Our Thoughts on IT Matters

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Microsoft Alert: September Outage and What You Should Know

Microsoft’s cloud services experienced a significant outage yesterday.  There were reports that Microsoft’s efforts to repair the problem affected some customers for more than 6 hours.  We are not yet aware of any customer data that was lost. Microsoft customers from all over the world reported significant issues with access to critical functions.  In the United States, several 911 Emergency reporting facilities from Atlanta, Georgia to Tucson, Arizona were down.  In addition to emergency services, virtual learning in colleges and public schools took a major hit as students, teachers, and administrators all over North America were forced to ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: Cyber Security – The Biggest Risk Isn’t the Loss Itself, But the Reputation

Some of you may remember the name Ray Tomlinson.  If you’ve never heard of him or can’t recall the name, suffice it to say that he’s had a profound impact on your life.  Recently deceased, he is the programmer credited to have invented ‘email’ back in 1971 when he sent an email to himself from one computer to another traveling a network known as ARPANET. Not surprisingly, given Tomlinson invented email, he is also the person who turned the world’s first computer virus “Creeper” into a self-replicating program and then developed a reactionary antivirus program called “Reaper” to delete it.  This would prove to be just the first of many ...

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Microsoft: COVID-19 Indifference, New Pricing, and Great News (for Microsoft)

The initial outreach and helping hand that many IT suppliers gave at the onset of the pandemic has already faded.  Most offers were not only insufficient to have a real impact, but instead locked companies into less favorable deals long-term in exchange for that short-term assistance.  We recently wrote another article on this called ‘Look That Gift Horse in the Mouth’. Microsoft has thus far, in our opinion, followed this same path.  Despite COVID-19 issues, Microsoft thus far is holding firm on pricing for its Office365 Enterprise Agreement renewals.  Further, we see them in many cases offering ‘list price’ and no discounts at all.  ...

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Security Operations Center: Insource or Outsource to MSSP?

As technology marches ever forward, the threats to Enterprise Security have seemingly multiplied exponentially.  Our ability as organizations to stay ahead of the risks that technological advancements have brought to the forefront are challenged daily.  Literally.  They are challenged everyday by threats from: Foreign governments trying to access data and networks Cloud security as more and more corporate data is stored outside proprietary networks Shadow IT Ransomware Phishing attacks on unaware employees Internal bad actors (i.e. employees who wish to do harm) Malware installed on endpoints surreptitiously by external bad actors There are ...

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GDPR: An Opportunity for SSM (Strategic Supplier Management)

Many client executives are currently working to become compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  The GDPR regulation goes into effect on 25 May, 2018, and while GDPR is a European Union regulation, it is expected to be implemented worldwide due to its wide reaching or near universal regulatory umbrella. Around 20 years ago, pretty much all data was stored in the corporate datacenter. Today, that data could be in multiple locations, stored on the edge in branch offices as well as in the public cloud. Critically, Personal Identifiable Information (“PII”) could exist outside primary systems. GDPR represents “the law ...

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IT Security Software Spend: Not Secure

Underinvested?  Overinvested?  Do we have the right supplier(s)?  Are we running the right software?  Are we using the right security technology?  Are our solutions keeping us safe and protected?  Do we have applications and a network infrastructure that can be properly protected? These are the starting questions IT and Financial leaders of any organization face today when they look at the Equifax Security Breach – one the largest and deepest in US history.  If you are unfamiliar or have chosen to forget it on purpose (apologies in advance if that’s the case), it impacted 140 million consumers’ personal information, including social security ...

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