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Kevin Proulx

Every software and website face security breaches that, in most cases, are quickly fixed. In general, these flaws are not discussed in the media, unless they are related to a mainstream software or website. For example, specialized technology websites will write about one is discovered in Internet Explorer. However, very few security breaches have been discussed as much as Heartbleed, a security flaw that affects the OpenSSL service. In this article we will discuss Heartbleed in detail.

 

Heartbleed is one of the Most Important Security Breaches in Internet’s History

 

What is OpenSSL?

OpenSSL is a service that encrypts data that must remain confidential on the web. For example, when accessing our online bank account, our password is encrypted by a service like OpenSSL so that dishonest people cannot take such sensitive data. The easiest way to know if the website you are visiting is protected by a data encryption service is the presence of a lock in your browser’s address bar.

Why use Such an Evocative Name for a Security Breach?

Heartbleed was chosen as the security breach’s name by the OpenSSL team because it affects a software extension called Heartbeat and it causes data leaks. By association with the name of the affected extension, these leaks can evoke bleeding hence the name Heartbleed.

Is this is a bit sensationalist? Perhaps, but given that this is a major security flaw, such a name raises people’s awareness regarding its dangers.

Heartbleed Logo

What is Heartbleed?

Heartbleed is a security breach that affects the OpenSSL encryption service in its 1.0.1 to 1.0.1f versions (other versions are not affected). It has appeared in 2012 without anyone knowing its existence and then discovered and repaired on April 7. However, for the breach to be repaired on a system using a version of OpenSSL affected by Heartbleed, an update must be downloaded. Since 2 out of 3 websites are using this software to encrypt their data, it is important that system administrators are aware of this issue to prevent confidential information from falling into the hands of unscrupulous hackers.

Several important websites such as Imgur, OkCupid, Flickr, Eventbrite and the FBI’s official website have confirmed that they were affected by Heartbleed.

What Kinds of Data can be Stolen Because of This Breach?

All kinds of data can be stolen because of this flaw. Some developers claimed to be able to exploit the flaw to retrieve Yahoo passwords and search histories from the Duck Duck Go search engine, an encrypted search engine popular with those who advocate the right to privacy on the Internet.

Going Forward

Now that this security breach was exposed, system administrators will not have the choice to update their servers and the websites running OpenSSL will again be completely safe. Meanwhile, people who need privacy in their use of the Internet and want to be certain not to be a victim of Heartbleed should wait a few days until the situation subsides, according to Tor Project.

For now, there is no evidence that confidential data was stolen by pirates when the breach was totally anonymous in impacted OpenSSL versions, but it is possible that such thefts have taken place. We will certainly know more in the coming days.

 

Source:

Kezber’s Online Recovery service website blog

http://onlinerecovery.ca/en/heartbleed-the-most-discussed-security-breach-on-the-internet/

 

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Kevin Proulx

One of the challenges that B2B marketing managers face is to make their product or service remarkable, even if the product or service in question is far from being sexy. In addition, they must also deal with a reality that differs from the majority of B2C companies which is to feed their company’s sales representatives with quality business opportunities. Although the reality of a B2B business is distinct from the one of a B2C business, nothing prevents a B2B company to build on what works in the marketing processes of a B2C business. In this post, I will share some strategies that are typically used by companies that cater to consumers that you can use for your B2B business strategies.

 

B2B companies should look at what B2C companies are doing

 

B2C et B2B

 

Provide as much information as possible to people, including your prices

Take a quick look at websites and brochures of companies that sell their products/services to consumers. You will find that they do not hesitate to put specifications sheets, feature lists, testimonials, etc. about what they are selling. You should do the same with your business.

A common practice among B2B companies is to put only partial information on the website and brochures since they heavily rely on sales representatives to determine the needs of their prospects in order to sell them the most appropriate solution possible. The role of representatives is important and necessary, but not providing access to all the information required to take a decision causes frustration to people and may end up wasting your representatives’ time. Indeed, there is a good chance that they will waste time with non-compatible prospects for budgetary reasons, for example. By displaying all the information available about your products and services on your marketing supports, your sales representatives will receive more calls from qualified prospects and fewer that equal time losses.

Let your qualified prospects try your products or your services

One strategy that is increasingly used in B2C is the free trial. Indeed, companies like Netflix (1 month free) and McDonald (during the free coffee promotion) understand the positive influence of free trials on their sales. What is better than to try a product before you buy it?

If this strategy works for B2C companies, why not use it in your business? Indeed, according to the product or service you sell, there is certainly an opportunity for your company to offer a free trial or a sample of what you produce. For example, if you provide consulting services, offer a free session to prospects that show interest. Once you have demonstrated your expertise, it will be much more difficult for them to refuse to sign an agreement with you later on. However, if you manufacture tangible products, handing out a sample of what you produce to prospects will ensure they can see for themselves that what you sell is top notch.

Make your business more human

If there is one thing that B2C companies succeed remarkably in is betting on the human aspect to establish a relationship with current and potential customers.

Google, Apple and other large companies regularly launch advertising campaigns that generate all kinds of emotions in people. Although it is more difficult to generate excitement among the population in a B2B advertising campaign, it is quite possible to promote the perks of your services and products for the humans that use them in your marketing initiatives.

In addition, being more human is not only done through advertising. It is also done in your company’s newsletter. In fact, you should keep in mind that your newsletter is sent to decision makers and not to the company at large. You should adjust its copy so it is written specifically for these people and in harmony with the branding you want to give to your business.

Take advantage of segmentation and cross-selling

Client segmentation and cross-selling are two techniques that are commonly used in B2C businesses’ marketing strategy. Use them to improve your sales.

Segmenting your clients will allow you to better understand and meet their needs. This will allow you, among other things, to create segments by:

-  The transactional behavior of your clients.

-  The messages you want to send to your clients. For example, you do not want to send the same message/promotion for an existing client as to a client who has told you about his intention to leave you.

-  The migration patterns of your client segments. This will allow you to start marketing programs intended for clients who have a high probability of leaving you.

Cross-selling, in turn, is a great way to increase your revenue from your current clients. To close such sales, you must first build a database in which you will find, among others, the various client segments mentioned earlier as well as any other relevant information about their company, their needs, what they buy from you, etc. Then, you must present personalized offers to each client for which you want to do cross-selling with. In this approach, you must have a very good understanding of the particular situation of each client to make him a relevant offer that suits its needs.

This ends this post on B2C strategies that you can take advantage of in your B2B business. Giving people as much information as possible about your products and services, letting qualified prospects try what you are selling, being more human and using client segmentation and cross-selling will make your business more effective. Do you use strategies typically used in B2C businesses for yours? If you don’t, have you been inspired to do so by reading this post? Tell us in the comments!

 

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What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is an IT architecture concept that is adopted by more and more companies for their general operation or the services they offer to their clients. To demonstrate the strength of this trend, it is estimated that the global cloud computing market will amount to $ 270 billion in 2020. It is a huge market that will expand even more a few years from now.

However, for most people, the concept of cloud computing remains abstract. In this post, I will discuss its various aspects to demystify what has become a must for IT companies, Kezber being one of them.

 

Cloud computing 101

 Image Cloud Computing

What is cloud computing and what are its origins?

Cloud computing is a way of using computer systems based on the principle of the cloud. Its architecture is divided into two sections: the front end and the back end.

The front end includes the clients’ computers or network as well as the application required to access the cloud. Clients can access it via the Internet to retrieve the data they need.

The back end, meanwhile, is the cloud itself. It consists of all the equipment that make a complete cloud computing architecture (computers, servers, data storage systems).

This is a general definition of this concept and I will define its characteristics depending on the type of services provided later in this article.

Regarding the origins of the cloud, its underlying concept, that is the ability to access data from a central source, has emerged in the 50s. At the time, some companies and universities were equipped with a mainframe to which ‘’static terminals’’ could access. These terminals were named this way because they had no internal processing power. The time-sharing practice of the CPU usage has appeared at the same time.

In the 70s, IBM offered this service (known as Remote Job Entry by IT workers) to its clients.

VPN (Virtual Private Network) launched in the 90s, is similar to cloud computing as we know it today except that it now covers the servers and the network infrastructure.

Finally, in the 2000s, the giant Amazon was the instigator of the worldwide movement towards cloud computing with the launch of Amazon Web Services in 2006.

As for the term cloud computing, its first verified mentions were made in a Compaq internal company document in 1996.

The consumers cloud computing market

Everyone has used a service based on cloud computing. Indeed, Google Drive, Gmail, Apple iCloud, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Skydrive, Hotmail and Dropbox are all services that use the power of the cloud. These services offer a Software as a Service type of cloud to its members.

Google Chromebook laptops and their operating system that require a constant Internet connection to be able to use all of its capabilities may give us an idea of what the future of computers and cloud computing holds. These affordable computers, which are far from benchmark breaking machines, have only the power required to run applications and services that work hand in hand with cloud computing. Devices like the Google Chromebook are not widespread yet, but this could change in the next few years as more and more consumers will use the devices and services that will require cloud computing to work.

The different types of cloud computing services

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Basically, in this type of cloud service, an IT services company provides a virtual machine service to its customers. Virtual machines, servers, storage, network and computing infrastructure are under its responsibility. Kezber’s hosted disaster recovery solution, Online Recovery, is an example of an Infrastructure as a Service cloud service.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

This kind of cloud computing is mostly used by clients to delegate computer calculations to the cloud. Web servers, databases and development tools are some examples of what you can do with Platform as a Service cloud service.

Software as a service (SaaS)

This is the type of cloud service that consumers are most familiar with. In this scenario, companies host services in their IT infrastructure and make it available to their clients through the Internet, often via a web browser. Email services, online games and social networks are some examples of possible uses of Software as a Service cloud computing services.

What are the benefits of cloud computing?

-  The ability to access your data, regardless of where you are in the world.

-  With cloud computing, it is no longer necessary for companies to buy the most powerful machines on the market. In fact, programs operate in the cloud and not on the machine with which the user is working, which means that the computers only have to be powerful enough to run the software that connects computers to the cloud.

-  Cloud service providers allow their clients to store their data in their own IT infrastructure, which eliminates clients’ concerns to find storage space for huge computer systems.

-  A computer system based on the cloud is simplified and homogeneous, which reduces instances of failures and generates savings in IT support.

In conclusion, cloud computing is a technology that is becoming more and more important in IT and it can help your business to operate more efficiently. At Kezber, we have all the necessary expertise to support your business in a transition towards cloud computing. Do not hesitate to contact us, it is with pleasure that we will explain you the most appropriate solution for your business.

 

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