(713) 682-4000 sales@westecservices.net

WesTec Cabling Services

What is a Network Health Check?

Step by Step: How to Safely Store Confidential Data

5 Smartphone Security Risks and How to Prevent Them

4 Machine Learning Mistakes

5 Risks of Cloud Computing

Pros and Cons of Machine Learning

Machine Learning Terms You Should Know

Benefits of Managed Services

VPNs vs Proxies

Author Archive

WesTec Cabling Services

WesTec offers a full line of Houston cabling services including Voice, Data, Fiber, and Coaxial cabling. In this article, we will take you through the specifications of each one, and what makes each of them different. 

Voice and Data Cabling 

Voice and data cabling are used for just that – voice and data. They are inclusive but not limited to phone system cabling, data network cabling, server room cabling, surveillance cameras, video cabling, and more. Distinctly, data cabling is inclusive to two different types of cables – copper and fiber. The type of cables used define the standards of the method used. Furthermore, these types of cabling make up offices or campus networks, which are able to adapt with new and upcoming technologies; in the long run, allowing businesses to expand. 

Fiber Cabling

Fiber cables are able to connect multiple cabinets together and often include a center glass core surrounded by layers of protective materials. This type of cabling avoids electrical obstruction by transmitting light, making them the perfect method for environments with vast amounts of electrical interference. Fiber cabling is now the standard for connective networks across buildings due to their resistance of moisture and lightning.  

Coaxial Cabling

Coaxial cables are probably one of the most complex types of cabling to install due to their complex infrastructure. These cables have a single copper conductor at the center, a braided metal shield, and a plastic layer in the center which provides insulation. The metal shield is used to block outside interference from motors, fluorescent lights, and other computers. Additionally, coaxial cabling is resistant to obstruction and can handle larger cable lengths between network devices. 

Cabling services differ according to your needs, and many beyond just these four exist. WesTec Services is ready to assist you with your cabling needs. For additional information, questions, or comments, contact us or read here.

What is a Network Health Check?

For a business or home to run successfully, strong network connection in computers is essential. WesTec offers computer Network Health Checks, but what does that entail?

If your computer(s) are running slower than usual, your network is glitching, or there have been security breaches, you might be due for a Network Health Check. 

What Are Network Health Checks?

Network Health Check can be defined as a way to test the critical components of a network for performance, reliability, and other security issues. These checks provide security which ensure that your network is sustained to best practices and maximize availability. Because networks can be at risk of security breaches, and malfunction, checking your network health should be done at least once a quarter; some even request that checks are done with more frequency to prevent data loss, poor performance, and others. 

Where We Come In

At WesTec, we come to you, on site, and complete a Health Check Audit and check for maximum speed, security, and performance. During the audit, we would also check for any problems such as spyware, failing hard drives, or out-of-date security patches. In addition, we check your computer’s network security, backups, and other issues which could lead to expensive repair bills. At the end of the audit, a report will be provided to you with all information regarding the vulnerability of your network as well as what can be done to fix it. 

Now that you have a detailed definition and explanation of a Network Health Check, you might find yourself in need of one. We work diligently to make sure that your network is safe, strong, and reliable. Network Health Audits are only one of the many services we offer. Click here for our services or for any additional questions or requests, contact us. We are more than happy to help!

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Confidential Data Storage

Step by Step: How to Safely Store Confidential Data

Now, more than ever, we have to be cautious of our personal documents – whether professional or personal. Information can be easily leaked, lost, or hacked. Follow this step-by-step guide to safely store confidential data:

Disk Encryption

First, enable full disk encryption. This protects all confidential data if its devices fall into the wrong hands. There is software that does the job for you on Microsoft and Apple devices. It is important to note that said software should not be turned off or deleted once applied – this will assure that data stays safe. 

Secure Hard Disks and Flash Drives

Second, important data can be stolen through physical media such as external hard disks or flash drives rather than digitally. Said devices should never be taken out of the place of business or left unattended. In addition, there should always be a backup to your backup, which is where encryption comes into play. 

