Our Most Popular Managed Services

If you need help deciding what services are best for your business let us know.


Blog banner image

Info Advantage Blog

Info Advantage has been serving the Upstate New York area since 1993 , providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

NATO Officially Declares Cyberspace a Battlefield

NATO Officially Declares Cyberspace a Battlefield

Security professionals have been at war with hackers ever since the Internet was created, but a recent NATO decision has affirmed the fact that cybersecurity is a real-world problem, and one that needs to be fixed. Just like land, air, and sea, cyberspace has become a battlefield, albeit a very different kind of battlefield.

The decision by NATO declares that cyberspace can be defined as an “operational domain,” which is an area where conflict can occur. There have been some incidents of cyber attacks that have transcended from the cyber realm, to having effects in the physical world, such as the recent Ukrainian electrical grid hack, or the supposed Iranian hack of a United States dam control system. The idea is that hacking attacks can have direct effects, such as causing blackouts or turning off critical systems.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made a valid observation concerning the decision to add cyberspace to the list of operational domains: “Cyber defence is part of collective defence. Most crises and conflicts today have a cyber dimension. So treating cyber as an operational domain would enable us to better protect our missions and operations.”

Technology is so prevalent in today’s world that it’s practically impossible to imagine warfare, of any kind, that’s not assisted by it; and where there are technology systems, there are networks that can be hacked and taken advantage of. If data that’s deployed to bases or war zones is inaccurate, lives can be lost, rather than protected. Another example would be hacking critical infrastructure, like with what happened in the Ukraine, which left countless citizens without heat, electricity, and other necessities.

In particular, NATO plans on securing its networks and focusing on helping other countries secure theirs, as well as implementing ways to identify where attacks come from, and why. In 2014, NATO changed its policies on cyber attacks to allow NATO to respond in force to any attacks against nations that are involved with the organization, so defining cyberspace as a grounds for conflict shows just how quickly this situation is escalating.

Of course, all of this is easier said than done. Cyber security as a whole is still handled primarily on a state level, and while the US and UK plan on investing in cyber security, other countries find that it’s of low priority, or that it’s too far off to consider at this moment.

This decision by NATO should reaffirm that your business needs to take a cautious, proactive approach to network security, as well as leverage best practices in order to minimize risk while working online. If your business falls victim to a hacking attack, you’ll realize far too late that the online world is a dangerous place filled to the brim with malicious entities. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to take a preventative approach to network security.

Info Advantage can equip your business with the tools needed to keep your IT infrastructure safe. To learn more, give us a call at (585) 254-8710.

Continue reading

What’s With All of These Silly Memes?

What’s With All of These Silly Memes?

Memes are deeply rooted into today’s online culture. Thanks to the Internet, even the most absurd things can quickly gain popularity through social media and online forums. While they might seem silly and pointless, it would be foolish to dismiss them as wastes of time; especially considering how popular they are. If you are looking for a creative way to get your name and brand out there, why not try using memes?

The term “meme” was originally coined by a British evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Its official definition is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Dawkins initially used it to discuss the way that ideas and values are adopted by people within a society, but an Internet meme is somewhat different from the scientific approach (though the definition certainly suits the way a meme spreads around the Internet). While the evolutionary idea of a meme is based on sporadic and seemingly random change, an Internet meme defies this principle, often as the result of a “hijacking” of the original intended purpose of the image or video that is the subject of the meme.

To put it in simpler terms, think of it this way. Internet memes often take the form of popular images that were originally used somewhere else, like in popular culture, TV shows, etc. For example, the “Futurama Fry” meme takes a silly image of the show’s protagonist in deep thought, and uses it to explain confusion or indecision.

in blog meme 1

Another example is the “Matrix Morpheus” meme, which uses an image of Morpheus from The Matrix to discuss a revelation that, according to KnowYourMeme, “belittles futile or petty behavior.”

in blog meme 2

In fact, some memes are funny just because they aren’t funny. Take, for example, the “Anti-Joke Chicken” meme, which tells the beginning of a joke, and ends with a rather obvious statement, something that makes logical sense, or something completely unexpected.

in blog meme 3(It’s funny because it’s not funny)

Makings memes for your business isn’t difficult, and it’s free. There are many meme generators online that you can use to make memes. In order to effectively use memes for your business (or just pass them amongst your coworkers), keep the following rules in mind:

  • Stay relevant to your goods or services: If you want to use memes, you need to first figure out what theme you want it to follow. It should be aligned with the services that you offer.
  • Use the right image: Once you’ve figured out the theme for your meme, you can proceed to find the right image for it. We recommend doing some research and looking at examples of previously existing memes, but be warned; the Internet has many memes, some of which may be offensive.
  • Keep the audience in mind: Your memes should appeal to your target audience, especially if that audience consists of young people that frequent the Internet.
  • Be funny: At their very core, memes are meant to be funny and humorous. If they aren’t, you’re not doing it right.
  • Share it on social media: The point of a meme is to bring light-hearted attention to your brand and to be shared. You can do both by exposing it to many followers on social media.

For an example of how you might apply a meme to the real world, we’ve made this one using the “Disaster Girl” meme character:

in blog meme 4

Two things to note: 1) Get your point across by finding a meme that’s relevant to your goods and services, and 2) Use an odd combination of humor and terror to inspire action from the viewer. If you came across this on a social media page, would you snicker and give it a like? We hope so.

What are your thoughts on memes? Do you think they’re a waste of time, or do you think that they’re such a huge part of society that they can be leveraged for your organization? Let us know in the comments, and while you’re at it, be sure to leave your best memes.

Continue reading

3 Ways the Internet Makes Things Easier, But Not Necessarily Better

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_is_changing_everything_400.jpgDo you remember the days where you didn’t have the the Internet? Remember going to the library to research information, or using a phone book to find contact information for an important contact? These are only a few ways that the Internet has changed society.

Continue reading