Benefits of a Monitored Network

It is always nice to know that someone “has your back”, especially when you are a busy business owner who already has too much on his/her proverbial plate. Staying ahead of security threats and potential hacks can be a full-time job, so sometimes it is best for business leaders to hand over those responsibilities to a professional through a monitored network. A monitored network can have numerous benefits, such as freeing business leaders so they can focus on the company, staying ahead of outages and external threats, and having the ability to fix issues faster and more securely than companies that attempt it on their own.

 

Here are a few of the benefits of a Monitored Network.

 

  • Staying Alert for Potential Threats – In today’s digital age there are so many cyber crimes it is almost too much to keep up with. Having a monitored network means that someone is always on the lookout 24/7. Network monitoring allows a first line of security when something goes amiss or looks a little out of the ordinary.
  • Fixing Issues Faster – IT departments are notoriously overworked and sometimes overwhelmed with the day-to-day work. A monitored network means that solutions can be created fast for things like abnormal traffic fluctuation, wireless devices issues, server malfunctions, downed routers, or any of the number of things that can go wrong on any given day in the tech world.
  • Staying Ahead of Outages – Outages can happen for a number of reasons, such as human error, configuration issues, and environmental factors. By implementing a monitored network, you can avoid these issues or at least resolve them fairly quickly.
  • Manage Growing Networks – Companies that are growing need to deal with the growing needs of technology. With a monitored network, those needs can be handled head-on and in a timely manner.

 

Are you considering a monitored network? Call M&H Consulting today at 1-(866)-964-8324 or visit our website M&H Consults

Network Basics

IT (Information Technology) can have a lot of information all at once and it can become pretty overwhelming. IT basics range from different points of technology such as computer or web development, Internet, anything that can relate to the computer, IT knows it. However, not many people are aware of the Network basics.

A computer network is a group of computers, specifically two or more, connected to one another through a wire or a cable, or as it is often used today, wirelessly. This allows computers to be able to access and share files easily. The bigger the network, the bigger chance you have to access a large number of computers and then give you the ability to share printers, storage space, and DVD drives among other things.

There are several different types of Networks that are classified on basis of scale. In other words, the area it covers determines on the type of network it is. The most popular ones are:

  • WAN – Wide Area Network is a collection of LAN(Local Access Network) networks and cover a big amount of geographical area. The Internet itself is known as a WAN. They differ from other networks because they’re not owned by one single organization or person. They also use different technology that allows communication over long distances, for example ATM.
  • LAN – As mentioned above, LAN stands for Local Access Networks. It is known as a short-distance network, usually connection computers that are close together the same area, for example in the same room or building.
  • CAN – Campus Area Network that is used amongst Universities and College campuses. Similar to WANs or LANs, they simply just have more restrictions.
  • MAN – A Metropolitan Area Network is commonly used in a metro area. They usually are more limited in scope than WANs.

Being familiar with the various types of networks, allows you to begin learning about the different models and network architecture available.

Protect your Identity on Social Media

You probably have heard of many people getting “catfished” or of people “catfishing” others. This is one form of identity theft that usually comes about through a social media network with photos and identity information taken from other strangers’ profiles. The act of being catfished may not sound as serious to some. After all, it is social media, where pictures are easily taken; that’s what you sign up for when you create an account, right? Wrong. There are many things that can go wrong: someone can ruin your reputation by using your image or, even worse, gather information to piece together and create financial fraud, or any other serious identity theft crimes. But, don’t panic or go off to delete all of your accounts! We have some tips to help you stay safe.

Set your account to private. Keep all strangers from getting information about you. While doing this, go through the entire privacy setting to make sure everything you want to keep private stays that way. If you come across a setting you don’t understand, keep them closed anyway; it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t give strangers access to follow you online. If you don’t know who those people are, you don’t know what their intentions may be in following you or adding you as a friend. After all, all it takes to file a fraudulent tax returns is a name, birth date and social security.

Use a hidden name. This can be a middle name or a nickname that only your friends and family would know, so that they can still find you online or know who you are.

Be aware of the content you are sharing. Make sure you are not mindlessly revealing the answers to your security questions online. Also, try not to post images that show the layout of your home so that strangers can’t figure out where you live. Avoid sharing your location and birthday, if possible.

Avoid clicking on random links on social media. This includes those random social media quizzes. Many times, those links can carry malicious and invasive codes along with them that can infect your account or, even worse, your technology.

