Make Good Choices: Breaking Down your Cybersecurity Options

Make Good Choices: Breaking Down your Cybersecurity Options

 By Derek Kernus | Small biz Technology

While it’s tempting to do the minimum to keep costs low, every business leader knows that risks are evolving. The best approach for small and mid-sized businesses is to adopt industry best practices, align your cybersecurity programme with your business strategy, and address future needs with a programme that is robust and scalable.

In an effort to capitalise on cybersecurity spending, many providers have resorted to pushy tactics. Their cybersecurity options via packages cover some of the basics plus include extras your company may not want or need, or include multi-year service contracts that far exceed any necessary requirements. If you don’t have some technical background in IT and know what’s required of your company, it’s easy to be swayed by marketing.

The best way to differentiate between providers is to seek out a variety and ask for a free estimate. A good company will ask questions and provide a recommendation and costs. A great one will make sure you understand what’s required, where your company currently stands, and what services you will need. Your decision should include services that complement your own internal capabilities to:


Embed Best Practices

Bad actors are hard at work devising new ways to trick employees. That’s why it’s important to have a security mindset, a security-focused culture, and to continuously train and test your workforce. Indeed, adopting and embracing these best practices is a sign that security is part of everything you do.

It’s important to have a security mindset, a security-focused culture, and to continuously train and test your workforce.

When security is truly a core value of your organisation, cybersecurity training is reinforced in daily processes and interactions. Plus, thinking about security first becomes a habit.


Align Cybersecurity Options and Business Strategy

Just like all of the other administrative functions in your company (finance, HR, operations), cybersecurity runs through all that you do. Managing the risks that pose a threat to your organisation’s overall health requires staying focused on the big picture. To do that, you must align cybersecurity options to your business goals.

  • Use security plans to also meet larger company goals, like digital transformation, paperless operations, or upskilling employees.
  • Connect security objectives to business requirements. For example, specific security objectives can be built into staff performance goals and supplier performance measurements. Protecting assets and information and avoiding breaches helps you meet business objectives.
  • Focus on reducing risk, not eliminating it. Cybersecurity is a journey of incremental steps.


Focus on the Future

Every industry has or is developing cybersecurity standards. A future-focused strategy doesn’t just meet today’s minimum requirements. Instead, it looks at implementing coordinated programmes and technology that can scale as requirements change. With a robust cybersecurity programme in place, your company can pursue any certifications or audits that are needed or required. And your brand can use security as a competitive advantage.


Consider Your Options – and You Do Have Options

If you believe the ads that pop up when you search for cybersecurity, every provider out there has a single solution that meets all your needs. The truth is that there are many options and pathways. Tailor your approach to your company’s structure, existing systems, and business goals.

A provider motivated only by their profits, and not invested in your success, might not present other options or even offer them within their portfolio. This is where internal knowledge and comparison shopping can help.

Also, your provider matters, too. Some good ones include implementation and configuration in their costs, and some even help with documentation.

Cybersecurity is a significant investment for companies that may not have done risk management or security as part of their operations before now. However, make no mistake, every small or medium-sized business, regardless of its industry, now must incorporate security into their processes. The best approach is to adopt industry best practices, align your cybersecurity options with your business strategy, and remain future-focused.

This article was written by Derek Kernus from Small Biz Technology and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to

Deliver Exceptional Wireless Experiences for Customers and Employees

Deliver Exceptional Wireless Experiences for Customers and Employees

Future network challenges will include a continuous increase in the number of devices, a tripling of worldwide IP traffic, and the emergence of a wide range of new technologies that will all largely rely on Wi-Fi

With Wi-Fi 6E’s dependability, capacity, and speed, you can develop engaging, smarter workspaces, provide outstanding wireless experiences for consumers and employees, and secure every connection with WPA3. On your wireless network, encounter a connection that feels like a wired connection.

A new working standard

No matter how your teams work, your work spaces need the higher speeds, consistent reliability, and performance predictability 6E can offer. 6E adds new, clearer spectrum to support new devices, new workloads, and more data traversing the network.

Capacity for smarter spaces

In the era of hybrid work and meetings that bridge the physical and the virtual, you need a network that works with your team, not against it. 6E networks offer that “wired-like” experience that collaboration tools require for a seamless, inclusive, and secure experience.

Data-defined networking

Your 6E network is only as scalable as the platform that supports it. Combined with the Meraki dashboard, you can easily optimise performance across sites, secure wireless and IoT connections, and make intelligent plans for the future based on billions of daily touchpoints.

Ensuring Seamless Work Experiences with Meraki Access Points

With IT leaders becoming strategic partners in driving business outcomes and facilitating better employee experiences, they are on the hunt for solutions for not only the disruptions they face today, but also future disruptions to the business.

The Cisco Meraki MR series is an enterprise-grade line of cloud-managed WLAN access points that leverage the award-winning Cisco Meraki cloud-managed architecture to provide powerful and intuitive centralised management while eliminating the cost and complexity of traditional on-site wireless controllers.

Next Generation Wi-Fi Products

A complete range of Wi-Fi 6E access points—with multigigabit technology—allows you to optimise wireless access for a seamless hybrid work experience with faster connections, greater user capacity, and more coverage.


Ultra-high-density, ultra-high-performance

The MR57 provides a maximum of 8.35 Gbps* aggregate frame rate with concurrent 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz radios.


High-density, high-performance


Medium-density, high-performance

The CW9164 provides a maximum of 7.49 Gbps* aggregate frame rate with concurrent 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6GHz radios


General purpose Wi-Fi 6E Access Point

Create a Consistent Experience for all Employees

The key to a future-proofed, work-from-anywhere office is a cloud-first approach to technology and IT.
Discover technologies for working in the office, at home, and on the road.

Consuming Edge Connectivity as a Service with HPE GreenLake for Aruba

Consuming Edge Connectivity as a Service with HPE GreenLake for Aruba

Business focus on prioritising resiliency and agility as crucial parts of their IT strategy has grown. To enable this, organisations require greater visibility, cross-platform control, and improved data management and protection that spans edge-to-core.  

At the same time, connectivity and business networking have grown more critical and complex to maintain as the network’s edge continues to spread. As a result, flexible consumption models have evolved to alleviate managerial challenges and digital and network revolutions. 

Recently, there has been an increase in awareness and use of flexible consumption models, especially for edge connectivity, notably network-as-a-service (NaaS). These services give cloud-like flexibility of IT resources to reduce network operational administration but also help accelerate new deployments. 

Deploying NaaS facilitates the financial flexibility necessary for shorter planning cycle times while providing an agile infrastructure to manage changing business conditions. Businesses may also seek strategies to enhance network performance and automate networking tasks. NaaS facilitates these improvements by providing a cloud-based platform with analytics to enable automation and improved reaction to networking changes.  

The Challenge

Investments in technology may not always produce the desired results for the business. For example, resource constraints may cause essential projects to be postponed. It may take too long for full implementation. Infrastructure teams may become overburdened by day-to-day operations.

Recent global events like the pandemic have heightened the need for improved financial and technical agility and flexibility to meet rapidly changing scenarios. This problem is addressed with the as-a-service model. This enables businesses to acquire, deploy, manage, and optimise their information technology resources quickly and efficiently and make modifications when their requirements shift. Until recently, a consumer experience for corporate networking comparable to that of cloud computing has trailed behind other categories of IT infrastructure, such as compute and storage. 

The benefits of ‘as-a-service’

Network as a Service, or NaaS, is a flexible way to consume enterprise network infrastructure that enables businesses to keep up with the pace of innovation, adapt to rapidly shifting business needs, and optimise network performance and user experiences using a subscription model similar to that of the cloud.

Businesses have typically consumed network infrastructure as a one-time capital investment consisting of purchasing individual pieces of hardware, software, licenses, and services that can often be bundled together. NaaS enables businesses to consume and optionally outsource the full lifecycle of their network deployment. This entails all hardware, software, licenses, and services being delivered in a flexible consumption or subscription-based offering, which can be accounted for as an operational expense. 

