Kristen Ciccolini

Kristen Ciccolini is a freelance marketer and digital marketing consultant.

Recent Posts

Cost of managing security has more financial orgs choosing MSPs

Posted by Kristen Ciccolini on Jun 5, 2014 10:49:00 AM

More and more organizations are finding it difficult to keep up with the cost of data security as threats become more challenging to deal with, especially within the financial services industry. As a result, more of these businesses are turning to managed service providers.

According to Larry Tabb, founder and CEO of research firm TABB Group, half of financial institutions will outsource IT management to IT service providers by 2016, with Tabb citing “increased agility, flexibility and responsiveness, faster time-to-market for new products and tighter security” as benefits.

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Topics: IT Security

Finance and energy companies say they expect a malware attack

Posted by Kristen Ciccolini on Jun 3, 2014 8:30:00 AM

With malware becoming more sophisticated, highly targeted industries like energy and finance admit they are expecting a cyber-security attack within the next 12 months and are working hard on implementing strategies for defense.

In a study of over 200 IT security professionals within these sectors, ThreatTrack Security discovered that nearly 40 percent of respondents are anticipating an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attack in the next year.

APTs are highly targeted threats that are sometimes credited to sophisticated hacking organizations funded by government or criminal groups.

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Topics: Malware

Don't get too comfortable: Why encryption is vital for cloud security

Posted by Kristen Ciccolini on May 14, 2014 10:55:00 AM

A new study reveals good and bad news when it comes to cloud services adoption. On one hand, businesses are more comfortable storing data in the cloud. On the other hand, some businesses are too comfortable, and as a result aren't thinking about cloud security.

The Ponemon Institue surveyed over 4,000 SMBs and found that more than 50 percent are currently using cloud services to store confidential data, aligning with recent research that trust in the cloud is steadily increasing.

However, many organizations are not encrypting their data before sending it to the cloud, leaving confidential information wide open.

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Topics: Data Encyption

Infographic: The crippling effects of data loss on SMBs

Posted by Kristen Ciccolini on May 12, 2014 11:36:00 AM

Did you know that cybercriminals steal more than $1 billion from SMBs annually?

Nearly 80 percent of organizations have experienced a data breach in the last two years, and 72 percent of those who suffer a breach go under within 24 months, according to a new infographic released by Imprima.

Data loss is an enormously expensive blow to an organization. Most victims who suffer data loss for more than 10 days reportedly file for bankruptcy within one year, and half do immediately.

Despite these statistics, 60 percent of SMBs confess that they do not perform routine backups. 

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Topics: Data Loss

Hear no evil: Some IT pros keep security details away from execs

Posted by Kristen Ciccolini on May 8, 2014 12:10:00 PM

Low budgets and a lack of proper tools have many organizations relying on intuition rather than actual statistics when it comes to IT security, according to a new study by Ponemon Institute

Two out of three C-level executives report that they have a "high" perception of their organization's security - meaning they have a good handle of what's going on.

However the study found that this perception is misinformed. Sixty percent of IT individuals filter negative information or data that they think is "not serious" when reporting to higher-ups.

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Topics: IT End User Management

Study says SMBs want to buy all of their cloud IT from one provider

Posted by Kristen Ciccolini on May 6, 2014 11:03:00 AM

Small businesses are looking for one-stop shopping for IT and cloud services, but not every partner is providing it.

Three out of four SMBs prefer to get cloud services from their existing primary service provider, but only 45 percent of those surveyed actually do, according to new research released by Amdocs.

Of more than 1,300 "decision makers" at small- to medium-sized businesses around the world, 66 percent believe cloud services are of high importance, while 44 percent of those who have not yet adopted this technology are actively considering doing so.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

What are the biggest IT security threats? It depends on your industry

Posted by Kristen Ciccolini on May 1, 2014 1:00:00 PM

The new Verizon 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report has found that device theft or loss is the most common adverse security event across all industries.

Covering a decade of more than 63,000 security incidents, the Verizon report notes that 94 percent of threats to data security in 2013 can fit into nine categories: point-of-sale intrusions, web app attacks, insider privilege and misuse, physical theft and loss, miscellaneous errors, crimeware, payment card skimmers, denial of service, cyber-espionage, with the other 6 percent covering “everything else.”

While the frequency of each pattern depends upon the industry, data loss and theft apply to all.

According to the report, incidents of loss are 15 times more common than theft, meaning many data loss incidents can be attributed to employees simply misplacing laptops, flash drives and other media and devices that contain sensitive information.

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Topics: Data Loss

Now that Windows XP is gone, what else should you update?

Posted by Kristen Ciccolini on Apr 28, 2014 11:00:00 AM

It’s been two weeks since Microsoft killed support for Windows XP. Have you updated your clients' systems yet?

That's a question all IT sevices providers should consider, especially given the news that 63 percent of businesses do not have the resources to keep their applications updated, according to a new survey by F-Secure.

The report found that many businesses regularly use software that has not been updated, and only 40 percent of respondents actually keep an eye on their software to make sure it's up to date.

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Topics: IT Security

Autotask study: Cloud drives growth and efficiency for MSPs

Posted by Kristen Ciccolini on Apr 24, 2014 11:51:00 AM

Cloud computing is the number-one technology changing client expectations, improving growth and enabling better efficiency for managed service providers, according to a new report by Autotask.

The "2014 Metrics That Matter" report surveyed over 1,300 IT professionals, showing that 63 percent of MSPs rank cloud services as in-demand for clients, making it the top driver of business for the second year in a row, ahead of mobile connectivity and an always-on environment.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

SMBs overcome cloud security concerns with experience, study says

Posted by Kristen Ciccolini on Apr 17, 2014 1:00:00 PM

As cloud computing adoption increases, SMBs' cloud security concerns typically fade away, according to a new study by cloud portfolio management company RightScale.

Small business owners are often reluctant to adopt new technologies, and their concerns with cloud security have long been a challenge for MSPs. However, in its 2014 State of the Cloud Report, RightScale found that nearly 90 percent of organizations are now using cloud services.

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Topics: IT Security