Month: July 2014

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Spotlight On…

Drew Rub

Employee Owner: Drew Rub

Drew’s 15 years of Information Technology experience began in the gaming industry supporting the network of a casino. He was involved in several infrastructure upgrades which included client PCs, system servers, and network hardware. Since joining Keller Schroeder in 2006, Drew has continued to expand his experience by working with clients ranging from regional financial institutions to small local businesses. Drew has been involved in several Microsoft server deployments and migrations, messaging deployments and upgrades, and desktop system migrations and upgrades. In addition, Drew provides first-line support for Keller Schroeder’s technical assistance line as the first contact for clients requiring support.

Drew’s certifications: Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP); Microsoft Certified System Administrator (MCSA): Messaging (Windows Server 2003); Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deployment

Drew currently lives in Evansville, Indiana with his wife Danielle. In his spare time, Drew enjoys grilling, movies, reading, and walking/running. He also has a huge love of the Star Wars universe and has a first degree black belt in Shotokan karate.

Contact the Keller Schroeder Account Team to learn more about Drew and how you can leverage his experience and skills to benefit your organization.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Winning by Finishing

finish-line-signIn my last article I made the case that collaboration can be more effective than competition when it comes to winning in the marketplace. Today let me suggest that another critical ingredient for winning, whether personally or professionally, is finishing.

Duh. Wouldn’t everyone agree you can never win unless you finish? Before you answer, take a look at your to-do list. How many items did you scratch off this week? How many strategic initiatives did your organization begin over the last 24 months, and how many were completed? Of all the projects on your plate today, how many are carryovers from last month or last year?

It is a lot easier to start something than to finish it. Our culture rightly recognizes the benefits of creativity and idea generation. We admire innovators, start-ups, and visionaries. Yet the less-glamorous task of shepherding new initiatives from inception through completion is often overlooked and undervalued. It is one thing to imagine a new product or service, but channeling the necessary energy, intelligence, and time to turn something imagined into something done is another thing altogether.

The result of fewer finishes than starts is a growing, muddled set of priorities. Assuming our resources are limited, then the larger the number of needs competing for those resources, the less able we will be to satisfy any of the needs well. In business, this can translate into underfunded new project launches, missed deadlines, unsatisfied customers and disillusioned employees. In our personal relationships, we may find ourselves exhausted from attending to good things we have started while failing to deliver on the excellent things most important to those we love most.

Life and business are too complicated to be handled singularly and sequentially. If we agree that a fully engaged life requires doing more than one thing at a time, then how do we ensure the right things get done? How do we become good finishers?

  1. Stop starting stuff. One of the most important yet difficult disciplines necessary to finish well is to limit the things we are willing to undertake to begin with. It seems easier to tell someone “yes” in the moment and deal with the consequences of unmet expectations later than to do the hard work of saying “no” and defending our reasoning now.

  2. Start stopping stuff. One of my favorite soapboxes is to complain about the inclination of churches and governmental organizations toward starting great new things, but never having the courage to admit when it is time to discontinue them. To be a strong finisher in the important things requires a tenacious commitment to simplify, prioritize, eliminate, and narrow the number of “shiny things” demanding our attention.

  3. One thing at a time. While multitasking is alive and well and required of all of us to some extent, the ability of individuals and organizations to focus full attention and abundant resources on the highest priority task or project for a specified period of time is a key discipline for effective finishers. The shotgun approach for time and energy management is a likely recipe for lost productivity.

It might be said that finishing is a lost art in our culture today, but for those who can do it well, it is a differentiator.

Larry May

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Layered Malware Protection

Schuyler Dorsey, Network Security Consultant

Back in May, Symantec declared antivirus was dead. In the same announcement, they declared their software was less than 50% effective against today’s malware. These revelations caused quite a stir and confusion in the IT community. Some outlets took this to mean antivirus was dead in the sense it was no longer needed. This is certainly not the case and after a recent surge in Game Over Zeus attacks, it is a good time to explore the problems with today’s malware strategies.

The Problem

malware-infectsMany companies rely on traditional antivirus (AV) suites as their primary or sole form of protection against these threats. Once a new virus is created, traditional AV will provide little to no protection against the new virus until a signature is created. For a signature to be created, the AV vendor has to become aware of the new threat, obtain a copy of the virus, study and reverse engineer the virus, create a signature which blocks the virus and update their software with logic on how to remove the virus if it is found.

File-based malware protection is often based on a specific pattern of bytes in the file. Once AV has an updated signature to actively block the malware based on those bytes, evil-doers can use updated AV software to determine the exact string of bytes the AV is using as its signature. They can often alter as little as one byte in their virus and the AV will no longer detect it, as the pattern of bytes is different.

The Solution

What Symantec was truly hinting at was that the use of antivirus as a primary/sole form of malware prevention is dead. We can no longer rely solely on antivirus and must take a layered approach. Two of the most common strategies are next-generation firewalls (NGFW) and advanced malware protection (AMP) solutions.

shieldNGFWs give a company more visibility into their network. They no longer only control traffic based on IP/port but can control based on specific applications as well. The same devices often come with intrusion prevention and antivirus scanning subscriptions to add an additional layer of security to the perimeter.

Advanced malware protection (AMP) products were a direct reaction to the signature problem of AV solutions and targeted attacks. AMP solutions will monitor all files traversing the perimeter and run them in a sandboxed Windows virtual machine. If the behavior of the file is malicious, it will add the hash of the file to its block list and update all devices with the AMP subscription worldwide.

Once NGFWs and AMP devices are added to a company’s network in conjunction with active AV solutions, they have taken a more layered approach to malware defense and have a much better chance of preventing malware infection and more effectively removing an infection from the network.

The Next Step

Keller Schroeder partners with Cisco and Palo Alto Networks which can bring these enhanced layers of protection to networks. Cisco recently acquired Sourcefire to enhance their NGFW line and Palo Alto Networks recently acquired Cyvera to add endpoint security to their portfolio.

Contact your Account Manager at Keller Schroeder for more information about these products and how they might benefit your organization.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

KS is now a Nintex Partner

Nintex IconRob Wilson, Business Unit Director

We are pleased to announce a new partnership at Keller Schroeder intended to help us better serve our SharePoint customers. Nintex has a solid reputation as a forms and workflow development solution for SharePoint, which has become increasingly important because of the recent changes to the SharePoint workflow engine and uncertainty about the InfoPath forms solution. We have had a serendipitous relationship with Nintex for some time now, having assisted clients with installation, configuration, and development projects. Now, Keller Schroeder has entered into a formal partnership with Nintex as a Value Added Reseller, so we can assist in the full solution delivery lifecycle, including: evaluation, sales quotations, procurement, implementation, and renewals. Our partnership gives us direct access to Nintex resources, including high quality technical training designed for partners to add to the real world experience our team already has with the product.

Having partnered with K2 already, we did not quickly jump into this partnership. There is some overlap between the products – especially when it comes to SharePoint. This is nothing new to us, however, as we have partnered with competing solutions in the past. For example, Keller Schroeder is a Value Added Reseller for both NetApp and Nimble Storage Area Networks. Why would we do that? The answer is simple: to better serve you. K2, a full-featured BPM solution with SharePoint connectors, will be a better fit for some organizations and Nintex, strictly a SharePoint add-on, will be a better fit for others. Keller Schroeder can help you decide the best fit for your organization and assist in implementing either solution.


Some of the criteria to consider when choosing a solution are:

  • How many users will access forms and workflows?
  • Who will develop the forms and workflows?
  • Will my workflows access information stored outside of SharePoint?
  • What infrastructure is available to me?
  • Which ongoing support model best fits my organization?
  • What are my team’s existing skills?
  • Is our SharePoint site hosted in the cloud or on-premise?

    One message we have consistently shared from the beginning is that to develop more than one workflow for SharePoint, you should definitely consider one of these products. Keller Schroeder is pleased to have had success with both products as well as good partner experiences with both. We are excited to add Nintex as a trusted partner and look forward to sharing more about the product with you. Please contact us for more information about how Nintex could add value to your ongoing SharePoint forms automation projects.

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