How Many Virtual Machines Can You Run at the Same Time?

How Many Virtual Machines Can You Run at the Same Time?

Every company is different, that goes without saying. Some companies, regardless of size are in need of various necessities within technology. For example, maybe you’re just getting started with cloud computing and you need to know the basics like how much data usage is included in your plan. Maybe, you’re an experienced user who just wants to learn more about the different pricing options available for specific tools. Maybe you’re even just curious about how many Virtual Machines (VMs) your company can run simultaneously.

Below, we will be diving deeper into what VMs are and how many your organization can run depending on the needs and circumstances of your company.

 

What is a VM?

A Virtual Machine (VM) is a software emulation of a computer that runs onto another computer. It allows you to host and run websites as well as applications on a remote server without purchasing or maintaining your hardware. A single VM can be used for many different purposes and may use one or more operating systems. You can scale up or down the number of VMs you use, saving you money in the long run if you don’t require all the initial VMs given. Cloud hosting providers may limit the number of VMs you can use on their platform or allow you to use as many as you need.

Understanding VM limits and how many VMs you can run simultaneously can help you in deciding which provider is best for you.

 

Understanding VM Limits

VM limits help cloud hosting providers to maintain reliability and security. Knowing what they are before you sign up for a particular plan is helpful when deciding which provider to go with. Most providers will tell you their VM limits before you make an account. VM limits are different for each cloud hosting provider, although some commonalities exist. For example, most providers include CPU, RAM, and storage when calculating a VM’s capacity.

Here’s a breakdown of some of their terminology:

  • CPU: This is the processor’s processing speed. The more capacity you have, the more VMs you can run at the same time. Common VM limits are 2, 4, and 8 CPU cores.
  • RAM: This is how much memory a VM has to store and run processes. If a VM has insufficient RAM, it may slow down or crash.
  • Storage: This is how much data the VM can store, such as website files and databases. The more storage a VM has, the more information it can hold.
  • Network: This is how much data a VM can send and receive. Standard VM limits are 1, 2, and 10 Gbps network bandwidth.

 

How Many Virtual Machines Can You Run at the Same Time?

 

Your-1-VM-QuestionIn general, you can run as many Virtual Machines at the same time as your computer can handle. The primary issue is how much RAM you have plus how much of it is available.

In any system, there must be a balance between available memory and the number of virtual machines you want to run. It is not advisable to overload your computer with too many VMs as it can cause a major slowdown to your system. This depends on your computer’s resources, but usually, you can keep an average of 3-5 VMs running simultaneously without seeing any performance degradation. Each VM uses about 500MB to a GB of RAM, so if your computer has 4GB of RAM or less, you should stay at around 2 VMs max.

Note that VMs share resources such as the same processor, RAM, and storage, so you may have trouble running multiple VMs simultaneously. If a VM is experiencing issues, it could slow down or crash other VMs held on the same computer.

 

Conclusion

You can save time and money by not purchasing or maintaining your hardware by just hosting and running your websites and applications on a remote server. The more capacity your RAM, CPU, and storage have, the more VMs you can run simultaneously; in other words, you can run as many VMs as your computer and plan will allow you, so long as you can handle the additional load.

We, at Protected Harbor, are an experienced partner with the knowledge and expertise to help you fulfill your goals. With managed hosting services from Protected Harbor, you don’t have to worry about the day-to-day management of your Virtual Machines or keeping up with the ever-changing technology landscape. Instead, you can focus on your business, knowing that you have a reliable partner to keep your Virtual Machines up to date and secure.

With our cutting-edge technology, you can be assured that your data is secure, your VMs are backed up, and your network is optimized to provide the best experience for all of your users. Our Virtual Machine hosting solutions come with flexible configuration options, allowing you to scale up or down as needed to accommodate any workload. Advanced tools will enable you to monitor your VMs remotely and receive detailed alerts if something goes wrong. You can also set up scheduled snapshots to keep a copy of your VMs in case of any emergency.

With our Virtual Machine hosting, you have the security and reliability of a managed service without the high costs and maintenance responsibilities.

Contact us today for a free demo and IT audit.

What Are Information Silos and Why Are They Important?

What Are Information Silos and Why Are They Important?

 

Information Silos are an organizational phenomenon. They are not always positive but they can definitely become negative when they result in the fragmentation of information and data that is isolated from other sources. When this happens, it can make it more challenging to find the right information at the needed time. But, what exactly are Information Silos and why are they important?

