Your Journey to the Cloud Doesn’t Have to be Stormy

Just because your business is small doesn’t mean you’re immune from computer viruses, malware and other cyber-attacks. Although it sounds logical for hackers to target larger businesses because of their larger amounts of data, research shows small and medium businesses are just as likely to be attacked as larger enterprise businesses, according to the 2018 Symantec Internet Security Report. In fact, small and medium businesses may be even more vulnerable than their larger counterparts because of the tendency of smaller companies to spend less on security.

 

Many smaller businesses have not increased their cybersecurity even though they often have poorly secured servers, unprotected endpoint devices and vulnerable storage and back-up processes. With the increased usage of mobile devices to accommodate today’s mobile workforce, the door to your data is opened wide if a laptop or smart phone is lost or stolen.

 

Hackers aren’t about who they attack – they’re happy to steal from any business. They typically take a shotgun approach, aiming at as many businesses possible to make small amounts of money per breach. This spray-and-pray approach increases cyber risks exponentially for smaller businesses.

Hey, You! Get Off of My Cloud

  In conversations about cloud computing, people tend to refer to the tool as “The Cloud” which implies that somewhere out there in the virtual world is a single place where all data and online apps live. Actually, there are many cloud services available. In fact, the virtual world can be downright overcast with the number of cloud choices.

Cloud computing gives businesses access to data, apps, services and files anywhere, anytime. The problem is – what if it also allows access to anyone?

The Cloud especially improves team collaboration when a business has multiple locations or even numerous employees working on the same project in the same location but on individual devices. Teams that use social technologies like cloud collaboration tools have raised their productivity over 20 percent.

CyberSecurity Trends – A Year in Review

Now that we are a few months into 2018, security analysts are able to look back on 2017 and analyze leading cybersecurity trends. Not surprisingly, according to the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity report, there was an elevenfold increase in malware last year.

“Adversaries are becoming more adept at evasion— and weaponizing cloud services and other technology used for legitimate purposes,” the report declares.

The following are some of the major cybersecurity trends of 2017:

Ransomware Families Up 32%, Total Ransomware Threats Down 41%
According to Dark Reading, the growth in ransomware attacks hit a plateau, while the number of ransomware families rose considerably. As cybercriminals become more adept in targeting individuals and organizations, the variety of ransomware attacks are evolving. Not surprisingly, the WannaCry variant dominated the landscape – making up 57% of all ransomware detected last year.

Welcome WPA3 – WiFi Gets an Upgrade

It’s been nearly 14 years since WiFi (or WPA2) as we know it got a security upgrade.  But now the WiFi Alliance, a standards organization that includes Broadcom, Intel, Microsoft and others, is recommending a badly-needed make-over that will be dubbed WPA3, according to reports.  The new upgrades to WiFi were announced at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) the week of January 7, 2018.

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:

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:

Disaster Recovery Solutions Have the Potential to Save Critical Business Data in Times of Crisis

Hurricane Harvey in Houston has amassed a disaster toll of unprecedented proportions.  According to recent figures from ABC News, a total of 93,942 homes have been damaged or destroyed by the hurricane as 20-trillion gallons of rain poured down on several counties throughout Texas and Louisiana. In addition, Hurricane Irma is also threatening the Caribbean and parts of Florida – wreaking havoc not seen in decades.

In addition to the devastating toll on residents, such mass natural disasters threaten the economy.  BusinessInsider reports that “AccuWeather forecasts that (Hurricane) Harvey would be the most expensive natural disaster in US history, at about $160 billion…. According to data…cited by Bloomberg… the hurricane could cause $75 billion in economic losses.”

5 Cloud Tools Worth Consideration in 2017

CloudsCloud-based technology solutions continue to be a predominant factor in IT growth. From business intelligence to email security to customer relationship management, the steady progress in cloud offerings translates to regular new releases of cloud software. With a wide range of applications and services that have a positive contribution to business productivity, there is no shortage of options to consider.

As your business needs change, your technology needs evolve as well. Always be on the lookout for the best new tools to enhance your existing cloud environment.

Here are 5 new cloud tools you want to consider investing in in 2017:

Cyber Risk Awareness Event Los Angeles

5 Ways To Make Cloud Easier to Use

Clouds
Change is scary, especially when it pertains to your business. You’ve made the important decision to implement a cloud-based technology solution, but now things seem complicated. How will all the files and emails be accessed? How much down time is expected? What if current applications don’t work properly?

The cloud, when implemented properly, makes everyone’s life easier. But if you rush through the process, or skip any of the 5 vital steps listed below, it can make your work environment cumbersome, and reduce the impact of your exciting investment.

Here are 5 ways to simplify your cloud usability: