How a VPN can add to your business security

Being able to work from home is a wonderful benefit for employees and can keep them productive while reducing their stress.  It can also be a data security risk if not handled properly. Fortunately, if you have a local network, it’s not very hard to bring telecommuters into it. A network with this capacity is called a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Continue reading “How a VPN can add to your business security”

Why are software updates important?

When you are working on your business laptop or desktop you will receive prompts to install software updates(also known as a patch.)  These annoying pop-up notifications interrupt work and productivity, so many wish to ignore them. These updates provide fixes, patches and enhancements to make your programs and operating systems run more smoothly. More importantly, they keep your business network more secure. Continue reading “Why are software updates important?”

4 Ways to Avoid Data Breaches

In the current era of data, we face an ongoing risk of data loss, be it through hacking or system failures. The data you hold on your computer systems is crucial for your business; as such, it is critical that you protect yourself against data breaches and data loss. Continue reading “4 Ways to Avoid Data Breaches”

Is Your Business Due for an IT Assessment?

It is critical for businesses to conduct thorough IT assessments regularly so they can identify security violations, monitor performance, and document network developments.  An IT assessment can also help firms to ascertain the ways in which technology can enhance productivity and improve profitability. Continue reading “Is Your Business Due for an IT Assessment?”

Business phone solutions – step up to VoIP

If you’ve got a legacy PBX in your office, you’ve certainly noticed how it’s getting harder to maintain. You can’t get new systems that use the old TDM technology, and fewer and fewer companies want to support the old ones. The jump to VoIP business phone solutions might seem intimidating, but it comes with a lot of advantages, and if you use a hosted exchange, it’s not very hard to get it working. Continue reading “Business phone solutions – step up to VoIP”

The Benefits of Using a Network Proxy Server

One way to reduce the risks associated with business Internet activities is to use a network proxy server. A proxy server can be considered as the guardian of your network. It sits between your internal and external network servers and works to filter and monitor incoming and outgoing traffic.

What do Proxy Servers Do?

Caching: Proxy servers can download and store local copies of any web pages that you frequently visit. This is known as caching. They also monitor the pages on an ongoing basis and automatically update the cached version when the live form of the page is modified, making the cached version always up to date. Cached versions of web pages can be accessed anytime without being online; and as such, caching is a valuable method of enhancing your Internet speed and reducing bandwidth usage.

Content Filtering: In some cases, you may wish to have more control over which websites your employees access on the internet. For example, you may be concerned about your staff spending time on social media when they should be engaged in company activities. In these cases, you can use a proxy server to determine the content users can access within your network. Other examples of content that may be filtered in this way are gaming websites and entertainment portals.

Monitoring: In addition to controlling browsed content, you may also wish to monitor your employees’ online behaviors; for example, the emails that are sent, the websites they connect to, and the chat messages they exchange. You can use a proxy server to track incoming and outgoing information on your network from a single location.

Privacy: Users within the local network can connect to an external web page via the proxy server as opposed to creating a direct connection. As such, any requests that are filtered through the proxy server appear to be coming from that server and not your internal network. This allows users within your network to connect anonymously to the Internet, which enhances your business security.

Every modern-age business should make full use of proxy servers to protect business assets and maximize productivity. If you’re interested in exploring the option of adding a proxy server to your network, call us and we will be happy to talk about it.

Does your business have a problem with wasted employee time due to unauthorized web surfing or down time due to viruses?  We can help!  Contact us…

The Business Case for Using Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm in few days since its launch. People are hitting the streets in search of Pokémon, and getting sore legs in the process. But how can local businesses take advantage of people’s obsession with this latest fad to increase sales and profitability?

Before you start developing a strategy by which you can convert sauntering mobile gaming fanatics into cold, hard cash, you need to identify whether your business is a PokeStop or near a Gym. You can do this by downloading the Ingress map. While this online map of portals isn’t explicitly related to Pokémon Go, savvy game players have found that it pretty much maps 1:1 with the PokeStops and Gyms on Pokémon Go.

If your Business is a PokeStop, throw down a lure and wait for the customers to come streaming in; a lure is a special module that will attract Pokémon. When a lure is placed, Pokémon (and, more importantly, players) suddenly descend on your location.

You buy lures with real money. For a budget of $50, you can purchase 84 lures, which will give you a Pokémon at your business for 42 hours in total; that’s just $1.19 an hour! Think of how much foot traffic you can get through your door with 42 hours of promotional activity on the world’s most popular game.

If your business is near a Gym, capitalize on your location; users converge on gyms to enter into virtual duels with other players in a bid to take control of the gym. You can capitalize on this by running giveaways that are explicitly targeted at Pokémon Go players, offering discounts to the representatives of the team that has control of the gym, or advertising your proximity to a Pokémon gym on social media.

If your business is not near a Gym or a PokeStop, you can still take your business on the road to a PokeStop and lay down the lures from there. Or you can promote the nearest Pokémon on social media.

Fad or not, Pokémon Go can make you some cash right now.  Don’t miss out on an amazing opportunity to tap into this craze.