Author Archives: Maria Koblish

Minimize Your Cyber Risk with Incident Response & Remediation

From phishing and spoofing to malware and identity-based attacks, cyber threats pose a significant financial risk to organizations of all sizes and industries. Unfortunately, most SMBs and even mid-market enterprises do not have sufficient cybersecurity resources to face off against the more sophisticated, automated attacks currently being deployed against them day after day.

A lot of attention goes to technology and services that form the corporate cybersecurity perimeter, but these days, it’s a question of when, not if, a successful attack will happen. For small to mid-sized businesses, pairing a strong defensive cybersecurity posture with a robust incident response and remediation (IR) plan can help mitigate the hefty costs associated with breaches, attacks, and other security events while minimizing downtime and reputation damages.

Understanding Cybersecurity Incident Response and Remediation

Cybersecurity incident response and remediation refers to the process of identifying, containing, mitigating, and recovering from security breaches and successful cyber attacks. It involves a coordinated effort by an organization’s IT and security teams to minimize the impact of the incident and restore normal operations as quickly as possible.

Why is Incident Response and Remediation Important?
  • Minimize Damage and Downtime: A swift, well-executed incident response plan can help minimize the damage caused by a cyber attack and reduce downtime, limiting financial losses and preserving the organization’s reputation.
  • Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: Many industries are subject to regulations and compliance mandates that require them to have robust cybersecurity infrastructure in place, including incident response and remediation plans. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in hefty fines and legal repercussions.
  • Preserve Customer Trust: A cybersecurity incident can erode customer confidence in an organization’s ability to protect their sensitive information. A prompt and transparent response can help mitigate this damage and demonstrate a commitment to security.
  • Identify Weaknesses and Improve Security Posture: Incident response and remediation efforts provide valuable insights into the organization’s security posture. Analyzing the root cause of incidents and identifying vulnerabilities can enable businesses to strengthen their defenses and prevent future attacks.
  • Legal and Reputational Risks: Cybersecurity incidents can expose organizations to legal liabilities and damage their reputation. Having a well-documented incident response plan can help mitigate these risks by demonstrating due diligence in addressing security incidents.
Having the Right IR Plan for Your Business

Working with a specialized, outsourced IT service provider like Thrive can ensure that your business is getting the coverage it needs while being able to focus on business goals and other critical matters. Thrive’s experienced advisors and cybersecurity incident response team work with your IT staff to strategize and execute the best plan for your organization.

Thrive’s Incident Response & Remediation services include:

  • Pre-Incident Planning: Thrive security experts engage with subscribed clients to ensure that they have an approved incident response plan, an asset inventory prioritized based on business impact and a backup strategy for critical systems
  • Incident Response Tools: Upon working together, an incident response agent is installed on systems prior to an incident. These advanced tools ensure potential threats are contained faster and provide high value forensic artifacts.
  • Compromise Assessment: Thrive conducts an automated compromise assessment during onboarding to identify current threats that may impact systems
  • Prioritized Incident Management: Users can report an incident with a 15-minute response time guaranteed from the Thrive SOC to begin threat assessment and scoping

After the initial assessment, Thrive will quickly provide a remediation proposal so that security analysts can jump into action to remove the threat. Thrive engineers work simultaneously to begin restoring services as the environment is secured.

A cybersecurity incident response and remediation plan is a critical component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. By having a well-defined incident response plan in place, organizations can respond in real time to minimize the impact of security incidents, preserve customer trust, and safeguard their operations against evolving cyber threats. Investing in proactive cybersecurity measures today can help businesses mitigate the risks of tomorrow’s cyber threats. 

To learn more about Thrive’s Incident Response and Remediation service, click here.

Contact Thrive today to learn more about how your business can prevent cyber attacks and be prepared for any risk that may come your way.  

What Your Business Needs to Know About Protecting Customer Data

Key Points:

  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sets standards for safeguarding customer information.
  • The Safeguards Rule took effect in 2003 but was amended in 2021 after public comment to ensure the rule keeps pace with the current technology.
  • The revised rule offers in-depth guidance for businesses — reflecting the core data security principles that all organizations under FTC’s jurisdiction must implement.
  • The FTC Safeguards Rule applies to a specific class of financial institutions, such as mortgage companies, creditors, mortgage brokers, and debt collectors.
  • The safeguard rules don’t apply to banks, federal credit unions, and loans and savings institutions.

