How An End-to-End Analytics Solution Helps You Avoid Hidden Costs

As the new year approaches, digital transformation should be at the top of every mid-market organization’s to-do list. As organizations begin to understand the value of business analytics for their daily operations, the need for an end-to-end analytics solution becomes evident. Yet, many companies struggle to obtain the right analytics solutions to fit their specific needs.

Unfortunately, the analytics solution market can be difficult to navigate. Since building an analytics tool in-house is incredibly time-consuming and very costly, many mid-market companies would be better served by working with a solution provider who can provide both the tools and talent necessary to achieve their business goals.

Digital Transformation Roadblocks

One major roadblock in the pursuit of digital evolution is determining how much an analytics solution is going to cost. Analytics solutions are complex, and when an analytics company gives a quote, they often fail to mention additional add-ons their solution needs to be functional. For instance, charges for a third-party cloud to host your analytics solution and individual charges for connectors that allow your disparate data sources to flow into the solution are the most common up-charges.

Your organization could get stuck with unexpected licensing fees or overage charges from a third-party cloud provider. Worse yet, you may end up piecing together various technologies, while lacking the adequate technical talent to keep the solution functioning and show actionable results. To achieve value from your investment, it is vital to look for a partner that can provide you with a solution where extra charges do not come into play. Budgets are an integral part of the decision-making process when it comes time to choose a solution provider.

With hidden costs, figuring out how a particular solution is going to fit into your budget becomes increasingly difficult. The most effective solution is opting for a partner who can provide your company with an end-to-end analytics solution.

Hidden costs for analytics-01
Why Mid-Market Organizations Need End-to-End Analytics Solutions

To compete with larger institutions, mid-market organizations need to leverage their existing local data to gain insights to better serve their clients. An end-to-end solution  ensures you do not end up with a solution your team cannot utilize to achieve your business goals and thrive in an increasingly competitive market.

It is a known fact that mid-market businesses struggle with retaining talent for data management, IT, security, and advanced analytics. Opting for an end-to-end solution gives you access to a team of experts who will always be by your side, assisting you every step of the way.

With Aunalytics, you get the technology and the expertise required to complete your journey from disparate data to actionable business results. Using our platform, your entire organization can reap the benefits of having a reliable and robust data platform.

Aunalytics Provides a Complete, End-to-End Analytics Solution for Mid-Sized Organizations

Aunalytics offers an end-to-end analytics solution that includes the right technology paired with experts who work by your side to help you accomplish your business goals. The technology, combined with the technical talent necessary to fully utilize it, will help your organization achieve true value from your investment. End-to-end analytics solutions provide you with insights from your data so you can concentrate on critical business decisions. No longer do you have to worry about overages, licensing costs or other additional charges. Aunalytics has the answers to your business and IT questions.

Aunalytics partners with organizations to build analytics solutions

The Aunalytics Data Platform is a robust, cloud-native data platform built for universal data access, powerful analytics, and AI. It includes the following components:

  • Aunalytics Enterprise Cloud provides a highly redundant, secure, and scalable platform for hosting servers, data, analytics, and applications at any performance level.
  • Aunsight Golden Record integrates and cleanses siloed data from disparate systems for a single source of accurate business information across your enterprise.
  • Daybreak Analytics Database provides daily insights powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) driven analytics, industry intelligence, and smart features that enable a variety of analytics solutions and timely actionable insights that drive strategic value across your company.

This end-to-end platform enables your business to extract answers from your data without having to worry about additional charges that might break your budget. Our solutions are secure, reliable, and scalable, all according to your business’ needs. Aunalytics solutions seamlessly integrate and cleanse your valuable data for accuracy, ensuring data governance and employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) driven analytics to glean customer intelligence and timely actionable insights that drive strategic value.

Using our solution, team members across your organization can reap the benefits of having an end-to-end analytics solution to make data-driven decisions. Company executives can view data cleansed into an accurate golden record that is streamed in real-time to enable better decision making for the entire organization. Your organization’s marketing team can have access to aggregated data that reveals a 360-degree view of your customer, including insights into customer behavior, that empowers them to run data-driven campaigns to the right customer, at the right time, with the right product. Your IT department can ensure that you are functioning at peak efficiency by analyzing the data collected to scale resources and identify potential roadblocks and bottlenecks. Those are just a few departments that would benefit—think about how powerful a real-time analytics solution could be across your entire organization.

