Tag: data security

You may be leery about sending large amounts of money online or even checking your business bank account balance via the web, but there’s a secret that you need to know: Your financial institutions are already using the internet to save your data and push through money transfers. In other words, all banks do their banking online so staying off the web isn’t going to keep your pertinent information off the internet. So, what’s the best route for you?

First thing first: Speak to a finance expert with a bachelors degree in accounting to see if there are other ways to keep your money safe. As a good rule of thumb, you should have your credit monitored so that no new accounts are opened fraudulently and always change your passwords so that crooks aren’t able to rob you blind.

Cloud data protection

Your next step: Find ways to secure your financial information using robust technologies, such as cloud tech.

Cloud Storage Is the Way of the Future

When you want to save important records online, you can keep them on a server that’s hosted by a computer somewhere in the world or you can use cloud based storage. Using cloud computer storage will enable you to save vital data remotely so that it never disappears. Although there is a slight risk of this information being compromised, as with all web based data, it is actually much safer to use than other storage methods. Store your company’s accounts backups in the cloud so you won’t lose vital data if a hard-drive crashes.

If You Bank Your Financial Data Is Already Online

If you have applied for a loan, gone through a background check for a job or even applied for a driver’s license, all of your vital identifying information is already online. Business owners can help to keep client information safer with the use of smart accounting practices but they really need to focus on cyber security more than anything else. Look at how your business website is secured from outside and within and work with your security team on a plan to handle follow-up procedures if a data breach were to occur. Sometimes, preparing for war in a time of peace is truly the best way of keeping financial accounting and bank information safe.

Having Other Pertinent Data Safe Can Keep You Protected

Companies that keep their customer information safe don’t always keep all their records online. More specifically, if you have employees who earned an accounting degree online then at least some of your customer’s accounting information can be checked, tabulated, and maintained offline. Use accounting software backups that are not saved online to keep customer account balances and print that information off if you want a hard copy.

The internet is growing safer every day, but there are still risks to using it to maintain financial data, for both personal and business purposes. You can’t get by without using the web if you are a business owner, but you must be selective on what processes are used. Be intelligent about saving and accessing financial information online to keep everyone feeling more secure.

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The ability to remotely monitor employees and ensure data theft prevention measures are strictly adhered to are two critical issues that should be on the forefront of every manager’s “must-do list”.

With the recent upswing in cloud-based SaaS monitoring software and services, there’s simply no reason for a modern business to use old school methods for user activity monitoring. This pertains in particular to what they’re doing with their time, and when they’re accessing important company and/or client data.

Employee productivity in the cloud

One must also consider worst-case scenarios, such as a disgruntled employee seeking revenge after being dismissed and even “moles” infiltrating the company to steal your client lists or other important data.

Increasing productivity: Monitoring employee user activity and enhancing overall cloud security

This is an easy step for medium and large sized businesses to implement. They’ve seen what happens when you extend too much trust to employees. Smaller business owners and managers often worry they’re creating an unhappy environment for employees by monitoring and recording their every move.

Unfortunately, this mentality is what leads to wasted company time, horseplay and even worse; money and data theft. Prevention, in this case is nothing more than realizing that as much as you love them, you don’t really know your employees as well as you think you do.

Without proper monitoring systems in place, you never know what’s happening when your back is turned.

Always ensure your cloud monitoring system is setup to record everything your employees are doing including:

  • All applications being used including time opened and time closed.
  • Websites being accessed through the company servers.
  • Each and every file accessed and/or downloaded and uploaded.
  • Every keystroke made on company devices.
  • The signature of each approved device used to access the company cloud and physical servers.
  • Printed document tracking including what’s been printed, how many pages of each, and which printer was used.

This kind of monitoring is further bolstered by requiring employees to fill out a task completion worksheet as they finish individual tasks, so you can use the analysis tools provided by the SaaS to break down every conceivable cost associated with keeping individual employees and departments on the payroll.

Additional SaaS Features Should Include:

  • In compliance with current AES specifications to ensure bulletproof cloud security standards.
  • Set up alerts to allow you to be notified immediately when security violations occur.
  • Ensure management is able to remotely seize and disable a user device that’s been compromised.
  • The ability to access and playback history in the event a problem or data breach isn’t noticed right away (this is where most free SaaS programs and cloud storage providers fail, as live desktop monitoring alone can eat up thousands of gigabytes of storage bandwidth every month).
  • Customization services in case you require monitoring or security measures that aren’t included by default from the service provider.

When considering whether to go in-house or external, it’s important to consider the time spent creating and refining a monitoring and cloud security system of your own versus putting it in the hands of companies who employ the best IT specialists in their field and whose reputation hinges on providing the utmost in data integrity and employee management solutions.

Few businesses are equipped to handle the behind the scenes grunt-work required to keep the backend of such a system functioning flawlessly.

Business cloud management

Look for a Provider Willing to Grow With Your Company

SaaS providers like Teramind are committed to helping small businesses grow too. If you think you can’t afford to employ a paid SaaS in your company right now, think again.

Most reputable services will offer free user activity monitoring and data theft prevention services for 3 – 5 users while you start and/or continue to control your business.

There’s absolutely no reason to go it alone anymore. SaaS providers are constantly improving their offerings and the cost of creating and deploying an internally-maintained system is just far too great for most companies to justify.

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Many companies take their data security for granted, despite the fact that it is often one of their most valuable assets. A lot of this information ends up being impossible to replace, and it’s only after a serious data loss that many realize the importance of it. Not only can losing important data affect a team’s productivity, but it could also have disastrous effects on your company’s reputation as a whole. Here’s how you can ensure your data is secure and protect your business.

Cloud storage

Personal Backing Up Your Files

If you run your own small business with just a few employees to account for, personally backing up your files may be a suitable option. This could be by either printing off physical copies of your own files or backing them up digitally to an external hard drive. The problem with this method, though, is that, while many of us know the importance of backing up our data, very few of us can keep up with a regular schedule. Even if you fell behind for just a week, a hardware failure could mean a significant amount of work was lost.

Investing in a Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is a more reliable solution and can act as a central repository for all your company’s information. Your server will most likely use several hard drives which will make it much easier to create multiple backups. While servers are often designed with specialist components that are more reliable than your average PC, that doesn’t mean they’re immune to failures. Keeping everything in one centralized location also means it can’t protect you against theft, fire damage, or natural disasters. This is why keeping a copy of your information on an off-site location is so highly recommended.

Switching to Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is the latest and most convenient way to store your information, as you can easily access it from a variety of different devices. It works by making digital backups of your files which are stored across multiple physical servers via a hosting company. It’s then up to the cloud storage provider to keep the data available and accessible. If there’s a technical problem on their end, you might not being able to access your data for an indeterminate amount of time. This convenience could also come with other problems as cloud storage is no stranger to security challenges for enterprise users.

Working with a Third-Party Specialist

Choosing to work with a third-party specialist is arguably the best choice to securely store your data as it gives you both the benefits of physical backups with the conveniences of cloud storage. Companies like TNT Business Solutions can store your physical documents in a secure, off-site location while also creating digital copies of these files which you can access online.

Typically, the best kind of data security setups involve a combination of different solutions. This way, if your personal backups on an external hard drive fail, you’ll still have the option of pulling the files from your cloud storage provider. Make sure you put the time into adequately protecting your data as you’ll be thankful for it in the long-run.

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Have you ever encountered slow-moving processing of data in healthcare?

hospital

For some, this may seem like a rhetorical question – or simply a joke – but the truth is uncanny.  Healthcare undoubtedly deals with large quantities of data, and it’s only natural that technology becomes the solution.

It may be the natural step to a more efficient healthcare environment.  Big data could hold the key to a smarter, faster healthcare industry.

Massive Influx of Data in Healthcare

How much data is in healthcare? 

In an interview with Patrick Kelly of Avnet Services Healthcare Practice, Dana Gardner reports that the number is at 500 petabytes of digital healthcare data in 2012.  If that isn’t large enough, Kelly expects it to reach 25,000 petabytes by 2020.

Naturally, this can cause some significant problems.  Electronic health records have flooded the industry.  Based on a report from KLAS Enterprises, Neil Versel notes, 55 percent of interviewed healthcare provider representative said that electronic health records were a “key factor” in future purposes of intravenous infusion pumps.  It gives perspective to how digital data in healthcare can merge with devices in the industry.

Big Data’s Role in the Industry

Take a look at how the industry is unfolding technologically, and it’s easy to see how big data is transforming healthcare.

After all, it’s how the number of digital data has taken such a sharp turn upwards presently and in the future.

From medical data streams to medical imaging – and much more – big data has taken the industry by storm. It has made a considerable impact to the state of healthcare in a multitude of ways.

How will it play out in the future?

As the medical world harnesses the implications of developing technology, so too will big data develop in response to those trends.  From electronic health records to diagnostic tools and much, much  more, there is a lot that can take place in the future of healthcare.

Bottom Line

How will big data specifically mesh with the changing world of healthcare?  We probably don’t know the answer.

One thing is clear: Big data is here to stay.

Healthcare cannot survive without a powerful big data solution to take care of the technological needs of the industry.  Big data is poised to make a difference in the deep and important field of healthcare.

How it all works out will be an interesting story.

But look for big data to serve as the prescription for the industry.

About the Author: Brian Neese covers an array of subjects on the web, among which include technology, small business and SEO.
License: Creative Commons image source

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We are in fact moving to the cloud. Not in the real world, but at least, in the virtual world. Statistics show that the number of people using personal cloud is on the rise and it has almost become a common practice among small business owners.

cloudsecurity

Most businesses are making a migration from the offline PCs to Cloud because it is simple, convenient and cost effective. The impact of cloud computing has become so pervasive that we no longer use USB flash drive to carry images, file or documents, rather we opt for the smart option available .i.e. store the files on the cloud. The reason people are choosing Cloud over physical PCs is that files stored on the Cloud are accessible anywhere, anytime, given the fact that you have net connection available.

