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Finding and Keeping Good Employees‍

Finding and Keeping Good Employees‍

Keeping your employees happy, engaged, and productive is challenging for every business. After all, happy employees are more productive and have higher retention rates. But it’s not easy to keep them that way. Without the proper management strategies, employee dissatisfaction can quickly become unbearable in working conditions. Working effectively with limited resources is a struggle for most businesses. That being said, there are plenty of ways to optimize your team’s performance while remaining fiscally responsible — and it all starts with your hiring strategy.

Welcome to another video in the series Uptime with Richard Luna. Every business has come across this question of how to find and retain the best talent. According to Richard Luna, here are some ways to find and keep good employees.

 

Hiring Strategies: Finding Good Employees

The first step to finding good employees is to define what makes for a good employee. Start by looking at the jobs you need to fill. What are the most important qualifications for those positions? Does your company culture prioritize certain traits over others? Once you’ve identified your company’s core values and hiring needs, you can create a job description. A job description can help you streamline your hiring process by making it easier to evaluate candidates who respond to your job listings. How? Job descriptions allow you to pinpoint each position’s essential duties, making sure each applicant is qualified for the job. This will save you a lot of time and energy down the line when reviewing resumes or conducting interviews and will help you avoid making a bad hire.

 

Their Work Matters

To keep your team members happy and engaged, you must ensure they feel their work matters. What does this mean? It means you have to give them work that feels significant and that they believe is valuable to the company. You must show them that their work is a core part of the business’s mission. This doesn’t mean that you have to change your business model or core objectives. It simply means that you have to make sure your team members see their work as something significant and that you take the time to explain why their work is so crucial.FINDING-Keeping-Good-Employees middle

 

Company-Wide Communication

Communication is crucial in any business relationship, but it’s essential between managers and employees. Managers must communicate expectations clearly and effectively, and employees must feel comfortable sharing their concerns and suggestions. If you want to keep your employees happy and engaged, you have to open lines of communication both within and outside each department. You must ensure your team members feel comfortable raising issues and speaking up when they need assistance.

 

Culture Instilling Practices

To keep your employees happy, you must ensure that your company’s culture is positive. This means you must be intentional about creating a positive company culture. To do this, you have to ask yourself a few questions: What are the core values of my company? What are the main traits that each of my employees possesses? What are our main goals as a company? It would help if you kept these things in mind as you make hiring decisions, promote employees, and make everyday decisions as a manager. You also have to take the time to celebrate your wins and show gratitude to your team members. You have to make sure that your team members feel like they have a voice and are appreciated as individuals and part of a team.

 

Conclusion

Finding and keeping good employees isn’t easy, but it’s crucial for any business. Luckily, you can do many things to make hiring easier. Start by creating a job description that identifies each essential duty, and use it when reviewing resumes. Communicate company expectations clearly, and make sure your team members feel comfortable speaking up when they have questions or concerns. And finally, make sure your company’s culture is a positive one.

At Protected Harbor, we help you drive performance and culture with awareness-based training. From diversity and inclusion to collaboration, we have the training for you.

Contact us today to explore workforce and collaboration solutions and several awareness training programs.

Cloud Application Migration Fear

How to Reduce Cloud Migration Security Risks main

Cloud Application Migration Fear

Many organizations fear migrating their applications to the cloud because it can be an extremely challenging and complex task. This process will require proper planning, effort, and time in order for it to be successful.

The security measures, as well as practices that organizations have built for their on-premise infrastructure, do not coincide with what they require in the cloud, where everything is deeply integrated.

Before streamlining your workflow with cloud computing, you must be aware of the most challenging security risks and how to avoid them. Let’s explore how organizations should approach the security aspects of cloud migration, from API integration to access control and continuous monitoring.

This article will highlight some of the most common fears organizations have while moving from on-premise infrastructure to a cloud environment.

 

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving data, programs, and other business components into a cloud computing environment.

A business can carry out a variety of cloud migrations.

One typical model for cloud migration involves moving data and applications from an on-premises data center to the cloud, but it is also possible to move data and applications across different cloud platforms or providers. Cloud-to-cloud migration is the term for this second situation.

Another kind of migration is reverse cloud migration, commonly referred to as cloud repatriation. From one cloud platform to another, data or applications are transferred in this case.

Cloud migration, however, might not be suitable for everyone.

Scalable, reliable, and highly available cloud environments are feasible. These, however, are not the only considerations that will influence your choice.

 

Why is Security in the Cloud the Biggest Fear for Organizations?

The reason why security is the biggest challenge organizations face is that public clouds offer shared resources among different users and use virtualization. The ease of data sharing in the cloud creates serious security concerns regarding data leakage and loss.

The major risk in any infrastructure is neglecting security vulnerabilities due to a lack of expertise, resources, and visibility. Most

providers contain various processing and cloud storage services. Therefore, it’s easy for hackers to expose data via poorly configured access controls, data protection measures, and encryption.

 

How to Reduce Cloud Migration Security Risks middleMost Common Exposure Points for Cloud-based Applications

Overcoming cloud migration challenges before they arise can help any organization to migrate smoothly and save them from potential cyber threats. But first, we need to understand the weak links and exposure points that can put security at risk.

Let’s discuss the weakest links that cause cloud application migration fears:

1. Data Theft Causes Unauthorized Access

Providing administrative access to cloud vendors poses serious threats to the organization. Criminals are gaining access to programs like Office 365 through installations that give them administrative rights. In fact, very recently a phishing campaign leveraging a legitimate organization’s Office 365 infrastructure for email management has surfaced on the cyber scam scene.

Hackers are always evolving their phishing tactics, and everything they do is seen as being smarter and more sophisticated.

If criminals get access to users’ cloud credentials, they can access the CSP’s (Cloud Solution Provider’s) services for gaining additional resources. They could even leverage those cloud resources to target the company’s administrative users and other organizations using the same service provider.

Basically, an intruder who obtains CSP admin cloud credentials can use them to access the organization’s systems and data.

2. Third-party Products Comes With Security Risks

Organizations outsource information security management to third-party vendors. It reduces the internal cybersecurity burden but generates its own set of security risks. In other words, the cybersecurity burden shifts from an organization’s internal operations onto its third-party vendors. However, leveraging third-party services or products may come with compliance risks, business continuity risks, mobile devices risks, and so on.

