Secure Remote Access: Keeping Business Going with Remote Work

Users accessing a business network through secure remote access connectivity

Given current norms and today’s prevailing culture of a mobile “connect from anywhere” user population, organizations have no alternative recourse but to extend connectivity beyond and across their network perimeter in support of business and IT operations through the use of secure remote access.

But providing remote access to critical information systems, servers, and applications is a perilous endeavor. So what’s an institution to do in order to help end users ensure secure remote access to IT resources? The information provided below is to educate your staff, members and board about providing secure remote access and empowering worker productivity.

It is well publicized that today’s attackers are ever vigilant in their attempts to uncover weak points in networks, computers, and mobile devices to establish a foothold and leverage vulnerabilities, thus resulting in the compromise of critical assets or personal information.

Areas of concern that can lead to a breach include the lack of physical security controls available at remote locations, the use of unsecured networks, and the connection of infected devices to internal networks. The challenge is especially daunting when: (more…)

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Work From Home: How To Maximize Productivity During A Pandemic

Professional working from home

As a business owner today, you are now facing unprecedented challenges to help deal with the coronavirus pandemic. You are asked to self-isolate and practice social distancing to “flatten the curve.” You are asked to allow your employees to work from home to reduce possible exposure and slow the spread of COVID-19.

These are all reasonable requests. However, as a business owner you also need to maximize productivity, bring in revenue and try to grow your business in these demanding times. How can you accomplish these goals when your office is now a ghost town and productivity has fallen off a cliff?

The answer lies in setting up your office to function remotely by allowing employees and volunteers to work from home, or remotely. If you’ve never implemented a work-from-home policy before, it may seem like a whole different world. Managing an entirely remote workforce goes far beyond giving your employees a laptop and reminding them to check in every once in a while. After all, there are many factors most business owners haven’t ever had to consider, such as: (more…)

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Benefits of A Server Computer For Small Businesses

Image of a computer network administrator managing a server computer

While cloud computing comes to mind when discussing file storage and sharing, the fact still remains that a server computer may really be all a small business or organization needs to improve business and office productivity.

Can a server computer really help your business? So many small business owners seem to think otherwise. The argument is that the old converted Microsoft Windows desktop “server” computer sitting in a corner is doing just fine.

However, that is a disaster waiting to happen  and it is bound to become a great drag on business and employee productivity. Server computers are built for storing data in a central location which ultimately saves everyone a lot of time, effort and stress. Think about it for a minute. With your corporate files in a central location, there is less need for your workers or users to try and figure out where a specific file is or who is currently using a specific document.  Servers also make it very easy to collaborate on numerous projects and whenever someone updates a file, the new information is instantly available to all.

If your business or organization is still operating in a Peer-to-Peer network environment, you need a network server.

Peer-to-Peer or work-group systems do not provide much in the way of security, and resource sharing can be somewhat problematic. In addition, your organization and users will have problems accessing other workstations, could lose data due to virus or spyware infection, and will likely experience intermittent Internet connectivity problems.

Computers networked in a peer-to-peer fashion may be adequate when you only have a few users on the network, but once you have more then 5 or 6 users on your business network, your organization should really consider investing in a network server computer.

What Is A Server Computer?

A network server computer allows organizations to centralize administration, data backups, file storage, share printers and documents, and host databases. (more…)

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How Businesses Can Protect Their Wireless Access Points

Image of Wireless Access Points And Devices

The current high rate of mobile users warrants that wireless access users, especially business users, should know how to protect their wireless access points.

First of all, regular business travelers, high-tech adventurers, or those who just love traveling are increasingly vulnerable to unique cyber security threats. This is even more dire in the case of business travelers because they often carry sensitive data that may be personal or business related.

And most noteworthy, this sensitive data reside on a variety of devices from laptops, tablets, and smartphones to other smart devices such as wearables and home appliances.

A recent survey of financial districts found a high percentage of Wi-Fi clients actively probing for “Free Public WiFi”, and cyber criminals create fake wireless access points (SSIDs), hoping that unsuspecting users will log into one of these.

Fraudulent SSIDs Can Lead To Wireless Access Points Attack

It can be tough to convince users — especially those challenged by shrinking travel budgets — to avoid the temptation and draw of free wireless Internet access. When employers can’t or won’t pay for unlimited wireless Internet, employees get creative. Why should they waste thankless hours waiting for planes and trains when they could be using Free Public WiFi to catch up on mail, download iTunes, or watch a little Slingbox? (more…)

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What Can Astaro Linux Do For You?

I had a client who was just getting killed by spammers. Every morning their inbox was loaded with junk mail and they had as much as five thousand (5,000) emails in their spam filter box when they came in. I decided to help them out with the free version of Astaro Security Gateway. We threw the software version (v7) on an old AMD box they had lying around – 2GHz processor, 20GB IDE drive, 512 RAM, two NICS. What a difference spam filtering at the perimeter of the network makes! The first week was like “wow”. Astaro actually generates a daily report and for email filtering we had 36,930 processed. Get this, out of that number, 36,832 was categorized as “Spam emails blocked”. And the live log was right there for us to see. Emails the system was not sure about were placed in quarantine and you have the option of having an admin view, release or delete those emails, or have a report sent to the affected user. The report even had a “Top 10 Spam Sender” entry with the IP addresses and countries of origin (little flags) of the bad guys. There was also a “Top 5 Spam Countries” entry on the report. (more…)

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