Spyware: The Silent Threat to Your Business

Are you the first line of defense for your business? Do you know what’s going on with your systems at all times? If not, you could be at risk for a silent attack that can incapacitate your business. Spyware is designed to stay hidden and collect information without the user knowing. It can access passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data, all without raising any red flags. According to a study done by Symantec, the number of detected malware variants rose by 62% in 2020 alone, so you need to ensure you’re properly protected against it.

So how do you protect yourself against it? To answer this question, we need to start at the beginning.


What Is Spyware and What Does it Do?

Spyware is a type of malware that is designed to steal information from your computer or mobile device. Spyware can be used to track your activities, collect your passwords and credit card numbers, or even spy on you through your webcam.  It can be dangerous to individuals, but it can also be very dangerous for your business, as it can lead to data breaches and loss of confidential information. This is why it’s critical to have a cybersecurity strategy in place to protect your business from these types of threats.

Types of Spyware?

There are many different types, but some of the most common include:


This type of spyware displays unwanted advertisements on your computer, which can be annoying and intrusive, but is not generally considered to be dangerous, though it can slow down your browser, crash your device, and sell your data to third parties to create targeted advertisements.



This is a monitoring type of spyware often used to track your location, spy on your activities, and collect other information about you without your knowledge. This type of spyware has been widely criticized due to its use by stalkers, abusers, and employers.


Browser Hijackers

This type of spyware changes your browser’s settings, such as your home page or search engine. It can also redirect you to malicious websites that try to install more spyware on your device.



This can infect your device without any interaction from you and works by trying to find weaknesses in a system and then breaking into the device without any input from the user. It uses a trial-and-error approach – it keeps trying to enter until it finds a security vulnerability in a program, operating system, or app.



These are malicious programs that masquerade as legitimate software in order to trick you into installing them. Once installed, they can be used to steal information or take control of your computer.



These programs record everything you type on your keyboard, which can be used to steal passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information.


How To Protect Your Business

There are several measures you can take to protect your business:

  • Keep your software up to date: Make sure that all of your software is up to date, including your operating system, web browser, and anti-virus software. Spyware often exploits vulnerabilities in outdated software to infect your system.
  • Install an antivirus programThis is a must-have for any business, as it can help to detect and remove spyware from your system. Make sure to keep the virus definitions up to date to ensure maximum protection.
  • Use caution online: Be careful about the emails you open and the websites you visit. Do not click on links or attachments from unknown sources, and be careful about downloading free software from the internet. Spyware can be spread through email attachments or by visiting malicious websites.
  • Install a spyware removal tool: Install an anti-spyware program that can detect and remove spyware from your system.
  • Use strong passwords and change them regularly: Spyware can often collect passwords that are stored on your system. Use strong and unique passwords for all your accounts to help protect your information and remember to change them regularly.
  • Use a firewall: A firewall can help to block spyware and other malware from infecting your system. It is important to configure your firewall correctly to ensure it is effective.
  • Work with an MSP: Consider working with a Managed Service Provider who can help you implement spyware protection measures and keep your systems up to date.


How to Remove Spyware

If it does manage to infect your system, there are a few steps you can take to remove it:

  1. Run a scan with an anti-spyware program like Spybot Search & Destroy or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. These programs can often find and remove spyware that other anti-virus programs miss. If the spyware is not found by these programs, you may need to manually remove it.
  2. Change any passwords that may have been compromised by the spyware.
  3. Run a scan with your anti-virus software to make sure that the spyware has been completely removed from your system.
  4. If this all seems overwhelming, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can take care of all this for you.


How a Managed Service Provider Can Help

If you’re concerned about cybersecurity threats like this, consider working with an experienced Managed Service Provider (MSP). An MSP can help relieve the pressure of managing your IT systems by providing expert guidance and support. MSPs can help you protect your business in several ways.

  • MSPs can help keep your software up to date and patch any vulnerabilities that could be exploited.
  • Second, they can perform regular security audits to identify any potential vulnerabilities in your system.
  • Third of all, they can provide you with anti-spyware software and spyware protection and help you configure it properly.
  • Finally, a Managed Service Provider can help you develop a plan for what to do if your system does become infected with spyware.

