How a Mobile Workforce Can Transform Your Cybersecurity Landscape

How a Mobile Workforce Can Transform Your Cybersecurity Landscape

More companies than ever before, especially those capable of operating remotely with little consequence, are ditching the traditional office setup, some even doing so permanently. A pandemic is a rare phenomenon, so it’s not like we’re in the midst of a “normal” everyday existence, whether remote commuting or trying to find something to do on our days off. The term “normal,” in itself, is wholly redundant; once we emerge from this crisis (and we will), the term “mobile workforce” will be anything but a taboo subject.

There’s one problem that persists, however: how is your internal cybersecurity landscape going to change with these times if the whole internal aspect is relative? Are you really giving up an effective security strategy for improved convenience and flexibility? Here are some key elements that will transform along the way.

Unification Means Proactivity and Balance

There are plenty of companies that operate with a dedicated intranet system, making remote commuting more of a challenge. Others incorporate activity monitoring – an increasingly polarizing subject – along with compliance requirements that demand a firmer grip on data permissions. Switching to a unified, cohesive framework enables IT teams to remotely configure and analyze your complete infrastructure, even if it’s tied to remote systems. Maintaining a clear end-to-end viewpoint, while respecting employees and learning to trust them when away from the office, is critical to a successful mobile workforce integration process. In addition, a unified, centralized, cloud-based solution allows for per-user data access, sharing, and editing permissions.

Virtualization and Device Integration

Not every employer can run out and buy 200 ThinkPad X1 Carbons just to support a mobile setup and ensure everyone has what they need. This is especially true during these difficult economic times. The same applies to ergonomic office setups and other critical components required to keep employees active, performant, and even healthy when on the clock for you. Bring-your-own-device solutions are often frowned upon for security reasons, but what about a workaround that ensures a remote environment conducive to effective cybersecurity? The answer, if you can’t afford to supply remote devices designated for company use only, is virtualization software, with several options available to meet various compliance, monitoring, and feature set needs. Along with state-of-the-art AI and machine learning algorithms, such software and any other digital tools your company utilizes can maintain transparency between workers and managers, all without jeopardizing internal data security. This happens because your existing systems at the office do all the grunt work, operating like usual – workers are only accessing them through a portal on their systems at home, so nothing is being saved on their hard drives or technically being brought out from behind your company’s walls. The same goes for file encryption and established security protocols – almost everything can continue to operate as per usual.

Focusing on Software-Level Security Enhancements

If you do switch to a fully remote operation for at least the time being – even via virtualization – strengthening security standards to consider device locations, personalized settings, and access points from mostly unique network connections is a must. The ideal perimeter setup is both flexible and resilient, optimized for cloud access on different connections. Plus, you’ll then have the chance to modify tweaks specific to each type of worker, from executives down to that latest intern in PR. At the same time, monitoring everything from a centralized, cloud-powered security setup minimizes the risk of data breaches, malware, data corruption, and other cybersecurity threats, making it easier and faster to diagnose and repair any issues that crop up. 

In short, integrating a mobile workforce can actually be more of a blessing than a burden; it forces employers to stay on their toes and implement modern, proactive solutions designed to address the latest cyber threats. The claim that convenience is detrimental to security may have been valid a decade ago, but times have changed. It’s best to move with them if doing so benefits everyone involved in the long run. Additionally, by optimizing for remote deployment, options can be customized indefinitely to encourage a more personalized, flexible, streamlined user experience, which can mean improved communications, collaboration, and a domino effect of further potential benefits. 

If you’d like a hand with future-proofing your operations – regardless of what’s in store in the months ahead – our team is happy to help. Contact us today for further details.

6 Things to Look Out for in a Security Audit

6 Things to Look Out for in a Security Audit

Technology is both a blessing and a curse. As hardware and software solutions are continuously tweaked and innovated upon, it’s only natural that the list of risk elements to consult during a security audit will grow. What’s more, today, with IoT integration, previously “dumb” systems such as doors and fixed camera systems, now smarter than ever, there’s an added new layer of complications – and potential threats.

With that said, here are just some of the risks to look out for in a security audit, whether you perform it yourself or have an outsourced team handle it.

