AI Robot Defense

AI, Your Silent Cyber Defender

AI (Artificial Intelligence) Cyber Defense or SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) or both?

Cybercriminals continue to come up with innovative ways to attack companies’ infrastructures, more so in the last year than ever before. Instead of hacking an infrastructure to plant a virus, cybercriminals have taken their tactics to the next level, executing cloud ransom attacks, as well as manipulation and exploitation tactics in return for access to your own IT infrastructure. This raises the question as to whether traditional cyber defense systems are equipped to detect and respond to such unique threats quick to reduce the reduce the risk of damage. Artificial Intelligence Cyber Defense has the answer.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Cyber Defense

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has transformed the digital world and the way in which businesses operate. With AI, enterprises are able to leverage businesses advantages, such as increased productivity as a result of faster operation times and automated efficiencies. Though, the risk of cyber threats remain as cybercriminals view digitization as an opportunity to hack digital infrastructures, such as the Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and software systems. Traditional security systems are not equipped to handle the increased and innovative attacks from cybercriminals.

How Artificial Intelligence Cyber Defense is Transforming How Companies Deal with Security Threats

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Cyber Defense, on the other hand, takes cybersecurity to the next level to protect enterprises from digital threats. From cloud ransom attacks to cybercrime exploitation, AI Cyber Defense systems offer optimal protection from past, present and future cybercriminal tactics. These systems use smarter automated security systems that detect threats and respond to them before they pose a risk to your infrastructure. AI Cyber Defense continues to learn for themselves and use AI algorithms to identify outliers from typical patterns which not only protects your enterprise from today’s threats but also, from potential ones in the future. These systems detect threats that can’t be predicted by an IT individual, while also acting faster than any security practitioner to prevent costly damage.

Benefits of AI Cyber Defense Darktrace System

Darktrace is an innovative, intuitive and impressive AI cyber defense system that makes protecting your business’ most valuable data simple. The automated system uses mathematics and algorithms to see threats earlier or as they’re happening, offering quick and efficient protection to threats that other security systems aren’t equipped to find.

What is Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a type of security management that uses Security Event Management (SEM) and Security Information Management (SIM) in one security management system. This type of software is designed to collect and combine data that’s generated through an enterprise’s infrastructure, from the host systems to the network, applications and security devices, such as antivirus programs and firewalls. SIEM systems then use the information gathered to identify, categorize and analyze various events, and produce reports and to send alerts on security-related situations.

While SIEM systems have been a strong force against cybercriminals in the past, they are not as equipped to deal with the new and advanced threats when compared to AI Cyber Defense Systems.

AI Cyber Defense system can be used alongside a SIEM and will enhance its value. However, this type of defense is exceptionally powerful and well-equipped to handle all security threats on its own, and in faster time than other security systems. AI Cyber Defense systems also allow companies with limited resources to do more with less; paying for two security systems is not needed for optimal protection.
Darktrace is the world-leading cyber-threat company that enhances the security surrounding your enterprises’ infrastructure. For more information, speak with one of our specialists today.

CDN Channel Innovation Awards: Zycom

Zycom showed up in full force to the inaugural CDN Channel Innovation Awards on September 19, 2018!The innovation awards turned out to be a great night and recognized some of the most innovative solutions across Canada.  Zycom is excited to announce that we were recognized for a pair of awards commending our top projects of 2017. Our unique solutions ended up landing Zycom both a Diamond and Gold Award.

 

Multiple achievements being awarded to Zycom:

Diamond for Best Education Solution

This award honors the solution provider with the most innovative education solution for the year.

Why we won:

Zycom was tasked with creating a cloud strategy for the Limestone District School Board in Kingston, specifically to update its student information system (SIS). Overall the SIS lacked the data and disaster recovery capabilities that a system tracking 19,000 students should always have. The switch to a cloud-based solution, which houses the data of all students, reduced the school boards IT costs by 70% or roughly $70,000 per year.

 

 

 

 

Read more about this here.

