What is IoT? Everything you need to know.

what is iot everything you need to know

 

What is IoT? Everything you need to know

Kevin Ashton created the term “Internet of Things,” or IoT, in 1999. However, it wasn’t until Gartner added IoT to its list of new emerging technologies in 2011 that it began to acquire traction on a worldwide scale. There will be 21.7 billion active connected devices globally by 2021, with IoT devices accounting for more than 11.7 billion (54 percent). This means that there are more IoT devices than non-IoT devices globally.

The Internet of Things impacts everyday life in various ways, including connected vehicles, virtual assistants, intelligent refrigerators, and intelligent robotics. But what exactly does the phrase imply? What are some of the benefits and challenges of the Internet of Things?

What is IoT?

The term “Internet of Things” is abbreviated as “IoT.” It refers to network-enabled devices and smart objects that have been given unique identities and are connected to the Internet so that they can communicate with one another, accept orders, and share with their owners; for example, when the butter in the intelligent refrigerator runs out, a grocery list may be updated. In a nutshell, this is the process of connecting items or machines. Simple domestic appliances to industrial instruments are among the networked devices that can be used.

Applications can be automated, and activities can be conducted or finished without human participation, thanks to the Internet of Things. Smart objects are internet-connected items. More than 7 billion IoT devices are currently connected, with analysts predicting that this number will climb to 22 billion by 2025.

How does IoT work?

An IoT ecosystem comprises web-enabled smart devices that gather, send, and act on data from their surroundings using embedded systems such as CPUs, sensors, and communication hardware. By connecting to an IoT gateway or other edge device, IoT devices can share sensor data that is routed to the cloud for analysis or examined locally. These devices may communicate with one another and occasionally act on the information they receive. Although individuals can use devices to set them up, give them instructions, or retrieve data, the gadgets do most of the work without human participation.

In a nutshell, the Internet of Things operates as follows:

  • Sensors, for example, are part of the hardware that collects data about devices.
  • The data collected by the sensors is then shared and combined with software via the cloud.
  • After that, the software analyzes the data and sends it to users via an app or a website.

Why is the Internet of Things (IoT) important?

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become one of the most essential technologies of the twenty-first century. Now that we can connect common objects to the internet via embedded devices, such as mobile phones, cars/trucks, and healthcare devices, seamless communication between people, processes, and things are conceivable.

Thanks to low-cost computers, the cloud, big data, analytics, and mobile technologies, material things can share and collect data with minimal human interaction. Digital systems can record, monitor, and alter interactions between related stuff in today’s hyper-connected environment. The physical and digital worlds collide, but they work together.

What is the Industrial Internet of Things, and how does it work?

The usage of IoT technology in a corporate setting is referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. The concept is similar to that of consumer IoT devices in the house. Still, the goal here is to analyze and optimize industrial processes using a combination of sensors, wireless networks, big data, AI, and analytics.

With just-in-time delivery of supplies and production management from start to finish, the impact may be considerably higher if implemented across a complete supply chain rather than just individual enterprises. Increased labor efficiency and cost savings are two possible goals, but the IIoT can also open up new revenue streams for organizations; manufacturers can also provide predictive engine maintenance instead of only selling a solitary product, such as an engine.

internet of things

What are the benefits of using IoT?

The Internet of Things has made it possible for the physical and digital worlds to collaborate and communicate. It provides several advantages to businesses by automating and simplifying their daily operations.

Companies exploit the vast business value that IoT can offer as it grows dramatically year after year. Here are a few of the most significant advantages of IoT:

  • To develop new revenue streams and business models
  • Using data-driven insights from IoT data to enhance business choices
  • To make corporate operations more productive and efficient.
  • To make the customer experience better

Even though the economic impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic have had a substantial influence on global IoT spending, an IDC report shows that it will grow at a CAGR of 11.3 percent from 2020 to 2024.

What are the challenges in IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become an integral component of how people live, interact, and conduct business. Web-enabled devices are transforming our worldwide rights into a more switched-on location to live in all over the planet. The Internet of Things faces a variety of challenges.

