The Role of VPNs in Your Security Arsenal

Virtual Private Networks or VPNs have been used for over 20 years to provide computer access to corporate networks for employees traveling or working remotely. Their adoption by both corporate and private users has boomed over the past 5 years as awareness has grown about privacy risks.

In fact, “doing it without protection” has taken on new meaning as public WiFi is broadly ubiquitous and heavily used. Personally, I either use Verizon cellular data or I use a VPN if I can’t access a trusted network. And I don’t trust business networks unless I know what they use for security. That means that I use VPNs often when I am working on my laptop.

For those interested in learning a bit more about VPNs, here is a link to a useful articale in PC Magazine – https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/296955/the-best-vpn-services

And feel free to contact me if you are interested in learning more about VPNs and their role in a comprehensive security strategy for your family or your business.


Connected HHI Partners with Verizon for One Talk Business Voice Solutions

Connected HHI is pleased to partner with Verizon Wireless to provide services for One Talk customers in the Lowcountry.  The One Talk voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) business phone solution is a natural fit for many businesses in our area.  And combining One Talk with our Always-On Network ensures that your phones and network continue to operate when you lose your primary network connection.  VOIP phones require a reliable and fast network to operate properly and Connected HHI is well positioned to ensure that voice, data, and applications perform optimally for our customers.

For more information on Verizon’s One Talk Solution –   Click Here


Protecting Business Phones From Downtime

Connected HHI is now offering Alway-On service for the new generation of Voice-Over Internet-Protocol (VOIP) phones that are being installed in more and more businesses.  Now your new VOIP phones can be protected from network downtime in the same way that we are protecting internet networks throughout the lowcountry.  One benefit of voice over internet is that we can offer a second internet pathway for your voice traffic if your primary connection fails, keeping your phones up and your business running.


Reboot and Update !!

The FBI is strongly recommending that all routers be rebooted and that your router firmware is up to the latest release.    Additionally, I recommend that you make sure that all of your phone, tablet, and PCs are at the latest release in order to provide the latest protection against internet-based threats.

Here is the link to the NYT article on this topic.  CLICK HERE

 


Connected HHI Featured on WHHI Talk of the Town

Joe Chappell of Connected HHI was featured on WHHI’s Talk of the Town program that aired 10/10/17 through 10/17/17.  Joe provided an update on Smart Home Management and reasons that more and more homeowners are adding Smart Home Management capabilities to their homes and rental properties.  You can find a link to the program by clicking HERE.


Giuseppi’s Pizza and Pasta HHI Stays Connected

Giuseppi’s has been serving residents and visitors since 1981 from their landmark location in Shelter Cove.  Known for great food, friendly service, and a little bit of Pittsburgh, this spot is always one of the top-rated restaurants on the island.   Managing Partner Jim Loniero and his team rely on their NCR system to manage customer orders and to settle customer payments.  Giuseppi’s can’t afford to have their system or the internet connection go down and have their service suffer.

After a successful trial at another SERG Group restaurant, Jim Loniero selected Connected HHI and its ALWAYS-ON Network service to protect against any downtime due to a lost internet connection.  Connected HHI worked with NCR to add a backup Cradlepoint CBA850 cellular modem to the network.  In the event of a lost Hargray internet connection, the Cradlepoint modem provides an instant connection to the Verizon data network.  No lost orders, paper backup, or credit card issues – business continues to run without a hitch.

“There are too many things that can go wrong at any time when you run a busy restaurant.  We can’t afford to lose our connection to the internet.  Connected HHI makes sure that we stay connected and that is one big thing that I don’t have to worry about.”  Jim Loniero, Managing Partner

 

Giuseppi’s Hilton Head Island
32 Shelter Cove Lane
The Plaza at Shelter Cove
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
843.785.4144  –  www.giuseppispizza.com 


Curry Printing / FastSigns HHI Chooses Connected HHI

This high-tech printing and graphics business selected Connected HHI and its ALWAYS-ON Network service to protect against any downtime due to a lost internet connection.  Time is money and nowhere is this truer than in the deadline-intensive graphics and printing business.  Owner Chuck Lobaugh and his team of professionals rely on their network to collaborate with clients, coordinate with suppliers, and manage the business.

Connected HHI installed the Cradlepoint AER1600 to control the network connections to Time-Warner (Primary) and Verizon (Backup) networks.  In addition to providing all of the routing and security capabilities of a standard router, the Cradlepoint AER1600 monitors the Time-Warner internet connection for outages.  In the event of an outage, the Curry network is seamlessly switched to Verizon’s data network until the primary network is restored.   No need to panic, no fire drills, just business as usual.

“Our business relationships are based on trust and responsiveness.  We can’t afford to lose time or miss a deadline due to a lost internet connection.  We trust Joe Chappell and Connected HHI to keep our connection to the internet up at all times.”  Chuck Lobaugh, Owner

Curry Printing HHI, Inc.
55 Mathews Drive
Suite 250
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

843-681-3410  –  www.curryprintinghhi.com 

 


Sophos XG-105 Security Appliance – Hands On

I researched network security companies for several months before selecting Sophos Ltd as my partner of choice.  The selection was based on a series of demos, analyst reviews, product pricing, and support for a managed service offering.  I installed the Sophos XG-105 security appliance in my lab in January after getting enrolled as a partner and going through basic education on the product line.  Continue reading


RING Brings Floodlight Camera to Market

RING, the company known for their doorbell cameras just released a floodlight camera consisting of 2 LED lights and an HD camera on a fixture that is intended as an easy replacement for dual floodlight outdoor fixtures.  Priced at $249, this is in the same price range as many of the outdoor WiFi-enabled cameras and it has two advantages – it controls the included LED light fixture and it is wired into house power so there are no batteries to charge or replace.

The packaging is first rate and includes a screwdriver and socket that you will need for installation.  New installations will require a round electrical box with power.  Installation instructions are clear and there is video available through the Ring phone app to help at each step.  You will need a clear WiFi signal at the installation point to support the HD images that stream from the camera.

Once mounted, all interaction with the light and camera is done through the Ring App.  The app allows you to easily control settings for the light, motion sensitivity and range, and what kind of alerts you will receive.  You can be notified anytime there is motion in the area that you have set to monitor.  You can swipe on the alert to bring up the app and see exactly what is happening.  You can also go to the app and use the Live View function to get a live video stream from the camera at any time.

The camera includes a speaker and microphone that allows you to hear what is happening as well as speak to someone near the camera.  The small speaker will not allow you to broadcast your voice throughout the yard, but is may be useful for instructions or warnings.

Each unit comes with 30 days of free recording before you will have to pay for a video storage plan.  Annual plans are $30 per camera or $100 for unlimited cameras.  Video is retained for 6 months.

I have installed 2 units in the past 2 weeks and I am impressed with the picture detail, build quality, and installation ease.

They are available in white and black and can be ordered through Ring.com or purchased at some Home Depots.  I expect broader availability as production ramps.

Contact me if you have any questions or would like to schedule an installation.


PCI Compliance – A Primer

If credit and debit cards are important to your business, you need to understand three things:

  • What is PCI Compliance
  • What is your potential cost for Non-Compliance
  • How to be sure that your business stays compliant

This paper will provide a brief overview of these three topics and provide a plan to move forward.Continue reading