Ransomware: A Problem Organizations Cannot Ignore

XIOSS partners with major suppliers, like Hitachi, to provide tailored security solutions that align with your budget priorities, existing infrastructure, virtualization, operational efficiency, and more…

Did you know ransomware is now the primary security concern for organizations? That was true even before the WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack made global headlines for impacting more than 230,000 organizations in over 150 countries. Not only were the number of attacks up in 2017, but the actual ransom demands (usually money) were up as well. According to an Osterman Research Survey Report published for Malwarebytes in August 2016, the majority of malware included in phishing attempts is currently ransomware. In addition, more than 39 percent of the 540 organizations surveyed (from the United States, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom) had been impacted by a ransomware attack during the previous 12 months.


If that statistic shocks you, prepare to have your mind blown…in a Forbes.com blog post from February 2016, it was noted that the Global Response Intelligence Grid from SonicWall recorded 3.8 million ransomware attacks in 2015 which increased to more than 638 million in 2016. Yes, you read that number correctly, and it’s not a typo. 638 million ransomware attacks in 2016—that’s more than 167 times the number of attacks in 2015. Let that sink in…

These astonishing numbers only make up one part of this explosive story. “Though it’s difficult to give a truly accurate total—not everyone hit by ransomware is keen to talk about such incidents—SonicWall’s report estimates that around $209 million in ransoms were paid in the first quarter of 2016 alone.”

Mind blown yet?


For those that fall victim to ransomware attacks, the consequences can be utterly devastating to an organization’s bottom line and embarrassing to their reputation. This is why it’s important to take preventative measures now, rather than waiting until it happens. Although ransomware can be challenging to prevent altogether, having a plan for how to respond and taking the necessary precautions to minimize your odds is really your best defense. You need to focus on two solutions: choosing the right technology and training your people.


With these types of ransomware attacks expected to increase again, you need to consider data protection services that offer extra levels of security for user data while keeping users mobile and collaborating. The Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio offers organizations scalable solutions that secure their entire data center. It’s one of the most secure object stores in the industry, and its versioning capabilities enrich and complement any existing ransomware strategy. Hitachi Data Ingestor (HDI) extends these capabilities to remote and branch offices, while our mobility platform, Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere (HCP Anywhere) has enterprise file synchronization and sharing (EFSS) capabilities which protect a user’s most frequently used, and consequently, most valuable data, to keep your business running.

If your organization making money hinges on your employees’ ability to access data throughout the day and you haven’t put additional security measures into place, it’s time to start planning for this right now. As ransomware demands continue to increase at explosive rates, the question isn’t “if” it’s going to happen to you, the question is “when.”

XIOSS approaches security concerns from a customer-centric perspective. Call XIOSS at 952-941-4000 to learn more about how we can address your security needs.

Does your organization take steps to defend against ransomware?

Renewed Focus on Productivity

XIOSS partners with major suppliers, like Hitachi, to provide tailored IT solutions that align with your budget priorities, existing infrastructure, virtualization, operational efficiency, and more…

We’ve all heard of “costs and standards of living” as it relates to wages, salaries, and benefits, but did you ever think about how that amount is calculated? It actually all boils down to productivity and the fact that in any given hour, you can produce more in terms of products and services than your grandfather could 30 or 40 years ago. Through increased costs of production, processes have become more efficient which, in turn, increases the cost of goods as well as the consumer price index.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, our current business cycle is going through a lower rate of labor productivity growth than normal. This means limited gains for Americans in recent years. Unfortunately, we’ve all had to work more hours in order to produce the current supply of goods and services than we would have if we had higher productivity growth. This slow growth period will cause many to pay closer attention to productivity stats in years to come as these trends will play a major role in our lives and those of our children and grandchildren.


