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Strategy Planning, Part II Trends in Technology

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Stephen Riddick, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CSP, Inc., shares his expertise regarding the latest trends in technology and how you can leverage them for your business. 

Security

  • The threats are real, and they’re increasing. The sheer quantity of breaches is staggering. Data records compromised in the first half of 2016 reached a whopping 554,454,946!
  • Small-to-Mid-Sized (SMBs) Businesses aren’t immune. In the last five years, we’ve experienced a steady increase in attacks targeting companies with less than 250 employees. These attacks can be financially devastating. Ransomware has costs U.S. SMBs upwards of $75 billion in downtime!
  • Believe it or not—Hacking is now big business. There’s a multi-billion-dollar global industry targeting your prized assets. Hackers have formed companies using business models that mimic legitimate ones, including sales and marketing for software, and even customer service and help desks. These companies trade and sell data like credit card and social security numbers, and medical records. Analysts predict this industry will grow from $450 billion to $1 trillion!

Why should you care?  Because there are real consequences from security breaches. They are rated as follows:

  1. Reputation and brand damage 29%
  2. Lost productivity 21%
  3. Lost revenue 19%
  4. Forensics 12%
  5. Technical support 10%
  6. Regulatory compliance 8% 

How can you fight back? With: 

  1. End-User Training—80% of all breaches are based upon social engineering. Even if you have all the safeguards required to protect your business, you need to teach your employees not to click on dangerous links, and for them to know what to watch for.
  2. Next-Generation Security with a priority on monitoring and tracking, and not just blocking. You will always have vulnerabilities in your network, and you must be able to determine what attacks were attempted.
  3. A Holistic Approach to Security that uses a multi-faceted solution with many levels of security. Just like your house, you just can’t rely on a lock on just one door. You need locks on all your doors and windows, glass-break sensors, security alarms, cameras, etc. And you must continually update your security.

The Cloud

Use of the Cloud has grown exponentially, and it will continue to grow. The Cloud ranks 2nd regarding growth in the technology industry. Businesses now recognize the value of the Cloud. For example, when Hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina, there were pockets of isolated power outages that lasted for nearly a week. One law firm couldn’t work for a week while their competitors continued to function. Had they hosted their data in the Cloud, they could have relocated to an area with power, accessed their files, and used their email to continue operations.

The Biggest Catalysts for Adoption of the Cloud:

  • Business Continuity as noted in the example above. This is a major driving force for a move to the Cloud.
  • No More CapEx Refreshes—Businesses are tired of making significant capital expenditures for technology every few years. The Cloud provides them the flexibility they need. They can expand their technology infrastructure in a cost-effective way, or scale back quickly as needed.
  • Enterprise Solution in the SMB—Cloud providers are building extremely sophisticated infrastructures. This is something most businesses can’t afford to do. However, they can gain economies of scale by using the Cloud.
  • Security—Experts agree that using the Cloud provides more protection than not using it. With the Cloud, you are getting the latest and greatest in security at all times.

The Top 5 Areas of Cloud Growth: 

  • Office 365 (including Exchange Online) This is an easy, cost-effective solution that makes such good sense. When you put Exchange in the Cloud, your people will always be able to use it. No more worries about on-site outages that would bring down your email.
  • Infrastructure as a Service with your entire server solution in the Cloud.
  • Hosted Voice provides an on-premise voice solution hosted in the Cloud that you can manage. It’s cost effective and can be cheaper than your current communications solution.
  • Cloud-Based Security offers email security, encryption, archiving, and many other types of security mechanisms you can move into the Cloud.
  • Business Continuity We see lots of growth in business continuity with companies moving to the Cloud. (see below)

Business Continuity

Do you know the difference between Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity?  With Disaster Recovery, in the case of a catastrophic event, you will have access to your data. But this alone isn’t enough. The time to recovery is now becoming more critical.  You should invest in solutions that will minimize your recovery time.

The 3 Trends in Business Continuity:

  1. Having both on-site and cloud backup is important. To restore from the Cloud can take a long time. It’s good to have an on-premise copy for this and use the Cloud for another layer of protection if you have a fire or flood that compromises your on-premise server.
  1. It’s part of a Security Solution. Ransomware where hackers encrypt your files and hold your data hostage until you pay them is on the increase. In this case, you can use your back-up solution to restore your servers from the snapshot before the hackers encrypted your files.
  1. Your business conversation should not be technical and come from the top down. Decide what’s important for your business and let this drive your technology solutions. For example, ask:
  • What’s my cost of downtime? Know what your starting point should be.
  • What’s my Recovery Time Objective (RTO)? How long can you be down?
  • What’s my Recovery Point Objective (RPO)? How often do you need to backup to make sure you always have a recovery point?
  • Does my current Disaster Recovery Solution meet these requirements? If not, it’s time to start looking for a different option. 

Leverage these and other current technology trends to protect your data, keep you running, and grow your business. To learn more, contact CSP, Inc., at: (919) 424--2000 info@cspinc.com

  • CSP, Inc.
    1310 Nowell Road
    Raleigh, NC 27607

  • (919) 424-- 2000

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