Solving Cybersecurity on-demand webinar

On-demand webinarWe get it. As executives and IT professionals, you are busy. To that end, we are debuting a new series of short on-demand webinars intended to answer the most commonplace requests we receive. These webinars are designed to connect your firm’s real-world problems with the solutions that address them. They are short and available on your timetable—no signing up for a scheduled webinar and then missing it because you get pulled into a meeting!

The first video is for financial services firms needing guidance on strengthening cybersecurity readiness and compliance response.

Better understand how to effectively respond to the moving target of the twin challenges of cybersecurity and compliance with our free on-demand webinar.

This short compliance and cybersecurity webinar focuses on the following topics:

  • IT Pillars of compliance
  • Cybersecurity priorities for SEC compliance
  • Tips on how to improve cyber readiness and meet compliance
  • And more!

→ Sign up here to watch the webinar.

On-demand webinar

CISA alert

Critical Cyber Threats - CISAYesterday, the Cybersecurity Infrastructure & Security Agency (CISA), the federal agency charged with protecting the nation’s cyber infrastructure, released a notice from the National Cyber Awareness System. Based on recent malicious cyber incidents in Ukraine, CISA urges organizations across all sectors and of any size to be on alert for malicious cyber activity. The agency also provided a checklist of actions to take immediately.

To reduce the likelihood of destructive cyber intrusions, CISA recommends that business leaders immediately:

  1. Institute multi-factor authentication
  2. Ensure that software is up to date
  3. Disable all ports and protocols that are not essential for business purposes
  4. Review and implement strong controls for cloud services
  5. Conduct vulnerability scanning

CISA also advises that organizations take the following steps to detect potential intrusions:

  1. Identify and assess unusual network behavior. Enable logging to investigate issues better.
  2. Protect networks with antivirus and antimalware software and that these tools are up to date.
  3. Closely monitor traffic and review access controls if dealing with Ukrainian organizations

Additional recommendations can be found at CISA Insights: Implement Cybersecurity Measures Now to Protect Against Potential Critical Threats.

If your organization requires assistance with implementing these and other cybersecurity initiatives, reach out to our security experts.

 

FINRA Rule 4370

FINRA Rule 4370

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently announced the completion of the review process for FINRA Rule 4370 and upholds the Rule as it currently stands. The agency put the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Rule 4370 into place to ensure continuity of operations for broker-dealer firms following a disruption or disaster. FINRA based its decision to keep 4370 intact on the recently completed BCP Rule and Pandemic Review, both of which highlight the benefits of the Rule.

The FINRA BCP Rule requires broker-dealers to maintain continuity plans designed to ensure their ability to resume business operations after an interruption or in the event of a disaster. Regulatory Notice 21-44 provides clarification of FINRA’s compliance obligations for broker-dealers waiting to see where the agency would land regarding updating or maintaining the Rule.

Background on Rule 4370

In early 2019, announced a review of the Rule to determine its effectiveness and viability. In addition, the agency considered the costs, risks, and benefits associated with developing, maintaining, and implementing BCPs against not utilizing them.

According to FINRA’s announcement, stakeholders reported that Rule 4370 was working as intended. FINRA observed that the Rule’s “flexible, non-prescriptive, and risk-based approach has been effective in ensuring firms of all sizes are prepared for potential business disruptions.”

Additionally, during the early stages of the pandemic, FINRA also published Regulatory Notice 20-08, which recommended that member firms review their plans for pandemic preparedness.

What Does This Mean For Your Firm?

FINRA has made it clear that firms should continue developing and maintaining plans according to Rule 4370. However, the agency will not be providing specific guidance; firms are on their own when it comes to fulfilling the requirements for compliance.

What Are the Next Steps?

New and established brokerage firms will need to evaluate their status regarding Rule 4370 to guarantee compliance and that they are operating with an effective BCP. However, a BCP alone is not enough to ensure continuity.