Given how far we’ve come in innovating technology during the last few decades, it’s actually hard to believe we haven’t seen an increase in these numbers, but we also need to consider the bigger picture. Just because a certain technology exists, doesn’t mean a manufacturer doubles its production overnight. In fact, when a new technology comes to fruition, there is often a defined period where only innovators and visionaries are jumping on board, while the pragmatists and skeptics are waiting for a second iteration that they believe will be significantly enhanced and maybe even more affordable. Basically, the time it takes from the launch of a new technology to it becoming an industry standard could be many years. Add on the additional time it might take for organizations to ramp up on qualified staffing as well as the period of time they spend training and waiting for their employees to become highly efficient in this new trade. What you’ll see in the long term is the return to make an organization more productive is worth the investment. However, when looking at the short term, the time spent waiting on technology, implementing it, staffing up, and training can cause productivity measure to be average at best during those planning years.


For some, the productivity forecast is total doom and gloom. People fear the major wave of technology creation and adoption has passed. We’re happy to say we know this is not true, and we’re excited about the many new advances already in place that are bringing employees back to a standard, if not increased, level of productivity.

Consider that just two decades ago cell phones were still considered a luxury item. The average working-class American wasn’t carrying a mobile phone with them all day every day, and they certainly weren’t returning work-related phone calls and emails while they were commuting to and from the office. Fast forward to 2018: not only do most Americans have cell phones, but more organizations than ever before are adopting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. This new wave of thinking—and a result of consumerization—empowers employees to work on their own devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.) which will ultimately help companies increase productivity and reduce costs.


Helping you learn how to use proven technologies that make sense for your business is our job, and we know the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) Anywhere will mobilize your team with minimal risk so they can be more productive through collaboration. HCP Anywhere will

  • Support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives while maintaining visibility and control of business data
  • Eliminate shadow IT risks with a secure and protected private cloud solution at a cost comparable to public cloud services
  • Reduce cost and capacity requirements and IT overhead with compressed, backup-free object store

Because the demand for file sharing and collaborative solutions is not going away anytime soon, the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)—an IT analyst, research, validation, and strategy firm that provides market intelligence and actionable insight—evaluated HCP Anywhere. They discovered that because our current society is accustomed to easy access and the immediate gratification of finding information online when they want it, workers will find ways to use their own tools and devices if it makes them more efficient. HCP Anywhere empowers them to do just that while still maximizing data protection. According to ESG, “forbid{ding} employees to use any solution outside of the corporate domain…erodes employee good will without providing them services that they clearly want, and in most cases truly need.” Still don’t believe us? See how these cloud-based tools compare.

How to Use this Information

XIOSS approaches workforce productivity from a customer-centric perspective. Call XIOSS at 952-941-4000 to learn more about how we can help mobilize your workforce.

How is your organization focusing on increased productivity in 2018?

Hitachi Addresses Capability Gaps in Public Safety

XIOSS partners with all the major suppliers to provide tailored IT solutions that align with your budget priorities, existing infrastructure, virtualization, operational efficiency, and more…

Picture this.

A terrorist is targeting one of the major high-rise buildings downtown. He picks up his cell phone and types an update to Facebook so his family knows he’s ok. Just as he hits “Post,” law enforcement swoops in from every angle and surrounds him so there is nowhere for him to run. They cuff him and bring him to the station. It’s a great day for this task force. They’ve been following this criminal for a while, and now he’s officially in their custody and off the street. He can’t hurt anyone now.


Sounds like your typical Tuesday night TV drama, right? Fortunately, with Hitachi’s recent advances in connecting data intelligence tools, cutting down on data silos will increase response times for law enforcement. These positive steps make it easier and more efficient to keep communities safe. This is part of a broad commitment by Hitachi to Social Innovation in order to make society safer, sustainable, healthier, and more comfortable by leveraging the IoT, big data analytics, and IT infrastructure technologies.

If you think this all sounds like some sort of real-life CSI, you’re absolutely right. Police departments are actually able to pull up a map of the city and see relevant information like social media posts and video from strategically placed cameras and where they happened on the map in addition to the time. Although court documents still need to be obtained in order to access any information on someone’s phone, police can access any public information. For example, law enforcement is unable to use someone’s phone location to find them, but they can use social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, which often provide the user’s location as the user posts.


So, what is this wonder tool delivering dynamic situational awareness to public safety officials across the globe? It’s the converged solution, Hitachi Visualization. This converged solution literally gives city officials the opportunity to move from making reactive decisions to using real-time insights and predictive crime analytics as part of a more proactive decision-making process.

To support a data-driven, citizen-centric police philosophy, the Austin, Texas Police Department (APD) is using the Hitachi Visualization Platform (HVP) to collect, share, and analyze information. HVP edge-capture camera devices allow the city to monitor activity in real time for targeting city areas, providing potential crime evidence, and supporting public safety goals. “We’ve been able to reengineer our department into a data-driven and intel-based policing organization. The public safety camera project is designed to aid the city in deterring, detecting, and investigating crimes,” said Troy Gay, Assistant Chief of the APD.

The goal of the APD was to implement a real-time observation project with digital cameras posted in crime-dense areas of the city, including Rundberg, Sixth Street, and the Warehouse District. The venture officially became known as the HALO Public Safety Camera Project (HALO is short for High Activity Location Observation) and it is part of an ongoing effort to reduce crime in these “hot spots.”

With Phases I and II successfully completed, APD is now embarking on Phase III which includes the purchase of additional HVP cameras and related hardware, software, services, maintenance, and post-warranty support. This maturity phase will also include enhancement of wired and wireless network capacity and security to ensure continued, uninterrupted operational resilience.

The award-winning, cloud-based Hitachi Visualization Suite aggregates data into a common, live operating picture, providing full situational awareness to support incident management and investigations for the APD and many other public safety officials.

XIOSS approaches every engagement from a customer-centric perspective. Call XIOSS at 952-941-4000 to learn more about how we can help put your city on the map of smart cities.

What other innovative solutions are you seeing in government that will allow cities and communities to solve urban issues together?

Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud. What Does My Organization Need?

XIOSS designs scalable hybrid cloud solutions that align with your budget priorities, existing infrastructure, virtualization, operational efficiency, and more…

The rumors are true. Adopting a cloud infrastructure can save your organization money in the long run, but it is important to choose the right cloud solution for your enterprise needs in order to maximize resources with an investment that aligns with your budget. Unfortunately, it’s the leg work that goes into choosing the right cloud solution as well as the investment that still has some leaders asking, “Do we really need to be on the cloud?”

In 2018, that’s a fairly easy question for us to answer. If your organization—and more specifically your IT department—is being tasked with getting better results while using fewer resources, a cloud solution will get you there. It will transform how your team delivers IT services which will give your organization a competitive advantage. The key benefits of the cloud include scalability, instant provisioning, virtualized resources, and the ability to expand the server base quickly. Partnering with a technology solutions provider who can walk you through the options will also give your team the initial boost needed to choose the right cloud and get it implemented rather than tasking them with even more work. Until then, here is some information to get you up to speed on the various cloud solutions and how they’re being used.

Public Cloud

A public cloud is based on the standard cloud computing model where a cloud service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to organizations without any responsibilities to manage or maintain the data centers. Public clouds tend to be more popular with companies who are looking for an option with limited lead time. A drawback of public clouds can be that some organizations view them as being less secure although security breaches of public clouds are uncommon. Although organizations do not manage their data on public clouds, their data remains segregated from others.

Private Cloud

A private cloud is similar to a public cloud in that it is still scalable and offers self-service. The difference is a private cloud is used only by a single organization so the hardware, storage, and network can be set up to meet the desired level of security and compliance needs. This solution precludes pay-as-you-go and can be more costly since your organization is the sole user of this private cloud and it’s components, but it is often favored by mid- to large-sized enterprises for the purpose of control.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud solution includes a mix of private and public cloud services, and is often preferred by companies that wish to take advantage of the benefits afforded by both cloud options. A hybrid cloud also uses an encrypted connection to allow the flow of data between the two cloud environments. It is good a solution for keeping costs at a minimum while still providing secure and controlled data storage environments that meet compliance needs.

As enterprises seek efficiencies to better serve customers, the focus on cloud computing will only intensify. IDC predicts, “more than 80% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures in 2017.”

Choosing the Right Enterprise Cloud Solution

While there are many benefits to cloud infrastructure, it’s important to ensure your company has the proper time, resources, and staff to make the transition effectively or it could suffer undue expense. That’s why to ensure your success you need to rely on proven cloud technology and infrastructure solutions from an industry leader such as Hitachi Data Systems. As one of their cloud service providers, we will be able to customize a cloud infrastructure as unique as your organization.

XIOSS approaches every engagement from a customer-centric perspective. Call XIOSS at 952-941-4000 to learn more about hybrid cloud solutions for your organization.

Has your organization moved to the cloud? If so, how was your experience and what type of cloud infrastructure did you elect to use?

How Hybrid Cloud Technology Compares

XIOSS designs scalable hybrid cloud solutions that align with your budget priorities, existing infrastructure, virtualization, operational efficiency, and more…

If the predictions come true, 2018 will be a groundbreaking year for organizations to accelerate cloud adoption and enhancements. In the IT Trends Report 2016: The Hybrid IT Evolution, 92% of IT professionals surveyed confirmed that adopting cloud technologies was critical to their organization’s long-term success. Since so many businesses are weighing the pros and cons of various forms of cloud technology, now’s a great time to discuss what a hybrid cloud solution is and how it might benefit your organization.

What is a Hybrid Cloud?

As enterprises seek efficiencies to better serve customers, the focus on cloud computing will only intensify. IDC predicts, “more than 80% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017.”

A hybrid cloud uses an encrypted connection to allow data to flow between public and private clouds. Although an admittedly simplistic definition, a hybrid cloud solution gives the benefits of private and public clouds to organizations. Both clouds remain independent, but they share one or more touchpoints so data intermingles and more than one cloud may be accessed to perform a task. A hybrid cloud solution is not the same as a multi-cloud setup where different clouds are called upon to do separate tasks and the individual clouds are set up to take advantage of the unique benefits they provide for each task.

Benefits of a Hybrid Cloud

Organizations find that a hybrid cloud approach provides the power, scalability, and lower cost of a public cloud with the security of a private cloud. Some organizations transition to a hybrid cloud as an interim step as they migrate from on-site data storage and processing to 100% public cloud. Others choose to go the hybrid cloud route for the flexibility it provides to scale with the public cloud solution while maintaining integrity and security with the private component. In addition to flexibility to adapt to change, here are other benefits of a hybrid cloud solution:

  • Security: Some organizations have very sensitive data they need to safeguard with a private cloud but can use the power of the public cloud for processing the data or less sensitive data sets.
  • Efficiency: A hybrid cloud allows you to contain costs and to preserve efficiencies by using your private cloud for critical tasks while offloading less important duties to the public cloud.
  • Performance: Some organizations and some apps need minimal latency in processing for certain tasks. A hybrid solution can help allocate functions more efficiently.
  • Stability: Protection from network outages is enhanced when you have public and private cloud solutions.

Setting Up a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

While there are many benefits to implementing a hybrid cloud infrastructure, your organization must ensure it has the proper time, resources, and staff to make the transition effectively or it could suffer undue expense. Here are a few elements that must be discussed and planned for when implementing a hybrid cloud infrastructure:

  • Integration: Every organization can create a fully customized hybrid solution; however, customization and integration does takes time and requires staff to be assigned to manage and test it.
  • Management: To ensure a successful implementation, workloads should be modeled to determine the amount of storage and processing resources your unique situation requires.
  • Workload: What is your organization’s workflow? Do you experience high demand all the time or spikes in your needs? Have you determined what is handled by a private cloud and what is best for the public cloud?
  • Data growth: Consider your future data needs as part of your initial needs assessment.

Proven Cloud Technology

There’s no doubt that although a hybrid cloud solution offers many benefits to your organization, you could invest in product that doesn’t address your organization’s needs adequately. To ensure success you need to rely on proven cloud technology and infrastructure solutions from an industry leader such as Hitachi Data Systems.

XIOSS approaches every engagement from a customer-centric perspective. Call XIOSS at 952-941-4000 to learn more about hybrid cloud solutions for your organization.

What is stalling the implementation of a hybrid cloud solution in your organization? If you have deployed a hybrid cloud solution, what lessons were learned and what would you do differently?

Susie Galyardt of XIOSS Inc. Recognized as One of CRN’s 2016 Women of the Channel

Atlanta, GA,May 20, 2016 – XIOSS Inc. (XIOSS) announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Susie Galyardt, CEO, XIOSS Inc., to its prestigious 2016 Women of the Channel list. The women executives who comprise this annual list span the IT channel, representing vendors, distributors, solution providers and other organizations that figure prominently in the channel ecosystem. Each is recognized for her outstanding leadership, vision, and unique role in driving channel growth and innovation.

CRN editors select the Women of the Channel honorees on the basis of their professional accomplishments, demonstrated expertise and ongoing dedication to the IT channel.

Susie Galyardt, as XIOSS Founder and Chief Executive Office, launched XIOSS, a data solution provider in 2008. Under her leadership, XIOSS has not only grown exponentially but landed at No. 1 on CRN’s Fast Growth 100 List in 2012 and in the top 50 on CRN’s Next Generation list of solution providers. Susie was named in the Power 50 of CRN’s annual Women of the Channel in 2012, 2013, and 2016, awarded to the highest ranking women holding the most prominent channel-focused positions in vendor or solution provider organizations. Susie is a catalyst, not just in the technology industry but as a passionate advocate connecting innovation and people to drive new opportunities.

“These executives have made a lasting mark on our industry—growing and elevating partner programs, leading transitions to new business models and introducing cutting-edge go-to-market strategies, among other remarkable achievements.” said Robert Faletra, CEO, The Channel Company. “We congratulate all the 2016 Women of the Channel and celebrate their singular contributions to the advancement of the channel ecosystem.”

The 2016 Women of the Channel list will be featured in the June issue of CRN Magazine and online at www.CRN.com/wotc2016.

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XIOSS is a leading-edge Data Storage Solutions Provider, providing data consulting, professional services, hardware and software, XIOSS is vendor neutral and committed to providing customers with the best solutions on the market, combined with the highest level of customer service and support. XIOSS’s partner portfolio includes manufacturers such as Oracle, Hitachi Data Systems, EMC, NetApp, Silver Peak, Symantec, Commvault, Avere, Cleversafe, Actifio, SolidFire, Nasuni, Tintri, Zerto, Tegile, Dropbox, Nimble Storage, Code 42, SwiftStack and Quantum to provide tailored solutions to meet customers’ unique and ever changing needs. XIOSS has built a team of talented engineers with wide breadth knowledge, industry certifications and hands on data storage architecture experience in large enterprise and industry sector accounts meeting client’s technical challenges while exceeding expectations with high-quality support and service. Core areas of expertise include: Storage Virtualization, Backup and Recovery, Replication and Disaster Recovery, Storage Tuning and Management, Data Migration, Data Archive, Cloud Strategy, Cloud Storage Integration, Database Virtualization, Mainframe Storage Integration and more.

About the Channel Company

The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequaled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace. www.thechannelco.com

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The Channel Company Contact:

Melanie Turpin

The Channel Company

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