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What is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain technology is one of the most effective ways to have secure and connected information. It stores information and then ‘chains’ it with more databases linking them together. This creates an irreversible timeline of data that can be beneficial.

 

 

How Does it Work?

The main purpose of a blockchain is to send information that can be sent to other databases but cannot be edited. This is important when distributing important information. The first step in this process is the transaction. This is when the information is first introduced to the database. As more information is entered, it creates a chain that can spread to other systems. 

 

How Secure is it? 

The main question regarding blockchain technology is how safe it is. Due to its inability to edit any information, this makes this one of the safest ways to spread information. Not only that, but it stores everything chronologically and linearly. Even if hackers try to interrupt a chain, it wouldn’t line up with the rest of the block, immediately notifying users. 

 

Ways to Use Blockchains

This technology can be used in many ways including banking, currency, healthcare, smart contacts, supply chains and voting. Since this system is secure and easily distributed, many companies find this the most effective way to store their information. Big companies such as Walmart and  Pfizer actively use blockchains to distribute their records or important documents. 

 

Blockchain technology is finally making it’s way into modern life. From its effectiveness and security, more companies are finding ways to incorporate this technology into their businesses. 

 

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

 

Internet Security in Education: 3 Laws that Protect Students and Their Information

In the era of technology, some have concerns about their privacy. In schools, the top priority is to protect students and their information. With students constantly engaging in technology, whether it be submitting homework, emails with teachers, or saving documents, state and federal internet security laws protect all this information. 

 

 

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is one of the most widely known federal laws regarding student privacy. It applies to every educational institution or those of a similar rank. This law protects the education records of all students and sets boundaries between what information students’ parents have access to when the student becomes 18 years of age. If educational records are needed by another school, parent, or in medical cases, there must be a written permission letter from the student or guardian to release that information. Details such as name, birthdate, phone number and school attendance is not under this law and does not require a written permission. 

 

COPPA: Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

Different from FERPA, COPPA: Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act is specific to the online services used by children 13 years and younger. This act controls what personal information is collected from young children. Applications and websites all have to abide by this act and schools can intervene as parental consent if needed. 

 

CIPA: Children’s Internet Protection Act 

In addition to protecting the privacy of students, it prevents them from seeing unwanted information while on the internet. CIPA: Children’s Internet Protection Act uses a filtered web system that schools and libraries use. This system blocks and hides harmful information or acts such as chat rooms and cyberbullying. CIPA also sets a curriculum on how to protect minors on the internet. This curriculum is required to use this program. Schools and libraries must implement these guidelines addressing a new internet safety policy. 

 

These three acts and laws are a preventative measure from harmful internet activities and exploitation. With the main goal of protecting students’ privacy and engaging them in new internet safety protocols these acts are required by law. 

 

Technology can be confusing, and it’s important to know your rights! Have any further questions on internet privacy? Contact WesTec today! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Cloud Hosting Models - WesTec

4 Cloud Hosting Models

In recent years, we have seen cloud computing become the industry standard for computing and storage resources. Cloud computing uses four different models, indicating how services are made available to users. Learn more about the 4 Cloud Hosting Models:  

 

Public CloudCloud Hosting Models - WesTec

Public clouds are available for anyone who would like to make use of the resource, from low security application development to file and email sharing. One example of this would be Google applications such as Gmail and Google Drive. These are available through the use of a public cloud, accessible by any user with an account at any time. 

 

Private Cloud

Just like it sounds, a private cloud is a private network typically used by a single organization for security. The cloud can be easily managed onsite or offsite by outside groups or third party organizations. While much more costly than its public counterpart, private clouds are the better option for organizations that require the extra security and privacy.  

 

Cloud Hosting Models - WesTecHybrid Cloud

In a hybrid cloud, organizations make use of a combination of private and public cloud infrastructure. The most common use is when an organization needs to quickly scale up their IT infrastructure to provide the necessary cloud capacity, like an online retainer during the busy holiday season.

