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How Enterprise Security Differs From SMB Security Measures

Many small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are experiencing an increase in challenges where cybersecurity is coSecurityncerned. This is due in part to the growing use of mobile devices as well as cloud applications and infrastructure that are putting strain on those organizations. Therefore, the topic of enterprise security is becoming more mainstream than ever before.

Should SMBs follow the lead of larger organizations, which tend to focus on protecting data rather than just endpoints? Netwrix recently completed a study that suggests the need for a more pointed focus on what’s going on with on-premise systems as well as cloud-based systems and the various mobile devices associated with an enterprise.

Specific Challenges

It’s hard to argue against the challenges that most SMBs cite as reasons why they don’t implement more cybersecurity strategies – it’s all about staffing and budgets. The Netwrix study found that for SMBs, the IT department is responsible for cybersecurity because most of those businesses don’t have a separate security department working to protect their data.

However, these challenges aren’t exclusive to SMBs – most organizations face staffing and budgeting challenges. Of note is that enterprises often cite difficulty in supporting their complex infrastructures as a concern, which is not as common with SMBs.

The Pain Is Shared

When security is lacking, every part of the business is affected. IDG estimates that nearly 30 percent of SMBs have security positions that go unfilled. For enterprises the numbers are even higher, with around 43 percent of organizations having at least three open positions.

Despite the differences in approaches to cybersecurity and the appearance that enterprises might be better equipped to handle threats, Netwrix found that enterprises are at no less risk of an attack than SMBs.

It appears that SMBs are beginning to adopt more data-centric approaches to their security. They’re also trying to get more visibility into the activity of users in an effort to be more proactive and less reactive to cybersecurity issues.

At T2, we’ve studied the various threats out there today and are fully committed to assisting our clients in security, connectivity, and reliable services. Our robust solutions will ensure your enterprise security is covered. Contact us today to discuss your needs and ways you can improve strategies for better, safer business growth.

How to Solve Some Common Problems with VoIP

In the past, the ability of a small to medium sized business (SMB) to expand into international markets was impeded by the exorbitant costs of international telephony. But with the roll out of general purpose data networks and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony, a significant barrier to entry was removed from the international marketplace. VoIP telephony is the process of routing calls over the Internet instead of traditional phone lines. Its advantages are so compelling that even larger businesses that can afford to use traditional tech for international calls are switching to VoIP systems.

Indispensable though it may be, it’s important to realize that VoIP isn’t a perfect technology. There are some common issues that can interfere with a business’s ability to communicate. Here are three of the more frequent issues that can occur, and some simple ways to deal with them.

Unable to Connect

The ability to connect depends on the reliability of the VoIP service provider. Many of the better providers offer a 99.99% uptime guarantee, which is made possible by building in redundancy in call routing and robust failover provisioning.

For businesses already experiencing call connection issues, contacting the service provider immediately may resolve the issues. If problems persist, it may be necessary to switch providers.

For companies still looking for a service provider, it is important to ask about service level agreements and to investigate what sorts of backup provisioning are in place.

Poor Call Quality

Sometimes calls connect without any issues but with sub-standard audio quality. Even in cases where communication is still possible, low call quality can negatively affect a company’s image with clients and customers.

In most cases of consistently low call quality, the cause is insufficient bandwidth. Each concurrent call generally needs around 100kbps of bandwidth. That doesn’t sound like much, but can quickly add up as business expands. Thanks to the wealth of options available today, provisioning enough bandwidth and adding more as necessary is a relatively straightforward process.

Dropped Calls

VoIP can suffer from dropped calls more frequently than the older public switched telephone network (PTSN), but it is usually a simple fix.

Dropped calls are typically caused by excessive packet loss, and packet loss is usually caused by an overloaded network. Adding more bandwidth can often resolve these issues. Before paying more for additional bandwidth, though, it may be worth looking at the network’s quality of service (QoS) settings. QoS settings tell the network what types of data and which packets have priority. By simply setting VoIP data as a high-priority data stream, dropped call issues can often be resolved without paying an additional cent.

VoIP has made progress toward leveling the international playing field for SMBs. It is by no means perfect, but a bit of planning and preparation can help ensure that this tremendously useful technology lives up to its full potential.

How the Cloud Can Benefit Small Businesses

MSP & the cloudThere has been much buzz about the cloud in recent years and how it benefits big businesses, especially those with large storage and computing needs. Yet, small and medium-sized businesses can also realize great benefits from utilizing cloud resources.

Here are three ways small to medium-size businesses can benefit from leveraging an off-site, cloud resource.

Minimize Deployment Times and Increase Scalability

In the past, it was necessary for businesses to procure hardware and software systems to use as servers. It took time for the vendor and the IT department to install and deploy the necessary computers and software.

Now with cloud offerings available from service providers, businesses can be up and running within a very short time. The other benefit to using the cloud from a managed service provider (MSP) is increased scalability. The computing power can grow as the company grows or shrink accordingly. The customer only pays for what is used. Because it can grow as the company grows, there’s no need to purchase new equipment or software that can quickly become outdated.

Predictable Budget and Reduced Cost

Computer servers tend to be expensive. They require maintenance, upgrades, personnel, and other costs. No matter how knowledgeable and efficient the IT staff is, servers can and will have downtime issues. Because of their unpredictable nature, it’s hard to budget for data servers.

On the other hand, cloud services have various pricing levels and models. This can be attractive to small and medium-sized businesses with strict budgets. In addition, the business only pays for what the business uses, and payment plans make it easy to meet specific company needs and budgets.

Easier Online Collaboration and Coordination

One of the greatest benefits to working in a cloud environment is the ability to coordinate efforts on data and documents. No longer do employees have to email files to other team members, customers, or vendors. Files can be modified immediately and in real time. This allows for efficient collaboration and enables the company to be more flexible and agile in response to customer needs.

By utilizing the cloud, small and medium-sized businesses are able to take advantage of increased savings due to reduced cost, resources, and waste. Companies no longer have to worry about purchasing equipment that will quickly become outdated and overburdened. By leveraging the cloud, companies can focus on getting the job done rather than worrying about technology.

SMBs Benefit from Lightning-Fast Fiber-Optic Internet

Fiber opticsFor years, many big businesses have benefited from having the fastest Internet service at their disposal. Today, given the availability and spread of fiber-optic service, now even SMBs can benefit from speeds as high as 1 gigabit per second.

Most recently, some of the biggest names in the Internet service provider world have rolled out lightning-fast fiber-optic Internet service throughout several cities and regions. While this is great for ordinary consumers, it’s even better for SMBs.

Why Fiber-Optic Beats Out Cable

One of the biggest and most important advantages to fiber-optic Internet service is its speed. Whereas a typical cable Internet connection offers up to 150 Mbps for uploads and up to 20 Mbps for downloads, a fiber-optic connection offers speeds of 1 Gbps. When it comes to Internet speeds, cable Internet is a high-performance supercar; fiber-optic is a top fuel dragster.

It all comes down to one simple fact: fiber-optic connections are a big deal–much more so than a typical cable connection. It’s like pipes: today’s new fiber-optic lines are the big, brand-new pipes that let lots of liquids flow through unimpeded–as opposed to the narrow and winding pipes of yesteryear.

What It Means for Small Businesses

It’s not just movies and games that are getting bigger in size. Many of the digital items that small businesses rely on are also growing. Spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and graphics are just a few of the daily business items that involve lots of data. Simply, they need big pipes. Video-conferencing tools also require plenty of bandwidth, making fiber-optic lines necessary so that excellent video quality is maintained.

Fiber-optic connections are also becoming essential for cloud computing, which many SMBs employ. With a fast fiber-optic connection, businesses are able to access large amounts of their cloud-stored data and use a wide range of cloud apps at remarkable speeds.

In the end, the move towards fiber-optic connections means increased productivity for employees and an increased bottom line for many SMBs. More likely will adopt fiber-optic connections in the coming months, especially as cloud applications grow in popularity and daily business functions require more bandwidth.