Case Study | Magrabi Hospitals & Centers safeguards clinical care with managed cybersecurity

Healthcare provider opts for 24×7 security monitoring service and protection at 40 percent less cost than hiring additional staff

THE CHALLENGE

As cybersecurity threats continue to proliferate, internal security operations departments at organizations worldwide must devote significant resources to managing and analyzing an unrelenting flow of alerts and notifications. To address this challenge, Magrabi Hospitals and Centers, a major healthcare provider in Saudi Arabia considered hiring additional security operations employees to provide 24×7 monitoring.
Instead, Magrabi determined that outsourcing to a managed endpoint detection and response service would provide more comprehensive protection and at a lower cost. Magrabi evaluated managed detection and response service offerings from Crowdstrike and Bitdefender and selected Bitdefender Managed Detection and Response (MDR) Service.
Mostafa Mabrouk, Corporate Information Security Manager, Magrabi Hospitals and Centers, explains, “We chose Bitdefender MDR because it would provide us with comprehensive endpoint control, detection, forensics, reporting, and protection. Viewing all the security components from a single console—from malware removal to sandboxing to quarantine to logs and more—was valuable to us. We also were impressed with the in-depth expertise and knowledge of the security analysts staffing Bitdefender MDR.”

THE SOLUTION

Bitdefender MDR provides Magrabi with outsourced cybersecurity operations 24 hours a day. The MDR Service incorporates industry-leading Bitdefender security technologies to provide comprehensive protection for endpoints, network and security analytics, and threat-hunting expertise from a Bitdefender security operations center fully staffed by highly experienced security analysts.
The MDR Service, which incorporates Bitdefender GravityZone Ultra, provides Magrabi with endpoint protection, detection, and response (EDR) capabilities across nearly 3,000 endpoints. Magrabi’s endpoints protected by MDR Service include Windows workstations; physical and virtual servers running VMware ESXi, Citrix XenServer, and XenApp; Citrix XenDesktop virtual desktops; Microsoft Directory servers, and Microsoft Exchange mailboxes.
Magrabi’s MDR Service also includes Endpoint Risk Analytics to assess, prioritize, and address risk coming from endpoint misconfigurations and vulnerabilities. In addition, the MDR Service analyzes suspicious files, detonates payloads, and reports malicious intent to administrators, and provides tunable machine learning, advanced heuristics, and anti-exploit techniques. Additional MDR Service modules selected by Magrabi include GravityZone Patch Management to automate patching of vulnerable applications and operating system components.
THE RESULTS
Magrabi places high value on the 24×7 monitoring, analysis, and remediation provided by the Bitdefender MDR solution. “The clinical staff at Magrabi provides patient care services that demand uninterrupted access to medical devices, IT systems, and data,” says Mabrouk. “The soul of Bitdefender MDR is the 24×7 monitoring of our infrastructure to support this vital mission.
We have access to real-time notifications of suspicious activity and the support of Bitdefender’s security experts to investigate and resolve any issues. The performance and protection provided by Bitdefender MDR has been perfect. We sleep better knowing Bitdefender will take action and stop an attack at any time day or night.”
Improved efficiency and productivity have been additional outcomes of Bitdefender MDR, according to Mabrouk: “Bitdefender has removed the headache and burden from our staff. We have saved 15 hours a week, giving staff more time to focus on security analysis and other IT areas that benefit our clinical and business operations. We calculated our operational costs were 40 percent less by going with Bitdefender MDR compared to hiring an additional three employees to achieve around-the-clock monitoring.”
Mabrouk continues, “With the GravityZone cloud console, it’s easy for us to check our risk score, activity, and history of any incidents. We also like that we can deploy agents throughout the cloud rather than directly on the servers. This contributes to high endpoint performance even during scans.”
Magrabi also depends on GravityZone Patch Management to automatically deploy security patches to servers in the Magrabi infrastructure.
The quality of the Bitdefender MDR experts also has been important, says Mabrouk: “The Bitdefender MDR team has been responsive, knowledgeable, and successful at protecting our valuable data. Our number one priority is providing top patient care and Bitdefender has been successful in supporting that at every turn.”

