Saturday, July 30, 2016

How MSPs Fail Their Clients

Do Your Employees Recognize Phishing Emails?

We recently conducted an email phishing test for one of our clients, a midsize retailer. Employees received an email disguised as coming from their human resources department. It accused them of accessing prohibited sites on the job and threatened them with termination. Employees were instructed to click a link in the email to see a list of prohibited sites they had allegedly accessed.

We were astonished when 48.5 percent of employees clicked on the link, despite the fact that origination address in the email was from an unknown source and the link clearly led to a destination outside the firewall. This may be an extreme example of the susceptibility of companies to the dangers of phishing, but it is by no means unusual. In our experience, between 20% and 45% of employees fall prey to spurious come-ons. And a single click to a malicious site can infect a user’s computer with malware that compromises the entire corporate network.

Many experts believe that breaches are now so common that the issue is no longer whether organizations will be attacked but when. Some data points:
  • The Ponemon Institute found that nearly 90 percent of healthcare organizations were hit by a breach in the past two years. Last year’s 80 million-record theft at healthcare insurance provider Anthem reportedly went undetected for nine months.
  • Intel’s McAfee Security division reported a nearly eight-fold increase in ransomware attacks over the past year. Ransomware a growing problem; one of our clients was down for four days while they scrambled to pay off an attacker that was holding its servers hostage.
  • An analysis of 11 million stolen passwords for cloud services conducted Skyhigh Networks found that just 20 passwords constitute 10.3% of all passwords in use. They include “123456,” which was used by 4.1% of compromised accounts.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor has estimated that 93% of businesses that suffer data loss from a security breach or disaster within five years.
  • Ponemon recently reported that the average consolidated total cost of a data breach is now $4 million.
UCG Adds Cyber Security Training to Cloud Backup

We’ve learned a lot about internal vulnerabilities this year. In January we partnered with KnowBe4, a Clearwater, FL-based security awareness company. The agreement enables us to provide all of our backup and disaster recovery clients with email phishing and exposure tests coupled with online cyber security training for a base number of their employees at no cost. We did this not because it’s profitable be because it’s the right thing to do.

With so many attacks dominating the headlines, we expected that nearly all our clients would jump at the offer of free protection. Surprisingly, only about 20 percent did. We discovered that siloed organizational structures prevented many companies from taking a coordinated approach to security awareness. The people who were in charge of backup and disaster recovery had no responsibility for security. When we were able to tunnel through the organization to find the people who were, they were most receptive to anything that helped increase employee awareness. Unfortunately, finding those people was often like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Technology is Only Part of the Solution

We’ve been in the backup/DR business for nine years, and we compete with many fine companies that provide the best technology: encryption, multisite backup, remote hardware disaster recovery and round-the-clock technical support. But technology is only half the problem. As cartoonist John Klossner pointed out in Computerworld, the finest firewalls, encryption, antivirus software and the like can’t compete against Dave, the accounting clerk whose password is “password.”

Security Training Helps Prevent Phishing Attacks

The good news is that security awareness works. In our experience with KnowBe4, the percentage of employees who are susceptible to phishing emails dropped from 16 percent to 1.3 percent within 12 months after awareness training began. Experts have long agreed that the most serious vulnerability companies’ face is the lack of knowledge of their own people. Security training isn’t difficult or time-consuming. It’s just that many organizations believe its someone else’s responsibility.

Few MSPs are prepared to address this deficit. They have great technology, but they see the security problem as ending at their doorstep. They are failing their customers.

Smart MSPs know that doing business in the cloud is all about partnerships. It’s about taking shared responsibility for customer success and protecting the customer at all levels.

Make Sure You Get the Full Solution

When MSPs come knocking at your door, be prepared to put them through the paces of explaining how their technology protects you. Then ask them what they do about the human side. If you get a blank stare, then proceed with caution. You may be getting only half a solution.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

IBM hardware support for POWER5 and older systems is ending.

They had a good run but now it's time to move on... and UCG is here for you.

If your company is behind the curve when it comes to IBM i's latest technology, the time to start planning your upgrade to IBM POWER8 is now!

IBM intends to provide repair parts and labor until the termination of your current hardware maintenance services agreement. However, they will not be providing any additional services due to the obsolescence of these systems. Click here to download a list of EOSS machines

UCG Technologies specializes in IBM POWER Systems (iSeries). IBM POWER8 systems provide a secure, scalable, optimized platform for your technology needs. To help you plan for your upgrade, we will provide an analysis and custom proposal to fit your businesses technology needs.

Submit for an analysis and custom proposal to upgrade to IBM POWER8.

IBM Power Systems: Built to confidently support business demands. Learn more.

Contact us at 800.211.8798 or email

69 quick and easy tips to make this the best...and healthiest summer yet!

Bryan Adams had some good times and some bad times during the summer of ’69…he bought a real guitar and played it all summer long, he started a band, the band broke up, he met his girl at the drive-in, and that love just couldn’t outlast the summer of ’69…but, boy, they were the best days of his life! 

For most of us growing up, the summer days seemed to be the best days of our lives too…and they can still be as adults. Staying healthy throughout the summer months is important! Instead of letting our fitness routines, healthy eating, and health in general fail like Bryan Adams’ band and summer love, let’s stay on track to start the fall in the best shape of our lives! 

We’ve gathered 69 quick and easy tips to help make this summer one of your healthiest yet…plus some groovy hydration infographics to help keep you cool this summer.

Download the PDF here:

From all of us at UCG Technologies and Fitness Together, have a safe, healthy, and totally boss summer!