Ransomware As A Service (RaaS) Explained

Ransomware As A Service (RaaS) Explained

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware, which dates back to 1989, is a form of malware that infects and takes control of a computer user’s machine, or secure documents stored on it, to extort money. 

Ransomware is a malware format that encrypts the files of a victim. The attacker then demands that the victim be liable for payment to restore data access. Instructions for paying the money to acquire the decryption key are shown to users. Ransomware as a service (RaaS) is a ransomware infrastructure rented out on the dark web to hackers. This is a simple platform to access ransomware attacks and install them on the victim’s machine to acquire the extortion amount.

How do RaaS attacks work?

The majority of ransomware victims fall victim to Social Engineering Attacks. The term ‘social engineering’ refers to a wide variety of malicious activities carried out through human interactions. It uses psychological manipulation to lead users to make security errors or to provide sensitive information. Many individuals and organizations fall prey to these types of attacks.

The real-world consequences of a successful cyberattack were highlighted this month when ransomware shut down one of the United State’s biggest pipelines.

Colonial Pipeline said that after being the victim of a cyberattack, the company was forced to shut down operations and freeze IT systems proactively. The FBI blamed the attack on DarkSide, a cybercriminal gang believed to be based in Eastern Europe, and Colonial reportedly paid a $5 million ransom to the group.

The increased number of cyberattacks and data breaches have roesulted in substantial monetary and non-monetary losses to businesses across industries which is why UnitedLayer offers automated, robust cybersecurity, compliance, and risk management programs based on the most comprehensive set of frameworks, benchmarks, and guidelines available, boosting confidence in the company’s security compliance posture.

What steps should businesses take for ransomware protection?

  • Educate your employees: Employees can serve as the first line of defense against online threats, actively helping prevent malware infiltration into the organization’s system. Employee education about warning signals, safe practices, and responses, along with a robust security program, can go a long way toward preventing these attacks.
  • Employ a data backup and recovery plan for all critical information: Backups are essential for minimizing the effects of malware threats. To access the data in the event of a ransomware attack, store it on a separate device or offline.
  • Perform a Risk Assessment: A Risk Assessment is a premium and practical way to help protect your organization. Risk assessments help you identify and resolve vulnerabilities in your IT security and privacy. Following a plan based on a risk assessment will significantly reduce your risks, saving you time and money in the long run.

How UnitedLayer can help

UnitedLayer offers a variety of security solutions that not only resolve the security concerns outlined in this blog but can also be customized to suit your organization’s specific security needs. Let’s take a look at UnitedLayer’s portfolio of products and see how they address the security concerns, as well as how they can work together to protect your business better.

    • Compliance Automation: We provide regular assessments of security vulnerabilities with prescriptive remediations across your entire hybrid infrastructure (cloud, on-premises, and containers). Regular reports/documentation to support compliance with internal security policies to expedite the auditing process. We have the richest library of security frameworks (NIST, DISA, etc.), benchmarks (CIS OS, cloud, and Docker), and compliances (SOC, ISO, GDPR, PCI, HIPAA) with advanced compliance mapping. Co-author of both Docker and Kubernetes Security Benchmarks from the beginning.
    • Network Security: Our cutting-edge security solutions protect client infrastructure from any external security threats. We provide IPsec VPN, SSL VPN, IDS/IPS services for secured access to cloud infrastructure. In addition to this, we also offer DoS/DDoS protection against all types of network attacks and threats. We have multiple firewalls in place for each customer deployment to increase network security redundancy.
    • Application Security: Our application security services ensure the safety and security of your sensitive business information from any security threats. With application penetration tests or ethical hacking, we help organizations identify the security vulnerabilities present in the application. Our secure code analysis enables organizations to verify that proper security controls are present in the application.
    • Virtual Security: We provide security partners like Gateway Firewall, Web Firewall, Application Firewall, DDOS mitigation, VLAN Segmentation, Security Incident Monitoring, Private Cloud implementation with ACL, and lockdown of the ports and IP address along with the encryption of data at rest and in transit.
    • Data Security: We use several methods to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the data we receive from our customers. Our production data is regularly encrypted and backed up. AES-256 is used to encrypt data at rest, while TLS 1.2 is used to encrypt data in transit.