For firms looking to assess their disaster readiness and compliance, there are six critical components of a BCP that will be there when you need it.

    1. Establish or Evaluate Existing BCP
    2. Test BCP
    3. Validate Vendor Readiness to Support BCP
    4. Ensure Remote Access for Essential Personnel
    5. Educate Personnel and Conduct Training
    6. Routinely Repeat this Process

By following these steps, your firm will be prepared for potential business disruptions and remain compliant. Of course, there is more involved in each of these steps. For more granularity, read our post, Business Continuity Checklist for Financial Services Firms, which outlines just how to assure operational continuity and data protection.

Coretelligent is here to help your firm navigate the details in developing and maintaining a business continuity plan. We can also assist with incorporating it into your IT strategy, cybersecurity solutions, and compliance reporting. As an MSP with considerable experience within the financial services industry, Coretelligent understands the regulatory imperatives required of you and your business. That is one of the main benefits of working with an IT partner with deep industry knowledge and expertise.

Reach out and we will work with your IT and compliance teams to review your BCP and develop a roadmap to make sure your firm is secure.

****Update for Tuesday, December 21, 2021****

As of 12/21 at 2 pm EST, we completed our initial round of customer server scans. We identified a very small subset of impacted customers and servers. We are actively reaching out to coordinate patching and remediation efforts for those customers.

Our next scanning phase will focus on workstations (these are a lower risk as they are not Internet-facing compared to servers). We will begin workstation scanning for any potential Log4j vulnerabilities and share those results at the end of the week or early next week.

We are continuing to monitor vendor notices and updates and will provide customer updates as the situation continues to develop throughout the holiday.

****Update for Monday, December 20, 2021****

We can confirm that all internal Coretelligent infrastructure has been scanned and found to be not impacted or vulnerable.

We are actively testing our server and endpoint scanning script via Kaseya VSA and will have updated results tomorrow for customer-specific remediation updates.

Customers with CoreArmor Advanced or Enterprise, and customers with SentinelOne Complete, are also being actively scanned and monitored by these solutions. Any items discovered will be reported and remediated.

****Update for Tuesday, December 14, 2021****

This is the latest update regarding the Apache log4j vulnerability that we notified you about earlier this week.

We have been continuing to monitor the situation and wanted to provide an update to keep you well informed. We will provide additional updates via email and at this link as necessary.

At this time, there are no actions required for end-users and we are monitoring and awaiting vendor patches for immediate testing and rollout later this week

For clarification, Coretelligent, nor any of our CoreArmor customers, have been affected by this security issue. The multi-layered security approach we employ offers visibility, prevention, and protection across the board.

If you have any questions, please contact Coretelligent at 1-855-841-5888.

Response Timeline

12/14/21 – Coretelligent is actively engaging in the following actions across all customer environments:

  • Priority 1 – Identification & Scope

We are focused on identifying any internet-facing devices running Log4j and working to upgrade or apply mitigations where possible. To achieve this goal, we are actively scanning all customer servers and workstations for any references to the Log4j package and will notify individual customers if anything is discovered.

  • Priority 2 – Prevention & Blocking:

We are reviewing all customer managed firewalls to ensure IPS blocking rules are in place to protect against external scanning/exploit of this vulnerability against any Internet facing resources that may have the Log4j package present.

  • Priority 3 – New Updates & Developments:

We will continue to monitor all major vendor product advisories for updates or changes and will perform appropriate emergency change management and maintenance activities as needed based upon vendor guidance.

12/13/21 – Coretelligent has been monitoring vendor responses and evaluating scanning tool options for further identifying any Log4j components in customer environments.

12/12/21 – Sent initial communication to customers and provided blog post for incident tracking.

Coretelligent verified that CoreArmor had detection capability in place for the vulnerability and SentinelOne has blocking protections in place to prevent the Log4j vulnerability from being exploited locally.

Compiled initial list of vendor responses and began reviewing publicly available materials around patching and mitigation options.

