Without These Tools, Your Network Isn’t Secure
- Published byadmin
- December 7, 2017
Your business might have a limited budget, but this shouldn’t hold you back from implementing the best and strongest security solutions. However, security isa complicated process for any business. This is problematic, especially since common threats and vulnerabilities show up frequently in the business environment. We’ll walk you through some security basics so that you can optimize your organization’s protection.
First and foremost, the basic tasks of security tools can be accomplished through the use of preventative solutions found in a Unified Threat Management (UTM) device. A UTM includes a firewall, antivirus, spam blocker, and content filter, allowing you to reduce the number of threats your business is exposed to and prevent hacking attacks entirely.
Firewalls are generally considered the bouncers to your business’ network, as they keep track of the traffic that flows into and out of it. This keeps harmful threats from entering and causing trouble, and keeps dangerous traffic from spreading to other parts of your network. You can then isolate and destroy any threats that are identified as problematic. Most computers these days come with a consumer-grade firewall pre-installed, but you don’t want to rely on these for your business’ security. An enterprise-grade firewall found in a UTM can be just the thing you need to keep your network secure.
While your firewall is busy keeping threats out of your network, the antivirus will be the force responsible for quarantining and eliminating any that do slip past the defenses. Antivirus programs scan your computer for any abnormalities, and then take action to eliminate them.
Spam is something that even the average PC user will encounter, as these messages in your inbox waste your time and threaten the security of potentially important information. If you don’t take a preventative stance against spam, it could bother your employees and trick them into clicking on the wrong links or attachments. Spam is the preferred method of travel for threats, as it’s easy to hide malicious code in embedded links or images, as well as attachments. With spam protection, you can keep these messages from getting to your inbox in the first place, saving you the time and effort required to comb through it for threats.
If you have some employees who can’t seem to keep themselves off of social media or YouTube, how do you keep them on task? The best solution to this is a content filter, which allows your organization control over the website users’ access on the Internet. This also allows you to keep your employees from accessing sites that contain malicious, dangerous, or distracting content, allowing you to get more productivity out of your workers while maximizing security.
To take your business’s security to the next level, consider a UTM solution. To learn more, reach out to Catalyst Technology Group at (317) 705-0333.
Why Your In-House Email Server Probably Isn’t Worth The Trouble
- Published byadmin
- August 25, 2017
Most businesses rely on email in at least some capacity. Nowadays, organizations often choose to outsource the management of their email servers, including their hosting, to other organizations, most notably cloud providers for ease of use. Here are some of the benefits that you can gain from switching your in-house email management to a cloud-based email server.
It’s Less Expensive
If we asked you how old your exchange server is, would you be able to fit the number of years on one hand? There is a fair-enough chance that it’s an older piece of hardware, which means that it inevitably costs more to run and maintain. Older technology tends to break down more often, and it can quickly become an asset sink in the long run. Not only is it an expensive approach to email management, but it’s also an outdated practice. Why host your email server in-house when you have so many great cloud providers like Microsoft and Google that can accomplish the same task in a better way?
Control Is a Non-Issue
Having an in-house server comes with more control, but this is something that is constantly changing. Cloud-hosted solutions often come with many customization options. Additionally, you’re protected against the problems that could arise from having a physical server unit. Think about a power outage or a fire, for example. A cloud-based email server can continue running even when the conditions for an in-house server unit aren’t ideal.
A cloud email solution also comes with various protections against online threats, like viruses and malware. Since email is such an important part of any business venture, it must be isolated from other parts of your infrastructure so as not to jeopardize your network.
Less On-Premise Infrastructure
Your employees need constant access to data, including email. While each system is responsible for one particular goal, progress can come undone if even one of these systems fails to function properly. If your email server encounters trouble, it needs to be fixed, as communications could be halted. This could lead to miscommunications and work not being done properly, causing tasks to be repeated and time being wasted. Thanks to the cloud eliminating many of the components found in the traditional in-house infrastructure, you’ll be able to keep it as simple as possible. You won’t miss maintaining multiple hardware solutions on a day-to-day basis.
Does your business need a hand with email server management? To learn more, reach out to Catalyst Technology Group at (317) 705-0333.
