Cloud computing is an essential part of every business’ IT infrastructure. Regardless of the service model (IaaS, PaaS or SaaS) or deployment (public, private, community or hybrid), a large number of businesses are moving to the cloud to streamline their operations and minimize investment in IT resources. Though cloud computing offers a wide range of advantages, storing your data in a virtual space also poses certain security risks.
Listed below are some benefits and risks associated with cloud computing for businesses:
- Cost Savings: Perhaps the biggest saving with cloud computing is in the form of reduced IT expenditure. You do not need to spend on expensive server storage and equipment. You also do not need to hire specialized IT staff for the maintenance and upgradation of these systems. Cloud offers a subscription based program that allows you to pay-as-you-go, i.e. businesses are charged according to their infrastructure requirements.
- Flexibility: Cloud computing allows employees to work more efficiently, irrespective of their location. They can access important files and documents from their home, during a vacation or while traveling. All they need is an internet connection and a compatible device to easily connect to their virtual office. This, in turn, helps to boost productivity while allowing you to increase profits.
- Reliability: With cloud computing, employees do not have to worry about the maintenance and security of the data. Your cloud service provider will offer round the clock technical support to implement any security upgrades required in the applications.
- Data Availability: When you centralize your data and applications to a cloud provider, one of the major risks involved is the loss of internet connectivity. If the server goes down, all your business activities will be affected. The quality of cloud services can also be hampered on a low bandwidth internet, making it difficult to download or print large files.
- Security And Privacy: Storing your business’ confidential data with an external service provider poses a lot of security risks. Make sure your data is stored in an encrypted format to prevent the hackers from getting access to it.
- Limited Control: Since the cloud services are completely outsourced, it does not provide any control to the clients. Except for the basic data and applications management, you cannot monitor or alter the backend administrative settings or functioning of the hardware/software.
For more information on cloud computing, you can contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.
Adware, or ad supported software, refers to any form of software that displays or downloads unwanted advertizements while browsing the internet. It may also be programmed to redirect the users to advertizing websites or track browsing patterns so that customized ads can be displayed. In most cases, adware is a legitimate software that comes as a drive-by download with a freeware program. A visit to a malicious website can also lead to unapproved installation of adware on your computer. However, the advertizements can be annoying, distracting and intrude the user’s privacy in the online space.
Here are some signs that your computer has been infected with adware:
- Pop-up advertizements on the desktop or within applications
- Unidentified changes in browser home page, bookmarks and favorites
- New toolbars installed in the internet browser
- Slow computer start-up and shut down
- Pop-up ads related to websites being browsed or keywords typed in the search engine
- Desktop may be slow to load or refresh
- Unexpected system shut down or restart
- Sluggish internet connection
- Software crashes
- New programs installed on the computer
How Does Adware Work?
When adware is downloaded onto a computer system, it may begin to show pop-up ads according to your web browsing habits. The software may also install tracking cookies and keyloggers or conduct an unauthorized hard drive scan. Some of the common consequences of an adware infection are:
- Infinite Pop-Ups: The user may view an endless series of pop-up advertizements over the current program window. At times, closing one pop-up ad may lead to opening of another one.
- Man-In-The-Middle Attacks: Some adware programs are designed to redirect your network activity through a proxy server to display ads over the web pages being visited.
- Spying: This adware tracks your online browsing habits, websites you visit and even records your keystrokes to figure out the type of advertizements that would catch your interest.
- Data Consumption: The adware may download unrequired add-on program to your computer, thus consuming the bandwidth on your internet connection.
- Device Slowdown: Running too many ads may hamper your device’s performance, making it slow to respond to user commands.
It is important to detect and remove adware from your computer system at the earliest. If not, it may transmit sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, passwords, important files, photos and videos to the cyber criminals who may use it for malicious purposes.
For more information on adware and cyber security, you can contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.