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Blog, Our Upcoming Events, Security, Technology, Uncategorized, VMware

Micro-segmentation; As Easy as Stealing Candy From a Baby


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I often feel that trying to come up with a good metaphor is a bit like herding cats. I know; I’ve used a simile to describe the difficulty of creating a metaphor; but that’s kind of my point. As is the case with my latest blog requirement: Micro-segmentation. You see; VMware have already nailed it with their ‘Hotel & Castle’ metaphor for VMware NSX.
It just works…

It goes like this:

1. Think of your perimeter security as your ‘castle’. A solid wall of impenetrable protection with only one way in and out (your firewall). This is your ‘North/South’ traffic protection.

2. Think of what happens when your castle walls are breached: burning, pillaging, looting; all sorts of terrible things. That’s because your protection is facing ‘outwards’. Once in; your internal (East/West) traffic is unprotected and susceptible to pillaging. Now I’m not sure what ‘pillaging’ is, but the metaphor implies that your servers are now vulnerable.

3. Now think of a hotel. You can stroll in without being challenged (usually). But once you’re in you can only access public areas. If you need to get into staff areas, rooms, gyms or whatever; you’re going to need a keycard that grants you access to a particular subset of private areas.

That’s what micro-segmentation does – well, metaphorically at least. In theory, I now only need a short statement to align the metaphor with your data centre; so here goes: Micro-segmentation provides hypervisor level, layer 4 protection for east/west traffic within your data centre; preventing cyber threats from spreading once they’ve breached your perimeter security. Clever stuff!

I think it’s fair to say that my description above is somewhat simplistic. The good news is that our VMware NSX certified experts can explain it properly to you. Our free-of-charge security posture review will provide you an opportunity to discuss your endpoint security challenges, as well as your wider cyber security posture with regards to perimeter, data centre and cloud components.

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Blog, Cetus Solutions, Cloud, IT Solutions, Technology, Uncategorized

Busted! Top Cloud Security Myths


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In the lead-up panic to GDPR enforcement on the 25th of May, I thought I’d go ahead and clear up a few of the cloud security myths that have been knocking around lately. As it is, according to Steve Morgan in the Cybersecurity Business Report, malware is projected to cost the world a whopping six trillion dollars a year- and that’s by 2021. And with cloud hosting getting more popular by the day, it’s nice to know where your priorities should lie while you’re trying to sort out your GDPR compliance. So, here we go! I’m counting again (if you missed that disaster on reasons to move to cloud in 2018), so we’ll see how it goes.

1. The cloud is still a new concept, and is therefore insecure.
It’s been over fifty years since the idea of cloud became an actual thing. And it was around then that the distrust started surrounding the concept. It’s an understandable worry- data in your control is far safer; you know exactly where your data is, how it got there and who has access (in theory- but we’ll save that for a further point). The point is, the cloud isn’t new. Neither is encryption or the risk of malicious people hacking in to cause chaos. As issues surrounding these breaches have come up, cloud providers have kept up and ahead, upgrading and designing new cloud solutions to ensure continuous improvement of cloud.

One of the advantages to cloud hosting is the investment cloud providers make into security. Since your data is being stored with a cloud provider, it’s up to them to update all its firmware and configuration changes. I don’t know about you, but I’m not very reliable when it comes to updating my malware or firewall. It’s so easy to ignore that annoying notification that pops up on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen when you boot up your laptop first thing in the morning. Cloud providers have much greater expertise in the area of data hosting, and they have the technical staff to deal with any issues that arise. Isn’t that one less headache to worry about?

2. On-premise hosting is best.
You gently brush your fingers down the server casing, cool to the touch, like a whisper shared only between the two of you. You know your server, it knows you. Stored in this piece of tin is not only data, but years of intimacy between you, an intimacy that you have been relying on for so long.

Except you can’t actually rely on it.

There’s a weird concept that when your data is stored on-premise it’s safer. I understand how, in our current GDPR-focused reality, being able to see exactly where your precious data is being housed can help quell fears. But in reality, on-prem hosting brings with it a whole other host of issues- issues that are your responsibility to deal with.

Take, for example, the destruction of your building. Fire, flood, paranormal activity- you get the idea. Everything goes, and it stays goes- er, gone. Then you have the possibility of questionable back-up processes, that aren’t questionable until you actually need to rely on them and realise that they haven’t been done in the last month. Oops. Then you have to ask yourself if the security measures that you’ve put in place are up to a high enough standard to protect all of your data.

And while you’re so worried about protecting yourself from the threats of the outside, what about that troublesome employee that you’ve finally gotten rid of after years of problems? Or an accidental or negligent security breach? These are far more common than getting hacked, but they could have the same disastrous consequences for your business.

3. All cloud systems provide the same levels of security.
There is a difference between a personal ‘data cloud’ and a cloud business system. One would understandably have to have far more stringent levels of security; I’m sure you can guess which. At the same time, you can’t assume that all cloud business solutions employ the same levels of security, and it’s important to make sure that you have a checklist for the kind of security measures that are required.

A ‘best in class’ cloud provider would normally have a top-quality data centre architecture that would be geographically apart (see ‘fire, flood, paranormal activity’ of the above point). Access is a big one; a good cloud provider would ensure plenty of application security that would comprise the industry standard SSL encryption. Restricted user access; does this person work for your company, and if so, are they allowed access to the data that they’re looking for? On your checklist should also be a dedicated security team who would identify and deal with any suspicious activity. And, of course, look out for ‘best in class’ security certifications to make sure that you’re in the right hands.

So that’s the myths of cloud covered. Now, imagine this; it’s gorgeous outside, you don’t fancy sitting in your grey office for the day, and your boss agrees to let you get your work done from home. Except you don’t. You find the nearest Costa/Starbucks/Café Nero with free wifi and big bay windows to let the sun in, and you plonk yourself there for the day. With your tiny laptop, you have all the power that you’d have if you were sitting in your office building. You’re able to connect to your company desktop through Citrix, and you’re able to write and edit the documents you were working on back at the office, thanks to Office 365.

Still not sure what exactly you should be worried about? Come speak to one of our experts about our free-of-charge security posture review. It will provide you an opportunity to discuss your endpoint security challenges, as well as your wider cyber security posture with regards to perimeter, data centre and cloud components.

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Directors-9619Missy Beaudelot – Digital Marketing Executive
With a background in journalism and an interest in all things tech, Missy keeps our social media in check while monitoring our websites and developing our digital presence.

Blog, Cetus Solutions, IT Solutions, Technology, Uncategorized

World ‘Your-Systems-Shouldn’t-Have-Gone-Down-In-The-First-Place’ Day


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Having been asked to write something for World Backup Day I got to thinking: what does ‘backup’ mean? In fairness I didn’t spend long thinking about it – it means “back up” of course. So; world backup day is about getting your systems back up then. A bit dull when you think about it; I mean – wouldn’t World ‘Your-Systems-Shouldn’t-Have-Gone-Down-In-The-First-Place Day’ be a day more worthy of celebration?

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m a big fan of backing things up – to tape, to a USB stick, to the Cloud, whatever floats your boat. It’s good to be prepared for a disaster so that you can recover from it. You might call it something like ‘Disaster Recovery’ – a good, strong sounding thing, very positive.

I was chatting with one of our excellent customers at one of our excellent events the other day. He said to his colleague, in jest, “An outage – what’s one of those? We haven’t a system outage in 5 years”. I say he said it ‘in jest’, but the truth is, they haven’t. That’s because we designed and built (and also support) their global infrastructure to avoid such things as ‘an outage’. That’s because outages cost money and, in their case, a LOT of money. Incidentally, if you’re a bit sceptical that our client said this; drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with him – he’d be delighted to tell you all about his systems.

What our client has is a system that allows business operations to continue, despite the loss of individual infrastructure or system components. You might call it something like ‘Business Continuity’. Definitely better than having to recover, or to get ‘Back Up’.

And that’s what we do at Cetus. We design and build resilient infrastructures that are capable of continuing business operations in the worst of situations. We do so on premise, through the use of active/active and active/passive infrastructure solutions; we do so with our private cloud, to where we can replicate our clients’ infrastructures for near real-time continuity; and we are increasingly doing so by utilising the Public Cloud, by combining Citrix Cloud and Microsoft Azure to provide truly resilient solutions.

So here’s to World Backup Day. And if you’ve enjoyed this blog and have become engrossed – don’t forget to change your backup tapes before you go home. You never know when you might need them to get your entire infrastructure (i.e. business) ‘Back Up’.

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Blog, Cloud, Cloud Hosting, IT Solutions, Technology, Uncategorized

Seven Reasons to Move to Cloud


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You might think that the whole hype around storing your data in the cloud will die out in 2018- especially with GDPR enforcement just around the corner. You’d be wrong.
The truth is, cloud hosting is only going to get bigger, and you’d better start getting on board! Not quite sure exactly why cloud hosting is revolutionary (and here to stay)? These are the seven reasons why you need to move your data to the cloud in 2018;

1. Flexible monthly costs.
For most organisations, an IT department- or just a room for data storage if you’re not in need of an entire department-, is one of those niggly necessities that come with running a business.. For starters, there isn’t a need to invest in a pricy mini data centre that you need to find a spare closet for (and don’t forget that you’ll need a great aircon system too- that’s an expensive closet). Installing in-house servers, data centres, additional desktop software, back-up servers…. It all adds up. Fast. But with cloud hosting, that’s an issue from days gone by. One of the biggest benefits of cloud is the reassurance of flexible monthly costs; instead of having to spend a big chunk of money on the cloud in one go, it’s easier on everyone to set up a handy monthly payment plan. So you pay for what you need, not for extra storage that won’t get filled up for a time.

2. Easy management.
Yes, easy management. Since you’re paying for a provider, all of the nightmarish installation and maintenance that comes with a roomful of tetchy technology fall onto them. You’ll never have to toss and turn all night over an IT problem, because it will all be magically fixed by morning (in theory). Regardless, with all the competition of new technologies and plenty of solutions to choose from, cloud vendors work far harder to ensure that your experience runs smoothly and that your data remains secure.

3. Flexible scalability.
Your business is fluid. We get that. One day it’s the end of the month with all of the reports to write and file away safely, the next it’s the week before Christmas and everyone is too busy chatting around the box of Roses to do much work. Maybe you’re growing as a business and need that extra bit of space? You’ll love the cloud so. Just scale up or down depending on your needs, it doesn’t matter. Cloud hosting provides the flexibility for you to access and add new features without the need to buy more hardware. What’s not to love?

4. Automatic updates.
Yep, automatic. We know that a reminder to restart your laptop for an update at 9:30am when you’ve just gotten into the office is a nuisance. Since the cloud is outsourced to a provider, any updates won’t affect you, ever. Which means that you just have to focus on what you do and let us work on the rest.

5. Affordable redundancy.
This could technically go under ‘costs’, but I can’t count to seven* and this is cool enough to have its own little paragraph. So, where does your resilience cost lie? How many back up servers do you have, and are they separated by 25 miles, nice and safe in the case of a flood or fire? All of these clever back up solutions can cost £12 million to buy, cable up and run. Which are acceptable costs for big organisations, but not so much for smaller ones. With a public cloud provider, instead of renting a big chunk of server all for yourself, you can share it with other small businesses to split the cost. Since you’re just renting a space in the cloud to store your data, unless there is a disaster it’s not actually running through to your desktop. Sharing is caring, and saving you money.

6. Disaster recovery.
Technology is finicky. Printers misbehave for fun, computers freeze for the craic, servers decide to give up on you out of the blue. You can never be quite sure about the physical box of cables sitting in front of you, and the smallest disaster could wipe all of your data in a second. Everything just gone. Which is why cloud hosting is business continuity made easy. Should disaster strike, the cloud makes it even faster to get back up and running- if you even notice it at all. The beauty of cloud is all the backup that runs seamlessly in the background. If something were to occur, provided your backup solution calls for it, your data stream would simply switch over to another bandwidth and you’d be none the wiser. That peace of mind really is priceless, isn’t it?

7. The beauty of mobile workspace.
We’re always talking about it, but it really is something. In this day and age, to be able to look out at the snow, make yourself a big mug of coffee and ring your boss to tell him that you’ll work from home today is a miracle. In fact, aside from not needing to get out of your sweatpants for the day, you may as well be in your office; you can easily access your custom applications in the cloud and crack on. And if your job needs you to be out in the field with clients, you can bring your entire desk with you in just a smartphone or tablet. That is great customer service and chances are your sales will increase. If you’re looking for a boost in productivity and revenue, then the cloud is definitely for you.

It doesn’t get more concise than that, and if you’re still not convinced of the benefits of cloud, there’s always the option of hybrid cloud. Whichever you’re thinking about, or even if you want to start your journey to cloud, Cetus Solutions is here to help transform your IT challenges into solutions.

*I can absolutely count to seven.

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Directors-9619Missy Beaudelot – Digital Marketing Executive
With a background in journalism and an interest in all things tech, Missy keeps our social media in check while monitoring our websites and developing our digital presence.

Blog, Cetus Solutions, IT Solutions, News, Technology, Uncategorized

Reasons to Be Cheerful at Cetus Solutions


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Happy Tuesday! For those of you who don’t know, today is International Day of Happiness. It’s a day to take a step back, realise how good we really have it and do what we can to spread more cheer. And don’t we have so many reasons to be happy? At Cetus Solutions, we’ve all pottered over to work in our beloved Salford Quays in the rain, ready for a productive day and plenty of coffee (or, as we’re mostly Brits in the office, tea).

And there are so many great reasons to be happy at Cetus.

It’s only Tuesday, the beginning of the week, and we’re already motivated to smash our goals and targets. And it’s basically still the beginning of the year; nothing awful has happened just yet. It was only two years ago that we lost so many of our icons and superstars- the world almost came to an end the morning we heard that Bowie had passed. So we’re doing well! The weather is warming up, just, and summer is around the corner. Can you not smell it?!

We’re redecorating the office (slowly, but surely!), look at our fantastic Inspire room; it’s the most chilled spot in the building, and one of my favourite places to retreat to and think. And it’s just the beginning, soon the entire building will get a lick of fresh paint and a splash of colour to liven it up. Make sure to follow us on our social media, we like to share all of our design updates there!

We’re also delighted to be growing our team. I’ve only arrived myself just over a month ago, and we keep finding amazing, intelligent people who share our passion and excitement for all things IT. The office seems to be getting smaller, but our family is only getting bigger, and we’re always looking for more bright-eyed, ambitious people to bounce ideas off.

And despite the crazy weather we’ve been having (who else enjoyed the drive to work through the snow at the beginning of the month?), Britain has remained in the 19th place in a study published this morning on world happiness. Which really isn’t bad considering we’re up against 155 other countries!

Today is the best day to celebrate being happy and going that extra mile to put a smile on someone else’s face; be it your neighbour, your colleagues or yourself (make sure to stop off on the way home to get that bar of chocolate/takeaway you’ve been craving!).

At Cetus, our hosting makes us happy, and we’re proud to make our clients happy too.

Want to know how we can make you happy? Read one of our case studies to see what we can do for you!

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Directors-9619Missy Beaudelot – Digital Marketing Executive
With a background in journalism and an interest in all things tech, Missy keeps our social media in check while monitoring our websites and developing our digital presence.

Blog, Cloud, Cloud Hosting, IT Solutions, Technology, Uncategorized

5G; The Dawn of a New Age for Cloud Hosting?


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If you haven’t been paying attention, 5G is all the rage at the moment. Hardly a day goes by without an organisation announcing on Twitter that it will be launching 5G testbeds here, there and everywhere. I’ve checked; at times there can be one tweet a minute dedicated to the uber-fast topic. And we’re starting to get a little excited; 4G is still fairly patchy all over the UK (try relying on Spotify on your mobile for an entire train journey through the British countryside and you’ll see what I mean) and there are already talks of an upgrade. Yippee!

But with regards to hosting, what is it going to actually mean? In the world of #ITSolutions, cloud computing and data hosting is The Big Thing. And everyone’s keen to join the hype of hybrid clouds, multi-clouds, and everything in between. So obviously, the speed at which your information will pop up to the cloud will improve. Or will it? And then we have to debate whether there will be a need for broadband at all, since our phones will essentially work better than any expensive Virgin/Sky/BT deals that come out of the walls. And what will that mean for data hosting?

Thankfully, I won’t be trying to offer you any knowledge that I’ve scraped together from my floundering research on the matter; I’ve had a nice quiet sit down with Paul Kiveal, our very own Strategic Business Development Director to set the facts straight.
So, according to the 5G Innovation Centre in the University of Surrey, 5G will run at one Gigabit per second. For those who aren’t in the know, that’s about 65,000 times faster than 4G. The bad news is, while O2 are testing the potential of 5G in the former Millennium Dome in North Greenwich later this year, it probably won’t roll out across the UK till 2020 to 2022.

