Every business model relies on Information Technology at the face of it. Whether it is for business transactions, advertising or technical support and development. The fact is, any business has some sort of IT function. At the rate technology increases, every IT professional has to play catch-up with the next buzzword or slang, now what about the rest of us?
Here is a list of 10 IT terms every business owner should know. However, don’t be surprised if by the time you finish reading this that it’ll be outdated!
Here are the 10 things every business owner should know.
10. IoT – Internet of Things
Internet of things can be summed as anything that’s connected to the internet. So when someones says IoT fridge, or IoT thermostat, you’ll know those things are connected to the internet. The best thing about this type of device is the ability to control it from anywhere in the world. On the other hand, if these devices aren’t secured, they give hackers a doorway into your business!
For anyone interested in picking the best IoT device, the best place to start is checking what it’s security is. A simple google search result in many reviews by professionals and customers that will give you an insight if it’s worth it to implement in your business!
Alright I know what you’re thinking, but give me a chance to sell you the idea that a database is not just an excel sheet. Are you still here? Good we didn’t lose you, and you’re ready to learn the difference between an excel sheet and a database.
A database is a structure that contains tables, but some contain just one. With the ability to link tables together, you get a term called a relational database. A relational database can help search for things much faster than an excel sheet can, and this is because most databases support a query function. If you are interested in learning how to automate your business with databases, I would recommend you to talk with your database administrator.
8. Cloud computing
What cloud computing allows is having IT infrastructure, services, and applications hosted somewhere else. As the name suggests, it’s essentially off-premise computers, so you can login to your browser and access an application for your mail server instead of having one in the closet. The biggest cloud providers would be Amazon and Microsoft.
Right now cloud computing is highly in demand, so if you’re looking to move your assets off-premise, it may save you some money for electricity and maintenance!
This term may receive an proportional attention for only being one of the 10 IT things every business owner should know, but that’s because of how important it is in industry.
It is very common for help desk to receive phone calls claiming the internet is down. While the internet is made up of many networks, usually its the local area network that is down. More often than not, it’s not even the local network that’s down but the clients computer. Lets break down the structure of a network.
An average sized mom-and-pop shop will support 254 connections (In the IT world this would be a /24 network), but corporate enterprise networks can have far bigger capacities. If your business has more than one “router”, you actually have more than 1 network, so we can define a network as being connected to a router.
As mentioned in #7 many different networks combined make the internet. No one owns the internet, but big share holders who own the servers and the IP addresses that charge for the usage of their networks. Basically, without getting too much in detail the biggest internet providers are companies like as Verizon, Bell, AT&T, etc. These guys are called ISPs or Internet Service Providers.
IANA is an acronym for Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, and is the organization responsible for leasing IPs to everyone. It all goes down from there, but without an IP you’ll have a tough time connecting to the internet.
There’s two types of “memory” that matter to IT people, but I’ll try to draw a distinction as best I can here. If you ever heard of the term RAM or random access memory, that is the immediate memory that your computer uses to store your chrome tabs, word doc, or steam games when they open. The other type of memory is the hard drive space. This storage you can think of as dormant, but nonetheless matters.
If your computer is slow, it can be attributed to slow RAM, but it is also common to that it’s the slow storage. The best alternative to a hard drive is an SSD. If this doesn’t speed up the computer, the bottleneck is either the RAM or CPU.
4. Web Browser
This is the thing that allows you to “surf the web”. The web browser is not the operating system, and it is not google. A web browser is an application that interfaces between the computer and the internet. Without a web browser you would have an incredibly hard time trying to receive and send information to other websites. While I’m sure you already have your preference for the web browser you’re using, the most popular web browsers are Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer.
A virtual private network is no different than any network we’ve talked about. The importance of having a VPN comes down to anonymity and Geo-location. If your business relies on a VPN it is taking precautions in transmitting sensitive information that would otherwise be able to seen by anyone tech savvy enough.
Firstly, you initiate a secure and encrypted connection to a VPN server, that routes you through it’s router, and out back to the internet. This way seem like a whole waste of time, but what’s most important is the encryption part in between because not even ISPs can see what information is being sent between the two parties.
Malware comes in all shapes and sizes. When someone talks about malware, it is a general term that describes a piece of software, application, or code that haw malicious intentions. The main thing to remember that there are many different types of malware, which you probably already heard of. Viruses, Trojans, rootkits, logic bombs; these are all different types of malware, and knowing the difference can help train your team to detect the different threats that exist by teaching them best practices.
If you’re still living in 2021 and think all hackers are bad, I got news for you, they aren’t. If you look at the history of the word hacking, you’ll find out that it’s actually just a bunch of nerds that liked to understand how computers and tech worked. You may also find that it was the term “cracker” that was the malicious brother of hacker, however both meanings have merged and most of society comes to accept hackers = bad.
There are of course definitions for hackers, and I’ll explain each one and why they matter for your business. White hat hackers are the good guys, they’re called pentesters and try to find out how your network can be broken into. After they do, they’ll give you a report and suggest how to fix your environment. Grey hat hackers are good, but what they sometimes do is on the grey-area side of the law, such as accessing confidential information but not doing anything with it. Black hat hackers are they hackers you’re probably familiar with, these are the guys that break into businesses to either scam, steal or extort money.
So there we have it, this is the list for 10 IT terms every business owner should know. Let us know what you think!