Cloud computing offers an array of benefits to organizations and thus, it has become a popular choice for data storage and computing. Depending upon individual business requirements, organizations can choose between private cloud and public cloud solutions.
Private Cloud: It is a model of cloud computing where IT services are provisioned on-premises over private IT infrastructure for dedicated use by single organization. It is managed by internal resources of the organization.
Public Cloud: In public cloud model, computing services are offered by a third party over public internet to multiple client organizations as per their capacity or usage requirement. It is managed by the service provider and organizations have to pay according to the storage or bandwidth consumed by them.
However, a new term ‘Hybrid Cloud’ has emerged in recent years. A hybrid cloud combines the services of a private and public cloud to allow seamless sharing of data between them. The organizations can run their workloads partially on private cloud and rest in public cloud. This prevents public or third party service providers from gaining access to entire data of the business.
Working Of Hybrid Clouds
- Private and public clouds work independently in a hybrid cloud setup.
- The resources are abstracted and pooled into private and public clouds by virtualization.
- These abstracted resources are then allocated by automation.
- Management tools provision new environments.
- A hybrid cloud functions properly when APIs, VPNs or WANs connect the private & public clouds as seamlessly as possible.
- The interconnectivity between public and private clouds is the underlying concept for a functional hybrid cloud.
Benefits Of Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure
- It is a cost effective approach. Organizations can use private cloud for managing regular workloads and pay for extra usage on public cloud only when there is a need for scalability arising due to an occasional increase in workload.
- The approach helps in separating sensitive or critical workloads from regular data. Organizations employing hybrid cloud approach have the benefit of storing critical financial data, customer information, etc. on their private cloud while utilizing public cloud to run general applications.
- Public cloud resources can be used for allocation to short-term projects, instead of spending money on buying on-premises hardware and infrastructure for temporary use.
- The availability of private cloud resources facilitates testing of applications as it grants back-end access to the developers.
- Hybrid cloud infrastructure integrates the public cloud computing and private cloud which allows the organization to have control over security and regulations.
- It offers excessive flexibility. A hybrid cloud setup can be scaled up to the use of public cloud or scaled down to private cloud as per the demand.
For more information about hybrid cloud, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.
Although the term ‘Serverless Computing’ implicates the existence of a computing architect with no server, it actually defines a cloud based execution model. The server is hosted by cloud service providers and users are not required to buy it or set it up onsite. The cloud service provider manages the server and machine resources are allocated to users.
As most businesses are making a shift towards serverless computing instead of traditional approach, it is necessary to understand the pros & cons of this approach.
Pros Of Serverless Computing:
- Cost-effective: Serverless computing is a cost-effective approach for businesses. The users are required to pay as per the amount of resources consumed by their application instead of pre-purchased units of usage capacity.
- Easy To Scale Up: In case of serverless computing, application developers are not required to implement a code for scaling up. Also, it rules out the need and cost for upgrading existing servers or adding new server units. When considering to scale up, businesses can request additional resources from the service provider and pay according to their consumption. Also, cloud systems are more elastic as they are capable of scaling up and down inherently according to the demand.
- Low Human Resources Cost: Serverless computing eliminates the need for onsite servers. Thus, businesses are not required to hire staff for managing and operating the hardware. This helps them save cost that was traditionally incurred on human resources.
- Enhanced User Experience: By switching to serverless computing, the businesses and application developers can save time and resources required for server management. These resources can be used on other tasks such as improving productivity and user experience by developing as well as improving customer-friendly features.
- Decreased Latency: Depending upon the services offered by the provider, businesses can choose to run the application functions on a server node close to the end user. Thus, it reduces latency as the requests initiated by a user are not required to travel to origin server and can be reverted from the nearest available node.
Cons Of Serverless Computing:
- Testing Becomes Challenging: A serverless environment cannot be easily replicated to check how an application code will respond after being deployed. Also, developers do not have visibility into backend processes and the application is split into separate functions for running on the cloud. This makes it challenging to debug any arising issues.
- Vendor Lock-In: When using a cloud based server, the developers are restricted to adapt the rules set by the third party vendor such as using a specific coding language.
- Multitenancy: In order to avail maximum benefit, cloud service provider may run applications or software for numerous different users on a single server. Although workloads of different customers are isolated, there may still be bugs in initial offerings. This gives rise to data security risks.
For more information on serverless computing, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.
Rapid advancements in every field are giving birth to numerous new technology buzzwords regularly. Basic understanding of these technological terms assists you in keeping abreast with the current changes.
Stay ahead of upcoming trends with this guide on important technology buzzwords:
- 5G: It is defined as the next generation of cellular network technology and is one of the most trending buzzwords. It offers faster speed & reliable connections on mobile devices and even home networks.
- 8K: A beginning to new era of picture quality. It refers to TV’s overall resolution of 7,680 x 4,230 pixels and is a step up from the current 4K resolution that will elevate home entertainment experience.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): It is a term used to define machines that display human like intelligence by using machine learning to perform tasks such as cooking, driving, etc. They have the ability to make decisions through capturing & analyzing data in their environment.
- Virtual Reality (VR): A VR encompasses user’s senses to create a digital world through headsets or eyewear. It has become a promising trend in gaming & entertainment industry.
- Augmented Reality (AR): In this technology, real world objects are superimposed with computer generated images like graphics, sounds and touch feedback.
- X Reality (XR): It is a cross over between both augmented and virtual reality with widespread applications in architecture, medicine, healthcare etc. It allows content creators to create common content for users of AR & VR headsets.
- Organic LED (OLED): An organic light-emitting diode emits visible light in response to electric current so that pixels can light-up independently. The result is that OLED screens display pictures that are brighter and have better contrast levels.
- Wearable: They are smart electronic devices with micro-controllers that can be worn as implants or accessories. It stays on the body to perform a particular task like sensing heart rate or keeping a track of your fitness.
- Eye-Tracking: It is a sensor based technology that makes possible for a device to know where a person is looking. It basically detects reflections in both the pupils and cornea.
- Ray-Tracing: It calculates the color of pixels by tracing the path that light would take to create realistic lighting effects. Applications include home computer gaming and developing computer graphics imagery for films and TV shows.
- Biometric: It measures people’s unique physical and behavioral characteristics. The technology uses an aspect of your body like thumbprint or face to authenticate yourself or for unlocking a personal device.
- Haptics: Technology of adding sensation of touch and feeling to VR via vibration or by exuding pressure to make virtual objects seem real and tangible.
For more information on latest technology trends and how to incorporate them in your business, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654. We are located in Dallas, Killeen, Atlanta and Austin.
A Blockchain is a transparent and publicly accessible ledger that is shared among a network of computers called Blockchain Network. It contains a growing list of records called blocks that are linked in chronological order to form a chain. The data is secured using public key encryption which resists the modification of information. Thus, data stored in blocks can be viewed or accessed by the users but it can’t be tampered with. This advantage has led to a rapid growth of Blockchain technology.
However, with the growth of Blockchain technology, some myths and disillusions have also developed around it. Following are some common myths surrounding Blockchain technology:
- Blockchain Is Same As Bitcoin: Blockchain is the root technology for bitcoin; but they are not interchangeable terms. Blockchain is a technology that allows recording of peer-to-peer transactions on a distributed ledger throughout a network. However, bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. It is used to make direct exchange of currency between two people omitting the involvement of a third party such as a bank.
- Cryptocurrency Is The Only Application Of Blockchain: Cryptocurrency is a major application of Blockchain, however the technology has numerous other applications. Some common applications of Blockchain include monitoring supply chains, data sharing, digital ids, copyright & royalty protection, etc.
- Information On Blockchain Activity Is Not Public: A prevailing misconception about Blockchain technology is that the information on the ledger is hidden. On the contrary, reality is that the information can be viewed by anyone. Users can connect their computer to the Blockchain network and receive a copy of ledger on their system. This copy is automatically updated whenever a new block is added to it.
- Cryptocurrency Transactions Are Anonymous: It is a misconception that crypto transactions are anonymous. In actual, cryptocurrency transactions are recorded in a public ledger and many government agencies tie up with numerous cryptocurrency exchanges to access the ledger & map the address back to the owner.
- Blockchain Is Fundamentally A Storage Mechanism: Most users consider Blockchain to be essentially a storage mechanism. Undoubtedly, it offers unparalleled advantages for data storage; however, the technology has other advantages such as facilitating convenient exchanges.
- Tokens & Coins Are Same: Tokens and Initial Coin Offerings are two important terms used in Blockchain terminology. They are often confused to be same but there is an inherent difference between these terms. Coins store simple values; whereas, tokens are used for storing complex levels of value such as property, utility, income, etc.
For more information on Blockchain Technology and its applications, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.
A covert channel attack is initiated by using an existing information channel to transfer objects from one source to another without the knowledge of the user. Since the system or information channel was not originally built for such communication or conveyance of information, hackers transfer the data in small bits to keep the attack unnoticed.
The data is embedded in the free space available in a data stream without affecting the main body of information being transferred. The space used for creating a covert channel may be the free space left within the padding or other parts of the network data packets. Usually, only 1-2 bits of covert data stream are added to one data packet which makes it difficult to detect the attack. As the original data is not tampered, the covert receiver can receive information from the system without creating a data trail.
Covert channels are of two types:
- Covert Time Channel- The processing of signal information of a network channel by manipulating own system resources which affects real response time observed by the original network.
- Covert Storage Channel- Direct or indirect embedding of data to a storage location by a system & direct or indirect reading of this data by another system at a different security level.
Using DNS As A Covert Channel
To create a covert channel, attacker installs a malware or specially designed program on the victim’s system via malicious links or by using remote administration to alter its DNS. An altered DNS is configured to serve random text in addition to website information. It behaves normally under usual conditions, but acts as per the covert channel program for a special domain. The flow of information between DNS & malware follows the normal client-server architecture. The malware plays the role of second component of covert channel. It sends DNS requests which look legitimate. The compromised DNS responds to these requests with hidden key information. Covert receiver extracts this hidden information. Thus, a covert channel uses a fully functional authorized system to transfer unauthorized information in a secretive manner.
