2017 NCAA March Madness Kick-Off Event

 Carissa Eatmon – [Marketing & Communications Coordinator]

We began our 2017 event schedule by getting into the NCAA action with a March Madness Kick-Off Event!

The Keller Schroeder team, along with our friends from Cisco and Nimble, met our clients at Bar Louis in Evansville
for a laid back afternoon filled with food, live action game play, friendly rivalries and fun! Thank you to everyone who came to hang out!

Clients who both pre-registered and attended were also entered into our Grand Prize Drawing for a Samsung 55″ 4K Ultra HD TV. Congratulations to our winner, Jana Shelton of Cresline!

We feel honored to have each of you as our client, and we look forward to seeing you again soon at our next event!


It’s OK to Ignore the CEO, When it is NOT the CEO!

ImagineBrad Mathis  – [Senior Consultant – Information Security]

Imagine the following scenario.

You are going through your daily routine and you receive an urgent email from the CEO.  The email is urgent, appears to be time sensitive, and is requiring you to act immediately.  You are aware the CEO is currently out on vacation or away on business, and is therefore unreachable.  However, the email is direct and to the point.  “Get this Done!”  The email is asking for you, a member of the financial team, to process a payment or monetary transfer.  It may even inform you someone from another company will be reaching out to you with further instructions, such as account numbers and routing information. An abbreviated example of such an email may look something like this:

CEO Email
What if you also received an email ahead of this one from someone in finance saying “Keep an eye out for an email from the CEO asking about a funds transfer”, followed by an email from the alleged company the CEO mentioned in their original email?  Transferring large sums of money from one account to another is a normal part of your job.  Although this chain of events is a bit out of the ordinary, it also seems perfectly legitimate.  Would you process the transfer?  Would a co-worker?

Sadly, far too many organizations are falling victim to these type of crimes known as CEO Fraud and Business Email Compromise (BEC).  Some of the email senders’ email accounts are spoofed, meaning the criminal sender is making the recipient think the email is from the actual sender.  Even more concerning is when the actual senders’ email account credentials are compromised and the criminal is able to send emails directly from the account of a CEO, CFO, Attorney, and so on.  This may sound complicated, but it isn’t.  With the advancement of malware laced email attachments and infected links, it is far too easy to install malicious software on a victim’s workstation, thereby allowing the criminal to capture every keystroke the legitimate user types.  Even more concerning, cameras and microphones can be controlled by the criminals.

The FBI estimates the organizational amount lost to Business Email Compromise between October 2013 and February 2016 to be $2.3 Billion.  Since January 2015, the FBI has seen a 270 percent increase in identified victims and exposed loss! Keep in mind, this is only the amount of loss actually reported.  Many businesses remain quiet and never report their losses for fear of public reputation damage.

Know Be 4Luckily, the risk of becoming a victim to this type of crime, as well as other email and web based threats can be reduced.  A modern and evolving layered security infrastructure is extremely important.  It cannot and should not be overlooked.  However, the most effective and most overlooked method to reduce your risk of becoming a cybercrime victim is effective and measurable End User Security Awareness Education.

While we constantly stress the importance of Vulnerability and Patch Management, this does not just apply to your technology.  User vulnerability levels need to be assessed in order to gauge their likelihood of falling prey to a Phishing email and other criminal scams.  This activity is most effective when supplemented with required security awareness training.  This is where it sometimes gets tricky.  The simulated phishing campaigns and security awareness training requirements must apply to ALL employees, up to and including the President and CEO.

Identifying your employee vulnerability baseline is an important and effective step toward lowering your overall risk profile, as well as empowering your workforce to always be on the lookout for malicious and criminal activity that can threaten your business.

So, Yes… It is OK to ignore the CEO’s request when it cannot be verified it is truly the request of the CEO.  When the business is on the line, they will thank you for your due diligence.

How vulnerable are your users?  How likely are they to fall prey to becoming a victim?  How have you taken steps to get data to support your answers to those questions?  When performing these employee vulnerability baseline assessments, we have already seen as high as a 75% failure rate for the initial Phishing test.  Launching an effective awareness solution that allows you to measure risk and track improvements is a critical first step in lowering your employee vulnerability risk, making your organization less likely to become a victim of cybercrimes such as CEO Fraud, Business Email Compromise, and Ransomware.

Contact Keller Schroeder today to find out how we can help you implement solutions that effectively reduce your employee vulnerability risk through ongoing security awareness training and testing.


New Year’s Resolutions for Application Owners & Managers

Rob Wilson[Business Unit Director – Application Solutions]

2016 Goals

Just in case you were having a hard time coming up with your goals and objectives for 2016, we wanted to pitch in and help. We asked some of our application developers, architects, and owners to contribute New Year’s resolutions for software application professionals. If you are responsible for owning or supporting an application at your organization, this list is for you.

Check your logs

Make it a goal to monitor your application logs proactively. It could be that errors are occurring behind the scenes that do not surface on the display. Proactively monitoring your application logs may help you identify smaller issues before they become large ones.

Upgrade your solution

Are you at the current release in your packaged software? Do you have a custom written app that was developed for an older version of .NET, Java, or another platform? If so, you may be missing out on some of the latest features or making yourself vulnerable to security risks that have been addressed in future releases. Make it a goal to get your packages and platforms up to date.

Archive and purge old data

If you have data that is old and irrelevant to your existing applications, it may be taking up needed space and causing performance degradation on your servers. Resolve to archive and purge that data in 2016 and maybe you will get a performance boost in your data intensive applications.

Give some needed attention to your mission critical applications

Have you developed mission critical applications in Access, Excel, or another platform that they have outgrown? Bite the bullet in 2016 and rewrite those applications on a more robust, multiuser platform such as .NET, Java, or SharePoint. The advantages will be immediately recognizable.

Make your web site mobile friendly

If you did not get the message in 2015 that Google will not include non-mobile sites in its mobile index, then you need to get motivated right away. Mobile devices are prominent. Google has said that more searches are performed now from mobile devices than from desktops in some regions. If the Google threat alone does not motivate you, focus on the improved user experience you will be providing to your employees, customers, and prospects.

Get a handle on your source code

Is the latest source code for all of your custom applications checked in to a central repository? Is it backed up regularly? If one-off applications do not make it into the repository, or if developers do not check in their latest revisions at the appropriate times, then you may put yourself in a precarious situation if those developers are unavailable or their workstations are compromised. Make 2016 the year you get a handle on the source code situation.

Have a security assessment performed

Do you have sensitive information in a database? Do you integrate with Active Directory or another directory service every place that you should? For every high profile data breach that hit the news in 2015, there were more data breaches that went unreported and possibly undetected.  Learn from the mistakes of others and have a security assessment performed by an experienced, quality partner.

Learn something new

There are plenty of free online resources that you can use to keep your skills relevant and up to date.  Try GitHub (https://github.com/vhf/free-programming-books), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com), or the free Pluralsight (https://www.pluralsight.com) subscription that comes with a MSDN license.  Spend a few hours to make sure your next project takes advantage of the latest software tools and runs as efficiently as possible.

If you need assistance accomplishing any of your Applications New Year’s Resolutions, contact your Keller Schroeder Account Team. We are here to help!

 


The Results are In

quality survey form with red pencil showing marketing concept

As a Microsoft Gold Competency Partner, Keller Schroeder annually participates in a customer satisfaction survey to gain valuable feedback regarding our services.

For the past 6 years, our clients have been asked to rate these services based on several key performance indicators. As in previous years, Keller Schroeder significantly outpaced partner averages in categories such as the quality of our products, customer satisfaction, and the technical competency of our staff. Our customers would also highly recommend Keller Schroeder, feel they receive great value from the services they receive from us, and are confident in our ability to meet their needs.

2015 Survey Results

AI-Gold-Black

Does your company need assistance with Microsoft? Contact your Account Manager at Keller Schroeder for more information regarding our Microsoft skills and how they might benefit your organization.


2015 Client Appreciation Event : All-Star Bash

Allstar Bash
Carissa Montgomery
– Marketing & Communications Coordinator

On October 2nd, 2015, Keller Schroeder hosted our annual Client Appreciation Event. This year, we held an All-Star Bash to celebrate the TRUE MVPs of our organization. It was a day filled with delicious food from Marx Barbecue and Pacetre, plus fellowship and a lot of fun.

