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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. 

How to Develop a Hardware Refresh Cycle

A hardware refresh cycle is when you upgrade you or your company’s hardware and software as needed. Benefits include saving information, increasing efficiency, and improving safety. Here’s how to develop a hardware refresh cycle:

 

1. Assess Your Hardware Needs 

Any hardware refresh should start with a closer look at your systems. This means knowing what kind of hardware it is, how old it is, and how much storage is used. This will better prepare you for the updates. 

2. Future Needs

After knowing what hardware you have or what it is lacking, you will want to conduct some research and decide what routine updates will be required of your hardware in the future. This is also a good time to locate receipts, and know purchase dates and any warranties you may have. 

3. Disposal of Old Hardware

After assessing your current hardware, you may need to upgrade the system completely. In order to do this, you will want to make sure the hardware company has a warranty program. If they do, you may be able to get it replaced at a lower price. If not, this is when you will want to wipe your system and properly dispose of it. 

4. Different Types of Hardware

You may not know that there are many different types of hardware including, personal computers, central processing units, random access memory, hard disks, internal hard drives, mobile devices, and servers. It is important to choose the right one for you or your business. 

5. Purchase

 

Once you have an idea of what software you want, you can choose to either purchase it or lease it. Both have their pros and cons. For more information on buying vs leasing IT equipment, read here

Keeping your hardware up-to-date will not only increase productivity, but it will also improve your business’ safety. It is important to conduct a hardware refresh cycle regularly. 

Not sure what technology is better for your business? Westec Services can help! Feel free to contact us for more information or questions you may have.

 

The Most Common Causes of Data Loss

Data loss can happen to anyone or any business. It can be frustrating, especially when you aren’t aware of why or how it happened. Most data loss happens when you least expect it. It is important to know when your data is at risk of being lost. Here are the most common causes of data loss:

 

Human Error

We all make mistakes one way or another. When data is lost, most of the time it is due to accidentally deleting information or not backing it up. When this happens, some information can be restored through recycle bins or the internal software file. This is frustrating, but can easily be solved by setting up an automatic backup system. 

Viruses 

Viruses are very common, and are often the culprit of data loss. These pesky viruses can enter your system through unsafe links or downloads. Once they get into your system, they can delete any and all of your information. In order to prevent viruses, there are many guard softwares that will protect your devices. Depending on which guard software you have, it will need to be updated regularly to conduct scans and security checks. Without guard software, you can protect your information by paying close attention to certain emails or downloads that may be sent or presented to you. 

Power Outages 

Power outages can happen anytime, and most outages cause data loss. Similar to human error, it can be prevented by constantly saving your information and backing it up. The trickiest part is that you don’t know when a power outage will happen, so it is important to regularly save your data. However, most of the time when a power outage happens, most systems will automatically save, but you should also take precautions in your own hands. 

Hackers 

Recently, hackers are becoming more common when it comes to data loss. Hackers usually enter your system due to poor quality servers, weak firewalls, or using common passwords. There are many ways to prevent hackers such as strong passwords, safe web searches and guard softwares. Unfortunately, information that is stolen from a hacker cannot be restored, which is why it is important to have effective cybersecurity measures. 

 

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

 

Contact Centers: Cloud-Based vs On-Premises

 

Technology is constantly evolving and with that comes the differences between contact centers. More specifically, the difference between cloud based and on-premises contact centers. Both have their pros and cons, but which one is best for your business? Here out the main differences between contact centers: 

 

Cloud Based

Cloud based contact centers are a way for businesses to be in direct contact with customers, anywhere and everywhere. With it being all linked to the cloud, all data and software can be accessed anywhere. This makes communication with clients more effective. More businesses are making the switch to cloud based technology. 

Pros 

The pros of cloud based contact centers include but not limited to:

  • Easier to Scale
  • Speed
  • Better Integration
  • Reliable 
  • Easy Access

On-Premises

More traditionally, on-premises contact centers use hardware-based settings. This means everything including data, software, and infrastructure stays onsite. Although it is more user friendly, this requires lots of maintenance that can become expensive fast. 

