Security Measures Online: How To Protect Your Business From Cyber Attacks

Cybersecurity has always been an edgy topic in the IT landscape.

With one network attack happening every 3 seconds, cybercrime is about to cost the global community some $6 trillion in 2021. 

That’s a staggering figure to think about, and a lot of damage for the digital crime victims in the form of operational costs, harmed reputation, and direct financial losses. Notably, the global protective measures expenditure this year makes up just 1% of the financial losses evoked by malicious online activities. 

Really, the subject of enterprise digital security can not be overestimated.

What are the main threats businesses should look out for, and how can they combat these issues realistically in today’s fast-paced digital environment? 

This article is going to shed some light on these questions. 

Cybersecurity threats to businesses

An old saying goes “Praemonitus, praemunitus”, which means forewarned is forearmed

*It is actually the motto of the US Army Security Agency, the British Royal Observer Corps, and the Australian Army Intelligence Corps – kind of a clue on the importance of knowing the dangers when we talk about security. 

As for the modern digital sphere, there are 6 main groups of threats for businesses to be aware of:

  • Phishing 
  • Ransomware 
  • (D)DoS attacks
  • POS malware 
  • Insecure networks
  • Modern technology

Let’s explore each.  


Perhaps the leading cybersecurity threat for a long time already is “phishing” – a social engineering attack aimed to deploy malicious software or steal user data by deceiving the victim. 

This could be done through misleading links, fake digital personas, mirror websites, or even compromised pixel tracking

The idea is to earn the victim’s trust so they perform a voluntary action – something like clicking on a link, submitting credit card details, or downloading a file. This is why it’s called “phishing” – the target has to bite the hook in order to get caught. 

Phishing is to blame for as much as a third of all confirmed data tampering and nearly 80% of all cybercrime every year. 


A common type of software deployed through phishing is ransomware, which encrypts data and blocks access to infected devices demanding a ransom fee to unblock it.

This type of malware is very common and constantly growing in numbers, with some industries experiencing unprecedented levels of attacks in recent years. Like that, the global banking industry saw a baffling 1318% YoY rise in ransomware data breaches this year. 

With an average of 37% of organizations worldwide suffering from ransomware attacks in 2021, this 20 billion dollar question should be highlighted on every company’s cyber protection agenda. 

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks

Another way hackers disrupt digital platforms is through directed network attacks called DoS or DDoS – (Distributed) Denial-of-Service attacks.  

These attacks aim at making a web service unavailable by flooding the targeted system’s host with a superflux of requests. The server then becomes unresponsive, thus the “denial-of-service” term.

While there is no direct gain for hackers from a victim system’s stoppage, this tactic is used to blackmail or harm institutions operating on the web.

In fact, it is estimated that every third business in the US is targeted by a DDoS attack, legitimately rendering this web security threat our third critical issue. 

Point-of-Sale (PoS) malware

Another major digital security issue for businesses these days is Point-of-Sale malware. 

Since the main goal of most hackers is to steal funds, Point-of-Sale systems like ATMs, credit card terminals, and online checkouts make just a perfect target. These devices and functionalities process all sorts of customer data, including payment details, and are usually less protected than other system elements.    

A PoS can be compromised both through hardware (via remote data readers and transmitters) and software (dongles and trojan viruses) to steal and sell data or withdraw funds. 

Not exactly a new threat on the horizon, it has been determined that nearly half of PoS attacks targeted small businesses in 2015, with some breaches compromising millions of credit cardholders

Insecure networks

As the world is becoming remote-based, more and more people work outside of professionally protected environments – in home networks, through public Wi-Fi and 5G, and from mobile devices. 

This poses another major threat for companies and individuals as it makes it easier for hackers to intercept data, which can be especially harmful if logging into vital services, making payments, or operating sensitive data online. 

In fact, experts have already detected loopholes in 5G to WiFi data transmission and expect more vulnerabilities to surface.

Modern technology

Last but not least, businesses should look out for the threats posed by modern tech.

Technology is evolving rapidly, and so are the hackers’ approaches to abuse it. The problem is that very often, we have not yet determined effective preventive measures to combat innovation abuse. Just like with a regular virus or illness, it takes time to find the cure. 

In this regard, BlockChain, Cloud computing, IoT, and AI are some of the main technologies related to malicious online activities. 

Crypto & BlockChain 

Even though blockchain technology is supposed to provide a bulletproof network, the mere human factor along with environments in which distributed ledgers operate actually introduce loopholes for hackers to breach its security. 

People often assume that their crypto assets are impervious and forget to take the basic safety measures (like device and network security) seriously, paying dearly for it. 

Like that, it is estimated that a total of over $10 billion in bitcoin alone has been stolen since 2011 – pretty impressive for a “bulletproof” system.   


Another group of vulnerabilities among modern tech comes with cloud technology, which is developed and adopted quicker than the associated security measures.

Just to give you a perspective, the number of companies suffering cloud attacks grew 5X times in the past year, reportedly losing over $6 million to these incidents.

Notably, it is estimated that nearly two-thirds of cloud breaches occur due to user error and could have been prevented, so professional support is definitely needed to ensure that your business is safe in the cloud.  

Internet of Things

Connected devices provide another pool of opportunities for hackers to invade people’s privacy. 

From fitness trackers and wireless medical devices to cars’ computers and smart home systems – we are increasingly reliant on the IoT devices that collect massive amounts of data and directly affect our daily lives. 

The problem is that these devices are usually less protected than systems and networks they are connected to, which provides additional entry points for hackers to abuse. So, there is no wonder why IoT attacks are increasingly frequent, with over 60,000 registered breaches just this year. 

Deep Fake

Deep fakes are powering a new type of cybercrime, with some research suggesting it’s about to become the most dangerous type of AI-related crime

Machine learning algorithms are now capable of indistinguishably simulating a person’s appearance and mimics from just a small batch of that person’s original photos. 

Needless to say, safety troubles mount when you can’t tell the real from fake, especially if we talk about faking government officials, business executives, or legal testimonies – the ways of abusing deep fakes are countless. 

Top industries for cyber attacks

Speaking about cyber threats, we need to understand that different industries and business types experience different amounts of digital crime.

Right now, we see healthcare, financial, and educational institutions, as well as SMBs across all other domains of activity under elevated pressure.

Let’s try to figure out why. 

Small and medium-sized businesses

First of all, most attackers choose an easy target over a difficult one. 

Having smaller overall budgets as compared to corporations, SMBs spend less on protective measures and thus are more susceptible to online crime. This is why small and medium-sized businesses get more attention from cybercriminals, accounting for as much as 43% of all attacks


The rapid digitization of healthcare since Covid created another major target for online crime. 

To hackers, healthcare facilities represent a mixture of outdated IT systems, weaker cybersecurity measures, and a ton of valuable data like patients’ personal records and billing info. 

All this contributes to increased malice attention, with healthcare attacks doubling over the past couple of years – up to a point where over 93% of medical institutions worldwide suffered from digital crime.  

Notably, over a quarter of all cyberattacks in healthcare target connected (IoT) devices like defibrillators, pacemakers, neurostimulators, and insulin pumps. This is extremely concerning, to say the least, and can be devastating for both medical institutions and their patients alike. 

Financial institutions 

Another major target for hackers is the financial sector, mainly due to its innate relation to money. 

Here are some stats for you to consider: 

And while financial institutions are generally more protected (as required by government regulations), the increased usage of online banking in unsafe environments or by untrained people really creates the loophole for hackers to infiltrate accounts and steal money or data. 


Last but not least, education is yet another industry suffering a massive spike (600%) in harmful online activity in 2021. 

This happens mainly due to the increase in online learning in recent years that comes along with using unsafe devices and vulnerable platforms, as well as unprepared cybersecurity staff in educational institutions. 

With 44% of educational institutions worldwide hit last year, schools mainly suffer from ransomware, adware, and spam. 

How To Protect Your Business From Cyber Attacks

Now that we’ve learned about the main security threats and industries under pressure, let’s figure out how to counter these issues proactively. 

All of the safety measures that institutions ought to take to protect their data, finances, and reputation can be classified into 5 groups: 

  • Data,
  • Equipment,
  • Access
  • Human factor,  
  • and Case-specific measures.  

As usual, let’s explore them one by one. 


The first thing every business with at least one digital device in operation should check for security is data.

Information is pretty much our most precious, sensitive, and vulnerable asset. To protect it from harm, there are two simple steps: backup and encryption.  

Essentially, backup secures your data from being lost.

Backup functionalities are included in most data storage and management solutions, so you simply need to ensure that it’s properly set up and turned on, and prepare an extra storage space for the backup files. 

Encryption, on the other hand, protects data from being stolen. 

With encryption, you can secure specific files, entire disks, or the transferring data. 

To encrypt stored data, there are both in-built (Microsoft BitLocker, Apple FileVault, and Dm-crypt for Linux) and custom solutions (AxCrypt, VeraCrypt) to protect your stored data. In addition, many anti-malware solutions like Eset or Kaspersky include encryption functionalities in their features. 

And when it comes to encrypting transferring data, the easiest way to do it is through a VPN solution (in-built with most browsers) or router settings. 


The second step to securing your business online is ensuring the safety of the devices you are using.

This comes down to: 

  • Updating the software to get the latest security patches;
  • Installing specialized security solutions with antivirus, anti-spyware and anti-spam filters;
  • Setting up a firewall on all devices, including portable ones;
  • Encrypting network data through a VPN or router settings (see previous paragraph).

And this doesn’t just touch on the in-office company equipment! 

Any device you or your staff use for business-related activities should undergo similar protective measures – whether it’s a home PC you sometimes work from, a laptop you travel with, or the smartphone you likely use for team communication. 


Another security measure to protect your business from digital harm is to bulletproof account accesses.

The main way to do it is through using unique, complex passwords and passphrases, along with multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that criminals won’t be able to access your system even if some of the devices or login credentials are compromised. 

Also, to protect these access details, using a private network or a VPN (virtual private network) in public ones is strongly recommended.  

Human factor

Apart from the purely technical preventive measures, it’s worthwhile to ensure that all members of your team and clients are informed and trained to operate safely in the digital environment.

In fact, it is estimated that as much as 95% of cybercrime is enabled by human error – through using insecure networks and devices, utilizing weak and repetitive passwords, opening hazardous links, downloading unverified files, etc. 

So, properly training your staff and clients to stay safe online is perhaps the best cybersecurity investment a business can make.  

Professional advice 

Last but not least, it’s worthwhile to take professional advice to protect your business. 

Hackers constantly find and invent new ways of harming businesses online, and traditional protective measures can not always prevent those attempts. Consulting with cybersecurity experts is the last, but very often the most effective measure a business can take to protect itself. 

Looking for professional cybersecurity advice? Fill out this short contact form and we’ll get back to you with a checklist of the best digital protective measures for your specific case!  

Power BI vs Tableau: Which Business Intelligence Tool To Choose

Effective data analysis is among the main pillars of successful decision-making in business. And while it is rather clear how collecting and evaluating data can help your company move in the right direction, choosing the right business intelligence tool comes with a lot more open questions. 

Among the myriad of such tools present on the market today, Power BI and Tableau are perhaps the two most popular corporate solutions. Both of them are high-grade applications, with a good level of integration, rich functionality, and advanced data visualization features. 

What is the difference between them and how to pick the right data analysis software for your setup and needs? 

To answer this question, let’s compare Power BI and Tableau in relation to their main descriptive characteristics. We will look at nuances of application and setup, integration, pricetag, and additional features. And of course, we’ll explore some alternative data analysis options, too. 

So, let’s jump in! 


One of the first noticeable differences between Power BI and Tableau is their respective target audience. 

Power BI is designed to operate mainly within a Microsoft products environment. It uses Azure, SQL, and Office 365 to aggregate data and offers affordable data analysis. For those of you who already rely on MS products for business operations, Power BI is definitely a go-to business intelligence tool to choose. 

Meanwhile, Tableau is designed to fit in well with custom corporate environments and ERPs. A great choice if there is a couple of data engineers ready to set up and fine-tune the tool with your company’s software system. Overall, it is a lot more corporate-orientated. 


Naturally, an app’s setup is important in establishing a convenient and effective workflow. In this regard, both solutions offer a good degree of flexibility, although somewhat different in form. 

Like that, Power BI is available on three platforms – desktop, mobile, and as a service. So, it allows you to choose the most comfortable option and switch between them when needed.  

Whereas Tableau also comes in three forms – Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, and Tableau Online, which you can easily synchronize and shift between while at work or to collaborate with your team.


Another important point of comparison between Power BI and Tableau is their integration with outside data sources. In this regard, both business analysis tools can be connected to a wide range of third-party technologies. Including Google Analytics, salesforce, marketing sources, etc. 

At that, while Power BI offers a lot of preconfigured dashboards and templates, its counterpart is more about manually defining what type of data you want to extract and how to use it. So, it kind of requires a bit more expertise from the user or doing some research. 


When it comes to the user experience of the two apps, both offer a wide range of functionality, are fairly easy to use, and utilize a drag-and-drop approach to operate data.

Power BI’s design focuses a little bit more on intuitive workflow, ease of use, and live data analysis. All of this allows to achieve zero time waste and apply gathered insights in real-time.  

Meanwhile, Tableau’s dashboard requires slightly more time to get familiar with as compared to its peer. Gravitating towards a more query-based workflow, it offers rocket-fast analysis with its revolutionary data engine.  


Speaking about pricing, both products offer a good level of flexibility, although stand slightly apart in terms of the overall cost. 

Power BI’s pricing model is rather straightforward. There is a public (free) version, a subscription-based plan, and a scalable premium option available at your service. Each of the for-pay options is moderately priced. And being deeply rooted with the Microsoft software, it’s a rather cost-effective solution especially for those already using MS products.    

Meanwhile, Tableau’s pricing plan may seem quite confusing at first sight. They charge differently depending on the type of data sources and third-party apps you apply, as well as the way they are integrated. However, it’s rather flexible at the same time. All in all, designed with corporate users in mind, Tableau comes at a slightly higher price tag than its rival. You may check their pricing calculator over here.   

Additional features

As for the additional perks, both business analysis tools come with mobile applications for getting quick insight on the go, and both have extensive web communities and user support to help you get the best experience with the software. 

Power BI can boast of a natural language query processing that allows you to simply ask it questions and get data. Just like you would with the Google search.

Meanwhile, Tableau can be quite proud of its Hyper data engine. It’s claimed to enable one of the fastest data import and analytics available on the market. 

So, both products really have something unique to offer.     

Alternative tools

Naturally, there are other great business intelligence tools on the market. So, if all of the above did not convince you to pick either of the tools mentioned, here are additional options to explore: 

  • Google Charts 
  • Visme
  • Infogram
  • Sisense
  • ChartBlocks
  • DataWrapper

You pick the right one for you. 


Effective data analysis is crucial, if not defining, to make great decisions and stay competitive in today’s business landscape. 

Both of the business intelligence tools we looked into today will do the job. Power BI is an extremely user-friendly solution that offers a great bang for the buck, whereas Tableau seems to slightly step up the data analysis game and be more of a corporate-orientated solution. 

By any means, you will no regret it whichever tool you choose, so pick the best one for you and let it help your business thrive. 

And if there are any questions left regarding the data analytics market or a different topic – feel free to reach out!  

Digital Transformation Trends In Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Continuing to review digital transformation trends across industries, it’s time to take a closer look at an indispensable sphere of commercial human activity like transportation and logistics.  

The state of digitization in logistics

More than half of logistics management believe in reviewing operational models to stay relevant as the world is shifting to a digital-first, remote-based realm where less and less trade is conducted in person

At that, the global online shopping boom has grown even more since the introduction of quarantines last Spring. All of this creates an increased demand for appropriate tech solutions in the logistics industry.

Technology trends in the logistics industry

The three main technology trends are fueling digital transformation in logistics and supply management right now. Those are IoT, AI, and Blockchain

Let’s look into each one in particular.  

1. Internet of Things in logistics

One of the main technologies pushing digital transformation in logistics is the Internet of Things, aka telematics. 

Supply management implies moving a ton of orders around countless locations every day. Making such a process effective, it makes a lot of sense to connect items, vehicles, and personnel into a mesh of trackable data, creating a completely coherent network.

To do this, the following tech solutions are adopted right now: 

Autonomous package delivery

  • Drones 

Drone delivery is gaining momentum among retail and eCommerce businesses. Drones facilitate same-day delivery to poorly accessible areas and traffic-clogged locations, saving the day when the traditional delivery options simply don’t work. 

  • Driverless Trucks

Over 65% of global goods transportation runs on trucks. Driverless vehicles help to reduce costs associated with vehicle maintenance, personnel employment, and road accidents. In fact, automated truck delivery can save transportation companies as much as 45% of operational budgets.

Smart warehouses

IoT-based WMSs (warehouse management systems) monitor warehouse goods on an item level. They can help companies boost order-placement efficiency through precise inventory monitoring and automated goods management.

Digital wearables

Adopting trackable wearable devices for employees in logistics can help supply chain management monitor and oversee the delivery process with higher accuracy. Meanwhile, it facilitates hands-free workflow for the personnel, boosting their work efficiency. 

2. Artificial Intelligence in logistics and supply chain

Transportation relies on analyzing both historical and real-time data, and AI plays an important role in meeting this need.  

The aforementioned mesh of connected devices generates a ton of data, which only AI can effectively comb through. This, in turn, allows businesses to determine efficiency issues and find appropriate solutions.

Technology-wise, here’s how the logistics industry can benefit from adopting AI tech: 

Inventory forecasting software

Although still in the development stages, intelligent demand forecasting solutions are already outdoing traditional methods, allowing to predict future product demand and keep the supply in check. 

Smart shipping and tracking

AI can help logistics companies optimize shipping and cut associated costs by analyzing real-time data on shortest routes and traffic jams, as well as availability of staff and vehicles / drones. 

Workflow automation

AI-backed workflow automation and robotization of the workplaces is one more way intelligent software can bump up processing capacities and improve daily operation in supply management.   

3. Blockchain in logistics

A distributed ledger can be extremely useful in logistics and supply chain management.  

On one hand, Blockchain allows to securely store operational data about the origin and location of goods, transportation conditions, expiration date, etc., and use self-executing smart contracts to automate trade. On the other hand, it provides bullet-proof security, making Blockchain-based products virtually impenetrable. 

You could say it’s a “buy one get one free” type of technology.   

Challenges in the logistics industry

Digital transformation in logistics and supply chain management is facing several obstacles on the way to a brighter, automated future.

Those are:

Insufficient IT expertise

Some 40% of top management in logistics blame unsuccessful business transformation on the lack of appropriate IT training and skills. In fact, most of them consider engaging third-party services and outsourced talent to close the expertise gap. Such a lack of specialists within the niche causes poor technology processes across the entire industry.

Slow technology adoption

While every second supply chain management company runs on legacy software, a quarter of all industry businesses don’t have a digital transformation strategy whatsoever. More so, only one out of five industry executives is leveraging operational data to improve workflows. This makes companies operate in “good old” and often inefficient ways.   

Outdated IT solutions

Apart from the ominous human factor, the very technology imperfection often slows down digital transformation in logistics. Like that, connectivity issues and security holes across the supply chain, as well as imperfect delivery tech are some of the main pain points in the sector, causing billions in financial losses.   

– Data security

Another major pain point for both companies and service consumers in logistics is security and reliability of software systems.

Custom logistics software development

Given the huge demand for niche software on the market, it is rather lucrative to invest in these kinds of solutions right now. 

Here’s a list of the main directions to pick when thinking about niche product development for the transportation industry: 

  • Inventory and order tracking
  • Smart warehousing
  • Routing (mapping) and shipment optimization 
  • Autonomous transportation
  • Drop-shipping and same-day delivery
  • Transport cost optimization

The future of the logistics industry

The logistics industry is evolving rapidly on all levels, with AI, Blockchain, and IoT fueling the process. While a lot has been achieved in this direction already, the transformation is still happening. This creates a wide pool of opportunities to seize and leverage both business-wise and in terms of technology development.

Want to learn more about IT product development in logistics? Contact us to get all the answers!  

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Explained: How Does It All Work?

Blockchain has been a hot topic in recent years, and while the hype is somewhat decreasing, the technology is actually conquering not only the financial industry, but also the markets of education, trade, business, and many more. 

What exactly is Blockchain? What is its future? And why is it important for the ever-growing infosphere? 

Let’s have a closer look at the technology to find it all out! 

What is blockchain technology and how does it work?

At the core of it, Blockchain is a shared database. Wikipedia defines Blockchain as a “distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties in a verifiable and permanent way”. In simple terms, the system represents a chain of data blocks, each containing encrypted information about the other blocks to ensure coherency. 

Okay, maybe “simple terms” don’t quite apply here.

To better understand the notion, it is helpful to look at its application using a real-world example. Something like a kids’ game…

The main idea behind blockchain

Perhaps some will recognize this game from way back.

It’s simple – participants repeat a given message to one another in a whisper, going from first to last one in a row. Now, you know how people and especially kids are… They get distracted, muffle words, play around, and so on. So usually you get a distorted message after a round or two into the game, and that’s the whole fun.

Now, replace participants with people on the Internet who have slightly more important information to share. Something like bank account data, or business contract details, or a money exchange operation – something that has to be 100% accurate. Just like in the game, someone may accidentally or deliberately interfere with the transfer of information and cause damage.

blockchain technology - how does it work ?

This is exactly where blockchain comes in handy. It serves as a cheat sheet for the participants, so they can check with the “true” information whenever a message is transferred. Like that, they will never fool or get fooled during the game.   

Of course, the process is much more complex than a paper prompt with real data operations, but the idea behind it is quite the same. 

History of blockchain technology

While the idea of a distributed database appeared back in the 90s, the technology only took shape as late as 2008, when Satoshi Nakamoto developed a transaction ledger for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. 

Bitcoin soon blew up and became a global thing, giving way to other cryptocurrencies as well. But the blockchain technology proceeded to expand beyond the notion of e-currencies – becoming the people’s choice wherever multiple parties share sensitive information. 

How does blockchain work technically

In a blockchain system, data is stored in blocks attributed to participants of the chain (nodes).

The effectiveness of such a database model relies on three pillars of security. 

Those are: 

1. Hashing 

Each block in a blockchain consists of three essential components:  

  • The block’s data – the information a block carries. 
  • The block’s hash – essentially a recorded version of the block’s data encrypted into a unique code number. 
  • The previous block’s hash – a hash number of the previous block.

So, this is how blockchain works:

In a traditional data system, where information is stored in one place, it’s relatively easy to temper by accessing its single point of failure.

In a chain of blocks, on the other hand, information is equally divided among the participants, so tempering with it would require hacking most, if not all the nodes.

This is called the consensus protocol – a collective verification of the chain’s elements, and it is ensured by the hash and the previous block’s hash numbers within every block (see picture below).

In practice, whenever block A is changed it receives a new hash value, which then has to be “approved” by changing block B’s previous block’s hash value accordingly, which will effectively change its own hash value. It then has to be approved by Block C’s previous block hash… and so on.

Like that, the initial operation will only be authorized when all participants acknowledge it and adjust their records accordingly. Otherwise, any change within the chain invalidates it due to not matching hash value sequences.

It’s like playing a game where everyone keeps a scorecard to check the true results.

Visual representation of a block's components in a blockchan

So, in order to successfully modify a block in a blockchain, all nodes have to confirm the new hash number of that block, effectively creating a “new” chain. More so, in order to temper with a single block, one would have to alter over 50% of them all.


2. Proof of work

Surprisingly enough, modern computers are technically capable to do that, which is why Blockchain technology utilizes so-called proof of work

Proof of work is a mechanism that slows down the creation of new blocks. It is a calculation that needs to be executed before a new block is established or edited. For cryptocurrencies, it usually takes up to 10 minutes to fulfill. Paired with hashing, this makes tampering with blocks within a blockchain virtually impossible. 

More so, there is another way the technology achieves its Troyan-like wall of security.   

3. Data distribution 

In a blockchain-based database, each node represents a link of the chain without which the entirety of it falls apart – just like an actual chain. Each node stores a copy of the blockchain, protected by a combination of public and private cryptography keys. 

data distribution between nods in a blockchain

Like that, instead of being held centrally, Blockchain data is stored across the network. So, it has neither centralized vulnerabilities nor central points of failure. Since there are no “main” copies of the blockchain with all users granted equal “trust” within the network – there is nothing hackers can actually target to compromise the system. It’s like fighting a myriad of shadows that cast one another. 

All of this makes a blockchain virtually incorruptible. 

Types of Blockchain

As with any technology out there, there are several types of blockchain each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Those are: 

Public blockchain

A public blockchain is completely free to access. This means that anyone with an Internet connection can join in and become a validator to execute the consensus protocol. 

This does not mean that participants have access to each other’s block data, which is well protected by private crypto keys. This just means that multiple people ensure a proper hash sequence to grant the chain’s coherence. 

Private blockchain

Private blockchains (also called peer-to-peer databases) are held on secluded bases and require permission to be accessed. Therefore, you need an invitation from the admin to join in and participate. 

While widely applied, private blockchains are generally less secure and are not as “invincible” as public ones. This is because there are admins with advanced rights over the chain, which means a potential centralized point of vulnerability. Nevertheless, private blockchains are a quite popular solution these days. 

Hybrid blockchain

Hybrid blockchains represent a particular combination of public and private chains, depending on which of the methods applies to which parts of the system architecture. 

A hybrid approach provides the owners of a chain with some sort of control over the network while maintaining the security level close to that provided by a fully public blockchain. 


A sidechain is essentially a “backup” version of a blockchain that runs in parallel on the main system and stores the same data while remaining independent by using an individual consensus protocol.

This is virtually another level of security on top of the already secure blockchain system.  

Blockchain real-life use cases

Now that you have a general understanding of what Blockchain is and how it operates, let’s look into where the technology can actually be applied. 

Cryptocurrency exchange

One of the primary examples of blockchain application in real life is cryptocurrency – a digital currency that uses cryptography to secure online transactions.

Cryptocurrency can be used to buy and sell goods just like US dollars or Euro and are rather reliable, although extremely volatile due to no price regulations.

Some of the most used cryptocurrencies are Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Cryptocurrencies have been the pioneer when it comes to blockchain-based monetary operations, paving the way for other financial systems to follow. That said, cryptocurrencies represent only a part of the blockchain’s potential in the niche.  

Dapps and smart contracts

Smart contracts are another point of blockchain’s application. 

Chris DeRose describes smart contracts as “self-automated computer programs that can carry out the terms of any contract. Financial security held in escrow by a network that is routed to recipients based on future events, and computer code.”  

Businesses can use smart contracts to go around regulations and lower the costs of financial operations while maintaining rigid security. This may be useful wherever multiple parties fulfill legal operations, including document turnover, trade, B2C and B2B services, goods supply, commodities renting, social networking… you name it. 

NFT marketplaces

Another type of phenomenon relying on the blockchain is NFT (non-fungible token) – a digital asset that represents ownership of physical or digital items. It can be art, music, real estate, or a fantasy football card altogether.

NFT’s blockchain nature makes it unique, reliable, and virtually irreplicable, ensuring the authenticity of ownership rights.

Other niches

 Other areas of blockchain application include:

  • Bank-less money transfers
  • Medical recordkeeping
  • Royalties tracking
  • Digital identity security
  • Anti-money laundering tracking system
  • Supply chain and logistics monitoring
  • Digital voting

The future of blockchain technology

While the technology is still developing and is not as dominant as one would wish for, BlockChain definitely has a huge potential to grow. 

The combination of simplicity, security, and universal applicability of blockchain makes it a true gem for tasks and projects across all major industries and niches of our digital activity. 

Starting from cryptocurrencies, Blockchain is slowly but surely conquering the preference of businesses around the world. And although a relatively young technology, it seems to be staying around for a long time, if not forever.    

Have questions about Blockchain and whether your business needs it? Leave us a note and we’ll reach back to you!

How To Choose A Tech Stack: Top Coding Tools and Technologies

If there isn’t a team of developers gathered around yet but you do need to choose a tech stack for the product-to-be – you are at the right place.

In fact, many entrepreneurs struggle at this stage. 

A software’s technology stack determines its fate. If you choose it correctly, it ensures smooth development, high product quality, and happy clients. Otherwise – expect budget overspending and multiple production issues. So, the subject is extremely important.

Sounds too complicated? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on this one.

But first, let’s go over the basics.   

What is a technology stack?

Every product development project consists of several key stages such as:

  • concept
  • design
  • implementation
  • testing & integration
  • and maintenance.
a typical project's life cycle to consider when you choose a tech stack

A tech stack describes a number of core tools and technologies applied across that process.

Naturally, it depends a lot on the project’s goals and setup.

So, the first step to choose a tech stack for a product is to determine the device type you are developing for.

Top mobile development technologies

With mobile phones, your options narrow down to either of the two prevalent platforms (Android and iOS) or cross-platform development to get both.

Let’s look at them in detail.

Android development technologies

Android apps are traditionally powered by Java or Kotlin. 

Java is a classic coding language. It was the official language of Android apps before Kotlin took the stage. Now, Kotlin is the golden standard for building Android apps. A concise and streamlined version of Java, it is one of the main affections of mobile developers in 2020.

Brands like Pinterest, Netflix, Uber, and Trello rely on Kotlin. 

iOS development technologies

iOS development, on the other hand, runs on Swift and Objective-C.

Objective-C is a successor of the C programming language (one of the forefathers of software systems) and the backbone for Apple’s iOS and OS X. Swift is a successor of Objective-C developed by Apple.

These two are the technical foundation behind Hubspot, Lyft, Airbnb, Linked In, and Yahoo Weather iOS apps. 

Cross-platform mobile development technologies

Now, if you want to have your cake and eat it too, sort of speaking, then React Native and Xamarin are at your service. 

React Native allows you to create native, cross-platform mobile apps in a single environment. This is the tool we have used in most of our mobile projects. It saves a lot of time and effort by eliminating the need for writing separate sets of code for different platforms and is just very convenient.

Xamarin is a similar solution allowing you to share native interface code across multiple platforms including Android, iOS, and Windows.

Hybrid app development technologies

One more approach to building multi-platform mobile apps is hybrid development. It builds upon the duet of HTML5/CSS and JavaScript (later in this article), finished with auxiliary frameworks like Cordova, Sencha Touch 2, and Ionic. 

Mobile technologies – check. 

Web development tools and technologies

Web software development is much different from that of mobile apps. 

There are usually two parts of a web technology set: one on the client-side and one on the server-side. To provide a reference, there’s a house exterior with all of the eye-pleasing details and then there are the walls that hold everything up. Those are referred to as the frontend and backend of web applications, and together they make up a full-stack.

Here’s a fairly accurate representation of the software’s frontend and backend roles:

Front end web development technologies

We won’t go deep into the anatomy of a web page interface as there isn’t much insight to share. Just for the record, however, here’s a quick overview of the three building blocks of a front-end technology stack, which operate pyramid-wise: 

  • The founding father of web architecture and e-mailing – HTML (stands for Hypertext Markup Language). It serves the input of core page content & characteristics, describing internet pages structure-wise. 
  • On top of HTML goes CSS – Cascading Style Sheets. As its very name suggests, CSS is responsible for the design of web pages. It creates a visually appealing picture by influencing how the HTML code will look on the user screen.
  • Finally, renowned JavaScript takes the browsing experience to a radically new level by enabling interactive interfaces and highly personalized web applications.

Once again, the frontend is a wrapper responsible for everything users see on their screens.

Back end development technologies

Now, there’s much more to chew on when it comes to the server-side part of a software’s tech stack. This is where “ground” work is done, executing so-called CRUD operations (which stands for Create, Read, Update, and Demand). 

While these technologies vary a lot, some of the most relevant backend tech stack solutions to choose from in 2020 are:

JavaScript and TypeScript

A go-to choice for full-stack website development, JavaScript is a highly compatible coding language that has been topping the charts for quite a while. Traditionally considered a front-end development tool (as mentioned above), it has recently been adopted for server-side operations too, making it stand out in the crowd as a universal web engineering solution.

JavaScript is everpresent and backs a ton of prominent tech services including Yahoo, Amazon, and Wikipedia.

TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript designed to address the issues of large-scale application development associated with JavaScript without sacrificing the general program architecture provided by it. Although largely similar in nature and backward compatible, the two “scripts” are actually separate coding languages.


One of the top backend tools for web services and apps in 2020. It offers a pool of benefits from intuitive workflow and great libraries, to impressive productivity and powerful frameworks. It is also the #1 language for projects dealing with advanced technologies like Machine Learning and Big Data.

YouTube, Instagram, Dropbox, Reddit, and Spotify all make use of Python.


Another admired back-end language with one of the warmest user communities in the set. It is the foundation for the favored Rails framework and is perfect for small-scale projects and MVPs.

Ruby is associated with many tech startups as well as reputed industry names like Twitter, Airbnb, and Spotify. 


A powerful cross-platform coding language perfect for dynamic websites and applications. Although extremely popular, it has a mixed reputation among devs and is not recommended for new projects due to the risk of a large code debt (the cost of unnecessary rework).

All that said, PHP backs a lot of well-known services like WordPress and MailChimp.


Slightly less popular than its rivals, yet still a great choice for building both large networks and microservices. Go provides rather wide development capabilities (similar to the C family) along with high operational speed.

Built by Google, Go is one of its core technologies.

Traditional backend coding languages

Other server-side coding languages worth a word include:

  • C – a true forefather of coding, who at 48 years old remains among the most prevalent programming languages. C powers a lion’s share of modern OS’s like Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS.
  • Java – a common choice of developers for a long time now. It is the classic solution for both Android and web apps and is the technical backbone for web giants like Twitter, LinkedIn, and eBay. 
  • C++ – similar to C, it offers a smoother coding experience due to a combination of modern-ish object-based programming and traditional syntax. C++ is behind Mozilla Firefox and a lot of Adobe and Microsoft software.
  • C# – a flexible and multi-purpose mixture of C and Java, it enables the development of a wide range of digital products from games to complex server structures. A lot of Windows desktop apps are written in C#.

Are you still with us?


Now, let’s look closer at what makes up the fine finish of a web development technology stack.

Top web development frameworks (& Node.js)

Just like any field of technology, software engineering approaches constantly evolve and complexity.

This is where web frameworks originate. 

At the core of it, frameworks add further capabilities to pre-existing functionalities of web software. They are like the utensils in your household that help you to fulfill particular tasks efficiently, improving everyday life. 

These tools are also divided into frontend and backend groups and depend on the coding language they add up to. It should be noted that while being quite versatile in application and workflow, most frameworks are quite equal functionality-wise. As they say – to each his own, and every developer has his favorites when it comes to various software tools. 

However, here are some of the top choices in the community:

Best frontend frameworks:

  • React.js – although technically a front-end library, many consider it a full-fledged framework. React.js can be used for both server-side and client-side functionalities, providing massive full-stack development opportunities
  • Angular and Angular.js – a couple of vibrant and capable frameworks perfect for creating rich single-page web apps

    *The .js part in the name typically indicates that a framework is JavaScript-based. Angular is a younger, faster version of Angular.js due to it being based on JavaScript’s superset – TypeScript.
  • Vue.js – a rather new, highly compatible framework that can be implemented within already existing projects without much integration pain. Being not as bulky (yet just as performing) as its aforementioned competitors, Vue fits in perfectly with small and mid-size apps.
  • Backbone – a featherweight and minimalistic JavaScript library ideal for MVPs and small projects. Although its popularity is slightly declining in recent years, Backbone is still a great frontend framework for developing simple web apps.
  • Ember – named #1 frontend framework back in 2015, Ember incorporates some of the best JS practices to maximize productivity and has a huge user community.
  • jQuery – yet another lightweight JavaScript library used for simplifying the programmers’ workflow by wrapping complex coding tasks into single-line-of-code instructions.

Best backend frameworks:

  • Express (Node.js based) – a powerful web framework that has gained a lot of attention thanks to Node.js (mentioned below). It packs all of the backend engineering features one can wish for while being fast and flexible, although somewhat complex. Express is in the tech arsenal of such big companies as Uber and IBM.    
  • Django (Python-based) – a capable and sophisticated framework with some high-level security features onboard. A great choice for executing big, complex web projects
  • Laravel (PHP-based) – somewhat less ambitious than the previous two, Laravel is a powerful solution for small-scale projects. Considered heaven-sent by beginner developers, the only drawback to Laravel is that it doesn’t fit for mobile applications
  • Rails (Ruby-based) – with over 800.000 websites (including Airbnb, GitHub, and Groupon) in the portfolio, RoR has an enormous user community. Great at handling complex algorithms and cloud-based apps, it enables a smooth and quick development process, although often troublesome at the deployment stage.
  • Spring (Java-based) – a popular framework for creating basic high-performing applications, which simplifies a lot of the manual work. Powered by Java, it is often used by services processing large volumes of data, such as Wix and Ticketmaster. 
  • Flask (Python-based) – a great choice for building simple web applications with NoSQL databases. 

Just to give you some heads-up, below is a visual chart representing the share of developers using particular frameworks, according to StackOverflow. Keep in mind that devs rarely stick with just one technology*.

graphic showing whcih tech stacks do developers choose

One of a kind

  • Node.js is off the charts since being neither a language nor a framework. It is a runtime environment utilizing a Chrome V8 engine to execute the JS code server-side, which gives it super-framework capabilities. Still, it isn’t enough to be classified as an independent language since operating in the tracks of the JavaScript syntax.

    Notably, Node.js backs a lot of the software developed by MintyMint, including a recent microservices-based project – 4frineds.

Woof… A lot of information, huh?

Keep calm, we’re almost through with the guide! A few more tips and you can be safe and sure on how to choose a tech stack for your next IT project.

Software databases

Another group of technologies worth mentioning in our comprehensive guide on how to choose a tech stack is databases

If you ever worked with or read about software development, you probably came across terms like SQL and NoSQL, which refer to different types of databases. Now, what role do DBs play in a tech set composition and what are the main options?

Let’s find out. 

What is a software database?

As its own name suggests, a database is essentially a collection of data. In computer science – it is one specifically organized and accessed electronically.

Databases store various application data such as user information, transaction records, inventories, or any other operational data, which makes it a rather important piece of the software! 

Databases are usually classified by their organizational type, into: 

  • Relational
  • Distributed
  • Cloud
  • and NoSQL 

Let’s look into each group separately. 

Relational DBs

The most common type of database is a relational one.

Dating back to the 1970s, these DBs represent sets of data categorized in columns and rows. They are easy to work with and do not affect the systems that utilize them when modified.

Relational DBs use the so-called Structured Query Language (SQL), which is why many of these types of tools have it in their name, like MySQL and PostgreSQL. 

Distributed DBs 

Distributed databases are something we’ve already referred to in one of our recent articles about blockchain.

This type of database is hosted and maintained independently by a web of nodes, which makes these databases extremely secure and efficient. These are rather complex systems, so you might want to explore the aforementioned article in order to get a clearer picture of the notion. In general, though, a distributed database is nothing but a blockchain.  

Cloud DBs

Cloud databases are simply a subgroup of relational DBs that are meant to run in virtual environments and are designed and optimized accordingly. The only difference from the mentioned above SQLs is in the type of hosting and the array of features that stem from it. 

In particular, cloud databases allow to sync data across multiple platforms for collaborative, real-time projects.  


Last but not least on the list of database types is the so-called NoSQL.

NoSQLs are meant to replace relational DBS when dealing with big-data tasks which the good old SQLs are inefficient for or simply can’t crack. As our software keeps using more and more data stored across multiple servers, NoSQL databases come right in handy to effectively process the information. 

Here’s a rough example of the main structural difference between SQL and NoSQL data systems:

structural difference between SQL and NoSQL databases

Some of the most popular NoSQL solutions include heard-of names like MongoDB, Apache, and Oracle NoSQL database.

Moving on. 

Popular Web Tech Stacks

Now that we’ve covered individual technologies, let’s move on to the frequently used tech sets themselves. 

In addition to the languages and frameworks mentioned above, indispensable components like servers, libraries, and platforms all make up a tech stack. Depending on the project type and goals, different technology combos fit better or worse.

Some of the most popular tech stacks to choose from are MEAN, MERN, LAMP (and its derivatives), WINS, and Ruby on Rails.  

Let’s take a closer look at each.

MEAN tech stack

MEAN stands for MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, and Node.js.

It is a powerful and convenient full-stack development toolkit, perfect for creating dynamic JavaScript-based pages and applications. With all of its elements running on the same coding principle (JavaScript), MEAN stack is a popular choice due to simplicity and all-around consistency provided along with impressive flexibility. 

Internet heavyweights like YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Netflix, etc. have MEAN in their web development arsenal. 


MERN stands for MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js.

This stack has gained a lot of attention recently and is almost identical to the aforementioned MEAN stack, its only difference being in using React.js instead of Angular.js. 

MERN is a highly popular choice for creating powerful and sophisticated web applications. It carries all of the benefits offered by MEAN plus the advantage of using React products, preferred by many. 

LAMP tech stack

LAMP is a classic full-stack. It traditionally consists of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

Fully open-source, it allows cutting some of the production costs while providing impressive development flexibility. Today, LAMP remains a prevalent software bundle on the market, even though it requires some higher grade expertise, as compared to MEAN/MERN. 

Frequent combinations of LAMP include: 
LAMP* & LAPP (with MongoDB and PostgreSQL instead of MySQL)
XAMPP (with FTP Server and Perl or PHP)
WAMP & MAMP (with Windows and Mac OS)


WINS stands for Windows Internet Naming Service.

It is a reliable full-stack development solution that operates on Microsoft technologies, such as Windows Server, IIS, .Net, and MS SQL. Although its legacy is well-spread on the internet, it is not the most popular choice among entrepreneurs since being quite pricy and inferior to js-based tech stacks integration-wise. 

Other than that, the WINS stack packs a lot of capabilities in the set, especially if you plan to work with MS products.

Ruby on Rails

This one is the already-mentioned pair of the Rails framework and the base Ruby language itself.

Ruby on Rails is widely applied by startups & MVPs and is perfect for small-scale projects

In general, those are the industry’s most popular options when it comes to choosing a tach stack.

To sum up all the findings, here’s a graphic technology map for you to breeze through the main dev tools associated with each platform once again: 

platfrom to technology map outline to choose a tech stack

Now, let’s move on to some additional factors to consider when you choose a tech stack.

Additional suggestions on how to choose a tech stack

Indeed, there are lots of things to ask yourself before sticking with a particular technology set. Here’s a cheat sheet for you to check with, whenever puzzled:

Project type

The size and complexity of a project largely determine which tech stack you should choose. The tools that perfectly fit a simple website (Ruby on Rails, MEAN) may not be as good of a match for an interactive web page or big data project (LAMP). 


Thinking ahead has failed no one so far and is especially true in the fast-changing world of IT. Depending on the issues your product resolves, different tech combinations will work better or worse for meeting the users’ needs. 

That said, it’s better to avoid constraining yourself software-wise and leave the opportunity to scale up when the time comes.  


Similar to the previous point, the speed and responsiveness of your service lie at the core of a positive user experience. Therefore, factoring this one in to choose the right tech stack is crucial.  

Another factor affecting the choice of a server-side solution is the amount of data your system will have to handle. You don’t want your website to stall once you get too much activity going on, do you?  


Unsurprisingly, cyber-security is another key thing to consider before determining the right technology stack for your project.

Although most modern software offers a decent level of data protection, some development tools (like Django) clearly stand out in the crowd. 

Talent Pool

If you already have a dev team then this will largely determine your technology stack options. However, outsourcing is always at your service if you need to extend the team’s expertise or mitigate the workload.


Highlighted in every business plan, budget is one more crucial factor to consider when choosing a project stack. A rule of thumb here is to go for the open-source options and avoid Microsoft products whenever possible. That is, of course, if saving a few extra bucks is among your concerns.


Finally, it’s never a bad idea to research the products you personally like and favor, or check your competitors and see what type of technology has worked well for them. 

Final word

Finding the right technology set for a project or startup is not nearly the easiest task on the schedule. Nevertheless, it pays back 100%. SPend the time to choose the right tech stack and save your time and budget, take a bag of pressure off the dev team’s shoulders, and leave space for scaling and flexibility. 

Good news: all you have to do to strike gold is apply the insights from this article!

Need help choosing the best technology to meet your needs? Feel free to consult with us!

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