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The Most Common Ways Hackers Attack Small Businesses – and How You Can Protect Yourself

The Most Common Ways Hackers Attack Small Businesses – and How You Can Protect Yourself

There are several common ways that hackers may attempt to target your company. The news of recent large-scale data breaches should be making every business owner think about the security challenges facing their organization. It is
a critical issue because many businesses do not have a technology infrastructure that includes the latest state-of-the-art data security appliances to prevent hacker attacks. The fact is that even large corporations that do deploy these systems are still targeted
and can be victimized.

The good news is that you can guard against common avenues of attack with simple education or technology deployment. It is not necessary to become an expert to learn how to stop hackers. Maintaining effective business data security doesn’t
have to be difficult but requires a company-wide approach to developing and following best practices.

To help you learn what you need to know, here’s a guide to the most common ways that hackers target small businesses and what you can do to protect yourself.

Choosing Secure Passwords Organization-Wide

The number one way that hackers are going to try to target you is by exploiting weak passwords. In their

2016 Data Breach Investigations Report
, Verizon found that 63% of known data breaches occurred due to weak user passwords. This is a security deficiency that can be easily remedied.

Start by establishing strong password guidelines for all business-related accounts. You will also need to encourage your employees to follow the same guidelines on their personal accounts since it’s very common for people to use identical
or similar passwords across multiple platforms. Be sure to follow any strict password requirements that already exist for services your business is using. Where possible, create long passwords comprised of several, unrelated words. Studies have

indicated
that this type of password is the hardest for an automated attack to crack.

Phishing Emails

It is likely that either you or your employees are already being targeted by phishing emails. This type of attack involves a hacker sending official-looking emails to users as a means to trick them into divulging personal information
or access credentials. The level of sophistication that can be involved in these types of attacks will often make it difficult for the average user to immediately spot a fraudulent email.

You will need to create policies for your employees to follow regarding proper email usage and educate them about types of information stealing efforts that may arrive in their inboxes. If you are running your own email system, invest
in anti-spam software that can use statistical analysis to detect suspicious emails and route them to a junk folder. Endpoint protection software for workstations will also often have anti-phishing scanners available and offer an added layer of protection.

Exploitation of Known Security Vulnerabilities

Another excellent method to increase your data security is to manage and deploy security patches network-wide. Attackers will often prey on small businesses because they know that they often lag behind in applying security updates
to their devices. It’s crucial to make sure that all computers are set to receive automatic updates, which can be scheduled during off hours to minimize disruption. Using a patch management and monitoring service can remove the guesswork and make sure you’re
always up-to-date.

Be aware that security patches will only serve to protect you from known vulnerabilities. Hackers often exploit security flaws that haven’t been patched yet through the aforementioned updates. That is why it is also a good idea to make
sure up-to-date antivirus and malware protection are guarding all of your devices. This will help keep your systems secured against any emerging threats. Most of these types of software packages use shared heuristics to detect attacks that fit suspicious patterns.
The major antivirus providers know how to stop hackers and you’ll be leveraging their expertise to stay safe.

Social Engineering

This form of attack has become more common than ever. Social engineering refers to an effort by an attacker to try to impersonate a legitimate user in order to gain unauthorized access to a system. Rather than using deceptive emails
or password cracking tools, a hacker will try to gather as much data about a user as possible so they can then call or contact system administrators to request a password reset. Making educated guesses will often allow them to bluff their way through security
questions and convincingly impersonate a legitimate user.

Both you and your employees must become more aware of what information is being shared online. The prevalence of social media is making it easier than ever for hackers to build profiles of individuals for use in an attack. Take care to avoid giving out birthdates, names of family members, and any other personally identifying data. If that’s difficult or impossible you can make it a practice to create a false set of answers to account security questions. Doing so will keep any of your real
information from being used against you.

Ransomware

The latest and most dangerous type of attack aimed at businesses is ransomware. The hacker begins by infiltrating a business computer system and installing malicious software. The software is designed to spread as widely as possible with the goal of encrypting the data on your network. Hackers know that your business will be paralyzed without access to its data. If they can hold it hostage they can then demand an exorbitant payment to provide the keys to unlock your files.

