Archive for the ‘Security’ Category

 

Small companies should consider cloud-based disaster recovery programs

Thursday, November 29th, 2012 by

In the past, every new technology implemented by a company needed to have a positive return on investment or reduce costs in some way for it to have a sound impact on an organization. While saving money is still important today, it is not necessarily the main reason companies are deploying innovative solutions.

As new cyber dangers and natural disasters pressure small organizations to be prepared with robust disaster recovery and business continuity plans, decision-makers are turning to cloud computing for scalable and automated environments, according to a study by InformationWeek Reports. Since the cloud comes in a variety of forms, enabling executives to leverage on- or off-site structures to host mission-critical information, small companies can use the services to promote long-term safety.

Small companies should consider cloud-based disaster recovery programs

The study revealed that the cloud is also raising awareness of the importance of businesses continuity and disaster recovery programs, as 67 percent of respondents said they currently have a plan in place, while another 23 percent have a strategy to launch an initiative within the next 12 to 24 months. Only 10 percent of respondents lack any plans.

The survey also found that 17 percent of decision-makers are using cloud-based services to enhance disaster recovery programs, while another 26 percent are considering doing so.

Why use the cloud for disaster recovery?
In addition to the scalable and financial benefits associated with incorporating cloud computing into a business continuity strategy, executives can also ensure their initiatives are on pace with evolving demands through frequent testing programs, InformationWeek Reports said. While legacy disaster recovery tools often enable companies to check operations every so often, the cloud provides decision-makers with the ability to ensure sensitive applications and data are recoverable at any time.

InformationWeek Reports said cloud-based business continuity programs enable small firms to have end-to-end backup orchestrated for their entire data center. This lets executives migrate massive volumes of records to the public or private cloud on demand.

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Security Basics: 4 Steps to Tighten up Linux Security

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 by

Our previous security articles from GoGrid discussed 5 steps to enhance your security on Microsoft Windows and how to tighten up Windows security. But what about making your Linux server security a bit more robust?

security-camera

Overview

Security studies strongly demonstrate that most systems will be attacked within 5 hours after becoming publicly accessible—in some cases, in less than 2 hours. The sources of the attacks are often unsuspecting users whose systems have been compromised by malware and are in turn being used to attack and infect other systems. The majority of attacks target two common threats:

  1. A combination of commonly used system accounts (e.g., the root account) with weak, dictionary-based passwords
  2. Systems that are missing critical or high-security vulnerabilities

Solution

This article provides GoGrid’s security recommendations for Cloud Servers running Linux. Perform these 4 steps in sequential order immediately after provisioning new GoGrid Cloud Servers to maintain the security (confidentiality + integrity + availability) of your system. (more…) «Security Basics: 4 Steps to Tighten up Linux Security»

Cloud security misconceptions impeding progress

Thursday, November 8th, 2012 by

Although the cloud is a major disruption to the IT landscape, it is not the first and it won’t be the last in this regard. With that being said, companies neglecting the cloud are likely falling behind rivals that have already adopted the technology, as the cloud promises to reduce IT expenses and enhance operations – both of which are critical in today’s unpredictable economy.

Even though these benefits are well known throughout the private sector, cloud computing adoption rates are not as high as they should be. Although there are several reasons for this, some have more of an impact than others.

Cloud security misconceptions impeding progress

Chris Weitz, a director at Deloitte Consulting, recently spoke with TechTarget and said that data security and privacy in the cloud are the leading inhibitors. This is largely because the cloud enables companies to extend their customer base, potentially reaching into previously untapped markets. At the same time, however, decision-makers are forced to deal with varying compliance regulations and privacy laws that can impede an organization’s progress.

“One huge problem, of course, is that data is not physically stored in any one computer in a cloud computing environment, it’s spread across thousands of them, so there’s no one physical place to check,” Weitz said. “It’s all done by software, and software by definition is not directly observable, so you need other software to observe that software.”

Keeping cloud environments protected
Just because security is a common concern in the cloud doesn’t mean decision-makers cannot take things into their own hands and protect the virtual environments. By learning about the technology and speaking with service providers, IT executives can guarantee their cloud services are safe enough to manage mission-critical information and applications.

According to a separate report by American Banker, executives need to speak with vendors and create a robust service-level agreement that guarantees multiple layers of security. In doing so, small and large businesses alike can leverage a cloud infrastructure with greater confidence and not worry about inadvertently exposing confidential information.

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How To Tighten Up Windows Security

Thursday, October 25th, 2012 by

In the previous Security article from GoGrid, we outlined 5 Steps to enhance your security on Microsoft Windows. This article walks you through some of these steps.

vault

Step 1: Patch your system

The following steps apply to Microsoft Windows 2008 OS and Microsoft applications:

  1. Select the Start button
  2. Type “windows update” in the search area and press the Enter button.
    windows-update
  3. You should see the following screen:
    updates-available
  4. Select the Check for Updates option, which will connect to Microsoft to determine if your system requires security updates.
    check-for-updates
  5. Install security updates by pressing the Install updates button.
    Note: You may need to reboot your system immediately after you’ve applied the security updates.
    install-updates

Step 2: Rename the administrator account

The following steps apply to Microsoft Windows 2008: (more…) «How To Tighten Up Windows Security»

Security Basics: 5 Steps to Tighten Security for Microsoft Windows

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 by

Security studies (including GoGrid’s internal research) strongly demonstrate that most systems will be attackedattack-in-5-hours within 5 hours after becoming publicly accessible—in some cases, in less than 2 hours. The sources of the attacks are often unsuspecting users whose systems have been compromised by malware and are in turn being used to attack and infect other systems. The majority of attacks target two common threats:

  1. A combination of commonly used system accounts (e.g., the Administrator account) with weak, dictionary-based passwords
  2. Systems that are missing critical or high-security vulnerabilities

Solution

This document provides GoGrid’s security recommendations for Cloud Servers running Microsoft Windows. Perform these 5 steps in sequential order immediately after provisioning new GoGrid Cloud Servers to maintain the integrity and security of your system.

Note: For a step-by-step how-to with screenshots, please see the companion article, “How To Tighten Up Windows Security.”

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