12 Nov

Hosting Infrastructure Required To Feel Confident During Holiday Traffic Splash

Imagine, hundreds of users are rushing to your website at the same time to purchase products which you actively marketed for this holiday. Your ads are now running, you are getting visitors more than you calculated or more than your server can handle. So what is going to happen with this sudden traffic spike?

Prepare for the Worst or If You Want Peace, Prepare for War

Online website performance

You should be always prepared for the worst (means best for your business) during this holiday shopping fest. Because the year 2020 proved to be one of the toughest years so far. But this might be the good opportunity for your online business because people will hesitate to go out in malls during this Covid-19 pandemic and you may expect getting more online traffic than ever before. In that case you should be prepared to avoid 2 major disasters. So how are you going to be prepared?

Check your Website Performance

You can check the current performance of your website easily with the online tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights. Open PageSpeed Insights, enter the URL of your website and hit the Analyze button. This test will show you result for both mobile and desktop versions of your website. And you will get the detailed audit of your website code and receive suggestions on how to optimize it. But still if you don’t have enough computing power to run your website easily during this traffic spike, you may get time-out errors and your customers will flow away without making any purchases.

Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)

The best way to cope with the traffic load on your website is not follow all traffic to your single web hosting server. CDN can do it very effectively by storing the cached content of your website on multiple CDN servers located around the globe. But you will have to implement CDN before the traffic starts hitting your website because it will be very difficult to implement the CDN once your website is under heavy traffic load.

Opt for the Scalable Hosting Solution

Scalable Hosting

The most straightforward way to deal with increased traffic is to upgrade your hosting account. For example, if you are using shared hosting you can go with VPS which will give you isolated resources like RAM, CPU and storage at a more affordable price if compare to dedicated solutions. You should contact your web hosting provider before your customers start contacting you. And if you are a Softsys Hosting client then you can directly get in touch with our support team and we will provide you the most suitable VPS plans or you can choose on your own from our extensive range of cloud-based Windows VPS, Linux VPS or Special eCommerce (nopCommerce, Magento) and CMS (WordPress, Joomla, Umbraco) hosting solutions.

09 Oct

Why Online Security Should Be One Of Your Primary Business Concerns?

One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist in order to understand why cyber security is important for your business. We are living in a digital age and we are so much dependent on the tech devices that we carry everywhere we go. The sensitive data on these devices can make your business and ruin it also. So, the data is always vulnerable to some extent.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of cybercrime increased up to 600%, and October is marked as Cyber Security Month hence this is the perfect time for online businesses to take steps forward securing their business data.

In this blog post, we will discuss the types of various cyber-attacks and show you some serious statistics which will surely make you think about the importance of cyber security for your business.

Malware Or Malicious Software

Malware is software that is specifically designed to harm data and devices. There are different types of malware including computer viruses, trojans, spyware, ransomware, adware, worms, etc.

The total malware infections have been on the rise for the last five years:

  • 2014 – 308.96 million
  • 2015 – 452.93 million
  • 2016 – 580.40 million
  • 2017 – 702.06 million
  • 2018 – 812.67 million
  • 92% of malware is delivered by email.
  • Mobile malware on the rise with the number of new malware variants for mobile increased by 54% in 2018.
  • Third-party app stores host 99.9% of discovered mobile malware.
  • More than 250,000 unique users were attacked by Trojan-Banker.AndroidOS.Asacub malware application.
  • 98% of mobile malware targets Android devices.
  • Over the last year, MacOS malware has increased by 165%.
  • Malware development rates for Windows decreased by 11.6% since reaching an all-time high in 2015.

Ransomware

Ransomware is another form of malicious software. Unlike malware, ransomware threatens you with harm and by first encrypting your data to preventing you to access your data.

Ransomware attacks are usually deployed via social engineering tactics. Once a user falls victim to the attack, their data is encrypted and the attacker then demands a ransom from the victim, with the promise to restore access to the data upon payment.

  • Ransomware attacks worldwide rose by 350% in 2018.
  • Ransomware attacks are estimated to cost $6 trillion annually by 2021.
  • 50% of a surveyed 582 information security professionals do not believe their organization is prepared to repel a ransomware attack.
  • 81% of cyber security experts believe there will be more ransomware attacks than ever in 2020.
  • Ransomware costs businesses more than $75 billion per year.
  • The average cost of a ransomware attack on businesses was $133,000.
  • Businesses lost around $8,500 per hour due to ransomware-induced downtime.
  • 25% of business executives would be willing to pay between $20,000 and $50,000 to regain access to encrypted data.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is the act of tricking someone into divulging information or taking action, usually through technology. The idea behind social engineering is to take advantage of a potential victim’s natural tendencies and emotional reactions.

  • 98% of cyber attacks rely on social engineering.
  • Recent data breach statistics found that 63% of successful attacks come from internal sources, either control, errors, or fraud.
  • 43% of the IT professionals said they had been targeted by social engineering schemes in the last year.
  • New employees are the most susceptible to socially engineered attacks, with 60% of IT professionals citing recent hires as being at high risk.

Phishing

One of the most common types of online fraud is known as phishing, a term that arose in the 1990s. Put simply, phishing is a deliberate attempt to obtain sensitive information like login credentials or credit card numbers by masquerading as someone trustworthy. Targeted emails, or spear phishing, are reported by businesses to be used in 91% of successful data breaches and 95% of all enterprise networks.

  • 56% of IT decision-makers say targeted phishing attacks are their top security threat.
  • 83% of global infosec respondents experienced phishing attacks in 2018, an increase from 76% in 2017.
  • Business email compromise (BEC) scams cost organizations $676 million in 2017.
  • CEO fraud is now a $12 billion scam.
  • 30% of phishing messages get opened by targeted users and 12% of those users click on the malicious attachment or link.
  • Only 3% of targeted users report malicious emails to management.   53% of IT and security professionals say they have experienced a targeted phishing attack in 2017.

How To Ensure The Security

Cyber security solutions

Since cyber security is a major threat to all the small and large companies around the globe, the companies are now hiring professional cyber security experts, ethical hackers to fight with it, but small businesses still can’t afford to do it.

So here are some basic points which will help small businesses to tighten the security of their data.

  • Ensure the security of your staff information like passwords and usernames.
  • Arrange a proper training session and educate your staff about the precautions that they should take while using the company’s devices.
  • Keep your computers up-to-date and always use paid anti-virus and encryption software for maximum security.
  • Keep updating the security on employee’s devices.
  • Change your computer passwords and every account that you use every 60 days and ensure that the changed password is stronger than the previous ones.
  • Do not allow everyone to have access to the company’s sensitive documents.
  • If you can’t hire them permanently, at least hire the cyber security professionals on the contract base for 2 to 3 months every year so they can assist your IT security.

If you have any cyber security related issues, Softsys Hosting can address major part of them. Just take a moment and contact us.

04 Oct

The Best Killer Features You Should Expect From A Hosting Service

There was a time when having a website for your business was optional. Today, many businesses can’t afford even a few minutes of downtime when their customers can’t access their site. That means, choosing a reliable web hosting service has become mission critical for most business owners. But that can be easier said than done, given the hundreds of options out there that range from providers , all of which differ in terms of their price and service offerings. But how do you know whether you need to spend $10 a month or $100 when it comes to a web hosting service? We would like to mention here some of the key tips, from business owners and experts alike, about the types of questions and issues you want to think about before deciding where to host your website:

Support

cloud hosting support

Nobody can guarantee a 100% uptime. Incidents happen and the worst thing for a customer is having their business-critical website down. These are the times when support can truly make a difference. “Support has always been quick with everything and understood what I was asking them meaning they are knowledgeable as well. Never felt like these guys were reading from a script, they are real bonafied human beings and I like that.” says Yves Lacombe a long-time SoftSys customer.    
That means looking for providers that offer 24/7 support with customer service reps who are available for assistance immediately. SoftSys Hosting support has a stellar background, as we are always willing to go one step ahead in providing a fast and speedy resolution to customer issues.

Parking Service

Most companies buy their .com, .net, .org, etc. versions of their brand name, misspellings, service names, and more. It’s most efficient and convenient for brand management to have these in one control panel and know that you’re not going to lose any traffic. Softsys Hosting offers multiple domain aliases even on basic hosting plans thus allows even the smallest customers to park multiple domains on their plans without any additional charges.

Backup

Make sure your web hosting service provides adequate backup. There have been instances when customers mistakenly delete the entire  directory of their website. Some have their websites compromised, while some got their account terminated and removed from the server due to payment glitches and came back later expected their account worked as before after making the payment. A regular backup is always able to save from these losses. Softsys Hosting provides multiple backup options including R1Soft and Acronis that  offer the ability to restore backups with just a click and  bring the website back up within no time. Support also plays a critical role in this time in assisting customer in faster recovery and restoring services with minimal downtime.

Uptime Guarantee

The last thing you want your customers to experience is a blank/error message when they type in your URL, so a hosting service with a strong reputation for uptime and redundancy is the one you should be looking for Opt for an uptime guarantee of 99 percent or more.

Accessibility

Accessibility

You might find that some hosting services make it difficult to make changes to your site. If so, avoid them. Make sure the host you choose gives you access to the server so that you can easily create new email accounts, make changes to server settings, etc. Softsys Hosting uses Plesk, cPanel, etc. which provides customers with the ability to have complete control over their hosting account. Almost all the features are available so customers are able to manage hosting themselves without the need to contact support frequently.

