The cloud allows businesses to take a more hands-off approach to managing their IT resources. And the hybrid cloud is rapidly becoming the most popular option in this category, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Hybrid clouds are a combination of private and public clouds. In the former, data and applications that require tighter controls are hosted either internally or privately in an offsite facility. Public clouds are managed externally by third-party providers with the express purpose of reducing a company’s IT infrastructure.

A recent study indicates that 75% of companies have adopted hybrid cloud solutions, mainly because of their numerous benefits. Here are the four most significant advantages of moving to a hybrid cloud environment.

Adaptability

Having the ability to choose between on-site/privately-hosted cloud servers and public ones let you pair the right IT solution with the right job. For example, you can use the private cloud to store sensitive files, while utilizing more robust computing resources from the public cloud to run resource-intensive applications.

Scalability

The hybrid cloud allows you to “scale up” or “scale down” computing resources on an as-needed basis. So if there are last-minute computing demands that your hardware can’t support, or if you’re planning for future expansion, hybrid cloud solutions allow for on-demand increases or decreases in capacity.

Cost efficiency

Does your business struggle to meet seasonal demands? With a hybrid cloud solution, you’ll be able to easily handle spikes in demand by migrating data from insufficient on-premise servers to scalable, pay-as-you-go cloud servers whenever needed, without incurring extra hardware and maintenance costs.

Security

Last but not least are the security advantages of a hybrid cloud solution. You can host sensitive data such as an e-commerce details or an HR platform within the private cloud, where it will be protected by your security systems and kept under close watch. Meanwhile, routine forms and documents can be stored in the public cloud and protected by a trusted third-party.

Here’s how SMBs can set up a hybrid cloud model based on their requirements and the providers available to them:

  1. By employing one specialized cloud provider who offers comprehensive hybrid solutions
  2. By integrating the services of a private cloud provider with those of a separate public cloud provider
  3. By hosting a private cloud themselves and then incorporating a public cloud service into their infrastructure

Our experts can help you transition to a hybrid cloud solution without interruption and without the huge costs. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits that a hybrid cloud can bring to your business.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Anglers catch fish by dangling bait in front of their victims, and hackers use the same strategy to trick your employees. There’s a new phishing scam making the rounds and the digital bait is almost impossible to distinguish from the real thing. Here are the three things to watch out for in Office 365 scams.

Step 1 – Invitation to collaborate email

The first thing victims receive from hackers is a message that looks identical to an email from Microsoft’s file sharing platform SharePoint. It says, “John Doe has sent you a file, to view it click the link below…”

In most cases, the sender will be an unfamiliar name. However, some hackers research your organization to make the email more convincing.

Step 2 – Fake file sharing portal

Clicking the link opens a SharePoint file that looks like another trusted invitation from a Microsoft app, usually OneDrive. This is a big red flag since there’s no reason to send an email containing a link to a page with nothing but another link.

 

Step 2 allows hackers to evade Outlook’s security scans, which monitor links inside emails for possible phishing scams. But Outlook’s current features cannot scan the text within a file linked in the email. Once you’ve opened the file, SharePoint has almost no way to flag suspicious links.

Step 3 – Fake Office 365 login page

The malicious link in Step 2 leads to an almost perfect replica of an Office 365 login page, managed by whoever sent the email in Step 1. If you enter your username and password on this page, all your Office 365 documents will be compromised.

Microsoft has designed hundreds of cybersecurity features to prevent phishing scams and a solution to this problem is likely on the way. Until then, you can stay safe with these simple rules:

  • Check the sender’s address every time you receive an email. You might not notice the number one in this email at first glance: johndoe@gma1l.com.
  • Confirm with the sender that the links inside the shared document are safe.
  • Open cloud files by typing in the correct address and checking your sharing notifications to avoid fake collaboration invitations.
  • Double check a site’s URL before entering your password. A zero can look very similar to the letter ‘o’ (e.g. 0ffice.com/signin).

