We recently shared five smart moves for IT leaders to focus on when creating an effective cybersecurity strategy. They included basic care like updating an employee security policy and avoiding physical theft, but they also covered monitoring digital footprints in order to thwart malicious insider threats. In this blog post we dive into some additional risks your organization may be facing, and what you can do to stop them.
In a complex technological world that faces an ever changing threat landscape, the team in charge of managing cybersecurity may find it difficult to know where to focus their often limited resources. Some areas, such as firewalls and operating system updates, are obvious priorities. But what else deserves your attention?
How good are your enterprise’s security defenses? Today’s hackers have access to an arsenal of tools for carrying out targeted attacks, thanks in part to an anonymous and hidden area of the internet called the Dark Web (also called Deep Web or Darknet). Payment for purchases made there is typically in the international digital currency Bitcoin, which offers a fairly high level of privacy.
For IT managers of today, the technology world is a constantly changing place, with many new changes popping up on an almost daily basis. Some of these disruptive new technologies include the expansion of advanced virtualization, new cybersecurity monitoring tools and the emergence of new cloud service delivery models, from a wide range of providers. Because of these disruptions in the IT world, the need for a robust backup and recovery strategy is greater than ever before.
Business can no longer afford for IT to be a cost center. In the ever-transforming economy of today, ideas are the new currency of business and IT is the ATM that will deliver them. It is not just about ideas though, it is about how fast you can bring those ideas into the market where they can bring value to customers and profits to business. Resources and customers gravitate to new ideas that bring value. In order for IT to take the lead in this new world, it must become faster and more agile. In order to do this, it must break the chains of the traditional data center that weighs it down and instead implement a new means of delivering and managing technology. That new system is Composable Infrastructure. It will allow IT to break free from the ordinary and accelerate the extraordinary, ensuring its new role as a value creation partner for the enterprise.
In today’s hyper competitive global economy, companies are constantly racing to convert ideas into value faster than their competition. As a result, IT is being asked to transform the data center infrastructure into a more fluid, flexible fabric that can perpetually evolve and adapt to new demands and opportunities. IT is expected to create and deliver new applications and services for mobile, social, and cloud technologies—and do so with shorter development cycles. On top of that, IT must still manage the traditional applications, data silos, and hardware while lowering the costs to do so. To say that today’s IT department has a full plate of responsibility is an understatement. The bar has indeed been set high today.
We’re proud to announce that our February clothing drive was a huge success! The WEI team collected 40 total boxes of new and gently used clothing items benefitting local organizations such as Lazarus House Ministries, Inc. and Progress Clothing, both based in Lawrence, MA. The clothing drive was part of WEI’s robust community outreach program and sustainability initiative, WEI StepsUP. Through WEI StepsUP, all WEI employees are able to donate 4 hours each month to volunteer at local non-profit organizations—all of which support the health and growth of our community. Each employee is offered the chance to donate up to 48 hours per year doing charity work.
For IT managers, the days of “just” keeping the data center up and running are about over. In IT today, it’s no longer just about managing and maintaining assets, and providing support for the back office. In this blazing-fast digital age where collaboration is king, IT is in a better position now more than ever to help drive key business initiatives and help businesses meet strategic goals.
Automation is a hot topic today. We read about autonomous cars and trucks that drive themselves over long distances, eliminating the consequences of human error and maximizing productivity as drivers can now focus on tasks that add far more value to their lives. We read about automated cooking robots that prepare the perfect burger or cappuccino every time for a steady stream of customers. Many of today’s network managers would appreciate more automation when it comes to managing their network. In fact:
Recently, we shared four items to consider when preparing your data center to move to the hybrid cloud. Read on to learn about additional tips for a hybrid cloud deployment.
Today’s IT Manager has to walk a tightrope. Management is saddled with the inherited role of supporting the traditional data center that remains built around an inflexible hardware-based infrastructure. At the same time, management and market pressures are compelling them to try to and transform this rigid environment into a modern data center—designed around flexibility, operational velocity and borderless adaptation. It is a quandary of duality that IT teams frustratingly have to deal with.
Douglas McArthur once said, “There is no security in this world, only opportunity.” That statement is more profound for the business climate of today than perhaps any time in history. There is no longer any security for a company regardless of its size, history or market share. There is also limitless opportunity for new ideas and innovation that can bring recognized value to customers. Ideas are the new substantive matter that has the potential to create or destroy entire industries. A new idea can yield unbridled success to its originator, and irrelevancy to its competitors. Welcome to the Idea Economy, a new age that Meg Whitman, CEO of HPE, says is defined by the ability to turn ideas into value faster than the competition.
The job of an IT professional is challenging, especially since strengthening cybersecurity is constantly a moving target. With attackers trying new approaches and getting stronger with their tactics every day, protecting an enterprise’s data and information is more crucial than ever before. How can you ensure you’re covering all of your security bases? Start with managing the most common security risks, which are described in this article.
The growth rate of the hybrid cloud seems to be living up to its hype. In fact, Forrester Research recently updated their growth prediction of the cloud market by 20 percent above their initial forecast three years ago. Their current estimate is an investment of $191 billion by 2020. As another example of this growth, as of January 2015, Microsoft Azure was storing more than 10 trillion objects, an increase of 6 trillion objects since July 2012.
The hybrid cloud is an excellent tool for enterprise, but like any new technology, there are some definite challenges when navigating unfamiliar waters as well as a few potential snags in the road that can delay, hinder or even potentially terminate your hybrid cloud implementation. Below are some of the potential missteps that you can avoid if you properly plot your transition in advance.
Has your organization identified an initiative to move to the hybrid cloud? Your data center likely isn’t ready to just be picked up and relocated; you’ll need to complete specific preparations before making the switch. Here are several items to check off your list before fully integrating hybrid cloud.
The pace of technological change and innovation continues to accelerate in today’s IT organizations. This includes the expansion of advanced virtualization and the emergence of new cloud service delivery models. Yet, despite such progress, the areas of backup and recovery remain underdeveloped at many organizations. Many business leaders struggle to contain rising backup costs, and have little faith in their current procedures’ ability to restore key systems and crucial data, especially in the wake of a real-time crisis or service disruption.
Many organizations are investigating a “Cloud First” approach with their applications; to save on costs of keeping physical hardware, they want to offload the majority of their IT infrastructures to one or more external providers. While that prospect may fully come to fruition at some time in the future, applications and cloud technologies still have much to develop and change before most organizations will be ready for such a wholesale move.
If you’re serious about making a successful move to hybrid cloud, now’s the time to make progress in each of these five areas.
We are always happy to share about our wins with our clients, customers and partners, especially since we could not achieve these recognitions without their support and valued business. Read on for a look at what the WEI team has accomplished in 2016.
Regardless of organizational size or industry, every company faces significant data and network security concerns today. Those concerns increase substantially for organizations that deal with protected or sensitive information in any way, including health, financial, or even basic customer data. The past decade has seen a growing number of both internal and external data security breaches in industries as diverse as healthcare, retail, entertainment, banking, and military contracting, and threats are unlikely to subside anytime soon. Organizations who act now to counter the threats of the future are the ones who have the best chance at protecting customers, employees, and brand reputations.
If you have had the chance to read any of the latest analyst predictions for 2017, then you will have noticed that security remains at the top of the list. So what will you do differently this year than in year's past? As you review your security strategies and revisit best practices this New Year, it’s important to reflect upon the past. We examined the top security threats last year in our white paper, Effectively Managing Cyber Security: Top 5 Enterprise Threats. Now read on to learn about the top five enterprise security threats to the confidential and proprietary information on your network -- that you must consider for this year.
How are your security protocols working? While most businesses are focusing on the type of software being used to keep cybercriminals out of the servers, Intel and its partners are working to change the face of security and working together to achieve better results.
There’s a new technology threat your organization should be cautious of in 2017 – it’s called whaling. Just like the practice of hunting a whale, cyber criminals use this technique to reel in a big catch by targeting top decision-making executives at enterprise organizations—and it works. If that doesn’t sound scary enough, many companies have experienced this threat in a very real way. Read on for a look into some high-profile, real-life whaling cases and their consequences.
Software defined storage (SDS) has the potential to revolutionize your business processes and drive extraordinary value. However, storage isn’t just measured by capacity. In our previous blog post, we laid out the example of thinking of your organization’s storage infrastructure like a virtual city: there are specific places designated for each type of data, from highly-utilized information to archives. Because of this, there is a true need for segmenting your resources; today, SDS is finally allocating true Automated Storage Tiering (AST) for enterprises. AST has created a natural and timely partnership with flash storage to offer the speed and performance that personal computing devices have enjoyed for years and many organizations are now considering all-flash based arrays to meet the demands of server virtualization.
There are a couple of reasons why organizations are slow to adopt software defined storage (SDS) when compared to its cousin, software defined networking (SDN). This is likely due to the concept of utilizing commoditized hardware. After all, if a switch goes down, it’s just a switch. If a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) goes beyond the point of degradation, it’s your own valuable data, which is why enterprises have been willing to pay such absorbent costs on proprietary disk array devices that boast enormous levels of redundancy. In addition, some of the terminology frequently used to describe various aspects of SDS can be confusing.
Virtualization is the foundation for all Cloud based services, offerings, and changes to business operations and procedures. There are three (3) major areas in the data center where Virtualization exists to enable automation, auditing, and Cloud services. Let’s get started!
IT departments are undergoing a drastic change as more and more data is pushed to the cloud and new technologies arise. However, those departments are also being asked to do more with increasingly shrinking budgets. So, what’s the answer? Data center modernization, which will upgrade your server infrastructure while also increasing productivity and decreasing costs.
We recently discussed an emerging cyber threat called whaling, a new highly-targeted phishing tactic that’s threatening enterprises’ most valuable employees: the C-Suite. While whaling is similar to any other phishing or spam email scam, it’s a tactical approach that takes its time by targeting high-level executives by leveraging what seems to be legitimate business correspondence. How can you recognize a whaling attack before it infiltrates your organization? Read this post to get to know the common security risks.
There’s a new kind of threat to your enterprise, under the phishing and spam umbrella, and that danger is referred to as whaling. Specifically designed attacks target your most valuable team members, the boardroom executives, and infiltrate your enterprise to a scary extent. How can you avoid whaling? Read on for our cyber security threat briefing.
Several analysts have predicted a rise in the adoption of SDN and software-defined technologies in the years ahead. We stand by the prediction as our networking solution engineers often get asked about our experience implementing the market leading SDN solutions available today. Read through this example of how WEI assisted its customer with a data center relocation and consolidation project that was enhanced by the implementation of Cisco ACI -- which presents a new networking model that leverages policy-based networking.
Software defined storage (SDS) is a cost-effective way for companies to store their data in a safe cloud environment while freeing up space traditionally taken up by physical hardware. It can also provide a stronger level of data protection since cloud service providers (although their security policies vary) have a responsibility to care for customer data, per your service agreement. How can you determine if this fits into your organization’s budget? First, let’s dive into the circumstances that created a need for SDS
Networks are continuously undergoing some level of transformation and conversion to new technologies and bandwidth capabilities. It is the nature of the beast and one that data center managers are all too familiar with. However, IT leaders are facing increasing levels of required network alterations and conversions today due to several emerging trends:
As we look back at the year that was, one cannot ignore the growing prominence of Ransomware within the IT Security community. The dramatic surge of ransomware attacks has been outlined within headlines all across the country as cyber criminals continue to perfect this method of extortion in which no person or organization appears to be exempt from today.
Today it is all about the App. Industries can be created and toppled by a simple app residing on millions of devices throughout the world. The power and influence that applications have today on the global economy makes applications the new digital currency of the world. It is the mission of IT to keep the currencies of their organizations flowing and to protect the value of that currency. It is also imperative that IT structures are designed from the ground up with these applications in mind, not just to ensure their viability and reliability, but also providing the means to allow them to evolve and adapt to the needs of their customers.
The benefits of hyperconvergence are clear, as is the trend toward mainstream enterprise adoption. However, not all companies are on board with this new type of software-driven data center innovation. Because of technical and licensing challenges, larger companies are quicker to make the adoption than smaller businesses. The three main organizational groups can really benefit from this technology are:
There’s a lot of talk about SDN solutions today such as Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure. In fact, Cisco ACI is the industry’s most comprehensive software defined networking (SDN) architecture to date. By integrating ACI into IT operations, IT now has the ability to align IT services with business objectives and policy requirements. Achieving this organizational transformation can be a game changer for most any organization, allowing them to streamline their services at large and gain greater efficiencies and profit margins. Instead of serving its traditional role as a cost bucket, IT can become a leader, introducing and initiating value added projects that recognizably add to the profitability and success of the business.
In today’s digital world, every facet of an organization must become elastic and more flexible, especially the IT department. The Virtual Server Appliance (VSA) can be one of the most valuable tools in your technology arsenal. No matter how much money you throw at hardware, it will never be as elastic as software. Instead, your business can employ VSA, where the storage controller runs in a single virtual machine, which manages the storage directly attached to its host. A VSA is not an appliance, rather, it’s software. Read on for a look into this solution.
The digital transformation of our economy today has paved the way for multiple disruptors that are altering entire industries and markets. The induction of disruptive organizations such as Uber and Airbnb are introducing new paradigms that are threatening traditional business models and longtime industry leaders. There is one thing in common with disruptors such as these. They leverage assets. Whether it be a car or an extra bedroom, these two mentioned disruptors harvest additional value from these assets which in turn adds revenue streams. Suddenly a car is no longer an expense—it becomes a profit generating machine.
Searching for the best way to store your organization’s precious data and informational assets? Your storage infrastructure is incredibly important; in this article we discuss ways software defined storage (SDS) and the Virtual Storage Area Network (vSAN) can complement your strategy. The idea of separating your enterprise’s IT control plane from the data plane and running services over commodity hardware rather than custom proprietary hardware is not new; in fact, it can be quite beneficial.
Writer's note: Every Thursday in November and December, this blog will highlight the SDN solution, Cisco ACI. As market acceptance and adoption increases for SDN, IT professionals can count on WEI to fairly evaluate the market leading SDN solutions available today.
There is always a lot of buzz around the ‘next’ big IT infrastructure technology, but how much have you heard about hyperconverged infrastructure? It can be hard to sift through the articles and expert opinions for what is the next best solution for your IT environment, and we have seen this through the years, but hyperconverged is worth the look.
Have you heard about VMware’s vRealize Suite for cloud and data center management? It’s the solution that enables hybrid cloud management and can help enterprises keep up with the growing IT demands of today’s digital business. One of the most valuable tools within the vRealize Suite is Automation, which is so powerful that VMware allows you to purchase it as its own standalone application. However you choose to use it, it offers the enterprise five fantastic benefits.
As a minority-owned business in Salem, NH, it has been a core tenet of our culture to embrace diversity in the workplace and support diversity in our community. Last week, at the National Minority Supplier Development Council Annual conference (NMSDC), WEI received the National Supplier of the Year award in the class IV category!
This highly coveted award helps solidify our position among an elite group of minority-owned businesses who are making a substantial effort in promoting the success that can be achieved when working with diverse suppliers.
Ever wondered how WEI maintains its competitive advantage as one of the most innovative technology solutions providers? Above and beyond our great, hardworking employees, we also have several state-of-the-art labs that help us determine the right solution for each client. Read on for an overview of our technology facility.
Adoption of hybrid cloud is on the rise. In looking at the results of the 2016 State of the Cloud Survey, there is strong growth in hybrid cloud adoption as public cloud users added private cloud resource pools. 77 percent of respondents are now adopting private cloud up from 63 percent last year. As a result, use of hybrid cloud environments has grown to 71 percent (Cloud Computing Trends: 2016 State of the Cloud Survey). Sure, the research speaks for itself, but given our experience building private clouds and hybrid cloud environments for our customers, we can certainly vouch for the validity of those stats. However, seeing the benefits of hybrid cloud come to fruition relies on the tool your company will use to manage it.
Ransomware is a flourishing IT threat, and one that can cost organizations thousands of dollars in lost data, ransomware repayments and security breaches. According to Marcin Kleczynski, the CEO of cybersecurity company Malwarebytes, "In the last six to 12 months, [ransomware] has just gone so aggressively to the business environment. We see companies from 25 people all the way to 250,000 people getting hit with ransomware."
We at WEI are pleased to announce that for the third time, we have been named to The Channel Company’s CRN Fast Growth 150 list, ranking at #84. This annual list is CRN’s coveted ranking of thriving North America-based technology integrators, solution providers and IT consultants who have accomplished gross sales of at least $1 million, and who have experienced significant economic growth within the IT channel over the past two years. The 2016 list is based on gains in gross revenue between 2013 and 2015, and the 150 companies recognized represent a total combined revenue of more than $25,637,241,944!
Not so long ago, many enterprises were reluctant to adopt cloud computing technologies or Anything-as-a-Service (AaaS), mostly due to the concerns about weak security and loss of data control. After all, the traditional approach to network security is heavily focused on protecting the physical network perimeter.
We’re pleased to announce we have been awarded the 2016 HPE US Partner of the Year award for VAR percentage growth by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). This is the second time we’ve been honored with this distinction, and both times the honor has been based on percentage growth. HPE shared a blog post announcing the winners; view it here.
We are proud to announce; for the third year in a row, we’ve been named to Business NH Magazine’s prestigious list of Top Family Owned Businesses by revenue. This year WEI ranked #2 on the list of Top Family Owned Businesses, up from #7 in both 2014 and 2015.
The information technology market is demanding software defined networking (SDN). It’s a whole new paradigm that is not only the next natural progression of networking, but a simple way for IT leaders to control their networking environment and keep up with the lightning-speed rate of technological change that the industry is facing. Ever increasing workloads, the need for a flexible environment and more robust business activities have IT leaders begging for a new way to manage them; this IT revolution (as we have coined it) is called software defined networking.
The news is filled with examples of companies being exploited by cybercriminals’ ransomware attacks, left with their information held hostage unless they pay a hefty fine. While you may think that ransomware can’t happen to your organization, or isn’t as widespread as it may seem, think again.
Surely you’ve seen rampant news reports of malware breaches and incidents of cyber hacking at enterprises around the world. From hospital hackings to financial services heists, digital criminal activity is a very real threat in today’s business climate. Read on for the details your enterprise needs to know about malware, in addition to three tips to protect your organization.
As an IT solutions provider dedicated to innovation and solving our client’s technology challenges, we are pleased to announce our recent recognition by CRN on the 2016 Solution Provider 500 (SP500) list. WEI was ranked at #93, and ranking within the Top 100 is a tremendous achievement.
In today’s data-driven world, nearly all businesses are conducting activities in a digital manner and can’t afford to lose their critical data and information. There are many ways a business continuity interruption can strike, including a malware or ransomware attack, human error or accident, a malicious insider or even a natural disaster. Instead of scrambling to pick up the pieces after such an unfortunate event, it’s best to create a solid disaster recovery (DR) strategy now.
We are pleased to announce that for the second year in a row, WEI has been honored by The Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC) as the Supplier of the Year! This marks the fourth time WEI has won the award, and it solidifies our position among an elite group of minority-owned businesses in the New England area. We were generously nominated by CVS Health, who previously honored WEI with their 2015 Innovator of the Year award. Get the full scoop in the official press release.
If your organization is considering a move to cloud computing, but you are worried about signing up for the proper services for your company, consider test driving the offerings before you make the switch. A well-researched and properly planned cloud deployment is the best strategy for companies seeking to take advantage of this new technology to take, but IT pros may be concerned about potential speed bumps and setbacks.
In 2016, network security has been a topic of concern entering conversations in enterprise boardrooms across the world. With many recent high-profile hacks, security breaches and incidents of malware and ransomware, it’s no wonder organizations are quickly seeking strategies to beef up their security and avoid threats. Read on for five tips for improving enterprise network security.
The hardware-driven data center will soon be unsustainable. If you think that statement may be too bold, look at the latest commentary on the benefits of the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC).
According to VMware, “The next generation of data centers is clearly software-defined: all infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service, with control entirely automated by software. To fully realize the potential of the software-defined data center, all infrastructure disciplines must therefore be virtualized, and put under automated control. This creates a separate, more strategic motivation for software-defined storage.” Clearly, the hardware driven data center is well on its way to becoming an IT relic.
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) is more so a reality for IT leaders now than ever before. Evolving from a buzzword, many IT leaders have a roadmap that includes SDDC. According a research poll conducted by IDG, 42% of IT Decision Makers plan to move to an SDDC. As the hardware-driven data center proves itself insufficient to complete business processes and manage increasingly large and complex workloads for enterprises, the need illuminates itself further.
The concept of “software-defined” is not new, in fact we’ve been replacing hardware with software for a long time. Think about the alarm clock you used in the 90’s. If you wanted to set your alarm clock for 30 minutes earlier than usual you had to rotate through 23 and a half hours to set your new time. But that was normal. Fast-forward to now and your alarm can be turned on, off, or adjusted with a click of a button – right on your mobile device – replacing hardware with a software enabled device.
We’re honored to announce that CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, recently named WEI to their 2016 Solution Provider 500 (SP500) list; we were ranked at #93. This annual list honors an exclusive group of standout North American IT solution providers; we are recognized among the largest technology integrators, solution providers and IT consultants in North America by revenue, and are proud to have placed in the top 100.
Our valued customer, CVS Health, sets the bar high for corporate social responsibility, partly due to their commitment to supplier diversity in the supply chain. They recently released their 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, CVS Health’s Prescription for a Better World, which highlights the progress CVS Health has made in the past year in collaboration with their partners. We’re happy to be featured on page 106 of the report, which can be viewed here. CVS Health’s Office of Supplier Diversity awarded WEI with the 2015 Innovator of the Year Ruby Award in the Supplier and Business Partner category for our contributions to developing creative, innovative solutions to significant business challenges – and because WEI is a minority-owned business who is also committed to diversity in our workplace.
The IT data center finds itself at a decisive nexus in its lifecycle and is about to undergo a similar transformation to that of the Google self-driving car. Just as a computer-driven car doesn’t have to listen to the needs of a human driver, a software orchestrator drives all of the IT decision making, providing automated judgments for the organization based on the immediate conditions at hand. A Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) completes this transition.
Software Defined Networking is a revolution that is now upon us; and whenever a revolution occurs, consistent with human nature, there is always a hearty dose of revolt first. Revolt to new ideas and concepts shows up consistently in our human history, with IT being no exception.
“Software Defined Data Center is where…all the complexity in configuring and changing all the individual elements is abstracted to a single control level where you can make those changes with the single press of a button.”
Are you considering migrating to software defined systems to automate just about everything in your infrastructure? A software defined system uses software to automate and virtualize the main components of your IT architecture: Compute, Networking, and Storage. There are a number of benefits of software defined technology and today we will highlight five major benefits—we call them the 5 A’s.
Since the cloud is by nature, “up in the clouds,” it can be harder for enterprises to know if they are complying with industry and governmental regulations than if they were employing on premise hardware and infrastructure.
Software Defined Networking is a new paradigm. One that is emerging in data centers around the world. It is not simply because it is the next natural progression of networking, but rather the market is demanding a modernized infrastructure to keep up with the pace of technological change. Let’s explore 3 (although there are several) market drivers begging for the salvation that SDN provides.
At WEI we are always looking for new and comprehensive solutions to meet our customers’ changing security needs. According to Symantec’s 2015 Internet Threat Report, the number of ransomware attacks by cyber criminals more than doubled between 2013 and 2014. What can businesses do to avoid this? One piece of your comprehensive security puzzle should be to focus on network segmentation.
There are several different ways your current employees can knowingly or inadvertently bypass your security; while all can wreak havoc with your systems and cause irrevocable damage, those with malicious intent in mind are by far the worst. Understanding the different levels of threat and what may motivate these insiders can help you create strategies that truly mitigate your risk.
Software defined networking (SDN) has emerged as a versatile, budget-friendly and dynamic architecture that allows IT managers to respond quickly to business demands and manage cloud networks in a central environment. It’s a new revolution in IT that can help propel your business ahead of the competition and deliver an impactful change. Surely you’ve seen that SDN can provide many benefits, but like any new IT project, you should make sure you are well-versed in the approach before deploying a new strategy.
Organizations are currently faced with a cloud computing dilemma: should you use big data solutions or stick with the traditional data warehouse? If you choose the wrong platform to handle your company’s workload, you may find yourself shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars in frivolous fees. Let’s take a look into what big data and the data warehouse can offer to help you determine which option is right for your organization.
Mobile technology is reinventing the workplace. As more and more companies institute a work from anywhere policy, and with the proliferation of mobile apps and interconnected devices, the workplace is moving far beyond the traditional office setting.
At least once a year, you can find a report on the web about what the most common passwords are based upon leaked data. Think of these lists as the worst passwords you can ever use. Typically, 123456 and password top the list. Coming up the path of popularity are passwords 123456 and 123456789, as people are required to enter in longer passwords. Need a mix of letters and numbers? You might want to avoid abc123 and trustno1, among many others. Nowadays, a password security alone isn’t sufficient to lock anything down. How best can you secure your system to keep the bad guys out?
Is your company leveraging the advantages of hybrid cloud? A “happy medium” between private and public cloud options, the hybrid cloud allows IT leaders to use services and resources from third-party cloud computing providers in a partial manner curated to fit their needs. They can design a custom strategy using only services they desire while gaining the benefits of both public and private models.
As malware continues to evolve at lightning speed, it’s getting more and more difficult to prevent and identify its existence. A computer attack from the APT virus is both insidious and crippling for enterprises. Its lifecycle, if well-masked, can do some real damage in just 12 months. An Advanced Persistent Threat attack on a bank revealed that it’s a methodical attack. Here’s how it unfolded. Seasoned cybercriminals mined the bank’s social media platforms and website to identify its hosts and senior personnel. Stolen data was then used to launch phishing email campaigns and launched malware on the bank’s executives’ laptops. Undetected by antivirus software, the attack expanded throughout the business. All of this took just three months. Over the next several months, the malware had injected a code into all of the infected systems. Slowly, it stole passwords, security policies and network diagrams. The organized crime ring used this data for a more offensive attack across the company’s network. The last two months of the malware attack entailed downloading the bank card information of more than 50 million bank customers.
At WEI, we pride ourselves on fostering strong client partnerships and truly believe that their success is our success. Our company was recently featured in an article by CVS Health, a longtime partner of WEI, for our assistance with the CVS Health and Target integration. We began working with CVS Health more than five years ago, when we were hired to replace keyboards and memory DIMMS in all of their 7,000 pharmacies.
IT strategies are known to evolve at a rapid pace, and over the years we’ve witnessed a handful of megatrends. Once there were mainly centralized mainframes, where every application including bookkeeping and payroll were customized and home-grown. Then there were distributed Windows-based client-server systems running mostly commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software with only industry-specific business process logic written in-house. Next we saw highly virtualized servers running multiple OSs, and finally we landed in the current era of the Cloud, mobility, and consumerization – where software and infrastructure can be offered on a subscription basis “as a service,” and there’s an app for… everything.
IDC Chief Analyst Frank Gens has hailed the adoption of “3rd Platform” technologies of cloud, mobile, big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) as the key trends shaping the future of IT. IDC predicts one-third of all IT spending and 100% of IT growth in 2015 will be based on these tent poles.
Did you know that your data could be compromised at this moment, even if none of your security measures have sounded an alarm? As companies across the nation reported data breaches throughout the past few years, one commonality was noted: in most breaches, the data was compromised for weeks or even months before anyone noticed. When you couple that fact with some of the expectations for data security in the coming years, you realize that both internal and external security in most organizations has to evolve if it’s going to do any good.
Every few years a new encryption algorithm is released by an IT solutions provider to ensure your data stays safe. Hardware keeps improving, making older encryption algorithms easier to break. Thus, new encryption mechanisms are needed to keep your systems and data safe.
We love sharing our recent wins with our clients, customers and friends, and are excited to announce that WEI has recently been named to the 2016 Tech Elite 250 list by CRN, a brand of The Channel Company. A prestigious award, this annual list honors an exclusive group of North American IT solution providers that have earned the highest number of advanced technical certifications from leading technology vendors.
Cloud computing offers a new avenue for companies to cut costs and save on their IT expenditures, but choosing the wrong service provider can result in a serious hit to the company wallet. To avoid “sticker shock" in the cloud, read on for tips for reducing your cloud computing costs.
Once upon a time, it was safe to turn your computer on. Nowadays, a month, week, or even day doesn’t go by where you hear about the latest system attack and zero-day exploit used to install malware and expose data from somewhere across the globe. Some news reports even say the NSA is buying these exploits to take advantage of them before they’re patched to gain access and potentially disrupt computer systems. If the US government is doing it to attack their enemy, you can be sure other governments and organized crime are doing the same to potentially get into your systems. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and the least protected computer system will be found and exploited.
Cloud service providers come in all shapes and sizes, and have a wide variety of offerings that your business can choose from. Picking a cloud service provider is not something that should be taken lightly, as they will have access to your company’s sensitive information and resources. Before you sign a cloud agreement, be sure to ask these three questions.
Managing internal access to data and software has always been a challenge for technical and security departments. In the past, security was often managed physically; workers couldn’t access what they couldn’t physically get to. Today, cloud computing and the need for employees of all levels to access data from disparate locations makes physical controls outdated in most industries. Instead, organizations are turning to a variety of cloud, software, and hardware-based security solutions, some of which are less effective than others.
Is your business utilizing data encryption in your security strategy? The process of changing information to make it unreadable to those except authorized users can help your company securely protect data and safeguard it from potential threats. Businesses use data encryption to protect personal information, customer data, trade secrets, employee files, tax information, credit card numbers and more. This benefits the network is breached. Read on to learn about the benefits of data encryption.
Getting your team up to speed in your ITaaS transition can seem daunting with all of the major changes that look and feel different from original protocol, but ultimately the process boils down to careful planning and thorough communication. While change always starts at the top, an effective transformation will depend on the enthusiasm of your workforce, and their willingness to embrace new ways of doing things. For a step-by-step guide that will lead you through all of the important steps of this process, check out our whitepaper, Making the Transition to ITaaS. But for starters, the following tips should position your organization for a successful transition to ITaaS.
Not long ago, many organizations were reluctant to adopt cloud technologies mostly due to concerns about security and loss of data control. After all, the traditional approach to network security is heavily focused on protecting the network perimeter. How do you do that when the Internet is being used to interact with applications, services, and data? It’s no surprise that enterprises were a bit unsettled with the idea of sharing the responsibility of security and privacy with cloud providers.
Maxwell Health CEO, Veer Gidwaney wrote that as-a-service trends were poised to change the world. Even in 2014, as-a-service models were sweeping industries from software to healthcare. Giants such as Amazon and Netflix are now fully cemented in the entertainment space based on their aaS models; from business to personal life, such trends are creating evolution in the way people work and live. Companies can capitalize on aaS models by implementing IT as a service, or ITaaS.
The technology industry is rapidly evolving, changing and growing; it’s important to stay up to date on current trends, and even brush up on skills well in advance of needing them, so you are prepared when emerging and disruptive technologies sweep the industry. Read on for three information security trends to be aware of in 2016 so your company can best prepare against potential hackers and cyber criminals.
As IT organizations are recognizing the increased efficiency, agility, and scalability of virtualized mission-critical applications, the next critical phase is to develop an IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) program as a method of staying ahead of a constantly evolving IT and business environment. What is distinctive about the ITaaS model is that it allows an organization’s IT department to function as a separate business entity, operating as a value-based service team that delivers precisely the resources needed, when needed. This model is geared towards the unique demands and requirements of internal and external customers.
From alternative energy to stocking post-consumer recycled content in the office, we pride ourselves on leading the IT industry in corporate sustainability and an eco-friendly mindset. We recently rolled out WEI StepsUP, our environmental initiative which helps to reduce emissions, pollutants and our overall carbon footprint. Here are the green initiatives we are working on to reduce our impact on the world around us.
IT leaders have worked hard to keep their networks safe. With the right systems, solutions and policies in place, the concern about data security should diminish, right? Not exactly. Plenty of companies have gone above and beyond to secure their networks, although it seems that a breach is inevitable given that so many major corporations and brands have been compromised in the past few years. Hackers continue to evolve and so must a company’s security strategy.
Newscasters seemed rattled by the news last week that Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid hackers $17,000 in Bitcoin to regain access to a key system.
This is no surprise for security insiders. Ransomware for enterprises is a top trending threat. In fact, the center’s ransom pales in comparison to the $123,000 in Bitcoin demanded from a New Jersey school district in 2015; the district decided instead to rebuild systems from backups.
Security analysts say that anywhere from 3 to 40 percent of ransomware victims pay up. The FBI, the agency responsible for investigating ransomware, has no way to help. Instead, the FBI recommends paying the ransom if the victim has no unaffected backup from which to restore files. Several police departments have paid ransoms.
If your organization is attacked by malware, can you afford it? The repercussions are huge – money, reputation, productivity and the confidence in moving forward are all compromised. There may also be legal implications, and losses that cannot be monetized. How does an organization protect itself from malware and the growing efforts of cybercriminals?
The IT channel outlook for 2016 is filled with mixed opinions. While it is expected to be one of the best years for IT, it is also slated to be one of the worst. Our Senior Director of Marketing and Product Management, Jennifer Burl, recently spoke with Michael Vizard at Channel Insider to share some insight and provide details into how IT organizations are thinking about the year ahead.
Every organizational leader knows the value of teamwork. When the various parts of your team work together, they can get more done with less, meet seemingly impossible goals, and stand up to enormous obstacles. What you might not realize as an IT leader is that your security solutions can deliver the same results if they also work as a team. While you don’t have to coach programs and hardware as you would a human team, you do have to choose solutions wisely and integrate them in a way that maximizes efficiency and effectiveness.
Are you concerned about the security of your business’ data in the cloud? You aren’t alone. While cloud computing offers many advantages (several of which include security benefits,) it also can be seen as a gray area for IT pros who are seeking full and secure control of their data. Read on for four data security tips for your business' information in the cloud.
In the cloud era, IT has been defined by the ability to deliver key components as a service, including software, platform and infrastructure. It’s no surprise that the latest development in this trend has been IT as a service (ITaaS), a new delivery model that allows organizations to quickly and easily add capabilities from across the IT landscape as needed, using virtualization technology, service catalogs, and predefined delivery models.
The internet of things, and the promise of innovation that it is deemed to bring, may finally transition from being a popular buzzword to reality in 2016. In a recent story on Flarrio that featured opinions on the future of the internet of things, WEI Chief Architect, Dave Fafel, shared his predictions for the evolving IoT in 2016. Here’s what he had to say:
“IoT in 2016 will be about distributing sensors everywhere-sensors to collect data for analytics and control purposes. 2016 will also be the year IoT makes dumb devices smart!”
With horror stories of high-profile cloud security breaches in the news, it’s hard not to be overcautious of your company’s data and information; protecting yourself and brushing up on best practices is the first step. Cloud computing may seem vulnerable to attacks, but it is an inherently qualified system with an enormous potential for your cyber security efforts. There are many things you can do to protect your company assets and data in the cloud; here are the most common cloud security mistakes and what you can do to fix them.
Protecting infrastructure and data for an organization is an unceasing job, and it can become easy to fall into the silo trap. Whether you’ve concentrated on one threat so long you can’t easily see others or you work in a certain IT division and don’t have reason to consider other areas often, silos can create weaknesses in overall security. The best strategy for network and data security takes a holistic approach – considering all of the access points, hardware, software, people, requirements, and activities in an organization.
We enjoy sharing about our recent media coverage with our clients and customers in addition to stories of our company’s history and business growth. Sramana Mitra from the One Million by One Million blog recently profiled our President and CEO Belisario Rosas about his journey to transform WEI into the company it is today. Many of the most talked-about sagas of technology entrepreneurs detail Asian or European innovators; Belisario is Latin American (from Lima, Peru), and Sramana Mitra recently shared his unique story in a 5-part interview series on the blog.
Making sure you protect your data is essential in making sure your protocols are effective. With technology continuously evolving, data breaches are becoming more common, exposing confidential information to the masses. It is important to have a defense system in place that can counteract these breaches, but the challenges that face IT security personnel keep growing.
Although there are many solutions on the market that assist in defending servers and data, there are a number of elements that could potentially suffer, such as performance and user experience. This creates a barrier between security and performance, where there should be cohesion. The challenge remains in keeping data safe, reducing risk, and keeping the level of performance high.
Is your business using hybrid cloud computing as part of a comprehensive IT strategy? If so, you are probably receiving the benefits of this flexible and diverse option. The middle ground between keeping all infrastructure on site and sending all compute functions to the cloud, hybrid cloud is the happy medium of the cloud computing world. If you aren’t yet using this strategy, read on to learn how your company can leverage the following four benefits of hyrbid cloud.
An enormous challenge for technical and security departments within any organization is creating secure networks, apps, and servers without making access so difficult that legitimate production is impacted. This is true whether you are working with in-house employee-based systems or customer-facing solutions such as web portals or online account management. The consequences for not securing information are huge, ranging from federal or state sanctions to loss of customers or customer trust. At the same time, results of the wrong type of security or unnecessary security might include loss of productivity, inability to make deadlines or complete work, poor employee morale, and loss of revenues. Data protection is key, but how can you ensure you have the right solutions in place?
Cloud computing is quickly becoming the industry norm for IT professionals and is a style of working in which products, resources and services are made available over the Internet, rather than from in-house infrastructure.
WEI is excited to share that we’ve received CVS Health’s Innovator of the Year award for being a collaborative and innovative IT solution provider. The award is only given to one vendor each year; WEI is the 2015 pick.
We are excited to share an award we just received from The Channel Company: the esteemed 2015 CRN Triple Crown Award. Fewer than 60 North American solution providers had the necessary revenue, business growth and technical expertise to be recognized on three of CRN’s pre-eminent solution provider lists, earning the CRN Triple Crown Award this year. WEI is honored to be the top commercially-focused New England-based VAR distinguished as a Triple Crown award-winning business.
Veeam’s new Availability for the Modern Data Center doesn’t just offer the opportunity for your company to adopt an “always on” business model; it offers many solutions and services traditional legacy systems like Symantec NetBackup do not. In this blog post we will cover the top 10 reasons to consider making the switch when comparing cloud services for backup solutions.
It’s important to address common challenges your business may face when transitioning to a model where you’re “always on” as opposed to being available to customers only during office hours. When comparing cloud services, you’ll want to find a model that offers you flexibility and consistency.