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MasterMinds: Security Blanket: Complete Coverage Against Cybercrime

February 15, 2017 - Article
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**Editor's Note: MasterMinds is a biweekly feature in which we invite leading master agents to share information, insights and expert opinions about what’s going on in their agencies, the IT/telecom channel or the business community in general.**

Jaime ZarateBy Jaime Zarate

A new wave of emerging technology topics has been unleashed in 2017.  Hot topics include things such as deep learning, blockchain and augmented reality. However exciting and mysterious these technologies may be, my attention keeps gravitating back to a seemingly less exciting topic: enterprise security.  

Recently, a friend of mine called me asking for help with office computer. I often serve as tech support to my friends and family. But this was no tech support call. My friend owns a very successful construction business operated out of a small office with a couple of PCs and printers. A few weeks ago, his office manager was locked out of the business computer where accounting, payroll and tax information is stored. Ransomware was holding his business hostage until a phone call came in with instructions on how to pay via bitcoins for the release of their PC. This PC was supporting a multimillion-dollar business with dozens of employees. He was adamant that he would not pay a ransom and wanted just to start over.

Why is it that we will schedule annual physicals for ourselves, but we don’t often think about the security health of our businesses? While a security audit may not be as exciting as an emerging technology, security should be a constant consideration when information on new and emerging technologies is being digested. Moreover, if your company and your clients' have not had a comprehensive audit — even if no new technology has been added — it's time to schedule one. Corporate security is much more than just the firewall. Vulnerabilities are now found and exploited in companies' connected devices, software and — most alarmingly — employees. A comprehensive security audit will look at the business holistically, delivering more than just information on how the company is vulnerable. It will give a plan and road map for directing technology and people into a secure enterprise.

Jaime Zarate, executive director of cloud services for Richardson Communications and Consulting, is an industry veteran with more than 20 years of telecommunications, systems integration, IT outsourcing and managed services experience. Before joining Richardson Communications, h was a strategic planning and cloud services consultant to companies such as AT&T, Fujitsu, Rockwell, Unisys and XO Communications. He also served in business development and global alliance management roles.

Hear more from Jaime at Channel Partners on Tuesday, April 11, at 5:45 p.m. in the Cloud Computing Lab. And be sure to join Rachel McNeese, president and founder of Richardson Communications, on Wednesday, April 12, at 10:35 a.m. for "DRaaS: Sales Boot Camp."

Have a question or topic you would like considered for discussion? Submit it to buffy.naylor@informa.com

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