 

How to Detect Spyware

Spyware can be a user’s nemesis. Once a user’s device is infected, spyware can collect a variety of personal and sensitive information, depending on the type of spyware. Here is what you need to know about spyware and how to detect it.

Spyware is a type of malware that infects a user’s computer and spies on the system by continuously monitoring it, including keystroke activity, the user’s web browsing habits, screenshots, and email activity. Spyware can also turn on the user’s webcam and watch what they are doing in real life.

If not stopped, spyware can infect the user’s computer with other types of malware or otherwise damage the computer. It will also send the sensitive information it collects to another entity, who can use the information to harm the user, such as selling it to a third party or for identity theft.

Different types of spyware

There are a handful of spyware types, which can have similar tactics when attacking a user’s computer or network and are not mutually exclusive. Here are the most nefarious spyware types.

System monitors. This type of spyware is also known as a keylogger because it records a user’s computer activities – keystrokes, visited websites, search history, email activity, chat and messaging communications, and system credentials such as logins and passwords.

Trojans. There are many types of Trojans and spyware can be one of them. Named after the ancient Greek story of the Trojan Horse, a trojan is a type of standalone malware that may pretend to offer some useful functionality, while dropping a malicious payload in the background. These payloads range from delivering ransomware and other malware onto the computer, deleting files, allowing unauthorized access to personal information, stealing credentials, modifying online transactions, etc. Banking trojans acquire the user’s credentials when logging into financial or banking portals.

Browser password and Infostealers. This type of spyware steals passwords and profitable information from any source used by the user to collect passwords, login credentials, and other sensitive information.

How to detect spyware

How does a user get spyware?

A user’s machine can be infected with spyware in much the same way as other types of malware. It can exploit browser security vulnerabilities to innocently display an infected ad or infect a device when the user unknowingly clicks on an infected email link (phishing), visits a malicious website, or downloads software from an untrustworthy site. You can also get infected by clicking on unusual social media or text messages.

How to detect spyware?

Many times, spyware will cause unexpected problems with your computer, such as:

  • Spinning applications on start-up or shutdown and/or slow system response
  • A sudden increase in banner ads and pop-ups
  • Faster-than-normal depletion of the computer battery
  • Problems logging onto secure sites
  • New applications and tools that the user did not install

There are several ways to detect spyware:
Task Manager

Startup tab in Task Manager. For Windows PCs, check for suspicious software in the Startup tab in Task Manager. If anything looks suspicious, the user should temporarily terminate the process and research what the program is. If it is malicious, the user should immediately delete it.

For Mac computers, click “Finder” and select “Applications” from the sidebar. Again, review the list of applications and if anything looks suspicious, do your research, and delete the app if it is malicious.

Temp files. The user can also check for spyware in their TEMP folder. In fact, you can delete anything in the temp folder just to be safe because they are, after all, temporary files.

Install anti-malware software. The best way to detect – and stop spyware – is by installing an anti-malware solution and scanning the computer. Solutions from reputable vendors will identify and delete the spyware from the system.

Can you get spyware on your mobile phone?

Yes. Both iPhones and Android phones can be victims of spyware. On a mobile device, spyware runs undetected, monitoring and recording a user’s actions without them knowing. It can spy on call logs, contact lists, the photos a user has taken on their phone, a user’s location, even record anything heard on a device’s microphone and take pictures.

Acronis detects and stops spyware

Acronis offers comprehensive cyber protection solutions that detect and stop spyware. If you are a business and looking for the right antivirus software, Acronis Cyber Protect keeps your remote workers’ devices secure in the post-pandemic reality. The solution provides a unique integration of data protection and next-generation cybersecurity capabilities, delivering improved security and lowering costs. Whether your business is large or small, Acronis Cyber Protect automates and streamlines system and data protection to mitigate risk and avoid downtime.

If you are a managed service provider (MSP), you can protect your clients’ systems with Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, a solution that enables you to deliver cyber protection in an easy, efficient, and secure way. With a single platform, your customers can achieve the ultimate in data protection with hybrid cloud backup, disaster recovery, and protection from ransomware and spyware. Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud protects endpoints – including remote devices – systems, and data. It also includes AI-based behavioral detection that stops zero-day attacks, performs URL filtering and vulnerability assessments, and provides videoconference protection and automated patch management. With the power of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, you can detect and stop cyberattacks of any nature and ensure your clients can recover their data and systems in the shortest time possible.

