YOU’RE INVITED TO LUNCH & LEARN WITH US – CYBER TRENDS AND EMERGING THREATS

You’re Invited to Lunch & Learn with us – Cyber Trends and Emerging Threats

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:

Monday, September 24, 2018 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (CDT)

Negma’s Addison/Farmers Branch Training Room
4215 North Beltwood Parkway
Farmers Branch, TX 75244

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Topic: Cyber Trends and Emerging Threats

When: Monday September 24th, 2018

Time: 11am – 1pm

Location: Negma’s Addison/Farmers Branch Training Room 4215 N. Beltwood Pkwy Farmers Branch, TX 75244

For the first time, Negma and Cyber Defense Labs are teaming up to present on Cyber Trends and Emerging Threats, so join this delicious lunch briefing to learn more about the services that will have an impact on you and/or your business.

In this lunch briefing you will learn:

  • Threat Overview
  • Trends & Recent Events
  • Emerging Threats
  • A Holistic Approach to Cyber Security
  • Resources & Recommendations

Seating is limited. First 40 will be accepted and any overage will be on the list to attend our next Lunch and Learn.

PLUS, everyone who attends will be receiving giveaways from both Negma and Cyber Defense Labs.

Cyber Defense Labs is a cyber-security, audit & advisory, and research organization focused on assisting corporate America, government, and community organizations with improving overall effectiveness while educating and improving corporate and community awareness and value.

Negma is a Tier III, SSAE16-SOC 2-Type 1 compliant Data Center and Managed Services Provider specializing in Colocation, Cloud Hosting/Virtualization, Consulting, Managed Services, Fixed Wireless Internet and Technology Support (Servers, Desktops, Mobile Devices, Tablets, Switches, Routers, Firewalls & much more..)

This will be one of several ongoing Lunch and Learns between Negma and Cyber Defense Labs. We look forward to seeing you.

Presenter
Mike Saylor, CISM, CISA
Mike has 24 years of Cyber Security & Cyber Investigations, IT Risk & Compliance, Incident Response & Forensics.
Executive Officer at Cyber Defense Labs, President Emeritus for the North Texas FBI Infragard, Cyber Crime Committee Member for the North Texas Crime Commission, US Secret Service’s Electronic Crimes Taskforce, and Professor at Collin College (Cyber and Forensics) and The University of North Texas (Criminal Justice)

Host:
Negma Business Solutions, Inc
Please call me, Dillon, if you have any questions: 214.227.7714 x4006, ddevolk@negma.net

Please note:
Negma and Cyber Defense Labs reserve the right to approve or revoke any event registrations at its sole discretion.

Your Revenue was there for the Keeping…

written by Steven Haal

 

By Steven Haal
Director of Sales & Marketing

One doesn’t have to look far, perhaps only in the mirror, to find someone who has experienced the frustration of technology that crapped out on them–that last iPhone or Android update that is killing them with shiny, new slow-as-molasses speeds, or the computer that suddenly decides to lose email or work, without any warning! In today’s world I think it is safe to assume we’ve all felt that at one point or another.

But what if technology fails your business?

this wouldn't happen in a data center

Jeff Stalnaker quipped in his article a few months ago, “What is your tolerance for downtime?”

It’s an important question to ask yourself: What if?…

  • our power goes out?
  • our internet goes down?
  • our wireless stops working?
  • our email goes down?
  • our computers crash?
  • there’s a fire? Or a flood?

To truly understand the impact of downtime on your business revenue, you must look at the revenue lost per hour.

What is the cost of missed sales opportunities–or lost sales that were already in process? But let’s get a little more esoteric: What about your reputation? How will downtime affect your customers, or those “shopping” you?

In 2013 Amazon went down for 30 minutes and lost roughly $66,240 per minute. While that may be an extreme case (and mind-boggling), consider this:

“In a study by Dunn & Bradstreet, 59% of Fortune 500 companies experience a minimum of 1.6 hours of downtime per week. This means that if you take the average Fortune 500 company (at least 10,000 employees) paid an average of $56 per hour, including benefits ($40 per hour salary + $16 per hour in benefits). The labor part of downtime costs for an organization this size would be $896,000 weekly, translating into more than $46 million per year. Evolven.com

$46,000,000 a year?? Well, those are still large companies–and that could happen to anyone!”

True story. But shouldn’t precautions still be taken?

A nearly two hour outage due to a problem with Google’s DoubleClick servers is said to have caused between $1 and $2 million in lost revenue. –Tenscores.com

If you knew there was something you could do to lessen the chance of this type of financially-impacting event, wouldn’t you do it — shouldn’t you do it?

Data Centers (DCs) have become big business these days, but relatively speaking, it seems hardly anyone knows it outside of large companies. Small/Medium-sized companies (SMBs) frequently fail to realize DCs are wise for them too; and are also at risk to lose money, just like those Fortune 500 companies, by keeping their networks on-site and in precarious (at best) environments.

We all laugh at photos like this. However, the sad truth is that we actually see this all the time as we go onsite for SMB IT consulting and/or support.

get your servers out of bathroom!

So what are the options? What am I supposed to do?

“Get out of the closet!” In utilizing DC services, there are 3 main choices from which to choose:

  1. Colocation
  2. Managed Services
  3. Hybrid Solutions

Colocation: In short, this is a lot like renting an apartment, in to which you move your belongings. With colocation, you already have your network and hardware, you just need rackspace, power and internet. All of which a data center would provide–along with security, power backups, internet backups, temperature-controlled environments, fire suppression, 24×7 access to you equipment, etc… The list of added value that comes with data center usage is actually is quite long.

Managed Services: This is like moving in to a studio apartment that is already furnished, and comes with a maid and a handyman. With Manage Services, the Data Center should collaborate with you to determine exactly what you need to meet your businesses demands. They then bear the responsibility of providing the hardware, installing it, configuring it, and maintaining it for you.

Hybrid Solutions: Data centers that offer this, basically are allowing you to mix and match colocation and managed services. I.e. You have your own equipment, but you don’t want to manage it anymore. Or you need new equipment, but will manage it yourself. A Hybrid Solution should generally allow any combination of “colo” and managed services.

Are there other benefits?

Absolutely! While benefits may be solution-specific, generally, one finds:

  • Cost savings
    Across the lifetime of your systems, you will probably see a reduction in IT costs due to increased stability. With Colo especially, you’ll save money with the reduction of in-house management costs.
  • Security and Data Protection
    Increased security is inherent to the data center makeup. Both physical (access) and virtual (digital).
  • Network reliability
    Multiple redundant internet solutions (called “blended” internet), power backups, generators, vastly faster and more stable bandwidth
  • Support
    You’ll always have a team of knowledgeable IT technicians at your disposal, for help.
  • Scalabiltiy
    As businesses grow, so do their network needs. Data centers make this an easy process.
  • Disaster Recovery (DR)
    One of the most important services, at the very least, to be taken advantage of, is secure back-ups of your entire system, in case disaster befalls your business. If one is doing backups onsite, and a fire happens…well, one gets the point.
  • Less Stress
    Seriously. Think about how nice it would be to not have the staff complaining about, or reacting to, lost internet, emails, power etc… What if everything justworked?

“Okay you’ve got my attention. But where do I start?”

  • Look for a DC that will collaborate with you, and actually give you face time. It’s so much nicer to be engaged with as a person, rather than a number. You know what I’m talking about!
  • Look for a “Tier III” data center or greater. Tier III is a classification that means they’ll have redundant capacity components, dual-powered equipment and multiple uplinks, guaranteeing 99.982% uptime availability. Simply put: they rock and downtime should be an absolute minimum.
  • Look for great support. How long will it take to get a response to a support request? Do you get the sense their more interested in helping you solve thetotal problem, or simply what is on the surface?
  • Will they charge you for every little call and contact? Many will–ask them specifically about this. Especially with colo, you may simply need someone to quickly lays eyes on your equipment to check something. This is frequently referred to as “remote hands”. It will say something about a company if they’ll offer a little help for free!

If I have you thinking about all this, and you’d like more information about how a DC move can happen as easily as possible, drop me a line at shaal@negma.net. I’m happy to discuss your questions and needs!

visit the neGma website for more details on how we can help!

About Steve

I’m the Director of Sales & Marketing for neGma Business Solutions, a N. Dallas-based Tier III, SSAE16-SOC 2-Type 1 compliant Data Center specializing in Colocation, Managed Services, Hybrid Solutions, IT Consulting and Remote Desktop Support.

When I’m not at work, I’m usually spawning some kind of plan with my wife to climb something really tall. The last really tall thing was Mt. Kilimanjaro, and the next one appears to be a trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp. I also am a burgeoning rare and craft beer aficionado. And cigars. I love them too.

Seriously, drop me a line if you have any questions, or you didn’t have a good answer to all the “what if” questions above! shaal@negma.net

Power-Trip

power trip - prepare for power outages

post written by neGma CEO Karim Naguib

 

by Karim Naguib
CEO, neGma

“It is impossible to imagine the modern world without electricity.

