Atlantic.Net Blog

My business is starting to grow, and my bank says I need PCI compliance – Where do I start?

Adnan Raja October 3, 2017 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments

PCI compliance is the leading industry standard for secure handling of payment card data, and is generally required for businesses accepting credit, debit or other payment cards, as well as the companies that supply them with services, software and hardware to process those payments.

The Payment Cards Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council (SSC) was formed in 2006 by five leading credit card companies, and sets security standards which provide the assurance which underpins payment processing arrangements and partnerships. For this reason, it is very common for banks to require businesses to demonstrate PCI compliance when they are handling sensitive customer payment data.

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Content Delivery Networks – What They Are and Why They’re Powerful

Derek Wiedenhoeft September 30, 2017 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments

One of the most important factors impacting web performance has nothing to do with the technology itself, but where it sits on the planet. Greater physical distance between a server and client (the user) can slow down the rate and reliability of even the most performant service. Content delivery networks (CDNs), seek to solve this issue by getting the servers closer to the site visitors, customizing the delivery to suit individualized worldwide position. A content delivery network is a vast collection of cache servers that leverage geolocation to determine where a website’s content is delivered from.

Reducing latency is one of the most important reasons that content delivery networks are used. The closer the data is to the end-user, the faster it can be sent to them. For services that depend on real-time, continuous data on a global scale, CDNs are critical.

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Finding E-commerce Hosting Solutions as a Small Business Owner

Derek Wiedenhoeft September 30, 2017 by under Cloud Hosting 0 Comments

Of all the important steps that need to be taken in order to successfully run a small business, it may be the backend operations that are the most confounding. That’s because all web hosting isn’t the same. Depending on the specific kind of website and business you are developing, you’ll have certain requirements that need to be met by your hosting provider in order to achieve the performance levels you need to be successful and to meet any regulatory rules that might exist in your industry.

There are some features that are a must have if you’re looking to launch an e-commerce based business. By following some simple guidelines during your search, you can quickly narrow down the list of viable hosting solution candidates. Dedicated hosting with managed services or managed cloud hosting can cover most of your needs, but let’s explore why they make the most sense for your e-commerce business.

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What is a DDoS and how do we prevent our business from being attacked?

Derek Wiedenhoeft September 7, 2017 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have been happening for years, but have become steadily more prominent among enterprise IT considerations. This is in large part due to the increasing amount of damage inflicted by DDoS attacks, which is caused by both the increasing power and sophistication of the attacks, and also the critical importance of IT systems availability to enterprises.

A DDoS attack is a coordinated flood of traffic or data sent from many computers and internet connections to a single destination system in order to overwhelm it. The attack can be made against different parts or “levels” of the network, taking up all of the connections, bandwidth, or processing power available. DDoS attacks can cause a general system failure or take down a certain application or service.

There are approximately 2,000 DDoS attacks every day, according to Arbor Networks, and research suggests that roughly one in three downtime incidents are caused by them. The cost of that downtime is severe, but the cost of restoring system functionality can be even higher. Additionally, there are indirect costs, such as to reputation, and lost staff time. The Ponemon Institute estimates that the average cost per incident, not including reputational damage, is over $125,000.

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Finding a Database Hosting Solution for Your Small Business

Derek Wiedenhoeft August 25, 2017 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments

If you’re talking about innovation and competition in the modern economy, you will inevitably wind up talking about the subject of data. It’s no secret that we rely on data for everything whether it be strategy or tactics. This, of course, leads us to the topic of “big data” which for the past decade has been touted as the difference maker in a business’ ability to gain a better understanding of the complex factors, including customer behaviors, that are contributing to a business’ success or even failure.

Of course, simply collecting the data isn’t the whole story. There are infrastructure concerns that need to be met when implementing large databases. You need somewhere to keep your database. Not only that, but the hardware needs to be up to the task of handling the processing power required to run the database and allow it to be accessible. Many small businesses are turning to Cloud Hosting as the solution that fits their needs best.

