5 Reasons Businesses Should Switch to VoIP

Posted by Tobias Eichenseer Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:17:00 GMT

Businesses strive to reduce operating costs whilst improving their mode of operation. Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offers a host of significant advantages compared to Public Service Telephone Network systems (PSTN), which is why businesses are implementing convergent speech- and data networks and VoIP systems. When using VoIP, voice traffic travels on the internet or over private data network lines, rather than being channeled across conventional commercial telecommunications lines. The benefits of VoIP include:

1. Cost-effectiveness
Probably the most striking advantage of VoIP is its ability to save on expenses.
For businesses, VoIP decreases the cost for equipment and effort, reducing labor and maintenance costs. The cost of long-distance phone calls can be reduced effectively with VoIP, in contrast to public switched telephone networks, which involve expensive international calls.

2. Increase flexibility

VoIP allows for management practices, such as teleworking, which are not possible with traditional phone technology. VoIP provides service and phone mobility, since the VoIP system can be used virtually anywhere, with the same company number, given that a broadband connection is available. This means that the user is not restricted solely to a fixed workplace, but can also work while travelling, for example. Using a headphone/microphone set connected to a computer system, a laptop can also serve to receive important customer phone calls.

3.More features
VoIP provides a number of useful features, which are, in addition to the standard features, associated with a traditional telephone system. Simultaneous communication with more than two persons is possible with VoIP; therefore this allows for online conferences with numerous persons at one go, decreasing travel costs. Other features include hold and unhold calls, support of several accounts, and call transfer ability, all of which are not possible using standard telephone equipment. VoIP feature upgrades normally require only bandwidth and software upgrades.

4. Intuitive Interface
The majority of VoIP systems use a web GUI, such that working with VoIP is rendered as easy as possible.
 
5. Security
Many enterprises are opting for VoIP on their own virtual private networks (VPN), benefitting from better security and quality than those that function solely over the public Internet. SSL VPN products provide security measures that can be used to protect the data traffic from unwanted access by unauthorized persons, both accidental and malicious, for all communications that pass over the Internet.

Making secure calls using HOBPhone
HOB RD VPN offers secure, flexible and comprehensive remote access to centrally stored company data and applications. One of the key functionalities of HOB RD VPN blue edition is HOBPhone. The Java-based SIP client HOBPhone easily connects to the enterprise telephone system without intensive software installation and allows for phoning from different locations worldwide via the Internet – and is completely comfortable and reliable. It is a secure, encrypted voice communication, thus calls are unable to be tapped.

Moreover, several user accounts can be used simultaneously, with a centrally configurable telephone book. The great advantage of the HOB solution: There is no need for an installation or administration rights on the client side. Worldwide connectivity for employees can thus be achieved quickly and easily. HOBPhone supports five accounts, whereby the user can make and receive calls from these five different lines. Voice conferencing with many persons from different accounts is made possible using HOBPhone, and one has the possibility to connect with exchange server for contacts. HOBPhone can be used with a Windows, Mac, or Linux operating system.

Readers, do you think that VoIP is the way to go for establishing secure business calls? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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4 Reasons Your Remote Working Strategy Is Not Secure

Posted by Tobias Eichenseer Tue, 03 Jun 2014 10:28:00 GMT

More and more, “work” is being defined as something people do, rather than the place people go. Today’s organizations are shifting away from the usual nine-to-five workday, and progressing towards the trend of remote working (also called telecommuting). Remote working enables organizations to gain a competitive advantage from higher productivity, better work-life balance and decreased costs.

However, IT teams frequently face several problems related to mobile workplace deployments. The most common pitfalls are:

1. Ignoring Common Threats
Security risks posed by malware have been on the top agenda of many security teams; however, a more frequent threat nowadays is mobile phishing. Phishing occurs when identity thieves collect user information such as name and password, Social Security number, date of birth, ATM PIN or credit card information, for use in committing fraud or other illegalities. Since it is more difficult to identify fake URLs on a mobile device, it is more likely that remote workers will succumb to a phishing scam, than their in-office counterparts.