Last year, SolarWinds, a famous monitoring tool based on an open-source software had been compromise by the Russian Intelligence Service. They had created a backdoor within the coding and submitted it into the base product. Hackers used a regular software update in order to inject malicious coding into Orion’s own software to use for cyberattacks.

Vulnerable applications are entry points for cybercriminals. They are always in search of weak spots to infiltrate the system. Applications are used in every industry for better workflow and management. However, there is a need to protect these applications by limiting their access and implementing available patches for better security. Frequent updating of applications and systems helps to protect your IT infrastructure from potential attacks.

3. Hackers Can Compromise Vulnerable VPN Devices

VPNs (Virtual Private Network’s) provide an encrypted connection that hides your online data from attackers and allows businesses to protect their private cloud resources. Many cloud applications need a VPN to transfer data from on-premises infrastructures to the cloud. VPNs are configured to operate one way, but they are often bidirectional. This often opens your organization up to an attack occurring in the cloud service provider.

One such attack has been observed where cybercriminals exploit VPN servers’ vulnerabilities to encrypt the network with a new ransomware variant. By exploiting unpatched VPN applications, hackers can remotely access critical information, such as usernames or passwords, and allows them to log in to the network manually.

Reconfiguring a VPN to access a newly relocated app in the cloud can be disruptive and complicated for its users. Most people don’t use VPNs for cloud application migration because they don’t trust them.

It’s better to install on-site hardware, build VPNs’ deployment on that hardware, migrate them into the on-site deployment, and then move the VMs (Virtual Machines) into a data center. This can be achieved by enabling transparent, unfiltered connectivity between environments. Enterprise cloud VPN can achieve this configuration between a cloud network and an on-premises network.

4. Accidental Exposure of User Credentials

Cybercriminals generally leverage cloud applications as a pretext in their phishing attacks. With the rapid use of cloud-based emails and document sharing services, employees have become habitual of receiving emails with links asking them to confirm their credentials before accessing a particular site or document.

This type of confirmation in particular makes it easy for intruders to get employees’ credentials for their company’s cloud services. Therefore, accidental exposure of credentials in the cloud is a major concern for organizations because it can potentially compromise the security and privacy of cloud-based data and resources.

5. Lack of Secure API

Using API (Application User Interface) in the cloud allows organizations to implement better controls for their applications and systems. However, using insecure APIs can come with grave security risks. The vulnerabilities that exist within these APIs can provide an entry point for intruders to steal critical data, manipulate services, and do reputational harm.

Insecure APIs can cause security misconfigurations, broken authentications, exposed data, broken function-level authorization, and asset mismanagement. The most common example of an insecure API is the Facebook-Cambridge Analytical Scandal which allowed for Cambridge Analytica to access Facebook user data.

 

How to Reduce Cloud Migration Security Risks?

Organizations can take various steps when it comes to mitigating cloud migration security risks. Here are some recommendations on how to migrate your applications to the cloud.

1. Develop a Plan

Outline the expertise, resources, and tooling you need to get started. Use automated tools supporting optimization and data discovery analysis to define the right migration method for your company.

2. Start Small

To reduce the fear and accelerate cloud adoption, start with an automatic workload lift and shift over in small portions. It helps to introduce cloud benefits and security risks. Moreover, this approach reduces uncertainty and lets organizations benefit from infrastructure savings.

3. Leverage Business Units to Drive Cloud Adoption

Utilize your business units to promote cloud adoption by investing in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This does not require any rewriting of your applications. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) already exists and is running in the cloud which lets you decommission on-premises CRM and is easier than full on-board migration.

4. Make a Set of Security Standards

Develop baseline security standards by collaborating with your governance team. The list must include cloud workload vulnerability posture, control plane configuration, and cloud infrastructure privilege assignment.

5. Invest in Cloud Security Management

Organizations should monitor their cloud security posture from the control plane to asset configuration. When your cloud deployments increase in complexity and numbers, a service tracking all configuration settings becomes valuable to detect any misconfigurations causing security vulnerabilities.

 

Ready to Migrate Your Applications to the Cloud?

Most organizations lack the experience and confidence to migrate to the cloud fearing the associated risks that come with it. The reason is that they don’t have the right time and resources in place to facilitate the move.

Leveraging partners and service providers can help to overcome those fears and make the cloud application migration smoother for your organization. With the support of Protected Harbor

Cloud Migration Services, our clients can transform their existing apps and achieve “future-ready” business outcomes. These services range from planning to execution. Our comprehensive strategy is supported by the understanding that successful modernization uptake requires a diverse blend of suitable solutions with a range of risk and reward profiles.

Our enterprise application migration services offer thorough, extensive, reliable procedures for transferring sizable application portfolios to cloud platforms, and they are easily scalable from one to many apps. We can assist you with application inventory, assessment, code analysis, migration planning, and execution using our tried-and-true tools.

We provide deep industry expertise and a robust set of advanced tools. Experts at Protected Harbor migrate your applications to the cloud and help you to increase and optimize the productivity as well as the flexibility of your workforce. Visit here to get more information about Protected Harbor’s cloud services.

Understanding the Risks of Cloud Migration and Security Measures to Mitigate Them

Understanding the Risks of Cloud Migration and Security Measures to Mitigate Them

Thanks to our experts at Protected Harbor, we’ve released a new infographic that can help your organization or business to reduce your cloud migration security risks. This infographic includes key security tips and advice to help you make the right cloud migration decisions. Download the infographic now to learn more! And don’t forget to visit our blog for more tips and advice.

As your organization evaluates cloud migration, it’s critical to understand the risks. Security is a top concern for many businesses, so before you move your company’s data and services to the cloud, you must understand how to mitigate any potential risk. Understanding cloud security risks are essential for an effective migration strategy. The first step in this process is understanding the potential risks of migrating your organization to the cloud. After all, not every business can trust third parties with their data. But with the proper security measures in place, moving to a cloud platform can benefit almost any business. Download our infographic to understand how to reduce cloud migration security risks in a quick overview, and continue reading the blog for more information.

What Is Cloud Migration?

