In our last article, The Ping: How Does a Network Work?, we explained that a network “….allows all your devices to communicate and share data/resources with each other, either wirelessly or wired in a secure environment.” A Switch is the core of this environment. Switches allow the computers on your network to talk directly to one another. What if you want your computer to get to the internet or another network? You need a router for this. A router “routes” data from within your network to and from outside networks like the internet. If you’ve never heard of a router you’re not alone. Most small to medium sized businesses do not use plain old routers any more. Instead they use the routers more sophisticated cousin, the Firewall, to do the same job.
So your company is growing and you need to increase your workforce, but what is the best way to do this smoothly and efficiently? The first thing to do is put together a checklist to ensure your new employee has the best onboarding experience possible. This promotes not only a good impression on the employee, it establishes an impression of organization and investment in the employee’s future.
Last week we addressed the importance of implementing a Disaster Recovery plan under your own Business Continuity program. And as we mentioned previously, this is a necessity under most, if not all, compliance requirements. The next question is, do you know what it means to maintain compliance?
Last week we talked about the importance of keeping your machines upgraded on scheduled intervals. This not only helps your company save time and money, but also keeps your employees happy with efficiently running machines. While this does help keep your company functioning smoothly, what would happen if a disaster were to strike and take down all business–critical devices or software? Could you say at this very moment that you are prepared for a disaster?
Last week, we were speaking of cloud services and how to choose the correct one for your organization. Ensuring you choose a company that covers all your compliance and disaster recovery needs is an important part of the process. Replacing hardware and software on a regular basis is equally important. Having up to date hardware and software can help keep you safe and keep your employees happy. The easiest way to ensure that your hardware stays current is to create a replacement cycle.
What is unique about a city or local governmental organization? Services must be tailored to a local government’s unique needs. Governments are subject to a strict budgeting process that generally can’t be altered throughout the fiscal year. Any additional items not on these budgets, in which costs exceed a specific price point, are subject to a bidding process; sometimes this can take place even before being finalized in the budget. Furthermore, all items are subject to an open records request. We realize that this month we’re talking about a very specific set of customers. That does not mean non-city customers should set your alarm for August 1st and tune out for July. We consistently write our articles so that they contain helpful information that anyone can utilize in order to help make your organization a better and more efficient workplace.
By now you should have trained your employees on what an attack might look like. Now what? Training an employee is half the battle. Not only do they need to know what NOT to do, they need to know what TO DO when a challenge presents itself. Next, employees need to be aware of internal changes that could directly impact them or their environment, and what to do in case your company does fall victim to an attack. One might call this a Security Plan…
Now that you know what EOL (end of life) means, let’s discuss what that means to your business. Previously mentioned in The Ping: End of Life, allowing end of life software on your network can leave you susceptible to malware and allow your company software to lose the ability to obtain updates and upgrades on either a server or desktop platform.
With every Microsoft product you purchase there is a known EOL, or End of Life. Simply put, it’s an expiration date for your software or licensing. The most common reason is due to advancements and/or changes in technology that lead to your current purchases becoming obsolete. That is not to say that the software or devices that you recently purchased aren’t advanced for their current life cycle, but at one time we also believed that Windows 95 was so advanced we couldn’t imagine we would ever need a new operating system again. Fast forward to 2019 and we are 8 OS versions past Windows 95 with Windows 10.
So you might have heard the buzzwords “2FA” or “Multi-factor Authentication” thrown around a lot lately. The use of 2FA has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Apple has started prompting their users to activate this more advanced form of security. Your child’s Xbox Live account is now also prompting them to activate and use 2FA. Software you use at work, particularly credit card processing software, may also require card access or a 6 digit code. So that begs the question: what is multi-factor authentication?