2. Taking a One-Size Fits All Approach
Managing mobile device security is more limited, and normally exerts a level of inconvenience for users. For instance, mobile virtualization can allow users to work remotely without any data on their devices; however this may be overkill for the employee who simply wants access to corporate email.

3. Failing to Educate Users
As more organizations adopt the mobile workplace strategy, managing the employees who use mobile technology has become more arduous. IT teams should educate employees to participate in keeping corporate data secure.

4. Assuming Users will Follow Security Policies
The organization should draft, write and implement comprehensive and reasonable security policies to efficiently manage and protect information. IT teams should focus on protecting the company's highly-sensitive information assets, rather than the devices used by remote workers themselves. IT teams must also educate users on why it is important for them to follow the policies put in place.

For any business which has implemented a remote workforce strategy, or those wishing to deploy such a strategy, it is important that IT teams overcome these problems in order to protect the company’s resources.

If you would like to learn more about mobile workplaces, and find out which security issues need to be addressed, you can download our free eBook “How VPNs Help Providing Secure Mobile Workplaces”.

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Don’t Dig Your Car Out of the Snow! Work from Home!

Posted by Stefanie Kober Thu, 09 Jan 2014 14:55:00 GMT

Large parts of the US are being paralyzed by this year’s first blizzard “Hercules” - Happy New Year! With temperatures far too cold to get out of your house and thousands of cars being buried beneath masses of snow, having to go to work can be terribly annoying. You might even end up digging out your car from the snow, only to realize that it was your neighbor’s. In order to prevent this from happening, you have three options:

1. Call in sick.

2. Take vacation and try to catch a plane to a warmer place. Maybe somewhere like Iceland or just any other place on earth.

3. Work from home, if you are lucky enough to work for a company that allows you to access your workplace from home.

 

Although options 1 and 2 seem tempting, this blog article wants to concentrate on option number three. Working from home offers a lot of benefits to employees. You can more flexibly arrange your work-life-balance, save on time commuting to and from work and avoid distractions at your workplace (also, you don’t have to deal with blizzards on your way to work). For companies, home offices help save energy costs, offer their employees more flexible working hours and can secure business continuity.

Home offices seem great, but we have bad news for you. According to a study from 2012, the chances that you are able to work from home are rather low . The study found that, even though more and more companies are claiming to offer possibilities to work from home, the proportion of employees that actually work from home remained essentially flat between the mid-90s and mid-2000s. The authors found that in 2004 only seventeen percent of the working population worked for an average of six hours a week from home. Another statistic reports that in 2011 forty-five percent of the US workforce held a job that was compatible with at least part-time telework .

The good news is that the technology to enable employees to work from home is already there and ready to be implemented. At HOB, we offer various software products that can help you set up home offices. With HOB RD VPN, for example, employees are able to connect from any computer with an internet connection to company servers or their desktop computer in the office. The access doesn’t require any admin rights or installation on the client side, which makes it perfectly easy for anyone to connect with their workplace. Thanks to Wake-on-LAN, you can remotely turn on and off your workplace computer and save energy. Remote connections over HOB RD VPN are SSL encrypted, so you don’t need to worry about security issues. Since HOB products are only software, they can be easily integrated into any existing IT infrastructure.

As one can see, there really is no point in trying to fight Hercules. Instead, companies and employees should start implementing and using remote access technology to enable home offices.

Finally, please let us know how you and your work life have been affected by Hercules and what experiences you made with home offices. We are looking forward to reading your comments!

 

Sources:

M. C. Noonan & J. L. Glass (2012): “The hard truth about telecommuting.” In Monthly Labor Review

K. Lister & T. Harnish (2011): “The State of Telework in the US.“ http://www.workshifting.com/downloads/downloads/Telework-Trends-US.pdf

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HOB RD VPN Again a Finalist at Golden Bridge Awards 2013

Posted by Sarah Becker Wed, 21 Aug 2013 11:54:00 GMT

Golden Bridge Award Finalist 2013

 

For three years in succession, HOB RD VPN has been a finalist at the Golden Bridge Awards. The top-class jury has nominated HOB RD VPN in five categories as a potential winner („Access - Innovations“, „Cloud Security - Innovations“, „Network Security Solution – Innovations“, Remote Access Solution – Innovations“ und „VPN/IPSec/SSL - Innovations“).

The final winners will be announced on September 30th, 2013 in San Francisco. Till then we keep our fingers crossed!

You can find further information about the Golden Bridge Awards here: http://www.goldenbridgeawards.com/world/

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What Type of VPN is Best for My Small Business?

Posted by Sabrina Sturm Mon, 01 Jul 2013 08:37:00 GMT

Even in an office of 20 or less employees, a VPN is necessary for secure connectivity anytime, anywhere.  However, many small businesses don’t have an extensive IT department to make decisions regarding network security and remote access. By reviewing the basic types of VPNs and their features, a small business can easily decide which type of VPN is best for their needs. 

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN makes use of a web browser’s security capabilities to secure private network traffic. SSL VPNs are versatile and easy to use as they do not require the installation of specialized client software on the end user’s computer. This allows users to access solely specific application and services and is ideal for small business that want to provide, e.g., access to Web applications, Windows Terminal Servers and its applications or internal network connections. 

An Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) VPN is generally more suitable for static or long-term connections, e.g., for tying a branch office to the headquarter. Reasons lie in the fact that most IPSec VPNs require an installation of client software on the end device. Thus, every device of every user needs physically to be touched and managed. For this task, often specific IT knowledge is required. 

Both types allow you to remotely access network resources—providing a secure and private link to your network via the public Internet—but in different ways. Choosing the right one for a small business depends on the existing or anticipated network hardware and the type of users who need remote access to the applications and data on the network.

Because IPSec and SSL VPNs offer different features at the cost of security or convenience, HOB has developed a VPN that maintains the best features of each type. In contrast to other VPNs, HOBLink VPN Anywhere Client offers the advantage of installation-free SSL-based clients while maintaining the security of traditional IPSecs.

The installation-free feature of HOBLink VPN Anywhere Client is ideal for small businesses that don’t have the time or resources to manage every device connecting to the server. Furthermore, this type of VPN is not dependant on the network hardware, enterprises resources or the applications the users will need access to.

What type of VPN do you have a VPN for your small business? Does it function effectively? Please share in the comments below.

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Explore how VPNs Help Provide Secure Mobile Workplaces with Our E-Paper

Posted by Sabrina Sturm Tue, 11 Jun 2013 11:33:00 GMT

As mobile working becomes the norm, enterprises must develop and implement strategies that account for the wide range of devices and operating systems that employees use to access company networks. While creating a mobile workplace strategy, enterprises must also consider that access to critical data on a local network requires detailed IT security systems.

A new HOB e-paper, “IT Security: How VPNs Help Provide Secure Mobile Workplaces” shows enterprises how to addresses these challenges and create smart mobile workplace strategies.

The e-paper is now available for FREE download on the HOB website.

It provides key considerations when choosing an appropriate VPN solution and reviews the various types of VPNs. The e-paper also addresses key security topics and answers burning questions regarding VPNs, including:

  • The Benefits and Downsides of Mobile Workplaces -- What are the most common risks that enterprises face and which best practices help overcome these obstacles?
  • Developing a Strategy for Mobile Workplaces -- What are the most essential and mission critical aspects of a mobile workplace strategy?
  • Technical Approach to a Successful Mobile Workplace Realization -- What benefits and weaknesses must IT teams consider before selecting and deploying the optimal VPN for their enterprise?
  • Creating Best Practices that Will Maximize Employee Productivity -- Which best practices are the most effective in maximizing employee productivity?
  • Avoiding the Security Pitfalls of a Mobile Workplace Deployment -- What pitfalls do IT teams need to be aware of so that corporate data stays secure?

Click here to download your free e-paper.

How will the e-paper help improve your mobile workplace strategy? Please share your feedback in the comments below! 

 

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