Shared Or VPS

For small websites and on a limited budget, customers prefer a shared hosting service, which basically means that your site is being hosted along with dozens  of other sites which is why you might pay as little as $7 a month for hosting fees. The downside, though, can be that troubles with one of those sites could lead to problems for all the sites hosted on that . Having a fast website response time is crucial so that your visitors don’t grow impatient and click away and that Google uses page load speed as one of its many factors in determining whether your page will be shown high in search results. That’s why some customers prefer to pay more for access to a Virtual Private Server (VPS). VPS is a bit more complicated to set up, but from as low as $8 a month, customers have a much higher quality web server and faster performance.

Scalability

While you might be shopping for a hosting service for your small business, you should consider partnering with a service that can scale with you as you get bigger. That can mean that the service offers different tiers of service based on the number of expected visitors you receive each month where, as your business takes off, you can easily upgrade your plan. You must make sure that your service provider – or at least your service plan – are capable of dealing with spikes.

Exit Strategy

Even if you’re excited about everything your new web hosting service has to offer, make sure you read the fine print about what they will say if you decide to take your business elsewhere. Softsys Hosting offers such services when most of customers are able to cancel their service simply by submitting a cancellation request.

07 Sep

Popular Solutions To Build A Website Without Professional Skills

Widely known as website builders, they can help in creating websites without having any professional skills in website design. It can be a good option for those who don’t have enough budget to hire a web developer or would like to create a simple website without spending a fortune. 

Using a good website builder is also one of the fastest ways to set up your website. Many free and paid website builders provide simple, drag-and-drop tools that make creating a website simple and straightforward. 

However, not all website building tools are equal. Some are more flexible and/or reliable than others. Here are the most popular solutions on the market in 2020 that can help in building the website without having to study for years.

WordPress.com

WordPress

WordPress.com is a commercial edition of the open-source WordPress software. What you get from WordPress.com is a self-contained website platform that’s geared toward serving the DIY beginner user.

Key features:

  • An all-in-one platform for building a website yourself and launching it to the public. 
  • A visual content editor that’s easy-to-use and supports drag-and-drop. 
  • A separate design customization interface. 
  • Hundreds of free and paid website templates. 
  • A top-of-the-class blogging module. 
  • An eCommerce module. You can sell products and services. Worldwide payment processing can also be integrated with ease. 
  • Thousands of add-ons available. For things like contact forms, collecting leads, subscriptions, backups, and more. 
  • SEO tools, Mailchimp integration, Google Analytics, and more. 
  • Advanced reports and website statistics. 
  • Apps for iOS and Android. 
  • One-on-one sessions with support staff to help you get started. 
  • 24/7 live chat support.

The only thing you require is quality WordPress hosting from a reliable provider.

Wix

Wix.com is an all-in-one website building solution that lets you craft a professional and optimized website all by yourself.  The best thing about Wix is how it delivers its features and how easy to grasp the entire platform is. No matter your level of experience, you will be able to build a beautiful and functional website that doesn’t lack any essential features. 

Key features:

  • Wix Editor. It’s a drag-and-drop website building tool. It’s fully visual, which means that you can build your website design by moving elements around – no coding skills are required. 
  • Wix ADI. It’s an artificial intelligence module for website design. Basically, it asks you a range of questions about your idea for the site and then suggests a ready-made website that’s optimized for your needs. 
  • A fully functional eCommerce module. Wix allows you to add an eCommerce functionality to your website and sell whatever products or services you wish. 
  • Wix Logo Maker. A logo is a must-have when building a website. Wix offers its own logo maker tool that’s just as easy-to-use as anything else in Wix. 
  • 500+ designer-made website templates. 
  • Good SEO features and social tools. 
  • A custom domain name. 
  • Advanced analytics and stats.
  • 24/7 phone support in English. Support also available in other languages during working hours (Monday-Friday from 5 am-5 pm PST).  

Constant Contact Website Builder

Constant Contact is one of the leading players in the email marketing space – offering a functional email delivery service.  They’ve also entered the website builder market with an interesting, budget-friendly solution for businesses and small stores that need a website fast.

Key features:

  • A comprehensive AI website design module. The builder will ask you a couple of questions about your site and suggest a whole website design based on your answers (with individual pages and images included in context). 
  • A visual page building tool. You can tweak your design by adding new sections on the page and changing the specifics of what they look like. 
  • A fully-featured eCommerce module. 
  • A free image library (500,000+ professional images to choose from). 
  • Built-in integrations with a content delivery network (CDN). 
  • SEO features and optimizations built-in. 
  • Integrated with Google My Business. 
  • Optimized to be viewed on all devices. 
  • An analytics module. 
  • A blogging module. 
  • An integrated logo maker. 
  • Support available 24/7 via live chat, email, and also phone on higher plans.

