Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Jul 29

Remote Workers More Concerned About Health, Finances than Cybersecurity

By | Managed Services News

Findings in the Unisys Security Index underscore the need for MSSPs to shore up organizations’ digital protections.

Even as millions of people have shifted to remote work due to COVID-19, many are disregarding cybersecurity precautions. These remote employees are more concerned about health, the economy and health care infrastructure. This leaves a gaping hole for managed security service providers to fill for their clients.

All that data comes from the 14th iteration of the Unisys Security Index, published last month.

Here’s the main problem MSSPs have in front of them: Only 31% of Americans report unease about their data security while working from home during the pandemic, according to Unisys. That’s less than a third of the population.

At the same time, the Federal Trade Commission has tracked a significant increase in cyberattacks throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. The agency so far has fielded more than 52,000 reports of fraud related to the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, the FBI says online crime has risen by 400% because of COVID-19, with up to 4,000 incidents per day.

Remote Employees’ Lax Attitudes

And yet, Unisys found the public’s overall consideration around internet security – including viruses and hacking – fell 13 points from 2019. This ranks as one of the lowest results in 10 years, the security service provider said. This puts organizations at even greater risk, and they’re likely to turn to MSSPs.

Unisys' Mathew Newfield

Unisys’ Mathew Newfield

“It is important for MSSPs to understand that consumer sentiment regarding security trends will directly translate to partnering and buying decisions,” Mathew Newfield, chief information security officer at Unisys, told Channel Futures.

That means MSSPs need to guide customers’ adoption of a stringent, air-tight work-from-home strategy. MSSPs also, ideally, will oversee all business end user traffic and activity from a security operation center, staffed around the clock.

“We are seeing a surge in partnership requests through channels to try to help organizations compensate for deficiencies they may be facing due to the business impact of the current pandemic,” Newfield said.

That makes sense. Enterprises, SMBs, nonprofits and other organizations have more motivation than ever to turn to MSSPs right now: Unisys discovered that end users – notably, remote employees – are more wrapped up in trying to stay safe, healthy and financially afloat than in staying aware of potential online scams.

To that point, U.S. respondents’ apprehension around personal safety, natural disasters and epidemics increased by 17% and 6% from 2019, respectively, Unisys said. Those figures reached 58% and 62%.

Not Speaking Up

But when it came to fears around internet scams, Americans aren’t speaking up. One in four (24%) surveyed said they are less likely to say something to employers about a potential data breach. That concern becomes even larger with so many remote employees.

“It’s not surprising to see people’s level of concern for their personal safety jump in light of the global health crisis,” Newfield said in a prepared statement. “However, the fact that it is not only matched by, but exceeded by, a drop in concerns around hacking, scamming or online fraud reflects a false sense of consumer security. Hackers target healthcare and essential services organizations looking to steal intellectual property and intelligence. … And hackers are relying on tricks like ‘password spraying,’ which involves an attacker repeatedly using common passwords on many accounts to gain access, putting our most critical infrastructures at risk potentially from the click of a single working-from-home employee.”

While none of this comes as a shock during this unprecedented historical event, organizations still have to prioritize cybersecurity. It’s clear, then, that someone – namely MSSPs – must remain vigilant on behalf of customers. Proven techniques for shoring up cybersecurity gaps include:

  • Providing consistent and clear training for end users
  • Conducting social engineering to increase employee awareness of scams
  • Installing zero-trust security architecture that includes encryption and microsegmentation.

Unisys polled people in 15 countries for its latest report. The Index is based on national surveys of representative samples of nearly 15,700 adults between 18 and 64 years old.

Jul 29

It’s 501 Somewhere: Michelle & Ray Orsini on Diversity in the Industry, Cloud Connections Summit

By | Managed Services News

Ray and Michelle Orsini, CEO and CFO of OIT, talk diversity in the industry and company culture in a COVID world.

Ray Orsini, CEO at OIT (Orsini IT) and Michelle Orsini, chief financial officer, have been in the game long enough to know that company culture is a huge part of business’ success. Particularly when face-to-face interactions are scarce, special attention must be paid. There are also a lot of conversations happening around diversity in the industry, and the channel as a whole.

