Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Securing your virtual environment

Securing Virtual Cloud Environment

Odds are your IT environment is somehow engaged in virtualization — either directly in your data center or indirectly via the service providers you’ve engaged.

But how much have you — or your IT people — thought about virtualization security? This matters more than you may think. One Gartner analyst has estimated that 60% of virtualized servers will be less secure than the physical servers they’ve replaced.

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Think it can’t happen to you? Think again

Target with a cluster of bullet holes around the bulls eye.

Two kinds of security threats have emerged of late that need special attention, even if you’re running a small enterprise: Targeted zero-day attacks and advanced persistent threats.

Targeted zero-day attacks
Microsoft’s recent Internet Explorer security flaw (see my last blog post) is a fine example of a zero-day attack. The attackers got their edge from speed, since reactive countermeasures that depend on threat signatures — such as patching and tools like antivirus software and intrusion prevention — couldn’t be updated fast enough to halt the flaw.

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The importance of IT security vigilance

Importance of Managed IT Security

Last September 18th, Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security warned that nation’s population not to use Internet Explorer because of an IE security flaw “is already being used for targeted attacks” designed to lure users to an infected website which, when visited, allows hackers to take control of the user’s computer. Soon after, the Swedish government issued a similar warning.

Even worse, Microsoft was not immediately able to fix the problem. First came a temporary patch, said to be less that complete.

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Essentials to business disaster preparedness — #5: Test your plan and review it often

Why Test your Business Continuity Plan Frequently?

Business continuity plans aren’t worth a whole lot if they don’t work. And you cannot know whether or not they work unless you test them.

So that’s my fifth step toward business disaster preparedness: Test your plan — often.

Testing your plan frequently is essential. Change has a way of sneaking up on organizations, and those changes can disrupt your carefully laid plan to overcome disruptions. Fortunately, the right service provider will include regular testing in the price of your service.

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Essentials to business disaster preparedness — #3: Make a business continuity plan

Business Continuity Planning

By definition, no event that interrupts your organization’s operations is trivial, so when it comes to preparing for disaster that might impact your business IT, you need a plan that addresses all emergencies that could disrupt your business. To create an effective plan, you’ll need to:

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Data Center Shopping: Dig Deeper

Data center discussions inevitably come around to the issue of standards. And while I agree that standards, like the recently released SSAE 16, are good to consider when you’re data center shopping, you should never rely on a facility being “in compliance” as the exclusive determinate for your selection.

Standards should be the place where you begin your search. After you’ve checked off the boxes that ensure compliance with whatever standards your industry requires, dig a bit deeper.

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9 features to look for in Cloud HD video conferencing

Capabilities to Look Out For in a Video Conferencing Solution

The bad old days of video conferencing — when systems were complex, clunky, and costly — meant that a video conference happened only between two expensively-equipped conference rooms that left participants feeing disconnected from the conversation. Average participants (read: not those in the top executive suite) needed to reserve the video conference space, so meetings were rarely spontaneous.

Not surprisingly, video conferencing remained niched. Regular people (read: not top executives) found that video conferences were simply more trouble than they were worth.

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What would make you try a video conferencing solution?

Advantages of Cloud Based Video Conferencing Solution

As more and more workers function remotely and as travel budgets continue to shrink, the need for quality video conferencing from any device located anywhere has increased dramatically.

And yet the high price of hardware combined with the complexities involved with operation and maintenance have rendered traditional video conferencing solutions impractical for many, if not all, organizations.

It’s all been too costly to scale, too dependent on expensive QoS networks — and the need to reserve resources in order to conduct successful meetings has created far too much hassle.

What’s needed? Well, to begin with, a video conferencing solution has to be high-definition. It should be able to span mobile, desktop, room systems, and immersive telepresence environments. It should be easy to dynamically scale to changing business requirements and adapt to growth. And, of course, it should be simple to use.

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And now for the how of developing web and mobile apps

mobile application development icons

As I pointed out in my last entry, the ability to field web and mobile applications is quickly becoming a business necessity for even small enterprises.

If you’re lacking the substantial developer expertise needed to accomplish that — and most smaller and midsize organizations are — than your best option is to search out an accomplished web/mobile app development services provider.

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The why and how of developing web and mobile apps — first, the why (and just a teeny bit of how)

Need for Developing Mobile and Web Based Apps

The numbers are more than impressive: 4.8 billion mobile handsets currently in use — and 19% of those are smartphones, up 2% from just last year.

Then there’s the Internet, which now claims some 2.2 billion users, 1.3 billion of whom access it via some sort of personal computer (desktop, laptop, ultrabook, netbook, tablet).

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