May 19 2021

CDW Tech Talk: Get Ahead with Automation and Security

Two of the key players in an effective security plan are a server designed to automate data protection and a zero-trust approach to authentication.

With cybercrime on the rise, there’s little time to waste when developing a security system that can protect your data no matter how and where it’s stored. Whether it remains on-premises in a physical data center or it’s being stored in one or more clouds, it will be vulnerable to attack.

According to Hewlett Packard Enterprise, “by the time this sentence is over, a new organization will fall victim to malicious code on their server. In fact, cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, which is more than the GDP of Italy, Brazil and Russia combined. And on top of that, by the end of next year there will be 50 billion connected devices around the world, and every connection, every device and app is a potential threat vector.”

When faced with such damaging and expensive threats, investing in servers that can assist with data protection seems like a no-brainer. But during CDW’s Tech Talk webcast, Allen Whipple of HPE said many customers don’t realize just what advantages their server might offer.

“Just because you buy servers doesn’t mean you’re necessarily utilizing and enabling all the wonderful features that come with those servers,” Whipple said. “We tend to have this habit of, we buy it, we turn it on, we install our application, or we use it for whatever purpose we need, and then we forget it.”

WATCH THE WEBCAST: Unlock the exclusive Insider video to learn more about automation and zero-trust security.

HPE Servers Are Leveraging the AI for Business Outcomes

HPE has incorporated AI into the design of their servers in ways that can provide users with peace of mind.

The servers include features made available by HPE’s server management platform, Integrated Lights Out (ILO). “You can set up things such as daily firmware checks, where your server’s going out checking the essential firmware components once a day. And this is going to happen automatically once you set it up,” said Whipple.

That kind of automated feature allows its users to rest easy, knowing their servers are performing daily firmware checks “and making sure they haven’t been altered,” he said. “And, in the unlikely event that one of those pieces of firmware is altered, once you go in and set it up, you can have it automatically recover or flash that firmware to the last known good state.”

In addition, HPE servers are equipped with InfoSight, which Whipple described as a powerful AI tool. “It pulls together our servers and our infrastructure from all across the world. It’s going to use those advanced analytics, and it’s going to look for common issues that are occurring. And once it finds those common issues, it’s going to figure out what the patch or the solution is.” Once it has identified the solution, InfoSight can roll it out or apply a patch to all of the servers in the global network.

“AI is continually learning. It’s studying the servers, and it’s going to go out and automatically resolve 86 percent of issues,” Whipple said.

HPE Adds New Elements in Its Approach to Zero-Trust Security

HPE claims it is redefining zero-trust security “from the inside out. By embedding a digital fingerprint — we’re talking all the way down to the silicon layer — we’re building trust into the very heart of your business.”

According to a video Whipple shared promoting the use of HPE technology to protect against supply chain attacks, “protecting your data really starts with knowing where and how your technology is made, and only HPE Trusted Supply Chain secures your data long before your server is ever assembled, by ensuring everyone who comes into contact with it, from factory floor to boot-up, is vetted and verified to the world’s toughest security standards and facilities.”

“With AI monitoring thousands of devices across all your data centers, clouds and edges, HPE security helps to identify and resolve issues quickly, preventing problems before they can impact your business, protecting against a vanishing security perimeter, and giving attackers nowhere to turn,” the video concluded.

HPE Servers Can Help in Taking the First Step Toward Automation

Whipple highlighted other features of HPE servers that enlist automated tools designed to achieve business outcomes. For organizations that are just beginning to wrap automation into their systems, Whipple said, “with HPE OneView, you have the ability to automate simple tasks. Imagine having the ability to create a server profile template and have that set up so when you bring new servers online, you just apply that template and — boom! — that server is up and running.”

Whipple said HPE OneView could also automatically update firmware to schedule those updates after business hours or at night. It can also provide consistent insight into the health of your server environment, and automatically order parts and fix issues that occur.

“Those are just some of the very few things that HPE OneView can do, and I can't stress enough that it’s the perfect starting point for the automation journey,” he said.

Automation Can Speed Modernization, But Don’t Forget About Security

Corey Carrico, senior field marketing manager at CDW, joined the conversation to share the story of a digital retailer focused on vehicle sales. The company experienced a surge in demand throughout the pandemic but struggled to modernize their customer service beyond a traditional call center. They also recognized the importance of exploring cybersecurity needs at a time when employees were working remotely and serving customers around the world.

“The first thing we did is just assess what technology those approximately 1,400 customer advocates had,” Carrico said. “The majority of them had Apple or Android personal devices. Some of them actually didn’t have either. And so we initially assessed, designed and recommended a Citrix virtual desktop infrastructure solution. That was in combination with HP Chromebooks. And that would be the new workstation, essentially, for these for these coworkers.”

CDW also helped by implementing NetScaler to provide multifactor authentication and Ring Central to enable customer service to continue while customer advocates worked remotely. Combining these solutions allowed the company to provide a high level of customer service without compromising the security and management of so many endpoints in multiple locations.

Follow BizTech’s full coverage of the CDW Tech Talk series here. Insiders can register for the event series here.

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