NaaS allows businesses to contract out their networks’ planning, implementation, and day-to-day operational administration. This can include decommissioning and end-of-life maintenance, software upgrades, monitoring, and troubleshooting. By using this method, businesses have access to the latest technology while reducing the workload of their internal IT departments.

GreenLake for Aruba

NaaS is a new way of consuming network infrastructure that is designed to stimulate efficiencies while minimising risk, accelerating ROI, and allowing businesses to accomplish desired results while maintaining financial flexibility. 

HPE GreenLake for Aruba is a comprehensive NaaS service that enables businesses to use Aruba’s Edge Services Platform in a cloud-like way, with a single monthly subscription payment and flexible consumption options. HPE’s GreenLake for Aruba solution is provided where and how businesses need it by leveraging HPE’s massive financial resources and the geographic reach of Aruba’s channel partner network. 

HPE GreenLake for Aruba “service packs” are created around common working use cases to ease procurement and delivery while accelerating time-to-value. Each service pack contains all necessary Aruba hardware, software, support services, and access to the Aruba Central cloud management platform and Customer Experience Management. All are available on a subscription model with flexible consumption choices. 

Three standard service packs include wireless, wired and SD-Branch as-a-service: 

  1. HPE GreenLake for Aruba Wireless as-a-service services are designed to enable major wireless use cases such as hybrid work/learning, connected retail, IoT and hyperaware facilities, among others. 
  2. Aruba HPE GreenLake Wired as-a-Service products deliver the performance, scalability, and automation needed to service IoT, mobile, and cloud applications on the campus wired network. 
  3. HPE GreenLake for Aruba integrates wireless, wired, WAN, and security technologies into a single platform with unified administration, allowing businesses to improve performance and security while minimising expenses at branch locations.

As businesses continue to seek methods to boost productivity, models such as NaaS provide a future-proof solution for IT departments to meet new workloads and business requirements. HPE GreenLake for Aruba is a comprehensive NaaS offering that streamlines network resource procurement and deployment, decreases time-to-value and ensures your network is always available to serve ever-changing business objectives. Aruba Central is an AI-powered network management system that simplifies IT operations, increases agility, and lowers costs by consolidating network infrastructure management.

We, as your IT partner, can help your business take advantage of the GreenLake for Aruba offering.

Jump Into the Future of Learning

Jump Into the Future of Learning

School systems large and small are meeting the demand for flexible, hybrid learning environments, evolving into omnichannel centres for community engagement, and navigating a seemingly constant flurry of budget curveballs. These challenges have highlighted the need for an agile infrastructure and a culture ready to embrace change like never before.

As the move to the cloud continues, and you’re tasked to do more with the same budget, how can your team drive and support the changes needed to enable the digital workplace and hybrid learning of today and the future?

Powering Flexible Learning

Take lessons outside the classroom walls with superior connectivity. Hybrid works best in the cloud. Boost automation, sustainability, and security with Meraki cloud-first technology. Plus, you can enjoy reliable, secure connectivity anywhere.

Learn from Anywhere

Improve the student experience by allowing flexible learning with cloud-managed Wi-Fi.

Secure Everything

Preconfigure, manage, and protect school- and student-owned devices in just three clicks.

Manage Intuitively

Take the complexity out of device management with centralised visibility and control.

School Security Solved with Meraki MX for Education

Making sure secure Wi-Fi is available to students, teachers, and staff is an important but often time-consuming part of your job. Now, more than ever, it is vital to provide secure connectivity, both inside the classroom and out. The Meraki MX Security Appliance offers safer Internet access, higher network performance, and easier management, specially designed to meet the needs of K-12 school districts.

The New Standard for Security and Content Management

The MX offers best-in-class content filtering, safe Internet access, antivirus, and intrusion detection.

