Small Business Network Security Checklist

Small Business Network Security Checklist Banner image

Small Business Network Security Checklist

In today’s business environment, cybersecurity is a crucial concern regardless of a company’s size. The impact of a security breach might result in the destruction and closing of a smaller-sized firm if they lack the resources for considerable damage control. Because of this, every company needs to take the proper precautions to safeguard critical data from unauthorized users, no matter how small or large.

This checklist will help you to stay on top of your network security and avoid the most common mistakes. Download it now.


What is Network Security, and Why is it Important?

The internet is a fantastic resource for modern enterprises. Instead of a room full of old filing cabinets, a searchable database is available worldwide and across all wireless networks. Nowadays, we can even attend a video meeting and get the same results without the need to fly to another location for the same in-person meeting.

However, even though we now have a lot of new conveniences, business networks are even more exposed to vast, complex security threats. Every time a new program or a piece of hardware is put into use, there is a chance for online hackers to break in and steal sensitive data from a person or company.

Businesses must ensure they are effectively controlling their network security if they want the convenience of the internet and the much-needed security. Even though doing a network security audit can be stressful, companies should still do them if they want to keep their data as secure as possible.

We’ve created a brief security and audit checklist below to make things simpler and to help prevent cyber-attacks.

1. Use Antivirus and Anti-malware

Anti-malware and antivirus software safeguards you from any unwanted programs installed on your network, including viruses, trojans, ransomware, spyware, and worms. These may reach your system through a corrupted file or link, another infected device, or a combination of the two.

Cybercriminals create malware, or malicious software, to infect your machines for various reasons. For example, ransomware encrypts your files so that you become locked out and are forced to pay the attackers price to access your crucial business data. Malware-based cyberattacks of other kinds could even seize control of your network and use it for a DDoS (Denial of Service) attack or to harm your system directly.

Anti-malware software inspects files as they enter your network and periodically scans the files already on your machine to check for either errors or damaged files. The software will then quarantine or remove any suspicious files if they are found.

2. Regular Software Updates

Software updates are highly likely to include fixes for known security vulnerabilities and performance enhancements. Delaying these updates could prevent you from receiving the patches for known security flaws, putting your data in danger and enabling hackers to access your system.

Consider purchasing patch management software if your network consists of various devices that require updates, such as network equipment like routers or office PCs.

3. Use Strong Passwords

Did you know that weak password security is believed to be the source of 81% of data breaches? By using secure passwords, you can stop hackers from accessing your system. Make sure to change the default password to a secure one when you first receive a device or install any software.

Using default passwords makes it easy for hackers to access your system. Develop a plan to update the password frequently to ensure your devices are always protected.

Make sure your employees understand what a strong password looks like, urge them to follow your company’s password policy, and utilize two-factor authentication on their work devices to stay on the same page.

4. Firewalls

Firewalls use a set of rules to regulate the traffic entering and leaving your network. They are the barrier separating your secure internal network from the unidentified outside network. Firewalls can stop unauthorized traffic from entering your internal network by monitoring the traffic and blocking it.

Additionally, firewalls segment the network to divide traffic into smaller groups that are easier to manage. There are various kinds of firewalls, including proxy firewalls, stateful firewalls, Unified Threat Management (UTM) firewalls, packet-filtering firewalls, Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW), and so on.

5. Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software scans your network for sensitive data being transported and stored to prevent leaks. Suppose your business has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. In that case, for employees who either work remotely or if you keep their data stored in the cloud, data loss prevention solutions become more critical.

DLP solutions safeguard your data by keeping an eye on the network to ensure that users aren’t flouting the rules you’ve set for sensitive data, including sending it to a risky network or making an unauthorized copy. DLP systems do this by continuously monitoring, tracking, and logging where your sensitive data are. This lowers the possibility of accidental mistakes.

6. Managing User Accounts and Remote Access

Limit account permissions to the minimum amount necessary for the user to perform their job. Only utilize administrator accounts when necessary to make changes to the administration. Ensure that only the administrator account has access and each employee has a distinct account with their login information. That remote access is only permitted through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). If at all possible, make your system’s access subject to multi-factor authentication. Also, be sure to remove a former employee’s account as soon as they exit the company.

Since remote work and BYOD policies are the standards for most firms these days, this is even more crucial. Implementing these regulations may encourage users to be more lenient with their data, which could put your company at significant risk. You must take precautions to preserve the integrity and security of your data, including developing a tight policy restricting access to only what’s required for personnel to do their duties.

7. Data Recovery Plan (DRP)

It’s necessary to keep your data safe from illegal and unwanted access, but it’s also crucial to have a disaster recovery plan in case your data is lost. Sometimes, rather than stealing information, the goal of a cyberattack is to just disrupt a business. Do you have a backup copy of all your crucial data in case it gets corrupted or disappears entirely?

