Managed IT Services Blog

Insights from GDS About Managed IT, Connectivity, Cyber Security & More

Managed SD-WAN Connectivity

How to Choose the Right SD-WAN Solution for 2021

The work-from-home models necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic are driving rapid adoption of SD-WAN solutions. By providing more flexible, scalable and reliable connectivity than traditional WAN architectures, SD-WAN improves access to corporate resources and cloud services for today’s distributed workforce. As organizations embrace remote work as a long-term strategy, SD-WAN has become an essential component of the corporate IT infrastructure.

Managed Colocation

Managed Co-Location for Workloads that Can’t Move to the Cloud

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated adoption of cloud applications and services to support remote operations.  According to new data from Synergy Research Group, spending on cloud services saw 28 percent year-over-year growth in the third quarter of 2020 alone — about three percentage points greater than would have been expected under normal circumstances.

MDF and Printer Cybersecurity

Print, Copy, Scan … Hack? Unprotected MFDs Create Cybersecurity Risks

Despite the digitization of many business processes, workers still need to print, scan, fax and copy documents. However, employees working from home no longer have access to the business machines in the office. This has led to a surge in demand for home office printers and multifunction devices (MFDs).

Cybercrime Automation

The Cybercrime Economy Is Fueled by Automation. Here’s How to Fight Back

Cybercrime is big business. A recent study by Atlas VPN found that cybercriminals rake in more than $1.5 trillion in revenue annually — triple the earnings of retail giant Walmart. If you count all the global costs of cybercrime, it would be equivalent to the world’s third-largest economy, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.

Industrial Control System Vulnerabilities Bring Critical Risk

Industrial Control System Vulnerabilities Bring Critical Risk

A new report paints a grim picture of industrial control system (ICS) cyber security. According to the Claroty Biannual ICS Risk & Vulnerability Report, 365 ICS vulnerabilities were disclosed in the first half of 2020, 75 percent of which were rated as high or critical using the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS). These vulnerabilities were most prevalent in ICSs used in critical infrastructure, including the energy and critical manufacturing sectors.

Cyber Security Budget 2021

2021 Security Budget: Protecting Your IT Assets Drives Business Value

We’ve been talking about the cybersecurity threats to look out for in 2021 and the tools and services you’ll need to protect your applications and data. Now comes the question of how much budget to allocate to cybersecurity in the coming year.

Benefits of Moving Your Network to the Cloud

The Business and IT Benefits of Moving Your Network to the Cloud

Networking has historically been hardware-centric, with organizations deploying stacks of routers, switches and security appliances. The result is a highly complex environment that is managed manually on each device. Inflexible legacy network architectures make it difficult to implement new applications and services or scale the environment to meet changing demands.

Cyber Security Checklist 2021

2021 Cybersecurity Checklist: 8 Tools and Strategies to Protect Your Systems and Data

In our last post, we discussed six cybersecurity threats that will likely have the greatest impact on organizations in 2021. Phishing campaigns will continue to proliferate, and many will exploit the fear and uncertainty that continues to surround the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts are also predicting “Nigerian Prince” scams preying on individuals and businesses looking for economic stimulus payments.

insider threat security strategy

How to Develop a Comprehensive Strategy for Combating Insider Threats

In a previous post, we took a look at the serious problem of insider threats. Accounting for 30 percent of all security breaches, insider threats include well-meaning users who make mistakes or work around security policies and insiders who attack company IT systems out of malice or for personal gain. The most expensive insider attacks involve credential theft, in which outside hackers steal legitimate usernames and passwords to gain access to IT systems.

insider threats in cyber security

The Insider Threat Problem and What You Can Do About It

Organizations are right to be concerned about shadowy hacker groups infiltrating their IT systems. According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, 70 percent of security breaches can be traced to malicious external actors. Organized criminal groups were behind 55 percent of breaches, and 86 percent of breaches were financially motivated.

insider threat security strategy

6 Cybersecurity Threats to Watch Out for in 2021

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that IT strategies need to stay flexible. Experts had been saying for years that we were overdue for a pandemic, but no one anticipated that we’d need to retool our operations overnight due to lockdowns and social distancing requirements. Many scheduled projects and initiatives had to be put on hold so that IT staff could focus on enabling remote access.

Implement an Incident Response Plan

Death Linked to Ransomware Attack Brings New Urgency to Preparation and Response

Sadly, it was bound to happen. A woman in Düsseldorf, Germany, has died as a result of a ransomware attack. The 78-year-old victim was to receive critical care at Düsseldorf University Hospital, but the attack had disabled the hospital’s systems. The hospital was forced to reroute her to another facility 19 miles away, delaying her health care by an hour. It is the first known fatality linked to cybercrime.

Network Weakness

3 Potential Network Weaknesses that Impact Work-from-Home Employees

The sudden shift to remote work models has revealed weaknesses in many corporate networks. In an IDC study of enterprise networking decision-makers conducted in May and June of 2020, 84 percent of respondents said employees are unable to access applications at least weekly due to network connectivity issues. More than half (51 percent) said employees cannot access applications multiple times a week, with 11 percent reporting that this problem occurs daily.

Managed IT Services for Assisted Living Communities

Helping Senior Assisted Living Facilities Use Technology to Keep Residents Connected

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on the nation’s seniors. Because of the risk the coronavirus poses to older folks with health problems, many seniors have had to remain isolated from family and friends. Nursing homes, retirement communities and other facilities providing long-term care have been forced to strictly limit visits from outsiders to reduce the risk of spreading the disease.

Managed Security Services

Managed Security Services Can Help You Overcome the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

Many people equate cybersecurity with firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and other tools that are used to protect the IT environment. But technology alone can’t prevent a security breach. On the contrary, people are the most important element in any cybersecurity program.

Inspect Network Traffic

Why You Need the Ability to Inspect Encrypted Network Traffic

Data encryption has become the primary means of maintaining the privacy of Internet communications. According to data released in April 2020 by Statistica, 63 percent of organizations use the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols extensively. Another 23 percent use them partially.

5 Key Features of SD-WAN

5 Key Features to Look for When Evaluating SD-WAN

Although software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) adoption has slowed somewhat due to current economic conditions, a new report from Dell’Oro Group predicts that uptake of the technology will quickly rebound. The research firm projects that SD-WAN sales will increase 168 percent through 2024 to exceed $3.2 billion.

Business Continuity

The COVID-19 Pandemic Shines the Spotlight on Business Continuity Planning

This isn’t the typical hurricane season. Organizations that are already grappling with the sudden transition to remote work strategies now have the added worry that a tropical storm could put even more pressure on their operations.

Telecom Management

4 Reasons Why Telecom Management Is Hard and How to Fix It

Given the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations are scrutinizing expenses to keep a lid on costs. However, one area of potentially significant savings is often ignored or overlooked — the telecom bill.

Data Protection & Data Backup

How to Overcome the Challenges of Effective Data Protection

Data backup is arguably the most critical function in IT. If you can’t recover your data when systems crash, malware strikes or disaster occurs, your business may not recover, either.

Cybersecurity Certifications Matter

Why Cybersecurity Certifications Matter in These Challenging Times

The cybersecurity skills gap continues to plague organizations of all sizes. According to ISACA’s State of Cybersecurity 2020 Part 1 report, 62 percent of organizations say their cybersecurity team is understaffed, and 57 percent say they have unfilled cybersecurity positions. There doesn’t seem to be much hope for relieving this shortage - 70 percent say that more than half of applicants for cybersecurity positions lack needed qualifications.

Topics to Discuss with the Customer at the Beginning of Every Project

9 Topics to Discuss with the Customer at the Beginning of Every Project

We all know how important it is to start any significant effort on the right foot. This is particularly true for projects in which, as is often the case, either the project manager or the customer liaison (who I will refer to as the “customer”) are not the same people who negotiated and signed the contract. The very beginning of the project is the time for both parties to review the project documents together, make sure they both agree on what is to be done, and uncover and resolve any undocumented expectations that either party has. 

Mergers & Acquisitions  corporate cyber security assessment

IT Due Diligence Is an Essential Part of Any Merger & Acquisition Deal

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting recent merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, but in ways you might not expect. Yes, the number of merger and acquisition deals is expected to decrease due to stock volatility and increased business risk. However, savvy dealmakers can often find merger and acquisition targets at lower premiums during an economic downturn. M&A deals can also provide opportunities for growth when revenue streams are uncertain, and the cost efficiencies that come with consolidation and economies of scale.

Customer Expectations: Budget, Time & Scope

Managing Customer Expectations: Budget, Time, and Scope

The customer often does not understand the interrelationship between a project’s budget, time, and scope. Early in the life of a project, a good project manager should discuss this relationship with the customer, and ensure that everyone understands how attempts to adjust one or two of these automatically adjusts the third.

Internet of Things

Why IoT Needs Cost-Efficient, Fully Managed LTE Cellular Connectivity

The healthcare industry is rapidly expanding its deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) applications. According to a new report from MarketsandMarkets, healthcare organizations are using the IoT to streamline clinical operations, manage workflows and enhance patient care. Major IoT applications in connected healthcare include remote patient monitoring, medication management and medical asset tracking.

Layered Security Approach

A Layered Security Approach Is Essential in Today’s Threat Climate

Ransomware, phishing scams, malicious email attachments, hacker attacks — the list of potential cybersecurity threats just continues to grow. Most experts agree that it’s a matter of when, not if, an organization will be the target of a cyberattack.

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