We have started trusting Cloud so much that we do not think twice before uploading documents like ID cards, bank details and other confidential papers on the Cloud. But are you 100% sure that the data stored on the Cloud is safe and secure? Probably, you are not.

In fact, there is no such universal rules and regulation that govern Cloud. Most of rules are too thin and vary widely depends on the geographical location of the users and therefore, it can be said that you do have some reasons to worry when it comes to ensuring security of your data on the Cloud.

Now if you do care for the safety and security of your confidential information, you need to try the following tips –

Use Common Sense

Okay, I am not kidding. But I think people lost it when they store too confidential information on the Cloud. No matter how reputed the Cloud service provider is you should never trust them with your bank account password or any such confidential information that can jeopardize your financial stability. And this not Rocket Science rather this is a common application of Common Sense but sadly most people seem to lack it nowadays.

We are not asking you to store files on the Cloud rather we are asking you not to store sensitive files on the Cloud. Does this make any sense to you?

Read The Agreement

Okay, let’s face it, we rarely read the boring agreement paper. But since this is about ensuring safety of your confidential data, you have to do it. So, take a deep breath and start reading the user agreement of the service provider. Make a note of things that sound a bit doubtful and before you sign up for the plan; you need to ask the service provider to clarify those doubtful points in simple English. We all know the idea is boring but believe is there is no way around it.

Strong Passwords

This may sound basic but the problem is that most human beings living on this planet do some weird things when it comes to setting up password. They use their girl’s name as password and if it does not sound crazy, some people do believe that the following password – ‘123456789’ is the strongest password ever conceived by humans so far. So, while setting up cloud server[read this in case, you are setting up rackspace cloud server], you need to make sure that you have chosen strong password that include different combinations, special characters and alphanumeric.

Have A Contingency Plan

So, you are planning to build a spaceship after the after the Earth gets hit by an asteroid? What about building one before the apocalyptic occurs? The same goes true with Cloud. You need to have contingency plan should the Cloud service provider somehow lost all the files. These types of incidents have happened before and it is not far off the mark to say that disaster can strike once again.

Know Where Your Data Is Getting Stored

You have every right and reason to know where your data is getting stored physically. There are some Cloud hosting service providers, who store data of their customers in multiple international locations. If you manage to track the place where you data are supposed to be stored, you need to the laws of their place to ascertain the risk level.

License: Creative Commons image source

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office relocation tipsIf your business is in the middle of an office relocation – or if you are in the planning stages of a massive corporate relocation – it’s essential to place an emphasis on protecting your company’s essential data during your move.

When people think of “essential business data,” they often think of credit card numbers or the personal information of clients. However, the fact is that essential data comes in many different forms. A lost accounting report, for example, could be used by a competitor to determine your best clients. Even something simple, like a clerk’s old computer, could contain years worth of email records – and who knows what might be in that pile of old emails.

The point is, when data – even seemingly innocuous data – is lost, the costs can be substantial. Therefore, it’s important to protect your company’s electronic data during a corporate relocation. Here are three suggestions:

1. Store backups of important data on portable drives, then assign them to individual employees for transport.

There are many mobile solutions for data storage, with the largest of these being able to hold terabytes of information. So no matter what kind of data you have, there is almost always an affordable mobile solution which can fit your business needs.

Once you have the data on a mobile device, put a trusted employee in charge of that device and ask them to transport it personally. While it might sound excessive, this process keeps things from accidentally getting lost during the move and avoids finger pointing after the fact.

2. Upload all your data to an online storage service.

Online storage services take the responsibility of physically handling your data during a move completely out of your hands. Amazon’s S3 service offers 99.999999999% reliability, a simple interface, and it’s incredibly affordable.

The benefits of online storage are:

  • You don’t have to worry as much about losing or damaging a hard drive during a move.

  • Professional data handling companies automatically mirror your data on multiple servers, so giving your data to them once is the same as making multiple backups.

  • It’s easy to access the data from any Internet connection, so it’s no problem for employees to get back to work at the new office.

Of course these can all be negatives too. When the data isn’t physically located in your office, it’s that much easier for someone to copy or steal. If you decide to store important data online, be sure to consult with a computer security expert first.

3. Don’t forget: You must also protect your data from physical threats.

If you’re wondering where there’s all this emphasis on backups, it’s because computers can break, lose data, or even be stolen during a move. Hard drives are mechanical devices, and it’s not uncommon to have a hard drive fail during a move because it’s been jostled or dropped. Therefore, it’s critical to have a backup before your relocation commences.

It’s also important to remember that computers are much more likely to be stolen during an office move than at any other time. The reason? It’s hard to keep an eye on everything when an office is being relocated, and it’s really easy for someone to say a computer was “lost” during a move without causing suspicion. Therefore, when moving your company’s computer, put a few employees in charge of watching the computer equipment and make sure that they’re making a count at every stage of the moving process.

If you follow these simple rules, your company will not suffer any data loss, which means there won’t be any lost production, no danger that your competitors have access to your client list (or worse), and very little chance that your secret formulas will end up plastered on WikiLeaks. Good luck!

Author Jason Lancaster works with TRC Global Solutions, a corporate relocation company.

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