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I Need a Web Hosting Solution for My Small Business. How Do I Choose?

Derek Wiedenhoeft August 25, 2017 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments

You’ve just started your own business and things are going well. Most likely, you’ve been growing steadily at the local level. This means most of your success has been thanks to word of mouth, existing networks, and direct orders of your product or service. This is relatively sustainable for the short term, but there inevitably comes a time where you exhaust these local networks and need to move on into new markets where you may not already have a foothold.

In the age of an overwhelmingly digital focused economy, gaining these footholds and reaching untapped audiences means developing a web presence. In 2017, it isn’t news to business owners that it’s very difficult, if not almost impossible, to succeed without a web presence of some kind. Staying competitive, reaching consumers who do their research primarily online, and advertising is just some of the reasons why executives agree that every small business needs a website.

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How Secure is the Cloud?

Adnan Raja August 12, 2017 by under Cloud Hosting 0 Comments

Organizations migrating to a new IT environment, such as the Cloud, should always give serious consideration to the security of that environment. But how secure is the Cloud? If you don’t know exactly what piece of hardware your private data is found on at a given time, how do you know it is secure?

For those relatively new to Cloud, the first thing to be aware of is that while some of the tools and methods used to secure a network and data in the Cloud are different, the basic principles are the same as for any other environment. The next thing to know is that because the Cloud runs in data centers staffed by experts in Cloud services, data stored in the Cloud is “probably more secure than conventionally stored data,” according to Quentin Hardy, former Deputy Technology Editor of the New York Times[i].

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Safety in Redundancy: Why It’s Important to Have Multiple Backups

Derek Wiedenhoeft August 3, 2017 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments

Everyone is familiar with the idiom, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” It’s a good general rule to operate under, and that is certainly the case when it comes to the safety of your data. Whether it’s the files that make up your website or a database with sensitive information, it’s critical to your operations that there is always some way to restore your data so that you don’t suffer from excessive downtime, or worse, be noncompliant with certain regulatory agencies depending on the industry you operate in. Yes, your backup solutions, or lack thereof, could be putting you at risk of being in violation of some laws.

If your business operates within the healthcare industry and creates electronic medical records, there are specific requirements in place regarding not only the storage of EMRs but also where you back up these records. These requirements can be found in the HIPAA Security Final Rule: the Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Specifications. There are certain backup elements that must meet contingency plan standards.

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Security Penetration Testing: What It Is and Why You Need It

Derek Wiedenhoeft August 1, 2017 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments

If your bank is requiring your company to perform a penetration test as part of your PCI compliance, you’re not alone. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) are now requiring penetration testing (or pen tests) for all organizations that accept credit card payments. It’s an added way to ensure the security of credit card transactions and associated storage practices.

So what, exactly, is penetration testing? It’s a way to test your system’s security by trying to exploit its weaknesses. In the same way that the Federal Reserve requires FDIC-insured banks to undergo stress tests, penetration tests are safe methods of attempting to identify security weaknesses in your systems.  As the saying goes, one of the best ways to help protect against hacks into your systems is for someone you trust to try hacking into your systems. This will allow you to rectify security issues before they can be exploited by unauthorized individuals.

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Can You Learn HIPAA Compliance in 5 Minutes?

With anything that’s complex and multi-faceted, it is not always easy to explain it to others. Oddly enough, it sometimes seems especially difficult to convey ideas when we are highly trained in the subject. We start to take the broader, basic-to-intermediate knowledge we have for granted, glossing over it as we focus at a higher level. Conversely, when we are learning about something new, it helps when we can get simplified, “boiled-down” essentials without any unnecessary legal jargon or other distractions. Well, here is an attempt to get to the essence, a Quick-Start Guide of sorts for HIPAA compliance that should only take you another 270 seconds or so to read. Forgive the lack of transitions from here forward – nuts and bolts only!

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