Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Small Business

Are You Aware of the Dangers Lurking in Free Apps?

Though fun and even useful, free apps can pose security risks to your users and your business

The old adage “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” has more than a kernel of truth to it when it comes to free applications. Free apps seem harmless, and they’re very tempting. Who doesn’t want a free version of Angry Birds? What’s wrong with a free banking app from your credit card company? But even if the app itself is legitimate and thoroughly vetted, it can still pose a security risk to the device it’s running on. Free apps are more dangerous to your employees and your network than they appear at first glance.

People can easily download a wide range of free apps for their smartphones and tablets as well as for your company’s computers. From wildly popular games like Angry Birds Space (which was downloaded three million times in only three days) to fitness trackers and social media tools, there’s a free app for anything anyone would want to do on his or her mobile device. Likewise, the Internet is teeming with free apps to customize desktops and work more easily. But the problem with free is that the program use is almost always paid for through advertising or information gathering—and it’s in those aspects where the danger often lies. Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

Personal Security Incidents Can Put Everyone at Risk

When employees use their own devices for work, there’s no such thing as a personal security breach

It’s no exaggeration to say that mobile smart devices have changed the way people work. With smartphone in hand, employees now expect to be able to check email from their kid’s baseball game, finalize financial transactions on the fly, and log into cloud-based services at the gym—not to mention play Angry Birds whenever they want. The downside to this round-the-clock connectivity is the security risk it can introduce to your network and, because devices are personally owned, the difficulty of locking them down. These days, there’s no such thing as a personal security breach. A security incident on a personal device can put your entire network at risk.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Switches with Integrated Voice Features Speed New VoIP Installations

Small business switches with auto-deployment features remove the complexity of rolling out IP-based voice systems

If you’ve decided to upgrade your legacy phone system to a Voice-over-IP (VoIP) solution, you want to make sure that installation is as smooth and trouble-free as possible. A good place to start is with your network switch. As the traffic controller of your network, the switch connects different devices and allows them to communicate with each other. To make rolling out IP-based voice easier, you can choose a managed or smart switch with integrated automatic deployment features and built-in configuration tools.

Several of Cisco’s small business switches are designed to simplify VoIP deployments as well as make day-to-day network operations easier. The Cisco 200 Series Smart Switches, the Cisco Small Business 300 Series Managed Switches, and the new Cisco 500 Series Stackable Managed Switches include auto-deployment features that remove most of the complexity of installing voice equipment. Each of these small business switches include four integrated, easy-to-use configuration and management tools and integrated features: Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) and Link-Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP), Auto SmartPorts, Voice Services Discovery Protocol (VSDP), and Cisco Configuration Assistant (CCA) Used together, these tools can result in zero-touch deployments of voice equipment.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Network Got You Down? A Support Contract Can Help

April 26, 2012 at 8:00 am PST

The right service plan can maximize network uptime and minimize lost revenues

New products and technologies, increasing mobility among employees, the need for round-the-clock access to company data and resources—these are just some of the factors driving small businesses’s growing dependence on their networks. This makes network downtime costly for any small business. According to Infonetics Research, unplanned network downtime costs companies an average of 3.6 percent revenue per year. And that doesn’t include the incalculable cost of damage to your business’s reputation caused by the downtime.

To minimize network downtime and ensure your network is available for employees to connect, collaborate, and communicate with customers and partners as well as each other, you may want to consider a support contract. A service plan will not only help protect your company’s technology investment, but it can also help save lost revenue and customers. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Get More Out of Your Internet Connection with the Right Router

The new Cisco RV180 and RV180W VPN Routers provide fast, secure access for local and remote employees

When it comes to fundamental networking components, few devices are as important as your router. The router connects your business to the rest of the world, linking your local network to the vast resources on the Internet. It allows everyone in your office to share a single connection to the Internet, and it may also help protect your business from online threats, as well as give employees remote access to your network. Before you can choose the best router for your small business, you need to know what you want it to do for your network. Now that the Internet has become crucial to most companies’ day-to-day business operations, you need to know how your company uses its Internet connection. Here are some questions to consider: Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,