And while 5G will make some impact with regards to cloud hosting, it won’t be an awful lot. When we think about latency, then yes, 5G will make it faster to upload content and it will be multiple times faster than 4G- think ten or twenty times faster. As it stands with 4G, we can easily stream videos, have Skype and WhatsApp calls easily, whereas the potential of 5G could have us downloading full movies in a matter of seconds. As users of 5G, it would be faster to consume and upload content, while the whole quality of the experience would improve. So obviously, your Citrix workspace would run considerably smoother, and uploading documents to ShareFile would take a blink of an eye.

Where there would be a noticeable progression would be around services such as Office 365 and other Saas. And when the next generation of 5G-ready phones come out (alas, our current handsets don’t have the ability to dream of anything more than 4G), then tethering will be much faster. Which means that, depending on the price plans of 5G, popping into a café to upload to the cloud using their wifi could be a silly thing of the past. That, of course, depends on the coverage across the country. As it stands, the excitement could all be for nothing if you happen to frequent an unfortunate area not covered by signal. Since 5G is more so a consumer technology, mobile working clients will enjoy the ability of guaranteed connectivity. Further driving the adoption of agile and mobile working.

And with regards to broadband, could it potentially make the platform defunct? Paul says that the idea of 5G is ubiquitous. The main drives of 5G are the realisation ‘smart’ things; self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, your dog’s collar- anything you could imagine, really. With the rollout of 5G nation-wide and easily available, we could in fact be looking at potentially removing the need for plug-into-the-mainframe broadband that we currently use.

So, while 5G will make a considerable difference in speed, for now, continuing the onwards drive to cloud and hybrid cloud solutions will depend on the progression of IT solutions. So maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to rely on tethering to our 5G phones to upload that end of the month report to the cloud, on the train, in the British countryside. Imagine. It looks like we’ll have to wait and see exactly how 5G will affect cloud hosting in the future. You’ll just have to watch this space.

At Cetus Solutions, we work with the most forward-thinking technologies to design the most reliable and innovative IT solutions for your business. Want to know more about IT solutions at Cetus?

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PS: Research into 6G has already commenced in China. What a time we live in!

Directors-9619Missy Beaudelot – Digital Marketing Executive
With a background in journalism and an interest in all things tech, Missy keeps our social media in check while monitoring our websites and developing our digital presence.

Blog, GDPR, News, Our Upcoming Events

GDPR – That ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ might just be a train coming!


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Having been asked to blog about GDPR; I decided to avoid the standard, attention-grabbing approach of stating the size of the fine for a breach of the upcoming GDPR regulation. If you’re not already aware – check your junk mail for GDPR workshop invites; it’ll be somewhere in the header or first paragraph.

I’ll start, instead, with a question: Are you struggling to get a handle on GDPR? Welcome to the club! As organisations of all sizes stand trapped in the headlights that are ‘the May 25th GDPR deadline’; who better to turn to than the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for some clarity. The ICO provide a helpful ‘What’s New’ section; so, I thought I’d take a look at February’s ‘news’. It included such helpful guidance as:
The term “right” in the provision does not mean that Article 22(1) applies only when actively invoked by the data subject. Article 22(1) establishes a general prohibition for decision-making based solely on automated processing.

And:
Article 35(3)(a) refers to evaluations including profiling and decisions that are ‘based’ on automated processing, rather than ‘solely’ automated processing. We take this to mean that Article 35(3) (a) will apply in the case of decision-making including profiling with legal or similarly significant effects that is not wholly automated, as well as solely automated decision-making defined in Article 22(1).

So that was helpful.

Seeking even greater clarity, I turned to Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner; who has been doing the rounds ahead of the May ‘deadline’. Ms Denham is clearly passionate about her mission, and speaks very clearly on the importance of GDPR; however, there is a degree of ambiguity in her messaging. In various blogs and speeches this year; she has provided the following guidance (which I’ve taken the liberty of categorising based on her perceived stance):

Very Hard: “Last year we issued more than one million pounds in fines for breaches of the Data Protection Act, so it’s not a power we’re afraid to use.”

Hard: “There will be no ‘grace’ period as organisations will have already have had two years to prepare.”

Vague: “Compliance should involve an ongoing effort in which organisations have to show they are putting the key building blocks in place”.

Soft: “While there will be no grace period – you’ve had two years to prepare – I know that when 25 May dawns, there will be many organisations that are less than 100% compliant.”

Very Soft: Ms Denham has said her organisation “is not planning to take a hard line on the 25 May implementation date for compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation”

I hope that makes things clearer for you? No? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Cetus has run a series of GDPR workshops over the last year and they’ve been attended by a wide range of people, with an equally wide range of opinions on GDPR. These range from “it’s a disaster about to happen” to “thought I’d pop along to see what all the fuss is about”. The funny thing is that they were all correct – it’s just a matter of how well your preparations are under way that defines the potential impact to your organisation come the 25th May.

Common amongst many of our workshop attendees was the fact that ours wasn’t the first (or even second) GDPR workshop they’d attended. However, the post-workshop feedback pretty much unanimously agreed that our approach to explaining GDPR was the most helpful they’d had; but why?

Unlike others; we described how a multi-partner approach needs to be taken. We combined deep subject knowledge from a GDPR practitioner; with a holistic security approach that looks to redefine an organisations digital boundary. At the end of the workshop we’d provided clear, practical next steps to allow the attendees to prepare for the deadline.

So, is GDPR just a legislative thing? Once again, I would like to quote Elizabeth Denham – “Only one in five people in the UK trust organisations to look after their data”. That’s a pretty miserable statistic. You might ask yourself – are you one-in-five, or are you one of the untrusted 80%? It could be more important to the future of your organisation than ‘mere’ legislation.

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Blog, Cetus Solutions, News, Uncategorized

Happy International Women’s Day!


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I’ve previously been conflicted about whether I agree with International Women’s Day. I absolutely agree with what it stands for, but in my eyes, we have a responsibility to empower inclusion and equality everyday. Therefore for me, International Women’s Day is about celebrating how far we have come in improving gender equality.

Surrounded by strong women, I am fortunate enough to work for an organisation where women’s voices are not just heard; we are valued and influential. In an industry that is traditionally dominated by men (I found a dismal statistic that suggested women make up only 16% of the workforce in IT/tech companies in the UK) it makes me super proud that 42% of my colleagues are women.

Moreover, these women are not just working in the business; they are women that are leading the business… Whilst a man founded Cetus, women form an integral part of the leadership team and contribute greatly to the success of the company, with 60% of the directors who participate in board meetings being women. And that’s representative across the business – our senior management team headcount is 50% women.

From my perspective, working in an environment where your career success is defined by your contribution to our mission to help our customers; and not by your gender is an empowering place to be. And whilst, I share some positive reflections on my own personal experience at Cetus, I appreciate there is still work to be done to ensure gender parity in the wider workplace. It’s something that we all need to be mindful of 365 days a year… not just on International Women’s Day!

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Blog, Citrix, Our Upcoming Events, Uncategorized

Embrace Digital Disruption


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How do the words change and disruption make you feel? From my perspective, disruption and subsequent change is exciting and progressive – it’s a sign of innovation, continuous improvement and gaining competitive advantage. But admittedly, I know for some those words are pretty daunting. But to be totally frank, regardless of how you feel about it, disruption and change is always going to be part of the world we live in. Without change, we cannot be better than we were yesterday – but our competitors embracing change can be…

Last week we kicked off a series of workshops, Accelerate Your Transition to Citrix Cloud, where we are showcasing to organisations how they can embrace digital disruption and in the process propel their organisation into a new era of digital workspaces where you will benefit from greater choice, performance, and security. Now, I’m sure you’ll agree, those words are definitely not to be shied away from…

Choice
Digital disruption is fundamentally changing the IT landscape. Cloud really is no longer just an over-used buzz word that is banded around – it is a reality that is changing they way organisations deliver and consume services with 44% of enterprise traffic from public cloud. And with the average business using 13+ cloud applications, organisations must both embrace and consider how they deliver and manage what in most cases is a hybrid or multi-cloud environment.

