Advantages Of Using A VPN

The term ‘VPN’ stands for a virtual private network, and it enables you to surf the web in a private and anonymous way. Through IP masking, encryption and encapsulation of data, it creates a masked tunnel which makes tracking your online actions almost impossible for internet providers, search engines, advertisers, and site owners.

Are you thinking about finding a virtual private network provider? If so, here is a list of benefits for utilizing one.

It Masks The User’s Internet Protocol Address To Offer Privacy

An IP (internet protocol) address is something that identifies the device you use to browse the web in a unique way. The issue is that it is possible to trace whatever you do online back to that internet protocol address. This applies to all Google searches, all websites visited, products/services purchased, hyperlinks clicked, comments on social networking websites, and so on.

A virtual private network masks the IP address of yours to help make it impossible to track your online actions. This is among the main perks of a virtual private network. For this, it helps connect to the web through a web server situated in another nation or gateway city that masks your internet protocol address. A VPN can mask the IP address so that the place you are in, your identity, and the things that you do online will remain private.

It Protects Private Data When You Are On A Public Wireless Network

It is dangerous to utilize a public wireless network in a restaurant or airport without a virtual private network. Even though you connect to it with a password, it is risky to do so. With some knowledge, hackers could just read, intercept, or steal your data easily. Some of the data at risk of being hacked can be call records, electronic mails, sign-in details, passwords, and chats.

A virtual private network encrypts the web traffic in encapsulated packets, thereby making a secure tunnel for the data. With it, third-parties are highly unlikely to see your data. In other words, it helps to keep the data confidential.

It Enables Accessing Geo-Restricted Web Content

Whether you reside in a nation that does not permit streaming videos, or you’re traveling abroad, just know that you can bypass the related restrictions. Just utilize a virtual private network to spoof the IP address of your device and bypass the regulations that ban watching the content.

Imagine that you are located in Australia. It is possible for you to connect to an American VPN server from there for an internet protocol address based in the US. This makes it look like your location is in the United States of America, thereby allowing you to stream domestic TV programs and films.

It Can Bypass Censorship

Several nations enforce unfair internet censoring. For instance, China’s government outlaws Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, and Instagram. On the other hand, several VoIP-based solutions, such as WhatsApp and Skype, are outlawed in some Middle East areas.

In the event you visit or are in a nation that has enforced censorship on online content, utilizing a VPN could aid in bypassing the regulations and accessing VoIP solutions and anything on the internet. Just subscribe to a VPN solution before going to that nation as VPN download websites are frequently forbidden in the these nations as well.

It Allows Booking More Affordable Flight Tickets

Web-based travel brokers and air transport service providers manipulate flight ticket rates. A less-popular advantage of utilizing the VPN network is that it could help to book more affordable flight tickets according to where you are located geographically.

For an affordable ticket, connect to a server situated in a nation where the price of services and goods essential for keeping an average living standard is lower than that of your country. For the least possible rate, compare the prices with more than one nation-based VPN server. This advantage is possibly there in the case of booking restaurants and rental vehicles.

You May Use It Whichever Wi-Fi Hotspot Or Network You Are On

A virtual private network does not need a given Wi-Fi connection or network to work. After setting up a VPN service on your device, you will be able to utilize it over whichever network you want. This applies to your workplace-based network or residential network, plus any hotspot and provides an extra layer of privacy and security, plus a great feeling of being protected.

It Is Usable With Virtually Any Electronic Device

It is possible to utilize a VPN service with a laptop, computer, smartphone, and any other type of mobile device. This makes using it easier and more convenient. Better yet, certain service providers enable customers to connect many devices under a single plan, which helps to cut costs and offers multipronged protection.

After learning about these advantages, you might want to consider getting a VPN service. You can try to discover more things regarding how to find one that suits your requirements.

How Businesses Can Support Their Customers In An Uncertain Time

In what way can a small-to-medium-sized business support customers when it is in a state of uncertainty? SMB leaders must stay more flexible, plus understand the feelings and requirements of their customers more than before. SMBs that offer services, such as salons and restaurants, are interacting with customers through the internet and they are establishing websites that have the facility to book appointments or buy gift cards. Other plans of action to think about are policy changes such as expanding cancellation-related grace periods or refraining from enforcing change fees.

When it is not possible to meet customers in person, you must make support available through mobile software, electronic mail, or your website. Chatting with them through a video conferencing or instant messaging platform will possibly offer a greater sense of community in the time of social distancing.

Nowadays, to support or help customers means to treat their safety and health as being important. So share with them whatever hygiene- and health-related protocols that you follow through an electronic mail or signboard at the front of your shop. Inform them that you and those who work for you follow every local and state ordinance.

