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Top Considerations For Enterprises Progressing To Cloud

Cloud technology has brought a paradigm shift which has helped small business enterprises to change their approach and to operate more like a large firm. Today, this technology is being adopted and incorporated by business houses who are excessively leveraging it for their benefit.

Adopting cloud technology is highly advantageous but there are certain things that need to be considered to ensure that the migration is successfully done. Poorly planned or haste cloud adoptions can pose security risks or may disrupt the whole business process. According to Forbes Technology Council (FTC) member Tyler Shields, “When it comes to cloud adoption, the biggest challenge isn’t technology — it’s the people and processes that must change and adapt.” So, migrating to cloud is a challenge in itself.

To avoid unnecessary hitch and snag, here are some things to consider for the enterprises progressing to cloud –

  • Choose The Correct Cloud Option - The best cloud option is the one that suits your needs and budget. It should be secure, scalable and flexible.
  • Viability Of The Vendor – Consider the viability of the cloud vendor before adopting the cloud technology. Check out for the financial capacity of the vendor to ensure his ability to grow when your organization needs expand with time. Also check the facilities and options provided by the vendor.
  • Plan In Advance – As often quoted, “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.” So plan out the transition well in advance. An informed decision regarding what to migrate and when to migrate is crucial. Companies should carefully examine their IT infrastructure, systems, needs and usage to determine the best cloud services as this helps in saving time and money by reducing the unnecessary burden of offloading. Businesses that plan out their activities can experience a better and smooth cloud adoption.
  • Data Back-Up – Once it is decided what and when to migrate, the next important thing is to back up the data before the actual migration starts. This is vital to avoid any loss of important information and easy recovery. 
  • Consider The Challenges – The Company must consider the challenges that pose a threat to security. They must determine the security layers that exist and how can the cloud vendor protect the data from viruses, hackers and theft. If the data is not secure then it would ultimately lead to wastage of time along with added costs. 
  • Ensure Necessary Infrastructure – Prepare for the necessary IT infrastructure at the workplace to make the cloud adoption and migration process smooth and easy. 
  • Performance Check Before Transition – Before the business transits the data, it is important to check how apps will perform in their new environment.
  • Co-Existence – It is important to consider the impact of migration as it might result in downtime and disruption. To reduce the risk, Co- Existence must be ensured as a gradual shift is more beneficial, that leads to increase in productivity particularly avoiding any problems and disruptions.

So before the business decides to progress towards cloud adoption, the above mentioned factors must be considered to experience a smooth cloud adoption. For more considerations , contact Centex Technologies, call at (972) 375 – 9654.

Steps To Improve Your Public Wi-Fi Security

In the recent years, dependency on internet connectivity has increased manifold. People want to stay connected to internet 24X7, be it at their offices, colleges, airports, hotels or even coffee shops. Seeing this rising trend, many public places are now offering free Wi-Fi hotspots to attract more customers. Most of these don’t even require passwords, one just needs to connect to the hotspot and start browsing the internet.

Though ‘free-Wi-Fi’ may sound appealing, but if not wisely used, it may expose the sensitive data of your device to cyber-criminals. To avoid connecting to fake wireless networks, also known as ‘Wi-Fi honeypots”, you must be aware of whose network you are connecting to. Here are some rules that you must consider.

Avoid Connecting To Wi-Fi Networks That Require No Passwords

A good thumb rule is to never connect to a wireless network that doesn’t ask you to enter any password.  A network without WPA or WPA2 password is termed as an unsecure network. Connecting to these may easily make your personal information, contacts, photos, logins and other data in your phone/laptop vulnerable to hackers.

Turn Wi-Fi Off When Not In Use

When you are not using the internet, disable the Wi-Fi on your device. This will not only keep your data safe, but will also increase the battery life of your system. Ensure that the option to automatically connect to an available Wi-Fi network is turned off.

Do Not Perform Sensitive Or Financial Tasks When Using Public Wi-Fi

It is strongly recommended not to access online banking websites or perform any financial transactions (such as on online shopping websites, bill payments etc.) on open networks. Through Wi-Fi snooping and sniffing techniques, hackers may gain access to all your online activities and capture your login credentials. If you need to perform any urgent transaction, you can always opt to use your mobile internet connection.

Disable Public Sharing

Laptops and similar devices usually have an option to share their resources within the same network. If you are using such devices, make sure that the ‘’File and Printer Sharing’ option is turned off before you connect to a public Wi-Fi. Not doing so may provide hacker easy get access to important files and documents stored in the cloud as well as in other connected devices.

Connect To Websites That Open With HTTPS

Whenever you open a website on a public Wi-Fi, check if the address bar shows “https://“at the beginning of the web address. Such websites are relatively secure as all the communication is encrypted. Browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera provide certain extensions that help to encrypt the data i.e. by default provide secure connection while browsing.

For more information about public Wi-Fi security, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

Data Encryption: Types And Benefits

Encryption is one of the most effective and popular data security methods used by business organizations. It translates data into a different encoded form which can only be accessed by those people who have the secret key. Data Encryption is widely used in securing information that is submitted over internet. Almost all ecommerce portals, online businesses, portals where financial and personal information is processed utilizes different methods of data encryption.