Gold for Top (Federal/Provincial/Municipal) Government Solution

This award recognizes the most innovative and problem-solving hardware, networking, mobile, cloud, big data or software-defined solution for a federal, provincial or municipal government, or crown agency.

Why we won:

The City of Greater Sudbury along with Nutanix and Zycom, came up with a way to deploy a 3node Dell XC Nutanix solution in an innovative way via a stretch cluster, due to the low latency of fibre links and the SCADA applications very low network traffic requirements. That solution would see a node at each of 3 plants being connected via fibre with the SCADA application, virtualized and now resilient between plants (i.e., replicated VMs with Nutanix software). Resulting in a viable and secure solution that can be easily backed up and eliminating downtime and dispatch. This means that should the CGS lose connectivity to a SCADA server that has remote wells and treatment centers reporting to it, the lost server instance will migrate to an alternate node at one of the other primary sites. Thus, the City’s networking and routing capabilities allow the affected remote reporting sites to continue to be monitored, and SCADA operational visibility is maintained for all outside wells and lift stations.

In Addition to applying of a software-defined solution to solve a monitoring uptime requirement for SCADA, the same technology was applied to a technology refresh of tier-3 infrastructure resulting in the IT Department at the City of Sudbury being able to save and return $600,000 in capital funding back to the municipal government.

Read more about these solutions via our case study here.

The event was a great experience overall; nights like this are exactly what gives us the confidence to continue to innovate and disrupt the industry.

Read the official press release of the event.  

Zycom Celebrates 20 Years in the Industry! | The Revolutionary Changes That Shaped The Tech Industry Over the Past 20 Years

From the minimal use of personal computers to a digital era, the tech industry has experienced some significant changes over the past 20 years. The year 1998 marks the beginning of Zycom resulting in the 20th anniversary being celebrated on November 1st, 2018. To commemorate the many digital transformations that occurred throughout the past two decades, we thought it appropriate to take a look at the revolutionary changes we have evolved through, that shaped the tech industry into what we all know and appreciate today.

 

1998 – 1999: The Beginning

The Zycom Launch

Despite technology being used for several years prior, 1998 truly marks the year where technology was brought into people’s homes. Compaq purchased Digital Equipment Corporate which led to Tim Allen leaving the company and starting Zycom with Mike Lucas. VMware was also founded the same year, and IBM announced 170MB and 340MB Microdrive that fit on an inch platter.

The following year, Mellanox Technologies was founded and the first Blackberry was released by RIM with many still using Blackberry devices today. Intel Pentium III 500MHz was released, with Intel Pentium III 600B MHz quickly following which was cutting edge at that time. And most notably, 802.11b WiFi standard was released by IEEE, beginning the end of the atrocious sounds you’d hear if you called someone while they were using their dial-up internet.

2000: The Millennial Milestone

The Anticipated Y2K Crash

Inarguably, one of the most significant milestones that occurred within the past 20 years is the highly-anticipated Y2K crash of technology. As the year approached, many believed that computer programs would crash and all electronic devices would fail as the year shifted from 1999 to 2000. Despite all the excitement surrounding the potential Y2K apocalypse, technology made a smooth transition into the new year, sans any technical delays, failures or outages.

The Dot-Com Bubble Bursts

The millennial year also marks the dot-com boom, where many Internet companies were launched. Investors assumed that all online companies were going to be worth millions but when many didn’t reach optimal success, the tech companies stocks crashed resulting in many investors taking significant losses.

The ILOVEYOU Virus Takes Over

One of the worst computer viruses seen over the past 20 years was the ILOVEYOU computer worm that attacked millions of Windows computers. This virus has the ability to destroy data and resulted in approximately $10 Billion worth of damages (CNet).

The Tech Industry Produces Revolutionary Upgrades

It wasn’t all bad news for the tech industry in 2000. Windows launched its revolutionary Windows 2000 software, and Intel and AMD broke record speeds on processors with their 1GHz. Super DLT Tape released with 110GB of capacity, LTO-1 launched with 100GB capacity and Seagate produced a 15,000 RPM HDDs, introducing new power never seen before.

 

2001 – 2005: From Business to Personal

The Beginning of Social Media

Throughout the 5 years that followed the millennium, technology changed from a business necessity to an entertainment device essential in every home. In 2002, LinkedIn registered their business, launching the following year which introduced revolutionary technologies that showed the world the potential of the Internet. Though, it was a couple of years before this business social media platform took off, as Myspace was founded the same year and took precedence on everyone’s computer screens. Come 2004, The Facebook, which we now know as Facebook launches, creating a new way to communicate with people across the globe. Google Gmail follows in suit with their debut which resulted in many people trading in their Hotmail and Yahoo email accounts for, and in 2005, YouTube launched its innovative platform that changed the face of entertainment.

The MyDoom Virus

As technology continued to advance, so did the computer viruses. 2004 marks the year of the MyDoom Virus, a vastly damaging worm that spread through emails like wildfire, creating a backdoor in computers’ operating systems.

The Tech Industry Continues to Improve

Anyone who had a computer in 2001 can relate to the excitement surrounding the 2001 launch of Windows XP, a progressive new platform that many still run today. But the advancements didn’t end there. In 2002, SATA introduced 1.0, Dell becomes the largest PC maker, Hitachi buys IBMs HDD business and HP announces a plan to buy Compaq.

Come 2004, IBM sells their computing division to Lenovo and in 2005, the SAS interface was introduced and the first ever 500GB HDD ships, sparking a new series of changes within the tech industry.

 

2006 – 2010: The Era of Cutting Edge Technology

The Cloud is Coined

The launch of social media continued into 2006 with Twitter launching but it was the cloud computing software that captivated everyone’s attention, coined by Google CEO. Following in suit, Dropbox was founded the following year and in 2010, OpenStack established their open-source Cloud platform services.

The Apple Trend

Today, Apple is a leading brand within the tech industry and it all began in 2007 when Apple launched their first iPhone.  Only a couple of years later in 2010, Apple launched the iPad which introduced the first consumerization of IT which lead to VDI tacking off to enable secure applications on BYOD devices. The same year, Zycom launches its VDI practice to accommodate this new technology trend.

The Ups and Downs

Between 2006 and 2010, the tech industry experienced many ups and downs. In 2006, it was all positive, with AWS opening Amazon.com, Intel Core 2 Duo processors being launched and Seagate hitting 750GB with HDD. During the years that followed, technology was still on the rise, with Microsoft releasing their first hypervisor in 2008, Google releasing their Chrome web browser and VMware VCM became VMware View V3.

In 2009, Nutanix was founded, Probook was launched by HP and Microsoft released Windows 7. However, Nortel declares bankruptcy protection which resulted in tech stocks plummeting.

Heading in 2010, technology continued to improve with Oracle completing their acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

 

2011 – 2015: The IT Transformation

The Details Count

Throughout the years of 2011 to 2015, the IT industry began to transform and shape into what the world uses today. 2011 marks the year of Chromebooks, and in 2012 Dell completes acquisition of Wyse and Cyptolocker was discovered.

Come 2014, DDR RAM makes Its debut and 8Tb HDD ships from Seagate, marketing the beginning of new storage.

The Zycom Transformation

Zycom launched our first cloud-based DRaasS in 2012. The following year in 2013, Zycom began selling Nutanix for VDI use cases which led the company on an innovative adventure toward a journey in IT transformation. Software Defined Storage became a buzz phrase used throughout the tech industry, HCI became a dominant acronym, and Zycom begins to pioneer HCI services in Canada resulting in significant growth in IT transformation.

 

2015 – Today: The 20th Anniversary

The Advanced Gets Advanced

Just when you think technology couldn’t become any more advanced, 2015 rolled around. During this year, Microsoft released Windows 10, Dell enters into an agreement to acquire EMC, HP splits into HP and HPE and Zycom sells the first hyper-converged Rubrik data recovery appliances in Canada.

