Meltdown and Spectre Patching – What You Need to Know

Image result for meltdown spectreRecent complex vulnerabilities in top-tier computer devices, iPhones, Windows PCs, Android devices and other gadgets have sent companies and individuals alike in a tailspin. A critical security flaw has been detected in processor chips that allow bottom barrel IT processes to have access to memory in the computer’s kernel – aka the most privileged IT process of the device.

Not good.

Hackers could potentially exploit this issue giving them a clear path for installing malicious software to read memory through this new group of side-channel attacks and putting data, hardware and software at serious risk.

Here are the immediate steps you need to take to make sure your data and infrastructure are protected:

The Worst Cyber Attacks in History (So Far) and What We Can Learn

In 2017, the world experienced some of the largest and most dangerous cyber attacks in recent history.

The numbers are staggering: 

  • 143,000 million: the number of consumers affected by Equifax breach.
  • 3 billion: the number of people whose Yahoo email accounts were reportedly compromised. While the Yahoo! breaches occurred in 2013 and 2014, Yahoo! only disclosed the 3 billion number in October of 2017.

Russian Hacking Election Scandal Puts the Voting Process Back to the Basics:  Paper Ballots

The Russian hacking scandal of the 2016 presidential election may put the entire voting process “back in time.” States from Virginia to Arizona are looking to retire touch-screen voting machines in favor of paper ballots, according to a recent article in Government Computer News (GCN).

“…States and counties were already moving toward paper ballots before 2016,” said Katy Owens Hubler, a consultant to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) as reported in GCN. “But the Russian hacking incident has brought the spotlight to this issue.”

Shadow IT and Shadow Data: How Organizations Can Protect Against the Use of Unsanctioned Applications

When we think of cybercrimes we often think of criminals hacking into a network to retrieve sensitive corporate information.  But cyberattacks and the leaking of information can also occur from within an organization in the form of Shadow IT and Shadow Data.

Extra-Terrestrial IT Protocols:  What Happens if Aliens Land on Earth?

For those of us who work in the technology industry, it’s important to dream.  We tend to focus on issues that are “down to earth” – such as ensuring our children in schools have access to the latest technologies, or that businesses have the right IT infrastructure to protect their data. But then there are times when we want to go galactic, like pondering what would happen if extra-terrestrials (ET) landed on Earth or sent us a message from outer space?

Do we have IT protocols in place for handling such an extraordinary, out of this world event?

4 Ways the Cloud Can Help Budget for Growth

Cloud BudgetToday’s businesses are expected to forecast the future almost regularly. You may have a company that is growing rapidly and need to determine how much infrastructure you should implement today to last the next three years. Conditions can change, you can over buy or under purchase, and budget deadlines are quickly approaching.

Do you have a reliable methodology to determine what your headcount and resource needs will be 3 or 5 years from now? How much downtime do you really have and what is it costing you?

Product lifecycles are changing and organizations are at a crossroads on whether to move to the Cloud. With its inherent scalability, predicting your resource needs adequately is easier and can help you remain competitive in the market. An experienced managed Cloud provider brings a proactive viewpoint that looks at your growth goals and recommends adjustments to scale up or down accordingly.

Below are four ways the Cloud can help you budget for growth:

What is the Dark Web and Why Should Organizations Care: DiamondIT Announces New Services to Detect Compromised Credentials on Dark Web

The virtual world of the World Wide Web is a vast space that, like the real world, contains both good and bad.  While Google, Facebook, Amazon and all other online services have brought so many enhancements and innovation to our lives, there is also a place called “the Dark Web.”

The Great AI Debate – Human Destruction or Great Potential

In the summer of 2017, two behemoths of technology had a very public debate over whether Artificial Intelligence – or AI, as it is popularly known – could spell doom for humanity.

Elon Musk of Telsa and Space X has pontificated that AI needs an “alarm bell” and proves an “existential risk for human civilization.”  As such, Musk is calling for proactive regulations so that AI doesn’t destroy humanity  — such as AI-powered robots killing or enslaving humans or, at the very least, replacing human jobs.

This bleak attitude toward AI prompted Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to retort that Musk’s view is “irresponsible” and accused (Musk’s) doomsday fears as unnecessary negativity, according to The Atlantic Monthly.

Part Two: The Internet of Things is a Game Changer for Industries – Security Issues Can Be Managed

IoT is a windfall for many industries, but like any relatively new technology architecture, it also has its challenges – most prevalent is security.  In part one of this blog post, we outlined how businesses are connecting multiple devices to provide actionable data to help increase efficiencies within their organizations.  In this blog post, we will talk about how to secure these machines.

Top 10 IT Budgeting Tips for SoCal Businesses in 2018

As we head towards the fourth quarter, budgets are top of mind, especially in the tech forward state of California. Technology innovation continues to evolve, and as you set growth goals for 2018, it’s imperative to adjust your IT budget accordingly.

IT budgets are expected to grow 4.5% this year, Morgan Stanley said in its report, “CIO Survey: 2017 IT Budgets Improve on US Strength.” The top spending priorities include cloud computing, security software, analytics tools, networking equipment and ERP and CRM applications.

How can you accurately forecast without overestimating? What percentage should go towards maintenance versus innovation? If you’re feeling overwhelmed as budget deadlines approach, you’re not alone.

Here are 10 IT budgeting tips to help simplify the process: