Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Security holes that’ll keep you up at night: Doing some data breach math

Data Breach Threats Faced By Business IT Infrastructure

Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken a look at what you can do to boost your organization’s IT security. But it occurs to me that maybe I’ve put the cart before the horse.

So I’m going to spend the next few weeks delving into the sort of threats your business’s IT infrastructure faces. And I’m going to start with data breaches and the most recent big-headline example: Zappos (parent company is Amazon.com), which last month admitted it suffered a data breach that compromised 24 million customer accounts.

Continue reading

Automating network performance: 6 key capabilities

Capabilities to look out for in a Network Performance Monitoring Provider

The right network management capabilities will provide the feedback you need to eliminate bottlenecks and IT failures while also enabling your network’s ability to deliver data, voice, wireless, Internet, and video services.

Which is why adequate performance management, trending and capacity planning, protocol analysis/fault isolation, and onsite/remote network health monitoring have become so essential.

Continue reading

Is server virtualization messing up your network’s performance?

Impact of Server Virtualization on Network Performance

Thanks to virtualization, network dynamics are changing — fast.

Server virtualization consolidates resources on fewer physical servers in ways that require distributed workloads to communicate with each other. This boosts utilization of servers, but it also increases — and changes the nature of — network traffic.

Continue reading

Curing Those Security Blues

Are you suffering from security fatigue? Find yourself getting irritated when your IT folks bring up yet another security issue? You’re not alone. Lately I’ve been witnessing a good deal of security fatigue in the executive suite, and I’m not surprised.

Truth is, security remains a never-ending process. The easier we make it to move data, the more vulnerable it is to loss or theft. In fact, our Page 1 story this issue on Data Loss Prevention is all about how easy it is for too many employees to make off with sensitive, proprietary information.

Continue reading

Isolating and resolving network problems

How to resolve Network Problems.

When it comes to keeping your IT network performing optimally, finding and fixing network faults certainly is crucial. But it’s just as crucial to sustain network operations while the issue gets resolved.

Which means that the first order of business is to ensure that your network has entered one of the failure modes you’ve designed for it so that remaining network resources are allocated according to your organization’s business priorities.

Continue reading

Network performance planning: About performance baselines and failure modes

Network Performance Planning & Monitoring

Even before you automate your network performance monitoring and management, you’ll need to do some planning. If you don’t have experts on hand, consider bringing in a reliable, dependable network advisor to help you:

  1. Establish a performance baseline
    Planning involves establishing baseline performance thresholds — called quality-of-service (QoS) rules — using historical data, estimates of how existing services will grow, and anticipated demand for new services.To determine if your plan is working, you’ll need to measure current network behavior. Such metrics include the traffic generated at certain interface points and the load levels of trunks and devices.

    This is how network administrators monitor and manage network conditions. When conditions are out of whack, an alert is generated.

    These alerts can indicate an emerging issue, such as a need for additional resources, or a serious problem, such as load levels so high that network and/or application performance has been impacted.

  2. Continue reading

3 Tips To Improve Network Performance

Tips to Improve Network Performance

One of the greatest threats to your company’s productivity comes from poor IT network performance. Yet it can be tough to maintain a healthy network in the face of cost constraints, changes to your business, and constantly evolving technologies.

Which can put you between a rock and a hard place, because when it comes to your organization’s IT network, what you need — regardless of whether you’ve undertaken virtualization or cloud computing or unified communications — is a stable framework for delivering communication, applications, and services that provide a consistent, reliable experience under normal conditions.

Continue reading

Quest’s 10 ways to boost business IT security in 2012: #9 and #10

Ways to boost Business IT Security

For quite some time, small and midsized businesses dared to feel safe from most malicious attacks — thanks to their relative smallness. Over the last couple of years, that’s been changing, because larger firms are tightening defenses and, as I’ve said before, the bad guys exploit opportunity.

Which is why shoddy IT security is a wide open opportunity for hackers to rip you off.

So I’m finishing our list with two elements easily overlooked as you face the hassles of keeping up with criminal creativity.

#9 Educate your employees about security

Continue reading

Prosperity in 2012: Best-performing organizations use cloud computing

I recently came across a cloud computing benefit/risk study conducted in the first half of 2011 by the IT Policy Compliance Group (ITPCG). It shows that best-performing organizations (which see higher profits and suffer fewer business disruptions and less data loss) use cloud computing significantly more than poor-performing organizations.

More than two-thirds of best performers use cloud computing — about half opting for private clouds, while 25% use hybrid clouds and another 25% use public clouds. By contrast, only 9% of worst performers use cloud computing.

Continue reading

All they want for Christmas is … Web 3.0?

Just when you were getting used to the idea of Web 2.0, along comes Web 3.0, which, according to a recent Booz & Co. report, “will offer an entirely new level of connectivity, communications, and information on customers.”

Search engines will be smarter, recommendation engines will know more about users’ habits and preferences, social media will continue to flower, and new kinds of services will make it all easy to manage. Booz calls this “the Transcendent Web” and notes it has four key elements:
Continue reading