Covert channel attacks make use of simple forums like a file or time used for computation, which makes it difficult to identify these attacks. Two techniques that are commonly used for detection of covert channels are analyzing the resources of a system and vigilance of the source code.
For more information on tips to secure your computer network, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.
Healthcare industry is moving towards preventive care solutions with the help of technological advancements. Digital innovative platforms like information systems and wearable devices are rapidly growing in health care market. Also, new technological trends like big data and healthcare analytics are gaining momentum. These advancements aim at achieving universal healthcare by making medical facilities accessible and affordable for everybody.
Technology trends that will potentially dominate healthcare industry in coming years are:
- Primary Healthcare: The industry is focusing on quality improvement techniques to enhance primary care based on accessibility and equity. This will promote good health among a wide range of people regardless of their age, socio-economic status or geographic origin. Primary care revolves around prevention and patient education for longer & healthier lives. New technologies such as mobile apps that track calories, sleep pattern & fitness plans for improved health cycle are being widely used for educating patients.
- Artificial Intelligence: Healthcare industry is employing artificial intelligence systems like IBM Watson for enhancing care management, drug discovery, managing patients for clinical trials, etc. Numerous other robotic and machine learning systems are being introduced in the healthcare sector as they offer attractive & valuable applications like image processing to detect abnormalities, robot assisted surgery, virtual nursing assistants and administrative assistance.
- Blockchain: The technology is gaining popularity in health care industry because of its ability to secure data and protect it from breaches. Blockchain will facilitate the health care providers to manage endless data including patient health information, insurance claims, and electronic health records in a hassle free manner. Also, it will increase transparency between pharmaceutical industry and customers by enhancing drug traceability to prevent fake drugs.
- Guiding Patients: Digital health tools like chatbots and companion robots have made healthcare accessible and convenient. They assist the patients in a humane way by addressing their needs. Chatbots make it possible for patients living in remote and rural areas to benefit from telemedicine projects and consult a doctor sitting far off through online channels. On the other hand, companion robots reduce workload of professionals like nurses & helping staff to save time and money.
- Advance Analytics: Adoption of predictive analytics across hospitals have made it easier to analyze large amount of patient’s data. The analytic tools are capable of identifying genetic factors related to chronic diseases like cancer and spotting individuals with elevated risks of developing these diseases. This plays a key role in formulating preventive medicine programs, providing appropriate treatment as early as possible, reducing the chances of high-cost lengthy treatments and admission costs.
For more information on how medical establishments can benefit from advanced IT solutions, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.
30. April 2019 13:56
A computer network consists of one or two computers that act as nodes and some peripheral devices. Once these devices are electronically connected, they enable the user to share resources, send & receive data over local or world-wide network and store data locally or on cloud. However, there are some security threats that lurk around computer networks and as the number of threats is on constant rise, it becomes necessary to have detailed knowledge about them.
Common Network Security Threats
- Viruses & Worms: They are snippets of software that are designed to infect a computer network. Both computer virus and worms are sent as email attachments, downloaded from a website or transmitted through any writable device like thumb drive, hard disk, etc. Once downloaded, they replicate themselves & spread over networked systems. After infecting the system; they send spam, disable security settings, steal personal information or delete data on the hard drive.
- Rogue Security Software: It is a malicious software as well as an internet fraud. The software sends a fake warning stating that the security settings of a user’s system are not up-to-date. Once the user is convinced, a scareware is downloaded under the disguise of an antivirus software. The software modifies actual security settings to prevent the user from identifying the attack. It crashes the system & reports the detection of fake malware. However, instead of directly deleting the detected files, the user is prompted to make extra payment for removal of reported virus. The prompts may stop after the payment is made, however the cycle repeats itself after a time gap.
- Botnet: They are a network of compromised computers which are controlled by a Command & Control network without the knowledge of computer user. The computers in the network are called bots or zombie computers. They are used to send spams or to initiate DDOS attacks. Also, botnets can be employed for attacking secure systems. Each bot operates at a low attack frequency to evade detection; however, collectively they are capable of performing a brutal attack.
- Trojan Horse: It is a malicious software that masks itself as a legitimate program and tricks the user to run it willingly. They are often spread via email or as a false advertizement that requires the user to click on a malicious link. Once the software is downloaded, it can record passwords by tracking keystrokes, hack webcam, steal personal data, etc.
- SQL Injection Attack: It is a code injection technique that attacks any type of SQL based data driven applications. The attackers takes advantage of security vulnerabilities of the application & inject malicious SQL code into an entry field for executing the attack. The attack enables them to spoof identity, annul website transactions, destroy the data or allow complete disclosure of user data stored in the database or application.
Regularly updating the antivirus software, avoiding links from unauthorized sources and scrutinizing the website before downloading any application can help in avoiding network security threats.
For more information, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375-9654.