We are dependent on an uninterrupted source of power and when it fails the consequences are devastating. Over the past decade there have been 50 significant power-outage events occurring in 26 countries, and the demand for electricity continues to grow stronger with rapid population growth, compact urban areas and an ‘addiction’ to electric appliances. In their article “Exergy and the City: The Technology and Sociology of Power (Failure),” Hugh Byrd and Steve Matthewman predict that these blackouts are only a dress rehearsal for a future in which they will appear more frequently and with greater severity.”

There’s likely to be power outages when big storms hit, but what about those outages that just happen during a sunny day, oh and when you are about to send that important document to a very important client.

Do not assume because you are in a “commercial building” that you are on a commercial grid.

Ask yourself this question; “Are we on a commercial electrical grid or residential electrical grid?”  Do not assume because you are in a “commercial building” that you are on a commercial grid. We have found that clients near any type of housing development, may it be apartments, condominiums, or the like, most likely your “commercial building” is on a residential grid.  What is the difference you ask?

Utility service territories are typically geographically distinct from one another. These territories may be set by regulation or by economics as the capital cost of reproducing infrastructure is usually prohibitive. Each territory is composed of different types of consumers, usually broadly described as commercial, residential or industrial.

Tariff structure

Electricity consumers are divided into classes of service or sectors (residential, commercial, industrial, and other) based on the type of service they receive. Sectoral classification of consumers is determined by each utility and is based on various criteria such as:

  • demand levels
  • rate schedules
  • distribution voltage
  • accounting methods
  • end-use applications
  • other social and economic characteristics

Source

In the event of a likely power outage, how can companies prepare their technology infrastructure?

  • Back up the data
    Businesses really need to back up their critical data frequently, not just in anticipation of a power failure, but test the success of the backups. That said, if there is time to complete a backup before an expected outage, do it.
  • Never let equipment go down “hard.”
    Power losses can devastate servers, workstations and network infrastructures, resulting in the loss of valuable data, costs to repair your system, and lost time and productivity restoring the systems.
  • Consider moving to a data center / managed services provider
    A power outage does not have to be a setback to your company’s productivity. If these precautions are implemented, you are more likely to avoid business disruption and get back to work with ease and efficiency. Don’t forget, you can always reach out to neGma if you need assistance or to discuss products and services that will keep your business up and running.

How can the hard lessons learned from these unexpected power outages help companies refine their IT strategy?

As business gets back to normal, this is a perfect time to examine options for storing and accessing mission-critical data and applications. Among many considerations, being able to function in the event of a long-term power outage, before it happens again, is key. Small and mid-size businesses have three main options:

  1. housing their own hardware and software on site
  2. storing servers and software off site in a hosted environment
  3. moving everything to the cloud.

The top two options involve:

  1. Storing your servers and software off site at a Colocation/Data Center facility where their infrastructure is redundant, (UPS, Internet, Network, HVAC, etc.)
  2. Lease a Virtual Private Server in the cloud, where all your business applications are housed and are accessed seamlessly over the Internet where you do not have the worry of hardware failure.  That responsibility it passed to the cloud provider.  These alternatives are highly cost effective. Again, the drawback here is that, without Internet, the cloud cannot be reached.

 

neGma is a Tier III, SSAE16-SOC 2-Type 1 compliant Data Center specializing in keeping your business network servers secure, and up and running.

We can help keep your systems safe from outages such as what is described above!

Get to Safety! Click here now

neGma SSAE16 Audit Completed

photo of Steve

 

By Steven Haal
Director of Sales & Marketing

“neGma is a Tier III, SSAE16 SOC 2-Type 1 Data Center”

A What?

While some might know exactly how important this is, and what it means, many do not! There are a few very important factors making the SSAE16 extrememly significant, and serves to illustrate the steps neGma has taken to keep your network processes stable, fast and safe!

What is the SSAE16?SSAE16 audit completed
This is an acronym for Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements, no. 16. This 16th iteration is the most recent standard of attestation, by the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Why is the SSAE16 important?
Simply put, the SSAE16 is a third-party objective investigation into the organization, workings, processes, securities and protocols etc., that are currently in place with a given business. It observes and documents how things are setup, implemented, executed and protected; during which suggestions are made, if needed, on best practices and how to increase them in that business’ implementations.

What are the benefits of the SSAE16?