Password-Protected Archives

Third, any data that has not been previously stored/encrypted should never be transferred over the internet. Sending important data over programs such as e-mail or file sharing services is sometimes required, but never ideal; however, the easiest way to avoid data theft is to encrypt the data and put it in a password-protected archive. Passwords for the archive should be set through a different channel.

Safely Delete Old Data

Fourth, companies sometimes hoard information that they no longer need. Most times, said information has classified or important data that should not be possessed by the wrong person. The best way to keep the information safe is by getting rid of it once it is of no use to the company. Additionally, never forget to also delete it from the Recycle bin as well; for anything sensitive, use a file-shredder to prevent recovery. 

Secure Passwords

Lastly, any archives or passwords created for data storage should be safely secured. Losing and leaking passwords is not a difficult task. The easiest way to keep passwords secure is through programs such as Kasperski. 

To Store Confidential Data is simple, when the right steps are followed. Practice the above, and your data will be protected for years to come. For any additional questions or requests, contact us

5 Smartphone Security Risks and How To Prevent Them - WesTec Services

5 Smartphone Security Risks and How to Prevent Them

Phone technology is constantly evolving. Although new tech toys are fun and functional, there are always underlying dangers. Here are 5 smartphone security risks and how to prevent them. 

Smartphone Security Risks - WesTec

Risks:  

Unintentional Disclosure of Data

Malicious disclosure of sensitive or private information.

Phishing Attacks

Scams made by actors pretending to be a trusted source or individual. 

Spyware Attacks

Type of malicious malware or software downloaded without the consent or knowledge of a victim. 

Diallware Attacks

Stealing money from a designated user through malware that uses hidden message service or numbers. 

Network Congestion

Network is overloaded with links and malware, causing lots of traffic. 

Preventions: 

Encrypt Mobile Devices

Encrypting is the process of converting information into secret codes which prohibits unknown users from accessing. 

Update All Apps and Operating Systems

Updating apps and operation systems with frequency lowers the chances of your information being compromised – sometimes through improved bug fixes. 

Set Strong Passwords

Strong passwords often include: 

  • A minimum of 8 characters
  • At least one capitalized letter
  • The use of special characters such as, @!#
  • At least one numeric character

Consider Deactivating Smartphone Functionalities Such as Siri, Cortana, and Others

Smartphone functions such as Siri and Cortana save all data for future use. Make sure that if these functions are being utilized, no private information is shared — or do not use them at all. 

Don’t Ignore Error Messages About The Validity of Certificates

A variety of websites do a proper job of calling out accounts or messages that are unsafe. Always read any error messages for certificates or accounts. 

Remember: There are thousands of other smartphone security risks, but if you take the proper precautions the chances of any data leakage are slim. 

Have any more concerns about smartphone technology? WesTec Services can help! Contact us with any questions you may have and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

4 Machine Learning Mistakes

 

Machine learning technology is becoming more and more popular within the technology world. It has many benefits that come with using it, but there are some risks and mistakes that are made. Here are the top four learning machine learning mistakes:

 

Business Alignment

It is important to know how machine learning can benefit your business VS how your business can benefit machine learning. Most of the time people experiment with this type of technology and sometimes it doesn’t work out because everything turns out to be a test run. You will want to know what your business will need to grow and improve, then work with the right aligned machine learning technology. Before choosing this type of technology, you may want to ask these questions:

  • What problem am I having? Is it urgent?
  • Will machine learning help us in this scenario?

Poor Training

A good portion of machine learning technology is to store and solve data, this can also include cleaning data. It can either do too much or do too less, depending on the training. If you don’t do proper training, you and your business can decrease in productivity and effectiveness. 

Data Quality

No matter if machine learning is just starting or has been working for a while, it is constantly inserting and solving data. But, not just any data. It has to be able to work with a high quality database. If bad data goes into the machine, bad data will come out. It is a good practice to monitor the quality of data being used. 

Deployment Complexities

 

Using this technology is not easy, and most of the time it is hard to find the right resources to run this device. Stakeholders for example provide the most support for machine learning. You will need a good business alignment and good collaboration for machine learning to take off. 