Financial institutions under the jurisdiction of the FTC Safeguards Rule must implement new security controls to protect customer’s financial information. The rule took effect in 2003 but was amended in 2021 after public comment to ensure the rule keeps pace with current technology.

After revision, FTC imposed a deadline of December 9, 2022, with a penalty of $45,000 for violating the rule. The regulations may be news for non-banking financial institutions that are first-time subject to the FTC Safeguards Rule.

FTC Safeguards Rule At Its Core

The FTC Safeguards Rule outlines data security guidelines for financial institutions under its jurisdiction to protect customers’ information and ensure organizations keep pace with current technology.

The rule is part of the more significant 1999 Financial Modernization Act, which first required financial institutions to document how they handle sensitive customer information. After almost two decades, it’s safe to say the technology and data security rules have become ancient.

Following public comment, the FTC updated the Safeguard Rule in 2021 to offer better guidance for organizations. The affected financial organizations have to go over the updates of the FTC Safeguards Rule to ensure they remain compliant with the outlined expectation before the December 9, 2022, deadline.

Who Must Comply with The FTC Safeguards Rule

According to FTC, the rule applies to all financial institutions under FTC’s jurisdiction. The official FTC site defines a financial institution as any organization that engages in activities that are financial in nature or are incidental to such financial activities.

Some financial institutions that FTC gives as examples include:

  • Mortgage companies
  • Mortgage brokers
  • Creditors
  • Debt collectors
  • Retailers that issue store credit cards
  • Property appraisers
  • Career counselors who work with clients in the finance industry
  • Automobile dealership
  • Businesses that print and sell checks to customers
  • Organizations that regularly wire money to and from consumers
  • Check cashing businesses
  • Accountants and income tax return preparers
  • Investment advisory company and credit counseling service
  • Colleges and universities accepting Title IV funds

The FTC safeguards rule doesn’t apply to banks, federal credit unions, and savings and loan institutions.

What The FTC Safeguards Rule Require Organization to Do

FTC Safeguards requires organizations under its jurisdiction to comply with several requirements. The regulator outlines three elements for every information security program of financial institutions. Your security program must:

  • Ensure the security and confidentiality of customer data
  • Protect customer data against threats and hazards
  • Prevent unauthorized access

The FTC Safeguards Rule outlines nine requirements for compliant security infrastructure. For an organization to be compliant, it must:

  1. Assign a qualified individual to implement and supervise your organization’s information security program.
  2. Execute a risk assessment to identify any vulnerability that can compromise the security and confidentiality of customer data.
  3. Design and implement security controls to mitigate the risk identified through your risk assessment. The controls include access control, encrypting customer data in transit or at rest, implementing multifactor authentication, and secure data disposal.
  4. Regularly monitor and test the efficacy of your security controls.
  5. Train your staff to eliminate human weaknesses in your security programs.
  6. Monitor your service providers to ensure they’re up to the task and meet your company’s security standards.
  7. Keep your information security program current because the threat landscape is constantly evolving.
  8. Create a written incident response plan.
  9. Your qualified individual to report to your Board of Directors

What’s New With the FTC Safeguards Rule

The new amendments have many new requirements, including:

  • Policies
  • Reports
  • Documentation
  • Technical and training requirements

The technical requirements call for cybersecurity solutions that are FTC-compliant. Your organization needs to implement a security program with the following:

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):  The new FTC Safeguards Rule requires your organization to implement multifactor authentication for any individual accessing any information in your system. Your security system should provide users with more than one piece of evidence to verify their identity. MFA makes it harder for unauthorized people to access customers’ sensitive data.
  • Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessments: FTC requires your security practices to include continuous monitoring, periodic penetration testing, and vulnerability assessments. The test checks for vulnerabilities in your system before hackers can exploit them. More importantly, the assessments test your cyber-defense capability and responsiveness.
  • Monitor and Log User Activity & Access: Another requirement you must meet is implementing policies, controls, and procedures to monitor and log the activity of authorized users. Your organization should be able to detect unauthorized access to prevent the wrong use or tampering of customers’ data.
  • Encryption: The Amended Rule requires your information security system to encrypt all customer data at rest and in transit. While data encryption is operationally difficult and costly, FTC has noted several low-cost and free encryption solutions for data in transit.

What is Monitoring & Activity Logging for FTC Safeguards Rule?

FTC says that you must implement a security solution that monitors when authorized users are accessing customer information on your system and detects any unauthorized or suspicious access to customer data.

