Quarterly Update

About the Umbrella Quarterly Update:

Each quarter Umbrella creates an update of all the new services and enhancements that we will be adding in the next three months. In addition, we aggregate all the news and content we’ve created over the past three months. For the Q2 2021 update we continue to focus on cybersecurity. As always feel free to forward on to friends and colleagues.

Umbrella Communication Recap:

In case you missed it, here are some important client communications we’ve sent out in the last 90 days.

Blog Recap:


New HIPAA standards: what you need to know

In January 2021 the US government signed into law cybersecurity bill HR 7898, known as the HIPAA Safe Harbor Bill. This amendment has important information security consequences for companies operating in healthcare. You can find out what you need to know by reading the new HIPAA Safe Harbor Bill.


Introduction to Cybersecurity Frameworks

One of the most practical ways to improve information security and ensure long-term compliance with relevant industry regulations is to use a recognized security framework. Trent Peters, one of our founders, took some time to provide you with an Introduction to Cybersecurity Frameworks.


Cyber Liability

The direct costs of a data breach are significant, but the indirect costs can quickly become devastating. We’ve put together a cyber liability guide to help you understand the basics and why your organization needs cyber liability insurance.


Real world examples of security breaches from Kansas City companies

As cybersecurity threats continue to increase at an alarming pace, cyber criminals are shifting focus and to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) over larger, more well-defended companies. We’ve shared real-world examples of security breaches from Kansas City companies.

Noteworthy News Updates:

Kansas City Rolling Power Outages

This past February there was a cold snap and that led to natural gas shortage that forced utility companies to coordinate rolling power outages. Our local power company, Evergy, warned users to prepare for temporary outages throughout to start on a Monday and continue throughout the week. We prepared an update for our staff to ensure that we engaged client sites that lost and regained power. 

We provided evening and overnight monitoring and for any site that lost power we notified primary points of contacts up until 10pm and again starting at 6am.  Our reactive team also triaged power outages for any sites that came back online throughout the night, additionally we asked our clients to call our on-call line to report any after-hours power outages.

As with any inclement weather we first attempted to resolve as many issues remotely as possible.  We partnered with our clients to coordinate onsite assistance and troubleshoot any onsite or power related issues.  Engineers were sent onsite to bring systems online for priority or critical issues. 

To continue to provide timely support responses all engineers will be worked on issues by criticality. Additionally, the Umbrella Reactive Operations Team (Helpdesk) arrived at 7am to take over from the overnight on call engineer and work to quickly resolve requests as about 30% of Umbrella’s clients experienced a power outage! It was with this quick planning, partnership with our clients, and extra efforts enabled us to provide top tier support to clients during this unique power situation. Man-made and natural disasters will continue to happen and when they do rest assured Umbrella will be there.

Exchange Security Breach

On March 2, 2021, Microsoft released a series of security updates to address recently exposed vulnerabilities in Exchange Server. Umbrella was able to take rapid action and protect clients by applying Microsoft’s recommended patches within 24 hours of notification. 

Microsoft advised that customers apply the system updates immediately in-order-to plug these security holes. While Exchange Online, the cloud-based version of the service via Microsoft 365, has not been affected, patches have been released to fix security issues in on-premises versions, including Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, 2016, and 2019.

The attacks have been attributed to China’s state-sponsored cyber espionage group “HAFNIUM”. The group is known to exploit vulnerabilities in internet-facing servers to exfiltrate data from the US. This really is a constant cat and mouse game between Umbrella and hackers. When it comes to security we work hard to stay one step ahead and protect your organization.

What’s new in ITMS 3.0​:

At this moment, companies realize that digital business is the way of the future. Regardless of the industry, offering or customer base, digital tactics are needed to survive in a dynamic and unpredictable environment. The COVID pandemic certainly introduced new elements to the security equation. Remote work exposed vulnerabilities in workforce knowledge and connectivity. Phishing emails preyed on new health concerns rather than previous financial tactics. The requirement for Cybersecurity liability insurance becomes inevitable. These elements, though, only added complexity to a fundamental problem: the nature of modern Cybersecurity. The variety of attacks has exploded from earlier days when simple viruses were dominant. With more opportunities for financial gain and the addition of other motivations, the number of cybercriminals has also exploded. The potential scale of cybersecurity breaches has gone from minor disruption to a significant business threat. With this in mind, protecting you from Cybersecurity threats continues to be the focus for Umbrella in 2021.

1st Quarter 2021

Core Enhancement: Business Email Compromise (BEC) Protection – Wrapping Up

Hackers targeting your email account is a real threat that is accelerating in an era of cloud-based infrastructure. In 2021, we expect Business Email Compromise (BEC) to continue as the most financially damaging online crimes. Once an email account is compromised, ransomware, malware, wire fraud, and other malicious activity commonly follow. Umbrella’s ITMS 3.0 Advanced Email Security and our layered security alignment process already protects your data with enterprise level security. However, Umbrella is further increasing email security by implementing the following Email Protections:

2nd Quarter 2021

Core Enhancement: Managed Detection and Response (MDR) – In Progress

In the cybersecurity arms race, the hackers have a distinct advantage. While defenders are expected to get it right every time, an attacker only needs to be one step ahead to get around an organization’s defenses. If a hacker manages to get past preventive security, they can maintain persistent access to a network by establishing a persistent foothold. Without a means to detect these threats, a hacker can hang out undetected for days, months, and even years. Detecting persistent threats are a vital component of a layered cybersecurity strategy in 2021. Managed Detection and Response (MDR) from Umbrella is a collection of technology and services that actively hunts threats and responds to threats once they are discovered.

3rd Quarter 2021

Core Enhancement: Enhanced End-Point Protection (EPP) - In Progress

In the constant cat and mouse game with hackers, Umbrella strives to stay one step ahead. This means deploying industry recognized professional tools that offer enhanced security and reduce risk. With over 75% of the worlds computers running Windows Defender, this signature-based anti-virus is the new smart choice for classic anti-virus protection. Umbrella’s Enhanced EPP, paired with Umbrella’s MDR solution, creates a comprehensive Detect/Protect/Respond end-point security solutions.

4th Quarter 2021

Core Enhancement: Microsoft 365 Password Manager - Scheduled

In recent years the number of passwords needed for work has significantly increased. Weak, common, and reused passwords are a security threat to your data which is why security experts recommend you use a dedicated password manager. A password manager offers convenience and, more importantly, helps you create better passwords, which makes your online existence less vulnerable to password-based attacks. Microsoft is currently in Beta phase of the Microsoft 365 Password Manager development which might push out delivery times.

Security Awareness Training Updates:

Cybercrimes in the US are skyrocketing, in 2020 the annual loss from cybercrimes reached $4.2 billion, an increase of 55% over the last two years. Breaking that down an astonishing 42% of the losses came from business email compromises (BEC), one of the most common types of attacks. The leadership team at Umbrella takes cybersecurity very seriously and have made security awareness training part of the ITMS program. Every month we mock phishing tests to our staff and our clients to help them become more aware of suspicious emails.


Don’t forget we relaunch Annual Training at the end of every quarter for new staff and existing staff that have not completed it. Make sure you’re encouraging your users to complete their Annual Training; the next round goes live on 6/30/2021.

Critical KPI’s:

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Humble, Hungry, Smart Winner!

Every team member at Umbrella strives to be an ideal team player. The ideal team player embodies three virtues: humility, hunger, and people smarts. The power of this combination drastically accelerates and improves the process of building high-performing teams. Throughout the quarter our staff continually submits votes for colleagues that exemplify the HHS traits and at the end of the quarter, a winner is selected.

Congratulations to Justin Meyer! Not only a Quartey winner but also our 2020 employee of the year.

Justin constantly remains humble and is willing to assist with anything that is thrown with him. He routinely shows his hunger for success as he works hard to refine processes and improve the way we do things for clients. Time and time again he has shown his smarts and continually takes the time to educate himself and improve as an engineer. We’re thankful to have him as part of the UMS team.


Top Client Feedback:​

The Umbrella team works hard to delight clients daily with professional expert IT support. We love to receive feedback and highlight when we’ve done a great job ‐ here are some most recent favorite comments:

Brad gave a WOW rating to James Butcher for Communication, Helpfulness, Friendliness, Knowledge, Resolution Time, and Response Time.

“I couldn't believe how fast this was handled - and you went the extra to verify what access our new person needed! Thank you!”

Carolyn gave a WOW rating to Matthew Skowbo for Communication, Friendliness, Knowledge, Helpfulness, Resolution Time, and Response Time.

“Matt did a great job making sure my computers were clean of the fraud I went through on Wednesday. I really appreciate his help and patience! Thank you, Matt,!!”

Kim gave a WOW rating to Jon Quick for Communication, Friendliness, Knowledge, Helpfulness, Resolution Time, and Response Time.

“Jon did a awesome job and was very helpful and persevered until he figured out the best solution. I appreciate his help. I have always been satisfied with Umbrella's assistance, very strong customer service.”

Let’s Grow Together:

Warm weather is back in Kansas City! Time to clean off the patios, fire up the grill, and get out and enjoy a Royals game.

Umbrella’s been in business for 13 years, providing high‐value IT services to the Kansas City metro area and beyond. Do you know anybody who is facing IT problems? Do you have a friend in your professional network who could use our services or products? Without a doubt, referrals are the most effective way to generate new business. Who better to tell our story than our clients! In the spirit of growing together, please consider referring your industry colleagues to Umbrella. You’ll receive Karma and discount off your monthly ITMS 3.0 Bill.

Know someone that would benefit from our services or interested in finding out more for yourself? You can get in touch with us to learn more!

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Umbrella and IT Solutions Join Forces

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with IT Solutions Consulting, a managed services provider headquartered in Fort Washington, PA. IT Solutions has a robust reputation in the IT industry and is backed by 25+ years of experience. Together, we’ll continue to deliver top-tier service with our combined team of technology professionals under the IT Solutions name. Click here for more details.