Permissions-Associated Risks

Cloud integration and network upgrades are all well and good, but have you updated your permissions management system and processes in accordance with these innovations? Having control over who can access what, and from where, is critical in today’s increasingly digitized operations, regardless of your business application. Whether you want to hold secure videoconferencing calls amidst this pandemic or need to limit access to sensitive files for a new hire under probation, not managing permissions in a proactive, efficient manner is a huge gamble to take.

Info Leaks and Insufficient Training in Best Practices

Need to maintain compliance with strict regulations regarding the handling of files, internal communications or otherwise? A thorough security audit can help you determine whether you and your employees are meeting requirements. One of the most common threats to corporate security is information leakage, and the primary cause of this is inadequate training and failsafe systems. In a world where competitors are a dime a dozen, staying on top of training by keeping all employees on the same page can standardize the way internal data handling processes are carried out.

Access Abuse and Hints of Internal Espionage

A security audit can also help you uncover threats of espionage, internal saboteurs and other serious problems. By keeping tabs on what employees are accessing internally, how frequently, and who they’re sharing information with, it’s easier to identify when data is being transmitted to unknown IP addresses, which can be checked to determine the rough location of the recipient’s system. If you have established processes that employees follow for communicating with one another, requesting information or otherwise already in place, they can help the auditor identify red flags even more quickly and accurately.

Physical Security Threats

Is that smart key fob scanner acting up? Or, what if one of your security camera systems has a connection issue that impacts performance? Security auditing your environment should include focusing on physical access points, all smart systems and interactive components to ensure there are no weak zones prone to breaches. This is critical to keeping your employees, property and sensitive data safe and should never be overlooked.

Candidate Screening Efficiency

Speaking of your employees, how’s your vetting process?  Are you setting appropriate conditions for applicants to ensure they have sufficient certification? Police record checks are also important. Knowing just who you’re trusting with access to internal data and communications is critical to maintaining a secure, safe and uncompromised business operation, so make sure that any audits performed go over candidate screening processes with a fine-toothed comb.

Follow-Ups

Lastly, if something is flagged as a security threat, is it being addressed effectively? Waiting even a few days after the audit can pose a serious threat in some cases, especially when it comes to data handling and physical issues such as faulty smart locks. Another aspect of follow-ups is to ensure your security protocols at least meet established local regulations, helping your business stay proactive and vigilant.

There are many more risk elements to consider during a security audit, but these are some particular standouts that should never be overlooked. By focusing on the right areas and rectifying issues quickly and appropriately, your business will benefit from peace of mind and more fortified operations. For expert assistance, contact us at Zycom today to learn about our cyber vulnerability and IT assessments.

The Shift and Lasting Impact of COVID-19 on Workforce Transformation

The Shift and Lasting Impact of COVID-19 on Workforce Transformation

Like many of our clients, Zycom was forced into COVID-19 crisis planning to protect business operations (our processes and technology) via our workforce (our people), and how we interact (people, process and technology) with our client’s. We were somewhat more prepared than some companies for the pandemic ‘new normal’ of business operations due to workforce transformation we went through over eight years ago. Specifically, we already had virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) for our sales, service delivery and operations in production. Layered with that was migrating email and collaboration to online cloud tools like Microsoft Office 365, including SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams.

There is always a curveball or wrinkle you need to manage effectively. Our technology-based challenge was not having load-tested our IP Telephony solution to run in parallel to VDI for remote access. Our service desk is tightly aligned with our phone system. Post load testing, we were able to successfully move our remaining workforce to work from home with VDI and soft/hard phones.  

The most common problem we observed from our clients who were enabled with VDI is that they hadn’t load tested their Wide Area Network (WAN) for what if all these VDI users started working remotely versus working outside our four walls. And then it happened. A false sense of security exposed companies with hundreds to thousands of VDI enabled workforce only using VDI at the office were crippled to learn that the mobile workforce solution would only allow a small percentage of workers (some as low as 20%) to work from home based on internet bandwidth coming into the data centre.