This type of attack can cripple a small business. If you are targeted, you could suffer losses that may jeopardize the very survival of your company. Your antivirus software will provide some level of protection against ransomware but is far from bulletproof. The dire consequences of such an attack mean that you cannot afford to take any chances. A business-grade backup solution that will protect all computers, servers and network devices is essential to guard your data. While it won’t
prevent hacker attacks, it will guarantee business continuity in the event of a breach.

Generally, available file backup solutions will not be enough in this case. Cloud backup solutions designed for businesses will include the ability to back up workstations and servers at a much deeper level than traditional file backup.
Many business-grade backup services include machine-level imaging to protect all of your data. Using this method means you will be able to recover from a ransomware attack by restoring whole machines at once. This removes the need for time-consuming operating
system and software reinstallation.

A Top To Bottom Approach

There are so many ways that your small business can be attacked that you will need to employ a comprehensive approach for protection. Providing employee education and common-sense data security policies are the simplest method to keep your business safe from hackers. Following these basic steps will have you well on your way to securing your data. Utilizing the other strategies outlined here will assure that all of your business systems are attack hardened and protected by a reliable backup
scheme.

Contact us to discuss the best approach for your business. Knowing that your systems are safe will help you sleep a little more comfortable, secure in the knowledge that the things that matter most to your company are well defended.

 

Click here to learn how DigaCore can help you to set your set up your security protocal. The first step is to schedule a meeting to go over our Technology Consulting Services for your business in Lakewood, NJ and surrounding cities with you.



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Why Your Business Should Upgrade To A Managed Anti-Virus System

Why Your Business Should Upgrade To A Managed Anti-Virus System

Anti-virus programs don’t catch viruses when they’re not running. Yes, it’s blatantly obvious, but what’s not always clear is how often your staff are disabling your anti-virus programs so they can squeeze in a little playtime. Maybe download and install a game, free app or get through the block to a suspicious website. It happens in businesses across the country, and more often than you think. It’s just human nature to see a problem and work around it, because surely their computer won’t be infected, those things only happen to other people.

Unfortunately, the biggest threat to your data and network security is your staff. Fantastic, loyal, hardworking people, who make occasional silly decisions. Even the innocent ones, like ignoring the virus software update that keeps popping up, requesting to download the latest protections. Your staff aren’t intentionally putting your systems at risk, but they are creating a weak link that exposes your business to attacks that may cost you thousands.

That’s the key difference between free anti-virus and managed anti-virus. Free solutions were created for home use, where self-induced breaches aren’t such a big deal. The license on free solutions is usually in fact only for home usage. This is because in a business setting, even the slightest gap in your digital walls can lead to lost revenue, delays and even lawsuits. With a managed anti-virus solution, your staff can’t do those things. They literally can’t disable the protections or uninstall it, and updates happen automatically.

With the benefit of human oversight, we’re able to see when machines aren’t fully protected or have already become infected. Managed anti-virus means just that – we manage it for you – so that we know when there’s an issue and can take the necessary actions. Often working invisibly to your employees, we can remotely fix small problems before they become big problems, which leaves your employees feeling trusted while your business remains secure.

Managed anti-virus gives your business protection on a much higher level, because let’s face it, the stakes are much bigger. It takes software control out of the end users hands and puts your system security in the hands of an expert. The program can’t be disabled without a password, nor can it be uninstalled by anyone without the highest permissions. When updates are released they are downloaded and applied automatically. No delays, no putting it off until later, no gaps in your digital walls.

When to switch: This is around the size where it becomes impossible to monitor each computer individually without a full-time IT technician on your team. Users may be spread out across the network and you’re way too busy to stand watch over them while they work.

Click here to learn how DigaCore can help you to set your set up your Managed anti-virus. The first step is to schedule a meeting to go over our Technology Consulting Services for your business in Lakewood, NJ and surrounding cities with you.