Most Effective Procedures For Sharing Information With Customers Through Social Networking Channels

Be thoughtful of the feelings and rights of customers. They may be taking to social media more frequently to chat with their loved ones and to be informed about the latest things going on. A recent study reveals that individuals were investing 20% extra time in applications at the time of the coronavirus pandemic-enforced lockdown. Sharing supportive content and positive pieces of news will aid a small to midsized business in staying visible in the social media feeds of customers. Take part in your customers’ day without coming across as trying desperately to minimize the unease many of them may be feeling.

Finally, keep a close eye on any message that customers send to your organization or any reference that they make to it on social networking websites. You must also pass on important pieces of information related to your business such as reduced working hours or closures.

In What Way Should An SMB Adapt To The Changing Behaviours Of Customers?

With the global pandemic still posing a threat, every business must be ready for customer behavioural changes and tweak the strategies accordingly. Social distancing norms are established, so several customers still seek ways to buy things on the internet in order to remain safe and expose themselves less to public spaces. Therefore, this is the perfect time for physical shops to set up an e-commerce website. Present e-commerce stores have to prepare for a spike in sales, plus make customer support personnel ready to deal with the grown demand.

It is possibly difficult for small to midsized businesses to consider tweaking long-term plans, particularly with news changing every day, so they may go about this process gradually and steadily. Remember, the things you do presently may vary on the basis of your customers’ and organization’s requirements. For instance, temporarily stopping some projects or lessening budgets are deeds that a leader might have to think about to continue operating their small to midsized business.

Resources That Aid SMBs In Staying In Touch With Customers

More and more entities are coming forward to give monetary help to small to medium-sized businesses. Facebook said that it would offer $100 million in grants, and Google announced $340 million as advertising credits, to aid those businesses in staying connected with their customers and sharing key updates. With more businesses coming forward to support others through free offerings or lessened cost, small to midsized business leaders must seek resources that could aid them in staying engaged with communities and customers.

A number of individuals have launched GoFundMe webpages for donations to the small organizations of their preference. Some who operate Atlanta-based restaurants have made similar attempts to support the welfare of the communities that they cater to and the people they employ. This may be an onerous period but seeing how people are coming forward to assist SMB workers and owners is motivating. It strengthens the idea that all attempts to help one another will be useful for a considerable amount of time.

Launching A Tech Startup In 2020? Know About The Key Factors To Consider

Launch of a tech startup calls for a celebration for all the people involved, as the startup would definitely be the result of a long duration of hard work and planning. Launching a tech startup in 2020 is challenging than ever as the whole world is threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence you cannot simply just hurry off into launching your tech startup without studying the current market situation and possible challenges.

Here are some of the factors that you have to consider in order to launch a tech startup in 2020.

Building The Right Team

The primary idea of the startup might be yours but that does not mean that you can do it all on your own. You would need an efficient team if you want to see your dream come true. At times, you may be tempted to head off alone, but realize that it is going to be a daunting task and that you may find it extremely tough.

Your team members including the co-founder and the development crew must work according to your vision, all while making their own contributions to the project. The right team resembles multiple moving parts of a machine that work towards a common goal. As all of them are on the same page, they will have a clear understanding of the deadlines that should be met and milestones to be covered in order to make a successful launch.

In order to work as a team, you need an efficient structure that keeps things moving forward. There should be a formal business plan and efficient project management tools.

Time

After all, it is a tech startup that you are going to launch and it is not going to happen overnight because it requires adequate planning and testing. It is advisable that you start small and give time for your idea to evolve gradually. That does not mean that your team should not go for bold moves. You should have the willingness to adapt to the changing industrial environment, innovations in technology, and growing demands.

Start with a technology that addresses a specific problem without stressing yourself out trying to develop something that addresses a wide range of problems. User Experience plays a crucial role in deciding the success of your app. Consider the UX before starting to write the code.

Realize that key parts of your business will fall into place only if you are ready to wait patiently. Take for instance the case of HookedUp that started in 2018 as an online project idea and later evolved into an app. It is through the advancements in design, it transformed into a social networking app. Have an open mind and wait for your original idea to develop into something different and more advanced.

Financial Support

Strong financial backing is quintessential in launching an app in 2020. You will need competitive and expert coders and developers who can produce a streamlined app with a smooth user interface. This would mean that you have to invest quite a sum in human capital.

There are multiple ways available for raising capital like using an equity crowdfunding platform, SBA loans, angel investors, or your friends and family. You will need money not just to launch the initial form of your startup but also to progress to the next step.

Staying Updated

Technology never stays stagnant. Instead, it changes continuously where new ideas take shape with changing demands. Every day new tools and platforms are being introduced into the market. Studying the pace and volume of these changes is crucial for the successful launch of a startup.

It is necessary that you catch up with the latest technology to decide whether or not to include it in your platform. It means that you have to invest a significant part of your time and effort in research and development. You have to find the right balance between the expectations and the functionalities that you can offer. The ideal team constantly keeps track of the technological advancements, all while focusing on the key tasks that should be completed in a time-bound manner.

Businesses Must Start Prioritizing People To Prosper During A Changing Time

Leaders are going through a stage where their businesses are changing. They must decide on how they wish their future of work to look like. Specifically, what they want technology to achieve and whom they want to invest their time in.

There is one future where data will be the lone important thing and where data collection programs will solve every issue or activities with data will be automated. There is another, more emphatic future in which the preferences, requirements, and unique capabilities of individuals will be made more credible properly.

Leaders have to choose the second kind of future because the current situation fails businesses and their workers in the following ways.

  • The deification of technology has caused the so-called ‘last mile problem’ to continue. In this situation, processes are stretched across a continually-growing number of isolated and limited (purpose-wise) applications, plus work settings cannot run end-to-end. This results in the kind of inefficiencies that cause businesses an estimated loss of around 20% to 30% in revenue yearly.
  • The prioritization of technology to the point of worship has caused businesses to lose much of their happiness. Workers invest more hours in filling the gaps that technological limitations have made as compared to reaping the benefits of the functionality of it. Therefore, they feel more and more underutilized, detached, and disheartened at workplaces.
  • The systems and processes made nowadays are far from being flexible because the applications that people rely on are not holistic with regard to scope. As a result of this, their processes usually work under certain conditions alone. When these conditions suddenly change, like due to disruption in the market that makes people work remotely, their processes cease to function.

Businesses are expecting to have a world where individuals are treated as the most significant resources. Workers should not be made to invest considerable time in finishing such intense clerical tasks that affect normal thought. Instead, they have to be authorized to perform the things they carry out in the best way, which means high-leverage activities they are employed for. Studies reveal that those who think they are well-supported feel happier and more encouraged.

Engaged workers, on the other hand, have a positive effect on the net profits of businesses. As per the research company named ‘Gallup,’ businesses reporting higher worker engagement are at a state of yielding 21% greater profits.

Similarly, people are the best resource available to leaders to confirm that their businesses stay agile. Workflows and processes that are important to a company’s functioning and that are built just on top of technology, exist and break down with the related tech. When applications start to fail, businesses go down. Anyhow, your company is adaptive when systems are strategized around what individuals require to prosper, and those systems are built to let them keep thriving, despite conditions changing. When workers must perform tasks from their residence, you should not worry in the event you account for this in your technology, business continuity plan, and operation-related strategies.

The fact is that tech alone cannot be the most useful resource for your business. Rather, you have to utilize technology to empower individuals who work in your business. They are more important than everything else, especially when they have the soft skills that cannot be replaced. Some of these skills are the capabilities to think when doing something else, problem-solve in an innovative way, and working together for progress. Individuals make growth easier to achieve, letting business leaders set their ethos and products/services apart from the competition in a meaningful way. Successful businesses have mostly acknowledged the role individuals play in this regard.

Then again, things will keep changing, so the future will be all about adapting to the changes and continuing to do what you have been best so far. You should not assume that you have a sufficiently stable foundation; instead, you have to make the best use of your resources to be adaptable.

There exists a way to achieve that with certainty. When designing your company infrastructure, you must not consider which technology solution you require to accomplish a particular result. Instead, you should think about the things your workers want to prosper.

Tips On Software Testing As Part Of Quality Assurance

Software testing refers to the process of evaluating a software program, to know whether it has the quality and complies with predetermined requirements. Through testing, software professionals aim to single out and correct mistakes at an initial phase. It is a significant aspect of QA (quality assurance) and an essential element of software development. Now, let us discuss some tips for testing and quality assurance.

Have A Quality-Centric Business Philosophy

The philosophy of a software development company will determine how well (or bad) the development process will be. The developing software’s quality has to matter to the company, and this is something which top-quality work is based on. It takes time to produce fine code and correct bugs, but software testing is beyond an element associated with the service for which money has to be spent. It is a useful investment too, as faulty software is much costlier and does not go down well with users.

Know The Importance Of Quality

Your team of software developers must know how important it is to build a top-quality software program. The developers also have to know the effects that program errors might have for a business, especially on the applications that are critical to keeping it running.

The initial step of QA begins with programming, which has to do with incorporating a fine software concept and software design. With the right approach and top-quality coding, it is possible to prevent consequent errors and other issues in an easy way. Bug fixing has to be a smart and clean solution, rather than a temporary way of dealing with an issue. Albeit it takes slightly longer occasionally, temporary solutions that do not address underlying issues can be elsewhere in improper places.

