Business-IT-Support

Miami IT Services: What is a Packet Delay?

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems have become commonplace in Miami businesses of all sizes. By using an Internet connection, instead of traditional phone lines, companies can realize potentially high cost savings. One issue with VoIP systems is that, during heavy use, call quality and stability can suffer. This is usually caused by what IT support Miami experts call a ‘packet delay‘.

So what exactly is a packet delay and what you can do to minimize any issues and ultimately improve the quality of your VoIP based calls?

What is a Packet Delay?

Before we look into this, it is a good idea to know what a packet is. In digital communication, data goes back and forth between a sender and receiver. This data can be anything from a file, information or even a VoIP call. In practice, this data is too large to actually send as one chunk. As a result, it is broken down into smaller pieces that are called packets.

These packets are then transmitted to the receiver and reassembled into the original piece of data. The time that these packets take to get from one source to another is called latency. However, because digital transmission lines can only handle so many packets at once, they occasionally become overloaded. This means it takes packets longer to get to their destination, causing higher latency, or in other words, a packet delay.

When this happens, you will likely notice a drop in call quality, echoes and even delays.

What Causes These Delays?

In a perfect world, all networks and VoIP systems would be able to essentially organize their packets so as to minimize delay and offer high quality calls with zero issues. Unfortunately, this is not possible all of the time.

Packet delays are actually a normal part of VoIP, and providers have integrated systems and buffers to minimize their impact, offering call quality on a par with, and often better than traditional landlines.

There are two main reasons why delays occur:

  1. Network connections – If there are a high number of users connected, or there is a high volume of bandwidth being used while you are also trying to use a VoIP connection, you will likely see a drop in call quality. Be aware that peak usage times e.g., working hours for businesses, may result in some delays.
  2. End systems – Sometimes, it is the end system – the system where the data packets are reassembled into data – that creates the delay. The cause of this is usually older equipment that lacks the computing power to handle fast connections and large data transfers.

How to minimize the effect of packet delays in South Florida Businesses

As the end-user of VoIP systems, it may seem like there is little you can do to actually reduce packet delays. But our Business IT Support team can assure you that this isn’t true. There are actually several steps you can take to decrease delays:

  1. Reduce the systems between the connection and you. Generally, the higher the number of systems that have to code and decode packets the higher the chance of delays. If you are connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, try connecting directly to your router or modem via a cable. This will drastically reduce the chances of delays.
  2. Try turning equipment off and on again. If you normally experience a high call quality, and are experiencing delays or low quality, try turning your computer, server or router/modem that the VoIP line is connected to off and on again. This cycle refreshes systems and may improve quality.
  3. Close other applications. Other applications that user bandwidth could be causing delays. For example, if a colleague is downloading a file via a P2P program, you may notice delays in Internet speed. This will affect call quality, so try turning other programs off.
  4. Work with an IT partner.  Sometimes the problem runs deeper. For example, the cabling in your building may need to be upgraded or servers might not be configured properly for VoIP. In which case, you should contact a reliable  IT partner, like Nerds Support, to see if they can help spot and fix problems.

Nerds Support’s Miami VoIP phone services are some of the most reliable in South Florida. Our Business IT Support Miami team works around the clock so that you can have a clear and efficient phone line. At Nerds Support, we understand that VoIP is a valuable communications system, and if you are looking to integrate it into your business, or speed up and improve the quality of your calls, why not contact us today? There will be no delay in us looking for a solution you might just need.

Prepare Your Miami Business for World Backup Day

One of the most important days for every Business in South Florida is World Backup Day. World Backup Day occurs every year on March 31st and it is a time to reflect on business safety and the importance of backing up company data. Considering that 2017 gave us a year of plenty cyber attacks, there is a lot to reflect on for this year’s World Backup Day. Every single day you have spent millions of hours, as a workforce, on the computer and internet. There were times when files were lost, hard drives crashed or even cases of viruses infecting your system. World Backup Day was created to remind every tech user to backup the data stored in their system. So that when disaster strikes, you are prepared.

What is the World Backup Day and Does it Affect Miami?

The phrase “Save early and save often” holds true when it comes to Miami data recovery. In the most basic form, backup is simply copying your existing files to a secondary location, using either an automated process or a manual one. This process will allow you to save drive storage space.

If these things don’t interest you, then definitely the fear of losing the most important documents stored on your laptop or computer surely will. Everyone might have heard a story about friend’s tragic hard drive crash, a night before assignment submission. As per statistics, more than 70% of organizations have experienced data loss at the workspace and small businesses reported that a single loss of data significantly affected their business.

Actually, data is SO valuable, that data records are lost, or stolen, every minute and 93% of businesses file for bankruptcy within 12 months if their data has been lost for more than 10 days

You might not think these kinds of attacks would happen in your business, but they are more common than you know. As of right now, the city of Atlanta has been working non-stop for the past six days to recover City government information from a ransomware attack. If an entire American city can become the victim of a ransomware attack, then what is stopping a hacker from accessing your business information?

Do I Need to Backup my Data on the Smartphone too?

If you do not want to lose your irreplaceable digital memories, then go ahead and do the data backup. The data loss can happen anytime and anywhere, it usually occurs when least expected. Therefore, yes backing up data on the smartphone is also essential; backup it either on your computer or on any other application, which can be easily accessible.

How to Do Data Backup?

One can create a secure data recovery according to the 3-2-1 rule. The rule creates triple redundancy for your files, which means if your one backup fails, you still have two left. Follow the below-mentioned process to do the data backup.

1. Download and install the backup software.
2. Select the files you want to back as some online services just backup all available files.
3. Schedule your data backup at least on a daily basis.
4. The downloaded software will upload your files to the server and data Centre.

Your Data is Valuable than Your Device

Make sure while doing the backup, your business technology solutions provider should offer local encryptions with a private encryption key that you only own. This feature will ensure complete safety on the server. In addition, the business IT support provider should use SSL encryption technology when duplicating the files onto the server. Once the upload is done, your provider should offer another security layer with an AES- 256-bit encryption technology to safeguard all the uploaded documents.

In a nutshell, backing your data won’t only save your time and effort but will also reduce future cost and World Backup Day is a summary of the future. Contact Nerds Support if you’ve any query regarding our data recovery plan.

Phishing Emails

Miami Phishing Emails and How Not to Get Ripped Off

There are many phishing email schemes in Miami that seem too good to be true. You might get an email or pop up as an advertisement, promising money or other luxuries. Then, as they expect, you go opening these without even thinking. Sooner than later, you might find that something horrible has happened to you, as a result of a scam.

You may have your identity stolen or money taken out of your bank account. But you also will experience an invasion of a malware that infects your computers. The truth is, you can never be too careful by having the proper programs installed.

Having your computer activity tracked is not unusual. It’s most likely to happen when you are using the internet. As a result, you could find more strange emails, bizarre ads or even worse.

The malware may also be starting back doors on your company. A hacker stealing company information is very common. So imagine if a hacker stole your company secrets and sold them to your competitors? What would happen in the event that they destroyed your backups?

One terrible instance of Phishing is when you click a link in an e-mail and your whole laptop goes black. Next, you get a message demanding a stressful fee before your files get deleted forever. This is a Ransomware attack and in 2017, attacks like these exploded into a full scale business model.

How to Avoid Miami Email Phishing Scams?

Nerds Support’s Email Protection team knows how important protecting your business can be. So it is important to know the common signs of phishing emails. Here are a few signs of phishing emails:

  • You do not recognize the sender’s email address
  • There are grammar and spelling mistakes
  • The email claims to be from a corporation
  • The email says you won a prize
  • You are required to give personal information
  • You are being asked to send money
  • There is a time frame in which you have to send your information

Using these tips will keep your company information safe, regardless of the email program you use. However, the best way to keep your information safe is by having a strong data protection plan. Nerds Support’s data protection plans are some of the best in South Florida. Our IT Support Miami specialists are always prepared to keep your business secure.

Clients who use our cloud are some of the most secure companies in South Florida. Our email servers filter through all the emails your company gets and throws away all the bad emails. That way, you only get emails that you need to make your business more efficient.

Nerds Support’s data protection team is also in compliance with the latest rules and regulations. With this, you don’t have to ever worry about company compliance. Nerds Support IT support Miami team will handle all that for you. That means, the only thing you have to do is keep your business profitable.

Looking for reliable IT security solutions in Miami? Contact Nerds Support!

Cybersecurity

Practical Tips For Miami Cybersecurity This Cyber Monday

It’s that time of year again. A chill is in the air, pumpkin-spice-everything is on the menu, and your online newsfeed is peppered with Cyber Monday headlines.

Cyber Monday has become so embedded in our online shopping culture that many may not remember a time without it – yet it’s quite a contemporary holiday tradition.

As ubiquitous as its current presence, so too are its security warnings. For most of us, these warnings are mainstays of the modern online era. As a quick refresher:

  1. Use a unique password for each website, especially sensitive accounts.
  2. Enable two-step verification for sensitive websites and services.
  3. Check out as a guest whenever possible.
  4. Use a credit card instead of a debit card.
  5. Monitor your bank and credit card statements.
  6. Monitor your credit report – identities are more valuable than credit cards, and have no expiration date.

But this year, we want you to pay increased attention to security concerns that extend beyond the cyber shopping cart payment, and instead look at the risks you take from shopping online and how a good Miami business IT support team like Nerds Support can help you build a more secure business.

Hackers Will Benefit From Christmas

However, as connectivity grows, so do our risks. Every year, we are warned that our addresses, credit card information and more are vulnerable to hackers than any day of the year. In a world that has seen cyber attacks from Equifax to Whole Foods to even a popular black Friday retailer, 2017’s Hoiday shopping season is no exception. Having such personal information can pose a physical threat, as well as facilitate identity theft (and with children, identity theft may not be discovered for years).

Employees Are Shopping More Than They are Working:

Cyber Monday is known as one of the three busiest shopping days for the retail industry. It is said that for every 20 people, 1 person will call in sick to work so that they may shop for Cyber Monday. In fact, in 2017, 64% of workers will shop on their lunch break and 43% of workers will shop if they find themselves with nothing to do. While some companies agree that efforts to keep employees from shopping online would be pointless, it should concern business owners that 55% of employees do not know emergency technology procedures. If a hacker were to break into your files, having access to employee’s personal credit card info would pose as a big cybersecurity problem for not only the individual, but also the company. With Nerds Support, our IT support Miami team believes having a good business protection plan is essential to any business. So whether your employees fight or give into the temptation to shop, you can bet the Nerds Support will always have your most important data available and keep your company safe from hackers.

Contact us to learn more about our Miami Cybersecurity services and how to stay Cyber Safe online.
IT-Support-Miami-Cybersecurity-Blog

Miami Cyber Attacks Happen: Build Resilient Systems

You can’t stop all attacks or build the perfect defense system. The higher-level objective is resilience.

Every week, billions of cyber-events batter government networks. Millions of these attacks hit at network speed, and thousands succeed, as reported by the Homeland Security Department’s US Computer Emergency Readiness Team. The US Navy alone was attacked more than 1 billion times in 2016. Although security analysts strain to counter these breaches, mostly with manual processes, it’s likely terabytes of data are stolen.

Given this dynamic landscape, you might think federal CIOs are getting more resources to defend against mounting cyberthreats. They’re not. Money and security expertise are in short supply, meaning agencies need to innovate. First and foremost, they can no longer take a piecemeal approach to information security. A holistic strategy that incorporates real-time risk management and continuous monitoring is the only way to go.

To help companies build these more-resilient systems, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in collaboration with the Defense and Homeland Security departments and private sector intelligence communities, has come up with security controls that focus on mobile and cloud computing, application security, the insider threat, supply chain security, and advanced persistent threats.

So it comes as no surprise that more than half of the respondents to Information eek’s 2014 Federal Government IT Priorities Survey say cybersecurity/security is the top priority in their agencies. Seventy percent rate security as “extremely important,” with another 16% viewing cyber-security/security as “very important.”

Federal managers want to know “how to stop the bleeding,” says Ronald Ross, project leader of NIST’s FISMA Implementation Project and Joint Task Force Transformation Initiative. You can’t stop all attacks or build the perfect defense system. The higher-level objective is resilience. “What does it mean to have an adequate degree of resilience in a modern information system that supports critical missions?” Ross asks, in a question that’s neither rhetorical nor unique to federal agencies. State and local governments as well as private sector companies are struggling, too — anyone with valuable information and using very complex high-end technology is subject to the same types of threats.

Resiliency means “becoming healthy after something bad happens,” says Bret Hartman, VP and CTO of Cisco’s security business group. “That is a good way to think of security because it’s impossible to stay healthy all the time.” Agencies should consider the attack continuum and which technologies they need in place before an attack occurs, during an attack, and after the attack to do systems remediation. This last area is still maturing and is where the biggest challenge lies today, Hartman says.

Time for better cyber “hygiene” in Miami 

To address resiliency in Miami, South Florida, federal government, NIST and its partner agencies are focusing on two tracks: improving “cyber hygiene,” and designing IT system architectures that can bounce back from damage and contain attacks. A good way to view cyber-security, says Ross, is to have a way to address areas “above the water line,” such as known patching and maintenance, and those below the water line — problems you can’t see that could cause trouble and inflict serious damage without warning.

Cyber hygiene focuses on tasks that security administrators deal with daily, such as promptly updating operating systems and applications with the latest security patches or making sure all operating systems and network devices are configured properly to close down attack vectors that could be exploited. IT must also assemble and maintain a complete inventory of everything on the agency’s network and the information it has to protect.

With NIST 800-53 R4, the government is starting to address security below the water level, too. Specifically, we’re talking about contingency-planning types of controls, which allow agencies to define alternate processing capabilities, storage sites, and communications plans in case of a natural disaster, like a hurricane, or a cyber-attack. “We have contingency plans in place and run those exercises as frequently as we need to, so when the event happens, we can move smoothly into that backup scenario,” Ross says.