To ensure they are not missed and that your backups contain the most recent files, backups should be encrypted and automatically scheduled. Several backup techniques, including onsite servers and cloud backup, provide an extra degree of security.

8. Phishing and Spoofing Messages

Phishing and spoofing perpetrators deceive recipients by sending false communications and other social engineering strategies. These frauds typically pose as trustworthy organizations trying to dupe victims into either downloading harmful files, clicking on dangerous links, or disclosing personal information.

Emails and SMS are two examples of text-based communication channels where spoofing and phishing are frequently used. Installing security solutions with anti-phishing features is strongly advised to help you avoid being a victim of spoofing and phishing. This function will notify you if a link or email’s sender raises any red flags.

On the rare chance that they manage to get past your anti-phishing defenses, you will still need to be vigilant when checking your email to prevent falling for a phishing scam. To enhance your employees’ awareness and attention when checking their inboxes, train your staff and have them participate in phishing scenarios.

9. Train your Workforce

The most crucial aspect of any network security plan is your end users (employees). Your users are your best line of defense, even if you have all the tools, systems, and regulations at your disposal.

When working from home, 47% of employees blamed distraction for their fallibility to phishing attacks. It’s time to train your entire crew to defend against all security threats since the average data breach cost has increased to about $4.64 million.

Ensure your end users understand the potential effects of a security breach on your business, their responsibility for securing company data, and how to protect themselves from malicious actors. To achieve this, you’ll need an excellent training program to instruct your users on how to raise their security levels and to be on alert for any suspicious activity.

10. Develop a Response for Security Breaches

A planned reaction during a breach can significantly enhance your company’s outcome. You’ll have a list of steps you need to follow to protect anything that hasn’t already been accessed rather than having to react immediately. Written instructions will guarantee you follow all the essential procedures to halt the attack from causing more harm and, if necessary, start the recovery process.

If you can act quickly and inform your clients about how it has affected their data security, it can also help you restore your reputation with them. Additionally, small business cyber security includes performing regular vulnerability audits to check your network for potential weak spots and fix them before a breach occurs.


Enhance Network Security with Protected Harbor

A layered strategy is required to protect your network’s security and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data. By routinely inspecting your network security on all network devices, mobile devices, and other devices with internet access in your organization, you can be sure you are following these security best practices.

In addition to your security system, educating your staff about daily hazards and small business cybersecurity is crucial. Since remote work is the norm for most businesses these days, a more stringent training program is required to guarantee the security and protection of all company data.

Protected Harbor’s Network Engineers create a secure environment by building a network resistant to cyber-attacks and staying operational during emergencies. We use network monitoring tools to scan network performance, security, and compliance. We also troubleshoot issues, upgrade network hardware and software, and work with vendors to ensure new products meet the company’s security requirements.

A network vulnerability assessment from Protected Harbor will help your organization identify potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your current network setup.

A Protected Harbor security expert can assist with a free assessment for cybersecurity for small business and vulnerability test to determine your weak points. From there, we will build a plan that includes updates, new configurations, implementation, unlimited onsite support, and live monitoring services for a flat monthly rate to safeguard your network. Ready to get started? Speak to a professional that can assist you with your network and security needs.

Speed Up Your Network in 8 Steps

Speed Up Your Network in 8 Steps banner

Speed Up Your Network in 8 Steps

A faster network is all everyone wants nowadays. So, when our network is lagging or slower than usual, we tend to wonder, why on earth is my network so slow? Having a strong network is vital to creating an online presence, whether running a business or just having a personal blog to share your thoughts and opinions with the world.

The speed of your network can significantly impact your productivity and overall experience. A slow connection can make downloading files, streaming videos, or uploading large files a frustrating experience. There are several steps you can take to speed up your network. These tips will help you get the most out of your connection and improve the overall performance of your network.


Reasons for Slow Network

Here are some reasons for slow network speeds:

1. Old Equipment

Your network is possibly old and outdated and may not be updated with the latest technologies. This is especially true if you have an old router or modem that cannot handle the new standards.

2. Insufficient Bandwidth

If you don’t have enough bandwidth on your connection, it will take longer for your computer to send and receive files. Your device may freeze up as it struggles to get through all the data simultaneously.

3. Provider Throttling Your Connection

Several ISPs have started to throttle their customers’ connections after reaching certain limits, making it difficult for people to stream videos or browse at higher speeds. If this is happening on your account, contact your provider and request that they remove any restrictions on your connection speed.

4. Your PC has a Virus

Viruses occasionally infiltrate computers, slowing Internet speed and stealing resources without your knowledge.

5. Too Much Traffic

Suppose too many users are using your broadband connection at once. In that case, it could be causing congestion and affecting other people trying to access their services (such as streaming videos).

6. Incorrect Network Configuration

You can also find yourself with a slower network if you’ve changed settings on your router, firewall, or other devices connected to the router that affect the speed at which data travels between devices on your network.

For example, if you’ve changed how your router handles port forwarding, you may find that certain websites won’t load appropriately after making these changes.

7. Weak Wi-Fi Signals

Your Wi-Fi signal strength is the amount of power sent to your router, measured in decibels (dB). The higher the dB number, the stronger the signal. If you have an old or weak Wi-Fi router, you may not be able to get adequate signal strength on your home network.

You can try increasing the distance between your router and other devices on your home network by installing a new wireless repeater or range extender.


What is Network Optimization?

In order to monitor, manage, and enhance network performance, various technologies, tactics, and best practices are referred to together as “Network Optimization.”

It’s not enough for crucial networks to function properly in today’s highly competitive, dynamic corporate world. The world depends more and more on dependable, quick, safe, accessible, 24/7 data transfer as the digital era advances. Unfortunately, obsolete or inadequately sized hardware and subpar software can reduce available bandwidth and increase the delay. Performance issues and system vulnerability might result from outdated or underused network security solutions. Response times might be slowed down, and vital network services can be overloaded by sudden surges or traffic spikes. The list goes on, potentially leading to hundreds of growing problems that could harm the end-user experience.

Network optimization’s main objective is to provide the finest network performance and design at the lowest cost. An optimized network must encourage greater productivity and usefulness and enable effective and efficient data sharing. And to achieve this, network latency, traffic volume, capacity, and traffic direction must all be managed.


Speed-Up-Your-Network-in-8-Steps middleHow to Speed Up My Network?

The following tips can help you speed up your network.

Check Your Router

The first thing you should do is check the integrity of your router. If it’s malfunctioning, then it is time for an upgrade. You can check if it has been updated by going to its settings page and studying for an update.

Check Your Web Browser

If you’re having trouble with the speed of your network, there are likely too many open tabs or windows in your browser. Close all unnecessary tabs and windows to reduce the load on the main page and see if that helps.

Use Antivirus Software

Turning on antivirus software is a good idea because it will stop any potentially harmful files from being downloaded onto your computer. The best antivirus programs protect you against malware and spyware (malicious software).

If you’ve already installed an antivirus program, be sure to update it regularly so that it stays protected against new threats.

Clear Your Cache

The cache is a temporary space on your computer where websites store information about what they think might be helpful for you later on — like images or videos that might not be necessary at this point (but may become so later). Clearing out this cache can make pages load faster as well.

Change Your Router’s Channel

This step is essential because different channels have different speeds and can cause congestion on the network. If you have multiple devices connected to the same network, changing the channel will speed up things for all devices on that network.

Change Your Modem’s Settings

Your modem is responsible for choosing which channel to use when sending data out from your network, so if you want to improve performance, try setting it on a different channel than what you’re currently using (for example, if you’re using channel 6, try operating channel 3).

Turn Off Unused Hardware

Another way to speed up your network is by turning off any unused hardware on your computer system. This includes printers, modems, and other devices that may not be in use at the time but are still plugged into the wall or modem port.

It might be tempting to leave these devices plugged in so they will stay connected until needed again. Still, this practice can slow down your computer because it takes more power from the wall outlet or modem port than required and may even cause damage if left plugged in for too long without being in use.

Get a Better Plan

You may only be paying for slow Internet if you’ve checked your speed and compared it to the figure your Internet provider should receive, and the numbers line up. In this situation, you might want to think about choosing an upgrade.

Final Words

There are several reasons why your network may be either running slow or not working properly, and it could be that the problem is on your side of the router. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you don’t have any options to fix it.

With an effective network management solution from Protected Harbor, you can expect a significant increase in productivity and efficiency. You can reduce latency, drop-outs, and other communication issues. You can even improve reliability with a robust and reliable security solution leaving you to feel secure with a best-in-class network security solution. It will also reduce the stress and frustration of network troubleshooting by network engineers and IT managers.

By offering the knowledge necessary to identify complicated issues and provide proactive remedies, Protected Harbor assists businesses in maintaining the functionality of their intranet and Internet applications.

With this advanced technology, your business can have the confidence to expand, explore new markets, and grow its profits without worrying about network speed or outages. You can also view our small business network security checklist here.

Get a free consultation today with one of our network engineers and stop worrying about network issues.

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.



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.

Why Are Information Silos Important and What Do They Mean?

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.

Behind the Scenes of the New York Small Business Expo with Protected Harbor

Behind the Scenes of the New York Small Business Expo with Protected Harbor

Behind the Scenes of the New York Small Business Expo with Protected Harbor


Protected Harbor recently attended the New York Small Business Expo which was held on Friday, June 24th, 2022 at the New York Hilton Midtown. This was an incredible opportunity to showcase our products to a diverse crowd of small business owners and entrepreneurs that left our booth buzzing with interest.

As one of the top expo exhibitors, Protected Harbor was featured in a prominent position and given significant exposure. Our top-notch security system and remote monitoring capabilities were on full display for prospective clients to review.

The entire Protected Harbor team was there to support the New York small business community, which in all, had one common goal–to help small businesses in New York grow and succeed.

Though we assist clients with their technology issues, engineers at Protected Harbor also focus on prevention and protection, which helps to keep small businesses safe. By providing small business owners with the information they need to succeed, Protected Harbor helps to ensure a stronger economy for the entire region.


Attendee Survey

The small business owners attending the expo were allowed to complete a quick survey about their current IT problems and future business goals which also gave them the opportunity to receive a free IT assessment. The assessment was designed to identify any weaknesses within their business’s current technology and for us to create a customized roadmap to upgrade and improve the company’s current technological situation. The IT assessment was performed by Protected Harbor’s team of certified engineers and consultants, who were available to answer any questions during the expo.

With this survey making its way around the expo, we found that their most significant technology pain point was their inadequate IT and managed services;


New-York-Small-Business-Expo smallWorkshop with CEO Richard Luna

CEO Richard Luna hosted the workshop, “Does Your IT Suck? 2022 Small Business IT Trends.” In his presentation, he spoke about how small businesses can stay ahead of the curve and avoid the pitfalls of technology failing them. He discussed the do’s and don’ts of small business IT, and how to choose the right technology for your business. By the end of the workshop, attendees understood how to choose the right IT vendors for them, how to plan for future technology, how to nail down the best practices for vendor selection, and how to keep their data safe.


Does your IT suck?

Are you frustrated, pissed off, and fed up with bad IT support and MSPs? If your answer is yes, then you are not alone.

There are many businesses that have received poor support from their current IT vendor and are searching for new ones. Pick a partner like Protected Harbor that has a team of certified and experienced engineers who are passionate about helping businesses.

We’re a US-based company that specializes in cloud hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, network solutions, and everything in between. Whether you’re an enterprise-level company or a start-up, we’ve got you covered. Thanks to our hands-on approach and an emphasis on customer service, we’ve earned a reputation as one of the most reliable hosting providers in the industry.

Missed the New York Small Business Expo for 2022? You can still get a free IT audit, contact us today!

Success for Protected Harbor at the 2022 Small Business Expo

Protected harbor excels at small business expo 2022


Protected Harbor excels at Small Business Expo 2022

Small businesses know that the road to success can be a tough one. Finding reliable, affordable services and resources can be challenging too.

Winfree tshirts AirPods and apple watches small

To help them get through the rough spots and reach the business expansion goal, businesses of all sizes should participate in a Small Business Expo like this. This free event is held at New York Hilton Midtown, Americas Hall, packed with helpful resources for business owners. Protected Harbor at Booth 3524 is giving away all the industry secrets IT companies don’t want you to know. Learn how to pick the right provider for your company, the best questions to ask, and what tech trends are helping businesses grow in 2022.

Booth 3524 is a one-stop-shop for all your IT needs. Our experts can help you select the right cloud, virtual, data center, security, and network technologies to meet your company’s needs. The best way to choose the right technology for your company is to speak with an expert and narrow down your choices. Ask about the benefits and drawbacks of each technology and which one best fits your needs.

Also, we are giving away free t-shirts, Apple AirPod Pro’s, Apple MagSafe Wireless Portable Battery Pack, and Apple Watches. So what are you waiting for? Come win!

How Large Enterprises Secure Their Data

How large enterprises secure their data


How Large Enterprises Secure Their Data


How-do-large-enterprises-secure-their-dataIn recent years, data security has become critical for all businesses, regardless of size. Data breaches and cyber theft can disrupt organizations’ day-to-day operations, whether on the newest start-ups on the block or at a large corporation. In many circumstances, large corporations are far ahead of the curve. They risk exposing themselves to the dangers and consequences of cyberattacks if they do not have sufficient security procedures and policies in place.

Whatever the severity of a danger to a company’s data security, it can be readily avoided with the proper measures in place. You must invest in the correct methods to secure business continuity. This article will examine how major enterprises protect their data and ensure corporate data security.


Data Security Methods For Large Enterprises

Many large enterprises are already using rigorous security methods. Since they learn and grow from the mistakes of other organizations, large entities tend to have proactive security policies and robust threat monitoring techniques in place. Here are five methods that large businesses look to redesign their data security methods.


