Make those minutes count

How to Keep Customers’ Personal Information Private

shutterstock_135054332The increased collection of detailed personal information by private companies is a major concern among consumers. As security breaches become more frequent, companies are under increased pressure to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.

Consumers concerns center are the unauthorized release of personal data including chat logs, files, images and emails. These worries aren’t unwarranted, as an unsecured firm can be compromised to the point where customers’ private data could be accessed by third parties. It is the organizations’ responsibility to avoid security breaches.

Here are tips for organizations to help keep customer data safe.

Tips for Maintaining Privacy of Customer Data

  1. Make sure that your network, email protection and endpoint can effectively avoid dangerous types of files, malware and spam.
  2. Keep staff trained on how to effectively identify, report and deal with potentially dangerous emails, such as messages that include suspicious attachments or possible phishing links.
  3. Implement a patch assessment tool that automatically applies security updates to programs and operating systems, preventing potential exploits.
  4. Having a secure gateway and/or endpoint protection application can identify and prevent exploits before your systems can be hit.
  5. While many companies might believe that attackers could be satisfied with only a few pieces of private data, the reality is that these criminals want to gain full access to user databases and entire networks, where they can access all available personal information en masse. To avoid this, you might want to separate each of your own internal departments with multiple top-of-the-line firewalls, as opposed to relying on a single firewall that, once exploited, can leave all of your systems vulnerable.
  6. Device control strategies can be effective in keeping dangerous removable storage devices away. Companies can make it so that any personal data for customers is impossible to store on external devices, and avoid potential exploit kits that might be stored on them.
  7. When sharing any sensitive information internally, utilize full disc protection and securely encrypt all private information that’s located on private servers or any external devices.
  8. Make sure that you aren’t using any applications that are unnecessary and potentially detract from system security.
  9. Create and stick with a data protection policy that provides detailed instructions on how to keep all private information secure from possible threats.
  10. When transitioning to cloud services, organizations should make data encryption a top priority.

How Consumers Can Help

  1. Consumers should create strong passwords that aren’t easy to figure out, avoiding the use of any information that others may know. A good password consists of a complex combination of letters, numbers, punctuation and capitalization to make it more difficult to compromise, but consumers should create one that’s not difficult for them to recall.
  2. When making purchases with independent sellers on eBay or other online outlets, consumers should stick with PayPal or credit card payments in order to avoid scams.
  3. Consumers should always look carefully through emails before clicking on links or opening attachments. If they are from people with whom they’ve had no previous contact, or if the email doesn’t include enough detail to appear legitimate, it could be an email intended to phish personal information or infect computer systems with malware.

As network technology continues to develop, so does that of crooks looking to steal personal information, This is why both businesses and consumers need to put in more effort in securing data.

How to Improve Cloud Network Performance

shutterstock_234708769Many companies tend to focus too exclusively on constructing their cloud platform, to the point where other crucial aspects of IT go overlooked. One of these important elements includes network management, making sure that performance is optimal.

Maintaining the Network

When companies are too concerned about cloud services, they might lose control over the network, resulting in poorer performance. With cloud technology, the network relies on smooth operation to handle the increased traffic that employees access over the cloud. Essentially, the network and the cloud merge together.

In order to prevent network crashes or generally poor performance, companies’ IT departments need to take steps to improve the network’s efficiency and work within budget constraints. Smaller businesses that are continually expanding will particularly want to avoid going over budget, as they will often require additional physical office space and network capacity to handle the addition of new employees. Even larger businesses will still search for ways to avoid spending more than they need to on their network, but optimizing network performance is required for cloud services to run smoothly.

There are several ways keep your network performing the way it should.

Managing Traffic with WAN

WAN optimization involves several aspects that companies should pay attention to in order to make WAN more efficient and more capable of handling heavy traffic. Some of the processes that WAN optimization involves include:

  • De-duplication, a process that helps remove backup-related traffic by backing up files only once, and gradually sending pieces of those files over a period of time as opposed to all at once.
  • Compression, which reduces the sizes of files by using algorithms to remove unneeded parts of files, subsequently helping further reduce network traffic.
  • Caching, which takes unsaved images and other items that Internet browsers request, and sends them to a remote locations. A local device then caches the item, and the device can then save it locally in order to avoid taking up bandwidth space.

In order to further manage traffic using WAN, companies should perform tasks such as traffic monitoring and traffic shaping to properly control network traffic and further maximize WAN efficiency. With a well-managed WAN connection, your network should benefit from more bandwidth as well as controlled traffic.

Using Broadband Bonding to Improve Efficiency

Broadband connections can provide plenty of bandwidth for larger businesses while remaining relatively inexpensive. Unfortunately, broadband connections aren’t often that reliable or expansive, rendering them somewhat ineffective in networks. As a result, they aren’t typically very scalable and are prone to faults. This is a problem that companies can avoid by taking advantage of broadband bonding, which entails combining several different connections into a unified one. Broadband bonding will help ensure that each of your connections works as a single cohesive network.

Companies need to consider that as the cloud becomes increasingly popular and more advanced, both the network and the cloud are gradually combining together. As businesses come to rely even more on quality network connectivity, they will want to find ways to handle traffic and keep the network efficient at all times. Once companies have solid control over their networks, they will be able to use the cloud without running into issues that are likely to become a thing of the past.