In our third episode of Uptime with Richard, we’ll understand in detail everything about Information Silos and why they are important for your organization. We’ll also provide you with examples of Information Silos, explain how to identify them within your company, and show you how to break them down.

Quick Fact: Workers spend 36% of their workdays seeking and compiling information, according to CMS Wire. However, 44% of the time, they cannot locate the data. Information Silos are the root cause of this lost time and effort.

 

What Are Information Silos?

The term “silo” has been used in management for many years. It often refers to a lack of cohesiveness within an organization. In the vast majority of businesses, this problem has emerged repeatedly.

Information Silos are specific information assets within your company that isn’t being shared with the rest of your organization. They are defined by the fact that they aren’t connected with other data sources within your business. Silos usually form because of a cultural or organizational preference for keeping data separate rather than bringing it together. Silos might exist for a variety of reasons. This can depend on the types of information assets that are being isolated, the organizational culture, and the different preferences of multiple employees. Silos can be caused by several factors, including cultural norms and organizational structures, aligned incentives across siloed departments, and restrictive laws

 

Information SilosExamples of Information Silos

  • Missing, outdated, or unorganized data in a CRM.
  • A flawed integration of a tool or set of tools.
  • Forgetting to include essential email conversations with decision-makers.
  • Using too many tools at once makes information scattered and difficult to find.
  • Quote-to-cash operations that move more slowly due to process complexity.

Key Takeaway

Silos are created when different teams, departments, or areas of a company start to become isolated and don’t share information with each other. Information Silos are important because they can lead to inefficient use of resources and poor decision-making. They can be caused by cultural norms, organizational structures, aligned incentives, and restrictive laws. The most common type of Information Silos are those that exist in marketing, where marketing owns its budgets, KPIs, and content.

A business owner must create clear plans for their staff members of what they are trying to accomplish; they can take the help of a third-party service provider who will take care of the data strategy and handling. They must also create a setting where workers can cooperate and speak with one another. Through cutting-edge features that encourage productivity and always keeping everyone on the same page, Protected Harbor is here to help.

What is the Dark Web?

What is the Dark Web?

The “Darknet” Explained!

The internet is a vast network of interconnected websites created with specific purposes. There are many portions of the worldwide web that are commonly used, the most popular one being the surface web which only makes up about 5% of the entire online world.

The remaining 95% of the internet is typically known as the Darknet or the Dark Web, and it’s home to several websites that aren’t indexed by search engines like Google. As a result, if you try searching for one of these websites from your regular browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc.), you won’t find it. However, that doesn’t mean these sites don’t exist.

In this article, we will discuss what exactly the Dark Web is and how exactly it works.

 

What is the Dark Web?

The term “Dark Web,” refers to certain online content. The Dark Web is an umbrella term that’s been used by cyber researchers over the last few years to describe websites that are not indexed by search engines, not trackable by traditional security methods, and not accessible through standard URLs. The dark web is often confused with the deep web, but there is a vast difference between the two.

A perfect example of this is a Bitcoin transaction. You can see money leaving your account; it’s just not attached to your name. The dark web is also referred to as the Darknet, invisible web, or hidden web.

 

Surface Web

The Surface Web is the portion of the internet accessible through standard search engines like Google and Bing. More popular websites the general population peruse are Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, and many others. Most of the internet is found on the surface web, accounting for approximately 95% of all online activity. Although the surface web makes up most of the internet, it is important to note that search engines index not all websites.

Those websites are a part of the deep web – as opposed to the dark web, which is a different category. If a search engine does not index a website, it will not appear on the first page of search results. Instead, it will only be accessible if you have the specific URL of that website written down or bookmarked.

 

Deep Web

The Deep Web refers to all online activity that is not tracked by search engines. Typically, this will include online databases and password-protected areas of websites. The deep web differs from the dark web in that the latter is designed to be untraceable and unsearchable. Another significant difference between the Deep Web and the Dark Web is that the deep web can be accessed using a standard web browser, while the Dark Web requires special software to be accessed.

Accessing the Dark Web

The dark web can be accessed using a specially designed browser called a Tor Browser. Tor Browsers allow users to surf the internet anonymously by routing all internet traffic through a series of different computers commonly known as nodes. These nodes are run by volunteers worldwide and serve as a sort of middleman for your internet activity.

When you visit a website through a Tor browser, your computer will first connect to a node. That node will then attempt to connect to the website that you requested. Once that node has connected to the website, it will send the website’s data back through a separate node. The final node will then send the data back to you with the IP address of the original node. This makes it extremely difficult to trace your computer’s IP address and discover your real identity.

How Does the Dark Web Work?

While Surface Web is more easily accessible and hosts many online activities, the Dark Web has a different purpose. Most of the content on the Dark Web is either both illegal or unethical in nature, such as drug trafficking, weapons trading, and child pornography. Because of the illicit activities found on the dark web, numerous cyber security experts have attempted to shut down and control the usage. However, it is tough to regulate the dark web due to its decentralized nature.

The dark web has become a global hub for users who want to remain anonymous. It was first utilized by the US Department of Defense to interact anonymously. Overtime, however, the usage of this dark-side of the web has employed a technique known as “onion routing,” which shields all users from monitoring and tracking by taking them along a random route of encrypted servers. Users who access Tor websites have their information routed through thousands of relay points, hiding their browsing activity and making it nearly impossible to monitor them.

 

Dark Web Uses

The majority of the content on the dark web is used for illegal purposes. However, there have been a few legitimate uses for the dark web.

Let’s compare the two:

Legal Uses: Although utilizing the Dark Web may initially seem or feel illegal, there are many legitimate reasons to use Tor and anonymous browsing. The dark web, for instance, is usually a site for communication that escapes official control and inspection in nations where government surveillance may be used to spy on and oppress political dissidents. Users should exercise caution when visiting the dark web and take appropriate security precautions, such as regularly updating their security software, utilizing a solid VPN, and avoiding the usage of a conventional email address.

Illegal Uses: Due to its anonymity, the dark web is utilized for dubious and even illegal reasons. These include dealing in illegally obtained drugs, firearms, identities, and passwords, as well as illiciting pornography and other potentially hazardous goods. Government authorities have recently shut down several websites that hosted illegal content, such as Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Hansa. Over the past two decades, the anonymity of the dark web has also added to a rise in cybersecurity risks and several data breaches.

 

Dark Net: Address Today’s Biggest Cybersecurity Challenges

Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their attack vectors to find new ways in accessing your data to steal from you. The rise of malicious ransomware attacks in recent years, has been on the rise, with one group earning $50 million in one year alone! Fortunately, the government, law enforcement, and hundreds of information technology specialists are constantly thwarting the cybersecurity and global risks posed by the anonymity of the Dark Web.

Consider working with a knowledgeable cybersecurity partner like Protected Harbor if you’re serious about being at the forefront of defense against cyberattacks and internet threats to national security. We specialize in information technology, cyber protection, and cybersecurity management, plus, we can educate your staff on online safety.

Contact us now to learn more about our cybersecurity strategy and receive a free Cyber IT Audit!

Hidden Costs of the Cloud

Hidden Costs of the Cloud

What You Need to Know‍

The cloud has undoubtedly transformed the way organizations operate.

The cloud tends to offer many benefits, such as on-demand resources, scalability, and cost-efficiency. Most businesses nowadays have shifted to either a hybrid or a hybrid private cloud architecture. However, the adoption of the cloud hasn’t been exactly smooth for everyone. There are several hidden costs of the cloud that may catch you off guard if you’re not fully aware of them. Understanding these costs is essential to budget accurately for your IT services in the long run.

Welcome to another video in our series Uptime with Richard Luna, where Richard Luna, CEO of Protected Harbor, will discuss the cloud’s actual costs. Below, we will touch on some of the hidden costs of the cloud, how they can impact your business and what you can do about it.

 

What Are the Hidden Costs of the Cloud?

As we’ve already established, the cloud has some hidden costs that many companies are unaware of. This can affect their budgeting, decision-making, and long-term strategy. Business leaders may alter their entire IT strategy based on these hidden costs. From a financial standpoint, hidden fees can include data transfer, cloud utilization, migration, and business process reengineering costs.

Data Transfer Costs – These are costs associated with transferring data between on-premise resources and cloud-based resources. Depending on where your data is stored, you may have to incur the data transfer costs.

Cloud Utilization Costs– Public cloud service providers demand a fee each time a business tries to access its data. Cloud companies are betting on huge demand despite the low fees—which can occasionally amount to cents per hour.

Migration Costs – Organizations migrating their applications to the cloud may incur costs for retooling legacy applications for the cloud.

Business Process Reengineering Costs– Organizations occasionally anticipate that a move to the cloud will boost overall functionality and efficiency. However, the reality is any problems that may have existed before a cloud move will persist there. The initial transformation might be finished, but continuous business modifications will still be required, resulting in increased spending.

 

Whats the real cost of the cloudPrivate Cloud: A Better Alternative

Richard recommends, “To overcome some of the hidden costs of the cloud, organizations can opt for the private cloud.” A private cloud is an on-premises version of the public cloud where IT organizations control access, security, and the level of scalability. A private cloud is an isolated environment within your organization’s data center. It has its dedicated hardware, software, networking resources, and other utilities. A private cloud may incur some hidden costs. But these hidden costs are typically less than those associated with public cloud services. You can also use a public-private hybrid cloud. This combines a public cloud platform and a private cloud environment. A hybrid cloud is often used to host sensitive information because it’s more secure than a public cloud. You can also host non-sensitive information on a public cloud platform while keeping your critical data on a private cloud.

 

Conclusion

Many cloud providers are offering their services, but not all of them are the same. If you want to avoid hidden costs and stay on the safe side, you need to move to a private cloud. This way, you will have complete control over your data and won’t have to worry about any unexpected charges. With a private cloud from Protected Harbor, you can optimize your IT investments, avoid data breaches, and save money.

At Protected Harbor, we keep up with the latest technology, continuously invest in our people and infrastructure, and always look for ways to improve. We are experts in cloud implementation, partner with the biggest names in the software industry, and are dedicated to delivering a superior experience for every customer. If you’re looking to opt or migrate to a private or hybrid cloud or even other managed IT services, our experts are there to help you.

Contact us today for a free IT audit and cloud consulting!

Major Security Flaw Exposes Twitter Accounts        

Major Security Flaw Exposes Twitter Accounts

 

Twitter has acknowledged that a bug in its code allowed for malicious actors to link accounts with email addresses registered to them, possibly disclosing the identity of their users.

The company late last week revealed the flaw and apologized for the inconvenience stating the issue was remedied immediately.

The vulnerability in Twitter’s handling of unsuccessful log-in attempts was exploited. When a user entered the incorrect password, Twitter used to do one of two things when they attempted to log in using an email address or phone number:

  • Inform the user that they entered the wrong password
  • Display the Twitter account linked to the specified email or phone number (if any exist)

This implied that users of fictitious accounts might have had their identities revealed.

In this post, we will be discussing what exactly happened with Twitter and how you can protect yourself from cyber-criminal.

Also, check out our blog from last week where we talk about Malware hitting millions of android users and the Top 5 Apps You Need to Uninstall Right Now.

 

What Happened?

Countless apps are exposing Twitter’s API keys, giving hackers access to fully take control of those accounts and use them for identity theft or other forms of online fraud.

The information was discovered by cybersecurity experts CloudSEK, who found 3,207 mobile apps leaking both legitimate Consumer Keys and Consumer Secrets for the Twitter API.

Numerous mobile applications have interacted with Twitter, which enables those applications to carry out specific tasks on behalf of users. Consumer Keys and Secrets are combined with the Twitter API to complete the integration. The apps may enable threat actors to tweet things, write and read direct conversations, or do something similar by leaking this kind of data.

A threat actor could theoretically gather an “army” of Twitter endpoints and use them to tweet, retweet, direct message, as well as participate in other methods to spread a fraud or malware campaign.

 

Millions of Downloads

Twitter accounts exposedAccording to the researchers, the questioned apps include radio tuners, e-banking, city transportation, and similar sites, each receiving between fifty-thousand and five-million downloads.

In other words, there’s a good chance that millions of Twitter accounts are in danger as we speak.

All app owners/creators have been informed, but the majority have done nothing to fix the problem—nor even admit to the public that they have been informed of the issue. According to reports, Ford Motors was one of the businesses that quickly addressed the error with its Ford Events app.

The list of suspected apps won’t be made public until other apps address their problems.

Researchers also noted that mistakes made during the development of apps frequently lead to API leaks. Developers occasionally forget to remove authentication keys after embedding them in the Twitter API.

Protected Harbor advises developers to employ API key rotation, which would eventually make exposed keys invalid, to stop these leaks.

 

Final Words

In today’s technological landscape, you must take the proper steps to protect yourself and your family. Keep track of the latest scams and what you can do to keep yourself safe from cyber-criminals. If you feel you have been the victim of a scam, report it immediately.

Experts from Protected Harbor recommend that you:

  • Stay informed about the latest threats and vulnerabilities and keep your software up to date.
  • Don’t click on links from suspicious emails,
  • Don’t download apps from untrusted websites.
  • Change your passwords regularly.
  • Use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi.
  • Uninstall any and all harmful apps immediately.
  • Think before you allow any app permission or access to your files.
  • Enable 2FA (2-Factor Authentication).
  • Use trusted anti-virus software.

Stay vigilant, keep your privacy settings high, and you can keep your accounts secure.

We are giving away a free IT Audit for a limited time, contact us today for one. Stay updated with the latest news with our blogs and other resources, and keep a keen eye on your social media accounts. Stay Safe!

Cyberattacks Against Law Firms:

Cyberattacks Against Law Firms:

What You Need to Know and How to Prevent Them

As the intensity of cyberattacks against businesses continues to rise, law firms have become one of cyber criminals prime targets. Since law firms manage some of the most confidential data for their clients and have access to an extensive network of potential new clients, they have become far more vulnerable than other businesses.

In response to the increasing frequency and scope of cyberattacks against law firms, cybersecurity and managed services provider Protected Harbor has launched a new security awareness program titled, “Cyberattacks Against Law Firms and How to Prevent Them.

The program consists of two resources: an e-book featuring the top law firm hacks throughout history as well as a whitepaper detailing the cyberattacks against law firms’ and what their trends and threats are. Both versions are free to download!

Now, we will discuss a little bit of background on cyberattacks against law firms and a few quick, various ways you can reduce your organization’s risk to getting attacked.

 

Background on Law Firms and Why They Are Such a Target

Poor cybersecurity is now one of the most significant hazards a legal business can encounter and is no longer only a concern for technology. Major law companies in the US have recently suffered catastrophic cybersecurity breaches that has cost them millions of dollars. Cybersecurity is not just the responsibility of the IT department, it’s instead something that must be covered within the company’s overall policies for utilizing technology within the business or in its services.

A lot goes into cybersecurity, and some businesses are too small to get the complete expertise of IT professionals. Due to the expenditures, medium and big businesses may put off planning for cyber-attacks or assume they won’t be affected which in turn is a huge mistake.

Until recently, law companies were seen as primarily analog in nature. The risk of a cyber breach was typically minimized by attorneys and staff manually tracking client and firm information. But, as businesses embrace innovation and clients want more technologically sophisticated communications and strategies, law firms have made the switch to a more technologically advanced environment and are now more vulnerable to cyberattacks than they were previously.

Law firms, in particular, are viewed as attractive targets for hackers, with numerous high-profile attacks being covered in the media. According to a recent study by the American Bar Association, more than 20% of law businesses reported being the target of a cyber-attack. This percentage was 35% among legal companies with roughly 10 to 49 attorneys. This means that more than a third of small law firms had experienced hacking in some shape or form.

These data breaches are concerning for reasons other than the victims’ embarrassment or the possibility of identity theft. A 2017 study found that the average cost of a data breach outside the US is around $3.6 million, or $141 per record. The amount is considerably larger in the United States at $7.3 million, not to be surpassed.

The consequences of a data breach go beyond the loss of individual details. Trust in the compromised institution can be destroyed by a single breach, a fate which many practices cannot recover. In reality, “almost 60% of [small businesses] forced to cease operations after a cyber assault never reopen for business,” according to a Forbes article.

 

Cyberattacks Against Law Firms small6 Tips to Protect Your Law Firm Against Cyberattacks

  1. Improve Your Security Culture
  2. Implement Basic Cybersecurity Measures
  3. Encrypting Sensitive Data
  4. Proactive Security
  5. Securing Network with Firewalls
  6. Keeping Antivirus Updated is a Must

Download our e-book for free to read in detail the tips on how to protect your law firm and best practices.

 

Conclusion

You must have a plan before cyber criminals attack your law firm. After dealing with a data breach at your legal company, you want to be sure to take immediate action. Consider communications in particular when creating your plan. The best way to prevent your law firm from becoming the next cyberattack victim is to implement a cybersecurity program that includes preventative measures, detection, and response strategies. Instead of having a client accidentally learn the terrible news, the law firm must be the one to deliver it.

Download our e-book Cyberattacks Against Law Firms and How to Prevent Them, which we have created specifically for legal companies. Within this e-book, you will learn about the most common cyberattacks against law firms and how you can prevent them from happening to your company. We also give you access to our e-book library with our most requested titles.

Get started and download today!