The Dangers of Public Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi can be a security risk to your personal information.

The Dangers of Public Wi-Fi

It’s all too convenient. In many shopping and public spaces, your mobile device tempts you with fast and free internet. You may be thinking that it’s probably safe because it’s being provided by a major retailer or hotel chain. As you consider the risks, you might assume or hope for safe access, but the reality is often quite different. According to security firm, Kaspersky, “The biggest threat to free Wi-Fi security is the ability for the hacker to position himself between you and the connection point. So instead of talking directly to the hotspot, you’re sending your information to the hacker, who then relays it on.” It is impossible to know for certain that you are connecting to a safe and properly identified host. So, what can we do to protect ourselves?

Virtual Private Network (VPN):
With some advance planning, you can encrypt your mobile device data signal so that your information is unreadable by hackers in transit. It’s a little like riding a subway from your house to the police station every time you go to town. (more…)

Top Ten Cybersecurity Tips

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  1. 1. Protect against viruses, spyware, and other malicious code
    Make sure each of your business’s computers are equipped with antivirus software and antispyware and update regularly. Such software is readily available online from a variety of vendors. All software vendors regularly provide patches and updates to their products to correct security problems and improve functionality. Configure all software to install updates automatically.

2. Secure your networks
Safeguard your Internet connection by using a firewall and encrypting information. If you have a Wi-Fi network, make sure it is secure and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, (more…)

Why Move to the cloud? 10 Benefits of cloud computing

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Simply put, cloud computing is computing based on the internet. Where in the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building, cloud computing allows people access to the same kinds of applications through the internet.

When you update your Facebook status, you’re using cloud computing. Checking your bank balance on your phone? You’re in the cloud again. Chances are you rely on cloud computing to solve the challenges faced by small businesses, whether you’re firing off emails on the move or using a bunch of apps to help you manage your workload.

In short, cloud is fast becoming the new normal. By the end of 2015 it’s estimated that 90% of UK businesses will be using at least one cloud service.

Why are so many businesses moving to the cloud? It’s because cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefits…Here’s ten of the best.

1. Flexibility

Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. (more…)

The evolution of Ransomware

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Ransomware has been dominating the news for several weeks, and is likely to stay in the news for most of the year.  Ransomware is a distinct type of cyber attack, in that it extorts payment from the victim in exchange for allowing access to something that was encrypted in the attack.  The most prevalent type of malware used in this kind of crime is ‘crypto-ransomware’, which normally encrypts the files on the compromised system, and then demands a ransom in return for the ability to decrypt and recover the files.  The latest iteration of crypto-ransomware is called Locky, and is the most advanced version of ransomware we have seen in the wild.

Ransomware isn’t new; the first piece of ransomware was distributed via 5 1/4 floppy drives through snail mail back in 1989 (pdf).  It wasn’t very successful, but criminals obviously recognized the potential of generating revenue through extortion.  (more…)

Is Your MSP A Trusted Advisor?

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Many times I’ve heard managed service providers claim to be the trusted advisor to their customers. This has been said so often that I wonder if we’ve lost sight of what the phrase really means. Have we diluted its true meaning?

In the context of existing customers, trusted advisor may or may not be reality. This means, existing managed services customers fall into two categories: those who view the MSP as a trusted advisor and those who do not. Why would an existing client not view the MSP as a trusted advisor? A) The client once did hold the MSP in this regard but no longer does, or B), the client never trusted the MSP but went ahead with the relationship anyway.

If You Are Trusted, You Don’t Need To Say It!

The trusted advisor is a status between the MSP and the customer. (more…)

Save Time and Money with Pulse Managed Service

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If there is one thing most small businesses can agree on is that time equals money. Small business owners are in a position where they have to be a jack-of-all-trades, often spending most of their day wearing different hats. This is the nature of the small business and while expected is not always the best way use of time. In order for a small business to be successful and remain competitive in an industry, there must be designated time for the owner to focus on growing and building the business. In many cases small businesses fail as a result of being unable to handle emergencies or other situations that are simply beyond the control and expertise of the owner.

Any business that relies on technology, which covers almost every business operating today, (more…)

Does your business have a Business Continuity Plan?

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Disaster can strike at anytime and in most cases with little or no warning. While we may be able to predict certain weather systems or anticipate general problems such as power outages, for the most part it is almost impossible to know when a disaster will strike. To protect your clients and your business in the event of an emergency you must cover all the basics before disaster strikes. Both managed service providers and the companies they support should have a business continuity plan (BCP) as well as a disaster recovery plan to contain the damage that results from man made or natural disasters. Here we discuss the need for such a plan and what you can do to ensure your business stays up and running following an emergency.

Understand the need

Many companies are so busy in the here and now they fail to think about the “what ifs” that could be right around the corner. When the sun is shining brightly and everything is working in tip top form, it is easy to overlook the need for a business continuity plan. (more…)

Small Businesses, Big Collaboration Needs

I have worked in the communications industry for over 20 years and never before have I been so excited by the amount of change I am seeing. Change can be scary, but it also brings new opportunities.

One of the topics I hear about most is new business models enabled by digitization. It seems that every industry is being disrupted in some way — some more than others, and some faster. Every business I speak to is worried about:

  • Who will be the next new entrant to their market?
  • How they will be disrupted?
  • What market shift could catch them off guard?

(more…)

The Importance of Network Security

Determining the strengths and weaknesses of your business’s network is the first crucial step in ascertaining what you need to maintain functionality, establish reliable backups, and increase security.

A large security threat is present in the existence of unknown devices attached to your network. Unknown devices might be as harmless as an employee’s iPad, but as dangerous as a skilled hacker. Your network’s security protects more than just your bandwidth. (more…)