Have any questions about the right technology services for you or your business? WesTec services can help. Contact us with any questions you may have and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

 

5 Risks of Cloud Computing

 

Cloud computing and storage has increased in popularity. It has many benefits including security and effectiveness, but with time, cloud computing has become vulnerable to many risks. Here are five risks of cloud computing:

 

1.Misconfigured Settings

With many people using cloud computing, there is often a chance for a misab in the settings. A misconfigured setting is when some of the data stored in the cloud is not protected and it becomes breached. This is all because the purpose of the cloud is to make things fast and convenient and sometimes this causes more information to be less restricted. To fix this setting, it is ideal to check the cloud regularly and check the access permissions. 

2. Poor Data Quality 

When all your data is in the cloud, it can make it easier to overlook some information. Not only that, but when you share information via the cloud, it can make the information vulnerable to hackers and getting lost. To ensure the quality of your data, it’s a good idea to separate your data within categories and put security measures in place. 

3. Employee Training

One of the risks when it comes to cloud computing is not properly training employees on the risks. Most of the time, data is stolen due to phishing scams and security breaches. These can be prevented by teaching employees on how to identify scams. 

4. Security Policies 

Insufficient security policies can hurt all data in the cloud. When a security policy is not correct, it puts so many things at risk. To ensure you have adequate policies, it is important to know who can access the cloud, what data should be in the cloud and what to do when a breach occurs. 

5. Choosing the Provider

 

There are many cloud providers out there, and some aren’t the safest when it comes to storing data. Before determining what provider you want to use, make sure to research all providers. 

 

Are you having trouble with cloud computing? Westec Services can help! Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. 

Pros and Cons of Machine Learning

 

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that is capable of predicting, detecting and prescribing solutions to many equations. It is mainly used by inserting thousands of images or algorithms into the system, which causes it to recognize the data and know the difference between them. This creates an algorithm that can be used for digital chat bots, voice recognition services and spam detection softwares. But what are the pros and cons of machine learning?

Pros 

When it comes to the pros of machine learning, there are many including prediction, detection and prescription. These complex machines are able to conduct data analysis fast and are more effective than any human. They can predict accurate information that can lead to more health and technological advances. Along with predicting information, machines can also detect this information at a faster rate than humans. They can detect data, images, voices and more. Not only can machines predict and detect information, they can also create solutions for certain algorithms. Scientists believe that machine learning devices can create solutions 100 times faster than humans. Machine learning can be used for many different areas of work or study, especially with the amount of tasks it can perform. 

Cons 

On the other hand, machine learning does have some disadvantages including data privacy and security. Machine learning can conduct many solutions including facial and voice recognition, which can be a problem for some people. When the machine does these types of tasks, many people argue that it is taking vital information from people and storing it internally. When the data is stored, almost anyone can access it, leaving a problem of data security. How to Avoid a Spear-Phishing Attack - WesTec Services

The bottom line is that machine learning is extremely useful. Like other technologies, it has its pros and cons. 

WesTec Services is your one-stop-source for all things IT support & consulting in Houston! Does your business require network installation, backup & disaster recovery, managed services, consulting, and more? We’ve got you covered! Contact us today.

Machine Learning Terms You Should Know

It is no secret that understanding technology and their terms can be difficult. Especially with it always changing and evolving, it is hard to keep up with all the lingo. Knowing the basic machine learning terms will help you have a better understanding of the technology. Here are the top terms you should know: 

 

Unsupervised Learning 

Unsupervised learning refers to systems that rely on clustering algorithms. The main goal of this is to allow big systems or computers to a wide variety of information so they can learn and adapt to it. The downside to this is that each system needs to be programmed in order to use the information.  

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) 

This type of automation is simply using bots to carry out certain tasks. RPA’s work best in an environment that repeats certain tasks. 

Linear Regression

Linear regression is a statistical algorithm that uses variables to predict values of dependent variables. The main idea of linear regression is being able to use independent and dependent variables to plot data on a line. 

Deep Learning

Artificial intelligence is becoming more popular in the technology industry, and deep learning is a new approach to AI. Deep learning groups learning algorithms based on hierarchy. For example, the first layer of deep learning can consist of an algorithm based on color and as the layers go up, the level of the algorithm increases due to how important it is to the full algorithm. 

