Software Defined Networks (SDN’s)

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We at Abilita know that many of you are still struggling with various options related to the “Cloud”. This includes cloud providers, cloud apps, security, back-up and content ownership to name a few.

IT, Managed Services, Hosted, Carrier Provided Services and Telecommunications seem to evolve almost daily. And don’t forget 5G which has the potential to be a real game changer on many levels. Next up is another technology advancement called Software Defined Wide Area Network or SD-WAN.

As older networks strain to keep up with bandwidth demand, Enterprises are turning to SD-WAN as the preferred choice. Overall SD-WAN is one of the better technologies that has come along. There is little to no downside, but as we learned with “Cloud” not all terminology is used and means the same thing to everyone. Selecting the optimal SD-WAN solution for your enterprise is not easy.
It is more and more difficult to ensure that you have chosen and implemented the right technology, that it has been implemented correctly, and that you have all the necessary tools and training to manage it.

Abilita can help! If you are ready to explore if SD-WAN can benefit your business, remember that Abilita Consultants are vendor neutral and do not sell or represent any manufacturer or service provider. We work strictly for you and will help you find the best combination of product, price and service.

admin@abilita.comSoftware Defined Networks (SDN’s)
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5G: The Promise and the Impact

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There is an old Chinese saying that goes, “May you live in interesting times.” Certainly, anybody utilizing communications technology would have to agree that we are indeed living in not only interesting, but complex times.

Arguably the most immediate impact on your network and business in the next several years will be 5G. If you believe everything you read and hear, 5G is the panacea that will solve all of your communications problems.

The reality is that 5G will be a disrupter and a game changer, and it will most likely touch every form of business communications technology. To understand how this will impact your business and your network, read the full article I wrote on NoJitter.

DENNIS GOODHART
TELEPHONE: 646-308-1580
DGOODHART@ABILITA.COM
NEW YORK, NY

admin@abilita.com5G: The Promise and the Impact
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The Internet of Things

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is coming, whether you like it or not. Over the next four years, we are likely to see a revolution in how we live our lives… and also how we manage and operate our businesses. By 2020, Gartner Inc. estimates over 26 billion connected devices with more than half of major new business processes and systems incorporating some element of IoT.

So What Is the Internet of Things?

IoT is essentially a network of devices that have Internet connectivity built into them, allowing them to send and receive data without human intervention. You are probably familiar with smart sensors like the Nest Thermostat, wearables like the Apple Watch or Fitbit, and Google’s self-driving car project. Waze, OnStar and Google Maps use IoT technology to locate and track your device, and feedback information based on your location and prior established likes and dislikes.

Many other industries are developing new technologies using IoT to improve their products. Some examples:
• John Deere is using IoT to boost the efficiency of prepping, planting, feeding and harvesting with the goal of improving per-acre crop yields.
• Rolls Royce aircraft engines send real-time data on the engine’s function back to monitoring stations on the ground to help detect malfunctions to help prevent aircraft disasters.
• Microsoft constantly collects data on features being used for its products to make smart decisions on how to develop their software.

How Your Business Will Change

You don’t have to worry about the Internet of things suddenly appearing one day and making your company obsolete – it will gradually develop over time. Think about where you were 15 years ago and where you are now. You have likely invested in things like wireless Internet, mobile devices, analytical software, cloud storage, virtual servers and more. This adaptation and progressive nature will allow you to stay on pace with the development of IoT.

Some factors to consider:

1- There will be more data to manage: all those interconnected devices will mean a lot more data than you currently track. IoT has potential to deliver in-depth metrics about your customers and their behaviors, your employees and how they work, and even details about how your own business operates. This is all worthwhile information … but you need to be prepared to handle it, with data analysts and business intelligence software.

2- Security becomes even more important: with more data and new types of data available, it will be more important than ever for your company to supplement these new technologies with additional security measures and preventative action techniques.

3- Business opportunities abound: many unique business opportunities will arise out of the growth of IoT. Potential areas include improved customer service and personalization; the ability to address real-time threats, improved process optimization, and more accurate and effective forecasting.

4- Remote work will become even more feasible: it will become even easier to manage your business remotely.

5- Increased complexity in systems: The more ambitious and complicated the project, the greater the schedule overruns. IoT projects may take longer to implement. You could have a hard time keeping all your integrated devices updated with the latest software and connected to the network; this will be both expensive and intense in terms of IT needs.

6- Some industries may fundamentally change when IoT becomes mainstream. Pay close attention to how your industry develops, and be prepared for some major changes. The sooner you start thinking about the future of your firm, the more proactively you’ll be able to prepare.

As technology continues to evolve and becomes readily available to small businesses and consumers alike, processes will become more efficient and life more comfortable. Regardless of how well you understand IoT and its potential benefits, it is important to remember one thing: The future is bright.

Now is the perfect time to contact us and set up an appointment with your Abilita consultant to discuss and plan how to use and implement this new technology and get your business ready to adapt to these changes gradually.

admin@abilita.comThe Internet of Things
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How to Avoid and Protect against Ransomware

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Ransomware is a type of malicious program that infects your computer and then locks your screen or encrypts your files. Then a “ransom” is demanded to release your data. Most ransomware arrives as an email attachment, along with a message encouraging you to open the file. You could also browse to websites that push malware onto your system without your knowledge.

This particular form of malware is tricky because these emails appear to be legitimate and can be professionally written with proper grammar and spelling. They could embed known trustworthy website links into the email message which may infect your computer.

Once the ransomware has infected your system, your files are locked with an encryption key that is only known by the attacker. Then you are prompted to pay the criminal to provide the key or else they’ll destroy your decryption key. Often there will be a limited time to pay the ransom, typically within a few days. The criminals are not typically interested in your data at all; they simply want you to pay off the ransom.

While there is no 100% safe method to prevent ransomware from entering your system, there are ways to lessen your chances of being attacked and losing your data. The best way to secure against this threat is to prevent ransomware from getting to your system in the first place. Here are some recommended tips to protect your data:

– Regularly update your software, programs, and applications to ensure you have the latest versions. Software companies and hardware companies are constantly updating their systems with new security measures to protect against the latest vulnerabilities. Use Windows update and enable automatic updates for all programs.

– Be very careful about opening email attachments. Be very wary of clicking links in emails, as they may take you to a malware website.

– Back up important files using the 3-2-1 rule: create 3 backup copies on 2 different types of media with 1 backup in a separate location.

– Don’t enable macros. Ransomware can also be distributed in Office documents that trick users into enabling macros.

– Train and retrain employees in your business. Your users can be your weakest link if you don’t train them how to avoid malicious emails and other threats.

– Do not open e-mails that invite you to participate in surveys, contests or other events from companies that you usually don’t deal with, or names you don’t know.

Cybercrime is a highly competitive, multi-billion-dollar business. Ransomware attacks are becoming an increasing global problem with highly sophisticated and malicious attacks against organizations including NASA, law enforcement agencies, universities and health-care institutions. Even small companies are targets.

Understanding ransomware and taking steps to prevent it will go a long way to protecting your company from this threat. For professional assistance with understanding how to secure your network against ransomware and other network attacks, contact your Abilita consultant.

admin@abilita.comHow to Avoid and Protect against Ransomware
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