When picking an IT-managed service provider, the terms and acronyms that come with choosing that provider can get overwhelming. Tekscape is a national-based IT managed service provider to manufacturing, educational facilities, law firms, and financial firms. Besides offering these services to these businesses, we also want to make sure our clients stay well informed about those services. In today’s article, we are going to explain the meanings of five different IT acronyms we use, what they are and what they mean.

DDoS Attack (Distributed denial of service attack)

A DDoS attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt the traffic of a server. This is done by overwhelming the target server or surrounding infrastructure with a sudden amount of internet traffic. DDoS attacks are particularly effective because they use multiple compromised computer systems as a source of their attack traffic. These computers or devices are often infected with malware that allows the device to be controlled remotely by a hacker. When you get a group of these infected devices together, it is called a botnet.

Once a botnet is established, the hacker can send remote instructions to each of the devices. When a server is selected to be attacked, each of the devices on the botnet will send requests to the target’s IP address which will cause the server to become overloaded. The result is a denial of service to the traffic that the server is meant to receive. When our network engineers are diagnosing a DDoS attack, we look for the following signs.

• Substantial amounts of traffic coming from a single IP address or IP range.

• Traffic from users who have a single behavioral profile, location, or browser type.

• An unexplained jump in requests to a specified page or endpoint.

• Traffic patterns that spike at unusual hours of the day or traffic that spikes too frequently.

DNS Attack (Domain name server attack)

A DNS attack can occur in several different ways, but a common one is that cybercriminals will redirect a user to another site for nefarious purposes. With this redirect, the attacker will use phishing techniques to obtain sensitive information such as banking logins or credit card numbers. This type of attack is also known as DNS poisoning or DNS spoofing. Another name for it is man in the middle attacks because of the nature of how the attacks are executed. Recently researchers uncovered a new way that attackers are performing DNS attacks. This method called SAD DNS (side channel attacked DNS) uses a side channel to inject a corrupted DNS record into a DNS cache.

DNS tunneling is another type of DNS attack. DNS tunneling transmits information through a DNS protocol that usually resolves network addresses. A normal DNS request only contains the information to communicate between a client and server. When a DNS tunneling attack occurs, an additional string of data injected into the pathway. The data establishes communications that can bypass firewalls and filters. This allows the attacker to gain control and command of the device or extract sensitive data. This data is broken into smaller pieces while being moved through the DNS and then reassembled on the other end. The following is a list of how Tekscape prevents and mitigates DNS attacks.

• We examine your entire DNS architecture. Making sure you have a secure network requires awareness of your business’s entire DNS setup. Internal IT employees may not have the visibility to see problems because of DNS silos, orphaned zones, and shadow IT.

• We regularly monitor DNS queries and response data. By logging in and monitoring outbound and inbound queries, there is a higher chance that you will detect dangerous anomalies. We also collect response data that provides information that allows us to perform a more thorough forensic analysis.

• We strengthen servers from hacking and tampering through access controls and other enhancements. We can also tighten access to your domain registrar by enabling multi-factor authentication and implementing a registrar lock service to get your permission before changing DNS records.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

SaaS is licensing in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. SaaS is also known as on demand software and web based/web hosted software. SaaS is a big part of cloud computing and allows users to connect and use cloud-based apps over the internet. All underlying infrastructure, middleware, app software, and app data are located in the service provider’s data center. SaaS allows your organization to get up and running quickly with minimal upfront cost. Tekscape offers SaaS with its email and application security.

DRaaS (Disaster recovery as a service)

DRaaS is a cloud computing model that allows a business to back up data and IT infrastructure in a third-party cloud computing environment. DRaaS allows the resources and orchestration for rapid recovery in the event of a disaster. Disaster recovery is not limited to natural disasters; it also includes cyberattack disasters, equipment failures, and loss from power outages. DRaaS works by replicating and hosting servers in a third-party vendor environment.

Here are some ways that Tekscape manages DRaaS.

• We plan and back up your data to the cloud to prevent service interruptions. Any type of service interruption can be costly. Corrupt files, accidental deletion, and natural disasters are becoming common, and we reduce the headache that these problems will give you by backing your data up to the cloud.

• We have a recovery plan that is scalable, private, and reliable. When disaster strikes, we can provide virtual desktop support, virtualization, storage, and secured recovery. We ensure privacy and reliable support when the time comes for that recovery.

VDI (Virtual desktop infrastructure)

VDI is a technology that refers to using virtual machines to manage virtual desktops. VDI hosts desktop environments on a centralized server and deploys them to end users on request. In VDI, a hypervisor divides servers into virtual machines that host virtual desktops. Users can access these desktops from any device or location. They can also connect their desktop through a connection broker which is a software-based gateway. This acts as an intermediary between the user and the server. VDI has become immensely popular from the remote work environment in the time of COVID 19.

There are two types of VDI: persistent and nonpersistent. With persistence, a user connects to the same desktop each time and can personalize it for their needs since changes are saved even after a connection is reset. Desktops on a persistent VDI environment act exactly like a physical personal desktop. With non-persistent, a user will connect to a generic desktop and no changes are saved. Non-persistent is often simpler and cheaper since there is no need to maintain the desktop between sessions. It is commonly used in organizations with a lot of task workers or employees who perform repetitive tasks.

Tekscape offers virtual desktop infrastructure in any environment. Benefits include:

• Boosted productivity: Gain every business application and data needed for the job.

• Lowered IT costs: Save overall costs when having your VDI managed for easy deployment.

• VDI enables users everywhere: Adapt to the changing needs of an increasingly flexible workplace.

• It secures sensitive data: Protect private company information from any location.

UCaaS (Unified communications as a service)

UCaaS is a cloud delivered communications service that supports phones, instant messaging, unified messaging, meetings, mobility, and communication-enabled business process. VoIP (voice over internet protocol) is also a fundamental component of unified communication. UCaaS is usually adopted by companies that want to give their workforce unified communication and collaboration tools. Providers of UCaaS often manage things such as security, backend configuration, and phone functions. It also allows a company’s workforce to work remotely with apps on their computers and mobile devices.

There are two types of UCaas architecture, the single tenancy approach or the multi-tenancy approach. With single tenancy, the customer receives a platform that integrates with on-premises applications. Single tenancy is considered more dependable since its data is kept separate from other customers. Multi-tenancy customers share a single software platform. Multi-tenancy is viewed as more cost-effective with more support and redundancy. The software is hosted in the UCaaS provider’s data center, and the provider will provide will facilitate software upgrades. The downside to multi-tenancy is that it is less customizable and flexible than the single tenancy approach.

There is an option to take a hybrid approach which will keep applications on-premises for security and or management reasons. Businesses may also choose the hybrid approach to allow their current systems to reach their end of life before transferring them to the cloud environment. Tekscape offers UCaaS and there are several reasons to use it.

• Flexibility and scalability

• Secure communications

• Better customer experiences

• Higher productivity

Check out our quick guide to UCaaS here.