At UnitedLayer, we have a growing list of managed services, which helps corporations restructure their infrastructure and enhance their responsiveness, optimization, resource efficiency, and flexibility, leading to better and enhanced customer experience and quicker time to market.

Visit our website and register for a free demo today to get a glimpse into what else we have to offer.

5 Things You Should Know About Data Center Infrastructure

5 Things You Should Know About Data Center Infrastructure

What is Data Center Infrastructure?

Data center infrastructure is a crucial element of the business strategies of many companies. Managed Services Providers (MSPs) and cloud-based developers require the rich connectivity options that only a data center’s infrastructure can offer. However, with so many data center facilities, it can be tricky to decide which ones can provide superior services today and boost tomorrow’s technological revolution.
The core physical or hardware-based resources and components that make up a data center – including all IT infrastructure devices, equipment, and technologies – are referred to as data center infrastructure. It’s modeled and identified in a design plan that involves a comprehensive list of the infrastructure components required to build a data center.

A Data Center infrastructure may include:

  • Computers
  • Networking equipment (Routers or switches)
  • Servers
  • Storage
  • Security
  • Data Center management applications

An Overview of Data Center Infrastructure Architecture

The computational power, storage, and applications needed to sustain an enterprise business are all housed in the data center. All content is sourced or passed through the data center infrastructure, which is at the heart of the IT architecture. Performance, resiliency, and scalability must be carefully considered when designing the data center infrastructure.

What is Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM)?

The processes, guidelines, tools, and methodologies used for provisioning, governance, and overall management of data center assets and infrastructures are referred to as data center infrastructure management (DCIM). It offers a comprehensive approach for the operation and maintenance of an enterprise data center and includes information technology resources, including power, cooling, lighting, and physical infrastructure.

What is Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCIE)?

Data center infrastructure efficiency (DCIE) is a metric for assessing a data center’s power or energy efficiency. It entails assessing and measuring a data center’s overall energy consumption, especially related to the energy consumption of IT devices and equipment.

What are the 5 Things You Need to Know About Data Center Infrastructure?

Data Center Redundancy:
While most data centers will say that their systems are fully redundant, the terminology has become so muddled in recent years that their exact backup capacities may be unclear. The first thing to look for is the efficiency of the data center’s uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. A dependable facility would have a comprehensive auditing policy to ensure that backup batteries are still ready to go.

UnitedLayer’s N+2 redundant chiller configuration and redundant water sources ensure consistent temperatures are maintained throughout our facilities; also, our networks are at least 2N redundant, and they include numerous cabinet redundant panels, redundant UPS, an automatic transfer generator, cabs, versatile capacity, and high density (20KW).

Power Density:
Many data center cabinets were designed with lower power densities in mind than most current servers. However, significant transformations in server technology have changed the way facilities measure their power capacity over the last decade. Watts per square foot used to be the traditional unit, but data centers now calculate power density at the server rack level. Ten years ago, 4-5 KW per rack was considered average; today, that number is closer to 15-20 KW per rack in high-performance facilities.

For instance, UnitedLayer has guaranteed power density to support current and future technologies with 20KW and 2N power.

Uptime SLA Requirements:
Any data center infrastructure evaluation should start with a thorough review of the Service Level Agreement (SLA). This agreement specifies the services that a data center promises to provide and the penalties imposed if it fails to do so. Uptime SLAs are important for consumers looking to secure their data and assets because they are legally binding documents.

UnitedLayer’s G3 Private Cloud provides all the power of the cloud without the pain of running it, so your IT team can focus on tasks essential to the growth of your business. Also, G3 Private Cloud is a fully managed cloud by our team of experts 24/7/365 days with a 15 mins response time SLA. Also, we provide a software-defined network, compute, and storage resources with 99.999% high availability N+M clusters.

Remote Hands:
Providing services via a data center can be challenging at times. Experienced IT personnel may lack the planning and expertise required to implement systems and develop networks within the data center environment. A facility offering skilled technicians who work together for migration and integration will help customers focus on services that benefit their businesses.

When problems develop, having remote hands staff available 24/7/365 to resolve issues quickly reduces the negative impact of downtime. These technicians are also familiar with the data center environment and can handle repairs and other emergencies more efficiently than external IT teams. With an excellent remote hands team in place, service-driven businesses like MSPs can focus more on developing new services instead of troubleshooting for their customers. Customers can use UnitedLayer to get a visual snapshot of all their devices in the colocation data center, track their output, and manage these devices without sending technical staff to the facility.

