Protect Your Household with OpenDNS Family Shield

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By Meredith Carroll, Senior Consultant

There’s a lot of focus today on how to keep our businesses secure from malware, fraud and other malicious activity. However, once we leave work at the end of the day, our homes are not off-limits to cyber attacks either! At Vertikal6, we recommend that our clients use OpenDNS, a secure, ultra-reliable service with real time security, and they also offer a free tool for home use.

OpenDNS Family Shield can protect your internet-connected devices and automatically block connections to fraudulent websites that are known for phishing, adult content, and other malicious activities.

Pre-configured to block adult content, OpenDNS Family Shield provides the ability to toggle the filter at any time, allowing you to set it up and forget about it. The settings will apply to every device (with no complicated set up or software to install): laptops, smartphones, tablets, DVRs, game consoles, TVs, anything that connects to the Internet. It’s a simple and straightforward way to protect kids from inappropriate contentonline. In addition, because FamilyShield leverages the OpenDNS content filtering system, the list of sites being blocked is constantly updated, 24/7.

You can download OpenDNS Family Shield for Free here.

If you’d like to talk with us about implementing for an organization of ten or more users we have additional packages that provide more granular protection and visibility. Contact us today at or call us at 401-825-4401.

The Rise of the Secure Internet Gateway

secure internet gateway

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The world has changed, and how (and where) your employees work has also changed. Because of this, the IT landscape has evolved. Critical infrastructure, applications, and data are moving to the cloud, leveraging either public or private cloud infrastructure., Box, G Suite, Office 365, and other software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps, whether sanctioned by IT or not, are commonplace in companies of all sizes and industries — even the most highly regulated ones. Not only does this raise questions about how to protect where sensitive data is going and how it’s being used, but it also changes how employees get their work done.

So, how do you protect your network? Learn how to shift your security controls to the cloud in this white paper, The Rise of the Secure Internet Gateway, provided by our partner, Cisco.

Implementing a comprehensive and proactive security solution (whether from Cisco Umbrella or others provided by Vertikal6) can be the single most effective measure to mitigate the significant costs of remediating a data breach. If you’d like to discuss how we can help you, contact today.

InfoSight is in a League of Its Own

IT solutions

By: David Wang, Director, Product Marketing, Nimble Storage

InfoSight has forever changed how storage infrastructure is managed. Before Nimble Storage, IT had the displeasure of spending countless hours dealing with unexpected problems and pulling out their hair talking to vendor support. And now with InfoSight, problems are predicted and prevented and support has been transformed into an experience customers actually like.

Competitors have seen the impact of our platform and “…have attempted to replicate the benefits”, as noted by IDC. But, our capabilities are unique and that has led IDC to recently write that InfoSight is “the industry-leading cloud-based predictive analytics platform”1 .

And what does being industry-leading do for you? With InfoSight, you get over 99.9999% measured availability from your storage infrastructure and automatic prediction and resolution to 86% of problems, including those outside of storage. So, if ensuring data reliably gets to your apps and spending less time managing storage are important to you, here are four key differences that separate InfoSight from the rest.

Architected for analytics

We consciously built predictive analytics into our architecture right from the start. This required taking a fundamentally different approach to data collection and analysis to expand the telemetry analyzed well beyond standard logs and metrics.

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Our architecture embeds deep diagnostic sensors into every module of code in our operating system (NimbleOS). And, we’ve been adding sensors since the first line of code was written. Since we have connected our installed based in the cloud, InfoSight continuously correlates data from over 10,000 customers. So today, InfoSight collects and analyzes millions of sensor data points every second. That’s over 300 trillion pieces of data analyzed to date.

Our expansive network of globally connected systems and rich telemetry forms the foundation for InfoSight to deliver predictive insights about your environment. And, these are not just insights for storage.

Awareness beyond storage

Ensuring data reliably gets to your apps requires understanding and resolving all the issues that can impact the I/O path. More than half the issues that cause app disruptions are caused by factors outside of storage. So, vendors with visibility limited to their arrays are missing more than half the problems.

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InfoSight’s visibility spans your infrastructure stack to resolve non-storage issues too. Not only are we collecting data from the arrays, but we’re also collecting data across the stack and correlating it to provide a single source of truth from storage to the VMs. InfoSight’s analytics, in turn, help you rapidly root cause and even prevent problems that are outside of storage. Here are two examples:

  1. Performance Diagnostics: Everyone knows how hard it is to pinpoint performance bottlenecks. Because of the complexity in infrastructure, you have to spend time collecting and stitching log files and performance data from each layer just to understand what’s happening. InfoSight’s correlations tell you the primary factor causing the problem across the host, network and storage layers. It can also diagnose “noisy neighbor” VMs, misconfigurations in the infrastructure, and hosts that are not configured correctly. With InfoSight, complex performance issues get resolved in a fraction of the time.
  2. Problems You Don’t Ever See: InfoSight has over 800 predictive signatures that are constantly being monitored in every system – predicting and preventing issues. These signatures even include problems outside of storage that are not only difficult to pinpoint, but have big impact. For example, a customer experienced a 10X performance drop after updating to a new version of NimbleOS. InfoSight diagnosed that the hypervisor was sending the array an illegal iSCI response that caused excessive retries. We quickly developed a fix for the customer, then applied a signature pattern matching algorithm to see who else could be susceptible. InfoSight found over 600 systems and blacklisted that version of NimbleOS from each system’s update path, preventing them from experiencing the issue.