Types Of Data Encryption

Symmetric Data Encryption:
In this type of encryption, only one private key is used to encrypt and decrypt data. The sender encrypts data with the help of a key and receiver decrypts it with that same key. However, the encryption key must always be protected to prevent data from being decoded by the unauthorized users.

Asymmetric Data Encryption:
Also known as Public-key Cryptography, this is most commonly used encryption. It uses two separate keys to encrypt and decrypt data. The key used to encrypt data is a public key which is generally available to everyone and the other key, called private key, is provided only to recipient to decrypt the data.

Hashing:
Hashing generates a unique, fixed-length value summarizing the contents of a message or a file. Each hash is unique to a specific message, so even a little bit of tampering with it can be easily tracked. Although hashing is not a technical term for data encryption but it can still be useful to check whether the data has been tampered with or not.

BENEFITS OF DATA ENCRYPTION

Data encryption has changed massively in past few years. Here are few benefits of data encryption:

  • Data Encryption techniques relies on global standards that can guarantee mitigation of flaws.
  • Data Encryption systems are affordable and can even provide a military level security.
  • Data Encryption protects sensitive information whether on mobile, laptop, desktop computer or any external storage device. This helps you to access your data wherever you go.
  • Even if the data is stolen, the information will be protected by data encryption mechanism. It can also free up your resources being used for security perimeters.

To know more about the benefits of data encryption for your organization, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

Big Data Analytics: What It Is And Why It Matters

With the recent advancements in technology, data analysis has entered a new phase in which large amount of data can be harvested and processed. Big data analytics refers to the process of examining this data set to uncover existing patterns, trends, demands and correlations between various factors, which further helps to make informed business decisions. For instance, Netflix uses big data analytics to improve its video streaming services and improve user experience.

Big data is basically characterized by 3Vs i.e. Volume, Variety and Velocity.

  • Volume: Different Machine-to-Machine and Human-to-Machine communications result in large amount data, which need to be analyzed to extract useful information.
  • Variety: All the data that is generated is of the unstructured nature. It needs to be processed, curated and annotated to bring out important piece of information or facts from it.
  • Velocity: Large chunk of data is being generated every second and needs to be processed. Therefore, there is need for tools that can handle the flow of this data and produce required results.

Why It Matters?

Big data analytics can provide valuable business intelligence by harnessing the company data and use it to identify new opportunities. This helps the company to make smart decisions, increase profits and most importantly, satisfy the customers. Few of the advantages of big data analytics are as follows:

  • Big data analytics frameworks like Hadoop have started to bring significant cost reduction when it comes to storing huge amount of data.
  • The ability to analyze new data can help the companies to break down every bit of information into something useful and make decisions based on the results. 
  • Big data analytics is important for firms that have a large amount of data flowing every second. The analysis can provide useful information from that data and in turn, gives them a competitive edge over others.

Some of the industries that benefit from big data analytics are:

  • Public Sector Services
  • Healthcare
  • Learning Services
  • Insurance Services
  • Industrialized and Natural Resources
  • Transportation Services
  • Banking Sectors and Fraud Detection

If used wisely, the analytic tools can help to make predictions and explain the entire growth pattern of your business. For more information about the importance of big data analytics, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

What Are Backdoors And How To Remove Them

Backdoors can be defined as malicious programs that provide a convenient way for the hackers to sneak into your corporate network. If they gain access, they may exploit the security vulnerabilities in the computer system to steal personal information, modify or delete files and install additional software. A backdoor is probably one of the most harmful types of malware as it allows the hacker to get complete control of the infected computer.

Once a computer system is infected, a backdoor may perform the following activities:

  • Delete, rename, edit or copy any file stored on the computer
  • Make changes in the Windows registry and execute or terminate certain applications
  • Record keystrokes, gather confidential data, capture screenshots and send it to a remote host
  • Reduce internet speed and performance or consume extended bandwidth
  • Initiate attacks against other systems connected to the same network

How Does Backdoor Infect Computer Systems?
The typical characteristic of a backdoor is that it installs itself sneakily without being detected by the user. It operates in the background and stealthily transmits all your information to a remote server.

Here are some of the ways in which backdoors spread themselves to the computers systems:

  • A user may inadvertently install backdoor through email attachments or file sharing programs. Hackers send the malware in the name of a legitimate file attachment to trick users to download or execute it.
  • A backdoor may also get installed when a system is already infected with a virus, spyware or Trojan.
  • Unknown remote access features in certain applications may lead to installation of backdoor on your computer. The hacker connects to the computer that has the software installed to gain complete control over its functionality.
  • Unpatched software vulnerabilities are another common means through which backdoors spread themselves.

Tips To Remove Backdoor

  • Though it is difficult to detect the presence of a backdoor on a computer systems, here are the steps that should be taken if you find one.
  • Download and install the latest anti-virus software
  • Update the operating system to its latest version
  • Disconnect the computer system from the internet network
  • Run a complete scan of the computer and remove all the infected files
  • Once the process is complete, restart your computer before accessing the internet or opening any file

For more information on backdoor and other malicious software, you can contact Centex Technologies. We can be reached at (972) 375 – 9654.

Things To Know Before Choosing Storage For Virtual Environments

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.