The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Forrester’s analysis of five current Microsoft customers found that Dynamics 365 Business
Central enabled these organizations to bolster operational efficiency, avoid costs, and
comfortably scale their deployments with growth while benefitting from the flexibility inherent
in the cloud. An analysis based on a $15-million, 250-employee composite organization
modeled after the five interviewees demonstrates benefits of $466K over three years versus
costs of $178K, adding up to a net present value (NPV) of $288K and an ROI of 162%.

 

Read the full study

Bring cloud experiences to data workloads anywhere with Azure SQL enabled by Azure Arc

Customers can deploy cloud services on-premises and in multi-cloud environments—effectively modernizing in place by running Azure SQL on any infrastructure.

Cloud solutions that simplify the most complex hybrid data scenarios

Deploying cloud-based solutions to on-premises and multi-cloud environments helps deliver consistent, portable, and unified management across a company’s entire data estate. Customers are seeing improved productivity and operating efficiency by using hybrid technology to manage their data and app development at scale.

For example, SKF provides reliable rotation to industries all over the world, offering products and services around the rotating shaft including bearings, seals, lubrication management, artificial intelligence, and wireless condition monitoring. SKF has been on a journey to digitally transform the company’s backbone through harnessing the power of technology, interconnecting processes, streamlining operations, and delivering industry-leading digital products and services for customers. SKF uses Azure Arc, along with Azure Stack HCI and Azure SQL Edge, to scale solutions and standardize processes across their 91 manufacturing sites, resulting in 40 percent savings on hardware costs and 30 percent savings in OT-related machine downtime.

“SKF’s focus is on digitalizing all segments of the value chain and interconnecting them to unlock the full potential of digital ways of working for our business and customers. Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance is providing us worry-free and always up-to-date SQL operations. These types of services provide us a tremendous jumpstart into digitalization.”—Sven Vollbehr, Head of Digital Manufacturing, SKF

The “anywhere” solution for hybrid cloud applications

Beginning July 30, 2021, the general-purpose tier of Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance will be generally available, providing database-as-a-service (DBaaS) functionality on any infrastructure. Businesses will be able to deploy Azure SQL databases on any infrastructure and on any Kubernetes to:

  • Stay current with automated updates and deploy evergreen features and security updates to on-prem databases with no end-of-support.
  • Automate routine database administrator (DBA) tasks at scale with built-in management capabilities including high availability, backup, and restore.
  • Optimize data workload performance by bringing cloud elasticity on-premises for existing infrastructure, using only the resources needed to dynamically scale up, down, without application downtime.
  • Access Azure industry-leading security and governance capabilities for your on-premises data workloads using to protect your data.

New product features and capabilities will be rolled out on a continuous basis, and customers will be able to opt-in to preview additional Azure Arc-enabled services, such as PostgreSQL, and easily integrate as they become generally available. Additionally, customers will have the opportunity to test out future road map preview features and provide early feedback.

Develop breakthrough applications with our network of trusted partners

In support of Azure Arc-enabled data services’ general availability, Microsoft is announcing an expanded network of trusted partners and validated solutions to help customers get started.

Microsoft works closely with technology providers to validate popular platforms to work with Azure Arc, and our many service providers are here to provide customers with the latest innovations for hybrid data solutions on-premises or in multi-cloud environments.

Whether you are just getting started with migration and modernization efforts or in the middle of a multi-year digital transformation, our consulting services partners can help you choose the validated infrastructures and applications that are specifically configured and tested to work with Azure Arc.

Get started with Azure Arc-enabled data services

Get started with Azure Arc-enabled data services available in preview today. Starting July 30, 2021, Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance (general-purpose tier) will be generally available for customers to optimize their data workloads from cloud to edge.

Contact us to learn more on team@bpsme.com

Announcing pricing changes to Azure Sentinel and Azure Monitor Log Analytics to help you save costs

As a cloud-native SIEM, Azure Sentinel offers significant cost benefits. They have seen Azure Sentinel and the promise of cloud-native SIEM result in cost savings, both direct and indirect, for many of their customers. The 2020 commissioned Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact™ of Microsoft Azure Sentinel study, for example, found that Azure Sentinel delivered a 48% reduction in costs compared to legacy SIEMs, saving on expenses like licensing, storage, and infrastructure costs.

Microsoft are pleased to announce changes to the pricing of Azure Sentinel and Azure Monitor Log Analytics that will offer you additional cost savings. These changes take effect on June 2.

The changes include:

New capacity reservation naming

Capacity reservations are now called commitment tiers. You will see this change reflected in your user interface, in documentation, as well as on Azure Sentinel and Azure Monitor pricing pages and in the pricing calculator.

New, higher commitment tiers

They are introducing new commitment tiers for both Azure Sentinel and Azure Monitor Log Analytics for higher data ingestion: 1 TB/Day, 2 TB/Day, and 5 TB/Day.

 

Changes to how we bill for data ingestion over your commitment tiers

They are also changing the way we bill for overage. Data ingested beyond your selected commitment tier will now be billed using the effective commitment tier rate, instead of the Pay-as-you-go rate, resulting in a lower bill.

For example, for Azure Sentinel in the East US region, if you are on a 500 GB/day commitment tier, you will now be billed for overage at $0.80/GB (i.e. the effective rate for that tier) instead of the $2/GB pay-as-you-go rate.

Simplification of commitment tiers

They are simplifying commitment tiers to make them easier to manage. You can now select from eight distinct commitment tiers, per your needs, and no longer need to manage tiers due to minor changes in data ingestion patterns.

As part of this change, any workspaces with commitment tiers greater than 500 GB/day will be reset to the lowest available commitment tier – 500 GB/day, 1 TB/day, 2 TB/day, or 5 TB/day. This change should lower your costs due to the lowered cost of overage.

For example, if you were previously on a 600 GB/day commitment tier, your commitment tier would now be to 500 GB/day. Due to the change in overage billing, on days when you ingest more than 600GB, you would get billed at the 500GB effective tier rate, and on days you ingest less than 600GB, you save money because you are at a lower commitment tier – saving you costs overall.

Learn More

We’re excited to help you save costs with these changes, and look forward to continuing to innovate with Azure Sentinel and Azure Monitor Log Analytics.

Digital Transformation – See How It is Powering VMware’s SaaS Business Growth

VMware is undergoing a business model transition from perpetual-license software to subscription and software as a service (SaaS). In addition, a proliferation of new technologies, high user expectations, globalization, and the need for business continuity are all key factors driving a digital transformation across our major functions.

To effect this transformation, they have strategically steered our digital initiatives to drive growth and operational scale — all while delivering delightful experiences to customers, partners, and colleagues (employees).

Preparation is key

The transformation journey began over a decade ago based on foundational decisions that would impact how we operate in the future. Agility and flexibility were critical. They made decisions to build a modern and scalable infrastructure embedded with security-by-design and to embody a customer-first mindset in the way they work.  This foundation enabled them to innovate faster and be responsive to their customers’ dynamic needs.

The preparation focus was on three main areas:

  • Culture and finding innovative ways to strengthen connections amongst a distributed workforce.
  • Infrastructure and making early decisions that support a drive towards resiliency, security, and usability.
  • Experience and how to enable any device, anywhere

A journey of human experience

Providing a superb experience requires all parts of the transformation to be aligned. Therefore, they created a connected journey across five key areas—people, process, data, policy, and systemsIt is the ability to connect these dots that have enabled them to drive a holistic business transformation.

PEOPLE

A positive experience at every touchpoint, regardless of the stakeholder, is core to VMware’s digital transformation. They are rewriting the rules of the enterprise by pursuing a human-centric approach to all our initiatives. After all, technology, processes, data, and policies are only as effective as the people who bring these components to life. That’s why they established the VMware Digital Way, a modern approach to digital capability development.  This represents the ethos for how they—as individuals and as a team—operate to deliver delightful experiences at every level.