Clearly, InfoSight sees what others can’t and makes problems go away across the stack.

Applied data science and machine learning

At Nimble, data science isn’t an experiment. InfoSight applies advanced techniques to create statistically accurate predictions and insights into your environment. This enables InfoSight to take the guess work out of managing infrastructure from planning to expanding.

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Planning for new infrastructure is a cinch because InfoSight’s app-centric modeling correctly sizes infrastructure needs based on your applications, users, and requirements. And, as new infrastructure is deployed, machine learning algorithms monitor performance and refine the models.

You won’t hit a ceiling with Nimble arrays. InfoSight accurately predicts capacity, performance and bandwidth needs. Our capacity forecasting models use autoregressive and Monte Carlo simulations taking into account irregular patterns that would appear unpredictable to untrained eyes. And, InfoSight applies an eigenvalue decomposition algorithm to automatically identify the primary cause of latency problems and predict the right solution.

InfoSight is constantly learning from the collective insights and experiences of the installed base. It’s learning I/O signatures and performance patterns, it’s learning from past support cases, and it’s learning to predict problematic behavior in your infrastructure. As it learns, the predictive algorithms continue improving and every system gets smarter and more reliable.

Prescriptive recommendations

Just showing charts and graphs isn’t enough anymore. It’s too difficult and takes too long trying to interpret them, so you end up with more questions than answers. For example, what if you see spikes when looking at a latency graph – should you be concerned? Are they indicative of a problem? If so, what’s causing them? And, how do you fix them?

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Instead of scratching your head, InfoSight delivers prescriptive, clear recommendations. For performance, InfoSight understands the underlining I/O signatures and the impact different workloads have on users. Applications are much more sensitive to latency when they are performing many random small-block vs large block operations. So, InfoSight predicts when performance is problematic and highlights those time periods in the UI. And based on the analytics, performance improvements include applying QoS controls on IOPS and throughput, optimizing resources, and upgrading components.

InfoSight constantly monitors your environment and automatically gives you recommendations to make every day easier. It can even tell you what bandwidth is required for replication and what volumes are not being protected based on factors like data change rate, compressibility, etc. And with proactive alerts and case automation, InfoSight automatically opens support cases and resolves them even before you know there’s an issue. As mentioned above, over 86% of issues are identified and resolved by InfoSight before you even know there is a problem.

Unique and getting even better

So, the next time you hear another vendor say “We can do what InfoSight does too”, just ask them how they compare across these four dimensions. InfoSight is in a league of its own and the business benefits are invaluable.

And now that Nimble Storage has joined HPE, it’ll be even harder to catch up to InfoSight. Just imagine the predictive insights that can come from having the largest database of infrastructure telemetry and connected systems in the industry. Stay tuned for the exciting future for InfoSight at HPE.

1 IDC, “HPE Hits a Home Run with the Acquisition of Midmarket Enterprise Storage Vendor Nimble Storage”

Author: David Wang

Email scams requesting a wire transfer on the rise

better online presence[img src=”/wp-content/uploads/sites/1706/2017/03/Vertikal6_BetterOnlinePresence-blogpost.jpg” class=”aligncenter”]

At Vertikal6, we’re seeing a recent rise in fake wire transfer requests via email. These requests are coming from an email address that may or may not be similar to the company requesting the wire transfer, however, they are changing the “Friendly From” name to a CEO, or someone you may have received a similar request from previously. Because these come from a legitimate email address, these cannot be stopped with technology, such as email spam filters.

Any request for a wire transfer should be followed by a voice confirmation – initiated by the person who received the request. If you get an email from your CEO (or anyone else!) asking for a wire transfer, pick up the phone and call them on a previously known phone number (not one supplied via the email) and confirm the wire transfer request.

Please forward this email to anyone in your organization handling finance to make them aware. If you have any questions, please contact us!

SOC 1 vs. SOC Type 1 – clarification on the different forms of SOC reporting

cloud computing solutions

In the modern business world, it has become common practice for organizations to outsource certain functions or business processes to third parties, rather than performing all processes “in-house.” When an organization decides to outsource a core business process to a third party, the risks of the service organization often times become the risk of the user entity. Therefore, now more than ever, it is important to understand the different forms of Service Organization Control Reports and the types of risk that are addressed by each one.

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Rick Norberg on WOON 1240 AM

Rick Norberg

Rick Norberg on WOON 1240 AM

Our CEO, Rick Norberg joins host Barry Mechanic on WOON 1240 AM’s Radio Show, The Mechanics of Business. This radio show focuses on the issues facing businesses and managers in the new economy and discusses ways they can improve employee engagement, improve leadership effectiveness, empower staff, develop the right goals for the business and ultimately, grow revenues and improve productivity.

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May 2016: In May, Rick Norberg explains what the cloud is and how and why businesses can utilize the cloud to grow their business.

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July 2016: In July, Rick discussed ways businesses can utilize software to help their businesses become more efficient, including finance, CRM, project management software and more.

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August 2016: In August, From laptops to phones and everything in between, Rick discusses the various types of equipment available today and the pros and cons to each.

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November 2016: In November, Rick Norberg joins host Barry Mechanic on WOON 1240 AM’s Radio Show, The Mechanics of Business. Rick discusses why antivirus and firewalls alone are not enough to protect your business from impending threats.

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