VPN Services Work!

By Stuart Fisk

VPN stands for virtual private network and is commonly used by organizations to provide remote access to a secure organizational network. For instance, you are working from home and you need to access files in your computer at the office or connect to applications that are available only via your office network. If your office has VPN installed and your laptop or home computer is configured to connect to it, you can get what you need from the office without having to worry about the security of the data transported over the Internet.

VPN is also used to mask the IP address of individual computers within the Internet. This allows people to surf the Internet anonymously or access location-restricted services such as Internet television.

You can find many providers online offering VPN services at different rates. It depends on how the service will be used. If you need it just to browse web site content (no downloading or streaming), you can get it cheaply (as low as $5 per month) or even for free!

But if you want to download or stream content, you should have a premium VPN account. Aside from being readily available, the subscription may have other value-added features (depending on the provider) such as your own IP address, strong encryption for any data you are sending over the Internet and your choice of server locations (to be able to visit sites that would normally block your access).

There are many VPN service providers out there, and you can narrow your list by deciding how you want to use the service. Browsing? Downloading? Watching Internet television? All of the above? More importantly, look for and read the terms and conditions of service of the provider you are vetting. There may be some restrictions against "illegal" activity, usually involving downloading of intellectual property such as music and literature.

"Try before you buy" is another good rule. Providers who have nothing to hide will not hesitate to offer a trial period. It is one of the best ways to determine if their service is the one you want.

Check the Internet speed: Is the speed reliable or are there certain times of the day when browsing or downloading is inconvenient? Assess the timeliness and quality their technical support: How long before they respond to questions or help requests? How well do they understand your concerns and were they able to help? Bottom line: Is the service worth the cost?

You can also check out what other people are saying - good or bad - about certain VPN service providers on online forums. While providers will have customer testimonials on their website, you hardly read about any possible issues there. On the other hand, a significant number of negative comments on an online forum would indicate that doing business with a particular provider would not be a good idea. - 31881

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Network Systems And Management Software

By Charlie Sigler

If you own or operate your own business, whether online or in the real world with your own computer network, you need to find a way to enable your system to function better or else automate any and all changes that are likely to occur in your change management process through the use of change management software.

Change management, also known as change control is the process in which changes in the system are put into operation. This process is done in a controlled manner, hence the term change control, through the use of a pre-delineated model or framework. In hindsight, this method makes use of the change management software which is very useful in making sure that any and all important changes are done systematically to achieve organizational changes and to search for possible solutions to problems that are associated with ineffective performance of your computer system and networks.

Change management software shows consideration to the apparent distaste of man towards the idea of change even as it controls the system network by way of the configuration manager, the supervisor of the information database found within training and testing milieu as well as offline milieu.

The configuration manager makes use of the method of configuration management, which centers on setting up and upholding the steadiness and uniformity of your system's performance at all times. The configuration manager does this by using the change management software's operational information such as its security features, firmware, documentations, tests and test material and others as well.

A configuration manager also takes care to maintain the four missions needed to classify the execution of any changes inside your system. Configuration identification distinguishes all the qualities that classify each aspect of a configuration point like the end-user intention of the system's hardware and software.

Then there is configuration control, which is the list of methods and approval stages that are needed to modify a configuration point's traits and reinitiate them. Configuration status accounting is the facility needed to document and deal with the configuration baselines correlated to each point at any time period. The last task is Configuration audits, which has two aspects: functional audits and physical audits. The former deals with the functional and performance attributes of the configuration point. On the other hand the latter makes certain that the configuration point is established according to what is required by the detailed design records.

All in all, having the configuration management done by a person with competence and through the use of a superior level of change software, you can rest be rest assured of the maximization of the performance level of your system and networks. - 31881

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The Many Functions Of Secure Email

By Mitch Stenson

Most casual users only see email as a simple way to share or distribute information. Businesses, though, have to take it a little more seriously because secure email is something they can't afford to take for granted. Lost or compromised emails can be a real problem for any company.

Imagine completing a business proposal that has taken hours - if not days - to finish. One wrong click can delete all that hard work in a nanosecond. Secure email can be set up to eliminate complete loss of data. To be able to count on this is priceless.

Let's take this to another level. A severe storm hits and the business staff is cranking out data left and right. A power outage hits. Nothing is operational and it is assumed that data via email is completely lost. With secure email backup services in place there is much less of a chance that important information has been completely lost.

