When it comes to cybersecurity, the best offense is a good defense.

Every 40 seconds a company is hit with ransomware, and the WannaCry outbreak is a perfect example. WannaCry demonstrates how ransomware attacks can quickly spread across and cripple environments by exploiting critical vulnerabilities in Windows computers – at least in those not updated with the patch Microsoft issued in March of this year (MS17-010) or the emergency update issued for XP on May 13, 2017.

Of course, running out-of-support operating systems such as XP is risky. But, XP by itself is not the biggest problem. The larger issue is complacency around security updates, operating system updates, and OS upgrades across the infrastructure. Continue reading

The foundation of a successful OS upgrade

Upgrading your organization’s operating system is a big investment in time, money, and resources. But of course, it’s worth all the work.

After all, you’ll be delivering a more secure and responsive infrastructure that will support your business for years to come.

A successful migration starts with a Zones OS Readiness Assessment. This professional service administered by our Advanced Solutions Group will help you verify that your systems have everything necessary to deploy, integrate, and support the new OS. Continue reading

Shaky disaster recovery plan? There’s no excuse anymore.

Everyone knows that a comprehensive disaster recovery plan stands to pay for itself – should you need to use it. But over the years, we’ve seen many businesses fail to make the necessary investments in time and money to create one. Some were lucky. Many were not.

Of course, critical systems for banks, finance, and healthcare had significant redundancies built into their IT architecture. After all, these organizations could afford complex solutions maintained by some of the most talented IT folks in the industry. But many firms simply could not afford or maintain the necessary skills on staff to support a true disaster recovery solution for key applications and IT systems. Continue reading

The future of print technology is here

HP PageWide is reinventing office printing in more ways than one

It used to be a given in the print industry that if you wanted speed, you sacrificed quality – and vice versa. But HP stepped in and decided to disrupt conventional thinking and implement forward-looking investments in print technology.

It all began with the introduction of HP Scalable Print Technology (SPT), which included research and development in printhead technologies, advanced inks, materials, design rules, and precision production methodology.

And from there, SPT evolved into HP PageWide Technology; the latest HP printing innovation that outpaces the competition in numerous ways, and on practically every level. Continue reading

Want to simplify the mobile infrastructure fast? Here’s how.

Ever since smartphones displaced the BlackBerry as the device of choice among pretty much everyone outside of government, businesses have been working hard to devise a simple, all-things-to-all-people approach to mobile deployments.

BYOD is cheap, but is by definition a multi-platform solution that presents a number of compatibility, management, and security issues. CYOD strategies restore a good deal of control to the organization, but add to the number of devices an employee will be carrying.

The recent launch of HP’s Elite x3 and VMware’s Workspace ONE could change all that. Continue reading

Meet the challenges of digital business

Cisco Digital Network Architecture

Legacy business processes are becoming increasingly digital, requiring fast and flexible network services to facilitate and support them. On top of that, business leaders and the IT professionals who run them are under pressure to accelerate adoption of big data, mobile, cloud, video, and IoT technologies.

Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) gives you a clear and efficient way forward. DNA centers around a network infrastructure that is not only fully programmable and open to third-party innovation, but can also fully and seamlessly integrate the cloud as an infrastructure component. Continue reading

Are you ready for Windows 10?

Ready or not, here’s Windows 10.

Whether Microsoft’s latest operating system is proliferating in the corporate space due to consumer adoption, or through sheer force in partnership with OEMs, we know that businesses are adopting Windows 10 twice as fast as Windows 7. Intel Kaby Lake (7th generation) processors will only support Windows 10. Devices with Windows 7 or 8.1 running on Intel Skylake (6th generation) chips will lose support in July of this year.

IT departments are pressed for time and have limited options. Either upgrade all devices to Windows 10 Enterprise via volume licensing, or manage two operating systems as devices are refreshed. Choosing the former option allows your organization to fully take advantage of Windows 10 Enterprise edition, in particular. Continue reading

Beacons are revolutionizing customer experiences

GettyImages-629507966Picture this: You enter a museum and your eye is drawn to a painting that looks interesting. As you wander closer, your smartphone alerts you with a message that includes the painting’s title, artist’s name, the date of its creation, and a short background history about the piece – and reminds you that a print is available for purchase at the museum’s gift shop.

When you consider all the potential benefits of beacon technology – interacting with visitors, customers, travelers, and employees in spaces like museums, stores, transit hubs, and offices to deliver highly contextual, hyper-local and meaningful messages – it’s time to take a closer look at beacons in your environment. Continue reading

An ounce of prevention for the healthcare industry

Security assessments for hospitals, clinics, and practices

0116-securityCyber criminals are increasingly targeting the $3 trillion U.S. healthcare industry. Unfortunately, many hospitals, clinics and practices still rely on aging computer systems that lack the latest security features.

Last year, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center became the poster child for vulnerability when a malware attack resulted in a $17,000 ransom being paid to hackers in order to regain control of their systems.

Phishing scams are also on the rise, putting billing information, social security numbers, birth dates, policy numbers, and diagnosis codes at risk. That data can be used to forge fake IDs to buy medical equipment or prescription drugs that can be resold. Taken a step further, it can be used to file phony claims with insurers.

To make matters worse, medical identity theft isn’t as easily detected as fraudulent credit card transactions, which are often flagged and canceled by banks before a cardholder is even aware of the incident.

We have to assume that cybercrime isn’t going away anytime soon, but Zones can help you with a number of tools that improve the safety, compliancy, and security of your systems. Continue reading

A better way to secure the cloud

CASB – The smart solution for cloud security

12-5-16_Core-Security_Blog-image_600pxThe most common concern around the cloud is data security. Companies need to be continuously aware of how and where their data is stored in the cloud, all while ensuring they’re compliant with any regulations which apply to them.

Enterprises are struggling to understand the data security and compliance impact of organizational, departmental, and especially rogue or “shadow” adoption of cloud applications. This is where a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) comes into play.

Continue reading