General Guidance/Resources

Please reference the following government resources on this topic.

Scanning Tools:

The following scanning tools have been released, and Coretelligent is testing and evaluating their effectiveness to assist with further scanning of client environments for any potential vulnerable Log4j installations or embedded components.

Coretelligent Platforms:

At this time, all critical Coretelligent monitoring, management, and authentication platforms are not impacted or have otherwise been mitigated/patched. Sample vendor materials for direct reference below.


Vendor Statements and Advisories:

We have compiled the following list of critical vendor advisories around this vulnerability. The team is monitoring these for vendor updates around patch releases and further mitigation advice.

****Update for Monday, December 13, 2021****

Coretelligent has been actively monitoring an evolving security event since late last week. On December 9th, a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in the Java logging library Apache log4j was identified in the wild. Public proof of concept (PoC) code was released, and subsequent analysis revealed active exploitation and scanning activity in the wild on Friday, December 10th, and throughout the weekend.

This vulnerability has been designated as CVE-2021-44228. It is being investigated by many large cloud and software vendors, and it is likely that many products will be found to be vulnerable as more is learned about the flaw over the coming days and weeks. The flaw is extremely easy to exploit and enables attackers to gain complete control of affected servers. The package is widely used in many cloud and web applications, so the potential risk is widespread and significant. Many security experts are comparing this to a flaw from 2017 tied to the Equifax data breach.

The good news is that Apache has released configuration mitigations and an update to address this particular issue. These updates will provide vendors with multiple paths to mitigate, secure, and avoid this exploit moving forward in their products over the coming days and weeks.

Coretelligent is closely monitoring the situation and will proactively update clients about impacted vendors and applications. We will also notify clients about any necessary scheduled emergency maintenance to apply mitigations and patches as they are released and tested by their respective vendors. Currently, there are no actions required for end-users.

CoreArmor clients have additional visibility and protection through the AT&T Cyber Security OTX threat feed. This feed allows Coretelligent to monitor our clients’ infrastructure and environment for activity related to this vulnerability. Additionally, other key security vendors utilized by Coretelligent—including Fortinet and SentinelOne—are aware of this vulnerability and provide detection and blocking capabilities.

Key Coretelligent management and monitoring tools/vendors are not presently impacted at this time, this includes the following:

For clarification, Coretelligent, nor any of our CoreArmor customers, have been affected by this security issue. The multi-layered security approach we employ offers visibility, prevention, and protection across the board.

The following resources are helpful references for tracking vendor vulnerability, response, and ongoing updates:

More information about this event can be found here:

Due to the timing, many vendors will require more time to create, test, and release updates for their products that may leverage this vulnerable software package. We will continue to monitor this situation and provide additional updates at this link. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Coretelligent at 1-855-841-5888.

How to Effectively Assess Enterprise Backup Solutions?Disasters and cyber-attacks happen, but data loss does not have to be inevitable. Data loss can be avoided or mitigated with a robust backup and disaster recovery solution (BDR). Surviving a catastrophic data loss event depends on choosing the right BDR solution. But you need to understand the critical components in order to successfully evaluate enterprise backup solutions.

What is BDR?

Comprehensive BDR solutions offer recovery options for various data loss scenarios. Determining the correct solution is a deliberate and tactical process that evaluates business data, applications, operations, and risk exposure.

Solutions often include a hybrid of daily backups and more frequent replication of virtual servers to a secondary storage site for rapid recovery. They may also include cloud-to-cloud (C2C) backup, especially for companies that use SaaS applications like Microsoft365. Daily backups provide long-term recovery capabilities. While backup replication allows for the rapid failover of business operations to a disaster recovery (DR) site.

At this point, it’s important to point out the pitfall of relying on a primary cloud provider as a backup source for your data. Several of the larger cloud services note that they are not responsible for maintaining the integrity of data stored on their systems. Instead, it is critical to choose a BDR partner with an appropriate backup and disaster recovery solution. A true BDR solution involves more than just having a second copy of your data. A BDR process ensures that your data is redundant, accessible, and viable.

