fbpx

Don’t wait any longer. Get started today!

 
 

Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

What Would You Do in Response to a Breach?

While we—for reasons that should be obvious—tend to focus our attention on preventing and avoiding cybersecurity breaches, it is important that we address how your business responds to a successful breach attempt. Let’s go over how to create a data breach response plan.

0 Comments
Continue reading

What Most Often Leads to a Data Breach?

Data breaches—any event where a business’ confidential data is viewed, copied, or stolen by an unauthorized person or party—are a serious problem. Unfortunately, they are also a serious problem that can be caused by no shortage of situations. Let’s review some of the causes of business data breaches so you’ll know what to keep an eye out for.

0 Comments
Continue reading

With a Managed Service Provider, Every Day is Backup Day

Tomorrow, March 31st, is the official World Backup Day, a day intended to remind us all of the importance of taking backups for the sake of data continuity. While this kind of day can be a valuable reminder of a critical best practice, we contend that your awareness of your backup (and the associated maintenance of it) should not be limited to a single day.

0 Comments
Continue reading

What You Need to Know to Get Through a Data Disaster

A disaster recovery plan is a strategy that allows a business to return to normal after a disruption of some type. Some data disasters are brought on by outside attacks, some are the result of a natural disaster or environmental issue, and some are simply a return to normal after an internal problem interferes with business operations. Today, we’ll take a look at a few things you need to know about disaster recovery to help you mitigate the negative effects of a data disaster. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Don’t Miss World Backup Day (But Don’t Wait For It, Either)

World Backup Day is March 31st, each and every year. However, while there is value to having a dedicated holiday to raise awareness of the need for backup, it should not be the only time it is considered. Let’s go over the importance of proper backup practices, just in time for the holiday, so that you can establish the backup that your business needs if it's not already in place.

0 Comments
Continue reading

How to Fight Back Against Cloud-Based Cybercrime

The cloud is far and away one of the most beneficial technologies that a modern business has at its disposal. Unfortunately, the same can be said for modern cybercriminals. The cloud has given cybercriminals new opportunities that are important to acknowledge—as well, of course, to protect your business against.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Ransomware is Only Getting Worse in 2022… So What Can You Do?

Ransomware has been commonplace for years, with no sign of it going anywhere anytime soon. Let’s take a few moments to examine the state of ransomware right now, and review how to keep it from impacting your businesses.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Artificial Intelligence Can Bring Healthcare Some Welcome Advances

Healthcare is an industry that—quite understandably—operates under very high pressure for a significant share of the time. As a result, it is only natural to conclude that a technology that could potentially make the lives of healthcare providers and administrators easier in numerous ways shows some promise. That technology is artificial intelligence.

Let’s go over a few of the many ways that AI has been proposed (if not implemented already) as a solution to some of healthcare’s more challenging stresses.

0 Comments
Continue reading

What’s the Difference Between a Security Incident and a Breach?

Cybersecurity is an important subject for a business’ entire team to appreciate, particularly when it comes to the minute differences between different terms. For instance, a layperson might hear “breach” and automatically think “security incident.” While this technically isn’t incorrect, per se, the two terms aren’t really synonymous.

Let’s take a few moments to dive into the minutiae and define these two terms more clearly.

0 Comments
Continue reading

What You Can Do to Make Your Cloud Resources More Secure

Look, we are big fans of the cloud, especially for data storage, but you shouldn’t implement the cloud without a solid security strategy. Whether you are using it for your business’ data storage needs or just to take backups of your infrastructure, you’ll still need to keep various facets of security in mind for your cloud storage. It all starts with figuring out how secure your cloud provider really is.

0 Comments
Continue reading

The Small Business Guide for Preparing for Disaster

tornado

It's the start of the 2011 hurricane season, and with Hurricane Irene making contact with Atlantic coastlines this week, it certainly doesn't hurt to make sure your business is prepared for a disaster. Even if you are lucky enough to not be affected by these devastating storms, there are plenty of opportunities for nature to cause havoc on our way of life. It's never to late to put together a Disaster Recovery Plan (alternatively known as a Business Continuity Plan) in case a natural (or otherwise) disaster were to occur for you. Nobody wants to think a disaster might happen, but it isn't impossible. Here are a few steps small businesses can take to become better prepared.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Use Technology to Transform Your Business

Sometimes it might feel like you can’t possibly take advantage of the same technologies as a large enterprise, but the reality is that the difference between the two has largely diminished thanks to changes in business technology models and design philosophies. Simply put, there are technologies out there that let you compete with organizations you may not have been able to in the past, and if you can track your analytics, provide a quality service or experience to your customers, and implement the right technology solutions, you are on the right track.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Encryption: What It Is, and How It Works

Keeping your data protected is a huge concern nowadays, with more and more safeguards needed to prevent it from being exfiltrated. Encryption is a great way to prevent your data from being any good to those who might steal it. Let’s review what encryption is, and delve into how it works in practice.

