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Firewalls: Protecting your business from unwanted intruders

A combination of hardware and software firewalls provides a higher level of security

I got a call from my great aunt the other day. She wants to get online and has just bought a new computer. She’s heard her friends talk about bad guys on the Internet and asked me how she should protect herself. I told her she should get security gear for her computer before doing anything else. I explained that like the security gate at her apartment complex, computer security gear can prevent bad guys from getting inside.

That got me thinking about security for small businesses. What security solution should you use to protect your small business?

You need the equivalent of security gates for your network. Firewalls do precisely that. And though you’ve probably heard of firewalls for computer security, you may not know how they work and whether you should get one for your business.

How firewalls work

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A Secure Network is a Productive Network

Because it’s Cyber Security Month, security has been top of mind for me, I’ve realized that network security plays a silent role in almost everything we do.

Last week our power went out.  This is pretty rare where I live, because I’m on the same power grid as Disney World; which means that there are two major power sources sending electricity our way (imagine the cost of a power outage to Disney World!).  I really never thought it would happen.  Even the year that Central Florida was hit by three hurricanes the power never faltered here.  But, a little transformer blew in town and knocked the lights out.  No power, no network.  So, I picked up my laptop and scooted out to the local Starbucks without giving it a second thought.

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How A Long-term Approach to IT Can Save You Money

Very often, technology decisions occur because something broke, or perhaps because something has become so outdated or so difficult to manage that replacement of the offending product is the only way to avoid employee insurrection. But if your company’s technology decisions are solely made during such a state of emergency, then you’ve been missing the boat when it comes to getting the most out of your IT investment.

This is tantamount to driving your car and making left or right turns based solely on traffic conditions and then seeing where you end up at the end of the day. Not necessarily a bad thing if you’re just exploring the area, but it’s not exactly a business class response focused on expense control and profitability in a competitive environment.

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Video Cameras Deliver More Than Security

IP surveillance cameras can make you more productive and help your business operate more efficiently

I love doing business with small companies, such as local retailers, but the downside is that you often have to wait to be served because there are few staff members. So I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I went to my local dry cleaners to drop off some shirts.

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Five Keys to a Successful Meeting with your Channel Partner

The best way to prepare for a meeting with your channel partner depends, in large part, on how long you have been working together. We’re going to look at five key points, assuming that you and the partner are starting from Square One. If you’ve been working with the same partner for a considerable period of time, you may already have done some of these. But be on the lookout for anything you might have missed.

#1: Look at your IT needs from a business perspective, as well as a technological perspective.

This is not as basic as it might sound. What are the pain points of your company? Where are your costs just a little too high? What types of functions are slipping through the cracks? As you can surmise, the true potential of technology runs much deeper than the basics around email, Internet access and whatever applications you currently may be using. Your partner may have some ideas for new software that can remove extra cycles or help your people more effectively track functions that somehow get lost in the shuffle.

#2: Provide an accurate accounting of the systems and software already in place.

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