Pros 

Even though some might argue that on-site contact centers are outdated or old fashioned, they still have pros that not even cloud based technology can offer. Pros include: 

  • Maximum Control
  • Data is stored Securely 
  • Only Buy Equipment you Need
  • No Monthly Payments 

Differences  

Both options have their advantages, but which one is better for your business? Both cloud based and on-premises contact centers have the potential to grow your business. On-premises centers have the access to create wait music, transfers and call logging. Cloud based can do the same thing, but in a more advanced way such as live call monitoring and click to transfer. 

Setting up the equipment is another main difference between the two. On-premises locations require time to get licensing, wire the hardware and find supporting items to link the equipment to. Cloud based works directly from the data box or even app. 

 

When it comes to cost, on-premises has a one time cost of all equipment needed. This can be expensive, but it is only one payment. It is also important to know that this technology might need more maintenance and upgrades as you go. Cloud based is cheaper at the beginning, but you will need to enroll in a subscription plan. Depending on what company, you could be paying every time a call comes through the line. 



Not sure what technology is better for your business? Westec Services can help! Feel free to contact us for more information or questions you may have.

Virtual Collaboration: How to Improve Remote Work Processes

Due to the recent pandemic, more people are choosing to work remotely. In fact, studies have shown that by the year 2025 more businesses will go fully remote. Although this is good for some businesses, people are voicing their concerns about the decrease of productivity from working from home. Here are some tips to increase productivity by using virtual collaboration when working remotely: 

 

What is Virtual Collaboration?

Virtual collaboration is any effort to collaborate or communicate with others who are not physically present. This includes different applications, instant messaging software, and video calls or conferencing platforms. 

 

Collaboration Software

Collaboration software is one of the most effective tools you can use when working remotely. This allows you to work with one another on different projects in real time. This also helps connect the workplace and builds internal relationships. Popular softwares that help with collaboration are: 

  • Video Chat services such as Zoom or Skype 
  • Instant Messaging
  • Productivity Apps that track tasks or time 

When these softwares are used, workers will have more motivation and remain productive. 

 

Centralize Communication 

Communication is a big part of working remotely, but one issue many people have is finding information for their work or projects. One way to resolve this issue is to invest in a centralized information system that allows for workers to find all the information necessary for their work. Popular systems include Google Drive and RingCentral. This will keep all information secured and accessible for remote workers. 

 

Leadership 

It is no surprise that leaders of businesses or companies are always watched. Workers will usually follow the footsteps of their leaders in many situations, including working remotely. It is a good idea to have leaders also work remotely and do all of their tasks efficiently to motivate employees to do the same. It gives employees the opportunity to work alongside superiors and give them a sense of normalcy. This is also a good time to place employee incentives. By implementing this, employees will have the right motivation to complete their tasks. 

 



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

 

The Dangers of Shadow IT Projects

Cloud computing is one the most beneficial ways for businesses to operate, but still creates online threats. Many threats can appear, but Shadow IT can interfere with devices, technology systems, applications and software. Learn about the dangers of Shadow IT and why is it being used: 

 

What is it?

Shadow IT can be described as projects or networks that are managed by outside providers, without prior approval from the IT department. With cloud database popularity, shadow IT is growing and creates vulnerabilities including data leaks and database violations. 

 

Risks

Now that you know what shadow IT is, what are the risks? The main risk is data leaks. Oftentimes when shadow IT is being used, it prevents certain backups from being performed. This means important data could be lost forever. From sending a document to a personal email, to file sharing on the cloud, this makes it possible for shadow IT to intervene and allow the information to be compromised by outside networks that cannot be monitored by the IT department. 

 

These risks can go beyond simply leaking information. Depending on the network, shadow IT can harm financials, internal communications and errors within the system. When systems have access to this vital information, they can duplicate it and cause harm to your business and result in losing money. 

 

Not all networks who use shadow IT are purposely doing it to cause harm, and most of the time big companies use this to increase productivity. Companies who use this include Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft Office. It is important to know that even though shadow IT can be beneficial, it still makes companies vulnerable to internal harm and should be dealt with. 

 

Prevention

It can be determined that shadow IT will not be going away soon, which is why educating employees on this issue will be the best prevention plan. Along with knowing the risks, routinely checking your data will help manage and determine if shadow IT is affecting your business. 

Want to know more about shadow IT? WesTec services can help! Feel free to contact us and check out our services to see how we can assist you. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for updates.

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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