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HTTPs Encryption: Why You Should Use SSL Certificates Jan 20, 2019
2018 was an eventful year for technology and it’s only going to increase in 2019. Between the Facebook security breach, the Google+ API vulnerability, and many other less famous incidents – one thing is for certain. Cybersecurity dominated 2018 and 2019 is expected to be no different.
With cyber attacks being so prevalent, businesses are starting to notice a shift in public perception when it comes to the companies they work with when it comes to data security. Feeling safe is priority: people don’t want to have to worry about their information being breached on or off the web.
While this has been a growing trend for a several years now, it has also transitioned cyber security from being a feature, to a necessity.
2019 is the year of HTTPs.
What Exactly is HTTPs?
To understand what HTTPs means and how it works, you need to know a few definitions.
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol): In simple terms, this is an application layer protocol. Essentially, HTTP is the protocol that involves information sent between a browser (ex: Google Chrome or Firefox) and a website itself. If you were to interrupt that connection and intercept it, you’d see in plain text what was being communicated between the website and the browser.
This can create extremely vulnerable conditions in certain situations. For example, if you are purchasing products on a website with a basic HTTP, your personal information like your address, credit card info and whatever else you submit can be intercepted and stolen.
The thieves are the only ones who want this to happen – so HTTPs encryption was introduced as a secure option.
HTTPs (HyperText Transfer Protocol Security): Adding additional security components, the language being transmitted between website and browser is encrypted and kept from being read cyber criminals.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer): This is a certificate that enhances your security protocol. This is just another way of saying that your site has the technology in place to securely encrypt transactions between the website and browsers etc.
The types of SSL Certificates may vary, but their basic coding provides security and encryption.
You can always tell if a website is secure by looking for certain factors:
- https:// shows before the URL destination (ex: https://www.google.com)
- A lock (sometimes green) icon may appear in the left corner of your navigation bar
Today, many users look for these key signals to see if they are using a secured website.
When this was first being used, its primary purpose was a security feature for websites that utilized ecommerce and to transfer personal information (ex: financial, medical, legal). However, it has transitioned into having an HTTPs encryption as a standard.
After going through the basics of this HTTPs encryption, you may still have some additional questions about which feature would best suit your business. Here are a few of the most common topics and questions below:
I Don’t Have A Large Business – Do I Still Need HTTPs?
Providing An SSL Tells Your Customers That You Care About Their Security
By utilizing an SSL certificate and transforming it from HTTP to HTTPs, you are providing an extra layer of security for your consumers. They know right away that your website is secure. Nothing they are viewing or how they are interacting on your website is being monitored or watched by a malicious user. It shows that you care about your customer’s user experience – and that reflects highly for company brand.
It Provides Additional Security Against Hackers
Having an SSL certificate installed on your website also helps protect your website from potential breaches or hacking attempts. The extra layer of HTTPs encryption provides an external wall that is difficult for hackers to break and infect. While you might not exactly need one for the style of your business’ website, it still helps protect against possible attacks and saves you capital on potential cleanup and patches once a website does get infected or breached.
HTTPs Improves SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Having this HTTPs encryption applied on your website shows popular search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing! that you take your user’s experience and security seriously. They are able to recognize this and return with increased rankings on their engines.
We all know that higher rankings lead to more traffic – this leads to more clients and customers.
Google has been favoring websites with HTTPs for awhile now. However, after recent technology-related world events, they have doubled-down.
Starting July 2018, websites that do not use HTTPs will be labeled “Not Secure”. The last thing you want your prospective clients to see when visiting your site is a message about poor security.
More than 70% of websites are utilizing HTTPs and Google is really trying to make it the norm across the board.
Failure to increase security on your site risks lower search rankings and even increases bounce rates. It is also proven that HTTP sites load slower, causing Google to penalize them for site speed. Overall, the industry is punishing sites that do not value security because they are striving to give the best user experience possible.
So, what should you take away from all of this?
An SSL does incur minimal extra costs, but failure to secure your website can cost you a lot more: potential customers, reduced website traffic and impact overall user experience.
Your IT partner or web hosting provider should have the necessary tools to help you with your website security. It should be simple and affordable enough to keep from breaking your budget.
Want to take the next step and convert to HTTPs, but not sure how?
Andromeda has trained technicians and developers that are more than happy to help you with the conversion. Just give us a call to get started today!
The post HTTPs Encryption: Why You Should Use SSL Certificates appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.4 Key Questions Any Business Owner Should Ask Before Performing A Cloud Migration Sep 28, 2018
The solutions, procedures and technologies business owners and staff depend on are continuing their move to the cloud at a steady pace.
Predictions and trends point to over 80% of all enterprise workflow to be managed by the cloud by 2020.
While total adoption of cloud in the workplace is still believed to be 10 or more years away, the benefits to business are clearly driving the adoption of cloud technologies and solutions.
This does not mean that you should perform a cloud migration just because everyone else is doing it. You want to make sure that when you migrate different elements of your business to the cloud, you are doing so in the most secure, compliant and pain-free ways.
That being said, there are some questions you should really ask yourself when planning for or considering your migration.
4 Key Questions About Cloud Migration
1. What are the long term costs for my IT when I migrate to the cloud?
There are quite a few different aspects of your budget that a cloud migration can impact. The first thing you will want to consider is the overall cost of the project. For example, if you have a server and you are considering the costs of a cloud migration vs. buying new hardware, there are a few things you want to look into.
- What is the physical cost of the hardware including labor for install and setup?
- What is the initial setup and migration cost if you move to the cloud?
- What are your anticipated maintenance costs for a physical server over the next 3-5 years?
- What are the maintenance costs and recurring costs for your cloud environment for the next 3-5 years?
- If you stick with an on-prem solution, how long until you have to replace your new hardware on average?
All of these questions you should ask yourself and your IT vendor/department when considering the cloud. Often, when you take long term maintenance and hardware replacement into consideration, you will end up being more cost effective with a cloud solution. But, this is not always the case.
2. What areas of our business will see benefit from a cloud migration?
The cloud has offered many benefits to business. The cloud environment lends itself to collaboration in many ways. Staff will likely enjoy the ability to access data, software and systems remotely. Departments will notice that different integrations are easier when software is in the cloud as well. Companies like Zapier, IFTTT and even Microsoft with Microsoft Flow are in the business of helping you integrate workflows and get a whole lot more done.
This means more productivity, automating repetitive tasks and hopefully better results for both your employees and clients.
3. Do you have specific security/compliance requirements?
Different industries have specific security requirements and compliance standards for data. This means that you will want to consult with experts in your industry to make sure that the solutions you choose are above board.
For instance, if you chose to migrate your email server to a hosted cloud solution, you still need to make sure that the email service is secure. Solutions like G Suite and Office 365 state in their user agreements that they are responsible for the security of the cloud environment but that YOU are responsible for all of your data.
Meaning – Microsoft or Google makes sure the cloud is secure, YOU make sure that you have backups of your emails and all of your data in case of emergency.
Additionally, if your industry has requirements for sending secure/encrypted emails, you’ll want to make sure that the solution you choose meets said requirements.
This was just an example of how security and compliance can impact your choice of cloud email solution. Depending on what you want to move to the cloud (infrastructure, software, OS etc.), you will want to consult with industry experts to ensure success.
4. Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud Solutions?
On the surface, the concept of public or private cloud solution is straight forward.
A public cloud is owned by a company like Microsoft (Azure) or Amazon (AWS). This company owns the physical space where the ‘cloud’ is hosted. In a public cloud, your business essentially leases space to host your environment. This space is technically shared but can be segmented for security purposes.
This decreases your overall time and material cost for maintenance of the environment. You access services and can manage your account by logging in from your internet browser. These public solutions are best for email solutions, office software, applications, testing environments, development environments and more.
A private cloud is owned and managed by one specific entity (either you or your IT service provider). There are no other businesses sharing your space or stored on the equipment. This is definitely a more secure solution for highly regulated industries.
A benefit with privately hosted cloud environments is that they are more customizable for specific business needs. Additionally, a private cloud is easily scaled to grow with your needs – you will just have to account for any additional hardware or bandwidth needs as you grow.
A hybrid cloud solution is a mixture of any or all solutions including: on-premises solutions, public cloud and/or private cloud.
For some industries, there may be specific elements of the business that must remain on site. In other instances, you may have proprietary software that just isn’t cloud compatible or doesn’t make sense to migrate.
You may also have certain needs that make sense to offload into a public environment where you aren’t responsible for maintenance.
The beauty of cloud migration solutions for business is that they are highly customizable. They help you get more done and stay connected in innovative ways. There is a reason that technology is steadily migrating to the cloud across our professional and personal lives.
If you have any questions about the cloud or want to discuss how the cloud can elevate your business, please give us a call at (815) 836 – 0030 or send an email to Contact@WeNetwork.com. Our team is ready and eager to help you.
The post 4 Key Questions Any Business Owner Should Ask Before Performing A Cloud Migration appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Zynga Games Has Data Breach Including Personal Information Oct 14, 2019
Zynga is a wildly successful gaming company with a number of hit titles under their belt including FarmVille, Words with Friends, Zynga Poker, Mafia Wars, and Caf� World.
Their titles boast more than a billion players, worldwide, which is a number that would make most gaming outfits green with envy.
Naturally, their success has painted a giant target on the company. Recently, a Pakistani hacker going by the alias Gnosticplayers has claimed that he successfully breached Words With Friends and made off with a massive database containing information on more than 218 million users.
It doesn't appear to be an idle boast.� Recently Zynga acknowledged that they had been breached and that a variety of data was stolen from certain players of Draw Something and Words With Friends.
For his part, Gnosticplayers has been quite forthcoming, even providing The Hacker News with a sample of the stolen data, which includes:
- Player name
- Email address
- Login ID
- Hashed password
- Password reset token (if present)
- Facebook ID (if connected)
- User Zynga account ID
He also boasted that he made off with data belonging to some 7 million Draw Something users, and in this case, revealed that the data he stole contained plain text passwords.
Zynga issued a statement which reads, in part, as follows:
"An investigation was immediately commenced, leading third-party forensics firms were retained to assist and we have contacted law enforcement.�As a precaution, we have taken steps to protect these users' accounts from invalid logins.� We plan to notify players as the investigation proceeds further."
If you play either Words With Friends or Draw Something, you should change your password immediately and be on the lookout for phishing scams aimed at you in a bid to try and extract even more information from you.