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Why You Might Consider Taking Your Security to the Edge

Why You Might Consider Taking Your Security to the Edge

Any business that depends on its IT—in other words, most businesses—needs to consider the cybersecurity that is in place to protect it. Today, many businesses have started focusing their cybersecurity efforts on protecting their network from the edges, an approach that is fittingly known as edge security. Let’s take a moment to talk about the benefits that edge security can offer you.

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A Router Password Repository Helps Keep Access Secure

A Router Password Repository Helps Keep Access Secure

What do you do if you have forgotten your wireless router’s password? You could restore the router back to its default settings, of course, but what if you have, like a dummy, never changed the router’s password in the first place? This Internet password repository could be your saving grace.

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What Exactly Is a VPN?

Defining VPN

The virtual private network is a tool designed specifically to protect data as it is transferred over the Internet. The best way to describe it is as an encrypted tunnel that protects the interception of data that is being sent from one place to another. 

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How to Establish Fast, Secure Wi-Fi for Guests to Your Healthcare Organization

Your Main Hospital Wireless Network Needs to be Locked Down

First of all, your main office Wi-Fi cannot be used for guest access. The same network that your computers, tablets, laptops, and other equipment run on needs to be completely segregated from the rest of the traffic and secure. This might be pretty obvious for most healthcare professionals, especially those who have an understanding of HIPAA compliance, but it’s worth mentioning because it poses such a huge security risk (and breaks compliance).

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Should You Use Wired or Wireless Connections?

Why a Hardwired Connection?


The fact is that a direct connection is inherently more secure than one that is broadcast over the airwaves, as these have the potential to be snagged in transit much more easily. Therefore, if security is paramount, a wired connection is the better option by default. That said, there are ways to secure your wireless connection, utilizing a VPN.

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Improve Your Business With These Documentation Practices

What Should My Documentation Include?

Basically, your documentation should be a complete inventory of all the technology you have, first divided between your hardware and software solutions.

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Taking a Long Look at Your Company’s Bandwidth Needs

Bandwidth Defined

Bandwidth is one of those terms that you think you understand until you try to explain it to someone else. Basically, bandwidth is how fast data can be transferred through a medium. In the case of the Internet, millions of bits need to be transferred from the web to network attached devices every second. The more bandwidth you have access to, the more data can be transferred. 

Speed vs Throughput

Network speed--that is, how fast you are able to send and receive data--is typically a combination of available bandwidth and a measure called latency. The higher a network’s latency, the slower the network is going to be, even on high-bandwidth network connections. Latency can come from many parts of the network connection: slow hardware, inefficient data packing, wireless connections, and others. 

Throughput is the measure of the amount of data that is transmitted through a connection. Also called payload rate, this is the effective ability for any data to be transmitted through a connection. So, while bandwidth is the presumed amount of data any connection can transfer, throughput is the amount of data that is actually transferred through the connection. The disparity in the two factors can come from several places, but typically the latency of the transmitting sources results in throughput being quite a bit less than the bandwidth. 

What Do You Need Bandwidth For?

The best way to describe this is to first consider how much data your business sends and receives. How many devices are transferring data? Is it just text files? Are there graphics and videos? Do you stream media? Do you host your website? Do you use any cloud-based platforms? Do you use video conferencing or any other hosted communications platform? All of these questions (and a few not mentioned) have to be asked so that your business can operate as intended. 

First, you need to calculate how many devices will connect to your network at the same time. Next, you need to consider the services that are being used. These can include:

  • Data backup
  • Cloud services
  • Email
  • File Sharing
  • Messaging
  • Online browsing
  • Social Media
  • Streaming audio
  • Streaming video
  • Interactive webinars
  • Uploads (files, images, video)
  • Video conferencing
  • Voice over Internet Protocol
  • Wi-Fi demands

...and more

After considering all the uses, you then need to take a hard look at what required bandwidth is needed for all of those tasks. Obviously, if you lean on your VoIP system, or you are constantly doing video webinars, you will need to factor those operational decisions into your bandwidth decision making. 

Finally, once you’ve pinpointed all the devices and tasks, the bandwidth each task takes, and how many people on your network do those tasks, you total up the traffic estimate. Can you make a realistic estimate with this information?  Depending on your business’ size and network traffic, you may not be able to get a workable figure. 

Too Much or Not Enough

Paying for too little bandwidth is a major problem, but so is paying for too much. Bandwidth, while more affordable than ever before, is still pretty expensive, and if you pay for too much bandwidth, you are wasting capital that you can never get back. 

That’s where the professionals come in. Coleman Technologies has knowledgeable technicians that can assess your bandwidth usage and work with your ISP to get you the right amount for your business’ usage. If you would like more information about bandwidth, its role in your business, or how to get the right amount for your needs, call us today at (604) 513-9428.

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VoIP Can Replace Analog Phone Systems

VoIP Allows You to Do More

While at its core, a VoIP system is a telephone system, it allows for many more options. Since it uses an organization's available bandwidth rather than a dedicated RJ-11 connection, there are more dynamic options available. It may raise the cost of the solution a bit, but VoIP can come with instant messaging, conferencing, and call archival built in.  

VoIP is More Secure

VoIP is far more secure to use than the traditional landline because it is easier to secure a digital connection than it is to secure an analog one. The use of encryption protects all information transmitted through the system.

VoIP is More Portable

This is a big benefit. VoIP solutions can be linked to mobile applications. This means that any smartphone can become a work phone, and can be linked to the same number as the user’s business phone. This allows people to get calls on their phone without having to give over their personal number. This is either done through forwarding or by installing a simple app on the phone.

VoIP Offers Automated Client Interaction

A VoIP system can be configured to support an entire business. There are integrated automated menus that can offer a lot of value by directing calls to voicemails, alternative members of your team, and allowing employees to avoid distractions and not neglecting their incoming calls. Call forwarding, parking, and many more options can be tied to a VoIP account for additional costs.

VoIP is a technology solution for all of your business’ calling needs. Call Coleman Technologies today at (604) 513-9428 for more information about VoIP and you can get the telephone system you’ve always wanted for your business.

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What Does Your Business' IT Infrastructure Look Like?

What Does Your IT Infrastructure Look Like?

Your IT infrastructure consists of all the technology that enables your organization to store and utilize data that it has collected. This includes your network, your storage system, and any hardware and software solutions that are used to access it. Basically, an IT infrastructure is effectively your organization’s central nervous system, supporting operations through the transportation of data.

It’s clear that your IT infrastructure will play an important role in the way your business works. This means that you’ll need to invest time and energy into developing a proper strategy for your IT infrastructure to adhere to.

Determining Your IT Infrastructure Strategy

The same infrastructure won’t work for all businesses, so you’ll have to craft one. To create an optimized infrastructure strategy, consider the following best practices.


Make no mistake--your infrastructure today hardly resembles what it looked like just a few short years ago (at least, it shouldn’t). Chances are that your IT infrastructure contains several different types of technology. This complicates the process of improving and updating it.

Be sure to consider the modern standardization of the software and integrations that are possible with your centralized IT platform, as this will maximize access to data and increase how much value you get from your solutions.


IT is always changing and adapting to trends, which means that you will want to build your IT infrastructure in such a way that it can take advantage of these changes. Ask yourself where your organization’s biggest speed constraints are, as well as how they can be rectified. If you can consolidate your existing infrastructure to limit the risks, how would this affect your business processes? These are all factors that must be taken into consideration.


The biggest advantage that IT provides for your organization is that operations can’t happen without it. When planning out your infrastructure, be sure to consider the fact that your entire business will need to use it for access to services and tools required for each employee’s day-to-day responsibilities. Ask yourself what you can do to make sure your infrastructure can do what must be done both now and in the future.

Why You Should Consider a Managed IT Infrastructure

You might recall the process you used to create your network back when your business was just a fledgling pushing back against the world. Remember that feeling and use it to fuel the process of reexamining your current IT infrastructure. In fact, you may find it more reasonable to outsource this task to a managed service provider.

There are many benefits to doing this, but the biggest has to come from the time you’ll save from doing so. You have a lot on your plate as a business owner. Can you say with confidence that you have the time it takes to design, build, manage, and maintain an IT infrastructure? Of course not--there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Instead, you hand this responsibility to professionals you trust to ensure that the process goes well.

Coleman Technologies wants to be the MSP you trust to make sure your infrastructure is working for your business and its goals. To learn more about the services we offer, reach out to us at (604) 513-9428.

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Getting to Know About Phishing Attacks Can Keep Your Business Safe

As a result of this increase in phishing attacks, endpoint security has grown much more focused, but the issue with phishing isn’t necessarily an issue with the strategies surrounding your technology--rather, it’s an issue relating to your organization’s users and their tendency for failure. Now, we know this sounds a little harsh, but it’s been proven time and again that employees need security training on how to handle credentials and other sensitive information. Let’s take a look at a couple different types of attacks you can be exposed to, and what you can do to keep your organization from becoming just another company that has suffered from a data breach.

Deceptive Phishing
Deceptive phishing is one of the most common types of phishing scams, and it aims to fool unsuspecting users into handing over sensitive information. This happens when the hacker sends a message to users that impersonates an actual person or company that the organization has some sort of relationship with. These hackers use deceptive phishing to convince users to hand over information like passwords, usernames, account numbers, etc. Since official credentials are being used to access these accounts, it doesn’t immediately become a security concern.

For the most part, these deceptive phishing messages are either ignored by the users, caught by filtering technology, or disregarded when they’re accessed. Unfortunately, the handful that actually do fool the end user are worth the hundreds-of-thousands that are sent to others. To keep your business from making this fatal mistake, you need to focus on increasing awareness of what makes phishing attacks so much different from your average legitimate email.

Some of the telltale signs of phishing messages include misspelled words, problems with sentence structure, and suspicious attachments or URLs. Always hover your mouse over a link before clicking on it to determine its location, and never download an attachment unless you know who’s sending it. Another thing to look out for is any financial institution or vendor demanding payment or access to your account--there are other, more official methods of outreach for methods such as these; and no bank or similar institution will ever, ever ask you for passwords.

Spear Phishing
Spear phishing attacks are targeted attempts against a specific user. For example, someone who sees a message from a coworker might let their guard down, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the message is safe. It just means that some hacker managed to find a way to mimic the sender in a way that is extremely convincing. Spear phishing attacks will often know the target’s name, title, company, work phone number, and much more--all to seem as authentic as possible so the user will click on a malicious attachment or URL.

Even social media isn’t safe from this trend. LinkedIn, for example, is one of the most common places where spear phishing is leveraged. It might be used for connecting with other business professionals, but it’s not hard for a hacker to imitate a business professional. We aren’t saying that you need to avoid social media like the plague, only that you should approach it with some sensible caution.

That being said, more people are learning about these attacks by the day, meaning that some hackers have ceased these types of attacks for fear of their efforts being for naught. Instead, they turn to a practice called pharming, which is using an organization’s DNS server to change the IP address associated with the website name. This gives them a way to direct users to malicious websites to steal their legitimate credentials.

To prevent this from happening, it’s very important that you tell your staff to be sure they are entering their credentials into a secured site. The best way to make sure this happens is to look for the “https” in the hyperlink, as well as a padlock icon next to the address. It also never hurts to have an antivirus solution on each endpoint within your organization.

Coleman Technologies can help your business stay as secure as possible. To learn more, reach out to us at (604) 513-9428.

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How to Get the Best Wireless Connections in Your Office

What Do You Expect from Your Wi-Fi?
Many businesses have a tendency to either deal with their Wi-Fi as-is or will haphazardly add new networking components to their infrastructure as needed. Neither of these approaches is ideal, especially in light of the fact that you’ll need your Internet connections to be reliable as you grow your network.

A much better alternative is to design your Wi-Fi network keeping a few additional factors in mind, including your office’s particular setup and any future growth plans you may have. This way, you will not only create a network that works for your current needs but is also flexible enough to shift and adapt as your business does. Whether you’re first designing your office’s floor plan or taking another look at its setup, the key is to go about it from a strategy-first perspective.

The Process
Your first order of business is to determine where the demand for a signal will be the greatest. After all, if you have a group of employees reliant on their wireless connectivity huddled together in one area of the office, you aren’t going to want to place your equipment in a way that creates a dead zone there. This will help you to identify obstacles and inform you of where you may want to consider placing additional routers to make up for their effects.

Once your Wi-Fi has been set up and your employees are settled, you should still be collecting performance data and listening to the input that employees have about their connections. Remember, wireless is still an evolving technology, so as it develops it is likely that you will need to adjust your strategy to accommodate it.

Long story short, you’ll probably need to make this an ongoing process to ensure that your Internet is as usable as possible for everyone in the office.

The professionals at Coleman Technologies are also here to assist you with any of your technology needs. If you need help with your business’ IT solutions, give us a call at (604) 513-9428.

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When it comes to growth and advancement, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in British Columbia have been effectively leveraging Coleman Technologies’ affordable enterprise-level IT practices and solutions since 1999. The proof: Coleman Technol...

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