Squarespace

Squarespace is one of the most popular website building tools out there. It’s also the only website builder to have had a Super Bowl ad, which is proof that the company is really confident about their product. 

Squarespace prides itself on its beautiful designs and intuitive interface. Works great if you want to build a business website. 

Key features:

  • Hundreds of professionally-made and award-winning designs to choose from. The designs come in different categories based on the purpose of your site. 
  • Fully visual and drag-and-drop enabled website editor. 
  • A blogging module. 
  • A fully-functional eCommerce store module allowing you to sell products (physical and digital, services, and subscriptions). 
  • A complete all-in-one package of SEO tools. 
  • Advanced analytics to help you understand what’s going on right now but also what the overall traffic trends of your site are. 
  • App integrations with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Maps, Unsplash, Zapier, Dropbox, Open Table, Xero, and many others. 
  • A functional mobile app to work on your site on the go. 
  • A logo maker. 
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat and email. 

Zyro 

Zyro is another all-in-one website building solution that lets you do everything yourself. 

It is also one of the newest players in the world of website builder tools. Right out the gate, its main selling point seems to be their functional free website builder, and very affordable paid plans after that. 

Key features

  • 20 website design templates to choose from. All of them truly beautiful and modern. 
  • A visual website building interface that’s grid-based and has full drag-and-drop functionality. 
  • AI Writer. An artificial intelligence module to help you write your website copy. 
  • Zyro Logo Maker. Easy to use and has some cool elements to help you get started. 
  • An eCommerce module allowing you to sell on your site and also via Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon. 
  • Two more AI tools: Business Name Generator and Slogan Generator. 
  • Optimized for all devices automatically. 
  • Integrations with Unsplash (to get unlimited images for your website), Facebook Messenger, Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Hotjar. 
  • Basic SEO features. 
  • Support via live chat, knowledgebase, and email. 

Webflow 

Webflow is a new player in the website builder landscape and quite an original one at that. 

On the one hand, it does come with a free plan, which lets you build a functional website without spending a dime. But on the other, it also delivers advanced features that are not commonly seen in free tools. 

Key features:

  • An advanced visual website builder. This one works with drag-and-drop, but also lets you tune-up every little detail about the elements on the page. 
  • Lets you build your design based on a CSS grid – a useful feature for advanced users. 
  • Accepts custom code. 
  • Exceptional typography control with over 2000 web fonts available. 
  • Fully responsive (also scales your images to make them fit). 
  • 100+ website templates (free and paid). 
  • 3D transformations and animations. Useful if you want to make your site stand out. 
  • CMS features integrated. This means that you can add content like portfolio items, blog posts, etc. 
  • An eCommerce module. 
  • Great SEO and Open Graph settings. 
  • Features allowing you to create sites for clients and then bill them from Webflow. 
  • Integrates with Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Google Optimize, Zapier. 
  • Email support for paid accounts and prioritized support for team accounts. Community support via online forum for free accounts. 

Weebly

Weebly is another all-in-one website platform on the list. It can handle all your website needs, from simple business card sites to eCommerce stores. 

It is similar to Wix in many aspects but does deliver its features in a slightly different manner. 

Key features:

  • A drag-and-drop website builder. Has all the standard content elements you might need and also some more unique elements like video backgrounds. 
  • 60+ website templates to choose from. 
  • An eCommerce module with secure checkout, inventory tracking, a powerful filtered product search, and other features. 
  • A blogging module. 
  • A custom popup creator. 
  • Apps for iOS and Android with access to website stats, online store stats and visitor interactions. 
  • An app center with third-party integrations and add-ons. 
  • SEO tools. 
  • An email module for communicating with your audience. 
  • HTML and CSS control for advanced users. 
  • Live chat and email support, and also phone support on higher plans. 
01 Sep

How To Choose The Correct Hosting Location For Ultimate Website Performance?

Choosing the hosting locations for your website should be the top on your checklist if you are launching the new website. Your web hosting server locations should be nearest to your target audience.

But Why Is It Important?

Because it will play a crucial role on performance of your website and SEO. Choosing the closest web hosting server to your target audience will reduce the page load speed, especially if you are running an e-commerce website. The slow loading speed of your website might cost you the prospective clients. Also, the Google has added the page load speed to their ranking algorithm so website loading speed will surely affect the ranking of your website. Hence hosting a website on a server closer to your target audience is very important from the SEO standpoint as well.

How To Choose The Best Location For Your Website?

