Wireless Drones

From virtual reality headsets to potentially self-driving cars, technology has produced some crazy cool innovations in recent years. And it’s not stopping anytime soon! You could probably find a new article everyday about a technological advancement. One neat gadget that has increasingly been gaining attention are wireless drones.

What are wireless drones?

As the Internet of Things defines, a drone, formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems (UASes), is basically an unmanned aircraft. You could also call it a flying robot. Both work. Check out the picture for this blog – that’s a drone.

These drones don’t just fly on their own though. They can fly one of two ways. One way is autonomously through software-controlled flight plans. These are programmed into their system and use onboard sensors and GPS. Another way they fly through remote control. Remember that toy plane you had as a kid that you controlled with a remote control? It’s just like that, except these drones are the adult version.

What are they made of?

Since drones are aerial devices, they’ve got to be light. They consist of light composite materials which reduce their weight and make it easier to maneuver. They’re also pretty high-tech, containing high-tech infra-red cameras, GPS, and lasers. Where are all of these located on that compact design? In the nose! That’s where all the sensors and navigational systems are. If you’d like to learn more about the technical aspects of a wireless drone, click here.

What are they used for?

Originally, drones were used in the military for target practice and as weapon platforms. Now however, drones have become increasingly popular and accessible with civilians. What do they use them for? Well, for fun of course! And also commercially, which is a growing field.

In the recent years, wireless drones have gained quite a lot of commercial attention. Mainly, in photography. With a drone’s ability to fly and maneuver around, you can capture all kinds of images and videos from breathtaking heights and angles. For example, think of a wedding, or a cruise, or hiking up a mountain. There’s only so much you can take with a selfie stick. A drone will let you see the world in new, fascinating ways.

In addition to photography, The Mercury News lists the following ways Southern Californians have been using drones:

  • Examining the health of crops
  • Surveying electric wires, pipelines, railroad tracks, dams, and canals for damage
  • Monitoring the progress of construction projects
  • Making maps and movies
  • Recording events
  • Exploration into hard-to-reach areas

Amazon is also considering using drones to deliver its packages. Google and the Chipotle Mexican restaurant have actually begun using drones this fall by delivering burritos to students at Virginia Tech. Imagine how delivery services will change if this turns out to be successful.

Complications

Of course, rarely has a new invention gone smoothly right off the bat. There are always difficulties. For example, there have been numerous instances where drones have interfered with helicopters or planes. This can be very dangerous for a helicopter fighting off a forest fire, or a plane trying to navigate. Because of this, on August 29, 2016, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) began issuing drone-pilot licenses to commercial operators. This is separate from those that just own drones as a hobby. The FAA also laid out certain rules for those that own drones. For example, the drone must remain within the visual line-of-sight of the one controlling it, you can’t fly the drone under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle, you can only fly it in the daylight and twilight times, and it has to yield the right of way to other aircrafts.

Potential for the future

Even with these complications, wireless drones are only getting better and improving day by day. Their potential for commercial is very promising. As with all technology, there will undoubtedly be a few bumps in the road, but if you can overcome them, it’s smooth sailing from there!

We know a thing or two about technology here at Cognoscape LLC. Contact us and we’ll keep you up to date on all the technology your business could ever need.

The Future of Wireless Solutions

With our rapidly expanding development all over the world, technology has reached a level of amazing complexity. Some of it is confusing, but most of it is created for our benefit and convenience. One of these creations is wireless solutions. Wireless has the potential to revolutionize industries by adding flexibility and capability. It will not be far into the future when wireless becomes as widely adopted as traditional wired networks.

Since its original creation at Xerox Parc 40 years ago, ethernet has been the primary method of communication in fields such as office, retail, and residential. However, as wireless communication becomes more advanced and refined, that dominance is wavering.