 

Third-party IT solutions exist to prevent these types of scams, but setting them up and keeping them running requires a lot of time and attention. Give us a call today for information about our unlimited support plans for Microsoft products.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Making the decision to migrate from an on-site system to a cloud-based Office 365 is easy, but the migration process itself presents numerous security challenges. By covering these essentials, you’ll minimize security breaches and ensure you can enjoy the benefits of Office 365.

Identify your company’s sensitive data…
Most files housed within your servers contain sensitive commercial and personal data that must be properly identified and protected. Do this by conducting a security audit before you undertake your migration.

Your audit should identify the types of data stored in the various parts of your company network, including which specific information needs extra safeguarding. Be sure to consider everything from trade secrets and contract details to the personal information of your clients.

…and then restrict access to it
Once you’ve worked out where your most precious data lies, you can check who currently has access to it and whether their access is appropriate. After all, it’s not necessary for everyone to be able to get at all the data your company owns.

Ensure that each of your employees has access only to the data that’s necessary for them to perform their duties. The great thing about Office 365 is it lets you conveniently set different levels of permissions based on user roles.

Watch out for insider threats
It’s wise to consider everyone in your organization when it comes to auditing data access permissions – and that includes system administrators who may have master access to every element of your network infrastructure.

A rogue administrator is the stuff of nightmares, since their elevated position gives them much greater leeway to siphon off valuable data without being noticed – or even to allow others to conduct questionable business and bypass the usual built-in security precautions. You can mitigate this risk by monitoring your administrators’ data usage and activities.

Use machine learning to foresee security breaches
Every action performed by your staff within Office 365 is automatically logged, and with relative ease you can create detailed activity reports. But the sheer number of events taking place within Office 365 in the course of your business’s normal operations means that even attempting to identify questionable behavior will be akin to finding a needle in a haystack.

That’s not to say it’s unwise to be on the lookout for anomalies in normal usage – the export of unexplainably large volumes of data, for instance, could suggest that a member of your team is leaking intelligence to a competitor, or that they’re about to jump ship and take your trade secrets with them.

To make things easier, machine learning technologies can identify potential breaches before they happen by analyzing large swathes of data in seconds. Graph API is incorporated into Office 365, and allows for the integration of machine learning tools into your security environment to achieve just that. The same tools can also help you avoid being caught unawares by hackers, by identifying system login attempts from locations that are out of the ordinary.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the powerful collaborative features of Office 365 while ensuring the robust security your business demands. To find out more about how we can help your Office 365 migration run smoothly, just give us a call.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

 

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Speculation has been circulating that Windows 10 gathers more info than it should. Whether or not you think privacy lines have been breached, here are some tips to protect your privacy in a matter of clicks.

Slip off the grid

Thanks to location tracking, nearby restaurants and future weather predictions are at your fingertips. While some might not mind this feature, there are others who wish to enjoy some privacy from their smartphones every once in a while.

To turn it off, launch the Settings app, tap Privacy, and disable the Location tab. If you wish to share your location with certain apps, scroll down and activate the ‘Choose apps that can use your location’ tab and choose your desired apps.

Say goodbye to ad tracking

Every time you surf the net, you leave a trail of breadcrumbs that lead directly to your online profile. This problem is easily solved by deactivating ad tracking. Windows 10, however, goes a tad further by using an advertising ID, which gathers information based on web browsing usage and whenever you use Windows 10 apps.

To take care of that, launch the Settings app, go to General, look for “Change privacy options,” then move the slider from on to off. If you want to make sure you have no virtual stalkers, head to choice.microsoft.com/en-us/opt-out and disable the “Personalized ads whenever I use my Microsoft account” tab.

Disable Wi-Fi Sense

This feature is designed to let you easily share Wi-Fi connections with specific users, but hackers can misuse it to log on to your network without your permission. To disable it, launch the Setting app, go to Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > and click on Wi-Fi Sense. From there, deactivate two bars: “Connect to suggested open hotspots” and “Connect to networks shared my contacts”.

Cortana, why so clingy?