 

Multi-Cloud

A Multi-cloud is any combination of public, private, and hybrid clouds. Within an organization, there might be multiple private clouds in addition to private clouds. These clouds can be interconnected or separate. The multi-cloud category is a catch-all for any mixture of clouds, therefore allowing for the most flexibility and customization.

 

Having cloud hosting trouble? We can help! WesTec Services is a trusted and experienced IT services provider located in the Houston area. Give us a call today or visit our website to see what WesTec can do for you. 

Easy Ways to Protect the Health of Your Computer - WesTec Services

Easy Ways to Protect the Health of Your Computer

man using access control systemMaintaining your computer’s health requires regular care and maintenance. Here are a few things you can do to protect the health of your computer on a daily basis:

 

Routine deep cleans

You would be surprised by the number of files that collect on a computer over time. Too many files and programs can actually affect a computer’s load speed and overall performance. Therefore, it is crucial that you perform routine deep cleans on your system. Delete any files that you no longer need and are simply taking up space. If there are files you would like to keep, store these on an external hard drive (and back this drive up) before removing the files from your system.  

 

Download security updates

You’ve likely received notifications to download new security updates and declined for the sake of time and convenience. If you do not regularly download security updates, your computer may be vulnerable to hacking. These updates work to “patch” any holes in your computer’s security. Without these updates, hackers can intercept your security and access your information, files, programs, etc.

 

Install and update antivirus software

Viruses and malware can affect your computer’s overall performance, which can disrupt productivity. Therefore, it is important that you install an antivirus software and update this software regularly. Antivirus software will scan your computer for existing viruses, resolve these issues, and block more viruses from infecting your computer. 

 

When you fail to perform routine deep cleans and maintain your antivirus and security software, your computer is at risk of system failure. At WesTec Services, we understand it can be easy to forget to do these things. Don’t neglect your computer any longer — outsource IT support with WesTec Services! From IT consulting services and network installation to backup & disaster recovery, we’ve got you covered. Protect your computer’s health with WesTec Services. Contact us today!

Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn!

3 Stats to Know About Access Control Systems - WesTec Services

3 Stats to Know About Access Control Systems

3 Stats to Know About Access Control Systems - WesTec ServicesIf you are looking to upgrade your security, consider an access control system. Access control systems offer many centrally controlled security options, including video surveillance, fingerprint entry systems, and key card scanners. If you’re still on the fence, here are a few stats you should know about access control systems:

 

60% of commercial burglary attempts happen after hours

Crime can happen anytime anywhere. However, for businesses, 60% of burglary attempts happen after hours. Therefore, it is crucial that businesses adopt an access control system to secure their facilities 24/7.

Criminals prefer easy access — if gaining access to your facility would require a lot of effort, you’re less likely to fall victim to burglary. These added security measures will serve as a crime deterrent.

 

With the COVID-19 pandemic, 44% of workers say access control is more important now than ever before

Over the past year, we have seen a rise in COVID-19 cases. In an effort to control the spread of the illness, we have had to take extra safety precautions. Many believe access control systems could keep employees safe, as it can minimize the flow of traffic in any facility.

With these systems, you can decide who comes and goes with the use of keycards or fingerprint recognition. With fewer people coming and going, there is less risk of further spreading the virus.

 

The access control system industry is projected to be worth $12.8 billion by 2025

There is a reason the access control system industry is steadily growing — and it’s because these systems work! Access control systems are the only truly proactive step a user can take to augment the security within a facility. With access control systems, you can monitor the attendance of your employees and set parameters for visitors and guests that visit your building.

 

With an access control system, you can better regulate who comes and goes in your facility. Interested in learning more about the benefits of adopting an access control system? WesTec Services can help. Schedule a call with one of our professionals today!

Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn!

Westec- Tips for Safe Computing

Helpful Tips for Safe Computing

As our society leans more on technology, the opportunities for threats to interfere continue to increase. Safe computing requires more user awareness than ever before as well as maintenance of passwords and data security.

Here are a few tips on how you can keep your information safe online:

 

Secure your passwords. 

