Monthly Archives: August 2012

Maintaining Network Security

Maintaining Network Security:

For many companies, network security is necessary to achieve compliance for PCI, HIPPA and other regulatory requirements. Keeping your computer and wireless network secure is a good policy to protect your company’s critical data. Without proper network security, your network may be vulnerable to computer virus and malware attacks and unauthorized access by computer hackers. Here are five tips to help you maintain network security.

Audit Network Regularly

Performing a periodic network scan may identify unauthorized computers and other devices that may have connected to your network directly or via wireless access. Your properly configured network, firewall, routers and wireless access points will prevent unauthorized intruders, however, regular audits ensure compliance to your network security policies.

Keep O/S Patches Up To Date

Your network is as secure as its’ weakest link. Make sure all PCs are up to date with Operating System O/S security patches. This helps prevent computer viruses and malware from exploiting your operating system and entering your network.

Keep Antivirus and Malware Definitions Current

In addition to your O/S patches, confirm that your Antivirus and Malware definitions are up to date. This further protects your PC from exploits and helps maintain the security of your network.

Establish Policy for Mobile and Wireless Devices

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a trend providing employees the benefits of using their mobile devices at home and in the workplace. Employers are relieved from the burden of having to purchase additional mobile devices, such as tablets and PCs. It is important to ensure these devices maintain the same security standards of company owned desktop and laptop computers.

Check Firewall Security Settings

Ensure your company is protected from the latest hacker attacks, worms and viruses by checking your firewall security settings. Confirm that all firewall patches are up to date, use strong passwords and enable encryption to further protect your passwords and network. Periodically scan your network and check firewall configuration to safeguard that you do not have any unnecessary open ports.

Many small businesses do not have the internal IT staff to keep up with the demands of maintaining network security. Ask your IT Professional about monitoring your network today.

Considering the Cloud For Backup

Considering the Cloud for Backup?

Many small to medium business (SMB) owners are turning to online backup or remote backup, generally referred to as cloud backup, as a top way to take advantage of cloud computing. According to a recent survey by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), most companies turn to the cloud to cut costs and reduce capital expense. Because of the advancements in internet bandwidth, combined with the economies of scale from the cloud, remote backup can be a reliable, affordable and practical solution for most SMBs.

When you evaluate cloud backup, here are a some things to consider:

Security and Compliance

There are public cloud and private cloud options available to meet your security and compliance requirements. If you need to comply with PCI, HIPPA or other regulatory requirements you may need to rely on a private cloud solution. This means your data is physically separated from other companies storing their data in public cloud alternatives. If you require a private cloud solution expect to pay more.


This leads to us to the topic of cost of cloud backup. There are a wide range of affordable options for cloud backup. Most cloud backup solutions charge by the amount of data stored. This makes them easy to compare. Office documents and spreadsheets are easy to compress and take up less space, as compared to, images, photos and data bases. Depending on the amount of data you are backing up in the cloud, you may incur additional charges for bandwidth. You may also need to consider the costs of a network upgrade and additional internet connectivity, if you are expecting to backup large amounts of data.

Service Level Agreement

Make sure you or your IT professional review the service level agreement (SLA) for your backup vendor closely. Some cloud backup vendors will guarantee uptime and availability and refund any fees at a multiple, if they lose your data. Other backup vendors do not warranty in the event of a data loss. Expect to pay more for a solid SLA with your cloud backup.


The reason you backup your data is for recovery. Rapid recovery depends on the size of your data, proximity to the backup data store and bandwidth. File recovery or file sharing may not be as big an issue as a disaster recovery scenario. Some cloud backup solutions offer to ship an image of your entire system to rapidly restore your data, so you don’t need to recover across the internet. This may seem like it will take longer, but this may be as fast or faster than trying to recover large amounts of data across the internet. Premium services may provide complete business continuity services including dedicated hardware in the cloud to get you up and running even quicker.

Cloud backup is a great way to take advantage of the cloud. Depending on your business needs and budgets, there is a right solution for you. Contact your IT service provider to find out how you can leverage the cloud in your business.