The Connection, Inc Blog

The Connection, Inc has been serving the New Jersey area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How Remote Workers and Students Can Work Smarter

How Remote Workers and Students Can Work Smarter

Now that the school year has begun many young children are juggling between altered classroom setups and continued remote education. Naturally, this has caused a lot of people no small amount of stress. To try and relieve this stress and make the process of working or learning from home as effective as possible, we wanted to share a few tips with you.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Business Continuity Planning a Must

Business Continuity Planning a Must

When considering a continuity plan for your business, you need to consider some scenarios that may not ever happen. This is called risk management and it is the basis of keeping your business up and running regardless of the situations that it encounters. This month, we thought we would outline some of the variables that need to be addressed when creating a comprehensive business continuity plan. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Cloud Costs Could Undermine Your Efforts

Cloud Costs Could Undermine Your Efforts

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues around us, many businesses have found themselves seriously reconsidering their business’ infrastructure, pondering the switch from onsite hardware to cloud-based options. While these hosted options can offer businesses relief from a costly hardware refresh, it is important to acknowledge that cloud computing may not be a one-size-fits-all panacea. Let’s take a closer look.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Business Analytics 101

Business Analytics 101

Business analytics are a growing field, as all businesses can see benefits to their operations through the optimized performance and decision making that these kinds of analytics enable. Let’s go over business analytics, and how they can be used to your advantage when applied to your technology.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Data Services Your Business Should Be Using

Data Services Your Business Should Be Using

Your business’ data is one of its most important assets. Today, there are ways to utilize data to help build a better business. Let’s take a look at the data services that are designed to help the modern business get the most out of this resource. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Businesses Need to Use Automation to Adapt

Businesses Need to Use Automation to Adapt

Let’s be real. For most small businesses during this period, it’s been extremely difficult.  If you were somehow able to sustain operations during this time, you most likely had to make some serious alterations to the way that you normally do things. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the technologies that you probably already have, and how you can change the way you use them to benefit your business as concerns spike over COVID-19. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

These Types of Applications Can Improve Workplace Productivity

These Types of Applications Can Improve Workplace Productivity

Productivity is—generally speaking—the core goal of any modern software solution. Today, we wanted to go over a few tools that can boost your productivity and efficiency right now.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Business Growth Demands Shifts in Strategy

Business Growth Demands Shifts in Strategy

As an owner of a small business, there are a whole lot of issues that you have to confront every day. Besides the normal issues, there are always situations that pop up without warning. When your business is small and more easily manageable, they are easier to steer one way or another When your business starts growing rapidly, however, turning things around can get more difficult. This can turn into roadblocks to progress. Today, we will look at some of the issues that a small business owner will encounter when their business grows fast.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Technology You’ll Need as Your Business Grows

Technology You’ll Need as Your Business Grows

If you are an entrepreneur, changing the way that you look at your business can be pretty difficult. Many businesses start out with not much more than a ray of hope, so if your business is doing well, you must be doing something right. When demand makes you think bigger, your technology spend becomes a major priority. Let’s take a look at some of the changes a growing business has to make. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Train Your Staff to Protect Your Business

Train Your Staff to Protect Your Business

In the course of doing business, sometimes the mundane and repetitive tasks, or the responsibilities that employees don’t necessarily always consider to be part of their jobs, can be overlooked. Like any other business, yours needs people to be vigilant to ensure that it isn’t the victim of a phishing attack. If your team isn’t well-trained, or if it isn’t engaged in the fight against cybercrime, you may find that your business is a sitting duck.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Working at the Office Has Its Benefits, Too

Working at the Office Has Its Benefits, Too

It’s incredible how working from home has become the new normal. Just a short time ago most business owners wouldn’t have batted an eye at shutting down the dreams of remote work, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were forced to adjust the way they looked at the situation. Employees in several industries have been working from home ever since. Now that most places have begun to re-open, we thought we would remind you that there are actually some benefits to coming to the office. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Businesses are Dashing to the Cloud. Is Yours?

Businesses are Dashing to the Cloud. Is Yours?

