BizTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Business en Why Your Business Should Be Wary of Password Spray Attacks <span>Why Your Business Should Be Wary of Password Spray Attacks</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Tue, 10/23/2018 - 11:04</span> <div><p>Cyberthreats these days bring to mind the <a href="" target="_blank">mythological Hydra</a>: Cut off one head, and two seem to grow in its place. The most recent examples of this phenomenon are attacks that target passwords. Traditional <strong>brute-force password attacks</strong> — in which malicious actors pummel an account with popular passwords in order to gain access — are being headed off by security measures that lock accounts after several password attempts, but now <strong>password spray attacks are rising in their place</strong>.</p> <p>As these new kinds of password attacks rise in popularity, organizations will have to learn to tackle them appropriately in order to keep accounts secure.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>INFOGRAPHIC</strong>: See how closing talent gaps is key to keeping businesses secure!</em></a></p> <h2>What Is a Password Spray Attack?</h2> <p>What does this kind of attack look like?</p> <p>In a brute force attack, hackers try several passwords on a single account, looking for a way in. In a spray attack, hackers will try <strong>one common password on multiple accounts</strong> before moving on to a second password, which allows them to stay under the radar and <strong>avoid “rapid or frequent account lockouts</strong>,” <a href="" target="_blank">according to an alert</a> released by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team earlier this year.</p> <p>Moreover, this attack frequently targets “<strong>single sign-on (SSO) and cloud-based applications</strong> utilizing federated authentication protocols,” US-CERT notes. This is because federated authentication can help to mask malicious traffic, while gaining access through SSO means maximizing the impact of a single right guess.</p> <p>But these aren’t the only instances in which password spray attacks are popular.<strong> Email applications are also vulnerable</strong>, with malicious actors often seeking to gain access directly from the cloud and download user mail, which would enable them to identify the company’s entire email list. They could also change email settings to automatically forward received and sent email, gaining visibility of the organization’s entire email operation, US-CERT warns.</p> <h2>Spray Attacks Grow in Popularity</h2> <p>Password spray attacks aren’t new, but their <strong>prevalence is skyrocketing</strong>.</p> <p>If successful, particularly if sensitive information is exposed, US-CERT warns that these attacks could have a major impact on an organization’s operation, including:</p> <ul><li>Temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information</li> <li>Disruption to regular operations</li> <li>Financial losses incurred to restore systems and files</li> <li>Potential harm to an organization’s reputation</li> </ul><h2>How to Spot and Tackle Password Spray Attacks</h2> <p>What does it take to prevent or head off these attacks?</p> <p>The first step is spotting them. According to US-CERT, <strong>warning signs include</strong>:</p> <ul><li>Big spikes in attempted logons for SSO portals or web-based applications</li> <li>IP addresses of employee logons coming from suspicious locations</li> </ul><p>To keep these attacks from becoming successful, organizations should lay the groundwork to prevent them. In a <a href="" target="_blank">recent blog post</a>, Microsoft recommended these steps:</p> <p><strong>1. Use cloud authentication.</strong> The cloud can employ algorithms that can detect and block potential attacks.</p> <p><strong>2. Use multifactor authentication.</strong> This can add a layer of security to accounts that is not password-based.</p> <p><strong>3. Discourage weak passwords. </strong>By generating a list of common passwords, you can set systems to block them from use, making it that much harder for malicious actors to guess in these attacks.</p> <p>The company is taking its own advice. Microsoft’s CISO Bret Arsenault <a href="">recently spoke about the organization’s own efforts to mitigate these threats</a> at <a href="">Microsoft Ignite 2018</a>. Arsenault noted that, in an attempt to discourage weak passwords, the company employed a filter that prevents users from choosing easily guessable passwords. The company also turned to multifactor authentication, which can “eliminate the blast radius” if a hacker does manage to breach an account.</p> <p>“If you have a password filter, if you have MFA and if you have strong proofing, then you’re really in a great state,” Arsenault said.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank" title="CDW Cybersecurity Insight Report"><img alt="Cybersecurity-report_EasyTarget.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/juliet-van-wagenen" hreflang="en">Juliet Van Wagenen</a></div> </div> Tue, 23 Oct 2018 15:04:58 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 42511 at For Nonprofits, Technology Can Tell a Powerful Story <span>For Nonprofits, Technology Can Tell a Powerful Story</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26341" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">amy.burroughs_26341</span></span> <span>Tue, 10/23/2018 - 10:17</span> <div><p>Storytelling powered by technology has become one of the most powerful tools in the modern journalist’s toolkit, and that’s potentially the case for nonprofits as well. Organizations that use new and creative ways to convey their needs and their success stories may find that <strong>a single, compelling story can be as effective as multiple outreaches</strong> through traditional channels. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM BIZTECH:</strong> Check out 4 ways to get ready for Giving Tuesday!