Most businesses need a mix of different software applications to run efficiently in the modern world, including niche specialized software. Almost every business will need a combination of tools like HR and recruiting software, accounting software, and project management software. Some businesses will need applications like design software, or something that can calculate dimensions for manufacturing.
Clearly, when shopping for a specific type of software, you’ll have to look for specific features. But generally, what are the most important qualities to consider in your decision?
The Most Important Features
These are some of the most important features to look for in any software you’re buying for your business:
- Core features. First and foremost, you’ll need to think about the core functionality of the app. What is it that the app does? And is it capable of fulfilling your needs? Before you can answer these questions, you need to know what your needs are. What is it you’re trying to accomplish? Are you trying to do something more efficiently or document an important process? What are the limitations of this app, and do you have a way to get around them?
- UI/usability. Next, you’ll need to think about the app’s user interface and overall usability – especially if there will be lots of people using it. UI/UX design is about more than just making the app pretty; it’s about making sure the app is intuitive and easy to use. Ideally, a person should be able to figure out how to use the app with just a few minutes of poking around. If the screens are cluttered or poorly designed, even a good training session is going to leave people confused about what to do.
- Training and education. Even with a great UI, it’s possible that your employees will need some guidance before using the app effectively. That’s why it’s important to look for an app with built-in education and training options.
- Modularity and integrations. How modular is this software? Is it possible to integrate it with other apps or expand its capabilities in the future? This may or may not be a priority for your business.
- Customizability. How flexible and customizable is this software? Some businesses want to do a near-complete rebuild, tailoring the app to suit their needs exactly. Others prefer something out of the box, with no customization or forethought necessary.
- Speed and technical efficiency. How technically efficient is this software? Does it load quickly and respond to your inputs instantly? Is it relatively bug-free, with talented developers who can patch bugs shortly after they’re discovered?
- Update roadmaps. The software should work well immediately, but there should also be room for updates in the future. Does this developer intend to continue supporting the software for years to come? Are they planning the release of interesting new features, or do they at least have a plan for better security updates?
- Dedicated customer support. What happens if you or one of your employees experiences a problem? Do you have a dedicated customer service rep who can answer your questions and provide you with resources? Will this company work to help you achieve your goals?
- A critical differentiator. Chances are, there are dozens, or even hundreds of competing companies with products that serve the same function. It’s a bad idea to find one option and stubbornly stick with it; instead, you should review the competition and see what else is out there. Before making a final decision, you’ll need to find some kind of critical differentiator. What is it that makes this app better than the others? Does it have more features? A lower cost? Better customer reviews?
- A reasonable cost. Finally, you’ll want to look at the cost. An app may have everything you need (and everything you want), but if it’s going to cost a fortune to subscribe to it, it may not be worth the investment. That’s not to say you should make this decision frugally; oftentimes, you get what you pay for, and paying a bit more is warranted. But you also don’t want to drain the budget on something that isn’t perfect.
Tailoring Your Decision Process
While these features will all be important considerations for almost any software your business needs to buy, it’s important to customize your approach for your own specific needs and priorities. For example, are you working with a strict budget that makes cost your number one priority? Or are you willing to pay extra and make compromises to ensure your app is highly customizable? The “right” software will look different to different businesses, so make sure you’re familiar with your goals before launching your search.
Why your website should always have DDoS protection
Over the past decade, websites have become increasingly important for businesses. In fact, businesses without a website often find it difficult to grow outside of their local customers. A website can help businesses reach a greater demographic and number of customers. In some cases, websites can go global and reach millions of customers around the world.
Since a website will be dealing with such a large number of customers, its security becomes a prime necessity. A website that isn’t safe to use will almost certainly be a target for cyberattacks. Cyberattacks can cripple websites and make business websites vulnerable and unsafe for customers.
Maintaining a safe website is very important. Many businesses have lost customers because they weren’t able to maintain the security of their websites. There are various ways to create a safe website. The easiest is to comply with HTTPS. However, most modern websites automatically comply with these rules.
HTTPS is not perfect. It does make your website secure, but your website is still vulnerable to cyber-attacks. One of these attacks is DDoS. DDoS attacks can completely cripple your website and put your user’s sensitive information at risk. In this article, we will discuss what DDoS attacks are and how DDoS protection will help you protect your website.
What is a DDoS attack?
A Distributed Denial of Service attack is a malicious attack that attempts to disrupt the normal working of a server by overwhelming it. In simple terms, a DDoS attack aims to cripple your website’s server and overwhelm it by flooding it with fake Internet traffic sent across from hacked devices. These devices are unsuspecting computers with botnets installed that can send out thousands of server requests every second with the aim to cripple your perfectly fine website.
How do DDoS attacks work?
To pull off a DDoS attack, the attacker infects internet-connected devices with malware that can remotely be controlled by them. They then use these malware to send multiple requests to a particular website’s server, slowing it down and, in severe cases crippling the website.
Since DDoS attacks are carried out through malware on random remote computers, it is near impossible to locate the source of these attacks as they disguise themselves as normal traffic. However, there are some ways you can detect if you are being targeted by DDoS attacks.
The simplest way is through traffic analytics tools. These are some telltale signs that you are being targeted:
- Abnormal traffic surge
- A lot of traffic originating from the same IP address or range
- Unexplained traffic surges on particular web pages
- Unnatural traffic patterns; for example, traffic surges every 15 minutes
Protecting against DDoS attacks
DDoS protection is very important for a business website. Business websites often deal with a lot of sensitive information from their customers. If afflicted with a DDoS attack, a website can be weakened and can even stop working.
The main goal of DDoS attacks is to cripple your user’s access. It is really harmful to your customers’ user experience. When your website server gets hit with a DDoS, it is also vulnerable to other attacks, and DDoS is often the entry point for other incriminating attacks that can be used to steal user information.
It is crucial that business websites are protected against DDoS attacks. DDoS attacks also target the mission-critical business applications that your organization relies on to manage daily operations, such as email, salesforce automation, CRM, and many others. Additionally, other industries, such as manufacturing, pharma and healthcare, have internal web properties that the supply chain, and other business partners rely on for daily business operations.
Here’s how you can protect against DDoS attacks:
- Know your audience: Use traffic analysis tools and learn the traffic patterns around your website. Know where your visitors are from and know what times they usually use your website.
- Have a cybersecurity team in place: Keep a team ready to respond to DDoS or other cyber attacks to protect your website. Treat DDoS attacks as catastrophic incidents and be prepared for them at all times.
- Security measures: Restrict access to your servers for everyone except the people working with them. Even on your website, keep access restricted to non-administrators.
- Use CDNs: For business websites with worldwide clients, a CDN is a great way to mitigate a DDoS attack. CDNs cache your websites on localized servers, limiting damage to the geographical source of DDoS attacks and protecting your main server automatically.
- Understand the warning signs: DDoS attacks have certain symptoms. The erratic traffic pattern, network slowdown, increased load times, unexplained shutdown, etc. are dead giveaways for DDoS attacks. Use these warning signs in case you are being attacked and shut down the source asap.
If you are a small business, try creating your website with a reputable website building software. Website building software often have built-in DDoS security measures and CDNs that automatically protect your website from such cyber attacks.
The good news is that DDoS attacks form a significant part of all cyber attacks. Almost 60% of cyber attacks are usually attempted Distributed Denial of service attacks meaning that your cybersecurity becomes significantly easier if you can protect against DDoS attacks.
DDoS attacks are a significant threat for a business website. It is even more significant if your business is in the financial industry. Between 2017 and 2019, 40% of all financial institutions were hit by DDoS attacks.
They survived because they had planned DDoS protection as a part of their disaster mitigation planning. The second most common targets for DDoS attacks are online eCommerce stores and more. Both financial and eCommerce websites tend to deal with a customer’s critical financial information.
An unprotected website would crumple under a powerful DDoS attack and might end up losing crucial customer data. Protect your website with DDoS and keep your customer’s information safe and never lose your website traffic. Get on with it today!
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