Latency plays a crucial role when it comes to the speed of a website. Lower is better, 10 ms or lower is considered as an ideal latency. The best way to reduce the latency is to put your target audience closer to the web hosting server. You can also use the CDN if you are getting international traffic on your website.

What Is CDN And How Does It Work?

Content delivery networks (CDN) stores the cached version of your website’s static content in multiple web hosting locations across the globe and it will deliver  the static content of your website from the nearest server to the user who is browsing the website. For example, if your website is hosted on a server located in Chicago and the user is browsing it from London, the CDN will deliver the cached content of the website from the nearest CDN server to London which will reduce the load time and latency dramatically.

Conclusion

In such a way, we highly recommend choosing a cloud hosting server closer to your targeted audience which not only gives the performance to your website but also helps in SEO and ranking of your website. Your website will have a lower latency which will result in a faster page loading.  And if you are getting the traffic all around the world, then you should also consider using the CDN service to bring the content closer to your prospective users. Just ask Softsys Hosting experts and we’ll advise.

03 Aug

eCommerce Platforms: Pros and Cons of Server-Based and Cloud Solutions

There are so many eCommerce platforms that let you build an online store from scratch like nopCommerce, Prestashop, Magento, etc. and you can start offering your products and services online without any hassle.

Once you have selected the appropriate platform according to your needs the next step is to choose the hosting platform. 

Basically there are two types of hosting for eCommerce platforms:

  • 1. Server-based.
  • 2. Cloud solutions.

In this blog post we will go through the insights of both of these hosting types and also will discuss major pros and cons of them.

Server-based

Server based ecommerce

In the server-based hosting for your eCommerce website either you can go with a dedicated server or a virtual private server (VPS).

Both dedicated server and VPS gives you the root level privileges and also you will get the higher bandwidth compared to the cloud solution. So if you are running a large eCommerce website and getting a huge traffic then the server-based hosting will be ideal for you.

Pros: 

1 : Disk Space And Bandwidth

In dedicated server or virtual private server you will get the high disk space and bandwidth so you don’t need to worry about the storage space or bandwidth consumptions and you can focus on your business.

2 : Privacy And Security

In the dedicated server or VPS you will get the root level access to your server and only your websites will be hosted on the server with your unique dedicated IP address. Security is more robust as well because yours is the only traffic going in and out of your server.

3 : Performance

Performance is major factor when it comes to any website. No one likes the websites which load slowly. So if your eCommerce site is hosted on a dedicated server or VPS you already have high-speed bandwidth and all other resources are dedicatedly used by your website only.

Cons:

1: Cost

The dedicated servers and VPS are costlier than the cloud platforms so it depends on your business model, the traffic you are seeing per day to determine if you need your own server or if you are just a startup or small business then definitely you should consider the cloud solutions for your website.

2: Maintenance

With great powers comes great responsibility. This is true when you are operating your eCommerce business with your own server. You will need to hire a dedicated person to handle your all server maintenance tasks like installing security patches keeping up-to-date all the software and plugins troubleshooting the server side issues etc., unless you have a managed server.

Cloud Solutions

Cloud based ecommerce

Cloud solutions are widely used for small eCommerce websites and startup businesses. You can quickly setup and deploy your eCommerce website on a cloud hosting platform without worrying about the technical aspects at cheaper cost compared to a server based solutions.

Pros:

1:   Cost-effective

Cloud solutions are cheaper compared to dedicated server or a VPS. You don’t need to worry about managing the server and maintenance of it. The hosting provider will manage all the technical aspects like server security and other things on cloud solutions. This will save the man power and cost of hiring a system administrator to manage the server.

2:  Usability

On a cloud solution you will get an easy-to-use web-based control panel with user friendly UI to manage and deploy your eCommerce websites. And most of providers offer a managed service on eCommerce hosting plans. So you will get 24/7 support in case anything goes wrong.

3:  Scalability

The major benefit of using cloud service is the scalability. You can opt for increasing the resources such as (disk space, bandwidth, etc.) on demand as per your present requirements.

Cons:

1: Security

On a cloud server there are hundreds of websites that are hosted along with your website. So if one of those website is compromised or infected your website may also be at a risk.

2: Performance

In cloud hosting sometimes you may get slower speed on loading due to heavy load on a cloud server because there are so many other websites are also consuming the bandwidth and other server resources which may affect your website indirectly.

31 Jul

How To Improve Productivity While You Work From Home?

Many of us are spending a lot more time at home right now due to the recent Coronavirus Pandemic, including the workdays. When we’d usually be reporting to our desks, we’re finding ourselves on our sofa or at our kitchen tables, trying to complete to-do lists without the built-in discipline of the office. 

The expectations are the same or rather more, but the environment is not. And this is not an easy challenge. At the very start, many of us were enjoying the sudden change but that change has become boring now after so many months of working at home. We miss meeting people, gatherings, peer-to-peer communication, etc.

As for now, it looks like things will continue to remain the same for at least in 2020, so it is highly important to stay motivated, disciplined and improve productivity while we work from home in this pandemic. The key to work-from-home success is to create an environment that allows you to focus on the tasks at hand. Whether you are working from home for the first time or just need a quick refresher, here are some tips for creating a functional, but productive work environment at home:

1. Define Your Workspace

The foremost step in pepping up your work from home productivity is to set up a designated workstation. This helps you slide into workflow easily and in maintaining work discipline while at home. Coming up with a workstation is something that adds to your professional demeanour and adds to the productivity substantially. Isolating the work space area also helps isolating from family members.

2. Workspace Hygiene

Whether you work in a home office, kitchen or living room, if there’s “stuff” around that reminds you of your household chores, your eyes will go there and you’ll get distracted. Whenever you work from home, maintain a clutter-free zone. This will help you stay focused on your workload and remain more aligned with an in-office experience. Just setting up a designated work from home desk wouldn’t cover the lengths of productivity. You now have to keep it hygienic enough to maintain healthy work habits. Decluttering is the key to attaining this, simply get rid of all the non-work related articles from around your workstation. And having this done, you are now keeping away from the most of distraction that can hamper your productivity.

3. Wear Your Workday Attire

While it is easy to jump on for work in your pyjamas,  you have to set yourself up for success when working from home. Get ready as you would if you were going into the office. Set a morning ritual of getting dressed doing work as you did while going to office to get in the right mindset. You increase your chances of being productive when you set an intention. Remember we are only working from home with the same level of productivity as expected in an office environment.

4. Allocate Strict Working From Home Hours

The biggest of challenges in improving your work from home productivity is allocating work hours. Its easy go past the regular working hours which down the line will lead to reduced productivity. So the next step in maintaining productivity is to set apart work hours with specific breaks in between. For example, In an 8-hour shift, allocate 3 hours, 3 hours and 2 hours with breathers of 10-15 minutes in between, just you would do in an office environment. Allocating work hours would help you make sure that the work at hand is being delivered regularly, productively and always quality centric. Remember, take breathers not vacation.

5. Set Ground Rules For Family Members

It is not possible to follow this all the time and under all circumstances, but whenever possible setting ground rules with people around is the next step in the ladder. Making sure that you are not constantly distracted by the family members can fetch you a good amount of work from home productivity. Simply ask them to maintain the same temperament towards your work as of when you are at a workplace. This will help your transition into a productive working from home option on a longer run.

6. Actionable Remote Working Plan

Coming up with the list of things to be done and ensuring all of which is done is imperative to improve your work from home productivity. Also, make sure that you complete every of the task allocated for a day. Leaving out one of 10 things you had planned for the day is only going to pile up unattended work by the end of the month.

7. Leave Household Chores To Post-Work Hours

It is easy to fall into the trap of taking short breaks in between and complete house hold chores. Over the time, it may result in reduced productivity as you will be tempted go to out more often, sometimes in the name of breaks. Household chores are important, but not when you’re at work. Leaving them for post-work hours is what needs to be done.

8. Stay Fit And Exercise Regularly

When on a consecutively longer work from home regime, taking out time for yourself is strongly recommended . This will help reduce your stress levels and stay focused while working from home. This will also give break from the routine being followed at home.  So listen to the music and burn out calories and stay fit. 

And if you need to empower your geographically distributed business with some crucial IT tools, consider Microsoft Office 365 and Acronis backup services add-ons by Softsys Hosting.

26 Jul

Moving Business Into The Cloud: What Major Steps To Take?

Go With A Company You Trust

You can often get into surprise elements when moving into the cloud. If you don’t feel confident, find a vendor that you can trust. A good way to evaluate a vendor is getting recommendations. Going through reviews or asking for client recommendations are also a good way to proceed. Once you’re there, ask for a detailed bid – you’re less likely to run into surprise costs.

Dividing The Overall Tasks

Cloud Migration

Cloud migration is a daunting task involving almost every business function and not everything can be stopped in case any issues come up during the migration process. Therefore the best approach for a business is to build in milestones where it would be possible to temporarily stop the migration for whatever reason. 

Expertise Matters

Everybody will agree here that cloud is considered a reliable and secure place to store data, but contrary to this, the migration process isn’t easy if you don’t have the right kind of developers/experts to channel you through the process. Every service provider offers a certain set of tools to guide you through the process so that you can do it manually, however finding the right team will save you both time and money.

Security

By migrating your business to the cloud, you open it up to anyone with online access. One should carefully plan and place necessary tools to enhance the security aspect of the cloud platform specially from the user devices.

Know How It Works First

It is important that you know the platform inside out. Don’t move or use the cloud until you fully understand what is involved and how it works. It’s better to have a clear picture before you put your business into something you are not fully aware how it works, including how your information can be secured.

Consider The Application You Want To Use

Not every cloud application fits all. Depending on your cloud strategy and business objectives, the application might only solve certain parts of your migration or needs and not be flexible enough to transfer all of your intended data. Compare cloud applications. Weigh the costs, security, flexibility, storage, and the efficiency of the application before you decide to go with a specific solution.

Manage Every Step Of The Process

Migrating to the cloud is a big step and one that can have some positive effects on your business. However, such a major change also carries some risks with it. Do not think of it as flipping a switch and making the change all at once. Nor should you put all the responsibility on the shoulders of the cloud vendor. Take steps of your own to stay organized and maintain security.

Make Multiple Backups

Cloud Backups

We cannot stress this enough. Always copy your critical applications to cloud backups drives. The best strategy is to set up automated backups to multiple locations. These backups can and will save your business one day.

16 Jun

Making Remote Work Secure: Five “Must Do” Steps

Since COVID-19 became a global pandemic and steps were put in place to contain its spread, more and more people have been forced to work from home. This transition requires many changes in how individuals and organizations operate and communicate, especially in terms of using computers, personal devices, and specific software that enables remote work.

At the same time, cybercriminals recognize that attacking home users is much easier as they are typically less secured outside their office, where security policies and measures are enforced (at least at some level). Yet to do their jobs, these remote workers need to connect to various servers and access and create confidential, sensitive documents and data from their less-secure home office environment.

The risk of losing important data or being compromised becomes much greater at home. That is why every remote worker should be prepared to secure his remote workspace. Here are five recommendations for securing a home office.

1. Use a VPN

Whether you are connecting remotely to company resources and services, or you are just browsing web resources and using telecommunication tools, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs encrypt all of your online traffic to prevent hackers from capturing your data in transit.

If your company has a VPN practice, you most likely will get instructions from your admin or MSP technician. If you have to secure your working place yourself, use a well-known, recommended VPN app and service – they are widely available in different software marketplaces or directly from vendors. If you are in need of secure VPN, get in touch with us and we will help you with it.

2. Be wary of phishing attempts

As a topic, COVID-19 is already being widely used in all types of phishing attempts – and the number of such malicious activities will only grow. Every remote worker needs to prepare for the increase in phishing attempts by understanding and recognizing the threat.

Themed phishing and malicious websites appear in large numbers every single day. These typically can be filtered out on a browser level, but if you have a cyber protection solution installed on your work laptop or your company’s MSP delivers that protection with a solution like Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, you are also secured by dedicated URL filtering. The same functionality is also available in endpoint protection solutions, although in Acronis Cyber Protect we have a special category related to public health which is updated with higher priority. 

Of course, those malicious links have to come from somewhere, and they are typically delivered in instant messages, emails, forum posts, etc. Do not click any links you don’t need to click on, and always avoid those that you did not expect to receive.

These attacks also use malicious attachments to emails, so always check where an email really comes from and ask yourself are you expecting it or not. Before you open any attachment, be sure to scan it with your anti-malware solution, such as Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud.

To be sure that all phishing and malicious websites are blocked by security solution with embedded Web/URL filtering functionality like Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud

It also helps to remember that the information you really want regarding COVID-19 or similar pandemics can be found from official sources like the World Health Organization (WHO), your national ministry of health, and state/local government agencies. Refer to those official agencies rather than opening links or emails from unknown sources.

3. Be sure to have good anti-malware up and running properly

Having a good anti-malware solution installed is a must nowadays. With Windows, where the majority of threats are targeted, the built-in Windows Defender makes it easier. It does a good job of stopping threats, although it still cannot match the top anti-malware products from security vendors.

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud delivers many well-balanced and finely tuned security technologies, including several detection engines, so we would recommend it to use instead of an embedded Windows solution.
Simply having an anti-malware defense in place is not enough, however. It should be configured properly, which means:

  • A full scan should be performed at least once a day
  • A product need to get updates daily or hourly, depends how often they are available
  • A product should be connected to its cloud detection mechanisms, in the case of Acronis Cyber Protect to Acronis Cloud Brain. It is active by default but you need to be sure that the internet is available and not accidentally blocked by anti-malware software.
  • On-demand and on-access (real-time) scans should be enabled and adjusted for every new software installed or executed.It is also important that you do not ignore messages coming from your anti-malware solution. Read these carefully and, if you use a paid version from a security vendor, be sure that license is active.

4. Patch your OS and apps

Keeping your operating system (OS) up to date is crucial, as a lot of attacks succeed due to unpatched vulnerabilities. With Acronis Cyber Protect, you’re covered with embedded vulnerability assessment and patch management functionality. We track all identified vulnerabilities and released patches, which allows an admin or technician to easily patch all their endpoints with a flexible configuration and detailed reporting.

Acronis Cyber Protect not only supports all embedded Windows apps, but also more than 40 third-party key popular apps including all telecommunications tools like Zoom or Slack, and a lot of popular VPN clients that are used to work remotely. Be sure to patch high-risk vulnerabilities first and use success reports to confirm that patches were applied properly.

If you don’t have Acronis Cyber Protect and do not use any patch management software, it is much harder. At a minimum, you need to be sure that Windows gets all the updates it needs and they are quickly installed – users tend to ignore system messages, especially when Windows asks for a restart. Ignoring these requests is a big mistake.

Also, be sure that auto-updates to popular software vendors like Adobe are enabled and such apps like PDF Reader are also updated promptly.

Acronis Cyber Protect Patch Management supports all the popular collaboration, conferencing and messaging tools

5. Keep your passwords and workspace to yourself

While this step has been mentioned many times as the top piece of security advice, during the response to COVID-19 it is doubly important to ensure your passwords are strong and known only to you. Never share passwords with anyone, and use different and long passwords for every service you use. Password management software makes this easier. Otherwise, an effective approach is to create a set of long phrases you can remember. And when we say long, we mean long, since the old eight-character passwords are easily opened by brute-force attacks now.

Also, even working from home, do not forget to lock your laptop or desktop and limit access to it. There are many cases when people can access sensitive information on a non-locked PC from a distance. Don’t assume you are protected simply because you are not inviting anyone you don’t know or trust into your home office.

06 Jun

What Will Change In The Global Business Landscape In 2020?

We are in a healthcare crisis that is also an economic crisis combined with an energy crisis. Add to that a looming humanitarian crisis in some emerging economies and you have a multitude of challenges, all of which are exacerbating geopolitical risks. How will this crisis change the global business landscape in 2020 – and what does it mean for the actions we take today at Softsys Hosting and other business ventures?

Fear And Optimism

Fear and Optimism

The length and depth of the current economic crisis will depend on solving the healthcare crisis with an exit strategy involving a combination of an effective, widely available vaccine and therapeutic drugs. Meanwhile, governments around the world are trying to manage the delicate balance between controlling transmission and returning some people to economic activity. The stakes are high, not only in the obvious health and economic consequences of mis-steps but also in managing public perceptions of risk.

The fears we feel are real. They are reinforced by government messages, the data we read daily on infection rates and the sad reality of the actual numbers of COVID-19 deaths, in particular the data on “excess deaths” that are only now being made public. These have driven public behaviours that have controlled transmission and reduced deaths in many countries, but we now need to cautiously find ways, especially in the business community, of responsibly allowing society to adapt and manage the false dichotomy of public health and economic wellbeing.

Risk Interdependencies

This crisis also highlights the interdependencies of the global risks triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake, we are experiencing a historic event that will change many aspects of the world we live in, such as geopolitics, the economic impact on many industry sectors, the competitive business landscape, the long-term societal impacts such as an exacerbation of inequality, consumer behaviours, the nature of work and the role of technology both at work and at home.

In addition to the dangers to public health, the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns and shutdowns could have long-lasting effects on people and societies. High structural unemployment is likely to affect consumer confidence and the speed of economic recovery, as well as exacerbate inequality, mental health problems and lack of societal cohesion.   

Technology

 Companies and governments are trying to manage the on going crisis, it is also challenging the relationship between technology and governance. Mistrust or misuse of technology could have long-lasting effects on society. Borders have returned, as have local communities, but technology is allowing a return to a more global world. Technology is enabling the contact-free economy, through applications such as telemedicine, online retail, and social distancing delivery methods such as click and collect. New business and employment opportunities are being created in these sectors, but a greater dependence on technology has also increased cybersecurity risks.

Business And Policy Considerations

Business and policy considerations

In a time of great uncertainty, decisions are being taken today by governments and businesses that will determine how these risks or opportunities emerge and play out. In particular these include:

· To what extent do we manage the operational trade-offs between a quick return to work, but still protect our employees, clients and society more broadly?

· At a time of change for our business, with changing industry structures and changing competitive positions, how do we not only survive, but also find the silver linings?

· How can we accelerate our commitments to sustainability and drive a low-carbon transition?

· How will consumer behaviour change in our sector – and how will that affect our propositions and the way we deliver them? · Build scenarios into existing risk models to understand the impacts of different recovery rates on business, operational, market risks.