• Welcome to Demakis Technologies! We are waiting to help you!

Monthly Archives: August 2022

Cybersecurity Habits

7 Cybersecurity Habits You Need to Break ASAP

Rarely a day passes without news of a cyber attack at yet another company, institution, or government body.

Many businesses continue to implement poor network security procedures in the face of identified risks. Here are 7 negative habits that are all too prevalent in cybersecurity, or lack thereof.

7 Worst Cybersecurity Habits

Here are the worst cybersecurity practices you might have seen, or been guilty of yourself.

Poor Password Security Rules

Commonly used and short passwords are a weak spot for your network, cloud apps, and email services. Such passwords can be easily guessed by potential attackers. So think about using a password manager tool. Such a tool helps you create and remember your unique logins. Another thing that helps is MFA (multi-factor authentication).

Also, consider not giving users admin access. That is sometimes given to users during troubleshooting, and then forgotten. Such a practice leaves you in a very vulnerable spot.

Bypassing Corporate Controls

Cybersecurity specialists frequently work around company controls – they disable them, or change repetitive settings only to forget to revert the changes after finishing.

Sure, it’s possible to disable or remove security measures like antivirus software, network security protocols, or MFA, but that exposes your system and unencrypted documents to attacks. And you should educate the rest of your staff on the dangers of bypassing corporate controls, too. Denying access to certain websites is done not just for productivity reasons but also to implement healthy cybersecurity habits.

Using Outdated Technology

Many businesses continue to use Windows Server 2003, despite the fact that it has a number of unpatched security vulnerabilities.

Rigidity is a common problem in the IT sector—if something isn’t broken, why fix it? Despite the fact that something may be functional, it is weak in terms of security. Even if an older piece of technology has been patched, that doesn’t guarantee that it is safe or that another vulnerability won’t expose it in the near future.

Companies must stop with the outdated methods and implement cybersecurity habits that can handle modern problems.

Failing to Review the Environment as a Whole

Security experts frequently don’t look at the wider picture to assess whether an environment is getting less safe. They are too busy responding to pressing problems. For instance, a senior admin’s privileges may be elevated to super admin status for the day, but due to urgent issues not revoked afterwards.

A thorough system review should be conducted following a penetration test. After a penetration test, we shouldn’t sit idly; instead, we should use the test as a starting point. Networks are incredibly dynamic, and updating or adding software can quickly alter your security posture.

Cybersecurity Poor Password Security Rules

Using Company Equipment for Personal Use

A lot of us are quick to use company devices for personal use. One personal email may not seem like a lot, but the outcome could be huge and damning.

Educate and train your staff on the dangers of misusing company equipment. Online shopping and downloading non-company apps and software can have wide-reaching company consequences. Especially if it opens the door for potential cyberattackers.

Your staff shouldn’t keep their personal data on company devices, and vice versa – no company data should be on their personal devices. To help them with the latter, get them all company devices to use so they don’t have to use their own laptop to perform tasks.

Negligence Toward False Positives

Some cybersecurity experts are careless when it comes to false positives, which happen when a security system identifies a benign file as malicious and blocks it. Data corruption, service interruptions, or a total inability to function are all potential consequences of this.

The cybersecurity habits some security professionals have is to minimize the possibility of high false positives and choose security stack solutions that are configured to overly cautious levels, which leads to false positives.

Not Patching Straight Away

Companies regularly invest thousands of dollars on security systems only to have them thwarted by something as simple as delaying the installation of a security patch. Many businesses put themselves at danger by delaying the installation of crucial security upgrades for at least a week after they are released.

Patch management weak spots include pushing out updates too quickly and devices going offline. But the most notable risk is simply and bafflingly leaving a system open to cyberattackers by not patching straight away.

Final Word

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to good cybersecurity practices and innovations. But we can all universally agree on bad cybersecurity practices. Never stop re-evaluating your security assets and how big a risk they pose. Vigilance in keeping a certain cybersecurity level is the foundation for strong security best practices. 

