Data Management and the Small Business

All businesses need to be as efficient with their resources as possible. You might be surprised by the difference you can make simply by using your data more effectively. Stronger data management platforms, or DMPs, can put you in a better position to understand your organization’s needs, including its market and its customers. It’s time to look at how a DMP can make your business more effective and resource-efficient.

 

Data Management

If you’re new to data management, you might be surprised to find out that your organization creates, receives, and stores a considerable amount of data that can be leveraged to its benefit. Unfortunately, most businesses have this data not in one single location, but strewn across their entire network. Some of this data might even be found on old servers, in the cloud, or on disk drives.

 

First, you’ll have to determine what your business’ storage needs are. You should aim to centralize your storage without making it too complicated, all while keeping costs to a minimum. VentureNet can help you make the choice that’s best for your business. Once your data is in a convenient location, your data management system will be much more effective.

 

Data Warehousing

Business intelligence platforms can allow your organization to take advantage of high-end business analysis, but you’ll need a data warehousing solution before you can truly leverage it. A data warehouse is a location where you can run business intelligence (BI) and business analytics (BA) software to improve your business. Innovative software can help you crawl through standing data to discover new trends.

 

What are BI and BA?

While they might sound similar, BI and BA are two different things. Business analysis is the act of defining how certain strategies and processes work, as well as outlining why they are used. The business analyst will generally identify ways in which these processes aren’t used as efficiently as they could be, or even predict the outcome of a particular situation.

 

Business intelligence, on the other hand, is using your business’ data to determine what your business is doing, how it’s being done, and the results of such actions. You can use business intelligence to determine metrics for measuring the effectiveness of your business.

 

Data Backup

Of course, when you have so much data being used in everyday operations, you’ll want to make sure it’s backed up. VentureNet offers a comprehensive data backup solution that you’re sure to find valuable. To learn more about ways to use and protect your organization’s data, reach out to us at 214-343-3550.

Make Sure Your Staff Understands How Data Disasters Come to Be

Disasters lurk around every corner in the workplace, even on an end-user level. All employees of a business should understand how to identify specific office disasters and what to do when they are encountered. We’ll discuss some of the most common (and deceptive) disasters, as well as how your team should handle them on the off chance they show themselves.

 

User Error

People make mistakes; it’s a fact of life. Unfortunately, making mistakes in the workplace carries with it a stigma of being chastised, slapped on the wrist, or punished, making it enticing for employees to either not admit to mistakes, or actively seek to hide them from those who should certainly be notified of them. As a thought leader and professional in a business environment, you need to take some time to sit down with your employees and reinforce the fact that it’s okay to own up to mistakes–especially when they cause downtime or lead to considerable issues for your organization.

 

Hardware Failure and Technology Issues

Users need to speak up if they are experiencing technology troubles. Productivity suffers if users aren’t getting the most out of their technology. Think about it–if your workstations are constantly at odds with your workers, they can’t get anything of substance done. Hardware failure in particular is nasty to deal with, as it can cost your business a considerable sum while keeping your employees from getting work done. Have them report anything out of the ordinary with your devices before they suffer the consequences.

 

Phishing Scams

This goes hand-in-hand with user error to an extent. Phishing scams are known to cause considerable trouble for even the most hardened business professionals. These scams convince users to send their sensitive credentials to them by posing as tech support or other professionals within your organization. Some even take this step a bit too far by posing as your organization’s CEO. Be on the lookout for suspicious messages that shouldn’t be sent your way, and never hand over information unless you can guarantee the authenticity of the sender.

 

A good data backup system can go a long way toward mitigating issues for your business. To learn more, reach out to us at 214-343-3550.

Here is a Short Introduction to File Versioning

There are certain instances where you might think having multiple versions of a file is important. After all, nobody is perfect. A file can be lost, damaged, or altered beyond belief, and you’d be none the wiser unless you have multiple versions of it. In this sense, file versioning is crucial to the success of any business that has an eye on the future and a fear of losing progress. Let’s take a look at how file versioning works and why you should take advantage of it.

 

What is File Versioning?

File versioning in its most basic form is when you store multiple versions of the same file in an inventory that you can view or restore at a later time as needed. Basically, multiple versions of the files can be stored, with the specific number of copies varying with the solution. The administrator can assign values for how many versions of files it can store, as well as how many there are.

 

It’s likely that you may have already seen file versioning in action. One of the best examples is the most recent version of any Microsoft Office application. If you shut down your device while a document is still open, you can restore these versions of the file if they are needed. Even if it’s a limited aspect of file versioning, it’s a good example of how your business can benefit from it.

 

Why Would This Benefit You?

Everyone makes mistakes, even the best and the brightest. If you use file versioning software, you’ll be able to have a safety net whenever you’re having trouble with your files. This is especially the case if the most recent version of the file isn’t available for whatever reason. In a way, it’s very similar to snapshot-based data backup and disaster recovery, and it has a preventative component that can be a valuable asset.

 

Does your business need a way to take advantage of file versioning? VentureNet can help. To learn more, reach out to us at 214-343-3550.

Here Are Some Hacks You Should Be Cognizant Of

In today’s modern business environment, your organization faces untold danger. There are several threats out there that your organization’s users could fall prey to. We’ve put together a list of some of the most dangerous ones out there, as well as how your business can respond to them.

 

Malware

Malicious software is one of the oldest threats out there, and damage caused by it can range from minor to incredibly awful. A particularly nasty variant is ransomware, which can encrypt files on your computer so that they are inaccessible to users. The user must then pay a ransom to unlock the files with a decryption key. We always urge users to never pay the ransom, as there is never a guarantee that you’ll get your data back. Instead, we recommend preventative measures as the best way to make sure ransomware doesn’t become a problem for your business. Be wary of spam messages, and make sure that you have a quality data backup and disaster recovery solution and are sure it works.

 

Phishing Attempts

Phishing attempts, spread via email and spam, are also a considerable threat to be on the lookout for. Phishing attacks are used to steal sensitive credentials and information from users by posing as someone else. While they are typically spread through email, attacks can come via phone or social media. It’s critical to keep in mind that credentials should never be handed over to anyone via email, or in general. If you cannot verify who sent the message internally, then be careful about sending any information to them at all.

 

Password Hacks

There’s no doubt that you’ve seen the countless high-profile hacks out there that make great headlines with the media. Sometimes these hacks will include passwords and other sensitive data that will be posted for sale on the dark web. Password hacks like these mean that millions of users could be put at risk at any given time. The best way to avoid this is to change your passwords often, or whenever there’s an indication that they have been stolen or hacked.

 

Denial of Service Attacks

Distributed denial of service attacks, or DDoS, are targeted attempts to launch so much activity at a server that it can’t possibly handle it all, thus bringing down whatever services or solutions are on it. These attacks are often orchestrated by botnets, large groups of infected computers that have been rigged to launch traffic at the server or infrastructure and bring it down.

 

Man in the Middle

Man in the middle attacks occur when an attacker inserts themselves directly between communications between two parties. This can happen quite often over an unsecured wireless network. A hacker can send data to both parties and interact with them, often without either party knowing.

 

Drive-By Downloads

Downloads can happen without the device owner’s consent. Malware or other threats can trigger the download by clicking on the wrong tab, a bad download link, or a dialog box. Drive-by downloads are dangerous because the user has no way of knowing what they have just downloaded until it’s too late, meaning that it could be something potentially incriminating or dangerous.

 

VentureNet can help you keep your business’ computers safe from threats of all kinds. To learn more about comprehensive security management, reach out to us at 214-343-3550.

The Cloud: What Is Missing?

The Cloud: What Is Missing?

Cloud computing has been a godsend for many businesses by providing the flexibility and scalability they need to grow and enhance their offerings. Cloud computing, of course, also provides some capital cost reduction. There is no question that the cloud brings plenty of benefits to companies small or large–they now have the ability to pay per month for the computing resources they were making hefty capital investments for not too long ago; and, by-in-large, these investments pay off.

How to Protect Your Business with BDR

How to Protect Your Business with BDR

How would your company react to the worst-case scenario of your technology failing during a critical moment? By this, we mean a server unit failing or a hardware failure causing a catastrophic loss of data. There are other situations where you experience a similar loss of data, including natural disasters that completely destroy physical infrastructure; yet, the end result is the same, and it keeps your business from functioning as intended.

Small Businesses Need Comprehensive Communications

Small Businesses Need Comprehensive Communications

Does your business suffer from chronic miscommunication? Chances are that your business is not the only one. Small businesses often lack the ability to invest in solutions designed to cut down on communication problems in the workplace. To help your company’s workforce improve communication and collaboration, we’re going to discuss some of the many ways that you can implement technology to eliminate miscommunication in the workplace.

What Is the Real Value of IT for Small Business?

What Is the Real Value of IT for Small Business?

It’s important that your business get as much value out of your technology as possible, but this is often easier said than done. There isn’t an easy answer to how you can get the most out of your technology. Even if you implement a brand-new solution, who’s to say that you don’t actually need it or use it? Cutting costs is more important now than it has ever been, and for small businesses hoping to save on IT support, there’s no time like the present to secure your business’s future.

Backup and Recovery is Essential for Today’s Business

Backup and Recovery is Essential for Today's Business

How confident are you that your business could survive a worst-case scenario? Organizations should always be ready to go in case they are struck by overwhelming odds, be it a hacking attack or a natural disaster. How would your business respond to a disaster scenario? Do you have a business continuity plan put in place so that you can guarantee your organization survives to see the light of another day?

Your Guide to Tightening Up Network Security

Your Guide to Tightening Up Network Security

Network security is one of the most important parts of running a business, but you might be surprised by how easy it is to fall prey to some of the more common threats out there. It’s not enough to implement endpoint security or train your employees. Comprehensive network security is a considerable investment that requires not only the utmost care, but enterprise level solutions, backed up with the knowledge of security professionals.