This is where Citrix Workspace is proving powerful – enabling organisations to overcome cloud sprawl without sacrificing the benefits of the cloud by enabling an efficient and comprehensive way to organize, manage and secure all cloud services used across the organization – whether these be SaaS applications, behind-the-scenes workloads, or file storage and sharing. But, not only catering for cloud, it also bridges legacy, on-premise and custom apps and data stores upon which businesses continue to rely on. Through the Secure Digital Workspace we can provide secure, simplified access and control of apps and data across any device, platform in hybrid & multi-cloud world – empowering your organisation with choice and options both now and in the future.

Performance
Not forgetting of course that with the rise of cloud, bandwidth intensive applications and an increasing number of network-connected devices, networking becomes the lifeblood of your organisation proving critical to availability, performance and subsequent user experience. As many organizations are starting to use hybrid and multi-cloud architectures to deliver their business applications, all too often, organisations networks just aren’t reliable enough to make it a reality.

This is where Citrix Networking comes into play creating a secure digital perimeter connection, NetScaler SD-WAN supports multiple underlying links and then intelligently directs traffic across these to ensure the highest possible quality of connection. SD-WAN addresses the needs of enterprises for secure, high quality, always-on access to applications and data that can be easily deployed at scale and with centralised visibility and control. It is a fully integrated platform that virtualises enterprise WANs to help you reduce bandwidth requirements, increase application performance, simplify branch office networking and gain flexibility through a hybrid WAN architecture. Ensuring the availability and performance to make multi-cloud a reality for your organization.

Security
We can’t talk about disruption without speaking about security. The threat landscape is rife… I do not know one organisation from which security is not a top priority for 2018. The reality is that work is now distributed, users working from anywhere, and everything is connected. They are using applications from on premises, SaaS, or other web or cloud locations – creating a surface area too vast for traditional security approached to be effective. And with the average time to discover a breach 200 days, the damage an attack could cause is frightening. Of course, there are point solutions available to deliver apps and content securely and reliably however point solutions only add to IT complexity. With 83% of businesses believing the complexity of their organizational structures and IT infrastructure is putting their companies at even greater risk for security breaches its important to rethink their approach to security.

 This is where Citrix’s people centric approach to security is proving effective – by focusing on the knowns, rather that the unknowns, we are able to apply policies and contextualise security based on real-time interactions with networking, applications and data. Through the secure digital perimeter we are able to simplify security for the IT department so they can minimize attack surfaces, centralize policy control and implement people-centric security measures. We are able to provide 360 visibility by aggregating analytics, logs and flows whilst giving visibility across SaaS, hybrid and multi-cloud environments. And finally, through intelligent analytics we are able to share threat intelligence across all services, detect and stop malicious user behaviors, and trigger contextual reactions and policies in real time.

The opportunity presented by digital disruption is vast – after all, digital disruption wouldn’t be disrupting if the benefits from embracing it weren’t greater than from the way we did things in the past. Think about what the future looks like and how Citrix Secure Digital Workspaces can play a part in supporting your strategy at our upcoming events.

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Blog, Cetus Solutions, Uncategorized

My first week at Cetus Solutions


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I’m Missy, the new Digital Marketing Executive, and I’ve been a part of the Cetus Solutions family for just over a week now. And what a week it has been!

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind; the first couple of days were just back-to-back inductions on who we are, what we do, and the values that we’ve set as a company. As much as I ‘love all things digital’, IT solutions had never even been on my radar. In fact, I wasn’t very aware that they were a thing. So I walked into the Cetus building on Monday morning with only minimal knowledge of what the company does. Being wilfully ignorant of IT solutions didn’t last long, I can tell you!

We’re all sick of hearing companies going on and on about ‘transparency’, with regards to both their employees and their customers. I know I am, and I know that I fall for the false promise of honesty and integrity in a new job time and time again. There’s a lot to be said about working in a company that values its employees just as much as its clients. And Cetus is exactly the kind of place you want to spend quite a chunk of your life working for. Paul Kiveal, our Strategic Business Development Director (I’m still not quite sure what that is, but apparently he’s fantastic at it) explained that at Cetus, we live by the words ‘inspire’, transform’ and ‘together’. And I really do think that those are the best three words to sum up Cetus Solutions.

