Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Intronis.
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Recent Posts

IoT risk assessments emerge as MSP opportunity

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 8, 2017 12:34:22 PM

With organizations apparently having learned little from the past, it appears most Internet of Things (IoT) projects are moving forward without much forethought being put into cybersecurity. A new survey of 553 executives published by the Shared Assessments Program, an industry standards organization focused on risk assurance, in collaboration with The Ponemon Institute finds that 67 percent of those surveyed are not evaluating IoT security and privacy practices before engaging in a business relationship. A full 77 percent of respondents also admit they are not considering IoT-related risks in their third party due diligence.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

MSPs need to carefully vet digital business transformation projects

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 6, 2017 10:29:43 AM

Digital business transformations are conceptually of interest to IT services providers because it provides an opportunity to tap into funding beyond what’s been allocated in the IT budget. But a series of recently published surveys illustrate just how challenging it is to get business executives to transfigure digital business transformation concepts into an actual plan of action.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

SD-WAN deployments are driving adoption of security appliances

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 1, 2017 3:55:52 PM

It turns out that increased adoption of software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) is starting to drive additional demand for security appliances.

An SD-WAN is a type of software-defined network (SDN) that provides a layer of abstraction that makes it possible for a remote office to access applications over a standard Internet connection or leased MPLS line. Standard Internet connections are typically used to access cloud applications such as Microsoft Office 365 without having to backhaul all the network through a corporate data center. Because those remote offices rely on standard Internet connections, a new survey of 350 networking and security professionals conducted by Cato Networks, a provider of software-defined networking and security services, finds that organizations investing in SD-WANs are also deploying security appliances to secure those connections.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

MSPs need to rise to hybrid cloud computing challenge

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 30, 2017 10:19:14 AM

By now just about everyone agrees that public cloud computing platforms are playing a major role in the enterprise. What's less clear is the debate about whether all application workloads will move to the cloud or if hybrid cloud computing is the new natural state of IT affairs.

A new survey of 212 IT decision makers conducted by Peak 10 and Microsoft suggests that the latter perception is starting to win out. A full 61 percent of the respondents said they would intentionally choose a hybrid cloud computing strategy if they were starting from scratch today. Only 16 percent said they are employing hybrid clouds as part of a goal to achieve an all-cloud end.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

Majority of companies already falling behind on GDPR compliance

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 25, 2017 1:28:46 PM

There are a little less than 260 working days between now and when the European Union is expected to implement a General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) that among other things fines companies up to 20 million euros or 4 percent of their revenues for willful non-compliance.  The rule is scheduled to take effect May 25, 2018, but a new survey of 225 senior IT security executives in the U.S. and United Kingdom conducted by Guidance Software, a provider of security forensics tools, suggests that as many as a quarter of companies will not be able to meet that deadline. In fact, the survey finds that only 16 percent of the respondents are in an advanced state of GDPR planning.

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Topics: Compliance

Pride goeth before the IT security fall

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 23, 2017 11:47:23 AM

Most organizations are in a state of denial when it comes to IT security. In fact, most of them think they’re doing a good job on IT security even after they’ve been a breached. A new survey of 400 IT leaders in the U.S. and United Kingdom conducted by Sapio Research on behalf of SolarWinds MSP finds that 87 percent of respondents are still confident in the IT security technologies and processes they’ve implemented — even though 71 percent admit they’ve experienced a breach in the past 12 months.

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Topics: Cyber Security

Shark Tank’s Daymond John offers up some OPM advice

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 18, 2017 10:47:59 AM

As a co-host of Shark Tank, Daymond John, the founder of FUBU clothing company, evaluates new business pitches from entrepreneurs each week on the TV show, and he has some advice for IT service providers. Instead of looking for additional investors, John says they should spend more time developing an OPM strategy. That means not only spending other people’s money, but also leveraging other people’s marketing and manpower — and, arguably most importantly, learning from other people’s mistakes. Most businesses, says John, do not need an infusion of outside capital to get up an running.

Speaking at an SAP Global Partner Summit conference this week, John says the most important thing business executives need to remember is to sell themselves rather than the product. People can buy a product from any number of sources. John says they need to have confidence in you as a person to fulfill the delivery of that product in a way that creates a better experience.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business

WannaCry ransomware should eventually blow some good for MSPs

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 16, 2017 12:10:14 PM

While the fallout from the WannaCry ransomware attack will reach into the billions of dollars, the one positive outcome should be a wave of upgrades for millions of older Windows PCs that unfortunately are still widely deployed. The malware employed to perpetrate the WannaCry attack largely targeted older Windows XP and some Windows 8 systems. Despite previous pledges to the contrary, over the past weekend Microsoft made available a patch for Windows XP and Windows 8 systems designed to eliminate the vulnerability being exploited by WannaCry. But the existence of additional variants of WannyCry should serve as a warning that similar attacks against older versions of Windows are in the offing.

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Topics: Ransomware

Biggest Inhibitor to Cloud Transition Is Simple IT Inertia

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 11, 2017 11:55:00 AM

After being around for slightly more than a decade, cloud computing is finally seeing mainstream adoption across the board. But despite the rise of “cloud first” mandates, when it comes to deploying new application workloads in the cloud a new global survey published by Paessler AG, a provider of network monitoring tools, suggests that in small-to-medium businesses (SMB) adoption of cloud computing is still in its relative infancy.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

Number of customers ready for IT security services is increasing

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 9, 2017 12:13:27 PM

The trouble with providing managed IT security services of any kind is that most organizations don’t do all that much to limit their risks. Historically, it's only been a matter of time before there’s an incident, and regardless of the level of service being paid for, the managed service provider gets stuck cleaning up the mess. Before too long, there are so many messes that the MSP winds up losing money because the cost of support exceeds the revenue being generated. Because of that issue, most MSPs are circumspect about the types of customers they are willing to support.

The good news is that a new survey of 350 companies in the U.S. published by CompTIA suggests that the number of organizations with a mature enough appreciation for IT security is increasing. That means, in theory, the number of customers that it’s economically viable to provide managed security services to is increasing.

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Topics: Cyber Security

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