This is a strange time for everyone. For business owners, it’s filled with uncertainty as many of their businesses have had to shut down in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Others were forced into embracing remote operations. For these companies, their cloud platforms are turning out to be major benefits. Today, we’ll explain why.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Is a NAS Right for Your Office?

Is a NAS Right for Your Office?

Today’s business generates a lot more data than in the past. For a small or medium-sized business storing this data, it can get pretty expensive pretty quickly. One way to store and manage all this data is by using Network attached storage (NAS). Today, we will define NAS and explain when it might be a good fit for your business.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Understanding IT Acronyms You Hear in the Office

Understanding IT Acronyms You Hear in the Office

Technology can be complicated, and it doesn’t help when all you hear is an alphabet soup of acronyms used to describe it. As professionals, this kind of jargon has become a second language to us and it is easy to forget that not everyone will recognize these acronyms. For your reference, we’ve assembled some common ones you’ll probably hear us use.


-aaS

This means “as-a-service” and is typically preceded by another letter or letters, like “IaaS” (for Infrastructure-as-a-Service) or “DRaaS” (Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service). This means that a given business need is available from a service provider at a monthly, budgetable rate, with the provider managing whatever the solution in question is on an ongoing basis. This approach has grown in popularity amongst businesses, who benefit from the sustained nature of the given service delivered.

BI

BI, or business intelligence, is the culmination of data analysis to better understand business trends. While enterprises have put it to the most use, business intelligence and big data are slowly being introduced to businesses of all sizes to help them boost their operations. 

BYOD

BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is a strategy that many businesses use to cut costs and boost their employee satisfaction by allowing their staff members to use their own devices in the workplace, rather than ones provided by the employer. With the right precautions in place, BYOD can prove to be very beneficial for the business’ budget.

DoS

A Denial-of-Service attack (and sometimes, a DDoS, or Distributed-Denial-of-Service attack) is a form of cyberattack where a system’s operations are overwhelmed by an onslaught of incoming traffic. The interruptions that this causes can create significant challenges for a business.

EOL

When a solution reaches its EOL, or its End-of-Life, it effectively means that the developer is no longer updating its security to protect it and, by proxy, its users. This makes it of significant importance to keep apprised of the status of your solutions and have plans to migrate away from any that are approaching their EOL dates. Windows 7 reached its EOL not too long ago, for example.

IoT

The IoT is shorthand for the Internet of Things, the assortment of non-traditional devices that feature an Internet connection to boost their capabilities. While the IoT is a fascinating development in technology today, it also presents many challenges to your organizational security that must be addressed.

LAN

A LAN, or a Local Area Network, is a network used to share resources between computers contained within a limited distance. This is present in many offices, especially those that share printers or access to other pieces of connected equipment.

MFA

Multi-factor authentication, sometimes referred to as 2-factor authentication, is the practice of requiring an additional means of verifying one’s identity as one requests access to an account or a resource. By identifying a user with a username, the traditional password serves as the first factor of authentication, while the second requirement might demand a PIN number dictated by an application, or even biometric information.

SSL

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a protocol for encrypting data between a server and the device a user has. Used to protect data as it passes from client to server and back again, SSL is what turns HTTP into HTTPS in a web browser.

UPS

Disasters are nothing to fool around with, which makes the inclusion of an Uninterruptible Power Supply so crucial to your infrastructure. Many pieces of computing hardware need to go through a process to safely shut down, so a sudden power outage is a dangerous prospect. A UPS gives them the juice needed to safely power down, protecting your business’ hardware.

VM

A VM, or a virtual machine, is an interesting piece of technology. Rather than installing an entirely new piece of hardware, a simulated version is introduced into an infrastructure, allowing users access to an additional solution set. This enables you to make use of additional resources without investing in additional hardware.

VoIP

As the acronym for Voice-over-Internet Protocol, VoIP describes an approach to telephony that cuts out a large chunk of the costs associated with office telephones. In addition, VoIP solutions come with many business-friendly benefits included, while they would ordinarily come at a cost.

VPN

A VPN is a virtual private network. A virtual private network effectively creates a tunnel that encrypts data as it makes its way to its destination, protecting it along the way. It is an excellent solution for a business, especially one that utilizes many remote workers.