All it takes is a simple click of the mouse the make sure that your email is backed up on a secure location. It's a simple procedure, but you soon can rest assured that all your hard work won't go to waste. When you have less to worry about you can start increasing productivity.

IT professionals can tell many stories of the headaches over lost data. When there is a tool to help put a stop to this they will be the first to cheer it on. A secure email service is just the kind of resource that IT will be cheering about. Anything that stops worries and promotes security is bound to be appreciated.

Another important reason to employ a secure email system is to make sure that unethical people cannot hack your information. A secure email program should also be prepared to block such intrusions. You should always look for programs that offer both a backup system and sufficient protection.

That means good email security should cover two aspects. First, it needs to make sure you won't lose any email, and the second is to prevent hackers from seeing your email. When it comes to secure email, both aspects are equally important.

When snoopers visit the email spy world it is not only unnerving it is illegal. There is also the worst case scenario of serious damage being done to a company. Theft of trade secrets, character damage and loss of prospects are just a few of the results of violating email information. Secure email must be in place to stop these awful results. - 31881

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What Are The Benefits Of Implementing PCI DSS

By Adriana Noton

With the increasing number of people now using the internet for shopping and the new high tech methods of accepting payments online and in traditional 'brick and mortar' stores, security has become an important issue for both businesses and consumers. The business community has recognized the need for quality security protocols and has implemented an effective security policy known as PCI Compliance. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a global security standard designed to protect businesses and consumers. The purpose is to protect personal and financial information from such threats as identity theft. When implementing PCI DSS, both the business and consumer benefit.

Below is a list of the benefits to a business when they implement PCI DSS:

1. If a company becomes PCI compliant and they have a breach in security, they will not be fined. The company will be given "safe harbor" status as long as they were PCI compliant at the time the security breach occurred. If a company is sued by consumers, the court will be more lenient on the company if it was PCI compliant. That is, if the company shows they had implemented all of the proper security measures.

2. By being PCI compliant, companies will give customers peace of mind knowing they are protected when they make a purchase. By protecting their customer's personal data, customer buying confidence will be boosted. Maintaining customer trust creates loyal customers which improves sales. Customers will feel satisfied knowing that their cardholder data is safe when transmitted and stored. As well, the reputation of the company will be solid and the reputation of the brand will remain protected.

3. Businesses will be protected when they are PCI compliant as they will be able to build and maintain a secure business network. Their systems will be less prone to a successful attack and there will be continual security checks to make sure compliancy is maintained.

Becoming PCI compliant is a relatively quick and easy process, depending on the size of the business, their level of technology, and how many threats need to be minimized once the scan has been completed. It is recommended that a business enlist the services of a professional to help them become PCI compliant. An IT security expert can thoroughly assess a business security needs and implement an effective plan that will ensure that the business remains compliant in PCI.

Any company that stores or transmits cardholder account data is a potential target of criminals which is why any merchant or service provider that processes, transmits, and stores cardholder data must be PCI DSS compliant. PCI DSS protects cardholders and minimizes the risk to your business. PCI compliancy allows a business to simplify their security requirements, policies, and plans.

Well informed consumers will only shop at PCI compliant companies. They will know how to identify a company that is PCI compliant; therefore, it makes sense to become PCI compliant. The benefits of implementing PCI DSS far outweigh the personal and financial costs if a security breach occurs. - 31881

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Benefits of Microsoft SQL Server 2008

By Albartio Pheung

SQL Server 2008 fulfils MSs vision by allowing your company to organise and manage any data, wherever and whenever. It stores all kinds of data directly, from unstructured, to semi-structured to structured, like rich media and images.

The server provides a complete service enabling you to do as you please with your data, like search it, synchronize it, analyze it, run queries or run reports.

The server provides you with the top levels of reliability, security and scalability for all your vital applications. Companies need the ability implement data driven solutions as quickly as possible in order to fully take advantage of the opportunities in the business world of today.

Access all your companys data and delegate control over it wherever it is stored, from mobile devices and desktops to the largest servers in the system. It gives you access to its fully comprehensive platform which can deliver an intelligent service wherever your users require it.

Solutions offered by SQL Server 2008:

OLTP: OLTP-Online Transaction Processing, Where a large number of transactions are carried out every minute by a large number of users. SQL Server 2008 provides highly efficient database solutions to be used in these environments. It provides scalability and performance required by these applications. It provides high availability " Always-On Capabilities with less management and performance overhead.