Structured Cabling Design

Few Important Considerations When Planning for Structured Cabling Design

A strong structured cabling design is the foundation of a reliable IT network. It’s vital to take the time and money to design a properly structured cabling system for your organization’s requirements and goals. There are many things to consider – the locality of your operations, bandwidth requirements, code compliance, indoor aesthetics, and more.

Without proper planning, design, and maintenance, there is no scaling your business or operations.

What is Structured Cabling Design?

Companies and organizations love structured cabling design because it’s the best solution for a fast network and lower power consumption. Structured cabling design refers to limiting wires used for your network system at your company while increasing high-speed data transfer.

A structured cabling system itself refers to the wiring network that handles your communications systems – unified communications, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), data, multimedia, security, PoE (Power Over Ethernet), and wireless. The structured cabling system spreads those communication systems through company and organization grounds.

The meticulous design of this infrastructure absolutely impacts daily operations and can help companies scale their business. With structured cabling design, companies can say goodbye to confusing bunches of tangled wires. That makes the job of network managers easier – thanks to organized cabling structures, they can spot problems quicker. Moreover, structured cabling design limits the overall risk of mistakes in cabling. That also contributes to less downtime.

5 Things to Consider When Planning for Structured Cabling Design

To maximize the chances of business success with structured cabling design, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Let’s start.

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Cabling Systems

Will the cable system be indoors or outdoors? That choice has a significant impact on the type and layout of your cables. For instance, indoor cabling must be installed in a way that doesn’t interfere with the appearance of a building’s interior. For outside wires to operate as much as efficiently, you should approach such cabling design with a different installation method. The wires must be sturdy and able to withstand harsh weather conditions. If installing cables outdoors, consider direct burial cables.

Structured Cabling Design Cable System Lifespan

Cable System Lifespan

Plan for your organization’s anticipated structured cabling system lifespan.

The minimum life span to plan for is 10 years, the average life expectancy is 15 years, while you should probably strive for a lifespan between 10 and 20 years. Although network cabling makes for just 5% of the entire network budget, replacing it is the hardest and costliest part of the network to replace. The labor it takes brings significant disruption to an organization. So of all the network elements, the cabling system should have the longest life cycle.

Required Bandwidth

Are you a company and organization that regularly transfers large files? It’s important to understand such basic needs of your organization before you install your cable system. And that includes knowing the bandwidth you require. Proper and robust equipment means almost nothing if you don’t have the bandwidth to match your needs. So talk to a contractor or your outsourced IT experts to make sure your structured cabling system design matches the data transmission rates and hardware.

Bear in mind that you should maybe aim for a slightly wider bandwidth than you currently need. That goes for all organizations and companies that plan to grow their operations or business in a few years.

Government Regulations

Based on the design of municipal electricity networks, certain states and cities mandate the use of a particular type of cabling system. Before you set up your cabling system, make sure you are fully aware of the legalities ruling the locality.

If you have any questions concerning the legislation of cabling in your area, contact the authority that controls such regulations and ask them for directions. For instance, find out which cables should be in the conduit. And thoroughly research which ones should be plenum and which ones non-plenum.

Test Phase

The design phase doesn’t end with installation. After finishing the initial structured cabling design, you should test it with testing equipment you can find on the market. That way, you’ll know if you’re ready to set up your cabling system or make some tweaks and other changes.

Without testing, you risk startup delays, downtime, callbacks to the manufacturer, and other problems that can lead to unplanned expenses

But if you test your design and do well in tests of scheduled shutdowns and other scenarios, you’ll be more protected from sudden issues.

Final Word

As we’ve seen, when setting up new building projects or adding wiring to existing structures, there is a myriad of things to factor in your structured cabling design. If you’re unsure how to set up a cohesive system with uninterrupted service and no downtime, consider enlisting the help of proven IT experts.

IoT solutions

Why Is UX Research Necessary for IoT Solutions?