Moving apps, data, and other digital assets from an on-premises data center to the cloud is known as cloud migration. These may be programs that have been specially created for the organizations or ones that they have licensed from a different vendor. There are various methods for moving to the cloud, including:

  • “Lift and shift” refer to moving apps as-is.
  • Modifying applications slightly to facilitate their cloud migration
  • Application rebuilding or remodeling to make them more suitable for a cloud environment
  • Changing from legacy applications that don’t support the cloud to new ones that cloud vendors offer.
  • “Cloud-native development” refers to the process of creating new cloud-based apps.

What are the Key Benefits of Cloud Migration?

The advantages of the cloud, which include hosting applications and data in a highly effective IT environment that can increase factors like cost, performance, and security, are the overarching goal of most cloud migrations.

Elastic scalability, a need to reduce costs or convert from a capital expenditure to an operating expenses model, and a requirement for new technologies, services, or features only available in a cloud environment are essential drivers for cloud migration.

The flexibility of corporate IT teams to deliver new services and expand the company to meet changing business requirements is enhanced by cloud computing, which is maybe even more significant.

Security Risks of Cloud Migration

cloud migration infographicBecause cloud migration is susceptible to several attacks, careful planning is required. Sensitive data is exchanged during migration, leaving it open to attack. Additionally, attackers may obtain access to unsecured development, test, or production environments at different points in a migration project.

Plan your cloud migration efforts in advance of the following dangers:

Application Programming Interface (API) vulnerabilities: APIs serve as communication routes between environments. At every step of the cloud migration process, APIs must be protected.

Blind spots: Using the cloud requires giving up some operational control. Before migrating, check the security your cloud provider offers and how to enhance it with supplemental third-party security solutions.

Compliance requirements: Verify that your intended cloud environment complies with the necessary standards. This comprises the organization’s protocols for ensuring the security of cloud workloads, data, and access, as well as compliance certifications issued by the cloud provider. As part of the standards for compliance, all of these may be audited and will be.

Unchecked Growth: Moving to the cloud is a continuous process. The company will probably add more resources, use new cloud services, and add more apps after moving applications to the cloud. Once SaaS apps are up and operating in the cloud, it is normal to begin employing more SaaS applications. There is a significant operational problem in securing these new services and applications effectively.

Data loss: Moving to the cloud requires the transfer of data. If there are issues with the migration process, it is crucial to ensure that data is backed up. With rigorous key management, all data is transferred across encrypted channels.

5 Ways to Mitigate Cloud Migration Security Risks

Here are a few best practices that can help improve security during and after cloud migrations:

  1. Develop a Plan– Planning before migration and executing successfully is essential. Use automated tools and optimization, and outline the expertise, resources, and tooling you need to get started.
  2. Start Small- To reduce the fear and accelerate cloud adoption, start with an automatic workload lift and shift over in small portions.
  3. Leverage SaaS Adoption– Utilize your business units to promote cloud adoption by investing in Software-as-a-Service.
  4. Set Security Standards– Develop baseline security standards by collaborating with your governance team.
  5. Use Managed Services- Organizations should monitor their cloud security posture from the control plan to asset configuration. They can partner with a Managed Services Provider for efficient migration.

Conclusion

Migrating to the cloud can be a great way to boost your company’s productivity and scalability. But it’s essential to understand the security risks first. The best way to mitigate these risks is to work with a reputable cloud provider committed to data security. Having the right security practices in place for your team is also important. With the proper security measures, you can enjoy all the benefits of migrating to the cloud. That’s why we have created an infographic to help you out. Download today and get started with your cloud migration.

10 File Sharing Tips from The Professionals

10 File Sharing Tips

 

10 File Sharing Tips from The Professionals

When the topic of file sharing is mentioned, some people revert to the days of when programs like Napster were widely used to share music files illegally across the internet in the 90s. However, file sharing is now a crucial component for many companies and other use cases.

Key Takeaways

  • 39% of company data stored within the cloud are used for file sharing.
  • Over 800 web domains, including partners and vendors, share files with the average company.
  • A file sharing service receives about 60% of files used as backup copies that are never shared with anybody else.
  • Only internal users in a business receive about 70% of shared files.

Types of File Sharing

You must choose the method and protocol you want to employ before you can begin sharing files. Your choice should depend on the types of data you are moving and the recipients of those files.

Let’s examine the types of file-sharing options and which one may be better suited for you.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

FTP was among the earliest techniques for transferring data over networks to be developed, and because of its dependability and effectiveness, it is still widely used today. A tool with a user interface or a command prompt window can be used to execute FTP operations. Simply specifying the source file you wish to relocate and the destination for where it should be stored is all you need.

Peer to Peer (P2P)

A P2P file transmission does away with the requirement for a central server to hold your data. Clients, instead, link up with a distributed network of peers and carry out the file transfers across their network connections. P2P could one day be utilized to build an impregnable TOR (The Onion Router. TOR is widely used to provide more secure online connections.

Cloud Sharing Services

One user uploads their data to a central base using a cloud file sharing service, and others can then download those contents to their own devices. Although users can choose the types of permission levels to apply to the files, all data is hosted by a third-party source.

10 File Sharing Tips smallEmail Providers

Some people are unaware that email can be a system for transferring files. You start a data transmission over the public internet every time you attach a document to an outgoing message.

Removable Storage

If there isn’t a network-based solution that will work for you, you may always use a hard disk to handle file transfers. This implies that you copy data to either an external hard drive or a USB flash drive that you then insert into the target computer.

10 File Sharing Tips For Businesses

You may either already be utilizing cloud-based file sharing or you may have been thinking about doing so. Here are a few tips to help you maximize your cloud storage file-sharing capabilities.

1. Set File Permissions:

You must ensure that only the right people can access your files on a file-sharing platform. You should restrict access to particular files or a whole folder.

2. Verify File Activity:

After sharing your files, you might want to view a summary of user activity, comments, and revisions for each file. When you right-click or hover over a file in your cloud storage root view, you can frequently get either a detailed pane or hovercard view of your file activity. With the help of this view, you can quickly find out who has viewed or possibly altered your file.

3. Use Sharing Links With Password Protection:

Virus screening upon download, ransomware protection, password-protected sharing links, at-rest, in-transit encryption, and two-factor authentication are some of the robust security features that the leading cloud storage providers offer. Use sharing URLs that are password and time protected.

