ThrottleNet Inc. Blog

 

8 Changes in Cyber Security You Must Be Aware Of

New technologies are changing the way companies think about cyber security and how they protect their business from everyday threats. At the same time, many cyber security issues we’re already aware of are becoming smarter, making the landscape that much more difficult to navigate.

Recently, Cisco released its 2018 Cyber Security Report, which discusses the latest advances in the security industry and how organizations can protect themselves against mounting cyber security issues. It also includes benchmarking data from 3,600 Chief Security Officers highlighting the challenges their organizations face regarding changes in cyber security.

The full report is a must-read for anyone who has a vesting interest in protecting their business, but we’ve provided some of the cliff notes in this blog entry.

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Can Apple Reinvent Home Music with HomePod?

Apple believes music begins at home.

It’s why they are launching the HomePod, to bring you a new musical experience right in your living room or, for that matter, any space you want it.

HomePod will be available in early February. Apple claims it can definitely rock the house.  Don’t get confused. The HomePod is not an Amazon Echo or Google Home device in a different package. While it can serve as a home assistant, the difference is in the sound.

The tech giant says the HomePod is the ultimate music authority. It actually brings together Apple Music and Siri to “learn” your taste in music. It works through a combination of Apple’s engineered audio technology and advanced software said to deliver the highest-fidelity sound throughout the room.

The device features Apple’s A8 chip. The company claims it is the biggest brain ever in a speaker.  HomePod comes with seven beamforming tweeters designed with a precision acoustic horn that focuses sound for directional control. Sound will be consistent from anywhere in the room no matter where you are sitting.  Those who like a lot of bass will appreciate the high-excursion woofer with a custom amplifier. HomePod uses an advanced algorithm that continuously analyzes the music and dynamically tunes the low frequencies for what should be a smooth sound.

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The Advantages of IT Automation & How It Can Help Your Business

IT automation is catching on as a commonly accepted practice by IT professionals to cut down on repetitive processes performed in both datacenters and cloud deployments.

Through automation, software is used to create instructions and processes that replace or reduce the degree at which humans are involved with managing an IT system.

In theory, just about every IT task can be applied some level of automation, but does not replace the need for humans to manage network infrastructure. Automation just makes managing IT easier. Automation is a method of enhancing how IT systems operate and making the most our of key personnel within your IT team.

How can your IT services benefit from an automated approach to IT?

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The Olympics and Hackers: Why the Games Are a Prime Target for Cyber Crime

For one reason or another, hackers love the Olympics just as much as the casual sports fan.

The 2018 Pyeongchang games started off with a massive cyber-attack that those watching at home may not have been aware of. The attack, which was forged by an unidentified hacker (presumably either Russia or North Korea) causing internet protocol TVs to malfunction at the main press center, which was countered by organizers shutting down the games' servers to prevent additional damage.

With the Olympics servers offline, Wi-Fi at the Olympic Stadium and the website went down, preventing attendees from printing tickets to events.

The opening ceremony was to feature drones filming the ceremony, but those were unable to deploy.

The source of the cyber-attack was not revealed, but organizers and the IOC have an idea of who orchestrated the attack.  However, they won’t point the finger, instead citing poor international best-practices.

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ThrottleNet Named Best In Customer Service by Small Business Monthly

ST. LOUIS, MO – February 8, 2018 – ThrottleNet has once again been named a “Best In Customer Service” company by St. Louis Small Business Monthly. This is the 5th time ThrottleNet has received this recognition.

Those selected for Best In Customer Service represent the best of the best in maintaining the highest quality in product and service delivery. The recognition is based on nominations and comments from clients. The full list of businesses receiving this acknowledgement appears in the publication’s February, 2018 edition.

“ThrottleNet is excited to have once again been recognized as one of the best companies in St. Louis for customer service. It is a great testament to our ability to consistently deliver high-quality IT services on time and on budget,” said George Rosenthal, President. “The entire staff is committed to exceed our client’s expectations on each and every project. We do not take these awards lightly and appreciate the hard work of our team to help our customers achieve their business goals through better technology.”

ThrottleNet was recently named the #1 IT Firm in St. Louis by Small Business Monthly, an award it has won for two consecutive years. It has also been recognized as a “Best In Reliability” and “Best In Quality” company by the magazine which provides educational information and articles for CEOs, business owners and entrepreneurs. Each year Small Business Monthly honors the top local companies in 15 categories.

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Making the Most of Your IT Budgeting in 2018

Blame it on recent legislation, a greater understanding of cyber security, or the weather, but small businesses are poised to spend more money on IT budgeting in 2018 than ever before.

Along with a need to protect business, small business owners are making more IT investments to improve employee productivity and remain competitive in their marketplace.

According to a recent survey of 1,300 professionals conducted by TechTarget, 17% of companies expect to grow their IT budgeting needs by more than 10% in 2018. Another 23% expected a 5-10% increase, while only 11% expect their IT budget to shrink year-over-year.

Evolution in information technology is triggering companies to go beyond traditional VPN and on-site storage with their IT plans. To keep your small business ahead of the curve, consider investing in these items when putting together your IT budget for the new year.

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Five Ways to Improve Employee Security Awareness

Employee security awareness - ThrottleNet 

What good is an IT security policy if none of your employees know exactly what it means?

According to a recent study by Kaspersky Lab, 12% of employees claim to be fully aware of their organization’s IT security policies and rules. Just less than half of employees believe they share some responsibility in preventing cyberthreats within their company.

Among survey respondents, 24% did not believe their organization even had an established IT security in place, which is a completely different story.

For small business owners, these results are cause for concern, as cyber security threats like ransomware, phishing and even internal espionage grow more sophisticated by the day.

If employee security awareness wasn’t already a top concern, these results heighten the need to properly train employees on IT protocols and develop a policy if one does not exist. 

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Small Businesses Need to Rethink Facebook

An announcement by Facebook last week has the tech industry buzzing.  The News Feed is being retooled to focus more on personal interaction and less as a platform for news and media. 

Small businesses should be concerned about how this will curtail their reach to customers, especially businesses that operate with zero to minimum marketing budget.  With these changes, they may struggle to reach new audiences.

What’s Different?

Facebook announced its intention to step back and remember its roots as a platform for connecting friends and family.  Posts from individuals will rise to the top of the News Feed as posts from organizations – known as Pages – will show up less.

Media outlets from BBC News to Buzzfeed have churned out so much content that posts from friends and family have been crowded out.  This has made the user experience passive as people scroll through memes and auto-played videos.  Facebook is planning to remove this raw consumption and encourage an active environment.

Read more for how small businesses will be affected.

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Five Advantages of eCommerce IT Management With an MSP

Ecommerce it management  - ThrottleNetTrust is a very powerful thing for ecommerce companies. Customers have several expectations of a vendor when they purchase products online. First and foremost, they want the goods they purchased when they are told they will receive them. Second, they are entrusting your organization with personal and payment information. If you fail to deliver on either of those fronts, chances are high that the customer will no longer be a customer and your company can face big penalties in the form of lost revenue and even fines.

IT and ecommerce need to work together to ensure your organization is always delivering on its promises. Large online retailers have their bases covered, but small businesses who do commerce over the internet have a much greater risk, especially if they don’t possess the tools and knowledge to execute a successful IT strategy.

Managed service providers offer ecommerce IT management solutions that make life much easier for small ecommerce vendors, allowing them to focus on selling more products while cutting costs. Discover some of the key benefits of ecommerce IT management with a trusted managed services provider.

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Five Tips for Sticking to Your Vendor Management Standards

Vendor management standards - ThrottleNet

Successful vendor management is like many things in life. Companies partner with software and service vendors because they offer a solution that aligns with their needs. 

Initially, everything seems great, but the first big test for a new vendor comes when you have questions or when things don’t go as planned.

When working alongside a third party there are certain vendor management standards you must adhere to in order to make the most of your relationship. Remember, you’re in this together.

So what are the secrets to nurture and utilize the most from the relationship with your software and service vendors? How can a managed services provider further simplify vendor management?

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