3 Most Common Cybercrimes You Need To Be Aware Of

3 Most Common Cybercrimes You Need To Be Aware Of
3 Most Common Cybercrimes You Need To Be Aware Of

What are the most common cybercrimes you need to be aware of?

  1. Phishing
  2. Ransomware
  3. DDoS attacks

From ransomware attacks, phishing scams, DDoS attacks, and more — there is a list of the most common cybercrimes that can happen to your business. This could lead to prolonged downtime, financial losses, and loss of reputation. To help you, this article will discuss the common threats you could encounter and how you can prevent them.

Phishing

Phishing

Phishing is cybercrime and a social engineering technique where an attacker pretends to be part of a legitimate institution to trick an individual into sending them valuable information — such as credit card numbers, passwords, and more. They also use techniques to pressure someone into sending them money.

For example, your finance department might receive a phishing email from a criminal posing as a legitimate institution asking for payment of goods and services that were never received. This technique relies on fear and urgency to pressure a potential victim.

Another technique social engineers use is to give offers that are difficult to resist. For example, your employee might receive an email from a criminal claiming to be from the HR department saying that the recipient is due for a salary raise. The message will often contain a suspicious attachment that, when downloaded, installs malicious software to the device.

Fortunately, phishing can be prevented through employee training and the right IT solutions. For example, Trend Micro Email Security can screen out malicious senders and analyze email content to filter out phishing. On top of that, it can also protect against malicious URLs during delivery and when they’re clicked on.

Ransomware

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that uses encryption to prevent your organization from accessing your business files and application. A criminal will promise to provide access to these important data if you agree to pay for a ransom. But there’s no guarantee that your files and applications will be restored if you agree to their demands. This type of cybercrime can affect your organization’s productivity and cost you a huge sum of money.

Ransomware often spreads through phishing emails that have malicious attachments in them. It could also spread through social media, instant messaging applications, and more. Although ransomware could be distributed across the internet with no specific target, cybercriminals can also choose their targets as they please. They often go for organizations that have smaller security teams, hold sensitive data, or can pay quickly.

To protect against ransomware, it’s a good idea to set up a data backup and recovery plan. This way, you can have continued access to your files and applications. One good option is the Datto Workplace which has a Threat Detection and Management feature. Aside from backing up your data, it can help detect ransomware, quarantine the infection, and revert the changes to the previous state.

Another helpful cybersecurity measure is to have a threat defense solution in place. You can also consider Trend Micro’s Connected Threat Defense, which can protect your organization from ransomware through high-fidelity machine learning and behavior analysis techniques. It can detect advanced malware and malicious behavior not seen by standard defenses.

DDoS Attacks

DDoS Attacks

DDoS attacks or distributed denial-of-service is an attempt to overwhelm a server, service, or network to make it unavailable to users by disrupting the normal traffic. One symptom of this attack is when a website or service suddenly becomes slow or unavailable.

Because a DDoS attack can cause downtime for your business, this can be done by an attacker to damage your organization’s reputation. In some cases, the attacker may request payment to stop an attack.

There are many ways you can prevent or fight a DDoS attack. For example, you could increase your internet connection’s bandwidth to handle traffic spikes. Since DDoS works by overwhelming your servers, you can increase your resources to fight this type of attack.

Features like Microsoft Azure’s infrastructure DDoS protection can also benefit your business if your servers are cloud-based. It can look for indicators of an attack 24/7 and mitigate it when it happens. With always-on monitoring, you can protect applications that are vital to your business. Azure can also provide attack analytics so that you’re able to get detailed reports that will help you study the event when it happens. If you’re interested, you can consider this add-on feature!

Another solution that could help you prevent DDoS attacks is Citrix Application Delivery Controller(ADC). It’s a networking appliance which can improve the performance, resiliency, and security of your web applications. To fight DDoS attacks, Citrix ADC can provide rate-limiting measures to protect your server resources. It can also detect when an abnormal amount of inbound requests occurs and proceed to minimize the bandwidth used or reject the request.

Key Takeaway

Cyberattacks can happen in a variety of ways or due to different reasons. But no matter the method or technique used, there’s one thing cybercriminals look for in their targets — cybersecurity vulnerabilities. That’s why it’s important to protect your organization from unexpected expenses, unplanned downtime, and loss of reputation by having the right security solutions in place.

If you require assistance against the most common cybercrimes that could happen to your organization, you can send us a message here at CT Link! We can help assess your business’s cybersecurity needs and recommend the right solutions to prevent these crimes. This way, you can prevent cyberattacks or fight against them.

4 Benefits Of Using Azure Files

4 Benefits Of Using Azure Files
4 Benefits Of Using Azure Files

What are the benefits of using Azure files?

  1. Convenience and flexibility
  2. Fast access to cloud files
  3. Business continuity
  4. Fully managed by the service provider

Azure Files is a simple and secure cloud file share solution for your business. One of its benefits is the Azure File Sync, which allows you to synchronize your corporate data in an on-premise file server and the Azure files server. You also have the option of migrating to the cloud or returning to a full on-premise setup. To know more about the benefits of using Azure Files, keep on reading!

Convenience And Flexibility

Convenience And Flexibility

Azure Files can be deployed either by mounting the serverless file shares or by caching Azure file shares on-premises using the Azure File Sync feature. By opting for the first method, you don’t have to worry about applying software patches or maintaining physical disks. On the other hand, caching Azure file shares on-premises allows your business to centralize your files in Azure Files.

On top of these, Azure Files allows you to easily migrate your file shares and existing servers to the cloud with no downtime. To do so, you can use Storage Migration Service and Azure File Sync. This allows you to rapidly transfer data from the source servers. You can use Azure Files to move to a full cloud setup or have the option to return to a full on-premise infrastructure if you desire to do so.

Fast Access To Cloud Files

Fast Access To Cloud Files

As a business, you have to keep huge volumes of data in various places. It helps to consolidate all your files in the cloud, but it could affect productivity and efficiency due to slow access times. In this situation, you could benefit from the feature of Azure Files, which is Azure Files Sync.

Unlike other cloud file share solutions in the market, Azure Files Sync allows you to synchronize data in your on-premise server and the Azure Files server. This provides your organization with one centralized location for your files.

As Azure and your server are constantly syncing, your team will have fast local access to your cloud files. With Azure Files Sync, you can ensure the productivity and efficiency of your team. This also makes work more convenient whether your team is working remotely or in the office.

Other than that, if you decide to replace your on-premise file shares with Azure file shares, you can do so while ensuring application compatibility. You can share your file system across different machines and applications. This is beneficial if you use applications that require shareability features.

Business Continuity

Business Continuity

Premise-based servers are susceptible to data loss during disaster situations. Your team may also encounter data loss situations, where files get deleted or unwanted changes are made. Losing important files could negatively affect productivity or cause downtime for your organization. Fortunately, Azure Files Sync can help you in this situation.

When your server cannot be used, you can install Azure Files Sync on another server so you can maintain access to your files. Azure Files can also create point-in-time snapshots of your file shares, so you can immediately recover your files whenever you accidentally delete them, encounter data corruption, or make unintended alterations. You can retain these snapshots as long as your organization needs them.

With Azure Files, you can rest assured that your important files would be accessible and secure whenever a server becomes unavailable or a file accidentally gets deleted.

Platform Handled and Maintained By Microsoft

Platform Handled and Maintained By Microsoft

One of the benefits of using Azure Files is that it can lessen the work for your IT team because you can create Azure file shares without having to manage OS or hardware. Because the service is available via cloud, you can lessen your worries when it comes to hardware maintenance, updates, and critical issues — all because Microsoft can do this for you behind the scenes. This way, you or your team doesn’t have to deal with replacing faulty hard disks or patching the server OS.

While the platform is provided and maintained by Microsoft, you’re in full charge of the data you store and use. All you have to do is take advantage of the features offered by Azure Files.

Azure Files Sync also allows you to synchronize your data between an on-premise server and an Azure cloud server. To lessen the work of implementing this in your organization, you can also consider the services of our team here at CT Link Systems to make the process easier.

First, your current resources and infrastructure will be reviewed. Then, a customized solution will be designed according to your requirements. Once the pilot test is run and approved for implementation, your on-premise server will be connected to the Azure cloud servers. Once everything is settled, CT Link will provide your team with the knowledge and skills to maintain the servers.

Key Takeaway

Azure Files gives you the option to keep your files on the cloud and sync them with your office file server. This way, your workforce will be able to maintain their productivity and efficiency.

Now that you know the benefits of using Azure files, you might be interested in implementing it in your organization! Here at CT Link, we can help you with a solution tailor-made for your business. This way, you can have an easy and stress-free time during implementation. If you have questions and inquiries about our on-premise file server and Azure File Sync services, you can contact us here.

What Is Managed Extended Detection And Response (MXDR)

What Is Managed Extended Detection And Response (MXDR)
What Is Managed Extended Detection And Response (MXDR)

What is managed extended detection and response?

  1. Builds on other D&R solutions
  2. Provides increased risk visibility
  3. Capable of faster response time
  4. Improves security team efficiency

Managed Extended Detection and Response platforms such as Trend Micro Vision One can do more than other security solutions in the market. Your business will benefit from increased risk visibility, faster response time, security team efficiency, and more. If you’re interested in knowing what is managed extended detection and response, read on.

Builds On Other D&R Solutions

Builds On Other D&R Solutions

EDR, XDR, MDR, and more — plenty of solutions have evolved throughout the years when it comes to threat detection and response (D&R). In order to understand managed extended detection and response (MXDR), it helps to learn more about endpoint detection and response (EDR), extended detection and response (XDR), and managed detection and response (MDR).

EDR solutions are focused on identifying and fixing advanced threats and never-before-seen malware through cyber threat intelligence, machine learning, advanced file analysis, and sandboxing. While EDR works across endpoints, XDR can detect threats beyond endpoints — such as networks, servers, the cloud, and more. This gives your IT team a unified view of all your attack vectors.

On the other hand, MDR is a term used to describe a managed service that is offered by a managed security service provider. It focuses on technology and expertise to quickly detect and respond to threats. The technology used in MDR can vary depending on your needs.

In short, MXDR is XDR delivered in the form of a managed service. Compared to DIY XDR, it provides supplemental technology and security skills to organizations that have limited resources or lack the expertise to do so.

Provides Increased Risk Visibility

Provides Increased Risk Visibility

Investigating threats across email, endpoints, servers, networks, and cloud infrastructure is not just time-consuming, but also ineffective. Aside from the overload of alerts, you can also miss threats due to a lack of visibility and correlation. This limited view can lead to an inadequate and incomplete response.

MXDR offers solutions extending beyond traditional technology. One great example of MXDR is Trend Micro Vision One. It can help your organization detect and respond to threats across more security layers by connecting email, endpoints, servers, and cloud workloads with XDR. This is done by collecting and automatically correlating data. This way, you have a broader perspective and better context when it comes to security.

One benefit of the Trend Micro Vision One platform is the Security Posture App, which is a dashboard that allows you to get an overview of your organization’s security strength. The app provides widgets that show risky users, devices, and apps so you can figure out what actions should be taken to maintain your security. Other than these, you can also get the latest updates on unsanctioned cloud app usage for better management.

Capable Of Faster Response Time

Capable Of Faster Response Time

Once a threat is detected, your response time also matters as it could affect productivity in your organization and lead to downtime.

Because MXDR provides you with a broader perspective on your organization’s security strength, you can act quickly when a threat is detected. With Trend Micro Vision One, new detection rules are constantly being added regularly by the Trend Micro experts.

When threats are detected in Trend Micro Vision One, you can gain insight into the full attack story because pieces of the activity are automatically correlated. This makes investigation faster for your security team. Since the time it takes to detect, contain, and respond to threats is significantly minimized, you can also lessen the impact and scope of the threat.

Improves Security Team Efficiency

Improves Security Team Efficiency

Not all organizations have access to the right manpower and resources to defend themselves from threats. Even if you had the budget to hire the right team members, you might still have difficulty hiring the right people with the right skills. If your business is in a similar situation, you are more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

If you have a cybersecurity team, another challenge for your business is “alert fatigue” which happens when there are too many notifications and false positives from security applications. Since not all the alerts are malicious, your security team needs to check them individually. This includes correlating the threats if there is a connection.

MXDR solutions are recommended for organizations that have trouble continuously monitoring attack surfaces due to limited resources or lack of expertise. It’s a great option if you have a cybersecurity team that is understaffed or overworked. MXDR can help address the skill gap by providing one platform to respond faster with fewer resources — such as in the case of Trend Micro Vision One.

Key Takeaway

MXDR is a great option if you want to have increased visibility to threats and facilitate faster response time. It offers your security team efficiency so they can do more with fewer resources.

Now that you know what managed extended detection and response is, you might be interested in implementing it in your organization. To answer your questions and inquiries about the topic, you can send us a message here at CT Link so we can help you.

4 Reasons Why You Need A Cloud-Based Web Security Platform

4 Reasons Why You Need A Cloud-Based Web Security Platform
4 Reasons Why You Need A Cloud-Based Web Security Platform

What are some reasons to use a cloud-based web security platform?

  1. Cloud-delivered network security
  2. Zero-trust network access
  3. Dedicated source IP addresses
  4. Regulatory compliance

More and more companies are migrating their data and infrastructure to the cloud. For this reason, other organizations who plan to do the same might be curious about cloud computing security. Fortunately, there are also cloud-based security solutions that can provide plenty of benefits to businesses. This includes cloud-delivered network security, dedicated source IP addresses, zero-trust network access, regulatory compliance, and more. If you want to learn about the reasons why you need a cloud-based web security platform, keep on reading.

Cloud-Delivered Network Security

Cloud-Delivered Network Security

Since more and more employees are working remotely, most of the network traffic for businesses is going over cloud apps. Cybercriminals know this, which is why they have shifted their focus to the same place. For this reason, it’s beneficial to have a security solution in place.

Cloud-delivered security is a technology that is made to protect your company’s infrastructure, applications, and data. Compared to being installed and maintained on-premises, it is delivered from the cloud as a service. For some organizations, cloud-delivered network security can be easier to implement and maintain since the service provider is responsible for the maintenance and updates of the service.

One of the trusted service providers for cloud-delivered network security is iboss. With their cloud-based security platform, your business can secure access to the cloud on any device, network, location, or cloud. Your users will experience fast and secure connectivity wherever they are. On top of these, you can also eliminate network security appliances since all the network security features and capabilities transition to the cloud.

Zero Trust Network Access

Zero Trust Network Access

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) allows your business to have secure remote access to your applications and data. The term “zero trust” means that all users, whether they are inside or outside your network, are required to go through authentication methods before being granted access to your company’s resources.

In short, the principle is to “never trust, always verify”. This method can help prevent successful data breaches to your organization’s network. Unlike this setup, an IP-based VPN will offer broad access to a network once a user is authorized. With ZTNA, a user will only have limited and granular access to the resources they need for their role in your organization. Another benefit of zero-trust network access is that your users can be connected to applications and data even if these are found on multiple clouds.

The iboss cloud-based web security platform also offers zero-trust network access. Users are only provided access to specific cloud resources based on their identity and user context. With this feature, you can reduce the need for overloaded and slow VPN connections so users can improve productivity and work more effectively.

Dedicated Source IP Addresses

Dedicated Source IP Addresses

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique address that is given to a device on the internet or a local network. This way, different devices, routers, and websites can be differentiated.

But when you use a cloud-based platform, having a unique source IP address is difficult. For example, a user could work at a different location from their office, so their source IP is mapped to that location instead. This makes it difficult to determine if the user belongs to your organization. This can be challenging for your IT department to manage.

But with a dedicated source cloud IP address associated with your organization, users will always appear to be accessing the internet from within your organization wherever they may be. This allows your IT department to maintain connectivity requirements when migrating to the cloud platform.

This feature is also offered by the iboss cloud-based security platform. The iboss cloud follows users whether they’re outside the office or on personal devices, which means that dedicated IP addresses are provided despite the location. This way they can access business applications that require connections secured by the gateway.

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory Compliance

One of the challenges when it comes to cloud application use is ensuring compliance with regulations. This is because most cloud-security platforms need to scan and store user data that might fall under regulatory constraints. These regulations might differ depending on the region, which makes it more difficult for organizations that operate on a global scale.

The right cloud-based web security platform, however, will help your organization when it comes to regulatory compliance. This is vital if your company is in one of the regulated industries that need to manage and maintain their infrastructures for compliance or protect sensitive data.

Fortunately, the iboss cloud can secure internet access for users anywhere they are while complying with established standards. For instance, It features admin-controlled zones which can be based on the country. The users are mapped to a specific zone to ensure that data is scanned and stored within a region. Additionally, it helps the admin monitor compliance to ensure the cloud service meets the requirements.

Key Takeaway

From cloud-delivered network security, zero-trust network access, dedicated source IP addresses, and regulatory compliance — these are just some of the reasons why you need a cloud-based web security platform like iboss! If you’re interested in learning the other benefits, you can contact us here at CT Link. We can also suggest other IT security solutions that will fit your organization’s requirements.

CLOUDSEC 2021 – Unleash the Unlimited Possibilities of Cloud

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5 Ways To Improve Office 365 Security

5 Ways To Improve Office 365 Security
5 Ways To Improve Office 365 Security

What are the ways to improve Office 365 security?

  1. Set up multi-factor authentication
  2. Protect your business from phishing
  3. Use the Safe Attachments feature
  4. Encrypt email messages
  5. Upgrade threat controls with Trend Micro Cloud App Security and Datto

Microsoft Office 365 offers plenty of benefits to businesses — such as providing access to files anywhere, improving collaboration, and being cost-effective. Other than that, there are also built-in security controls you can use to protect your data. You can set up multi-factor authentication, use the Safe Attachments feature, and encrypt email messages. Another option is to use the Trend Micro Cloud App Security to upgrade the threat protection controls. If you want to know the ways to improve office 365 security, keep on reading.

Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication

Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication

Microsoft Office 365 allows you to set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) with ease. MFA involves using two or more verification factors to authenticate a user before they can access the platform.

This is important as usernames and passwords can be stolen by third parties. With a second or third verification factor like a one-time password sent to your phone, hackers will have difficulty compromising your accounts.

To set up MFA in your Microsoft 365 Office, you can go to the admin center and enable the security defaults. Next time the users need to sign in, they’ll need to set up the Microsoft Authenticator app on their phone as an additional verification factor.

Protect Your Business From Phishing

Protect Your Business From Phishing

Phishing is a type of cybercrime wherein you’re contacted by a criminal pretending to be from a legitimate institution to trick you into providing sensitive data — including account credentials, banking information, and more. Although it sounds easy to avoid, many have been lured by this social engineering technique.

Fortunately, Office 365’s Microsoft Defender has a built-in anti-phishing protection policy called Office 365 AntiPhish Default as part of the features which is included in most plans. This can help protect your business from impersonation-based phishing attacks.

This protection policy is applied to all recipients in the organization. You can also create custom anti-phishing policies for specific users or configure stricter settings. To get started, you can go to the anti-phishing page here.

Use The Safe Attachments Feature

Use The Safe Attachments Feature

For organizations, email is one of the platforms where official attachments such as word files, slides, and spreadsheets are transmitted. Unfortunately, there are cases where these attachments may contain malicious files, potentially leading to the spread of malware.

To prevent the spread of malicious attachments in your organization, you can use the Safe Attachments protection from Microsoft Defender for Office 365. This feature checks the attachments in a virtual environment before they’re delivered to recipients. The behavior of the attachment is analyzed, determining if it’s safe for users.

If the attachment is safe, it will be delivered normally in your inbox. If it’s unsafe, you will receive the message but the attachment will be removed. As there is no default Safe Attachments policy, you can enlist CT Link’s assistance as a managed service provider to set up this feature for you.

Encrypt Email Messages

Encrypt Email Messages

Your organization may also send, receive, and share sensitive information not intended for the public. With this in mind, it’s critical that your correspondences are accessible only by members of your organization. In this case, you should take advantage of the Office Message Encryption, which is already included and set up with Microsoft 365.

Office Message Encryption allows you to send and receive email messages that can be viewed only by the intended recipients. This is also compatible with Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, and other mail services.

For example, if you’re using the Outlook app for PC, you can click on Permissions under the Options tab. Here, you will find the “Encrypt” option. When a recipient uses their Gmail or Yahoo, they will be given a link that will request a one-time passcode or their sign-in credentials to view the message. For recipients with a Microsoft email account and use Outlook, they will be notified about the item’s restricted permissions.

Upgrade Threat Controls With Trend Micro Cloud App Security and Datto SaaS Protection

The Cloud App Security from Trend Micro is an advanced threat and data protection solution for Microsoft Office 365. It can also be used for Google Workspace and other cloud services you currently use. It acts as a second layer of defense together with the security configurations on this list.

The Cloud App Security can help detect unknown threats, which offers a significant upgrade to Office 365’s known-threat-detection features. With Trend Micro Cloud App Security, you can find malware hidden in office files and URLs in email messages. It uses artificial intelligence to scan emails, which can be helpful for business email compromise attacks.

Through sandboxing, previously unknown malware is detected in time. On top of that, incoming and internal phishing attacks are identified with the help of the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network, which effectively finds and blocks unsafe URLs and attachments in emails.

Other than Trend Micro Cloud App Security, you can also consider Datto’s secure SaaS backup and recovery solution. Datto SaaS Protection + — which is both SaaS Protection plus SaaS Defense — is suitable for Microsoft Office 365. It can effectively scan for cyber threats while providing daily backups and fast recovery when you need it.

With Datto SaaS Protection, you can automate backups for Microsoft 365 applications three times daily. This way, when an accidental or malicious deletion occurs, you can restore critical content. On the other hand, with Datto SaaS Defense, you can defend against both known and unknown cyberthreats such as phishing attacks, malware, and business email compromise (BEC).

Key Takeaway

There are plenty of configurations that you can do with Office 365 to make it more secure. But if you need more assistance on the ways to improve Office 365 security, you can send us a message here at CT Link.

We offer an Office 365 migration service that includes the implementation of email security and compliance policies that are best for your needs. We can also recommend complementary security solution options like the Trend Micro Cloud App Security if necessary.

5 Ways To Test Internet Security

5 Ways To Test Internet Security
5 Ways To Test Internet Security

What are the ways to test internet security?

  1. Check your firewall for weaknesses
  2. Test the strength of your passwords
  3. Double-check your VPN
  4. Don’t forget the users

With remote work becoming the new normal, connecting to the internet has become essential. While it comes with a list of benefits, there are also risks of malicious attacks on your network. That’s why it’s important to check if your security measures are enough. This article will provide some ways on testing internet security — such as inspecting firewalls, passwords, and more.

Check Your Firewall For Weaknesses

Check Your Firewall For Weaknesses

A firewall is a security tool that can monitor your network traffic. It acts as a gate between your internal network and outside networks like the internet.

Through a firewall, you can secure your network by defining a set of security rules that will allow or block specific traffic — such as those coming from unsecured or suspicious sources.

But is your current firewall really protecting your business? For instance, it might be outdated or not configured properly. If it’s not updated for months or you haven’t set up the security features yet, you might not be getting the protection you need. If that’s the case, it’s beneficial to have your firewall checked and tested regularly from outside your network.

Test The Strength Of Your Passwords

Test The Strength Of Your Passwords

The next thing you need to do is test the strength of your passwords. Chances are, you use passwords for almost everything — be it logging in to a cloud platform or email. There are plenty of online tools you can use to test your passwords, but make sure that you choose one that can be trusted with your credentials, or you’re just compromising your security.

If you don’t want your corporate data to be at risk, it’s important to create strong passwords for all of your accounts. It’s recommended to create one with more than 15 characters, with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as some symbols.

Another good option is to use multi-factor authentication in your organization. This involves multiple methods of identity verification aside from typing in your username and passwords. Examples of additional authentication factors include fingerprints, one-time passwords, and more.

Other than MFA, it is also recommended to use password managers, such as LastPass. By having a tool that will remember your passwords for you, you can opt for a different and complicated password for each of your accounts — which improves security while reducing the need for you to remember each one. On top of that, it can also create new passwords for you or assess how strong your existing ones are.

Double-Check Your VPN

Check Your VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) can mask your internet protocol (IP) address, so you can have online privacy and anonymity. This means that you can surf the web without exposing your private information and browsing habits to outsiders.

For years, it has been the preferred method for accessing a corporate network. But there is a drawback to using a traditional VPN. Once a user has successfully connected to a VPN client, they have broad access to the network. This means that if a credential is compromised, your organization’s data will be at risk. That’s why it might be beneficial to consider ZTNA when using VPN.

In a Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) model, no user or device is given access automatically. Instead, access is granted based on the principle of least privilege. This concept means that users are only given the minimum permissions that they need for their task.

For recommendations, you can take a look at the Pulse Connect Secure. It can provide your workforce with a secure connection to your organization’s resources without compromising security. A user’s device is first authenticated, authorized, and secured before being given access. It uses a per-app VPN, so each user can only access what is needed for their role.

Don’t Forget The Users

Don’t Forget The Users

Other than your software and hardware technology, you also need to examine security on the human side of things. Untrained users are vulnerable to social engineering attacks.

For instance, in phishing, an attacker pretends to be a member of a legitimate institution — such as a partner business or a third-party vendor. Then they contact their victim through email or text message, requesting sensitive data such as passwords or card details.

You can run a phishing test at work to see how your employees would respond. This is done by creating mock phishing emails and web pages. This way, you can spread cybersecurity awareness effectively.

Key Takeaway

Plenty of organizations are using the power of the internet to get work done. Along with the benefits, there are also some risks you need to be aware of. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to test internet security. By following these, you’ll have a better idea about the vulnerabilities of your network.

If you need help in minimizing threats when using the internet, we have a list of IT products and services that you might find beneficial. You can send us a message here if you have any inquiries about our solutions.

4 Types Of Cloud Computing Services

4 Types Of Cloud Computing Services
4 Types Of Cloud Computing Services

What are the types of cloud computing services?

  1. Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS)
  2. Platform As A Service (PaaS)
  3. Software As A Service (SaaS)
  4. Function As A Service (FaaS)

Cloud computing involves accessing computing services such as storage, software, analytics, and others, over the internet. This provides plenty of benefits for businesses like reduced IT costs, improved collaboration, business continuity, and scalability. That’s why you might be interested in migrating your workload to the cloud. To experience these benefits, you need to understand the types of cloud computing services that are suitable for your organization. Read on to learn more.

Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS)

In IaaS, a cloud service provider is responsible for the management of the infrastructure for you. This includes the servers, data storage space, network, and virtualization. As the user, you have the option to purchase, use, configure, and manage the operating systems, applications, development tools, and more.

The benefit of using IaaS is that the service provider manages the hardware. In the event that something happens, they’re responsible for fixing repairs, issues, or even addressing a power outage. You’re also given the latest software and update patches.

As the user, you rent the infrastructure with this type of service. This lessens the costs needed for building and maintenance of in-house infrastructure. For this reason, IaaS is suitable for startups and small companies that have a limited budget when it comes to building their own network. IaaS is also highly scalable and you only need to pay for the infrastructure that you need.

One good example of IaaS is Microsoft Azure. Azure is responsible for managing the infrastructure, while you as the user have the freedom to buy, install, and configure the software you need. With this, you can reduce capital expenses and have access to a reliable infrastructure.

Platform As A Service (PaaS)

Platform As A Service (PaaS)

In PaaS, the cloud service provider gives all the tools you need to build, test, deploy, manage, and update software. Your developers and programmers have access to a cloud platform where they can develop solutions that suits your organization’s needs. The advantage is that the infrastructure is also built and provided by the service provider.

Because of these features, PaaS is suitable for organizations that need to create software. This type of cloud computing service allows you to save costs on purchasing development tools which are often expensive. Instead, you already have access to the tools you need by renting them.

Another benefit of PaaS is that the services are delivered over the internet. This means that programming and developer teams in remote locations can do a project on their own time. This improves collaboration and speeds up work. Your organization can focus on building applications rather than maintaining and updating the infrastructure.

Other than IaaS, Microsoft Azure also offers PaaS. It supports tools, languages, and frameworks that are beneficial for developers. This way, your organization can develop and deploy cloud-based applications with ease.

Software As A Service (SaaS)

Software As A Service (SaaS)

SaaS is a software application that a cloud service provider delivers to its users. Examples include business analytics, marketing automation, or customer relationship management (CRM). Most applications can run over a web browser so downloads and installations are not needed. These can be accessed over the internet via a desktop, mobile phone, tablet, or any compatible mobile device.

The benefit of using SaaS is that the service provider also manages the infrastructure, middleware, and data needed to provide the program to you. The services are offered on a subscription basis, so you can pay for the software when you need to use it. There are also no set-up expenses because the application can be used immediately.

Aside from these, updates to the application are also provided automatically and often free of charge. SaaS is managed by a third-party vendor, so you don’t need to worry about maintaining it. This way, the focus can be on the benefits that the application brings.

Microsoft Office 365 is an example of SaaS. It provides all the office tools you need on a pay-as-you-go basis. This setup allows you and multiple users access to Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Updates and upgrades are also available.

Function As A Service (FaaS)

Function As A Service (FaaS)

FaaS is a type of cloud computing service that allows you to execute code without worrying about the infrastructure needed to do it. Just like the previous types, the cloud service provider manages the infrastructure needed to deliver the FaaS. This way, developers can direct their energies to deploy a function without having to maintain a server.

As the user, you can utilize FaaS in a pay-as-you-go method, making it cost-effective. You only need to pay when an action occurs which allows you to save on expenses for inactive resources.

FaaS a suitable cloud computing service for organizations that have dynamic workloads. Another benefit is its capacity for scalability. The functions can be scaled up automatically as needed, and when the demand declines, it automatically scales down.

As Microsoft Azure encompasses different types of cloud computing services, you’ll find that it also offers FaaS. Azure Function can provide end-to-end development, so your team’s developers can create, deploy, and monitor the code while Azure is responsible for the infrastructure.

Key Takeaway

In conclusion, the different types of cloud computing services mentioned above provide similar benefits — convenience and cost-efficiency. You can lessen the workload needed to build and manage infrastructure, which could be expensive and time-consuming. As these services operate on a subscription or pay-as-you-go service, you can cut down on your operational expenses and pay only for what your business requires.

Different businesses have different needs. Depending on your requirements and goals, you can subscribe to one or more cloud computing services mentioned above for the best results.

After reading the different types of cloud computing services, we hope that you have formed an idea of which you should use. If you need help choosing the right type for your organization, we can help you here at CT Link. Send us a message here to get started!

3 Reasons Why Your Business Needs To Go Passwordless

3 Reasons Why Your Business Needs To Go Passwordless
3 Reasons Why Your Business Needs To Go Passwordless

What are the reasons why your business needs to go passwordless?

  1. Convenience
  2. Security
  3. Productivity

With so much information that you need to protect from outsiders, it’s important to have a method of authenticating users before they gain access to your data. One way this has been traditionally done is through the use of passwords. But with the advancement of technology, it seems that going passwordless is not just possible but also beneficial when it comes to convenience, security, and productivity. This article will talk about the reasons why your business needs to go passwordless.

If you’re wondering how passwordless authentication works, it’s simple and user-friendly. Instead of putting in the usual letters and numbers, a device — often a smartphone — will ask for your fingerprint, face, or PIN. One example is the Microsoft Authenticator application that you can use when logging in to your account to access Office 365 services.

Now that you have a basic idea of how passwordless authentication works, learn more about its benefits below.

Convenience

Convenience

Passwords have always been the main medium used for authentication. When you log in to your e-mail or bank account, you need to enter a string of letters and numbers to gain entry. This is also applicable when requesting access to your company data.

Most of you probably used memorable phrases and numbers so you won’t have difficulty logging in to your accounts. You might reuse the same combination for several applications and accounts too. But the problem with this is that it creates weak passwords.

The next step is to create passwords that won’t easily be guessed. This can be done by adding symbols, using both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and the like. Or maybe you may resort to auto-password generators.

You’ll need to update this regularly to keep your accounts safe. But the problem with this is that these passwords are difficult to remember. And it might be inconvenient to re-create passwords every time. Dealing with lost or forgotten codes is a hassle too.

But going passwordless means that you don’t have to keep re-creating and remembering passwords. Instead, you can use an authentication app on your smartphone to get into your account. Input your fingerprint, show your face, or enter a One-Time Pin sent to your device.

Security

Security

As said before, memorable passwords are easy to remember, but they’re often weak and easy to guess. What makes weak passwords a potential problem for your organization is it increases the risk of a data breach. Hackers can use a number of tools and techniques to guess the password and subsequently access company data.

For one, they can use the password spraying technique. Cybercriminals will use a list of common passwords until they get into an account. This might sound impossible, but many people still use passwords such as “123456” and “qwerty” in an attempt to make it more memorable.

Aside from these, data breaches can also happen through social-engineering attacks such as phishing. In this situation, the hacker attempts to trick your employees into giving them their credentials — including the username and password. This is effective because the hacker pretends to be a legitimate company, website, or partner vendor.

This is why it’s important to train your employees in password management. But in other cases, it’s also beneficial to go passwordless as it can make it more difficult for hackers to perform a potential data breach. Compared to passwords, fingerprints and biometric identifiers are harder to spoof.

Passwordless authentication is even more secure if used with multi-factor authentication methods. This is an identity verification process that requires additional factors of proof before an account can be accessed. For instance, after entering your username or password, you need to enter your fingerprint into an authentication app before a personal account can be opened.

Productivity

Productivity

If an employee loses a password, time is wasted. Instead of accessing the company data and applications, they have to wait for the IT team to reset the password. Add to this the time spent to create new strong passwords. This is the reason many employees opt for weak and easy-to-remember passwords instead.

Passwordless authentication is considerably more hassle-free. By replacing passwords with something the user is (biometrics), the log-in process is more convenient. Employees never have to remember and type in a password again. Instead, they have the authenticating factor with them anywhere they go — such as their fingerprint or facial features.

What this means for your company is that there will be less need for password resets. Your employees and the IT Team will have more time for core activities and other important tasks.

Key Takeaway

Passwords have always been the main means of logging into an account. But weak passwords can be problematic because there are a variety of tools and techniques a hacker can use to guess them.

On the other hand, strong passwords require additional characters, symbols, and numbers, which make them harder to remember for your employees. This can lead to wasted time in your organization, which is why going passwordless may be a better option.

There are plenty of other reasons why your business needs to go passwordless. If you need to know more about how this works, you can send us a message here at CT Link!

3 Data Storage Methods For Businesses: How To Choose

3 Data Storage Methods For Businesses: How To Choose
3 Data Storage Methods For Businesses: How To Choose

What are the data storage methods for businesses?

  1. On-premises storage
  2. Cloud storage
  3. Hybrid Cloud storage

From emails, spreadsheets, customer information, video files, applications, back-ups, and many more—these things require plenty of storage. You might have enough right now, but as your business grows, your need for additional storage will also grow. This article will talk about the different data storage methods for businesses — such as on-premise, cloud, and hybrid cloud storage.

For businesses, data has a big role in making better decisions. It can be used for developing improved products, services, and solutions to better serve your clients. But first, you need a proper storage method. It’s also important that the data can be easily managed, protected, and accessed by the right people.

The question is, how do you choose the right data storage option? The first thing you need to do is to consider your storage needs. This refers to the capacity and the location from where you can access your data. After that, you can check the different options that can meet your organization’s requirements.

On-Premises Storage

On-Premises Storage

The first data storage option is considered the traditional method businesses use. Your data is stored on-premises, in server/s, computers, or other devices that your company owns and manages. On-premises storage refers to the local data center that you’ve set up in your headquarters and other offices.

Here are some of the benefits of an on-premise data storage method:

Access Your Data Offline

One of the advantages of an on-premises data storage method is that it can be operated without the internet. This option can provide you with the data you need anytime, no matter how slow your internet connection is. This means that you might not need to pay for a high-speed connection.

Control Over Hardware

On-premises data storage is recommended if you need to have a dedicated server within your headquarters that your team can handle on their own. If you have a tech-savvy team that can perform upgrades and maintenance, this option can give you flexibility in your storage needs.

Having data in an on-premises environment allows you to have full control of what happens to your files and applications. This option is recommended if you have a dedicated IT team that can manage and maintain your servers.

Cloud Storage

Cloud Storage

Using cloud storage involves storing your data in remote servers maintained by a service provider. The third-party vendor sells the storage space to you. You use the internet to access your files and applications, which means that your team can access them anywhere — even at home or remotely.

If you’re considering the cloud storage method, here are its advantages.

Less Need For Hardware

As data is stored in the cloud, which is accessed via the internet, this storage method requires less hardware. This means that you can have a team accessing the same resources from different destinations in the world. The third-party service provider will also be responsible for the maintenance of the servers. If you need upgrades or a change in your storage plan, you can ask for their assistance.

Lower Upfront Costs

Because the need for your servers is lessened, storing your data in the cloud can help lower your costs. As the service provider is responsible for the maintenance, your IT team can focus on other tasks. Additionally, compared to purchasing hardware, cloud storage is offered on a subscription basis, which means that you can start small and downgrade or upgrade as the need arises.

Hybrid Cloud Storage

Hybrid Cloud Storage

Both on-premise and cloud offer several benefits for your business, so you might also consider combining the two options. Hybrid cloud storage involves an on-premises infrastructure with a public cloud. This option is beneficial if you want the option where you can put your workloads and data.

Supplement Your On-Premise Storage

A hybrid cloud storage setup is a viable option if you’re looking to extend your on-premise data storage. This gives you flexibility on how you can categorize and manage your data. The addition of the cloud also gives you the ability to respond to growing storage needs faster.

Improved Data Security

By combining the features of both data storage methods, you can better protect your data. For example, some companies prefer to store more sensitive files in their local data center and free up space by using the easily upgradable storage capacity of the cloud. Hybrid cloud solutions also offer more advanced security and protection compared to what organizations may implement in-house.

Key Takeaway

There are two ways you can store your data — on-premise or on the cloud. Each one has its advantages over the other, but both can be combined so your business can take advantage of both of their features.

If you need more information on the different data storage methods for businesses, you can contact us here at CT Link. We can help you choose and implement the option that can solve your current and future storage needs.