4. Check the Shared Files Directory:

If you already use cloud storage, it most likely has a shared folder feature. In this single folder, you’ll find every file you’ve ever shared and every file that has ever been shared with you.

5. Maintain a Standard for File Naming:

Everyone you share files with will benefit from your use of uniform naming rules and short yet descriptive file names. When naming a file, please consider the search terms other people would probably use to find it.

6. Classify the Security Level of Your Files:

You must be aware of the dangers that can arise upon handling important files poorly and especially those with whom you share these files with. It is worthwhile to categorize your sensitive data and provide each of those files or folders with the proper level of security. When required, strictly regulate who has access to certain files.

7. Download the App:

Install the cloud drive app on your phone. There, you will be able to access, share, and modify all of your files when you’re on the move.

8. Create Offline Access for Important Folders and Files:

Usually, you can just right-click on a file or folder and choose “offline access,” which in turn means your device will keep a local copy of it. You can access and work on your files even if there is no Wi-Fi around you.

9. Designate Folders for Routine Backups

For your most crucial folders, including you Desktop, Documents, and Pictures, enable automatic synchronization. You won’t ever lose your work if you keep all of your files within these folders, even if you misplace your device. All of your work will be stored in the cloud and readily available to you via the web or an app.

Final Words

Nowadays, collaboration is the name of the game. People must collaborate in order to drive revenue generation and because of this, decision-makers must have an access control strategy in place. Not all members of your workforce require access to every piece of information. If you give employees full authority over your file systems, things could go wrong, and data might end up in the wrong places.

For everyone to operate effectively and securely, make sure you specify permissions on your file-sharing system.

Although simplicity and access control will go a long way toward securing your file-sharing platform, you might require other solutions for it to be completely safe. Your disks will be far more secure if you encrypt them. Using a virtual private network to send and receive files will prevent them from being intercepted by businesses that use remote workers.

Protected Harbor’s file-sharing solution allows employees to share and collaborate on documents and files from any location. It will enable secure file sharing across your organization, keeping your data private and safe while reducing the risk of information leaks. Features like MFA, Encryption, and Identity & Access Management allow you to set up secure and granular file sharing permissions for each file.

Contact Protected Harbor’s IT professionals right away if you’re seeking for strategies to enhance your organizational file sharing.

AWS VS Azure Serverless CRS/ Event Sourcing Architecture

AWS VS Azure Serverless CRS/ Event Sourcing Architecture

 

AWS vs Azure

For the past few years, serverless cloud computing has been the talk of the town, especially when it comes to resource efficiency and cost reduction. However, only cloud-optimized design patterns and architectures can make this achievable. The cloud is transforming how software is planned, produced, delivered, and used. It works by focusing on the development of small and independent businesses.
This article will examine the serverless CQRS and event sourcing architectures of Azure and AWS. Let’s get this party started.

 

CQRS and Event Sourcing Pattern

Command and Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS) is a pattern that can be leveraged where high throughput is required. It provides different interfaces for reading data and operations that alter the data. CQRS addresses various problems. In conventional CRUD-based systems, conflicts can arise from a high volume of reading and writing to the same data store.

The event sourcing patterns are used with the CQRS to decouple read from write workloads and enhance scalability, performance, and security. Microservices replay events via the event store to compute the appropriate state. The event sourcing patterns work efficiently with the CQRS because data can be reproduced for a particular event, even if the query and command data stored have different schemas.

 

AWS Lambda VS Azure Functions

AWS Lambda is a serverless computing service software executing code in response to a triggered event. It automatically manages all the computing resources for streaming regular operations without provisioning or managing servers. AWS lets you trigger Lambda for over 200 services and SaaS applications on a pay-as-you-go basis. It performs resource management, such as server and operating system maintenance, code and security patch deployment, automated scaling and power provisioning, code monitoring, and logging.

Key Functionalities

  • Develop custom back-end services
  • Automatically respond to code execution requests
  • Run code without provisioning or managing infrastructure

Azure Function helps you accelerate and simplify serverless application development. You can develop applications more efficiently with a serverless compute, event-driven platform that helps resolve complex orchestration issues. Unlike AWS Lambda, Azure Functions provide multiple feature deployment options, including One Drive, KUdu Console, GitHub, Visual Studio, DropBox, and Zip,

Key functionalities

  • Schedule event-driven tasks across services
  • Scale operations based on customer demand
  • Expose functions as HTTP API endpoints

 

AWS Dynamo DB VS Azure COSMO DB

Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed NoSQL database that provides predictable and fast performance with seamless scalability. It lets you offload the administrative burden of scaling and operating a distributed database without hardware provisioning, replication, setup and configuration, cluster scaling, or software patching. Moreover, it provides encryption at rest, eliminating the complexity and operational burden involved in protecting sensitive data.

Critical features of AWS DynamoDB include

  • Automated Storage scaling
  • Fully distributed architecture
  • Provisioned throughput

Azure COSMO DB is a fully managed NoSQL database service for advanced application development. With CosmoDB, you can get guaranteed single-digit millisecond response times and availability, instant and automatic scalability, backend by SLAs, and open-source APIs for Cassandra and MongoDB. You can enjoy fast reads and writes with multi-region and turnkey data replication. Moreover, it provides real-time data insights with no-ETL analytics.

Key features include

  • Fast, flexible application development
  • The guaranteed speed at any scale
  • Fully managed and cost-effective serverless database

 

AWS Cognito VS Azure B2C

Amazon Cognito gives authorization, authentication, and user management for your mobile and web applications. Users can directly sign in with a username and password or use a third party, such as Amazon, Facebook, Apple, or Google accounts. The two main components of AWS Cognito are identity pools and user pools. Identity pools let you grant users access to other AWS services, and user pools are user directories providing sign-up and sign-in options for application users.

Features of Amazon Cognito include

  • Built-in, customizable web UI
  • User profiles and directory management
  • OpenID Connect providers

Azure Active Directory B2C is an identity management service enabling custom control of how users can sign up, sign in, and manage profiles using Android, iOS, .Net, and single-page (SPA). You can provide your customers with the flexibility to use their preferred enterprise, social, or local account identities to access applications. Azure B2C is a customer identity access management (CIAM) service capable of supporting millions of users and authentications per day.