Visibility:
Understanding what goes on inside a data center is essential for any organization that provides services through that infrastructure. Customers have to know how traffic affects power and network performance to plan and determine how their assets are best deployed. This information is provided by data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software. Protection is also a significant concern in terms of visibility. Sophisticated DCIM systems make it easier to monitor properties and ensure that all equipment is where it should be at all times.

According to Gartner, “Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools monitor, measure, manage and control data center utilization and energy consumption of all sending IT-related equipment (such as servers, storage, and network switches) and facility infrastructure components (such as power distribution units [PDUs] and computer room air conditioners [CRACs]).”

Meeting compliance regulations can be challenging without the right data center partner. With SSAE-18 certification incorporating controls & requirements and a robust infrastructure that is regularly audited, UnitedLayer has the unique ability to assist our customers in achieving SSAE18 SOC1/2, PCI, FedRAMP/FISMA & HIPAA compliance if needed.

Why choose us?

UnitedLayer provides the Colocation services from one of the largest data centers in San Francisco, USA, at 200 Paul Ave. Our long list of managed services enables enterprises to modernize their infrastructure and improve their responsiveness, resource utilization, scalability, and agility resulting in better customer experience and faster time to market.

With more than two decades of experience and a pool of experts in leading technologies – we enable enterprises, SMB’s, government agencies, and start-ups to reap the maximum benefits from their multicloud investments.

To get a better insight into what else UnitedLayer has got in store, sign up for a free demo today.

How Is Demand Driving Data Center Market Growth?

How Is Demand Driving Data Center Market Growth?

Technology is rapidly changing the economic landscape, creating new opportunities for businesses to explore how they can broaden their IT solutions to take advantage of emerging markets. However, many companies aren’t considering how data centers, especially those in smaller operations, can play a crucial role in assisting them in leveraging new technology in a way that allows them to be more effective and efficient.

Data management in-house, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly complex, time-consuming, and expensive. Even big companies such as Cisco plan to shut down internal data centers to save energy and infrastructure costs.

The solution? Outsource data management.

More enterprises are outsourcing their data center operations to third-party providers who specialize in doing so. Data centers that provide physical space, power, and cooling systems for servers and connections to local communication networks are particularly common. UnitedLayer has over 40,000 square feet of fully redundant data center space, which is not in the earthquake fault, liquefaction, or landslide zone for the next 100-year and is seismically rated for protection against earthquakes.

What are the Key Drivers of Growth?

  1. Internet of Things: Using artificial intelligence, data, analytics, security, and communication, the US is one of the market leaders for industrial IoT-led technologies.
  2. Submarine cable projects along the east coast: These bring incredibly high-speed data to the East Coast from Europe and South America, where they are transferred to data centers.
  3. Cloud Storage: The use of cloud computing services and applications in the United States continues to grow rapidly, leading to extensive cloud-based data centers.
  4. Tax Incentives: Data center growth in recent years has been concentrated in tax incentive regions, including government and local governments that provide incentives for investment (often energy-based)

How to meet these growing data needs?

More data centers are being built to meet these growing data needs, ranging from Tier 1 (least complex and secure) to Tier 4 (highly complex with high IT/security requirements), usually hyperscale centers. UnitedLayer, for instance, has a Tier-3+ data center with superior outage protection to avoid any unplanned downtimes also greater than N+1 architecture for uninterrupted power and cooling.

How to meet future storage needs?

Automation can increase data-center efficiency by allowing a single administrator to handle thousands of servers. Advanced IT equipment and data center infrastructure management software providers are driving this automation initiative. 

Our Colocation services come with on-demand scalability where customers can add additional storage, compute, and networking resources to meet the increased business demands.

How can UnitedLayer help you?

Data centers serve as the basis for network and computing solutions that will enable enterprises to take advantage of emerging markets and keep up with rapidly evolving technology. 

UnitedLayer’s 200 Paul data center is the only data center in San Francisco which is built on bedrock with Zone 4 construction and is not in a 500-year flood plain, a Tier-3+ data center with superior outage protection to avoid any unplanned downtimes, Remote Management services like Multicloud Dashboard for entire colocation facilities showcasing a single infra environment, SSAE-18 certification incorporating controls and requirements, also a robust infrastructure that is regularly audited. We have a growing list of managed services, which helps corporations restructure their infrastructure and enhance their responsiveness, optimization, resource efficiency, and flexibility.

Visit UnitedLayer’s website to learn more about the different services offered and how you can get the best out of them.

A Successful Colocation Deployment Over The Weekend By UnitedLayer

A Successful Colocation Deployment Over The Weekend By UnitedLayer

Sometimes a complex colocation deployment may take weeks or even months to get planned, implemented, and deployed. However, the world will keep on spinning, and a lot of business opportunities will be lost if your colocation provider is not fast enough to serve your every critical need within the given time, budget, and required scope of your project.

The problem with faster colocation deployment is that it needs to be done the ‘first time right,’ which again requires a lot of experience and can be only provided by a select few vendors like UnitedLayer, which shines out with its two decades of experience in solving complicated colocation and hybrid cloud problems. One of the biggest social media companies, the largest online encyclopedia, and one of the leading American internet hosting providers trust UnitedLayer for their complex colocation needs.

This write-up will take you through another success story of UnitedLayer in the colocation market featured by datacenterhawk. We at UnitedLayer take a lot of pride in delivering instant colocation solutions within a short period of time, which is mission-critical for our modern-day customers.

This industry case study will showcase a just-in-time joint venture between UnitedLayer and datacenterHawk to support an AI and ML technology pioneer to migrate its mission-critical IT infrastructure into UnitedLayer’s agile colocation environment.

CTO of an American Major ML and AI firm found himself in a situation where the lease on the current colocation space was about to expire. The customer provides Machine Learning(ML) and Artificial Intelligence(AI) for marketing and product innovation.

The customer browsed and sent quote requests to many data centers in the Bay Area and came across UnitedLayer, which supported all his requirements, including 11⁄2 racks, 500 MBPS bandwidth, Azure AWS, and GCP connectivity and the cost. The team of UnitedLayer assured the customer that the relocation of their colocation would be taken care of in a span of 72 hours.

Fortunately for the customer, UnitedLayer was prepared to field the request. What resulted was a flurry of activity rarely seen to help the customer make his move.

  • UnitedLayer scheduled a same-day tour of 200 Paul* and delivered pricing in less than 24 hours.
  • The team at UnitedLayer was able to expedite the provisioning and customer onboarding.
  • The team did an after-hours install on Saturday and put connectivity in place on Sunday.
  • The customer was able to move in on Monday, avoiding any sort of costly interruption of IT service.

Within a record time of 72 hours, the customer could proceed with the initial request to deploy a business functional colocation facility.

CEO of UnitedLayer, Abhijit Phanse, explained, With UnitedLayer, we have almost two decades of experience in building, managing, and delivering some of the most complex enterprise-grade colocation solutions across AI & ML, TMT, Retail, Logistics, Oil & Gas, Government & BFSI sector,  This case study is one of the best examples which showcases our faster delivery and quick turnaround time to accommodate urgent business needs of our customers across the globe. Our experts can help any company in creating a migration strategy, assess multiple application portfolios, review several cost structures, and identify the best-fit cloud platform  to serve the unique needs of our customers.”

The customer can deploy and manage their existing hardware in our premier Tier-3 data center facility while still maintaining the level of access, control, and security of a data center that resides entirely on their premises. With the UnitedColocation solution, one can eliminate the hassle and cost of running their own data center while setting their business up for a future in the cloud.

The customer secures his data in UnitedLayer’s 200 Paul data center, the only data center in San Francisco built on bedrock with Zone 4 construction and is not in a 500-year flood plain. UnitedColocation provides 24x7x365 uptime reliability of their network along with fast and predictable performance in IT Operations. It delivers greater than N+1 architecture for uninterrupted power and cooling along with 99.999% high availability for applications and systems with a seamless software-defined upgrade of the network, storage, and compute from 1G to 20G.

Our Software-Defined Multicloud Data Center Platform is a technology platform that converts any legacy data center into a modern hybrid cloud and multicloud data center. The compliance assures security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and customer data privacy to the customers to cater to their business requirements.

We enable comprehensive managed services like Remote Hands, Smart Hands, Infrastructure Management, Network Management, Container Management, IT Estate Management, Database Management, Disaster Recovery, Cloud Migration, Cloud Connectivity, Data Privacy Management along with Security and Compliance. The customer can utilize a colocation site that is highly secure and compliant to industry-leading standards such as SSAE 16, HIPAA, ISO 14001, ISO 22301, PCI-DSS, NIST, FISMA, and SOC. The company is LEED Gold certified in green building strategies to support long-term sustainability.

With carrier-neutral carrier-dense interconnections with hyper-scale public cloud providers, we offer a suite of colocation services that provide a huge cost-advantage, scalability, and security for data center solutions and Hybrid Cloud solutions.

About UnitedLayer:

UnitedLayer is a leading provider of Colocation services across the globe. It manages the only data center in San Francisco that is built on solid bedrock. The location serves many engineering, technology, and internet service providers and is the leading data center for the Bay Area and San Francisco colocation.

About 200 Paul:

UnitedLayer’s 200 Paul data center is the only data center in San Francisco built on bedrock with Zone 4 construction and is not in a 500-year flood plain. UnitedLayer’s fully redundant data center space is not in the liquefaction or landslide zone for the next 100-year and is seismically rated for protection against earthquakes.

The high network density at 200 Paul Avenue makes it an ideal interconnection point for the entire west coast, providing connectivity to leading domestic and Asia Pacific carriers, making it extremely viable to support any complex business need.

The 5 W’s Of Server Colocation And How Will It Work For You?

The 5 W’s Of Server Colocation And How Will It Work For You?

   Colocation (quite often known as “colo”) is the method of renting space for the servers and other computer hardware at a third-party provider’s data center facility. Colocation facilities usually involve the places where everything is stored and networked, physical protection, backup power, HVAC (heating ventilation and cooling), constant support for client’s servers, and storage.

Now moving to server Colocation, the server remains with the clients but it is stored, managed, and controlled by the Managed Service Provider or Cloud Service Provider. The client or organization accesses the server over the Internet or on a Virtual Private Network connection.

 

What are the 5 W’s of Server Colocation?

Asking for the 5 W’s is a favorite strategy of mine. Remember those, right? It was a thing from grade school. By isolating the issues into the 5 W’s, almost everything that you need to do can be explained and refined.

   1.  Why is Server Colocation needed?
   2. Who uses Server Colocation?
   3. What do we know about different types of Server Colocation?
   4. Where to find Server Colocation?
   5. When will you need a Server Colocation?

  • Why – Why is Server Colocation needed? Instead of building a new data center, corporations can use the space in a colocation facility to expand their existing data center.
  • Who – Who uses Server Colocation? The answer is simple, companies and individuals consider server colocation since it offers a stable base to create safe systems that conform to the applicable regulatory frameworks, which are either not feasible or incredibly expensive with other infrastructure hosting modalities.
  • What – What do we know about different types of Server Colocation? Single server Colocation is for U servers, tower servers, and PCs; partial racks come in rack increments of 1⁄4, 1/3, and 1⁄2. Usually, full racks and cabinets are 42 to 48U in size; private cage placement usually comes at increments racks of 2, 4, 8, and 10 and at last for larger businesses looking for more space with custom features such as office space, disaster recovery space, custom private cages, and custom suits are also an option.
  • Where – Where to find Server Colocation? You can find it anywhere in this whole wide world! UnitedLayer provides enterprise grade best solutions for your business from Los Angeles data center, Las Vegas data center, and San Francisco data center and can support any expansion through its 13 data centers spread across 5 continents.
  • When – When will you need a Server Colocation? Did you outgrow your new server room? Have you encountered power problems or Internet downtime at your data center in your office? If the answer is yes, then it’s time for you to look into UnitedLayer.

Build a more productive and highly available IT architecture with hundreds of providers inside the facilities, including SDNs, global carriers, subsea networks, metro providers, and more, access to your choice with us. We provide highly skilled and certified professionals who would be an extension of the IT company. Smart hand and Remote hands 24×7×365 and mechanical & electrical monitoring.

How can we help? United Private Cloud comes with all the benefits of cloud computing but with the greater controls and security of an enterprise-grade private cloud.

Click here to learn more about how Colocation managed by United Private Cloud goes beyond traditional colocation