Our soft challenge was collaboration. Like most of our clients, a small percentage of our staff were not used to or had developed the discipline of working from home. And even seasoned mobile workers were not used to working from home while having their children home at the same time due to schools shutting down. None of the coffee shops or libraries you would usually scout for ‘WFH internet backup’ during your work from home days, should your internet provider suddenly go down, were available to you. Staff used to the social aspect of working with others around them had to adjust to people working virtually around them. In time, this new reality became more ‘normal’.

Early into the pandemic and with a government-enforced stay at home orders, Zycom experienced 35% increases in call volume from our managed clients to assist with VPN configurations, and a burst of web-based email access requests. Companies started to realize their new reality required more mobility for their workforce than they had provisioned for. Suddenly our vendor partners were running low on Chrome Books, PCs, notebooks, and then used PCs and used notebooks became scarce.  If you didn’t get your end-user computing requirements purchased early, you were not getting any in time to keep your workforce productive.

Where is this new normal leading business?  A business culture that was driven to require their workforce to be in an office to work, to be productive, to see it working, are in for a revolution. As businesses and their teams adjust to the new reality, they are seeing that business can run without being confined to ivory towers, and people are becoming accustomed to the benefits of working from home. Organizations realize they can maintain productivity and eliminate corporate real estate expenses. Their people are already starting to demand more remote access flexibility. For businesses that are now working remotely, we don’t expect them all to go back to the old way of working in an office. One of our partners that preferred the physical office is considering not reopening three of its physical offices and staying the course with a remote workforce. How quickly will cultures shift? Post COVID-19 businesses will be forced to relook at their workforce and transform for our newly established reality. People will now look for jobs with lasting work from home benefits as a reason to join that company and feel safe. Organizations will need to better embrace work from home solutions as a competitive advantage and to ensure continuity of their business operations.  

Reverse Migrations vs. Cloud Integration

Reverse Migrations vs. Cloud Integration

For some business owners, it makes more sense to retain traditional operations rather than migrate everything to the cloud. Not everyone takes advantage of the same benefits in the same way, if at all, especially when it comes to maintaining compliance with established internal security protocols and the handling of permissions. This is also why many IT professionals and business owners were wary about cloud migrations when the technology was in its infancy, but this has primarily shifted. Such systems are widely adopted since maturing.

However, what about reverse cloud migrations? Is such a move worth it in terms of cost and resource allocation? Let’s explore in further detail.

Cost vs. Control: Deciding What’s Worth it for Your Business

Most businesses are debating whether to “cloud or uncloud” due to the expenditure considerations tied to each. While cloud migrations enable the use of external data centres, which helps to drive down in-house, IT costs with less internal equipment required, not every company is making the switch. A study on the subject indicates only a fraction of enterprises are doing so, still preferring to keep data provisioning and other sensitive processes internal. With as much as 80 percent of workloads remaining onsite, there is still a clear demand for in-house data management and process handling without using an externally managed tool.

The primary reasons why reverse migrations are better suited to some operations are security concerns and maintaining total control. While no cloud-based alternative can match the lock-and-key style of keeping your data internal, these solutions are designed with simplicity and smoother user experiences in mind. Furthermore, developers don’t have state-of-the-art security features and firewalls baked into the platforms. If you’re struggling to keep employees in the loop, share data, manage permissions efficiently or otherwise, streamlined cloud integration might be an ideal solution for some of your tasks. In that sense, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of cloud versus unclouding, as core dependencies and risk elements will vary depending on the application of your business, how sensitive your data is, among other factors. 

Being Realistic

There’s a common misconception that “everything” will migrate to the cloud in due course. Still, such a move would drastically violate corporate privacy policies put in place to protect intellectual properties, employee data, sensitive accounts information and otherwise. A recent cloud data security report by Netwrix backs this point in spades; 48% of organizations using the cloud to store sensitive data may still consider reverse migrating back to an on-premises alternative. 

Different workloads are suited to different solutions, so while it’s essential to bear in mind that cloud migrations are a superior choice for some operations, others are just as capably managed in-house. For instance, consider the following list of reasons why a company might be more comfortable with unclouding:

  • Security concerns, especially with personal information and finances
  • Integration issues with necessary local applications and other technical hiccups
  • Staff unfamiliar with how to efficiently and securely manage a multi-cloud or on-premise network

So, What are the Arguments for Cloud?

