3 Steps to Optimize Your IT Infrastructure for Growth

3 Steps to Optimize Your IT Infrastructure for Growth

The growth period of a business is always exciting, but it can also be an overwhelming time. Organizations need to ensure their operations can support greater demands. If their IT infrastructure is not optimized to scale, this period of transition can be more difficult.

A common business practice that indicates growth for companies are mergers and acquisitions (M&A). While there are many factors that go into M&A deals, technology and security plays a critical role. According to research from (ISC)², 63% of M&A experts say IT tools are factored in as assets while 95% consider cybersecurity a tangible asset. Optimizing your IT infrastructure will benefit business productivity, increase security and prepare your business for future growth, even if you don’t expect to be a part of a M&A.

Source: (ISC)²

Optimizing your IT infrastructure

Your organization should not just be optimized for your current business needs but also for your business plans for the next 5 or 10 years. Of course, the future is always uncertain, and many things can happen in between. However, optimizing your infrastructure for something like a M&A will help your organization get to where it needs to be when the time comes. Here are three things you can do to optimize your organization for future growth.

Audit and Assess

The first step in optimizing your IT infrastructure is to assess your IT assets and understand how they are being used across your organization. Sometimes organizations purchase software programs or applications that they later abandon or are similar to something already being used. As a result, they are potentially spending a lot on licensing fees on services they aren’t even using/don’t need. It’s important for organizations to gain visibility into their infrastructure in order to understand how their IT investments work for their business.

The best way to gain visibility into your IT infrastructure is to audit and keep track of all the devices, software and apps being used and who has access. As roles change and employees depart your organization, you need to ensure that permissions are being adjusted accordingly. Taking the time to review your IT assets can help keep your organization more secure and ensure you’re maximizing your IT revenue.

Manage and Monitor

Management of your IT infrastructure is important in ensuring that all systems, software and applications are updated to the latest versions. When your IT systems are properly managed, its easier to keep track of which parts of your infrastructure need to be upgraded and ensure that your network is working efficiently. Failing to update your IT assets puts your organization at risk to security vulnerabilities and compliance regulations.

Monitoring and management of your IT assets can be overwhelming, especially if you have limited resources. In cases like this, outsourcing to a managed services provider like Jolera can help reduce IT costs and provide organizations with IT expertise. Outsourcing IT management leaves the IT issues to your service provider while you focus on your business. If you are interested in how Jolera can help you manage your IT infrastructure, contact us today.

Scale and Secure

When organizations start to grow, things can get complicated very quickly. Having an IT infrastructure that can support expansion can alleviate stress and make the process easier. The traditional on-premise IT infrastructure model makes it more difficult for organizations to scale their business due to the hassle of having to purchase, configure and integrate new equipment into their network. Using cloud technologies within your IT infrastructure ensures your organization is built to scale.

When scaling your IT environment, it’s important to ensure your organization remains secure and complaint. Encryption is key to protecting data, whether its in transit or at rest. Having IT experts who understand your business needs and security is key. Securing your IT infrastructure is important no matter where your servers reside. Protect every threat vector by integrating security solutions like our Secure IT platform. Our solutions were created to work together to ensure that organizations can layer security across their technology assets.

Threats of the Week – February 19, 2020

Threats of the Week – February 19, 2020

Emotet Trojan

A newly uncovered Emotet malware sample has the ability to spread to insecure Wi-Fi networks that are located nearby to an infected device.

If the malware can spread to these nearby Wi-Fi networks, it then attempts to infect devices connected to them — a tactic that can rapidly escalate Emotet’s spread, said researchers

Source: ThreatPost

How do you protect yourself?

Proper security measures must be in place to defend against Emotet trojan and similar threats. Having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.

CVE-2020-3742

Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Acrobat and Reader for Windows and macOS. These updates address critical, important and moderate vulnerabilities. Successful exploitation could lead to arbitrary code execution in the context of the current user.

Source: Adobe

How do you protect yourself?

Updated Adobe Acrobat and Reader to the latest version.

KBOT Virus

KBOT, a virus that spreads by injecting malicious code into Windows executable files, is the “first “living” virus in recent years that we have spotted in the wild.”

KBOT is able to spread through Internet-facing systems, local networks, and removable drives. Once a system is infected, the malware writes itself to Startup and the Task Scheduler, infecting all .exe files on logical drives and shared network folders in its path.

Source: ZDNet

How do you protect yourself?

Proper security measures must be in place to defend against KBOT virus and similar threats. Having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.

Jolera Achieves SOC 2 Type 2 Certification

Jolera Achieves SOC 2 Type 2 Certification

Toronto, February 12, 2020 — Jolera Inc., a leading multi-national IT service provider, announced that it has recently achieved its SOC 2 Type II certification for its controlled, secure and efficient operations. The certification further reinforces Jolera’s commitment to maintaining a secure and compliant environment to protect customer data.  

“Earning this attestation puts Jolera in a new league of benchmarked process and controls maturity – this is a very advantageous position relative to security and operational controls,” said Manish Govindaraj, Chief Operating Officer at Jolera. “This reinforces our commitment to providing our partners and customers the confidence that their data is being handled in accordance with industry standards and that we are operating in a very controlled, efficient and secured manner.” 

SOC 2 Type II certifications are given to companies that follow a set of standards encompassing security, availability, processing, integrity and confidentiality of customer data. The SOC 2 Type II certification provides information on the service organization’s system and the suitability of the design and operating effectiveness of controls. 

The SOC 2 audit was completed by an independent accounting, tax and business consulting firm. The auditing process examined the controls, procedures and personnel involved in Jolera’s operations for adherence to industry best practices. Upon completion, it was determined that Jolera’s service complied with audit controls and provided a secure service with high availability as at the report date of February 12, 2020. 

—– 

Jolera Inc. is a multinational IT service provider focused on delivering IT solutions for its customers and channel partners. Jolera’s core services include customized technology solutions, IT assessments and strategic plans, IT device & infrastructure management, data backup and recovery solutions, cloud and on-premise migrations, enterprise-grade security services and 24/7/365 quad-lingual end-user support services. With a growing staff of over 200 technical service delivery people, Jolera’s team designs and delivers technology systems encompassing the following traits – effectiveness, competitiveness, scalability and value. 

How Your Security Culture Builds Customer Trust

How Your Security Culture Builds Customer Trust

Cybersecurity risks are at an all time high, making security an integral part of an organization’s business. As consumers become more cognizant of data breaches and the threats to their information, they expect organizations to secure their data. Research by Privitar found that 50 per cent of consumers would trust a company less if their data was being inappropriately used. By integrating security inside out via your organizational security culture, you end up with more secure processes and controls to protect customer data. As a result, organizations can build trust with the customers and business partners they work with daily.

Source: ZDNet

How Security Culture Shapes Organizations

Security culture encompasses the beliefs, behaviours and values that drive how an organization approaches security. A good security culture ensures organizations are safeguarding data and decreasing cyber risk by embedding security into their business processes and encouraging employees across all departments to share the security responsibility. 

To reduce risks and protect their network, many organizations implement security technologies like firewalls and anti-malware tools. However, many hackers are targeting employees instead with phishing emails and other social engineering tactics. Without a strong security culture to motivate and guide employees to take security seriously, organizations put their business at unnecessary risk. 

Building a strong security culture is an ongoing process and simple activities like forcing employees to undergo cybersecurity training once a year is not enough. Organizations need to shift their mindset and see their security culture as an opportunity to improve their organization instead of a liability. 

How to Differentiate Your Organization with Security

Building customer trust is not easy and retaining it is even more difficult. Implementing steps to improve security culture will not only give you peace of mind in that you are staying secure but will help you build trust with business partners and customers.

Increase Executive Understanding

Without support from business leadership, having a strong security culture is difficult to maintain. Business leaders are responsible for prioritizing security and ensuring that there is a security budget available. If business leaders aren’t putting in the necessary effort to invest in security, an organization’s overall security culture will be weaker.

Executives who make it a point to have a strong security culture show employees and business partners that they understand the risks cyber threats pose to their business.  This means they are investing in protecting their data by using security solutions and implementing user awareness training. When customers or stakeholders see that security measures are being taken seriously, it makes them more willing to enter business.

Improve Data Security

Security isn’t separate from business processes. In fact, all business processes should have security built in to ensure data is adequately protected. Organizations must consider a data-centric approach to security. This includes being aware of the data they collect, its value and how that data is being secured and accessed. 

An effective cybersecurity culture will help employees mitigate cyber risk and prevent data exfiltration. Being aware of threats like social engineering will help employees be more alert and prevent them from engaging with these attacks. They will also feel more open to reporting these kinds of incidents if they come across them. Limiting employee access to organizational files and ensuring data is encrypted and backed up is also crucial. Integrating cost effective security solutions like those from our Secure IT platform will keep data safe at every threat vectors. 