Inspire
I’m a creative; I draw, I scrapbook, I DIY. So sitting in front of a desk all day every day has always been my idea of Hell. Yes, I can spend hours designing a website, messing around with graphic design software Canva and keeping up with all three of my Twitter accounts (incidentally, three is too much, and they’re a full time job in and of themselves). But I didn’t think that my method of working; which is basically lots of index cards flying about, notebooks of all sizes open and scribbled in and all kinds of lists scattered all over the desk; would fit in an office environment. And sitting? I’ve never had a sit-down job, ever. I hate sitting still, and I hate desks. As it is, I’d rather walk for 45 minutes than wait in the cold for a bus.

Surprisingly, I needn’t have worried. The whole team couldn’t be more accommodating if they tried. I’m encouraged to book out our ‘inspire room’, with its beanbag and comfy sofa, to scribble my thoughts onto the purple whiteboard. I was handed the office supplies catalogue and told to go nuts; I have my own corkboard on its way to help me organise all the bits of paper, notes and reminders that I have flying about. And I couldn’t be happier; sitting at my cosy desk with a cup of coffee, my laptop running quietly while I try and organise myself and next week’s content. I even have a second screen that I use primarily to keep an eye on what’s trending on Tweetdeck. No one stares when I stand up at my desk to get a different perspective on what I’m working on. It’s fantastic.

Transform
With my brand new Journalism and New Media degree, I have a bit of a background in PR and digital marketing. I think it’s fun, and I’ve looked into it for the craic. But I haven’t had much experience at all. So you can imagine my surprise when I actually got The Dream Job at The Dream Company (I’m convinced that I just dazzled them with my Irish accent). But in all seriousness, I walked in last Monday morning worried that I would be thrown into the deep end and be expected to increase engagement and drive leads within five minutes of my arriving. These weren’t ‘first day new job’ nerves, these were ‘I am nowhere near qualified for this and I have no idea what I’m doing’ nerves. A bit like going in to an exam without having had studied for it (not that I would know what that feels like!). Again, I had nothing to worry about. The Marketing Department has doubled in size, and we’re basically going to grow the Cetus marketing into a beast to be reckoned with. Claire Gibson is the Head of Marketing and Strategic Vendor Alliances, and she’s kind of like Wonder Woman. I started with Leanne, our new Campaign Manager, and Claire is carefully directing both of us, as well as getting on with whatever Strategic Vendor Alliances involves. So, while there is a lot to do, there’s no pressure to stress about. We’re not alone in our mission to improve the marketing at Cetus, we’re all in it together. So watch this space, we’re going to get big!

I love working here, I really do. I come in in the morning, with loads of ideas and things to be doing. I never have to ask what needs to be done; I already know what does. I’m constantly planning, organising and creating content for our social media (make sure you follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and our shiny new Instagram!). The days are short at Cetus; I often don’t get to complete all the tasks that I’ve set myself for the day. But there’s always tomorrow, and the deadlines that have been set are always attainable. My job is definitely an exciting one. There are so many things that need to be done, and I have so much creative freedom, it really is a dream come true!

Together
I’ve settled in quite well already in Cetus. I’ve been so lucky in the past to work with fantastic teams, full of young, ambitious people. And thankfully, it is much the same here at Cetus. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere- you get on with what you need to do, but there’s always time for a chat and a laugh. On Fridays at 2pm, it’s beer o’clock; time for a quick chat with a refreshing drink which we then bring back to our workstations and continue with what we were doing.

Tea and coffee; that is such a luxury. I’m not going to lie, my first day I made the mistake of asking all the ladies on the floor if they wanted teas or coffees and I got bombarded with requests. Trying to remember them all and get them back up the stairs again was a bit tricky, but as with most things, I’m starting to learn everyone’s orders. Typically British, tea is always most popular!

So that was my first week at Cetus; busy, inspiring and fun. I’m happy where I am, with a fantastic group of people with a vision and drive that have made me feel so welcome already. Cetus Solutions isn’t really a job, it’s the beginning of a career, and I know that I’m going to be pottering about the sales floor dropping index cards full of ideas behind me for many years to come.

Speak to an expert

Directors-9619Missy Beaudelot – Digital Marketing Executive
With a background in journalism and an interest in all things tech, Missy keeps our social media in check while monitoring our websites and developing our digital presence.