It might sound as if we’re bashing cloud integration, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. With the right platform, professionally managed and operated proactively in terms of what data is shared, it can be a highly resilient solution for many aspects of modern business operations. This is especially true when it comes to recovering from a disaster that, if everything were handled in-house, could otherwise result in tremendous data loss or compromised security. Then, there’s the consideration that internal data centres eat into the corporate budget and take up physical space. For these reasons, many companies seek a more simplified, elegant alternative with minimal hassle. 

The debate of “to cloud or uncloud, that is the question” boils down to three key components: integration, efficiency, and proactive application. Comparing premise impacts for both scenarios in terms of spend allocation and risk management is therefore critical. In other words, do your homework, plan, run those figures, and we’re sure you can paint a clearer picture of the ideal solution for your specific operations. 

If you’re struggling to determine whether clouding or unclouding is appropriate for your needs, we at Zycom are happy to help. Contact our experienced technical team today to learn more about our security-focused managed and cloud services. 

Zycom Awarded 2019 Darktrace Canadian Partner of the Year Honours & Platinum Partner Status

At Zycom, we pride ourselves on delivering state-of-the-art professional IT services to businesses in need. To achieve the results that we’re renowned for, we constantly maintain a myriad of focuses on security, future-proofing, performance optimization, and more. The hard work of our dedicated team of technicians has resulted in Zycom being awarded the 2019 Darktrace Canadian Partner of the Year honour. In addition, we’re excited to announce that we have achieved Platinum Partner status.

This is a big moment not only for our expert team, but also for every client who turns to and trusts in us. Many thanks to all who made this tremendous milestone possible – we’re sure that this is just the beginning!

A Major Milestone

The honours were presented to Tim Allen, President of Zycom and Terry Buchanan, VP of Technology, and General Manager by Darktrace representatives Gary Szukalsk, Chief Channel Management Officer and Chris Patton, Sales Director for Canada and the Eastern US. This served as the culmination of an excellent team-building event in Toronto; several Zycom and Darktrace Sales Representatives were in attendance. 

Our Commitment to Transformative IT

We’re dedicated to constant innovation, particularly when it comes to network security. Working closely with Darktrace and continuing to implement their Security AI solutions enables us to disrupt the market and focus more on not only the end-user but also the collective safety of all on their shared network. Taking the fear out of networking remains one of our core focuses, represented in proactive maintenance and system updates to ensure optimal stability, firewall protection, and more.

Now, as a Darktrace Platinum Partner, Zycom is poised to take that innovation further. As new cyber threats emerge and digitization is increasingly zeroed in on by creators of such threats, we need to be more vigilant and prepared than ever. We’re fully committed to working with Darktrace on the continued implementation of their adaptive, security-focused AI – technology that is lightyears ahead of traditional preventative standards of yesteryear in terms of effectiveness against modern threats. 

Platinum Perks

One significant benefit to our clients is that Zycom employees can now utilize free Darktrace technical training, enabling us to develop even deeper insights into their sophisticated AI solutions. This represents an even more finetuned manner of integration with our established and trusted professional IT services. Think of Darktrace as having a dedicated security worker who never sleeps and constantly monitors your network and systems for suspicious activity. The self-learning AI watches over your cloud-based networking, SaaS, IoT setups and industrial systems with ease and full awareness of how your specific processes operate. This equates to greatly improved protection against ransomware, stealth hacks and even internal threats.

The key to remaining proactive about IT security is being dedicated to shaking things up. Zycom is proud to do just that, working closely with Darktrace to market their innovative AI solutions. We couldn’t be prouder as a relatively young company to have such a large client base who can count on us. 

Congratulations to all who have been part of the disruption movement on our team including those positioning and raising awareness of the benefits Darktrace AI can provide. With free technical training and more innovations always in the works, we’re confident that our team has the know-how and expertise needed to maintain a safe, high-performing, and cost-efficient IT infrastructure for your business. For more details, reach out to us at Zycom today. We look forward to working with you on future-proofing your operations with the latest innovations! 

5 Predicted Tech Trends of 2020

5 Predicted Tech Trends of 2020

2020 is well and truly here, and with it comes a whole lot of innovation and excitement as technology continues to evolve. With the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) having just wrapped up, the team at Zycom is excited to spotlight several predicted upcoming tech trends. Some have carried over from 2019, while others appear set to break new ground.

Without further ado, let’s dive in and take a closer look.

The 5G Revolution

Over the past couple of years, there’s been plenty of chatter about the onset of the new standard in consumer devices. Now, 2020 seems to be the year when everything really kicks off, especially with handset makers such as Samsung and perhaps even Apple poised to introduce 5G-compatible smartphones, thereby embracing the new standard. With network speeds between ten to a hundred times faster than 4G and improved low-latency performance, it’s easy to see why the tech sphere is excited to see 5G take off at last. From remote commuting to conferencing, cloud-based wholesale VoIP and autonomy all poised to benefit from upgraded networking, we’re certain that many businesses will see improved communications and performance efficiency once they upgrade.

Our favourite perk of 5G is the potential to connect a massive number of devices, far more compared to what’s possible with current networking capabilities.

IoT

Internet of Things (IoT) integration will continue to build momentum into 2020 and beyond, has become a primary focus of many businesses seeking to optimize supply chains, IT, and other aspects of their operations over the past few years. Thanks largely to improved cloud connectivity and satellite performance, it’s easier than ever to transfer data, implement SaaS and more. Plus, bolstered security frameworks to match the increased adoption of IoT will continue to protect against thefts and hacks.

Digital Security

Many businesses hold proper security close to the hearts of their operations, seeking the most proactive protection possible from various threats. However, security adoption has been struggling to transform in a way that’s conducive to a workforce overconnected at the edge. Today’s demands need to be adequately met as the digital workplace continues to become the new norm in 2020 and beyond. The increased deployment of IoT devices, as well as the onset of the 5G revolution, means that compute and analytics tasks are situated close to where data is being created, representing less of a need for a centralized source. As these other trends continue to become more widely adopted, so too should edge-based data encryption, failover management, and optimized access control. As a result, not only will data be accessed and processed correctly but also more securely. 

Data Analytics

The continued enhancement of data analytics will pick up the pace as software becomes increasingly optimized and user-friendly. Simple-yet-intuitive platforms are the way forward, enabling companies to better track spend, allocate resources, and monitor day-to-day operations performance. As businesses continue to optimize processes and complete tasks more efficiently thanks to valuable data insights, their potential for growth may very well increase.

Smart Tech and AI

AI has been one of the most dominating trends of the past several years, and there are no indications of it phasing out. From wireless mesh networking to smart lighting and sensors aimed at reducing energy costs, the very environments we work in are set to become even more tightly intertwined with technology. Along with that comes the increased reliance of companies on machine learning for data analysis purposes, enabling them to better understand their customers and create more personalized solutions for them.

The Zycom team is excited to see where cloud-based managed services, virtualization, IoT and many other tech trends lead throughout 2020 and beyond. This new decade looks to be one full of surprises, continued innovation and plenty of great opportunities for businesses who modernize. Contact us to learn more about our provided services, many of which involve technologies we’ve highlighted today.

Your Guide to Container Management Software

When it comes to creating, deploying, and scaling software containers, efficient management is a must. By isolating processes based around the same OS into a single deployable unit, you can experience improved operational efficiency, lower costs for platform migrations, and much more. Today, let’s explore what goes into CMS integration and why Zycom has been able to help more businesses across Canada become truly cloud-ready.

Understanding How Containerization Works

Containers are created by bundles that represent system, application and environmental data known as container images. In short, containerization is the process of packing and distributing this data via specialized software to ensure streamlined operations. In that sense, containerization is an essential process for almost all developers. As a streamlined means of packaging applications and deploying them in a standardized manner, it enables support for different varieties of infrastructure. This is also handy for operators who want to get the most out of their system, as containers will run on any host that supports them.

Image Backups Enabled by Default

Due to the widely supported formatting of container framework, keeping backups that are compatible with your setup is easier than ever. This is largely because container images behave like templates that can be used to create other containers, meaning the same image can be used to spawn and run more of them. This is achieved through the integration of application dependencies supported by the container formatting.

