Katie Holms

Author Archives: Katie Holms

Switzerland’s Leading Provider of Customized Financial Services for Dental Facilities Ensures the Safe Handling of Patient Records

The core business of Zahnärztekasse AG revolves around financial services for dentists and therefore secure patient records. The 33 employees look after the fee management of over 1,000 dental facilities in Switzerland. Recently, the company introduced a new level of security, because in the face of current threats and threats of cybercrime, sensitive data can fall into the wrong hands. The dental facilities often ask about the level of safety of the IT products and services offered. In addition, it is necessary to comply with the new federal law on data protection, the Swiss counterpart to GDPR. Therefore, IT security is very important. A digital transformation was necessary, because the systems in use were not completely protected against current threat scenarios. Furthermore, Zahnärztekasse was also striving for an ISO certification.


Interfaces and platforms already digitized

Digitalization is a major challenge for the conservative dental market. Zahnärztekasse has responded to this trend by digitizing its assets including interfaces, various platforms (www.debident.ch and www.zahngeld.ch) and the iOS app Crediflex, and is now considered to be a market leader and pioneer in the field. As early as 2010, Zahnärztekasse started virtualizing its systems and built on this trend Continue reading

Cross-vCenter NSX at the Center for Advanced Public Safety

Jason Foster is an IT Manager at the Center for Advanced Public Safety at the University of Alabama. The Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS) originally developed a software that provided crash reporting and data analytics software for the State of Alabama. Today, CAPS specializes in custom software mostly in the realm of law enforcement and public safety. They have created systems for many states and government agencies across the country.

Bryan Salek, Networking and Security Staff Systems Engineer, spoke with Jason about network virtualization and what led the Center for Advanced Public Safety to choosing VMware NSX Data Center and what the future holds for their IT transformation.


The Need for Secure and Resilient Infrastructure

As part of a large modernize data center initiative, the forward-thinking CAPS IT team began to investigate micro-segmentation. Security is a primary focus at CAPS due to the fact that the organization develops large software packages for various state agencies. The applications that CAPS writes and builds are hosted together, but contain confidential information and need to be segmented from one another.

Once CAPS rolled out the micro-segmentation use-case, the IT team decided to leverage NSX Data Center for disaster recovery purposes as Continue reading

IHS Markit Talks Pioneering Private Cloud, Containers, and VMware Cloud on AWS

Global information, analytics, and solutions company IHS Markit provides data-driven insight for its government and corporate customers. Using VMware vRealize Automation, the company has already rolled out a private cloud that helped developers cut a 6-month infrastructure provisioning process down to one week. They’ve also been using VMware NSX-T Data Center to secure their workloads at a granular level with micro-segmentation, and to fundamentally re-think network design.

At VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas, Andrew Hrycaj, Principal Network Engineer for IHS Markit, spoke about the company’s plans for software-defined networking and hybrid cloud. IHS Markit has deployed VMware NSX Data Center, including NSX-T Data Center and VMware NSX Data Center for vSphere, into five data centers. “The NSX Data Center advantage for us is the fact that it can interact with so many different environments; from containers, to the public cloud environment with AWS and Azure, to on-prem,” said Hrycaj. “We’ll be able to utilize micro-segmentation across all of them with a common security footprint. If NSX-T goes to all those different environments, we can apply the same security policy across all those different platforms. It makes operations’ life easier because the transparency is there.”


Innovating with Continue reading

Coppell ISD Integrates Security into Infrastructure via VMware AppDefense

What do you get when you provide 12,800 kids with technology and programming classes? You get 12,800 people who are getting ready for the modern workforce of today and tomorrow. You also get 12,800 potential vulnerabilities. With the growing quantity of phishing emails, ransomware and malware that Coppell Independent School District (CISD) already had to combat with a small staff, this Texas school system was looking for smarter solutions.