What Does a Secure BDR Solution Encompass?

Every company has its own set of data recovery requirements. Therefore, recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) will vary. RPOs identify how often data should be backed up or replicated. In contrast, a RTO describes how quickly data can be recovered.

Furthermore, regulatory or compliance standards must be evaluated to see whether they have any consequences for data security. For example, financial services and life science companies are subject to stringent rules regarding the protection of digital assets.

Another necessary element in a data backup and disaster recovery strategy is developing and documenting a BDR plan. A BDR plan includes procedures for recovering data and systems, testing and validation methods, and identifying essential recovery personnel. This plan is crucial to ensure business continuity.

A final must-have component for any BDR plan is testing the recovery process regularly. Any difficulties or failures discovered throughout the testing process can be recorded and analyzed for modifications to the BDR strategy. In addition, test laboratories can be set up within a “sandbox” environment to minimize disruption to the manufacturing environment.


The ABCs of BDR WhitepaperWhite Paper Download

The ABCs of Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR)

This white paper explains how data loss occurs, how backup and disaster recovery (BDR) works and helps you understand what to plan for and how to evaluate your BDR solution.

Three Core Principles

Whatever your BDR strategy entails, it should provide the core values of scalability, reliability, and resiliency.

  • Scalable BDR solutions expand as your business grows without exceptional effort by your team.
  • Whether on-premise or a cloud backup, a reliable solution is fully redundant and accessible from any physical location.
  • Resiliency requires protecting data from ransomware attacks and other threats.

Advanced recovery solutions take a multi-pronged approach in managing risk, including a dedicated team of professionals available for client support.

A Trusted BDR Partner

CoreBDR, Coretelligent’s fully managed backup and disaster recovery solution, meets the data protection requirements of the digital enterprise. CoreBDR offers secure, high-performance, cloud-based backup and restoration to deliver operational resiliency to your organization. CoreBDR is available for organizations with on-premise infrastructure and cloud environments and can be customized to fit your business operations. Our expert team has deep experience delivering to clients of all sizes in financial services, life sciences, and other industries.

Business technology trends

Think About It
It is no secret that business needs to stay on top of the ever-changing technology landscape. Companies that do not keep up will not succeed in the digital age. But, depending on how fast your business adapts, you could be missing out—or left behind altogether.

As a new year begins, we start to see lists touting the latest information technology trends to watch. However, it can be a challenge for non-technological business leaders and busy IT managers to keep up, digest, and make thoughtful decisions about the technologies in which to invest.

In this post, I share nine tech trends that we consider the most impactful for our clients and similar companies in the coming year.

For a deeper dive on how these trends will impact your business, download the free white paper → The Top 9 Business Technology Trends to Prepare for in 2022.

The Top 9 Business Technology Trends to Prepare for in 2022.What Are the Biggest Technology Trends for 2022?

  1. Data Fabric

Gartner defines data fabric as a “concept that serves as an integrated layer (fabric) of data and connecting processes.”

  1. Distributed Enterprises

As we have seen the rise of remote and hybrid work, we also see an increase in the distributed enterprise model. The distributed model entails co-locating various teams that make up a company.

  1. Cybersecurity Mesh

Escalating cyber threats and decentralizing the workplace requires an innovative approach to cybersecurity. Enter the concept of cybersecurity mesh which broadens defense beyond a central physical plant.

  1. Hyperautomation

The growing utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in business processes has been a powerful technology disrupter. Hyperautomation is one of the leading outcomes of this development.

  1. Privacy-enhancing computation

Privacy-enhancing computation (PEC) is part of a collection of methods helping to solve the challenge of achieving data privacy.

  1. Low-Code/No-Code

Low-code and no-code techniques allow non-developers to piece together without specialized knowledge.

  1. Predictive Analysis

Predictive analysis is a data-driven assessment that is used to forecast the likelihood of a given future outcome using historical data and machine learning.

  1. Networking, Connectivity, and Security for Remote and Distributed Work

Whether part of a formalized hybrid or distributed workplace model or just a liberal remote work policy, dealing with protecting data and systems is the new normal.

  1. Cybersecurity

Finally, cybersecurity deserves to be singled out as it will remain a constant focus for IT in the coming year. Discover which types of cyber attacks are expected to increase in 2022 in the whitepaper.

Technology Trends and Strategy

While these are not the only tech trends of note, they are the trends that we expect to have the most impact on SMBs in specific sectors. We, at Coretelligent, will be tracking these trends and collaborating with our clients as they navigate the challenges and opportunities they bring.

The business landscape is constantly changing, and it’s crucial to adjust your business strategy accordingly. As a leading managed service provider with industry-specific experience and a full suite of IT solutions (including IT strategy and planning, cloud services, and more), Coretelligent is exceptionally well-positioned to help executives and business owners decode these trends. We can help guide your business in determining what technology enhancements are appropriate to incorporate into your technology strategy.

Reach out to learn more about our solutions and continue the conversation about technology and strategy.


Chris Messer, Chief Technology Officer at Coretelligent, HeadshotAbout Chris

As Chief Technology Officer at Coretelligent, Chris Messer is a transformational and strategic IT leader who establishes and leads Coretelligent’s technical vision and technological development. Click here to learn more about Chris.

Why You Should Conduct a Year-end Business Review

Why You Should Conduct a Year-end Business ReviewAs a C-suite leader, you are almost always focused on the present and the future. Your days consist of putting out fires and making sure that you meet this quarter’s revenue goals. Unfortunately, the nature of business growth does not leave much bandwidth for thinking about the past. That said, it is difficult to know where you are going without understanding where you have already been. To that end, completing a year-end business review is an ideal way to evaluate your firm’s journey and get a jump-start on the new year.

What is a Year-end Business Review?

No matter the industry–financial services, professional services firms, a law firm, life sciences, and everything in between, a year-end review provides executives with the opportunity to get a bird’s-eye view of your company. Think of the year-end review as the Cliff’s Notes version of your company’s year. An effective review includes key takeaways, lessons learned, what worked, and what needs improvement. It will allow you and your staff to hit the ground running in the new year.

Why is it Necessary?

Just as self-reflection is essential to personal growth, the process offers just as much value to the enterprise.

The annual business review offers an opportunity to evaluate successful goal completion, realign with the organization’s mission and vision, examine key initiatives, recognize employee development, acknowledge gaps, provide valuable data for setting future KPIs, and more.

That’s not to mention the benefit of sharing a year-end review executive summary with clients, employees, investors, and other stakeholders to highlight your enterprise’s success, flexibility, and productivity.

What Should a Year-end Review Encompass?

Just as with other business activities, you get back what you put into the year-end review. Don’t view it as an empty exercise but an opportunity to gain valuable insight into your firm. While results may look different from firm to firm, there are some key elements to a year-end review.

ear-end Business Review

  1. High-level Company Overview

The review process should start with a refresher of the company’s mission, vision, and values. This undertaking is an opportunity to assess business functions and realign with these foundational pillars.

  1. Business Goals

Include any formalized business goals from the prior year. These may be objectives related to growth, market reach, financials, technology, corporate structure, and corporate culture.

  1. Key Performance Indicators and Results

Determining success is only possible by identifying the metrics used to evaluate that success. Obviously, financial statements help assess revenue goals, but what other KPIs did you set at the beginning of the year? Now is the time to compile those results for a holistic review.

  1. A Reckoning of Goal Completion

Here is where the real work happens. A careful review of metrics should tell you whether you completed each goal or not. There is also plenty of insight to be gleaned from the objectives you did not reach. This assessment is where you can begin the work of developing your strategic plan for the upcoming year by identifying gaps and deficiencies, goals out of alignment, technology needs, and more. A goal not met is a learning opportunity. The insights available for executives in this evaluation process are invaluable to your company.

  1. Planning for Next Year

A final element to the year-end review is to use the data from the process to set goals and develop a strategic plan for your organization for the upcoming year. View this exercise as bookends to a year in the life of your company. Those bookends allow you to digest and process all the knowledge and experience in between for the next chapter in your company’s story.

Strategic Technology Partner

Technology is a crucial component in setting and meeting business goals. Therefore, the experts at Coretelligent recommend performing a technology assessment as part of your strategic planning.

Coretelligent can offer support and expertise while performing your assessments. We can provide advice on technology offerings and apply strategic IT solutions to protect your infrastructure. In addition, we can help you align technology and business strategy to reduce risk and

Emerging Threats Signal More Trouble for Financial Services Cybersecurity

Hedge funds, private equity companies, venture capital, and other financial services firms are prime targets for cyber criminals seeking to compromise data-rich institutions. Additionally, as keepers of valuable personal identifiable information (PII) and propriety data, the financial services sector is subject to increasing regulatory requirements as the cybersecurity threat landscape expands.

While financial firms have been highly motivated to make significant investments in cyber security, the need for risk management is only deepening from persistent threats. The Robinhood data breach is a recent reminder of the danger and the ease with which threat actors can gain access to networks. With over seven million customers affected, the Robinhood breach is the largest in history.

According to representatives from Robinhood, the cyber attack, which began with a social engineering exploit, has been contained and did not include social security numbers or account details. But what about the next time? What if the PII from over seven million customers found its way for sale on the dark web? The cascading consequences are staggering to contemplate.

“Financial services companies are incredibly popular targets because there are always new customers feeding the demand for personal and financial data to sell or use as leverage,” shares Chris Messer, CTO at Coretelligent. “Whether criminals are targeting your customers’ data to directly exploit, sell on the Dark Web, or to hold for ransom, the potential fallout for impacted clients and the financial and reputational risk to your business is extreme.”

There are more than a few emerging cyber threats that have security teams on edge. For example, the development of AI that can write better spearphishing emails than humans has staggering implications considering how many data breaches begin as phishing attacks. And don’t forget that phishing attacks are up by 22% in 2021.

In addition, AI-powered malware is a concern since it can target particular endpoints, making it more effective and profitable for hackers to cripple critical infrastructure and steal data with disruptive attacks. Finally, smishing incidents (like phishing, but via SMS) are also likely to increase in severity as attackers capitalize on a workforce that is increasingly doing business via their smartphones.

Multi-layered Approach to Information Security for Financial Service Organizations

Since businesses within the financial services industry are already required to have certain protections in place, it’s tempting to think that your organization is secure. But, unfortunately, between the increase in frequency and the changing nature of attacks—combined with the ever-changing compliance response—your cybersecurity implementation is not one-and-done. Instead, to keep up, a robust cybersecurity posture requires constant monitoring, continuing education of employees, periodic vulnerability assessments, regular penetration testing, and expert threat intelligence.

Coretelligent recommends implementing overlapping layers of security called defense-in-depth to protect your organization fully from ransomware attacks and other cyber incidents. These individual layers should include everything from easy-to-implement practices to complex security tools to defend your financial services organization. This defense-in-depth infographic highlights the cybersecurity strategy and best practices that Coretelligent employs for continuous multi-layered protection. These include next-generation firewalls, endpoint security, patch management and security updates, access management policies, advanced spam filtering, and much more.

Defense-in-depth

Coretelligent’s Multi-layered Cybersecurity Solution

Are you looking to evaluate your organization’s current security coverage? Use our Cybersecurity Evaluation Checklist to help assess your firm’s cybersecurity readiness. This checklist is a jumping-off point to help your firm determine its current cyber risk exposure and readiness for critical event management.

After completing the checklist, reach out to learn more about how Coretelligent can help to strengthen your cybersecurity posture now and into the future.

9 Obstacles to Scalable Technology for Growing SMBs

Think About ItScalable technology is an area of regular concern for companies throughout the growth cycle, but it is a make-or-break-it concern for early- to mid-stage companies. At this point, the introduction of IT compliance requirements for privacy, data storage, cybersecurity, reporting, and more create a technology imperative that cannot be ignored. Due diligence requests from investors to determine a company’s viability combined with government-mandated compliance requires a serious assessment of an organization’s technology. And that means proving that your technology infrastructure can meet its current business needs and effectively scale as your company grows.


You can read more about the intersection of compliance and technology here (and specifically for  financial services here and life sciences here).


9 Obstacles to Scalable Technology for Growing SMBsScalable Technology is Mission Critical for Growth

In considering scalable technology solutions, it is essential to remember that IT functions do not exist in a vacuum but touch every aspect of business operations. In addition, the roots of technology extend further into operations as your company grows. IT impacts the success or failure of every function from quickly and seamlessly onboarding an ever-expanding pool of employees to implementing software to manage clinical trials and for your biotech startup or developing a technology stack that guarantees uptime for your investment firm. Leveraging technology’s power will become critical as your company progresses from startup to Series A and B.

Technology scalability can be defined as the range of a system’s ability to expand as demand changes. Anticipating how quickly storage loads can be increased or how databases will respond as new users are added are examples of gauging scale. Scalability is an almost constant operational concern but matters most during periods of rapid growth. The twin points of capacity and flexibility can be used to measure the scalability of any technology system.

Scaling technology should be viewed as an investment that reduces growth busting complexity and silos, includes flexible software and infrastructure, aligns with industry best practices, increases efficiency, and recognized as a revenue enabler and driver.

Taking a deeper dive, just what are some key areas of consideration for scaling technology for early-stage to mid-stage companies?

9 Factors for Delivering Scalable Technology

  1. Cloud Infrastructure – Cloud computing offers businesses the opportunity to realize cost savings, increase flexibility, and reduce complexity. However, things can get complicated as a business needs a scalable system. Out-of-the-box cloud services may no longer provide the required sophistication, and a customized mix of public, private, or hybrid cloud solutions is necessary. Increased spending will be needed to address additional processing, storage, and security requirements.
  2. Emerging Technologies – Be aware of developing technologies that could act as disruptors to your industry. For example, machine learning and AI have transformed various industries—some companies were ready to adapt, and some were not. Whether they deliver opportunities or challenges, emerging technologies can be significant game-changers that require a series of proactive steps or investments. For example, just think how different Blockbuster’s future could have been if they had only taken advantage of the industry-disrupting online DVD rental market sooner than they did.
  3. Avoid Data Silos – To the digital enterprise, data silos are anathema to growth, yet they are prone to develop as an organization scales. Therefore, as a company expands, it is essential to have a data management and governance program to address these silos before they become entrenched.
  4. Growing Employee Base – Your workforce is only as good as the technology it utilizes. From employee onboarding to performance management, your technology needs to seamlessly accommodate a growing workforce.
  5. Software Integrations – Be mindful of painting yourself into a corner with software applications and integrations as your organization scales. The scalable approach is to deploy a line of business applications with native support for integrations. These scalable business applications reduce the likelihood of data silos and the creation of time-consuming processes to counteract non-interoperability.
  6. Managing Collaboration – Collaboration is critical at any stage, but effective collaboration can suffer as an organization grows. A scalable collaboration platform should enable file-sharing and facilitate workflows seamlessly across a growing user base while protecting against security breaches.
  7. Building Processes – Document processes as your business scales to ensure a framework for producing repeatable and predictable results. Scalable processes can be executed quickly and efficiently as increased volume, more users, and greater complexity demands.
  8. Growing Necessity for Support – No matter your sector, planning for IT support is integral for your growing enterprise. As you add capacity, support can quickly become unwieldy or unresponsive and be a real stopgap to growth. As the number of users expands, the demands on an internal support team magnify. Planning for this challenge by outsourcing support to an IT partner will keep your firm on a growth trajectory.
  9. Increased Need for Cybersecurity and Compliance – Both cybersecurity and compliance increase in complexity as your company grows, especially in heavily regulated industries like financial service and life sciences. As a company progresses from startup to the funding stages, it needs to be prepared to take on the increased cybersecurity and IT compliance requirements that come with growth.

