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Ashtyn Creel

It May Be Winter, but LANDESK is Heating Up by Joining Forces with HEAT Software

In case you haven’t heard, Clearlake Capital has signed a definitive agreement to acquire LANDESK from Thoma Bravo. As part of the transaction, Clearlake will contribute its portfolio company HEAT Software to the new platform investment in LANDESK.

Read the official press release here.

In this video, LANDESK CEO Steve Daly explains the recent news, including all of the reasons it’s a great idea to join forces.

  • Both companies have been pursuing a strategy that secures, manages, and modernizes end-user environments. By bringing the two companies together, we’ll have many more resources to bear in reaching these goals.
  • The HEAT Software group has spent several years and millions of dollars developing a very robust SaaS platform. We’re excited to bring many of our LANDESK technologies onto this cloud model.
  • Bringing the two companies together is a way for us to gain a lot more scale. For our customers and partners, this means more of everything, including:
    • More resources
    • More reach and investment

As we go through this transition, we will not lose our customer focus and our ability to reach out and provide you with a partnership that you can’t get from any other vendor.

Texas School District Levels Up with LANDESK Management Suite

Cypress Fairbanks, the third largest school district in Texas, recently signed on with LANDESK Management Suite to keep up with the growing IT demands of their 110 campuses and administrative sites.

“It’s just humungous,” says Technical Analyst Josh Zhang. “We have every service from transportation, health services, a police department… we’re practically a little city.”

The 285-square-mile area does not lend itself to easy fixes where IT is concerned, causing a lot of unnecessary stress and travel time for members of the technology department.

“We weren’t able to support the staff and the students in a timely manner,” comments Manager of the Device, Imaging and Integration Team, Larry Barrios. “Fire-fighting is what we did. We put out fires wherever anyone called from and we’d go out and try to address those issues.”

After a long time dealing with the shortcomings and inefficiencies of their old product, Cypress Fairbanks took the time to evaluate better alternatives. They decided on LANDESK Management Suite.

“With LANDESK Management, I’m able to reach every computer in the district like it was just right next to me,” says Josh Zhang. “That’s saved countless hours in terms of either driving or just trying to get to a machine. I’m able to resolve incidents a lot quicker.”

LANDESK Management Suite is comprehensive enough that incident tickets have gone down drastically, and simple issues are automatically corrected. This has given the department more time and peace of mind. They can now focus their energies on higher-level issues, such as making sure patching is running correctly or that the OS stays updated.

Larry Barrios is happy with their decision to work with LANDESK. “Working with LANDESK has been different than working with any other software companies. They listen. They didn’t just sell the product and walk away.”

Derly Buentello, technical analyst, adds, “They’ve responded quickly. They’ve met our needs. There’s been customization and optimization. To work with a vendor that’s responsive and can meet your needs is golden.”

“I can see that we’ve made the right choice,” says Larry Barrios.

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Top 10 Most Shared Blog Posts From July 2016

GettyImages-480890367July was a hot month for LANDESK content, with nearly 1700 shares on our ransomware-related blog posts.

Our resident experts in the field—Product Manager Eran Livne; Director of Product Management Stephen Brown; and Chief Security Officer Phil Richards—each pulled from their vast amounts of knowledge and experience in the IT security space to contribute valuable insights on the topic.

Their prevention tactics, practical advice, and security solutions will help protect your business from cyber attacks.

In case you missed any of this great content, we’ve rounded up the top ten most popular blog posts from July. Starting with number ten:

10. Ransomware Bytes! How to Recover Quickly in 5 Steps

— By Stephen Brown

This post is most useful for those who have found themselves caught with ransomware. The important thing to do is not to panic and read on to find out what to do next.

9. 5 Ways Ransomware Might Make You Its Next Target

— By Eran Livne

From malicious email attachments to compromised websites, ransomware employs several insidious tactics to get into your system. Learn what they are so you won’t be the next target.

8. Satana, a New Strain of Ransomware That Mimics Petya Has Been Discovered

— By Eran Livne

Like any virus, ransomware is continuously mutating and presenting itself in different ways. Satana is one of the many newer strains to watch out for.

