A virtual private network (also known as a VPN) is something that more and more businesses are using, especially now while most of the workforce is now working from home. As a means of encrypting data while it is in transit, the use of a VPN enables you to transmit assorted types of data more safely. Of course, not all VPNs are the same, and so you need to be careful to select the right solution for your needs.
Big data, or massive data sets that can be used to make inferences and reveal patterns, has become an increasingly important part of modern business and can be leveraged in many different ways. There are a few different options for storing this data available, which the use case for the data will dictate. Here, we’ll evaluate whether a “data lake” or a “data warehouse” would better suit your needs.
Data is one of a business’ most important assets, and as such, it needs to be kept in such a way that it remains organized and utilizable. This has led to widespread use of databases in businesses, which has necessitated the use of database management systems. Let’s take a closer look at these systems, and why they are so crucial.
Most businesses that really lean on their IT go to great lengths and expense to keep those systems secure. Sometimes, however, all those firewalls and antivirus software don’t stop threats that come in from your staff. Today, we are going to go through the three different types of human error that your staff can undertake, and how to deal with each.
All types of businesses use cloud resources as a part of their IT infrastructure. It allows them to turn what was once a major capital expenditure into a controllable operating cost; and, it does it while offering solutions to almost any business problem. The one drawback that most IT professionals agree on is how to gain enough control over a cloud platform to ensure that the platform is secure.
Businesses are using more data than ever. Unfortunately, the data is usually spread out over different systems. Typically, this would make managing this data extraordinarily difficult, but with virtualization, the modern business that wants to use its data, can, efficiently.
Today, everything we do on the computer and on our phones creates data. Organizations that are good at utilizing this data, often look to capture everything that they can. This can leave the individual searching for a way to keep his/her data secure. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices used to prioritize individual data privacy.
As digital systems have been adopted by more businesses, data has become a bigger tool. This is due to businesses having the initiative to direct this data into creating strategy. Today, data services are a desirable component for a business to embrace. Let’s take a closer look at how businesses are expanding their use of their data.
Most people have acquired much of their familiarity with what a hacker is through the mixed representation seen in pop culture today… but does this impression match up to a hacker in real life? Popular entertainment unfortunately doesn’t differentiate between different hacker types and their motivations very well, so that’s what we’ll handle here.
Data loss is no joke - and we’ve heard plenty of stories from people who have experienced it firsthand, when personal or business data was lost. We appreciate everyone who shared their experiences with us, and allowed us to post them here. First, we’ll tell the story of someone who learned something in college that wasn’t in the syllabus.
Don’t forget to share your own stories with us in the comments!
IT inventory management is the process of making sure that your information technology resources are maintained to be their most effective, such as what needs to be updated, which licenses need to be renewed, and whether your resources are helping you accomplish your organizational goals. It is essentially a fancy way of saying asset management, specific to your IT - and it is a very important process for any business.
Here’s a fact that you’ve heard before: data loss is a nightmare for your business, and ransomware is the boogeyman. Once your data has been breached, your company’s reputation is damaged in perpetuity. That’s why it is important to confront these fears and start prioritizing data security.
You may not think much about managing mobile data, but if your business routinely transmits sensitive data over the Internet, you should. Today, businesses of all types are using the Internet as a tool to drive their sales and marketing processes, but they don’t often consider the threats that come in when they use it for productivity. Today, we will go over what a Mobile Information Management solution is, and how to leverage it for your business.
The more time that passes the more files your business accumulates. These files need to be stored in a place where your staff has access to them. Since a lot of today’s work is collaborative, finding the right file sharing and collaboration solution is extremely important for the growing SMB. Today, we will tell you some things you need to do to maintain efficient file management systems.
It isn’t uncommon for business owners to keep their knowledge close to the chest, hesitant to share what some might consider valuable proprietary information with their staff or - heaven forbid - their clients. While we agree that you shouldn’t necessarily overshare with your clients, your staff needs to have access to some information in order to do their jobs
Managed services offer businesses an improved means of obtaining and managing the technology they rely on. With data being so important to the modern business, much of this technology is devoted to storing, securing, and leveraging this data. Working with a managed service provider can help a business get the most value out of their data management practices. Let’s go over how.