Leave Technology to the Experts

One solution for managing these scalability factors and optimizing growth is to focus on core competencies and leave the technology to the experts. A recent benchmarking study from Fidelity demonstrated that financial services advisors who outsourced reported higher growth. By outsourcing some or all your technology functions, you can focus on expanding your business and not your IT unit. Building in-house IT requires an enormous investment in both people and technology. Instead, choose the best scalable solution by partnering with Coretelligent to leverage our years of experience, industry-specific knowledge, and strategic technology advisors. Our scalable technology solutions will allow your internal teams to increase their focus on revenue-generating activities and achieving business goals.


Chris Messer, Chief Technology Officer at Coretelligent, HeadshotAbout Chris

As Chief Technology Officer, Chris Messer is a transformational and strategic IT leader who establishes and leads Coretelligent’s technical vision and technological development. Click here to learn more about Chris.

Why are Phishing Emails so Dangerous and How Can You

For Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we are sharing some of our articles and free resources that can be used to help educate your team about the dangers of phishing emails and how to protect against them.

Though it’s been around for a while, phishing attacks continue to be one the most common attacks and a favorite among hackers for their effectiveness and simplicity. These types of malicious attacks account for 90% of all data breaches.

Phishing schemes target the weakest link in the security chain–individual users. Phishing messages usually look like legitimate emails and include suspicious links or a malicious attachment made to look like legitimate links or a document from a trusted source. Use these resources to educate yourself and your end-users on better recognizing fraudulent emails.

7 Ways to Combat Phishing Emails

  1. Humans play a critical role in data breaches. Phishing scammers look for human errors to exploit and use social engineering tactics to obtain sensitive information and login details. Learn more by reading Cybersecurity and the Human Element.
  2. With email being the primary communication tool of business, it’s no surprise that it remains a top security risk. Attackers favor email messages because they can go around technical security measures by focusing their efforts on end-users. Discover more about how scammers use the phishing technique in Email Security Threats: You’ve Got Malware.
  3. Ransomware attacks are on the rise for financial services, according to the SEC’s OCIE. Attackers use phishing scams to gain access to your organization’s systems or data. Once they have access, they lock you out by encrypting your data, demand a ransom for the return of control, and may threaten to publish sensitive data if payment is not made. Read more in Ransomware on the Rise for Financial Services.
  4. Read Top 10 Cybersecurity Recommendations for a list of ten recommendations and best practices that can help better protect your business from fraudulent activities and evolving cyber threats.
  5. Does your organization know how to identify a spear phishing attempt? 6 Steps to Take to Reduce Phishing describes potential scammers’ strategies and the tell-tale signs of email phishing.
  6. In Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks & How to Prevent Them, we share cybersecurity tips to prevent some of the most common types of cyberattacks by proactively managing your risk profile.
  7. The End-User Awareness Training guide makes a case for end-user awareness training to mitigate human error and help users recognize suspicious activity. In addition, you will learn how to spot types of phishing attacks and other social engineering attacks.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a great time to reevaluate your security risk profile, reinforce your posture with additional security measures, and educate your team on. We hope these resources will help increase awareness and prevent future data breaches. Reach out to learn how Coretelligent can help protect your business with our robust cybersecurity solutions.