From the photophone with Alexander Graham Bell in 1880, to the first public use of the term “wireless” with the radio, wireless solutions have come a long way. Because of these advances, we now have technologies such as various types of radio, GPS, Bluetooth, mobile phones, laptops, wireless mouse, headphones, keyboards, printers, WiFi, satellite television, and more. The capabilities of these solutions are widely recognized.

In fact, in 2005, the ISA100 committee formed to establish a set of standards that would define requirements. With representatives in around 250 companies across the globe, the committee’s role is to foster the development of wireless technology, enhance its integrity, and promote its uptake. The ultimate goal is improving user confidence. These standards want to provide a framework that offers secure and reliable wireless operations. Basically, wireless are a big enough deal to be noticed globally. It is also becoming more mainstream. How many of those technologies that we listed above do you own at home?

As for the future, it looks bright. 802.11ac, a supercharged version of the highly successful 802.11n was recently released. 802.11n provided the wireless connectivity speeds that businesses needed to embrace Wi-Fi in their day-to-day operations. It also let workers begin using wireless as their primary network medium of choice. 802.11ac is much faster, and delivers speeds ranging from 433 Mbps (megabits per second) up to several gigabits per second. To achieve that, 802.11ac works exclusively in the 5GHz band, uses plenty of bandwidth (80 or 160MHz), operates in up to eight spatial streams (MIMO), and employs a kind of technology called beamforming that sends signal directly to client devices.

802.11ac was released in 2 waves, and as you can tell, the speed of wave 2 is unmatched. This level of wireless advancement offers many benefits, two of which are freedom and flexibility. If you have multiple wireless access points, remote installations can spread over wide areas and into hard-to-reach locations. This contributes to the modern office wireless movement that has been spreading across the nation. In contrast, traditional wired infrastructures are more complicated, expensive, and difficult to employ and maintain.

With these advancements and the convenience that comes with it, it won’t be that long until wireless becomes as widely adopted as more traditional wired networks. Don’t let your business fall behind – make the switch. We can help you out. One of the unique things Cognoscape does is provide customers with a custom IT roadmap. We tailor it to help businesses succeed, and our technology roadmap keeps clients up-to-date on all the latest IT trends in various sectors of the industry (like network security, relocation, regulatory compliance, and cloud computing). If you want your business ahead of the global pace, get in contact with the best IT security and IT support in Dallas, Texas!

Zombie Apocalypse Prep, Part II: Utilizing IT Tech in Survival

It’s happened. Your worst fears have come true – the dead are reanimating, and they have one thing on their rotten minds: having you for their next meal. The world as you know it is gone. Power is out everywhere. You’ve managed to survive so far by sealing yourself and your team up in your office.

But there are loved ones out there you and your people must reach. Your office barricades are effective but weakening. Also, your food and water supplies scavenged from within the office are growing thin. You and your group MUST leave the office and brave the streets. What will you do? Here are a few tips on how you can utilize your now non-functional IT tech to prepare yourself for the journey.

Use Your IT Tech – Flat Screens Make Reasonable Shields

While you have hardly returned to the age of chivalry, the idea of a shield does sound appealing when faced with the alternative of the undead chomping into a bare arm. Remove the stand and the cord (but save it for later) and punch two holes within the screen all the way through the back. Use duct tape or cloth to strap the screen to your non-dominant arm. Now, when a creeper tries to maul you, you can give it a face full of flat screen to gnaw at while you use the weapon in your other hand to finish it off.

Routers Are a Great Diversion/Melee Weapon Combo

Before you and your team head out on your journey, grab a router or two and throw them in your bag. If you find yourself with a herd of walkers blocking your only path, pull one out and snap off the antenna (if it features one). Then, hurl it well off to the side. Thrown routers tend to make an enormous amount of noise when the hard plastic shell hits the pavement. The creeps will hear it and start shambling toward it, and away from your escape route. Also, if one of them happens to see you as you pass by, use that antenna to ventilate his noggin, then scramble away to safety.

Cognoscape’s Zombie Apocalypse Prep Series Will Continue

Who knows when or if it will ever happen? But when it does – and if it happens during work hours – you’ll know what to do, thanks to your Cognoscape survival training. In the meantime, why don’t you stock up on the latest defense and weaponry items the IT tech world has to offer? Talk to Cognoscape, and we’ll devise you a plan . . . but it will probably be an IT support plan, as it’s the best way to bide our time . . . until . . .

How Often Should You Be Doing Pen Testing?

When it comes to penetration testing, the most frequently asked question we get is: “How often should we do one?” The other question, unfortunately, we receive almost as often is, “Pen testing? What’s that?” Knowing your network also means knowing how often you should be testing the penetrability of your network security – because if you’re not testing its vulnerabilities, it’s very likely someone else will be.

Most Only Do It After an Attack

There are some companies out there who have never had a pen test performed, or at least can’t remember the last time. If that’s the case with you, that’s not nearly often enough. These companies often don’t even learn about “pen testing” until after they’ve been breached. At that point, the damage has been done, and the hacker likely left some unsavory gifts behind in their wake. In this event, first and foremost, your network must be purged of all malware or any lingering viruses. Next, your network security must be taken up several notches – only then should you begin your pen testing. It’s likely at that point, you’ll begin formulating a schedule for regular pen testing.

Even Regulatory Compliance Doesn’t Make It Hard

If you’re covered under PCI DSS (credit) compliance regulations, even they aren’t that demanding about pen test frequency. They usually only require pen testing to be performed once annually. That’s not often, and really well under what you should be doing to keep an eye on your security. Even your dentist tells you to come in for two cleanings a year. Shouldn’t you be at least as frequent with your network security as you are with your mouth security?

To Be Honest, Frequency of Pen Testing Depends on Your Company

No two companies are the same, and by that token, each should be judged on their own needs. It’s advisable to receive a professional evaluation from network and cyber security experts, such as Cognoscape, and listen to their recommendation. The answer you may be ultimately looking for is this: you should have a pen test performed as often as your IT consultant advises you to.

Understanding the Mind of a Hacker

 

In the information age, hacking is the new burglary. Skilled hackers are capable of compromising your security, stealing your information, and engaging in any number of fraudulent activities from the safety of their own desk. Individuals, businesses, and even government agencies are regular targets. One of the best ways to protect your business and shore up your cyber security is to go inside the mind of a hacker. Take a look at your cyber security – as if you were trying to breach it.

Simple Errors are Easily Exploited

Just like many burglars skip houses with home security signs in the front yard, most hackers will opt for easy targets. They will pass up targets which appear to have strong, legitimate cyber security in place. By this very basic action, you can make your business significantly safer.

For example, you and your IT consultant can take steps to ensure your network can only be accessed by employees. Furthermore, as hacking becomes significantly easier with password access, require your employees to change their passwords every sixty to ninety days as a safeguard against cyber snooping. When websites ask you to include a seemingly ridiculous amount of numbers and figures in your password, their motives are pure. Passwords should be as random as possible, as those with personal significance is always riskier than something random and impersonal. If you or your employees struggle to remember longer passwords,keep track with a password management program.

Your employees should also be trained for web scamming & phishing awareness. Phishing is the act of impersonating a legitimate entity on the web in order to gain trust and personal information from a target. Hackers have become more and more talented at this, trapping many unsuspecting victims. When a popup window offers you a free iPad for the 27th time, it’s pretty easy to recognize it as a scam. However, when a perfect impersonation of a trusted website asks for your credit card information, it can easily fly under the radar.

Cyber Security Professionals are Best Equipped to Combat Hackers

DIY network security solutions are certainly helpful and may work for personal use, but as your business grows, it’s smart to enlist professional help to insulate your business from cyber threats. Hackers are innovative and crafty by nature and have learned to change methods on a daily basis. The best way to deter a hacker is to have a specialist on standby to counter his or her every move. An IT company such as Cognoscape works round-the-clock to combat hackers and shield businesses from new threats which may emerge. Cognoscape can also integrate professional deterrence strategies into your current network architecture, turning your network into a fortress.

