In the wake of recent global ransomware attacks, every organization is on high alert. It has never been a more pertinent time to make sure you’re protected from every possible attack vector. Recent headlines show a new generation of threats going viral on a global scale and proliferating more quickly than ever. Around one billion accounts and records were compromised worldwide in 2016. That's roughly three accounts for every American citizen (Forrester). At this rate, every business is bound to get hit with ransomware attacks so it’s not a matter of keeping your business from getting attacked, but a matter of how you’re going to prepare for the inevitable.
It’s an average day at the office; you’re checking emails, finishing up project documentation, when suddenly your laptop freezes and you realize all your documents, files, apps, and databases have been encrypted. The office goes into a frenzy as people begin to realize it’s not just their laptops being encrypted, but the whole company as each laptop is met with a threatening message forcing them to pay up or risk losing all their data. And just like that your company’s information is being held for ransom by cybercriminals.
In light of recent attacks happening around the globe, it’s no secret that attackers are more persistent, have more expertise, and more resources than ever before. They have the ability to compromise an organization, no matter the size, at any given time. According to a study by the University of Maryland, hackers attack every 39 seconds. With that in mind, our approach to dealing with today’s malware must evolve, and fast. Traditional lines of defense such as, firewalls and endpoint anti-virus won’t cut it against intelligent malware attacks. Advanced malware protection (AMP) solutions today must go beyond traditional defenses.
Yes, security is important!! Probably the most important topic in any technology conversation today. And it’s what everyone is talking about. But is anyone else getting inundated with security marketing content? I can’t browse any of my favorite tech news sites, or check my social media feeds without floods of product announcements, cyber threat warnings, scare tactics, infrastructure recommendations, blogs, opinions, articles, etc. I talk to customers every day about their security and business requirements, so I know if I’m feeling overwhelmed, I can imagine how engineers and business leaders feel. What should we focus on? What should we read? Where should we implement what? How should we monitor it? What if there is a breach? With some of the most recent global threats, why isn’t anyone just recommending “patch your servers”? The message itself seems like it is getting diluted.
Many IT leaders in the financial services industry are looking to hyperconvergence because of the many obvious benefits it brings to their business. So, why is hyper convergence something you should consider? Mainly, it’s reducing complexity by bringing together networks, compute and storage in a complete system with only one set of management controls. Hyperconvergence lowers cost, offers faster deployment, and simpler operations. But this type of approach is not turn-key, so before you make a move, here’s a short list of the immediate advantages for you to consider:
For financial services firms, efficiency and security of customer data are major concerns for maintaining a virtual environment that protects and keeps customer data safe. Traditionally, VDI implementations with separate storage and compute servers involved high costs, inefficiencies in scaling capacity, and unpredictable network storage performance. However, Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) is changing the game for VDI by bringing simplicity, rapid deployment, and flexible scaling that adapts to your evolving environment.
Austin Freeman said, “Simplicity is the soul of efficiency.” This couldn’t be truer when it comes to IT operations. The need to simplify and create efficient processes is an IT necessity for financial services. Our increasingly digital world creates increasingly complex needs in the data center. Financial services companies such as, banking, insurance, and capital market firms, are faced with the need stay competitive while dealing with larger workloads, skyrocketing data, cyber-security risks, and the increase of regulatory compliance requirements. Needless to say, traditional data centers are too complex and very limiting for today’s needs.
There’s been a lot of buzz around hyperconvergence. What is it? Can it simplify the arduous task of maintaining complex infrastructure and what does it really mean to me? In the finance industry, the slightest second of downtime is unacceptable. The average hourly cost of downtime for financial services is a staggering 6.48M per hour (Gartner). But, with hyperconvergence you get an infrastructure that gives you high availability, agility, as well as, predictability. Although hyperconverged infrastructure is not a new concept – it’s only recently coming to light as something really worth paying attention to as businesses plan to modernize their data centers.
Can you say you have a solid disaster recovery plan in place? If disaster strikes, whether it be from natural disasters, cybercrime, or human error, do you have a plan to ensure business continuity? For many, this is all an afterthought, or perhaps a classic case of “yeah I know this stuff happens, but it won’t happen to me”. According to a Ponemon Institute study, in the past 2 years 95% of respondents reported unplanned data center outages. It’s important to realize how often this happens and that it can very well happen to you. The good news is, you can lessen the impact of the inevitable disaster if you put the right plan in place.
Advancements in secure cloud infrastructure and virtualization have transformed Disaster Recovery. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) ensures business continuity by protecting the business as a whole, and recovers your entire IT environment (servers, data, apps, storage, and network) all in the cloud. For many businesses, implementing back-up, or secondary physical sites for back-up is not a catch-all solution anymore.