Over the decades of the internet’s existence, cyber threats have evolved at a rapid pace. When once there were only viruses and malware to watch out for, now you have to protect your business from worms, trojans, ransomware and dozens of other online threats. But what’s the difference between all of them? Let’s take a look. Here are four of today’s most common cyber threats and the tips you need to protect your business from them.

Malware is the short version of the word malicious software. And this is a general term that encompasses many types of online threats including spyware, viruses, worms, trojans, adware, ransomware and more. Though you likely already know this, the purpose of malware is to specifically infect and harm your computer and potentially steal your information.

But how do the different types of malware differ from one another? How can you protect your business from them? Let’s take a look at four of the most common forms of malware below.

Virus

Like a virus that can infect a person, a computer virus is a contagious piece of code that infects software and then spreads from file to file on a system. When infected software or files are shared between computers, the virus then spreads to the new host.

The best way to protect yourself from viruses is with a reliable antivirus program that is kept updated. Additionally, you should be wary of any executable files you receive because viruses often come packaged in this form. For example, if you’re sent a video file, be aware that if the name includes an “exe” extension like .mov.exe, you’re almost certainly dealing with a virus.

Spyware

Just like a spy, a hacker uses spyware to track your internet activities and steal your information without you being aware of it. What kind of information is likely to be stolen by Spyware? Credit card numbers and passwords are two common targets.And if stealing your information isn’t bad enough, Spyware is also known to cause PC slowdown, especially when there is more than one program running on your system – which is usually the case with a system that’s infected.

A common mistake many people make is they assume their antivirus software automatically protects them from Spyware. This is not always true as some antivirus isn’t designed to catch spyware. If you’re unsure if your antivirus prevents Spyware, get verification from your vendor. And for those that are already suffering from Spyware infestation, two programs that work wonders to clean it out are Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware. If you are still unsure what to do, reach out to one of our IT experts.

Worms

Similar to viruses, worms also replicate themselves and spread when they infect a computer. The difference, however, between a worm and a virus is that a worm doesn’t require the help of a human or host program to spread. Instead, they self-replicate and spread across networks without the guidance of a hacker or a file/program to latch onto.

In addition to a reliable antivirus software, to prevent worms from infecting your system you should ensure your firewall is activated and working properly.

Trojan

Like the trojan horse from ancient greek mythology, this type of malware is disguised as a safe program designed to fool users, so that they unwittingly install it on their own system, and later are sabotaged by it. Generally, the hacker uses a trojan to steal both financial and personal information. It can do this by creating a “backdoor” to your computer that allows the hacker to remotely control it.

Similar to the other malware mentioned above, antivirus software is a dependable way to protect yourself against trojans. For further safety, it’s wise to not open up suspicious attachments, and also ensure that your staff members aren’t downloading any programs or applications illegally at the office – as this is a favorite place hackers like to hide

Curious to learn about other common malware that can cause trouble for business owners? Want to upgrade your existing network security system? Give us a call today, we’re sure we can help.

investing2As a small or medium sized business owner, you likely have your hands full. Between managing your staff, looking for growth opportunities and keeping clients happy, you probably have little time to dedicate to new technology purchases. Being so busy, it can be easy to make a mistake when choosing an IT solution. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of common IT investment missteps that every business owner needs to avoid.

Investing in the newest technology instead of the best fit

It’s the job of every marketer to make you believe the newest technology on the market will resolve all your problems. And while the latest cloud or virtualization offering is likely to make things better for many individuals and organizations, it isn’t going to work for everyone.

Don’t let the flash and hype of a new product deceive you. Take the time to think about the results you’re trying to achieve with technology. Make a list of them, and when you’re done match those criteria with the product that fits. A GCInfotech professional will be happy to serve as your consultant to ensure you make the best choice.

Believing everything will magically work together

As technology evolves, it is inevitably becoming simpler to use. Consumers want user friendly products and solutions that are easy to implement, and nowadays that’s what they’re getting – at least most of the time. Because of this belief that all products are going to be plug-and-play, many business owners hold the misguided assumption that any new technology they implement is automatically going to synchronize with their other IT. It is simply not true.

Though many technologies are compatible with one another, your business is taking a big risk – that could result in massive downtime and wasted money – if you implement a new tool that doesn’t integrate well into your current system and workflow. Be smart, do some research or consult with a GCInfotech professional before making a purchase.

Assuming your team doesn’t need support and training

Now that you’ve found the perfect fit technology and you’re sure it will integrate into your current IT setup, you go ahead and purchase it. You let out a sigh of relief as you kick back and let your sparkly new IT solution power your company to new levels of success and profits in a SMB “happily ever after” fantasy. Sound too good to be true? That’s probably because it usually is.

Don’t forget that not all of your employees are going to instinctively know how to use the new technology. Consult with GCInfotech to review their support and training offerings for your particular technology solution.

Forgetting to create a budget

More and more IT solutions are packaged with pay-as-you-go monthly pricing. While this is a great way to help you avoid large upfront capital investment, if you implement too many different technologies too fast – and without thinking about the recurring costs – you could quickly run out of money before having properly created a complete technology platform.

Think about what you’re comfortable spending on IT before you open your wallet. Do some research, and either draft a budget on your own or acquire the assistance of a GCInfotech consultant to help you along.

Failing to get staff input

It’s wise to consult with the employees who will be using the new technology you implement, on a daily basis. It’s even wiser to do it before you purchase it.

The truth is that not all of your employees may be on board with the new product. They may actually even know some downsides to it you weren’t aware of. Regardless, it’s smart to consult with them beforehand, or you may find yourself in a constant fight getting them to adopt it.

Get a Single Source for all your Needs

Starting with your investment in new technology, and continuing through desktop services, cloud computing technologyremote IT solutions, remote disaster recovery, outsourcing disaster recovery and managed infrastructure services, GCInfotech is the one source you can count on for all of your support requirements. Because we can work on all aspects of your information technology, we can develop an end-to-end perspective to meet all your business computing needs-and thereby offer you better, integrated services than single-solution providers.

GCInfotech can help you take full advantage of your investment in a new technology solution, whether you’re just beginning the process of adopting it, or facing the challenges of upgrading, maintaining, and optimizing a system that’s already in place. Find out how with a complimentary consultation from GCInfotech.

Please contact us for more information or call 888-323-3066 to speak to our IT experts right away.

 

 

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org.  SOURCE

 

If you’re thinking about moving your business information and sticking it in a cloud, here are five overview differences between using a private or a public solution.

2256d98d-2325-4215-968c-ebb49b113f4b

It used to be that getting stuck in the clouds was a bad thing–it meant you were a day dreamer or lacked motivation and goal orientation.

Today, it means something very different. Being in the cloud is about how you store your business data and information–from client files, to sales data to marketing videos. And, at its simplest, there are two types of data storage clouds: public and private.

“Traditional endpoint management and security, which requires installing an agent in every server and virtual machine, is no longer practical in a cloud environment as virtual machines can be dynamically created without any administrative involvement or access,” explains Symon Perriman, Vice President, Business Development at 5nine Software, Inc. “Management needs to be automatic and immediate, and abstracted from the end-user so there is no dependency on the client to configure security, or concern that they will accidently or deliberately disable protection. By leveraging a cloud-based infrastructure with management and security at the virtualization host level, administrators can make the correct decision when evaluating space, flexibility, access, price and security.”

There are a few differences related to price, security and convenience. If you’re thinking about moving your business information and sticking it in a cloud, here are five overview differences between using a private or a public solution.

Space. Private clouds require hardware that your company owns and runs. That means a demand of physical space, as in storage. A private cloud system may also require that where it lives physically–the room–be secure and climate controlled. If your business is already stretched for space or you have concerns about security, for example, a public cloud may be a better option.

Flexibility. By owning your own, private cloud, you have much more control and flexibility over what systems connect to it, what data is on it and how your team interacts with it. While many public cloud services try to offer customizable service options, no menu of options will compare to your own custom designs and features.

Access. The factors in private vs public clouds related to accessing your data are similar to the flexibility points. There’s just no better option for 24/7 access than having your cloud in the building and literally down the hall.

Price. In almost every scenario, a public cloud will be less expensive than buying, storing and configuring your own hardware. Even if you’re thinking about moving a metaphoric ton of data to a shared cloud system, it’s likely still cheaper to use a public provider–even one that charges by data use and storage.

Like all business investment, though, buying your own system becomes cheaper over time. Think of it like the difference between renting and buying. If you don’t have the money up front, renting (public cloud) is the only and best option. But buying (private cloud) is a longer run, better investment.

“If you go down the public cloud path because of the lower entry costs,” Says Jeff Erramouspe, CEO of Spanning, “there likely will become a point where it is cheaper to switch to a private cloud and manage the infrastructure yourself. That point is different for different types of applications, but you should prepare for it upfront by modeling your costs and evaluating the cost structure of your public cloud provider vs. managing a private cloud. Many people run in a hybrid public/private cloud model while making the transition, and some will never give up the public cloud for some functions. But that’s the great thing about the cloud–it’s flexibility.”

Security. The pros and cons of data security in a public vs private cloud are mixed. On the side of a public cloud, big cloud solution providers spend a ton of time and money on security–they are up to date on the latest threats and fixes. And big providers usually have their data on backup to backup servers all over the world, making you less vulnerable to a local power outage or winter storm.

“We find that for common applications and services (such as email, web sites, backup, hosted desktop and hosted VoIP), a public cloud service can meet the needs of most organizations,” says Bill Dykema, ITsavvy’s Vice President. “When requirements start to drive an organization towards a customized offering, or when security or compliancy concerns start to enter the discussion, it often drives the need for a private cloud.”

On the other hand, public clouds are bigger targets for hackers who may not even be after your data. And it only takes one knucklehead from Omaha to violate security and your data could be at risk.

As for the security of private cloud, it’s literally in your hands. On the plus side, your security profile is lower–unless your work for the NSA, it’s unlikely too many people are after your data in particular. And you and your IT pros can set firewalls and protections to fit your needs.

The downside of private, owned cloud systems, as it relates to security is exactly the same. If you or your team messes up, there’s no going back. You won’t have professional IT and security experts on call like a private provide should.

There’s no “right” call on the decision to go to a public or private cloud solution. It will take some real research and time to make the right decision for you and your needs. So shop around, talk to experts and price your different options. While the decision isn’t irreversible, it is important.

Time to Get Your Business into Cloud Computing Services? GCInfotech is your Cloud Computing Company Servicing NYC, CT and NJ. With our IT Support, it’s a simple, cost-effective and totally scalable IT infrastructure that also provides 24/7 support as part of a monthly program. Using the power of the Web, our cloud computing management services provide the IT hardware, software, and data backup you need to keep your your company running safely and efficiently. Contact GCInfotech cloud professionals today.

Published with permission from INC.com.SOURCE