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Big Data Terms That One Must Know

Data has a huge potential if the right value is derived from it. Big data is the voluminous repository of data which is used to form inferences. It is a relatively new concept.

It is a wide field and encompasses a number of terms in itself. Here we have listed certain terms which are used in tandem with big data that one must know to gain a detailed insight over this subject of study.

  • Algorithm – It refers to a mathematical formula that is generally used to analyze data. It is usually run by a software.
  • Data Lake – Huge source of information in its raw form is known as Data Lake. This information is used to form inferences.
  • Data Mining – The process of delving into available information to derive meaningful insights is known as data mining. Experts use a variety of statistical techniques, machine learning algorithms, sophisticated software’s meant for data analysis to generate significant conclusions.
  • Distributed File System – It is not possible to store large volume of data on a single system as it is complex, costly and infeasible. So, it is generally stored across various storage devices. This mechanism of storing data on multiple devices is known as distributed file system.
  • ETL – It is an acronym which means extract, transform & load. It is a three step process which is used while ingesting information over big data systems in a structured manner. First of all, raw data is extracted, then it is converted into a meaningful form. Finally, it is loaded onto the system for use.
  • Hadoop – It is a programming framework. Hadoop enables storage and processing of huge chunks of data.
  • Data Scientist – They are people who are experts in analyzing data and are well versed with science, statistics, mathematics and other data analysis techniques.
  • Data Cleansing - There might be certain sets of information which are incorrect. Data cleaning is the process of removing incorrect or irrelevant information from the database. This is done to maintain the quality of data as it is further used for analysis.
  • Dark Data – This is that kind of data which is there in the company’s data repository but has never been put to use.
  • NoSQL- It is a database system which means ‘Not Only SQL’. It is designed to handle large volumes of unstructured data without any schema.
  • IoT – Internet of Things is the growing trend these days. Since so many devices are connected to the network, large amount of data is collected through them which can be used for further analysis.

    To know more about big data, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

How Evolving Technology Affects Cybersecurity?

Our world has witnessed a revolution brought by the ever evolving technology. From smartphones, smartwatches and other such equipment, the market today is full of tech- savvy products we could have never even dreamt of. However, with each passing day the reports of increasing cyberattacks is taking over the world by storm. As per a study by Juniper Research, cybercrimes shall cost businesses over $2 trillion by 2019.

Modern technology has not been able to combat cyberattacks completely as such attacks are consistent with the growth of technology. Whenever a new technology is launched to overcome a cyber threat, attackers too come up with a new virus or ransomware to counterfeit it. Here are some ways in which evolving technology affects cybersecurity –

  • IoT – Internet of Things is a prevalent concept that has made its way into our lives. However, it stands the risk of cyberattacks. If the security measures are weak then it may allow hackers to gain access to the entire network. Attackers might hack the software within the device or apps interface. This might impact the functionality of the device.
  • Artificial Intelligence – AI technology being used by numerous businesses working in various sectors today. However, it poses a serious cyber threat. It automates the discovery of critical software bugs. Hackers might use this to attack insecure networks. It can also be used to launch a social engineering attack by using a Facebook style algorithm to lure users to click on a malicious link that might infect their system with virus. 
  • 5G Technology – While we are on the brink of welcoming 5G, cybersecurity is still a question. With increased data speed, hackers will able to regulate malicious activities easily as the number of connected devices is quite high. Data piracy would be a serious issue as cybercriminals will be able to upload online content rapidly.
  • Social Media Breaches – Social media has enabled people to connect with their friends and family residing all across the globe. However, people post even minutest details such as the places they check-in, personal information such as mobile number, address etc. on their social media accounts thus giving hackers a sneak peek into their lives.
  • Mobile Security Breaches – Smartphones are the new cool, but with it there has been a rise in mobile security threats. From mobile phishing, ad and click fraud, dead apps etc. mobile security threats are something that technological growth has brought along.
  • Digital Information – Everything is computerized today and most information is stored on a shared network. Even though it is secured with passwords it is not really difficult for hackers to gain access to valuable business information.
  • Cloud Computing – More & more firms are shifting to cloud as it is a convenient method of saving & storing information. However, they must take stringent precautions to protect the information stored on cloud or else it might be misused by hackers thus leaving the company information vulnerable.

For more information, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

All About Smishing

We are familiar with the term phishing, but cyber-criminals have come up with another new variant. SMS phishing or smishing is nothing but another phishing technique that is undertaken through SMS. It is a mobile security attack. Usually a link is messaged to a user, which when clicked directs them to a site that contains malware and thus injects virus into their mobile phones. This is done to gain access to user’s personal & private information stored on their cellular device.

Nowadays, more & more people are transacting online through their smartphones and many of them might have saved their login credentials on them as well. This fact encourages cyber criminals to attack users & gain sensitive information saved on their hand held devices.

Most Common Types Of Smishing Messages

Have you ever received text messages with a notification regarding an urgent update, a link that can help you get cash backs & discounts or a deal to get a new credit card? Let’s take a look at the broad category of messages that are usually sent

  • General – These types of messages play with your emotions and use a friendly tone to trick you into clicking the link. They may be as simple as, “Get tax refund”, “Checkout our photos” etc.
  • Business – They masquerade themselves as a business entity or financial institution. Generally, they send a message such as, “Update your account information or else you would not be allowed to avail online services”, “Click on the link to get a discount coupon” etc. The words are chosen very carefully to stimulate immediate action.
  • Contest Winner – This is the most commonly used way to entice innocent users. A malicious link is sent to the user along with an SMS that says, “You have won 1000$” or “You are lucky winner of the contest”. A person tends to click the link out of general inquisitiveness & excitement and loses his/her personal information to the hands of cyber criminals. 

How To Avoid Smishing Scams

  • Don’t Click On Any Link In The Message – Try not to be fooled by such messages. Make sure that you do not click on any link sent to you in a message from an untrusted source or unknown number.
  • Don’t Reply Or Call Back- If you are wary of the content that has been messaged to you then do not call back or reply on that number. Replying might invite even more spammed message on your number. Also you can block that number for once and all.
  • Install An Anti-Virus Software – Always be proactive. The smartest move to avoid a smishing attack is to install an anti-virus software beforehand. This will help in preventing a virus to be injected on your device at the first place.

For more information on mobile security, contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 - 9654.

Cloud Solutions For Businesses In Central Texas

KILLEEN, Texas – March 15, 2018 – Centex Technologies is pleased to announce our achievement of the Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency as part of the Microsoft Partner Network Program.

To receive competencies with Microsoft, a partner must prove their expertise and know-how through performance requirements, various exams and successful demonstrations of implementation and customer satisfaction through customer references.

“Centex is thrilled to have gained the Microsoft Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud solution competencies,” said Abdul B. Subhani, President/CEO of Centex Technologies. “This will allow us to provide the best possible cloud solutions in the Central Texas area.”

For more information about this achievement or any other questions about Centex Technologies’ network administration services, please contact Stanley Stinehour at (254) 213-470 or email  

About Centex Technologies

Centex Technologies is an IT consulting company with offices in Killeen, Austin and Dallas, Texas; and Atlanta, Georgia. Our goal is to provide innovative IT solutions that exceed expectations. We assist our clients through a wide range of comprehensive and cost-effective services to advise, install, service and repair, configure, maintain and teach Information Technology. Our highly skilled and professional staff has extensive experience serving medium- to large-scale organizations in diverse technical areas such as Network Administration; Technical Support; Project Management; Search Engine Optimization (SEO); Internet Marketing, and custom Web, Application, and Software Design and Development. Additional information about Centex Technologies can be found at

Ways Business Process Automation Benefits Businesses

In this era, where we are progressing towards a technological boom, businesses too are aggressively moving towards automating their processes. Modern business process automation tools have significantly transformed the operations and fostered better integration of processes. This is often done to minimize the effort and channelize it in a better and useful way. From simple tasks to complex processes, businesses might just automate their operations to save time, effort & operating costs as well as reduce the redundancy. Let’s just go through some benefits process automation has for businesses –

• Better Quality – It involves technology aided devices to perform the tasks which ensure better quality of work by minimizing chances of error. Since every action is identically performed, the results are often very reliable and accurate.

• Consistency – Since the processes have been automated, there exists a certain level of consistency in the way a product or service is delivered to the customer.

• Time Saving – Much before business process automation was ingrained into our systems, business operations & tasks were performed by employees manually. This increased the risk of error and also took more time. Automation has reduced the human effort with repetitive tasks being done by machines. This adds value to the business by properly channelizing the abilities of their employees into creative and cognitive tasks.

• Efficiency – When business processes are automated then employees are able to perform better even with less resources. It ensures that the systems run smoothly and the business is able to leverage maximum benefits out of it.

• Reduced Costs – A task when done manually follows a slow pace and often costs more than what it does when automated. It significantly reduces the operating costs and minimizes wastage.

• Streamlined Operations - Also known as Workflow automation, it has enabled businesses to streamline their processes. They have been able to optimize their workflow by eliminating unnecessary tasks.

• Accountability
– It enables business owners to prepare a database and find out who is responsible for what task. They can even held people accountable in case an issue arises.

• Customer Satisfaction – People are able to get reliable and consistent results which in turn increases their level of satisfaction.

Factors That Should Be Considered While Choosing Which Processes To Automate –

  • Employee Involvement
  • Level Of Complexity
  • Volume ( In Terms Of Task/ Operation)
  • Possibility Of Standardization
  • Availability Of Technology
  • Cost Involved

Business Processes Which Can Be Automated -

  • Operation Management
  • Project Management
  • Customer Support
  • Communication
  • Purchase Order Management
  • Job Applicant Tracking etc.

Business process automation is a strategic decision taken to improve the productivity. To know more about business process automation, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

Social Engineering Attacks & How To Prevent Them

Social engineering as the name suggests deals with exploiting the human element in the cyber chain. The hackers make an attempt to bait human psyche to divulge sensitive & confidential information.

In this type of attack cyber criminals need not design sophisticated softwares and operating systems containing malware. Rather it is an act of psychological manipulation.

Here we have listed some common techniques of launching social engineering attacks –

Baiting – In this type of attack, hackers hit the human’s curiosity and greed. Once the user is duped, a malware is injected in their system and they steal away user’s confidential information. They lure in people with free music and movie downloads and make them part with their login credentials.

Also, attackers might just drop in some flash drives or USB’s near a company building. Now an inquisitive employee comes into picture, who out of his/her curiosity connects the drive or USB to company’s computer. This way the malware is injected and virus spreads throughout the company network.

Pretexting – As the name suggests, the hacker pretexts and drafts clever questions to elicit user’s confidential information. They generally masquerade their identity and impersonate as a trust worthy authority. From name, address, phone details, social security number to bank records, attackers can gather all types of information. They can be around you, acting as your co-worker, insurance agent, prospective employee, tax official etc. so you must always be extra careful before providing such sensitive information to anyone.

Scareware – It aims at inciting fear in the mind of users. The attacker sends fictitious threat notes and makes them believe that their system is injected with virus. In all the panic, users often install a fake anti-virus software that itself contains the malware for a problem that doesn’t even exist. It may be distributed through emails and is often called fraudware.

Shoulder Surfing – This technique involves directly observing or stalking someone to garner confidential information. A social engineer might just overlook your login information or even your ATM pin. Just with a glace, they are able to figure out the necessary information leaving you vulnerable to a social engineering attack.

Quid Pro Quo Attack – It is quite similar to baiting. However, in this type of attack the hacker promises a service or benefit in exchange of some information or access. Generally the hacker impersonates as an IT professional and promises to solve the user’s problem or offers some software upgrade in exchange of passwords & access codes.

How To Prevent Social Engineering Attacks –

  • Don’t click on suspicious links and websites.
  • Keep your system updated.
  • Install an antivirus on your system.
  • Use multilayer authentication criteria.
  • Be extra conscious and alert while disposing off documents containing sensitive information.
  • Use different passwords for different logins.
  • Back up your data regularly.
  • Organize employee training programs.

For more information, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

Future Of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is no more just a part of sci-fi movies. It is something that was a dream earlier but has now become much a part of our lives. This technology is helping us envision the future and has redefined the way we look at world. Through this technology the user can actually see a computer generated image in real world for an augmented experience. It produces real time results & experiences and literally brings thing to life by objectifying them. The audio, video and graphics, all equally contribute to enhance the realism.

AR generally requires a person to see through the screen.  It then blends additional information to a recognized picture or video and displays the result virtually. This technology is hooked up with smart devices to modify the user’s view of reality. 

It has tremendous potential for growth in future. Here’s how – 

E- Commerce – AR shall revolutionize the retail and business sector. It will enable you to visualize the items you are considering to buy. That day is not far when stores would offer a virtual fitting room to enable you to try the apparel. Not just clothes but glasses, jewelry, footwear, furniture; you would be able to try anything live.

Geolocation – This will give dimension to maps and literally bring them to life. It will act as a GPS and also notify users about restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, bars etc. located nearby.

Education – The technology can be used as a modern educational resource. It would bring a paradigm shift in the methodology of teaching. If this technology is reinforced into the education sector then it would surely make learning easier and fun for students. Imagine how interesting it would be for students to learn history, science, mathematics when they are virtually able to see what they study. From reading about galaxies to historical events, the 3D imaging and presentation of content would surely help them understand better. 

Medicine & Healthcare – With AR in healthcare sector, surgeons would be able to perform simulative surgeries. You shouldn’t be surprised if someday you are virtually being given medical advice by a doctor in case of an emergency. Also with AR coming into picture, it would be easier to perform medical research and impart anatomy training to medical students. 

Advertizing – A plethora of advertizing opportunities will open up for business houses. This technology is surely going to rule both online & offline advertizing in near future. 

Military Operations – Through specially enabled AR helmets, military personnel’s will be able to get precise information of their surroundings along with detailed 3D maps. 

Manufacturing Industry – It shall bring along a drastic change for this industry. From design, manufacturing to product simulation, anything and everything will be computer aided. 

For more information about Augmented Reality and its implications in future, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.