Tag Archives: network administration

Will the cloud solve all your desktop support problems? Probably not.

See discussion: http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/05/31/0332220/it-desktop-support-to-be-wiped-out-thanks-to-cloud-computing

For the SMB, many of whom are just beginning to adopt cloud services in their organizations, the cloud will change nothing with respect to desktop support.  The cloud can actually, in some cases, increase the complexity of serving the needs of SMBs.  The modern desktop support tech needs to not only be versed in the onsite needs of the SMB, but also be familiar with the most popular cloud-based productivity services: Office 365, GoogleApps, Lync, Symantec.cloud, etc.

The future of computing probably sees us moving towards dumb-teminals and 100% cloud services.  When we get to that point, services must still be configured and maintained for users IN THE CLOUD.  The role of desktop wupport will change at that point.  Three things must happen first – internet bandwidth and speeds must increase, QOS must improve, and the price of dumb terminals must come down.  I see it on the horizon for the SMB, realistically, in the next two years. The adoption rate will be much slower than that, however.

Be careful when choosing your IT provider.  It is imperative you make the right choice, expecially if you have adopted cloud-based services to offset your on-premise services.  The industry is changing rapidly.  The driving force behind all of these changes are efficiency and price, but IT can turn into a very costly endeavor very quickly if your trusted IT provider is behind the eight ball.


Protecting your data

From: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/17/indonesia_number_one_attack_source/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

"Indonesia has had the dubious honour of supplanting China as the number one source of attack traffic globally in the second quarter, according to the latest stats from content delivery and security firm Akamai.

The vendor’s State of the Internet report for Q2 found Indonesia accounted for 38 per cent of the world’s attack traffic, almost double the previous quarter’s 21 per cent."

No matter where the primary vector of attack; the fact remains that the globalization of the hacking industry continues.  As companies increasingly rely on data and the free exchange of information over the internet, the sheer abundance of unprotected data will continue to be a tempting way to get rich quick.  The SMB environment is extremely vulnerable.

I cannot count the number of environments I have walked in to which are a BIG RED target due to lax security.  I cannot count the number of SWOT analyses we have done for free for local businesses that never resulted in extra business for us.  Some SMBs see the value in securing, protecting, and backing up one of their primary assets – their data.  Sometimes we add a new client and can get them to where they need to be.  More often than not, the executive I am negotiating with either thinks the price of doing what they need to do is too expensive to implement or choose not to see it as a very important priority.

I pray that said businesses took appropriate security; but I fear many have not.  A different mindset needs to be adopted when you grow a business of, say, 3 people to the size of, say, 25 people.  The amount of data the organization relies on increases exponentially, the number of vulnerable targets increases, and the number of social attack vectors increases.  Hacking proprietary data is becoming more and more profitable, and those organizations who choose not to see the value in protecting that data are treading deep waters.

IT is not the enemy of growth.  To growing companies, companies watching the bottom line, companies who have vulnerabilities to protect; I encourage them to see IT as a partner to grow with and align with, rather than a handicap.  Your IT provider, the right IT provider, can make the transition from a very small business to a small business to a medium-sized business much less dangerous.  If you partner with the right IT organization, the process can even add efficiency to your process.

How long can your organization deal with a major breach?  A breach that results in data loss?  A breach that results in stolen intellectual property?

TRA Consulting, Inc.

Your employees could be your number one security threat

From Article: http://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/risk-based-security-for-executives/connecting-security-to-the-business/insider-threats-big-problem-shouldnt-surprise/

"I was just reading the results of a Forrester study called, “Understand the State of Data Security and Privacy.” One of the big findings was that “insiders” were the top source of breaches in the last 12 months, with 36% of breaches attributed to the (often inadvertent) misuse of data by employees.

I’m not surprised by this and I doubt you are, either. After all, insiders have the most access to our critical systems and data, so it stands to reason they would be a top vector for attacks and data disclosure problems.

This Forrester report drives home the need for enterprises to monitor their systems and data for suspicious changes and activities, regardless of the source. Merely watching network traffic is not sufficient."


This is very true.  Although 36% of breaches were directly attributable to employees, I would speculate that the majority of breaches are based on both the misuse of employee data by both indirect and direct means; by the employee, and by people exploiting the employee.

It seems sometimes that our number one security threat is your employee.  And that is why it is very important that we segregate data.  That we allow access to confidential data on a need-to-know basis.  That we institute the appropriate security and preventative measures to protect systems from employees AND from neglect and incompetence.

A good first step is to invite your IT staff or consultant to perfor a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis so we can see what weak points we have in our systems and find ways to improve.  The worst thing you can do is be reactive and not proactive on something as important as the information that drives your comapny.

A breach can teach you what you are doing right or what you are doing wrong.  A customer of ours was hit two weeks ago.  Ironically, I was in Hawaii on my first vacation since I started the business.  We have a strong competency in our team, however, and we were able to manage the breach well.  We have multiple redundancies built up into all of our systems.  The breach taught us where we had been lacking in our defense, and we made adjustments accordingly.

Don't leave your security to chance and the good graces of your appliances.  As my friend TIm says, "Trust God, but lock the car."


The Eight Essential Metrics for Desktop Support

The average Desktop Support organization tracks fewer than 5 KPI's.  However, there are literally hundreds of KPI's that have been defined for Desktop Support.  The vast majority of these metrics, however, are only marginally relevant – at best!

When it comes to KPI's for Desktop Support, less is more!  The eight that really matter are as follows:

  • Cost per Ticket
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Technician Utilization
  • First Contact Resolution Rate (incidents)
  • Mean Time to Resolve
  • % Resolved Level 1 Capable
  • Technician Satisfaction
  • Balanced Scorecard

These eight metrics represent the 80/20 rule when it comes to Desktop Support performance: 80% of the value you receive from performance measurement and management in Desktop Support can be derived from these eight simple metrics!

Mobility and the future of tablets in the workforce

Dell is developing some nice tablets! http://www.techpageone.com/technology/infographic-empowering-mobile-workforce/#.Ulz7Y6Pn-Uk

Is your organization set up to fully empower your mobile workforce? As tablets and other mobile devices continue to change the way people work, you need to make sure to keep up with your end users’ needs. If you haven’t given much thought to tablet adoption and desktop replacement, the time to do so is now. If you have, you know there’s more to learn. Recent research on mobility in the workplace points to some important trends:

  • Tablet usage is rapidly emerging as the front-runner in bring your own device (BYOD) uses and purchases — especially in education, healthcare, federal government and the enterprise — because tablets meet so many computing requirements across all industries and fields.
  • The majority of IT executives believe that their organizations will be at a competitive disadvantage without the necessary mobile computing solutions in place.
  • Most companies around the world believe that employee satisfaction and productivity improve with the right mobility solutions in place.
  • Security is still a primary concern for tablets and other mobile devices, but technology is advancing to meet the ever-evolving threats.

Contact TRA Consulting, Inc. to serve all of your mobility needs.  We are in the business of empowering our customers to work more efficiently.  We shoulder the burden of desktop support, managed IT services, and IT consulting needs so you don't have to.


IT Consulting      |       Managed IT       |      Cloud       |       Desktop Support         |       Privacy        |       Term of Use         |       Contact Us