7. Q&A With Phil Richards, CSO: Vulnerability and How it Leads to Cybersecurity Attacks

Our Chief Security Officer, Phil Richards, gave us the rundown on system vulnerabilities and how they can lead to malicious attacks.

6. How to Stop Ransomware Once It’s Already on Your System

— By Eran Livne

As with post number ten, we want to help people recover from ransomware just as much as we want to help them prevent it. This post looks at what ransomware used to be in comparison to what it is now, and how you can stop its spread.

5. Ransomware: Should You Pay the Ransom?

— By Phil Richards

It’s a question everyone who gets infected by ransomware has to answer: Should you pay the ransom? Read on to find out the pros and cons.

4. Ransomware: The Threat and How to Protect Your Enterprise Part 1

— By Eran Livne

Your enterprise has a ton of valuable assets. Years and even decades worth of hard-earned data could all be wiped away with a cyber attack. Here’s how to protect all of that data in a few easy steps.

3. We Put Ransomware on Our Machine and Here’s What Happened

— By Eran Livne

Want to see what ransomware looks like? Check out the videos of us putting ransomware on our computer. (But don’t try this at home.)

2. Security Insider Stephen Brown Explains the Threat of Ransomware

How big of a problem is ransomware, anyway? From costing over $1 billion this year to managing multiple new mutations of the malware, Stephen Brown explains the threat in detail.

1. Infographic: The 8 Scariest Stats About Ransomware

Our number one most shared post is probably the scariest, not just because it gives visual representation of the statistics, but also because the statistics themselves are… well, scary. Read them at your own risk.

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LANDESK Featured in KUTV News Story About STEM Education

STEMTomorrow’s leaders are today’s students, and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (or STEM) are some of the fastest-growing in the job market. They made up more than one out of every ten jobs in the U.S. in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is where STEM education comes in.

In short, STEM initiatives are designed to make these subjects more appealing to students by presenting them in hands-on, interactive environments, as opposed to the traditional method of pencil-and-paper problem solving.

LANDESK and STEM

LANDESK recognizes the importance of early STEM education, even winning Business of the Year by the Utah Association for Career and Technical Education (UACTE).

As the KUTV news story shows, kids who may have otherwise scoffed at the idea of becoming software developers or computer systems analysts are falling in love with these subjects through STEM.

“I like computers and I’ve always wanted to create my own game,” says soon-to-be seventh-grader, Ricardo, who is out of school for the summer.

Bruce Cutler, STEM education coordinator for LANDESK, sees the value in teaching kids about coding through code.org. “They learn about geometry, they learn about angles, and they learn about software loops.”

But the STEM initiative is more than just learning computer skills; it provides young people with the opportunity to learn them.

“Without the proper exposure and hands-on experience, students may be unaware of the endless opportunities that emerge from science, technology, engineering, and math,” said Steve Daly, LANDESK CEO.

Many of the kids in the Boys and Girls Club come from working class families who might never have envisioned themselves as engineers or physicists. By teaching them from an early age that they are not only capable of tackling these subjects—but that they can have fun with them, too—they are paving new and exciting potential career paths for themselves.

Senator Orrin Hatch Visits LANDESK

As a major proponent of the tech industry, Senator Orrin Hatch carved time out of his busy schedule to meet with LANDESK yesterday.

Employees anxiously awaited his arrival. The positive impact Senator Hatch has had on the tech industry over the years has been significant.

“He is probably the most influential and the most educated on the tech industry,” said LANDESK CEO Steve Daly. “He’s done a lot of good to help the tech industry grow around the country as well as here in Utah.”

As head of the High-Tech Task Force for the Republican Senate, Senator Hatch first ran for public office in 1977 and is now serving his seventh term as Utah’s senator. His many years in the political arena have given him the opportunity to rub shoulders with world leaders and other prominent figures in society.

He has undoubtedly had a front-row seat to some of the most life-changing events in human history.

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Senator Orrin Hatch and LANDESK CEO Steve Daly

After taking a tour of the building—where he met and shook hands with dozens of employees from different departments—Senator Hatch personally addressed the LANDESK group and then opened the floor to questions.

Employees didn’t hold back, asking the senator everything from how he plans to fix the VA problem to who to vote for in the upcoming election.

His answers were refreshingly candid and the discussion was both respectful and enlightening—even in a room full of differing perspectives.

Of course, a meet-up of this caliber would not be complete without a few selfies, and the senator was gracious enough to take photos with anyone who wanted one.

We welcome the senator back any time and appreciate his staunch advocacy for the tech industry and all of his continued efforts on our behalf!

The Ultimate 9-Step Checklist to Protect Against Ransomware

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Are you worried about ransomware making its way to your company networks? Or maybe your business has already been infected by ransomware. Don’t panic! We’re here to help.

We’ve done extensive research on the subject, including asking our experts in the security field for advice. Be sure to check out How to Stop Ransomware Once It’s Already On Your System, as well as Ransomware: The Threat and How to Protect Your Enterprise Part 1 and Part 2.

Even though we discuss ways to lessen the impact and spread of ransomware after infection, the best method is always prevention.

Keep this Ultimate 9-Step Checklist to Protect Against Ransomware handy so you can remember all of the ways in which you can protect your valuable data. These nine critical steps include:

  1. Patching the critical operating systems and applications
  2. Ensuring that antivirus software is up-to-date and that regular scans are scheduled
  3. Managing the use of privileged accounts
  4. Implementing access control that focuses on the data
  5. Defining, implementing, and enforcing software rules
  6. Disabling macros from Microsoft Office files
  7. Implementing applications whitelisting
  8. Restricting users to virtualized or containerized environments
  9. Backing up critical files frequently

Learn how to protect your business with LANDESK Security Suite (LDSS) and check out our free white paper below!

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Infographic: The 8 Scariest Stats About Ransomware

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*1. Business Insider: The Hacked Hollywood Hospital Is Not Alone, February 2016 *2. FBI.gov: Ransomware on the Rise, April 2016 *3. DARKReading: Two Biggest Reasons Ransomware Keeps Winning, March 2016 *4. CNN Money: Cyber-Extortion Losses Skyrocket, says FBI, April 15, 2016 *5. WIRED: Email Phishing Attacks Take Just Minutes to Hit Employees, April 2015 *6. United States Government Interagency Guidance Document, How to Protect Your Networks from Ransomware *7. United States Government Interagency Guidance Document, How to Protect Your Networks from Ransomware *8. CNN Money: Cyber-Extortion Losses Skyrocket, says FBI, April 15, 2016

Ransomware is spreading across the digital landscape like wildfire—and it’s not slowing down any time soon. From school districts and hospitals to small businesses and large enterprises, ransomware does not discriminate when it comes to whose valuable files it holds ransom.

From January to March alone, ransomware cybercriminals extorted an astounding $209 million from businesses. Estimates suggest that the cybercrime will reach $1 billion by the end of the year, making this the year that ransomware holds America hostage.

According to the FBI, ransomware criminals demand between $200 and $5,000, on average, before allowing users to regain access to their data. But payouts as high as $17,000 have been reported, and it’s possible that even larger sums exist but have not been reported.

This current onslaught of ransomware has led many businesses to tighten up their cybersecurity measures in order to prevent an attack. Unfortunately, it has also shown cybercriminals how to maneuver around new defenses and modify their methods in order to continue their scam.

Earlier versions of ransomware were mostly seen in phishing emails, as explained by LANDESK security insider Stephen Brown. But now users can be infected simply by clicking on a compromised website. Prevention techniques such as whitelisting and patch management solutions can remove vulnerabilities, and LANDESK Antivirus can also be used to block ransomware.

Don’t let your business fall prey to these rampant cyberattacks. Learn how LANDESK Security Suite (LDSS) ensures your user environment is stable and secure, helping you to reduce risk and extend protection and control.

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