IoT security challenges:

  1. Lack of encryption – While encryption is a terrific way to keep hackers out of your data, it’s also one of the most common IoT security issues.
    These drives have the same storage and processing capability as a conventional computer.
    As a result, there has been an increase in attacks in which hackers manipulated the algorithms to protect people.
  2. Inadequate testing and upgrading — As the number of IoT (internet of things) devices grows, IoT manufacturers are more eager to build and market their products as rapidly as possible, without much consideration for security. Most of these gadgets and IoT items are not adequately tested or updated, making them vulnerable to hackers and other security risks.
  3. Default passwords and brute-force attacks —
    Nearly all IoT devices are vulnerable to password hacking and brute force attacks due to weak passwords and login data.
    Any firm that uses factory default credentials on its devices exposes both its business and its assets and its customers and sensitive data to a brute force attack.
  4. IoT Malware and ransomware – As the number of devices grows, the threat of malware and ransomware is made.
    Ransomware exploits encryption to effectively lock people out of numerous devices and platforms while still gaining access to their personal data and information.
    A hacker, for example, can take images using a computer camera.
    Hackers can demand a ransom to unlock the device and return the data by utilizing malware access points.
  5. IoT botnet aimed at cryptocurrency – IoT botnet workers have the ability to change data privacy, which poses a significant risk to an open Crypto market. Malicious hackers could jeopardize the exact value and development of cryptocurrency code.
    Companies working on the blockchain are attempting to improve security. Blockchain technology is not inherently dangerous, but the app development process is.
  6. Data collection and processing – Data is a critical component of IoT development. The processing or usefulness of stored data is more critical in this case.
    Along with security and privacy, development teams must think about how data is acquired, stored, and processed in a given context.

Conclusion

Researchers and developers from all around the world are fascinated by recent breakthroughs in IoT. The developers and researchers collaborate to bring the technology to a broader audience and help society feasible. However, improvements are only achievable if we consider current technical approaches’ many challenges and flaws.

Protected Harbor is a firm believer in IoT and is committed to delivering ultimate solutions for IoT which are secured and protected. With our 24×7 monitoring, 99.99%, and proper security in place, businesses can take full advantage of this ever-growing technology trend.

Unifying security operations and visibility throughout your entire company is becoming increasingly crucial. OT and IoT networks and devices have significant differences. Protected Harbor incorporates unique features and methodologies to consolidate and simplify security operations across these converged infrastructures. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how we address OT and IoT visibility and security.

Virtual servers—are they more safe and secure than physical ones?

Are virtual servers more secure and protected than physical ones

 

Are virtual servers more secure and protected than physical ones?

In 2022, cloud data centers will process 94 percent of all workloads. It will dominate the workload processing and supersede non-cloud data centers. Thus, if you’re planning to migrate to a cloud server, this article will assist you in your decision.

Are the physical servers a thing of the past? Not long ago, people feared a future of thronging data centers covering the globe. While that sounds exaggerated, spatial concerns have always been a critical part of any information center or server room. Owing to virtualization, the development of physical infrastructure slowed within the last decade.
As more organizations benefit from virtualization, virtual servers are already becoming a vital component of the modern hybrid ecosystem.

Businesses and service providers are choosing virtual servers over physical ones due to several advantages, including:

  • Reduced costs and overhead expenses
  • Better scalability as new virtual servers can be created as per need
  • Recovery and backup features for a fast and reliable restoration
  • Technical support from the virtual server hosting provider for setup and maintenance.
  • Ease of installing updates and software to several virtual servers

Is it true that virtual servers are less exposed to threats?

It’s not that virtual servers are less secure than the other servers. In many ways, virtual servers are more secure than physical servers because they depend upon a single-host server and are more isolated.
Each virtual server has its OS (operating system) and configuration, which may or may not be according to the benchmarks set by the parent company. Every one of these servers must be patched and maintained the same way other server does to keep up with the potential vulnerabilities.

The rise in virtualization has yielded a significant vulnerability. Gartner released a study that concluded that many servers being virtualized are less secure than their physical counterparts. So, using virtual servers has its benefits and leverages, but when security is concerned, at a minimum, organizations must have the same type of monitoring as physical systems.

Servers enable you to control and distribute the information and secure and protect the information. Servers can be distinguished into three main types:

  • Physical server
  • Virtual server
  • Cloud server

Physical server

These are the dedicated servers that use the standard components including processor, memory, hard drive, network, and operating system (OS) for running applications and programs, also called Traditional or ‘bare-metal servers. ‘ These servers are mostly single-tenant which means a single server is dedicated to a specific user.
The pros of having a physical server are that it is dedicated, unshared, and can be customized to serve a specific purpose. The obvious disadvantage is that it’s expensive and space required to set up the infrastructure.

Virtual server

A virtual server is like renting out space on a physical server off-site, similar to AWS. They have the same efficiency as a physical server but not the fundamental biological machinery. A virtual server is cost-efficient and provides faster resource management. Multiple virtual servers can be created from a physical server with a hypervisor or container engine.
Cost reduction, less operational expense, and scalability are the most significant benefits of server virtualization. The drawback, however, is that the upfront investments might be expensive for the software licenses and servers. Also, not all applications and servers are virtualization friendly.

Cloud server

A cloud server is a centralized server resource built, hosted, and delivered through a cloud computing platform over the internet and can be accessed on demand by multiple users. It can perform all the functions of a typical server, delivering storage and applications.
A cloud server may also be referred to as a virtual server or virtual private server.
Cloud servers provide ease of accessibility, flexibility, customization and are cost-efficient. While network dependency, security, and technical issues are some of the cons that a reliable data center management company can handle.

Physical vs. Virtual vs. Cloud servers, Which is right for your business?

Each type of server serves its purpose and delivers according to the business’s needs. Still, there are several factors to consider when deciding on the exemplary service for you: budget, performance requirements, data security, space, environmental control, workload, and data type.
As the world is rapidly moving toward the cloud- lifting all applications and information, larger enterprises are quickly leading the approach and virtualizing.

The past decisions to move servers into the cloud, either in virtual servers or colocation environments, become intelligent decisions for most companies. The primary benefits of switching to cloud servers are:

  • Affordability- since third-party providers manage cloud servers, it is far less expensive than owning your infrastructure.
  • Scalability– cloud servers respond quickly, scaling up and down to meet demand or any data storage needs.
  • Convenience– users can access the data from anywhere, anytime, and can be easily managed through a single API or control panel.
  • Reliability– since the cloud runs on numerous servers in a managed environment, service continues even if one component fails. It can efficiently deliver the same performance as a dedicated server.

But the reality is, even in today’s world, there is still a use of physical servers. And the decision-making should be done by considering the factors above.

Protected Harbor among the top virtual hosting companies

As a top virtual hosting company, Protected Harbor has accomplished exceptional reliability, stability, and durability with its Datacenter management service. Eliminating the causes of failures, we have achieved 99.99% uptime for our systems. We provide an unmatched service over any other provider with features like application outage avoidance (AOA), proactive monitoring, and technology improvement plan (TIP).
To know more about switching to a cloud server and the migration process, consult our experts; click here.

Information Technology IT Trends in 2021

Information Technology IT Trends in 2021

 

What are the new IT Trends in 2021?

 

We’ve been so deep in this pandemic that some of us have forgotten what life was like before it. Remember we used to get together for lunch, go to a ball game, celebrate holidays together, and not wear masks! 2021 will begin with more of the same of 2020 but will shift towards “normal”.

When is anyone’s guess? But what will happen with technology? It can be argued that without technology, the economy and education would have taken even a bigger hit than it did in 2020. Platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts allowed us to work in a virtual world. Companies like Protected Harbor’s clients who were smart enough to set up a virtual desktop make the move to “Work From Home” seamlessly.
So when the work moves back to normal, what will technology look like? What trends will continue from 2020? What new trends will emerge?

Trend 1: Drug development revolution with advanced Covid-19 testing and vaccine development

 

Operation Warp Speed changed the way that drugs are developed, tested and trialed. Assuming the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines prove to be safe (and we feel strongly they will), the speed in which vaccines are brought to market will increase dramatically. Both Pfizer and Moderna developed mRNA vaccines, the first in human history! We expect more innovations throughout 2021.

Also, COVID self-tests kits are being developed all over the world. We expect this trend to continue and perhaps move to self-test kits for other diseases.

Trend 2: Continued expansion of remote working and video conferencing

This area was already gaining lots of traction going into 2020 and grew exponentially during the pandemic.

This area has seen rapid growth during the pandemic, and it will likely continue growing in 2021.  Many of our clients have realized they are just as productive with a remote work force as they were before.  Some of them have permanently moved to a “work from home” environment.

Zoom, which grew from a startup in 2011 to going public in 2019, became a household name during the pandemic. Other existing large corporate tools such as Cisco’s Webex, Microsoft’s TeamsGoogle HangoutsGoToMeeting, and Verizon’s BlueJeans are also providing state-of-the-art videoconferencing systems, facilitating remote work across the globe.

Many new ventures are emerging in the remote working sector. Startups BluescapeEloopsFigmaSlab, and Tandem have all provided visual collaboration platforms enabling teams to create and share content, interact, track projects, train employees, run virtual team-building activities, and more.

These tools also help distributed teams keep track of shared learning and documentation. Users can create a virtual office that replicates working together in person by letting colleagues communicate and collaborate with one another easily.

remote working from home

Trend 3: Contactless delivery and shipping remain as the new normal

Due to the pandemic, the US has seen a 20% increase in customers who prefer contactless delivery.  Companies who have led in this space are DoorDash, Postmates, Instacard, Grubhub and Uber Eats.  These companies will continue to flourish in 2021.  Trend # 10 (autonomous driving) may be combined with contactless delivery to offer a truly futuristic way of delivering goods and foods.

Information Technology IT Trends

Trend 4: Telehealth and telemedicine flourish

Telehealth visits have surged by 50 percent compared with pre-pandemic levels. IHS Technology predicted that 70 million Americans would use telehealth by 2020. Since then, Forrester Research predicted the number of U.S. virtual care visits will reach almost a billion early in 2021.

Teladoc Health, Amwell, Livongo Health, One Medical, and Humana are some of the public companies offering telehealth services to meet their current needs.

Startups are not far behind. Startups like MDLive, MeMD, iCliniq, K Health, 98point6, Sense.ly, and Eden Health have also contributed toward meeting the growing needs in 2020 and will continue offering creative solutions in 2021. Beyond telehealth, in 2021 we can expect to see health care advancements in biotech and A.I., as well as machine learning opportunities (example: Suki AI) to support diagnosis, admin work, and robotic health care.

In many ways, patients prefer Telehealth and virtual doctor’s appointments. There’s no more waiting forever in the waiting room, and the doctor simply video calls you when he’s ready.
As Telehealth grows in 2021, tech companies will need to ensure they are HIPAA compliant, and that videos are kept private, and free from hackers.

Telehealth and telemedicine flourish

Trend 5: Online education and e-learning as part of the educational system

Covid-19 fast-tracked the e-learning and online education industry. During this pandemic, 190 countries have enforced nationwide school closures at some point, affecting almost 1.6 billion people globally.

There is a major opportunity with schools, colleges, and even coaching centers conducting classes via videoconferencing. Many institutions have actually been recommended to pursue a portion of their curriculum online even after everything returns to normal.

The challenge in 2020 was the availability of high-speed internet, especially in low-income neighborhoods.  As the economy recovers in 2021, we expect more and more households will have this access.

Over time, we expect internet access to be considered just as critical as food, water and electricity.

Online education and e-learning as part of the educational system

Trend 6: Increased development of 5G infrastructure, new applications, and utilities

There is no doubt that demand for higher-speed internet and a shift toward well-connected homes, smart cities, and autonomous mobility have pushed the advancement of 5G-6G internet technology. In 2021, we will see new infrastructure and utility or application development updates both from the large corporations and startups.

Many telcos are on track to deliver 5G, with Australia having rolled it out before Covid-19. Verizon announced a huge expansion of its 5G network in October 2020, which will reach more than 200 million people. In China, 5G deployment has been happening rapidly. There are more than 380 operators currently investing in 5G. More than 35 countries have already launched commercial 5G services.

Startups like Movandi are working to help 5G transfer data at greater distances; startups including Novalume help municipalities manage their public lighting network and smart-city data through sensors. Nido Robotics is using drones to explore the seafloor.

Through 5G networks, these drones help navigate better and use IoT to help communicate with devices on board. Startups like Seadronix from South Korea use 5G to help power autonomous ships. The 5G networks enable devices to work together in real-time and help enable vessels to travel unmanned.

The development of 5G and 6G technology will drive smart-city projects globally and will support the autonomous mobility sector in 2021.

Trend 7: A.I., robotics, internet of things, and industrial automation grow rapidly

In 2021, we expect to see huge demand and rapid growth of artificial intelligence (A.I.) and industrial automation technology. As manufacturing and supply chains are returning to full operation, manpower shortages will become a serious issue. Automation, with the help of A.I., robotics, and the internet of things, will be a key alternative solution to operate manufacturing.

Some of the top technology-providing companies enabling industry automation with A.I. and robotics integration include:

UBTech Robotics (China), CloudMinds (U.S.), Bright Machines (U.S.), Roobo (China), Vicarious (U.S.), Preferred Networks (Japan), Fetch Robotics (U.S.), Covariant (U.S.), Locus Robotics (U.S.), Built Robotics (U.S.), Kindred Systems (Canada), and XYZ Robotics (China).

Also, as we discuss in Trend # 10 (autonomous driving), AI has played, and will continue to play, a key role in autonomous driving, as cars “learn” how humans react to certain road conditions.

Trend 8: Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies usage rises

Augmented reality and virtual reality have grown significantly in 2020. These immersive technologies are now part of everyday life, from entertainment to business. The arrival of Covid-19 has prompted this technology adoption as businesses turned to the remote work model, with communication and collaboration extending over to AR and VR.

The immersive technologies from AR and VR innovations enable an incredible source of transformation across all sectors. AR avatars, AR indoor navigation, remote assistance, integration of A.I. with AR and VR, mobility AR, AR cloud, virtual sports events, eye tracking, and facial expression recognition will see major traction in 2021. Adoption of AR and VR will accelerate with the growth of the 5G network and expanding internet bandwidth.

Companies like MicrosoftConsagousQuytechRealWorld OneChetuGramercy TechScantaIndiaNICGroove Jones, etc. will play a significant role in shaping our world in the near future, not only because of AR’s and VR’s various applications but also as the flag carrier of all virtualized technologies.

Trend 9: Continued growth in micromobility

While the micro-mobility market had seen a natural slowdown at the beginning of the Covid-19 spread, this sector has already recovered to the pre-Covid growth level. E-bikes and e-scooters’ usage is soaring since they are viewed as convenient transportation alternatives that also meet social distancing norms. Compared to the pre-Covid days, the micro-mobility market is expected to grow by 9 percent for private micro-mobility and by 12 percent for shared micro-mobility.

There are hundreds of miles of new bike lanes created in anticipation. Milan, Brussels, Seattle, Montreal, New York, and San Francisco have each introduced 20-plus miles of dedicated cycle paths. The U.K. government announced that diesel and petrol-fueled car sales will be banned after 2030, which has also driven interest in micro-mobility as one of the alternative options.

Startups are leading the innovation in micro-mobility. Bird, Lime, Dott, Skip, Tier, and Voi are key startups leading the global micro-mobility industry.

China has already seen several micro-mobility startups reach unicorn status, including Ofo, Mobike, and Hellobike.

 

Trend 10: Ongoing autonomous driving innovation

We will see major progress in autonomous driving technology during 2021.  Tesla has clearly led the way.  Tesla’s Autopilot not only offers lane centering and automatic lane changes, but, from this year, can also recognize speed signs and detect green lights.

Honda recently announced that it will mass-produce autonomous vehicles, which under certain conditions will not require any driver intervention.  Ford is also joining the race, anticipating an autonomous driving cars ridesharing service launch in 2021. The company could also make such vehicles available to certain buyers as early as 2026. Other automakers, including Mercedes-Benz, are also trying to integrate some degree of autonomous driving technology in their new models from 2021. GM intends to roll out its hands-free-driving Super Cruise feature to 22 vehicles by 2023.

The fierce market competition is also accelerating self-driving technology growth in other companies, including Uber, Lyft and Waymo. Billions of dollars have been spent in acquiring startups in this domain: GM acquired Cruise for $1 billion; Uber acquired Otto for $680 million; Ford acquired Argo AI for $1 billion; and Intel acquired Mobileye for $15.3 billion.

Looking ahead

Technology development in 2021 will be somewhat of a continuation of 2020, but the influence of Covid-19 will evolve during the year. Many of our new behaviors will become part of the new normal in 2021, helping drive major technological and business innovations.

Protected Harbor continues to monitor these new technologies and look to bring them to their clients if and when there is a business need.  For more information on Protected Harbor, please visit Protected Harbor

Protected Harbor’s New PBX Phone System

Protected Harbor’s New PBX Phone System

 

Protected Harbor’s New PBX Phone System

 

Protected Harbor is proud to introduce a state of the art phone system 3CX.  It is available to all our current clients and anyone in the market looking to upgrade their current set up.  Protected Harbor partnered with 3CX, and provides system configuration and support.

The benefits of this new phone system are plentiful, starting with the end-user being in complete control.  This PBX can be installed on-premise and virtualized on a Linux or Windows platform.   It is easily set up via iOS and Android apps for remote work via QR code.  Staff can easily be added, and voicemail can be set up in minutes.  The user management is simple and easy which will save countless hours of work.

The biggest benefit perhaps, of our system is that it has a softphone so you can make and receive business calls from your PC, tablet or smartphone.  There is no need to be tied to a hard physical phone in your office.  It’s perfect for businesses that have employees working from home during COVID-19.

Moreover, many of the phone features that other vendors classify as add-ons, such as video conferencing, iOS and Android mobile apps or call center features, are included with Protected Harbor’s PBX. So, there are no hidden costs for the features you need.

Switching to this configuration makes complete sense when you compare pricing to that of other PBX vendors such as 8×8 and Avaya. Our system provides a complete unified communications solution that is easy to manage, flexible and affordable. Whether you are a small business or a large enterprise, you can save thousands and avoid all the hassle of purchasing additional extensions and add-ons as your business grows.

Think less about maintaining your PBX, and more about your business – call or email us today to find out more about Protected Harbor’s new phone system! www.protectedharbor.com

WHY IS 99.99% UPTIME IMPORTANT?

WHY IS 99.99% UPTIME IMPORTANT

 

WHY IS 99.99% UPTIME IMPORTANT?

 

Today, businesses of all sizes have grown more reliant on their technology and no business, no matter the size wants to see their systems or site offerings offline – even for a few minutes.  This is why uptime has become vital.  For many companies, uptime is not a preference, it’s a necessity.

Uptime is important because the cost and consequences of downtime can cripple a business, however, no business in any industry can guarantee absolute perfection. Even with tremendous precautions and redundancies in place, systems can fail.  Natural disasters or other mitigating factors out of our control that may require a quick re-boot can’t always be predicted or prevented.

In order to evade debilitating periods of downtime, businesses must employ the most current technologies, designed with uptime in mind, or utilize a managed service provider well versed in the latest technology and long term solutions.

It is no secret that businesses look for 99.99% uptime.  If this percentage seems unrealistic, the additional decimals make a huge difference. The reality is that .1% of downtime is an unacceptable percentage for most companies.  When businesses encounter downtime, they cannot provide services to their customers.  Customers have short memories and as a result, may be tempted to take their dollars elsewhere if they cannot get what they want in a timely manner.

Not only is losing customers disastrous, but productivity can suffer as well.  This is never a good combination.  The average cost of downtime across businesses of all sizes and all industries is around $5,600 per minute.

When a customer selects a company, they need to trust that they are working with a professional and capable organization. Not being able to access a company’s website or employees telling customers they cannot help them at the moment they called does not ensure shopper confidence. This damage can be irreversible to a business’s reputation.

Given that the consequences of downtime are so costly, it’s easy to understand why achieving near-perfect uptime is so important. In order to completely avoid all of the costs and consequences associated with downtime, businesses need to be aiming for uptime of at least 99.99%. While these consequences may seem a bit disheartening, the good news is that there are ways to avoid them. Get connected to our data center and solve your issue.

Protected Harbor helps businesses across the US address their current IT needs by building custom, cost-effective solutions.  Our unique technology experts evaluate current systems, determine the needs then design cost-effective solutions. On average, we are able to save clients up to 30% on IT costs while increasing their security, productivity and durability.  We work with many internal IT departments, freeing them up to concentrate on daily workloads while we do the heavy lifting.  www.protectedharbor.com

Keep Your Business Running – Prepare for The Worst

Keep Your Business Running – Prepare for The Worst

Since the face of how we do business has changed because of COVID-19, businesses should think about (and hopefully prepare for) cyberattacks and security breaches. Having a disaster recovery plan in place to restore critical information is a good place to start.  However, in these times this is simply not enough.

This is why it’s important to have a 360 business continuity plan ready.

Here are some devastating facts from Bureau of Labor, PC Mag, Gartner, Unitrends and TechRadar:

  • Every year, 20% of businesses experience system loss from events such as fires, floods, outages, etc. These types of occurrences not only result in loss of data, but they displace employees and shatter operations
  • 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months
  • Only 35% of Small Businesses have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place, according to Gartner
  • The cost of losing critical applications has been estimated by experts at more than $5,000 per minute
  • Network downtime costs 80% of small and medium businesses at least $20,000 per hour

If these facts are not enough to ensure a business continuity plan is in place, then you are rolling the dice in a game you will not win.  It is not a matter IF something will happen its WHEN.

A business continuity plan creates a means of keeping your business operational during a crisis. In addition, the plan should include protocols for your devices, communication channels, office setup – including employees, and more.

If you’re currently experiencing unexplained system slow-downs, unexplained outages and trying to maintain normal computer functions, then your system needs definite attention, and you probably don’t have a continuity plan in place. It’s not too late to start, but understand it’s going to take some time and effort but the end result will be invaluable.

This is where Protected Harbor can help. We deliver end to end IT solutions ranging from custom designed systems, data center management, disaster recovery, ransomware protection, cloud services and more.  On average, we save clients up to 30% on IT costs while increasing their productivity, durability and sustainability.  Let our unique technology experts evaluate your current systems and design cost-effective, secure options.

With us, you can be sure your systems will run during a crisis.  Contact us today to find out more.  www.protectedharbor.com

What Does the Average Company Pay for Downtime?

What Does Downtime Cost the Average Business banner

 

What Does Downtime Cost the Average Business?

 

One bad experience is all it takes to rattle a business owner. Infrastructure matters and when your system or applications crash. It can have an enormous impact on your bottom line not to mention your business operations.  Monetary and data losses from unexpected crashes can even, in some cases cause a company to close its doors permanently.

According to an ITIC study this year, the average amount of a single hour of downtime is $100,000 or more.  Since 2008, ITIC has sent out independent surveys that measure downtime costs. Findings included that a single hour of downtime has risen by 25%-30%.  Here are some staggering results:

  • 98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000
  • 81% of respondents indicated that 60 minutes of downtime costs their businesses over $300,000
  • 33% of those enterprises reported that one hour of downtime costs their companies between $1-5 million

The only way to mitigate risk is to be proactive by having the right technology in place to monitor, prevent, and when an attack happens (and it’s not IF but WHEN), having the right company on hand to restore, rebuild and restart. Once you understand the real-life costs of downtime it should not be hard to take proactive measures to protect your business.

Protected Harbor has a full team of technical experts and resources to maintain your system’s well-being and ensure business continuity. Contact us today for a full assessment of your applications and infrastructure.  www.protectedharbor.com

The S. Hekemian Group Success Story

The S. Hekemian Group Success Stories

Protected Harbor Helps Hekemian Group Overcome Server & ISP Challenges

Protected Harbor was hired to manage servers, ISP and more for nationwide real estate developer, The S. Hekemian Group.

PROTECTED HARBOR QUICKLY JUMPED IN TO PROVIDE 24/7 MONITORING

Protected Harbor Helps Real Estate Developer Overcome Server & ISP Challenges

Nationwide real estate developer, The S. Hekemian Group, contracted Protected Harbor to take over the management of its servers and ISP.

Sharon McGuire is an executive administrator at The S. Hekemian Group, and while she understands the company’s servers and software, she needed an IT team to help her set up and monitor both on a full-time basis. The S. Hekemian Group is one of the country’s most stable property owners and developers, with a highly selective portfolio of luxury residential, office, and mixed-use properties throughout the United States. While the real estate group has certainly built its reputation, they were lacking in their IT department.

Once McGuire contracted Protected Harbor, after being referred from another trusted vendor, she began to see the expertise of their staff with the de-installation and new installation for their main office relocation as well as the build, upgrade and maintenance of servers in other satellite offices.

Protected Harbor was also able to set-up server access for all of the S. Hekemian Group’s employees. Employees have access to servers via other means, including laptops, and if ever there is a problem, a ticket is placed to the Protected Harbor help desk and someone contacts them immediately.

McGuire also noted the ease of the Protected Harbor ticketing system for everyone in the company to use directly from their computer or laptop.

 

Another big problem identified when they began working with Protected Harbor, was the group’s lack of a reliable Internet Service Provider. Protected Harbor quickly jumped in to provide 24/7 monitoring of the fluctuating service provided by Hekemian’s ISP.

“Protected Harbor knows when I am down before I even know. I get a notification as soon as we are down, and another one as soon as they have us back up, so a lot of stuff is taken care of before we know it’s even a problem,” said McGuire.

