IBM-Spectrum-ProtectThe Spectrum Project

Imagine you just received this email: “Your data is now locked and encrypted.”  Accompanied by a link for ransom payment, it continues: “Any attempt to recover your data will lead to its immediate destruction.”  What would you do?

This is not an imaginary scenario.  A crypto-lock virus recently infected 80% of an organization’s data, but they were able to easily and quickly recover with IBM Spectrum Protect.  Data protection failures seem to be in the news almost daily.  It’s such a hot topic that 79% of C-level officers believe that executive involvement is necessary to properly protect data.

Spectrum Protect delivers frequent data snapshots, multi-site replication, and disaster recovery management so that data can be recovered reliably if needed. Hutchinson Regional Medical Center is enjoying a 99.9% backup success rate, while taking 90% less time and using 45% less space with their Spectrum Protect based hybrid cloud solution. Cloud providers worldwide, including Tectrade who delivers over 13,000 backups per day, rely on Spectrum Protect. Gartner predicts 50% of organizations will change their backup application by 2018 because they’re either spending too much or not fully protecting their data1.  Switching to Spectrum Protect can increase data protection while reducing backup costs by up to 53%.

When your business relies on you to secure data, the right backup solution is critical. With Spectrum Protect, you can have the peace of mind knowing you’ll be covered if data needs to be restored.

Are you ready to feel more confident about protecting your company’s data?  Visit IBM’s website to see why over 20,000 organizations trust their data to IBM Spectrum Protect.

1 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup Software and Integrated Appliances, Gartner, June 2015. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, Solution or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Cloud Provider Compliance Programs

Key on cloud ; Cloud computing security conceptAs companies leverage the cloud in various forms such as SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, your company needs assurance that the cloud provider has strong security for its offering. Cloud provider compliance programs are your company’s first steps in evaluating the maturity of the cloud provider’s security. Security standards can be international, industry-specific, subject-specific, or country-specific. Take a moment to consider the various security standards, as each standard has different objectives.


Your company shares security responsibility with the cloud provider. The cloud provider ensures the security of their offering, while your company must ensure security inside the cloud provider offering. Each company should look at the three broad objectives of Enterprise I.T. Security:

  • Confidentiality
  • Integrity
  • Availability

First, a company should define their desired and required risk profile for each objective. Of course, the type of data to be stored and processed in the Cloud-based applications is relevant as is the type of systems that the company will be using (and their criticality to the business). Secondly, a company will  classify the data and applications that may be moved to the Cloud and assign the applicable desired/required risk profile. This will help designate the applications and data that may be more ‘Cloud ready’ and, conversely, it will classify applications and data that the company is concerned about moving or unwilling to move to Cloud Providers based on their risk profile.

Once a company has outlined their desired/required risk profile and appropriately classified their data and applications and for the target data/apps that may move to the Cloud, they have the ability to evaluate the Cloud Providers. Here are four questions to evaluate the cloud provider’s security compliance program:

  • Which compliance certification has the cloud provider achieved?
  • Which compliance certification certificates can be provided for evaluation?
  • Which security controls are in-scope for the cloud provider’s compliance program?
  • Which security controls are the responsibility of the customer, versus the provider?

Some examples of cloud provider compliance programs are as follows:

Moving securely to the cloud can be daunting without a disciplined approach. We have outlined a pragmatic and successful process that helps to assure an orderly transition:

  • Define your risk profile
  • Evaluate your applications and data for suitability for cloud
  • Select the cloud provider appropriate to your risk profile requirements

Sounds simple on paper and works well when done properly.  CMI will work with you through each step to help assure you achieve the business outcomes desired from perspectives of cost-to-serve, agility, and security. You can be living the dream.

Michael Giraldo is a Security Architect at CMI.  You can follow him on Twitter @michaelgiraldo.


BigFix for Managing All of Your Endpoints and Critical Assets

Big Data Secure Solutions as a Business Concept

You have read about it at length online, in the media, and in our blog posts: security threats are real and every enterprise needs to protect itself. One method of applying security to your enterprise is through securing endpoints, a point of vulnerability or a porthole that, if left open, can expose the entire network to disaster. Please refer to my previous blog post, Reduce Your Enterprise’s Overall Risk Profile, for a high-level refresher on endpoint protection. In this blog I’d like to hone in on IBM BigFix, an industry-leading solution when it comes to securing endpoints and managing critical assets within the enterprise. Let’s look at how BigFix can help your enterprise.

Simply put, BigFix works under 3 premises: Find It, Fix It and Secure It.

  • Find It: Discover unmanaged endpoints and get real-time visibility into all endpoints to identify vulnerabilities and non-compliant endpoints.
  • Fix It: Fix vulnerabilities and apply patches across all endpoints on and off the network in minutes regardless of endpoint type or network connectivity.
  • Secure It: Continuously monitor and enforce compliance with security, regulatory and operational policies while proactively responding to threats.

How Does BigFix work?

BigFix allows you to continuously monitor each endpoint for potential threats and enforce compliance with security, regulatory and operational policies. It even works in remote locations with low or no bandwidth. BigFix works in concert, and eliminates the traditional silo approach. Built on the world’s largest and deepest security portfolio that is IBM Security, BigFix closes the gap between these two groups, giving clients real-time situational awareness of every endpoint on their networks—regardless of device type or location—and the ability to detect and respond to threats with blazing speed.

Real life problems BigFix can solve:

  • Better manage distributed endpoints, on- and off-network, and deliver IT services and support users need, with minimal disruption.
  • Cost-effectively ensure your enterprise is managing and securing ALL of the endpoints used in your environment.
  • Lower the hard-dollar, labor and process costs of managing and securing endpoints.
  • Cost-effectively manage the sheer volume of endpoints and devices across multiple new operating system platforms.
  • Automate Server Management operations like Cluster Server Patching and Sequenced Server Builds.
  • Reduce power consumption costs.

You can’t fix what you can’t see. BigFix mitigates threats by discovering endpoints you don’t even know exist, regardless of OS type or location. If you want to improve compliancy, reduce time to respond, and reduce cost and complexity,while enhancing visibility into your overall environment, BigFix is the ideal endpoint protection solution for you.

QRadar For a Healthy, Secure IT

AdobeStock_40084821-[tech-heart---BnW]If the human body was the equivalent to your enterprise, IT would be the heart pumping blood to the entire system. If we were discussing healthcare, we would add positive habits for heart health and disease prevention. The IT equivalent of heart health care is security and QRadar is your healthy habit for threat and security breach prevention.

IBM QRadar is security intelligence based on a big data platform. It is designed from the ground up to deliver the benefits of next-generation Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) technology. This means it expands the visibility into your enterprises network, virtual, user and application activity to help provide actionable intelligence into potential security offenses.

Today’s reality is that organized teams pursue specific targets via well-orchestrated attacks. To combat these and other sophisticated threats, enterprises must adopt new approaches that help spot anomalies and subtle indicators of attack. Doing so requires collecting and analyzing data from the security infrastructure and beyond. In short, security is a big data problem.

An unprecedented challenge for business’ today is the tremendous amount of data that is created each day. While this data runs your enterprise, it also exposes it to more risks, such as data theft and service interruptions. These risks can expose the heart of your enterprise to threats that could cause catastrophic failure. The visibility that QRadar provides into your enterprise is a tremendous asset to quickly identify risks, prevent/limit exposures and prevent service interruptions. QRadar can be the difference between a healthy, secure organization and one that experiences a major security exposure.

When looking at heart health, you can take a preventative or reactive approach. You have the option to do what you can to take care of your heart or deal with problems after they arise, if you survive. Your enterprise’s heart is no different; you can take preventative security measures through QRadar to avoid or limit attacks or you can deal with the problems after they arise, if your enterprise survives. The question for you is: why do you want to be forced to react to a major security breach when you could have prevented or limited it?