It’s not a secret (well, not anymore) that the big tech companies have influence. These companies, that include Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, have been in the spotlight more and more as the argument of data privacy has gotten louder and louder. Public sentiment is starting to blow back on their business model--and since, Yahoo, once the predominant name in Internet-based services, was broken up and sold to Verizon for cents on the dollar after being at the center of the largest data breach in recorded history--there have been rumblings that there has to be something done to protect the public from major publicly-traded technology companies that use individual’s data in ways that some deem unethical.
Picture this… In your office you have a bag filled with thousands of envelopes. In each envelope there is $242 in cash. Unbeknownst to you, a thief has gained access to your office, but you don’t realize this until 279 days later. How much is this going to cost your business?
Many businesses have taken the cloud into consideration as their next technology implementation… but there’s more to adopting a cloud solution than going to the cloud store and asking for one. First, you need to determine what kind of cloud solution is best suited to your needs.
Cloud solutions have proven their value in many different business applications, a major one being the ability to use a cloud service as a storage solution. By doing so, a business can enjoy a few additional advantages as compared to one that relies on more traditional storage solutions.
In business, productivity is the goal. Unfortunately, there are so many interruptions in the workday, you absolutely have to capitalize on the moments where you’re in the groove. To find the groove more frequently, and to measure the ability of workers to find their groove, companies have started using trackable systems fueled mainly by their management software--typically a CRM, but sometimes a larger, more integrated solution--to pump out metrics designed to give managers an idea how their teams are performing, and give them an idea about how to best utilize them.
Cloud-based databases are valuable for businesses on plenty of levels, but when you consider how much risk you expose your organization to by using a public cloud over a private solution, you suddenly start to realize that the ramifications could be far beyond repair. Compared to the public cloud, a private solution presents a greater opportunity for security, flexibility, and customization.
Small businesses often fall into the trap of thinking that they are too small to be attacked. This misconception could ultimately cost your business too much. The fact of the matter is that all businesses have data that is worth something to hackers, and we’re here to prove it to you and offer a solution to this dilemma.
Businesses have a lot of data to protect and it’s not so simple as implementing a catch-all solution that can keep your data secure. In fact, it takes several solutions working in tandem to maximize data security. We recommend a combination of a unified threat management tool, a Bring Your Own Device policy, and a virtual private network solution. Let’s take a longer look at them:
How valuable is the data that you’ve collected during your time in business? What would it mean if it were to leak somewhere beyond your control? Today we’ll discuss ways to control your data leakage.
Let me ask you a question… let’s say that you’re about one year from your projected retirement, when a ransomware attack encrypts all of your files. What do you do? Pack it in and retire early? This is precisely the situation that the practitioners of Brookside ENT & Hearing Services of Battle Creek, Michigan, have found themselves in - and it may not be over yet.
With World Backup Day coming and going approximately one month ago, it hasn’t been long since we should all have been reminded of the importance of data backup. Regardless, there is never a bad time to discuss the harsh realities of business data loss, and how businesses can avoid it.
A database is an incredibly useful tool for organizing a lot of information in a relatively concise and accessible way. Did you know that you can use a relatively common program, Microsoft Excel, to generate a database for your business to use? For this week’s tip, we’ll walk you through this process to help you keep your data organized.
For the small business, being more efficient with resources can make a massive difference. In fact, it can be the difference between organizational sustainability and organizational failure. The bottom line is that, no matter how big or small they are, today’s businesses need to be smarter to compete. As a result, some businesses have begun to utilize data management platforms (DMP) in order to put themselves in a better position to understand their business, their market, and their customers. Let’s take a look at the DMP, and how it works to help businesses like yours be more effective.
It is remarkable how much trust people have in Internet-based companies. Not just that they will fulfill the expectations placed on them, but that people routinely provide extremely sensitive information to these companies without thinking for a second about what they do with it. We will take a look at data collection practices, what Internet companies want with that data, and how millions of people every year become victims because they entrust their PII (Personally Identifiable Information) to corporations that promptly lose it.
