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Protect Your Clients’ Data―and Your MSP―with Layered Security

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As an MSP, you have been long aware that your clients need to increase and standardize their IT security defenses to decrease the risk of cyberattacks and possible regulatory fines.  However, did you know that new regulations could extend this risk to your own business?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679), which starts to roll out in 2017 and goes into full effect in May 2018, Continue Reading…

Security is an MSP’s Job One

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Security is by far the toughest challenge faced by end user organizations today — which is why so many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) choose to outsource their security to managed service providers (MSPs). SMBs simply can’t afford the security personnel expense (security experts command top salaries) and don’t have the time to do the constant and detailed work it takes to maintain a safe environment. Nor is this a strategic endeavor for busy SMB IT shops.
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Happy Birthday, PCI Council! Unfortunately, Compliance Is Not Enough

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To honor the Council’s 10th birthday―and just in time for a new retail holiday season― let’s look back on how retail security challenges have intensified over the past decade.

The PCI Council’s inaugural year coincided with one of the first highly public, holiday-season retail breaches when, in December 2006, retailer giant TJX acknowledged that they had been the victim of a major breach, stemming from an insecure wireless network that was easily attacked by Continue Reading…

The Beauty of Managed, Automated Security for IT

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Security has gotten too complex for an SMB IT staff to fully manage without help. The threats posed by cybercriminals are worse than ever, and the damage that they do is unparalleled. Keeping up is tough enough. Staying ahead seems near impossible.

Security is Job One

As a member of the IT department, your most important function is to protect the network and safeguard your organization’s critical data. While down servers and unstable applications can make your department look bad, the most visible failure is a security breach. That’s ‘heads rolling’ territory.

Security is also a visibility issue for companies who see their reputation and business possibly ruined due to breach publicity.

These fears are what makes security the number one priority for business leaders and the top way they judge IT.

Meanwhile most SMB IT staffs don’t have the time, budget, manpower or the tools to handle security in an optimum way.

So what’s a responsible IT department to do? Continue Reading…

Turn Managing Office 365 from Bear to Breeze

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Microsoft Office 365 sounds like a piece of cake to install and use. And for a single end user, it can be. But just try and move an entire shop, even a small one, over to the Microsoft productivity cloud suite. The management difficulties can be shocking.

Part of the problem is the administrator skills needed for on-premises Microsoft Office are almost exactly the same as those required for Office 365 – which translates into  a deep mastery of PowerShell scripting and Active Directory. This comes as quite a surprise to many Office 365 customers.

The result? Some customers looking to move to the cloud opt for Google Apps, and live with far fewer features, rather than tangle with the management beast that is Office 365.
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9 Top Security Predictions from Gartner– Plus Advice!

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As a leading analyst firm, Gartner comes out with a steady stream of predictions. One of the latest rounds concerns security. The predictions are designed to help IT pros take security seriously. After all, cybercriminals are more organized and dangerous every day.

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The Risks and Rewards of a Hybrid Cloud

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Remember when the cloud was the new big thing? Then private clouds where all the rage. Now we are inundated with talk of hybrid clouds which combine private and public clouds into one unified system.

Before we talk about why hybrid clouds sound so great, we should touch on why private clouds are so compelling.  With the help of server virtualization, you take your own infrastructure and make it cloud-like – basically turn it into a utility. But you control the whole thing and, because it is local, you have full control of its performance.

The problem is that as demand grows you have to scale up the private cloud by adding more resources – even if you only need those resources every now and again. At the same time, there are services you want in the easy-access public cloud (because users can get to the cloud from anywhere) but you still  want these applications and data linked to your on-premises applications.
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Policy-driven Security Helps You Stay Ahead of the Bad Guys

policy-based-securityKaspersky Labs just published a new eBook, Cybercriminals: Unmasking the Villain, which provides insight into cybercriminals’ evolving strategies and tactics. There are three points in particular that I want to highlight:

  • “31% of all cyberattacks are directed at businesses with less than 250 employees”
  • “42% of confidential data loss is caused by employees” often due to well-meaning employees “opening unauthorized email attachments, forwarding sensitive information or storing data insecurely”
  • “Hacking a small business to get into a larger business is now standard operating procedure for cybercriminals.”

These evolving cybercriminal practices underscore the reality that proper, up-to-date security practices are more vital than ever to the health and well-being of every company, no matter its size.  The risks are too high, and the incidence of exposure and breaches is only increasing.
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GUEST BLOG: Become the Trusted Security Advisor Your Clients Need

These days, every organization needs someone they can trust for advice on IT security. Global enterprises like the Wall Street banks can afford to put one or more trusted security advisors on staff; but down on Main Street, most folks have to look outside the organization for trusted security advice, just as they do for trusted IT advice. And that represents a great opportunity for MSPs who make the right investments in security knowledge and offer the right mix of security solutions.

Traditionally, anti-malware has been the leading edge of security selling by MSPs and it still represents a golden opportunity for adding revenue to IT contracts, if you can get past some of the current linguistic confusion about malware protection. Here’s how I would boil it down for prospective clients: “the best way to keep malicious code off your systems is a properly licensed, appropriately configured, fully-supported anti-malware solution that is both comprehensive and centrally managed.” And in my opinion, the best way to implement this approach in all but the largest organizations is through an MSP who really understands the security landscape and can offer the kind of flexible billing that today’s business environment demands.

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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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