People tend to think about websites and software when talking about UX. But with the age of IoT (the Internet of Things) upon us, UX design is expanding to new horizons. Our devices will be interlinked more than ever in upcoming years, so it’s time to think about how the popularity of IoT solutions will affect UX research.

There are a few basic UX design principles to keep in mind when conducting research for IoT. Read on to find them out.

The Importance of UX Research for IoTs

UX adds value to the Internet of Things devices by making them user-centric. While IoT are developed, UX research is performed to comprehend the ideal user and their needs.

The initial phase of UX design includes research, whether you’re designing for one website or a network of devices.

And one of the basic principles when researching is to think about the value an IoT device can offer your users and your business. When diving into IoT UX design, you’re not dealing with products anymore. You are now building services and experiences that have the potential to make users’ lives better. So a thorough qualitative analysis is vital for moving on with your UX design.

UX research should focus not just on attempting to make the product look pretty but also on providing users with seamless communications, high usability, and easily accessible customer support.

UX Challenges to Research for IoT Solutions

To develop an effective product, UX design for IoTs must mix several design disciplines. They are difficult to handle individually, let alone combined.

UX for IoT solutions needs to keep track of a variety of things – from standard paths to structures. And, a change from standard UX design will be this – you won’t just be designing the actions users want. You also need to make these products customized on a user basis and able to connect to different IoT devices. 

IoT solutions UX

UX challenges in the IoT sphere include:

  • Lack of efficiency – Embedded systems are still heavily ladened with expenses. You need to do proper research to figure out how you can minimize costs and further drive the development of various digital elements.
  • System security – Security is always an imperative. But it’s a special kind of challenge when you need to provide an excellent user experience for embedded systems. Taking a product from prototype to deployment will have a lot of security bumps to solve along the way.
  • Emerging standards – Some devices might be unaware of the presence or capabilities of others on the IoT network because their manufacturers have designed them to work exclusively with those of specific providers. The main challenge for developers is dealing with the potential interference of such different devices.

3 Key Components for UX design for IoT Solutions

Good UX design for IoT solutions has three components:

  1. Great technology functionality
  2. High usability
  3. Compatibility with human psychology

We’ll go over each in more depth.

Great Technology Functionality

To no surprise to anyone, you should focus a lot of your effort on successfully delivering a product. That is because you can’t just expect to sell your product solely on great marketing. Whatmore, false advertising can hurt your brand for years to come. Especially if a user’s first introduction to your product is a negative one. You should align your marketing messages with your product and the needs of your users.

High Usability

No matter if your user is highly educated in using technology, or just a novice, they should be able to set up your product. Operating and maintaining IoT should be even easier than non-IoT solutions.

Compatibility with Human Psychology

IoT should seamlessly go with human psychology. New tech should offer massive payoff for users to get them out of their comfort zones. UX design for IoT solutions should also strive to win the trust of users by making them rely on their devices for safe and simple actions.

Another thing the human mind will register as trustworthy is offering a user experience that pays attention to personal privacy.

Final Word

IoT is on track to become one of the most dominant technology trends. It will disrupt the scene and easily impact our everyday lives. IoT solutions are already present, so our interactions with tech devices are already evolving. And all those interconnected devices need detailed User Experience design. The key elements we have listed in this article can guide your UX research when designing for IoT.

UX Design In The Metaverse

The Future Of UX Design In The Metaverse

As the metaverse gradually yet relentlessly seeps into our everyday lives, businesses and digital professionals are asking what this change could mean for their future endeavors. And among those posing the question are UX designers. So what will be the state of UX design in the metaverse?

The best we can do is make educated guesses based on research and moves already made in the metaverse field, although they are not as far-reaching as the term “metaverse” caught buzz. In this article, we will explore how a growing virtual world could potentially help immerse users and incentivize them.

The Basic Fibers of a Metaverse

The term “metaverse” is far from getting attached to one proven definition. Whatmore, the term is, so soon after its birth, already on the crumbling edge of becoming a buzzword. Companies and tech CEOs are throwing it around, attaching it to their ambitious pitches and presentations, disguised as definitions.

We’ll provide a broad definition. The important thing for this article is to keep in mind that both a broad and narrow definition wouldn’t change the upcoming trends in UX design we’ll list below.

The Influencer Marketing Hub defines the metaverse as an ever-active and self-contained virtual space that evolves in real-time, full of users that generate content. Notice how they used the phrase “self-contained”. It’s important to keep that in mind, as many visionary (and problematic) tech CEOs try to speak of one supposedly unified metaverse. Such an endeavor is far from being made. Who would create it, and which rules and regulations would it follow? A unified metaverse would be akin to our planet unifying in the real world into a single country – a nearly impossible and unwelcome undertaking.

So instead of talking about “the metaverse”, it’d be more correct to talk about “a metaverse” or simply “metaverses”. Social media platforms, various organizations, and video game companies are, in droves, working on creating their self-contained digital ecosystems. These virtual spaces could radically reshape how users spend time online while interacting with platforms, companies, and organizations.

Now that we got that out of the way, we’ll move on to the trends that could dominate UX design in the metaverse.

UX Design In The Metaverse VR

How To Approach UX Design In The Metaverse

There are some universal rules to UX design (User Experience design). In the world of business, the goal is to provide users with a great experience while they interact with the online services and products of a company or brand. So, when making money online, it’s more about creating brand experiences than appearances.

Here are some (both new and evergreen) trends set to dominate UX design in the metaverse.

Design Stories

Good design needs good storytelling. We engage with enticing design through compelling stories, whether they be in the form of graphics, video games, products, brands, or services.

As the metaverse gears up, designers will need to visualize stories. That will help insightfully connect the infinite virtual experiences of a metaverse.

With the limitless design options provided by such a space, immersive storytelling – which is already crucial in video games – will undoubtedly be front and center of metaverse design.

Include Observational Design

Before you start weaving far-spanning narratives and user journeys, you should sit back and observe. As functional metaverses are in their infancy, you can learn a lot from following ambitious endeavors from companies, as well as their tweaks along the way. And you should understand how your users may potentially react to a metaverse setting.

Examine your competitors more closely and begin user testing. A solid base for progress is conducting an assessment of your current engagement statistics, audience demographics, and site analytics utilizing programs like Google Analytics.

And as we’ve said, UX designers must be aware of how their target demographic currently engages with the metaverse and grasp how their products and services will function in novel virtual settings.

Focus on Ethical Design

The bad follows the good. While metaverses may enhance positive experiences, think about how bullying could be more visceral than today’s cyberbullying. UX design decisions could be crucial for managing toxicity and limiting hurtful behavior.

Ethical design will be a focus as UX designers begin to create interconnected 3D environments that will allow people to work, buy and hang out securely. 

Work On Your 3D Design Skills

One of the most obvious shifts in UX design in the metaverse is the shift towards 3D design. Your user experience designs will be required to be 360 along with intuitiveness. A large chunk of metaverse experiences heavily relies on VR (virtual reality) headsets. Some startups and tech giants already offer users immersive 3D shopping experiences.

So a practical thing to do as a UX designer would be to move from 2D sketching toward 3D modeling software (if you haven’t already).

Final Word

Change is an opportunity, but for now, the best advice is to be proactive and conduct extensive research. Start observing user behaviors outside of brick-and-mortar and the usual digital experiences. As a UX designer, start treating the metaverse as a new channel to add to a brand’s experience. That way, you’ll be much more ready to make the change and innovate when the time comes.

Incident Reporting Process

How to Create a Cybersecurity Incident Reporting Process?

In this day and age, it’s a given that any organization serious about growth will have a robust cybersecurity strategy in place. That includes having a well-rounded incident reporting process drafted, tested, and approved.

