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Volume 29, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

IRVINE, Calif. – Business Communications Solutions (BCS) has been a longstanding, staple in the unified communications, information technology and audio/visual space for the southern California market. For those that are not familiar with BCS, their tagline is "one call, infinite solutions" for a reason. They tout themselves as the singular source for all your business technology needs. BCS's robust product portfolio includes such services as cabling, voice, surveillance, A/V, IT networking, wireless and now automation to manage all your technology with the touch of a button (or tablet if you prefer). With the wide range of product offering and need to integrate, a reseller partnership with Crestron just made sense. It was the next step in the evolution of providing comprehensive services to their growing clientele.

About Crestron

Crestron's engineer and manufacturers are committed to providing the world's most advanced automation technology. They are known for bringing standard setting, performance and reliability focused products to the market; taking businesses of all industries to another level of technological efficiency. Their products can integrate climate control, lighting, cameras, Audio/Visual, and even the shades in any given room all while increasing energy efficiency on top of everything. Crestron has offices located all around the world for fast service to every major market. Crestron is also known for providing an array of fully customizable non-industry specific solutions to their customer base. Check out all the amazing features on the Crestron website.

About BCS

Business Communications Solutions, Inc. (BCS) is a technology-driven, single-source solution provider for all voice and IT networking needs. They cover every voice and data facet to run your business -- phone systems, internet and telephone services, cabling, networking, A/V, integration, security, wireless infrastructure, server room design and installation. Their unique blend of products and services allows them to get you the most value at a competitive price. They have everything ready to fit your needs, whether you're opening a new office, relocating, or upgrading your existing system. By reviewing your current situation, BCS can tailor a phone, data and now security package that offers your company all the features you are looking for, the financial freedom to control your investment, and the scalability to meet your future needs. For more information about BCS, please visit the company's website at www.bcsconsultants.com.


Friday, 15 July 2016 00:00

BCI: The threat of climate change

The Business Continuity Institute - Jul 15, 2016 15:05 BST

Climate change is happening now, with 14 of the 15 hottest years on record occurring since 2000, and the impacts of it are already being felt in the UK. This is according to the Committee on Climate Change's Adaptation Sub-Committee which has published a new report to show that urgent action is required to address climate-related risks.

The ‘UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Evidence Report’, which the Business Continuity Institute contributed to, sets out the most urgent risks and opportunities arising as a result of climate change. Changes to the UK climate are likely to include periods of too much or too little water, increasing average and extreme temperatures, and sea level rise. The report concludes that the most urgent risks for the UK resulting from these changes are:

  • Flooding and coastal change risks to communities, businesses and infrastructure.
  • Risks to health, wellbeing and productivity from high temperatures
  • Risk of shortages in the public water supply, and water for agriculture, energy generation and industry, with impacts on freshwater ecology.
  • Risks to natural capital, including terrestrial, coastal, marine and freshwater ecosystems, soils and biodiversity.
  • Risks to domestic and international food production and trade.
  • Risks of new and emerging pests and diseases, and invasive non-native species, affecting people, plants and animals.

Climate change was not considered an immediate threat in the BCI's latest Horizon Scan Report, but it is perhaps one to look out for in the future, at least according to a third of respondents to a global survey. We have already seen an increase in the disruption to businesses caused by flooding, and this could very well get worse in the future.

Lord Krebs, Chairman of the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change, said: “The impacts of climate change are becoming ever clearer, both in the United Kingdom and around the world. We must take action now to prepare for the further, inevitable changes we can expect. Our independent assessment today, supported by the work of hundreds of scientists and other experts, identifies the most urgent climate change risks and opportunities which need to be addressed. Delaying or failing to take appropriate steps will increase the costs and risks for all UK nations arising from the changing climate.

Solutions based on New Cloud Architecture with Unified Management Console to Provide Industry’s Broadest Protection of Data for Businesses and Service Providers

BURLINGTON, Mass. – Acronis®, a global leader in hybrid cloud data protection, today announced new solutions that give businesses and IT Managers more control over company data and workloads than ever before – including where they can be backed up, stored, monitored, and recovered. Data is the lifeline of every business – without it businesses cannot survive in today’s digital world. Data must be protected. Acronis is helping businesses and IT Managers meet this modern day need with an expanded set of solutions – Acronis Backup 12, Acronis Backup Cloud, Acronis Monitor, Acronis Storage, Acronis Notary – that are based on the company’s new hybrid cloud architecture to support data protection and recovery in virtually any IT environment.

“Today, Acronis is launching a new era of data protection by moving from full image device protection to full image digital business protection,” said Serguei Beloussov, Co-founder and CEO at Acronis. “We’re combining the world’s fastest backup solution with the industry’s most flexible storage options and non-stop monitoring to provide complete data protection for today’s ‘always-on’ digital business.”

According to IDC, data continues to grow at a 40–50% compounded annual growth rate. At the same time, IDC notes that a company’s data may migrate from system to system, across storage platforms, and across on-premises and off-premises repositories all within the course of a normal business day. Traditional data protection methods are not well equipped to protect and recover this transient data, and IT consumers are looking for products that can more adequately do so.1

“Ensuring that the right type and quality of data is preserved and available when necessary has become even more challenging in today's digital world,” said Phil Goodwin, Research Director, IDC. “Today’s hybrid cloud IT environments and massive increase in cloud workloads are forcing IT Managers to rethink older methodologies to maintain greater control over their critical business data, while replacing current business processes with newer ones to ensure that crucial data assets are in fact preserved and available.”

New Hybrid Cloud Architecture Fuels New Generation of Data Protection Solutions

Acronis provides businesses with the ability to take back control of their data destiny by extending beyond backup solutions to provide complete data protection across hybrid cloud IT environments. Acronis enables businesses and IT Managers to store their data anywhere and monitor activity at all times to quickly identify and resolve performance issues.

Acronis solutions feature a unified web management console that makes it easier than ever for IT managers to converge cloud and on-premises data protection with the ability to monitor and manage all data and workloads.

Acronis solutions can be deployed in the cloud, on-premises and in hybrid configurations, protecting company data across the entire business – whether it resides in the cloud or with cloud applications, on-premises, across virtual and physical systems, in remote systems, and on mobile devices.

The new Acronis solutions and technologies include:

  • Acronis Backup 12 – World’s fastest backup protects the entire business, backing up data on-premises, in remote systems, in private and public clouds, and on mobile devices – available now.

  • Acronis Backup Cloud – Built to easily fit within service provider environments with a comprehensive, yet simple, complete, and cost-effective hybrid backup and recovery solution that solves their customers’ data protection problems. Available now, click here for more information.

  • Acronis Monitoring Service – Enables IT managers to monitor servers, networks, applications, and websites with ease to identify performance problems, and make smarter IT decisions. Available now, click here for more information.

  • Acronis Storage – Provides software-defined storage that supports any type and volume of data with reliable, resilient, self-healing features, enabling service providers to use cost-efficient, commodity hardware. Available in September, click here for more information.

  • Acronis Notary - Delivers ‘tamper-proof’ data storage that leverages Blockchain to ensure data authenticity, privacy and control. Acronis will apply Blockchain technology to its solutions, which provides a record of digital events distributed across different participants or entities, and opens up a broad range of new data protection use cases for businesses worldwide. With Blockchain, data and transactions can only be updated by rules of consensus between participants in the system, and when new data is entered, it can never be erased. Acronis solutions leveraging Blockchain technology are scheduled to be available in October. You can see an online demo here today.

Acronis customers can select subscription-based pricing or perpetual licenses to protect any infrastructure, including physical, virtual and cloud.

For service providers and cloud resellers, Acronis delivers a set of multi-tenant, multi-tiered solutions that provide automation of services and complete control of provisioning, billing, monitoring and management, enabling partners with highly scalable solutions that can support millions of end users.

All Acronis solutions, including Backup, Disaster Recovery, File Sync & Share, Storage and Monitoring, are powered by the Acronis AnyData Engine – a set of unique, deep, and powerful data protection technologies that capture, store, recover, control, and access any data from any location. Acronis has over 5,000 petabytes of data under protection from over 500,000 business customers relying on Acronis because they just need data protection that works.

For partners and service providers that want to learn more about Acronis solutions, click here for more information.

Additional Information on Acronis:

About Acronis:

Acronis sets the standard for hybrid cloud data protection through its backup, cloud storage, disaster recovery, and secure file sync and share solutions. Powered by the Acronis AnyData Engine and set apart by its image technology, Acronis delivers easy, complete and affordable data protection of all files, applications and operating systems across any environment—virtual, physical, cloud and mobile. Founded in 2003, Acronis protects the data of over 5 million consumers and 500,000 businesses in over 145 countries. With more than 100 patents, Acronis products have been named best product of the year, and cover a range of features, including migration, cloning and replication. Today, Acronis solutions are available worldwide through a global network of service providers, distributors and cloud resellers. For additional information, please visit www.acronis.com.

