October 23, 2017

Protect Your Digital Business By Learning How Cybersecurity Has Evolved To Become A Top Priority In 2016

In the 21st century, Zephyr Networks has found that the complexities of digital business in an algorithmic economy have significantly increase the dangers faced by companies across the board. After all, what business is not a digital business with an online presence to at least a certain extent in 2016? As the hacker industry becomes an emergent reality, every digital business is vulnerable with size, geography and industry no longer being the main determinate risk factors. While most companies rely on perimeter defense and rule-based security, such an old-fashioned approach to cybersecurity is no longer adequate.

Digital Business = Cybersecurity Priority

digital business

Digital Business Equals Cybersecurity Needed

Given the evolution into cloud-based services, your company needs the support that allows threats to be both detected and responded to in real time. Beyond blocking and other past measures to prevent attacks, you need to realize that cybersecurity includes an intrinsic approach to dealing with threats that overcome traditional barriers. The new adaptive security architecture offered by Zephyr Networks evolves and grows to meet emerging threats.

Today’s hackers are now using negative machine learning. Machine learning is a field of computer science that leverages pattern recognition algorithms. Negative machine learning is when this technology is employed for malicious purposes. In 2016, hackers will use negative machine learning more broadly. As a result, positive machine learning needs to be employed to keep up with and even pre-empt sophisticated cyber attacks. Although positive machine learning has been a part of all cybersecurity options for years, only now is it being adapted to respond to negative machine learning.

Machine Learning And Digital Business

As Hackers broaden their targeting and expand their range beyond the specific, cyber targets have significantly increased. No longer will your company be specifically targeted. Rather, the cyber vulnerabilities of your company will turn your business into a target, regardless of size, industry or geography. If there is an opening found, the hackers will take advantage of it.

As data becomes more contextually rich, it becomes more valuable to cybercriminals once it is shown to be vulnerable. Suddenly, the context is not as important as the opportunity. The growing risk of attack will require next-generation techniques for cybersecurity, including improvements in identity access management and now information management.

Even more importantly, public clouds need security system architectures that protect the private companies operating within this matrix. Acceptable risk levels and controls radically shift once a private company with context-rich intellectual property and proprietary information becomes part of a public cloud. Zephyr Networks has designed protocols and strategies to address such issues while also offering private cloud access.

Positive Machine Learning For Your Digital Business

Although positive machine learning algorithms have been used by security applications for years with varying success, big data analytics in the cloud is changing the potential effectiveness of these applications. Since Zephyr Networks runs our own data centers, managing a private cloud for our clients, we help ensure safety beyond the dangers of the public cloud. Our goal is to help make sure your company is protected from hackers. By working with Zephyr Networks, you can make cybersecurity a priority in 2016.

Four Steps To Protect Your Company From Small Business Data Breaches

Small business data breaches and the theft of proprietary information is becoming all too common in the 21st century. An ongoing goal of Zephyr Networks is to reduce data anxiety among small business owners by improving cyber security. In today’s modern world, data breaches and stolen intellectual property can sink a once successful company. By providing adequate resources to properly manage information security and emphasizing the safety of our data center services, Zephyr Networks can help.

Beware Small Business Data Breaches

small business data breaches

Protect Your Company From Small Business Data Breaches

The simple truth is that the threat of a data breach is an increasingly widespread problem for businesses of all sizes. In 2015, the Anthem data breach opened the door to 80 million patient and employee records, potentially exposing names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, email addresses, employment information and income data.

The 2015 Experian data breach led to information exposure for 15 million T-Mobile customers. Yet, despite these big company threats, small business data breaches remain the most prevalent. A Ponemon Institute survey found that 55 percent of small businesses have had at least one data breach and 53% of those companies had multiple small business data breaches.

Although many company owners are aware of the risks of small business data breaches, they believe that they do not have proper financial and human resources to effectively protect their company. Zephyr Networks want you to know that this is not the case. As Zephyr’s founder Marc Winger explains, “We have learned over time how to tailor our services to meet the needs of each specific client. By understanding a company’s resources and data security needs, in the vast majority of cases, we can design a package of valuable services that makes sense.”

Zephyr Networks Can Help Your Business

Below are four steps that a company can take to avoid small business data breaches and protect proprietary information. While working with Zephyr Networks can help make these initial steps operate more smoothly, guaranteeing long-term reliability, many also can be taken independently. Ultimately, the focus should be on spending a little today to avoid the huge costs and tremendous demands brought on by small business data breaches.

How To Protect Your Company From Small Business Data Breaches

1. Encrypt All Electronic Devices

With the increasingly mobile workplace, people can access the information they need remotely. Such remote access means company information may be exposed to greater security vulnerabilities. Encrypting all electronic devices is an important first step in securing information. All electronic devices used by employees should be encrypted to protect confidential company information regardless of whether employees use their own devices or devices provided through the company. In the event that electronic devices are lost, stolen or compromised, encryption will protect the information stored on the device and mitigate any compromising activity. Zephyr Networks can help your small business with the institution of this protocol.

2. Institute a Password-Protected and Clean-Desk Policy

Every employer device, whether desktop or mobile, should be password-protected. In addition, a clean-desk policy encourages employees to clear their desks and lock documents in a filing cabinet or storage unit when they step away from their workstation at the end of each work day or for an extended period during the day. Zephyr Networks believes the clean-desk policy also implies clean cyberspace where applications are closed, social networks logged off and documents protected. A combination of a password-protected and clean-desk policy ensures that all confidential data is secure, both in the office and in cyberspace.

3. Protect Printing Stations

Your small business needs to institute a best practices standard for the handling and printing of confidential information. Employees and staff should not leave documents unattended at a shared printing station. To strengthen security around printing stations, consider using passwords for printing jobs that identify each employee. Such password protection also can help detail the amount being spent by both employees and departments on printing, avoiding excessive outlays of resources.

4. Designate a Cyber Security Representative

40% of small business owners report having no employee directly responsible for managing data security and cyber security. When you work with Zephyr Networks, you can have a specific employee liaison with our company. In addition, your Zephyr account manager will know and understand the details of your work with our company. If you have a problem or a question, we are one phone call, one text message or one email away from a quick response. While senior management and leadership should play a vital role in mitigating data breaches, a Cyber Security Representative can handle the day-to-day management.

Ongoing Protection From Small Business Data Breaches

As small business owners, you need the freedom to focus on your business and not on data anxiety and help mitigate information security risks. In addition to these easy and cost-effective tips, businesses should consider planning and implementing a comprehensive information security approach for the long-term. This is where we can help. Please call (800) 884-7559 to learn more about how Zephyr Networks can help protect your company from small business data breaches.

Bi-Modal IT As The Vehicle For Your Company’s Safe Migration To The Hybrid Cloud

Are you worried about your company’s safe migration to the hybrid cloud? Although you want the speed and technological agility that the hybrid cloud can offer, you are worried about abandoning the legacy systems that have worked so well for so long. Zephyr Networks understands this worry, and we have embraced a bi-modal IT strategy to address it. Our goal is to ensure the safety of your company’s IT transition, and we have seen that bi-modal IT often can be the solution to the problem.

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Three Essential 2016 IT Trends To Understand To Ensure The Future Success Of Your Business

As leaders in providing information technology services and networking support in Orange County, Zephyr Networks understands and adapts to constantly evolving IT trends. The rise of mobile technology and private cloud services are two key examples of this ongoing evolution. What business owners need to understand is that everyone is connected to everyone, everywhere, all the time. Since such an intense and expansive level of connection is now available, the opportunities and the risks exist side-by-side.

At Zephyr Networks, our goal is to help you take advantage of the opportunities to improve the profit margins and the productivity of your business while minimizing the risks. In terms of this article, our focus will be on taking advantage of three essential 2016 IT trends to help ensure the future success of your business. In our next article, we will highlight the dangers of cybercrime in 2016 and how to improve your cybersecurity in order to minimize the risks.

Three Essential 2016 IT Trends —

  1. Taking Advantage of The Device Mesh
  2. Greater Emphasis on Private Cloud & Data Center Services
  3. Fast Data Processing Becomes More Accessible

1) Taking Advantage of The Device Mesh

2016 it trends, device mesh

2016 IT Trends Include The Device Mesh

In 2016, your awareness of the device mesh will go from a “What the heck is a device mesh?” to “Are all of our employee’s devices connected and optimized for the device mesh?” The device mesh includes traditional business computing, mobile devices like smart phones and tablets, new forms of wearable technology, and a bevy of consumer and home electronic and automotive devices. In the post-mobile world, the device mesh extends the connective range of the user to just about everywhere.

Even more importantly, it extends the range of your employees. Suddenly, they can be doing work and accessing proprietary information while on the go; in restaurants, on airplanes and even while commuting to work. As the device mesh grows, greater cooperative interaction between devices needs to emerge. Moreover, user experience of websites and online services must be optimized to meet the needs of this new bevy of devices. If your customer can’t see your offerings on their smart phone, they won’t remain your customer for very long.

In terms of your business, Zephyr Networks can help your company make the device mesh work for you while ensuring the security of your proprietary data across multiple platforms. Isn’t it essential that your employees can do their work safely and efficiently across multiple platforms? The device mesh should not be a spider’s web that entraps your company, but an array of exciting opportunities that help your expand your technological reach.

2) An Emphasis on Private Cloud & Data Center Services

InfoWorld’s David Linthicum has suggested that 2016 will be the year when the phase “cloud computing” is retired. Instead, people will go back to simply saying “computing” because the cloud has become that essential to the modern world. Zephyr Networks agrees with this belief, although the transition in the lexicon might take a little longer. After all, the adoption of new technological opportunities is always slower than expected as business owners resist change. Given this resistance, Zephyr Networks now provides a private cloud and data center services audit for our clients, providing an education side-by-side with a description of how this technological opportunity can help your company.

The most important access of a private cloud is so obvious that it almost feels absurd to say it aloud: Privacy and Autonomy for Your Company. Rather than being a little fish in the ocean, threatened by larger predators and pollution and anything else you can imagine, your company becomes a big fish in its own pond, protecting your company’s data while accessing a tailored package of services that make sense for your business. The focus of a private cloud and data center services audit is to understand exactly what your company needs to continue on its path of success. To learn more about how Zephyr Networks can help you keep pace with this 2016 IT trend, please contact us today.

3) Fast Data Processing Becomes More Accessible

In 2016, the fast data processing speeds used by Netflix and Amazon will now be accessible for small to mid-sized companies. Rather than be restricted to slower online processing speeds offered by cable companies and the like, your company can become a modern racecar without taking unnecessary risks. The goal of Zephyr Networks is to provide your company with the high performance technology options needed to succeed in today’s world.

The private cloud and low latency data center services offered by Zephyr Networks can help a small to mid-sized company succeed by accessing the benefits of fast data processing. Zephyr Networks believes that small to mid-sized companies to access the fast data processing capabilities of larger companies. With our Level 3 Data Centers, your company can access the data processing speed with low latency that is used by the Internet giants.

The data center services team at Zephyr Networks understand that your business needs high performance technology with super fast Internet speed. By offering the very best in private cloud and networking support, we can make this happen. To learn how Zephyr Networks can help your company take advantage of these 2016 IT trends, please call Zephyr Networks today by calling (800) 884-7559.

High Performance Technology For Your Business Racecar With Zephyr Networks As Your Pit Crew In The Cloud

In the 21st century when technological excellence is the key to profitability, your business should have high performance technology like an online racecar with Zephyr Networks as your pit crew in the cloud. The consulting and managed IT services offered by Zephyr, including our Level 3 Data Centers in Tustin and Irvine, can help turn your old technological clunker into a NASCAR-winning high performance racer. After all, isn’t it time your business has both the speed and safety it needs to succeed in today’s world.

Your Company And High Performance Technology

high performance technology, pit crew in the cloud

Your Company’s High Performance Technology

If you could be a NASCAR championship driver, wouldn’t you be? Everyone loves the idea of speed and success, but the reality is a bit scarier. Very few people are talented enough to drive high performance racecars. Heck, racing around a track at 200 mph sounds terrifying.

But shouldn’t your company operate like a high performance racecar online? Shouldn’t you have the highest processing speeds and Internet data capabilities to ensure the success of your business?

Of course, the answer is yes if such technological capabilities are affordable. At Zephyr Networks, we put together tailored packages for our clients to meet their high performance technology needs at a cost that makes sense. We work to find an affordable option for you.

High Performance Technology Means Safety & Maintenance

There is another reason why we don’t all go around driving racecars. It wouldn’t be safe, and that’s exactly why there are speed limits. At the same time, racecars demand a tremendous amount of maintenance. Although we can’t maintain your racecar, we can maintain the high performance technology of your business as well as anyone.

high performance technology, pit crew in the cloud

Zephyr Networks Is Your Pit Crew In The Cloud

The information technology experts at Zephyr Networks understand that your business needs high performance technology with super fast Internet speed without taking risks. By offering the very best in computer and networking support, we can make this happen.

After all, providing network security, data security and cybersecurity has been our field of expertise for years. We believe that your high performance technology should never be a negative for your business. By providing quality managed services and ongoing maintenance, we make sure that your high performance technology is working for your company, providing optimum results.

Imagine Your Pit Crew In The Cloud

Zephyr Networks is your pit crew in the cloud, showing up at your company’s offices when onsite adjustments are needed. With our low latency data centers with Level 3 capabilities, you have the online processing speed used by Netflix and Amazon. By teaming up with Zephyr Networks as your company’s pit crew, you will finally be driving the business racecar of your dreams.

high performance technology

Your Company’s Checkered Flag

As the owner of the company, you are the racecar driver and you deserve nothing less than the checkered flag. Forget those old Plymouth Dusters, Ford Edsels and the rest of the rusty clunkers in the world. Today is the day for your company to have the polished high performance technology that will bring you the best results.

Zephyr Networks Can Make It Happen

Whether mobile computing or data center speed, cloud protection or managed services, Zephyr Networks can make it happen. Isn’t it time to embrace the very best? Please call (800) 884-7559 today to find out how we can take your company to the next level of high performance technology, data center speed, and cloud-based excellence.

Why Truly Proactive IT Managed Services Make The Most Sense For Your Company?

At Zephyr Networks, we are starting off 2016 by promoting the idea of why truly proactive IT managed services make the most sense for your company. In the past few years, we have all seen a plethora of online IT service applications and offerings pop up. Rather than coming out of the woodwork like in the old days, these business termites came out of the network, makings tons of promises that most IT professionals know they cannot fulfill.

The Rubber Stamp Of Online IT Anonymous Offerings

Right off the bat, you have to ask yourself if your company is worth more than the rubber stamp offered by online IT anonymous offerings. The set-up of online IT offerings is essentially anonymous because you are not working face-to-face with your service providers. From the outset with Zephyr Networks, you get to know us because we meet you onsite at your company. More importantly, we get to know you and your company, tailoring our package of IT managed services to meet your specific needs.

One Size Does Not Fit All With IT Managed Services

it managed services

The IT Managed Services of Zephyr Networks

The simple truth is that one size does not fit all when it comes to IT managed services. Even if you have a mid-sized business, is it the same as every other mid-sized business in the country? Does your 3D printing company in Irvine have the exact same needs as a drive-in restaurant chain in New Jersey? Yes, the online offerings of the termites that weaken your foundation claim that they will save you money. Yes, they allow you to pick and choose from their rickety offerings, but do they actually know what you need? Do you have the technical expertise to know what you need?

At Zephyr Networks, our IT managed service packages begin with a detailed understanding of your company and how it works and the technological challenges involved. Our goal is to tailor a truly proactive package of IT managed services that address your specific needs. From the very start, we focus on prevention and smooth transition by understanding exactly where your company is at and letting you know in detail where we think you need to be. Once you sign on, you have our maximum focus because we have installed or updated your system to reflect the specific IT needs of your company.

24/7 Remote Monitoring & Management = Network Stability

By taking on a premium package of truly proactive IT managed services with Zephyr Networks, we offer you ongoing monitoring that creates a continuum of reliability and confidence. The truly proactive IT managed services of Zephyr Networks can be combined with our data center offerings to reduce downtime and ensure connectivity. By running our own low latency data centers in Irvine and Tustin, we ensure that our clients have access to the fastest online capabilities.

