As the saying goes April Showers Bring May Flowers. Better yet, the IT hurdles of 2020 brought much needed improvements in technology today.
As we all know, the dark days of 2020 caused much chaos and angst across the world. It affected industries and people in a myriad of ways. The IT industry was, of course, not omitted from the all-of-the-sudden-problems. Leaders in the industry scrambled for answers and resolutions to issues that seemed to arise overnight.
The beauty of hardships, however, is that they create resiliency. The silver lining from 2020 is that issues of yesterday bring knowledge and technological enhancements of today. Namely, we are dealing with improved security, flexibility of remote working, and the much-anticipated receipt of previously purchased goods.
In the world of IT, if we are not growing and changing, we are dying. Evolving is a major part of the industry. This is partly due to the nature of the beast. In this case, it is also due to the people and crisis that threaten company and individual livelihood – otherwise known as ransomware attacks and cyber hackers.
A few (of many) advances in technology that have taken off over the past few years are:
Randomized MAC addresses:
Now, of course, much of the above was around prior to 2020, but the focus on making these things higher quality with increased functionality has taken off.
Creating a remote work environment is not easy. It’s not easy when you have the time and resources on your side to do-so, but without thorough planning to execute, it seems almost impossible. Aside from lacking time and resources, we can’t forget about the difficulties in getting our hands on the needed technologies to make this happen too.
As companies struggled to work through the difficulties of enabling a remote work environment in 2020/2021, we are now able to reap the benefits of IT’s hard work.
Positives that have come from a rushed remote set-up include:
In 2021, depending on the product and the manufacturer, some customers were waiting in line for goods to arrive anywhere from 3-12 months out from the purchase date. Some of the many challenges with this, include :
In 2022, we have slowly started closing the gap between purchase date and arrival of product. Though we are not to the finish line quite yet. Again, depending on product and manufacturer, we are seeing ship dates creep back down. The most exciting thing about shipment of product that you bought 12 months ago? You likely finally have that in your hands, and that’s a great feeling! Companies are becoming more familiar with how to handle this (Purchasing further in advance, changing the way we timeline future projects, and understanding the right questions to ask when it comes to support on product).
The silver lining is alive and well and the hope is that we only continue to grow past the hardships of yesteryear! Reach out to NDM today to find solutions to help your organization bloom.
It’s that item on your to do list that you often ignore and say you will do later – software updates. Not only may you be missing out on the latest improvements, but you can create a major security risk for your organization by ignoring these updates.
One of the largest data breaches on record is the Equifax data breach in 2017. It exposed the personal information of 147 million people. Hackers were able to get in due to a known system vulnerability for which a security patch had been issued two months before the breach. Unfortunately, no one at Equifax applied the patch. It cost the company $700 million in a settlement reached with the FTC.
Before you get distracted by another project or think that you can wait to do your next update, here are a few reasons why software updates matter.
Security is the number one reason to make sure you take care of updates as soon as possible. Software vulnerabilities often give cyber criminals access to one’s computer and plant malware. Malware enables one to take control of computers and steal information. It also can encrypt files, documents and other programs so they are unusable. Security patches block these open doors in the software to protect a device from attacks.
Risks from third-party vendors account for over two-thirds of all data breaches today. Third-party applications often interact with the internet. This makes them highly vulnerable to ransomware. Hackers know companies often overlook updating various programs that don’t seem important.
Cybercriminals want to exploit the most vulnerabilities as possible simultaneously. They are constantly searching for popular third-party programs. They will jump on an opportunity to hack millions of users who delayed updating their software.
On a positive side, software updates can give you access to the latest improvements and remove the old ones that are out of date. A software program may get a new shot of stability — no more crashing. Or an update might boost program performance — more speed. Some of these new features could save you time and most importantly enable the software to keep working and not shut down.
Your Data is your most valuable asset at any organization. Often hackers will search for personal data such as financial information, passwords, usernames or other documents with sensitive information. They will look to sell this information to the dark web and commit crimes. Allowing your customer’s information to be vulnerable can impact your company’s reputation and future business.
Just like your vehicle needs regular maintenance to help improve its performance, your software can benefit from updates. Bugs are often found in programs or enhancements are made to improve the overall experience.
With technology constantly changing, often older software will not be compatible with new technologies without the appropriate update. Microsoft, Google and Apple are frequently updating their technology interfaces. Most of us use multiple devices so compatibility is essential.
It important to update your software but beware of fake messages or popups out there. Pop-ups are typically a scam to get you to click somewhere that you should not. Close the pop-up and go directly to the vendor website to look for downloads. There a suspicious emails making their rounds stating that your updates are past due and make an update now. It is best to reach out to the vendor directly.
You may have the option with some software to do automatic updates. Some software makes it possible to choose the time of day you update or even how often. Scheduling and automating your updates this way will make them less of a nuisance.
Like ignoring the check engine light on your car is something you shouldn’t do, the same goes for software updates. They can help protect personal information as well as company data. Contact NDM to find out more about how we can help.
Securing or Hardening aims to protect and secure your IT infrastructure against cyberattacks by reducing the attack surface. The attack surface is all the different points where an attacker can to attempt to gain access or damage the equipment. This blog is focused on securing Servers and storage.
The goal of server hardening is to remove all unnecessary components and access in order to maximize security. This is easiest when a server performs a single function. For example, a web server needs to be visible to the internet whereas a database server needs to be more protected. It will often be visible only to the web servers or application servers and not directly connected to the internet.
If a single server is providing multiple functions, there may be a conflict of security requirements. It is best practice not to mix application functions on the same server.
The information below provides a starting point for implementing hardening policies. Some of these only apply to the servers, but others apply to all devices on the network (Servers, Storage, Networking).
Contact NDM today if you would like more information on hardening your infrastructure.
According to IDC research, businesses are prioritizing resiliency and agility as foundational elements of their IT strategy. They want more visibility, cross-platform control, better data management, and protection from the edge to the core. While consumption-based models are playing an increasingly important role in powering those goals to accelerate digital transformation, many business leaders are hesitant when it comes to Network-as-a-Service (NaaS). Some still think of as-a-service in terms of software, compute, and storage. However, as budgets grow tighter amid an inflationary economic environment, organizations need a better way to predict the ebbs and flows of the network, with flexibility to adapt as business needs change. That’s where NaaS comes into play.
Among the newest as-a-service approaches, NaaS combines hardware, software, services, and support in a pay-as-you-go model that delivers network services on a subscription basis. Allowing users to consume network infrastructure through flexible OpEx subscriptions, NaaS helps businesses shift their focus from managing their architecture to driving business outcomes.
If you haven’t transitioned to Network-as-a-Service yet, here are five reasons why you should:
As market conditions continue to change at a rapid clip, your business needs to be one step ahead of your competition. With NaaS solutions from Aruba, NDM can help you move from reactive network management to a proactive approach that uses the network to deliver innovation and power profound business outcomes.
For more information about how you can accelerate business outcomes with Aruba’s subscription-based network consumption model, contact us here.
Downtime costs businesses an average of $84,650 per hour. A natural disaster or cyber-attack can result in weeks of downtime for a business that’s not prepared, delivering a massive financial blow. Even worse, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 40% of small and mid-sized businesses never reopen after a natural disaster, and an additional 25% reopen but fail within a year. These statistics are staggering—and sadly, we’ve seen scenarios like these play out many times with our clients.
The threat of man-made and natural catastrophes is real—and in most cases, it’s something you can’t control. What you can control, however, are the safeguards you have in place to help your business recover when disaster strikes.
DRaaS is a pay-as-you go cloud service model that delivers backup services in a managed data center to ensure access and functionality to IT infrastructure after a disaster. It gives an organization a total system backup for rapid restoration of data servers and applications in the event of system failure. By replicating and backing up all cloud data and applications, DRaaS protects data, limits downtime, and shortens Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) when a disaster happens.
At NDM, we can help you achieve modern data protection with HPE GreenLake for data protection. Ask us about how your company can install a free trial of HPE Greenlake backup and recovery.
For more information about HPE’s industry-leading backup, recovery, and ransomware protection capabilities, contact us today.
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