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Why SMBs and MMEs Can’t Rely on the Perimeter, but Need Layered Security

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In a recent eBook, Best Practices To Protect Your Company’s Data and Infrastructure Through Layered Security, Kaseya and Kaspersky Lab detailed what SMB and MME IT shops can do to truly protect themselves.

The basics offer frontline protection. Firewalls, antivirus, anti-malware, and password policies are a great start. The bad news is that the bad guys have been either cracking or bypassing these defenses for years. It’s old hat. Continue Reading…

The Cloud Is Way More Secure Than You Might Think

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Let’s settle this old argument once and for all. With a good provider, and properly set up, the cloud is more secure than most on-premises infrastructure.

Does that still sound a wee bit equivocal? It has to be. Large enterprises, particularly in industries such as finance, can build superbly secure private infrastructure—they have to and can afford to do it right. Not all companies are gifted with these kinds of budgets, however; nor are  they able to attain such a high level of protection. Continue Reading…

Slugfest: Should You Choose Google Apps or Office 365 for Work?

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In the early days of the Web, the cloud was too slow for interactive productivity tools. Now it’s way better and Google and Microsoft are in a pitched battle for cloud productivity supremacy.

Microsoft Office has ruled the productivity software roost for over a quarter century. The cloud may be the one opportunity for an upstart, say Google Apps, to upset that apple cart. That’s why the search giant launched Google Apps as a beta in 2006. Four long years later, it came out of test mode and became a commercial product which has been on a roll ever since.

Microsoft apparently wasn’t happy watching Google come out with cloud productivity apps that mimicked the Microsoft suite. In no time flat, Microsoft had Office 365, its complete end user set of productivity apps with some server goodies thrown in for good measure. In fact, Office 365 shipped only a year after Google Apps went commercial.
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How Changing SMB Client Requirements Are Reshaping the MSP Market

A lot of the time, we can get caught up in discussions about ‘hot’ markets for MSPs – and the list is growing, from security to cloud to mobile to firewall management.

But it’s important to level set occasionally.  The reason these markets are hot is because the technology requirements of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that MSPs serve is undergoing a sea change.

SMBs Now Have Enterprise Needs

Technological requirements that were once the needs of only large enterprises are now are becoming mainstream requirements for SMBs.

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Security You Can Take to the Bank

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How Banks and Credit Unions Can Safeguard Data and Ace Audits

In today’s rough and tumble environment where hackers no know bounds, every financial institution, regardless the size, has to beef up security and remain ever vigilant.

According to recent surveys, 83% of the financial leaders who responded felt that data is their most important asset, and 79% said that having a strong technology infrastructure was critical to ward off cyberattacks. Unfortunately while most feel that security is a top IT budget priority, fewer than one in five believe they have strong security in place.

It shouldn’t be that way – nor does it need to be. Smaller banks may feel that they can’t afford to implement measures to detect and prevent security breaches. The truth is they can’t afford not to. Let’s look at why security is so important to financial institutions, and how even the smallest institutions can achieve their security goals without “breaking the bank.”

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Is the Trusted Advisor Still the Pinnacle of MSP-Dom?


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The term ‘trusted advisor’ has been perhaps a bit overused, maybe way way overused. Even abused. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that it’s something MSPs are wise to strive for.

You all know the story about the MSP market moving away from break/fix to offer richer services, and becoming a strategic partner.

Being a trusted advisor means you help clients spot the future, find the technologies that offer specific competitive advantage, then pilot, deploy and manage these new technologies.

Trends over the last few years have only made this movement more important. Much of this has to do with the cloud, which is rapidly on the move, and the staying power of on-premises infrastructure. With that, there is a need to manage and integrate both environments, often resulting in hybrid clouds.
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The Patch Management Crisis and How to Solve It

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Most end users, and even some IT pros, feel pretty safe if they have up-to-date anti-virus/antimalware, firewalls turned on, and complex passwords in place. This overlooks one of the biggest threats to your PC and network – poor or non-existent patching.

The vast majority of successful exploits are against unpatched machines, some 85% according to US-CERT, part of the US Department of Homeland Security.

Why is This So Bad?

While viruses can be a nuisance (and often worse) to unprotected machines, the kind of attacks aimed at unpatched machines can be far worse. These are targeted at doing real damage – stealing data, escalation of privilege, releasing bots, gaining deep entry into the network, and worse.
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How Banks Can Stop Fearing the IT Audit

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There are few things people fear more than a tax audit. If you are an IT pro in a community bank or credit union, the pain of an individual tax audit is multiplied many fold when it comes time for a business-wide IT audit. These audits can happen anytime, not just once a year, and financial IT pros must always be prepared.

Making sure that you constantly stay in compliance with company policies, and the many and sundry local and federal rules and regulations, can be a nightmare. That’s only part of the issue — proving that you are in compliance by acing an audit is just as hard on IT and IT Ops departments. These groups must show that their organization is in compliance, including that patches are up-to-date, security is proven to be tight, and deep and careful activity logs are kept to record who has done what on the network.

In a recent survey of audit professionals, respondents were asked about audit practices. The results:
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6 Reasons MSPs Must Manage Office 365 – Right Now!

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Too many managed services providers (MSPs) are seeing tried-and-true revenue streams vanish as clients migrate to the cloud. Providers that manage desktop applications, for instance, can lose business when these customers move from on-premises versions of Microsoft Office to Office 365.

Instead of letting customers make this move under your nose, you should be pro-active. If they want to migrate productivity apps to the cloud, you might as well help in the move, and then offer ongoing Office 365 management services. This puts you in a leadership position, offers solid migration fees, creates a solid new source of recurring revenue, and puts you in a whole new business.

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CSI: Kaseya (or How to Protect Corporate Data When A Laptop is Stolen)

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Earlier this week, Premier Healthcare, a Bloomington, Indiana-based healthcare provider, reported a data breach that could affect over 200,000 people after a thief stole a laptop containing patient information.  While the laptop had password protection, it wasn’t encrypted.

While the bulk of data breaches making the news are the result of phishing or hacks, a large percentage of breaches are caused by straightforward stealing.  And while, in this instance, the laptop was taken from a secured onsite billing area (suggesting forethought), many thefts are simply opportunistic — a crash and grab of a laptop left on a car seat, for example.

Whether your company laptops store sensitive healthcare information, private information helpful to identity thieves, or proprietary client information, you need to be prepared to limit exposure in the case of theft.

When a laptop is stolen, you probably worry about these three things right away:
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