strategy. Many businesses have achieved benefits by leveraging cloud computing for secure and affordable remote data storage and cloud file sharing technologies.  In some cases, business owners do not even realize they are using Cloud Based Online Backup services.  For business owners there are a number of important considerations for your Online backup strategy. Industry and Regulatory Compliance Some industries, such as health services, have strict regulations on how data is managed and protected.  Some online backup vendors comply with these strict requirements, while others do not.  It is important to carefully select your online backup supplier and ensure their Service Level Agreements (SLA) meets your business needs and comply with your industry regulations. Online Backup Recovery Time Online backup can be a secure and affordable option for offsite data storage and cloud sharing capability.  If you are considering remote backup for your business continuity and disaster recovery plans, it is important to consider recovery times in the event you need to to restore your data.  Some online backup services provide great value for easy access to data, while other services are optimized for rapid recovery of your most critical information.  You should weigh costs and risks when deploying online backup for your disaster recovery scenarios. How Secure is Your Online Backup There are many online backup vendors providing a secure solution that is equally or more reliable that tape storage or other data vaulting solutions.  In fact, the cloud infrastructure for your data may...

Cloud Computing Trends 2013: CompTIA 4th Annual Research Report

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is expected to release their fourth Annual Cloud Computing Trends research study this week.  This cloud computing research is based on a survey of over 500 IT and Business Professionals collected in June 2013. The Fourth Annual CompTIA Cloud Computing Trends report is expected to reveal cloud computing trends and  buying patterns, benefits and challenges related to cloud computing use by businesses.  In addition, over 400 IT firms were surveyed on how the cloud is changing the IT technology channel.  Here are some anticipated highlights of cloud computing trends: Cloud Computing Trends:  Cloud is an Increasing Component of IT Architecture According to the research, 90% of companies are using cloud computing architecture in their business.  The research indicates “as cloud components are becoming more prevalent in IT architectures, more companies are relying on cloud computing for business processes such as storage (59%), business continuity/disaster recovery (48%), and security (44%).  This strong usage and strong market indicators show that cloud computing is becoming a default part of the IT landscape.” Top Benefits of Cloud Computing As Cloud Computing becomes more mainstream a range of business benefits are reported.  While no single reason stands out, businesses report a broad range of benefits by adopting cloud computing technologies:   Cloud Computing Reaches Maturity The research indicates that more than half of  those delivering, managing, integrating and supporting cloud computing solutions feel their cloud computing businesses are mature and strategic.   Integration Remains the Top Cloud Computing Challenge According to the cloud computing study by CompTIA, integration remains at the top of the list for all companies....
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