Cultural change, as always, starts at the top. This is the reason VMware management-led from the front in promoting a customer-first mindset. The voice of customers is constantly monitored and listened to via in-product customer feedback surveys, their Customer Advisory Board, Skyline proactive support, and other channels. For their colleagues, this means embracing lean development methodologies, a fail-fast philosophy, and an agile approach to delivering quality products regardless of the changing environment. In turn, VMware IT enables colleagues to enjoy an equally positive experience

PROCESS

Process transformation requires a major shift in the traditional enterprise mindset as practices—and even teams—are rationalized and modernized by breaking down existing silos. An example of this was the complete redesign of their New Service Introduction process that enabled them to reduce the cycle-time to launch new SaaS offerings by 33%[1].

DATA

Data transformation goes beyond collecting and storing data. It is about empowering their colleagues to operate with a data-driven mindset to produce actionable insights that can inform decision-making. And with this data, they can create a baseline of where we stand today and drive progress towards specific business outcomes. An example of this was automating the reporting of monthly and annual recurring revenue (MRR/ARR) and churn to help them dynamically monitor our SaaS business growth.

POLICY

VMware is on a relentless drive to reshape outdated policies that hinder speed and growth. This led them to create the SaaS Policy Board, an executive committee that met weekly and adhered to compressed decision-making timelines for a variety of policies impacting the SaaS business, covering areas such as renewals, sales compensation, and discounting.

SYSTEMS

To accelerate their digital transformation journey, VMware IT has had to deliver new capabilities in an accelerated timeframe while also improving performance and user experience. Their teams modernized several mission-critical applications by leveraging VMware IT’s Chief Digital Transformation Office (CDTO) Modern Application Platform (MAP), powered by VMware Tanzu™.

One excellent example is the modernization of their My VMware portal (since then updated and rebranded as VMware Customer ConnectTM) used by millions of their customers to download software binaries, manage licenses, and request support. Modernization of My VMware delivered a 40 percent improvement in service response time[1], saved 1,000 person-hours in maintenance[2], and over 25 percent in annual license savings[3].

They continue to find ways to augment and deliver delightful experiences for our customers, partners, and colleagues. Equally important is their focus on enabling their customers to be future-ready. This means continuing to deliver products and services that provide flexibility and Intrinsic security so that their customers can continue to rely on them.

Contact us to learn more, we would love to hear from you

Stay Agile with an Adaptive Solution – Business Central

Now more than ever, leaders in small to midsized businesses need to embrace digitalization, and quickly. Expectations have changed. The customer experience has changed. Business as we know it has changed, and you need systems that allow for your small to midsized business to adapt with the evolving landscape.

Take a guided tour to see how Dynamics 365 Business Central helps you:

  • Adapt faster using flexible deployment options and innovative solutions that allow you to migrate to the cloud with confidence.
  • Work smarter with connectivity between Office 365, Teams, and your business systems to improve productivity across the board.

Perform better through increased business visibility and knowledge-sharing with anytime, anywhere access.

What is VMware Cloud Universal?

What VMware Cloud Universal Delivers

VMware Cloud Infrastructure

Access enterprise-class compute, storage, networking, and management cloud services for maximum flexibility, resiliency, and portability for existing enterprise workloads.

Data Center, Edge, and Public Cloud

Enjoy flexible subscription infrastructure entitlements to consume VMware Cloud Foundation on-premises, VMware Cloud on AWS, or VMware Cloud on Dell EMC.

Kubernetes Native

Manage Kubernetes and VMs in a single platform with VMware Tanzu, enabling container-based orchestration and development for cloud native applications.

Flexible Subscription Economics

Enable budget flexibility by adjusting spend and workloads across public and private clouds and leveraging subscriptions with one-year or three-year terms.

Products Included in VMware Cloud Universal

VMware Cloud Foundation

Customer-managed private clouds leveraging subscription economics.

VMware Cloud on Dell EMC

VMware-managed local cloud as-a-service, delivering the cloud for on-premises deployment.

VMware Success 360

Comprehensive success offering providing dedicated and proactive support.

VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware-managed native cloud service leveraging global AWS infrastructure.

VMware Tanzu

Reliably deploy and run containerized workloads across private and public clouds.*

*Tanzu Standard is included with VMware Cloud Foundation Subscription.

Use Cases for VMware Cloud Universal

Hybrid Cloud

Optimize your infrastructure investments with support for workloads deployed both on-premises and in the public cloud.

Deliver the industry’s fastest cloud migration capabilities for all enterprise workloads.

Rapidly scale up infrastructure resources as application and user demands increase.

Fast Track To Remote Work : Cloud Migration Via MSPS

what happens when organizations in the middle of transformation initiatives — or who haven’t even begun yet — are suddenly faced with mandates to migrate to the cloud?

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be a test case for the ability to accomplish cloud migrations on tightly compressed schedules. While some scheduled migrations were pushed back, others were suddenly placed on the front burner. Notably, state and local governments which had been among the slowest to adopt the cloud were now faced with work-from-home mandates while still expected to deliver key public services. IT departments, already dealing with disrupted operations, were pressured to implement work-from-home arrangements and needed to be in the cloud immediately. Files in on-premises network drives and other assets located behind the firewall needed to be made accessible. Telephone systems needed to be reconfigured to forward calls.

A call to arms — and managed service providers

Organizations needing to cloudify in short order turned to trusted managed service providers with the specialized knowledge to handle migrating key applications and workloads to the cloud. What many discovered is that thanks to online tools, the essential infrastructure to enable a secure remote work plan could be in place, migrated to the cloud on a compressed timeline, and without compromising continuity of services. Part of this success was due to the prevalence of office suites, with their multiple tools for productivity, shared file storage and collaboration.

Lessons learned from experience

The experience gained applies to any IT organization or MSP needing to pull off a critical migration in short order. One challenge to take into account is the demand placed on the cloud infrastructure. During the pandemic, with so many organizations doing remote work, the immense scalability of the cloud came to the test, and for the most part it shined. However, especially as use of online file stores such as SharePoint Online and OneDrive skyrocketed, Microsoft and Google throttled traffic, especially during peak business hours and some migrations ran into capacity issues and took longer than expected.

Since the tools are themselves in the cloud, in many instances the entire migration task could be performed without an onsite visit — a key advantage given stay-at-home mandates. If the IP addresses (or URLs) and administrative credentials are known, the entire process can complete remotely. Migrating an entire workforce to the cloud for basic collaboration, using email and applications such as Teams or Skype, can be accomplished in anywhere from 24 hours to a long weekend. With careful pre-planning and consideration to details, organizations are able to shift to remote work without missing a beat. The details include:

  • Migrating emails first to keep the lines of communication open
  • Using date ranges to migrate the most-essential emails selectively
  • Paying careful attention to data volume during the migration to avoid overusing bandwith, which could trigger throttling by Microsoft or Google

Provided the number of users, size of the mailboxes and total volume of data are not overly large, an organization can be ready for remote working with a new cloud instance in a long weekend. The rest of the migration can follow in the days after, backfilling the email boxes with the balance of the emails. Migration of less-essential files in online stores can take advantage of off-peak hours and weekends when throttling is less of an issue.

Mission accomplished — with more to come

The good news is, once the migration is complete, organizations are in a much better position to effect digital transformation for other key processes, and position themselves for the long term future of remote work

A New Microsoft Dynamics 365 Product is available now: Power BI Premium Per User

Microsoft has introduced the first per-user Power BI Premium offers. Power BI Premium is currently sold only in a capacity construct.

Power BI Premium Per User provides access to enterprise business intelligence (BI) and analytics capabilities. Its flexible individual seat licensing caters to small and medium-sized businesses.

 

Power BI Premium Per User allows organizations to license Premium features on a per-user basis.

Premium Per User (PPU) includes all Power BI Pro license capabilities, and also adds features such as paginated reports, AI, and other capabilities that are only available to Premium subscribers.

With a PPU license, you do not need a separate Power BI Pro license, as all Pro license capabilities are included in PPU.

You can get a trial version of Premium Per User (PPU) through Microsoft 365, as long as your organization has not restricted PPU licenses. Trials are enabled through the portal, similar to how Power BI Pro licenses are initiated.

 

The following table describes the Premium Per User (PPU) features against a Premium capacity: