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We help our clients with 

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We provide both blocktime service and monthly service contracts, so that you pay for what you need, and nothing more.

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LATEST RED FIVE I.T. NEWS

3 steps you can take to protect your data in the Cloud

November 27, 2020
3 steps you can take to protect your data in the Cloud Moving to the Cloud offers tremendous benefits for SMBs that range from lower IT costs to any-time access to data and certainly more reliability in terms of uptime. But, data in the Cloud is also vulnerable to security threats just like the data stored on physical servers. This blog discusses 3 things you can do to protect your data in the Cloud Secure access: The first step would be to secure access to your data in the Cloud. So, how do you go about it? Safeguard your login credentials-your User IDs and passwords-from prying eye. Set strong password policies that are practiced across the board and educate your employees about good password hygiene. Also, do you have employees using their own devices to access their work-related applications and documents? Do you have staff working from home? Then, you also need to formulate strong BYOD (Bring-your-own-device) policies, so these devices don’t end up as the entry point to cybercriminals. Educate your employees: What’s the first thing that pops into your head when someone talks about cybercrime? You probably picture some unknown person, a tech-whiz sitting behind a computer in a dark room, trying to steal your data. But, surprising as it may seem, the first and probably the biggest threat to your data and IT security in general, comes from your employees! Malicious employees may do you harm on purpose by stealing or destroying your data, but oftentimes, employees unwittingly become accomplices to cybercrime. For example, forwarding an email with an attachment that contains a virus, or clicking on a phishing link unknowingly and entering sensitive information therein or compromising on security when they share passwords or connect to an unsecured or open WiFi at public places such as the mall or the airport with a view to “get things done”, but, without realizing how disastrous the implications of such actions can be. Choosing the right Cloud service provider: If you are putting your data in the Cloud, you need to make sure that it is in safe hands. As such, it is your Cloud service provider’s responsibility to ensure your data is secure and, accessible, always. But, are they doing all that is needed to ensure this happens? It is very important to choose a trustworthy Cloud service provider because you are essentially handing over all your data to them. So, apart from strengthening your defenses, you need to check how well-prepared they are to avert the threats posed by cybercriminals. Complete Cloud security is a blend of all these plus internal policies, best practices, and regulations related to IT security, and of course, the MSP you choose to be your Cloud security provider plays a key role in all this.

Is the Cloud really risk-free?

November 20, 2020
Is the Cloud really risk-free? The Cloud presents plenty of benefits that make it a very attractive choice, especially for SMBs who don’t want to be burdened with higher in-house IT costs, putting your data in the Cloud is not risk-free. Just as storing data on physical servers has its security threats, the Cloud presents certain security concerns as well. These include Data breach: A data breach is when your data is accessed by someone who is not authorized to do so. Data loss: A data loss is a situation where your data in the Cloud is destroyed due to certain circumstances such as technological failure or neglect during any stage of data processing or storage. Account hijacking: Like traditional servers, data in the Cloud could be stolen through account hijacking as well. In fact, Cloud account hijacking is predominantly deployed in cybercrimes that require entail identity thefts and wrongful impersonation Service traffic hijacking: In a service traffic hijacking, your attacker first gains access to your credentials, uses it to understand the online activities that happen in your domain and then uses the information to mislead your users or domain visitors to malicious sites. Insecure application program interfaces (APIs): Sometimes, Cloud APIs, when opened up to third parties, can be a huge security threat. If the API keys are not properly secured, it can serve as an entry point for cybercriminals and malicious elements. Poor choice of Cloud storage providers: A security lapse from the Cloud storage provider’s end is a huge security concern for businesses. It is very important to choose a trusted and experienced Cloud service provider who knows what they are doing. Apart from the above, there are some common threats that apply to both the Cloud and traditional data storage environments such as a DDoS attack, or a malware attack where your data in the Cloud becomes susceptible because it is being shared with others and at other places. Some Cloud security mechanisms that SMBs can invest in to keep their data safe Cloud firewalls: Much like the firewalls you deploy for your local IT network, Cloud firewalls work to prevent unauthorized Cloud network access. Penetration testing: Penetration testing is a sort of a Cloud security check where IT experts try hacking into the Cloud network to figure out if there are any security lapses or vulnerabilities that could serve cybercriminals. Obfuscation: In obfuscation, the data or program code is obscured on purpose such that the system delivers unclear code to anyone other than the original programmer, thus mitigating any malicious activity. Tokenization: Tokenization is the process of replacing sensitive data with unique identification symbols that retain all the essential information about the data without compromising its security.1 Virtual Private Networks (VPN): Another, more commonly used mechanism is the VPN. VPN creates a safe passage for data over the Cloud through end-to-end encryption methodology. Investing in a good Cloud security system is a must, but, in the end, you also need to remember that Cloud security