Features of Azure B2C include

  • Strong authentication for customers leveraging their preferred identity providers
  • Integration with databases and applications to capture sign-in
  • Customization for each registration and sign-in experience.

 

AWS API Gateway VS Azure API Management

AWS API Gateway is a fully managed service making it easy for developers to create, deploy, monitor, maintain, and secure APIs at any scale. These APIs are the “front door” for applications to access business logic, functionality, or data from backend servers. Through API Gateway, users can create WebSocket and RESTful APIs enabling real-time two-way communication applications. Moreover, it supports serverless and containerized workloads and web applications.

Azure API Management is a way to create modern and consistent API gateways for back-end services. It helps organizations publish APIs to external and internal developers to unlock the potential of their benefits and data potential. Each API consists of one or more operations, and it can be added to products. Today’s innovative organizations are adopting API architectures to accelerate growth. Moreover, it lets organizations build applications faster and deliver prompt value to customers using the API-first approach.

 

Conclusion

If you want to exploit the full potential of serverless cloud computing, all non-functional requirements should be known before developing an application. Know your business requirements and choose the right cloud service provider with the correct services and features. This prior knowledge will help you find exemplary architecture and design patterns and combine them. Software developers and software architects should give more thought to the event sourcing architecture in the case of distributed systems.

Protected Harbor is the market’s underdog player that consistently exceeds consumer expectations. It has endured the test of time with its Datacenter and Managed IT services, and all clients have said: “beyond expectations.” It’s no surprise that businesses prefer to stay with us because we offer the best cloud services in the industry and the best IT support, safety, and security. This is the road to the top of the heap.

The Top Books Every CIO Needs On Their Desk

world book day

World Book Day

World Book Day is a celebration of reading held every year on April 23. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organizes World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day or International Day of the Book, every year to encourage reading, publishing, and copyright.

In honor of World Book Day, Protected Harbor is celebrating by highlighting some of the top books every CIO and business owner needs on their desk. These books will help you stay ahead of the curve with their invaluable insights and advice on entrepreneurship to innovation. These are the books we trust. Curated by the system engineers and data infrastructure staff here at Protected Harbor, these books will help your leadership build a culture of excellence and empower employees to deliver extraordinary customer experiences.

C Programming Language By B. Kernighan & D. Ritchie

Commonly known as K&R (after the author’s Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie)- Richard describes this book as his first “professional” programming book – it made a complex programming language easy to understand, and that approach of communicating he still uses today.

World War 3.0: Microsoft and its Enemies by Ken Auletta (2001)

Richard says it was the first major battle with “big tech” before such a term existed. That book taught him the power of data and the internet revolution.

– Richard Luna, Protected Harbor Founder & CEO

In Search of Excellence by Thomas J. Peters

Jeff says this is an engaging assessment of the business situation in the United States in the early 1980s. Overall, he is struck by anti-merger theories that promote simplicity, smallness, and simple shape. This is a classic business book.

– Jeff Futterman, Chief Operating Officer

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

This book shows the importance of market disruption, and Nick was stunned. It explains how large, successful companies can collapse “by doing everything properly.”

– Nick Solimando, Director of Technology

Windows Server 2019 Automation with Powershell Cookbook

It’s a must-read for beginners-intermediate experienced, according to Justin. Working with these cutting-edge technologies demands knowledge of PowerShell, making it an excellent resource for System Administrators.

– Justin Luna, Senior Systems Engineer

The Cybersecurity Playbook –  by Allison Cerra

The Cybersecurity Playbook: How Every Leader and Employee Can Contribute to a Culture of Security is a wonderful book, according to Fasif. It covers all of the cybersecurity threats the sector is experiencing today and how to prepare. It is easily one of the most outstanding books on practical cybersecurity issues with root cause analysis, and it discusses strategies for preparing. I recommend it from cover to cover.

– Fasif VP, Technical Lead

Hands-On Artificial Intelligence for Cybersecurity by Alessandro Parisi

This book is highly recommended by Akhilesh, who has a great interest in AI and cybersecurity. It presents and shows popular and successful AI methodologies and models. You’ll learn about the role of machine learning, neural networks, and deep learning in cybersecurity.

– Akhilesh Sharma, Manager

Steve Jobs – By Walter Isaacson

This book is one of the most selling and recommended by thousands, including Sajir, who is inspired by Steve Jobs’ life and suggests this book to anyone looking for motivation and advice to focus on their work and achieve success.

– Sajir Ashraf, Manager

The average CIO spends more than 40 hours a week managing their team, constantly working on different projects, and juggling various tasks. When you consider all of the other responsibilities they also have, it’s no wonder they need an excellent book to help them unwind.

Here we recommend the best books every CIO needs on their desk. Whether you’re looking for a new book to add to your reading list or want to try something new, you’ll find a book recommendation for every reader on this list. From new releases to old favorites, these are the best books to read on this #Worldbookday. Grab a book, Celebrate World Book Day 2022 with Protected Harbor.

What is Supply Chain Attack? How to Prevent Them?

What is Supply Chain Attack? How to Prevent Them?

supply chain attackIn this rapidly evolving threat landscape, cybersecurity has become essential. It has been described in the simple terms of trusts, do not hand over credentials to fraudulent websites, and beware of email attachments or links from unknown sources. But sophisticated hackers undermine this basic sense of trust and find more robust ways to attack. What if legitimate software or hardware making up your network has been compromised at the source?

This subtle and increasingly common form of hacking is called a supply chain attack. In recent years, most of the high-profile and damaging cybersecurity incidents have been supplying chain attacks. This article will dive deep into the supply chain attack, how it works, and what you can do to prevent it.

1. What is Supply Chain Attack?

A supply chain attack, commonly referred to as a value-chain of a third-party attack, occurs when an attacker accesses an organization’s networking by infiltrating a supplier or business partner that comes in contact with its data. Hackers generally tamper with the manufacturing process by installing hardware-based spying components or a rootkit. This attack aims to damage an organization’s reputation by targeting less secure elements in the supply chain network.

Supply chain attacks are designed to manipulate relationships between a company and external parties. These relationships may include vendor relationships, partnerships, or third-party software. Cybercriminals compromise an organization and then move up the supply chain to take advantage of trusted relationships and gain access to other organizations’ environments.