Albeit helpful, the digital assistant Cortana requires access to your personal information. But you can stop her from collecting data by logging in to your Microsoft account and clearing all the information Cortana and other Microsoft services (ex. Bing maps) have gathered.

You can also clear the information in your interests section or head over to the “interest manager” tab to edit the interests you want Cortana to track.

More privacy options

All of these tips are easy to follow and will take only five to ten minutes to implement, but if you like to make very detailed adjustments to your system’s privacy setup, launch the Settings app and go to Privacy.

We hope you find these five privacy protection tips helpful. If you need more help protecting your information or securing your network, give us a call.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

 

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Technology is there to make things easier, not harder. That’s why you need an IT partner that can support your technology while you focus on your business. Law firms are no different. Successful firms know that their time is best served helping their clients. With the average bill rate of $300+ per hour for lawyers in the New York Metro area, firms without an engaged IT partner that handle IT issues expeditiously are severely hurting their business.

Why Lawyer’s Need Managed Services

Client Confidentiality

Client information is extremely important in the legal industry. You are handling very personal data for your clients. You have phone records, birth certificates, tax records, and so much more. Your clients trust that you will keep their records safe as you handle their case. GCInfotech can help! We can encrypt your data and your emails so everything stays secured.

Attorney on the Go

Just like real estate agents, attorneys are always working on the go. Having the right equipment that can help you stay connected can go a long way. We can help set you up with a secured tablet so you can answer emails and review documents no matter where you are. We can also help set up a system at your home so you don’t have to worry there either. An attorney should always be available to his or her clients, and we can help ensure you always are!

Case Management

It goes without saying that technology has made it easier for every industry to function. How terrible would it be if you had to wait for someone to submit physical documents in person before continuing a case? The transfer of information online has helped the legal industry advance tremendously. This is why we can help establish your office online network so you can always access or send the files need no matter where you are.

Office Connectivity

This ties in to the topic above. Having your team always connected ensures every case is handled appropriately at all times. If you need to send something to a colleague you can do so without any troubles. We ensure your team has the right tools to connect to everyone else so you can work more effectively together.

Legal Apps

Have you heard the saying “There’s an app for that”? Did you know there’s an app where you can get documents notarized without having to drive anywhere or have anyone come to you? These are the types of apps that attorneys and their clients should be using! What about an app called FastCase that has the entire American law library in its archives? Our team can help find these apps for you. We can see which ones can benefit your office and can help set your team up so they are better prepared when they are not working at the office.

Like we mentioned at the beginning, technology is there to make things easier. That’s why we are always keeping up with the best technology for your legal firm. Wouldn’t it be great to eliminate all your IT issues and get your law office setup for success? Call or visit us today to schedule a free technology assessment to get that process started.

It doesn’t matter what the size of your business is when it means everything to you. Small business owners are particularly invested in the companies that they have created with their own imaginations, hard work, countless hours and occasionally, their life savings. Being able to protect your business’s computer network can be vital in maintaining a smooth working environment while protecting your data and your customers.

 

Starting and growing a small business takes massive effort, a willingness to take a chance, and financial capital. Many owners don’t believe that they have room in their already tight budgets to spend on their IT support services company but they may be wrong.

 

When considering the option between hiring an in-house IT person or turning to a service provider, it is important to look at the long-term benefits and expenses side by side. With an in-house employee, you are relying on the expertise and experience of only one person and not a network of highly trained specialists. A monthly salary paid to an onsite employee may seem preferable than dishing out for a more complex team to monitor your systems. In actual fact, the amount that is spent on salary, bonuses and health benefits can cost you more than investing in a tailored security plan that meets your business’s needs.

 

A professional IT service provider will work with you to evaluate the type and complexity of plan that will keep you protected and on budget. Each business has individual needs based on not only the type of commerce you are involved in but what your plans are for future expansion. Having a solid infrastructure and security plan that will not only protect your interests but allow your company to grow is vital to keeping things running smoothly on a daily basis.

 

Some of the benefits and services that are provided by professional service providers, like GCInfotech, are listed below. Consider how these services could be of value to your organization.

 

  • Maintenance of network infrastructure
  • Hardware maintenance and support
  • Security management
  • Anti-virus systems management
  • Network and firewall configurations
  • Software maintenance & upgrades
  • Data backup
  • User setup
  • Documentation of changes
  • Disaster Recovery plan management

 

With new technology firmly entrenched in the business world, many companies are finding that nearly all of their business dealings are done in the cloud or on a private network. The risk of system failure or a breach of privacy is an all so real threat in the marketplace today. Investing to a proper degree in protecting your data, customers and the well-being of your business should be a priority for all entrepreneurs.

 

Putting your trust in a professional company with extensive experience, highly trained experts, and a solid back up team that is ready to help is an advantage that every business owner would like to have in their corner. When you work with the best, nothing can stand in your way.

 

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

 

Published with consideration from TechMoran SOURCE

 

Despite efforts to protect your data, some breaches are beyond your control. When an online company with your personal details gets hacked, you have no choice but to manage your risks on your own. These practical tips can help you reduce risks of identity theft and other threats.

Determine what was breached

Whether its names, addresses, email addresses, or social security numbers, it’s critical to know exactly what type of information was stolen before determining what steps to take. For example, if your email address were compromised, you’d take every precaution to strengthen your email security, which includes updating all your login credentials.

Change affected passwords immediately

Speaking of passwords, change yours immediately after any breach, even for seemingly safe accounts. Create a strong password comprised of alphanumeric and special characters, and make sure you never reuse passwords from your other accounts.

Once you’ve changed all your passwords, use a password manager to help you keep track of all your online account credentials.

If the website that breached your information offers two-factor authentication (2FA), enable it right away. 2FA requires two steps to verify security: usually a password and a verification code sent to a user’s registered mobile number.

Contact financial institutions

In cases where financial information was leaked, call your bank and credit card issuers to change your details, cancel your card, and notify them of a possible fraud risk. That way, banks can prevent fraud and monitor your account for suspicious activity.

Note that there are different rules for fraudulent transactions on debit cards and credit cards. Credit card transactions are a bit easier to dispute because they have longer grace periods. Debit card fraud, on the other hand, is more difficult to dispute, especially if the fraudulent transactions happened after you’ve notified the bank.

Place a fraud alert on your name

Hackers who have your personal information can easily commit identity fraud. To avoid becoming a victim, contact credit reporting bureaus like Equifax, Experian, or Innovis and request that a fraud alert (also called credit alert) be added to your name. This will block any attempt to open a credit account under your name and prevent unauthorized third parties from running a credit report on you.

 

Putting a credit freeze on your name might result in minor inconveniences, especially if you have an ongoing loan or credit card application. Still, doing so will greatly reduce your risks of getting defrauded.

These steps will ensure you don’t fall victim to identity theft in the event of a large-scale data breach. If you want to take a more proactive approach to protect your sensitive information against breaches, contact our cybersecurity experts today.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

 

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Virtualization and cloud computing are two technologies that have long been confusing business owners. But that shouldn’t be the case. Understanding the differences between the cloud and virtualization is the fastest way to use these technologies to your greatest advantage.

Virtualization

Imagine a company with five servers, each assigned a single task such as storage, email, etc. If one day there were a spike in email traffic, the email server might become overwhelmed, causing it to slow down. Adding another server would remedy the issue, but it would be expensive and inefficient on days with less traffic.

With virtualization software, you can combine the resources of all five of the servers in our example. So if the email server got bogged down, it could borrow resources from any of the other servers with extra capacity. The process is not as simple as it sounds, and businesses often turn to an experienced IT service provider to set up a virtualized environment.

Because virtualization software can be installed on a server in your office, it is totally independent of cloud technology. Sometimes, people misunderstand the difference because the vast majority of cloud solutions use virtualization to improve their services.

Cloud Computing

With cloud computing, users can edit documents, save files, and interact with apps that aren’t actually on their computer. Instead, they access these items by connecting to a server via a network or internet connection. If your organization can get the information you need when you need it, you already gain a competitive edge.

To carry out its purpose, a cloud platform sometimes uses several virtualized servers to provide users with a simple system that appears to be all their own, even though it’s actually shared with several other users and servers. There’s no need to purchase additional servers, and you can also save valuable office space by not having to deploy bulky equipment in-house.

Obviously, scalability is critical in today’s ever-changing business conditions. What cloud computing does is make it easier to manage business tasks to maximize productivity. What’s more, it helps streamline operations as more cloud services are integrated. Businesses don’t have to worry about infrastructure maintenance because it is covered by the cloud service provider.

Virtualization and cloud computing are both economical technologies that small businesses should take advantage of. If you want to see what they can do for you, give our team of experts a call today!

 

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

 

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Blockchain is the rage. It’s on the lips and lexicon of every tech pundit, journalist and tech executive. What is blockchain? You can read all about it yourself here but in short, it’s a database of databases, a record keeping system that is shared by all, updated by all and secure.

Here’s why it’s not relevant for your small business today.

I was at an event recently, and the owner of a karate studio asked one of the expert panelists, how he could use blockchain in his business.

The “expert” said, well if you had a community of karate enthusiasts, you could use Blockchain for the community database. Something like this, the expert explained.

WRONG.

For a small businesses, such as this owner of a karate studio, he doesn’t need blockchain, all he needs is a simple database to keep track of members, hold discussions or etc. SQL or any number of other databases that have been around for years.

Companies such as Salesforce, Netsuite, Zoho, Infusionsoft, Hubspot, SAP, Intuit and Microsoft make all the tools you need to run a great business. With all the other supporting services such as Asana, Monday, and others, you have a full suite of tools and services to help you manage a growing business.

Indeed VERY big companies who want to enhance security, or sound cool, might consider blockchain – banks, Amazon, Walmart, GE and very BIG companies with massive datasets. But for the rest of us, we small business owners we don’t need to think twice about blockchain.

  • Focus on making a great product.
  • Focus on serving your customers.
  • Focus on generating awareness for the problem you solve.
  • Focus on better marketing and advertising.
  • Focus on treating your employees/staff/team well.
  • Focus on making a difference in other peoples lives.

Blockchain is nice, it’s cute, it’s the new buzzword, but you don’t need to worry about it for your small business.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

 

Published with consideration from SmallBizTechnology SOURCE

 

WordPress (WP) websites play a crucial role in establishing a business’s online presence. One way WP developers keep business owners safe and happy is by providing regular security updates that protect sites from unauthorized access. But why do websites sometimes crash after an update, and what can you do to prevent that from happening?

Be cautious with updates

In 2017, WP issued 21 updates and 33% of these focused on security. Despite their many benefits, these updates caused some sites to crash and caused downtime related plugin incompatibilities. To take advantage of updates without experiencing any drawbacks, our technicians shared the following tips:

Check plugin compatibility

A typical WP site has anywhere from 10 to 50 plugins installed that enable additional functionality. Some are supported by developers who constantly update these plugins while others are not.

For a fully functional website, always choose plugins that are backed by certified development teams, and be wary of error-prone free plugins. We know how difficult it is to designate a portion of your business expenses on improving your site, but in the long run, you’ll realize that relying on free plugins will generate more website crashes than website leads.

Choose how you update

Every time WP releases a new version, you get a notification in the dashboard. There, you are given an option to select a manual or automatic one-click update. Consider the effect of either option before you update.

With manual updates, you can fix incompatible site features, customize plugin update settings, and view your updated website in a controlled environment. Keep in mind that this process is technical and complicated, but gives you more flexibility with the way your update is managed.

 

With automatic updates, you have three options: automate the process with custom programming, click the “Update Now” button, or download an automatic update plugin. Option number three may seem ideal, but sweeping automatic updates will make it difficult for you to single out which add-on caused your site to crash.

 

Unless you’re certain of the best option for updating your WP site, you need a managed services provider to help you navigate this complicated process. We’ll keep your site secure and lend a hand in case it breaks down. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help. Give us a call today to get started!

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE