In 2021, about half of Canadian SMBs were affected by data breaches, with the average cost of a data breach being around $6.75 million. This statistic shows that protecting your data from potential threats is more critical than ever. One way to do this is by investing in a business VPN.
If you’re unfamiliar with a business VPN, it’s a Virtual Private Network that provides a secure, encrypted connection between your devices and the internet. This is important because it helps to keep your data safe from online threats like hackers and malware.
A business VPN can be an excellent investment for companies of all sizes. Here are some benefits of having a business VPN.
A massive global shift to remote working environments has created an open season for cybercriminals. No business – big or small – is safe. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) seemingly have a target on their backs, so strengthening your company’s security posture is essential right now.
There are ways to protect business data against cyber attacks. Here are nine tips to help your business boost
resilience to cyber attacks:
1. Conduct a security risk assessment
Understand the most critical threats to your business, like system failures, natural disasters, and malicious human actions, and determine the impact they may have on your company.
2. Train your employees
Conduct employee awareness training across your workforce to educate users on common scams and phishing techniques. Also, because cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, ensure your training curriculum is relevant and updated frequently.
3. Use multiple layers of protection
Implement a password policy that requires strong passwords and monitor your employee accounts for breach intel through technologies to ensure your network and endpoints are not vulnerable to attacks. Consider mandatory multifactor authentication, ongoing network monitoring, and hard drive encryption.
4. Keep software up to date
Unpatched or out-of-date software will allow some kind of threat to breach your security. Cybercriminals exploit software vulnerabilities using a variety of tactics to gain access to computers and data. Managed service providers (MSPs) can automate this for businesses like yours with a remote monitoring and management tool. Don’t forget to keep your mobile phones up to date as well.
5. Create straightforward cybersecurity policies
Write and distribute clear rules and instructions on cybersecurity practices for employees. This will vary from business to business but may include policies on social media use, bring your own device (BYOD), authentication requirements, and more.
6. Back up your data
Daily (or more frequent) backups are a requirement to recover from data corruption or loss resulting from security breaches. Consider using a data protection tool with your MSP help that takes incremental data backups periodically throughout the day to prevent data loss.
7. Enable uptime
Choose a powerful data protection solution that enables the “instant recovery” of data and applications. 92% of MSPs report that clients using business continuity disaster recovery (BCDR) products are less likely to experience significant downtime from ransomware and are back up and running quickly. Application downtime can significantly impact a business’s ability to generate revenue.
8. Know where your data resides
The more places data exists, the more likely it is that unauthorized individuals will be able to access it. Use data discovery tools to find and appropriately secure data. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications that allow for corporate control of data.
9. Control access to computers
Each access point poses an individual risk, so limited employee access to specific data they need to perform their jobs. Plus, administrative privileges should only be given to trusted staff. Partnering with a managed service provider will alleviate your cybersecurity concerns. Working with an MSP will give you access to quality advice on what technologies you need to protect your organization in the fight against cybercrime.
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Did you know 20% of Canadian employees say they want to return to their on-site jobs full-time? That’s a lot of people who would prefer to work from home, and companies are becoming increasingly supportive of this mindset.
However, with the desire to work remotely comes the need for servers that can accommodate a safe and sustainable work environment. Perhaps you have all your business data and information stored on physical servers, or your current system doesn’t actively support remote work.
You can still do plenty to ensure your server infrastructure can support whatever working mode your employees prefer. Keep reading to get the full scoop on how you can upgrade your system in the modern age of working.
What Does Server Infrastructure Mean?
Let’s take a brief look at the server infrastructure definition and what this means for you. Server infrastructure incorporates physical and virtual resources and includes software, hardware, and networks resources.
These all work together to support the management of various servers in the IT environment. Server infrastructure is the backbone of any business or organization’s data centre.
You need a certain level of CPUs, memory, storage, and management tools for it to be effective. You also want to ensure your server can handle any increased need for storage and future scalability.
Types of Server Infrastructures
An organization can implement two different systems: a centralized and decentralized infrastructure. A centralized data centre houses the server infrastructure in one location. A decentralized server infrastructure works across several data centres. These typically operate through a remote network.
File Servers host company information in one location that clients can access. A server like this allows for more accessible backup, access, fault tolerance, security, and integrity.
DNS servers convert client queries into machine-readable IP addresses. They assist you in determining the correct IP address of the site the user has requested. Browsers use these addresses to deliver appropriate web content.
The most common servers for hosting online applications are web servers. A web server is software that uses HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to respond to client requests made over the internet.
Application servers are virtual servers that can install, run, and host user apps and services. These are essential for providing a positive end-user experience. These servers are frequently used to host resource-intensive applications shared by many users.
Many users can share virtual servers and their resources while maintaining individual control. A single physical server has the potential to be replaced by several virtual machines (VMs). These VMs can all function independently and allow for flexible workspaces.
Server Infrastructure Specifications
All server systems have core specifications you’ll need to meet. You will need specific computer modules, system management, interconnections, and temperature-controlled storage facilities.
We recommend certain physical and electrical features for various use cases. That being said, if you are hosting your servers, you will need to consider your:
Management and control of power
Power supplies to inhibit redundancies
These considerations illustrate why cloud server infrastructure is the more sustainable choice for many businesses.
The Benefits of Server Virtualization Infrastructure
There are many benefits to moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud, including better data management, faster operations, and interoperability. Cloud-based solutions are a great way to access the same services without the overhead.
What Server Virtualization Infrastructure Can Do For Your Business
Switching to a cloud system can help you save money on maintenance, reduce downtime, and make your system more manageable. There are four key benefits we want to talk about here.
Cloud services are highly versatile and allow you to grow your infrastructure with little to no impact on your business. A significant disadvantage to on-site infrastructure is scaling your business can be challenging and costly.
A solid IT system plays a significant role in keeping everyone connected. It should also optimize daily processes, as these are all critical steps in running a business. With the right resources and automation, all stakeholders will have a clear image of how the company runs.
If you’re concerned about the security of your data, the most effective thing you can do is implement a virtual private network (VPN). A reputable infrastructure provider can offer a safe platform to give your company added security.
This added security, in turn, gives your company a competitive edge, as your customers will feel safe working with you.
Downtime, outages, and system failure are inherent risks in any server infrastructure. Since many companies still rely on inefficient site strategies, they are vulnerable to these problems.
While larger companies will have dedicated teams for server management, it’s simply not achievable for most small businesses. Building a virtual infrastructure is the best thing you can do for the security and productivity of your company.
Purpose Built With Efficiency in Mind
We’ve got your back, whether you want to update your server infrastructure or switch to a cloud-hosted system. New systems have the potential to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and boost productivity. All that while ensuring digital safety in the modern world.
With the changes to current work-from-home policies, it makes sense to look for options that work on a scalable digital platform.
Discover how we can help you make your business more secure and efficient!
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, many companies continue to assess how they can best prioritize their employee safety and maintain regular business operations. Many companies and governments recommend employees work from home, where possible, to avoid exposure to illnesses and the subsequent loss of productivity. This article will cover some of the ways your company and employees can work from home safely, securely, and productively.
How Businesses Can Securely Work From Home
With the increase in remote work, companies have to respond in various ways to avoid cybersecurity risks or interruptions to business. “When supporting a remote workforce, understand that security controls shift. Therefore, firewalls, DNS, and IDS/IPS could be ineffective when employees head home. Most environments that support VPNs should be able to protect the remote user, be sure to account for the bandwidth of users and remote desktop sessions,” said Dan Garcia, Senior Information Security Engineer II at Datto.
VPN Guidance from CISA
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an alert to encourage organizations to adopt a heightened state of cybersecurity. According to the CISA, remote work options require a VPN solution to connect employees to an organization’s network. The CISA encourages organizations to review the following recommendations when considering alternate workplace options:
Update VPNs, network infrastructure devices, and devices used to remote into work environments with the latest software patches and security configurations. See CISA Tips Understanding Patches and Securing Network Infrastructure Devices.
Ensure IT security personnel test VPN limitations to prepare for mass usage and, if possible, implement modifications to prioritize users that will require higher bandwidths.
In addition, managed service providers (MSPs) are recommending the following best practices and advice for how businesses can remain secure through remote work scenarios.
Use a Secure WiFi Network: If possible, all remote workers should work on a secure, private home network instead of relying on public WiFi. Suppose employees send data through an unsecured WiFi connection. In that case, they lose the power of privacy, making it possible for cybercriminals to intercept data. Employees may be putting personal information at risk if they access email accounts or send sensitive data over a public WiFi network. It’s essential to ensure your network is secure by using a VPN and a strong password that isn’t easily cracked.
Secure Home Workstations: Ensure everyone has fully patched and updated anti-virus and anti-malware software. It’s essential to follow the same best practices you would in the office and report any suspicious activity or concerns to internal IT or your MSP.
Coordinate With Your Internal IT or MSP: When working remotely, it’s crucial to continue your typical cybersecurity best practices and reach out with any questions or concerns.
Protect Remote Workers from Data Loss
As small and medium-sized (SMBs) businesses worldwide continue to adapt to remote work, there has been a surge in the use of cloud collaboration apps. According to research from Techaisle, 74% of SMBs are using collaboration focused SaaS solutions.
In adjusting to a completely remote, digital workforce, businesses need tools to quickly and effectively enhance how they handle new compliance, security and data loss risks. Many companies have turned to cloud-based solutions like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. At one point, Microsoft Teams gained more than 12 million daily users in a single week – up 37.5% – and then suffered an outage due to the rapid rise in demand.
While Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace may make collaboration more efficient, data protection and management remain challenging. To address that threat, SMBs need a reliable solution for this growing reliance on the cloud and Datto’s SaaS Protection can help.
Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace Data are not Automatically Protected
SaaS data is not immune to permanent data loss. Both Microsoft and Google make no guarantees when it comes to restoring deleted data, whether it’s human error or a malicious ransomware attack. Also, the move to remote work has triggered a wave of new cyberattacks. Previously, only 12% of all malicious traffic was directed at remote workers. Still, according to ITProPortal, this has jumped to 60% during the pandemic.
Reduce Risk and Avoid Downtime with Datto SaaS Protection
An independent data backup separate from the SaaS app itself is necessary to avoid the most common data loss pitfalls. Setup, backup, and recovery can all be made remotely by your MSP, ensuring data is protected and managed efficiently. Want to learn more about our reliable SaaS backup and easy recovery? Contact our product experts today!
Services Protected by Datto SaaS Protection
Staying Connected & Productive When Working Remotely
Whether your team consists of members across different geographic locations or you have full remote employees, there are ways to work within the confines of temporary team member isolation. Here are some tips and suggestions for how your company can stay productive and communicative while working from home:
Communication tools need to be your go-to solution
Video conferencing systems, like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, will be your best friend. Ask yourself, “Is this conversation better-suited face-to-face?” If so, book 15 minutes with someone over your video conferencing system instead of managing these communications over email or a messaging tool. It will go the distance to keep you and your teammates in sync.
Slack and Microsoft Teams messaging tools are a great way to continue moving through processes and asking critical questions to team members. This is a quick way to get answers and to communicate small needs or changes with the group.
Don’t be afraid just to pick up the phone and call someone. Share your phone number with your colleagues when you need to have a quick conversation.
Block off “Do Not Disturb” time on your calendar each day
Communication tools, especially when remote, can become your entire day if you don’t manage your time appropriately. Establishing blocks of time where you request not to be interrupted to concentrate on your work is crucial.
Utilize the “Do Not Disturb” feature to limit your notification overload. Getting constantly pinged can be overwhelming for anyone. Do your best to reduce distractions when you need to go heads down on problem-solving for an hour.
When you’re in a video meeting, turn on your camera and pay attention
It’s easy to get distracted by other inquiries you’re receiving when you’re on a video meeting, especially when you can’t just close your laptop like when you’re in a conference room with team members. The only way to avoid this is to turn off notifications and focus on the session’s content.
Turning on your camera allows people to read your expressions and interact with you more effectively. Additionally, it gives you the incentive to be present in the meeting instead of handling other issues during the call.
Working from home is about balance. Make sure you take frequent breaks and monitor your working hours as you would if you were commuting. It’s easy to burnout when you work from home, so talk with your manager if you feel that you are struggling to be productive. Use the tools you have at your disposal to continue being effective contributors and collaborators with your remote team members.
Book a consultation with us to learn how you can improve your company’s work from home processes.