It can be easy to underestimate the importance of monitoring your solutions, to adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. However, the benefits of persistent monitoring were recently thrust into the spotlight, when 24 spammers were arrested in October by the Delhi Police’s cyber cell for impersonating Microsoft support staff and duping American citizens.
What are your chances of being hacked, or targeted by some kind of cyberattack? I hate to tell you this, but they’re probably a lot higher than you might think.
If your business was breached, would it be better to keep it a secret, or should you disclose it to your clients? Uber has proven that trying to hide it is a mistake, and a costly one at that.
Each year there are changes that need to be made in the way that organizations manage their IT security. In 2017, ransomware burst on the scene in full force, and cyber security strategies reacted, coming up with fully managed security platform that remediate issues better, and cost organizations far more than they would have spent on IT security just a short time ago. In 2018, the same problems persist, while other developing technologies threaten the natural order of things. Today, we will look at how cybersecurity is being approached in 2018.
A solid business decision needs to be based on more than just a gut feeling. It takes quantifiable data to choose the right path for your company, leveraged in a process known as business analytics. Today, we’ll explore this process, as well as discuss a few ways you can use it to your advantage.
As of this point, the vast majority of our experience with the Internet of Things has been on a small scale - accessories and appliances that connect to the Internet to gain some added functionality. This technology can also be applied to a larger, more civic purpose - the development of something called a “smart city.” Unfortunately, this application could prove to be as problematic as the IoT we are more accustomed to.
The late American author Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.” Written in the 20th century, it has been put in practice by 21st century businesses. As the Internet has grown, the amount of companies expanded, and the amount of data that those companies collect has grown exponentially, especially now that there is a market for such data.
Today, many of the largest and most lucrative companies in the world, Google, Apple, AT&T, Amazon, Verizon, Facebook and Microsoft are all, more than manufacturers of computer-based goods and services, data brokers. These data brokers create services that they then sell to advertisers that allow them to target you based on the information these companies have of you, which can accurately tell how and what to sell you.
Since nearly everyone has a near-ubiquitously-connected experience there is a lot of data collected, bought, and sold every year and it’s big business. Facebook, a company whose main revenue stream is from selling advertising, made a net profit of nearly $16 billion in 2017. This tells us that if you have people’s data, you have people’s hopes, fears, and dreams, which means you can pretty easily get someone to pay you for access to that information.
For small businesses it’s much less lucrative. In fact, all the data your organization needs to keep, is probably necessary to simply do business, not to sell to advertisers. Facebook voluntarily gets a lot of personal information from every one of their users, as where the typical small business often has to strategize to just get a name and a phone number. The information that is sensitive (mostly customer information that you collect) has a lot of value to the people looking to steal it. So while you aren’t making billions of dollars selling consumer profiles, it is still a mightily important part of doing business, and needs to be secured.
Is Data a Commodity?
Technically speaking, it isn’t. Since a commodity’s value is based namely on its scarcity and the amount of capital that needs to be put up to create it, in both resources and labor, the data that is being purchased isn’t really a commodity. In lieu of the dissolution of the U.S. Net Neutrality laws, this has created the argument in the U.S. that since now it’s up to the telecommunication companies how they want to manage (or more accurately bill) data consumption, that they would throttle and tier service, something that isn’t possible with a true commodity, where there are laws prohibiting those types of practices.
On the other hand, Internet access is something that a majority of the commerce requires, and delivering data is in itself an expensive endeavor (infrastructure spending, development, utility costs, etc.) so telecoms, who are seeing their would-be profits syphoned by over-the-top content providers, and publicly demonized as a result of a very public lobbying effort to gain control of the ability to implement some sort of prioritization strategy, have to find a strategy to sustain their ability to get a workable return on their investments.
Securing Your Organization’s Data
Regardless of what your view of data is, it’s an important resource for your organization, and as mentioned above, it needs to be secured. For one of your company’s most important resources, data can be lost relatively easily, so there needs to be a concerted effort to keep your network and infrastructure free from the threats that could put your data at risk. At Directive, that’s what we do. We ensure organizations like yours get the professional IT expertise you need to work efficiently, effectively, and securely in what is the most turbulent time in computing history. With the litany of threats your business faces everyday, you need experts that have your back. We offer:
- Backup and disaster recovery: With a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery system in place, all of your organization’s data is safe, redundant, and able to be restored on demand.
- Proactive monitoring and management: By keeping a dedicated eye on your network and infrastructure, our technicians can be proactive.
- Patch management: By keeping all of your organization’s software up to date with the latest threat definitions, you can ensure that your software isn’t going to be a problem.
- Access control and threat detection: By having full control over who can access what, and a complete view of the entire network, we can keep people who aren’t supposed to see certain information from accessing it.
- Training: Most times, your own staff is responsible for data breaches and malware. We can train you all on what to look for to ensure that you are doing your best to keep your network and infrastructure free from threats.
- Around the clock support: If three out of every four businesses deal with phishing emails, and over 95 percent of all phishing emails deliver ransomware, chances are that if a mistake were to be made, you will need immediate IT support. Our support and help desk can remediate a lot of your security issues to keep downtime to a minimum.
With data such a major part of doing business today, ensuring you have the right solutions and support in place to be confident that any situation you face will be managed before it becomes a problem is in itself a benefit. Call Directive at 607.433.2200 for more information.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has gone into effect, and with this new law comes a lot of information your organization needs to consider regarding individual data protection. In particular, the technology of blockchain is difficult to talk about in regard to GDPR, as it’s basically an encrypted and distributed digital ledger. How can blockchain work properly in tandem with the new GDPR regulations?
It sure does seem that the term “network” is tossed around an awful lot. Network security, network maintenance, social networking, network switch… but what is a network, really? That is precisely what we shall dive into here.
There’s a big difference between running a smart business and making smart business decisions, although one could say that one contributes to the other. More businesses than ever before are looking to their data to create better opportunities and make smarter decisions. We’ll take a dive into what the differences are between business intelligence and business analysis, as well as how they can contribute to your organization's success.
It is no secret that security is an absolutely crucial part of computing in the modern era. Data can very fairly be called the most valuable currency today, which means it needs to be protected. One way to do this is through the use of encryption keys. In this Tech Term, we’ll go over how these keys can protect your data, and how they do so.
Data backup has become an essential piece of the modern business’ computing infrastructure but the act of protecting data from being lost is centuries old. Before there was recorded civilization, there were humans writing on the cave walls and carving notches into bone to aid counting and other primitive mathematics. Today, we take a look at the history of backing up data, and how it has brought us to where we are now.
There’s no getting around it: technology has spoiled us. We have had access to 4G mobile data speeds since 2009, and we’re already clamoring for the next thing. While 5G has been in development for some time now, it will likely be quite a while before it is available for common use. Here, we examine why 5G is likely going to take at least a few more years to arrive.
Running a business sometimes requires attention to very minute details, and some things must be measured in order to achieve optimal efficiency. You’ve likely heard the terms bits and bytes used regarding data storage or transfer, but do you know what the difference is between them? Today’s tech term is dedicated to this explanation.
Data has always been important, but more recent trends have placed emphasis on using it to make important, educated decisions regarding the future of your organization. This month, we want to take a concentrated look at the data revolution and how your data has become a commodity. Just how much value is there in an individual’s data, and what does this mean for the future of computing?
On March 23rd, 2018, the United States Congress passed another spending bill that could potentially limit individual privacy protection all over the world. This bill included a provision called the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (or CLOUD) Act, which makes changes to the Stored Communications Act of 1986 and provides unelected American officials a considerable amount of power over digital privacy rights.
As though the initial news of Equifax’s 2017 data exposure wasn’t bad enough, it has been discovered that there are even more victims than previously thought. While news like this is never good, it can bring a silver lining if the opportunities that such news presents are seized.
January 28th marks Data Privacy Day, a day intended to raise awareness of the importance of data privacy and educate users and business owners of its benefits. Spearheaded by the National Cyber Security Alliance, there are plenty of lessons the NCSA has to share with businesses as this day puts their, and their clients’, privacy in the spotlight.
Your data is one of the most important assets at your business’ disposal. It’s really indispensable. Not only are large amounts of it the result of successful operations, it also can help your organization better understand the intricacies of its own operations, and where you want it to go in the future. Does your business have a process for collecting, storing, and sorting vital data so that your organization can figure out where to go next?
When you delete a file off your PC, or your hard drive becomes corrupted, you just take for granted that the data is gone in perpetuity. That isn’t the case at all, and it can present problems for businesses and individuals alike. The thing is that it’s deleted, it’s gone, it ceases to exist, because you deleted it with your own hands.
Managing your businesses technology is important because your operations rely heavily on efficient access to information. One advantage that secure and reliable IT provides is the ability to remain competitive, as the slightest advantage could mean a world of difference in your given market. One new IT trend is the analysis of big data. If it is leveraged properly, you could help your business get the leg up on local competition.
How much do you think a criminal would pay for your company’s sensitive data that’s been stolen by hackers? As it turns out, your data may not be worth as much as you may think, and that’s a bad thing for you and your business.
As far as leaps in computing go, this one’s pretty tiny: a research team from IBM has managed to store data on a single atom. Despite the microscopic size of the result, the impact is potentially huge when one considers the effects this discovery could have on computing.
By now, you've heard about the many advantages of hosting your data and applications in the cloud. To take advantage of these money-saving benefits, you'll want to select the right cloud provider to host and manage your data. Otherwise, you may end up with poor support and disappointing service.
To help you pick the right hosting provider, you first need to familiarize yourself with your options. Here's a walkthrough of what you need to look for.
Data backup is a critical component of a business continuity plan, but there are many businesses that fail to understand why data backup is important, as well as what it entails. We want to clear up some facts about how data backup is important, and why you need it for your business. Only with a thorough understanding of how your data backup saves your infrastructure can you effectively use it for business continuity.
It doesn’t take much to derail a business. Even the slightest disruption in power can lead to an unexpected power-down, and something as simple as a severe rainstorm could lead to floods that wash away your data. The point stands that you have everything to lose, and without data backup and disaster recovery, your business practices could be in danger.
Why You Need Backup and Disaster Recovery
Every organization should have a sound plan to recover any data that’s lost due to unexpected disasters. It’s been proven that organizations that fail to recover lost data within 7 days of the incident, typically go out of business within one year. There are many reasons why data backup and disaster recovery solutions need to be implemented. Here are just a few of the threats that could uproot your business and disrupt operations.
- Natural disasters: Floods, fires, electric storms, tornadoes, hailstorms, and so on, all have the potential to not only destroy your physical infrastructure, but also your business’s data. Therefore, if you’re in a region that’s prone to extreme weather conditions, you need to consider backup and disaster recovery.
- Cyber attacks: Data breaches are well-known culprits of data loss. It’s not easy to predict what a virus or malware will do, but most often, they’re designed to steal your data, delete it, or lock it away until a ransom is paid. In all of these cases, it’s best to have your data backed up so it can be safely restored.
- User error: The biggest threats often come from those who are supposed to have access to your data, not just those who don’t. If an end-user accidentally deletes a file, moves it somewhere it doesn’t belong, or hands over credentials to a hacker on accident, your data is put at risk.
- Hardware failure: The inevitable part of working with technology is the fact that it will eventually fail and be rendered obsolete. This can happen when you least expect it, and the costly downtime can be a major setback for your business - not to mention the data that could be lost if a server were to go down.
What You Should Look For
Not all backup and disaster recovery services will be the same, nor should they be. You need a solution that’s customized to meet the specific needs of your business. Here are some of the best features to look for in a BDR solution, and why they’re critical for the continued functionality of your business.
- Cloud and off-site backup: You don’t want to store your data backups on in-house tapes. Rather, you want them secure in an off-site location, like the cloud or a data center. This way, you can know that your data is stored in a compliant location that can’t be damaged by natural disasters.
- Quick recovery time: You want to be able to rapidly deploy your business’s data to your infrastructure in order to minimize downtime. Tape backup can make this part of the recovery process long-winded and wasteful, but BDR can automatically deploy your data through the cloud, making recovery practically instantaneous.
- Comprehensive backup: Furthermore, you want to make sure that your data is as recent as possible. Tape backup is inefficient for this purpose, while BDR can take backups of your data as often as every fifteen minutes - maybe even more often.
For more information about BDR and business continuity, contact Directive at 607.433.2200.
Data storage is such an important part of today’s business environment, but when was the last time you took the time to consider technologies that came before? Technology that exists today couldn’t possibly have existed 50, or even 20 years ago. How have the leaps and bounds made in the tech industry affected the status of data storage, and what does this trend mean for small and medium-sized businesses?
Your business requires specific data to keep operations moving on a daily basis. However, for all of the data that you use, there’s information that you have stored away that never sees the light of day. This “dark data,” could be putting your business at risk, especially if auditing your current data storage usage isn’t a top priority. If you don’t keep track of your dark data, you could be facing much larger problems than unnecessary storage costs.
March 31st is World Backup Day! Just as important as having a plan in place to backup your data is having a way to recover your files. Do you have a way to restore files that get lost, corrupted, or accidentally deleted? To highlight this need, we want to explain how a deleted file can actually be recovered.
Data backup, regardless of its form, is a critical component of any modern IT infrastructure. If you’re not using data backup or disaster recovery, your business could be risking crippling data loss. Even if your infrastructure is protected from typical threats like viruses and malware, these security solutions aren’t going to prevent a devastating hardware failure.
As more data systems develop the need for structured data storage, the development of fast and secure solutions have become essential to the viability of storing and retrieving data. Scientists have been looking at the field of optoelectronics to develop constructs where an enormous amount of data can be stored for exorbitant amounts of time.
The incorporation of mobile devices into day-to-day life has changed the culture significantly. In fact, when Apple introduced “iPhone” less than a decade ago, Steve Jobs famously said, “It’s like your life in your pocket.” Now, over eight years on from the launch of the first iPhone, it’s hard to remember what life was like before you had a full-function information system in the palm of your hand. We’ve come to rely heavily on these devices, driving mobile profits up and creating a market that didn’t have any substance only a short time ago.
Computers can feel one dimensional, requiring the user to read and type. Humans don’t naturally interact like this. We communicate best with our voices and our ears. One day, our PCs will have artificial intelligence and we will be able to communicate with them as if we were talking to a person. Until this technology becomes mainstream, these two audio features will have to make do.
Unless you have been vigilant about covering your digital tracks, you’ve likely got your personal information floating all over cyberspace and it’s being used for who knows what. Most of this personal data is used for marketing purposes, but hackers like to get in on the data-collecting action too. Being aware of how your personal data is collected is the first step towards getting a handle on it.
You can’t have IT without information, you can’t have information without data, and technology is what creates data so that you can better use your company’s technology to increase sales. Got it? Understanding the flow of data can be confusing. It’s important to have a handle on it so you can leverage your data for the success of your business.
It's been said that a company's data is its most important resource. If this is true, then is it possible to assign a monetary value to your files? If you attempted to do so, you may come to the conclusion that your company's data is more valuable than anything else in your business, maybe even your own job!
It's good to backup your data, but can you have too much of a good thing? While this may be the case for several enjoyable activities like partying and buffets, this isn't the case with data backup. In fact, the more layers of data backup you have, the more secure you will be. How good is your data backup solution?
With the holiday shopping season winding down, it's the busiest time of the for data collecting companies that compile information on the purchases you make. Are you aware of the extent that your purchases are being tracked? Knowing about data collection may make you want to buy all of your presents with cash.
