Why CCTV Integration is Important for Your Business

20 May 2013 | Comments Off

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

 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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Network Security in the Investment Industry

8 May 2013 | Comments Off

The topic of network security is a rising issue and topic, which has been causing much stir in the alternative investment industry. It is important to note that such companies must be mindful of potential internal and external security threats and be prepared to attack them. Unfortunately the 2008 financial crisis was a prime time for hackers as they took advantage of the economic recession to target funds. With technology becoming more complex, there is no doubt that hackers are getting more strategic with their abilities.

It is obvious that larger organizations are most vulnerable for hackers considering the large size of their resources and assets. In addition, hackers typically veer towards larger corporations in order to gain media attention, but that doesn’t mean that smaller companies are in the clear.  Successfully hacking a company’s complex system is bound to stir up attention, some hackers like their 15 minutes of fame.

An article from Advanced Trading reports that a recent hot topic has emerged as another threat of which fund managers should be aware. For example, the New York Times reported last month that the Chinese government has been accused of funding and fostering the efforts of “cyberwarriors,” who regularly target organizations around the world to obtain sensitive information. Large asset pools and valuable intellectual property could cause investment firms to become targets for some state-sponsored hacker groups.

Network security is an important issue for any company large or small.  However, precautions can be taken in order to help reduce the risk of such problems occurring.  The education process is important to companies to understand.  With technology ever changing more companies need to implement measures and build strategies to better come aware of possible and future issues.

Why Your Small Business Needs Website Services

8 May 2013 | Comments Off

website servicesHaving a website, better yet an online presence is important especially in a technologically savvy era.  However many small business run on a traditional mindset, gaining word of mouth offline.  Pursing offline strategies is often considered to be risky as more and more consumers are spending a majority of their time online.  There are simple steps to take to help start your website services and online visibility.

  • Accessibility

Having an online presence creates a greater sense of accessibility for your customers.  People are online any day of the week, during all hours of the day, even once your business is closed for the day.  Having that accessibility even after hours creates a greater sense of interaction with customers. Keep in mind, having a professional, easy to navigate website, encourages consumers use your site for longer, rather than leaving for a competitor’s.

  • Focus on Relevant Channels

Although your website is your main online presence platform, it is important to remember that in an era of social media, it is important to invest in areas where consumers are levitating and utilizing the most.  Social media has changed the way people consume information.  Not only can a business utilize social media for marketing purposes, but for customer service. More brands are using the medium, especially Twitter, as a customer service forum.  In fact, many prefer to tweet a company versus waiting on hold for customer service. Before you go ahead and start a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tumblr, understand your key demographics, type of business, in order better focus efforts and understand where your customers are spending their time online.

With smartphone usage at an all time high, it is clear that the Internet is a major necessity of a consumer’s routine.  It is important to note that utilizing a website for your small business does take time and effort, however the benefits highly outweigh the cons as your business will reap in benefits from expanding.