Password hacking is the easiest way for anyone to access your information and cause damage. Switch up your password on each website you use, store them in a safe place, and be sure to change them frequently for the most security. Include both uppercase and lowercase, symbols, and numbers for the most difficult-to-guess passwords.

 

Automatically download important updates.

Updates such as MacOS are critical to the integrity of your computer and should therefore be completed as soon as they become available. Adjust your updates in settings to download automatically.

 

Never access sensitive websites on public WiFi.

Westec - Safe Computing

Your data could be easily copied or stolen on a sensitive network. In addition, do not access or share sensitive data on unreliable networks. 

 

Be aware of phishing attempts. 

Never open an email from someone you do not know. If there is a link or document attached in the email, absolutely do not open it. Hackers often use this to automatically download malware onto your computer when opened and to access your information or ruin it altogether.

 

Back up your important information onto an external drive. 

Whether it be a full backup hard drive or a flash drive, secure sensitive data onto a protected drive in case of emergency and for extra protection. 


Don’t let yourself become the next hacked credit card or identity theft. Practice safe computing and protect your valuable information with the security it deserves. WesTec Services is a trusted and experienced IT services provider located in the Houston area. Allow us to keep your data safe by giving us a call today or visiting our website.

What is HTTPS?

What Is HTTPS? - WesTec ServicesYou have likely seen the acronym “HTTP” while navigating the internet. HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) appears at the beginning of a web address and supports data transfer between the web browser and website.  You may have also seen the acronym “HTTPS” and wondered, “What’s the difference?” Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) derives from HTTP and is an encrypted security certificate that protects sensitive information in data transfer. HTTP refers to a standard, unencrypted server, while HTTPS indicates a server is secure. HTTPS is a necessary extension if your website requires log-in credentials or the entry of private information. Without HTTPS, hackers can easily extract sensitive information.  As the need for internet security increases, web browsers like Google and Yahoo! take HTTPS quite seriously. If you do not have this security certificate, your website will be flagged “not secure” – and who wants to enter their credit card information on a website that isn’t secure? Don’t fall victim to a security breach. Educate yourself on how HTTPS works and why it’s important:  

How It Works

HTTPS simply takes HTTP and adds a layer of SSL protection. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a connection that encrypts and decrypts a user’s requests and responses. SSL ensures that communication occurring between the user and the website server cannot be read or extracted by hackers.  

What Is HTTPS? - WesTec ServicesWhy It’s Important

Since its inception, the internet has changed life as we know it. With the introduction of e-commerce, we no longer have to leave our houses to shop for the items we need – we simply fill up our “cart”, enter our credit card information, and wait 5-7 business days for our items to arrive. We no longer have to mail a check or pick up the phone to pay our bills – we can conveniently pay our bills online! When we create a social media account or fill out a job application online, we are surrendering information like our full names, addresses, social security numbers, and more. Because HTTP websites are more susceptible to hacking, it is imperative that we make the transition to an entirely HTTPS web. We can have peace of mind, knowing that our personal information is safe. Additionally, HTTP does not protect against malware infection. When a website is infected with malware, its users are at risk of being infected as well.   A cybersecurity threat can cause data breach, system failure, and ultimately impact your reputation and productivity as a business. Therefore, it is important that you educate yourself on internet safety. The IT professionals at WesTec Services can answer any questions you may have about cybersecurity. Contact us today!
Benefits of an Access Control System for Your Business - WesTec Services

Benefits of an Access Control System for Your Business

As a business, you have assets to protect. Therefore, you need a high-quality security system that protects against external and internal threats, and provides peace of mind. Here are a few ways an access control system could benefit your business:   

Restricts access to certain areas

Transitioning from using traditional building keys to key cards with an access control system allows you to control the flow of traffic within your facility. Key cards can be customized to each employee and their needs. With key card customization, you can control who has access to certain areas. This is especially beneficial for offices or rooms that store personal and confidential information.  