Protect Student Privacy & Security
  • Ensure CIPA compliance with built-in Google/Bing/Yahoo! Internet Safesearch
  • Keep networks kid-friendly with best-in-class content filtering (70+ categories of content using Webroot’s Brightcloud database, updated hourly)
  • Stop malicious traffic with integrated Sourcefire SNORT intrusion prevention (IPS) and Kaspersky Anti-Virus/AntiPhishing scanning
Reduce Network Complexity
  • Centrally manage all networks, devices, and clients from any Internet-accessible location through a single, web-based dashboard
  • Easily propagate security settings across multiple locations using configuration templates
  • Quickly deploy remote sites by preconfiguring Meraki devices from the cloud
  • Securely connect school districts in minutes with built-in Auto VPN
Identify & Contain Bandwidth Hogs
  • Gain network insights from industry-leading application traffic visibility and client fingerprinting. Limit applications and websites, such as Facebook and file sharing, while optimising educational apps with Layer 7 firewall and traffic shaping rules

Learn more about connecting school with a cloud-first platform

The Fragility of the Global Supply Chain (and How to Fix it)

The Fragility of the Global Supply Chain (and How to Fix it)

A note from HPE:

Amid global supply chain uncertainty and disruption, many businesses have found themselves with unpredictable needs. However, some businesses may have financial constraints preventing them from buying or building more assets/products/materials than are required, “just in case”.

Below, we explore the forward planning and investment challenges wrought by current supply chain issues. While this is not a HPE Greenlake article, it demonstrates a growing use case for a “just in case” infrastructure deployment model with a “just in time” deployment and cost structure which Greenlake can facilitate. As your IT partner we can advise you on how Greenlake can help your business alleviate supply chain stress and mitigate disruption. 

As COVID-driven turmoil extends into its second year, continued breakdowns in the global supply chain have shown the folly of taking logistics for granted. 

Most of us think of supply chains as the things that bring us—or lately, deprive us of—toilet paper, toys, cars, and other products we want and need. But supply chains do much more than that. Global supply chains form a life-giving web that routes lifesaving medicines to the places they’re needed, allows California farmers to feed consumers in Asia and Europe, and enables factories in China to provide components for the technologies that power daily life. 

“The supply chain should no longer be considered an afterthought and something that happens in a dark corner,” says Mark Bakker, senior vice president and general manager of global operations at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “It’s having a huge impact on society.” 

Why the ‘new normal’ won’t be normal

Don’t expect supply disruptions to end anytime soon. In fact, more frequent interruptions in supply chains are likely to become the so-called ‘new normal’. 

Bakker lists all the factors that can cause logistics to break down: power outages, factory fires, extreme weather, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanos, and even ocean vessels that get stuck, blocking hundreds of other ships. “Those kinds of things are happening more frequently with a bigger impact than ever before,” he says. 

Thanks to climate change, we can expect more extreme weather. And, as global supply chains move more and more goods, larger ships like the Ever Given will present new logistical challenges. Geopolitical challenges also cause disruptions. For example, Brexit has impacted trade with the U.K. and led to a shortage of truck drivers that has slowed deliveries within Britain. 

While no one was prepared for the level of havoc on global supply brought on by COVID-19, companies that had adopted automation and AI pre-pandemic were in a better position to react in real time to sudden changes in consumer demand and supply chain operations. “If it were not for automation, as well as advancements in AI, over the past five years or so, we would be in worse shape than we are now,” says Randy V. Bradley, associate professor of supply chain and information systems management at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business. 

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning can help simulate scenarios,” Bakker says. “If a disruption occurs, what will the downstream impact be?” AI tools such as digital twins allow companies to run scenarios to strengthen their supply chain operations. “Having more data and using new technology can help you plan and replan faster,” he says. 

The supply chain environment is rich with data across the value chain. That includes data on customers: what they have, what they want, what they buy, and when they buy it. Using AI and ML, supply chain managers can gain insights to better prepare them for the next disruption. 

“A technology product such as an HPE server has many components,” Bakker says. “Each of those components has its own dataset, characteristics, and specifications. There are different suppliers producing the parts that go into a final product. Each facility has production schedules. In between, those goods need to move from location A to location B to location C. All of that comes with a ton of data that then can be subject to technologies such as AI and machine learning.” 