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Why You Should Never Use A Free Email Address For Your Business

Why You Should Never Use A Free Email Address For Your Business

The message is clear: email is king. Many clients and customers choose to communicate primarily by email and as you know, it gives a fantastic ROI in your marketing strategy…unless you’re using a free email like Hotmail, Gmail, or even your internet provider. If that’s the case, you’re losing business each and every day.

It looks unprofessional: Imagine if banks used free email accounts – you’d never feel comfortable giving them your personal details let alone any money. How people perceive your business is what makes your business. Without that professional touch, you’ll appear temporary and fly-by-night. It puts your credibility into question and sends the message that you’re not serious about doing business – or worse – that you’re prepared to cut corners.

It erases your experience: Newer, fledgling businesses often start out with a free email address. The address clearly communicates that they are new and have little experience, and are perhaps testing the waters in a new direction. They’re not even remotely proven yet and are firmly within the hobby-zone. Continuing to use the free address once your business moves into the professional arena means you’ll struggle to build momentum and any experience will be negated.

It’s forgettable or inappropriate: Your business success hinges on being memorable enough to gain referral custom and results from your advertising. Unfortunately, free email addresses are by default filled with hard to remember clutter, for example – [email protected] or [email protected]

Neither of these roll off the tongue, is appropriate for business, or can be remembered without a high likelihood of typos and bounce back. Branded email addresses such as [email protected] make running a profitable, scalable business much easier.

It’s not permanent or safe: When you use a free email address you are at the mercy of the email provider. They may close down operations or cancel your account for any reason. These types of accounts are also often hacked and leaked on a global scale. When a better internet or email deal comes along, you’re still stuck using the old address because it’s printed on your business cards, car lettering and flyers.

Some will agree to keep the address open for a fee, but you’ll lose the control and flexibility you need to grow your business. With your own domain name, you own it and can move it to a new business-grade email service easily. You’ll also have complete master control over the addresses within your domain, resetting passwords and creating/closing accounts at will.

Click here to learn how DigaCore can help you to set your set up your branded business email. The first step is to schedule a meeting to go over our Technology Consulting Services for your business in Lakewood, NJ and surrounding cities with you.



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Will That Click Cost You Thousands?

Will That Click Cost You Thousands?

Ransomware has undeniably been the biggest security threat of 2016. No-one was safe. Hackers targeted everyone and everything, including home PCs – and they were astoundingly successful – earning themselves upwards of $846million from US reported incidents alone. Business is booming for hackers, with thousands of attacks each day bringing in an average of $640 per target. Perhaps even more alarmingly, the financial cost of each individual attack is on the rise – the more ransomware proves to be an easy earner for them, the more they demand each time.

For a quick payday, some hackers offer to ‘rescue’ you from immediate danger – for a fee. One method is to trick you into thinking you have a virus that will spread if you don’t pay money to remove it immediately. Another much scarier method is to pretend to be the FBI and say your computer was involved in a crime (anything from money laundering to child pornography) and you can avoid going to prison by paying a few hundred dollars.

Thousands of regular people are also waking up every day to discover they’ve been locked out of their own files. Entire music and video libraries, digital photos from the past 5 years, personal budget files and even their secret novel draft …all held hostage until the user pays a ransom. The encryption is so strong and unbreakable that paying the ransom often becomes the only solution.

The way ransomware gets onto your computer is deviously simple. Generally, the hackers convince you to click an email attachment/link or pop-up. With both approaches, the hacker usually offers helpful information, for example:

  • Tracking an unclaimed parcel
  • Alerting that a virus was found and needs to be removed
  • Advising details of a recent traffic fine

It’s so tempting to click through for more details and that’s what the hackers count on. Their messages and pop-ups aren’t obvious threats and so slip easily under our radar. Unfortunately, they’re not the most trustworthy bunch so paying may not actually unlock your files, and one payment can quickly become several.

To make matters worse, they can encrypt any backups connected to your computer too, like a USB drive. Having a backup is super important in any situation, but in cases like this, the right backup is needed. Not only one stored separate from your network, but one created recently with all the files you can’t bear to lose. Before restoring your backup, however, you’ll need to make sure the malware isn’t lurking in the background, ready to not just re-infect your restored files but also the backup drive itself.

To avoid finding yourself up to the waist in ransom demands or sending hackers money each month, we recommend being wary of email attachments, even from friends and family. If you’re not sure what the file is, don’t click it. They may not have sent that email intentionally; their infected system may be auto-emailing everyone in the address book. You should also be careful with any popups that appear out of place, especially ones that try to make you panic. If it doesn’t sound right or look right, don’t click it. Ransomware is just too dangerous to risk.

Click here to learn how DigaCore can help you to set your computers up with protections against ransomware, and put backups in place that will keep your important files safe. The first step is to schedule a meeting to go over our Technology Consulting Services for your business in Lakewood, NJ and surrounding cities with you.



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Why Do Computers Slow Down Over Time?

Why Do Computers Slow Down Over Time?

Remember the awe you felt when you turned on your new computer and it loaded in a flash? Your computer was the envy of your friends and you weren’t afraid to bathe in that glory. Button on, ready to go, those were the days!

After a year or two though, it doesn’t seem to be quite as zippy…no, you’re not imagining it. It really has slowed down, not just in comparison to newer models and your expectations…There’s a measurable drop in speed and power that has nothing to do with worn out parts. The good news is a little maintenance can have that baby cruising at top speed again. Let’s take a leisurely walk through the system and spot the culprits:

Start-up applications: It’s super convenient to have Skype start automatically and your anti-virus too. In fact, many of the applications starting themselves with the computer are essential to your experience. But some of them are getting a little too ‘helpful’.

For example, iTunes helper loads in the background to speed things up when you connect your device – but if you can’t even remember the last time you ran iTunes on your computer, then it can go. Programs like that are holding onto a portion of your processing power and adding to your speed issues. The average home computer automatically loads around 75 programs at start-up!

Temporary junk: Computers are kind of messy. They leave temporary files and snippets of information all over your hard drive, each action leaving a trail rather like a roaming toddler with a sticky sandwich. Every webpage, every image on that webpage, every program you run and every game you play leaves something behind.

It may be the tidbits of information called “cookies”, saved game files, auto-restore files or even a log so that you can hit the undo button 100 times while it remembers your actions for you.

The more junk your computer builds up, the slower it gets.

Viruses and malware: These infections sit in the background consuming resources while doing various nightmarish things. They may be spying on your actions, stealing your information or reaching out through your network to infect others. Occasionally, the impact is limited to seeing your computer slow to a crawl, however the flow-on financial costs of an infection can easily reach into the thousands.

Bloating: With every new version of software comes a new set of features, introductory sequences and design improvements. The problem with this is the application becomes larger and larger with each new version, requiring more system resources to install and run – and slowing your computer down.

Just like a car, computers need regular maintenance – we offer a Tune-Up service to bring your computer back to its original speed and extend its life.

Give us a call at 732-646-5725 to book in a Tune Up.

 

 



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Hacker Attacks and How to Protect Yourself

Hacker Attacks and How to Protect Yourself

The truth is that Internet opens a lot of opportunities. Different business owners and entrepreneurs are capturing the possibilities in order to expand their markets and to further their reach and if we have to be completely honest – that’s one of the best ways to do so. However, you have to be well aware that the opportunities that the Internet has to provide are not only beneficial. A lot of people are not so benevolent, and they want to take advantage of your vulnerability in order to scam you and make their profit. Attackers use various phishing techniques and you have to be extra careful as such attacks can have disastrous consequences on your company and business.
 
Spear PhishingIt’s not a Sport
 
Spear phishing is a type of email fraud which is executed by highly skilled yet malicious cyber criminals that want to scam you out of your business or money. Spear phishing is an email that you are going to receive. It’s going to appear that it’s sent from a known source such as a friend or some business – but it won’t be. This is something which relies on familiarity to get you in your comfort zone. This, on its part, is going to lower your barriers, and you won’t be as suspicious or as cautious as you would generally be and that’s what the hackers are relying on.
 
