As a business owner, it’s important to be aware of the unexpected costs associated with the cloud and what measures you can take to keep those costs down. They might not add up to much at first, but could eventually cost you more than the service is worth. Pay the right price for the services you receive with these five tips:
Cloud services come in various shapes and sizes, many of which are standalone platforms with rates that increase over time. Opt for a service provider that offers a suite of products that all work together. They are often less expensive than a group of standalone products. Another benefit of working with a cloud provider is that you receive a single point of contact to resolve your issues quickly and effectively.
If you plan on integrating a standalone cloud service into your system, make sure you hire an experienced integration consultant to facilitate a smooth transition. Integration mishaps can cause serious downtime and cost a lot of money.
Backups are important
Unnecessary or inefficient backups will waste cloud storage space. Examine your cloud storage data by asking the following questions:
- How many versions of this data do I need to store long-term? The more versions you store, the more it costs.
- What regulatory demands do I need to meet? Some data may need to be accessible for up to three years, whereas other data can be deleted after 30 days.
- How quickly do I need to access my backups? If it can wait for a day or two, archive that data to a less expensive service or offline at the provider’s data center.
Many cloud service providers charge by the number of users in your system. By neglecting to manage the list of users, you could end up paying for people who no longer work for you. Implement processes that remove users when they are terminated and consider scheduling a regular audit. Ideally, this should be once every six months to a year, to ensure your cloud user list is up-to-date.
Ask your cloud provider whether they can proactively monitor your account and notify you of potential issues before they cause problems. This is especially important if you have a pay-as-you-go license that charges based on resource or storage consumption.
Utilizing the right technology resources is vital to your business’s success, and so is knowing how to prevent them from racking up an overwhelming monthly bill. If you wish to enjoy all the benefits of cloud computing without breaking the bank, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
When it comes to cyberattacks, most business owners get hung up on the technical and logistical details, forgetting another important aspect: motive. Why are hackers attacking people and organizations? And whom are they targeting? By answering these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of which of your business’s resources need the most protection.
Skill-wise, script kiddies (or skids, for short) are at the bottom of the hacker totem pole. Their name comes from the fact that they use scripts or other automated tools written by others. Most of the time, script kiddies are young people on a quest for internet notoriety. Or, more often than not, they’re simply bored and in search of a thrill. Many never become full-time hackers; in fact, many script kiddies end up using their skills for the greater good, working in the security industry.
Though lacking in hacking know-how, script kiddies shouldn’t be dismissed so easily, as they can cause businesses much damage. In May 2000, for instance, a couple of skids sent out an email with the subject line “ILOVEYOU” and ended up causing a reported $10 billion in lost productivity and digital damage.
Hacktivists are primarily politically motivated, and they often hack into businesses and government systems to promote a particular political agenda or to effect social change. These so-called “hackers with a cause” steal confidential information to expose or simply disrupt their target’s operations.
If you’re a small- or medium-sized (SMB) owner, don’t think for a second that you’re immune to hacktivist attacks. This is especially true if your company is associated or partnered with organizations that are prime hacktivist targets. Or, if your business provides services that can be seen as unethical, you may targeted by hacktivists as well.
When a hacker breaks into digital systems or networks with malicious intent, they are considered a cybercriminal. Cybercriminals target everyone from individuals to SMBs to large enterprises and banks that either have a very valuable resource to steal or security that is easy to exploit, or a combination of both.
They can attack in a number of ways, including using social engineering to trick users into volunteering sensitive personal or company data, which they can then sell in underground markets in the dark web. They can also infect computers with ransomware and other malware, or use digital technology to carry out “conventional crimes” like fraud and illegal gambling.
Perhaps the scariest type of hacker is the one that lurks within your own organization. An insider can be anyone from current and former employees to contractors to business associates. Oftentimes their mission is payback: to right a wrong they believe a company has done them, they’ll steal sensitive documents or try to disrupt the organization somehow. Edward Snowden is a prime example of an insider who hacked his own organization — the US government.
When it comes to cyber attacks, most business owners get hung up on the technical and logistical details, forgetting another important aspect: motive. Why are hackers attacking people and organizations? And whom are they targeting? By answering these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of which of your business’s resources need the most protection.
Now that you know what motivates your enemy, and you think you might be a target, it’s time to secure your business from the different types of hackers out there. Get in touch with our experts today to learn how.