Spyware is a silent threat that can have serious consequences for your business. By taking steps to protect your business and remove it if it does infect your system, you can help keep your business safe from this threat. A Managed Service Provider can be a valuable partner in helping you protect your business from spyware and other cybersecurity threats.

If you have any questions on how to protect your business, please schedule a call with us. We would be happy to help you keep your business safe from this threat.

A Beginners Guide to Penetration Testing

How Penetration Testing can Improve your Company’s Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is becoming more and more critical in our modern world. According to techjury.net, 64% of companies worldwide have experienced cyber-attacks in some form. Most organizations are vulnerable to internet terrorists, but many are not aware of this vulnerability. Testing a company’s security systems is critical. This is where penetration testing, or ethical hacking”, comes in. 

Many different benefits and types of “pen tests” exist. Each serves to improve security within a company and provide new confidence, no matter how big or small your system may be. A secure network is the best network for your team to work with daily.

Luckily, Edge Networks is here to help. By performing a penetration test, we would be able to improve your organizations cybersecurity posture by performing real attacks to simulate what a real attacker could do in your system. By doing this, Edge Networks can assess the risk of a potential security breach in your company, and give you the tools to resolve these risks before it’s too late.

What Is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing, also known as ethical hacking, is a technique that uses the simulated launch of cyberattacks on a system to seek out weaknesses. Its purpose is to target issues with the system so that better security can go into the system. There are also a few other things a pen test does.

 For a system, a penetration test can also:

  • Test the variety of security, posing it with varying challenges and angles of attack
  • Check compliance of your system with regulations from organizations like HIPAA
  • Examine reactions to security threats within the company

All are valuable to a system and can save a lot of trouble as cybercrime continues to increase.

Pen testing is an organized attack that can reveal vulnerabilities that are difficult to see any other way. There are a lot of benefits you will find if you decide to utilize a penetration test on your organization’s security system.


What Are the Benefits of Penetration Testing?

Several benefits come with utilizing penetration testing within a system. Before investing in a penetration test, it’s vital to know what it will do. There are many aspects of penetration testing, and it’s critical to know about each one.

Some of the best benefits include: 

  • Revealing of vulnerabilities
  • Hacker prevention, even as technology improves
  • Improved environment for the company and security system
  • Data protection, even in the worst attacks
  • Assisted security obligations

These are all excellent for the future of your system, helping to improve it and make it more secure to protect the vital data sealed within the computer.

Below, we’ll dive a little further into each of these benefits so that you can better understand what they bring to the table in terms of security improvement. Keep learning to understand what a pen test can provide for your organization. Each one will add to the confidence you have in the system that protects your company.


Penetration Testing Reveals Vulnerabilities

Penetration testing reveals vulnerabilities that exist within the system through careful poking and prodding by a trained expert. It exposes weak spots that thrive both inside and outside the system, allowing your team to figure out how to better your security system. Pen-testing is one of the most thorough things you can do to improve cybersecurity.

Without penetration testing, it can be hard to see where you’re lacking in terms of defense. Pen-testing can help you tremendously in narrowing down what’s wrong with your system. It can also prompt a discussion on what can be done about the threats you face.


Penetration Testing Prevents Hackers

Essentially, penetration testing is like simulating your security system. You get to see how your defense measures stack up against a threat that breaches your walls. As mentioned above, penetration testing reveals weaknesses and holes that cover your system both inside and out. You can prevent hackers with this information by covering these up.

There is nothing more beneficial than running a simulation. You get to see your IT infrastructure in action without having to worry about an actual cyber security threat. By watching how your infrastructure handles the prodding of the pen-testing, you can move forward in your mission to keep hackers out of your critical system.


Penetration Testing Improves the Environment

With improved security comes increased confidence. Once you’ve fixed your security threats with the help of penetration testing, you can feel satisfied with the defensive measures you have created for your company. Confidence leads to an overall better space to work in, no matter which field of work you occupy.


On top of improving your environment, you will also mature the overall environment of your security system. In a time where everything is growing and adapting at seemingly the speed of light, you want something that is up to date with all that is going on in the world. A penetration test can assist with that and make it happen.