Business Intelligence: Most companies will have access to l large amount of data, but the challenge is transforming that data into useful information and gaining intelligence from it. The server provides the solutions to enable you to do that, and to apply that intelligence to important business decisions.

Application Development: SQL Server 2008 is the basis of any effective data platform that provides you with tools to access and manipulate data from a range of devices and data services. It increases the productivity of developers by enabling them to flip seamlessly between frameworks, web services, data, development tools or data connectivity services.

What Analysts Say: ChannelWeb: CRN Staff Microsoft SQL Server recognized as Best Seller and Top Growth Best Seller by CRN Magazine.

Gartner, Inc. Gartner 2006 worldwide RDBMS market share reports highest growth rate in market share for Microsoft SQL Server. With 28% growth in market share, growth is almost twice the nearest competitor at--.8% growth. - 31881

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Network Security: Protect Your Life

By Jason Myers

If somebody asked you how safe your computer network is, would you be able to respond without being anxious if it really is? Network security is a potential issue for everybody. May it be for your business or personal computer, not having the appropriate level of security can permit your personal and private information to be seen by unauthorized browsers. How do you check how secure your network is? Some individuals assume since they have software on their computer to take care of their security that is everything they require. But any software program that is set up on your computer even requires to have the proper updates and downloads to make sure that it is updated.

One of the levels of protection that you require to ensure is in place on your computer is a firewall. A firewall is a division of a computer system or a network that is designed to help block against illegal entry by other parties. It is installed to deny; permit or proxy all of the computer traffic that is among varied security domains.

The level of these domains is relying on a set of detailed rules and principles that are installed by the user to put boundaries on what should and should not be permitted to communicate on the computer. A good way to ensure network security is to have all of the newest updates on your security system.

You can also download new enhancements and filters for your anti-virus software online. If you are not set up for automatic updates, you may have to go online and find the latest downloads to update your anti-virus programs.

If you are worried that your security system may be too old, it is worth the tiny investment of a little bit of money and a little bit of time, to buy new software that can assist you make sure that you are going to have full security of all of the significant information on your pc. - 31881

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Common Areas for PCI Violation

By Adriana Noton

With so many threats coming from around the world targeting a company's data, which includes their customer's data, the business industry created PCI compliance standards to protect sensitive information. PCI Compliance is a global mandated set of standards that businesses must implement and follow in order to protect their information, customer information, and transaction information. The purpose is to ensure appropriate security to customers by assuring that businesses meet their security standards.

Once the business implements the PCI standards, and prove they have implemented these standards, they become PCI compliant. There are a number of areas that are common to PCI violation. One such area that needs protection is making sure the business has all of the appropriate applications and hardware devices to prevent hackers. This includes making sure vulnerabilities such as preventing remote hackers from access to file-system read and write capabilities, sealing back door entry, and preventing hackers from leaving Trojans and viruses on the host's server. Compliance involves such remedies as the appropriate firewalls and host monitoring and tracking.

Another area of compliance violation is businesses not implementing all of the security policies such as not sharing passwords, not writing credit card numbers down on paper, and not properly destroying hard copies of transaction information such as shredding everything before sending it out to be disposed.

Other areas of common PCI violations is hackers penetrating server systems because a business has not acquired assistance from a PCI compliant service provider that constantly monitor, test, and track systems. There are PCI compliant service providers that specialize in monitoring a business' system remotely to ensure PCI compliance. These companies monitor traffic coming in and out of the businesses host system and will detect any breaches and stop it, and then alert the business right way. As well, these companies reduce the risks of data loss which includes stopping Phishing, spam, Trojan, and virus threats.

Other common areas of PCI violation include hackers gaining access to certain files on the host, directory browsing, security mechanisms, as well as unauthorized use of services such as mail relaying, and hackers gaining access to information that allows them to launch attacks against the host, and gaining access to open ports.

When enlisting the services of a PCI compliant service provider, a business will benefit because their business will have reduced or eliminated vulnerabilities, earn customer trust, protect customer personal data, protect your business from financial penalties and lawsuits, and maintain the host systems infrastructure. The savings one will achieve by using a PCI Compliant Service Provider can be hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as save their business because they stopped an event such as a breach that could have affected millions of customers.

PCI Compliance is not only essential to business security, it is also mandatory. A customer's information must be protected to prevent credit card fraud and identity theft. Every business should take the appropriate measures such as hiring a PCI Compliance Service Provider. If a business does not remain PCI compliant, the consequences can be devastating such as a company losing millions of dollars, losing customers, and even losing the business. - 31881

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