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  • IT Technical Support: Protect Cybersecurity Research

    This entry was posted in Webhosting on by .

    Cybersecurity research and vulnerability disclosures must be protected. And to do so effectively, cybersecurity stakeholders and IT technical support professionals will need to work together in a more effective and efficient manner.

    UC Berkeley LogoThat’s the position taken in a recent report published by the University of California at Berkeley. The report, titled “Cybersecurity Research: Addressing the Legal Barriers and Disincentives,” is the result of a workshop held in April 2015, and convened by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which assembled diverse groups of computer scientists and lawyers from industry, civil service, and academia.

    Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley School of Information, as well as the UC Berkeley School of Law, the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, and the International Computer Science institute joined forces to publish the report, backed by a National Science Foundation grant. The report provides an overview of the challenges which are common to vulnerability research and disclosure – as well as specific recommendations for action and future research endeavors.

    Hurdles identified by the report include laws relating to the at-times inevitable disclosure of intellectual property when reporting vulnerabilities, as well as legal confusion, strong-arming, and political pressure.

    Two “immediate policy interventions” were adopted by the participants in the workshop. The first involved the issuing of a statement on the value of cybersecurity research and the negative impact posed by legal barriers. The second included participation in processes in which those barriers could be addressed, such as the triennial review of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by the Copyright Office.

    “The legal impediments to cybersecurity research arise from various sources, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the wiretap laws,” the statement says. “The impediments also arise from contracts and terms-of-service (the breach of which may expose one to criminal liability) that broadly prohibit modifications of devices or collections of data. As the urgency of the cybersecurity threat has grown, the inhibiting effect of these laws has also grown.”

    The report also recommends additional study into the cost of research barriers; guidance on the application of existing laws; clarification that even researchers not backed by a famous university demonstrate good intent through good practices; best practices for reporting vulnerabilities; and educating policymakers and the public.

    Just prior to the workshop that produced the report, a White House statement that the government had “reinvigorated” its vulnerability disclosure policies was questioned by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Stakeholders and IT technical support professionals will have to work quickly to improve the cybersecurity research environment to head off increasing attacks and vulnerability, as referred to in the report – even as industry titans appear unable to agree on best practices for disclosure.

    Here at Be Different Solutions, we are dedicated to helping you find IT technical support people who can help you put such safeguards in place. All of our talented, driven, professional people are located in one of our two Europe- or U.S.-based offices. They’re guaranteed to be highly proficient in conversational English.

    Contact us today to see how we can help you find the right IT technical support help!

  • The Many Things a Web Hosting Technical Support Specialist Does

    This entry was posted in Webhosting on by .

    Hiring an outside web hosting technical support team can be scary at first. You might not know how they are going to perform. You do not know how your customers are going to take the change. You might not even know what a technical support specialist does.

    Before you decide to go with our web hosting technical support staff, consider what our technical support specialists are able to do for you – and for your company.

    1. Provide 24-hour guidance for those customers that call with a technical support problem, question or concern.
    2. Always friendly, competent, timely and courteous to each and every customer that calls in – even if the customer is unfriendly, rude or mad during the chat or tickets.
    3. Our people are highly trained concerning the advice that they provide to each customer. They will know more than one way to solve the problem at hand. If they do not know the answer, they are knowledgeable and secure enough to ask a colleague or supervisor.
    4. We have many technical support specialists on hand at all times, so there is always a rotation that allows your chat or tickets to always be answered.
    5. Our people are great at working themselves, learning the material that needs to be learned from your company, and can solve problems without confrontation.

    We make sure to make your company and its performance our first and foremost priority. We understand that you want to make your customers happy. We also know that you value their commitment to your company. This is why we uphold a high standard of quality for each and every call that we take. Consider working with us for all of your technical support needs, and never have to stress about answering the phones again.

    No longer do you need a staff on hand at all times. You do not need to conduct interviews. Not when you make the valuable and versatile choice to hire a company that does all of this for you! It is simple, effective and provides you with the help you need without having to do all the legwork yourself.

    Ready to find out what our company is able to do? Speak with us today and learn more about the teams that we offer!

  • 24/7 Hosting NZ Fails To Live Up To Its Name – Thereby Massively Failing Its Customers (And Their Websites)

    This entry was posted in Webhosting on by .

    We’ve said it here at Be Different Solutions before. 24/7 Hosting NZ

    And we’ll say it again. 

    Be careful who you hire to handle and host your website. Be very, very careful.

    In the latest high-profile example of webhosting gone rather wrong, we have the case of New Zealand-based webhosting and domain provider 24/7 Hosting NZ.

    According to news reports, 24/7 Hosting NZ failed to live up to their catchy name in rather spectacular fashion – and more importantly, they failed their suppliers and customers on a rather profound level.

    One report said that 24/7 Hosting NZ was not available to both its suppliers and customers “for upwards of a month,” having gone into “hiding” – a disappearance that could result in thousands of its customers’ websites (and maybe their very businesses) also disappearing.

    A New Zealand-based report said that the helpless customers of 24/7 Hosting NZ have been left without the ability to manage their domain name registration and renewals, email hosting and webhosting services – and that the company is not responding to any support tickets.

    Unable to contact anyone at 24/7 Hosting NZ, webhosting provider Voyager (one of the shunned suppliers) has also been forced to stop providing its customers with domain services, which could lead to some people losing their domains as they come up for expiration.

