Our insight


Pick up the phone to Ideal just now and you might detect elevated levels of grooviness. Stroll past our office and you'll likely find yourself moving just a little more slowly. Come in for a meeting and, well, there's a huge, psychedelic snail sunning himself in our meeting room window.

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At the start of the month I was at Cisco Live in Barcelona: an entire week of presentations, workshops, networking and general hobnobbing among Cisco, its partners and IT professionals. I've been before, but this year I was with fellow solution architects Daren Vallyon and Adrian Clarke - a strong showing from Ideal.

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Earlier this month I had the privilege to attend the flagship Cisco Partner Summit in Dallas. By invitation only, and with only about 60 places available to UK partners, it is the hottest ticket in the Cisco partner world, yet Ideal has been there on several occasions: a testament to the fantastic relationship that has developed between our companies over the years.

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We've been building an increasingly close partnership with Palo Alto Networks - the disruptive next-generation security company behind innovative products like Traps. Last month I was out in Vancouver for Ignite, PAN's annual cyber security conference, and as PAN's UK and Ireland Technical Champion of the Year 2016 I had the privilege of a one-to-one with its engaging founder, Nir Zuk.

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Last week saw me flying out to Barcelona for the European branch of VMworld - VMware's annual conference on data centre, cloud infrastructure and business mobility. It's a big, interesting event, made all the more so this year by the announcement, just before, that VMware vSphere can now be integrated with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

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You might have seen the August news story about how UK phone network O2 sent its business customers free USB drives, only to discover that some were carrying malware. While this was clearly done with the best intentions, issues like this are a big headache for corporate cybersecurity. No amount of staff training guarantees that someone, somewhere, won't absent-mindedly use an infected USB drive, and then you're at the mercy of your anti-virus software: if it's not up to date, or not up to the job, you could be looking at a lengthy cleanup, or worse a battle with ransomware.

While the O2 virus was old and it's not clear that anyone was actually infected, it's a reminder that malware can enter the organisation from any direction - and it often finds a seemingly reputable route. Here are five other cases when bugs or malware came from a reputable source.

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The cyberthreat landscape is evolving rapidly. In a business environment where IT infrastructure is fundamental, complexity is burgeoning and - through BYOD - connected devices are varied and often insecure, hackers and opportunists have more potential routes in to your business than ever before.

With the growing success of ransomware, criminal gangs are getting better organised and better equipped to find and exploit your weaknesses. Recent research suggests that of businesses who expect to be hit by ransomware, over half will eventually pay. And as if that wasn't enough, rising regulatory and media interest in data breaches, ransomware and other cybersecurity exploits means that security failings are costly, and often reputationally damaging.

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