Data Center   Latest   Partners   Security 0 comments on Protect Yourself Against the Rise of Ransomware

Protect Yourself Against the Rise of Ransomware

Ransomware has quickly emerged as one of the fastest-growing cyber threats to both businesses and government agencies alike.

By locking files and demanding payment for access to the data, hackers can ultimately grind business as usual to a standstill until the files are recovered.

For many businesses, the crippling effects of having their systems locked down scares them into paying the ransom to get the files back.

In order to help clients truly prepare, FIBERTOWN partner Horne Cyber has created a product called Threat Runner that simulates and tests against real ransomware and new variants.

Horne states, “Ransomware, especially in times of public concern, continues to play a detrimental role in the privacy, integrity, and availability of organizations’ data.”

FIBERTOWN’S 3-prong approach to ransomware

In order to keep your business up and running 100% of the time, we recommend a 3-prong approach to dealing with ransomware. It’s all about being prepared — then you don’t have to respond in the heat of the moment if your company is hacked.

Our 3 prongs include: insurance, cybersecurity and physical security.

Insurance


A cyber liability insurance policy can help you to cover the expenses associated with a cyber hack. Additionally, some commercial cyber liability policies cover loss of business while your systems are compromised or unavailable.

Contact Horne Cyber today to discuss their packages for insurance, including proactive resilience services and best practices with cyber insurance.

For an added perk, mention FIBERTOWN in Horne Cyber’s contact form and they will schedule a free advisory call for best practice cyber tips.

Cybersecurity

Most business owners understand that cybersecurity is vitally important to running a business. Along with the typical protocols for protecting online activity and data, you may want to consider hiring a cybersecurity firm for an added layer.

HORNE Cyber’s unique combination of audit and security expertise provides clients with unrivaled insights related to successful cybersecurity programs, processes, and practices.

Physical security

In order to keep your data safe, FIBERTOWN uses layers of security controls and system checks built into the structure of our data centers. From the building to the software systems and personnel, we use a multi-pronged approach to physical and digital security.

Important measures we take include: construction materials that ensure hurricane resistance, our 24/7 network operations staff and on-site security, and a 100% uptime service level agreement to provide redundant power and cooling.

Successfully implementing these tips is a good start to stacking layers of cyber resiliency. Finding a data center that offers critical physical security is paramount as well.

Audit for business security

One consideration your business might want to consider is performing a business security audit. How prepared are you for an attack?

In their CISA Insights – Ransomware Outbreak document, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommends that you:

  1. Backup your data, system images, and configurations and keep the backups offline
  2. Update and patch systems
  3. Make sure your security solutions are up to date
  4. Review and exercise your incident response plan
  5. Pay attention to ransomware events and apply lessons learned

Here are 5 more of the CISA recommendations to help you avoid being an easy target for ransomware hackers:

  1. Practice good cyber hygiene; backup, update, whitelist apps, limit privilege, and use multifactor authentication
  2. Segment your networks; make it hard for the bad guy to move around and infect multiple systems
  3. Develop containment strategies; if bad guys get in, make it hard for them to get stuff out
  4. Know your system’s baseline for recovery
  5. Review disaster recovery procedures and validate goals with executives

If you’re ready to make sure your data is protected, contact FIBERTOWN today to discuss what our data centers can do for your business.

Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Latest 0 comments on What Texas Businesses Learned from Winter Storm Uri

What Texas Businesses Learned from Winter Storm Uri

As many in Texas contend with the fallout of Winter Storm Uri, including physical cleanup, insurance claims, rebuilding, and recovering, business readiness is a hot topic in boardrooms.

Data Center Dynamics reports, “People who aren’t necessarily in a datacenter or power generation industry, are talking about the grid, they’re talking about batteries, they’re talking about generators, they’re wanting to make sure that this does not happen again,” said Bill Kleyman, Executive Vice President of Digital Solutions at Switch.

When power matters

As a result of the winter storm, rolling blackouts caused outages across the state, leaving 4.5 million businesses and homes without power.

More than 100 people died during Winter Storm Uri, most from hypothermia. Carbon monoxide poisoning, vehicle crashes, and fires, and medical equipment failure were other causes of death, said the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Business operations tried to switch to diesel backup, but some organizations struggled, including Florida health care provider Availitywhich lost its data center for 11 hours, and Austin’s city data centerwhich also suffered downtime.

More than ever, partnering with a data center that is prepared for any weather-related disaster is imperative to successful operations and customer satisfaction.

Past winter storms

The National Weather Service reports that damages from the weeklong cold snap could surpass that from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and could be the most costly weather disaster in state history.

Other recent winter weather systems to hit Texas include:

  • Storms in February 2011 that dropped 5-8 inches of snow from Dallas Love Field to Emory, Sulphur Springs, Mineola and Mount Pleasant.
  • March 2010 storms moved across the Red River Valley, eventually dumping 5 to 9 inches of snow across Collin County.
  • February 2010 storms brought record-breaking snowfall across North Central Texas. This very unusual event brought totals of a foot or more for many locations around the DFW Metroplex. Haslet reported 14.4 inches, while DFW Airport had a record-breaking 12.5 inches in 24 hours.

Read more from the National Weather Service about significant winter weather and storms that have hit Texas, including the first recorded white Christmas in 1841.

The 2021 hurricane season in the U.S.

As the winter weather starts to fade, spring weather also brings hurricane season to the minds of Texas residents.

With Hurricane Harvey still affecting families and businesses, time marches on to the next season. The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be more active than usual.

Predictions released by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project suggest that this year’s season will consist of 17 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or higher (115-plus-mph winds) on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Business lessons learned

As a business, you never want to be reactive.

If you’re reacting to a situation after the fact, there’s no telling the dollar amount that a weather event has already taken on your bottom line.

Preparing your business for the hurricane season takes intention and a hard look at current processes.

The most important advice we recommend: Be ready for the worst, so you won’t be caught off guard.

You’d much rather have happy customers who are thankful that you planned and kept all your systems online than the opposite.

For more information contact a FIBERTOWN expert today.

Data Center   Latest 0 comments on The Perks of Locating Your Data Center in Texas

The Perks of Locating Your Data Center in Texas

One key decision for organizations is choosing a data center location.

Companies look for a data center market offering competitive options, low hazard risk, tax incentives, and business-friendly environments.

If you have a business with infrastructure requirements, you should be considering Texas.

Continue Reading “The Perks of Locating Your Data Center in Texas”

Latest 0 comments on 2021-2022 Trends Across Industries

2021-2022 Trends Across Industries

As the world starts to look toward 2021-22 for strategic business planning, we know that we’re not going to come out of the pandemic and go back to what we were.

The business landscape looks a lot different now than in Q4 2019.

Forecasting is also very tough — but trying to anticipate what the trajectory is going to be for your organization helps to guide you on how you’re going to emerge from the pandemic.

Focusing on organizational agility will help businesses be successful as we step into a new future phase.

Here are a few trends that emerged in 2020 and that will continue to be of interest as companies put together strategic plans for 2021-2022. 

Remote work and security

When the pandemic forced workers and students to remote locations, it was often last-minute and haphazard. Some offices allowed workers to bring anything they needed to set up a home office, while others offered a set dollar amount to fund the relocation.

One problem with the rush to work and study from home is that support organizations have been hammered by problems resulting from the lack of consistency in routers and hardware.

Three trends that will help smooth the transition in 2021-22 include branded office bundles, WAN-connected laptops to address bandwidth issues, and improved cameras and sound in laptops.

VoIP, phone systems and Zoom: synonymous with 2020

Zoom, which grew from a startup in 2011 to going public in 2019, became a household name during the pandemic.

From business calls to holiday family Zoom calls, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) has boomed over the past year. Other existing large corporate tools such as Cisco’s Webex, Microsoft’s Teams, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, and Verizon’s BlueJeans are also providing state-of-the-art videoconferencing systems, facilitating remote work across the globe.

This sector is primed to see an influx of startups in the next few years, as we recognize the shift to remote meetings instead of required in-person roundtables.

Mergers & Acquisitions

While the pandemic did slow down the merger and acquisitions market for a while, it has surged at the end of 2020. Here’s a summary of the biggest M&As so far this year.

  • In February, Fintech giant, Intuit (INTU) announced that it would be acquiring Credit Karma for approximately $7.1 billion.
  • Just Eat Takeaway entered into an agreement to acquire Grubhub (GRUB) for $7.3 billion.
  • In July, Uber (UBER) entered into a $2.65 billion deal to acquire Postmates.
  • Visa (V) announced the decision of Plaid’s acquisition for $5.3 billion in January 2020.
  • The acquisition announcement of E*TRADE (ETFC) for approximately $13 billion by Morgan Stanley (MS) in February 2020 has been one of the biggest acquisitions of 2020.
  • In February, Salesforce (CRM) announced a $1.33 billion deal to acquire Vlocity.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) acquired Affirmed Networks in April for approximately $1.35 billion.
  • Zoox has been acquired by Amazon (AMZN) for roughly $1.2 billion.
  • Koch Industries acquired the remaining equity stake in Infor held by Golden Gate Capital in a deal worth close to $13 billion.
  • In January, Insight Partners entered into an agreement to acquire Veeam in a $5 billion deal.
  • In March, BMC (a KKR portfolio company), signed a definitive agreement to purchase Compuware for an estimated $2 billion.
  • SoFi entered an agreement to acquire Galileo for $1.2 billion.

It remains to be seen how these acquisitions will affect business operations. It will be interesting to watch if buying during a soft economic market will pay off in the long run.

The changes that are here to stay

While 2020 was certainly unprecedented in how businesses across the globe worked remotely, the lessons learned over the past year will reshape how we conduct business going forward.

If you’d like to read more about business trends for the next year, check out this Forbes article about their top 10 trends for 2021.

While your business is forecasting for 2021-22, be sure to consider how you’re keeping your data safe and secure in remote environments.

Contact us today to discover how FIBERTOWN can help you with data protection in your strategic planning for 2021 and 2022.