Driving into work today, I heard an old classic, "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai. As I was belting out the lyrics (of course I was alone in the car), the repeated use of the word 'virtual' got me thinking about our own virtualization services. In truth, without proper virtualization in a network, it can lead to insanity.
The old saying that "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is..." is a perfect motto for IT safety this holiday season. For example, you receive a message that says you won $1 million from an online lottery you've never heard of. No matter how tempting it seems, never respond to a message that asks you to send money or personal information.
Network Virtualization: Don't Try this at Home
More and more organizations are turning to virtualization as they face an increasingly complex IT environment. Enterprises of all sizes have found that relocating their operating, network and/or hardware resources to an offsite host server provides an array of business benefits.This virtualized IT environment can lead to reduced capital and operating costs, flexibility in the allocation of system resources to meet changing requirements, the ability to quickly integrate legacy and new systems, and scalability for expanding operations. Another key but often-overlooked advantage of using virtualized machines in an enterprise-level data center is the improved data and network security provided to an organization.
Despite the common misconception that virtualization increases security risk, in actuality today’s virtualized networks can be much more secure than an entity’s in-house network. This is particularly the case in an IT ecosystem where threats originate from evolving network technologies, protocols and devices, as well as sophisticated hackers and data thieves, internal breaches, hardware and software failures, business partner security breaches and even natural disasters.
To Virtualize, Or Not to Virtualize?
Hamlet never would have asked this specific question, but in today's world it's really important if you’re running a small business. Most businesses we work with feel overwhelmed as to where to begin when it comes to Virtualization. As recently as a couple of years ago, clear-cut best practices let you know where you should start and what things you should during virtualization. Almost everything is up for grabs these days. Given these changes, how do you, the virtualization newbie, decide what to view? If you are unsure if you should head down the virtualization path or not, here are three helpful questions that will help you decide if it's time.
This past month I went on a much needed vacation with my family to Europe.
To Tablet, or not to Tablet?
In the last 24 months, we have seen a huge increase in releases of tablets. These next-generation mobile devices have no doubt helped with our digital lifestyle but several questions should be considered:
The growing reliance on mobile technologies and cloud-based services has changed the landscape forever. With data consumption increasing, it's time for fresh thinking on the supply of data for business.
Are You Seeking Excitement...Or Security?
Recently I was at a dinner party with my wife, and overheard a 30-year-old young woman say to another, that she was 'over the days of excitement' and was now looking for a relationship that would offer 'security.' We all might have a sense of what she was referring to, which was a responsible, financially stable individual.
Regardless of their size, many small businesses still need to meet strict compliance regulations, such as PCI and HIPAA. In addition to any special requirements, there are a few security technologies every small business should have in place.
Here are our four security must-haves.
Firewall – It sounds passé, but firewalls are still the de facto solution for minimum security. Small businesses are no exception. We frequently see vendors attempting to coax small business owners into boxes bigger than they need, with full redundancy and licensing. As expected, most small business owners will balk at the price tags that hang off these shiny new boxes. The truth is, for bandwidths typical in smaller organizations, a small ASIC-based firewall even with gateway services (e.g. anti-virus, anti-spyware, IDS or IPS) can be found for an affordable price. Even if it’s not tweaked to perfection, having some firewall solution is better than none. And no organization should rely on their Internet provider for this security.
The humble firewall has come a long way since the packet-filtering days, originally founded in the 1980's. These early firewalls operated mainly on the first four layers of the OSI model, intercepting traffic and inspecting the properties of every packet to determine if they matched a pre-configured set of rules. Firewall development did not take a breather between then and the next-generation firewall of today. In fact, the ride from there to here has been largely organic – developments in firewall technology, intrusion detection and prevention, and user or content management have all been assimilated into the unified threat management (UTM) platform of today.