What you Need to Know to Comply with  Global Data Protection Regulation

What you Need to Know to Comply with  Global Data Protection Regulation

You don’t need to be based in the European Union to be subject to the new Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) scheduled to take effect in May of 2018. These broad standards for compliance protect the data of any EU citizen regardless of where the data resides. You will want to know how to avoid fines as high as 4% of your total global revenue. In fact, reading this article may help you demonstrate compliance by educating yourself. Even if your company may not need to comply, GDPR enforces best practices in data protection, so read on. What is the Global Data Protection Regulation? General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides a uniform standard for data protection for individuals of the European Union (EU). Proposed by the European Commission, it is expected to go into effect in May of 2018. Not only does it protect privacy information for EU residents, but it also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. Does My Business Need to Comply? If you store email addresses and other personal information of EU residents, you might be subject to GDPR. In our ever-shrinking global economy, it is not uncommon to have EU individuals’ privacy information. The GDPR standard includes health information, marketing databases, and commercial information, among others. For example, you may have personal information in your email databases; companies that sell via e-commerce may also have personal information subject to GDPR.   How to Comply with GDPR Start by understanding the compliance requirements. Taking steps to educate yourself not only helps you comply, it may also lessen fines if you are in breach....
What’s in Your Data Center?

What’s in Your Data Center?

Most experts agree we will create more Data this year than in all prior years combined. According to research firm IDG the world will create 163 zettabytes of data a year by 2025. It is no surprise IDC forecasts worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure to reach $122.5 billion in 2017, an increase of 24.4% over 2016. What is driving this growth and what do you need to know to manage what’s in your data center? What is Driving Data Center Growth? While businesses are drowning in data they find themselves starved for information. Trends in mobility, social media, and customer analytics can create an exponential explosion of data in your business. Business applications, email archives, file sharing and more all drive us to hoard and store data like never before. Regulatory compliance requires many industries to archive data. Additionally, low-cost storage allows businesses to easily accumulate data on a range of devices including desktops, laptops, and on-premise services. Many companies turn to economical options including Infrastructure as a Service for Application Hosting and Failover to store and protect this data. How can a Business Benefit from Infrastructure as a Service? Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a way for businesses to use cloud computing to tap into computer resources over the Internet. The Cloud Computing model allows businesses to avoid the Capital Expense (CapEX) of investing in infrastructure. The business owner only pays (rents) the portion that is consumed. This utility computing model is adopted by most businesses today and helps alleviate some of the concerns related to managing your own data center. How to Avoid...

Disaster Recovery and Data Protection –Now More Than Ever

Recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, along with major earthquakes in Mexico, remind us how vulnerable we can be to disasters, and underscore the importance of data protection. As businesses depend on access to a range of systems–including call center, communications and collaboration application, customer management, and more–having a solid data protection plan can help you in a disaster recovery scenario. Now more than ever, a range of options exist to help maintain business continuity. Here are a few options to consider.   Review Your Data Protection Plan Key to your data protection plan is identification of mission-critical systems. The most important systems should be redundant, with the ability for failover in the event of a disaster. Your data centers and failover options should be geographically dispersed and on different network backbones. This can minimize downtime and get you back up and running sooner. Having your data backup available in Cloud Storage can help you recover other important files and application data if you lose access to your on-premise systems. SD-WAN for Business Continuity Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) can also provide you a highly reliable and redundant network. Having the ability to switch Wide Area Networks using SD-WAN as an alternative to more costly MPLS solutions can ensure connectivity during a natural disaster. What’s more, Software-Defined Wide Area Networking can save you money in the long run by giving you the flexibility of a multi-carrier solution. Software as a Service for Disaster Recovery More businesses are turning to the Cloud for a range of applications–hosted email, Voice over IP (VoIP), Call Center, and others–to keep communications flowing during a...

The Importance of Maintaining Network Compliance

Last month’s blog provided information about ways to “Avoid Being Held Hostage by Ransomware.” Eight days later, on May 12, 2017, there was a global outbreak of the Wanna Cry Virus. With Cyber Threats on the rise, the importance of maintaining network compliance is top of mind with business owners and IT professionals alike. Industry compliance regulations, including PCI, HIPAA, and SOX, drive best practices in Network Compliance. However, most businesses today rely heavily on their systems to access Cloud Services, Voice, and Data Networks for mission-critical applications that run their business. What can you do to maintain network compliance? Automate Your Network Administration Keeping operating systems and network configurations up to date is a top priority for network compliance. Each device that connects to your network needs to have up-to-date operating system security patches, anti-virus definitions, and malware threat prevention in order avoid un- intended intrusion of your network. There are abundant tools and managed services to help your business stay up to date without adding to your internal labor cost. Proactively Monitor Your Network Monitor your network to identify any systems that are out of compliance. Proactive monitoring can also identify unauthorized devices connected to your network. You can monitor your network traffic to identify unusual use of network bandwidth. Aside from slowing down your systems, excessive bandwidth may be the result of a malware-infected device that is exploiting your network. Documenting Your Network Security Controls Achieving compliance with documented security procedures including password policy, systems maintenance, backup procedures, and compliance measures, is critical to following most industry compliance regulations. It is a  best practice to update...

How to Avoid Being a Ransomware Hostage

Ransomware, spyware, phishing schemes, and other Cyber attacks are commonplace in today’s world of technology. According to a recent article in Forbes, ransomware attacks grew at an accelerated pace in 2016 with reports of 638 million attacks, almost 200 times more than the number of ransomware attacks in 2015. Most experts agree that Ransomware attacks will continue to occur–so what can you do to avoid being a ransomware hostage? Not All Ransomware is Created Equal Before you panic, find out what type of Ransomware you are up against. Scareware is a type of Ransomware that tricks you into thinking you have a bigger problem. A simple scan may quickly remove the pop from your browser cache and get you back on your way. Some ransomware is truly nasty — your entire system may be encrypted, meaning you will need to wipe your system and start over if you have a good backup. Otherwise, you may find yourself hostage to the cybercriminals to unlock your data. An Ounce of Protection is Worth a Pound of Ransom Data protection is an important element in minimizing the impact of Ransomware. Make sure your network security is fully compliant. Backup your data, update your antivirus definitions and make sure your security patches are up to date. Consider using Cloud Backup, Security as a Service, and Managed IT services to keep your network up to date. Having a strong offense to avoid ransomware is your best defense. Don’t Forget the Human Element Train your employees on a regular basis on the importance of staying vigilant against Cyberattacks and how to avoid being a hostage....
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