</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Turn Raw Numbers into a Nonprofit Narrative</h2> <p><strong>Data visualization can serve a variety of purposes</strong> inside an organization, particularly helping to inform and refine donor outreach. But it’s also an effective way to create compelling, outward-facing communications. As every photographer knows, images can quickly and meaningfully convey a story in a way that words often cannot. </p> <p>At the <a href="" target="_blank">Nonprofit Technology Network’s </a>annual conference this year, Robert Weller, a data solutions specialist with Save the Bay, and Tracy Warfield of Data Geeks Lab gave a presentation on <a href="" target="_blank">using data analytics to help drive storytelling</a>. They noted that tools such as <a href=";enkwrd=tableau" target="_blank">Tableau</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft Power BI</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Google Data Studio</a> can help nonprofits transform raw data into meaningful insights. Often, organizations use these analyses to improve their decision-making, but they are equally valuable as inputs for creative storytelling.</p> <p>As an example, Weller and Warfield presented a map showing the reduction in trash for various cities along the San Francisco Bay, a key measure of impact directly related to Save the Bay’s mission. They also shared an infographic that visually <strong>explains the impact of a 50,000-megawatt reduction in dirty coal</strong>. Both concepts could be explained in text instead, but showing them graphically helps stakeholders grasp their import quickly and easily. As an added benefit, visualizations are attention-grabbing and easily shareable on social media, which extends their reach.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Most nonprofits already capture data</a> on their advocacy issues, so they could be <strong>sitting on a gold mine of potentially valuable stories</strong>. Figuring out the best way to unearth those stories and use them to develop a compelling story involves three parts, <a href="" target="_blank">according to data expert Brent Dykes</a>: data, visuals and narrative. Combining them effectively, he says, can help to achieve some of the most important goals organizations have for their messaging — to explain, enlighten and engage.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Virtual Reality Helps Nonprofits Bring Storytelling to Life</h2> <p>Many nonprofits serve individuals and communities that are a long way away — either physically or figuratively — from donors and supporters. But <strong>what if those advocates could travel to these beneficiaries virtually</strong>, gaining an <a href="" target="_blank">immersive look at their experiences</a>? </p> <p>That was the strategy Amnesty International took when it sought to convey the dangers and difficulties of civilian life in Aleppo, Syria, for its <a href="" target="_blank">Fear of the Sky</a> VR experience. Viewable on a desktop, VR-compatible browser or mobile phone, it <strong>puts users on bombed-out Syrian streets</strong>, with the ability to navigate through a 360-degree view — an experience far more visceral than reading a description of the same images. A “Take Action” button makes it <strong>easy for users to share the experience online or make a monetary contribution</strong>. </p> <p>Instead of relying solely on digital channels to disseminate Fear of the Sky, Amnesty International took this VR experience around Britain to share it with members of the public using refurbished smartphones and inexpensive VR headsets. The effort paid off, with the organization reporting a <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>16 percent increase in direct-debit donations</strong> </a>within one week of the fundraising initiative.</p> <p>Although VR may seem beyond the reach of some organizations, it’s quickly becoming an affordable and manageable ambition even for relative novices, and plenty of <a href="" target="_blank">online resources can walk nonprofit staff through it</a>. For more support, check out <a href="" target="_blank">VR for Good</a>, an initiative from Oculus that was created to support and connect VR creators who are working toward social change. The next time your team is brainstorming for creative ways to spread your message, consider <strong>grabbing a 360-degree camera and a basic headset and starting to experiment</strong>. </p> <p>For nonprofits, great storytelling has the potential to engage prospective donors, fellow activists and other allies like no other medium. And the building blocks of those stories don’t necessarily require a significant investment. The most valuable assets for storytelling — the experiences of the people that an organization seeks to help and the information that informs its mission — may already be on hand, just waiting to do their part.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href=""><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/amy-burroughs" hreflang="en">Amy Burroughs</a></div> </div> Tue, 23 Oct 2018 14:17:45 +0000 amy.burroughs_26341 42506 at For Banks, It’s ‘Mobile-First or Else’ on Digital Build-Outs <span>For Banks, It’s ‘Mobile-First or Else’ on Digital Build-Outs</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Mon, 10/22/2018 - 13:37</span> <div><p>The omnichannel banking consumer is dying — and being replaced by the mobile-first consumer.</p> <p>That’s one of several key takeaways from this year’s massive survey of banking customers <a href="" target="_blank">recently released by PwC</a>. The consulting firm annually polls some<strong> 4,000 financial services customers</strong> on a wide range of subjects to better understand their preferences and needs. In last year’s survey, PwC described the emergence of so-called omnichannel consumers: those who care less about which digital platform they do their banking on than about their ability to bank digitally somehow.</p> <p>That has changed in just one year, according to PwC’s David Schiff, Ashish Jain, Scott Evoy, and Greta Lovenheim Capps, who led the research. “We see that a clear preference has been forming, and the smartphone won the contest,” they say in the survey’s report.</p> <p>Last year, only <strong>10 percent</strong> of consumers were mobile-dominant, while <strong>25 percent</strong> were PC-dominant; this year, those numbers are <strong>15 percent</strong> and <strong>20 percent</strong>, respectively, suggesting a clear trend that is likely to continue.</p> <p>Therefore, banks and credit unions that are taking a<strong> platform-agnostic approach</strong> as they build out their digital services should rethink it, the PwC report suggests. The best strategy is a mobile-first strategy.</p> <p>“Many firms are focusing on platform convergence,” the researchers say. “In our view, you’ll be better off designing for the mobile experience first, because that’s where your most valuable users are headed now. We’re not saying you should abandon browser-based tools or branches. But for many firms, the priority is in the wrong place.” They add: “In fact, when developing strategy, we encourage banks to think mobile first, or else.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM BIZTECH:</strong> What technologies can help banks better adopt the cloud?</em></a></p> <h2>When Choosing a Bank, Consumers Value Service, Convenience </h2> <p>While a mobile-first approach is a requirement for banks as they build their digital brands, consumers still place a premium on traditional banking values: convenient branch locations and positive in-person banking experiences, PwC found.</p> <p>In fact, <strong>65 percent</strong> of respondents said a local branch is important to them when considering where to bank, and 25 percent said they won’t even consider a bank that doesn’t have a branch near them.</p> <p>“When picking a primary bank, survey-takers across all age groups particularly value attributes like <strong>convenient in-person banking</strong>, referrals from family or friends, or a<strong> positive previous experience</strong>,” the researchers say.</p> <p>That’s <strong>good news</strong> for community banks and credit unions that struggle to compete with national brands strictly on providing the most advanced digital experiences. It does not, however, mean that small banks can simply ignore the urgent need to modernize those experiences.</p> <h2>Branches Still Matter in a Mobile Banking World</h2> <p>Even as mobile banking grows in prevalence, one reason consumers continue to value convenient bank branches is that there are still certain kinds of financial transactions that consumers simply prefer to do in person.</p> <p>Almost <strong>60 percent</strong> of consumers prefer to apply for loans and open new checking or savings accounts in person. And substantial majorities still prefer branches for opening a new brokerage or investment account (<strong>43 percent</strong>) or using financial advisory services (<strong>37 percent</strong>).</p> <p>Yet with physical branches a significant cost center for banks, they should still work hard to understand how to meet customers’ needs online even for these more complex services, according to PwC. More <strong>consumers straddle the physical and digital worlds</strong>, performing some aspects of a single transaction online and other aspects in person.</p> <p>“The most successful firms combine digital advice with face-to-face advice,” the researchers say. “It’s a hybrid approach; not an either/or. That means getting great at handoffs from branches to service centers. It also means tying that advice to digital channels seamlessly, so customers can see how the advice they’re getting fits with their goals, and how they’re making progress toward those goals.”</p> <h2>Most Consumers Are Less Engaged with Banks, Yet Need More Help</h2> <p>One paradox of the PwC findings is that while people are engaging less frequently with financial institutions on most channels, they seem to need as much help or more from them, especially when it comes to long-term financial planning.</p> <p>For example, while most consumers engaged with their banks online, at an ATM or at a branch at least monthly in 2012, when PwC began surveying consumers, the frequency of those engagements has been declining. Today, most consumers engage monthly or a few times a year on each of those channels. Mobile banking engagements are now the most frequent, with many consumers checking in on their phones several times a month.</p> <p>Yet the researchers note that engagement frequency is not a perfect barometer of digital effectiveness. In fact, it may be that many banks’ user experiences have improved enough that customers don’t need to check in as often.</p> <p>At the same time, consumers are in need of trusted advice. Across generations, they told researchers that they’re <strong>focused on the </strong><strong>long term</strong>, with saving for retirement as the top financial goal cited by baby boomers, millennials and those in between. Banks need to make better use of the data they have on their own customers to begin to develop services they need and marketing strategies that work. That’s especially important now, as a raft of digital-native fintech firms arise to compete with traditional brands on a full range of complex investment products and services.</p> <p>“Many banks have access to an astonishing amount of information about their customers: What they need, what they want, and what might make them defect to a secondary institution,” according to the PwC report. “This is what leading digital competitors in other industries do. If banks don’t do this, we believe their competitors will.”</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11496" hreflang="en">Bob Keaveney </a></div> </div> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:37:43 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 42501 at How Can Community Banks Benefit from Artificial Intelligence? <span>How Can Community Banks Benefit from Artificial Intelligence?