Pay Your Bill Online Server Room Status

cloud_logosBusiness News Daily reports that by 2014, cloud computing is set to grow into a promising $150 billion industry. That’s a lot of data and a whole lot of empowered users syncing, sharing, and collaborating on various web-based files. There’s a price, however, that comes with the convenience of having real-time access to your files through a variety of internet-enabled mobile devices. The security of your data can be compromised by the inherent vulnerabilities of cloud storage services. The more you know about the security risks, the better you can protect your important data in the cloud.

Two User Activities that Can Weaken the Security of Your Cloud Storage Account

Three of the most popular cloud storage vendors–Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, and Dropbox–were studied by a team of researchers from the A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research based in Singapore. Their findings were detailed in a paper that appeared in a 2013 issue of the journal, IEEE Pervasive Computing. The researchers discovered that all three cloud storage services possess potential security loopholes that can be worsened by two specific user activities–file-sharing through private URLs and using shortened URLs.

There are many advantages to sharing files compared to working with email attachments. When you share files via your cloud storage account, you are not often bounded by file size restrictions. You can also set a file’s access level to public, private, etc. The researchers from the A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research, however, found out that sharing secret URLs can undermine the security of cloud storage accounts. This is because URLs end up being saved in browsing histories, bookmarks, and network-based servers, thereby giving numerous third parties access to what should have been private data.

In addition, the use of URL-shortening services poses a security risk. According to the researchers, when a URL is shortened–even if the URL leads to a file that is privately shared through a cloud storage account–the address is rendered into a plain text format that is stripped of encryption. URLs of this kind are then made vulnerable to brute-force attacks. Thus, it is best to retain the original URL each time you share files with your friends and colleagues.

A  Cloud Environment Cannot Be Completely Guaranteed

CloudSecurity1Business and individual users who upload and backup sensitive data to their cloud accounts are comforted by service provider claims declaring complete confidentiality–meaning, the cloud storage vendor’s own employees have no ability to access or view client data. This confidentiality is typically asserted by providing encryption to users’ files before they are uploaded to the cloud servers.

According to the findings of two researchers from the Johns Hopkins University’s Information Security Institute, complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed by cloud storage vendors. Computer scientists Duane Wilson and Giuseppe Ateniese uncovered that complete confidentiality is only possible for users who don’t share data with other users through the cloud storage service. The moment a client shares data, the service provider is granted a loophole for which to access and view the said client’s information. The complicated mechanism of how file-sharing creates a breach in what is supposed to be a zero-knowledge cloud environment is detailed in this archived 2014 paper arxiv.org/pdf/1404.2697v1.pdf.

“Sideloading” an app is the common term for installing it without downloading directly from the Google Play Store. Maybe there’s an app that’s not in the Play Store but is floating around in a popular forum. Maybe you’re just trying to give your friend’s app a try before he or she publishes it. There are plenty of good reasons why you’d want to sideload an app, and we’re going to show you how easy it is.

Read More at : http://www.greenbot.com/article/2452614/how-to-sideload-an-app-onto-your-android-phone-or-tablet.html

 

 

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July 17, 2014

Internet outage : We just came back up from a 30 minute internet outage.  Our fiber providers stated that the issue was above them on a main backbone and 1/2 of the state of florida was down.

Computer Shopping 101

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July 17, 2014

The computer world is full of acronyms and abbreviations, and many are similar to one another. Making sense of all the terms and focusing on what is most important are the keys to getting the best deal on  your next computer.

33What is the CPU?

The CPU is the heart of your computer, and it is important to understand just what it does. CPU stands for central processing unit, and its job is to take incoming numbers, perform calculations and return results.

You can think of the CPU as a very sophisticated calculator. The calculator in your pocket might be able to do two or three calculations a second, but the CPU in the average computer can perform billions in the same length of time.

Most of the computers on the market today come with multi-core processors. The multi-core setup allows the computer to perform better by makeing multitasking easier and more effective. Instead of a single processor working on several different tasks, the computer can assign each processor to a different task. This increases overall speed and makes your computer experience better.

While there are eight and even sixteen core processors on the market, the most common setups are dual-core, which combines two processors into a single ci[, and quad-core, which uses four. All else being equal and depending on the types of applications you are using, the quad core processor will give you better performance, but the price tag of the computer will be higher as well.

How Much RAM?

RAM stands for random access memory, and it is a very important part of the computer shopping process. Even the fastest multi-core system will not perform well if there is not enough RAM onboard.

If you have ever seen the inside of a computer, you will recognize the sticks of memory that make up the RAM. These sticks are inserted directly on the motherboard, and they provide the computer with the temporary storage space it needs to perform calculations and maintain information.

When shopping for a new computer, you should look for one with a minimum of 4GB of RAM; 8GB or more is even better, and relatively easy to find these days. RAM is relatively inexpensive these days and it’s the easiest and least expensive way to increase your computers performance.  Another added benefit of having more RAM is it lessens the workload on the Hard Drive which can increase the lifespan of the machine.

Hard Drive Storage

RAM provides temporary storage, but the hard drive is responsible for storing information permanently. As with RAM, the prices for hard drive storage have fallen sharply. That means bigger is better when shopping for a new PC.

It pays to buy more storage space than you think you will need. You may not think you need a 500GB hard drive, but the large size of video and music files means it may start filling up before you know it.

As you shop, you may encounter two separate types of hard drives – HDD and SSD. HDD means hard disk drive, and it is the most common type of drive on the market. HDD are inexpensive and able to store a lot of information for a low price, but they are also less durable and slower than SSD’s.

SSD VS HDD

SSD stands for solid-state drive.  They do not have moving parts the way HDD drives do, and the lack of moving parts make SSD drives both faster and more durable, but they are also much more expensive. The storage capacity of SSD drives also tends to be more restrictive, and the price per gigabyte of storage is much higher.

If you can afford the upgrade, we recommend using your OS (operating system) on a SSD and install a large 1TB or bigger HDD for data and media storage.

 

Knowing the terms can help you get the best deal on your next computer. Whether you are shopping for a laptop or desktop, having a basic understanding of terms like RAM, HDD, SSD and CPU will make comparing brands and models a lot easier.  If you have any questions, we are always here to help, please give us a call at 386-248-0000 or email us at info@daytonanetworks.com.  We offer both a computer purchasing service (to help you get the most for your money), or we can build you a custom pc or server.

Welcome Anthony Pace

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June 20, 2014

Anthony_PaceAnthony is originally from Los Angeles California. He recently returned to Florida. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems California State Los Angeles, Masters Business Administration (Finance) from American Intercontinental University (Online) Hoffman Estates Illinois. He is a member of American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, a Certified Bookkeeper and is a Microsoft Certified Professional (Technology Specialist). He has experience as Finance Manager, Inventory Control Manager, Stock Broker and Project Manager Infrastructure Rebuilding (Finance).

Windows Mobility Center

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June 11, 2014

The Microsoft Windows Mobility Center takes a variety of different utilities and places their controls in one easy to manage interface. Proper use of the Windows Mobility Center allows you to control a number of different aspects of the way your computer operates all from the same screen, which will certainly save you a lot of time.

 

daytona_beach_computersStep 1

Open the “Start” menu on your computer and select “Control Panel.” If your Windows Control Panel is not displaying all icons, click the button at the top of the window labeled “View By” and choose either the option labeled “Large Icons” or the option labeled “Small Icons.” The default view style for the Control Panel separates programs into categories, which is not useful for these purposes.

 

Step 2

Scroll to the very bottom of the Control Panel and click once on the icon labeled “Windows Mobility Center.” The Windows program of the same name will open. A series of icons will appear in the main Mobility Center window, each relating to a different aspect of your computer that you can control using the program.

 

Step 3

Use the utility’s “Display Brightness” section to increase or decrease the brightness of your monitor at will. Drag the bar to the left to decrease the brightness or drag the button to the right to increase it.

 

Step 4

Use the section of the screen labeled “Volume” to adjust the volume of your computer’s speakers. You can use the horizontal slider bar to increase or decrease the volume based on your preferences, or use the “Mute” button to completely disable your speakers if you so choose.

 

Step 5

Use the section of the screen labeled “Battery Status” to both view the current percentage of your battery’s power and change your power scheme. Click the drop down menu to select a new power scheme for your laptop battery. Note that this section is only available on laptop computers.

 

Step 6

Use the section of the screen labeled “Wireless Network” to control your computer’s current Internet connection. The main icon in this portion of the screen will show you the current strength of the connected wireless signal. Clicking the button labeled “Turn Wireless Off” will quickly and efficiently disable your computer’s wireless networking capabilities.

 

Step 7

Use the option labeled “External Display” to control any external computer monitors, television sets or projectors that may be connected to your computer.

 

Step 8

Sync any Windows Mobile devices with your computer using the section of the screen labeled “Sync Center.” If you already have a sync partnership between your computer and the associated device, click the grey button labeled “Sync Settings” with the device connected to your machine to immediately sync data back and forth between the two.

Has Your Business Gone Mobile?

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May 28, 2014

Just having a computer system at your company used to be the ultimate strategy for processing orders, managing employees and controlling costs. With the Internet ruling online business, you set up a website to sell goods to virtually any customer in the world. However, you must venture further into the online world with mobile phone use. With devices held in almost every consumer’s hand, you need to harness this market to effectively market and direct customers to your brand.

daytona_mobile_businessDevice Sales Speak Volumes

As you walk around any public space, take note of all the devices floating around. From smartphones to tablets, people want to be connected at all times. Whether they are simply texting, using social media or price checking a product, you want your business to be mobile as well. The more exposure your brand has translates into higher profits. People want a comfortable brand to trust and automatically rely on, from clothing to cellphone accessories.

Responsive Web Design’s Priority

Responsive web design, or RWD, is an integral part of today’s mobile business. If a smartphone only accesses a company’s website, the font and entire page is too complicated to decipher. What RWD does is form a mobile site that has the basics. Business locations, hours and product pricing are just a few items that can accessed. The page displayed on the mobile device is simple and easy to navigate. Users will automatically shut off your company’s page if it looks too complicated. RWD encourages users to stay on the mobile site to find the information they need and spend money accordingly.

PC Versus Mobile Use

PCs or laptops are still viable devices that consumers use each day for extensive research. For example, a consumer looks up reviews of local Mexican food restaurants. From there, they research healthy foods their chosen restaurant offers. In-depth research is not typically performed on tablets or smartphones. When a consumer leaves home for a day of shopping and visiting friends, that’s the time period when they use their mobile device consistently. They update statuses and find a local ice cream shop as they visit a park or movie theater, for instance. Because people enjoy using their handheld devices to improve their daily experiences, it is critical to have a mobile website.

Digital Marketing For The Mobile World

When you use RWD for a mobile site, you aren’t giving up your traditional website. In fact, the mobile side is usually an add-on, giving your company virtually two websites for search engine optimization, or SEO. With more keywords across both online platforms, your search engine results may increase in views. For even more exposure, you may want to look into developing an app, or application. With a permanent icon on consumers’ devices, your information, sales and products are immediately accessed any time of day.

Some say putting your business data in the cloud is no riskier than putting your money in a bank.  At first sight, there are similarities, but a closer look reveals significant differences. You are not  particularly concerned that your money will be lost if the bank is robbed or destroyed by fire  because the bank and the government guarantee your money. It doesn’t matter if the very same cash you lodged in the bank yesterday is stolen today since one dollar bill is much the same as another. Your cloud data is not like money for two important reasons: First, most of the data is unique and irreplaceable – one piece of data is not the same as another; second, much of your data is confidential – customer records, financial information, new product development plans, etc. – and its value depends on it being kept strictly private.

So, despite all the hype about the savings it delivers, is cloud computing a dangerous false economy because it is simply too risky? The answer to that question depends on the answers to the nine questions below. Their purpose is to help potential cloud customers focus on the areas they should investigate before deciding for or against putting their company’s data in the cloud.

daytona_beach_cloud_services1. Have you thoroughly investigated your proposed cloud vendor?
This is by far the most important point to consider. A business should choose only a cloud service provider that is a well-known, financially sound, and has proven track record.

2. Have you compared your current in-house data security with that of the cloud?
Check if the applications and data currently stored on servers in your premises are more or less secure there than if they were stored in the cloud and managed by the cloud company.

3. Have you worked out your current IT costs?  
Calculate the total cost of the hardware, software, and personnel related to your local storage. Bear in mind that, of those costs, only the staff cost is tax-deductible in a single year; the equipment and software costs must be written off over several years. That can have significant cash flow implications.

4. Have you estimated the annual costs of using the cloud? 
On the basis of you current and estimated medium-term IT requirements, calculate the exact cost of moving to the cloud.

5. Have you estimated the costs of expanding onsite facilities? 
Ensure that you fully understand the cost implications of using additional cloud facilities in the future. This is a likely scenario with any growing business.

6. Do you understand the implications of changing your mind later on?
Assess the cost and disruption to your business of reversing your company’s decision to use the cloud, should it not work out after, say, a year.

7. Do you understand your legal obligations to the cloud company? 
Related to the last point, clarify the situation regarding contract restrictions, such as minimum period, cancellation penalties, etc.

8. Do you understand the cloud company’s guarantees and obligations to you?
Apart from your company’s contractual obligations to the cloud company, ensure you fully understand their obligations to you. As in “7,” misunderstandings in this area can be expensive for a client.

9. Have you spoken to users of the cloud companies you are considering?
Talk to other clients of the same cloud service provider you are thinking of using to find out their experiences. There is no need to do this until you have narrowed your choice of cloud provider to
two or three.

Not all cloud companies offer the same service. Some suit individual clients’ requirements better than others. So, clients need to draw up a shortlist of providers to determine which ones best
matches their specific requirements.

Cloud service providers are acutely aware that a significant breach of security or loss of client data, could threaten the survival of their businesses. That is why they take extraordinary steps to minimize the possibility of such events ever happening and why they store multiple copies of all data in different locations, each with the highest level of security. It is also why major disasters involving loss, theft or inaccessibility of data are exceptionally rare. As a result cloud computing’s record of customer satisfaction is exemplary. Most clients are well aware that they could never achieve such security themselves without spending many multiples of what it costs them to use the cloud. It is hardly surprising that cloud usage is growing rapidly and that there is no sign of a slowdown in the foreseeable future.

Bruce Schneier, a well-respected expert in the online security industry, discussed the Heartbleed bug on his blog and described the devastating effects of the newly discovered security hole as, “On the scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11.” Sadly, Schneier was not exaggerating. The extent of the security threat is huge. Netcraft estimates that the bug affects roughly half a million websites, including Dropbox, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo. 

What Is the Heartbleed Bug and Why Is It a Cause for Concern

heartbleed daytona beach First publicized on April 7, 2014, Heartbleed is an OpenSSL flaw, a bad code that may have been inadvertently introduced by the developers of OpenSSL. It has existed since December 2011.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the encryption protocol used for securing the data transmitted between the browser and the Web server. OpenSSL, on the other hand, is the open-source deployment of SSL and TLS (Transport Layer Security). Popular among web administrators, the OpenSSL implementation can be found running on 66 percent of the web.

The Heartbleed bug wreaks havoc by allowing a remote attacker to read the Web server’s memory, which could likely include the private encryption keys. This means the attacker can simply lift data that is supposed to have been secured via the SSL/TLS encryption protocols. According to the Finland-based software security company, Codenomicon, which first discovered the bug while working with a Google researcher, Heartbleed can leak usernames and passwords, files, instant messages, and email messages.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Personal Data

Don’t scramble to change your passwords–not yet, anyway. Wait until the service provider has successfully patched its website, according to an email sent by Codenomicon’s Ari Takanen to PC World. If you change your password before the patching is completed, you could end up contributing to the leaked server information that can be stolen.

There are online checkers available if you want to check whether or not the website you are using is still infected by the bug. These three Heartbleed checkers can help you: filippo.io/Heartbleed, lastpass.com/heartbleed, and ssllabs.com/ssltest. If the website is still not patched by the server, don’t use it until it’s clear for you to do so. The Heartbleed bug can only expose the information on the Web server’s memory. So, it is best not to introduce new data that can be potentially intercepted, most especially your new password. In case of an attack, your data has to be contained in the Web server’s memory for it to be exposed. Now that the bug’s existence has been widely publicized and attackers may be taking advantage of the websites that have yet to issue patches, changing your password on an unpatched site can be more disastrous than taking no action.

The presence of an encryption error like Heartbleed should make you more security-conscious with your online data. Consider these two effective means to lock down your online accounts: a two-factor authentication and a password manager.

A two-factor authentication necessitates entering a code before gaining access to your online account. This code is normally generated through a smartphone app or an SMS text message. With a two-factor authentication, you add a layer of security to your online account because the extra login step is difficult for an attacker to duplicate.

Another smart way to protect your various online accounts is to use a password manager. Examples of password management services include Dashlane, KeePass, and LastPass. Equipped with secure notes and auto-fill capabilities for completing online forms, a password manager simplifies the task of regularly randomizing your passwords and keeping track of them.

New Nas

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March 6, 2014

N16000_ANGLE_LARGE1

Yesterday we purchased a new NAS box by Thecus.  Testing last night went well.  
We continued to work on routing changes around 2am this morning to prevent further attacks like the NTP DOS one on saturday.  

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Vulnerabilities and Security Risks of Cloud Storage Services

Business News Daily reports that by 2014, cloud computing is set to grow into a promising $150 billion industry. That's [...] more

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