Things to consider before switching to the Cloud

November 13, 2020
Things to consider before switching to the Cloud More and more businesses are switching to the Cloud to store their data and rightly so. The Cloud offers numerous benefits over the traditional, physical on site server. For example, Anytime, anywhere access to your data: Information in the Cloud can be accessed from anywhere using an internet connection, unlike in the case of traditional servers, where you need a physical connection to the servers Significant cost savings: You cut hardware costs, because the Cloud follows a ‘pay-as-you-use’ approach to data storage SaaS compatibility and support: The Cloud allows the use of Software-as-a-Service since the software can be hosted in the Cloud Scalability: The Cloud lets you scale up and down as your business needs change 24/7 monitoring, support, and greater access reliability: When your data is in the Cloud, the Cloud service provider is responsible for keeping it safe and ensuring it is securely accessible at all times. They monitor the Cloud’s performance and in the event of any performance issues, they provide immediate tech support to resolve the problem Your big Cloud move: What to consider If you are considering moving to the Cloud, you will find it helpful to sign-up with an MSP who is well-versed with the Cloud. They can advise you on the benefits and risks of the Cloud and also offer the Cloud solution that’s right for you. In any case, before you migrate to the Cloud, make sure you are dealing with a reputed Cloud service provider who has strong data security measures in place. You can even explicitly ask them what security mechanisms they have invested in to manage data access and security. Yes, moving to the Cloud has it benefits, but it also has its challenges including security risks. Learn more in our next blog, “Is the Cloud really risk-free?”
Business Security

Online shopping? Watch out for these red flags

May 15, 2020
Online shopping? Watch out for these red flags Who doesn’t like online shopping? Online shopping has opened up a whole new world to us. Get whatever you want, whenever you want, without wandering from store to store. It doesn’t matter if it is too hot to venture outside or if there’s a blizzard out there, you do your shopping from the comfort of your couch and the stuff at your doorstep. You get great deals, some are better than in-store specials. But, did you know cybercriminals love the concept of online shopping as much as you do. Cybercriminals are exploiting the growing popularity of online shopping to cheat unsuspecting buyers through techniques such as phishing, malware injection, etc. Here are a few tips that may work to keep you safe from being a target of cybercriminals as you shop online. How to determine if the ad or shopping site is genuine?As you browse the web, you will come across various ads targeted at your interests. Businesses engage in ‘Retargeting’ which means they use cookies to target you with very specific ads until you buy something. For example, look at a wallet and, you will see ads for wallets on various other sites you browse even if they are not shopping sites. Are those ads genuine? Before clicking on any ad you see online and making a purchase, be sure to verify if the ad is genuine. The same goes for shopping sites. Before you shop, you need to ensure the site is genuine, especially since you will be sharing your credit card details or Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as your address. Here are a few things to check before you make that online purchase. English: Keep an eye out for grammatical errors or spelling mistakes in the ad. Fake ads and sites may look a lot like the actual ones, but spelling mistakes or grammar errors may tell the true story. Scammers don’t have content writers to write great sales content! Check the URL: When at a shopping site, always check the URL in the address bar to ensure it is genuine. For example, if you see www.1amazon.com or www.amazon-usa.com, you should know it is not the same as www.amazon.com. Checking the URL also lets you detect website cloning and phishing. Website cloning is one of the most popular methods used by scammers to fleece consumers. As the term suggests, the cybercriminal first creates a ‘clone’ site that looks exactly like the original one, barring a very minor change in the URL. Don’t Get Phished!Phishing is when you receive a message, usually through an email or a text message asking you to take an action, such as clicking on a link, filling out a form, logging into an account, etc., Such messages look as though they are genuine. But, the form fill, account login, or link will take you to a spurious site where your information will be captured for bad use. Checking the URL will help you detect
Business Security

Free Internet Access? Don’t fall for this one

May 8, 2020
Free Internet Access? Don’t fall for this one One of the popular internet scams that has been doing the rounds since 2017 is the one about “Free Internet”. This scam seems to resurface and somehow manages to claim quite a few unsuspecting victims. Here’s how they catch you. Ads are created on Google, Facebook, popular search engines and social media platforms advertising free internet hours. The ads look professional and show up on general searches and on social media when surfing. This offers a sense of validity. Once you click on the ad, you will be taken to their website, where you will be asked to perform an action, such as Filling out a form with your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Sharing your credit card information, and though you will be promised that your card won’t be charged, you may end up signing up for something or subscribing to a service for which your card will be charged later. Sharing a few email IDs or phone numbers–basically contacts with whom you will be asked to share the message in return for free internet service. How to stay safe?As always, remember no one offers something for free. Whether it is free internet access or tickets to a concert, if it is something of value, then you will be expected to provide some value in return. Steer clear of offers that seem too good to be true. If you receive a message from someone you know and trust, please let them know that their link may be a problem. No matter what, don’t open a link from anyone if you aren’t entirely sure the links are valid.

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