Advancements in technology are made to make our lives easier. But each advancement presents hackers with new opportunities. Without professional insight, there might be numerous gaps in your cyber security for a hacker to exploit. We’d rather not let that happen. Drop us a line. We’d love to sit down with you to discuss all the things we can do together to keep your network safe and secure, and your business strong and prepared for the future.

Staying Ahead of Cyber Attacks

Technology is a giant juggernaut ameba growing and evolving at an exponential and unstoppable rate. Trying to keep up with just everyday tech can be overwhelming. What iPhone number are we on now? And what exactly is a ChromeBook, anyway? Keeping up with the Joneses is one thing; staying up to date with and ahead of cyber attacks is a monster all its own. It seems like every week another company makes national headlines for falling victim to a cyber attack. Yours doesn’t have to be one of them.

Stay Proactive

Cybercriminals are always learning, adapting, and evolving new ways of cracking cybersecurity. Staying proactive with your approach to cybersecurity is the first step towards getting ahead of potential cyber attacks. Fortunately, Cognoscape can help you take an active approach to security. We can help you create a Technology Roadmap to plan for the future and stay ahead of whatever those pesky hackers think of next. We can help train you and your employees on how you can strengthen your daily workflow and what precautions you can be taking with each email and keystroke.

Use the Buddy System

If the Joker stepped into your server room and started tinkering around, you wouldn’t go in there alone. You would light up the bat-signal to call Batman. Don’t face cyber attacks alone. Buddy up with a Cognoscape consultant. Our consultants have years of experience staying up to date and ahead of the technology driving cyber attacks. You will be able to focus on the core of your business, while we race ahead of the latest cybercriminal technology to protect your company’s most precious digital assets. Your consultant will be there by your side to help create a custom strategy on how to best fend off and recover from whatever comes your way.

Don’t risk your company’s future by tackling your network security alone. Contact us today to start putting together your Technology Roadmap.

 

 

Security Precautions During a Zombie Apocalypse

Why would a company take the time to develop security measures for a zombie apocalypse? Because it’s not about IF it happens, but WHEN it happens. No one likes to think about the end. But those who survive are the ones that came prepared. Implementing security throughout your business might seem slightly daunting, but don’t let others misinterpret your mindfulness with paranoia. Take our advice – here are a few security precautions to implement to prepare for a zombie apocalypse.

Zombie Security

Protect Sensitive Data

The zombies will break into your business and end up eating everything or everyone. This means you need to ensure that your data is secured outside of your enterprise You must conceal your most valued information. If you have financial records, employee identification information, and financial accounts that are securely stored, then you ensure a dedicated line of protection is in place.

Secure Server Rooms

Lock yourself in your server room if the zombies are coming, and there is no where else to run. Head for the room with the highest levels of security. Your server room should have a login for those who enter and exits the room. With a dedicated surveillance camera to keep visual sights on those monsters, you should be safe – for now.  
Security measures need to be taken seriously unless you want your business to be infiltrated. The very best IT organizations report spending 6-8% of their budget on security. That is going to have to double in the short-term to counter the threat of the surveillance state, just to account for the deployment and management of encryption everywhere. If you need help planning for a zombie attack or a cyber attack, allow us to help you protect your network from breaches. Who are you going to call? Cognoscape!  

Pokemon Go: Global Craze or Huge Security Risk

If you see people, adults and kids alike, walking around town with their eyes locked on their phones – chances are, they’re playing Pokemon Go. The game, which was released on July 6, has been a massive success. It’s been downloaded millions of times, already overtaking the dating app Tinder, and set to shortly overtake the social network Twitter.

Using augmented reality technology, Pokemon Go fuses the real world and digital world together, allowing you to see and catch virtual Pokemon alongside real-world objects right from your phone screen. For instance, a Doduo could be peeking out from a tree just outside your house.

However, due to the app’s immense popularity, users have experienced problems such as crashing servers, freezes, and delays. On top of that, security issues have been raised. According to Adam Reeve, the principal architect at the cybersecurity analytics firm RedOwl, when users sign into Pokemon Go using their Google account (instead of registering for an account), they risk granting the game access to their entire Google account – allowing the app to see and modify nearly all the information in your account.

In response to the security issues, Niantic Labs, the company that developed the game for Nintendo, said the app’s request for full account access was a mistake. In fact, they’ve addressed the security concerns with a new update that is live in the app store.

The update fixes some security bugs that stops the popular app from requesting full access to your Google account. Now the game will only ask for basic information such as your name and email address. The update also promises more stability and patches such as:

  • Resolved issues causing crashes
  • Fixed Google account scope
  • Trainers do not to have to enter their username and password repeatedly after a force logout
  • Added stability to Pokémon Trainer Club account log-in process

Fixing the Security Issues Ahead of the Update

To revoke the full account permissions access, Pokemon Go users should go to their “My Account” Google page. From there, navigate to “Connected Apps and Sites” under “Sign-in and Security.” Then select “Manage Apps,” click on the Pokemon app, and select “Remove Access.”

Why You Need a Security Consultant

There is a growing concern within the IT security industry. According to Forbes, IT Security Industry To Expand Tenfold, “This $60 billion industry researches, develops, and sells firewalls, anti-malware, authentication, encryption, and 80 other categories of products. With each advance in the threat level represented by hackers, cyber criminals, and cyber spies there has been a new batch of vendors which come on the scene to counter threats that bypass previous technologies and spending has increased.” The article goes into further depth about how little attention and investment has gone towards an organization’s security. Security budgets are projected to double in order to make up for the underdevelopment of security measures. This new wave of precautions will shape the way IT security is measured and mapped out. Don’t let your company be exploited – instead, take advantage of the fastest growing industry by investing in an IT security consultant.

Security Consultant Moves You Forward

Make the right move forward with a security consultant. Your IT security consultant will be able to determine the most effective way to protect your company’s networks, software, data, and information systems against potential threats. They will take the much needed precautions in interviewing staff and heads of each department to determine their specific security and authentication protocols. They can prepare cost estimates and identify integrated issues for your project managers, and will also plan, research, and design robust security architectures for any IT project.

Cognoscape Puts You First with Our Security Consultants

The more responsibility you give your IT security consultants, the better they can respond to security-related incidents and provide a successful and thorough event analysis. This is the time to make the right strategic investments in IT security consultants. If you are looking for a better way to protect your company’s technology, contact us today!

Government Stance on Information Technology Security

President Obama and his administration are talking technology. Obama is taking the time to weigh in on his observation on the exponential growth and acceleration in the tech world. The president recognizes technology as an important factor which has driven our economic growth. The Obama administration is committed to ensuring America has a thriving and growing Internet economy, and takes a stance on information technology security.

Positive Thoughts for Information Technology

Information technology is the systematic process implemented to measure systems constructed to securely protect and safeguard information –business and personal data, voice conversations, still images, motion pictures, and multimedia presentations. The Obama Administration has publicly declared their encouragement of Internet innovation, protection of consumer choice, and the importance of defending free speech. The Administration created the Internet Policy Task Force to bring together the technology industry, consumer groups, and policy experts to help ensure the Internet stays reliable and trustworthy for consumers and businesses.

President Obama has declared that “cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation” and that “America’s economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cybersecurity.” To help the country meet this challenge and to ensure the Internet can continue as an engine of growth and prosperity, the Administration is implementing the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. The Administration also released the International Strategy for Cyberspace to promote the free flow of information, the security and privacy of data, and the integrity of the interconnected networks, which are all essential to American and global economic prosperity and security.