Security assessments can help organizations with cyber insurance renewal challenges

Increasingly Difficult Security Requirements Complicate Cyber Insurance Renewal

Have you received a cyber insurance renewal notice with a shocking sticker price? With an ever-increasing number of security incidents involving data breaches, ransomware, phishing scams and more, the cyber insurance landscape has changed. It’s no longer possible to get premium discounts for implementing certain security controls—more is now required. And, without enhanced security measures, you may not get cyber insurance at all.

Threats evolve over time, meaning your security posture needs to evolve in order to not only remain operational, but also be compliant to qualify for most insurance policies.

Insurance companies are now requiring more precautionary measures than ever before due to the constant—and costly—increase of threats. Premiums are increasing and coverage is being denied even for companies that have no history of breaches or claims—cyber insurance renewal rates have increased by up to 200% over the past two years, even for companies who have not made any claims.

The average cost of a data breach has raised from a massive $3.86 million in 2020 to a staggering $4.24 million in 2022.

The Solution
Security assessments can help organizations with cyber insurance renewal challenges

With the risks of operating in an increasingly digital world, cyber insurance is essential for your business to function and remain protected in the event of an attack. Aunalytics’ Advanced Security experts have the talent and technology to audit your security and discuss precautionary measures an insurance company may want you to take before renewal. With a dedicated team, your business can avoid costly data breaches, ransomware, and get your security up to snuff.

Are you ready to assess your security before your company is the victim of a bad actor, costing you upward $4.24 million dollars? See if an audit by our security experts makes sense, and whether your insurance company has outright dictated (or hinted by their renewal questionnaires) new precautionary measures that they expect your enterprise to adopt to obtain coverage.

Daybreak Allows Financial Institutions to Increase Wallet Share with Competitor Payment Smart Feature

Daybreak Allows Financial Institutions to Increase Wallet Share with Competitor Payment Smart Feature

In the competitive financial services landscape, increasing revenue through new customer acquisition alone is a challenge. According to the Harvard Business Review, it can be anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. While new customer acquisition is important, retention and expansion of existing relationships should be a high priority—especially during economic downturns when reducing costs is imperative. A recent report by Bain & Company states, “In financial services, a 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit. Why? Return customers tend to buy more from a company over time.” Therefore, it makes sense for community banks and credit unions to focus on retention and increasing wallet share of existing customers.

Financial Institution Customers
Winning Back Business by Identifying Competitor Payments

Many community bank customers and credit union members utilize multiple financial institutions for various products. They may have a checking or savings account at their local bank or credit union, but an IRA account at a large, national investment firm, or a loan through another financial institution. By identifying which customers have external accounts and which products they may have through other institutions, community banks and credit unions can take steps to win back that business and increase wallet share of their existing customers and members. Daybreak‘s Competitor Payments Smart Feature mines transactional data and uses AI algorithms to flag external products with competing financial institutions on all active customers/members. These insights can be used to make more attractive targeted offers to win back business.

Watch the video below to see how banks and credit unions can utilize Daybreak’s Competitor Payments insights to win back business from competing institutions:

In addition to providing the ability to discover competitor payment insights in transactional data, Daybreak allows community banks and credit unions to compete with large financial institutions by…

  • Understanding customers,
  • Optimizing processes, and
  • Revealing actionable insights.

See how Daybreak Customer Intelligence for Financial Institutions is the customer data platform that makes it easier for community banks and credit unions to gain actionable insights and achieve positive business outcomes.

Cloud or On-Prem Servers—Which Is Better for Your Company

Cloud or On-Prem Servers—Which Is Better for Your Company?

Every organization needs to manage its data to get its desired business outcomes. For a company to access its data and use it in day-to-day operations, dashboards, reporting, and data analytics, it either needs a cloud or on-premises solution to facilitate compute, storage, and data management strategies.

What’s The Difference Between The Cloud And On-Premises Data Storage?

An on-premises data server is hardware that you maintain on your company’s premises for storing, processing, and accessing information through your organization’s networks. An in-house IT department is needed to maintain, turn over/replace, and upgrade the hardware, keep it stable and operational, and secure it.

