The Compliance Effect

The Managed Security Service Providers journal, MSSP Insider, interviewed Bryley president Gavin Livingstone about General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 1 compliance.

“Our manufacturing clients were especially observant and working toward [regulatory] compliance,” said Gavin. The interview was prompted by a survey by Scale Venture Partners, Cybersecurity Perspectives 2019 2 . In the report, 2018 data breaches like at Exactis, exposures like at Cambridge Analytica, and regulations like GDPR triggered businesses to improve cybersecurity and increase investment in their security solutions. As a result fifty-five percent of the surveyed executives increased their investment in new solutions, forty-nine percent increased their measurement and reporting around data privacy, and forty-eight percent increased investment in data privacy personnel.

The Day the Cloud Went Down

7:33 AM, August 31, 2019, a power failure hit Amazon Web Services (AWS) US-East-1 datacenter in North Virginia. As expected, the datacenter’s backup generators kicked in.

Then at about 9 AM the generators started failing

The result was 7.5% of Amazon’s data storage units were unavailable for several hours. Some of the affected websites and services included Reddit, Styleseat, Fortnite, Sendhub … and many smaller sites and services. Power was restored, and around noon most of the drives were functioning. But the outage rendered some data unrecoverable. For those that had not backed up their data, the power failure was a disaster.

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Your Windows 10 Transition

Using Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008/R2 after January 14, 2020 puts your systems at risk of vulnerabilities and cyberattacks. When over 200,000 computers were infected by WannaCry in 2017, it was the result of a Windows vulnerability. If a WannaCry-type attack occurs that affects Windows 7 after January 14, 2020, your Windows 7 installations will only have had access to the patch if you are paying for Extended Security Updates. 1

One in three breaches is due to unpatched vulnerabilities. For an organization, the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million — the average cost for each lost or stolen record is $148. This makes data breaches worse for most businesses than floods, fire, and transit strikes combined. 2 Data breaches end businesses.

The Mysteries of Microsoft’s Model for Windows

“All they had to do was come up with a way to charge ten bucks a month and now no one steals music,” I overheard a college student say. He was talking about how Apple transformed from selling software (mp3s via iTunes) to renting access to songs, aka Software as a Service (SaaS). Apple Music now has the most paid music subscribers in the US and based on this success, “announced new subscription offerings for magazines, TV shows and video games”. 1

Per Forbes, 84% of new software is being delivered as SaaS. 2 This selling model built Netflix memberships (20 million renters at the height of its DVD service compared to over 150 million SaaS subscribers today 3 ), Dollar Shave Club razors, Stitch Fix and Amazon’s Subscribe and Save. Subscriptions moved Adobe’s market cap more than 87% since 2012 to $108 billion. 4

Bryley Systems Ranks #3 as a Top IT Service Provider – WBJ 2019

Bryley Systems is excited to announce that we have been ranked as one of the top 3 on the Worcester Business Journal’s 2019 list of Top IT Service Providers. We are proud to be recognized for our commitment to our clients, as well as our staff, and wish to thank everyone for making this possible.

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Crunching the Patching Numbers

There were 16,516 Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs)1 published in 2018. The time needed to analyze the relative importance of these to your organization would be something like 16,516 alerts times fifteen minutes to read and assess each one, which works out to about 500 days of work. If you decide that your organization is affected by twenty percent of these, that’s 3,304 vulnerabilities times an average of about an hour to patch each one — that will take about 40 days. And how many devices do you have that need this patch deployment? 2

Our New Sign

Bryley Systems was awarded a $3,500 grant from the Town of Clinton’s Downtown Commercial Improvements Program. This Program, which is funded jointly by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, makes funds available to business and property owners who wish to make improvements to their property. With funds from this grant, Paul Tucker of Sign Logic, transformed the Bryley logo into a visually interesting sign, complimenting the company’s historic building at 200 Union Street.

The Curious Case of Windows 7 Legacy Apps

“Support for Windows 7 is Coming to an End. … January 14, 2020 …” nagged a Windows 7 screen last week.

Like any other piece of technology, Operating System software gets obsolete. The obsolescence comes in the form of vulnerabilities to hackers, who get rich knowing how to look for and exploit these weaknesses in the code, compromising the contents of your computer and network.

Bryley Systems Ranks Among Top 501 MSPs for 6th Consecutive Year

For the sixth consecutive year (2014 through 2019), Bryley Systems Inc. has been named as one of the world’s premier managed IT service providers via the prestigious Channel Futures MSP 501 rankings.

Every year, MSPs worldwide complete an extensive survey and application to report their product offerings, growth rates, annual total and recurring revenues, pricing structures, revenue mix and more. MSPs were ranked according to a unique methodology that weights revenue figures according to how well the applicant’s business strategy anticipates trends in the fast-evolving channel ecosystem.

Retired Bryley employees celebrate 65th anniversary

On June 12, 1954, James K. Livingstone married Shirley M. Byerly*; both former employees of Bryley Systems, with Jim’s tenure extending from 1988 through his retirement in 2013. (Shirley’s was employed at Bryley Systems in the late 1980s.)

The wedding ceremony was conducted at a local church, after which the group congregated at 6pm at Shirley’s parent’s home in Pansy, PA. (Pansy is 17 miles north of Punxsutawney, PA; it is farm and (was) coal country where the local population remains sparse, but slightly larger than when Shirley went to the area’s one-room schoolhouse where grades K through 12 sat together; upon entering school, Shirley was immediately promoted from first grade to second grade due to her being the only first grader in the room.)

Did You Feel a Drop? BUDR Pt. 2

Remember the panicked manufacturer with a progression of computer problems that recalled the proverbial “perfect storm”? Today I’m going to sort those problems out, and recommend ways to help keep those things from happening to you. To refresh, here’s what went on with that manufacturer:

The installed version of their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software) was too old to receive application maintenance and support. They hadn’t wanted to interrupt their workflow, and so hadn’t upgraded the ERP in more than five years.

When and How to Stop Google Chrome From Running in the Background

By default, when you close Google Chrome, the browser window closes, but the application itself continues to run in the background. There are a few reasons for this. First and foremost, this makes it faster to open a new browser window. Since Chrome is already running in the background, there is less that has to […]

It is time to consider upgrading from Windows 7

There are plenty of reasons to upgrade from Windows 7 before it reaches its end of life date on January 14, 2020.  Chief among them, Microsoft has indicated that, on this date, they will stop releasing security updates for Windows 7.  This will have major implications for anyone still running Windows 7, as it will […]

Ray Baldez and Tony Fierimonte Complete Cisco SMB Select Partner Certification

Bryley is pleased to announce that Tony Fierimonte and Ray Baldez have completed the training and testing to become certified Cisco Small and Midsize Business (SMB) Account Representatives. These certifications augment Bryley’s expertise as a Cisco SMB Select Partner.

The Snoopiness of Things

The 2015 Arkansas murder case that depended on smart-home devices, made the news again as the judge in the civil case upheld his ruling that James Bates is financially liable for the death of Victor Collins. The case against the accused was built on, among other forensics, records from Amazon whose Echo device was installed by the scene of Collins’ death, as well as evidence from a so-called smart meter. The smart meter reported inordinate usage of water around the time of death, which led the police to argue that a bloody patio was hosed down.

Avoiding the Perfect Storm

A nearby manufacturer called Bryley panicked. The problems started with a failed upgrade to their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software). Because they hadn’t wanted to interrupt their workflow, the company hadn’t upgraded the ERP in more than five years. But the installed version was now beyond maintenance and support, so they bit the bullet. Only, during the upgrade there was a power fluctuation so that the upgrade did not complete. In fact no computer on the network would boot normally. In addition while trying to resolve the failed upgrade, they found a flaw in their in-house back-ups. Now the business was losing days and money to downtime.

World Backup Day 2019

Celebrated On March 31st Data is essential to us all.  We rely on it complete even the most basic daily tasks, and yet it is so easy to take for granted. World Backup Day was established to remind us of the importance of data in our lives, and why we must make a sincere effort […]

GDPR and You

Surprised that in the last month, between two small marketing list brokers, more than a billion personal records were found to have been leaked on the internet?1

That data then gets leaked and sold to potentially hold users’ computers or reputation for ransom. Or as in a 2018 hack, of DNA tester, MyHeritage, there is the ability to sell the data to the insurance and mortgage industries, revealing DNA disease susceptibilities, thereby making the user ineligible for coverage or a loan.2

GDPR to the Rescue!

From Farm to Bryley’s Table

Bryley’s client, Wilson Farm, is an upscale market for farm-fresh produce, home baked goods and prepared foods. On Sunday, we took a trip to their farm stand and came home with delicious prepared gourmet dinners, fruits and treats. For our employees, we bought them a beautiful cake decorated as a present and Monday became “Cake […]

Best Practices for Using Social Media

A sense of belonging, a sense of community and for businesspeople, a touchpoint for customer service and the ability to market to specific demographics are among social media’s benefits. And like every technology, social media – by which I mean websites that offer sharing tools that allow people to interact (e.g. Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, Facebook, YouTube) – have their drawbacks.