Facts About Data Security You Should Know

February 27, 2020 / in IT Trends, Tech Advice, / by Number8

As a result of increased data collection and data sharing by government institutions and companies, cyber threats have now become widespread and incredibly challenging to handle. Irrespective of the nature of your personal or business records, you can now quickly become a target of a hacker set on destroying your business. Here are a few useful facts that will provide you with a better understanding of data security.

Facts About Data Security You Should Know

Small Business Are a Target of Roughly 50% of Cyber Attacks

In most cases, a small business typically lacks the data security of a multi-million dollar business. This gives hackers a clear path to hack into a small business' affairs. Most small business owners often feel that they aren't vulnerable to hacking because they have nothing worth stealing. However, hackers often steal consumer information and personal data from businesses of all sizes. Roughly 60% of all businesses experience malicious hacks like DDoS attacks, phishing, and more.

Damages from Attacks Will Reach $6 Trillion By 2021

Based on data collected by Forbes, damages from hacking will amount to around $6 trillion in costs by 2021. For reference, this is a figure significantly higher than damages from natural disasters in the United States annually. This threat looms large in the future partially because of the easy availability of secure VPN services. Attackers can now hide their identity as well as their location, which makes it nearly impossible to track their activities online.

Bad Actors Use Bitcoin for Illegal Activities

Bitcoin has introduced a unique system of digital currencies. It has presented users with a quick transfer option, safety, and anonymity. However, as a result of this anonymity, bad actors are now using Bitcoin to carry out illegal activities.

Malware Attacks Have a Serious Impact on the Healthcare Industry

Malware attacks affected approximately 75% of the healthcare industry in 2019. This includes various health insurance agencies and other treatment facilities. Typically, the personal histories of patients are targeted by hackers. Additionally, medical research is often attacked and sold to the highest bidder. The negligence of data security by medical institutions and hospitals is the primary reason for these attacks.

Data Security Is Now Mandatory

Both small and large business owners are now focusing on protecting their data by investing in cybersecurity software. Any highly-effective antimalware software can verify and segregate threats from the system before a malicious attack.

It Takes About 5 Minutes to Hack IoT Devices

IoT devices like smart watches, smart cars, and home control systems can easily be hacked under 5 minutes once they're connected. This is because they cannot escape the internet when being used. This makes it nearly impossible for them to disconnect from the internet altogether. Today, hacking tool kits and software are easily accessible on the dark web for as low as $1. Third-party apps are readily available on the internet as well.

Pernicious Emails to Organizations Are Rampant

Recent reports have stated that public administration organizations now receive one malicious email per 302 emails. Although this number may seem small, there are a large number of public organizations. Each organization has numerous employees with company email addresses. This increases the chances of an employee falling into a hacker’s trap. Fortunately, there are thousands of data security tools available online and of them are free or low cost. Once you have a better understanding of the usage and implementation of these security tools, you will gain a sense of confidence in protecting your personal information. As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call and we can get the conversation started.          

10 Things Desk Workers Can Do To Get Healthy

February 20, 2020 / in Careers, IT Trends, / by Number8

Desk worker health is a pressing issue. Individuals who work in office spaces are relatively less healthy than those who work at jobs that are physically demanding. Recent data suggests around 86% of all workers in the United States alone sit for the majority of the work day. This is a problem because of the negative health outcomes associated with high rates of sitting. These outcomes include an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and musculoskeletal disorders, just to name a few. However, there are several things that desk workers can do to get fit at work. Here are 10 things desk workers can do to get healthy.

10 Things Desk Workers Can Do To Get Healthy

Walk to Work

If your workplace is located close to where you live, consider leaving your car at home and walking. Although it might not be possible to do this every day due to bad weather or lack of time, walking will definitely get you fit.

Use a Standing Desk

Sitting all day is incredibly harmful to one's health. Health experts now say that sitting is the new smoking. If your job demands that you sit all day long, consider opting for an adjustable desk. This way, you can switch between standing and sitting when you are at your desk.

Use a Fitness Ball

Another great way to get fit is by replacing your chair with a fitness ball. You have to balance yourself on this ball while working, and although it looks a bit goofy, it's a great way to train the muscles in your back and legs.

Avoid Outside Food

Another major problem that several office workers face is that they cannot control themselves from eating food outside. Although it's convenient to pick out something from the cafeteria, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a healthy option.  An excellent way to stop eating outside food is to pack your own lunches and snacks every day.

Get Some Exercise Gear

You don't have to head to the gym to get exercise. You can always carry your own fitness gear and perform a few essential exercises during breaks. Keep a few lightweight dumbbells and elastics in your workplace. Perform exercises while reading notes or even while making calls.

Take Periodic Breaks

We always tend to wrap up our work as rapidly as possible so we can leave the office on time. But it doesn't mean you have to be glued to your chair all day long without taking any breaks to stretch. Those who avoid taking breaks end up feeling mentally inactive. Some believe that taking periodic breaks means they get less work done; however, that isn't necessarily the case. As a matter of fact, taking frequent breaks can be more productive. The idea is to take a short break to rejuvenate and get work done at a clipping pace.

Work Out During Breaks

Rather than sitting down during your lunchtime and other breaks, consider spending that time performing some basic exercises. If the weather permits it, you can also start going out for a walk as opposed to being cooped up indoors. Find a colleague to walk with you during breaks. Start doing this regularly, and you will feel healthier in no time.

Be Hygienic

While carrying out your daily duties, it may not be possible to get up and wash your hands each time you want to. However, you can always keep a hand sanitizer on your desk. This makes it easier to avoid infections that can spread from shaking hands with people that have a cold or cough.

Maintain Good Posture

People who use computers at work have to spend hours staring into a screen, and they're slowly drawn to it. This means they stretch their neck forward. Over time, this puts a considerable amount of stress on their spine and neck. However, you can easily avoid this by carrying out some basic desk exercises. It is crucial to remember that everything must be done in moderation. Just because you're keen on getting fit doesn't mean that you stop enjoying a beer with your colleagues. However, you must be watchful on how often you place one thing over the other. As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call and we can get the conversation started.        

8 Traits Software Developers Tend To Share

February 13, 2020 / in Careers, / by Number8

People often wonder what makes a great software engineer. Although there are several opinions on this matter, the most typical qualities that software developers share are the ability to produce maintainable working software, staying on top of the latest technologies, and, most importantly, being a team player. Here are a few traits software developers tend to share.

8 Traits Software Developers Tend To Share

1. An Analytical Mindset

A software developer must have high system-level thinking skills. At the same time, another essential quality is excellent problem-solving skills. There should be a perfect balance between the ability to think about the big picture while paying attention to smaller details.

2. Inquisitiveness and Curiosity

There may come times when a software developer creates codes that don't work. In such cases, they mustn't be afraid to ask questions about why it happened. The best way to move forward is by continuing to dig. Another quality that's crucial for developers is the ability to ask superiors, clients, and peers questions. This ensures that they fully understand the expectations and requirements for their work.

3. Empathy

It's crucial to remember that software is all about people. Good developers always make efforts to understand their users. Being able to relate to and empathize with the team and clients is another trait that good software developers share.

4. Flexibility

Regardless of the kind of programming language a developer specializes in, code is always unpredictable. Skilled developers have the ability to switch the scope of a project quickly and return a previous point if required. Adapting and being able to respond to time-sensitive problems as soon as they arise is crucial.

5. Enthusiastic To Learn

When it comes to technology, there's always something new to learn. Expert software developers always keep abreast of advances in their industry and are eager to expand their knowledge.

6. Pragmatism

Software developers can come across unique problems with their projects. They understand that the best solution and the correct solution aren't always the same. Sometimes, standard practices work well. Other times, they have to think outside the box. Skilled developers value their own practices and problem-solving abilities more than just relying on a set of rules.

