The 12 Cyber Scams of the Holiday Season

  11/29/17    Posted in News

Consumers are shopping for holiday items and cyber criminals are shopping for your personal information. The holiday season is prime time for cyber criminals to steal your identity. Over 70% of consumers holiday shop online and there are many cyber scams to steal your personal information. Over 60% of consumers are concerned about their personal information being stolen.

 

Cyber Scams

 

  • Holiday Phone Cyber Scams

Mobile devices can make it easier to complete your holiday shopping, but they can also open the door for online cyber scams. These phone scams will claim that you have won a prize. Real organization’s will never ask for your personal information through email or phone.

 

  • Fake Charities

A time of giving, cyber criminals create fake charities that ask for your personal information. Be certain that an organization isn’t a bogus charity by doing your research and using sites that verify.

 

  • Social Media Scams

Digital photos posted on social media sites may have features that provide the information of the locations where they were taken giving cyber criminals information to steal your identity.

 

  • Fake Delivery Email

Cyber criminals send fake shipping notifications to alert consumers that their package has been delivered. Cyber criminals try to get you to click links and download attachments. UPS and the Postal Service have all issued warnings about this.

 

  • Letters from Santa

Fake letters from Santa are emails created by cyber criminals that offer your child a letter from Santa and steal your personal information.

 

  • Holiday E Card Cyber Scams

These holiday e cards will can contain viruses when consumers download cards to the computer.

 

  • Holiday Travel Scams

Consumers receive an email or phone call about winning travel vouchers. The cyber criminals will ask you to provide your personal information and license number to steal your personal information

 

  • Fake Websites

Cyber criminals can redirect you to fraudulent websites. Fake websites may contain many misspellings and grammar errors. Websites that are secure will show a s after http, s meaning secure.

 

  • Gift Card Scams

Cyber criminals write down gift cards numbers that can be bought in store. They contact consumers to check the balance that they have remaining. If there is a remaining balance the cyber criminals will then use the number to make purchases.

 

  • Holiday Games

Cyber criminals may create holiday games to download to your computer that can contain malware and viruses.

 

  • Holiday Refunds

Cyber criminals create fake refunds. Consumers are asked to click links that say request refund or wrong transaction that will put malware and viruses onto your computer.

 

  • Holiday Apps

Many apps are bogus and contain malware. The permissions on your phone can help prevent these apps from accessing your personal information.

 

Cyber Scam Identity Theft

If you think that you’ve been a victim of identity theft:

Under federal law, you are entitled to a free report from each of the credit bureaus each year. Freeze your credit reports so that cyber criminals can’t one new accounts. The Fair Credit Billing Act will allow consumers to dispute unauthorized charges. If your card has been deemed that it has been used by a cyber criminal, you are only liable for $50 of charges.

 

Check your transactions.?Hackers often test cards to see if they are valid by charging $1 to $2 dollars.

 

Ensure that your personal information is secure and avoid WiFi networks that are free.

 

Passwords that use multi factor authentication also help to ensure that your information is not accessed by cyber criminals. Avoid bulk emails which can be sent out by cyber criminals.

 

IT solutions can help to secure your network and help you avoid cyber scams this holiday season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Ways to Retain Developers

  11/20/17    Posted in News

Organizations recognize the importance of retaining developer talent and are continuously looking for ways to do this since this group usually stays with one company for two years.

According to research, 65 percent of developers are open to new job opportunities.

 

 

 

Retain developers at your organization with:

 

Compensation

Developers are some of the highest paid professionals in any industry and should be paid a fair amount for their skills. If they are underpaid compared to the local market, they will look for other opportunities. Larger organizations with larger budgets can offer compensation and perks, but small businesses can hire the best talent by offering flexibility and tailoring jobs.

 

Career Advancement

Employees want opportunities for career advancement. Organizations that recognize a developer’s experience and time within a company through some type of career advancement or increased compensation will help them to remain with an organization.

 

Autonomy

Programmers value autonomy. Allow them to create deadlines through a collaborative process. Introduce the team to a set of problems and provide them the resources to solve it.

 

Technical and Career Development

By offering flex time, developers can attend seminars and learn new technologies. Google famously gives developers a certain amount of time each week to pursue pet projects.

 

Work Environment

Each business has the resources to provide a trusting environment that encourages collaboration and autonomous decision making.

 

Technology

Allow developers to use new technologies or libraries on existing projects. New technologies will help with efficiency. Providing developers with the tools they need to succeed shows that an organization values and trusts investing in them.

 

Success

Realistic deadlines are a huge part of being set up to succeed and to meet these deadlines, developers needs the proper tools. Ensure developers have the resources to succeed with the proper software and hardware.

 

Management

Many developers are motivated to work for mission-driven or socially impactful companies.

Recognition

Receiving recognition for work shows that developers are valued employees and are a part of the organization’s success.

 

Valued Opinion

Developers know when a system isn’t working correctly. Allow their opinions to be heard and valued.

 

These will help to retain top developers at your organization and attract new and qualified candidates.