Review Security Investments

As organizations grow, security measures might change. As you handle more data and/or hire more personnel, security becomes a greater issue. Organizations need to evaluate their security measures to ensure their security culture reflects what the business needs. For example, if you are hiring new employees, make security a part of onboarding. Ensure that new employees read security policies and are required to do cyber awareness training.

Doing a security assessment will help validate security controls and help organizations keep track of their security processes. These assessments help organizations understand where they need to improve and help guide them on how to be more secure. This can help organizations develop their security strategy and help them focus on how to improve. If you are interested in conducting a security assessment for your organization, contact us today. 

Threats of the Week – February 19, 2020

Threats of the Week – February 10, 2020

Metamorfo Trojan

A trojan malware campaign is targeting online banking users around the world with the aim of stealing credit card information, finances and other personal details.

Like many other hacking campaigns, Metamorfo begins with phishing emails that in this case claim to contain information about an invoice and invite the user to download a .ZIP file. By downloading and running the file, the victim allows Metamorfo to execute and run on a Windows machine.

Source: ZDNet

How do you protect yourself?

Proper security measures must be in place to defend against Metamorfo trojan and similar threats. Having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.

CVE-2020-0014

Android has released its monthly security bulletin that contains details of security vulnerabilities affecting Android devices.

The most severe of these issues is a critical security vulnerability in the System component that could enable a remote attacker using a specially crafted transmission to execute arbitrary code within the context of a privileged process.

Source: Android

How do you protect yourself?

Updated your Android to the latest version.

.SaveTheQueen Ransomware

Researchers have uncovered a new strand of ransomware that encrypts files and adds the extension ‘.SaveTheQueen’ to it.

The progress of the newly uncovered malware was found to be tracked using the system volume (SYSVOL) folder found on active directory (AD) domain controllers.

Source: InformationAge

How do you protect yourself?

Proper security measures must be in place to defend against .SaveTheQueen Ransomware and similar threats. Having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.

How Security and Compliance Work Together

How Security and Compliance Work Together

In today’s data driven society, compliance and security remain big priorities for businesses. In fact, the 2019 Security Priorities Study by IDG found that 66% of companies see compliance mandates as the driver of security spending. While compliance is important, it’s not enough to be the main driving force of an organization’s security approach. Checking off the compliance box doesn’t necessarily mean an organization is secure. Both compliance and security need to work together to help guide an organization to success.

Source: IDG

Compliance vs. Security

Compliance and security are often thought of as being the same but they are actually two separate actions. Compliance refers to standards that are established by a governing body and outline a general security blueprint organizations must follow. Organizations that follow compliance regulations do so to satisfy a third party. Compliance helps organizations build trust for their business partners or customers. 

Security, on the other hand, consists of all the policies, processes and controls that an organization implements to protect their information and technology assets. Organizations need to constantly maintain the tools and processes they implement to defend against threats. The main driving force of security is not to satisfy a regulatory body but to protect the organization from threats. 

Measuring Compliance and Security

Compliance and security are measured in different ways. To prove compliance, an organization has to undergo an audit. These audits only measure a snapshot of an organization because they are only conducted during a specific amount of time. The purpose of compliance is to validate that organizations have controls in place to protect data.

Security, on the other hand, is an ongoing process. Organizations need to constantly monitor and manage their infrastructure to ensure that the security technologies in place are working well and are updated to protect against the latest threats. The purpose of security is to protect data, prevent breaches and detect threats.

Staying Compliant and Secure

The best approach to compliance and security is to build an in-depth defense approach that not only encompasses compliance needs but takes into consideration the organization’s assets and how to best protect them. A compliance lead approach often leads to organizations only implementing the bare minimum for security. For example, an organization can say they have a disaster recovery plan in place but if they haven’t tested their plan, they won’t know if it will work as intended in the event of an actual emergency.

Both compliance and security work together to manage risk. However, security makes it easier for organizations to achieve compliance. By implementing security technologies and policies organizations, organizations show that they have proper security controls in place. Advanced security technologies like security information and event management (SIEM) systems generate log data that is useful for reporting. SIEM monitors all activity on your devices which validates the processes and controls you are taking to protect data. This information is vital for report generation necessary to prove compliance as required by various regulations. Generating reports and documents is time consuming but already having access to this documentation through the security controls you’ve already implemented can make it easier to provide in the event of an audit. If proper security controls are in place and can be validated and measured, meeting compliance regulations will be an easier process.