Understand data lifecycle

Large enterprises with proactive security policies know their data, how it is used and where it is stored. Mapping data flow lets organizations better evaluate their weak points. Moreover, large organizations use discovery tools to ensure that data is accessible by authorized devices and users only. These capabilities enable large enterprises to be GDPR compliant and fulfill other transparency/privacy standards.


Use of encryption across the boards

Large enterprises handle a bulk of data and a variety of data. The heterogeneous pool of data makes them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. They use encryption methods for systems, data in the cloud, data at rest, and data in transit to protect their data. Hard drives, USB devices, and phones should use encryption if holding sensitive data.

Here are a few recommendations for data encryption.

  • Look at data in all cases, both in transit and at rest. Encryption is used to protect data in all scenarios.
  • Back up all the files and create an image backup before encryption. Create a boot disk or removable media and ensure that you have installed media for the operating system.
  • Decentralize encryption and decryption. You need an encryption key manager to maintain the security of keys to keep things organized while using a decentralized method. You will want to encrypt databases, applications, and files. Using distributed encryption, your organization can yield many benefits, including more robust performance, better availability, low network bandwidth, and high-quality data transmission.
  • Use the hub-spoke model to encrypt data. While combining the distributed execution with the central key management, the encryption and decryption mode will be anywhere within your network. The critical management can integrate with encryption software and deploy on more than a single node. You can encrypt and decrypt at the node level with all the spokes. By structuring this way, data does not need to travel much. You can also maintain higher uptime that can arise from a hub failure. The key manager should be created, store, and monitor the expiration date of the keys used by the spokes. Keys need to be changed within the nodes when they expire.


Protecting data in the cloud

How-do-large-enterprises-secure-their-data1Cloud has become an essential part of digitalization, but more security risks come. As data migrates to the cloud, the security issues have sparked heated debates in the information security circles and CIOs. Large enterprises can’t control the security measures of the cloud, but the Cloud Service Providers do. It makes IT departments nervous, and they leverage cloud security tools to encrypt data before uploading to the cloud, rank data by risk level, protect and monitor the endpoints, and offer organizations greater control over the cloud data security.

Here is a list of the best cloud security tools.

  • CloudStrike Falcon_ It’s a next-gen cloud-based endpoint protection solution that takes care of any connected device, ranging from light with a tiny digital footprint to powerful enough to handle attacks like shell injections and zero-day exploits.
  • Cloudflare Web Application Firewall_ It’s a powerful online protection service that can keep millions of web applications safe and connected effectively. It also protects the network by acting as a reverse proxy, preventing DDoS attacks.
  • Barracuda CloudGen Firewall_ It’s a next-gen SaaS security system to protect complex distributed network architectures. This tool identifies and protects against phishing emails and also offers backup.
  • TOPIA_ It’s a cloud security tool that gathers data on assets and analyzes them to detect threats and rank them based on their severity. It applies in-memory protection and Patchless Protection to defend a network.
  • Zerospam_ This cloud security tool protects corporate email servers by fighting against cyber threats like spear-phishing and ransomware. It’s an easy-to-use, highly effective tool with performance enhancement capabilities.


Technologies for data security

Large enterprises use a variety of methods and techniques to minimize security threats. While several tools focus on external threats, log-in records and authentication tools help monitor internal threats. Below are standard technologies and policies large enterprises use for data security.

  • Data masking_ Data masking is a method to develop a fake yet realistic version of your company data. Data masking aims to protect sensitive data and provide a functional alternative when accurate data is not needed, such as sales demos, user training, or software testing. Data masking processes alter the data values while using the same format. The aim is to create a version that can not be reverse-engineered or deciphered. There are various ways to alter data, including encryption, word or character substitution, and character shuffling.
  • Data backups_ To ensure accessibility, it is recommended to keep data backed up. Backing up data includes files, databases, configurations, systems, and applications. Implementing storage backups minimizes the effect of ransomware or other malicious attacks.
  • Data erasure_ Erase the data that is not necessary. Delete data if a customer cancels an account. Moreover, erase information if a customer does not want to be on an email list.
  • Tokenization_ It is a way to protect data at rest while preserving data length and type. Tokenization replaces sensitive data with non-sensitive, randomly generated substitute characters as placeholder data. These characters, known as tokens, have no intrinsic value. They allow authorized users to get sensitive data when needed. It isn’t easy to maintain performance and scale securely as databases increase in size. Moreover, it isn’t easy to exchange data as it requires direct access to a token vault mapping the token values. Tokenization is mainly used for structured data fields, such as social security numbers or payment cards.
  • Authentication_ can vary from two to four-factor authentication (2FA-4FA) and sometimes involves physical keys.