  • Objective recognition that best practices are being observed, and that the business in question had been investigated and recognized as well-ordered, trustworthy and safe. The “SOC 2” designation means that our security practices have been scrutinized, especially as they pertain to data safety.
  • It provides the ability to perform outsourcing services for Public Companies, as they frequently are required to use a SSAE 16-qualified provider, as it is the only way to give investors assurance over controls that are not performed by the the client company.
  • Public and Private companies are more likely to trust your organization with their data.
  • As mentioned above, it provides an objective third party to review your controls and activities to ensure they are functioning appropriately, and give advice on how to improve upon them.
  • Improves performance of the organization.

neGma strives to be like a great fortressHow does this affect our customers?
The SSAE16 report serves as a stamp of approval. It means that we have been recognized to be very diligent and thorough in our practices, which means that our customers–and those evaluating us–can rest easy, knowing that the services and securities we provide are of the highest quality; and that what we say about our services and operations are actually true. Our goal is be like a great fortress protecting your network and data.

Content taken in part from SSAE-16.com
Photo by Richard Timberlake

If you are looking for colocation, managed services, IT consulting, or simply someone to come by to insure that everything is running smoothly at your offices, reach out to us for more information! neGma will provide you better pricing, hardware and support. Period.

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Etiquette and Hotties

photo of Steve

 

By Steven Haal
Director of Sales & Marketing

In the last few weeks, I’ve spoken to a number of sales people: returning calls/emails, answering questions, scheduling, etc., and was surprised that in nearly each of those instances, some comment was made in passing about the fact that I actually responded to them with an answer or update. When I asked what usually happened, I learned that most leads–especially those who may not be interested–usually “ghosted” on them, fading in to silence…Ya know, kind of like the hottie I once thought was smiling at me, but when I approached her and said hello, apparently scared the crap out of her, thereby realizing she had not, in point of fact, been looking at me, but rather beyond me, probably to the hop-heavy craft beer listing impeccably scrawled on the wall in front of which I had been standing, confident in my ability to not look like a guy who was about to scare the crap out of a hottie (not a perfect analogy, mind you, but the reader may possibly sympathize enough to understand the point.)

This got me thinking: Have we become so desensitized, that we no longer think to maintain good manners–and, dare I say professionalism–in this scenario?

It doesn’t take much effort to return a call or email (certainly not as much time, perhaps, as staring at the screen or voice mail listing, rolling your eyes and smirking, thinking through the reasons for which not to respond, and then bolting to the employee kitchen for a refill on your Kuerig gingerbread latte flavored coffee.) Oh yeah–and don’t forget that it’s also polite… I mean, I’m not advocating that one keeps extended that boney little pinky finger of theirs whilst responding… (of course one may certainly choose to do this, as a private bit of classiness.)

It might also be argued that, most likely, if we eliminate the uncertainty felt by those seeking from us a response, that they may actually leave us alone, because they have an answer–at least for now. (Oh sure, you’ll get drip-campaigned in to some other communique stream, but at least you’ll have a little more time before the next official spurning of their service advances.)

Therefore, as we approach Christmas and the start of a new year, let us all band together: hotties, notties, and all, making a commitment to ourselves and the brother/sisterhood of humanity, to channel therefore that friendly spirit of Emily Post, maintaining professional etiquette by being responsive and kind. And yes–that’s an extra bit, that I slipped in there at the end: we should also be nice.

Now about that pinky…

Steven Haal is the Director of Sales & Marketing for Negma Business Solutions, Inc., a Dallas area-based Data Center and Managed Services Provider also offering Managed IT services. If you or your company are in need of IT support, or looking for better ways to speed up and secure your network and data, give us a call at 214.227.7714 x4006, or email sales@negma.net.

Get Out of the Closet!

photo of Jeff Stalnaker

by Jeff Stalnaker
Director of Technology

My number one question when talking to SMB owners is “What is your tolerance for downtime?” To no surprise the answer is always “Zero”. Their email and intellectual data are crucial to the success of their business and any data loss would be obviously devastating.

Ok…so your tolerance for downtime is zero and data loss would be devastating to your company…

My next question, “Where do you keep your data?” Again to no surprise, the most typical response is, “It’s in that closet right over there.” Ok…so your tolerance for downtime is zero and data loss would be devastating to your company; and you keep your intellectual data in a closet (sometimes with mops, brooms, and what not) with no climate control, susceptible to abrupt power outages, internet outages, not to mention theft, fire, water damage, disgruntled employees or any other conceivable mishap you can imagine.

So what do you do about it? Get out of the closet and into a COLO/data center. The power and internet are always on and available. Great security and access controls in place. The A/C is always on. They have smoke and fire photo of closet serverdetection/suppression systems, water detection. Can your closet do that?

With the right data center it’s not that hard, and typically not as expensive as you might think. So let me ask once last time, “What is your tolerance for down time?”

 

Drop us a line to get more information on Colocation, Managed Services, Consulting, or for any other questions you may have!

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