We’ve talked a lot about what you can do on a smaller scale to keep your home and personal IoT (Internet of Things) devices secure, but what about your home network? While it might not seem like it, your home has its own network infrastructure. Most people assume that if their network is up and running and they can connect to the internet, then everything is okay. Like your car, assuming that it is running fine is not the best way to handle it. You need to maintain your network and check up on it regularly. So you are probably asking, what exactly does that entail?
It is probably safe to say that the majority of us carry around some type of smart device. Whether it is an iPhone, Galaxy, Pixel, Note, or Jitterbug, these devices play a huge role in our daily lives. We use these “phones” more for interacting with the internet than to talk, on the phone, to real live people. We routinely access almost all of our personal information including email, social media, and even confidential information such as banking or business from them. Not to mention our phones often act as the “remote control” that gives us the ability to control the smart devices in our IoT (Internet of Things) network (i.e. lightbulbs, garage doors, security systems, etc.). What’s true is that most of us have setup a screen unlock code or pattern to access our devices, apps, and data in an effort to secure our information. We also rarely let it out of our sight in order to feel like the information is safe, but that’s really not the case.
With the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life a personal assistant surely would come in handy, right? While this may not be fiscally responsible, maybe a voice assistant would be. In our last article, The Ping: Voice Assistants, we discussed how a voice assistant can manage a lot of your needs. Things such as the weather for the day, the traffic to work and your grocery list. However, sometimes just managing your house is what you need the most help with. Are you aware that they can do that too and what they are really managing?
The beginning of a new year is a good time to review the hot topics for 2019. To cloud, or not to cloud? What’s to be gained by moving to cloud platforms, such as Microsoft’s Office 365? Let’s review…
*Special Alert* – Apple FaceTime Bug
Occasionally news crosses our desk that immediately make us want to forward it to friends and family as a warning. This is one of those…
What is the problem?
“A significant bug has been discovered in FaceTime and is currently spreading virally over social media. The bug lets you call anyone with FaceTime, and immediately hear the audio coming from their phone — before the person on the other end has accepted or rejected the incoming call. Apple says the issue will be addressed in a software update “later this week”.”
Cybersecurity starts first, and foremost, with people. Even with a secure perimeter, the people using the network can introduce risks to the environment. Teaching your employees what to look out for and where their responsibilities lie are the first steps to closing the security gaps and lessen the chances of your business falling victim to a vicious attack.
Working remotely may seem rather quick and easy. You head on over to your local coffee shop, order your triple-shot, half-caff, no foam, extra hot latte and sit at your favorite table in the corner. You double check to make sure no one is looking over your shoulder, pop open your laptop and get to work. Right? Well, it’s actually a little more complicated than that. Staying secure in a non-secure work place comes with some much needed extra steps to keep your company data away from prying eyes.
Do you currently have VoIP or contemplating getting VoIP? VoIP is a finicky technology to set up. If not done correctly, you can have all sorts of quality issues with the service. Before we go over some technological symptoms of VoIP being set up incorrectly, let’s first define what VoIP is. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol which is voice calls are going to be traversing the Public Internet as data packets (emails and surfing the net are data packets). This method is not your traditional phone service going over copper lines and is rising in popularity in today’s business landscape.
If you have VoIP and you are experiencing call quality issues such as echoes, dropped calls, voice sounding mechanical, delayed dialogue, and dialogue cutting in and out then chances are, the type of Internet connection is the issue and you probably have a Public Internet connection such as DSL, UVerse, Cable, or Wideband. There are many factors that affect call quality in a Public Internet Access. The following link describes Latency, Jitter, and Packet Loss and how it affects call quality with VoIP calls:
http://www.dslreports.com/faq/12257 (or on following pages)
Public Internet Access is not the correct vehicle for VoIP because the internet cloud levels for Latency, Jitter, and Packet Loss are too high. The best vehicle for VoIP is MPLS. Below is a link on MPLS technology and VoIP:
MPLS is the technology behind our privately owned IP Backbone and it is a Telephone Company technology only – not Cable’s. It is not only a labeling technology which allows us to recognize and prioritize certain data packets, but it rides on our private backbone which is provisioned to control the threshold of Latency, Jitter, and Packet loss (controlling these thresholds are also known as Quality of Service or QoS). Therefore keeping these levels low enough to not affect call quality. We cannot control these levels or recognize CoS (prioritization of data packets is called Class of Service or CoS in our industry) in the Public Internet Cloud. AT&T has the largest IP backbone not only in the US but the largest in the world and therefore your VoIP calls will be going across this “Private Pipe” instead of the internet – the correct way to handle VoIP to maintain call quality and integrity.
There is a common misnomer that increasing bandwidth will address the VoIP issues. There are much more to VoIP quality than bandwidth. Bandwidth may mask the underlying issue and is like a finger in the dam if you experienced these symptoms. Please remember, at the end of the day, increased bandwidth on Public Internet access is still going across the Public Internet. If you are experiencing these issues and still are even though you have increased your bandwidth or you are contemplating going to VoIP and are interested in learning more about MPLS, please reach out to me and we can set up a time for a consultation.
LINH NGUYEN (WINN)
Senior Fiber Specialist – Fiber Solutions
AT&T National Business
Mobility (Cell phones, Plans, Business Applications, etc.), Wire Line Solutions (Basic Office Lines, T1’s, Fiber, MPLS, Hosting/Collocations, Cloud Computing, etc.), and Cyber Security (Network Security: Premise & Network Based Firewalls, DDOS+Intellectual Property+Customer Data Protection, Vulnerability Scanning, Endpoint Security, Prevention Consulting, Monitoring, Detections, Threat Management, and Incident Response and Forensics)
Email: [email protected]
In our last post we talked about the Pros and Cons of moving your systems to the cloud vs. keeping them in your office.
As you can see, it can really be a toss-up. Some systems are better kept at your office and some should be moved to the cloud. It really depends on your business’s current and future needs.
How nice is it to come home to a well-lit house and the cool A/C on a hot summer day? Smart devices seem to be the easy fix for the little things in life with all of our busy schedules taking up so much of our time. While some of these devices are being put into place to help keep our homes secure, we might be inviting more danger in without even knowing it.
Recent studies have found that almost any Tom, Dick or Harry can hack a smart device within 30 minutes. All they need is access to the internet and the make and model of the device in question. “Using these devices in our lab, we were able to play loud music through a baby monitor, turn off a thermostat and turn on a camera remotely, much to the concern of our researchers who themselves use these products.” – Dr. Yossi Oren