A network built with next-generation technologies helps you stay competitive, save money
Whether you’re building a new network or upgrading your existing one, are you giving any thought to your future needs? A secure, reliable network is a business necessity—not a nice-to-have. If you’re building the right network for your business, your network will not only meet your current requirements but will also accommodate your company’s future needs.
A network that’s built with the future in mind can meet changing demands, such as expanding to new locations, supporting mobile workers, addressing new security threats, and an increasing number of devices. The right network will also support future technologies such as cloud, virtualization, and bandwidth-intensive applications such as video and voice.
The benefits of building a network that can grow with your business are many. For example, building a network with next-generation technologies allows you to focus on your business and can help your company stay competitive, allowing you to better engage with customers and partners. In addition, building your network for the future provides investment protection, helping your company save money over time. Keep in mind: Even though a network built with low-cost point products may provide short-term cost savings, it could end up costing your company 20-35 percent more over a three-year period.
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Tags: investment protection, networking, right network, small business network, small_business
Keeping up-to-date on new threats and software updates is critical to maintaining a secure network
You’ve installed a firewall and intrusion prevention system (IPS) to secure the perimeter of your small business network. You’ve configured your protection measures to filter dangerous traffic, secure remote access, and control who can access your network. You’ve added antivirus and antimalware software to every computer and laptop in your organization. Your business is now safe from attackers lurking on the Internet, right?
Well, yes, for now. But if you don’t keep up with the constantly changing world of security vulnerabilities, your network won’t stay locked down for long.
New network vulnerabilities and security attacks are continually cropping up. Technology vendors discover new holes and release patches to their products’ firmware and software on a regular basis. But attackers are moving just as fast to exploit those holes and invent new ways to break into your network.
There are three ways you can stay on top of this moving target. Depending on how comfortable you are handling your network security, you can take a completely DIY approach by following vendors’ advisories, subscribe to a service that will inventory and automatically update your software, or contract with a security professional to manage security updates for you.
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Tags: data_protection, network_security, security, security_updates, small_business
When considering security, make sure you’re protecting the data on your phones, too
In July 2011, the world saw just how vulnerable voicemail systems can be when a phone hacking scandal took down the News of the World newspaper and created a huge public backlash against News Corp. and its CEO Rupert Murdoch. Reporters were illegally intercepting voicemail messages left for the British Royal Family, celebrities, British soldiers, and others in their quest to scoop stories. Public figures’ voicemail messages aren’t likely to reveal product secrets, credit card numbers, or confidential business strategies, but your employees’ voicemails can. Voicemail systems can be configured insecurely and easily hacked—if you don’t take the right precautions.
Whether you have an analog or IP-based phone system, your company’s private voicemails are vulnerable. Most voicemail systems require only a simple four-digit personal identification number (PIN) to protect a user’s voicemail, and hackers have a few different methods for figuring out those numbers and gaining access to voice mailboxes, including caller-ID spoofing, and social engineering.
The good news is that deleted voicemail messages can’t be hacked. Therefore, the easiest and most effective step you can take in securing your voicemail system is encouraging your employees to delete sensitive messages as soon as they’ve listened to them.
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Tags: IP Phones, security, small business, voicemail, voip
Eyewear company RestroSpecs & Company had an antiquated, low-quality phone system that was preventing employees from delivering top-notch customer service. In addition to providing subpar call quality, the system was crashing up to three times per day. By implementing the Cisco Unified Communications 300 Series voice system, employees now can seamlessly communicate with clients, and the company has experienced tremendous cost savings.
Check out the video to learn more!
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Tags: retrospecs, small business, voice system
Look for a contract that addresses service availability, SLAs, and security
If your company is like the majority of small businesses, you probably plan to invest some of your IT budget in cloud computing, if you haven’t already. According to an August report from Techaisle, small and medium-sized businesses will spend $11 billion on cloud computing services worldwide in 2011. There are many advantages to be realized when you move business applications to the cloud, but it’s still an investment that requires careful consideration and thorough research. Before you sign a contract, make sure it clearly states what you can expect from the cloud service and the provider.
Cloud contracts can be, well, cloudy. According to a Yankee Group report, ”…cloud contracts are rife with disclaimers, misleading uptime guarantees, and questionable privacy policies…” The Yankee Group recommended that companies look closely at the claims made in cloud service contracts. The most important of these contractual promises is the availability of the service, the provider’s service level agreements (SLAs), and the security of your data.
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Tags: cloud_computing, cloud_contract, cloud_service, cloud_service_contract, small_business