Archive for May, 2013

Network Infrastructure Disaster Recovery: Incorporating Cloud-Based Recovery into Business-Continuity Plans

30 May 2013 | Comments Off | tncllcadmin

As IT environments continue to grow and become more complex, companies are often stumped with its understanding.  As IT-dependent processes become more critical to a company’s function, loosing data or time is becoming unacceptable. Traditional network infrastructure disaster recovery time—typically 24 to 72 hours from a most-recent tape backup—are inadequate for most important enterprise applications.

With IT maintenance being important part of the structure of a company, many organizations are now face significant IT budget limitations and struggle to support these growing requirements.  However there is good news, a new and robust disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) or cloud DR model has come out that promises to deliver enterprise-class continuity, cost efficiency and flexibility. This comes in time as both accessibility and cost has forced many organizations to take their disaster recovery (DR) solution in house.

Key Aspects to Look For in a DRaaS Solution:

Location—Where is the cloud core located? Some vendors won’t reveal this, or they locate it in a country with inadequate data-privacy protections.

Financial stability—How stable is the DRaaS vendor? You are giving it your data—your prized jewels. A variety of storage service providers have gone bankrupt. You want to have a vendor in whose future you feel confident.

Experience—How much experience does the DRaaS vendor have in business continuity and disaster recovery? Some vendors have jumped into DRaaS because it is a hot area, but have little experience in continuity.

Security—What security provisions does the DRaaS solution include? Does the solution have robust physical and information security protections and monitoring? Is data isolated and encrypted?

Ability to handle large-scale disasters—Is the DRaaS vendor able to handle widespread disasters (such as hurricanes, nuclear accidents, etc.) in which many customers may simultaneously declare disasters? Does the vendor have a history of dealing with such large-scale events?

Scalability—Is the DRaaS solution able to scale to handle large numbers of servers and large amounts of storage? The vast majority of DRaaS solutions today are SMB solutions with only aspirations of meeting enterprise requirements.

 

As technology continues to be a backbone for all companies, it is important to take disaster plans into high consideration.  Companies must review their recovery times in order to have a speedy process with minimal loss.

4 Reasons to Connect with Total Network Consulting on Social Media Channels

27 May 2013 | Comments Off | tncllcadmin

Thanks for checking out our channel for discussing new and interesting topics in the field, our  total network services and also answer your questions about what’s going on in your total network. With a presence on the following social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. Why are we on so many? Because customer service is the greatest technology and we want to be at the fingertips of our clients to generate conversation and assist them. Here are four reasons why you should connect with us.

  • We put the “communication” in “telecommunications.”

We know not everyone is interested in hearing about the complicated technical workings of a company, network infrastructure and cabling. We want to get personal and have some real conversations with you. We want to know your thoughts on a topic. For example, did you know that we are philanthropic? Let’s get to know each other on another level.

  • We supply convenient customer service.

Have you ever had a problem with your product and needed to call a customer service line? You’re usually speaking with a recording and pressing numbers to get to an actual person. Now you can skip that step and find us online. You are probably already on Facebook, so just like the Total Network Consulting Facebook Page and we’re right there if you need anything. While you’re at it, connect with us on Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

  • We’re connected to some amazing friends.

We have alliances with some industry-leading manufacturers and we want you to join our network. HP, Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya, Ortronics, and Corning are just a few of our fostered long-term relationships that you can be a part of too.

  • We are thought leaders.

If you’re looking for credible information, you have come to the right place. There is a reason why many fortune 1000, 500, 100 and small businesses alike, have chosen us as their trusted partner. We have customized our services because each client has a unique objective and goal. We take pride in providing true value in our work, and we want to transcend that to our social channels.

We hope you enjoyed our honest reasons of why we can benefit from connecting with each other. Keep in mind that this is the first blog post of many and we encourage you to check back for some invaluable information on the industry, the happenings in our corporation and much more.

If you have additional reasons that we forgot to mention, feel free to contact us and let us know what we missed.

Why CCTV Integration is Important for Your Business

20 May 2013 | Comments Off | tncllcadmin

CCTV Integration

CCTV integration is important for all businesses small or large.  Whether you own a small bakery or a retail store, having that assured security is important for the overall success of your business.  Many business leaders and owners can be hesitant on installing such features.  Cost and labor often sway business owners from the idea, however it should be known that it is an investment for the long run.  Why should businesses invest in CCTV systems? Check out these things you need to know about integrating it into your business.

  1. CCTV cameras are great for scaring off would be burglars.  Even the sight of cameras in the region make crooks think twice about breaking in, let alone entering the property.
  2. CCTV surveillance systems are cost effective.  They are easy to maintain and relatively inexpensive.
  3. CCTV cameras can’t be avoided.  With systems utilizing multiple cameras, you can rest assure that all angles of the area are kept taps on.
  4. Why wouldn’t you want to keep your business safe? All businesses are vulnerable to theft.  Whether it is a cash register or valuable merchandise, utilizing CCTV systems is excellent for providing 24/7 coverage.

Features of Integrating CCTV Surveillance Devices:

CCTV Camera Interface:

Network cameras on common platform

Integrated CCTV photo-frames

Door Alarm connected to cameras

Software selects camera for Guard-watch

CCTV Multiplexer Integration:

Multiple cameras on common network

Multiplexers integrated with software

Recording on network server

User-friendly review and analysis

Video / Photo-Frame Data Recordings:

System stores photo-files on database

Subsystems integrate photo-frames

Stores data + photo-frame on same file

Easy to review and print all data

Network Security: Home Routers Found to Contain Vulnerabilities

17 May 2013 | Comments Off | tncllcadmin

 network securityA recent study by Independent Security Evaluators, has found that thirteen name brand routers contain network security issues which could lead to hackers corrupting the network.  Routers in this study include popular brands tested such as, Linksys, Belkin, Netgear, Verizon and D-Link.

According to an article from Network World, “all of the router models evaluated ran their company’s latest firmware and were tested with their default, out-of-the-box configurations. Consumers have few options for mitigating the attacks, ISE said in its report.”

The article further explains that, “man-in-the-middle attacks” can let a hacker launch more sophisticated attacks on all users in the router’s domain. Hackers can perform attacks such as sniffing and rerouting non-SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) traffic, tampering with DNS (Domain Name System) settings and conducting distributed denial-of-service attacks.  In addition Network World states that, researchers from the Independent Security Evaluators divided the attacks into those which required an attacker to be on the same network and those on networks that could be attacked remotely. They found that, two routers from Belkin, the N300 and N900, were vulnerable to a remote attack that did not require the hacker to have authentication credentials.

The following products are examples of products vulnerable to a network security attack if a hacker has the victim’s login information and is on the same network:

  • Linksys WRT310v2
  • Netgear’s WNDR4700
  • TP-Link’s WR1043N
  • Verizon’s FiOS Actiontec  MI424WR-GEN3I
  • D-Link’s DIR865L
  • Belkin’s N300, N900 and F5D8236-4 v2 models

Mobile Use for Banking Doesn’t Have to be a Hassle

15 May 2013 | Comments Off | tncllcadmin

As the smartphone penetration continues to expand, mobile usage continues to be utilized for various tasks, including online banking.  Online banking has become a popular new alternative for those on the go.  We’re sure you’ve seen television commercials where you can now deposit a check with the simple click of the button.  Mobile banking shouldn’t be a hassle and by implementing the following steps you can keep your identity secure.

1) Set up a password or passcode on your phone or tablet.  This will help prevent any unwanted fingers accessing your financial information.

2) An article from the Times Free Press states, “never provide personal information unless you initiate contact with your bank or other financial institution. Financial institutions should not request account numbers, Social Security numbers or other sensitive information through the phone, email, or text messages.” There should be no reason as to why your financial institution is inquiring about such information.  They already have those details from the moment you open an account.

3) Be sure to log out every time you use the application.  We know it is easy to forget to do so however doing so will help prevent unauthorized user from entering your accounts.

4) Reduce leaking out information, delete old text messages from your bank.

5) If your mobile device becomes lost or stolen, contact your wireless provider and financial institutions immediately

Taking these extra precautions into consideration will help prevent hackers and thieves from getting their hands on private information.  With technology and mobile usage ever expanding and becoming more complex, hackers have become more efficient and strategic on breaking through almost anything.

Mobile Devices and Their Return on Investment with Employees

14 May 2013 | Comments Off | tncllcadmin

We’re sure you already know that many companies offer their employees work phones and mobile devices.  Whether they’re BlackBerries, iPhones or Androids, the real question is what is their return on investment? Is it really benefiting the company to offer such devices to employees who most likely already own similar personal devices?

Opinions vary with IT leaders and mobile device experts.  According to an article from Computer World, IT leaders are enthusiastic about their bring-your-own-device policies, and while they can’t produce hard ROI numbers, they do say that BYOD saves money and increases productivity. Industry watchers aren’t so sure, citing costs related to service plans, support and compliance as often-overlooked concerns.

Computer World goes on to explain, while people are entitled to their own opinions about the qualitative benefits of BYOD, it should be possible to determine some kind of ROI based on the numbers. However this doesn’t come easy as there are many different ways IT leaders approach a BYOD program. For example, some companies let employees use their personal devices but also offer some technical support and there are others who do not offer such services, requiring employees to use their own and there are some who reimburse employees.

There are a wide variety of mixed emotions from various leaders from major companies such as Cisco and ADP, find out their opinions here.

You May be Killing the Network Service of Your PC and Not Even Know it

13 May 2013 | Comments Off | tncllcadmin

Not taking proper care of your computer can send it to PC heaven sooner than you know it.  Computers need love too, whether you realize it or not.  Sometimes our busy lives prevent us from taking proper care of our devices.  Even the simplest changes can make a huge difference in everything from the network security to the life span of your PC or laptop.  Check out these nine bad habits according to Gear Burn, which may very well send your precious device you know you can’t live without, to its death bed.

1. Always using sleep mode

2. Skipping the updates

3. You believe every email is safe

4. You only use one backup option

5. Never maintaining your computer

6. You’re skipping the antivirus software

7. Don’t make office PC and laptops your problem

8. Your passwords are poorly selected

9. You keep rarely used software

Do you fall into any one of these habits? It is often easy to leave your computer on all night or utilize the same password for everything, we’ve all been there.  However a PC or laptop is an important investment not only money wise, but as you know, it is an important tool for your everyday tasks and needs.  Following those steps are simple and will better help save the life of your device.  For further details on those steps read here.

According to Cisco, Mobile Devices Will Soon Outnumber People on Earth

11 May 2013 | Comments Off | tncllcadmin

mobile devicesBelieve it or not, Cisco recently came out with a study claiming that the number of mobile devices will soon surpass the number of humans this year.  According to this study, an average person owns five mobile devices between home and work. An average business person maintains at least three Internet connected devices.

Interesting enough, Forbes has used statistics from this study and found out that about 40 percent of people surveyed said that they prefer doing business on an Apple Inc. device. In addition, Forbes claims, “the study revealed that women are more likely to share their personal phone number than men. About 58 percent of respondents said that they text at least once a month for business purposes. But 66 percent of the respondents don’t like listening to voicemail from business contacts.”

The survey shows that security is a huge factor in how consumers would change their usage.  For example, in case of a security of breach, the study shows that, 78 percent of the respondents will stop using important services like online banking, 57 percent will stop texting, and over 50 percent said they would stop viewing work-related information.

This comes as a worry for business who find their employees consistently being distracted by their devices.  Business executives are most likely to own an iPad, laptop, iPod and you can’t forget about the good old Blackberry.  Juggling so many devices can often cause confusion and information overload, especially for the executive who needs to stay on par.

Cloud Network Infrastructure 101

11 May 2013 | Comments Off | tncllcadmin

If you are not familiar with the concept of cloud computing, don’t stress let us break it down for you in a somewhat non technical way.  To better explain, the cloud network infrastructure is the newest form of internet evolution, basically providing means such as computing, applications and businesses processes that can be delivered to you at any time or any place.  In addition, the hardware, networks and interfaces combine to deliver aspects of computing as a service.

Check out the 5 essential characteristics of cloud computing according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology:

  1. On-demand self-service: A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.
  2. Broad network access: Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops and workstations).
  3. Resource pooling: The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory and network bandwidth.
  4. Rapid elasticity: Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.
  5. Measured service: Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled and reported, providing transparency for the provider and consumer.

Mobile Devices: Reducing iPhone and iPad Personal Hotspot Data Usage

9 May 2013 | Comments Off | tncllcadmin

integrated mobile devicesIn this day in age, we are on our smartphones 24/7, the amount of data usage we acquire is astronomical.  The word overage charges makes us cringe, but often can’t help the amount we use, after all our phones and the internet is an essential part of our lives.  We’ve decided to take away some of that stress by doing some research and compiling a few tricks of the trade to help reduce personal hotspot data usage on our integrated mobile devices.

1) Monitor Data Usage on iPhone or iPad

2) Monitor Data & Network Usage on a Mac

3) Quit or Disable Desktop Apps with Push Notifications

4) Turn Off iCloud and Dropbox Syncing

5) Disable Mac OS X Software Update Automatic Downloads

6) Disable Chrome and Firefox Automatic Updates

7) Listen to Music from Local iTunes Library Rather than Pandora, Spotify, or Streaming Services

8 ) Watch Non-HD Video and Movies

9) Hold Off on Downloads & Streaming

10) Use a Data Compression and Monitoring App

 

Surfing the web, Instagramming, listening to music, steaming videos and running apps all consume data whether you realize it or not.  If available use Wi-Fi and temporarily shut off cellular data.  No one likes a large phone bill at the end of the month! For a more detailed look on how to reduce data usage read the full article here.