Isn’t it time to stop looking for the cheapest option when it comes to the technological future of your company? Isn’t it time to embrace a value package of IT managed services that reflect your specific needs and pays off in both the short term and the long run? To learn more about the truly proactive IT managed services offered by Zephyr Networks and our data center capabilities, please contact us today by calling (800) 884-7559 for an computer and networking support consultation.

How To Avoid 3 Technological Office Time Sucks That Could Hurt Your Company’s Productivity In 2016

technological office time sucks

Technological Office Time Sucks

Your company needs to avoid technological office time sucks in 2016 to be more productive and profitable. Given the omnipresent role of technology in the modern world, Zephyr Networks understands how frustrating it can be when your productivity seems to be going down and not up.

With all of the wonders of modern computing and communication, shouldn’t your productivity be shooting through the roof? Shouldn’t you have more time than ever to get your job done?

Zephyr Networks wants to help your company avoid technological office time sucks in

Increasing Productivity In The Modern World

By facing up to and avoiding three modern time sucks, Zephyr Networks wants to offer you this easy guide to becoming more productive. By following these simple suggestions – we admit the first two are easier to implement than the third – you will discover that modern technology once again becomes a positive as opposed to a negative. You will be able to get out of your own way by ambushing these 3 productivity killers in advance, optimizing not just your workday, but increasing your personal happiness as well.

3 Technological Time Sucks To Avoid

By addressing these three technological office time sucks that Zephyr Networks can help your company avoid, you will be back on the road to optimizing your company’s productivity and profitability.

1) The Quicksand of Social Media

The simple truth is that 75% of the time that people spend on social media is just a big waste of time. But the addiction creeps up on you and takes over. It happens to the best of us. At work, you start wondering what might be happening on Facebook or Twitter. Why not take a quick peek? You just want to make sure that your significant other or your kids aren’t posting anything stupid or your friends aren’t planning a big party without you. Innocent, right? Not so much.

Zephyr Networks can provide content filtering for your office computers that prevent access to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and whatever other social media websites are distracting your employees.
When it comes to such filters, the preferences of marketing departments to use social media for research can be a problem. Selective filters for different departments can prevent such problems.

Social Media Filters = A More Productive Office

social media quicksand, technological office time sucks

Social Media Quicksand

Compulsive social media checks are a definite example of technological office time sucks. Checking Facebook and Twitter throughout the day can add up to hours a week of lost work time. More importantly, they take your employees out of the flow of their work.

If employees want to check Facebook or Twitter, they can schedule social media time during their lunch breaks and check Facebook and Twitter on their phones. Your employees might grumble a bit, but who cares if they end up being more productive and your company ends up being more profitable.

2) The Stampede Of Too Much Email

Email is impossible to avoid in today’s world, but the flood of spam, personal content and useless messages can hurt a business. Why is your workplace email box overflowing with hundreds of emails every day? Zephyr Networks have learned from experience that being too connected can be a major productivity killer. Why do you employees need to be connected to a flow of information that distracts them from their work? Such distractions are downright damaging.

social media stampede

The Stampede of Social Media

When it comes to your email inbox, you need to take a structured approach. Automate some basic email tasks to help you prioritize your inbox. Most emails don’t need to be replied to and many more don’t need to be read. If you are going through every email in your inbox every day, you are wasting a tremendous amount of time.

Your office email box should not be one more of the  technological office time sucks hurting your business. It should be segmented like a Gmail inbox where messages are divided between primary, social and promotional. The latter two should be ignored during the workday. By having your employees segment their Inboxes, they will save a lot of time. You also can have your employees use a separate email for work that focuses exclusively on business essentials.

3) The Freedom Of Cloud Computing

Okay, Zephyr Networks understands how this solution is the hardest to implement and it doesn’t have to be done overnight or in one fell swoop. However, isn’t it time for your company to embrace the freedom of cloud computing and remote work opportunities? Are both the morning and evening commute sucking valuable hours from your employee’s workdays? In most big cities, employees that commute to work five days a week lose over 10 hours of potential productivity.

Fortunately, thanks to cloud computing, working remotely is easier than ever. With web-based software and collaboration tools, office workers can get everything done even when they’re miles away from home base. Telecommuting is growing quickly as remote employees report higher productivity and morale.

Cloud Computing = Remote Productivity

cloud computing

Access The Freedom of Cloud Computing

Even if you can’t work remotely all the time, you may be able to slightly shift your work schedule so you’re not traveling at rush hour. Couldn’t some employees handle the first part of your workday from home before they make that commute? By avoiding rush hour, they’ll be saving time and relieving stress.

Working remotely can remove unwanted distractions at the office and help employees focus on what they do best. By giving them set goals to accomplish, they will become responsible for their own time on the clock. If they fail to accomplish the set goals, take away the privilege of being allowed to work remotely part time. When such a punishment becomes a reality, you will be amazed at how much more productive your employees become when working remotely.

Zephyr Networks Can Help

Zephyr Networks specializes in helping our client companies take advantage of cloud computing opportunities that can help their business. Our goal is to help make modern technology work for you. By avoiding the above time sucks and optimizing your office’s relationship to modern technology and networking, you can increase productivity and profitability.

To learn more about how Zephyr Networks can help your company avoid technological office time sucks in 2016, please contact us today by calling (800) 884-7559.

Why Should Microsoft Or Amazon Be Gatekeepers Of Your Company’s Private Data?

Recent conflicts between the government and giant tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon web services raise the question of who should be the gatekeepers of your company’s private data. When it comes to a company’s private data and customer information, why trust faceless tech behemoths with such a critical responsibility? Such trust seems foolish, particularly in light of the size of your small to mid-sized business in comparison to these corporate giants.

Why would they care about truly protecting what is the most precious resource of your business: Your intellectual property, your private data and your customer information?

Your Company’s Private Data

When Microsoft refused to comply with a warrant in December 2013 for emails from a business suspect in a court case, industry officials and civil liberties advocates raised a red flag. Why should Microsoft be making such a decision? Zephyr Networks believes such cases are a major reason to embrace the private cloud. After all, with a private cloud, you control your own information and access to that information. You should make such decisions, not Microsoft.

The White House, after months of study, has yet to articulate a public response to the argument that a victory in the Microsoft case would provide authoritarian governments, particularly those of China and Russia, with a way to get access into computer servers located in the United States. “Clearly, if the U.S. government wins, the door is open for other governments to reach into data centers in the U.S.,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, explained in an interview. Amazon web services and Microsoft are fighting efforts to give the federal government access to their communications. But will they fight for you?

Why Is A Company’s Private Data In The Mix?

company's private data

Your Company’s Private Data

The question that Zephyr Networks wants to raise is why should your company be part of this epic battle? Why are you entrusting Microsoft or Amazon web services with your company’s precious information? By embracing the private cloud, you put the power back into your own hands. This is why Zephyr Networks runs a data services center in Irvine for our clients, giving them access to a private cloud where they make the decisions and they are in control.

“People want to know what law will be applied to their data,” Brad Smith of Microsoft continued. “French want their rights under French law, and Brazilians under Brazilian law. What is the U.S. government going to do when other governments reach into the U.S. data centers, without notifying the U.S. government?”

Such international issues should not affect your company. Your company’s data should not be subject to a potential international tug-of-war.

Zephyr Networks Protects Your Company’s Private Data

By becoming a part of the Microsoft or Amazon web services behemoth, by allowing these corporate giants to control your company’s data, your are falling prey to their whims and fancies. By embracing the private cloud, you remain in control of your company’s information. It’s that simple. Rather than being a cog in a giant machine, learn about the independent freedom and reliable security of the private cloud by contacting Zephyr Networks today.

Windows 10 Privacy Problems Means Your Company’s Data Becomes Subject To The Lords Of Microsoft

The Windows 10 privacy concerns are serious. The new Windows 10 policies took effect on August 1, and they could undermine the privacy of your company and your company’s data. If your company is using Microsoft’s services and software, there are some unsettling realities to be faced. Since the Privacy Statement and Services Agreements clocks in at 45 pages in length, you’re probably not going to read it all. You probably won’t even read part. Microsoft claims it’s all straight forward. In truth, the violations of privacy contained within are one more argument to have an IT professional like Zephyr Networks make sure that Microsoft is not taking advantage of you.

Windows 10 Privacy

The straightforward truth is that the Windows 10 agreement is at the heart of the Windows 10 privacy problems. The agreement makes a leap straight into your company’s data. By default, Windows 10 gives itself the right to dump loads of your data onto Microsoft’s servers, use your bandwidth for Microsoft’s own purposes, and profile your Windows usage. In need of reform, the Windows privacy 10 issues are currently a nightmare for small to mid-sized companies.

If you haven’t yet installed Windows 10, but you plan on doing so, make sure you that you do a custom install so you’ll be able to pick and choose what is enabled at the onset. But, if you installed Windows 10 using Express settings, you can still disable some of the default privacy settings. Whatever you choose to do, you need the help and support of an IT professional and data protection services company like Zephyr Networks today.

The Broad Powers of Microsoft

windows 10 privacy

Windows 10 Privacy Issues

Do you realize, however, that Microsoft decided to give itself some very broad powers to collect your company’s data if your employees use its operating system? Sign into Windows 10 with your Microsoft account and the operating system immediately syncs settings and data to their servers. This process includes your browser history and favorites as well as saved app, website and mobile hotspot passwords, and Wi-Fi network names and passwords. Rather than being an opt-in option, this is all by default.

In addition to the other Windows 1o privacy problems, Windows 10 automatically assigns an advertising ID to each user on a device tied to the email address that’s on file. Using that ID, the company can tailor ads for web browsing and using certain applications. Microsoft’s Siri-imitating Cortana personal assistant and its new Edge browser are designed to take advantage of as much personal information as possible to customize user experience, take annotations, and learn all about you. Cortana is less of a trustworthy virtual assistant and more like a sexy virtual spy. The problem is the sexiness is forced while the spying is all too real.

Cortana & Windows 10 Privacy

If you use Cortana and have Windows 1o privacy concerns, did you know you are opting into a whole host of data sharing?

“To enable Cortana to provide personalized experiences and relevant suggestions, Microsoft collects and uses various types of data, such as your device location, data from your calendar, the apps you use, data from your emails and text messages, who you call, your contacts and how often you interact with them on your device.

Cortana also learns about you by collecting data about how you use your device and other Microsoft services, such as your music, alarm settings, whether the lock screen is on, what you view and purchase, your browse and Bing search history, and more.”

Whatever happens, Microsoft will know what your company is doing. By default, they will be collecting your company’s private data. Your encryption key is backed up to OneDrive. When device encryption is turned on, Windows 10 automatically encrypts the drive it’s installed on and generates a BitLocker recovery key. That’s backed up to your OneDrive account. As a result, Microsoft can do pretty much whatever it wants with your company’s data. This is what your company should be most concerned about: Microsoft’s new privacy policy is very loose when it comes to when it will or won’t access and disclose your personal data:

“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services.”

Windows 10 Privacy = Business Intrusion

Such terms can be applied to both individuals and companies, particularly those that lack the technical capability to protect themselves. Does Microsoft own your company? Did you hand over the keys to the front door when you bought the Windows operating system and their software? Are you a data vassal in the court of this corporate lord?

Of course, the answer to all of these questions is no. Zephyr Networks can help ensure that Microsoft does not violate the privacy and data security of your company. As a business, the integrity of your private data comes first. You should not be subject to a violation of that privacy just because you use the tools of a large corporation like Microsoft. After all, when you swung a hammer, did Black & Decker demand access to your address, phone number, and the shopping patterns of your wife? Computer tools should operate by the same standards unless a user opts-in and chooses otherwise.

Zephyr Networks & Windows 10 Privacy

If you need help with Windows 10 privacy concerns, please contact Zephyr Networks today. Whether you need help with a clean install or you need to disable some of the intrusive Windows 10 privacy settings after a faulty install, we can help. Call Zephyr Networks at (800) 885-7559 to help ensure the security and privacy of your company.

Mac vs. PC Security

I found this article interesting from recent experience. I just encountered the third Mac I have ever run into with a malicious software issue. The Macs in question were all running old versions of OS X. The solutions ended up being a combination of Sophos AntiVirus, cleaning out various library files, disabling any Safari extensions, Updating the OS & MalwareBytes for Mac.

Here is the link to the article:

What’s Safer From Hackers: A PC or a Mac?

 

If you want further information on how we cleaned up the malicious software. Please call the office.