 

 

Technology Adoption and Your Organization

  11/13/17    Posted in News

 

The technology adoption life cycle is a sociological model that describes the adoption or acceptances of new products and innovations at businesses. To market and sell innovative products and technology, organizations must understand the personality traits in which people accept innovation which are defined by psychological characteristics.

Steve Jobs said,?“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

VALiNTRY will create technology?to help your organization reduce costs and increase business.

Diffusion research examines how products and services are spread among groups of people. Most people adopt these products and services in a time sequence and are classified into adopter categories. Adopter categories depend on how long it takes for them to begin using these solutions.

Technology Adoption Patterns

 

Consumer adoption patterns are important in understanding to market new products and services to organizations. When a company understands the path taken for technology adoption, they can seek to target marketing to each specific audience and help with adoption and increase and business.

According to research, “28% of Americans are early adopters.”

The technology adoption life cycle is a sociological model that describes the adoption or acceptance of a new product or innovation, according to the demographic?and?psychological characteristics of defined adopter groups.

The 5 technology adopter groups include:

  • Innovators: The Innovators represent 2.5% of the market.?Innovators are the first individuals to adopt an innovation. Innovators are willing to take risks, are usually younger in age, have financial lucidity and have closest contact to scientific sources and interaction with other innovators. Their risk tolerance allows them to adopt technologies which may ultimately fail but their financial resources help absorb these failures. Many in this category are considered to be leaders and are well respected, their peers will be more likely to pick up the new behavior.
  • Early Adopters: The Early adopters make up 13.5% of the market. This is the second fastest category of individuals who adopt an innovation. These individuals have the highest degree of opinion leadership the other adopter categories. Early Adopters are usually younger in age, like innovators, have more financial lucidity and are more socially forward than late adopters. Early adopters are more discrete in adoption choices than innovators.
  • Early Majority: The Early majority represent 34% of the market. Individuals in this category adopt an innovation after a varying degree of time. This time of adoption is significantly longer than the innovators and early adopters. Early Majority tend to be slower in the adoption process but have contact with early adopters and seldom hold positions of opinion leadership?in a system.
  • Late Majority: The Late Majority represents 34% of the market. Individuals in this category wait until an innovation has been accepted by a majority of consumers and the price has dropped to adopt the new product. When Late Majority adopt the new product, the product has become well accepted by a solid majority of the target audience.?The late majority typically adopt innovative products because they are skeptics and feel as if everyone else is doing it.
  • Laggards: The Laggards make up 16% of the market. Individuals in this category are the last to adopt an innovation. Laggards show little to no opinion leadership. These individuals typically have an aversion to change agents and tend to be advanced in age. Laggards typically tend to be focused on traditions and have the lowest financial fluidity. They are the oldest of all other adopters and have very little to no opinion leadership.

Technology Diffusion and Technology Adoption

 

Technology diffusion can be defined as the process by which innovations are adopted by a population. Whether diffusion occurs and the rate at which it occurs is dependent on several factors which include the nature and quality of the innovation, how information about the innovation is communicated and the characteristics of the population into which it is introduced and costs.

Some products are quick to pass through the adoption lifecycle and some take decades, but they all are adopted through the same process. Think about the stage in which the consumer is in and how the marketing team representing the technology are communicating to that audience.

Technology diffusion can include:

  • Sustaining Innovations: These are aimed at the most profitable customers or organizations who are willing to pay for technologies that will improve or maintain profit margins by increasing existing business processes and cost structures in order to make the best use of current competitive advantages. Businesses that use technologies that are used by customers for products and services.
  • New Market Disruptions: This?targets customers and organizations who have needs that were previously unserved by technologies. This type of disruption targets non-consumption. These are customers who have not had access to the features and functions due to lack of money or skill. The business model must work with low production and sales volumes products and services.
  • Low-end Disruptions: This?occurs when the rate at which products improve exceeds the rate at which customers can adopt the new performance. Low-end disruption occurs when innovators offer a product or service that helps the least-demanding customers at a lower price.

Like all Disruptive Innovations, they also possess a technology that enables companies to improve their products’ faster than consumers’ can use the improvements.

Disruptive technologies hold within the capacity to change processes and increase business for businesses.

There are Six Points of Innovation that help organizations find which technologies to adopt as innovators.

The Six Points of Innovation include:

  • Meeting customers’ individual needs, such as online retailers’ recommendation services
  • Minimizing waste and managing resource costs, such as companies that harvest and recycle parts
  • Increasing efficiency and lowering costs this can occur with peer-to-peer businesses.
  • Saving money when possible by using car-share companies.
  • Using handheld tracking systems to better monitor the supply chain
  • Staying fast on your feet, clothing companies that maintain less inventory so they can quickly produce new designs

These six points help organizations identify potential opportunities for innovations for their company.

VALiNTRY will evaluate your organization’s needs and create the right?technology?to help reduce costs and become an innovator with solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloud Computing with Azure

  11/9/17    Posted in News

Most organizations have migrated to the cloud. Key components in migrating to the cloud are operational costs, the ability to match supply and demand, finding a pathway to optionality, employing an elastic cost base and transparency and some organizations may overlook challenges that may arise during a cloud migration. Cloud computing is changing the way companies view IT and how IT will be viewed at companies.

Over 50% of cloud migrations exceed budget.

Our team will help your company stay within budget by creating a cloud migration plan, developing applications hosted in the cloud and ensuring that your organization’s needs are met by using Azure.

Cloud Computing with Azure

Microsoft Azure allows organizations to migrate to a cloud based architecture. Azure is a cloud platform for building, deploying, managing application and services from anywhere. Azure lets an organization add cloud capabilities to an existing network through its platform as a service (PaaS) model or as an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Both options provide secure access to an organization’s cloud hosted data. Azure provides an array of products and services designed to meet the need of an organization through one convenient, easy to manage platform.

Microsoft has designed it’s compliance framework to meet regulatory requirements. Azure benefits hosting providers, ISVs, systems integrators and custom software developers. Custom software developers can create software solutions for customers who can’t afford the costs of in-house development, including hardware costs and they can deliver applications to customers as services without building and maintaining data center.

Microsoft Azure:

  • Provides Flexibility: Azure can increase and scale services and data storage capabilities as needed
  • Reduces Costs: Azure can reduce costs on infrastructure devices and less IT employees are needed
  • Develops Applications: Service offerings such as Visual Studio Team Services and data storage allow organizations to develop and test apps quickly.

Microsoft has over 100 Azure services and is continually developing and adding more, enabling businesses to deliver services and build a virtual network. There are many options for services that companies to it.

Azure products include:

  • Virtual Machines: Azure Virtual Machines allows organizations to deploy a Windows Server or Linux image in the cloud
  • SQL Database: Azure SQL Database allows a company to quickly create and scale applications in the cloud
  • Batch: Azure Batch can manage tasks and enable cloud applications
  • Container Registry: Azure Container Registy stores and manages container images for container deployments. It is a local, network closed storage
  • Site Recovery: Azure Site Recovery helps to protect important applications by coordinating the replication and recovery of private clouds for disaster recovery
  • HockeyApp: HockeyApp allows organizations to distribute beta versions, collect live crash reports and receive feedback from users
  • Encoding: Encoding allows for Studio Grade enclosing at cloud scale
  • Content Moderator: Content Moderator has automated image, text and video moderation
  • Security: Enable threat detection and prevention through advanced cloud security
  • Cost Management: Cost management allows your organization to manage cloud and by monitoring and allocating cloud costs

 

Protecting your Organization with Azure

Cloud computing security is a fast-growing service that provides many of the same functionalities as traditional IT security. This includes protecting critical information from theft, data leakage and deletion. Security is one of the biggest concerns for companies considering a migration to the cloud, Microsoft designed Azure with security in mind. The .NET Access Control Service provides a way to integrate identities and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) tokens are used by applications to determine whether a user is allowed access.

Azure helps organizations to:

  • Achieve global scale on a worldwide network of Microsoft managed data centers
  • Detect and mitigate threats with a view of an organization’s Azure resources
  • Rely on the cloud for the compliance coverage

One of the benefits of cloud services is that an organization can operate at scale and still remain secure. It is similar to how a company currently manages security, but now there are new ways of delivering security solutions that address new areas of concern.

Cloud security does not change the approach on how to manage security from preventing to detective and corrective actions. It does provide a company with the ability to perform these activities in a more agile manner. It also allows an organization to have their security in the cloud.

Azure has the highest standard of security and customers don’t have to manage a facility. The Azure infrastructure was created to ensure that data is safeguarded.

Applications with Azure

Azure provides different hosting models for running applications. Each provides a different set of services. Customers can choose from app service, cloud services and virtual machines. Building applications this way makes them easier to scale and more resistant to failure.

Azure cloud services has support for JAVA, NODE.js, PHP, Python, .NET and Ruby. It also has application patching. Azure cloud services deploy an organization’s application and test applications before deploying them.

Migrating to Azure

VALiNTRY is a Microsoft Partner, an organization earns this with experience in technology and it allows us to give clients discounts on technology for their organization. VALiNTRY will create a proof of concept (POC) to understand challenges an organization may face when migrating to Azure.

A POC may contain:

  • Comparisons with an existing application
  • Complexity of in migrating an application
  • Network challenges

According to a study by the Cloud Alliance, 33% of organizations have a “full steam ahead” attitude toward cloud services and 86% of companies spend at least part of their IT budget on cloud services.

Whether your organization would like to use IaaS or PaaS,the predictions are that fast growth of the workloads placed in the cloud and an increased percentage of the total IT budget going toward cloud computing.

Azure provides businesses with flexibility with it easily integrates with an organization’s existing IT environment through the largest network of secure private connections, hybrid database and storage solutions and data residency and encryption features.?Azure has over 120,000 customer subscruptions per month and over 60 complaince offerings, the largest portfolio. VALiNTRY understands that this fast-growing global footprint provides plenty of options for running applications and ensuring optimal performance.