Information Security Measures for Remote Employees

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Information Security Measures for Remote Employees

When it comes to the option for professionals to work from home via the internet, the current possibilities are better than ever before. These new possibilities also bring new challenges and one of them is the of information security. This is especially the case when comes to sensitive data and employees who are working remotely/off-site for corporations. Then even more important to maintain the company’s data and information security.

 

Information Security via Intelligent Password Use

 

One basic measure for information security is to protect the computer that stores and processes the business data. In one of our previous blog posts (Safety and Security 

information security

Measures You Should Follow) we have listed several useful password tips. They concern the choice and handling of computer and account passwords to ensure the security of the company computer/mobile device. They also refer to the respective internet accounts (for example email accounts).

 

Access and Identity Management by the Employer

 

The above mentioned blog post mainly describes security measures to be taken by the individual remote worker. Beyond that, access and identities for cloud-based applications, file storage and corporate networks/intranet can be managed on the corporate side by cloud-based services like the Microsoft Azure Active Directory.

 

Company Server Protection

 

Firewall

It might seem like a rather basic thing to mention here, but because of its importance for server and information security, it certainly does belong on this list. The Firewall software helps prevent access to the system from unauthorized parties.

VPN-Connections

In comparison to Virtual Private Networks (VPN), WiFi connections are more vulnerable to hacking attacks. It enhances the server security and therefore information security if remote employees/telecommuters sign up via VPN when they need to connect their devices remotely to the company network.

SSL/TLS Certificates

SSL or TLS certificates for the company servers (HTTPS) ensure encrypted communication and verifies the other participant’s identity

You can read more about security measures to protect a server here.

 

Separate Business and Private Computers and Mobile Devices

 

To be on an even safer side, it makes sense to keep the business and private computer devices strictly separate, and not to use the computer you use for business purposes for any private internet surfing or email use. The reason for this; internet surfing and email attachments are common ways through which viruses and other malware can infect a computer.

Of course, even if a company adapted such a policy for the computers use by their employees, this would be difficult to enforce. That is why it is very important to educate the respective computer users about how to use the internet and its services, as well as, also to make sure that anti-virus programs and system are always up-to-date.

If you are interested in IT certification related to information security, cyber, and computer security, have a look at our training courses!

 

Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224241

https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/11/security-measures-for-remote-workers.html

https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/7-security-measures-to-protect-your-servers

https://www.techsherpas.com/7-donts-for-your-computer-security/

https://www.techsherpas.com/cloud-computing-makes-telecommuting-a-real-possibility/

https://www.techsherpas.com/cloud-computing-microsoft-azure/

Work From Home Jobs for IT Professionals

Qualified work from home jobs (or telecommuting/remote jobs) are not that unusual anymore. Instead, the demand for the option to work remotely has become a trend. Modern technology, especially computer, cloud computing and the internet with high-speed connectivity, make that possible. Since information technology provides the means for remote working, the question of whether it is also an option for IT professionals is obvious.

 

Which IT-related tasks can be performed from home/remotely?

Technically, most of the everyday IT-utilizing tasks can be performed remotely – provided that necessary hardware is in place and the adequate infrastructure and procedures for authentication and encryption are in place. The latter is especially important to ensure computer, information, and cybersecurity: Remote working opportunities must be secure to not endanger the employer’s business by making it more accessible to hacking and other cyber-attacks.

There are a few exemptions: When physical access to hardware other than the individual’s own is necessary (e.g. server rooms), the respective IT staff of course needs to be on-site or at least be able to directly communicate with somebody on-site.

 

Availability of remote/work from home jobs in information technology

If you are looking for work from home/remote jobs as an IT professional, look out for job titles like these – as can currently be found on internet job portals:

work from home jobs

  • Network Administrator, Network Engineer, Network Analyst
  • Systems Administrator, Systems Engineer
  • Cloud Operations Administrator
  • IT Support
  • SAP Basis Administrator
  • Linus Administrator
  • Cisco Voice Engineer
  • Azure PAAS Architect
  • .NET Developer
  • Network Operations Coordinator
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Technical Project Manager
  • AWS Architect
  • Database Engineer

Look for job titles like these in combination with typical keywords like:

  • Telecommuting
  • Work from home
  • Remote
  • Virtual

 

Could working from home/remotely be an option for you?

There are various reasons why some people prefer to work from home or – generally – on a remote basis. Maybe you

  • have a particularly long commute
  • are a parent who is just re-starting work after parental leave or other leave of absence
  • need to take care of a child/children at home or are a caregiver otherwise
  • want to travel extensively or even prefer a nomadic lifestyle

Whatever the reasons, the question if remote working is an option for you in your current job is something your employer needs to decide.

Have you been looking through the above listed job titles and are intrigued, but you find that you are still lacking a particular qualification/certification? TechSherpas offers a wide range of certification training courses, live on-site, virtual, or on-demand, to help you reach your career goals.

 

Sources:
https://www.itproportal.com/features/technologys-role-in-improving-work-life-balance-for-remote-workers/

https://www.indeed.com

The Difference between Cybersecurity, Information Security and Computer Security

First things first: cybersecurity and IT security (information security) are not precisely the same thing, even though many people tend to use these terms interchangeably – which is understandable, because they are very closely related. In general, they both refer to the world of computers, computer networks and the information that is stored and processed there. This information is often highly sensitive and therefore, of course, needs to be protected by various measures.

Security for IT Professionals Explained

Security for IT professionals is a complicated matter, so here’s a basic explanation of the main types of security.

Simply put, one could probably say that “cybersecurity” (or according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary “cybersecurity”) aims at protecting the computer and/or computer network or computer system (which of course includes access via the internet as well), while “information security” or “IT security”, as the expression might suggest, concentrates on the protection of the data within those computers/computer networks.

Almost the same – but not quite the same

Of course, one could argue that the reason for protecting “the computer(s)” as such is the protection of the data/information, one way or the other.

According to the Glossary of Key Information Security Terms from May 2013 that is published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Cybersecurity refers to the “ability to protect or defend the use of cyberspace from cyber attacks” (CNSSI-4009)

According to Merriam-Webster, Cybersecurity is defined as “measures taken to protect a computer or computer system (as on the Internet) against unauthorized access or attack”.

On the website of “The School of Business at George Mason University”, one can read the following definition: “protection of information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction in order to provide confidentiality, integrity, and availability”.

This might sound/read rather similar, but this time, the definition happens to refer to the term of Information Security. So, how can that be? Is it simply a question of semantics?

Actually, there is a slight difference between those two definitions: The second one focuses on the protection of the information.

Two aspects of the same challenge

Does this still sound quite the same? That’s because in both cases, the eventual challenge is the same. But the focus of the protective measures is slightly different – just like there is a difference between a watchdog and/or security guard securing the entrance to a building and the bodyguard that might protect a person that lives inside.

Back to the world of computers, one could probably argue that Cybersecurity and Information Security are two aspects of the same challenge – Computer Security or “COMPUSEC”, defined by NIST as: “Measures and controls that ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information system assets including hardware, software, firmware, and information being processed, stored, and communicated.” (CNSSI-4009)

Blogs to Follow if You’re Tech Career Bound

So you are interested in a career in the technology field – that’s great! Since technology is a quickly changing area, it is important to not only be informed but to STAY informed in order to keep up with the latest developments.

Headed for a Career in the Technology Field?  Read These Blogs!

Technology blogs are a great way to stay current and to

  • keep up-to-date with the tech world and its latest developments in general
  • enhance/acquire specialized knowledge in the niche/field of expertise
  • engage with other technology-interested people

One of the criteria for the right tech blogs is of course also the question how advanced/specialized your knowledge already is, and what kind of profession/job you envision for yourself in the technology area.

  • Maybe you want to simply make sure that you do not miss out on the latest developments?
  • Do you already have the basic knowledge and are now looking for more in-depth information, or are you already out there with the experts and want to use the blogs not only for acquiring further expert knowledge but also for networking via discussions in the comments section?
  • Are you more interested in the academic and educational aspects of the technology world, or is it the practical use and application?
  • Or are you currently focused on the actual tech career aspects – finding the right college or employer, getting an idea about the current job market and evaluating your options?

To make things easier – and to get started, here is a selection of tech-related (and tech education-related) blogs. Consider it a menu, and take your pick among the different sections:

General Tech Blogs, News, Reviews, and Entertainment

General tech blogs are a good way to get a general overview with what is going on in the world of technology. They can also be great resources to get tips for further reading.

Leading Tech Companies

When you are looking for a tech-related career, the idea of keeping an eye on what is going on at the major tech companies is not a great leap of thought: You get first-hand information on their products, and in case of a job interview with one of these companies you can show your in-depth knowledge and genuine interest.

University Life and Education

Careers and Job Market

Technology for Teachers/Educators

Which blog will you check out?  Let us know in the comments below!

Web Trends: Looking Back at 2017

The world of technology is ever-changing, and 2017 was no exception. The trends that govern a successful online strategy five years ago could be obsolete now.  If you’re a tech-savvy IT education seeker or someone who manages your company’s online presence, you want to be aware of these changes and trends.  Online marketing is one of the most complicated and highly sought after skills in the tech industry, and you can never learn enough about this fascinating subject!

IT Education Includes Being Aware of Online Marketing Strategy

To have a better insight into the trends this past year, here are some of the most online marketing updates in 2017.

“Fred” from Google

While this was not tagged as an official update, it was certainly one of the most talked about. The name friend was coined by a Google analyst named Gary Illyes. He said that Google has created an updated that is aimed at lessening black hat tactics which have to do with aggressive advertising.

It instituted a worldwide clean up of dummy sites that were made and put up not for any specific purpose — like answering a query — but generating revenue of some sort. This good news for anyone who has been brought down the rabbit hole by this sites which pepper the initial pages of search results for almost any product or service.

Backlink Updates

Although it’s vague what actually was updated, there was a major shift in how backlinks work. It became obvious around February this year that there was something different about it. Later on, chances were also noticed on private blog networks and Penguin.

Unlike the latter where the solution was obvious — create relevant and purposeful content, you need to do some trial and error with this one. Figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Penalties for Intrusive Interstitial

Interstitials are not fun for anyone. These are ads that load in between two different content pages. They deter from the actual page and makes the user experience worse than it has to be.

The same is true for pop-ups for mobile users. They significantly slow down the loading of the page and many other unwarranted complications. Looks like Google made good on its promise a few months when it said it was going to do something about intrusive interstitials and pop ups.

Generally, these updates weren’t just made for the users — but they were the primary priority. They’re also good news for sites with actual products and which pride themselves for good design, content and ethics. With the bad sites lower in rankings, it’s your time to shine.

Sources:

New, unconfirmed Google ranking update ‘Fred’ shakes the SEO world

Wishing You a Very Techie Holiday from TechSherpas

We love the holidays here at TechSherpas .  Technology is all around, so let’s walk you through our idea of the perfect holiday!

Technology Professionals Wish You a Techie Holiday

As technology professionals, we may have a different idea of the perfect holiday than you.  Here’s what our day would look like if we lived in a techie wonderland.

Morning

On Christmas morning, we wake up to an alarm that plays our favorite motivational tune.  Our coffee is already brewing since our smart home knows what time we get up.  While sipping our brew, we carouse the latest tech news and blogs, and even surf through social media.  After updating our status to tell our social network to have a great holiday, we make our way out to the living room with our family.  Our digital pictures smile at us from our digital ornaments on our Christmas tree, and when we open our presents, we find the latest gadgets and gizmos!

Afternoon

It’s time to go see the rest of the family!  We automatically start our car and after it hits the perfect temp, we head out.  Our self-driving car does most of the work, and we’re able to speak to long-distance relatives on the way with our hands-free mobile capabilities.  We then spend the rest of the ride singing along to our favorite Christmas tunes- and we skip the ones we don’t like because we have that ability with the latest technology.  We don’t need to stop and fill up on gas, because our car is electric or uses alternative energy sources.

Evening

After a great day of visiting, we’re back home.  We ask our SmartHome to brew us up some delicious hot chocolate, with marshmallows of course, and settle down to watch our favorite holiday movie.  Our Smart TV allows us to choose any holiday movie we like, and we spend the rest of the evening laughing and filling ourselves with holiday happiness and cheer.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into a techie’s holiday experience!  No matter how you celebrate, we wish you the happiest of holidays here at TechSherpas .  We’ll see you next year!

 

Give your career a boost with Microsoft Azure cloud skills

azure training and certification

Build your Azure Skills. Get trained and certified.

The more you understand how to apply cloud computing skills, the more opportunities may open for you—including career paths, jobs, and more. According to IDC, by 2021 38 percent of IT positions will be cloud related—so there’s no better time to learn cloud skills. Once you do, certification is the industry-recognized way to validate your Microsoft Azure expertise—and there are options for everyone, no matter where you are in your career journey.

Expand your career opportunities in the cloud with offers that combine training and industry-recognized Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certifications. Click here for an Azure Certification Path Map.

Prove to the world and your employers that you are ready to take advantage of the growing collection of integrated cloud services in Azure, as you gain the skills to develop solutions that can lower total cost and help improve scalability, security, and privacy. According to IDC, 38 percent of IT positions will be cloud related by 2021.* By building your cloud skills for career growth, you become more visible in the job market, more involved in evaluating technology in your job, and more valuable to your company. Earning certifications provides benefits that advance your career.

Azure Advanced skills training

You can continue your learning journey or advance your existing skills by learning from industry experts with the Microsoft Official Curriculum either in person or online with TechSherpas , a Microsoft learning partner. We use a variety of modalities, so you can find one whose style fits your needs. TechSherpas offers instructor-led training – traditional style with a focus on skillset or accelerated boot camp style geared towards certification. For those who prefer to learn at their own pace, we have On-Demand training that gives the flexibility to learn on your time. Quality training helps you build your skills and gain the expertise you need to achieve certification and advance your career. When you certify your skills by taking exams, you earn validation recognized across the industry.

Azure skills certification options for everyone.

Show off your hard work and expertise by validating your Azure skills with industry-recognized certification. There is a solid portfolio of Azure exams, and between now and March 30, 2018, you can take them for a reduced cost. Kick-start your career by learning—and proving—new cloud skills

Take advantage of these limited time offers to get the best value on your Azure training and certification. Click here to view all of our Azure training & certification classes.

Four Steps to Building an Amazing Website

When is the last time you looked at your website? Take an honest look at all of your pages. You might be surprised to find a lot of old junk, irrelevant stuff and a confusing array of words that were put there for so-called SEO purposes.  Here are some steps to help you build an amazing website.

Four Basic Steps to Help You Build an Amazing Website

Step One:  Create Trust

Websites should create trust. Does everything on your website do that? Is it clear what your value proposition is? Who is behind the business? Is it a glossy website that looks like a template? Does your website cause excitement and interest in a product or service, or does it put you to sleep?

If you think you’re an SEO queen or king think again, Google algorithms are way smarter than you are and are constantly changing. So why not be real with your website. What product or service are you really excellent at?

Step Two:  Tell a Story

Perhaps your website isn’t all that bad and just needs some tweaks here and there. However, sometimes you might find that by the time you start cleaning up your site it needs a total revamp.

Your website is your public face. You spend way too much time money and effort on your business to have your website look like a hand-me-down. It needs to have fresh, relevant and precise content that communicates your message to your customers. After all, your prospects judge your website’s credibility based on its design.

Step Three:  Educate Your Audience

If you spend money on Google AdWords, LinkedIn ads and other sources of marketing, you want to make sure that when your prospects get to your website that your message is clear and crisp. But it also needs to be compelling, otherwise, you’re wasting your time.

Step Four:  Step Up Your Design

Hire a professional web designer if you don’t have the time to mess with it. After all, you’re in the business of business, not website design.  Just make sure you spend the money where it counts.

Website design can seem complicated, but with these steps, you’re on your way to a basic plan for an excellent site!

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/create-a-successful-website-in-10-easy-steps-2315329

Technology is Awesome

When it comes to keeping up with the latest technology, many become overwhelmed. Most people are too busy to spend the time to evaluate new applications and software. The biggest tip to learn new technology is to take baby steps. Some evaluate new technology every six months, others more frequently. They want to know what’s out there that can make their lives better, more efficient, educational or just fun.

Learn New Technology, Because Technology is Awesome!

The perception of technology can vary with different generations but most agree it makes our lives better. To that end, I suggest focusing on what technology will most impact your life in a positive way. For some it maybe business-related such as contact relationship management (CRM) applications that promote shared calendaring, tracking of emails and documents as well as the basic contact information tracking.

For others, technology may be more pragmatic such as the huge surge of downloads during Hurricane Irma of Zello Walkie-Talkie, a two-way radio phone communication. This would allow critical communication between family members and friends if the cell towers went down but Internet connectivity was still available.

Entertainment is a big draw for technology. For example, Spotify allows fairly unlimited music listening entertainment for about $9.00 per month. Moreover, this app allows excellent organization and sharing of your music lists, particularly fun if your friends enjoy music as well. Ever get stuck in traffic? Sure, that’s 100 percent affirmative for anyone living on the planet. Then you might download Waze to give you a heads up on exactly when the traffic clears, if there’s any road hazards, accidents, police with radar guns, you know very helpful information.

If you’re on the brainier side of things, you may like Pocket, previously known as Read It Later, an application and service for managing a reading list of articles from the Internet. If you are a creative type, you may like Snapseed, a photo editing application that enables users to enhance photos and apply digital filters. Type A people may love Wunderlist, a cloud-based task management application allowing users to manage their stuff from any device including their smartwatch. This app might be used in conjunction with Evernote, an app designed for notetaking, organization and archiving which can be used personally or as an office intranet.

In the end, you can choose to embrace technology or ignore it. You’re in charge of your electronic world, so pick and choose what works best for you. You might be surprised how technology, when used on your terms, can positively impact your life. Stay curious!

 

Best New Tech Releases of 2017 (So Far)

Since we are at the age where most innovations are related to our smartphones, there is a significant decrease of head turning hardware that people can really relate to. Now, iteration is a lot easier than innovation. However, just because there are few, it doesn’t mean that they are not interesting and helpful for the people who use them.

Best New Technology Releases in 2017

This year, a lot of standalone gadgets have either quirky uses, like the Snapchat glasses, or a very niche purpose, such a compact sous vide machine. Here are some of the most groundbreaking, useful and innovative new technology releases this year.

  • Here One

Whether it’s on the subway, on your way to work, or aboard a plane with an economy class seat, you must admit the noise can be irritating. Everyone wants to avoid the seat right next to a wailing baby or someone talking too loudly. Here One allows you to turn down anyone or anything’s volume. That way, you’re saving your ear from the constant wailing, while keeping yourself alert in case someone calls your name or tries to talk to you.

Unlike the usual ear bud, this doesn’t just cancel out the noise. It allows you to control what you can hear and how much of it you can hear, giving you more control. Here One is able to do this thanks to the microphones and sound processors installed into it.

  • Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel

For those who think that bicycles are too slow, this is an upgrade you should try. The Copenhagen Wheel increases a bikers speed by about 20 miles per hour for 30 miles. It looks no different than a typical bike wheel, but it contains an amazing technology inside.

It comes with an internal motor powered by a battery, a wireless sensor that hinders thieves from stealing your bike (and the wheel) and increases the efficiency of your brakes. If you’re hardcore cyclists who enjoy the power of your legs, then this might not be for you. However, if you’re a regular commuter looking for a faster and easier way to travel on your bike, this is an amazing addition.

  • Space X Falcon

Who isn’t a fan of space and space exploration? There is so much out there people are yet to discover, so it’s not surprising that country’s continue to invest in building rockets no matter how expensive they get. The issue is rockets are made to be used once, making it a far more expensive endeavor. The SpaceX is hoping to change that by designing the Falcon 9 to land back on Earth upright, preserving its shape.

Sources:

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/08/18/spacex-informed-nasa-of-slowdown-in-its-commercial-mars-program/