Remember That QA Is No Stage

Neither quality assurance (QA) is the first link in software development, nor is it the final link. QA is among the steps in the continuing agile software development process. Software testing occurs in every single version of a software program, and the components of development will be executed only after testing. So, it has to be there as a standard and continuing element of daily software development.

Identify And Define All Your Requirements

Before starting software development, it is important to define the quality criteria and requirements of the to-be-made program. This must be done because every developer and stakeholder has to understand what program should be developed. Besides, another reason to do the aforementioned is that it allows bringing together many different ideas concerning quality and requirements.

As per ISO 9126, software quality aspects are categorized into requirements namely functionality, usability, reliability, maintainability, portability, and efficiency. The software testing professional have to check quality criteria and each of the aforesaid requirements. The results have to be conveyed early by means of fine documentation so that any errors that occur in development can be fixed early enough.

Have Dedicated Staff For Testing

Software testing has to be allocated to one who is devoted to this task. This assures that software testing is performed in a professional manner with focus, not casually. Testing is beyond clicking through a to-be-made software program; a cheap workforce will not replace it. Every strategy, standard and guideline should be followed in testing. Automated testing must be done as a general rule. Every relevant test has to be part of the process from the get-go and implemented without interruption. Only dedicated professionals can offer the experience and expertise necessary in methodological testing.

Use Automated Testing

Test automation is common these days. Automatic equipment has to do around 80% of all software tests. It is very helpful to have automation for standard tests that have repetitions or the ones that are not easy to perform manually.

Automated software tests can be divided into the following.

  • Unit tests
  • Integration tests
  • Component tests
  • GUI (Graphical User Interface) tests
  • Acceptance tests

However, testing everything through automation is impossible. For instance, testing related to the usability of software cannot be done using automated tools. So, manual testing has to be a vital part of SQA (software quality assurance).

Ensure Good Communication Among Team Members And Stakeholders

An extremely significant aspect of software quality management is communication. It is possible to address, reconstruct and correct software bugs only through good documentation. Besides fine communication in a team of software developers, it is also essential to have fine communication with customers. For instance, not communicating fresh specifications early enough, could just cause more costs and major delays in the software development project. Feedback has to be a frequent aspect of SQA to keep the team and customers updated on the present state of the development project.

Ensure There Are Values To Be Had For Everyone

Everybody who takes part in the software development project has to know the advantages of both testing and quality standards. If customers exit a software-based platform, like an ecommerce website, for instance, what would the repercussions and expenses be? That customer action could bring about considerable revenue loss for you. This is reason enough to put money and resources into building top quality software programs.

Finding product errors and defects allows identifying and resolving issues for both developers and customers. So, customer concepts like prebuilt design should be improved. When the concepts do not work in software usability testing, especially for mobile phones, the tester will be able to tackle the issue in time. Designs can then be tweaked, and thereby, any loss of revenue avoided.

Not knowing testing and quality requirements tends to mean a resource shortage. There could not be anything worse than interns or unqualified personnel replacing professionals or testing being canceled completely.

Keep Improving And React To Any Change

Continuous betterment is the key in the agile software development process. The same goes for software testing.

Methods and tools for software testing to guarantee quality constantly keep emerging. If a project’s criteria changes, tried and tested processes will not go well with those requirements and can no longer be utilized together. So, testing professionals have to keep learning about new techniques and tools, plus scrutinize present processes frequently. For this, the following are useful.

  • Sharing knowledge among company teams and testing professionals; and,
  • Discussing strategies, trends, issues and their possible solutions in conferences and groups.

The aforementioned helps in adapting and optimizing software testing and other processes, efficiently.

Use Fine Testing Tools

Tools are important especially for automated testing. Besides well-structured processes and work methods, testing professionals must use the tools that help to streamline their work.

Debunking the Most Common Cybersecurity Myths

Even though small businesses belong to a varied group, most of them have a few things in common. For instance, they all want their businesses to thrive as soon as possible. Secondly, most small-business owners depend on their websites to market their brand and build a reputation for their company in the industry in order to draw more customers.

The problem is that with the developments in technology, cybercriminals are becoming more evolved too and they can easily find new ways to infiltrate into the network of small businesses. This can put the sensitive data of the company at great risk and could lead to many kinds of potential losses.

While many small-business owners try to learn how to stop such threats, most of them get confused with the many myths about cybersecurity and the best practices to be followed. Below are some of those misconceptions which all small businesses should be aware of so that they can protect their company data in the best way possible.

Small Businesses are Not a Target of Cybercriminals

Many budding entrepreneurs presume that their company is too small to be a potential target of cybercriminals. However, being a startup or a small business does not remove their site from the list of appealing ones to hack into. In fact, small businesses can be more attractive targets for some cybercriminals because they will not have in-house security experts or a robust cybersecurity solution installed. A recent report even highlighted that around 43% of cyberattacks happen to small-scale businesses. The results of such attacks can be devastating.

In order to protect your customers and company’s sensitive data, you need to take proactive approaches to cybersecurity. This means that you should invest in a reliable and comprehensive cybersecurity solution for your business, which offers the same level of protection that is provided to large organizations with lots of data. This will help protect your website data efficiently.

Your Data is Not Worth Stealing

Some small businesses believe that because they are not collecting any payment details, they do not have the data that is worth stealing for a cybercriminal. However, payment details are not the only kinds of valuable customer information that cybercriminals target. Online hackers can target even personal identifiable information like the names, email IDs, and user account credentials.

When cybercriminals have the personal identifiable information data, they can use it to inject malware into your customer accounts or emails for further gains. They can even sell the personal identifiable information on the dark web for creating phishing schemes or tricking people to provide their banking details and credit card information. Cybercriminals can also use the data for ransomware attacks and withhold stolen details unless the user pays the specified amount.

Antivirus Software is Enough to Keep you Safe

A few small-business owners think that having a traditional endpoint security solution will be enough to protect their websites from cyberattacks. However, consumer-level antivirus software or firewalls are not enough to secure your business website. Cybercriminals can easily break into the system and steal the data even if you have such solutions in place. Therefore, you should adopt a more holistic strategy to boost cybersecurity. This means incorporating multiple layers of security for your business data and securing all points of entry.

Antivirus software applications usually detect threats that are in the form of executable programs or macros that run within other programs. However, cybercriminals these days can break into web applications too and install malware to compromise the security of the system. This can cause significant data loss, which sometimes happens even without the user recognizing it. Traditional antivirus programs cannot detect such threats either, which puts your websites exposed to cyberattacks.

You can install automated website scanning solutions to counter such threats. This will go a step further than your traditional endpoint security system and scan the data files and website database for malware. You can even choose a security solution that automatically fixes the vulnerabilities found in the web application.

External Attacks are the Only Cybersecurity Threat

There is no arguing the fact that external attackers are a grave threat for businesses. However, there can be some internal risks too. For instance, the team members of your company can pose significant security risks via many types of ignorant errors. In fact, reports say that around 60% of data breaches happen due to employee errors. This means that you should educate your staff about the cybersecurity measures that you have taken.

Employee training on cybersecurity should be done at least once a year. These annual sessions can include how to identify a phishing scam, how to use a password manager to generate unique and more secure passwords, and how to use a VPN when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. That will ensure that you stay safe from the internal risks of data loss.

Things to Consider Post Cloud Migration

There can be numerous benefits of migrating to the cloud, like scalability, improved efficiency, simplified management, business agility and lower costs. Cloud migration can be considered the start of a digital transformation for businesses, and enables organizations to quickly adapt to the changes and latest technologies. It is important in today’s changing business landscape to be able to adapt to the changes in technology quickly. For these reasons and many others, it’s estimated that about 83% of the business workloads will be in the cloud storage by the end of 2020.

As per the experts in cloud storage, the desire of businesses to transform digitally is the driving factor for increased cloud adoption and engagement. The introduction of cloud services has changed the way information technology is consumed and delivered, which has allowed companies to reach great innovation levels. While there are many important benefits for cloud migration, there are also many challenges that businesses face after migration.

Moving the infrastructure to critical applications is a decision that businesses do not take lightly. Once the decision is made, the planning and execution of the shifting should be thoughtfully done considering the best options. However, many businesses regularly fail to take into account post cloud migration considerations which should have been done prior to migration. These considerations should be incorporated to the overall plan of cloud migration. Failure to do so can result in problems with underutilization, increased risks, confusion among employees and many more.  

Below are some of the cloud migration challenges that businesses might come across and should be prepared to handle.

Underutilization and Unbudgeted Charges

Once the migration is completed, it’s important for businesses to follow proper steps to make sure they get the most out of the cloud solutions. The agility and flexibility offered by the cloud based solutions can be very beneficial to businesses. However, it should be managed and controlled to keep issues like underutilization, increased risk, unbudgeted costs, and compliance at bay. You can follow the tips below to prevent these issues from happening.

  • Identify various benchmarks and define targets in the important areas like cost, RPO/RTO, availability, and compliance.
  • Establish business governance with continual monitoring and measurement, combined with periodic management review and oversight. In addition, operational and historical data should be maintained.
  • Employ ongoing and proactive optimization of cloud across different tiers like cost. For instance, proactive provisioning and planning to make use of the inherent flexibility of cloud storage services using features like scheduled applications, autoscaling, and environment health checks. It also includes buying reserved instances, leveraging automation and DevOps to monitor actions and environments. The actions can include division wide consolidated analysis and billing, shutting down unwanted or unused instances.
  • Educate yourself on how outsourcing to managed service providers can help you save on costs and resources.

Management of Operational and Organizational Changes

The biggest challenge might not always be technology. It is usually the processes and people that need to adapt to the technology. Employees from various departments should be involved and engaged in the migration tasks, right from the beginning, even though the degree and type of the activities will vary. Managing change, consistent with the other shifts in IT is important for a successful transformation to the cloud storage services. If you focus only on technology, it can lead only to poor results.

Executing applications in the cloud can change the responsibilities and roles of many people across teams. This includes human resources, compliance, and legal and can start new positions like DevOps engineers, cloud architects, and security professionals. For this reason, it is important for the leadership to offer proper education, ongoing training and messaging to make sure that all the employees are completely enabled, comfortable and capable doing their daily things.

Testing

Testing is a very important step in the journey to cloud migration. Proper testing in place can help avoid unwanted or unexpected gaps in scalability, business processes, database errors and server breakdowns. Above all, having proper testing in place will ensure that all the applications run seamlessly in the new environment.

Downtime

Having proper security and monitoring practices will ensure that the downtime is very low. With these measures, downtime will not be much of an issue, but should be considered a challenge that businesses should be prepared to confront. As per the results of a study conducted on downtime, it can cost businesses an average of 5.6K dollars per minute.

Businesses can consider adopting multi cloud or multi location environment to avoid outages. There should be adequate backup, disaster recovery, and availability strategies in place. It’s always better to have workloads across varying locations, as it can add resiliency and cut down the downtime risks.

Security

Data breaches and thefts are occurring at a very big rate and the risks that are associated to protect and guard data are legitimate. It can be nerve wracking for businesses to offer the control of proprietary and sensitive data to a third party. To get rid of security concerns after cloud migration, you need to make sure that the cloud service providers offer user identity management, secure authentication, and access control. When functioning in a hybrid cloud environment, it’s important for the team to focus on the physical security of the complete database and the environment.

Practicing secure data storage is a necessity, as most of the data breaches and violations are caused by either human errors (unintentional or intentional) or due to a failure in identity and access control, data storage and data management security. Moreover, those businesses that select a public cloud provider should understand that the security standards have increased much in the last years. Security inside the public cloud should involve partnership between the user and the service provider. This means that it is very much important to have good understanding on the ownership areas for security.

In the case of public cloud storage systems like AWS, the well accepted and recognized security model is a shared responsibility model. In this case, the service provider is the one who is responsible for making the cloud secure. This includes hardware, physical infrastructure and software, whereas the customer will be responsible for all system security above platform, data, applications, operating system and network traffic. Customers should be able to find out the best ways to handle post migration responsibilities. For instance, they can use procedures, tools, and managed service providers who have experience in cloud services.

You need to understand that migrating from legacy infrastructure to the latest cloud storage is a serious transition. But, if the businesses have an idea of the potential challenges after the migration beforehand, they can be prepared to take the necessary actions and steps to prevent it. Planning out the migration process and coming up with a timeline designed to find and fix the problems quickly when they arise can ensure a smooth transition.

Why You Should Consider a VPN for Your Business

The technology field is developing tremendously every single day. This has paved the way for working remotely allowing employees to better manage their work-life balance. Note that nowadays, people can work from their home or any remote area they prefer. There are many people who log on during their transit as well. All that is required for this is an appropriate device and a reliable internet connection.

According to some studies conducted in the field, professionals feel that they can be more productive when enjoying flexible time shifts or working out of their regular workplace. Even though working from other locations or home is a great way to increase the productivity of your company, it comes with its own risks. Note that connecting to the client or company data over an unsecured device or network can pose major threats to your business. Unfortunately, this is one of the major scenarios that occurs at companies boasting working remotely or time shifts.

Most people tend to use their personal devices for both private and professional business. Without any doubts, logging in with a public network using your mobile phone or other personal devices will create weak links in the cybersecurity of your enterprise. This can attract cybercriminals. Thankfully, there are ways to tackle this issue. One of the simplest and cost-effective measures for this is a Virtual Private Network or VPN.

What is a virtual private network?

