Monthly Archives: January 2016


Is Your Workplace Server Safe?

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For most businesses in today’s world, data security is one of the company’s top priorities. With critical business information, client data, and intellectual property all stored on computer servers, it’s easy to see why businesses are so concerned with data security. You certainly wouldn’t leave this precious information just sitting out on your desk or unlocked in a drawer, so you shouldn’t leave it stored on your servers either without proper security measures in place.

According to a nationwide 2012 survey of small businesses by Symantec and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), 83 percent of small businesses have no formal cyber security plan, and 69 percent lack an informal plan as well. Of those companies surveyed, 71 percent are dependent on the Internet for daily operations. Almost half believe data hacks are isolated incidents that wouldn’t impact their business.

Chances are individual computers are protected with firewalls and anti-virus software, but many people are unsure of how to sufficiently protect their servers. Take a look at a few ideas that will help you know where to start to protect your corporate servers.

Focus on Server Ports

Each port on your server is an open invitation for an unwanted intrusion. This is why it’s so important to turn off all unused ports. This should be your first step in protecting your server.

Install Firewalls

Just like you do with your desktop, you’ll want to protect your server with a firewall. Most servers have built-in firewalls, so check to make sure your server’s firewall is working correctly. In addition, you’ll want to add a network firewall to connect to a network. A network firewall can enforce security policies between networks and control traffic.

Encrypt Your Data

Whenever you deal with sensitive customer data, such as bank routing digits, credit card accounts, or social security numbers, you need to encrypt the data, especially if this data is transported over the Internet.

Properly Configure Your Server’s Security

A tiered permission structure is a great way to give the people who need access to critical information, and block those who don’t need access. You don’t want every employee to have access to information like social security numbers, financial records, salary information, credit card numbers, or social media passwords. A tiered permission structure can keep you safe from both internal and external breaches.

Download and Install Updates

Install updates on your server as soon as they are released. Every update will help your server work more efficiently. Delaying installing updates will leave your server vulnerable to attacks. Regular updates will save you time (not having to download and install a bunch of updates at once), but it’s also a simple way to protect the security of your server.

Get Rid of Unneeded Software

Delete unnecessary programs and you’ll reduce the ways in which your server can be attacked. For example, if you’re running a Web server, delete unneeded office and entertainment software so you aren’t vulnerable to any attacks from those applications.

Get Rid of the Wireless

Wired networks might be less versatile, but they are more secure. That’s because users have to access a wired network by either plugging into physical outlets or hacking modem ports. If you insist on using a wireless network, be sure to disable the service set identifier (SSID) broadcasting function on the wireless router. This makes your network hidden and invisible.

Don’t Forget the Printers

Many people forget about the printers when they think about server and network security. Printers can pose a big security risk. Printers store document contents in their own on-board memories. A hacker can steal the printer and access the memory to make copies of recently printed documents. Printers, like servers and workstations, should be located in secure places and bolted down so nobody can walk away with them.

Check for Vulnerabilities

After you’ve taken the steps to make sure your server is secure, use an auditing tool to check for any areas you may have missed. The Center for Internet Security is a great resource where you can find dozens of free auditing tools for network devices, applications, and operating systems. These tools will scan your system to find vulnerabilities you may have missed.

Last Words of Advice

Other tips to protect your server include:

  • Not allowing anonymous users onto your network
  • Insisting on stronger passwords
  • Blocking extensions to problematic scripts
  • Quarantining clients until you can scan their system attributes

Talk to your IT professionals about these measures that will help strengthen your server’s security.



Who is Virtual Zen?

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If you are a business owner looking to simplify your IT network, wanting to delve into cloud computing, or simply looking for a better, more cost efficient way to run your company, Virtual Zen can help. With years of computer industry experience and specialized services focused on saving you time and money, Virtual Zen can help you meet your business needs.

Who are the People Behind Virtual Zen?

Virtual Zen began with two men, Iyar and Francis, who wanted to find a simpler way to help small to medium sized companies with their technology challenges.

Iyar Koren has 17 years of experience in the computer industry. In his 17 years, he’s helped small to medium sized companies solve technical challenges. After consulting with companies in various industries, Iyar soon began to understand the challenges that face companies as they grow from a home office to multiple locations. With this understanding in mind, he’s been successful in providing businesses with what they need, when they need it.

Iyar’s interest in computers started early. He completed his high school education at the young age of 16, became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer by 17, and finished college with high honors by the age of 18. Iyar has taken his ambition, and combined his technical knowledge, to bring virtualized services to make companies technical challenges easier.

Partnering with Iyar is Francis Lyman. Francis is no stranger to the computer industry. He graduated top of his class from Brigham Young University with an accounting degree, one of the five best accounting programs in the United States. He’s spent the last 10 years consulting in a controller or CFO capacity, focusing mainly on information systems and technology. In these CFO roles, Francis has been able to see how the right IT solutions can help CFOs to succeed. He’s spent years perfecting his ability to manage his own on-site servers, which eventually led to finding solutions that included hosting servers virtually.

Recognizing the need for hosting servers virtually, Francis and Iyar crossed paths. Francis’ accounting knowledge combined with Iyar’s vast experience with IT solutions seemed a natural fit to solve a problem both men had encountered.

What Does the Company Do?

Simply put, Virtual Zen creates the security, performance, accessibility, and peace of mind companies need by making virtual services a reality. If you need more information, consider that Virtual Zen offers mobility, cloud computing, and security.

Mobility: Cloud computing gives employees more flexibility. With the ability to work from home, while on vacation, or on the commuter train to work, employees can turn down time into productive time. There’s no need to be on-site to access documents or to connect with co-workers in a physical office. With a simple Internet connection, employees can quickly and easily access their virtual office. When employees are given flexibility, they are happier, making a better work environment for everyone.

Cloud computing: Where mobility gives your employees flexibility, cloud computing gives your business flexibility. Instead of storing data and software on a personal computer, information is stored in the cloud, or on the Internet. Instead of relying on accessing data at the office, your important data can be accessed just about anywhere through an Internet connection. Cloud computing can also save your company money. Instead of buying expensive equipment and then paying to upgrade that equipment in a few years when technology changes, you can have all the storage you need, without the investment. Think of it like renting. You can rent capacity (or server space or access to software) from a cloud provider, paying only for the resources you use.

 Services: By now you may be convinced to use Virtual Zen and their cloud-computing options. But there’s still one major question: what about security? Many opponents of cloud services worry that security is sacrificed by allowing company data to exit the internal firewall. Virtual Zen follows the strict security guidelines set forth that cloud providers must adhere to, ensuring your data is safe and protected. That equals greater peace of mind for you as a business owner.

How Will This Benefit Me

Using cloud services, particularly services offered by a trusted partner like Virtual Zen, can save you time, money, and worry. Having a physical office full of employees and equipment is a huge expense for a smaller company. By hiring a virtual services provider, you are only paying for the work that is done. As a small to medium sized business, there are various services you need in order to succeed. Hiring people and buying equipment adds up. Thanks to the Internet, you can get the services you need, without the high price tag that’s come along with those services in the past.

Virtualization is the future. Virtualized, hosted, and managed services will help you harness the technological power you need to be successful. Trust Virtual Zen to help you with your cloud computing needs.


Top 5 Reasons Your Office Should Switch to Virtual Services

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Using virtual office services based on cloud computing is a wonderful way to make your office more

efficient, give employees flexibility, and to save money. With remote workers spread out across the

globe collaborating on projects, virtual services makes it seem as if everyone is in the same building. In

practice, virtual services are a great thing for any business, large and small. However, communicating

exclusively through the Internet will take planning and careful coordination. If you’re ready to jump into

the world of virtual services, take a look at the top five reasons your office should make the switch



1. Cost Effective. One of the biggest reasons many companies are considering using the cloud and

implementing virtual services is to save money. Improvement costs, maintenance fees, office

equipment, and software and hardware can be difficult to set up, hard to use, and expensive.

Costs especially add up when you consider the rate at which technology is changing and

developing. Virtual services can help you lower your monthly overhead by taking the expensive

equipment, maintenance and improvement costs out of the picture.


2. Availability of Online Tools. When you switch to cloud services, you don’t have to worry about

missing out on tools or technology that makes running a business easier. You can take

advantage of online tools to help keep your business running smoothly and efficiently. You can

use Skype or GoToMeeting to eliminate the need for onsite meetings. Instead of driving across

town for a meeting or flying in people from outside your local area for a board meeting, you can

meet online anywhere, at any time. You can access both Skype and GoToMeeting through an

Internet connection.


If you need to collaborate with co-workers in a different state or in another country, use

GoogleDrive. There’s no more need for going through reams of paper or endless email streams

until you get your proposal right. GoogleDrive allows users the ability to work on one document

with multiple people, with changes made in real time. You can share links, transfer files, and

make suggestions in one place.


3. Access to the latest tools and technology. Cloud service providers will be able to offer you the

very latest technology, including big-data mining, analytics, virtual workforce, cloud technology,

social media, and IT support. You can access the most up-to-date technology and services,

without investing in expensive hardware or employing a large in-house IT team. Furthermore, a

cloud service provider will help you know how to exploit all of the technology being offered to

meet your organization’s specific needs.


4. Save space. Another advantage to using virtual services is saving space. Gone are the days

where you have to store all your important documents in large, heavy filing cabinets. With

physical storing capabilities, such as filing cabinet, hard drives, and USB sticks, you’re limited to

a pre-determined storage amount. With virtual services, you can adjust storage space to your

requirements. There are no limits to the amount of data and documents you can save for future

use. Freeing up your physical storage space allows for future growth and expansion, as you have

more room to grow.


5. Improve productivity. Since employees can move and access documents that are stored

virtually at any time, from any location, on almost any device, productivity is bound to improve.

Mobility and flexibility are becoming increasingly more important for businesses of all sizes.

With data and software stored in the cloud, there’s no need for every employee to download a

bunch of programs or to wait while a large application installs. Your employees can simply log

on, find the documents needed, and get right to work, all while saving them for colleagues to

access in the future.


Using virtual services will help support employees who frequently travel, those who work

remotely, and those not in a traditional office setting. Virtual services enable employees to take

the office with them, increasing productivity time and increasing employee satisfaction.

Using virtual services has the potential to make your organization leaner, smarter, and more

profitable. Deciding to move to virtual services must be done with foresight and careful planning.

Make sure you understand all the benefits associated with cloud and virtual services and how the

services will affect your business before making the leap. Chances are, virtual services will only

benefit your company. Be sure to take your time and thing through the decision.