Monitors and tracks who enters the building

With an access control system, you are able to monitor who enters your facility. When one of your employees scans their key card, the system creates time stamps and records the location of entry and details about the entrant. If an issue arises, you can easily reference this information.  

Provides flexibility and convenience

Business can be unpredictable. With deadlines to meet and last-minute projects to complete, working overtime may be necessary. With an access control system, employees can work outside of regular business hours. With customizable key cards, your employees can access the facility at all hours of the day. Additionally, key cards can be deactivated at any time. If an employee is terminated or loses their key card, you can deactivate their card with ease.      Access Control Systems allow a building owner to have complete control over their Houston-based facility, using technology such as ID key entries, fingerprinting scanners, and video monitoring. Interested in learning more about these systems? Contact WesTec Services today!   Do you find our blog posts to be beneficial and informative? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so you don’t miss an update!
Why You Should Invest in Video Surveillance - WesTec Services

Why You Should Invest in Video Surveillance

For businesses, security threats of any kind can disrupt productivity and ultimately result in costly repairs or damage control. Video surveillance (CCTV) offers many benefits for businesses, including theft deterrence and employee safety. Here are a few reasons you should consider investing in video surveillance technology:  

Day-to-day security

Installing CCTV technology internally and/or externally will allow you to monitor who comes and goes on a day-to-day basis – this includes guests, vendors, contract workers, and even employees. Additionally, if there is ever internal conflict that requires investigation, video surveillance allows for easy reference with timestamps.  

Crime deterrence

According to Cornell University, the use of video surveillance has shown a 51% decrease in crimes committed in parking lots. Installing visible security cameras will establish a presence of security and deter crime, as criminals will want to avoid high-security facilities. Visible CCTV sends a message: “stay away!” Though CCTV technology decreases your chances of security threats, it cannot guarantee you will never fall victim to theft or other crimes. However, if an incident does occur, you have video evidence for insurance and the police.   

Safety

Video surveillance also allows you to monitor the safety conditions of your employees and overall workflow and productivity. If an accident occurs on the job, you may verify the incident and eyewitness accounts with CCTV records. If an employee is injured on the job and files for worker’s compensation, these records will benefit you when filing a claim. Having video surveillance technology for the purpose of employee safety may also lower your insurance costs.   At WesTec Services, we believe it is always safer to implement preventative measures and solutions before there’s a need for them; after all, prevention is key to maintaining productivity and cash flow. Interested in learning more about how video surveillance may protect your valuable assets? Contact us today!
3 Crucial Security Solutions to Employ as a Business Owner - WesTec Services

3 Crucial Security Solutions to Employ as a Business Owner

A security threat of any kind can disrupt productivity and impact business. What precautions are you taking to ensure your company does not fall victim to these disruptions? Here are 3 security solutions you should employ as a business owner:  

Backup Disaster/Recovery

System failure can occur for a variety of reasons, such as virus infection, human error, and natural disaster. Regardless, system failure occurs without warning and could easily put you out of business if you are not prepared. Therefore, it is crucial you implement some sort of backup and data recovery software to protect your network. If you store important or confidential files on your computers, you simply cannot afford to be without backup and data recovery.  

Access Control Systems

Another way to protect your business against security threats would be to implement an access control system. With access control systems, facility owners may install security technology such as ID key entries and finger-printing scanners in order to track who enters the building. This technology can also record the time and date guests arrive and leave.   

CCTV or IP Security System

Video surveillance is another great solution for businesses looking to increase security efforts, especially when paired with access control systems. Installing cameras at key entrances and exits will allow a facility owner to better monitor who enters the building. Unlike backup disaster/recovery, access control systems and CCTV protect against external security threats.   Why wait until you need a solution in order to implement preventative measures? Most IT consultants simply react to problems instead of looking for ways to prevent them from happening in the first place. At WesTec Services, we believe prevention is better than a cure; prevention is key to maintaining productivity and cash flow. Protect your assets – call WesTec Services and schedule a meeting with one of our IT professionals to discuss what security solutions are best suited for your business!

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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