7. Team Player

Besides working on projects alongside other developers, designers, and engineers, software developers have to work as part of a team within a company as well. They can be assigned to work with sales teams, support teams, or even marketing teams. Being a team player is a quality successful software developers pick up early in their careers.

8. Technical Mindset

A developer's main tool to carry out day-to-day work is a computer. A computer can do what it’s told to do but cannot think for itself. So, software developers need to know the "logic" of computers. Software developers are very adept at working with computers and other devices. They also have the capacity to quickly learn about new technology and apply it in their work. Another indispensable quality that expert developers have is the ability to communicate technical ideas to non-technical people. Being able to evolve and adapt and look at things positively are key traits for this. These are just a few of the traits that developers tend to share. Overall, being adaptable and willing to learn are some of the most important abilities. These qualities help them grow as professionals. As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call and we can get the conversation started.

An Overview of CES 2020 

February 7, 2020 / in IT Trends, / by Number8

CES, or Consumer Electronics Show, happens every year in Las Vegas. CES is a grand exhibition of some of the most cutting edge upcoming technology. More than 4,500 brands showcase their products to over 180,000 attendees, a group made up of tech journalists, bloggers, influencers, and consumers. The event has 250 conference sessions and highlights everything from standard consumer electronics to prototypes of technologically-advanced products. Here’s an overview of what happened at CES 2020.

An Overview of CES 2020 

1. Sony Introduced an Electric Car

Electric cars have been steadily growing in popularity over the years, so it isn't surprising that different brands have started to develop versions of these vehicles. Despite this, Sony was a surprise entry into the market. They unveiled a sleek, beautifully-designed concept car packed full of Sony tech. The car is a compelling piece of technology, though it isn't for general consumers and won't even see a limited edition run. The car's expansive dashboard display is its most attractive feature. It includes a media and entertainment center, quad motors, 200kwh battery, and can go from 0 to 60 in around 4.6 seconds. Sony wasn’t the only brand to showcase its electric car at CES this year. Attendees also caught a glimpse of the Mustang Mach-E, which is available to customers for a starting price of $45,000 and will start shipping next year. Manufacturers also showed off the Rivian RT, which is expected to ship this year.

2. Samsung Introduced a New 5K Monitor

Samsung is always practical yet adventurous, and this year is no exception. Their 5K, 49" monitor is an excellent replacement for a dual-monitor set-up. It has a stunning display and is suitable for gamers, content creators, video editors, digital artists, and other related professionals. The monitor spans a user’s entire view and contains the latest display technology Samsung has to offer. That’s not all the company had to offer. It also introduced a new 8K TV with some of the thinnest bezels available along with an in-built sensor that helps it rotate with your phone. You can watch vertical videos at full resolution on the television screen.

3. Robosense and Blickfield Featured Autonomous Vehicle Technology

Autonomous vehicles are no longer considered futuristic, but few people consider them reliable. RoboSense introduced new sensors that use LiDAR technology to detect the space around an autonomous car. This combination of lasers and radar is more precise than traditional radio waves, which should mean fewer accidents. Blickfield is another company that is working with LiDAR to improve autonomous vehicles. They have introduced the Cube and the Cube Range sensors, which detect near-field and distant obstacles. These sensors will make autonomous cars safer for both city streets and long-distance travel.

4. Canon and Nexoptic DoubleTake Showcased Cameras and Binoculars 

Canon showcased its most powerful camera yet to an eager audience. The Canon 1DX MK shoots 5.5K 60fps raw footage. One drawback is that it doesn't have autofocus for raw modes. The camera is so powerful that autofocus would require some serious processing to handle raw content shot at 60fps. Nexoptic DoubleTake introduced a pair of next-generation binoculars that use camera technology to help users see everything with peak clarity. The device is also capable of capturing 4K video and has image-enhancing technologies built-in. These binoculars could be a great tool for explorers, but they are quite pricey. Other technologies introduced at CES 2020 include devices to improve home security, AI-powered displays, transparent car fronts powered by advanced image processing technology, brain-sensing wearable devices, and so much more. There was something new in almost every category this year. As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call and we can get the conversation started.

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