WAN

WAN, or wide-area networks, are used by organizations that have multiple locations over a wider area by connecting multiple small networks into one larger network. 

To learn more about these solutions, and many others that we can help you to implement, reach out to The Connection, Inc at (732) 291-5938.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Is Your Workforce Engaged?

Is Your Workforce Engaged?

Today, there is a lot to consider about how businesses handle mobility. Think about it, today it isn’t surprising when someone pulls up work-related content on their phone outside of work hours. It’s just part of their job. This shift is relatively new, and needs to be examined to see if the pros outweigh the cons for the employee, but also for the business.

0 Comments
Continue reading

How to Create Cybersecurity Policies for Your Company

How to Create Cybersecurity Policies for Your Company

If you’re in business today, there are three words that are critical for you keep in mind: Cybersecurity. Is. Important. As such, every business needs to have taken the time to put together a cybersecurity policy--a set of guidelines that instruct the business how to proceed with the highest level of security possible. We’ve taken the liberty of suggesting a few guidelines for your business to follow as you do so.


Establish Definitions 

When you’re putting together a cybersecurity policy, there cannot be any uncertainty in what you are referring to at a given time. It is important for you to make it clear: if one of your policies references a “cyber incident,” what kind of situations could that apply to specifically?

This makes it imperative that you clearly establish what certain terms you use in your policies refer to, relatively early on. Take the “cyber incident” example: does that refer to an attack by a cybercriminal, or does it refer to an internal mishap or equipment failure. If it does refer to an attack, does it describe a limited scope, or do all attack vectors (phishing, man-in-the-middle attack, et al.) fall under its umbrella?

Remember, the person referencing this document will be a relative layman, so you need to make sure that these definitions make it clear to them what situation they are encountering and how to proceed.

Establish Processes

When you are putting together a cybersecurity policy for your business to follow, the fundamental idea is to make sure everyone is on the same page in the event of some major issue, event, or need. Therefore, you need to make sure you create standards that apply to a variety of circumstances, such as the need for remote work to take place, what qualifies as acceptable use of the Internet, and the modern demand for improved passwords and other forms of authentication. You also need to remember that various regulations and other compliance requirements could come into play, and adjust your standards accordingly.

As you document them, these procedures themselves should include:

  • What protections are in place (and what they protect against)
  • What backup policies are in place
  • What the updating/patching process looks like regarding your protections

... among other key pieces of information that would come in handy if recovery from a cybersecurity issue was ever a concern.

Establish Accountability

Once your processes are devised, refined, and finalized, you need to make sure that they are properly documented and that your staff is trained to follow them… otherwise, the effort you made to put them in place is rendered redundant.

The importance of this particular aspect cannot be emphasized strongly enough. In fact, part of your new policy should address how much harm an employee can do to the business’ well-being and outline how your employees need to conduct themselves as they go about their work. There are many ways that you can--and should--do so.

Education is going to be key, of course, as your established protections will only do so much if one of your employees doesn’t recognize a threat when presented with one. Phishing is incredibly popular for a reason.

Just as important is to keep in mind that accountability can often be shared, especially when a cybersecurity issue has transpired. Sure, an employee may have fallen for a phishing scam, but could that have been because the training they received to avoid them was inadequate or outdated? When was the last time you held a training session? In order for your business to properly secure itself against threats, the whole business must be involved.

The Connection, Inc can get involved, too. Our professionals have the experience needed to ensure that your business has the security it needs, with the policies in place to support that security. Find out more by giving us a call at (732) 291-5938.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Why Should You Outsource Business Processes?

Why Should You Outsource Business Processes?

There quite a few reasons that it makes sense for a small-to-medium-sized business to lean on outsourced assets. Let’s go over a few of the biggest benefits that you could see from bringing on these kinds of services, from both a financial and operational stance.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Voice over Internet Protocol is a Valuable Tool

Voice over Internet Protocol is a Valuable Tool

With the cost of doing business rising, it is no surprise that the decision makers at many organizations are looking to save a bit of money where they can. The cloud has proven to be a particularly popular way of doing so - especially through its replacement of traditional telephony with advanced communication methods, like hosted VoIP

0 Comments
Continue reading

You Don’t Need to Search for the Benefits of Backup

You Don’t Need to Search for the Benefits of Backup

Let me ask you this: does your business have a dedicated data backup and disaster recovery system? If not, we need to talk. A comprehensive backup and disaster recovery platform (BDR) can turn out to be one of the most critical parts of managing a business’ IT infrastructure. By having a plan to turn to in the event a serious problem such as ransomware or a natural disaster descends upon your business, you can be better prepared. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Windows 7 EOL is Not the End of the World

Windows 7 EOL is Not the End of the World

Windows 7 is only days away from being officially retired by Microsoft. The software company has done all it can to try to educate users about the end of the OS, which has its last support update on January 14, 2020, but won’t be getting any more. As of this writing there are still nearly 25 percent of computers running Windows 7. Let’s take a look at why it is imperative that you upgrade or find a solution to get out from under the Windows 7 OS. 


The first thing you should know is that when the end of life date passes, the software will still be completely functional. It’s not as if it will fail to load on your computer, but what will happen, however, is that it will not get another software patch or update. Over time, this could cause a whole slew of negative situations. Among them, networks that the Windows 7 computer is connected to will not be secure. That could cause some very real problems. 

Of course, you could take your Windows 7 systems offline, or quarantine them behind another firewall, but there is nothing you can do that will be safe over a prolonged amount of time. You will be breached, and any new vulnerabilities will become large holes in your computing infrastructure. You may not think you can afford to upgrade away from Windows 7, but you sure cannot afford to be left without support from Microsoft. 

So, What Are the Options?

Currently, you have several options, even now, that can keep your business out of the line of fire, so to speak. These include:

Upgrade systems to Windows 10 

This is the obvious one. By upgrading to Windows 10, you are sure to get the security patches and other updates needed to keep your business out of harm's way. Since the minimum specifications that it takes to run Windows 10 aren’t much more than it takes to run Windows 7, it seems like a solid plan to upgrade if you can. Here are the specs your computer will need:

  • Processor - 1 GHZ or faster
  • RAM - 1 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space - 16 GB for 32-bit or 20 GB for 64-bit
  • Graphics card - DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display - 800 x 600 resolution

All told, most computers that were running Windows 7 can run Windows 10. Above are the minimum specifications, so if you have a computer with this hardware profile, you shouldn’t expect the Windows 10 OS to run fast.  If you are going to go this route, we recommend that every Windows 10 workstation have some type of 2 GHz dual-core processor, 4-to-8 GB of RAM, and at least a 160 GB hard drive.

Replace Hardware Systems

If you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, or if you can get some good terms on a lease, this may be the easiest way to move past Windows 7. You would have all new hardware which would come with Windows 10 installed. It may take some time to configure your new hardware with your line-of-business software, but at least you would get regular Windows 10 updates. 

Virtualize and Use a Thin Client

You can repurpose your old hardware to act as thin clients. This may take some capital to do since you would have to virtualize your data and applications, but it might just be an option for your organization. Since you have a severely limited timeline, it may be impossible to ensure that your data is protected before the deadline. 

Microsoft is offering a service called Microsoft 365 that could make this transition a little easier. For a flat rate billed per user, you can get Windows 10, Office 365 with a terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage, and dynamic security software that can be accessed through any Internet browser. If you have teams of workers that only need access to productivity software, you could do much worse than this cloud-based option. 

No matter how you go about doing it, you have to get out from under Windows 7 now. Call our IT experts today at (732) 291-5938 if you would like help going through your options. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Mobile? Grab this Article

QR Code

Customer Login

News & Updates

  The Connection, Inc is proud to announce the launch of our new website at http://www.tconnection.com. The goal of the new website is to make it easier for our existing clients to submit and manage support requests, and provide more information about our servic...

Contact us

Learn more about what The Connection, Inc can do for your business.

The Connection, Inc
51 Village CT
Hazlet, New Jersey 07730