Cyber Attack Trends to Watch out for

With all new technology trends come new cyber attack trends. According to an article in TechRepublic.com, 90 million attacks will hit tech users in a year and 70 percent of them will go unnoticed! Because of this, we have searched for the patterns of cyber attacks to be on the look out for years to come. Here is what we found:

Ransomware will continue to rise:

There have been many cases of ransomware in the past and they are expected to rise as a security problem in taking advantage of vulnerable servers. A large part of the reason for its rise is because this is one of the easiest ways of getting confiscated data back; you just pay the ransom.

Rise in attacks on Industrial Control Systems:

Let’s face it; many of our Industrial Control Systems are past the outdated stage of technology. Because these outdated systems were not designed with cyber security in mind, they are expected to be a security issue for the future.

More Sophisticated Spear Phishing:

With more sophisticated spear phishing, it will be more difficult to tell which emails should be avoided from those that are legitimate. Spear phishing emails are no longer as simple as a scam link being sent and asking to be clicked on. They are disguised as important business/company emails.

Hacking on Internet of Things:

Because the Internet is being applied in every device, even those, which were not originally built to connect online, many every-day appliances are expected to be hit with cyberattacks. These devices can be anything from an app-controlled coffee maker to self-driven vehicles. With these devices, privacy is limited once they are hacked. Hackers can get access to your home and business through these technologies.

Simply being aware of these cyber attack trends is not enough. Security measures need to be taken in order to prevent such attacks. For information on how to get ahead of these attacks, contact M&H Consultants!

How to Keep Phone Apps from Knowing Too Much about You

We all love apps especially those social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram and Tumblr. Most of us are semi-addicted to the information and images that flood our smartphones daily. But these apps also come with requests for access to some of your private information. How much is too much? And how can you block the access when it gets to be too much openness?

 

Some apps request things that seem pretty commonsensical like a camera app asking permission to use your phone’s camera. If you spend time on Facebook or Instagram, you probably upload snapshots of your friends and family all the time. Naturally, the app for these services needs to be able to access your photos. But then there are other requests for access that may ask for permission to use your data around the clock. Giving your GPS may seem like a good idea for a mapping app but not so much for a social media app or a video game. Those apps do not need to know your every move.

 

In addition to wanting to know more than they should, some apps try to gain access to your cellular account and charge you monthly fees without your explicit permission. Here are some suggestion so you don’t “get taken” when it comes to allowing access to your private info and images.

  • If you are concerned about an app, delete it from your phone.
  • Use common sense when downloading apps. Buy or only accept apps that come from a reputable source.
  • Use the privacy control settings on your phone. For example, you can choose whether the app can use your contacts or access your photos. You can deny location data entirely by turning off GPS on your phone. To do that, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. (Source Apple)
  • Look at each app and what it has access to. Do this regularly so that a reset or change in user permission does not fool you.

 

Why is my Internet Network Slow?

So, we pay for a speedy networking service and later realize that it is not as speedy of a service as it is advertised to be. Most of the time, however, service providers are not the ones to blame. A lot of the time, the issue with our network speed can be easily fixed. Before you go off on your network’s service company, find out all the other reasons for why your Internet network could be slow.

  1. It’s your device.

Sometime the device you are using your network on could be the actual reason for why your service is so slow. Make sure your device is free of viruses or, any other malware, and that your system is updated to its newest software.

  1. It’s a program in your device.

Go through your device and make sure there are no major programs of files loading in the background. Some major files or programs reboot on their own while you are using your computer. When this happens, the program uses a large amount of your network as well, which can slow down the speed of your service.

  1. It’s your router.

A lot of times, the issue can actually lie in your router. Most of the times, the router just needs to be rebooted. Doing this once in awhile can help your internet network to work just as fast as it did when you first had it. If this doesn’t work, your router may need an update. After a few years, the router can become outdated.

  1. It’s the location of your router.

Do you ever think about whether or not your router is in the best location? Well, you should. You never want to place your router behind the door (i.e. a closet), in a corner out of the center of your home/office, or behind a metal wall. These walls and doors, in particular, can cause a barrier between the signals and make it difficult to connect to your device.

  1. It’s a cluttered network.

When multiple devices are connected to your Internet network, it can become cluttered and thus slow down your service. If this is the case, consider upgrading your service and expanding your network.

  1. It’s your location.

Your location can play a major part in your lack of network speed. If you live in a rural region, specifically, your region probably received an overall small and slow connection.

If you are having a difficult time determining why your Internet network is slow, or solving the issue, contact M&H for help.