High Value for Enterprises: The Nutanix Story

Investing in the right container management software for your needs is an ideal way to maximize growth and cost management potential with relatively low risk. This is largely due to the fact that deploying such technology occurs when it is in in-pilot mode, meaning it is open to testing and continued tweaks.

That said, perhaps it’s a leap that you’re not quite ready to make. If so, consider the recent changes Nutanix has undergone. Their new desire to go deeper with key channel partners on assisting customers with cloud-based work stems from a complete about-face from their traditional way of operating. By focusing on its subscription business as more and more clients flock to cloud technology, they are better positioned in the market. From object storage and micro-segmentation via network products to fliers and storage, their data plane has proven to be a trustworthy and readily available alternative, made possible by leading-edge container management software.

As an Elite Nutanix partner and 5-time Partner of the Year recipient, Zycom has worked very closely with Nutanix in Canada to pioneer this Hyper-Converged Infrastructure. Delivered as a managed hosted or HClaaS variant, it helps businesses shift to private cloud networking for considerably less than public cloud alternatives. The rapid time to market combined with lower risk enables enterprises to handle everything from design and sizing and ops automation to complete platform migrations with ease – meaning being cloud-ready doesn’t have to involve high costs or resource allocation.

Other Benefits

Container management software enables for simplified administration of hosting environments – even those that are inundated with traffic. This is achieved through operations automation, as the naked eye could never possibly keep up with rapid-fire changes. This gives a CMS a considerable advantage over VMs – the software can effectively think and react proactively on its own. Once again, the way data is packed into containers enables for lighter applications, increased interoperability, and more.

Want to learn more about whether CMS is the right choice for you? Reach out to our team at Zycom today if you’d like to discuss further. We’re excited to help you open the doors to a wealth of new, cloud-based potential through sheer automation and process refinement.

What is Autonomous Response and What Does it Mean for My Business

What is Autonomous Response, and What Does it Mean for My Business?

The Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit 2019, taking place in London this September, is set to host several future-facing representatives of the latest digital security innovations. Among them is Darktrace, one of the most trusted cyber AI companies in the world and the creator of Antigena, the world’s first autonomous response (AR) technology. It responds to threats in seconds and designed to behave very much like the human immune system, this technology fends off viruses and malicious invaders alike.

However, what do autonomous response and the onset of AI-assisted cybersecurity mean for your business? Let’s explore in further detail.

Under the Hood

Autonomous response technology is used by over 3,000 organizations around the world. It is capable of safeguarding cloud and hardwired networking, IoT, industrial systems, and standard fare such as email and company intranet. Using sophisticated AI and machine learning algorithms, it analyzes network data at scale, adapting processes based on billions of probability-based calculations. Autonomous Response is therefore designed to monitor and rectify threats even when you’re out of the office – in fact, it reacts every three seconds to a security risk somewhere in the world. All the work is carried out behind-the-scenes, so the technology won’t interfere with everyday operations, taking appropriate action without disrupting organizational effectiveness.

Use Cases

There are multiple instances where autonomous response can prove to be useful in safeguarding your operations. Let’s highlight some examples as specified by Darktrace themselves:

  • In external attacks on cloud servers, AR observes access attempts and identifies all source addresses. Even systematic attempts can be caught and neutralized before attacks are carried out. 
  • If a device downloads a suspicious executable containing advanced ransomware, AR will detect it and raise an alert. Should behaviour change over even a few seconds, Darktrace works to update alerts accordingly in real-time.
  • Internal data thefts with hidden devices siphoning data can also be detected, leading to the discovery through a physical process of elimination.
  • Self-modifying keylogger malware can be caught by AR by combining data on anomalous behaviours to reach an accurate conclusion, acting appropriately to mitigate the threat. 

Fighting Fire with Fire: Why AR Matters

As the first enterprise-grade form of autonomous response technology, Darktrace Antigena is paving the way forward. Such solutions are critical in fighting cyber-attacks that are executed at machine speed, impossible for humans to keep up with manually. Even detecting such threats is a bigger challenge than ever before. Your team won’t always be in the office, either – vacations, holidays and weekends aren’t always factored into the effectiveness of older digital security solutions. This is where autonomous response makes a tremendous impact – it’s always ready to react within seconds to malicious behaviour and notify you of the risk at hand. 

How Autonomous Response Can Help You

In an age when everything is always online, connected and software-based, protecting your assets, employees, and company growth may seem like a loftier challenge than anticipated. However, autonomous response truly is the cure for what ails you. Here are some situations the technology is specifically designed to address:

  • Addressing internal security flaws and data siphoning
  • Limited budgetary funding for a physical security workforce
  • Ensuring “smart” tech in your organization can’t be used as backdoors 
  • A need for a self-healing IP system that can keep pace with machine-speed hacks
  • Relying on multiple data points
  • Continuous observation and rectification of digital threats
  • Real-time reporting

We’ve only scratched the surface on what this technology is capable of, but in time, autonomous response technology will become the new standard in cybersecurity. To learn more about Darktrace, a Zycom partner, and its many benefits, contact our team today. We’re happy to help address your security concerns with an ideal, future-facing solution.

It’s time to take the fear out of networking.

4 Cost Control Strategies Conducive to Efficient Spending

4 Cost Control Strategies Conducive to Efficient Spending

An increasing number of businesses are making the jump to cloud-based networking solutions, but what many of them don’t anticipate is the “sticker shock” sensation accompanying some costs. At least, that’s what will happen if you haven’t optimized your processes to address spending. With this technology having increased in popularity over the past few years, even multi-cloud deployments are becoming quite common. With new innovations comes a need to understand how they work in order to address cost-related concerns.

With so many companies overspending when it comes to their cloud budgets, let’s go over some cost control strategies that are conducive to your goal of reducing operating costs while maximizing growth potential.

Asset Management

Cloud spend is often stemming from end-user departments, largely due to the fact that these services are quick and easy to set up with fewer IT-related hoops to jump through. However, that selling point becomes an Achilles’ heel of sorts if company-wide budgets struggle with the expense. Implementing an IT asset management system is one way to get around this, detecting when new services are active. This is made possible through Zycom and partners such as Darktrace, offering 100-percent visibility in addition to unprecedented cybersecurity. Having no more hidden costs means no more unexpected spend. 

Minimizing Idle Resources

A common directive when implementing cloud is to only upload data that you need to be accessed and handled by the service. However, many companies still veer towards packages that offer the maximum compute load rather than what they’ll actually use – it’s similar to purchasing a new smartphone and opting for the costliest, highest-capacity storage variant possible, “just in case.” You may only really need a fraction of that amount, which could lead to lower costs if you go with a lower-tier plan. Reuse your idle infrastructure and work towards cutting down on the amount of performance you pay for, but don’t fully utilize.
The Right Tools for the Job

There are multiple highly effective software solutions that can help to manage not only your network efficiency but also the costs associated with running it. They incorporate innovative, feature-rich toolsets that enable you to cut down on resource sprawl. There are also many services available that can help; Zycom’s IT health checks are one such example, performing best-practice analysis to address a cost-effective migration of workloads to the cloud. Above all else, you want tools that enable for thorough network assessments so you can keep a close eye on where spend is being allocated towards. You may also be interested in Nutanix’s Xi Beam or Virtual Instruments’ VirtualWisdom, both offering multi-cloud environments ensuring secure deployment and automation, leading to lower IT spend. 

Proactive Rightsizing

Growth forecasting is essential to balancing spend and innovation, contributing to growth and justification for switching to cloud in the first place. If you’re fully aware of the infrastructure needed over the course of the next year or two, use that data to your advantage and enact a little rightsizing. As the expression goes, slow and steady wins the race – except there’s no real race. You’re at no risk for gradually performing a cloud integration rather than going all-in – literally, in terms of spend. See how the new network is addressing the team’s needs and collaborate to determine whether sticking with the current pricing model is justified. You can always upgrade to a different plan a few years down the line if need be; by then, your company will be more accustomed to how cloud connectivity benefits everyday operations.  

Combined with reputable SaaS and WaaS services, Zycom is also proud to offer cloud migration services. With our assistance, you can reduce costs associated with migrating and managing cloud workloads through automation and impeccable support. To learn more, reach out to us today.

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