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Posted on: December 20, 2019 By: Carolyn Kuczynski

Why Unlimited Mobile Accounts Should Be Limited

For companies with a high number of mobile-device users, figuring out what mobile plans to buy is not necessarily as straightforward as it might appear on the surface. A company might need to utilize different carriers for geographic coverage reasons, for example — and then need to know which plans in a given carrier are right for each user. Many companies attempt to solve this problem by simply buying unlimited data plans for all users — but there are cost inefficiencies with this strategy that, when amplified across all of the mobile accounts in a company, can end up costing companies far more than it should.

Unlimited Mobile Plans: Not Truly Unlimited

There are two primary reasons why putting all employees on an unlimited plan often doesn’t make sense. In the first instance, it’s likely that many employees simply do not need unlimited data — and thus, the company is stuck paying for far more capacity than they need. The second reason, which is typically a little harder to identify, is that unlimited data plans are not truly unlimited in every sense. That is, when a user exceeds a certain data threshold, the carrier will start to throttle the data speed for that user — and if the user truly needs that much data to perform their work, they’re now faced with a built-in slowdown in data that can only lead to inefficiencies that compromise them in the performance of their work.

So what’s a company to do when some of its workers truly do need unlimited data to best perform their jobs?

Mobile Connection Pooling

The answer lies in the concept of mobile connection pooling, which we’ve previously talked about in a piece on why companies are very often billing back mobile bills to the wrong cost centers. Essentially, mobile connection pooling allows a company to buy a fixed amount of data for each mobile user. Some users will use less than their allotment of data, and that unused data goes back into the pool and is available for use by users who have used more than their allotment.

By figuring out how much data is used, and by whom, it’s possible to purchase the right balance of plans so that there’s enough excess in the pool for all users, even those who need to consume a lot. It’s a process that saves money by only buying the plans that are needed while at the same time avoiding high-cost — and potentially throttled — unlimited plans.

There is, however, a special case for when companies may actually want to put some of their users on unlimited plans: When a user is consuming large amounts of data, but they don’t actually need to in the performance of their jobs, a company can intentionally put them on an unlimited plan precisely because their usage will be throttled when it becomes excessive.

Art vs. Science in Mobile Plan Purchasing

Figuring out which plans to buy for the pool might seem like an art — but it’s very much a science, and it’s a science that we apply on behalf of our customers every month as we manage their plans and pooling. Our system is built to constantly analyze trends and usage across an entire mobile fleet so that we’re always buying mobile plans for our customers in the most optimal way possible.

We often save our customers more than $10 per month per device on their mobile bills with this service. Across time and a large number of mobile devices, those savings add up quickly — and are in addition to the savings our customers realize by not having to spend their own time and resources figuring it all out for themselves.

If you’d like to see how it would work for you, we’re happy to show you. We’ll do a free (yes, free) and no-obligation audit of your most recent three months of mobile bills, and then show you exactly how much you could be saving each month.

REQUEST YOUR FREE AUDIT

Posted on: December 2, 2019 By: Sage Tourigny

At one Midwest wealth management company, there’s no need for clients to travel far to meet with their financial advisors.

Instead, advisors work from different branches day to day to be more available to clients across the region. But an arbitrary IT strategy leveraging different vendors and technologies meant they couldn’t provide a consistent, high-quality client experience when they switched locations.

For example, advisor phone numbers and client account information were linked to one branch. So when advisors traveled from branch to branch, clients were often unable to get in touch with them. Even when they did, advisors didn’t always have the information required to respond to their needs.

The company needed to solve this issue by finding a network provider with the ability to deliver a single network solution across the Midwest. The firm chose Spectrum Enterprise. What they discovered was a partner who could not only help solve their immediate issue but also help them grow.

Fast and seamless access to network services

High-performance Spectrum Enterprise fiber technology services enable the company to provide clients with a consistent, high-quality experience while improving advisor productivity. Now, clients can reach their advisors much more easily with the Spectrum Enterprise SIP Trunking service, which ensures advisors can receive calls at wherever they’re working on any given day.

And a fiber Ethernet Private Local Area Network (EP-LAN) delivers seamless, enterprise-wide access to files including client account information so advisors can quickly address inquiries and perform day-to-day-tasks at any location. The Fiber Internet Access (FIA) service also provides access to web-based applications like document-management solution DocuSign™ across all branches.

Client service and advisor productivity have also been improved with a high-performance 100 Mbps FIA circuit that enables advisors to execute trades online in less than a second. “With trading, precise timing is critical, and the speed of our network matters for clients,” says the IT director.

New opportunities to drive business

An additional advantage of the new network is its ability to support digital marketing strategies that help the company grow. For instance, the high-speed FIA service enables the company to establish fast and reliable live-streaming with media outlets so it can remotely participate in live interviews and weekly podcasts from its in-office radio studio. During these opportunities, the firm advisors answer callers’ financial questions, and this effort has been successful at generating new clients. These activities, plus other digital marketing opportunities provide exposure in target markets.

Technology that produces results

Today, the company is continually adding new clients and is thriving.

While there are a number of factors that have contributed to the company’s success, there’s one in particular that deserves a lot of the credit according to a member of the firm’s leadership team: “None of this would be possible without the technology platform provided by Spectrum Enterprise,” he states.

Posted on: November 26, 2019 By: Sage Tourigny

The Context

Wade Associates is an out-of-the-box insurance and risk management firm that inspires people to think differently about risk. They have three offices in the Carolinas and represent over 50 carriers.

When a client signs on with Wade Associates, they’re not just getting an insurance agent, though. They’re getting a partner that takes a holistic approach to managing risk. That’s because the professionals at Wade Associates don’t just sell insurance. Through their Ideal Client Transformation (ICT) process, they help each company they work with identify and address vulnerabilities. Transferring the risk via insurance is just one solution they might suggest. It could be that accepting, avoiding, or mitigating that risk through an internal process change is a better option.

“Our job is to uncover potential risks our customers didn’t know they had and show ways to mitigate them,” explains Jim Roberts, President of Wade Associates. “Sometimes placing insurance is the obvious solution. Mitigating risk is another option. If our client can’t avoid the risky exposure, we help them look for ways to perform their services in a different manner. Helping them incorporate specific policies and procedures, handbooks, additional training and higher deductibles

are a few examples. ”By going through the ICT, Wade Associates’ customers don’t just have far fewer vulnerabilities. They also become much more attractive to insurance carriers, who have a lot of flexibility in how they offer coverage. The results for their clients are more favorable terms and more control over their insurance program.

The Challenge

As an insurance agent, Wade Associates has access to sensitive information about their clients like social security numbers and financial statements. Plus, their business and reputation are built on helping people avoid and mitigate risk.

The effects of a successful cyberattack would be particularly devastating. “We’d first have to bring in a forensic team to find out what happened,” Jim says. “Then we’d have to back up what we lost and possibly pay fines. The worst, though, would be notifying the state Attorney General and every customer we’ve ever had to tell them we had a breach. It’s tough to come back from that.”

Protecting client data was paramount, so Wade Associates followed their network managed service provider’s (MSP) security suggestions.

But as a provider of cybersecurity insurance themselves, they knew that a standard firewall and antivirus software weren’t enough.

Additionally, Wade Associates is a family business. They’ve worked hard to cultivate a supportive culture where their employees are given the freedom to manage their personal lives.

“As a working mother, I understand the need to email school, order necessities online, and deal with other things life throws at you,” says Carolyn Roberts, Jim’s wife and Vice President at Wade Associates. “I don’t want to have to lock down our internet to a point where our employees can’t do those things.” As such, any cybersecurity solution would need to provide complete, managed protection for Wade Associates while still offering some flexibility in internet access for their employees.

The Solution

With these specific needs in mind, Carolyn began a critical review of their cybersecurity options. Corvid Cyberdefense’s HavenTM was the only solution that addressed each requirement.

Haven is Corvid Cyberdefense’s end-to-end prevention, detection, and response cybersecurity solution for business. It includes all the necessary security controls, management, and 24/7/365 security operations center monitoring to protect against, and react to, cyberattacks. Network connectivity, email communications, and endpoints like laptops and desktops are all protected.

For Jim, it was the proactive, machine learning-based endpoint security of Haven that stood out. Since every virus has a core DNA, Haven quickly recognizes a threat and adapts to stop it, even if the threat has evolved on its surface.

Legacy security platforms rely on an initial victim to identify new threats. Those software providers then create a signature or software patch which requires frequent signature updates or requires the user to distribute a software update for each endpoint agent. Unfortunately, this means a network may be exposed for weeks before the mitigating update is deployed. “I love that Haven is constantly updated,” Jim says. “We don’t have to do anything but turn on our computers.” In addition, Haven provides Wade Associates with complete

email and network security, vulnerability scanning, a 24/7/365 operations center, and employee awareness training. “Corvid Cyberdefense’s operations team is so responsive,” Carolyn says. “When we go to them for something, they never make you feel dumb or talk down to you.”

The Result

Wade Associates’ employees weren’t burdened with a difficult startup process. “Corvid sent out an email telling us to go to the website and set up each user. It took two minutes to install,” Carolyn explains.

Jim immediately noticed the volume of malicious emails blocked by Haven. Wade Associates’ email provider had previously left them exposed. “Now, when a potentially harmful email gets through, Haven stops it. The end,” he says. Plus, Haven’s email security protocols nearly eliminate spam emails, making their inboxes more manageable.

For Carolyn, the results were more personal. “I love the company culture we have here. The last thing I want to say to an employee — a working parent — is, ‘you can’t go to that website to order your child’s uniform.’ Haven gives me the peace of mind that we are keeping our clients safe without changing our culture.”

Each week, Wade Associates receives a detailed report of website traffic as well as any malicious threats that were stopped by Haven. They also have access to a live dashboard, giving them real-time data on the health and activity of their network.“I don’t know what we’d do without Corvid Cyberdefense,” Jim says. “I’m no less vulnerable than a large business, but I can’t afford to bring in a full time IT security person to buy and manage all the technology. Corvid fills that role and is affordable for a business our size.”

“Cyber liability insurance is something we sell,” he continues. “And we have it for ourselves. But that just provides some protection against the financial burden of a breach. We needed to take the mitigation step to preventing a breach from ever happening. And Corvid Cyberdefense was the best way we could do it.”

Posted on: November 13, 2019 By: Sage Tourigny

Everybody wants a secure mobility strategy, but what is anyone doing to make it happen? They don’t just spring into being, pulled whole and breathing out of the box you bought your mobile devices in. They’re the result of a lot of effort, planning, and resources that make a powerful strategy come together and protect our devices and the information contained therein. So how do you go from no strategy at all to the kind of strategy that stops hackers and other bad actors in their collective tracks? A few common elements will get you a long way down that road.

What Needs to Be Part of a Secure Mobility Strategy

Establishing a secure mobile strategy requires different things of every company, but there are some key elements that approach universality — with a few adaptations.

Start with the User. Many potential security failings start at the user level. The user is the one who installs apps and software without it being vetted because the user finds that software necessary to get a job done. The user doesn’t care about your secure mobility strategy; that’s not what keeps the user employed. If your secure mobility strategy gets in the way, you can imagine what the priority for the user will be. Prepare for this by including elements such as self-service provisioning and automated controls on data sharing. The more you can do to get the user on board, the less of a threat the user will pose to your strategy.

Block Off the End Runs. As much as you can do to augment the user experience, there are some things that just need to be prevented. One such event is known as the “quadruple bypass,” a complex and downright terrifying notion for any secure mobility strategy. This is described as a user taking a consumer-grade device, accessing corporate data, and sending that data directly to a cloud source. This leaves in-house IT utterly out of the loop, and it represents a loss of data that’s untracked, unwatched, and unaddressed. Again, the more you can do to prevent users from going off the page the better, but some points simply need to be shut down outright.

Don’t Forget the Training. While you want to do as much as you can for your end-user to prevent them from going off the rails, and you want to outright forbid some things that are necessary to forbid, there’s a big middle ground that likewise needs to be addressed. As noted previously, end-users represent some of the biggest threats around. Much of this is due to issues they’re not fully aware of, so making training a part of your secure mobility strategy will help address this immediately. It will not only help address these issues but, done properly, it will help encourage employees to stick to the plan as opposed to viewing it as a big hurdle to get around to get their jobs done. Better yet, it can also provide insight into what you can do to improve employee access and not get in the way.

Bring in Automation. Imagine a world where a lost or stolen device isn’t a calamity, but rather an annoyance so minor it’s fixed with a click. That’s potentially available today. With the right services, a user’s business apps and information can be transferred to the new device, and the old one can be locked and remotely wiped to the point of uselessness. This also makes it supremely easy to get new users onboard. One-click can load a device with all the necessary apps, tools, and information to get the user started quickly.

Protect the Important Stuff. Many companies here use a simple, three-step solution, sorting all data into categories of public, confidential, and restricted. Putting the strongest protection around restricted data and working downward from there — it’s also a good idea to make as little data “restricted” as possible — helps ensure that people have what they need. This is a better alternative than either leaving all data on the equivalent of the front lawn or locking up everything to the point where your network is a room with no doors.

Make Compliance Part of the Framework. While businesses will be impacted by compliance to different levels — some much more so than others — for those that must face regulatory ire, the best thing to do is to build compliance directly into the system. With hundreds of regulations around security and privacy potentially in play, and thousands of specific controls, systems not only have to be ready to meet these, but they must also be ready to demonstrate how these are met to the point of being ready for audit at any time. Thus, building these points into systems right from the start to the point they’re applicable is a vital part of any reasonably secure mobility strategy.

Start Future-proofing Immediately. There’s one major development out there that, over the course of the next several years, will fundamentally change the way you do business and will impact your network in a host of ways. That’s called the Internet of Things (IoT), and if you’re not preparing for it now, you’ll likely run afoul of it later. It’s the last word in mobility; it requires the use of remote sensors and similar tools in a range of ways, and all of these are poised to connect to your network. They do so for the best of reasons — to supply data generated remotely for use in analytics and other functions — but their simplicity and remote location makes them easy to hack. A secure mobility strategy must embrace the IoT, but that’s not where it stops. There are developments like these in the making right now, and building your secure mobility strategy so that it can effectively address future developments is crucial to getting the most out of these.

How to Get Help Establishing a Secure Mobility Strategy

Taking these elements together will go a long way toward producing a secure mobility strategy. But what do you do when you know what needs to be done but not how to carry it out? Drive your secure mobility strategy past the finish line by getting in touch with us at Acuity. Our line of mobility managed services will contribute to a secure mobility strategy by taking some of the heavy lifting off your shoulders and putting it squarely onto ours. Our dedicated approach to mobility services helps to ensure our focus on protecting these systems as they deserve. So just reach out to us for a fresh set of eyes to work on managing your secure mobility strategy.

Posted on: November 11, 2019 By: Sage Tourigny

The business world has transformed considerably in recent years, as VoIP technology has become more common, more businesses are moving to the cloud, and remote work has become a standard operating procedure in most organizations.

Related: Why You Should Update Your Business Phone Service

According to one study, at least 70 percent of employees are now working at least one day a week from somewhere other than the office. More than half of the 18,000 people surveyed work remotely for half the week or more and more than one in 10 work outside of their company’s main office as much as five times per week.

Related: 10 Reasons Businesses Are Switching To UC Cloud Services

Simultaneously, or perhaps in response to these trends, many companies are abandoning their offices altogether and choosing to embrace full time remote work environments.

Desktop as a Service & Remote Work

Public perception surrounding remote work has changed. Managers and administrators have gotten much more comfortable with the idea of allowing their employees to work remotely. In addition, remote work is now a top demand among the growing millennial workforce—many of whom consider remote work a deal breaker when applying to jobs.

Related: Top Growth Strategies For Communications Providers

Another contributing factor technological advancements that make remote work more possible and productive; specifically, in the desktop as a service (DaaS) market. With a DaaS deployment, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is managed by a cloud provider, allowing businesses to access their mission critical desktops, files, and applications from anywhere on any device. Desktop as a service even preserves the look and feel of one’s office workspace, making working from anywhere an intuitive experience.

Related: What Are The Benefits Of UCaaS?

In addition, DaaS solutions now offer enhanced security measures that set employers at ease. Cybersecurity, particularly for remote workers leveraging networks that are unmonitored by the company, is a core concern for most businesses. But with a robust desktop as a service solution, companies can confidently embrace remote work thanks to secure encryptions, multi-factor authentication, context-based access controls and more safeguards.

The Top 4 Benefits

To sum up the best qualities of this increasingly popular technology, here are the top four benefits to remember if you’re considering a desktop as a service solution.

Easy Application Access

When employees work from remote locations, they need access to the same applications that they would use in the office. With DaaS, employees can access their applications from any location, and from any device. This allows workers to stay connected and productive no matter where they are.

Related: Why UC Is The Solution To App Overload

Enhanced Security

Allowing remote work means exposing your company to countless security risks. It means sending workers outside of the protected LAN, where they will connect in public areas like coffee shops and airports. A DaaS solution can help reduce cyberthreats in a number of ways. For example, multi-factor authentication can protect against intruders should a device get lost or stolen and encryption can protect sensitive data while it’s in transit.

Related: Top Cybersecurity Trends For 2019

Adaptive Communications

Employees need more than just secure application access while they are working from home. They also need fast and reliable connectivity; this used to be a major issue with DaaS. Now, however, it’s possible to leverage DaaS solutions that are “adaptive.” In other words, they can act as a direct extension of the company’s network, while offering real-time monitoring. Furthermore, DaaS can be integrated with a business’ communications system, which fully streamlines the company backbone so that employees are connected to every tool in their arsenal at all times.

Related: 7 Ways To Increase Productivity For Your Mobile Workforce

Vertical-specific Functionality

Some verticals, like healthcare and finance, have very specific requirements for workflows and security. With the right desktop as a service solution, your company can leverage customized applications within the workspace and even build your ideal workflows. Some DaaS systems even come with vertical-specific packages ready to implement, making the process even faster and easier.

 

Posted on: November 8, 2019 By: Sage Tourigny

Sometimes people are surprised to discover that Canadian adoption of modern Information & Communication Technology (ICT) methods, lags behind our American counterparts. How can a country that scores high on the global digital economy scale, with a solid technology and software industry and a high proportion of skilled ICT practitioners, be slow at adopting the next wave?

There are a few factors that have contributed to slow adoption of technology here. Let’s discuss what those factors are, what the resulting gaps are in the market, and how this scenario provides a significant opportunity for ICT channel businesses.

So why do we lag?

For the most part, ICT consumption in Canada has remained a tactical exercise for most businesses. Rather than directly tying technology activities and consumption to the business strategy and outcomes, IT departments generally approach fulfilling IT needs at a project level and mostly in a reactive fashion.

Bluntly, this has been due to a lack of options. The dominant providers of IT for most businesses are the major Canadian telcos. This is because, due to data-residency requirements for most businesses operating in Canada, the global providers of infrastructure are often not a viable option. This is starting to change with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure now hosting cloud facilities located in Canada, but such providers have only recently established presence here and are still early in the adoption cycle.

As a result, the regional telcos are the main resource for most business IT purchases, none of which have a full national reach or network that covers the country coast to coast. So, the IT buying conversation has remained at the regional or department level with no providers that can outline, much less fulfill, a true IT/Business vision for their customers.

Without nationally focused facilities or networks to enable a more consultative and strategic approach to businesses operating in Canada, the channel and agent ecosystem remained stagnant, leaving the Canadian market undeveloped. This offers a great opportunity for agents to change the game with the right Canadian partner. Small as Canada is, it’s a huge opportunity. Let’s look at some rough estimates – note these are my “back-of-the-napkin numbers”:

Looking at these numbers, Canada presents a great greenfield opportunity: basically, an entire nation of businesses looking for the same cloud and managed services solutions that have already been provided in other countries for years, with one-tenth the competition to deal with as below the 49th parallel.

How to change the game

So, you’re probably thinking, “the opportunity is sizeable, and the competition is sparse. That’s great, but what’s the formula for success?” The answer for skilled IT agents and channel providers is, quite simply, do what you’re already doing, but do it here in Canada with the right partner. Rather than focus on fulfilling tactical one-off needs through the regional providers, work with a national provider that offers a unified approach and ownership across the country- one that offers a broad catalogue of network & infrastructure services, as well as a complete set of managed and professional services. These services, along with a variety of cloud or hosting facilities, is what makes a true Hybrid IT solution.

With the right partner and this approach, you can not only change the game in terms of value offered, but change the conversation from a tactical, IT department purchase to a true strategy that delivers IT value and business alignment for any enterprise.

 

Written by: Nabeel Sherif

Nabeel Sherif has spent his career working in product development/innovation, business planning, and change management for the ICT sector, as well as in consumer and industrial electronics. Over the past 20 years, Nabeel has launched dozens of new ICT products and services around the globe, from metropolitan WiFi and Enterprise & Industrial networks to fully automated cloud IT infrastructure and applications.

Additionally, Nabeel is a Curriculum Lead and Instructor at the University of Toronto (U of T) School of Continuing Studies. He is the owner/creator and lecturer for U of T’s Cloud Computing Certificate program and President of Player 2 Technology Solutions, a consultancy specializing in product strategy and network architecture for ICT businesses. He is also Cloud Specialist at TeraGo Networks and has spent most of his career in technology conceptualizing, developing, marketing, and evangelizing computing and communications products for a variety of ICT providers and global electronics manufacturers. For the past 15 years, his focus has been in developing and creating the next generation of services and products in hosting, cloud computing, data centre services, and application networks.

He holds a B.Sc (Hon) from the University of Ottawa, an MBA from Queen’s University, and has designed and managed dozens of communications products and hundreds of global networks for the past two decades.

 

 

 

 

Posted on: July 31, 2019 By: Carolyn Kuczynski

It can be hard enough to find, let alone establish a voice for your business, so using it should be the easy part. The last thing you need is anything standing in the way of connecting with customers and employees.

At WOW! Business, we believe your customers, employees, and partners should never have to work to stay connected. It’s why we focus on providing businesses with personalized service and technical options that can be tailored to fit their specific needs. Our flexible Business Voice and traditional phone service packages offer secure, reliable and feature-rich voice solutions through a selection of calling plans. Read on to learn how we can help you maximize performance and minimize costs.

Business Voice

Our traditional voice services come with unmatched service, reliability, and robust tools at an affordable price. Power up your business and deepen your connection to customers by making your business more accessible with our advanced calling features, flexible packages and the security of our private, advanced network.

We’ve made it easier than ever to find the right voice package for your business. Whether it’s our Basic Phone Package covering essential everyday needs, or our Complete Package with all the advanced communication services you want, including 25 calling features. 

Features Include:

  • Call Waiting
  • Call Forward
  • 3-Way Calling
  • Caller ID
  • Voicemail
  • Clarity of Digital Voice
  • Unlimited domestic long distance
  • Hunting/Rollover
  • Virtual Office
  • Priority Alerts
  • Business CommPortal

Hosted VoIP

WOW! Business Hosted VoIP offers a vast array of scalable, easy-to-manage features and capabilities that support your business at a fraction of the cost of an on-site phone system. And with its highly flexible infrastructure, it can grow as fast as you. Plus, we’ve gone over the top! We’ll install VoIP both on and off our network so even if your customers aren’t already WOW! Business Internet users, they’ll still get reliable WOW! voice functionality.

Features Include:

  • Ability to connect phones across multiple sites
  • Premium Auto Attendant offers up to 30+ options for directing a call—choose options based on times of day, days of the week, and more
  • Desk phones from PolycomTM (several models to choose from, including a conference model) or use our softphone clients to connect your computers or mobile devices anywhere in the U.S.
  • Programmable keys for most commonly used features—no need to remember star codes
  • Dedicated data connection for your phone
  • Administrator functionality to configure business-level features
  • Hunting Groups
  • Music-on-hold to play music or advertising messages to your customers and prospects

Posted on: June 24, 2019 By: Carolyn Kuczynski

SOCs help organizations to improve security, compliance, and governance. Most security organizations today have been forced to do more with less. Working with smaller budgets, teams, and limited access to training to keep up with cyber threats. Many enterprises are opting to outsource their security operations rather than deploying it themselves. Building your own SOC is an expensive and complicated endeavor. Further, the costs of staffing and maintaining a SOC can add-up quickly from hiring, training, and the retaining talent, and purchase of hardware and software for monitoring and managing and keeping up to date with the latest cyber threats. However, not all SOC as a Service provider are the same.

In general, there are four tiers of SOC services each having vital functions. However, as a rule, they all have two common foundations with security monitoring tools to receive contextually relevant information from both inside and outside the network (e.g., persistent outbound data transfers, login/logoff, firewall activity, etc.). Also, these systems monitor cloud and on-premise infrastructure services like DNS, email, web, domain controllers, and active directory services. Each sends information to log analysis, endpoint detection and response (EDR) or security information and event management (SIEM) tools. The second foundation of a SOC is leveraging these tools to find, identify and report suspicious or malicious activity from alerts. Below is an overview of the four tiers of SOC services.

Tier 1 – Triage.

This level of SOC services focuses on reviewing and assigning urgency to potential threats. They are the front line when reporting security incidents. Tier 1 SOC analysts run vulnerability and security assessment reports and manage security monitoring tools.

Tier 2 – Incident Response.

As trouble tickets or help desk alerts generated by tier 1 analysts, tier 2 leverages security controls, policies, and intelligence (indicators of compromise (IOC), rules, and procedures) to determine the scope and origin of the attack. Tier 2 SOCs focus on mitigation, recovery, and remediation once an attack has occurred.

Tier 3 – Proactive Cyber Defense.

This tier requires a combination of methods, technologies, and experience to hunt and kill cyber attacks. In addition to reviewing and developing a defensive posture from Tier 1 data, Tier 3 SOCs consistently look for vulnerabilities and access points into a network – hopefully without detection. Many organizations, especially in highly regulated industries like financial services, are turning to tier 3 and 4 level SOCs to ensure regulatory compliance, governance, and auditing the auditors.

Tier 4 – Operations, Controls, and Management.

Tier 1-3 SOCs focus on the tactical activities of managing a SOC either defensively (tier 1-2) or proactively hunting threats (tier 3). At this level, the service provider typically oversees all aspects of a proactive – threat hunter – SOC operation including managing incident response programs, escalation processes, and developing the crisis communications plan across the organization. Tier 4 SOCs produce, report, and maintain performance metrics to protect their customer’s executives, brands, and reputations.

While many SOC providers claim end-to-end security services, most fall woefully short and are only able to perform at tier 1 – 2 level. Moreover, most end-user organizations do not have the confidence, talent, or skills to contain and respond to a data breach.  Research by an insurance service organization suggests companies can save over 65% (over a three year period) of the costs by outsourcing SOC services over building in-house, especially from an operational and personal perspective. When determining which route to go from building vs. outsourcing a SOC, each tier and service provider has their strengths and weaknesses. It is important to do your homework, understand the limitations of each provider, and choose the right SOC as a Service provider based on your goals, internal skill-sets, and risk tolerance.

Posted on: January 16, 2019 By: CNSG Marketing

Dear Suppliers and Partners,

We had another record-breaking year at CNSG with explosive growth and amazing new victories. We are so grateful that year after year, you have continued to support our tremendous new initiatives. As a result, we are ramping up our internal support teams to better assist you and your organizations.

We need your help! You’ve always been a part of our team, so help us grow it!

We’re hiring new Channel ManagersSales EngineersChannel Support ManagersCommissions AnalystsMarketing Coordinators, and more!

Please share this email if you have a recommendation for our team. If you or anyone else is interested in joining our team, please submit resumes to careers@cnsg.com or visit https://www.cnsg.com/company/jobs/

Please direct any questions to careers@cnsg.com!

We look forward to working with you.

Posted on: September 4, 2018 By: Kayla Brown

We all know there is currently a lack of millennials in the channel. And thanks to our blog post “The Challenge of Millennials In The Channel: Why Aren’t They Here?, we have a brief look at why there are so few of them. But has anyone actually told you why millennials are the perfect fit for the indirect channel? Check out the top 5 reasons why if you’re a millennial, you’ll want to climb aboard.  

 

1. Financial Security Through Residual Income

Millennials can build residual income in the channel. CNSG

According to a Student Loan Hero survey, 39% of millennials say that debt is their number one source of money stress.  At first glance, the channel may seem a tad bit daunting – with many millennials fearing positions that seem to provide inconsistent pay. The channel can provide millennials with opportunities to get paid long after the initial sale is made.  

2. Remote Work 

Millennials Work Remote - CNSG

If “being chained to a desk” is a millennials’ worst fear (along with face-to-face conversation), the channel can provide a great alternative to the typical 9-5. Millennials are inherently mobile and are eager to work from anywhere. The channel provides opportunities for salespeople to travel, telecommute, and engage in remote work.  

3. Networking For Days 

Millennials Can Network in the Indirect Channel - CNSG

While it may seem that millennials are less interested in networking as generations before them – this is definitely not the case. Millennials aren’t less interested in networking. They’re less interested in traditional networking settings. Take golfing, for example. While Generation X and Baby Boomers appreciate the discipline of golf, millennials are just not as enticed by the expensive, and somewhat exclusive sport. They’d prefer to connect with colleagues at a boutique fitness studio or a craft brewery. 

4. National & Global Presence   

Indirect Channel Provides Global Opportunities - CNSG

While millennials are the epitome of digital natives – they still want to travel and have opportunities to gain worldly experience. 39% of millennials go so far as to say they wouldn’t take a position that didn’t allow them to travel for business. Thanks to technology, remote work is a major convenience – and a role within the channel means there are plenty of opportunities to travel the country, and the world.  

5. Overflow of Mentors  

Find a Mentor in the Indirect Channel - CNSG

72% would like to be their own boss. But if they do have to work for a boss, 79% of them would want that boss to serve as a coach or mentor. More than anything else – the channel is full of intelligent minds, ready to share their knowledge and pass the torch onto the millennial generation.  

 

While there may not be many of us just yet, millennials are certainly here to stay. It’s our duty to keep the channel growing, and introduce the industry to new ways of thinking and managing. With a team of Baby Boomers, Gen Xer’s, and Millennials on our side, there isn’t obstacle we can’t conquer! 

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