Big changes are happening in the world of technology, and it's important that your business stays on top of these changes in order to stay competitive. By taking advantage of the latest trends, you will be provided with solutions designed to maximize profits. Here are five of the latest trends you need to watch for in 2014.
At a recent security event, VP of Gartner Neil MacDonald broke down the fundamentals of IT security into four categories, "Information security was never about device lockdown, or dictating applications, or building firewalls. It was always about protecting the confidentiality, the integrity, the authenticity, the availability of information." Here's a closer look at these four security qualities.
As your company grows and enters into more competitive markets, your ability to access reliable and accurate data is of the utmost importance. Ginni Rometty; CEO, president, and chair of IBM, shared her insight on data management in her speech on October 2nd at the IBM InterConnect 2013 event. Here are three benefits of successful data management according to Rometty.
The modern IT landscape is dramatically changing from a model where an IT department controls everything, to companies outsourcing their IT services. This paradigm shift challenges older ideas about traditional network security equating ownership and control with strong security. Does your business view IT outsourcing as a security help or a hindrance?
For those of us that have been able to witness the current technological revolution, we can say mankind has progressed at an exceptional rate. Remember spending hours on your TRS-80 writing code to play the simplest of games? At that point, if you didn't have the floppy disk drive, once you turned it off you had to spend all that time to rewrite the code. This period has taken us from bulky PCs (albeit still marvelous at the time) to devices with hundreds of times the computing power that fit in the palm of our hands.
At the end of the workday you may be in a hurry to leave, and as you start tossing your belongings into your bag, you come across your USB drive plugged into your PC. You're now faced with a tough decision; do you take the time to safely remove the device, or do you save 30 seconds and just unplug it?
As smartphone ownership continues to rise (175 million cellphones sold last year in the US), so too does smartphone theft. Take San Francisco, CA as an example, half of all robberies reported last year were phone-related. To help curb this trend, crime fighting agencies are seeking help from phone manufacturers in developing a smartphone kill switch.
Have you ever closed an application and accidently hit 'Don't Save'? Poof. In one forgetful moment all of your progress is gone and your stomach turns into a giant knot. Before you go out and do something crazy, like forsake technology and modern civilization, you will first want to see if Windows was nice and automatically saved you a copy.
Step back from your monitor for a moment and take a look at your business. Customers from all over the Upstate New York area and beyond are being helped. You have an inbox full of email from countless prospects and clients, and your activity on the world wide web is literally connecting you around the world. This complex coordination of of resources and people in front of you is called logistics.
Have you ever stopped and wondered where the internet is housed? Maybe all the websites are on a skyscraper-sized router? Maybe the internet all fits inside your computer? Most of the information is actually stored in data center facilities all over the world, and the sheer size and complexity of these centers will boggle your mind.
The expression on Drew's face is a perfect picture of what data loss looks like. There is nothing more frustrating than spending an entire day on a project, only to have it all disappear with a system error. Drew's mistake was that he was saving all of his work directly on his laptop. Not only is his work susceptible to a hard drive failure and the computer crashing, but his laptop is also at risk of being stolen along with all of his personal data.
What feelings are conjured up by the phrase, "file not found?" If you are unable to locate an important file on your PC, you are going to have a bad time. Insult is added to injury when you cannot find a file that you created because you do not remember what you named it.
When budgeting, most businesses will look at ways to save by spending less on products and services, like downgrading to storebrand cola. These cuts are never popular and have been known to insight office mutinies, "Dr. Thunder, are you kidding me?" Before you deprive employees of premium products, first take a look inside your server, it may be full of savings!
Ever since the first microfilm machine was rolled off the line 100 years ago, mankind has been striving to achieve the paperless office. If you are too young to remember using microfilm, think of an arcade cabinet, except, instead of Mortal Kombat, documents battle it out over a projected screen. Thankfully, we have come a long way in 100 years.
If Back to the Future's Marty McFly time traveled to the modern office, he would probably feel a little disoriented. He would see employees squinting at little televisions, mobile devices right out of Star Trek, and no rows of file cabinets. Then Marty would notice a fax machine and feel right at home, because fax machines have been around forever.
