Archive for December, 2014

Veracity Consulting’s CEO and Founder, Angela Hurt’s Holiday Message

AHURT1The holidays are a good opportunity to look back at the year and give thanks for all of the blessings given to us. In 2014, I have been excited seeing Veracity Consulting have unprecedented growth! For that I am thankful. We have seen the realignment of our core values and the establishment our “pillars” of success for the future. 2014 has been a true blessing and an exciting year indeed!

I’ve always tried to focus messages of hope, peace, and pursuit of positive impacts on the world. As we pause to celebrate, remember that Christmas isn’t just about the celebration and joy of the holiday, but also of giving back. Our grace and gratitude are only possible when we recognize the struggles faced by others.  To know those struggles is to have empathy for others. It’s when we have empathy that we find ourselves to be of true “service”.  I consider this a Veracity value and a pillar of our success.

I want my child, my friends, my employees, and my family to know that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and each other.  There is great strength in being united around messages of hope, courage, trust, and grit.  I see these messages in each of you.  I am so very thankful that you are with me on this journey!

As you enjoy your final days of 2014, I hope they are filled with the joy of family and friends.  I leave you with this poem.  May God bless each and every one of you during this holiday season.

“Let the spirit of love
gently fill our hearts and homes.
In this loveliest of seasons
may you find many reasons for happiness.”

I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

SIg

 

How to Create a Culture for Building Better Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity breaches are quickly becoming an everyday occurrence in the news, especially in the last few days. Sony has been hacked,  Home Depot and even the White House.  Since last year’s massive Target breach sent consumers home from their holiday shopping bonanzas, businesses are paying more attention to the real threat of hackers on their bottom-line.  As the saying goes….“It is not a matter of if you will be breached, but when…” Companies must constantly test their security measures and responses by continuously secure-iconauditing their systems and processes; this helps to identify and close loopholes. If your company wants to know how to implement best practices for their security and auditing measures, Veracity Consultants are here to help you get started.

Consider the following:

Begin with Strong Business Leadership. Identify a business champion that can communicate change management effectively. Many companies want to lean on their technical expert for implementing security changes. Sometimes this isn’t always the best choice. To build a solid program that will gain momentum for implementing regular audits, counter measures, and gaining buy in from the company as a whole, you must have a business leader to champion the cause. You need someone who can organize, communicate, and influence. If this is your Technical Expert, fantastic, but don’t be afraid to use your PMOs, who are truly experts in standing up a new program.

Encourage an Open Dialog. Change is difficult for everyone, but proper communication can ease anxiety and the water cooler talk. When teams are properly educated about the situation and its impact (who, what, why, and how) there is less room for gossip and speculation.

Create a Culture of Security. Some of the biggest threats today are coming from overseas. Many are actively attempting to steal trade secrets or destabilize a company. Instill in employees a culture of security while empowering them to protect the company’s assets. After all, protecting the latest company top-secret project is actually protecting their livelihood! Leaders should hold individuals accountable for new standards, but also allow individual contributors to hold each other accountable. Supporting this is critical. Standards should be constantly discussed with employees as well as their responsibility to the standard.

Educate Users about Current Threats and What They Can Do. Your users can be one of the biggest risks to the security of your organization. Many times users circumvent controls without fully understanding the repercussions. This leaves your organization and its people vulnerable to its weaknesses. It takes a Program Manager with sound communications skills and ability to influence everyone to buy in to the initiative. Open and honest communication about “what will happen..” and “why we need to do this..” works well. When it doesn’t, then it’s time to hold people accountable for the breach.

Implement and Post Your Company Security Policy. Policies and standards provide the foundation for what to do and what not to do. Proper documentation and communication of policies and standards to end users will create the backbone of your program. Not everybody will read them thoroughly, nor will they follow them all of the time, but if you can change the behavior of a number of end users and add teeth to the program, that is a huge win. When policies are not followed as expected, and standards are not met, then the accountability from above comes back into play.secure_server

Stay on Top of Your Patch Management. Veracity IT Managed Services Team has successful implemented vulnerability scanning software for daily, monthly, and quarterly assessment by System Engineering. From this information our technical leaders then formulate a schedule for patch management on an ongoing basis. These are the steps that help our clients detour and maintain visibility of ongoing threats. Our Managed Services Consultants begin by building an asset inventory and scanning assets for problems. Once that’s established, a Veracity Program Manager works with system engineering to properly schedule the eradication of the issues. Lastly, the team provides metrics so a baseline is established that executives can use to make educated decisions on what vulnerabilities need to be addressed next.

Perform Regular Assessments. Use an outside partner like Veracity Consulting’s Security Assessment Team or another reputable source. These outside consulting teams will give your internal security and systems teams’ honest feedback on your security processes and policies. This is a very important part of the process.

Remember, it takes time to build an information security program. But you must start somewhere. It is the most important IT initiative that you can take in 2014, 2015, and beyond. Be sure to choose a partner that you trust and one that can help you to provide a safe and secure business environment to your employees and your intellectual property.

Call, 913-945-1912 or email us today for more information on how a Veracity Consultant can help your company create a culture that champions your company’s cybersecurity initiative.

Veracity Gentlemen and “Movember” 2014

BeardThe gentlemen of Veracity Consulting participated in November’s “Movember” or No Shave November and ended the month with several impressive beards and mustaches. The stunning “Black Swan” award belonged to System Administrator, David Ambs this year.   David created a true “Art of Manliness” with his impressive “Vikingesque” tribute beard.

Most team participants have come to the end of their hairy-faced endeavors, but we did manage to get a few photos of the participants.  Thank you to everyone who took part and who supported 2014 “Movember” or “No Shave”  November for a most excellent cause, and cheers to some of the beautiful moustaches and beards grown.  It’s not too late, if you wish to donate, the donation page can be found here.  Movember or “No Shave” November is all about bringing attention to mens health causes.  We encourage everyone to check out the website, participate, and/or donate!

Here is the final rundown of the Veracity Movember Beauty Pageant.  While all our participates are winners, there can only be one, knighted the “fairest” of them all.   Here is your 2014 Veracity Consulting The Man Court.

David

2014 NoShave Movember, the BLACK SWAN , David Ambs.

TSM

EDV

 

 

John Duker Joins Veracity Consulting as Director of Business Development and Government Solutions

Veracity Consulting welcomes John Duker as its Director, Business Development and Government Solutions.  John brings over 13 years of success in outside sales, relationship building, and account management in the public and private sector.

John_DukerMr. Duker attended Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.  He began his career in sales in 2005 as agency owner through Allstate Insurance. John then moved to JMA were he spent the last 6 years as a Sr. Advanced Programs Manager.  In his free time, takes part in the Kansas City Soccer Club and devotes his time with several non-profit organizations such as Operation Breakthrough, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City, and National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Mr. Duker is also the current District 1 Commissioner of Kansas Youth Soccer Association.

About Veracity Consulting

Veracity Consulting, Inc is a Native American and woman-owned provider of information technology consulting services.  As a diverse organization,  Veracity Consulting, Inc. is a leading provider of information technology consulting services. Veracity Consulting is 8(a) certified. Our primary objective is understanding and executing for our clients. Veracity Consulting serves Austin, Dallas, Washington D.C., Houston, Hawaii, Atlanta, Overland Park, and the Kansas City Metro Area. Their expertise has helped numerous clients navigate the cloud-computing world, security, IT managed services, and around building sound business processes.

Veracity Consulting offers a comprehensive range of consulting services, including strategic planning, BI strategy, modeling, data management, and business analysis.  Their cloud infrastructure Managed Services offers Service Desk management, Infrastructure Capacity Management, and Systems Administration.

Headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, Veracity Consulting has principal offices in several locations across the United States. Learn more at www.engageveracity.comwww.facebook.com/engageveracity, and www.twitter.com/engageveracity.