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22 Mar 2019

Choosing the Best File Storage Option for Your Business

Secure file storage used to mean keeping your files in a filing cabinet or in file boxes. With online storage, we now have greater security, storage, and sharing capabilities. For years now, the most effective storage facility for documents and files has been in the online cloud – but there are other options for you to consider. Here are some of the most popular file storage locations for your business.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage has fast become the most popular way for individuals and businesses to store and share files. By using cloud storage, you’re able to work in real time with other people – anywhere, anytime, from any device. You also know your data is stored together in one place and that everyone is working on the most up to date versions, allowing you to actively collaborate with one another without the hassle of sending and saving documents. There’s also a fairly unlimited storage capacity. But the cloud isn’t without its flaws. There are some security workarounds and depending on how much info you need to store, you might end up paying a high monthly bill.

External Hard Drives

If you’ve already got your files saved in the cloud you might be wondering what the benefit of an external drive is. In the end, it comes down to security. If your files were to be wiped or compromised on a cloud-sharing program (which is unlikely, but possible), you would have a complete backup of your files on an external drive. There’s no need to connect to the Internet or even go online; it’s all right there waiting for you. While there’s always the risk that your disk drive can break down or become damaged, they’re an excellent resource to have as your backup to cloud storage.

Flash Drives

Flash drives aren’t usually the go-to for file storage or sharing anymore because of the amazing capabilities of cloud software, especially because flash memory and security are fairly limited. However, they’re excellent if you need to share a couple files between people or if you’re looking for a cheaper option. Just because they’re a little lower tech doesn’t mean they aren’t still a viable option. Similar to external hard drives, these are also an excellent option if you want a secondary backup for particularly important files on a cloud drive.

Deciding on Your Storage

When you’re deciding which of these methods is best for your business, be sure to consider the following:

  • Reliability. Can you trust this method to support your files for years to come? Are you going to be worried about losing files or causing major setbacks to your business?
  • Cost. Is this option the most cost effective? Does the cost equal the benefit your business will receive? Remember the most cost-effective storage method may not be the cheapest one.
  • Storage Capacity. How much storage does this option offer you? And how much storage do you need? You want to make sure that you have enough room to store current and future data.
  • Lifespan. Does the storage media have a limited lifespan? Will the technology you’re using quickly become obsolete or will it have some longevity?
  • Speed. How quickly does it operate? Do you have to wait a long time to upload or save files? And how long does it take to retrieve that data? You don’t want to be left waiting because of a slow storage method.
  • Security. Even when you’re looking at storage methods, data protection is still your first concern. Be sure that no matter what method you choose, your files are going to remain secure and protected.

Different data storage methods have different benefits. It’s always best to have a back-up, so choose a storage method that will give you full peace of mind.

Have questions about options for file storage in Edmonton? Need to know what’s going to work best for your business? Learn more about our data storage options, or contact Alt-Tech’s data storage experts for a consultation.

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19 Mar 2019

Your Business Needs the Cloud. Here’s Why

Businesses of all sizes are now turning to the cloud for their software and hardware solutions, as well as for data storage. When you use the cloud, everything your business needs to run is held by another company and is instantly accessible to you over the Internet. This provides benefits ranging from greater mobility to improving your capability to grow.

Access Your Data from Anywhere

If your employees ever need to access files when they’re away from the office or they work with a number of different devices, the cloud is the way to go. With cloud data storage, you can reach information wherever you are. Plus, since the data is encrypted, there are no security concerns.

Latest Versions of Software

It’s expensive to constantly purchase new versions of software for each of your employees — not to mention a hassle. With the cloud, you can receive software as a service (SaaS). This means that your applications will be hosted by your service provider and everyone on your team will have access to the software with any device.

Better still, whenever there’s an update to the application, you will automatically receive access to the latest version. You can move all types of software to the cloud, including applications for email, virus protection, and spam filtering.

Improve Scalability

Small and midsize businesses often need to increase their resources to grow their operations, but hardware like physical servers can be prohibitively expensive. Another aspect of the cloud is hardware as a service (HaaS). This allows you to scale your resources to just what you need and can afford.

The same applies to storage for files. With the cloud, there’s no need to have a huge storage capacity within your network — you can pay for the amount of cloud storage you need and update your subscription whenever those needs change.

To be sure that your data will be secure, you need a reputable cloud service. Edmonton business owners rely on Alt-Tech. We offer a variety of cloud services, including email, application, and server hosting, as well as disaster recovery and business continuity offsite hosting.