“All these students who have taken programming classes, they’re often looking to bypass administrative privileges, looking for ways around the internet filters, or looking for ways to play games on the school computers,” said Stephen McGilvray, CISD Executive Director of Technology. “So, in addition to all these external threats we have to worry about, we also have a bunch of homegrown, internal threats.”

The school district recently underwent a data center refresh, which included updates for VMware vSphere, VMware App Volumes and VMware Horizon, and launched the implementation of VMware NSX Data Center. During the refresh, their VMware sales rep told them about a relatively new security product called VMware AppDefense.

At its core, AppDefense shifts the advantage from attackers to defenders by determining and ensuring good application Continue reading

Education Service Center Region 11 Protects Student Data with VMware NSX Data Center

Rory Peacock is the Deputy Executive Director of Technology at Education Service Center Region 11, where he oversees all technology services provided to Region 11 schools.

Region 11 is one of 20 education service centers throughout the State of Texas. In Texas, an education service center manages education programs, delivers technical assistance, and provides professional development to schools within its region. With regards to technology, education service centers assist their schools with hosted services and technical support.

Education Service Center Region 11 serves 70,699 educators and almost 600,000 students across 10 urban and rural counties.

I had the opportunity to talk to Rory about some of his largest technology challenges since he joined Region 11 in 2015.


Day Zero

Region 11 is a long-time VMware customer, introducing VMware vSphere in 2009. Since then, Region 11 has virtualized over 95% of their server environment. They’ve also made the move to virtual desktops utilizing VMware Horizon to support their 200 employees.

On the very day in 2016 that a meeting was set with the VMware NSX Data Center team to demo the product, Region 11 was hit with a zero-day attack of ransomware. A legacy system was hit in its demilitarized Continue reading

Adaptive Micro-segmentation at Interfaith Medical Center

Christopher Frenz is the Associate Vice President of Infrastructure Security at Interfaith Medical Center (IMC) and has been with the company since 2013.

Interfaith is a multi-site healthcare system located in Central Brooklyn. The 287-bed non-profit teaching hospital and its network of ambulatory care clinics treat over 250,000 patients every year.


Transforming Security in Healthcare

Chris Corde, Senior Director of Security Product Management, had the chance to talk with Christopher about his journey with the VMware NSX portfolio.

Interfaith Medical Center, like many companies in the healthcare industry, is embracing new technology in the form of electronic health records (EHR) systems. The hospital also has an online portal that allows patients to view information about their treatment and prescriptions and take a more active role in their own care.

While IMC began considering VMware NSX for compliance reasons, they discovered the many benefits micro-segmentation brought to their increasing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

On top of what IMC implemented with micro-segmentation, they also deployed VMware AppDefense, a product that leverages the VMware ESX hypervisor to build a compute least-privilege security model for applications. AppDefense manages the intended state of an application, then uses the ESX hypervisor to Continue reading

Clark County Embraces Intrinsic Security with VMware NSX Data Center

Allen Tyson is a Senior Network Analyst at Clark County, located in the State of Nevada. Clark County encompasses the City of Las Vegas, and sees 47 million visitors each year. With roughly 10,000 employees and 38 departments, Allen has a large network to maintain.

Alex Berger, Networking and Security Product Marketing Manager, spoke with Allen about software-defined networking (SDN), and what led Clark County to choosing VMware NSX Data Center.


The Power of Social Media Communities

When a forward-thinking Deputy Chief Information Officer began talking about SDN, Allen did his due diligence to decide on the best option for Clark County. He took to social media to determine whether that choice would be NSX Data Center or Cisco ACI.

“First thing I did was I got on Twitter,” Allen explains. “It seemed like NSX was capable of doing a little bit more [than Cisco ACI] and it also seemed like the communities behind NSX and the people who were using NSX and the ability that I had to get a response from people was greater on the NSX side. And so, I started looking more into NSX.”

Allen was looking for stories from other customers with similar Continue reading