As organizations plan for the future, they identify security as a prime directive. But there is a lot that can be done to consolidate and move toward distributed architectures without sacrificing data integrity and compliance. Privacy by Design/Default is one concept that would certainly help. For example, when you look at data reported as lost, compromised, or stolen, most of these incidents are related to human error.

And while technology can reduce some of the human mistakes that lead to breaches, ultimately, it will be up to the organization to enforce strict policies regarding security and the management of sensitive data. If an organization treats its data as its own, then there is no reason it would get into the wrong hands or leak out in any harmful way.

In summary, the future of data security depends on a combination of creative solutions and technology to maintain privacy while still giving individuals access to their information.

Any strategy must also be adaptable and responsive to changes as they occur. Protected Harbor focuses on infrastructure hardware, servers, modified servers, and changes in connection and operations, and deployed monitoring is layered in as part of the plan. Our expert team of engineers is proactive and committed to satisfying the clients.

If you want to protect your enterprise data and comply with the latest compliances, you can do plenty to keep that data safe. Whether you choose to partner with a HIPAA compliant hosting company such as Protected Harbor or go the do-it-yourself route, a number of strategies are available to secure your organization’s information. Protected Harbor provides free IT audit to all the enterprises, book one today!

Why These 6 Cybersecurity Technologies Are Essential for Every Business

Why every business needs these 6 cybersecurity tools


Why Every Business Needs These 6 Cybersecurity Tools


6 Cybersecurity Tools That Every Business NeedsWith the advancement in technology, most businesses have shifted online. Due to the rapid technological shift, threats constantly evolve and become more sophisticated. Protecting the IT environment in an organization is critical, regardless of the size. Cybersecurity is the need of every business operating online, and they should take it seriously.

Cybersecurity measures protect organizations and small businesses from data breaches, malware, and security threats. No organization is safe from security issues and threats without a cyber-secure environment. Cybercriminals are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in security systems to put organizations at risk. To stay protected in a digital world, password management software for business is necessary.

In this article, you will know the best cybersecurity tools that can protect your online business against cyber threats. Let’s get started.


1. NordPass

Protecting your system and network with a strong password is necessary. With NordPass, you can store passwords in a single place and log into applications and websites with a click. Its password manager allows you to access your credentials on any device. It’s a highly secure, widely supported, easy to use, and more affordable tool for managing security.

Your assets like credit card details, passwords, and online notes are valuable, and they need to be protected using a reliable security tool. NordPass is a tool that uses advanced encryption algorithms that protect your valuable information.


2. BlueVector

The AI-powered solution of BlueVector is designed to deliver advanced network coverage and threat detection that can meet the security needs of any size business. BlueVector allows customers to use AI-based approaches to deal with the polymorphic nature of advanced cybersecurity threats with multiple privileges.

BlueVector, a leader in advanced threat detection, empowers security teams to know about real threats and allows online businesses to operate confidently so that their data and systems are protected.

6 Cybersecurity Tools


3. Mimecast

It’s a cloud-based platform ideal for small and large businesses and provides cyber resilience for email. With Mimecast, you can prevent your business from cyber threats before they affect your online business. It blocks ransomware, prevents data loss, stops business email compromise, and eliminates brand exploitation. Mimecast finds and neutralizes impersonation attacks before they are unleashed.


4. Intruder

It’s an online vulnerability scanner that detects the weaknesses in the IT infrastructure of your organization to avoid data breaches. Intruder allows you to find vulnerabilities before the hackers do. You can prevent data loss and enhance customer trust with constant cyber protection.

The intruder is a powerful and easy-to-use vulnerability scanner designed to safeguard your business from cyber threats. It reports the genuine and actionable issues that can impact your cybersecurity posture and helps you stay on top of threat detection and vulnerability management.


5. Avira

Avira is a comprehensive and professional-level cybersecurity tool that blocks online threats, including ransomware, malware, and spyware, through its antivirus protection feature. Avira free VPN secures and hides your online activities, and its password manager software for business secures your online accounts with unique, strong passwords. Its anti-scam protection secures you from phishing attacks and helps you find vulnerabilities through software updates.



VIPRE provides cloud-based email and endpoint security for your organization. It is one of the most widely used security tools that protect your business from malware, spam messages, and malicious attacks without any hassle. It lets you stay safe against advanced cyber threats and attacks. VIPRE business solution pairs AI technology with real-time threat tracking that protects your business from cybercrime.


Final words

This article has discussed the best six cybersecurity tools that every business needs if they do anything online. Due to the rapid increase in cyber attacks, organizations have lost their valuable assets, and this has caused irreparable damage. Therefore, these cybersecurity tools can help you safeguard your online business from unwanted data breaches and security threats.

Being aware of the cyber attacks and adequately using these tools can ensure 100% protection and safety. However, there is always a possibility of cyber attacks. Hence, having a proper cybersecurity infrastructure would come as a trump card to protect businesses from all kinds of cyber threats. Protected Harbor is one of the top cybersecurity solutions considering its clients as its partners. We are in a league of our own with 99.99% uptime, an expert tech team available 24×7, proactive remote monitoring, and more unique safety features.

The business can take a step-by-step approach by adopting a cybersecurity framework that can help the organization effectively carry out the activities of its cybersecurity policy. Protected Harbor constructs a framework, and it can be drafted and adopted only after a thorough assessment of the current risks and vulnerabilities. Be cyber secured today; contact us.

Google Workspace, Slack, or Microsoft Teams: Which is safest for your business?

googleworkspace Microsoft team slack which is safest for your business


Google Workspace, Slack, or Microsoft Teams: Which is safest for your business?

remote-work-has-reached-a-climaxWith the onset of the pandemic and transformation in workplace behaviors, remote work has reached a climax. Many companies face the same question – what is the best collaboration tool for working at home? Businesses are rushing to use collaborative software to keep their productivity high in these uncertain times.

There are many options, but we decided to delve deeper into; Google Workspace vs. Slack vs. Microsoft Teams’ positive and negative security features.

Microsoft Team Positive Features

  • Teams enforces team-expansive and organization-wide two-factor authentication
  • Single sign-on through Active Directory and data encryption in transit and at rest.


Microsoft Team Negative Features

  • A flaw in Microsoft Teams could allow a hostile actor to view a victim’s chats and steal sensitive data. An actor might set up a malicious tab in an unpatched version of Teams that would provide them access to their private documents and communications when opened by the victim. (Source: the daily swig)
  • Users in teams do not have the structure from the beginning. You don’t know which channels you need or which channels you should build most of the time. The maximum number of channels per team has been limited to 100. This feature should not be a problem for smaller units, but it may cause difficulties for larger groups. When the predefined limit is exceeded, specific channels must be terminated.
  • Over time, users get increasingly accustomed to and proficient at what they do. You can’t switch channels or reproduce teams right now; thus, creating Team blocks isn’t very flexible. This frequently wastes time because manual replications become the only option.

Slack Positive Features

  • Improve communication between departments and improve the ability to contact and notify people quickly. The user interface has a unique look and feels with various color schemes.
  • This speeds up the update process, and the two-factor authentication provided by Google Authenticator is reliable and error-free.
  • Using Slack on mobile devices is as easy as using the desktop version, and the huddle feature makes it even more convenient.

Google-Workspace-vs.-Slack-vs.-Microsoft-TeamsSlack Negative Features

  • 1 Working with larger teams is not a good experience as you might experience glitches and connection unreliability now and then.
  • Searching should be enhanced; it is currently unorganized. Grouping allows you to evaluate if the findings are helpful in the future. DMs, for example, and channels are examples.
  • Notifications for mobile and desktop don’t always operate in sync. The system is also out of sync when going from desktop to mobile. There’s a lack of consistency in the workflow there.

Google Workspace Positive features

  • Focus on collaboration: Google workspace is a dream for companies that need intensive cooperation in many ways.
  • It’s based on the cloud and is always connected to Google’s cloud storage and file-sharing platform, Drive.
  • Email: Gmail referrals are rarely needed. It is the world’s most popular email client, strengthening its market position with excellent security tools, an easy-to-use interface, and numerous features ideal for business and personal use.

Google Workspace Negative Features

  • Document conversion issues: You may have problems converting Google Sheets and documents to Microsoft documents and PDF formats. You need to find a third-party app to help with the conversion. There’s something a little…flat about Google workspace and Docs integration. Yes, it’s a word processor, so there’s not much to do with it, but the compatibility issues hinder the experience.
  • Takes hours: It may take some time to import data or documents from other external sources into the system. File management is a pain. The entire process feels clumsy, leading to a great deal of disorganization inside our company.
  • Instead of downloading individual software onto your mobile device, you’d wish there was an option to download the complete Gsuite into one app. Because Gsuite is essentially confined within a single browser, users expect all apps to be in one spot.

Technology has gone far over the years, and the effect from the COVID 19 gave birth to the introduction of several electronic offices where members of an organization can meet and discuss issues they could have done when they physically met. This work has compared the pros and cons of each platform and is considering Google Workspace with its specific qualities and consideration of future security.

Solution: Create a high-speed remote desktop hosted virtually on a private server… like we have.. what a coincidence…

Uptime is a Priority for Every Business

uptime is priority for every business


Uptime is a Priority for Every Business



In today’s highly competitive market, it becomes tough to stand out. Businesses are desperately struggling to get any advantage over competitors in your market space, even a small one. There is a lot of talk about speed, security, or cost, but an even more critical factor that web software companies don´t fully value: uptime.


What is uptime?

You may have already heard the word “uptime” at a conference or read it in an article. The uptime is when a web page stays connected online each day, and it is listed as an average percentage, for example, 99.7%. There is also its evil twin, downtime, which is the number of seconds, minutes, or hours that a website is not working, preventing users from accessing it.

Also, uptime is the best way to measure the quality of a web hosting provider or a server. If the provider shows a high uptime rate, it guarantees good performance.


Why should uptime be a priority for my company?

Consider what you’d feel if you tried to access a webpage on your computer, but it wouldn’t load. What would be your initial impression of that website? According to studies, 88 percent of online users are hesitant to return to a website after a negative first impression. What good is it to invest so much time, money, and effort on your website if no one visits it? What’s the purpose of working on a website if it doesn’t work when it matters most?

All hosting and server businesses often offer high uptime rates, but the trees do not obscure the forest. Although 99 percent may appear to be a large number, it indicates that your website may be down for over two hours over a week, which would be devastating to a heavily trafficked website.

When it comes to uptime, you must consider every second because you never know if a second of downtime could make a difference compared to your competitors’ websites. Those critical seconds result in a loss of Internet traffic, financial loss, a drop in Google SEO ranking, and a loss of reputation, among other issues.

Even a difference between 99.90% and 99.99% in uptime can be crucial. In the first case, your website would suffer downtime of 11 minutes per week, while with an uptime of 99.99%, your web page’s rest would be reduced to only one minute per week. It may cost more money to get that efficiency advantage, but it’s worth the investment.


Perfection is impossible

Despite what has already been stated, you must be aware that no one, not even the best provider in the world, can guarantee absolute perfection, especially since servers are still physical machines susceptible to external (hacking attacks, power outages, or natural disasters) as well as internal (human errors, DNS or CMS problems, hardware/software problems, server overloads) threats that can bring your website offline.

It would be best if you also remembered that these dangers are unpredictable events, and although we can prepare contingency plans, we will never know the exact moment when the threat will arrive. The world isn’t perfect, and your website won’t be up and running 100% of the time forever and ever.

It is also essential to understand that not all downtime is the same. For example, scheduled server maintenance from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. is very different and less damaging than an unexpected drop at noon. That is why it’s highly recommended to save and use backups of your website precisely for these emergencies and choose a good provider.


The best solution

The safest way that providers offer us to guarantee an excellent uptime is the dedicated server hosting as a service. You will enjoy full and exclusive access to the server, using all its resources to optimize your website to the maximum without having to share it with anyone.

You can configure your dedicated server hosting to your liking from the control panel (though make sure your provider also has 24/7 technical support for possible eventualities); you have more hosting space and capacity that you can use as you wish; you don’t have to worry about the hardware (which the provider takes care of), and they are flexible enough to manage high-visibility pages, reducing vulnerabilities.

Among other valuable tips, it would be an excellent idea to use a website monitoring service to monitor the performance of your site 24/7, receiving an immediate notification if downtime occurs. Additionally, this is a handy way to verify the reliability of your hosting provider’s warranties.

Another practical option is to use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to download the portion of your website’s content to servers that are closer to your users geographically. CDNs are very useful for increasing a website’s speed and, more importantly, reducing the number of events that cause downtime, thus freeing up space on your primary server and reducing tension. Check with your hosting provider to see whether a CDN is included in their package.

A dedicated hosting server may seem like a relatively expensive solution, but keeping your website online for as long as possible is worth all the necessary investments.



Current trends reveal tremendous pressure to maintain and improve high uptime rates, with sustained growth in demand over the last decade. In the future, experts hope that it will be possible to achieve an uptime of 100% since, with the arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT), this requirement will become essential for our daily lives.

A reliable hosting provider provides you with state-of-the-art server infrastructure and ensures a smooth performance of day-to-day business operations. Compared to traditional or shared hosting, which is resource-limited and lacks reliability, VPS hosting features a fully dedicated private server for your exclusive use. This makes it ideal for startups and médium to large businesses seeking an affordable eCommerce web hosting service in the US to fulfill their essential needs of running a successful online business.

One of the most common questions we’re asked at Protected Harbor is, “what kind of uptime can I expect from your hosting?” It’s not a wrong question — when choosing a hosting service for business, you want to know that your website or servers will be available.

We are the Uptime monitoring specialists. We monitor the uptime of your sites and applications to detect downtime before you or your users do. Contact us today to know how with a dedicated and experienced team, we deliver unmatched flexibility, reliability, safety, and security and exceed clients’ expectations.