Tip of the Week: Dynamic Lock Isn’t Perfect, But It’s A Start
- Published byadmin
- August 16, 2017
You’ve been told that it’s a best practice to ensure that you never leave your workstation without locking it first. Yet, if you’re only stepping away for a few minutes, it might be tempting to just allow it to remain unlocked. But what happens when you step away for longer than expected? You leave your computer exposed to all manners of threats. Thankfully, a new solution allows for a fix with a device that most are never without: the smartphone.
This trick lies in your computer having the Windows 10 Creators Update installed, which lets you connect your phone to your PC through Bluetooth. This helps your PC automatically lock itself when the two are separated. Thanks to a piconet, a type of short-range radio wave network that keeps Bluetooth devices working properly, this security measure is possible. Of course, the strength of the piconet will determine how far from your PC the device can be before the computer locks.
This Creators Update can help you create a piconet between your desktop and phone, which keeps Dynamic Lock from activating. If you remove the phone from the piconet’s range, Dynamic Lock will lock your computer to keep unauthorized users from using it.
Just keep in mind that Dynamic Lock is far from instantaneous. The device needs to be out of range, and the computer needs time to register that the connection has been severed. Only then will Dynamic Lock activate. Keeping this in mind, it’s still more secure to implement Dynamic Lock than leaving your computer unlocked all the time.
How to Set Up Dynamic Lock
To pair your phone to your PC, you want to confirm with your IT department that it won’t be an issue. Just reach out to them before following this procedure.
First, enable Bluetooth on your mobile device that you want to pair with your PC. Open Settings and access Bluetooth & Other Devices. Next, click Add Bluetooth or Other Device, which will prompt the Add a device box.
Once you’ve done this, select Bluetooth. Windows may take a moment to find your device, but once it does, it will prompt you to confirm a code that displays on both of your devices. Once you’ve done so and click Done, you’ll be brought back to the Bluetooth & Other Devices page in your Settings, where you can see your connected device.
Select Home and navigate to Accounts, where you’ll want to select Sign-In Options. You’ll find Dynamic Lock, where you check the box called Allow Windows to Detect When You’re Away and Automatically Lock the Device. Restart your PC to make sure the settings have been changed, and you’ll be all set. The only thing left to do is try it out!
For more great tips and tricks, be sure to subscribe to Catalyst Technology Group’s blog.
The Fallout From Data Loss Isn’t Pretty
- Published byadmin
- June 22, 2017
Data loss: it’s not a fun term for any business to hear. However, when one considers all of the ramifications that data loss can have upon a business, it swiftly transitions from “not fun” to “alarming.” Have you taken the time to think about what losing your business’ data would really mean for your company?
There’s a reason that ‘downtime’ is considered a dirty word in an IT professional’s vocabulary. A loss of productivity is quite literally the opposite of what a company’s IT solutions should deliver. However, if a data loss incident were to occur without any mitigating measures in place, downtime is essentially guaranteed–along with all the negative consequences that it brings along with it.
These consequences include the financial impact that downtime will have on your business directly. After all, your business will not be able to generate revenue throughout the downtime incident, which means that the total amount you would have otherwise earned can be considered a cost. Combine that with the financial amount it takes to return to operations, as well as the potential business that has now been lost due to the downtime incident, and the sum total quickly becomes considerable.
Of course, when considering data loss, the “why” needs to be established. If the answer involves your data storage being compromised by an outside party, you need to consider what data was lost. If it just so happens that personnel records were breached, exposing your employees’ personally identifiable information, or your customers’ financial data, you will almost certainly have some major problems on your hands.
Look at it this way: would you trust a company that had allowed your personal data to be stolen, putting your livelihood and good name at risk? In fact, would you trust a company that had allowed anyone’s personal data to be stolen? Probably not, and guess what? Your potential clients and customers feel the same way.
Whether they’re an existing client whose data was breached, or a prospect who heard about your issues with data security, there’s a good chance that they will lose any faith in your ability to protect their information. Therefore, existing clients will jump ship, and prospects will quickly turn to other options. Perhaps worse, those who were affected by your data loss will likely vent online, preventing many from ever approaching your business afterwards. While there are ways to mend fences with these clients, they are all expensive.
Clearly, data loss is something that no business is truly prepared to experience, which is why we’re here to help prevent it. To learn more about how Catalyst Technology Group can help protect your company’s data, give us a call at (317) 705-0333.