Cybersecurity as a Matter of National Security

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Cybersecurity as a Matter of National Security

Business security, energy security, food security…national security. All one in the same.

While Iowa grain co-op, New Cooperative, may seem far removed from the capital of the U.S. government, a ransomware attack threatened food security of people in the Midwest. The event is not just a concern for local residents; the cyberattack, and its implications, are a concern for everyone across the nation.

A few months before the $5.9 million attack on New Cooperative, the world’s largest meatpacker based in Brazil, JBS, experienced a ransomware attack that disrupted meat production in North America and Australia during the height of grilling season. Prices of U.S. beef shipped to wholesale buyers increased more than 1%, according to USDA.

And it’s not just the agricultural sector that cybercriminals can target to cripple U.S. national security. In May, another ransomware attack hobbled Colonial Pipeline, interrupting fuel service for six days to large sections of the east coast. The oil pipeline finally paid $4.4 million for the decryption key.

Furthermore, certain industries are more heavily targeted for their widespread effects on broader swaths of the U.S. population. Markets with essential services face more threats and harbor greater responsibility in shoring up vulnerabilities.

Here are the top 10 most targeted industries and their most common form of cyberattack in 2020, according to 2021 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index.

Top 10 Industries Targeted in 2020*
Most Common Attack Per Industry in 2020*
1. Finance
Server access attacks
2. Manufacturing
Business Email Compromise
3. Energy
Data theft and leaks
4. Retail
Credential theft
5. Professional Services
Ransomware
6. Government
Ransomware
7. Healthcare
Ransomware
8. Media
Malicious domain name system (DNS) squatting
9. Transportation
Malicious insider or misconfiguration
10. Education
Spam or adware

*According to findings in 2021 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index

The ever-increasing onslaught and sophistication of cyberattacks is not just a concern for businesses. They pose an imminent threat to the security of the U.S. and the privacy, health, and financial well-being of its residents.

The significance of cybercrime cannot be ignored and is on the minds of the nation’s top government officials.

Earlier this year, President Biden released Executive Order 14208, addressing the modernization of the nation’s cybersecurity.

Here are a few takeaways from Biden’s “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity”:

  • IT service providers must inform the government of cybersecurity breaches that could impact U.S. networks.
  • A standardized playbook outlines a predetermined set of federal responses to cyber incidents.
  • The Federal Government must modernize its cybersecurity infrastructure through cloud services and zero-trust architecture, mandated multifactor authentication and encryption, robust endpoint detection and response, and consistent event logging practices.
  • Software developers must share certain security data publicly and must meet baseline security standards before the software can be sold to the government.
  • A Cybersecurity Safety Review Board, comprising government and private sector officials, may convene after a cyberattack to analyze the event, its causes, and impacts, and make recommendations to further improve the nation’s cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is so important that the President of the United States is making sweeping Executive Orders to improve it.

If the United States has a multilayered approach to protecting the nation’s cybersecurity and cyber resilience, shouldn’t your business have a plan?

Here’s a list of effective tactics to build your business’ multilayered cybersecurity:

  • Endpoint Detection and Response
  • Windows Patching and Third-Party patching
  • Cloud Email Security per User
  • Cybersecurity Health Check and Review
  • Security Awareness Training
  • DNS Security
  • Incident Response and Remediation
  • Vulnerability Scans of Network Edge
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
  • Event Log Correlation and Aggregation
  • 24/7/365 Monitoring

If your company only has some or even none of the abovementioned cybersecurity measures in your IT repertoire, NexusTek has developed three customizable, managed cybersecurity plans—Essential, Standard, and Advanced—comprising user-focused strategies and carefully selected solutions to protect, detect, and respond to cyber risks and threats that target your business. As an SSAE-18 SOC II certified company and award-winning managed service provider, NexusTek has the expertise to build and improve your cybersecurity. We protect your company and customers so you can help protect your country.

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NexusTek Achieves CRN Triple Crown Status for 2021

NexusTek Achieves CRN Triple Crown Status for 2021

Recognized for Exceptional IT Solution Provider Service Third Year in a Row

Denver, CO (October 11, 2021) – NexusTek, a national provider of managed IT services and full IT outsourcing solutions to businesses across the U.S., announced today that CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, has named NexusTek as a 2021 Triple Crown Award winner for the third consecutive year. This award celebrates standout solution providers for the accomplishment of being featured on three of CRN’s prestigious award lists.

“This Triple Crown Award, which is a culmination of multiple awards, makes us extremely proud,” said Bill Wosilius, CEO, NexusTek. “This recognition reflects our commitment to excellence in the IT industry, and even more importantly, our commitment to the businesses who place their trust and investment in NexusTek. With this honor, we are one step closer to our goal of being the largest national MSP with the highest customer satisfaction in the industry.”

CRN Triple Crown Award winners earned a place on three elite award lists in the same year, including: the Solution Provider 500 list, a ranking of the largest IT solution providers by revenue in North America; the Fast Growth 150 list, a ranking of the fastest-growing organizations in the channel; and the Tech Elite 250 list, for having received the highest-level certifications from leading vendors in the industry. Making any of the three lists is an achievement, but being named on all three lists in a single year highlights exceptional service and commands special recognition from the entire channel community. 

“What an achievement to attain the Triple Crown Award — we are thrilled to congratulate these top solution providers who are leading the pack by revenue in North America, and whom have experienced more substantial growth this year than many other channel organizations while maintaining and building upon the technical skills that result in the highest level of service in the IT channel,” said Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company. “This award is the trifecta of honor, highlighting truly extraordinary solution providers who continue to go above and beyond in their contributions to the channel and to the future of the industry with their dedication and expertise.”

This year’s Triple Crown Award winners will be featured in the October 2021 issue of CRN and online at www.crn.com/triplecrown.

About NexusTek

Trusted by thousands of businesses for over two decades, NexusTek, a national provider of managed IT services and full IT outsourcing solutions, offers a comprehensive portfolio comprising end-user services, cloud, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and IT consulting. Ranked among the top MSPs in North America and a multi-year CRN Triple Crown Award winner, NexusTek’s 24/7/365 domestically-staffed support team designs holistic technology solutions to improve business continuity, productivity, operational efficiency, and cost-effectiveness for companies across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. As an SSAE 18 SOC II certified company, NexusTek conducts yearly rigorous security audits to ensure customer safety and provide optimal service.

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4 Ways To Future-Proof Your AEC Business

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4 Ways To Future-Proof Your AEC Business

Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing every market. According to Statista, global spending on digital transformation technologies and services increased 10.4% in 2020 to $1.3 trillion. A 2021 Board of Directors survey revealed that 86% agree rapid digital transformation is a key priority, and 69% accelerated digital business initiatives in response to COVID-19.

The Architecture, Engineering & Construction industry is no exception: 98% of AEC businesses agree that digital solutions are critical to the future viability of their companies. Small- and medium-sized businesses comprise 90% of the construction market, and without the deep pockets of an enterprise-sized organization, the construction industry is one of the least digitized industries. The lack of digitization has contributed to the AEC sector’s decreasing productivity, costing the industry an annual estimate of $1.6 trillion.

To move forward into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, architects, engineering firms, and construction companies must embrace digital business operations. Here’s four ways AEC businesses can jumpstart their digital transformation journeys.

Technology

The Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Twins, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) are a few of the advanced technologies revolutionizing the AEC industry, improving timelines, collaboration, and productivity. The total number of IoT connections will reach 83 billion by 2024, and sensors will reach $27 billion by 2022. Utilizing data from IoT devices, digital twins can improve productivity 50-60%. Additionally, 49% of builders use BIM, and 82% of users report positive ROI. The other 51% of builders will likely invest in BIM soon as the market is projected to reach $13.2 billion by the end of 2024. Working to keep up with such advanced technologies, networks are more vulnerable to crashes, resulting in data loss and delayed project timelines. In fact, system downtime costs $5,600 per minute on average, reports Gartner, and an hour can amount to $140,000 to $540,000 depending on the organization.

The high-performance computational power of the CPUs, GPUs, and SSD drives demands a healthy IT network. An AEC business needs a strong IT infrastructure with frequent monitoring and proactive maintenance to support such (necessary) advanced technologies, secure their connectivity, and excel against competitors.

Remote Workforce

In 2020, approximately 75% of civil and commercial contractors restructured work procedures to accommodate social distancing, and in effect, accelerated digital transformation. Anywhere operations not only are the standard expectations of present-day job seekers, but also the keys to increasing project speed and reducing costs. Now architects, engineers, and construction contractors can work on projects in different time zones, collecting information from the field and making decisions in real time while saving the time and cost of travel. One Texas concrete company implemented a real-time digital time tracking solution with GPS and face recognition and ultimately saved $72,900 in the first 12 months. In the next three years, the AEC industry should expect to see 33% of contractors using wearable technology, increasing communication and streamlining operations.

Remote workforces are the way of the future. AEC businesses must stay on top of asset tracking, software licensing, and hardware warranties to ensure their mobile workforces never miss a beat. And a 24/7 IT help desk wouldn’t hurt either.

Data

Construction data is quite possibly the most valuable asset for an architecture business, engineering firm, or construction company. Since 52% of all rework is caused by poor data and miscommunication, 71% of owners believe capturing more data during design and construction will reduce lifecycle operations costs. IoT, augmented reality, and BIM technologies generate big data that is essential to improving production and decreasing costs. With 70% of manufacturers also transmitting personal information to and from these connected devices, this data is also sensitive to both the business and its clients, and therefore, must be protected. Unfortunately, 23% of data breaches in the industrial sector are caused by system glitches, resulting in data loss, exposure of personal information, and non-compliance fines.

A healthy IT infrastructure supports workstations, runs sophisticated CAD/CAM software tools, and prevents data loss from system failures. Network infrastructure must be proactively monitored and maintained, decreasing the loss of valuable, sensitive information and increasing business continuity and brand reputation.

Production

The benefits of advanced technology, a mobile workforce, and big data culminate into the most valuable advantage of all: increased and improved overall production. IoT in the construction market is expected to grow at a rate of CAGR of 14% until 2027, totaling $19 billion and increasing efficiency all the while. Online collaboration tools and digital workspaces that bring together remote partners strengthen workplace productivity 20-30%, and connected teams experience a 21% increase in profitability. Big data increases the likelihood of a business making better strategic decisions by 69%; and companies that use big data analytics report an 8% increase in revenue.

To capitalize on the benefits of digital transformation, AEC businesses need sturdy IT environments that do not falter under high computational power or vast amounts of data, as well as a 24/7 help desk that supports their remote workforces wherever they may be. That’s where a managed service provider like NexusTek comes in.

As an award-winning managed service provider for architects, engineering firms, and construction companies across the country, NexusTek offers multiple managed IT plans with various options of support and guidance so that you can find the plan that best fits your AEC business needs and goals. Our 24/7/365 proactive system monitoring, alerting, and maintenance keeps your IT infrastructure running smoothly to increase uptime and maintain project timelines. Our unlimited help desk supports your remote employees in case of IT challenges, and our inventory and configuration management ensures your assets, hardware, and software remain online and optimized. Proceed confidently on your digital transformation journey with managed IT from NexusTek.