Full SwingGirls

Along with our vendor partners, we also gave attendees the opportunity to win great prizes – including our grand prize – a set of 4 Indianapolis Colts Tickets.

Perhaps our favorite aspect of this event every year is the opportunity we give our clients and employee-owners to give back to the community. The continued generosity shown at this event never ceases to amaze us. This year, the Boys & Girls Club of Evansville was chosen to receive our give back donations. We successfully collected over 2 truckloads of supplies for the organization – things like cleaning supplies, healthy snacks, copy paper, and supplies for the care of their sports field.

Giving BackBasketball

Thank you so much to all of our employee-owners for their hard work in making this event a reality every year. Thank you to our vendor partners for both their resources and for joining us. Most importantly, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our clients for their continued loyalty and support.

Group ShotRay

Be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s Client Appreciation Event! It’s always the first Friday in October – October 7th in 2016!

 


TechSpot Recap : VMware-Kaspersky “Avengers: Age of Ultron” Premiere

Carissa Montgomery, Marketing & Communications CoordinatorStandee

 

On Friday May 1st, VMware and Kaspersky Lab joined Keller Schroeder in treating a group of our clients and their guests to a private showing of “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” at Showplace Cinemas.

Before the movie began, attendees and Keller Schroeder employee-owners listened to presentations from VMware and Kaspersky Lab featuring the latest from their technologies.

DezAfter beginning with an overview, VMware Healthcare Systems Engineer Max Abelardo discussed what was new with the vSphere 6 server virtualization platform, end-user computing using VMware, and the vRealize cloud management platform.

Chris Streeks, Systems MaxEngineer with Kaspersky Lab, then explained how clients could secure their virtual environments with Kaspersky. His talk centered around handling virtual endpoint security at scale and methods of virtualized protection.

AudienceAttendees also had the chance to win prizes. Matthew Yeley from MSWARS Research walked away with an Avengers-themed prize pack. David King with P&I Supply won our grand prize, a $100 VISA gift card.

For more information regarding the VMware, Kaspersky, or our upcoming events, please contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager.


Microsoft to Increase CALs – Effective 8/1/15

Increased-Cost

Keller Schroeder was recently informed that Microsoft is planning to increase the cost of their Client Access Licenses (CAL). On-premise user CAL pricing will increase by approximately 13% effective on August 1st, 2015. The list price for Device CALs will not change.

 

 

Which CALs are affected?

The following User CALs will be affected:

  • Core CAL Suite
  • Enterprise CAL Suite
  • Exchange Server Standard & Enterprise CALs
  • Lync Server Standard, Enterprise, & Plus CALs
  • Project Server CAL
  • SharePoint Standard & Enterprise CAL
  • System Center Configuration Manager
  • System Center Endpoint Protection
  • System Center Client Management Suite
  • Visual Studio Team Foundation Server CAL
  • Windows Server CAL
  • Windows RDS & RMS CAL
  • Windows Multipoint CAL

As a reminder, Device CALs will not be impacted by this price change, nor will CALs for any product not listed above (SQL, Dynamics AX/CRM, etc.).

If your company is looking to upgrade your Microsoft products, contact the Keller Schroeder Account Team soon to make those changes BEFORE the increase on August 1st. We will gladly answer any questions you might have and look forward to assisting you.


If I Could Hire Your Next CIO

Handshake

If I were your company’s next CEO looking to hire your company’s next CIO (Chief Information Officer), here’s the kind of person I would be looking for:

1.   Someone who cares more about our business than our data center. With the speed of change in technology, and the emerging opportunities to use it for strategic advantage, an aptitude for understanding and applying technology is no doubt an important trait. The leader of your IT organization must be able to articulate, educate and effectively deploy technology in the best interest of your business.  The best technologies, however, are of limited value if solutions are not embedded deeply within your organization’s purpose and plans, or if stakeholders do not buy in on the benefits.  All good organizations begin with “why?”, and the business or mission drives the “why” of technology, not vice versa.  Alignment between business strategy and IT strategy is incredibly important when resources are limited and timing is of the essence.