Hackers usually embed a link in an email that redirects you or your employees to an unsecured website that asks for sensitive information. You could also get a Trojan installed on one of your PCs via a malicious file attached in the email or an ad, which would allow the intruder to exploit loopholes and ultimately obtain sensitive information. Cyber criminals can also spoof their address in an email to appear as if sent from a reputable source and request information. In addition, they may attempt to obtain important company information by impersonating a well-known company representative or IT department.
 
Be Careful
 
There is nothing else to do here than to be incredibly cautious. If you receive a spear phishing email, you need to be incredibly thorough. You must carefully read your emails and verify that they come from a legit source prior to giving them any information at all. Under no circumstances should you reveal any substantial information over the internet. Cyber criminals are there lurking for that, and you don’t want to take any unnecessary and unwanted risks. Make sure to be extra vigilant when it comes to browsing the internet and communicating through it. One way to ensure your business’ safety is by contacting professionals who know how cyber criminals act and can provide protection. Our devoted specialists are always at your disposal, eager to help you ensure the safety of your business. So why risk it when you can contact us right now?

Click here to learn how DigaCore can help you with your Network Security. The first step is to schedule a meeting to go over our Technology Consulting Services for your business in Lakewood, NJ and surrounding cities with you.

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Managed IT Services Providers Help You With Network Monitoring

Many small businesses rely on the networks within their organization. Can you imagine your business without the network which connects you to each of your team? Network monitoring is necessary for ensuring your network remains operational and functioning as it should in order for your business to carry out its daily activities.

What is Network Monitoring?

Network monitoring is a process which alerts business owners and key people to any problems that might occur over the network. It can also be used to keep track of supplies for printers, how much hard drive space is remaining and notify you when you’re running out of space, as well as software installations or uninstalls.

Network monitoring solutions can alert you when changes to the network require action, and assist you with the actions to ensure the problem is resolved quickly. Most problems with networks can be handled pro-actively, which means there is no need for the network to go “down”, or become unusable when the network is being monitored effectively.

You can also use quality network monitoring services to know when your software licenses are going to expire or contracts need renewing, as well as when to update various software programs with bug fixes to ensure everything is up to date and running as it should. Your antivirus software depends on your network to operate effectively.

Additionally, since your network only allows a limited amount of internet bandwidth for your entire staff to use, if one employee is hogging too much of that bandwidth, a traffic jam will form. Everyone trying to use the same network will experience decreased speed and a decrease in productivity but a network monitoring service can help you find bottlenecks as they happen and help to distribute the resources evenly across all users of the network.

Network Monitoring Outsourcing

For the majority of small or medium sized businesses, outsourcing the monitoring of your computer networks makes the most financial sense. If the network is not working, your business loses revenue and can’t operate. Training in-house staff to handle the network isn’t the best use of our time or resources.

Using Managed IT Services providers to handle network monitoring will save you time and money. Your network will have minimal to no down time, and no maintenance required on the part of yourself or staff members. This means you can focus your time on your daily business activities without worrying about the network that’s making it all possible.

Network Monitoring Services

Most small businesses require the following monitoring activities:

  • Monitoring Local Area Network data
  • Ping and trace route
  • Alerts to problems with the network

A Managed IT Services Provider will handle all aspects of monitoring your network, preventing most problems from occurring and providing solutions for any that do happen. For one monthly fee, a business can get all the information and alerts necessary, without having to train anyone in-house to know what to do in the event of every possible situation that can arise involving the network.

Click here to learn how DigaCore can help you reduce downtime with our 24x7x365 Network Monitoring Services for your business in Lakewood, NJ and surrounding cities.

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Eight Ways To Keep Your Small Business Secure

If you own and operate a small business, lowering costs is an important part of keeping your company in the black. Cutting costs on your IT budget could inadvertently compromise your company’s security. Even though small businesses may not have all of the resources that large corporations do, they are still just as vulnerable to the same security threats. Here are some ways to help keep your small business secure:

Purchase Anti-virus Software

Every computer is vulnerable to the wide variety of viruses, trojans, and worms that are on the Internet. These malicious software programs can do anything from damage your computer and files to steal your password and other important information stored on your computer. Purchase a good anti-virus software program and make sure that it is always up to date. Also, check to see that your anti-virus software checks for spyware, adware, and any other type of malware that could be hiding on your computer.

Avoid Phishing Emails

It is important to discuss with your employees the importance of not opening spam email, attachments or forwards that could possibly contain viruses. Make sure that your email has a filtering system that helps to filter out spam and other malicious email. Responding to phishing emails can be another costly mistake. Phishing emails are disguised as legitimate emails that then request login and password information. Changing passwords monthly can help to lessen the damage should an employee accidentally respond to a phishing email.

Minimize Damage From Dishonest or Disgruntled Employees

It is often difficult to predict if one of your employees will become disgruntled or dishonest, but you can put some safeguards in place to help minimize the damage should you find that you have one. Thoroughly screen your employees before hiring them, especially if they will have access to any confidential or financial company information. Limiting the number of employees that have access to this confidential information and changing your company passwords often can help to prevent former employees from accessing company computers.

Secure Your Wireless Network

Make sure that your wireless router is encrypted, and that your business is using WPA2 wireless security. A firewall is another important key to protecting the security of your small business. A firewall will allow access only to authorized users while blocking unauthorized access to the computer.

Have An Internet Use Policy

Aside from the obvious lack of productivity that personal Internet use can cause for your business, it can often be too easy to click on websites that contain malicious software that could easily infect your company computer and shut your system down temporarily or even permanently.

Avoid Having Everything on One Computer

Purchasing computer equipment is costly, so many small businesses will try to get away with fewer computers in order to save money. If you have your financial information on the same computer that your employees are accessing their company emails, you could risk losing everything that is vital to running your business should an infected email slip through.

Have a Data Backup System

Be sure to have some type of data storage and backup system in place in the event that your current system goes down. Having all of your files readily available to you in case of an emergency can ensure that your business will retain customers and continue to run smoothly no matter what the disaster.

Minimize Damage From Stolen Equipment

It difficult to prevent break-ins or equipment from being stolen from your home or office building, but you can have some security by ensuring that all of the information on your computer is encrypted and password protected.

Trying to scrimp when it comes to your small business’s computer security can be a costly mistake. Arm yourself with the knowledge of what your business could be up against and take steps towards prevention. The investment will give your company the security necessary to keep your information secure.

Click here to learn how DigaCore can help you keep your small business secure with our Network Security Services for your business in Lakewood, NJ and surrounding cities.

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Cloud Computing – How Will it Affect You?

happy-woman-working-on-laptopWe are always on the watch for the ‘next best thing’ when it comes to technology and the Internet. Certainly no one can doubt that Cloud Computing and the next generation of the Internet has had a dramatic affect on how people interact and connect with each other – both from an individual standpoint and a business one.

The hottest emerging concept that has the power to change how we perform tasks is taking place before us – and it is Cloud Computing. Simply put, it is the ability to use resources and tools via the Internet without actually owning or being near them. The only requirement is to be able to access them.

The term ‘Cloud’ is used to indicate the whole of computing services accessible via the Internet. It is an all-encompassing description of the complex internet-connected networks that exist in datacenters all over the world that power services and applications behind the scenes.

The concept of utilizing resources in these networks is being adopted by businesses both large and small. These resources are categorized to describe their function, and include:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Web 2.0

In the most general terms, Infrastructure as a Service means that companies may no longer need to own and house their own back-end servers and other network computing infrastructure besides an internet-connected PC or laptop in order to maintain business functionality. This capability can be purchased on a subscription basis from entities that market these services in a ‘virtual’ manner. This allows businesses to keep their costs low by not having to purchase, maintain and recycle their own equipment for this purpose, and also mitigates the possibility of business interruption due to the highly available nature of these solutions. This equates to increased uptime and profitability for Infrastructure as a Service customers.

Platform as a Service is also known as ‘cloudware’, and refers to the availability of development tools in creating web applications and services to the end user. Like IaaS, you never ‘see’ the inner-workings of this environment unless you are a computer programmer or IT resource, but it exists nonetheless and again affords those who use these tools the ability to reduce costs while running their businesses.

Sofware as a Service is defined as software applications that are subscribed to and accessed only through the Internet, and not installed on local PCs or laptops. Applications built by and accessed via Google fall into this category, as well as the many photo sites to which you can upload your pictures and videos, edit and share them with others. These solutions are gaining tremendous popularity, because end users do not need to install, update and maintain software locally – only connect to it and use it when the need arises.

Web 2.0 describes the whole of the social networking movement on the Internet, and includes but is not limited to destinations such as Facebook, MySpace, eHarmony, LinkedIn and Twitter. These sites offer the ability for people all over the world to share common interests, stay connected and learn more about each other – and these sites aren’t just for the young. Statistics show that the over 50 generation is logging onto these sites in greater numbers than ever before. In fact, in one month alone, Facebook adds over 17,000 new members.

The next time you are on the Internet and upload a photograph and use the online tools to modify that picture, you are participating in ‘cloud computing.’ The picture is probably loaded to a site that uses IaaS for their servers, PaaS in order to provide the visual interface in which you modify the photograph, and SaaS applications you’ll use to access your email program and social networking sites in order to send it to or post it for those with whom you would like to share the picture.

Click here to learn how DigaCore can help you benefit from Cloud Computing in Lakewood, NJ and surrounding cities.

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How to Create a Basic Businesses Disaster Recovery Plan in 4 Steps

Loss of data is a common problem for businesses. Fortunately, it’s a problem that can easily be avoided with the correct preparation. While devastating amounts of data can be lost during catastrophes like hurricanes, terrorist attacks, fires and floods – it doesn’t take such large events to cause a business to lose important data. It can be as simple as dropping a laptop to the floor, or a power surge that results in burning out a storage device. If you don’t have your crucial data backed up, even a small situation can turn into a disaster. That’s when having a business disaster recovery plan can help.

If you still think natural disasters are the leading causes of data loss – and that the chances of it happening to you are pretty slim, take a look at the results from a study by Strategic Research Corporation of the leading causes of business continuity and disaster recovery incidents:

  • Hardware Failures (servers, switches, disk drives, etc) – 44%.
  • Human Error (mistakes in configurations, wrong commands issued, etc) 32%
  • Software Errors (operating systems, driver incompatibility, etc)14%
  • Viruses and Security Breach (unprotected systems are always at risk) 7%
  • Natural Disasters 3%

Establishing a disaster recovery plan can be done in the following four steps:

1) Take a potential risk inventory. Make a list of every potential cause of data loss and the solutions to each. Your list should include losses that won’t affect the business very much, and those that would shut the business down temporarily or permanently. Information Technology experts can assist you with creating the potential risk inventory – as they will have the knowledge and experience to identify possibilities that you are not likely to think of but need to plan for all the same. These IT experts will also be able discuss preventative solutions to guard against each type of potential data loss.

2) Rate each of your potential data loss situations. How likely is it for each of the items on your risk inventory to occur? Rating them in order of importance and likeliness to occur will help you determine where to focus your disaster recovery plan efforts.

3) Develop your disaster recovery plan. Go through each of your potential risks and their solutions, and determine how long it would take you to recover from the loss of data for each risk. Could your business be offline for 24 hours? A week? Depending on the nature of your business, being offline for even just 24 hours could result in your losing customers to your competition. Look at ways to reduce the length of time it would take you to recover from each type of data loss risk.

4) Put your disaster recovery plan to the test. Once you’ve created your plan of action for recovering lost data, you should test your solutions. A disaster recovery plan is just a plan until it can be tested and proven.

Click here to learn how DigaCore can create a business disaster recovery plan for you with our Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Services for your business in Lakewood, NJ and surrounding cities.

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