In 2017, LTO-7 Tape drives get a powerful upgrade with 12TB native uncompressed capacity, SATA HDDs reach the 12 and 14TB capacity range SSDs begin shipping at 3.84TB capacity and Zycom grows 39% year over year.

The 20th Celebration

As of November 1st, 2018, Zycom formally celebrates a successful 20 years of operations, growth, success and digital transformation.

We continue to look to the future for emerging technology that will help change the face of Information Technology to help business evolve in a digital economy.

We would like to thank our valued customers and all of our staff and vendor partners that have helped us achieve this milestone in Zycom’s history.

 

 

 

 

 

The Digital Workforce

The future of the workforce is going digital. With the evolution of technology quickly progressing, a variety of automated and robotic solutions are being made available to businesses interested in driving productivity efficiencies. However, the digital workforce is not a physical representation of a digital worker. Instead, a digital workforce utilizes virtual software to enhance the experience staff and consumers have with your business.

The Significance of The Digital Workforce Today

CNBC recently reported that a study conducted by IWG found that approximately 70% of professionals work remotely at least one day a week. 53% of people work remotely for at least half of the week.

This stems from the changing attitudes associated with work environments and whether the traditional nine-to-five working hours are the most beneficial to both staff members and the companies in which they work for.

By utilizing a digital workforce that enables employees to work in an environment that’s best suited for them, it’s believed that their views of the company are transformed, thus allowing them to be more productive.

In fact, a study reported by Forbes found that remote workers made 13.5% more calls than their coworkers who worked in the company’s office. Additionally, 91% of people who work from home feel that they’re more productive than when they are in the office. When Best Buy introduced a more flexible work program, they experienced a 35% increase in employee productivity, and when ConnectSolutions did the same, they found that 77% of remote workers were able to get more done in less time.

Components of a Digital Workforce

Transforming to a digital workforce isn’t as simple as sending your employees off with their computer to work at home.  There are various components that make up a digital workforce, such as the following:

WiFi connected and ISP connected

Remote workers need to have reliable, secure, fast Internet to ensure productivity efficiencies. Thus, a key component of a digital workforce is to have WiFi connections and ISP connections readily available for employees telecommuting.

Endpoints and newer desktop as a service (managed endpoints as a service)

Endpoints are the remote computing device that communicates with a network, such as any desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, servers or workstations used remotely. It’s imperative that any company undergoing a digital transformation has implemented the right software and technology that allows them to manage them.

Next-gen endpoint security

The utmost vital component to a digital workforce is security. With employees working remotely, you must have the highest grade of security installed on all devices to secure your data while also avoiding internet threats and attacks.

Notebooks and tablets

Notebooks and tablets present a plethora of advantages within the workplace, such as access to crucial documents, manuals, and books. This allows remote workers to increase speed and agility anytime, anywhere.

For example, Alaska Airlines equipped all of its pilots with iPads that hold the various flight manuals needed. By doing so, their pilots are able to access valuable information quickly from any location. Additionally, it’s environmentally-friendly and a more secure way to share crucial documents in comparison to physical manuals.

Portable 2nd USB monitors

You’ll need to provide your remote workers with reliable displays to enable optimal productivity. However, the displays must be portable to allow for easy transportation to and from locations. 2nd USB monitors ensure remote workers have a reliable display that they can hook up to their computer, sans complications and frustration as the monitors require nothing more than a USB port. This makes them power efficient and exceptionally portable.

Portable printers and scanners

Remote workers will need access to printers and scanners; supplying both machines to each remote worker is costly. However, with portable printers and scanners, remote workers are able to take the devices to their remote office when needed, as they’re compact enough to easily be transported to and from different locations.