0 Comments
Continue reading

So, Your Data Was Breached… What Do You Do Now?

Data breaches are an unfortunate reality in this day and age, even during the holiday season. While it is important to do everything you can to prevent these kinds of disasters, you need to be prepared to deal with it—both in terms of your operations, and in terms of communicating with your clientele.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Enhancing the Customer Experience with the Right IT

Whether you refer to them as clients or customers, the people who act as patrons to your business are essential to its success and survival. This means that you need to keep them as happy as possible. While there are many aspects of maintaining a high level of customer service, we wanted to take a bit of time to examine how deploying the right technology can assist your business in doing just that.

0 Comments
Continue reading

4 Ways to Use Data for Growing Your Business

All businesses collect data of some sort, whether it’s for the purposes of storing customer information or product specifications. However, not all businesses understand the importance of this data; in fact, you could be sitting on countless opportunities for growth without even realizing it. Here are some ways that you can take commonly procured data and transform it into actionable steps for growth.

0 Comments
Continue reading

If Your Google Drive Links Stop Working, It Might Be Due to an Update

While we cannot express how important it is to update your software and hardware in a timely manner, it is important to keep in mind that some of these updates aren’t going to be perfect. An upcoming update to Google Workspace serves as the perfect example, as the company has recently released an alert to inform users about an issue affecting Google Drive.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Fast Food Data Breach is Another in Line of Major Cyberattacks

It seems that the last few months have been filled with major cyberattacks, particularly those taking advantage of major businesses that might not initially be considered targets for these kinds of acts. For instance, McDonald’s Restaurants was recently breached. Let’s examine the situation, and how it plays into the recent trends we’ve witnessed. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

A Basic Understanding of Informatics

Many professionals see the word “informatics” and think of one of two things. First, what the heck is it? Second, isn’t that just computer science? While the two certainly are similar and often used interchangeably, they are quite different. Let’s take a deeper dive and see what the field of informatics entails, how it can be applied to computer science and business, and why it’s important to consider for your organization.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Additional Considerations for Your Business’ Data Backup Strategy

We routinely discuss the importance of a comprehensive data backup strategy. With so many workforces incorporating remote work into their operations, making such preparations is extremely important. Let’s go over some of the key steps that you need to take to secure your business’ data from loss.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Understanding the Different Kinds of Blockchain and Their Purpose

The blockchain has made quite a splash, beginning as the technology that powers Bitcoin before branching out into different use cases that many businesses are already taking advantage of. Let’s go over the benefits—and shortcomings—of the various varieties that blockchain now comes in, and how they are commonly used.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Maps May Soon Be Less Trustworthy Than Ever

Did you know that maps as we know them are remarkably skewed? Due to some centuries-old superiority complexes and prejudices, the maps we’ve all been raised looking at have never been completely accurate. However, this problem could soon be an element of cybercrime thanks to a developing technology that many have yet to take seriously, deepfake images, and how they could revolutionize cyberattacks moving forward.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tip of the Week: Three Steps to Better Backups

Because of the protection it can offer your organization, data backup is a necessary tool for you to have—that is, provided it has the requisite security and reliability you’ll need should you ever have to lean on it. Let’s go over a few guidelines to help you be sure that your backup is trustworthy enough to stake your business’ future on.

0 Comments
Continue reading

What We Can Learn from Coca-Cola’s Insider Trade Secret Theft

Your business’ data is perhaps its most crucial resource—which is why it is so important that it remains protected against all threats (including those that come from within your own business). Consider, for a moment, the ongoing trial of Xiaorong You, going on in Greenville, Tennessee. Accused of stealing trade secrets and committing economic espionage, You allegedly stole various BPA-free technologies from various companies—including Coca-Cola and the Eastman Chemical Company, amongst others—to the tune of $119.6 million.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Facebook’s Massive Data Leak

Facebook is many people’s favorite—or at least most used—app and it does bring value to people by letting them keep tabs on friends and family, or grow their businesses. It has grown to be one of the largest, most successful software technology companies in the world. Unfortunately, with that type of exposure comes the responsibility of securing massive amounts of personal data. In this quest, they leave a lot to be decided. Today, we take a look at the situation Facebook is in as they are dealing with one of the largest data leaks in history.

0 Comments
Continue reading

The Long and Short of Data Backup

Having a comprehensive data backup and recovery strategy in place can absolutely save your business. This means it’s extremely important. Unfortunately, too many businesses don’t consider their backup and recovery systems until it is too late. Let’s unwrap what makes a successful backup and recovery platform work, and how to get one for your business.

