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Things To Know Before Choosing Storage For Virtual Environments

by Administrator 12. July 2017 10:56

Storage virtualization has become a necessity in the IT industry, mainly because of the need to store an extensive amount of data in a safe and secure environment. It not only saves on the costs of physical hardware, but also allows for a better utilization of the available resources and streamlines business operations.

Given below are some factors that need to be considered while choosing storage for virtual environments:

Opt For A Simple Solution

The virtual storage solution you choose should offer simplicity in its usage. All the complex and low-level tasks such as performance testing, updates, data placement etc. should be automated. This will beneficial for the IT professionals as they will be able to focus on other important configuration tasks.

Ease Of Management

Reliability and consistency in performance are other important elements that should be looked for. The virtual machines should support multi-tenancy functionality, so that all the users can individually manage data stored on their systems. Manageability of a virtualized storage should be considered in regard to data flow at three different levels - virtual machine (VM), virtual machine to physical storage and the server to virtual machine.

Performance

All virtual storage solutions are designed to handle a specific amount of data. Therefore, you must analyze your storage requirements, both at present as well in the future, to determine the most suitable type of service. Make sure that all the resources in the virtual environment are utilized to their maximum efficiency. Also, the performance of any application should not be hampered due to lack of storage space.

Customer Support And Service

When you implement storage virtualization in your organization, you need to procure services from multiple vendors so that the entire system can work efficiently. Therefore, constant support is essential to address any issues and ensure non-stop functioning. Without this, you may have to experience extended downtime which can be critical for your company’s reputation.

When choosing a vendor, you should evaluate the level of customer service it provides. Gain complete knowledge of how the virtual environment will fit into and enhance the productivity of your business in the long run.

We, at Centex Technologies, provide comprehensive information security solutions to the business firms in Dallas. TX. For more information, feel free to call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

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Blogging Tips For Beginners

by Administrator 29. June 2017 09:35

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Steps To Better Vulnerability Management

by Administrator 27. June 2017 14:57

Maintaining the information security of an organization has become a necessity in the present times. Though identifying and patching potential vulnerabilities is important, it may not always be possible to completely shield your network against hacking attacks. Therefore, it is essential to formulate a strategic vulnerability management program to strengthen your IT security system. It will not only help to detect the risks, but also identify the most viable way to understand and mitigate them.

Given below are some of the steps that you need to take for better vulnerability management:

Identify Your IT Assets

Though this may sound quite obvious, it is really important to identify and keep a track of your IT assets in order to adequately protect them against attacks. Cloud computing technologies and adoption of mobile devices have expanded the boundaries of an organizations’ IT infrastructure. To deal with this problem effectively, IT professionals must create an inventory of all the computer systems and applications that have access to the corporate network. You can even use some cloud based tools to streamline the process and automatically record all the internal as well as external IT assets.

Understand The Risk

Vulnerabilities can exist in any layer of the network. Hence, an in-depth scanning is critical to understand what all systems are at risk and the level of risk they pose for the company, in the event of a data breach. Conduct an external penetration test as well as internal application scan to identify all the potential threats to the network. Prioritize the vulnerabilities according to their severity so that you can focus on rectifying the more critical risks first. Set exceptions on the level of risk that you can accept and manage at a later point of time.

Identify Which Controls Are Already In Place

Take a note of the security measures that have already been deployed in your organization. These may include firewall, intrusion detection and prevention system (IDPS), data encryption, virtual private network (VPN), data loss prevention etc. Identify the efficiency of these systems to protect your confidential data and other IT resources. This will also give you an idea of the threats that are not being managed and require the use of more sophisticated security software.

Centex Technologies is a leading IT security company serving business firms in Dallas, TX. For more information, you can call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

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Tips For Implementing BYOD In Your Organization

by Administrator 12. June 2017 15:43

Over the years, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy has become an accepted norm in organizations across the globe. Employees are continuously using their smartphones to access company’s network, download important files and share sensitive data for collaborative projects. However, a number or organizations are still looking for ways to implement a strong BYOD policy, which increases employee productivity and eliminates any potential security risks.

Tips for implementing BYOD in your organization:

Specify Which Devices Are Permitted

Firstly, you need to set clear policies regarding the devices that are allowed to be used for work. Depending upon the network settings and security measures, you should decide the devices that will be supported. For instance, most organizations permit the use of only iOS devices due to their advanced security software and privacy-enhancing features.