2.   Someone who cares more about people than projects. A repeatable, credible project management process, resulting in disciplined, in-scope delivery of well-tested solutions is the hallmark of an effective IT team.  The important thing to remember, though, is that good people deliver, and weak ones do not.  People want to work in teams where they are genuinely valued, where co-workers support and care about each other, and where they can see the positive impact of their work.  If you start with people and culture, then build good project management and execution disciplines, the results will follow.  The best processes and practices within a toxic work environment will produce temporary success at best, and even those achievements will be eroded over time by higher-than-necessary employee turnover.

3.   Someone who cares more about learning than knowing. We IT folks like to be the experts.  And if you are depending on us, you want us to be experts in functional areas not well-understood by other key leaders in the organization.  Routinely, however, we find the IT environment changing at a pace which does not allow us to know everything about everything.  IT leaders need to be lifelong learners with enough humility to (a) know when they need to ask for skills or advice from outside the organization, (b) be willing to admit weaknesses and failures in order to change and get better, and (c) network actively with internal stakeholders and external peers to ensure their organization is operating at peak performance.

I love the pace of change in the “tools of the trade” of IT, but I firmly believe the winners – from programmers and engineers through project managers and CIOs – understand and give proper attention to the relational and missional facets of the IT tools, projects, and solutions they are depending on to drive success.

 

Larry May

President


TechSpot Recap : Cisco Intercloud & Peak 10 Disaster Recovery

Carissa Montgomery, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Steve Kevin Cisco
The kickoff to our 2015 TechSpot series of lunch-and-learn events took place on Thursday, February 26th. The event was also the first held at our new TechSpot location, ITT Technical Institute in Newburgh, IN. The informative session featured presentations from our vendor partners Cisco and Peak 10.

Cisco Systems Engineer Kevin Flook discussed the company’s Intercloud Fabric, a highly secure, open, and flexible solution that gives users complete freedom in workload placement based on business needs.
Kevin’s presentation included details such as Cisco’s Intercloud Kevin PresentingFabric vision, an overview of its architecture, and case studies highlighting the technology’s true business value.

John and Mike Peak 10
Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from Mike Meyer, Systems Engineer from Peak 10. Mike discussed the latest in Peak 10’s Disaster Recovery. Topics featured in Mike’s presentation included Business Continuity versus Disaster Recovery, a Disaster Recovery plan using the Cisco PPDIOO Chart, challenges associated with traditional disaster recovery implementations, and cloud-based disaster recovery using Peak 10’s Mike PresentingDRaaS.

Clients were also treated to a free lunch, a free gift, and the opportunity to win great prizes. Becky Hills from Ivy Tech, Allen Tate from the Ohio Township Public Library System, and Cathy Finch from Raben Tire all took home Amazon Fire Sticks. Abram Devonshire from Flanders Electric won our Grand Prize, a $100 VISA Gift Card.

 


2014 Client Appreciation Event

Carissa Montgomery, Marketing Assistant


Title for Email logo


Despite a few early challenges compliments of Mother Nature, the 2014 Keller Schroeder Client Appreciation Event was a tremendous success. On October 3rd, over 300 Keller Schroeder guests, employee owners, and selected vendor partners took a walk on the wild side, as the theme for this year’s event was Jungle Safari. Greeted by animals, bright colors, and jungle-inspired sounds, the event gave everyone the opportunity to enjoy exotic food, fantastic conversation, and lots of fun. [PICTURES]


gorillaAn important element of our Client Appreciation Events each year is our commitment to giving back to our community. This year, we partnered with CASA of Vanderburgh County, an organization that provides court appointed special advocates for children from birth to eighteen years who have been physically or sexually abused, neglected, or abandoned. It truly is “a jungle out there” for these children, and we were extremely excited to include them as our “Giving Back” organization this year. Keller Schroeder, both corporately as well as individual employee owners, along with our event attendees, provided office and other supplies for CASA’s advocate training center and children’s items for a store the organization provides for its children. Once again, attendees were entered into a gift-card drawing as an incentive to contribute items at the event. In all, hundreds of items worth thousands of dollars were donated.


Key vendor partners who joined us for this year’s event and provided support and sponsorship included Cisco, Nimble, LogRhythm, Barracuda, and K2.


Join us next year, on the 1st Friday in October, for the 2015 Client Appreciation Event!