Office productivity suites like Office 365

Office 365 is a web-based productivity tool designed to allow companies to capitalize on the power of collaboration. It helps remote workers work together on projects and communicate securely across any device. Put simply, it provides employees with vital business programs (Word, Excel, Outlook, Sharepoint, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business, etc.) which can be accessed securely, anytime and anywhere, with optimal reliability.

Collaboration spaces like Microsoft or Cisco Teams and SharePoint

Workers need to have collaboration spaces that allow them to work together, despite being in separate locations. Advanced technology has made collaboration fairly easy amongst some of the biggest platforms, such as Adobe and Microsoft programs. There are also various apps dedicated solely to bringing together a team of remote workers such as Cisco Teams and SharePoint.

This component to a digital workforce is, inarguably, one of the most crucial ones to your success, as they enable remote workers to participate in meetings, group messages, collaboration, file-sharing and more.

 

 

The digital workforce is the future of business. To learn more about digitally transforming your company, contact Zycom today.

Data Center Storage Futures

Data storage technology is taking a giant leap in evolution, offering the most powerful capabilities the world has yet to see, in compact form, here are some highlights you need to know about the future of data storage technology and what it means for you.

Storage Density

Less is about to become more in terms of size, with mind-blowing speed, performance and storage capacity. The biggest change you can expect from data storage technology in the future is the physical size of the storage technologies. The industry is beginning to roll out astonishingly compact storage devices that will have you wondering how you ever survived with a hard drive, USB stick or floppy drive.

What’s so revolutionary about this new technology isn’t necessarily the size but rather, the power that can be found in such density.

HCI Footprint

The new, compact storage devices will play a significant role for the HCI footprint, allowing you to plug more into your integrated server via the new infrastructure. Previously, you had a select few options to increase storage. You could update an existing HCI node via swapping or adding an HDD or SDD, in order to increase storage or you could add a storage-heavy node to increase storage but it would come with limited compute.

With the revolutionary new storage technologies, you can expect the highest density the industry has seen. The traditional Tier-3 storage architectures have already been knocked down to more than 16:1 consolidation ratios for customers and the future of storage is expected to double the current capacity.

To put it into perspective, Nutanix 2U block/chassis structure in 2015 offered 4 host servers with a max of 16.6TB of raw capacity per 2U footprint in the data center. Today, the same 4-node Nutanix 2U block offers 55.6TB of raw capacity per 2U footprint in the data center. This is a 315% increase in storage density.

Come the future, if HCI technology begins to incorporate the anticipated 20TB HDDS for enterprise use, it is expected that the Nutanix 2U structure will have a minimum 200% increase in storage density, offering 111.2TB of raw capacity per 2U footprint in the data center.  We say, bring it on!

PMR vs HAMR

HAMR is predicted to follow in suit with the new data storage changes, bringing hard drives that use Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) to the forefront. This is a significant change from Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR), a method used almost exclusively prior to the introduction to HAMR.

Advantages of HAMR over PMR

HAMR offers immense storage capacity and storage density that simply isn’t offering in PMR form, so much so that they’re on track to providing 20TB drives by 2019, with a predicted 30% compound annual growth rate in data density moving forward. By 2023, you can expect to see 40TB or higher by 2023. To put it into perspective, that’s an improvement of 10X over PMR drives.

Additionally, HAMR drives offering more reliability due to the glass media used in their manufacturing. Each part that makes up a HAMR drive gets be heated and cooled in a nanosecond, and although a laser diode is used during the writing process, it has no impact on the temperature, stability or reliability. As a result, HAMR offers trustworthy technology the industry has yet to see.

From floppy disks to zip drives, USB sticks and hard drives, data storage technologies have come a long way in a significantly short period and it’s not about to end. 2018 starts the beginning of a revolutionary technology that will inevitably shape the future and the way businesses operate moving forward. It will be interesting to see where the physics of RAID algorithms fair compared to companies opting for distributed file systems which offer faster rebuild times. Whilst Zycom is eager to deploy and play with these forecasted larger data drives for HCI in particular, we do so with extreme curiosity for the results of rebuild times in RAID versus DFS.

 

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