Being a nationwide real estate developer, McGuire said the company has to keep its various software, from accounting to construction, up to date. The company relies on the expertise of Protected Harbor technicians and the company leadership to make sure they have the back-end capacity to house any new software they are considering.

“Protected Harbor handles a lot of stuff that other tech companies won’t or are not capable of,” said McGuire. “They ask all the right questions on our behalf to make sure we make the right choices when purchasing new software, which saves me an incredible amount of work and time so I can focus on other things for the company.”

Protected Harbor runs a daily back up of the company’s servers and makes sure the server is compatible with their software.

McGuire counts on Protected Harbor at all times – day or night – and remembers being in close contact with them during a major storm affecting their main office.

“If you surround yourself with good people, it makes your job a lot easier,” said McGuire. “Protected Harbor is tremendous; they really are tremendous.”

Ashar Success Story

Ashar Success Stories

 

Ashar Success Stories

PROTECTED HARBOR IMPLEMENTED BETTER TECH SECURITY & SOFTWARE
Since ASHAR started working with Protected Harbor, the school has grown from 300 to over 500 students.

With the Help of Protected Harbor, Private School Grows Student Base

New York K-8 private school, ASHAR, grew their student base from 300 to 500+ by implementing better tech security and easy to manage software for staff and students.

David Katznelson is the Executive Director at ASHAR, a K-8 private school in New York. The school needed to update its entire structure from their school’s WIFI network to the individual devices students were using during lessons, and Protected Harbor was the right fit.

With Protected Harbor on board, the school updated from tablets to wireless Chromebooks so students could access their work more securely and easily.

Protected Harbor integrated the new technology with the school’s system seamlessly.

“Every day, a teacher comes in, picks up a rack of Chromebooks and takes them to his or her classroom for the lesson. This would not have been possible without the help of Protected Harbor who manages all users and the Google domain,” said Katznelson. “They can turn on any features we’re are not familiar with and help us make each student’s experience the best.”

This helped the school improve engagement and scoring for their existing students and served as a perk for new student recruitment and enrollment.

“Because they work with other schools, they are able to guide us and tell us to do what’s best for the students which is invaluable.”

In just a short time after working with Protected Harbor, ASHAR’s entire IT infrastructure was updated.

Protected Harbor rebuilt the school’s subnet. The way the infrastructure was laid out prior prevented ASHAR from scaling seamlessly in line with the growth of student admission.

So Protected Harbor figured out and implemented a way to solve all these problems.

Protected Harbor reconfigured all WIFI hot spots throughout the campus and worked on all four of the school’s main servers, correcting all identified problems. Prior to this, there were lots of slowdowns and limited WIFI access in some areas of campus. Now, there are hot spots in every classroom, no dead zones or service interruption when traveling throughout the campus.

“This is a company that will do whatever it takes so your bottom line can improve,” said Katznelson. To get us up to par and to straighten out our issues, Protected Harbor technicians spent almost 72 hours here!”

Now, ASHAR’s servers are even faster and with much less downtime.

Protected Harbor updated ASHAR to virtual machines as doing so fit their model, and now with proper backups, server down time is limited.

ASHAR keeps Protected Harbor on staff 24/7 with their ongoing tech support. They have remote support available to all office and teaching staff and continue to find the best and safest technology for ASHAR’s students.

“Protected Harbor stays on top of the IT industry and remains knowledgeable as the world progresses,” said Katznelson. They have helped us function more efficiently in servicing our customers, which are students.”

HARC Success Story

HARC Success stories

PROTECTED HARBOR ENSURES HARC’S 500+ EMPLOYEES ARE ALWAYS UP & RUNNING
Protected Harbor Helps Strengthen & Grow Company that Serves Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

Non-profit organization, HARC, Inc. contracted Protected Harbor and saw its IT challenges dwindle as Protected Harbor started taking a more proactive approach to keeping the company’s systems up to date.

Gregory is the COO at HARC, a non-profit that serves individuals with intellectual disabilities. He recently inherited the task of overseeing the company’s IT department and needed a partner like Protected Harbor to be successful.

Prior to working with Protected Harbor, HARC’s IT department was reactive in dealing with any IT issues. The company’s system was failing; with down email and Internet problems. After starting their working relationship with Protected Harbor, HARC quickly saw that having an IT service provider with a team who is constantly monitoring and available through an on-call system and call center, made their day-to-day operations much more effective.