Classification

Classification is grouping objects, ideas or information into categories. This can be useful for any type of algorithm or machine learning. It keeps track of data and allows the user to select certain information or objects to send out or edit. 

Struggling to understand machine learning terms Minimize the downtime spent searching for solutions and outsource IT support with WesTec Services! Interested in learning more? Contact us today! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Benefits of Managed Services

 

When it comes to your business’ IT, it can be overwhelming and often confusing. Having a managing service run all your IT, it can eliminate any stress associated with it. Many benefits include cost, time, effectiveness and less overall stress. 

Cost

 

Most managing service providers work directly with the client to ensure the best pricing options for your IT department. This may include a better way of securing data, sharing documents, communications and more. 

Time

One of the biggest benefits of a managed service is that it will give you and your business more time for other things. Handling IT services on your own can take up lots of time, leaving you scrambling to finish projects. A managing service can take everything IT off your hands and ultimately free up some time. 

Effectiveness

IT can be difficult to understand, so when businesses try to handle all their IT items, they can do things incorrectly. This will decrease your efficiency and often prolong tasks. When you let a service handle everything IT, they will ensure that everything will be correct and allow you and your business to work effectively. 

Company Improvements 

When companies are growing and hiring more employees, they tend to depend on their technology department to be able to provide all necessary information and items needed. When a managing service is in control of IT, they can be ready for your company to continuously grow and change without having to worry about when things will be prepared. 

Stress

IT itself can be incredibly stressful. This high amount of stress can harm work efficiency and be detrimental to the company. Hiring an IT managing service team will take all the stress off of you and your employees. They will do their job, to ensure that you can do your job. 

WesTec Services is your one-stop-source for all things IT support & consulting in Houston! Does your business require network installation, backup & disaster recovery, managed services, consulting, and more? We’ve got you covered! Contact us today.

 

VPNs vs Proxies

 

In the new age of technology, everyone is wanting to protect their data, especially for their business. VPNs and Proxies can both be used as a barrier to protect vital information from being stolen or hacked. But which one is better for you and your business? Here is a breakdown of VPNs vs Proxies:

 

VPNs

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network is an established private service that is used when connected to a public internet network. It provides a user with a different IP address before connecting to the service. It creates a secure connection of different destinations that ensures the privacy of data and information. When using a VPN, it will encrypt any information being sent so it can further be protected. People can easily install a VPN through their computer or an app. Not only that, but certain VPNs give the user the ability to change their location of the IP address. 

Pros and Cons of VPNs

Pros of VPNs include:

  • Encryption of all data
  • Filter everything on the website 
  • Higher security coverage

Cons of VPNs include:

  • Can make connection speed slower
  • Some VPN softwares are expensive

Pros and Cons of Proxies

Pros of proxies include:

  • Cheaper than VPNs
  • Can balance traffic loads without slowing down the connection 
  • Can be used with big companies and servers

Cons of Proxies Include:

  • Less secure than VPNs
  • Some proxies can track certain information including passwords

Proxies

Proxies are simply a barrier between the user and the internet. The proxy acts as a filter when entering data on a website, securing any data that may be at risk. There are many different types of proxies including, forward proxy, reverse proxy, transparent proxy and anonymous proxy. All do the same thing but act upon it in a different way.

 

Which One is Better? 

When it comes to which one is better for you, there is no definitive answer. They both successfully protect user identity and information. They both have pros and cons and it is important to do research in order to find the perfect option for you. 

WesTec services can assist you with any IT questions or services. We offer skilled expertise in all technologies and are ready to help. Contact us for any further information on data security and how to protect yourself. 

Mission: WesTec will be a “turn-key” solution for all of its clients’ business connectivity needs. It will offer efficient and effective solutions, directly and with strategic partners, that create tangible value for its clients at every point of contact. Westec will serve all people and entities with a servant’s heart.

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2916 West TC Jester Blvd., Suite 104

Houston, TX 77018


(713) 682-4000

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