It Protects Data

The biggest problem with cyber security threats is the exposure of sensitive data. As a company, infiltrating and stealing data is one of the worst things that could happen. Not only is it dangerous for your company and customers, but it can be a costly issue to deal with on your time. One hack can set you back months in spending and work.

A penetration test can help you better prepare to keep your data safe. Once you know your problems and have taken care of each of them, as discussed above, you can feel more assured that the crucial information within your system is safe. Safe data means a safe company, and it also means you can feel more secure in what you do every day as a company.


It Assists Security Obligations

Finally, a penetration test can assist your company by helping it to comply with standards set in place. Often, it can be tricky to keep up with the rules and regulations of a system. A penetration test can reveal where you’re lacking and give you a nudge in the right direction.

Getting a penetration test done reveals the strength of your company’s system and your willingness to improve it for the sake of your consumers. It can help you steer clear of the fines you could be charged with if your security measures do not meet the strict standards required by companies like PCI, HIPAA, and FISMA.


What Types of Pen-Testing Are There?

When you’re looking into penetration testing, you might notice several different types within the overarching penetration testing label. It’s vital to understand some of the main types so you can pick one that will work best for the system your organization utilizes the most. This knowledge will give you a jump-start on creating the safest system possible.

According to tutorialspoint.com, there are three types of pen-testing on the market. These include:

  • Black-box testing: Black-box testing is most often the least expensive of the three. The tester doesn’t know what kind of system they’re dealing with. The hacker is only out to find information.
  • White-box testing: While-box is a little more thorough, as the tester receives more information before going into the test. It’s a complete simulation of a cyber security threat.
  • Grey-box testing: Grey-box is right in the middle of these two. The hacker gets some information about the system, but not all. This represents an external hack as opposed to an internal one.

Each of these serves a different purpose in a computer system and comes at a varying price point. It’s up to you to determine which you think will benefit your system and which price point is the most practical for what you need to do.

 Now that you know about the different types of penetration testing, you can narrow down which one you think your company needs the most. Read more about each one before deciding which will work best for your particular situation, as each one examines a different reaction point within your system.


Who Benefits from Pen-Testing?

Anyone can benefit from pen-testing, but those who benefit the most rely on their organization’s system for everything they do. Without access to technology, they would be shut down. Penetration testing is critical at locations that run off of an internal system, as one threat could destroy the entire system.

According to alpinesecurity.com, three of the industries that benefit most from penetration testing include:

  • Healthcare: This group includes hospitals and doctor’s offices.
  • Service Providers: This group includes those that provide services such as the internet to users.
  • Banking: This group includes banks and the systems within them, as data is critical and confidential. Protection is crucial, and standards must be kept up.

Though many companies may benefit from penetration testing, these three will in particular, due to the intricacies of their network.

Penetration testing is often required in these industries, and even if it’s not, it’s something that should be completed routinely. A pen test can prevent severe and expensive damage caused by cyber security threats. As time goes on, cyber security costs will only go up as technology advances.


What is the Difference Between Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Scanning?

Vulnerability scanning is another pair of words that describe an action used to check for vulnerabilities within a system. They may sound like they’re the same, but several differences come between these two items.

The items that set penetration testing and vulnerability scanning apart include:

  • Automation: A penetration test is conducted by a real person, while a vulnerability test is an automated scan by a machine.
  • Scanning versus looking: A vulnerability scan scans for weaknesses, while a penetration test probes and tests the system in action.
  • False positives: Since a vulnerability scan is automated, it’s more likely to surface false positives than a penetration test is in a run-through.

These aren’t drastically different, but they’re just enough to distinguish the two from each other in the world of online security.

If you want to be extra safe, you can invest in a vulnerability scan and a penetration test. One will search for vulnerabilities, while the other will probe your system and test for weaknesses within your defense. They vary in price depending on the intensity of the service given.


Why is Penetration Testing Important?

It might seem like penetration testing is an optional examination for a system, more like a check-up than a requirement. However, while it’s true that you don’t have to get a penetration test, doing so will be a huge benefit to your cybersecurity system. There are a few reasons why it’s so vital to get your system checked on as much as you can. 