2. How does a supply chain attack work?

A Supply chain attack works by delivering malicious code or software through a supplier or vendor. These attacks use legitimate processes to get uninhibited access into an organization’s ecosystem. It starts with infiltrating a vendor’s security measures. This technique is much more straightforward than attacking a target directly due to many vendors’ unfortunate shortsighted security measures.

Penetration could occur through attack vectors. The malicious code requires embedding itself into a digitally signed process of its host once it is injected into a vendor’s ecosystem. A digital signature validates that a piece of software is authentic to the manufacturer permitting the transmission of software to all networked parties.

Compromised networks unknowingly distribute malicious code to the entire client network. The software patches facilitating the malicious payload contain a backdoor interacting with all third-party servers. It is the distribution point of the malicious software or code. A service provider could infect thousands of organizations with a single update that helps attackers achieve a higher magnitude of impact with less effort.

2.1. Example

Supply chain attacks allow attackers to infect multiple targets without deploying malicious code on each target’s machine. This increased efficiency boosts the prevalence of this attack technique. Here are some most common examples of supply chain attacks.

U.S government supply chain attack

This event is a pervasive example of supply chain attacks. In March 2020, nation-state criminals penetrated internal U.S government communication via a compromised update from a third-party vendor, SolarWinds. This attack infected up to 18,000 customers, including six U.S government departments.

Equifax supply chain attack

Equifax, one of the biggest credit card reporting agencies, faced a data breach through an application vulnerability on their website. This attack impacted over 147 million customers. The stolen data included driver’s license numbers, social security numbers, date of birth, and addresses of users.

Target supply chain attack

Target USA faced a significant data breach after hackers accessed the retailer’s critical data using a third-party HVAC vendor. Cybercriminals accessed financial information and Personal Identifiable Information (PII) that impacts 40 million debit and credit cards and 70 million customers. Hackers breached the HVAC third-party vendor using an email phishing attack.

Panama papers supply chain attack

Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca exposed over 2.6 terabytes of clients’ sensitive data in a breach. The attack leaked the devious tax evasion tactics of over 214,000 organizations and high-risk politicians. Law firms should be the most desirable target due to the treasure of sensitive and valuable customer data they store in their servers.

1. Impact of supply chain attacks

Any breach can be devastating, but a supply chain attack can be exponentially worse because the attacker usually has a high level of access to the network, which is hard to detect. This combination of factors highly increases the risk of a supply chain attack. The longer an attacker stays inside the target’s network, the more damage they can cause through ransomware, data theft, or other malware disruptions.

Supply chain attacks provide a criminal with another method of attacking an organization’s defenses. These attacks are commonly used to perform data breaches. Cybercriminals often manipulate supply chain vulnerabilities to deliver malicious code to a target organization.

2. How to Prevent Supply Chain Attacks?

Here are the tips to reduce the impact and risks of supply chain attacks.

  • Determine who has access to critical data_ To manage complex footprints, organizations should map their third parties to data they handle for prioritizing risk management activities.
  • Identify the assets at more significant risk_ Understanding assets more likely to be targeted, such as customers’ sensitive information or intellectual property, is crucial to preventing supply chain attacks. Security teams should monitor these assets using third-party risk management platforms, providing constant and fast visibility into threats within complex supply chains.
  • Apply vendor access controls_ Cybercriminals look to access data using a path of least resistance to infiltrate an organization’s network through one of its suppliers. Apart from understanding the rights to access digital assets, organizations need to apply string perimeter controls for vendor access, such as network segmentation and multi-factor authentication. Service providers should only have access to the necessary information they require to provide services.
  • Identify insider threats_ Whether due to lack of training, carelessness, or malicious intent, employees represent a considerable insider threat to information security. Targeting business partners or employees with phishing or social engineering campaigns is one of the standards and most accessible ways for cybercriminals to infiltrate a network. However, it is difficult to know when and how an attacker has compromised privileged access; a monitoring technology that can automatically alert security teams when a system gets compromised can help prevent supply chain attacks.

Conclusion

Protected Harbor enables businesses to take full control of their third-party security by constantly monitoring for vulnerabilities and data leakage that could be exported as part of a supply chain attack. Protected Harbor also helps organizations comply with a variety of security regulations, including the new supply chain criteria outlined in Vice President Biden’s Cybersecurity Executive Order.
Partner with Protected Harbor today to have access to more cutting-edge business and cyber security insights.

What are Cookies and Cache

What are Cookies and Cache?

Introduction

You probably already know what cookies and cache are, but do you know what they do? Both are small text files saved by websites on your computer and mobile devices. They store information about your browsing habits and are used by websites to personalize your experience.

The purpose of cookies and cache is to speed up your browsing by saving elements from a website. It’s essential to clear the cookies cache after each visit. Otherwise, your computer might use the information stored to track you. The cookie may contain malware that can harm your privacy. This article will provide some helpful information about them. Let’s get started.

What are cookies and cache?

What are cookies?

A cookie is a small data file that a website stores on your computer for a predetermined period. These files can contain login data, browsing ID, location, IP address, time spent on a site, and preferences. Cookies help websites remember you. This allows marketers to display relevant ads when they visit a particular website.

What is cache?

A cache is a small file that stores information on a website. This is used to speed up loading pages when users visit a website. It also stores elements of a website such as content, design, etc. The cache can be used to track user preferences. Once a user has made a purchase, the store will save this information. This can help you customize and improve your shopping experience.

What’s the difference between cookies and cache?

Cache and Cookies were created to improve a website’s performance and make it more accessible by saving data on the client-side machine.

The primary distinction between Cache and Cookie is that Cache is used to save web page resources in a browser for long-term storage or to reduce loading time. On the other hand, cookies keep user preferences such as browsing sessions and track user preferences.

Although cookies and cache are both methods for storing data on a client’s machine, the two are not interchangeable and have different purposes.

  • A cookie is used to save information to track various user characteristics, whereas a cache is used to speed up the loading of web pages.
  • Cookies save user preferences, whereas cache saves resource assets like audio, video, and flash.
  • Cookies usually expire after a certain amount of time, but the cache is stored on the client’s workstation until the user removes it explicitly.

Why are cookies and cache important to companies?

There’s a considerable probability that cookies and cache are already being used on your business website. Your website uses cookies if you use an automated ad platform like Google Ads, a content management system like WordPress, or any plugins or buttons that enable social media involvement.

  • A shopping cart, a comment area, a login page that remembers your user ID, and the option to save preferences are all elements we take for granted. But we’d miss them if they weren’t around, and cookies and cache are what allow us to do so.
  • Cookies are also commonly used to collect data for analytics. When website analytics applications, such as Google Analytics, compute relevant site performance statistics, they feed the process with raw data collected by cookies. It’s a way for site owners to learn how users found their site, how many times they’ve visited, how many and what pages they’ve viewed, and so on.
  • Are customers arriving via pay-per-click advertisements, backlinks, or search engine results? Do they devote all of their attention to one product page while disregarding the others? Having such information is critical because it allows site owners to concentrate their efforts on the most significant traffic sources and web pages and optimize their marketing strategy.
  • Cookies are also often used in automated ad targeting, showing users adverts based on their activity on your site or other sites. WordAds, for example, places adverts on each of your blog entries and tailors them to the user depending on information acquired through cookies.

How to Clear the Cache and Cookies in Your Web Browser?

One alternative is to delete all cookies that have already been set. Then you’ll be able to regain some control. It depends on whether you’re using a desktop or mobile browser. Users of Google Chrome and Firefox should consider installing clean cookies and cache extensions and using them to manage cookies, for example- cacheclean and clean all.

There are, however, manual methods.

To limit the number of cookies you receive, use the built-in options in each browser. Permanently block third-party/advertiser cookies, at the very least. Advertisers can discover methods around that easy option, so it’s not infallible, but it’s a start. On browsers like Firefox and Chrome, various plugins assist you in controlling cookies. For further information, see their web stores/repositories.

Conclusion

When you utilize cookies and cache on your website, you can give your visitors a more personalized and smoother experience.
They enable standard website functions like login and shopping carts. The user data they collect when tracking user behavior can be crucial for improving your marketing approach and engaging with clients more fully.

To ensure that customers’ cookie-collected personal information is not subject to unauthorized access, you’ll need to implement conventional security procedures.

How to ensure customer data safety?

Because hackers can try to enter into your site in various ways, it’s critical that a firewall protects it and that security monitoring is used to identify and remove malware and defend your site from all of the ways hackers try to break in.

Removing cookies and cache can help you mitigate your risks of privacy breaches. It can also reset your browser tracking and personalization. To help, Protected Harbor offers unmatched downtime, remote monitoring, protected desktop, and complete IT support.

Removing regular cookies could make certain websites harder to navigate and increase loading time. Without cookies and cache, internet users may have to re-enter their data for each visit. Different browsers store cookies in different places, so it is a hassle to remove cookies and cache and their usage permissions manually from time to time.

Protected Harbor ensures that your site doesn’t gather any data you won’t use, and you have a robust privacy and security plan without compromising the user experience. Partner with us and create a safety plan which works for you and your customers and always stay protected.

What is a Data Center Architecture and how to design one?

What is a Data Center Architecture and how to design one?

 

Traditional data centers consisted of multiple servers in racks and were difficult to manage. These centers required constant monitoring, patching, and updating, as well as a security verification. They also require heavy investments in power and cooling systems. To solve these issues, data center architects have turned to the cloud and virtualized environments. However, these cloud solutions are not without their own risks. These challenges have led to a new approach to data center architecture. This article describes the benefits of a virtualized data center and how it differs from its traditional counterpart.

 

What is a data center architecture?

A data center architecture is a description of how computer resources (CPUs, storage, networking, and software) are organized or arranged in a data center. As you may expect, there are almost infinite data center architectures to choose from. The number of resources a company can afford to include is the only constraint. Still, we usually don’t discuss data center architectures in terms of their various permutations, but rather in terms of their essential functionality.

Today’s data centers are becoming much larger and more complex. Because of their size, the hardware requirements vary from workload to workload and even day to day. In addition, some workloads may require more memory capacity or faster processing speed than others. In such cases, leveraging high-end devices will ensure that the TCO (total cost of ownership) is lower. But because the management and operations staff are so large, this strategy can be costly and ineffective. For this reason, it’s important to choose the right architecture for your organization.

While all data centers use virtualized servers, there are other important considerations for designing a data center. The building’s design must take into account the facilities and premises. The choice of technologies and interactions between the various layers of hardware and software will ultimately affect the data center’s performance and efficiency. For instance, a data center may need sophisticated fire suppression systems and a control center where staff can monitor server performance and the physical plant. Additionally, a data center should be designed to provide the highest levels of security and privacy.

 

How to Design a Data Center Architecture

The question of how to design a data center architecture has a number of answers. Before implementing any new data center technology, owners should first define the performance parameters and establish a financial model. The design of the data center architecture must satisfy the performance requirements of the business.

Several considerations are necessary before starting the data center construction. First, the data center premises and facility should be considered. Then, the design should be based on the technology selection.  There should be an emphasis on availability. This is often reflected by an operational or Service Level Agreement (SLA). And, of course, the design should be cost-effective.

Another important aspect of data center design is the size of the data center itself. While the number of servers and racks may not be significant, the infrastructure components will require a significant amount of space. For example, the mechanical and electrical equipment required by a data center will require significant space. Additionally, many organizations will need office space, an equipment yard, and IT equipment staging areas. The design must address these needs before creating a space plan.

When selecting the technology for a data center, the architect should understand the tradeoffs between cost, reliability, and scalability. It should also be flexible enough to allow for the fast deployment and support of new services or applications. Flexibility can provide a competitive advantage in the long run, so careful planning is required. A flexible data center with an advanced architecture that allows for scalability is likely to be more successful.

Considering availability is also essential it should also be secure, which means that it should be able to withstand any attacks and not be vulnerable to malicious attacks. By using the technologies like ACL (access control list) and IDS (intrusion detection system), the data center architecture should support the business’s mission and the business objectives. The right architecture will not only increase the company’s revenue but will also be more productive.

data center archietecture.

 

Data center tiers:

Data centers are rated by tier to indicate expected uptime and dependability:

Tier 1 data centers have a single power and cooling line, as well as few if any, redundancy and backup components. It has a 99.671 percent projected uptime (28.8 hours of downtime annually).