0 Comments
Continue reading

What Your Employees Need to Know to Keep Their Own Data Secure, Too

It is only too common for people to have very different personalities in the office as they do during their off hours, with different standards and practices to suit them. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that on the surface, you need to be sure that they are at least upholding the kind of security best practices that you expect of them in the office while they are at home.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tip of the Week: How to Prepare a Data Breach Response

Unfortunately, the more people lean on technology, the more data breaches there are. The correlation makes sense, but with so much innovation in data security and data systems, it’s a shame more can’t be done to keep businesses and individuals from losing data to opportunists and scammers. That’s why knowing how to circumvent these forces is essential to keep your data safe. Let’s take a look at how the people that are best at it keep their data secure. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

3 March IT Holidays You Should Know

If you look hard enough, there is a “novelty” holiday for just about every day of the year. While many are of the fun and goofy variety, like March 13 being National Earmuff Day and March 28 being National Something On a Stick Day, others are used to remind us of important ideals and practices. Let’s take a few moments to shine a light on those days dedicated to important information technology concepts (even though we’ve technically missed National Technology Day, on January 6, Data Privacy Day, on January 28, and National Clean Out Your Computer Day, on February 8).

0 Comments
Continue reading

Document Your IT Infrastructure

Quick, off the top of your head, how many network switches are in use at your office? How many wireless access points? How many routers are past their warranty or no longer getting support?

That’s not a question most business owners are asked on a regular basis, and we don’t really expect you to be able to rattle off the answers. You should have all of that information documented though.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Solid Backup Helps Build Continuity

With a lot of business owners being extra cautious about their spending and doing what they can to prevent unexpected interruptions they are doing everything they can to prevent data loss. This month, we thought we would tell you how data redundancy can help towards this goal.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Three Seldom-Considered Elements of a Backup Strategy

If you’ve been following us for any amount of time, it is very likely that you have already heard us talk about the importance of a comprehensive data backup strategy. Recent events have made such preparations no less important for you to have in place. Let’s go over some of the key steps that you need to undergo.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Don’t Let This Year’s Low Number of Data Breaches Get Your Hopes Up

You may have heard whispers that, compared to the past few years, 2020 has seen considerably fewer data breaches play out. While this may sound like a cause for celebration, we wanted to share a few reasons that this news may not be as great as it appears.

0 Comments
Continue reading

What Would Happen if All Data Was Publically Available?

What if I were to tell you that, by the time you finished reading this sentence, all personal data in existence was exposed? If every text sent, every Google search executed, every website visited, everything we had ever done online, was made public? Gizmodo recently reached out to an assortment of experts for their insights. Here, we’ve assembled their responses for you to consider.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Do Your Privacy Practices Line Up With Your Privacy Expectations?

How concerned are you about your data privacy, as a consumer, particularly when you entrust it to another business? If you answered “very”, you aren’t alone… 87 percent of Americans consider their data privacy to be a human right. Having said that, most don’t pay near enough attention to their own security precautions. Let’s take a few moments and examine this trend.

0 Comments
Continue reading

What’s Happening with Blockchain

For a while there, blockchain was a buzzword that you would hear about constantly. It was the future of data security and secure online transactions. As 2020 has pointed our attention elsewhere, you’ve heard less and less about blockchain technology. Today, we’ll take a look at what some of the most innovative companies are doing with distributed encrypted networks,

0 Comments
Continue reading

Four Questions You Need to Ask Yourself About Your Data’s Security

Data security always needs to be considered as one of your most important business priorities. After all, the ramifications of data loss are wide-reaching and severe. To help you ensure that your data security is at the level it needs to be, we’ve put together five questions you need to answer regarding your business’ security preparedness.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Data Services Your Business Should Be Using

Your business’ data is one of its most important assets. Today, there are ways to utilize data to help build a better business. Let’s take a look at the data services that are designed to help the modern business get the most out of this resource. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Considering Point of Sale Technology

Point of sale software and solutions have long offered massive benefits to businesses, with these benefits growing as the technology has advanced. Let’s look at how the POS system has developed over the years to offer the business utilities and benefits that it does today.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Reopen Your Business with Confidence

As the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on, many businesses continue to operate remotely with an eye toward reopening their office soon. Today, we thought it would be a perfect time to go over a couple of things that small business owners will need to address as people begin coming back into the workplace. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

What We Can Learn from the 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report

Starting in 2008, Verizon has produced a report outlining the cybersecurity incident trends that the previous year demonstrated. In doing so, they have provided a resource that gives businesses greater insights into where their cybersecurity efforts need to be focused. Let’s go over some of 2019’s trends and insights that were highlighted in the Verizon Business 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).

0 Comments
Continue reading

Not All Threats are External

As much as a business relies on its technology, it relies just as much upon its employees to properly put that technology to use. Unfortunately, this can very easily expose the business to various threats that involve their employees. Understanding these insider threats is crucial for a business, especially given how current events may tempt those who would never have considered them otherwise.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Forgot to Save? How to Recover an Unsaved Document

b2ap3_thumbnail_RecoverDoc400.jpgHave 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.

4 Comments
Continue reading

It’s Time to Get a VPN

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

What Is a Data Lake?

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

A Brief Introduction to Database Management Systems

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Are Your Biggest Threats Coming From Inside Your Company?

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

The Security Questions Surrounding Cloud Solutions

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. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Data Virtualization Makes Managing Data Easier

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. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Promoting Data Privacy

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Your Business Will Benefit from Proper Data Management

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Some Hackers Promote Cybersecurity

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Learn Why Backups are Most Crucial to Users

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!

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tip of the Week: Managing Your IT Inventory Management

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.

1 Comment
Continue reading

Why Managed Services: Data Management

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tip of the Week: Get Better at Managing Your Mobile Data

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. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

File Sharing Tips from the Pros

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Ways to Be Smarter About Your Data

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. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Why You Need to Allow Access to Your Knowledge

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

0 Comments
Continue reading

Should Big Tech Be Reined In?

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

The Endless Line of Costs from a Data Breach

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?

0 Comments
Continue reading

Understanding the Different Types of Cloud

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Four Ways Cloud Storage Can Benefit Your Business

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Productivity Can Be Stymied By Using Too Much Data

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. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

SMBs Are Never Too Small for Hackers

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Using the Private Cloud Adds Security to Your Databases

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

3 Ways You Can Protect Your Data

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:

0 Comments
Continue reading

Fix Any Bit of Data Leakage

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Ransomware Shuts Down Doctors’ Office - Is Your Business Protected?

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Why You Need to Maintain a Data Backup

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Consumer Data Collection is Growing

b2ap3_thumbnail_getit400.jpgWith 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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Is Data a Commodity? Maybe Not, but It Is an Asset

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.

 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tip of the Week: Making a Functional Database in Excel

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Need to Prioritize Data Management

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

7 Tips to Take Control of Your PII

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

This Scammer Raid Proves Just How Useful Monitoring Can Be

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tip of the Week: Improving Some Cybersecurity Basics

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Uber Demonstrates the Importance of Disclosing a Data Breach

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tech Term: Bits and Bytes

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tech Term: Encryption Key

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tech Term: Network

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Forget Micro SD Cards, the Future is Molecular-Level Data Storage

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Why it’s a Big Mistake to Overlook Big Data

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Data Privacy is Good for Your Business, According to the National Cyber Security Alliance

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

The Equifax Saga Continues as More Victims are Discovered

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

How the CLOUD Act Will Affect Your Security

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up about 5G Yet

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

A Short History of Data Backup and Storage

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

In Business, What’s the Differences Between Intelligence and Analysis?

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

How is Blockchain Going to Work with the GDPR?

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?

0 Comments
Continue reading

Why Smart Cities May Not Be a Smart Idea Just Yet

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

How to Intelligently Approach Business Analytics

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Data Security Issues of 2018

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Would a Disaster put your Company out of Business?

building on fireNobody 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?

0 Comments
Continue reading

What Office 365 Can Do for Oneonta Small Businesses

microsoft icon

At the beginning of the month, Microsoft officially launched Office 365. What makes this Office different from the other Office suites that Microsoft has released is that Office 365 doesn't run on your computer, it runs on a cloud server. All of your data is stored securely in the cloud on Microsoft's servers. This is great for smaller Oneonta businesses that need to access their files from anywhere but don't currently have the infrastructure in-house to make it happen.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Understanding the True Cost of Downtime for Upstate New York Businesses

frustrated businessman

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.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Understanding the Costs of Data

scattered money

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?

0 Comments
Continue reading

The Many Frustrations with Relying on Tape Backup

broken tape backupIt'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.

Tags:
0 Comments
Continue reading

Spam: The Art of Deception

overflowing mailbox

If you use email, you've probably seen spam. If you think we're talking about a canned meat product, and are wondering how it relates to email, then we envy you. For everyone else, saying your inbox probably has a little spam is a dramatic understatement. Spam comes in several different flavors; ranging to inappropriate solicitations to unwanted gibberish to carefully coordinated scams. We're going to go over one of these tricky spoofs that is known to fool users.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Solid State vs Hard Disk

hard disk driveThere 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.

0 Comments
Continue reading