Monthly Archives: September 2015

Problems With Kaspersky

security-265130_640 (2)Kaspersky Labs makes some of the best antivirus software in the business. Odds are excellent that your company uses their product to keep your systems and data safe. That’s what made this week’s announcement about the flaw in their software so dismaying.

Worse, it wasn’t just an obscure flaw that was difficult to take advantage of. The recently discovered flaw was the equivalent of leaving all your doors standing wide open, with a formal invitation, written in neon, inviting hackers in. It had the potential to be absolutely devastating, which is why the company released an emergency patch to address it.

The good news is that if you use Kaspersky products, and you have your auto-update feature turned on, you’ve already got the patch. If you don’t use auto-update, you’ll want to instruct your IT people to manually check for and apply the latest updates, or you are at risk.

The IT field is vast, and growing almost by the day. One of the fastest growing segments in the industry is in systems security. The problem, of course, is that it is ruinously expensive to keep one (or more) of each type of IT Professional on your payroll, but you don’t have to. As the IT industry continues to expand, it makes an increasing amount of sense to simply outsource the function to a managed services provider, hiring the specific type of IT consultant you need, when you need it.

Could an IT consultant specializing in systems security have alerted you to the presence of this bug sooner? Possibly. More importantly, however, such an individual could have guaranteed that when the bug was detected, your system would have been patched and safe the moment it was found, instead of having to read about the problem online, then check behind your staff to ensure that your data is secure.

Final note: Kaspersky is by no means unique. They’re not the only antivirus software makers to have had security flaws identified within their products. This happens to every software manufacturer. Kaspersky just happens to be the most recent company making headlines. This is in no way a reason to consider dropping them. They were incredibly responsive and the issue has been addressed, but it does underscore the ever-present danger and uncertainty in today’s business environment.

Latest In A Long Chain

chain-690088_640Recently, Excellus, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, discovered evidence of a hacking attack that exposed ten million customer records. The matter is currently under investigation, and so far, there’s no evidence that the hackers used the data in a malicious way. Typically, if the data will be used maliciously, it happens in the days or weeks following the attack, and this does not appear to have happened in the case of the Excellus breach. Nonetheless, this only serves to underscore the large and growing problem that all sectors of the business community face.

Hacking attacks are growing in both number and sophistication by the week. Odds are excellent that little to no useful data will be gleaned from the investigation, because although evidence of the attack was only recently discovered, the attack itself occurred two years ago, in 2013. That’s an eternity in IT-time.

This is by no means an isolated incident. In recent months, several major Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurers have been breached, including CareFirst, Premera, and Anthem. In the case of Anthem, the hack was traced back to a group of Chinese hackers. It is unknown at this time if that same group was responsible for the other Blue Cross and Blue Shield breaches, or if the incidents are unconnected.

Given the number and sophistication of such attacks, it is more important than ever before that companies build a robust team of security professionals, or if that is impractical, to outsource that function to a Managed Services Provider with an excellent reputation in the area of systems security. Had Excellus hired an IT Consultant with the appropriate background, it is entirely possible that this attack would have been noted and acted upon much more quickly than it was.

MSP’s are increasingly becoming the default solution to systems security because of the extreme difficulty in finding a sufficient number of adequately trained personnel to fill those roles internally. If the recent past is any guide, those problems will get significantly worse before things start to improve. How prepared is your company?

Benefits of Outsourced IT Services

monitor-862116_640The majority of today’s world has become computerized. Computers and other electronic devices offer us fast access, and security. The unfortunate downside being a software glitch or a malfunction can be extremely inconvenient and costly to a business. This makes it necessary to keep a close relationship with an IT professional, be it a full time employee or an outsourced IT firm. While having a full time staff to take care of your IT issues is a pleasant experience, it can also be very expensive. Fortunately, an experienced managed service provider can be hired and can actually be a better fit for most small and medium businesses.


A managed service provider is dependable. They are trained to identify and resolve problems with precision. MSP’s hire trained and experienced staff who are highly skilled in information technology.

Cost Effective

If you own a company, a professional IT service can be more affordable than hiring a full time employee. You don’t have to worry about the cost of health care, insurance, or a 401k.

Increase Security

Never worry about security or updates again. A managed service provider will implement a security plan and monitor your network providing the security your business needs.

In short, if you are in need of an IT professional, it is worth a look into a local managed service provider. Not only can you save money by outsourcing your technology needs, you can hire a team of professionals for a fraction of the price.