A cloud storage solution run by an expert and backed by a cutting-edge data center provides the same functions as an on-premises server and more. It does not exist on your company’s premises and the data on it is accessed through the internet. All updates and maintenance tasks are performed by the cloud provider, who owns and operates its own hyper-secure data centers to safeguard your data in case of failure, cyberattack, or outage. Like on-premises servers, access to cloud data can be set by administrators to be permission-based to allow access only by authorized personnel.

On-Prem vs Cloud

On-Premises vs. Cloud—Which Option Best Suits Modern Business Needs?

Many mid-sized companies do not have 24/7/365 monitoring of their server rooms, specialized climate controls needed for a data center, and do not consistently deploy or regularly schedule hardware upgrades to keep the systems reliable before something goes down.

There are more factors when choosing between using a cloud computing solution or keeping servers on-premises, including customizability and scalability, security concerns, and the budget for your organization’s data management strategy. While on-premises data servers regularly require hardware upgrades in your physical locations to expand alongside your business’s growing needs, a cloud storage and computing solution with access to highly advanced data centers is scalable based upon your workload. Unlike an on-premises server that can take a lot of time and money to set up and ready for operation, cloud service providers ensure you can access your cloud for computing and storage needs almost instantly.

In some mid-sized companies, server rooms tend to be used for multiple purposes, which means that they are sometimes unlocked, unsecured, and allow for unauthorized access that compromises data security. Many mid-sized companies do not have 24/7/365 monitoring of their server rooms, specialized climate controls needed for a data center, and do not consistently deploy or regularly schedule hardware upgrades to keep the systems reliable before something goes down.

One mid-market employee shares the story of a server closet that her company had in a previous workplace. For starters, it could be accessed by nearly every employee of the company. She recounted that the IT department placed portable dehumidifiers in the room to keep moisture down. The IT department’s regular practice was to empty the server closet dehumidifiers in the office’s kitchen sink. Unfortunately, a new IT employee happened to trip while carrying one of the dehumidifiers and spilled water all over the server room. Every employee of the company was affected—they found out that the work they had done since the last backup, which happened to be 5 days ago, had disappeared. Even worse, their servers were down for several days after the incident, further impacting their daily business operations.

Although in the past, people feared that cloud would not be secure, or a company would lose control over its data—cloud has proven to be more secure than on-premises hardware. First, cloud vendors host their own data centers and because this is their main business, they have cutting-edge climate control environments to protect their clients’ data. Cloud vendors adhere to frequent hardware replacement turn-over schedules to keep uptime maximized and cloud operations state-of-the-art. Cloud vendors monitor their data centers 24/7/365, are security experts, and have strict controls in place in order to service clients in highly regulated industries with rigorous data security needs. For most mid-sized businesses, it is more cost effective to rely upon the expertise of a cloud vendor for data security and uptime than to host and maintain its own servers, stay on top of the latest security threats, and staff its data center (or data closet) for monitoring to prevent downtime and security breaches.

Large enterprises often can afford to build their own data centers providing them an alternative to an external cloud provider. However, this is incredibly expensive and can set organizations back by USD $10-25 million on yearly setup and operation costs. This infrastructure also takes a lot of time to be implemented and in today’s fast-paced business environment, this might not be entirely acceptable for decision-makers.

Yet, even for enterprises, on-premises solutions no longer make the most sense. Most modern business applications are cloud-native. Cutting-edge data analytics solutions are cloud-native and connect and integrate data sources using cloud technologies. Clouds are better suited for analytics than on-premises hardware, due to scalability and ability to absorb compute spikes (instead of having to invest in hardware with capacity for compute spikes as machine learning algorithms converge—which leads to excess capacity at other times).

According to Insights for Professionals, 63% of senior IT leaders and company executives who were surveyed expected to invest in cloud infrastructure-as-a-service in 2022. Considering the state of on-premises servers, which are becoming an obsolete technology that require an IT department to keep a constant eye on it, cloud technology is a natural progression in infrastructure for better data management. Gartner reports by 2025 almost 85% of companies will have moved to a cloud-first approach. Cloud technology has now evolved to a point where it provides better stability and security at a more economical price than on-premises solutions.

63% of senior IT leaders and company executives expect to invest in cloud infrastructure-as-a-service in 2022.

Mid-Market Company Considerations

Many organizations are operating in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. This means that they have some data in on-site servers, some data in cloud based line of business applications (relying on the application provider for data storage in whichever cloud the application vendor uses for its product), and many have some data in a public cloud.