OIT's Ray Orsini

OIT’s Ray Orsini

OIT's Michelle Orsini

OIT’s Michelle Orsini

We at Channel Partners and Channel Futures are strong supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement. And we just came out with a statement outlining that support. Michelle, a Latina in tech, shares her thoughts on where the industry stands and her hopes for the future.

Channel Futures is dedicated to fostering an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion in the channel and the technology community. Thus, we are featuring content around topics of race, diversity and inclusion to spur discussion of these important subjects. Visit our webpage dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

In this installment of “It’s 501 Somewhere,” Michelle and Ray talk frankly about their company culture, diversity in the industry, and their Cloud Connections Summit.

Jul 29

Phishing Report: Hook Line & Sinker

By | Managed Services News

When we talk about phishing, it might conjure up memories of scam emails from foreign princes, chock-full of terrible typos, grammar mistakes, and other easy-to-spot signs that the message might not be legitimate. If you’re thinking in those terms, it might shock you to find out how many people actually fall for such attacks.

In partnership with Wakefield Research, Carbonite surveyed 4,000 office workers across the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Japan on their phishing knowledge and clicking habits. It then consulted with Dr. Cleotilde Gonzalez, research professor in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, to gain a deeper insight into the question: what is it that makes people click?

This report digs deeper into the survey results and present Carbonite’s own understanding of these statistics, as well as analysis from Dr. Gonzalez, insights from cybersecurity experts, real-world phishing stories from customers and partners, and tips on how to stay safe from phishing threats.

Brought to you by:
Carbonite program logo

Jul 29

It’s 501 Somewhere: Michelle & Ray Orsini on Diversity in the Industry, Cloud Connections Summit

By | Managed Services News

Ray and Michelle Orsini, CEO and CFO of OIT, talk diversity in the industry and company culture in a COVID world.

Ray Orsini, CEO at OIT (Orsini IT) and Michelle Orsini, chief financial officer, have been in the game long enough to know that company culture is a huge part of business’ success. Particularly when face-to-face interactions are scarce, special attention must be paid. There are also a lot of conversations happening around diversity in the industry, and the channel as a whole.

OIT's Ray Orsini

OIT’s Ray Orsini

OIT's Michelle Orsini

OIT’s Michelle Orsini

We at Channel Partners and Channel Futures are strong supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement. And we just came out with a statement outlining that support. Michelle, a Latina in tech, shares her thoughts on where the industry stands and her hopes for the future.

Channel Futures is dedicated to fostering an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion in the channel and the technology community. Thus, we are featuring content around topics of race, diversity and inclusion to spur discussion of these important subjects. Visit our webpage dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

In this installment of “It’s 501 Somewhere,” Michelle and Ray talk frankly about their company culture, diversity in the industry, and their Cloud Connections Summit.

Jul 29

It’s 501 Somewhere: Michelle & Ray Orsini on Diversity in the Industry, Cloud Connections Summit

By | Managed Services News

Ray and Michelle Orsini, CEO and CFO of OIT, talk diversity in the industry and company culture in a COVID world.

Ray Orsini, CEO at OIT (Orsini IT) and Michelle Orsini, chief financial officer, have been in the game long enough to know that company culture is a huge part of business’ success. Particularly when face-to-face interactions are scarce, special attention must be paid. There are also a lot of conversations happening around diversity in the industry, and the channel as a whole.

OIT's Ray Orsini

OIT’s Ray Orsini

OIT's Michelle Orsini

OIT’s Michelle Orsini

We at Channel Partners and Channel Futures are strong supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement. And we just came out with a statement outlining that support. Michelle, a Latina in tech, shares her thoughts on where the industry stands and her hopes for the future.

Channel Futures is dedicated to fostering an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion in the channel and the technology community. Thus, we are featuring content around topics of race, diversity and inclusion to spur discussion of these important subjects. Visit our webpage dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

In this installment of “It’s 501 Somewhere,” Michelle and Ray talk frankly about their company culture, diversity in the industry, and their Cloud Connections Summit.

Jul 29

How to Secure the New Hybrid Work Environment

By | Managed Services News

A hybrid work environment is going to introduce a lot of change, and change opens up the opportunity for risks.