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14 Mar 2019

Cyber Security Isn’t Just a Concern for Big Businesses. Here’s Why It Matters for Small and Midsize Businesses, Too

Whenever there’s a cyber security story in the news, it’s always about a multinational corporation. This can give small and midsize businesses (SMBs) a false sense of security. In fact, more than half of all cyber attacks impact small businesses. The reason is simple: although the payoff for cyber criminals is reduced, success rates are much higher due to less-sophisticated cyber protection.

How Are SMBs Attacked?

The most common way SMBs are attacked is through hacking, although malware is also a major problem. Other risks include social engineering, misused privileges, and physical breaches.

A main cause of cyber attacks is a disorganized approach to security. Most SMBs have no single security plan; rather, they add on new preventative measures as their business grows and this lack of a comprehensive plan leads to holes in security. Furthermore, the adoption of new equipment constantly puts businesses at risk of new types of breaches.

To make matters worse, employees can lack the training that’s required to eliminate risk areas. When team members are uninformed, a breach can occur simply due to human error.

Results of a Cyber Attack

Although costs are far lower when a cyber attack affects an SMB than when one impacts a large corporation, the hit to the company can be significant.  When a business lacks the resources to absorb such costs, it can have serious repercussions for the company.

Preventing an Attack

The best way to protect your business from a cyber attack is to stop trying to handle security in house. An IT company specializing in cyber security can set up a system that will encrypt your data, require authentication to access sensitive information, and have authorization capabilities to restrict user access.

While many IT companies in Edmonton will provide you with basic support, you need a company that goes a step further. Alt-Tech offers cyber security solutions to meet the needs of your business and prevent your data from being compromised, whether you use internal hardware or employees bring their own devices into the workplace.

Contact us today to learn more about the comprehensive security plan you need to properly protect your business.

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08 Mar 2019

5 Best Practices to Improve Data Security

Cyber security starts internally. From new security solutions to software updates, there are plenty of ways you can help keep your company safe. So where to begin? We’ve put together the 5 best practices for you to implement to secure business data and give you some peace of mind.

1. Always Update!

When your computer gets that pop-up saying it’s time to update, it’s tempting to simply push the ‘later’ button. But you need to stop ignoring those updates! Updates improve information security by responding to current threats and fixing bugs. They address all the different security issues present in your computer. So by updating your computer, you’re actually keeping data protected without having to do any of the work.

2. Protect with Strong Passwords

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to keep your data safe is to have a strong password. Having simple or common passwords makes it easier for cyber criminals to access sensitive data. Fortunately, these data breaches are preventable by having your employees create strong passwords and regularly update their passwords.

There are a few easy ways to improve the strength of your password. For example, you can increase the length, include numbers, or include special characters. If you want to learn more about which passwords to avoid and creating strong passwords, check out our post on The Worst Passwords of 2018.

3. Keep an Eye Out For Phishing Scams

Phishing scams, ransomware, and other cyber attacks are something that all businesses have to deal with. You can’t stop these cyber threats entirely, but you can help reduce the risk of actually having your data stolen. The best way to stop sensitive information from being stolen through a cyber attack is to learn what to look for.

When you receive a phishing scam, it’ll probably look legitimate, but beware because they can cause a lot of damage. Typically phishing scams are emails that appear to be from a trustworthy source. They will ask you to follow a link or to provide some form of personal data. These attacks are often filled with grammatical errors, so keep an eye out for mistakes or strange wording. They’ll also want you to ‘act fast,’ claiming that your account has been hacked or is expiring. Don’t believe these emails – take the time to read them through and verify them before you click any links. Whenever unsure, contact the company by phone to verify that the email is legitimate. Stay vigilant and always double-check suspicious emails to prevent falling victim to phishing scams.

4. Secure and Encrypt Data

A lot of companies are encrypting their information. Encryption takes your data and converts it to codes. Only someone who has the ‘key’ can unlock the codes to access the information. If you don’t encrypt your information, you leave it more exposed to online threats.

By using encryption, you’re making it impossible for a hacker to read or make copies of data. So, while the information may be lost, you don’t have to worry about someone else having access to it. If you’re interested in other methods of protecting your information, you can also look into data masking or data erasure techniques. Alt-Tech has plenty of encryption options that have helped companies secure their data more easily and thoroughly.

5. Educate Your Staff

You can’t implement any of these practices if you haven’t taken the time to educate your staff. When you take the time to help them understand the different security threats and how they can counteract them, they’ll know why it’s important and how to manage threats. Make sure you explain your company’s online practices and procedures, hold sessions on how to recognize phishing and other scams, and make sure to update your staff on policy changes or new threats. This will make all the difference when it comes to protecting your business online. 

Want to improve your business’ cyber security? Alt-Tech is here to help! We offer data backup and recovery, system security services, and around the clock monitoring. To learn more check out our services page.

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