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How to Lead today's Hybrid Enterprise with Software-Defined Perimeter

Enterprises today are challenged with accessing resources that are not on-prem securely. IT professionals also struggle with today’s digital transformation where control is limited as companies migrate and manage remote users, applications and cloud systems. In addition, IT workloads have evolved dramatically where XaaS and cloud service providers have shifted the IT infrastructure that supports the enterprise away from its users. Enterprise applications and workloads are increasingly supported by distributed infrastructure and capabilities that often stretch across multiple cloud providers, data center providers and XaaS providers. In this shift, often times the security policies and solutions that are protecting critical data and applications remain on physical hardware.

 

The Need for Zero Trust

Zero Trust is a philosophy that changes the way businesses approach network security. The concept is that it’s a security model that redesigns networks into micro-perimeters. Zero trust is generated to limit risks associated with excessive user privileges by adopting these three main elements. First is the fact that zero trust ensures all resources accessed are secure regardless of the location or hosting model. Second, this model adopts a “least privledge” strategy to strictly enforce access control. Lastly, the zero trust model inspects and logs all traffic for suspicious activity.

“Zero Trust demands that CIOs and CISOs move away from legacy, perimeter-centric models of information security – which are useless for today’s digital businesses, no longer bounded by the four walls of their corporation – to a model that is both data- and identity centric and extends security across the entire business ecosystem.” – Forrester

 

What is Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP) and how does will it help?

Software-defined perimeter is an open security architecture promoted by cloud security alliances comprised of vendors and practitioners that specialize in network security. SDP has three main elements for this type of architecture:

-          Identity-Centric: user- or device- based access control; bridges the gap between network security user roles, admin and application access tailored to the specific policies; enables the network to minimize the number of network access

-          Precise, Adaptive, Resilient Security: emphasizes authentication before connection where it can dynamically- provisioned for 1:1 connectivity where each individual will have a unique view of the network tailored to their policy

-          Designed for hybrid environments: Infrastructure-neutral and simplifies security for environments with a mix of cloud and on-prem environments

“By 2011, 60% of enterprises will phase out network VPNs for digital business communications in favor of software-defined perimeters.” – Gartner

 

A Better Approach to Secure Access

It’s virtually impossible to secure your distributed, hybrid IT infrastructure with perimeter security that hasn’t been updated in 20 years. Perimeter-based security solutions such as VPNs, next-gen firewalls and NACs are ineffective against malicious insiders and targeted attacks. These antiquated tools are also complex and expensive to operate.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Cyxtera1.jpg

 

Our top colocation and security partner, Cyxtera, offers a top of the line solution called AppGate SDP that meet these zero trust elements. It is also resilient and massively scalable to support enterprise-grade, mission-critical and global environments. Learn more with Jim Anthony, Cyxtera’s VP of Cybersecurity Sales Engineering as we will be a guest speaker at our IT Executive Panel Discussion at our MR2 Porsche Driving Experience event. Learn more here.

 

 

Fear of Change in the Age of the Customer

Fear of Change in the Age of the Customer

Sometimes, we need to destroy the status quo to create a new model of engagement. Sometimes, the market does that for us and that can be even scarier. Change is always scary and overwhelming, especially when it comes to technology. But it is inevitable.

The Cloud is changing the way businesses communicate.  Businesses have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this major shift to offer a secure, seamless communications experience that is simpler to deploy and more intuitive to use. If you want to play the game, the siloed, broken communications of yesterday aren’t going to cut it any longer.

Regardless of what business you’re in, your customer’s experience is your top priority. Customers increasingly prefer human interaction over digital communications channels, positioning your communications systems as a key enabler for delivering superior customer experience. Cloud communications offers your company a unique opportunity to craft the ideal customer experience, creating a competitive advantage few companies have thought to seize upon. With shifting demands and perceptions, it comes down to the company that’s intrepid enough to pull the trigger first.

Here are a few mindsets that help your organization prioritize customer experience:

Every department is a service department

In today’s highly competitive market, customer loyalty is no longer entrenched as part of our social culture. In fact, 90% of customers today feel that businesses are too slow and unresponsive. 59% of those customers will try your competitor for a better experience, without hesitation. Legacy, premises-based phone systems offer siloed, fractured and inconsistent communications that reinforce breakdowns in employee and customer interactions and slow your ability to provide service. In short, they simply can’t compete with the cloud’s ability to seamlessly integrate communications systems with business applications and processes. The implication is businesses that more quickly adapt to this modern approach to communications will be the clear winner among customers.

Every conversation is an opportunity

Every conversation customers have with your employees provide an opportunity to deliver superior customer service. 20th century PBX systems were never designed to support the remote, distributed workforce of the 21st century. Employees increasingly demand the ability to work flexible schedules from the location of their choosing, across multiple devices. According to a 2015 Citrix and Forrester study in 2015, 85% of employees use a mobile device for work. And yet most traditional PBX systems, with their hardwired infrastructures, can’t easily accommodate needs of this increasingly wireless, mobile workforce.  When employees use tools like personal laptops, mobile devices, Google Hangouts, Skype and Facetime to accomplish this, information leaves company networks to unsecure devices, and collaboration becomes more difficult.   

Failure is not an option

Current business communications options, like traditional PBX phone systems, have many shortcomings. One of the most significant is the cost and complexity of ensuring your phones are one of the first services restored after any adverse event. While it is possible to develop an effective disaster recovery solution with a premises-based solution, it is not as seamless and cost-effective as a cloud solution. Moving to cloud-based business communications is a painless way to ensure a disaster doesn’t leave your phones down for hours or – worse yet – days.

New isn’t always better. However, when sweeping technology changes impact the expectations of customers, businesses must keep up. If the only thing holding you back is a fear of change, consider the risks and benefits. What would more accessible employees mean for your business? How could enhanced collaboration improve time to market? What would a 99.99% uptime mean for your profitability? The fact is you must leverage your communications effectively, if you want to remain competitive.

Don’t fear change. Embrace it.

Contact MR2 Solutions to find out how we can help you leverage better communications for the 21st century.

Also, stay tuned with our upcoming seminars and networking events and sign up here!

Technology Partners