VPN is one of the best innovations in the technology field that will let a person create a secured network connection even if he/she is using an unsecured home Wi-Fi setup or a public network. In this case, the data that can be easily hacked by cyber culprits otherwise will be encrypted even before your public Wi-Fi or internet service providers can see it. Then, the data is sent to the destination from a virtual private network server without being clubbed with the information of your device.

Note that even if a hacker tries to check out the data you are sending or receiving thru a VPN, they will be able to see only the encrypted data rather than its raw counterpart. This way, you can provide an extra layer of protection to your client and company data against cyberattacks when your employees are working from remote places.

The significance of VPNs

The cybercrime rate in the business world is on the peak these days. In fact, ransomware attacks leading to the destruction of companies have become a common issue nowadays. Note that DDoS and malware attacks are reported to be the most popular and common methods used by hackers to sabotage a company. You will be amazed to know that the United States of America is one of the countries that holds a top position when it comes to security breach issues. The country witnessed thousands of ransomware attacks resulting in data loss and huge ransom demands in the past few years.

Furthermore, cybercriminals are most likely to attack small businesses because of poor security measures since it will be easier for them to steal the data. Plus, startups will pay the ransom without much bargaining if possible since they will be more focused on expanding or growing their business. Sadly, business owners who run small establishments often overlook the significance of VPN networks making the task even easier for hackers. According to some studies, the average cost that small businesses in the US had to pay for cyber attacks range from $84000 to $148000.

When it comes to the UK, the monetary loss suffered by small organizations in 2016 alone because of the data breach is around £29 billion. Nevertheless, some sophisticated hackers may target established business enterprises as well. After all, no business is small for an online culprit to exploit. To avoid this, make sure to rely on a VPN and secure your servers and network using anti-malware or antivirus software.

Implementation of VPN

Fortunately, it is easy to implement or use virtual private networks in addition to being cost-effective. Hence, this is a great choice for all the organizations out there that do not have a dedicated IT department or an IT specialist. However, make sure that all your staff is transferring data over VPN networks so that there will be no gaps in your defense. For this, give strict instructions to your employees and ask them to install VPN software on devices such as a home computer, laptops, etc., that they use to perform professional tasks.

Additionally, check whether your team requires a mobile app version of VPN for checking emails or other necessary information on the move. In case you don’t want to deploy a VPN on the devices of almost every employee in your company, make a clear rule regarding who can access client and company data at first and act accordingly. For instance, if your team use to work from home using their laptop, make sure that he/she uses the same deceive rather than their tablets, mobiles, or any other devices even when working from other remote locations.

Other security instructions

Even though VPN is one of the best ways to tackle online sabotage, it is not the only tool that you may rely on. Note that your staff can easily create gaps in your defenses by opening a malicious email attachment or using poor or default passwords. To avoid such silly yet grave mistakes, give proper training to all your employees on cybersecurity as well as the aftermath of a successful attack.

If you are running a small business and cannot afford to put an IT expert on the payroll, take care to focus on factors such as using strong passwords, installing antivirus and anti-malware software on the devices, performing regular scans, preventing and tackling phishing attacks or any other threats, etc. In short, craft a perfect security policy for your company and make sure that all your employees adhere to it.

Essential Skill Sets To Look For In Network Professionals

When you run a business that requires IT assistance, it is always better to hire a skilled IT team or a specialist to handle the task rather than outsourcing it. Furthermore, when you hire an IT professional, make sure that the person is an expert in three areas; thorough knowledge of IT infrastructure, cloud management, and budgeting process.

Traditionally, network professionals used to look after areas such as server placement, network throughput, security firewall, device management, etc. However, with the development in the technology field, more and more companies are now embracing the concept of edge computing. Hence, an IT specialist must be a veteran in areas such as IT architecture and data management as well. In fact, these are the main skill sets that you must look for when hiring a network professional.

Thorough IT infrastructure knowledge

Mobile devices, the internet of things, and the initiatives like manufacturing 4.0, etc., are demanding more network knowledge to run a business successfully. As a result, you will have to either scale up your network to accommodate all the tasks or segment and partition a bigger network into a series of smaller networks to work in a specialized manner. However, you are likely to be wondering about questions such as will these networks ever integrate or at what point will they engage with each other and transfer significant data?, what kind of data can be exchanged among these networks?, who can access the information?, what are the security measures employed?, etc.

In fact, these are the most common and popular questions that an organization is likely to face when it comes to networks and IT infrastructure. Note that an IT professional can easily solve all such questions by getting involved in the whole IT infrastructure development process. For this, they must start interacting with DBAs and application developers in the company from the very beginning phase of system and business process design.

In short, the network experts are expected to go much beyond the traditional router, server, UPS backup, cable, and network device configuration with the introduction of edge computing. In other words, network professionals require a better understanding of business processes and enterprise systems so that they can efficiently work alongside application developers, system programmers, DBAs, and other employees who play a role in developing or designing the IT infrastructure.

Cloud expertise

There will be hardly any company that does not rely on cloud services these days. Hence, the network knowledge of your staff needs to be expanded beyond your organization. Rather, it must include bandwidth constraints and data exchanges including cloud-to-data and cloud-to-cloud exchanges and communications. Your staff must also be capable of making choices when it comes to which system needs to be operated internally and the ones to be installed on the cloud.

This decision making includes network requirements and factors such as network security, backup, and performance. For this, the professionals must have in-depth knowledge of both wide-area and internal networks. Plus, they must be capable of dealing with cloud service providers and external telecommunications that plays a key role in keeping the networks secured and running.

Be a part of the budgeting process

Traditionally, network managers used to perform a major role in budgeting when internal and wide area networks are involved. However, the budgeting process needs to be expanded with the introduction of IoT, cloud, edge computing, enhanced network roles, etc. For instance, if you want to automate a company, the IT experts are expected to work alongside application developers to design an appropriate automated system. Note that this task does not only involve server and software design costs but also network expansion costs. The system and network professionals must be capable of scaling out both the budget and technical requirements of the enterprise.

The bottom line is that when you hire a network professional, make sure to consider someone who boasts thorough knowledge of IT infrastructure, cloud management, and budgeting rather than just the network side. Otherwise, provide on-site job training to your existing employees. The latter will be a better choice since the employees will be able to handle a broader set of responsibilities this way as they configure, support, and design networks.

How Millennials Are Redefining the Office Space

The growth and innovations in the technology field have allowed or encouraged people to think in a personalized and minimalistic way. Hence, the modern generation that has taken over the business world is now using the technology to redefine the way the workplace was pictured traditionally. Whether it comes to setting up a common area in the company, enjoying a cup of organic coffee while working, featuring ergonomic chairs, millennial employers are embracing all such trending ideas.

Thankfully, the days when people dreamt of a 9-6 stable corporate job the featured a hampered office space decorated with fake plants and other formal stuff are long gone. In simple words, the world is changing towards a hybrid, versatile, and most importantly, a multi-functional work life. Startups are contributing more to this transformation making this innovation way more revolutionary and trending. Below are some of the amazing points regarding why and how millennials are redefining their workplace.

Great Expectations

Gen Z and millennials always boast an incredible desire to redefine their work style. They always try to balance their work and life perfectly rather than giving priority to the former, unlike traditional employers. In simple words, career success is determined on all fronts and modern employees will not have to sacrifice their life goals for this.

Similarly, productivity is not measured based on the results instead of the amount of time an employee spends in the office. In this case, company staffs are no longer tied to their office desks. Rather, they can enjoy flexibility by choosing to work from their home or any other remote places they prefer. Needless to mention, all credits for this productive working style go to the innovations and development in the technology field.

Co-working spaces

Another attraction that the millennials and gen Z are introducing are co-working places. This is a great choice for all the startups and small companies out there since the employers can rent a small office space and share it with another company. This way, you can enjoy the experience of an office space but at minimum cost and fewer responsibilities. Plus, you will not have to commit to a lifelong or long-term office contract. Do you know that there are more than 11000 co-working spaces in the United States now, while there were only 14 spaces in 2014. After all, this concept has got a significant number of upsides such as enhanced social interaction, mediate networking, better community building, etc.

Furthermore, most co-working spaces are located in urban areas attracting a higher number of young workers when compared to a traditional office location and setting. After all, office design can pose a great impact on the performance and interaction of an individual. On a related note, office space that features gray color and full decorations are long gone now. Rather, you can find offices with vibrant colors paired with quirky furniture pieces, natural light, and common areas these days.

Reinventing traditional office spaces

However, the above-mentioned points don’t necessarily mean that the conventional office setting is fading or dying. Rather, it is being reinvented to comply with the changing trends so that they can also survive in this competitive digital world. When it comes to traditional offices, their major aim was to accommodate as many employees as they can in their office space to tackle the huge real estate costs. However, this issue can be easily tackled with the options of working from home or people on the move.

In fact, you can find several desks in companies that are not even used these days. This gave rise to hot-desking. In this method, the employees working from the office will take any available spot in their workplace rather than tying themselves to a particular desk.

Nevertheless, employees working from common office areas often suffer from both external and internal noise. To address this issue, most employees tend to use ear buds while working. In fact, many employers have introduced privacy pods to make things easier for their employees that will, in turn, increase their productivity. In short, the modern office or work style is all about ergonomy, flexibility, productivity, and play-work balance.