However, mid-market companies have added considerations when choosing a cloud solution. Most public cloud service providers do not offer data management services. You need to do this yourself. Yet, mid-market companies often do not have this expert talent in-house. For success, mid-market companies need a cloud hyper-scaler that also provides data engineering services to build data connectors and pipelines, warehouses, data lakes, and the like. This skill set is different from a typical IT employee. Hyper-scalers—who can help organizations with data management, transform data from disparate sources into a decision and analytics-ready status, and bring transactional data into the forefront using a cost-effective cloud solution—tend to be private cloud vendors. For this reason, private cloud solutions make more sense than public cloud for mid-sized organizations.

Experts by your side

A side-by-side partnership with an experienced cloud-native data platform company will have a measurable and positive impact on mid-market company data management strategies, with built-in access to technical resources and experts, so that your company does not need to hire new FTEs to support data management. Rely on the data management companies for data management so that your company can focus on your main line of business.

Aunalytics’ high performance private cloud provides a highly redundant and scalable platform for hosting servers, data, analytics, and applications at any performance level. Aunalytics delivers data management in a side-by-side service model, bringing companies the technology and the talent needed for data management success. To learn more about our Enterprise Cloud solution, click here.

Don’t Ghost Your Network—Begin Your Security Maturity Journey

Is your security keeping up with the rapidly changing threat landscape? If not, your security is becoming more obsolete by the day—and more vulnerable to scary things like hackers and ransomware by the second. When a company is fully protected with the most up to date hardware, software, monitoring, and consistent patching it begins to reach security maturity.

Security maturity is a consistent state of awareness concerning your network security and can only be achieved when you:

  • Have an SOC to monitor and remediate threats
  • Have looped vulnerability management
  • Employ active defense with security intelligence from multiple sources to protect applications, networks, servers and workstations
  • Are willing to adapt your security environment to new and changing threats on a constant basis, and more.

Network threats are always lurking in the shadows

Be Proactive

Instead of relying on a passive security model—or worse, waiting until after a companywide infection—take an active role in your company’s security. The main goal of security maturity is to avoid or reduce the number of security incidents haunting your network. It’s kind of like painting San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. As soon as the painting crew gets from one end to the other with a fresh coat of paint, it is time to start again to repaint the bridge. Security maturity requires constant action and change as your organization adapts to protect against the latest evolving threats.

We all observed remote work access change security and IT on a mass scale in 2020, and security changes continue to become more necessary as bad actors and threats become more and more dangerous to your business as it continues to grow and change—and more dangerous for your customers to do business with you.

October WSJ headlines highlight a Chicago healthcare system, one of the largest in the U.S., being the victim of ransomware that is forcing it to shut down electronic records, systems, and cancel patient appointments. It is now working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity experts to remediate. A security maturity journey is hard to make on your own, and a good partner can ensure you are meeting the highest security standards possible. Here at Aunalytics, we include security in everything we do because we believe it is a basic building block of IT.

Find A Trusted Security Partner

Without a secure network, you cannot even begin to consider moving further into a security maturity journey. Fortunately, a partner can give you the peace of mind that you will be working with a talented security team that is watching your network 24/7/365, helping to ensure bad actors are caught and eradicated before your company is compromised.

A standard, one size fits all security solution simply doesn’t work anymore—it often leaves cracks, holes, and even chasms for hackers and cyberattacks to slip through. You can improve your journey from cybersecurity to security maturity with a trusted partner.

Click here to learn more.

Ransomware Attacks Pose An Increasing Threat to Businesses of All Sizes: The State of Ransomware 2022

Cyberattacks are a constant threat to organizations of all sizes. To better understand how the current attack environment and track how ransomware trends have changed over time, Sophos commissioned an independent, vendor-agnostic survey of 5,600 IT professional in mid-sized organizations across 31 countries. This survey was conducted in January and early February 2022. The results highlighted the increasing threat that ransomware poses, and the increased role cyber insurance is playing in driving organizations to improve their cyber defenses.

Cyberattacks are up from last year

Ransomware attacks have increased significantly over the past year—66% of organizations surveyed were hit by an attack in 2021, up 78% from the previous year. This is due in part to the ease at which bad actors are able to deploy attacks. The Ransomware-as-a-service mode has reduced the skill level needed to attack.

Not only are attacks more prevalent, but the attacks themselves are becoming more successful and more complex. In 2021, 65% of attacks resulted in data being encrypted, up from 54% in 2020. Fifty-nine percent of organizations who experienced cyberattacks saw the complexity of the attacks increase, while 57% saw an increase in the volume of cyberattacks overall.

Prevalence of attacks
Data recovery rates are improving
Data recovery after the attack

Despite the increase in attacks within the past year, there is some good news. Almost every organization surveyed (99%) were able to get some encrypted data back—up from 96% in 2020. The top method used to restore data was backups, which was used by 73% of organization whose data was encrypted in an attack. In addition to backups, a large portion—forty-six percent—paid a ransom to have their data restored.

Unfortunately, while paying a ransom typically allows organizations to get some data back, it is less effective than in years past at restoring data. On average, organizations that paid a ransom only got back 61% of their data, down from 65% the previous year, while only 4% of those that paid the ransom got ALL their data back in 2021, down from 8% in 2020. This highlights the importance of employing multiple methods to restore data—utilizing backups in particular can improve the speed of recovery and increase the amount of data that can be recovered.

Ransom payments have increased
Ransom payouts

Not only are ransoms less effective at restoring data than in previous years, but the amount of the payments themselves have increased considerably. Between 2020 and 2021 there was a threefold increase in the proportion of victims paying ransoms totaling US$1 million or more. The percentage paying the lowest ransom amounts decreased over that same time—from one in three (34%) to one in five (21%).

Ransom payouts by industry

The average ransom payout increased 4.8X from 2020 data, from an average of US$170K to US$812,360 in 2021. However, the average ransom amount varies greatly across industries, with manufacturing and utilities coming in at the top of this survey with an average of US$2.04M and US$2.03M, respectively, while healthcare and local/state government had the lowest average ransom payments at US$197K and US$214K, respectively.

Ransomware greatly impacts companies, both economically and operationally
The business impact of ransomware

Even when some of all data is able to be restored after a cyber attack, the costs of loss productivity or inability to operate at all can be substantial. Of those hit by ransomware last year, 90% said their most significant attack impacted their ability to operate, while 86% said it caused them to lose business and/or revenue. The average cost to remediate an attack in 2021 was US$1.4M, which, thankfully was down from US$1.85M in 2020. This was due in part to cyber insurance providers being better able to guide victims through an effective response more rapidly.

Although there have been improvements in total recovery time over the years, it still took, on average, one month for organizations to fully recover from the most significant attacks. Those in higher education and central/federal government had the slowest average response times, at around 2-5 months, while manufacturing and financial services were the quickest, with the majority being  able to recover in one month or less.

Despite the huge economic costs of ransomware attacks, many organizations are putting their faith in defense that don’t actually prevent ransomware—only more quickly mitigate its effects. Seventy-two percent of organizations in the survey who weren’t hit by ransomware in the past year and didn’t expect to be hit in the future cited backups and cyber insurance as reasons why they don’t anticipate an attack. Neither of these elements actually prevent attacks in the first place.

Simply having security resources in place does not necessary mean that they are effective. Of those surveyed who were hit by ransomware in the last year, 64% said they had more cybersecurity budget than they need, and 24% said they had the right amount of budget. Many of these organization also said they had more headcount or the right amount of headcount (65% and 23%, respectively. This reveals that despite having ample  resources—both personnel and technology—organizations will not achieve a high return on investment without a combination of the right technology and expertise to use the technology effectively.

Cyber insurance drives changes to cyber defenses
Cyber insurance take-up

Thankfully, organizations do not have the shoulder the burden of ransomware costs all on their own. The survey found that four in five mid-sized organizations had insurance against ransomware attacks. However, 34% said there were exclusions/exceptions in their polices. Organizations that had been previous hit by ransomware attacks in the past were much more likely to have cyber insurance coverage against ransomware. However, many respondents indicated that securing coverage has changed in the past year, or gotten more difficult to obtain:

  • 54% said the level of cybersecurity they need to qualify is now higher
  • 47% said policies are now more complex
  • 40% said fewer companies offer cyber insurance
  • 37% said the process takes longer
  • 34% said it is more expensive

As a result, 97% of organizations that have cyber insurance have made changes to their cyber defense to improve their cyber insurance position. 64% have implemented new technologies/services, 56% have increased staff training/education activities, and 52% have changed processes/behaviors.


The survey has revealed that ransomware continues to be an imminent threat for organizations of all sizes across industries. For many, choosing an experienced partner with expertise in cybersecurity not only improve their chances of getting approved for the right amount of cyber insurance coverage, but can ensure that they see an higher return on investment and improved ability to prevent and mitigate attacks in the future.

The Cost of Skimping on Security in 2022

The Cost of Skimping on Security in 2022

From 2020 to 2021, the number of ransomware attacks on organizations increased by 78% and more than 10% of those attacks resulted in ransoms of $1 million or higher. According to the Sophos State of Ransomware 2022 report, ransomware attacks take an average of one month to fully recover from and frequently result in downtime and loss of revenue, the impact of which leads to an average recovery cost of $1.4 million. That’s about 640 vacations to Disney World. The cost of skimping on security is great.

While you could take your entire team to Disney World for a week, possibly even a few times over, a better idea might be to invest in preventing a security breach in the first place. Be it ransomware, a phishing attack, or an insider threat, proactive threat and risk prevention takes dedicated time, well-trained people, and cutting-edge technology, so it is no surprise that it can be confusing and costly. As we’ve already seen, it can be even more costly to ignore those risks.

Keeping Up with Technology

It took 2 million years for humans to progress from the first tools to discovering fire, yet it only took 130 years to go from the telegraph to the internet and another 33 years to get to the iPhone. Technology now changes at a blistering pace and, alongside that thrives the unfortunately fruitful business of cybercrime. One of the most critical factors in combating this is having, understanding, and fully utilizing the latest technology. Based on Gartner’s 2022 report of Top Strategic Trends, some of the newest technologies that will impact the cybersecurity field include:

  • Cybersecurity Mesh: A scalable, integrated architecture that enables security tools to work cooperatively throughout an environment
  • Autonomic Systems: Self-managing systems that take in information from the network to modify algorithms without manual updates, allowing for rapid changes and scalability

“By 2024, organizations adopting a cybersecurity mesh architecture to integrate security tools to work as a cooperative ecosystem will reduce the financial impact of individual security incidents by an average of 90%.”

Source: Gartner

Partnering with the Experts

The Cost of Skimping on Security in 2022

Whether you are intimately familiar with the concepts presented here or they sound like something from the USS Enterprise, partnering with experts is what will give you an advantage over bad actors and cyber criminals. Admittedly, most organizations struggle to keep up with regular patching, let alone investing the time and resources into implementing these types of technology. While cybersecurity and understanding cyber risk are likely not your area of expertise, working with a trusted partner can ensure that your online business and IT landscape are as secure as technology and expertise allow. Having security that stands up to the worst of ransomware, hackers, and more is a must.

The criminals don’t take a break, so your security monitoring can’t either, which is why it is critical to have both the technology to meet the needs of today’s risks as well as the people to understand, implement, and manage that technology to its fullest potential. Aunalytics has you covered. With expert toolsets and talent, your business can depend on us to have highly trained professionals and the newest technology and information to protect your business in the ongoing threat landscape.

Don’t Let Your Sensitive Data Go Unprotected (1)

Don’t Let Your Sensitive Data Go Unprotected

Every business has sensitive data that should not be shared with the world at large. Credit card information, personal details, company records—all of this data can be exposed or stolen and ransomed via a single bad actor.

Is Your Data Safe?

Everyone from banks and credit unions to government agencies and utility companies need one basic thing that can stop bad actors: good data security. With hackers and ransomware encroaching on your network, it’s more important than ever before that you have proactive data protection in place.

Good data security includes 24/7/365 monitoring of your network, constant threat and vulnerability scanning, a functioning Security Operations Center (SOC) and more. The problem? It’s hard to find talent to maintain a functional SOC, and when you do find talent your mid-market business may not be able to compete with offers from large enterprises.

While finding, paying, and retaining high quality talent is hard, partnering is not. A side-by-side approach with a knowledgeable partner allows you to actively react to the ever-changing digital landscape—not after your company’s security has been left behind and open for bad actors.

Side-by-side Security Partnership

How Can You Protect Your Data?

Many security tools are made for experts—security engineers, network engineers, and others with specific technical expertise. Because the security landscape keeps changing, as bad actors evolve techniques and new threats are constantly emerging, security requires full time dedication to researching and staying up to date with threats, new prevention measures and remediation best practices. Most IT departments do not have time for the research and adaption that security requires. If you don’t have a team that can constantly update your security to provide your company with the best security possible, your security posture will begin to sag. A sagging posture isn’t good for any industry or company—and it needs to be fixed immediately.

By hiring a trusted partner, you can ensure that your sensitive data is secure. Having security that stands up to the worst of ransomware, hackers, and more is a must. An SOC takes care of things for you.

If your company doesn’t have an SOC, it is falling behind. Out of date security means injury to your network becomes more and more likely, and a security event can cause you to lose clients and prospects, large sums of money, and even tarnish your company’s reputation.

Partnering Up

You should already have an internal IT team. Aunalytics’ SOC isn’t meant to replace your IT team, but to supplement and support your team’s security initiatives. An SOC can stop threats before they enter your network and cause chaos, keeping your data out of the hands of bad actors everywhere.

When you need to protect your data, Aunalytics has you covered. With expert toolsets and talent, your business can depend on us to have highly trained experts and the newest technology and information to protect your business in the ongoing threat landscape.

Man at computer facing security risk phishing attempt

See Yourself in Cyber—How Individuals Can Reduce Security Risk

It seems like just yesterday our biggest security risk was a ‘long lost relative’ claiming we had millions of dollars waiting for us if only we would send them a little money up front. The world and technology have come a long way since then, and not always for the better. Now we are inundated with spam in the form of calls, texts, emails, and every other form of communication in existence—all alongside our actual conversations. Your grandma might message you on Facebook to ask for your help and it turns into requiring a trip to Walmart to buy $500 in Apple gift cards. Your CEO might text you with an urgent request when they’ve never texted you before. With this constant barrage of threats that continue to get more and more believable, is it even possible to be safe online? It most certainly is, but it requires vigilance and a keen, informed eye.

Man at computer facing security risk phishing attempt

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month in the US and this year’s theme is ‘See Yourself in Cyber’. Whether you’re the head of IT, a bank teller, a homemaker, or anything in between, you’re at risk of a cybersecurity attack. However, the industries experiencing the highest number of incidents are finance, healthcare, and public administration. As scammers, hackers, and generally ‘bad actors’ hone their craft, we also need to sharpen our detective skills. It’s an unfortunate truth, but we need to learn how to spot the red flags because it’s expected that, by 2025, there will be an average of 10 devices per person connected to the internet globally. All of which become a playground for cybercriminals if the devices aren’t well guarded by technology—and you.

Types of Threats

There are as many reasons bad actors attack as there are ways they do it. Understanding the most common methods will help you better avoid them in the wild. Here are some of the most widespread attacks you might see:

  • Phishing: When a bad actor sends an email that appears to be from a reputable source or someone you are likely to trust in the hopes that you will open an infected attachment or follow a malicious link. This could allow them access to your system or persuade you to divulge personal information, such as passwords or credit card information.
  • Spear Phishing: When a bad actor sends a phishing attack specifically targeting you. Typically, it will include information they’ve learned about you from social media or other online public forums.
  • Smishing: This is phishing in the form of a text message.
  • Vishing: This is phishing in the form of a phone call.

Spotting the Red Flags

For these types of threats, you’ll need to be able to identify something out of place to make you pause before taking any harmful actions. However, this is where vigilance is critical because these red flags are becoming increasingly more difficult to spot. Below you will find guidance on where you are most likely to spot a threat:

  • Email is the most likely path a scammer will take. When identified separately, these signs may not seem concerning, but when combined, they are a sure sign of a phishing attack.
    • Does the subject line or content of the email seem alarming or urgent?
    • Is the email from someone unexpected or unknown?
    • Is the ‘reply-to’ address different from the ‘from’ address?
    • Did the email come in at an unusual time or day, such as in the middle of the night or on a weekend?
    • Are there grammar or spelling mistakes?
    • Does the wording seem unnatural?
    • Are there unexpected or suspicious links or attachments?
    • Are they offering you money or gift cards in exchange for an action?
    • Is the email unexpected or out of place?
  • Text messages may come in a different format, but they can still open you to the same security risks. Many of the red flags above still apply, but these are the most common examples in smishing.
    • Is the sender claiming to be an executive at your company with an urgent need?
    • If you know the sender, is the text from the number you have for them?
    • Are you being asked personal information?
    • Are you being asked to follow a link?
  • Phone call scams commonly prey on the elderly and are more common outside of the workplace. Common signs to look for in vishing are:
    • Is the call unexpected?
    • Does the caller request access to your device to solve an issue?
    • Does the caller threaten legal action or claim to be from a governmental body such as the IRS?
    • Does the caller claim you have won money or a prize?
    • Does the caller request payment in the form of gift cards or money orders?

Protecting Yourself

This feels like a lot of effort; what’s really the worst that can happen if you fall for one of these scams? If you click on a malicious link or download an infected attachment, you leave the door wide open for a hacker to access not only your device, but your entire network of devices and data. If they are able to access your personal information, they could potentially access your bank account, credit card information, or other private accounts. Shockingly, 88% of data breaches are caused by employee mistakes. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you aren’t part of that 88%:

  • If an email comes from someone you work with, but you are noticing red flags, especially links or attachments, contact the person directly to verify they actually sent it.
  • If there are links in the email, hover over them to ensure they match what is being displayed.
  • Ensure links point to a trustworthy site. For example, you might receive an email from Microsoft asking you to reset your Outlook password, but when you hover over the link, it shows Notice the misspelling in Microsoft.
  • If you are unsure of a link, navigate to the website through your browser rather than clicking the link.
  • If you receive an attachment that you didn’t expect, such as a financial statement when you don’t work in finance or a UPS shipping confirmation when you didn’t order anything, don’t open it until you can confirm its validity.
  • Always remember, it is truly better safe than sorry when it comes to suspicious links or attachments.

This is just a small window into an ever-changing landscape of security threats. It might feel impossible to keep up as threats evolve, but there are ways to stay informed and vigilant for both you and your company. Through its Secure Managed Services Solution, Aunalytics provides the tools and talent you need to stay protect from outside threats, include a streamlined training platform to ensure you and your team can stay up-to-date with current threats and reduce security risk. When you are able to ‘See Yourself in Cyber’, you become critical in fighting against bad actors and the cyber threats they pose.

Don't Let Your Data Work Against You—Your Organization Needs a Single Source of Truth

Don't Let Your Data Work Against You—Your Organization Needs a Single Source of Truth

As the business landscape continues to evolve and become more data-driven every day, organizations need to go through an intense digital transformation to remain competitive. The need to leverage data to maximize business opportunities and revenue is evident. While at one time technologies were built solely for enterprises, now most mid-sized businesses are beginning to invest in data analytics solutions. But before successfully deploying an analytics solution, there might be a major organizational problem to deal with—your dirty data might be getting in the way of getting accurate analytics. What you need is a single source of truth.

Gain a Complete, Accurate Picture of Customers

Let’s pretend you have a client named Emily Miller. Your marketing department has Emily logged in their CRM, while the sales team has their information in a spreadsheet that they update daily. The service department logs their tickets and complaints in their own solution, while accounting has Emily’s invoices in yet another system. We’re talking about one person, but there are multiple versions of Emily’s data across your organization, siloed in different departments. While we know Emily’s name, her interactions with your organization and all the data related to her is scattered across your organization. Departments have partial information that is specific to Emily, but it might be inconsistent business unit to business unit. This means that no one can see the complete picture of who this customer is to your company.

Don't Let Your Data Work Against You—Your Organization Needs a Single Source of Truth (2)

If analytics is based upon data from one business unit, it will undoubtedly result in inaccurate or incomplete insights. If you switch analytics to be based upon a different data source or aggregate multiple data sources with conflicting information, you still get inaccurate analytical results. Basing your organization’s analytics only on a part of a client’s data has a negative impact on your organization’s goals. A single source of truth ensures you have a full, 360-degree picture of your clients and leads to dependable, daily analytics you can trust.

Utilize a Solution That Ensures Data Accuracy

An analytics platform such as Daybreak with built-in data integration and cleansing, or a data accuracy solution such as Aunsight Golden Record enables your organization to integrate and wrangle siloed data from disparate sources to a cleaned and accurate single source of truth. Matching and merging dirty data into a single source of information will result in you receiving consistent, accurate data from across your organization. With clean, accurate data for your reporting you can be prepared for better decision-making, allowing you to progress towards your business goals faster than ever before.

If your departments are using different data sources, using that information for client analytics is counterproductive. This situation is akin to your hands working separately from each other and adversely affecting your end goals. You need to bring your company-wide data together and combine it into a single source of truth. Having clean information with input from all your departments going into a single analytics solution sets you up for actionable insights that work along with you—not against you.