Dive Deep into Cybersecurity Training with Technology in the New Cyber Range

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I recently spent a couple of days with one of our key partners, Tech Data, at the opening of the Cyber Range. A new concept to me, a Cyber Range, is a facility to be able to dive deep into cybersecurity threats, including live malware, in an isolated environment that can recreate a client’s real or proposed technology landscape. It provides an unmatched tool for training, demonstration, and evaluation in an area where there are too few talented people, thousands of solutions and, according to one study, trillions of dollars at risk. That’s “trillion” with a “t,” and that’s a lot of money to lose.

Why the Cyber Range?
Tech Data is committed to pushing the boundaries of NextGen cybersecurity solutions and enabling their Channel Partners to secure its customers from the smallest SMB company to the largest global enterprise. As a partner, we appreciate their goal to equip us with the skills necessary to design holistic cybersecurity solutions and services that will mitigate against the most advanced cyber threats in the industry.

Place value on educating people on Cybersecurity hygiene
During my time at the Cyber Range, I realized the fact I need to spend a lot more time with hacking tools if I want to be a Red Team hacker (the team trying to break the system) , but I still learned a lot. I will keep up my skills to join that elite group in the future. Of all the content, the most critical information I saw came from Marc Goodman, best known for his book Future Crimes. Marc spent decades in law enforcement and had many fascinating and terrifying stories describing the impact on society of the adoption of technology by criminals. But more importantly, he emphasized the highest value thing we can do to protect ourselves, our companies, and our country is to educate people on basic cybersecurity hygiene.

We all know we need to physically lock our door when we go to bed at night to prevent criminals from entering our houses. A surprisingly small number of people have an equivalent level of basic knowledge in preventing cybercrime. We all to need to increase our security awareness and habits in the cyberworld as well.

Could I breach a webserver, and why is that important part of Modern Operations?
As I was listening to Marc and reviewing my unsuccessful (but surprisingly far along, given my lack of experience) attempt to breach a web server during our cyber range visit, it reminded me why security is such an essential part of Modern Operations. I talk to clients all the time who are struggling to balance their needs to operate their existing technology while ensuring their innovation platforms are available, reliable, performant, and secure. They must do both, adding new processes and tools to support cloud native workloads. The people continue to be the most critical piece of all aspects of Modern Operations. Better training. Better teams and teamwork. Allowing everyone the opportunity to participate, learn and develop the skills necessary to make your company’s innovation successful is how Modern Operations works.

Author: Michael Downs, Chief Technology Officer

Learn more about Michael Downs here.

Microsoft Continues to Innovate and Differentiate Their Offerings

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Microsoft’s Ignite Conference 

Last week, I attended Microsoft’s Ignite conference in Orlando, FL. It was the first time Evolving Solutions has attended the conference, and it reflects our continuing commitment to deliver hybrid cloud solutions to our clients. Public cloud is not new news, but I believe we’ve reached a new phase of public cloud maturity where multi and hybrid cloud options are being properly weighed by businesses today.

Each of the top cloud providers (Microsoft’s Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and IBM) has transitioned from evangelism to steady competitive growth. The push by each provider to get client workloads, particularly data, onto their platform is certainly a continued theme. The Microsoft Ignite conference was a great opportunity to understand better how Microsoft is innovating and continuing to differentiate their offerings.

The Announcement of Azure Arc

Microsoft’s investments in Azure were readily apparent, as was their continued focus on Data and AI. They continue to lower the barrier to using advanced data capabilities, creating options, but also requiring important considerations on which platform is the best for an individual business. One of the most interesting items showcased was Microsoft’s announcement of Azure Arc.

Azure Arc enables deployment of Azure services anywhere and extends Azure management to any infrastructure, simplifying complex and distributed environments across on-premises, edge, hybrid, and multi-cloud. With Azure Arc, customers can now realize the benefits of cloud innovation, including always up-to-date data capabilities, deployment in seconds (rather than hours), and dynamic scalability on any infrastructure. These benefits support Evolving Solutions’ Hybrid Cloud focus and add to our offerings to achieve your cloud requirements.

The other big take -away from the week is from a Cybersecurity perspective. There will be insurers (not Microsoft) that will offer insurance for data breaches, which will bring significant changes to security practices and requirements. Of course, it’s not possible to get the business value from any of this innovation without adopting a proper Cloud Architecture, the governance, and practices to ensure your business requirements are properly fulfilled and implemented in the cloud.

While the classes and presentations were top-notch, one of my favorite activities was to visit “The Hub.” The Hub was where Microsoft had all their experts at different booths ready to do a deeper dive in any MS technology. Also, other vendors had their booths for all of their “add-on” Microsoft & Azure tools and offerings.

Moving Forward

I’m excited about some of the new Azure capabilities that provide components of this and I’m looking forward to the options they provide for our clients. If you have any questions about the conference or how you can continue to move forward in your cloud journey, feel free to reach out to me.

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Phil joined Evolving Solutions in 2019 to develop solutions for our clients across hardware and software, both on and off-premise. He brings over 15 years of creating architectures to solve complex business problems, including modernization, high-performance computing, integration, and automation.

His broad technology, business and industry experience provides a valuable perspective to our clients working to implement innovative technologies to support their success. Like what you read? Follow Phil on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/phil-fisichella