Any incident, both big and small, should be reported for analytics and pulling lessons from it. After all, chances of at least a small breach happening are high these days, since no strategy is 100% full-proof. Data dumps, ransomware attacks, and cloud breaches could happen to you today. Cloud-based workloads are especially vulnerable due to the interconnected nature of IT environments.

Start creating your detailed incident reporting process today. We’ve listed tips that can help you both put together an incident reporting template and the steps coming before and after its fulfilling.

Importance of Incident Reporting Processes

As much as it is practicable or functional, the response to cybersecurity incidents should be based on well-documented incident response plans that are periodically reviewed, tested, and put into practice by the people who will be required to use them in the event of an actual incident.

When an emergency does take place, that is most definitely not the time to use outdated documentation and rely on incident reporting processes that have changed a lot or are simply outdated.

At its core, the incident response process entails:

  • Detailed Preparation
  • Detection
  • Analysis
  • Containment
  • Eradication
  • Recovery
  • Following-up actions

And as always, bear in mind that you should use professional vocabulary and write concisely.

Proper Preparation and Data Accumulation

The first step is to realize that an incident will probably occur at some point and that there is an inevitability to it.

There are four main steps at this initial stage of creating an incident reporting process:

  • Training: You need to have the right people for this job. And that means helping your staff get the education it needs. Ask if they’re willing to go through cybersecurity webinars and courses, and if they’re willing to read and stay informed on the newest developments in the cybersecurity world
  • Aggregation: In marketing, content is king. In cybersecurity, data is king. To properly assess what went down, you need to develop a way of aggregating data. That way, when even something minor goes down, you’ll have answers to the questions of “How?” and “When?”
  • Identification: You can’t report on an incident before you know it’s happening. Recognizing abnormal behavior is the most common way your staff will know something is afoot. This step is usually a combo of manual data processing and powerful AI systems that should be in place. Consider implementing automated tools that can spot strange patterns in IT environments.
  • Cross-validating: Many organizations are rightly moving a part of their IT needs to verified outsourced teams. These managed IT service providers can notify you of incidents and cross-validate information with your inhouse IT team. Such a team often plays a crucial role in stopping minor incidents from growing into full-blown problems.
Incident Reporting Process Cybersecurity

Familiarize Yourself With Industry Regulation

All organizations should follow the incident response process accustomed for their niche. Different industries have somewhat different incident reporting processes. For instance, you might need to adhere to the HIPAA incident reporting requirements if you work in the healthcare industry.

These business regulations cover who they apply to and have very strict legislation regarding incident reporting:

  • You must comply with HIPPA if you create, obtain, keep, or transmit protected health information digitally.
  • If you work for a federal agency or a contractor for the government, you must comply with FISMA and NIST.
  • If you receive, store, or transfer credit card data, you must adhere to PCI DSS.
  • If you work for an energy or utilities provider, join NERC/CIP.
  • If your organization is a public company, you must comply with SOX.

Put Together an Incident Report Template

The following are some essential details to include in your incident report:

  • Incident reported:  The person’s name who submitted the incident ticket
  • Acknowledgement date: It is crucial to record the correct date and time of the incident.
  • Services affected: It will be possible for the adequate team to take part in the troubleshooting process if it is known which services are affected.
  • Detailed account of the incident: Instead of writing too much detail, the description should be brief, pertinent, and include information about the actual event.
  • Impact on business: A serious incident may result in major breakdowns or outages that have an effect on companies.
  • Action taken: Following the resolution of the issue and the restoration of regular services, all phases and troubleshooting tools are recorded for future reference.

Final Word

We have learned how crucial it is to establish an incident response team with expertise in cybersecurity analysis and a well-documented cybersecurity incident report process.

A company also has to have solid rules to support these essential elements. The goal of incident response is not just to stop the occurrence; it’s also to learn from it and strengthen the flaws that were revealed. Since it is more a matter of when than if an incident may occur, it is important to constantly be prepared.