Humans remain essential links

The 2021 MHI Annual Industry Report found that almost half of companies boosted investment in supply chain innovations because of COVID-19, including inventory and network optimisation, cloud computing and storage, robotics and automation, and sensors and automatic identification. The report predicts that the use of robotics will double within five years. And while only 17 percent of respondents currently use AI to aid in supply chain management, an additional 45 percent expect to adopt AI tools in the next five years. 

However, better tech alone won’t solve the problems plaguing supply chains. While some of the top challenges listed in the MHI report, including better forecasting and demand for faster response times, can benefit from increased adoption of automation, the No. 1 issue was hiring and retaining qualified workers. 

Bradley notes that supply chains were struggling with a labour shortage even before the pandemic. “That’s been one of the top two or three issues for the past five years,” he says. “The difference was that we didn’t have the volume of materials moving that we do now.” For example, the current shortage of shipping containers and trucking capacity are indicators of too few workers rather than a lack of physical capacity. 

“There is this notion that the more we automate, the more we are going to eradicate tasks that were performed by humans,” says Bradley. But he sees technology as enhancing the work experience rather than replacing humans. By giving mundane tasks to what he calls “intelligent appliances”, technology can free supply chain professionals to leverage skills that even the most advanced AI currently lacks, such as intuition and creativity. “The humans do the critical thinking,” Bradley says. “The artificial intelligence just aids you in what to think about.” 

As well, automated processes don’t work in a vacuum. “There is no machine learning model that can do something by itself,” Bakker says. “The biggest misconception about machine learning is that it does what it needs to do without human intervention.” Even robots need humans to teach them how to move. 

In other words, while automation can improve supply chains, we can’t program ourselves out of the labour shortage. 

Automation will take businesses from disrupted to disruptor

“Resilience is just the ability to keep going in the face of adversity,” Bradley says. “Don’t just go through it; figure out how to come out better.” 

The pandemic has given businesses a chance to reinvent their supply chains. Companies can develop operations grounded in emerging technologies rather than overlaying new technologies on top of old processes. Bradley notes that this allows companies to become disruptors rather than being disrupted. 

With frameworks like technology as a service and even robotics as a service, smaller companies can also benefit from supply chain automation and compete with large enterprises. “That’s a game changer for a small to medium enterprise,” Bradley says. “The bigger companies actually struggle to transform.” Plus, smaller businesses are nimbler and more able to change rapidly. 

The future of the global supply chain will include significant innovation and seismic operational changes. For example, during the past two years, many companies moved from just-in-time inventory management to just-in-case models. But the JIC (just in case) approach involves holding unsustainably large amounts of stock, and those holding costs can drive up consumer prices. Bradley sees the next inventory model as JE: just enough. But it will take some time to make the transition. “That’s not a light switch that you can flip overnight,” he says. 

There’s no doubt that supply chain managers work on the front lines of some of the most significant technological challenges facing society—and they’re hiring. “Younger generations should consider supply chain as a profession,” Bakker says. “It is a lot of fun.” 

Block as a Service

Block as a Service

Data is a fundamental resource of modern businesses. Data-driven modernisation empowers operating and business models, driving businesses forward faster and more efficiently. However, accelerating data-driven modernisation requires the elimination of infrastructure complexity and the silos that slow them down.

The prolific volume and value of data in today’s systems have moved the issue higher up the agenda of business strategic plans. Simplifying data management and infrastructure with a cloud operational experience should be a top priority for IT leaders. The starting point lies with data storage.

The challenge of data capacity planning

Often, storage spending is reactive. Companies may purchase storage capacity only when it’s urgently needed. An effective storage forecasting and capacity planning tool estimates how much storage an organisation will use, allowing only enough disk space to be purchased to meet the needs of users and applications. This forecast is derived from previous storage usage trends that provide companies with automated storage reports, allowing them to plan their spending wisely.

While businesses may continue to monitor their usage and growth, it can be inefficient to plan storage capacity needs in this manner. Predicting future requirements may drain company time and resources. The business may experience over-provisioning in the instance of forecasting errors, or in an effort to accommodate expected supply chain constraints. The potential issues that arise from manual storage capacity planning often result in business resources being spent managing infrastructure, rather than focusing on value-adding initiatives and business improvement.

However, businesses can also choose to streamline their growth and build in capacity that eliminates the need to purchase storage ‘just in time’.

The power of storage as a service

Storage as a service (STaaS) drastically simplifies and automates storage operations, enabling IT to meet ever-increasing business demands while providing the agility that line of business (LOB) owners and developers require to move faster.

STaaS allows businesses to consume resources when and where they need them. But on-demand consumption is just the start of the STaaS experience. STaaS leverages the speed and flexibility of cloud operations to transition IT from operator to service provider, aligning storage with business demands and allowing IT to focus on driving outcomes rather than managing infrastructure.


Consider these crucial capabilities for an effective STaaS platform:

Simplifying operations with cloud agility

STaaS transforms storage management by introducing cloud operational agility and simplicity to data infrastructure across the edge to the cloud. It must leverage AIOps that drives autonomous operations that help predict and prevent disruptions, pinpoint issues between storage, VMs and underutilised virtualised resources and receive AI driven recommendations.

Furthermore, the solution should deliver a layer of abstraction to make underlying data infrastructure invisible, eliminating silos and the complexity of day-to-day storage administration shifting operations to be application, not infrastructure-centric. It must deliver the self-service agility that line of business owners and developers require to build and deploy new apps, services, and projects faster—freeing up your IT resources to work on higher-value, strategic initiatives.

Consume flexibly as a service, on-demand

A flexible, as-a-service consumption model helps prevent over and under-provisioning problems, CAPEX budget limits, and cumbersome procurement cycles by:

  • allowing businesses to quickly obtain the storage resources required with workload-optimised storage tiers
  • scaling on-demand and as necessary to accommodate unforeseen workloads or usage demands
  • shifting away from high upfront costs and toward transparent, predictable monthly payments based on actual metered consumption—with complete visibility into storage usage at all times.

STaaS should meet any SLA for any traditional or modern application and helps businesses drive innovation and productivity without needing to choose a specific storage solution or configuration.

The power of storage as a service

HPE Greenlake brings the cloud to you and for those customers who wish to adopt STaaS, there is HPE GreenLake for Block Storage. It is the industry’s first block storage-as-a-service offering, bringing self-service agility while offering 100% data availability guaranteed. Unlike traditional storage management in other as-a-service offerings, HPE GreenLake for Block Storage allows self-provisioning storage by anyone trusted within your business.

HPE GreenLake for Block Storage helps eliminate storage complexity by providing a cloud experience everywhere, allowing businesses to simplify operations and move faster. The infrastructure is managed through a single, intuitive cloud console.  It combines the agility of cloud operations, consumption as a service and on demand, and the freedom to meet any SLA without compromise.

Meet your desired SLA with mission-critical, business-critical, and general-purpose block storage tiers with the highest possible availability and ultra-fast performance. HPE GreenLake for Block Storage provides 100% availability for mission-critical applications and an industry-leading 99.9999% uptime for all other workloads compared to the typical 99.99% offered by competitive storage offerings.

With HPE Greenlake for Block Storage, you can start quickly with instant, SLA driven quoting and rapid ordering.  The flexibility of this model also means businesses no longer need to worry about over or under provisioning of resources avoiding unnecessary spend and complex procurement cycles.

HPE GreenLake for Block Storage accelerates digital transformation by introducing a self-service cloud operational approach to on-prem workloads.

STaaS empowers the line of business and application administrators to accelerate application deployment by effortlessly self-provisioning storage instantly and without going to the public cloud.

With HPE GreenLake for Block Storage, your business can build and deploy new applications and services faster and with less overhead. It will enable your IT team to transform from operator to service provider and start managing business outcomes instead of infrastructure.

As your IT partner, we can work with you to transform your storage architecture with the best solution for your business needs.