</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Mon, 10/22/2018 - 13:12</span> <div><p>Banking and financial services leaders see great opportunity to improve the bottom line thanks to artificial intelligence, particularly in the areas of process automation and fraud detection, <a href="" target="_blank">according to a recent article for Forbes by AI developer Dmitry Matskevich</a>.</p> <p>A <a href="" target="_blank">July report from Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute</a> predicts the financial sector could add <strong>$512 billion</strong> to their global revenues by 2020, and increase costs savings by <strong>10 to 25 percent</strong>, thanks to intelligent automation.</p> <p>“In 2017, financial firms quietly introduced a range of practical machines that think. Some banks added AI surveillance tools to thwart financial crime, while others deployed machine learning for tax planning,” <a href="" target="_blank">PwC reports</a>. “Wealth managers can now offer <strong>automated investing advice across multiple channels</strong>, and many insurers now use <strong>automated underwriting tools</strong> in their daily decision-making.”</p> <p>But are all but the largest banks doomed to sit on the sidelines until AI tools become more ubiquitous — and affordable — in the standard IT infrastructure mix?</p> <p>As AI continues to evolve, its benefits now appear within reach of many business types, not just the largest and best-funded corporations that made up the majority of early adopters a few short years ago.</p> <p>“Between chatting with bots on your bank’s website, to checking your account balance over the phone with digital voice assistants, you’ve probably encountered more AI in your recent banking experience than you thought,” <a href="" target="_blank">Kylee Wooten wrote recently for Sageworks</a>. “There’s <strong>no doubt that AI is going to continue to be leveraged</strong> in more aspects of bank operations, and offerings and will likely change the landscape of banking as we know it.”</p> <p>Wooten asks, and we also wonder, exactly what can community banks expect to see?</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>DOWNLOAD:</strong> Understand how banks and other organizations use connected technologies to streamline operations and improve customer experiences.</em></a></p> <h2>Will Community Banks Capitalize on AI?</h2> <p>“On a surface level, community banking and AI can seem like something of a mismatch in concept,” <a href="" target="_blank">a recent article at states</a>. “Community banking is all about relationship-lending — forging personal and lasting connections directly with a consumer — while AI — particularly embodied by chatbots and voice assistants — focuses primarily on <strong>digitally mediating that personal relationship</strong>.”</p> <p>But AI should be seen as an opportunity for community banking, one that could be a game changer for community banks over the next five years, says Tina Giorgio, president and CEO at ICBA Bancard.</p> <p>“There is tremendous potential with the advent of AI to help level the playing field in the financial services space,” Giorgio told PYMNTS. “Use cases are rapidly growing and they are showing that they can really streamline the customer experience in a number of ways while strengthening those personal relationships between the bank and its customers.”</p> <p>She points out that the AI-enabled future also includes<strong> Internet of Things technologies, voice assistants and fraud protection</strong> or AI-backed cybersecurity tools — all of which can seem daunting to community banks that must deploy new IT to fully utilize them. Still, they represent the tools of banking’s future, and it behooves community bank leaders to explore them.</p> <h2>What’s on the Horizon for Community Banks and AI?</h2> <p>Smaller institutions are likely to start slow, first setting up systems to provide customers with simple account information through conversational banking through devices such as <a href="" target="_blank">Amazon Alexa</a> or <a href="" target="_blank">Google Home</a>, Marc DeCastro, a research director for IDC Financial Insights, <a href="">told <em>BizTech</em> for a previous report</a>.</p> <p>Others will incorporate AI into chatbot features that allow customers to make name and address changes or other services often handled by a bank employee. In the near future, for example, an automated system could notice that the bank has not received a copy of a credit applicant’s driver’s license and ask them to take a picture to send in order to complete the application.</p> <p>“Providing <strong>actionable advice</strong> where the bank will do research for the customer is closer than one thinks, and it truly is an omnichannel approach in using AI,” DeCastro says. “The likelihood is that smaller banks will remain conservative and take a ‘wait-and-see’ approach, but they will not be far behind the larger banks and will rapidly catch up.”</p> <h2>How Should Banks Prepare for AI?</h2> <p>Only<strong> 4 percent</strong> of respondents to Gartner’s 2018 CIO survey indicated they have invested in and deployed an AI-based solution, Matskevich points out. “So, if you don’t have an AI-based solution yet, <strong>don’t panic</strong>.”</p> <p>He advises leaders to look deeply at the business need and determine the pain points or other challenges that can be eliminated through AI solutions. Banks and business leaders must also understand the risks associated with AI — and the risks inherent to any new technology implementation.</p> <p>“<strong>Critically evaluate every failure</strong>,” Matskevich writes. “It will help you understand your risk factors and give you data to make better decisions in the future.”</p> <p>In addition to uncovering the appropriate AI developer support, he also advises business leaders to take time to hire the right people and build the right culture.</p> <p>“While it’s expensive to invest in new technology and new talent, it’s worth it,” he says. “It can transform your business.”</p> <p>“Every community bank has different needs, because every community is different, which means there is no single roadmap that community banks must take when they start building out their uses for AI,” PYMNTS points out. “As community banks increasingly tap into the mountains of data they collect, they need to be more aware of the challenges that data protection entails. That is even more important with regulators increasingly scrutinizing data usage.”</p> <p>“Community banks looking to wade into the AI waters early need to be selective when it comes to picking the most relevant use cases and finding the vendors most sufficient to fill those needs. That is real work that needs to be done with care,” Giorgio advises.</p> <p>PwC highlights a few foundational questions for banking leaders to address as they uncover what AI-based solution is right for them, as well as the <strong>infrastructure required to support it</strong>:</p> <ul><li>What controls should we apply to AI systems that decide and act in nanoseconds?</li> <li>How much authority should AI have?</li> <li>How do make sure machines uphold their fiduciary duty?</li> <li>Who should serve on the AI audit team?</li> </ul><p>Along those lines, <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft</a>’s recently hired AI ethicist — Tim O’Brien, general manager of AI programs — advises businesses to promote AI ethics within their companies. Among other insights, <a href=";mod=searchresults&amp;page=1&amp;pos=1&amp;dsk=y" target="_blank">he told CIO Journal</a> that businesses should be aware of the dangers of AI bias, which could prove particularly problematic for community banks that use AI tools in reviewing lending applications. Banks must ensure their AI tool does not discriminate against groups of people. It’s also important to ensure diversity on the team building any AI products.</p> <p><strong>Community banks should not sit on the sidelines</strong> as AI takes hold in financial services. Starting conversations today with the appropriate stakeholders will ensure a strong IT foundation supports a foothold for community banks in the future.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/tara-e-buck" hreflang="en">Tara E. Buck</a></div> </div> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:12:37 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 42496 at The Data Center Isn’t Dying, But It Is Changing <span>The Data Center Isn’t Dying, But It Is Changing</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Mon, 10/22/2018 - 10:27</span> <div><p>Gartner’s recent assertion that <a href="">the data center is dead</a> might be a gripping headline, but not all experts agree that the data center will disappear completely over the next few years.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Driven</a> by the increasing complexity of <strong>Internet</strong><strong> of Things, edge services and Software as a Service</strong>, almost all experts agree that the data center will have to evolve over time.</p> <p>But what tech will power the new evolutions of the data center? There, experts are also divided.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>VIDEO:</strong> What technologies will drive data center evolution?</em></a></p> <h2>Software-Defined, HCI and More Will Transform the Data Center</h2> <p>The “death of the data center” likely only refers to traditional data centers, says Paul Schaapman, CTO for the mid-Atlantic at CDW, who predicts that private data centers will rise up to take their place.</p> <p>“A private data center is a data center that has adopted <strong>cloudlike management and methodologies</strong>,” explains Schaapman. “So, I think we’ll see the trend of moving from the traditional to private to public continue by adopting those <strong>low-touch approaches</strong> to managing your infrastructure. That’s going to be the future, for sure.”</p> <script type="text/javascript" src="//;widget_id=1786266940&amp;width=640&amp;height=360"></script><p>Software-defined data centers, which allow businesses to move workloads elastically between cloud and data center, are also likely to take a firmer hold at companies across the country.</p> <p>“The traditional data center absolutely is going away, but you’re still going to have data centers with hardware in them, but they’re going to be driven much more by software that allows you to put a workload wherever it needs to be,” says Kyle Green, who heads Americas channel sales for software defined storage and hyperconverged infrastructure at <a href="" target="_blank">VMware</a>. “Starts in the public cloud, goes to the hybrid, goes to the edge, comes back, wherever it needs to go.”</p> <p>HCI, which is already on the rise at large and small businesses, will also grow in importance as the traditional data center no longer serves.</p> <p>“Hyperconverged infrastructure’s very important. It gives us that idea of doing more with less,” says Dave Winkelmann, field solution architect at CDW. “Long gone is the idea that a single IT administrator has to be siloed into a specific workload. Now, <strong>we want IT to be able to wear multiple hats</strong>, do multiple things, get as much done for the company as they can with less.”</p> <p>This is where HCI can step in to enable IT teams to simplify management and workflows, freeing up their time to work on multiple projects and tasks.</p> <p>“The idea is that you can consolidate infrastructure, have less hardware in the environment, which is less things to support, as well as get more visibility into your infrastructure. And, more importantly, you have one phone number for support across multiple stacks or silos of technology,” Winkelmann notes.</p> <p>VMware’s Green suggests that the future of the data center will go even further than just easy-to-manage data centers, to ones that can somewhat manage themselves in “a <strong>self-driven data center</strong>, like a self-driving car,” he says.</p> <p>The company is already working on a product that can deliver this.</p> <p>“We’re using our end-user computing platforms to take public cloud applications, private cloud applications and give an end-user experience that doesn’t care where that lives or what device you’re viewing it on,” says Green.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/juliet-van-wagenen" hreflang="en">Juliet Van Wagenen</a></div> </div> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 14:27:53 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 42491 at It’s Time for Financial Institutions to Adopt the Cloud — These Technologies Can Help <span>It’s Time for Financial Institutions to Adopt the Cloud — These Technologies Can Help</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Fri, 10/19/2018 - 13:21</span> <div><p>Financial institutions have long been wary of the cloud. And why shouldn’t they be? With such important and high-target assets to protect, it can be shrewd to approach new tech with a careful eye. But the tides are turning as improvements in cloud security are making the cost, flexibility and scalability benefits more enticing to financial institutions than ever.</p> <p>“In the past, banks and financial institutions showed hesitation in adopting cloud-based offerings, citing potential security concerns and risks associated with migrating from on-premises systems,” Martin Häring, chief marketing officer at Finastra, <a href="" target="_blank">tells Information Age</a>. “Today, it’s more common for financial institutions to embrace cloud-based applications, as they realize the benefits they can deliver in terms of cost reduction and efficiency.”</p> <p>In fact, <a href="" target="_blank">according to a press release put out by Microsoft last year</a>, <strong>80 percent</strong> of large financial institutions are adopting <a href="" target="_blank">Azure</a>, the company’s cloud solution. Bank of America is among those tapping Azure, with the aim of modernizing “technology infrastructure to enable current and future growth” in the cloud. And it’s not just large banks turning to the cloud; <a href="">smaller ones are diving in, as well</a>.</p> <p>The truth is, while many institutions continue to show trepidation when it comes to cloud adoption, they are likely prolonging the inevitable.</p> <p>But the technology can’t function alone to deliver all of the benefits banks seek. Tapping the following tools can help financial institutions get started on their cloud journey securely, efficiently and cost-effectively.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>VIDEO:</strong> See what it takes to better manage workloads in the cloud!</a></em></p> <h2>Prioritize Cloud Apps, Security and Connectivity with SD-WAN</h2> <p>As financial institutions migrate their mission-critical applications to the cloud, traditional wide area network architectures can make it difficult to prioritize and secure apps and traffic. This is where a software-defined wide area network can step in.</p> <p><a href=""><em>BizTech</em> explains</a> that “SD-WAN allows businesses to create hybrid WAN architectures that use multiple kinds of connections — different paths, essentially — to automatically create the best network path for the apps running on the network. It enables certain apps to be prioritized over other, less important network traffic. This can be done at a granular level and managed via a centralized software controller.”</p> <p>And for those wary about cyberthreats, application security is a main driver behind why organizations are adopting SD-WAN in the first place, <a href="" target="_blank">according to a report by IDC</a>.</p> <p>Moreover, for banks with branch locations, SD-WAN can simplify how traffic is routed in branches and <a href="">improve connectivity to the cloud</a> overall.</p> <p>"SD-WAN is absolutely critical, because it is the vehicle most likely to bring true virtualization to networking, Tom Nolle, president of CIMI Corporation, <a href="" target="_blank">tells Network World</a>. “Without virtualization in the network, virtualization in the cloud or data center will never be fully realized or effective."</p> <h2>Capture Security Gains with CASBs</h2> <p>As data, services and applications get moved into the cloud, it can open up a blind spot to the data transfers that happen between cloud apps, such as an employee sending information between a Dropbox account and a cloud-hosted company email.</p> <p>“All of our existing network security infrastructure becomes blind to data transfers that happen in the cloud,” said Srini Gurrapu, <a href="" target="_blank">McAfee</a>’s chief cloud evangelist, <a href="">speaking at CDW’s Managing Risk SummIT in Boston</a>.</p> <p>Cloud access security brokers can shed some light on shadow IT, allowing companies to track traffic and discover risky apps and users.</p> <p>“It’s an automated watchdog looking over the shoulders of your users,” Eric Andrews, vice president of cloud security for <a href="" target="_blank">Symantec</a> tells <em>BizTech</em>.</p> <p><em>This article is part of </em>BizTech<em>'s <a href="">EquITy blog series</a>. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the <a href=";src=typd">#FinanceTech</a> hashtag.</em></p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href=""><img alt="Equity_logo_sized.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/chad-morris" hreflang="en">Chad Morris </a></div> </div> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:21:40 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 42486 at What Will It Take to Close the Cybersecurity Talent Gap? [#Infographic] <span>What Will It Take to Close the Cybersecurity Talent Gap? [#Infographic]</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Fri, 10/19/2018 - 10:37</span> <div><p>Cybersecurity is top of mind for organizations everywhere, yet the talent pool to fill these much-needed positions just isn’t there. In fact, according to a 2017 survey by <a href="" target="_blank">ISACA’s Cybersecurity Nexus</a>, only <strong>13 percent</strong> of organizations surveyed received more than <strong>20 applications</strong> for cybersecurity job openings. The majority (<strong>59 percent</strong>) received about five applications per open position.</p> <p>“Though the field of cybersecurity is still relatively young, <strong>demand continues to skyrocket</strong> and will only continue to grow in the coming years,” Christos Dimitriadis, ISACA board chair, said in a statement. “As enterprises invest more resources to protect data, the challenge they face is finding top-flight security practitioners who have the skills needed to do the job. When positions go unfilled, organizations have a higher exposure to potential cyberattacks. It’s a race against the clock.”</p> <p>In response to the talent shortage, everyone from <a href="" target="_blank">major tech companies</a> to <a href="">community colleges</a> are setting out to train students in this highly coveted skillset.</p> <p>Check out the infographic below from Purdue University Global to learn more about the cybersecurity skills shortage, what it means for business security and <a href="">how companies can join the fight against the dearth of talent</a>.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>VIDEO:</strong> Learn how executives tackle the cybersecurity skills shortage!</a></em></p> <p><em><img alt="Purdue_Infographic_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/juliet-van-wagenen" hreflang="en">Juliet Van Wagenen</a></div> </div> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 14:37:30 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 42481 at Gartner: Digital Transformation Drives IT Spending <span>Gartner: Digital Transformation Drives IT Spending</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/18/2018 - 15:34</span> <div><p>Global IT spending is on the up and it's all thanks to digital transformation. According to a <a href="" target="_blank">new projection from Gartner</a>, worldwide IT spending will reach <strong>$3.8 trillion in 2019</strong>, a <strong>3.2 percent</strong> increase from the expected spending of in 2018.</p> <p>Specifically, enterprise software spending will see the highest rate of growth at <strong>8.3 percent</strong> while Software as a Service follows it, driven by an increase in customer relationship management. Notably, cloud software will skyrocket with a growth rate of <strong>22 percent</strong> this year, versus a <strong>6 percent </strong>growth rate for all other software.</p> <p>“While currency volatility and the potential for trade wars are still playing a part in the outlook for IT spending, it is the shift from ownership to service that is sending ripples through every segment of the forecast,” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner in a statement. “What this signals, for example, is more enterprise use of cloud services — instead of buying their own servers, they are turning to the cloud. <strong>As enterprises continue their digital transformation efforts</strong>, shifting to ‘pay for use’ will continue. This sets enterprises up to deal with the sustained and rapid change that underscores digital business.”</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/juliet-van-wagenen" hreflang="en">Juliet Van Wagenen</a></div> </div> Thu, 18 Oct 2018 19:34:34 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 42476 at Cyberattacks that Target the C-Suite on the Rise <span>Cyberattacks that Target the C-Suite on the Rise</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/18/2018 - 11:28</span> <div><p><a href="">Phishing is big business for criminals</a>. But as targeted phishing campaigns, known as spear-phishing, continue to evolve, hackers don’t seem to be satisfied with small fish, aiming more often than ever for high-level and C-suite employees in attacks dubbed “whaling.”</p> <p>“We believe there has been a <strong>recent uptick in whaling scams</strong> aimed at businesses, and we want to warn companies to alert their employees about this potential fraud,” Katherine Hutt, national spokesperson for the U.S. Better Business Bureau, said <a href="" target="_blank">in a recent statement</a>.</p> <p>This increase is likely because there’s much to gain from the access granted via top-level executives. While gaining access through lower-level employees may grant scammers visibility into day-to-day operations, <strong>CEOs and CFOs can offer top-down access to all business operations</strong>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>VIDEO:</strong> Check out how new tools and solutions that equip IT teams with more advanced, effective security defenses!</em></a></p> <h2>Whaling, CEO Impersonation and BEC Attacks on the Rise</h2> <p>So, what is a whaling attack, specifically? <a href="" target="_blank">According to Mimecast</a>, “a whaling attack is a kind of phishing scam and CEO fraud that targets high-profile executives with access to highly valuable information. In a whaling attack, hackers use social engineering to trick users into divulging bank account data, employee personnel details, customer information or credit card numbers, or even to make wire transfers to someone they believe is the CEO or CFO of the company.”</p> <p>But this isn’t the only type of attack aimed at higher-level executives that’s growing.</p> <p>The BBB also warns businesses about a <strong>CEO impersonation scam</strong>, in which scammers will reach out to employees “who can pay a large bill or provide wide-sweeping information,” while posing as a CEO or CFO, which offers the request “legitimacy and urgency.” Often, the request will be for a nonrecoverable wire transfer, and the scammer can pepper in details about the company or employee gained via online research or even through hacking emails,” the BBB notes.</p> <p>Similarly, business email compromise attacks are on the rise as well. These cyberattacks involve hackers infiltrating legitimate business email accounts to transfer funds out of the business. The FBI <a href="" target="_blank">notes in a July report</a> that losses from BEC attacks were up <strong>136 percent</strong> between December 2016 and May 2018. Similarly, a <a href="" target="_blank">report from Mimecast</a> released in August found there was an <strong>80 percent</strong> increase in these types of impersonation attacks in the third quarter of 2018.</p> <p>“Targeted malware, heavily <a href="" target="_blank">socially engineered</a> impersonation attacks and <a href="" target="_blank">phishing</a> threats are still reaching employee inboxes. This leaves organisations at risk of a data breach and financial loss,” said Matthew Gardiner, cybersecurity strategist at Mimecast, in a statement, <a href="" target="_blank">ComputerWorld reports</a>. “Our latest quarterly analysis saw a continued attacker focus on impersonation attacks quarter on quarter. These are difficult attacks to identify without specialised security capabilities, and this testing shows that commonly used systems aren’t doing a good job catching them.”</p> <h2>How to Protect Against Whaling Scams</h2> <p>What can businesses do to protect against other scams that target high-level executives? For whaling scams, in particular, the BBB offers the following tips:</p> <ul><li><strong>Be wary of short, generic messages</strong>. Scammers won't write a long email; they'll try to pass off something short and generic as harmless, hoping you'll click quickly without thinking.</li> <li><strong>Double check before clicking or downloading</strong>. A mouse click is all it takes to inadvertently grant access to your computer, accounts and information, or unleash malware on your systems.</li> <li><strong>Think about how you share</strong>. Never send sensitive, personal, or proprietary information via email, regardless of who's asking you for it.</li> <li><strong>Watch out for emails to groups</strong>. Sending an email "from the CEO" to a staff or employee email list is the fastest way for a scammer to attack and affect an entire business.</li> <li><strong>Set up processes</strong>. Make sure your company has a procedure for all requests involving sensitive information or payments, and make sure that procedure is followed. For particularly wide-reaching requests or large payments, require employees to check with their managers first.</li> </ul><p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank" title="CDW Cybersecurity Insight Report"><img alt="Cybersecurity-report_EasyTarget.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/juliet-van-wagenen" hreflang="en">Juliet Van Wagenen</a></div> </div> Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:28:00 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 42471 at The Future of IT Bends Toward the Flexible <span>The Future of IT Bends Toward the Flexible</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Tue, 10/16/2018 - 13:29</span> <div><p>The only constant is change, and this applies even — perhaps especially — to IT operations.</p> <p>This is according to Gregg Siegfried, research director of cloud and IT operations at Gartner, <a href="">who spoke with <em>BizTech</em> </a>about how the Internet of Things, edge computing, cloud and more are necessitating and facilitating the move toward more scalable and agile operations both inside and outside the data center.</p> <p>The most dramatic of these predictions is that the data center will disappear completely, with Gartner <a href="" target="_blank">forecasting in a recent report</a> that by "2025, <strong>80 percent of enterprises</strong> will have shut down their traditional data center.” This is opposed to just <strong>10 percent</strong> that have shuttered data centers today.</p> <p>While the prediction isn’t a given, what will likely drive the change away from traditional data centers is the constant evolution in enterprise computing toward distributed digital infrastructures that can provide the flexible operations that companies need.</p> <p>“We don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but there are many, many factors working together there. All we know is that a change is going to take place,” says Siegfried.</p> <p>But even if the data center sticks around, <a href="" target="_blank">as some believe it will</a>, it’s likely shift to a software-defined data center infrastructure, which can deliver a “more uniform provisioning of resources in the data center,” Siegfried says.</p> <script type="text/javascript" src="//;widget_id=1057636007&amp;width=640&amp;height=360"></script><p>In a software-defined data center, “you can move your workloads more elastically across a cloud provider as well as the data center, and you have a kind of uniform view of resources,” Siegfried says.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>DOWNLOAD:</strong> Learn more about how organizations are making digital transformation a reality!</em></a></p> <h2>DevOps Match Tech Flexibility with Team Agility</h2> <p>All these changes in tech must be met simultaneously with <strong>changes in IT team structure</strong>, however. This need is likely contributing to the rise of DevOps, a term melded from “development” and “operations,” which mirrors the team structure: a <strong>collaborative operating model</strong> where software developers and IT operations administrators work together.</p> <p>This new model allows more evolved software products and services to reach customers more quickly.</p> <p>“You start out with the agile product development, whether you’re using a scrum or something like that. But you’re extending that agile methodology into the operations, so we’re allowing them to participate equally with the developers, and you get more of a shared success model there,” explains Siegfried.</p> <p>Each DevOps model is different and tailored to an organization’s needs. And for those who are willing to dig in with the mindset of incremental improvement, it can be hugely beneficial for products in the long run.</p> <p>“What we’ve seen is it allows the products to get out a little more incrementally, a little more quickly and tested more thoroughly. And you may end up with a more quality product,” Siegfried says.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/juliet-van-wagenen" hreflang="en">Juliet Van Wagenen</a></div> </div> Tue, 16 Oct 2018 17:29:56 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 42446 at