Tier 2 data centers have a single power and cooling channel, as well as some redundant and backup components. It has a 99.741 percent projected uptime (22 hours of downtime annually).

Tier 3 data centers include numerous power and cooling paths, as well as procedures in place to update and maintain them without bringing them offline. It has a 99.982 percent anticipated uptime (1.6 hours of downtime annually).

Tier 4 data centers are designed to be totally fault-tolerant, with redundancy in every component. It has a 99.995 percent predicted uptime (26.3 minutes of downtime annually).

Your service level agreement (SLAs) and other variables will determine which data center tier you require.

In a data center architecture, core infrastructure services should be the priority. The latter should include data storage and network services. Traditional data centers utilize physical components for these functions. In contrast, Platform as a Service (PaaS) does not require a physical component layer. Nevertheless, both types of technologies need a strong core infrastructure. The latter is the primary concern of most organizations, as it provides the platform for the business. DCaaS and DCIM are also a popular choice among the organizations.

Data Center as a Service (DCaaS) is a hosting service in which physical data center infrastructure and facilities are provisioned to clients. DCaaS allows clients remote access to the provider’s storage, server and networking resources through a Wide-Area Network (WAN).
The convergence of IT and building facilities functions inside an enterprise is known as data center infrastructure management (DCIM). A DCIM initiative’s purpose is to give managers a comprehensive perspective of a data center’s performance so that energy, equipment, and floor space are all used as efficiently as possible.

 

Conclusion

Data centers have seen significant transformations in recent years. Data center infrastructure has transitioned from on-premises servers to virtualized infrastructure that supports workloads across pools of physical infrastructure and multi-cloud environments as enterprise IT demands to continue to migrate toward on-demand services.

Two key questions remain the same regardless of which current design strategy is chosen.

  • How do you manage computation, storage, and networks that are differentiated and geographically dispersed?
  • How do you go about doing it safely?

Because the expense of running your own data center is too expensive and you receive no assistance, add in the cost of your on-site IT personnel once more. DCaaS and DCIM have grown in popularity.

Most organizations will benefit from DCaaS and DCIM, but keep in mind that with DCaaS, you are responsible for providing your own hardware and stack maintenance. As a result, you may require additional assistance in maintaining those.
You get the team to manage your stacks for you with DCIM. The team is responsible for the system’s overall performance, uptime, and needs, as well as its safety and security. You will receive greater support and peace of mind if you partner with the proper solution providers who understand your business and requirements.

If you’re seeking to create your data center and want to maximize uptime and efficiency, The Protected Harbor data center is a secure, hardened DCIM that offers unmatched uptime and reliability for your applications and data. This facility can operate as the brain of your data center, offering unheard-of data center stability and durability. In addition to preventing outages, it enables your growth while providing superior security against ransomware and other attacks. For more information on how we can help create your data center while staying protected, contact us today.

How we spent New Year 2022

How we spent New Year 2022

While the world was busy welcoming the new year, Protected Harbor ensured that our customers were still up and running, regardless of date and time. Shortly after midnight on January 1st, 2022, our monitoring system raised an unusual condition, as emails suddenly stopped being transmitted for a client and instead started to build up. A build-up of outbound emails triggered the Application Outage Avoidance alert. Our team started the new year off doing what we love: helping businesses stay protected and productive.

working

What happened?

The email server was experiencing an error, stopping outbound emails from being delivered.

The Manager on duty, Fasif VP, immediately responded and found the problem was something we hadn’t experienced before. Fasif followed Protected Harbor protocols by restarting services, troubleshooting, and rebooting cluster nodes. Regardless of what he did, emails were still not being sent. Nick Solimando, our Director of Technology, was dispatched to investigate.

Nick confirmed Fasif’s concern. We had never encountered this error before. Nick walked through the standard procedure, reviewing the steps Fasif had taken to confirm the issue. Nick could not find a solution despite bypassing our reputation filter and moving emails from one node to another. Upon further investigation, Nick found other people over the internet are experiencing the same issue, indicating that there was a problem in the programming code of the server. His experience and intuition led him to disable the internal email filter, and emails began to flow again.

Eventually, he found a REDDIT thread – Exchange 2019 Anti-Malware – Bad Update? : sysadmin (reddit.com) covering the issue. One thing about the people at Protected Harbor, they are eager to learn. Technology is constantly changing, and our team needs to stay up to date. We are never egotistical enough to believe we know it all and enjoy working with the IT support and MSP community to stay on top of new trends and issues.

From beginning to end, the event took 40 minutes. Our customers were unaware of this event, nor did we receive a single support call or ticket regarding missing emails.

It’s just another day at Protected Harbor – where we solve problems others cannot.

Protected Harbor celebrated this new year by standing true to its name, protecting and delivering the customers at any cost, no matter the day and time. Customer satisfaction is the utmost priority, and this is what we strive to do.

“This is an example of events that customers are unaware of occurring but are the hallmark of the difference between other MSPs and us.  As CEO of a technical architecture company, there are the events I am most proud of.”     -Richard Luna, CEO, Protected Harbor

 

Closing thoughts and future plans!

We’ve all heard the saying, “Know thy customer.” It’s a simple concept that’s been around for ages. But it is also one of the most critical factors in creating a successful brand. If you know your customers—their struggles, their needs, and what they expect from you—you’ll be able to create a brand that resonates with them.

Having complete control and management of all our internal technology is our core philosophy to deliver better customer uptime, experience, durability, and responsiveness.
We refer to ourselves as the Anti-MSP since we take an opposite approach to most Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The majority of MSPs are now just reselling cloud services; they have no control over, or understanding of, the technology they are managing.
A more extreme example of this was the Office 365 attacks from 2021 when thousands of company emails were compromised due to the MSP that managed the accounts.
As the ANTI-MSP, your responsibilities are more significant.  We must respond 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, including on New Year’s Day 2022, since we control and manage our technology.

We plan to protect the customers and deliver at all costs in the future. The customer is interested in how we can help them with their IT needs, not what we offer. We need to articulate that value proposition and then deliver on it.

The good thing is that the new year brings a fresh start, and we are all ready to start something new. Switch from a reseller MSP to the experts who understand your needs. We at Protected Harbor are excited about the industry’s future and are looking forward to delighting our customers with unmatched services and solutions. Let’s get started with the new year 2022! Learn how we do this.