How do we bring employees safely back to the office after months of being a remote workforce? What will the new office work environment need to look like to ensure employees feel safe? These are two of many questions that businesses are struggling to answer as they begin the process of considering when employees can return to work. We are hearing a lot of organizations are considering moving to a hybrid work environment where employees can work a couple of days in the office and a couple of days at home. This hybrid model is going to introduce a lot of change. As many IT professionals know, change opens up the opportunity for risks. As employers adopt this new change to a hybrid work environment, there are some critical security considerations your customers need to explore.

  • Cloud security: Leveraging cloud with remote workers is smart for multiple reasons, including automatic backups of work and better collaboration. It offers companies the ability to put in controls around documents. If companies do not put those controls around their cloud, there is an opportunity for someone editing the document to introduce malware to it. Anyone else who opens up the file would be affected. Your customers quickly implemented these cloud solutions to support remote users. But it is worth seeing if your customers are taking advantage of all the features included in their cloud subscriptions, and that the features are configured appropriately and securely. Just plugging something in, turning it on and including it in the infrastructure does not mean it is secure.
  • Managing complexity: Partners are going to have to help customers articulate to leadership why it’s crucial to make up-front investments in security and why it’s important to have a future architecture that has security baked into it to avoid wasting time trying to comb through these complex environments. In many cloud instances, security is at a bare minimum. For instance, one of our partners worked with a customer that conducted its typical yearly disaster recovery plan test. The employees tasked to complete the test found that many systems they planned to support were no longer on-premise; the systems were on the cloud and the employees didn’t know how to do those disaster recovery tests. They went to the business unit that had purchased the cloud services and were told they didn’t have to worry about it—that it’s in the cloud. If you get bad data in the cloud, it’s going to go around to the cloud data centers quickly, which doesn’t help in a DR scenario. Take a security-first approach to avoid the headaches that come with retroactively trying to figure out how to make these multi-cloud environments meet compliance and scrambling to find the additional expenses needed to protect the network.
  • Redirecting funds: Customers are now asking to pivot their security spend. Before they might have aimed for a network refresh at the office, but now they want to implement methods to secure their remote employees. If they think they no longer need as much office space, they don’t need that much infrastructure but could potentially turn that funding to other security solutions. If 75% of your workforce is working remotely, it will be more important to buy them endpoint security. But you’ll still need to secure your traditional perimeter. We recommend measuring your risk through our remote home secure program to assess the actual risks that these different groups of employees possess. Based on the assessment data, customers can become more efficient with their security spend. If we can paint the new hybrid scenario risks for leadership, then the customer will be more successful in redirecting those operational funds to other cybersecurity solutions.
  • Retraining employees: Customers are going to have to focus on armoring up employees who are going to be everywhere. That’s preceded by updating policies and strategies documentation. If you’re an organization that wants to evolve into a hybrid work environment, it’s incumbent upon you to get on top of documenting new policies and procedures to reflect the new reality. Companies are also at risk of violating compliance if their documentation does not match their new reality. Regulators will impose hefty fines on organizations without documentation. After that documentation is updated, there’s an excellent opportunity to proceed into a training mode to resynchronize everybody, because effective organizations know what they do and know who does what and can execute it to secure the organization.

Help guide your customers in securing their new, altered office environment. Tech Data’s team of cybersecurity experts is here to help secure your hybrid work environment. We recently launched our Remote Home Secure Program. This new offering focuses on evaluating a company’s security policies, technologies and security practices for securing their remote workforce. We can also help improve the skills of your customers’ employees to identify and mitigate risks from home through the Tech Data Cyber Range. Contact us at [email protected], or visit https://cyberrange.techdata.com to learn how we can help your customers assess key security risk areas and provide high-level recommendations to address identified risk gaps in their work environments.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Jul 29

Dark Data Disconnect Puts Businesses in Danger

By | Managed Services News

Threats can come from both inside and outside of the organization.

A new survey reveals a major disconnect between C-suite executives and their IT teams when it comes to dark data visibility and security.

Exonar, a data discovery software provider, polled 500 IT pros in the United Kingdom. The survey focused on dark data. That’s information that organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes.

Among the findings:

  • Eight out of 10 C-suite executives believe their organization can identify the dark data it holds. However, less than half of data managers agree.
  • Two-thirds say dark data poses a high risk to their organization. Despite this, only one in three businesses are taking active steps to gain visibility of their data.
  • One in three business owners believe their organization is just as focused on securing their data as on cybersecurity. Just 8% of IT managers agree.

Disconnect Blocks Proper Security

James McCarthy, Exonar‘s CMO, said this disconnect is dangerous.

Exonar's James McCarthy

Exonar’s James McCarthy

“When teams tasked with information security and protection aren’t on the same page about what the risks in unstructured data are, [you can’t take] the right action to protect the company’s most valuable assets,” he said. “Despite headline-grabbing data breaches and hacks hitting the news nearly every week, many organizations are still struggling to build greater resilience against the risks posed by cyberattacks. Every IT team I speak to knows the challenges they face. They don’t know what data they’ve got or how to find it.”

If businesses don’t address this issue, the data becomes a liability and a potential risk to organizations, McCarthy said.

A typical business’ unstructured information contains 42% confidential information, 1% sensitive personal information and 9% personally identifiable information.

“The major risk of dark data is the security threats it poses,” McCarthy said. “Dark or unstructured data is the point of weakness in any organization, leaving the business vulnerable and exposed.”

If you don’t see it, you can’t secure it, he noted.

Internal Threats

Meantime, threats can come from both inside and outside of the organization.

“Internal threats come from staff simply trying to get their jobs done fast,” McCarthy said. “They need to handle sensitive customer information. But it can very quickly end up in spreadsheets [that people] email around and save on local drives without any document password protection or encryption. External threat actors will find the weak spot in the network and, once inside, will spend time observing what happens, how data flows and where unprotected dark data is being stored.”

The disconnect between C-suite executives and IT teams poses many questions, he said.

“If the C-suite aren’t aware of the issues, how can they support their IT teams in solving them?” McCarthy said. “If the C-suite overestimate the current capabilities of their team, does this make them less aware of their organization’s vulnerabilities? A top-down strategy is vital for managing security risks, and ensuring that teams have the tools they need to drive the business forward.”

MSSPs Can Help

MSSPs and other cybersecurity providers offer an important service in helping to secure the systems that hold data, McCarthy said.

“Indeed, much of the conversation in information security teams focuses on the technology behind cybersecurity. ‘What technology [do we] need, where does it sit in the stack, and how do we reinforce it? And how do we keep our perimeters and clouds safe?’” he said. “But with the conversation so focused on how we keep the technology plumbed, patched and upgraded, it’s all too easy to lose focus on the importance of data itself.”

It is vitally important not to overlook the importance of data in cybersecurity, McCarthy said. You can’t secure what you can’t see, which makes data discovery a vital link for CISOs looking to secure their network, he said.

“Organizations that don’t index and understand their dark or unstructured data are potentially missing 92% of the data they need to protect,” McCarthy said. “This means businesses must move toward a more preemptive approach, discovering and securing information on the inside of the estate, so that even if someone does break into the network, they’ll have a much harder job unlocking what they find.”

‪“Confusion between teams over their ability to find and analyze dark data is understandable because so few organizations truly know what data they’ve got and where it is stored,” said Danny Reeves, Exonar’s CEO. “We hope that by identifying this disparity we can help organizations to address it.”

Jul 29

It’s 501 Somewhere: Michelle & Ray Orsini on Diversity in the Industry, Cloud Connections Summit

By | Managed Services News

Ray and Michelle Orsini, CEO and CFO of OIT, talk diversity in the industry and company culture in a COVID world.

Ray Orsini, CEO at OIT (Orsini IT) and Michelle Orsini, chief financial officer, have been in the game long enough to know that company culture is a huge part of business’ success. Particularly when face-to-face interactions are scarce, special attention must be paid. There are also a lot of conversations happening around diversity in the industry, and the channel as a whole.

OIT's Ray Orsini

OIT’s Ray Orsini

OIT's Michelle Orsini

OIT’s Michelle Orsini

We at Channel Partners and Channel Futures are strong supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement. And we just came out with a statement outlining that support. Michelle, a Latina in tech, shares her thoughts on where the industry stands and her hopes for the future.

Channel Futures is dedicated to fostering an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion in the channel and the technology community. Thus, we are featuring content around topics of race, diversity and inclusion to spur discussion of these important subjects. Visit our webpage dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

In this installment of “It’s 501 Somewhere,” Michelle and Ray talk frankly about their company culture, diversity in the industry, and their Cloud Connections Summit.

Jul 29

It’s 501 Somewhere: Michelle & Ray Orsini on Diversity in the Industry, Cloud Connections Summit

By | Managed Services News

Ray and Michelle Orsini, CEO and CFO of OIT, talk diversity in the industry and company culture in a COVID world.

Ray Orsini, CEO at OIT (Orsini IT) and Michelle Orsini, chief financial officer, have been in the game long enough to know that company culture is a huge part of business’ success. Particularly when face-to-face interactions are scarce, special attention must be paid. There are also a lot of conversations happening around diversity in the industry, and the channel as a whole.

OIT's Ray Orsini

OIT’s Ray Orsini

OIT's Michelle Orsini

OIT’s Michelle Orsini

We at Channel Partners and Channel Futures are strong supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement. And we just came out with a statement outlining that support. Michelle, a Latina in tech, shares her thoughts on where the industry stands and her hopes for the future.

Channel Futures is dedicated to fostering an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion in the channel and the technology community. Thus, we are featuring content around topics of race, diversity and inclusion to spur discussion of these important subjects. Visit our webpage dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

In this installment of “It’s 501 Somewhere,” Michelle and Ray talk frankly about their company culture, diversity in the industry, and their Cloud Connections Summit.

Jul 29

Racism Still Alive and Well When Tech Industry Speakers Take the Stage

By | Managed Services News

There are still industry event-goers who openly say they are surprised when a minority takes the stage.

JS Group's Janet Schijns

Janet Schijns

This is what great looks like — my friend and industry associate Will Harris. Will has built a prestigious and successful career as a speaker, marketer, and sales leader in our industry despite all of the obstacles thrown in his way. He gives back through his charity, benefiting thousands of people in need annually. He is truly a leader among leaders. And yet, he still faces racism even with his stellar reputation, large following and band of industry supporters like myself.

The first time I saw Will speak in our industry was the late ’90s. I was sitting next to a member of our technology channel who turned to me and said, “Will Harris is Black? I didn’t see that coming. When I saw his name, I guess they had to find someone like him to speak.” I was speechless for a moment, but then stammered through trying to explain to the person that no, they weren’t picking speakers that way, and that Will had earned that spot because he had a valuable message — which I knew at the time because he was part of my team.

You could feel the judgment, frankly, in the room as Will took the stage. None of the other speakers had faced, in my opinion, such a tough crowd. Suffice to say, my words did nothing to change my seatmate’s mind, but Will did change everyone’s mind. He blew it out of the park; he was the best speaker that event audience had ever seen, and in the end he got a standing ovation, even from my previously doubting seatmate who went on to hire Will to speak at one of his events. Will has always excelled in this setting, but my heart bled thinking that he had to not only battle through the stagefright we all have, but also had to be better than anyone else just to prove himself worthy. Completely unacceptable.

Channel Partners and Channel Futures commit to fostering an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion in the channel and the technology community as a whole. Thus, we are featuring news articles, first-person accounts and strategies around topics of race, diversity and inclusion to spur discussion of these important subjects. So visit our webpage dedicated to the topic.
Willpower Consulting's Will Harris

Will Harris

Fast-forward to 2020. This same amazing speaker and leader, Will Harris, is now a keynote speaker for Channel Partners Virtual, Sept. 8-10. And again, a member of our own industry said, “Well, I guess they needed a black guy.” This time I was not speechless; in fact, just the opposite. I showed him Will’s accomplishments, his achievements, and his accolades. And then I said, “Let’s check the rest of the speakers together to see if they are qualified enough for you not to think they got on because of their demographic.”

Well, that changed the discussion pretty radically and ended with this person apologizing. We had a multiple-hours discussion about how we all need to do better, be better and support others better if we want our channel to change.

So I challenge each of you — what lens do you use to judge talent? Do you look for people who look like you, or widen the aperture and look for and celebrate genius like Will? Together we can change the course of our industry and welcome diversity. My road map for success:

  1. Speak up when you hear or see racism; don’t leave it for someone else to take action. Do it yourself.
  2. Be respectful in your challenge, but stand up and be heard. Remember, an argument doesn’t generally change things, but a healthy dialogue can work wonders.
  3. Think about your own conscious and unconscious biases. How do they negatively impact your business? The industry?

I for one am proud to know and work with Will Harris. Shouldn’t you be too?

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