1IDC Worldwide Data Protection and Recovery Software Forecast, 2015–2019, September 2015, IDC #258493

Acronis® and the Acronis logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Acronis International GmbH in the United States and/or other countries.

3 Clicks to Install, 2 Times Faster than Closest Competitor, World’s Fastest Restore in 15 Seconds or Less
Expands Data Protection to the Cloud, Across Physical and Virtual Systems, and onto Mobile Devices with Support for 15 Platforms, including Microsoft, Amazon, Android, Apple, Linux, and VMWare vSphere

BURLINGTON, Mass. – Acronis®, a leading provider of hybrid cloud data protection, today announced Acronis Backup 12, a game-changing new solution that protects businesses’ full digital image. With most business assets now being digital and not confined to a single device or location, businesses need a backup solution that is designed to provide complete data protection to support this new way of operating. Acronis Backup 12 is unlike any other solution with its ability to backup and protect company data in today’s hybrid cloud IT environments – whether it resides in the cloud, on-premises, across virtual and physical systems, in remote systems, and on mobile devices.

Data is the lifeline of today’s digital businesses – without it your company will not survive,” said Serguei Beloussov, co-founder and CEO at Acronis. “With Acronis Backup 12, businesses get the complete protection required in this new digital world with the ability to control their data no matter where it resides, combined with the power to get it back faster than ever before in the event of a loss or an outside attack.”

Addressing Today’s Expanding Need for Complete Data Protection

Legacy backup solutions do not provide adequate protection due to the increasingly complex IT infrastructures in use today with multiple physical systems, virtual environments, cloud workloads, and more mobile devices. Companies also face greater risks and vulnerabilities related to external threats like Ransomware, which has seen a 400% increase in mobile device attacks since 2014.1

As a result, “improving data backup and recovery consistently ranks among the top IT priorities for organizations of all sizes, year over year,” according to Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

We’ve never been more dependent on our data than as we are today, nor has our data been so distributed across so many servers, services, and endpoints,” said Jason Buffington, Principal Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). “As production workloads continue to evolve and data volumes increase, legacy approaches for backup and recovery quickly become inadequate, thus driving the need for faster, more comprehensive approaches to data protection and recovery. Acronis Backup 12 is an exciting alternative for businesses looking for a single solution with a unified management console that enables users and IT staff to quickly manage and recover data, no matter where it resides.”

Acronis Backup 12 Gives IT Managers Complete Control of Data

Acronis Backup 12 is the only solution that gives businesses complete control over the location of their data, systems, and backups, including best-in-class capabilities for protecting virtual environments. As a result, IT managers always know where their company data is located and who has access to it, even when stored in the cloud.

In the event of data loss, Acronis Backup 12 provides businesses with a range of recovery options, including file, email, and database recovery; system recovery, including bare-metal recovery, active restore, instant restore, and vmFlashBack; cloud disaster recovery; and physical data shipment. Acronis Backup 12 also enables IT Managers to migrate data, applications and systems to any platform.

Why Now is the Time for Businesses to Move to Acronis Backup 12

  • Virtual Host Backup – Backs up VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V hosts (not just VMs) and recovers them to dissimilar hardware for complete protection of virtual infrastructures.

  • Cloud Convergence with New Unified Web Console – Makes it easier than ever for IT managers to converge cloud and on-premises data protection by backing up and managing all individual workload environments, including on-premises and cloud, physical systems, virtual hosts and machines, and cloud workloads, from a single place on any device.

  • Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) in 15 seconds or less with Acronis Instant Restore™ – Addresses the business continuity needs for today’s ‘always-on’ business with the patented Acronis Instant Restore, allowing IT Managers to reduce RTO to seconds by running any physical or virtual Windows or Linux system backup as a VMware or Hyper-V virtual machine.

  • Support for Cloud Workloads with New Hybrid Cloud Architecture – Provides broad platform support of current backup solutions on the market, allowing IT Managers to back up on-premises physical and virtual systems, as well as Microsoft Azure VMs and Amazon EC2 instances for complete protection of the entire IT infrastructure and applications.

  • Complete Protection for PCs, Macs, and Mobile devices – Supports today’s latest platforms and devices, enabling IT Managers to back up Microsoft Windows PCs and tablets, Macs, iPads, and iPhones, and any Android device to protect every endpoint of every user.

Acronis Backup 12 provides the broadest range of data protection support for Microsoft infrastructure and applications, including Microsoft Exchange, Office365, SharePoint, Active Directory, Windows Server, Windows PC, Hyper-V, Azure, as well as Azure Stack upon its release to the market. Acronis Backup 12 is also the first commercially available solution to support the upcoming release of Microsoft Windows Server 2016, including Hyper-V with resilient change tracking (RCT).

In our competitive environment it is important to use the latest software to protect all of our technical information. The release of Acronis Backup 12 is welcomed by Scuderia Toro Rosso because it provides the high level of data protection and flexibility that we need,” said Raffaele Boschetti, Head of IT for the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 Racing Team. “We can’t wait to start working with Acronis on adopting its data protection products within our factory and race team. I am sure we will both benefit from this technical cooperation and it will help our team to continue moving forward.”

We’ve been using backup software from other vendors for a number of years, but the new features of Acronis Backup 12 may be enough to persuade us to start using Acronis,” said Nick Shmakov, General Manager, Res-Q-IT. “It’s a fantastic product with a very intuitive user interface, and without hassle to deploy, configure, and manage.”

Simplicity is the key interest to us, and after testing Acronis Backup 12, it has delivered,” said Bhavin Solgama, Managing Director at Qilnix. “Both the installation and the backup management process are very easy, even to a new user. And the unified management console provides a great snapshot of what is going on at any point in time.”

Managed IT security and data protection services are a must for any business using technology and leveraging data to deliver an exceptional customer experience,” said Bill Brandel, executive director, Advanced Solutions, Ingram Micro. “Acronis’ new Backup 12 enables channel partners to capitalize on the market’s need for complete protection and deliver a managed backup solution that will support virtual, on premise or hybrid environments.”

Acronis Backup 12 is available by contacting a local Acronis partner – click here for the Acronis partner directory.

To learn more about Acronis Backup 12 and to sign-up for a free trial, click here for more information.

Additional Information

About Acronis

Acronis sets the standard for hybrid cloud data protection through its backup, cloud storage, disaster recovery, and secure file sync and share solutions. Powered by the Acronis AnyData Engine and set apart by its image technology, Acronis delivers easy, complete and affordable data protection of all files, applications and operating systems across any environment—virtual, physical, cloud and mobile. Founded in 2003, Acronis protects the data of over 5 million consumers and 500,000 businesses in over 145 countries. With more than 100 patents, Acronis products have been named best product of the year, and cover a range of features, including migration, cloning and replication. Today, Acronis solutions are available worldwide through a global network of service providers, distributors and cloud resellers. For additional information, please visit www.acronis.com.

1Ransomware on Mobile devices: Knock-Knock-Block, Kaspersky Blog Post, June 29, 2016

Acronis® and the Acronis logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Acronis International GmbH in the United States and/or other countries. Microsoft, Windows, Azure, Azure Stack, Exchange, SharePoint and SQL are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Blocking malware before it can do damage – with cloud-based security


HAMBURG, Germany – It’s an illusion. Current security solutions will never be installed on every single mobile device and kept up to date. Software will never be completely free of security vulnerabilities. Not all owners of the coolest Android devices will use – or be able to use – the latest version of Google’s OS with the latest security features. And users will never be persuaded to stop accessing certain web offerings like porn sites, even if they know that threats lurk on these sites more than elsewhere. The sooner we acknowledge this situation, the sooner we will understand that security functions should really be integrated upfront by internet and mobile service providers. That way, users would be protected without having to worry about installing security software and keeping it updated. Telcos can play a decisive role in this protection – and the German-based security firm secucloud has already signed up several of them as partners. They make all the necessary security functionality available in the cloud. Of course, that’s still not a 100% guarantee of security.

But it would have prevented most infections by the HummingBad Trojan, which according to Check Point has taken control of over 10 million devices worldwide and 40,000 in Germany alone.


With a cloud-based security solution such as the one provided by secucloud, all the security mechanisms – from the firewall and behaviour analysis through to reputation services and virus detection – are already integrated into the mobile service provider’s infrastructure, or in the cloud. That way, malware is blocked before it gets anywhere near the user’s device. This approach would have meant that drive-by downloads from porn sites, which HummingBad apparently used to propagate itself, would have had practically no chance of finding their way onto users’ Android devices. And it would have worked whether or not users had security software installed on their device.


Channelling communication

Owners of Android devices often receive them as part of a long-term contract with their telecoms provider. And in many cases, the Android version delivered with the device is never updated, or only after a long delay. This is almost like paradise for criminals behind threats like HummingBad, because they can infect a huge number of devices with relatively little technical effort and potentially make a lot of money. The people behind HummingBad apparently “earn” $300,000 a month from fraudulent ad clicks alone.


For a small monthly fee as part of the smartphone or tablet contract, secucloud routes the devices’ communications exclusively through a special, cloud-based security infrastructure – and at a level that is normally only available to large enterprises. In most cases, internet threats like HummingBad cannot get anywhere near their potential victims. secucloud is currently working with a growing number of mobile service providers in order to make cloud security available to more mobile customers. The goal is that these users won’t need to worry about installation or updates and will be protected in every network while they are out and about. The company has won four large telecoms firms as customers over the last year alone. They include T-Mobile in the Netherlands, which provides the secucloud solution as a software-as-a-service offering.


secucloud: efficient, cloud-based security

As a company, secucloud is focused on efficiently delivering security in the age of the internet of things. The secucloud security mechanisms, which defend users against cybercrime and spying threats, provide simple and immediate protection for all of a customer’s connected devices. No installation or configuration is required and everything – including updates – runs automatically in the background. Users benefit from security technologies that, until now, have only been available to large enterprises with plenty of financial muscle. Users also benefit from secucloud’s extremely attractive subscription prices.

Since secucloud concluded its first funding round in 2014, it has demonstrated strong growth and has multiplied its sales revenues sixfold.

There are more data centers in the US than anywhere else, and until at least three years ago, building a data center in the US was less risky than building one in any other country. According to recent risk analysis of global data center locations by a real estate services firm, however, that’s no longer the case.

US ranks third in electricity costs, fifth in ease of doing business, 15th in available network bandwidth, and 36th in corporate tax environment. These and six other characteristics add up to US being the 10th least risky data center location today, according to the firm.

The same report, Cushman & Wakefield’s Data Centre Risk Index, put the country at the top of the list just three years ago. Since 2013, US has been overtaken by four Nordic countries, as well as Switzerland, UK, Canada, Singapore, and South Korea.



Ransomware as you may recall is malware that makes its way into your system and holds your data to ransom by encrypting it with a key that you do not have.

Your data doesn’t go anywhere. It sits in your system, but you can’t use it anymore – or at least not until you pay off the blackmailers or find another solution.

Now, hackers have gone a step further with a fake version that relies purely on panicking you into paying up.



Spoiler Alert: The first paragraph contains spoilers for the first episode of season two of Mr. Robot. If you want to avoid the spoilers, skip to the second paragraph.

Mr. Robot’s reputation for being timely and not stupid about hacking was reinforced in the opening episode of season two of the series.  During the episode, the hacker group fsociety hit E(vil) Corp with a ransomware attack. Although the ransom demand window that opened on E Corp’s computer screens had some oddities, PhishMe reports that, in general, the hacking scenario seen in the episode was fairly realistic. Good thing for the script writers that E Corp didn’t have CryptoDrop installed in their security system because if they had, it’s very likely the ransomware attack would have failed.

Mr. Robot (the character) thinks outside the box – way outside. A team of researchers at the University of Florida’s Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research led by Nolan Scaife and Patrick Traynor also think outside the box only they don’t hack your system, they stop the hackers. The team has developed an early-warning detection system called CryptoDrop that stops ransomware from encrypting all of your files.



The United Nations has kicked-off a new multi-year campaign that aims to reduce disaster losses, improve management of disaster risk, and save lives.

“Despite many successes there are still far too many lives being lost in predictable events because of failures to deploy early warning systems, learn lessons from past events and to grasp the growing threat of climate change and its impact on extreme weather events including storms, floods and drought,” said Robert Glasser, the UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The new ‘Sendai Seven campaign’ is an advocacy initiative to encourage implementation over the next seven years of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which was adopted by UN Member States in 2015 in the northern Japanese city after which it was named, and consists of seven targets and four priorities for action that aim for the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.



Vodafone has published its fourth annual IoT Barometer Report: a global survey of business sentiment regarding innovation and investment in the Internet of Things, the term used to describe the evolution of a new generation of devices and processes using connected network intelligence to deliver advanced capabilities. The survey was conducted by Circle Research in April and May 2016 and involved more than 1,096 companies across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the USA.
The 2016 Vodafone IoT Barometer Report found that:

  • 89 percent of companies investing in IoT have increased their budgets over the last 12 months;
  • 76 percent of all companies interviewed believe that taking advantage of IoT technologies will be critical for the future success of any organization; 
  • 63 percent of IoT adopters are seeing ‘significant’ returns on investment, up from 59 percent in last year's report; and
  • IoT investment now accounts for 24 percent of the average IT budget, on a par with cloud computing or data analytics.