Establish Strict Security Policies

Before allowing the employees to bring their own device, make sure you mandate a strong password policy. Ask the employees to lock their device using complex log in credentials and change it at frequent intervals. This will prevent unauthorized access to the official accounts and sensitive information, even if the device is lost or stolen. You can also require two-factor authentication for employees who access company’s financial details or client information on their mobile device.

Install Mobile Security Software

You cannot have complete control over the type of information an employee accesses through his smartphone. Malicious file downloads and spam websites can install malware on the device which may jeopardize the security of files stored in it. Therefore, you should make it mandatory for them to install an anti-virus software and run frequent scans to detect as well as remove any potentially dangerous application. You can even choose a security software that offers additional features, such as device tracking and remote wipe.

Decide The Apps That Will Be Allowed

This applies to all the devices that connect to the corporate network, be it your organization’s computer system or the employee’s personal smartphone. You should restrict the use of social networking applications, games, remote desktop access, VPN and other software that may pose a threat to the company. You can also block downloading of applications from third party sources.

For more tips on successfully implementing BYOD policy in your organization, feel free to contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

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How To Make Sure Your Network Is Ransomware-Proof

by Administrator 29. May 2017 22:53

Ransomware is undoubtedly one of the most harmful types of virus attacks for any corporate network. When a computer system is infected with the malware, it locks down all the files stored on the local hard disc, demanding a certain amount of ransom from the victim to get access to the data. Over the last few years, ransomware attacks have increased and have become a lot more targeted. Therefore, you need to stay proactive and protect your network from getting infected with this malware.

Here are some steps you need to take to ensure that your network is ransomware proof:

Perform Regular Backups

Though this is the most basic defense against ransomware, performing regular backups goes a long way in minimizing the consequences you have to face in the event of an attack. Create and implement a policy that requires the employees to backup their files at frequent intervals. When you have a copy of the files, your business activities would not be hampered due to a ransomware attack.

Disable Remote Access

In most cases, ransomware exploits the vulnerabilities in the computer systems or mobile devices used to access your network remotely. Though remote access allows employees to work from anywhere, it also increases the chances of a hacker being able to infiltrate the corporate network. Therefore, you should disable remote access, particularly on the systems where it is absolutely not required.

Deploy A Firewall

Install a reliable firewall software to prevent ransomware from getting access to your network. When you have set the rules on what type of content can or cannot be accessed on a computer system, you can significantly limit your network’s attack surface. It will also scan all the file downloads in real time and block the ones that potentially contain a malicious code.

Setup correct file and folder level permissions

Just like a firewall software protects you from external attacks, setting up file and folder permissions is important to secure your network internally. Make sure that the employees have access to only those files which they need to perform their tasks. For instance, marketing employees should not be able to view, modify or share the HR department folder. This will not only provide protection from ransomware, but lead to a more secure network environment on the whole.

For more information on ransomware and how you can safeguard your corporate network, feel free to contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

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Hashtag Benefits

by Administrator 26. May 2017 10:19

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Network Monitoring Best Practices

by Administrator 9. May 2017 05:30

Continuous network monitoring is one of the core elements of maintaining a secure and efficient IT infrastructure within an organization. As network systems have evolved over the past few years, it is essential to manage the configuration of all the network devices, servers and services to ensure timely detection as well as removal of the potential threats.

Given below are some of the tips for implementing a successful network monitoring strategy:

Note the baseline network performance

In order to identify any problems in the network infrastructure, it is important that you have an idea about its normal performance. Documenting network functionality over a period of time can help you to set accurate thresholds and receive alerts when the network is not performing up to the mark. Base-lining also facilitates proactive troubleshooting and prevention of downtime before it causes problems to the users.

Inventory management

You need to have an in-depth understanding of the IP devices, routers, switches and servers that make up your network. Make a detailed inventory of all the items you need to manage and add them in your network monitoring software. Categorize all devices on the basis of usage, vendor, location, data center and other parameters. Create a map and form connections between the system so that it represents your network architecture. This will give you a visual idea about how the inventory should be maintained.  

Monitor and report at every level

Every element in diverse corporate network operates on a separate layer to contribute to its overall functionality. In the event of a system failure, it is critical to identify the layer at which the data connection has been interrupted. Therefore, your network monitoring system should focus on observing and reporting problems at all layers. This will make it easy for you to detect if the issue has been caused due to malfunctioning of hardware, router, bandwidth or any other component.