One way to implement the requirement is to adopt a solution that collects, centralizes, and automatically analyzes your log data for users’ activities. The solution should detect unauthorized access, alert you in real-time, provide the next steps to respond, and allow easy access to historical log reports of user activity for investigations and audits.

The FTC Safeguards Mean Well For Your Business

Financial institutions under FTC should get into compliance the quickest way possible. While the new FTC Safeguards Rule demands a lot from your organization to be compliant, it’s for a good reason. The spike in security threats is concerning, and for every stakeholder in your organization, you need to do your part in managing risks.

Why the Right MSP Matters for Your Portfolio Companies

When it comes to a portfolio company’s operational efficiency, the right technology decisions and investments can lead to long-term success. One of the biggest strategic choices is how to handle the IT functions of their business. Building an in-house team to cover all aspects of technology – from cybersecurity and Cloud to business enablement and innovation – is difficult in today’s competitive hiring landscape. Even if there was enough skilled and experienced talent to go around, the pressing problems of today (e.g. data breaches, user issues) often take precedence over the activities that build value. 

That’s why partnering with the right Managed Services Provider (MSP) for IT outsourcing has become popular for private equity companies and their portfolios. Choosing to work with an MSP isn’t solely about ensuring smooth IT operations; it’s a strategic move that can amplify the company’s growth while better protecting it from cyber threats and compliance issues. The right MSP becomes an invaluable partner, influencing the efficiency, scalability, and competitive edge of the portfolio company in the market.

The Significance of Choosing the Right MSP

Today, technology serves as the backbone of operations across a wide breadth of industries. A reliable MSP conducts the seamless integration of technology into the fabric of a company’s operations. From Cloud computing and cybersecurity to data management and IT infrastructure, the right MSP provides the expertise and support necessary to navigate both the digital and business realms effectively.

One of the core reasons why the right MSP matters for a portfolio company is efficiency. A proficient MSP optimizes processes, enhances productivity, and mitigates risks, allowing businesses to focus on their core competencies without being bogged down by technological complexities.

Moreover, a strategic MSP is not just a service provider but a partner invested in the success and growth of the company. They bring industry insights, technological advancements, security, scalability, and cost-effective solutions to the table, ensuring the company remains agile and competitive.

Thrive’s Strategic Partnerships with PE

The role that the right MSP plays in the success of portfolio companies is well understood at Thrive. Our approach to delivering private equity IT services goes beyond conventional service delivery; we immerse ourselves in understanding the unique needs, challenges, and growth aspirations of each portfolio company.  Our POD-based approach to service delivery means that each company works with experts who not only know the technology but also know their business and their industry. 

The Thrive Difference:
  • Tailored Solutions and Services: There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Thrive crafts company-specific strategies and solutions, ensuring strong protection and efficient operation. Our PE service offerings include:
    • EBITDA Optimization – Providing cost-efficient managed services
    • Portfolio Investment Assessments – Due Diligence reports, pre & post deal
    • Integration – Helping to strategically combine acquisition assets and realize synergies
    • Risk Management – Closing Security Gaps, building Disaster Recovery Plans, and adding 24×7 global coverage
    • Digital Transformation – Modernizing the IT Infrastructure & improving business processes
    • Sale Transition – Assisting with transition plans and helping achieve maximum ROIs
  • Proactive Support and Scalability: Our proactive approach means we anticipate needs before they arise. We ensure scalable solutions that grow with the company, avoiding technology bottlenecks when it comes to cybersecurity, Cloud, or collaboration services. 
  • Thrive’s Expertise: Thrive’s experts offer 24x7x365 protection through the online Security Operations Center, prioritizing robust infrastructure security measures, adherence to regulatory requirements, and more. 

The right MSP isn’t just a service provider; it’s a strategic ally for portfolio companies, propelling them toward growth, efficiency, and sustained success. Thrive’s commitment to tailored solutions, cutting-edge technology, proactive support, and cybersecurity expertise ensures that portfolio companies have the right tools to navigate the next obstacle.

Choose Thrive and pave the way for unparalleled success for your portfolio companies. Contact us today to learn more about how Thrive can empower your entire PE portfolio through a strategic MSP partnership.

Gartner’s Top Trends for Security Service Leaders to Consider in 2024

As we step into 2024, security service leaders are faced with a myriad of challenges, as well as expansive opportunities. We have compiled a list of some key trends from a recent Gartner report that are currently reshaping the way security is approached and managed within organizations:

  • Cybersecurity as a Business Risk: Almost 90% of board members concurred that cybersecurity threats must be managed as a fundamental business risk rather than simply an IT issue. This shift in perspective is pushing security leaders to align their risk management frameworks with overall business objectives.
  • Decentralized Decision Making: With digitization reaching further into every aspect of business operations, decision-making regarding cybersecurity is becoming increasingly decentralized. This shift brings a heightened focus on comprehending the business value and return on investment (ROI) associated with security initiatives.
  • Consolidation of Security Vendors: Organizations are optimizing their security vendor presence to boost efficiency and minimize risks. This consolidation strategy not only streamlines management and day-to-day operations but also fosters a more unified and comprehensive security approach across the board.
  • Demand for Bundled Services: Buyers are increasingly seeking bundled services across advisory, implementation, and operations. This convergence aligns perfectly with the drive for vendor consolidation, allowing for the seamless integration of multiple services under a unified framework, simplifying internal security operations.

Where Does Thrive Fit In?

At Thrive, we empower businesses to navigate these evolving trends effectively. Our approach is designed to align with the evolution of cybersecurity, enabling organizations to succeed amidst technological advancements and growing threats.

  • Business-Centric Approach: We understand that cybersecurity is not just an IT concern but a critical business function. Partnering with Thrive ensures that business objectives are integrated seamlessly into security strategies because cybersecurity and risk management are foundational pieces of corporate productivity. With a secure IT and application infrastructure in place, companies are empowered to drive innovation, deliver better service, and take advantage of growth opportunities.
  • Streamlined Solutions: Partnering with Thrive is the way to consolidate your vendor footprint. At Thrive, we help organizations optimize their security infrastructure, reducing complexity and enhancing operational efficiency. Partnering with Thrive ensures that all of your cybersecurity initiatives are housed under one roof, with full access to comprehensive services and our expert, industry-focused teams.
  • Bundled Services and Outcome-Focused Engagement: At Thrive, we offer comprehensive managed service solutions including cybersecurity, Cloud management, disaster recovery, network management, and more. But it all starts with our Thrive5 methodology which ensures that we are delivering a unique strategy to optimize and protect your business data and applications so that you can achieve desired business outcomes.

As the years come and go, technological advancements are going to continue to keep businesses on their toes. Thrive ensures seamless collaboration with security service leaders, providing customized solutions that evolve from the trends that shaped 2023, adapt to those of 2024, and so on. We aim to empower your organization to navigate these shifts confidently, leveraging cybersecurity as a means for growth and resilience. Contact us today to learn how Thrive can help fortify your business against evolving threats and ensure a secure future.

The IT Security Skills Gap Is Real: Here’s How to Fix It

Technological advancement has ushered in unparalleled opportunity alongside unprecedented risk. As businesses confront increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, the scarcity of qualified cybersecurity professionals mimics that evolution. In 2023, 54% of organizations experienced a skills shortage in tech. With that, the need for robust cybersecurity measures managed by an equally qualified team has never been more critical.

What Is the IT Security Skills Gap?

The IT security skills gap refers to the disparity between the demand for cybersecurity expertise and the available pool of qualified professionals. Rapid technological advancements constantly create new vulnerabilities, demanding a workforce equipped with up-to-date skills to counter emerging threats. Unfortunately, the pace of skill acquisition often lags behind the evolving threat landscape.

As a business looking to succeed in 2024, it’s imperative the following are performed in-house to mitigate the looming skills gap:

  • Upskilling Your Workforce: Invest in continuous training programs for existing employees. By upskilling your workforce, you empower them to stay updated on the latest cybersecurity trends and techniques to eliminate gaps. 
  • Boosting Employee Retention: Retaining skilled cybersecurity professionals is crucial. Creating a positive work environment, offering career growth opportunities, and acknowledging their contributions through incentives and recognition can bolster retention. 
  • Cultivating a Culture of Security: Fostering cross-departmental collaboration encourages a company-wide emphasis on cybersecurity, establishing a culture of continual learning and collective responsibility. This approach alleviates the burden on the IT department alone, creating an environment where cybersecurity concerns are comprehensively understood and addressed across various departments. Plus, since it’s estimated that 85% or more of breaches are caused by human error, more informed and better-trained employees should lessen the burden on IT staff.
How Thrive Empowers Businesses

While the IT security skills gap presents a daunting challenge, businesses need not face it alone. At Thrive, safeguarding businesses against cyber threats is the core of our mission. Although a skills gap is a threat less ominous than a cyberattack, we understand the importance of a robust team of security professionals. Outsourcing IT or supplementing your existing team with Thrive ensures that the dual threat of fewer resources and more attacks is one you won’t have to worry about. Our comprehensive suite of cybersecurity services ensures your security is taken care of – fortified and always prepared for what’s next.

As an IT outsourcing partner, our 24x7x365 operations ensure there’s no lag in security readiness, giving you a global team of dedicated experts at your disposal. With our ever-evolving service offerings and highly certified professionals proactively combating threats, businesses stay ahead in the cybersecurity game, eliminating the need to play catch-up.

Businesses must work despite the IT skills gap to fortify their digital future. Contact us today to learn more about how Thrive can help.

As In-House Resources & Expertise Dwindle, K-12 Cybersecurity Teams Continue to Outsource

The education sector faces a mounting challenge: protecting sensitive data from cyber threats. As demands escalate, K-12 institutions are strategically outsourcing their security needs. Cybersecurity expertise has become crucial, making the shift towards external support not just convenient but essential.

Educational institutions are no strangers to dealing with cybersecurity threats. With a plethora of personal and financial information stored in school databases, the stakes undoubtedly are high. Unfortunately, the rapid evolution of cyber threats often outpaces the ability of an in-house team to keep up. The result? A widening gap in expertise and resources that leaves schools vulnerable to attacks that could compromise student and staff data, as well as disrupt the learning environment.

At Thrive, our expert teams take a multi-layered approach to secure an institution, preventing breaches and data threats through managed endpoint security, mail filtering, DNS filtering, and additional targeted offerings. Our goal is to make sure the right tools and processes are in place so students, teachers, and staff are set up to succeed.

What Thrive Can Do for Your Institution: 
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEMaaS): Clients benefit from a comprehensive managed and hosted SIEM solution, delivering a service-centric IT infrastructure monitoring platform. Thrive helps minimize Capital Expenditure (CapEx), ensure adherence to rigorous compliance standards, and reap the advantages of cutting-edge security threat detection—eliminating the necessity for specialized security personnel or expensive dedicated hardware on-site.
  • Autonomous Penetration Testing: Thrive provides flexible options for Autonomous Penetration Testing, offering both one-time evaluations and recurring quarterly assessments tailored for educational institutions. Upon completion, clients receive comprehensive reports—a Penetration Test Results report and a Fix Actions report—detailing identified risks and the necessary steps to mitigate them.
  • Vulnerability Scanning & Assessment: Thrive’s security services are tailored to address educational institution’s heightened risk of vulnerabilities, exploits, and security breaches by evaluating and documenting network and software gaps. Supported by 24x7x365 Security Operations Centers, our Vulnerability Scanning and Assessment service uncovers potential security weaknesses, assisting in devising actionable plans to remedy and minimize emerging threats.
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service: Thrive delivers IT business continuity solutions aimed at reducing data loss and swiftly restoring vital systems, particularly in the face of threats such as ransomware. Our services safeguard against disruptive events that could significantly impact daily operations in and out of the classroom, ensuring educators’ access to essential records and information even during critical system downtimes.

Outsourcing IT offers cost-effective solutions that, with the help of seasoned experts, adapt to emerging threats swiftly and without disruption. As in-house resources and expertise become increasingly scarce in the face of escalating cyber threats, K-12 institutions can rely on Thrive’s Cybersecurity Solutions.

Partnering with Thrive fortifies the defenses of educational institutions, allowing them to focus on their primary mission of providing quality education to their students. The future of K-12 cybersecurity lies in collaboration, adaptability, and the strategic embrace of external support. Contact Thrive today to learn more about how our cybersecurity solutions can help you. 

Membership Has Its Privileges: Why Cybersecurity Is Critical for Credit Unions

Safeguarding member data within credit unions transcends a mere legal obligation; it’s an essential cornerstone of building trust. Members place implicit trust in credit unions to protect their financial information and elevate data security to a paramount level of importance. This commitment to security is pivotal for valued members and the broader interests and prosperity of the credit union itself.

As online banking and digital transactions surge in popularity, credit unions find themselves confronted with the constant and looming threat of cybersecurity breaches. The year 2022 alone witnessed a staggering 70% increase in fraud within credit unions. This upward trajectory is not only due to the surge in online activity but is also fueled by the relentless evolution of cybercriminal tactics.

Hackers and cybercriminals continually refine their skills and adapt their methods, making it essential for credit unions to stay ahead of the game. This places sensitive member data at risk and possesses the potential to inflict lasting damage upon the credit union’s reputation and ability to serve.

Credit unions are bound by legal and ethical obligations to protect member data. Regulations from the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) mandate stringent data protection measures to ensure information safety and good practices within federal credit unions. Failing to comply with these regulations can lead to severe penalties, including hefty fines and legal consequences.

The Impact of Diligent Data Protection for Credit Unions:
  • Member Trust: Beyond legal repercussions, when members know their data is safe, they’re more likely to engage in digital banking services. Trust is the cornerstone of any successful credit union, and robust data protection practices are instrumental in building and maintaining this trust. Members who trust their credit union are more likely to invest in additional services, leading to increased revenue and growth opportunities.
  • Protecting Intellectual Property and Financial Assets: Data breaches often compromise member information as well as sensitive internal data, including intellectual property and financial assets. Credit unions invest significant resources in developing unique services and strategies. Protecting these assets from cyber threats ensures the credit union maintains its competitive advantage in the market.
  • Promoting Financial Stability: The financial stability of a credit union depends on its ability to mitigate risks effectively. A data breach can lead to financial losses, impacting the credit union’s stability and growth prospects. By investing in robust cybersecurity measures and a proactive recovery plan, credit unions safeguard their financial stability, ensuring they can continue to provide quality services to their members.

Safeguarding member data emerges as more than a regulatory necessity; it is a strategic imperative that underpins the very essence of credit unions. By prioritizing data protection, credit unions honor their legal obligations and fortify member trust. Simultaneously, they shield invaluable internal information, ensuring the longevity and strength of their financial stability. 

Thrive, committed to empowering credit unions, offers cutting-edge IT solutions tailored to the unique challenges of this digital age. Our comprehensive suite of cybersecurity solutions both secures data and optimizes business opportunities, enabling credit unions to service their clients with confidence. 

Credit unions must recognize that in today’s fast-paced world, data protection is not just a responsibility; it is an indispensable element ensuring sustained success and continuity. Reach out to Thrive today, and discover how our expertise can safeguard your credit union’s sensitive data and maintain member trust. 

The Top 10 Advantages of Thrive’s ServiceNow-Powered Platform

The role of Information Technology (IT) has never been more critical. To meet the growing demands of organizations, Thrive’s platform, powered by ServiceNow, works to empower businesses across multiple industries to revolutionize their IT processes, drive efficiency, and unlock untapped potential. 

The integration of ServiceNow into Thrive’s solutions revolutionized the platform, removing manual error from the equation entirely. By harnessing the robust capabilities of ServiceNow, the Thrive Platform empowers clients with enhanced service accessibility and precise insights into their environments. Simultaneously, it revolutionizes the way IT is consumed, putting a strong emphasis on self-service solutions.

Overall, ServiceNow allows for a structured approach to designing, delivering, managing, and improving the way IT is used, ensuring that it meets business goals and delivers value. Here are 10 key aspects of the power of IT service management (ITSM) for businesses:

  1. Improved Service Quality: Implementing a proven ITSM platform, like ServiceNow, standardizes processes and procedures; leading to increased efficiency, cost savings, and an overall enhancement of the employee and client experience. With streamlined processes and reduced manual efforts, employees can focus more on core business activities, improving productivity.
  2. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: ServiceNow places a strong emphasis on aligning IT services with business needs and objectives of its customers. This alignment ensures that services are delivered in a way that not only meets, but often exceeds customer expectations. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers and provide positive referrals, contributing to business growth and success.
  3. Business-IT Alignment: ServiceNow’s ability to align IT services with customers’ business objectives is a game-changer. They ensure that technology supports the business strategy effectively, leading to more informed decision-making and better prioritization of IT investments based on business needs.
  4. Better Decision-Making: Data-driven insights and reporting are at the core of ServiceNow’s capabilities. By providing valuable information to business leaders, ServiceNow enables informed decision-making. It helps organizations understand trends, optimize resource utilization, and identify areas for improvement, driving smarter, more strategic choices.
  5. Standardization and Consistency: ServiceNow establishes standardized processes and procedures for managing IT services. This consistency ensures that services are delivered uniformly across the organization, maintaining a high level of quality and reliability. It reduces the risk of errors and ensures that IT operations run smoothly.
  6. Innovation Enablement: Innovation is the lifeblood of any successful organization. ServiceNow lays the groundwork for that innovation by optimizing resource management. This efficiency frees up valuable resources, allowing businesses to focus on strategic initiatives and foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.
  7. Improved Communication and Collaboration: ServiceNow’s collaborative features facilitate better communication and teamwork among various departments and teams within an organization. This promotes a more cohesive and efficient work environment, where employees can collaborate seamlessly to achieve common goals.
  8. Integration Capabilities: ServiceNow offers robust integration capabilities with other enterprise systems, ensuring seamless connectivity and data exchange between different applications and tools within an organization. This enhances efficiency and data consistency across the board.
  9. Real-Time Analytics and Reporting: ServiceNow empowers organizations with real-time analytics and reporting capabilities. This allows businesses to gain valuable insights into trends and performance metrics, enabling them to make data-driven decisions that can drive continuous improvement.
  10. Asset Lifecycle Management: From procurement to retirement, ServiceNow offers comprehensive tracking and management of assets. This capability ensures that organizations have full control over their assets, optimizing their lifecycle and maximizing value.

At Thrive, we understand the transformative power of strong ITSM. ServiceNow has emerged as a game-changing solution for businesses seeking to elevate their IT service management and, by extension, their overall performance. With its emphasis on improving service quality, enhancing customer satisfaction, aligning business and IT, and enabling innovation, ServiceNow empowers organizations to truly excel in the digital age.

Learn how your business can leverage the ServiceNow-powered Thrive Platform’s comprehensive suite of tools and capabilities to revolutionize your IT service delivery. Contact Thrive today and schedule a Thrive Platform demo.

Top 3 Insights from the Fortinet Ransomware Global Research Report

The threat of ransomware looms heavily over organizations of all sizes and industries. Fortinet recently conducted a comprehensive survey involving 569 cybersecurity leaders and decision-makers worldwide to gain insights into their perspectives on ransomware. The findings from the 2023 Global Ransomware Report provide valuable insights into the evolving risk of ransomware attacks and how organizations are responding to this growing threat. 

As attacks increase in volume and intricacy, executives are reprioritizing their security efforts. Of those surveyed, 91% expect increased security budgets in the coming year to invest in technologies and services that further safeguard their networks from a potential attack. As budgets are adjusted to better address the largest concerns, it’s imperative we understand ransomware and its effect on the protection of our data.

We have pulled the top 3 key insights from the report, detailing how ransomware interacts with our digitized society and what you can do to mitigate the risk that comes with it. 

  • Concerns vs. Preparedness

One of the most striking findings from the survey is the stark disconnect between organizations’ concerns about ransomware and their perceived level of preparedness. Over 80% of respondents expressed “very” or “extreme” concern about ransomware, yet an almost equal number, 78%, believed they were “very” or “extremely” prepared to defend against such attacks. This discrepancy marks a significant red flag.

Despite organizations’ confidence in their readiness, a staggering 50% of respondents admitted to falling victim to ransomware attacks in the previous year. This raises critical questions about the effectiveness of their preparations. It’s evident that many organizations need to reevaluate and potentially bolster their cybersecurity strategies. 

  • The Growing Sophistication of Ransomware

Ransomware attacks have been around for decades, but their threat level continues to rise. Financially-motivated cybercrime accounted for a significant portion (74%) of incidents in 2022, with 82% of these crimes involving ransomware or malicious scripts. While year-over-year growth in ransomware attacks slowed in 2022 compared to the previous year, the frequency of attacks is still increasing.

One reason for this increase is the maturation of Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) operations. These operations have become more selective, targeting organizations capable of providing larger payouts. Cybercriminals are spending more time conducting reconnaissance to identify lucrative targets, leading to higher ransom demands.

As a result, 50% of respondents said that adopting advanced technologies powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) ranked among their top three priorities. Investing in advanced technologies like AI and ML for faster threat detection is paramount in this rapidly escalating situation. Additionally, Internet-of-Things (IoT) security and next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) are areas where organizations plan to increase their investments.

  • Where Technology Can Help: Integration and Consolidation

Enhancing security strategies is vital, but the manner in which it is accomplished holds equal significance. As discussed in the report, simply adding tools to an already overloaded toolbox is insufficient in mitigating an organization’s vulnerability to ransomware attacks. An increasing proportion of those surveyed (45%) say they have resorted to a blend of security platforms and individual point products, while 36% continue to buy standalone “best-of-breed” solutions. Consequently, security teams find themselves managing individual products deployed over time and struggling with the challenge of making these components function cohesively. Such manual procedures can impede a security team’s capacity to access crucial data promptly and respond effectively when faced with a ransomware incident.

As a result, those who reported adopting a “best-of-breed” approach were the most susceptible (67%) to falling victim to ransomware attacks, whereas those who streamlined their vendor portfolio by consolidating onto a small number of platforms, supplemented by point products, were the least vulnerable (37%). As findings like these continue, organizations are increasingly opting to reduce the array of individual point products in favor of a more streamlined approach. The survey findings underscored this shift, with 99% of respondents emphasizing the effectiveness of integrated solutions or a comprehensive platform in their efforts to thwart ransomware attacks. With the overall organization, its people, and the technology behind this process, the alignment of these players leads to the most effective defense against ransomware. 

To enhance their security posture, organizations should focus on investing in advanced integrated technologies, strengthening incident response plans, and prioritizing employee cybersecurity awareness training. Only by addressing the multifaceted challenges of ransomware attacks, including people and processes, can organizations effectively protect themselves in this increasingly hostile digital landscape. Contact Thrive to up your security and bolster your confidence in data protection against ransomware.

What Managed Cloud Services Can Do For Your Business

If these past few years have taught us anything, it’s that businesses are no longer confined to the walls of the traditional office—the Cloud has expanded our horizons, offering opportunities for agility, scalability, and responsiveness inside and outside the workplace. 

Amidst this transformation, managed Cloud services emerged as an opportunity for innovation, securely revolutionizing the way organizations harness the power of the Cloud. The question is, how can these organizations take advantage of their Cloud investments in order to meet the needs of their business and employees? 

Managed Cloud services are a popular choice for businesses looking to optimize where exactly their funding is going, and how it is being used. Specifically for businesses looking to:

  • Scale Cloud services without IT infrastructure expenses
  • Manage their customer databases and update records remotely using the Software as a Service model
  • Utilize cloud backup and disaster recovery services to manage and maintain data in Cloud storage
  • Access big data analytics using Cloud computing services
  • Develop applications for web and mobile
  • Test and development for launching apps
  • Manage social networking with large volumes of data

Today’s digital landscape is irrefutably dynamic, rendering the concept of a one-size-fits-all Cloud solution obsolete. Thrive’s managed Cloud services are tailored to satisfy the demands of modern businesses while balancing factors such as performance, cost, security, and flexibility. Enterprises benefit from a range of NextGen Cloud solutions, from the robustness of VMware-based private Cloud platforms tailored for the most demanding workloads to Microsoft Azure and AWS public Cloud offerings. To make it work harmoniously, Thrive’s Hybrid Cloud Director delivers unparalleled visibility and control for companies across all of their Cloud systems.

For businesses looking to optimize and scale their enterprise, the benefits of managed Cloud services like Thrive’s are obvious: 

  1. Cost savings. Save on the operational expenses needed to maintain your Cloud network infrastructure. In addition, you no longer have to hire and train people with the hard-to-find skill sets required to secure and support your Cloud.
  2. Automatic updates. With Cloud technology constantly evolving, an MSP can keep your network updated and stay on top of advances and upgrades for your network infrastructure.
  3. Disaster recovery. If a disaster takes place, it’s important to safeguard and retrieve your data as soon as possible. MSPs with 24x7x365 multi-location support can manage your disaster recovery process so that there is minimal downtime in the event of a disaster.
  4. Rapid response. Round-the-clock support and remediation from a team of experts ready to respond to your Cloud concerns or issues.
  5. Better Cloud and network security. Keeping your network secure is a top priority when using the Cloud, but security can be a complicated process. Managed service providers have the knowledge to keep your Cloud secure from unauthorized access.
  6. Centralized control. Simplify your Cloud administration with all of your controls in one location to easily make any changes or upgrades to your network.
  7. Flexible Scaling. Keep pace with the increasing volume of web traffic and the proliferation of devices while managing the growth of cyber threats.

It’s imperative your Cloud investment be optimized to its fullest potential. As a managed Cloud service provider, Thrive offers technical excellence that provides a trusted consulting partner, securely guiding businesses through the world of the Cloud. Thrive’s commitment to tailored services and an array of benefits underscore effectiveness in investment optimization, creating the ideal partnership to ensure your business excels in this digital age. To learn more about how Thrive can optimize your operations, contact us today.