It's evident having a solid backup solution for your business data is not just important, but crucial in order to ensure the survival of your company in the event of a disaster. One backup solution involves using a magnetic tape medium to store data. Unfortunately, tape brings some inconveniences that make other solutions more appealing.
Companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon are switching to Solid State Drives (or SSDs for short) in a push for greater performance with reduced operating and hardware costs. Reduced hardware costs? Yes, while Solid State Drives are more expensive than traditional hard drives, they afford certain advantages over the legacy storage hardware.
There comes a time when you are looking at a new laptop and you are asked the question: Do you want a Solid State Drive, or a traditional Hard Disk Drive? Well here is a quick run-down of both technologies in the hopes of shedding some light on the issue. By the time you are done reading this article, you will be better able to answer that question.
Nobody likes thinking or talking about this (except maybe if you are in the insurance business), but businesses are fragile entities. Enough hardship and loss will greatly weaken the foundation that keeps the business running smoothly. What if your business suffered from a fire, devastating flood, or even a misfortunate bolt of lightning that destroys your server? Would you be able to pick up the pieces and start over?
We can't stress how important data backup is for businesses. Backup is so important that March 31st is World Backup Day, a day for people and businesses to observe the importance of backing up data regularly.
Read on for World Backup Day's excellent Infographic.
If your company has employed a backup solution, what process do you go through to ensure it is doing its job? Backup systems need to be tested regularly to ensure all the proper files are being backed up, and to check data integrity.
If you've been using computers for a while, then there has probably been at least one point in your life that you've lost data. Maybe it was something you were working on when your computer crashed, or maybe a disk failure wiped out some data. Does this bring back memories of frustration and angst?
Is staying in business important to your company?
We don't want to be sensationalistic here, but there is a serious real-world link between data loss and staying in business. Let's look at some statistics.
Hard drives have been getting bigger (capacity-wise) and cheaper over the past decade which is great news for everyone. Toshiba predicts that in 2012 that over 2 zettabytes (2 trillion gigabytes!) of data will be created and replicated (double from 2010). While costs are going down, data growth is still a challenge for data centers and IT administrators.
It's always important to be prepared for emergencies, and for a small business these days even a minor disaster can have long term ramifications with serious consequences. Whether the disaster is short lived, like a power outage or hardware failure in your server, or a more serious event like a flood or fire, you want to be able to get back in business as quickly as possible Here are some steps Upstate New York businesses should take to prepare and add to their disaster plans.
Take a look, a good hard look, at your employees. They are working diligently, right? You've staffed the company with some quality A-players and everyone has taken responsibility for their work. You see good communication, organization, and dare we say motivation emanating from each member of your well-armed team. Or maybe you don't and the company is working on improving that - we understand. We also understand that while an employee might be a rockstar at their job, they could still pose a risk to IT.
Everyone here at Directive would like to wish our clients a happy and safe Halloween! We'd like to share a couple computer and tech support horror stories to set today's spooky mood! Get out your flashlights and gather around the campfire for these chilling tales that could happen to any small business.
In today's IT industry, downtime can have a huge impact on your company's bottom line. When system downtime occurs, whether it affects an individual employee or the entire company, it means lost money. The definition of the term "downtime" is very ambiguous, although at Directive we consider any issue where an employee can't do their job properly due to technology not being available to be downtime. Even though an application may be up and running, it is essentially "down" to a user if the application can't be used no matter the reason.
2011 has been a busy year for security experts worldwide. Major corporations have been reporting harmful attacks by hackers. So far, technology news site CNET has reported over 80 known major hacks since March that have been publicized. The publication of these hacks is inevitable, especially when user-data, contact information, and credit card information is at risk, and that publication can easily cause a PR disaster which can take loads of time and money to rectify (and in some cases, just can't be rectified). The big questions are who is at risk, are Upstate New York small businesses at risk, and what kinds of IT solutions need to be deployed to prevent data-theft and other intrusions.