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All about Virtualization and Cloud Security | Recent Articles:

Media and Entertainment Companies: Targets for High-Profile Attacks

Jan 20 by Robert Krauss

When it comes to security vulnerabilities and threats, you might not think about the media and entertainment industry in the same way you’d consider, say, financial services, healthcare and retail. Companies in these latter industries handle a lot of personally identifiable customer information or present potentially attractive financial targets for hackers.

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Are Healthcare Organizations Doing Enough to Ensure Security?

Jan 07 by Robert Krauss

When you hear about the types of organizations that make it a high priority to build a strong information security strategy, healthcare institutions often come up. And why shouldn’t they?

Keeping patients’ data secure and private is vital to maintaining their trust, and it’s also mandated by regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

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No Getting Around It: Security is Vital for Transportation Sector

Dec 24 by Robert Krauss

Transportation is one of those industries that affects everyone in the world just about every day of the year. It encompasses motor vehicles, roadways, bridges and tunnels; planes and airports; trains, tracks and stations; boats, ships and ports—basically any entity that helps get people and things from point A to point B or beyond.

So it goes without saying that ensuring the security of systems, networks, applications and data that support or maintain the transportation infrastructure in any way is critical to the protection of individuals and the well being of society.

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Protecting the Grid: Utilities and Energy Companies Need to Be Smart About Security

Dec 04 by Robert Krauss

In this latest installment of our series on security issues in a variety of industries, we look at the utilities and energy sectors. These companies represent a prime market for managed services providers (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs), because for any country, protecting the energy grid must be a high priority.

A chilling and widely reported bit of news surfaced recently when the director of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) warned that Chinese cyber attacks could shut down the U.S. infrastructure, including the power grid.

As reported by Reuters, China and "probably one or two" other countries have the ability to invade and possibly shut down computer systems of U.S. power utilities, aviation networks and financial companies, Admiral Mike Rogers, director of the NSA testified to the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on cyber threats.

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Government Agencies: Prime Targets for Security Breaches

Nov 20 by Robert Krauss

Up to now in our series about security in various sectors, we have been covering different types of businesses and the information security and compliance challenges and issues they face. In this post, we examine the security challenges and needs of the public sector.

Because of the array of services that federal, state and local government agencies offer to the public, and the vast amounts of information they gather and share about citizens and businesses—including financial data—these organizations are a likely target for cyber attacks.

The United States federal government is the largest employer in the country and maintains a “massive volume” of data on both its employees and constituents, according to Verizon’s 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report, which looked at security threats in 20 different industries.

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A ‘Teachable Moment’ for VARs and MSPs: Security in the Education Sector

Nov 04 by Robert Krauss

The next entry in our ongoing series covering industry-specific security issues is the education sector. Whether it’s higher education or K through 12, education has its own unique set of information security challenges and risks.

As with other industries, managed service providers (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs) have a great opportunity to share their expertise on security threats and solutions with clients in education. But they need to have a clear understanding of what technology and security managers in the industry are trying to achieve, and the unique hurdles facing organizations in this environment.

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Healthcare Industry: In Need of Security Medicine

Oct 24 by Robert Krauss

As part of an ongoing series, we’re examining the security and compliance needs and challenges in a variety of industries, and the implications for value-added resellers (VARs) and managed services providers (MSPs). In this post, we look at the healthcare sector.

Few industries (financial services being another), have been as scrutinized over data security and privacy issues as healthcare. With the advent of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, hospitals, clinics, private practices, health insurers and others in the industry have had to become super diligent about protecting patient information.

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Financial Services: High-risk security, by the numbers

Oct 21 by Robert Krauss

Our latest addition to the industry-by-industry security analysis series is financial services.

Financial services companies in the U.S. lost an average of $23.6 million from cyber-security breaches in 2013, the highest average loss across 26 industries, according to a report from the Deloitte Center for Financial Services. The study by the consulting firm, entitled "Transforming Cybersecurity: New Approaches for an Evolving Threat Landscape", notes that the growth in cyber-crime has continued, if not accelerated, in the industry.

A huge majority (88%) of the cyber-security attacks against financial services firms are successful in less than one day, the report says. On the other hand, only 21% of the attacks are discovered within a day, and only 40% of the companies involved are able to restore their business within that one-day time frame.

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Manufacturing: Big Industry, Big Security Challenges

Oct 08 by Robert Krauss

In this latest installment in our series of profiles on security and compliance issues and challenges in various industries, we take a look at the manufacturing sector.

This industry, particularly if we include consumer goods, presents a broad range of companies. And of course security threats can vary depending on what types of products a company makes.

But in general, companies that make goods and equipment are particularly prone to theft of information about how they produce things, especially for high-priced or high-demand items. Given the growth of business competition worldwide, manufacturers these days should expect to be the target of theft of trade secrets and intellectual property via corporate espionage.

For value-added resellers (VARs) and managed services providers (MSPs), the opportunities to assist clients in this sector are plentiful. For one thing, it’s a huge industry. For another, it has a host of information security concerns.

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Managed Service Providers: drivers for competitive advantages? Part 2

Oct 02 by Madalin Dobre

This is a continuation of my previous blog post which aims to discuss the near future scenario of extreme competition among Managed Services Providers (MSPs).

Differentiation among MSPs will mostly circle around go-to-market areas like marketing, sales and strategic capabilities as technology advantages will not hold for long, given high speed of wide adoption of new technologies.

In Part 1 we covered the Marketing perspective and in this blog post we will cover the Sales perspective and the Strategic perspective.

 From a Sales perspective there is a huge difference between selling boxes and selling services. The second needs a consultative approach for convincing customers to sign a service contract. Consultative selling needs dedicated sales teams for each type of service (e.g. managed and cloud services). Acknowledging the different sales roles (e.g. farmers and hunters) is preferred when dealing with both up-selling and attracting new customers.

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Retail Industry Ramps Up Efforts to Boost Security - and How the Channel Can Play a Role

Sep 10 by Shaun Donaldson

As we mentioned in the last post, over the coming months we’ll be looking at the unique security and compliance challenges for a variety of industries. For the first entry in this series we’re examining the retail sector.

It’s no secret that the retail industry has endured some high-profile information security breaches in recent months. In December 2013, Target was hit with a data breach that resulted in the theft of millions of customers’ credit card data, including payment information, names, phone numbers and email addresses. The incident has had a huge financial impact on the retailer, with Target announcing in August 2014 that its second quarter financial results were expected to include gross expenses of $148 million, partially offset by a $38 million insurance receivable, related to the data breach.

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Managed Service Providers: drivers for competitive advantages? Part 1

Sep 02 by Madalin Dobre

As mentioned in my previous blog post, the market of IT services delivered by Managed Service Providers (MSPs) is expected to grow by almost 80% by 2018, compared to 2013.

Now, what effects will this growth have on the MSP market? Here are a few:

√     Number of MSPs will increase. This will happen as current ‘box movers’ will start more and more to enter the services area,

     Prices will go down as commoditization will increase. Commoditization in MSP-type of services (help desk, security management, hosting) will increase much faster than in other types of services (e.g. application management for core functionalities), and

     Margins will be smaller and smaller

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