Prepare for network expansion

With the expansion of your organization, your network also needs to evolve and incorporate new technological upgrades. This, in turn, will also increase the number of devices, network bandwidth and storage space required. Therefore, make sure you choose a scalable monitoring system that allows you to include more devices and interfaces as and when they are added to the network.

We, at Centex Technologies, provide comprehensive network security solutions to the business firms in Dallas, TX. For more information, you can call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

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Tips For Successful Penetration Testing

by Administrator 29. April 2017 09:04

Penetration testing is an important step while evaluating the security of a corporate network. It involves simulating a hacking attack on the network with an aim to breach its security and gain access to the confidential data. This helps IT professionals to determine the potential vulnerabilities that can be exploited by the hackers and how they can be fixed. However, carrying out an efficient penetration testing requires a lot of research and in-depth technical knowledge.

Given below are some steps that need to be followed for successful penetration testing:

Perform A Thorough Analysis

Firstly, you should have a clear idea about all the physical and intellectual assets of your company that you want to protect. Assess your network inside-out to determine the elements that are more susceptible to an attack and can severely hamper the functioning of your organization. Also, review your security policies to ensure that the penetration testing team is not able to get into the network.

Conduct A Pilot Study

Before initiating the penetration testing process, consider performing a pilot study on a small portion of the organization’s resources. This will help to identify the type of problems being faced and if any additional training or knowledge is required to deal with them. A pilot study will also allow the team to plan and structure the large scale penetration testing.

Choose A Penetration Testing Method

The next step is to select the most suitable method for conducting the penetration testing. Typically, you can choose from black box or white box tests. The former one involves initiating the attack without any prior knowledge of the company’s security systems and unpatched vulnerabilities. In a white box test, on the other hand, the tester has access to the sensitive information, such as network diagrams, IP addresses, source code etc.

Determine Who Will Perform The Test

This involves creating a strategy for the test. Determine who will perform the penetration test, an in-house team or an outsourced one. If the test involves the use of social engineering techniques, decide on the type of email that will be formulated and which employees will be the targeted. Create an information security incident response team who will stay updated with the penetration testing and ensure objectivity of the results.

For more tips on conducting successful penetration testing, you can contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

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Local SEO Tips

by Administrator 27. April 2017 07:54

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NAS Vs. SAN – How To Build Your Network?

by Administrator 17. April 2017 17:39

Choosing the right storage solution for your company’s data can sometimes be a complex decision. It is important that you gain a deep insight into all the options available to determine the one that will be most suitable for your virtual environment. The technology will depend upon the following factors:

  • The type of data you want to store
  • Your budget
  • Usage pattern
  • Scaling concerns

Discussed below are the two main types of data storage, Network Attached Storage and Storage Area Network.

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

NAS involves the use of TCP/IP protocol, such as Ethernet, to connect to the network. An external device is attached to the web servers through a LAN or WAN. NAS devices usually run on a built-in operating system and management interface. Employees can easily access the files stored on the NAS just as they are on a local hard disc.

Benefits

  • Installation of NAS devices is very easy and does not require much time. In case you are in an urgent need for additional storage, NAS is your best option.
  • As file serving and storage is not handled by the web server, it reduces downtime to a great extent.
  • The NAS system is quite flexible and can work efficiently in organizations that work with different operating systems.
  • The low capital investment makes it a good choice for small to medium sized businesses.

Limitations

  • The scope of NAS devices is limited. They are only suitable for sharing files over the network.
  • The performance of NAS devices depends a lot on the network quality. Therefore, you need to get extended bandwidth while deploying a NAS solution.

Storage Area Network (SAN)

SAN is a more complex technology that connects to the network through a fiber channel or SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) protocol. The files are managed centrally and can be shared between multiple computer systems.

Benefits

  • SAN offers a high level of scalability. You can add as many storage drives you need to keep your data secure.
  • It is a suitable option if you require reliable storage solution to handle large volumes of data.
  • SAN system allows multiples users to access the files seamlessly, without any slowdown or downtime.

Limitations

  • The requirement of specialized equipment increases the upfront cost of installing a SAN system.
  • There is an increased risk of data corruption if several host machines connect to the same SAN device.

For more tips on choosing the right network storage solution for your organization, feel free to contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

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