    Clearly, now is not a good time to be a customer of 24/7 Hosting NZ. We’re guessing that the near future won’t be a lot better, either.

    This story greatly underscores the importance of utilizing a webhosting provider that is not only affordable, but also accountable. We’re not sure if 24/7 Hosting NZ lured a lot of its now disenfranchised customers and suppliers with the ever-alluring promise of low prices, but we’re quite confident that such a scenario is a strong possibility.

    Like anything in life, you get what you pay for. And if you’re going to put a key service like webhosting in the hands of an unknown outside provider, doesn’t it behoove your business to not only pay for quality work – but to also hire someone you know you can count on?

    Here at Be Different Solutions, we pride ourselves on being both affordable and accountable when it comes to technical support services. Not only would we never abandon or mislead a client, customer or supplier, but we never hesitate to respond to any and all technical support tickets – and always in a prompt, professional manner.

    Remember, no matter what services you’re contracting for your company, your online presence and portfolio are of the upmost importance in 2014. Don’t cut corners or go with someone before you’ve done your due diligence on them.

    And if you see any previous evidence of wrongdoing or poor performance – such as 24/7 Hosting NZ demonstrated back in 2011 – then certainly continue to shop elsewhere.

    The success of your business depends on the power of your people. And the people you hire to help ensure and insure your online presence.

    Make sure you choose wisely.

  • Owning a Company That Hires Technical Support

    This entry was posted in Webhosting on by .

    The following is a testimonial from one of our clients who was initially skeptical about hiring us on for the job. As you’ll see, however, that skepticism soon turned to appreciation for our outstanding efforts and performance on his company’s behalf.

    “Owning a company is a lot of work and, I admit, it is pretty demanding on someone that is running it. You have to make multiple decisions on a daily basis for the life of your company. If you do not make them, no one is going to. You have to choose how your customers interact with you, receive answers they are in need of answering and solve problems with their products. This is why I chose to work with a technical support team outside of the company.

    “I contacted Be Different Solutions so I could learn more about what it is that they do. I asked a lot of questions, probably too many, and they were all too happy to answer each of them for me. I was happy with the outcome of the phone call, so I decided to give them a try. They assured me that if I wasn’t happy, I didn’t have to use their service – which I thought was nice, since I am not bound to a contract until I was able to get a feel for how they did. They gave me 14 days free to test.

    “Once they started answering my client tickets, I couldn’t have been more happy. They made sure that problems were solved in a timely manner, and that each of my customers were happy as well. I hired them on full time after that, and haven’t looked back since.

    “I first hired them a few years ago, which means they have been going strong ever since. If you have a business, I urge you to give them a try. They are professional and provide a high level of service for any web hosting support needs you have.”

    Contact us to find out how we can help you with your web hosting business. We can easily provide you with some insight into the world of technical support.

  • Former Hostgator employee arrested, charged with rooting 2,700 servers

    This entry was posted in Webhosting on by .

    Host GatorAccording to a recent report by Ars Technica,a former employee of Hostgator has been arrested and charged with installing a backdoor that gave him almost unfettered control over more than 2,700 servers belonging to the widely used Web hosting provider.”

    The report goes on to state that the former employee, identified as 29-year-old Eric Gunnar Gisse of San Antonio, Texas, was charged with felony breach of computer security by the district attorney’s office of Harris County in Texas, according to court documents…He’s being held at the Harris County Jail on $20,000 bond, a spokeswoman at the district attorney’s office said.”

    One of the things we here at Be Different Solutions warn people who are looking for solid hosting options about relates closely to this unfortunate incident.

    And the moral of this and other stories like it is pretty simple, really:

    Never join forces with a hosting provider that doesn’t have local employees working at their offices – nor with one that doesn’t use a technical support outsourcing provider that insists and guarantees all employees work locally at their facility.

    A current cost-cutting trend for many of today’s hosting providers involves hiring remote staff from all over the world. Today’s technology has made it possible to effectively run a company without requiring your employees to work out of your office. Hosting providers can now hire system administrators from anywhere in the world, and grant them unfettered access to their servers to help manage them or provide support for their clients.

    At Be Different Solutions, we believe this is an irresponsible way to manage your support staff, and increases the risks of something like this Hostgator employee incident occurring.

    The difference here, however, is Hostgator employed him locally – and now he will have to face a court date. If this employee had been working remotely from somewhere like India, do you think he would face any justice? How would Hostgator even begin to charge someone with a crime that technically occurred in another country?

    In this case, Hostgator was able to keep close tabs on Gisse – and help bring him to justice once he was caught – precisely because they were able to monitor his activities on-premises.

    As the article states:

    “Having secret control over 2,700 servers inside a Web hosting provider is no small matter, considering each machine can be used for hundreds or possibly thousands of individual websites. But the alleged series of events also highlights the measures employers can take to keep tabs on rogue workers. Among other things, a desktop monitoring system that took screenshots of employee workstations in one-minute increments helped Hostgator officials quickly zero in on Gisse.”

    “Rogue workers” working locally or in a managed outsourced office provides for better accountability, ensures employees can be thoroughly vetted before employment and can be held criminally liable should they break the law. If you are looking for webhosting, ask your provider if they hire remote staff or if all employees work direct from their offices.


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