Penetration testing is critical for any system because:

  • It determines weaknesses: Pen-testing finds weaknesses within the system’s defense and helps companies work out ways to fix them.
  • It raises confidence: With a stronger security system comes confidence as a team. You know you are better equipped to face the ongoing technological threats in the online world, both internally and externally.
  • It ensures effectiveness: Penetration testing also tests the effectiveness of systems in place, revealing if they’re working or a waste of money.

All of these will keep your organization up and running, even amidst the worst attack. Penetration testing is one of the most critical things you can do to ensure your security is up to the standards it should be for your company.


According to legaljobs.io, only 5% of company folders are adequately protected from an outsider threatening the system’s security. If you’ve never gotten a penetration test for your organization, it’s never too late to experience one for the first time. Reach out to see how much one will cost for your company or system.



If you feel your organization’s computer system could benefit from a security test, a pen test is one of the best ways to go. This controlled method sends in “white-hat” workers who poke and prod at what you have in place until any vulnerabilities appear to them. You have an actual person helping you.

Penetration tests do a lot of good. They reveal weaknesses, test policies in place, and protect data, among other things. There are many different types of ethical hacking, so you can select a test that works best for the system you have. In a world where cybercrime is rising, testing your system for vulnerabilities is more critical than ever.

Are looking into getting a penetration test to improve the security of your company? Edge Networks can help! Schedule a call with us or take our free, self-guided IT Security Risk Assessment

Understanding PrintNightmare: a Print Spooler Vulnerability

PrintNightmare: Understand and Overcome

In June of 2021, Microsoft issued a warning entitled “Windows Print Spooler Remote Code Execution Vulnerability.” This vulnerability, known as PrintNightmare, leaves the print spooler open for a hacker to attack by allowing anyone to remotely install a printer ‘driver’ with the ability to execute malicious code and take complete control of a PC. The attacker could access data, create new accounts, and destroy users’ accessibility to their devices.

This is an ongoing issue. While there has been a security update from Microsoft addressing this vulnerability, it is not perfect, and many devices are still at risk. We will discuss ways to mitigate the problem and keep devices safe from this vulnerability. By following the steps in this post, you will be better equipped to handle these attacks and reduce the probability of becoming the next victim.


What is the Print Spooler?

The print spooler service is a software program that manages any print jobs that need to be sent to a printer server. In many cases, Microsoft relies on this program for the organization and control of its devices. It is an essential program for anyone needing to print, and it keeps the print jobs organized and in order. While the print spooler is a practical and often necessary tool, it can also be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands.

Some of the most basic functions of a print spooler include:

  • Managing the files that are in the process of printing on the device
  • Monitoring the files that are in the process of printing on the device
  • Keeping everything in order and organized as the items print

Most Microsoft machines have the print spooler system automatically enabled, and many do not think twice about it when activating their device for the first time. After all, when hackers are not attempting to break into it, it can be a very beneficial (and often necessary) tool.

Since its original release, there have been few maintenance updates on the print spooler. It was this lack of improvement that could have left it vulnerable to hackers and attackers. However, in July 2021, Microsoft issued a security update addressing this vulnerability. They are recommending that users install these updates immediately. After all, you do not want to be the next company with a data security breach.


Understanding the PrintNightmare Vulnerability

The PrintNightmare vulnerability first appeared in a June 2021 release by two research teams. It was so named because of the versatile nature of this weakness across a variety of different products. Recently, the PrintNightmare shifted from ‘low’ severity to ‘critical’ severity. Users need to be aware of this as it grows worse.

To fully understand this vulnerability, it is important to be familiar with the print spooler and how attackers can use it to their advantage. This issue is a critical flaw that may need to be handled in-house while Microsoft works towards finding a permanent solution for all users. Otherwise, the system could be taken over by hackers. 


What Are the Vulnerabilities in the System?

Two central vulnerabilities lie inside of the print spooler system. Each serves as a different attack point for a hacker trying to find a way into vulnerable devices. It is critical to understand each of them so that you know the weak points that they target.

The core vulnerabilities include:

  • Local privilege escalation, ensuring that a hacker who gets into a computer with low privilege can elevate to an admin level on the device
  • Remote code execution, which can allow the systems to be weaponized either locally or by using a domain controller

These vulnerabilities can offer power to the attackers that allow them to take over many systems at once. 


How Can Hackers Use This to Their Advantage?

It can be a little bit difficult to understand what hackers can do with access to a print spooler. This device’s only job is to manage printing items and does not seem like it would be very threatening. It is a program that many people overlook, yet hackers can pose a massive threat if they gain access to this software.

This threat includes:

  • Hackers gaining access to sensitive information
  • Manipulating private and personal data to their advantage
  • Installing malicious programs onto the device

These are just a few of the things that can happen if an attacker gains control of a system through the print spooler. It can be a massive invasion of privacy.


How to Mitigate PrintNightmare

Since the security update addressing this issue was released in July 2021, the best practice for mitigating the problem of PrintNightmare is to install this update. However, this update may not completely eliminate the threat of PrintNightmare. Some systems are not able to install the update, and it can cause issues with some printing devices. Because this update is not perfect, there are other options that can reduce the threat, depending on the devices operating system.

Option 1: Disable the print spooler service on your device.

Taking this action will stop hackers from being able to access the print spooler, and therefore stop them from being able to access data. However, this action would also disable to ability to print completely.


Option 2: Disable the option for print spooler to accept client connections.

Taking this action will prevent remote printing operations, which will remove the attack vector. This means that remote printing will no longer be possible (though printing locally to a directly attached device would still be possible).

These workarounds are not ideal, because the print service will not be able to be used in the way it was intended, if at all. However, the alternative could be losing access to the device altogether due to an extensive attack. Again, the best practice would still be to install Microsoft’s security update addressing this issue. However, because this isn’t an option on all devices, we will go over how to implement these workarounds.


Disable the Print Spooler on Windows 10 Home Edition

If unable to install the security update, the print spooler on every single vulnerable item in the workspace can be disabled. Any device that has a print spooler can be hacked into and potentially pushed into other devices. Follow each of these steps carefully so that you don’t have to start over again.

Once all of the items are prepared, you should enact the following steps:

  • Open the Start Menu
  • Type ‘PowerShell’
  • Pick ‘Run as Administrator’
  • When asked if you want to allow the app to make changes to the device, answer yes
  • Type ‘Stop-Service-Name Spooler – Force’ and push enter
  • Type ‘Set-Service-Name Spooler -StartupType Disabled’ and push enter. This will keep the spooler from starting up again when the computer is rebooted.

This sequence should disable the print spooler on devices containing the Windows 10 Home Version and a few other varieties. If you have the Windows 10 Pro or the Enterprise edition, there are a different set of steps to follow to disable the print spooler. 


Disable the Print Spooler on Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise Edition

If you have Windows 10 Pro or the Enterprise edition, the print spooler will need to be disabled using the group policy editor. This method only works for those two systems.

To disable the print spooler, you will need to:

  • Open the run box by using ‘Win + R’
  • Type gpedit.msc
  • Press enter
  • Wait for the Local Policy Editor to open
  • Type ‘Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Printers
  • Click ‘Allow print spooler to accept client connections’
  • Click ‘Disabled’
  • Press ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’

These steps should effectively disable the print spooler on the printer and other devices that operate under these programs. If it doesn’t work, double-check that you have followed all the instructions completely. 


Can You Enable the Print Spooler If Needed?

Enabling the print spooler again might become necessary if a print job is required. This action might seem intimidating, as it could potentially reopen the systems to hackers. However, enabling it for a short period of time should be relatively low risk. 


Enabling for Windows 10 Home Edition

To enable the print spooler again after it has been disabled, there are a few steps that can be followed. On the device:

  • Open the Start Menu
  • Type in ‘PowerShell’
  • Pick the option ‘Run as Administrator’
  • When asked if you want to allow the app to make changes to the device, answer yes
  • Type ‘Set-Service-Name Spooler-Startup Type Automatic’ then hit enter
  • Then type ‘Start-Service-Name Spooler’ then hit enter

This sequence should enable the print spooler again. If the security update has already been installed, this can remain enabled. If it was disabled temporarily for the ability to print, it can be disabled as soon as the printing process is finished to ensure the device is protected. 


Enabling for Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise Edition

Just like with disabling the print spooler, a group policy editor is needed to enable the print spooler on Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise Edition. This specification is critical to note, as this will not work for other versions.

To re-enable the print spooler on these devices, these steps should be followed:

  • Open the run box using ‘Win + R’
  • Type gpedit.msc
  • Hit enter
  • Type ‘Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Printers
  • Click to allow the print spooler to accept client connections
  • Pick ‘Not Configured’
  • Press ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’

This process should successfully enable the print spooler on these devices. As with the other method, this can remained enabled if the security update has already been installed. If not, it can be disabled until the next time it is necessary to print.


Will this security update completely eliminate the PrintNightmare problem?

As previously mentioned, the best practice for reducing the PrintNightmare issue is to install the security update. However, the update is not flawless. There is a long way to go until PrintNightmare is completely eliminated.

The July Emergency update:

  • Only worked on a few select devices, leaving the others just as vulnerable as before
  • Caused issues for users attempting to print to various printers
  • Affected receipt and label printers that connected with USB

This update has its flaws, which can affect any Microsoft device. Future patches in development will likely be able to fix the issues that the current update has. Hopefully, this comes in the next few months. Until then, users that are still vulnerable should disable the print spooler for the safest results.

This is just one of many ways that your company can be targeted and data can be lost. If you’re looking to be more proactive in your cybersecurity, we’ve created an outline of five critical components your incident response plan should have. Read more about it below.


Moving Past PrintNightmare

The PrintNightmare situation is a wake-up call for those unaware of how vulnerable the print spooler can be. Hackers can easily lock themselves into the system and change data belonging to the user. They can then make use of the device remotely or through a computer elsewhere.

This is dangerous for users who are not aware of this problem. With the knowledge you read here, you should understand how to mitigate the issue until the issue is completely resolved. If you’re unsure of whether or not your network is secure, take our free, self-guided IT Security Risk Assessment, or contact us today for a free, 30-minute consultation.

For all you Star Wars fan out there – this is a meme summary of the seriousness of the attack.


5 Ways to Make Cloud Computing Work for You

For many, “the cloud” is a familiar term, although many struggle to describe what it really is. Loosely, the cloud can refer to any number of servers accessed via an internet connection. Some people are familiar with the concept that it is a data storage center, but they aren’t aware of much more than that.

Recently, the need for more services that fall under the umbrella of cloud computing has grown. There are numerous ways to use cloud computing to your advantage, but there is undoubtedly a cloud computing service you can use regardless of your needs.

data stored in cloud fact

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a way to utilize computing services via the internet in any number of ways. These services are offered by a number of businesses and are becoming commonplace in business. It’s estimated that the market growth for cloud computing services well over doubled from 2016 to 2022 (see Figure 1).

To understand how to make cloud computing work for you, you’ll need to understand what services you need to utilize the cloud.

rapid growth of cloud computing chart

Common Services Available via Cloud Computing

In addition to the simple file storage applications that most people are acquainted with, there are scalable services available from many vendors that allow businesses to tailor cloud computing to their individual needs. So, whether you only need access to a specific application or need assistance with all aspects of your computing needs, there is a service in mind for you.

File Storage and Data Backup

These two services often go hand-in-hand, and it’s hard to talk about one without the other. File storage and data backup are two cloud computing services that most people are familiar with, with companies like Google and Dropbox offering storage services. These cloud computing services have been available for years, and most people have utilized them in one way or another.
Data backup is where file storage can become something more than simply storing documents. Data backup services often offer guaranteed protection of your data, shielding them from viruses, unexpected data losses through hardware failure, and encryption to protect them from prying eyes. In addition to this, the data backup process is often automated, needing no oversight from a person, whereas backing data up on an external drive would need supervision.


Infrastructure-as-a-service, or IaaS, is another common cloud computing service and is often identified as one of the most used types of cloud computing services. IaaS is the utilization of a vendor’s service and storage, networking services, and data centers. When choosing to use IaaS, you’ll still be responsible for the applications and tools that your computers will be using, as well as their operating systems.

IaaS is a great way to save on expenses for the necessary hardware to run a business, like servers, storage, and networking. So if you are looking to save money on capital costs when starting a business that needs these things to function, IaaS is the best choice for you.

Platform as a Service

Another common online cloud computing type is platform-as-a-service, or PaaS, which allows businesses to utilize environments to develop, test, and manage the applications that they are working on. Software developers often use PaaS services to help avoid the costs associated with developing a new application.
Using a PaaS service allows users to avoid having to pay for operating systems, servers and storage, networking resources, and data storage. The only thing that the user is responsible for is the code for the application being developed.

Software as a Service

While most people are familiar with file storage and data backup services, most are also patrons of some sort of software as a service, or SaaS. SaaS is the utilization of cloud-based applications or software. Email services fall under this category, and most people have an email address, meaning that they have used a SaaS service.
Other instances of SaaS services include monthly subscription-based programs, like Office 365 or the Adobe Creative Cloud. When using a SaaS service, you are responsible for nothing but paying for access to it, if needed. The vendor is responsible for the application and development of it, the operating system, servers and storage, networking resources, and the data center. It is often more cost-effective to pay for subscriptions to a cloud-based application than to pay for the licenses needed for each computer in a company. SaaS is an excellent way to save money and is easily scalable to fit the client’s needs.

Data Analytics

All businesses have some sort of data analytics needs. We live in the digital age, and businesses are constantly collecting data. Analyzing this data is crucial and often more demanding in terms of resources than the initial collection of the data. Cloud computing allows businesses to access the resources that vendors have to process power, making the analysis of large data sets a simple task rather than something that can take a large amount of in-house resources.

Typically, these services are on-demand and affordably priced, allowing companies to allocate funds to other company needs. The money that would have traditionally been spent on the hardware necessary to process these large datasets stays in the pocket of the business, with only a small percentage of it being paid to the vendor, which can make a world of difference in terms of budget.


What are the Benefits of Utilizing Cloud Computing?

While there are many benefits to using cloud computing services, here are the five most relevant to business owners and what makes cloud computing work for you.

1. Cost

No matter how you look at it, using a cloud computing service allows the user to save money. These savings are almost always associated with the initial hardware costs to set up servers and data centers and the required human resources. When using cloud computing, vendors provide the physical aspects for most computing needs and the IT expertise to keep them running smoothly. While the services offered are still paid for, they pale compared to the cost of setting up similar services in-house.

2. Performance

The high performance associated with cloud computing services can be attributed to the vendor handling all of the hardware related to the service. These vendors often have access to a network of high-performance data centers and computer hardware, allowing for faster processing times and, in turn, quicker computing than an in-house data center would.

3. Speed

The services offered by a cloud computing vendor are bound to be faster than in-house operations. The services they offer are preset and on-demand, ready-made for their clients. Even if the computing is complex, the system is typically set up for such computing, allowing the client to avoid the need to allocate resources to resource-heavy operations.

4. Productivity

Many, if not all, cloud computing services are prone to automatic updates and scheduled patching or maintenance. The vendor taking on these services allows any in-house IT staff to avoid meager tasks like software or application updates, leaving them to tend to more important matters that the client is responsible for. Additionally, these updates are seamless and meant to keep the client on the most recent product or service available, meaning that they won’t fall behind as software updates. This is a problem with purchasing individual licenses as opposed to paying for cloud computing services.

5. Security and Reliability

Cloud computing vendors understand the importance of keeping data safe, which causes them to implement numerous security features into their services. Keeping your data protected is one of the best ways to keep your costs down, as any sort of breach is costly. Additionally, these vendors are reliable, as they understand the responsibility they have to keep your data safe from loss. Often, if there is data loss, disaster recovery is more manageable than if it were to happen in-house, as they can keep the data backed up in several locations at any given time.

The Future of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a market that most, if not all, businesses cannot get away from. The required costs to initially set up all of the needed hardware and networking resources for a business can be higher than what is feasibly affordable, but many vendors have stepped in to fill the needs of these businesses. Their presence on the market allows businesses to avoid these initial costs and reduce the necessary hours for IT in-house. 

Cloud computing services are entirely scalable and applicable to all businesses. Whether you need access to office applications or an entire infrastructure to get your business started, there is an option available to you via cloud computing. It really comes down to your individual needs and determining what options are best for you.

At Edge Networks, we’ve made many of our clients ’ transition to the cloud easier and more secure. Contact us today for a free 30 minute consultation.