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Q2 Message from the President

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Straight from the horse's mouth: Kentucky Derby 2022

ISC was founded in Louisville, and "Derby City" has been our headquarters for more than two decades as we serve the Kentuckiana area with comprehensive I.T. support. If you're within our service region, you know the first Saturday in May is when our city really shines. It's one of my favorite times of the whole year. With that in mind, I've been champing at the bit to use some "horse talk" to tell you about ISC's managed I.T. services.

Right out of the gate, I should mention that we have the inside track on Louisville-area computer and helpdesk support. Oh, sure, we can usually resolve your issue quickly with remote access—but if it requires an in-person assessment or repair, we're literally minutes away. You might say we have a head start on getting to you.

When we started out in 2001, we were something of a dark horse. There were a dozen I.T. support companies in the area, and we had to jockey for position in the crowded field. While many considered us a long shot, we really hit our stride by assembling a team of experts and developing a technology service package that helps our clients win hands down.

Are you down to the wire as you consider a managed I.T. services partner? I hope ISC is in the running. Talk to our other clients: They know the smart money is on ISC for helpdesk support and SMB consulting. They will also tell you we give larger companies a run for their money and that we're the clear leaders in the field.

#Hindsight: Q1

If malicious hacking were a person, it would have a Russian accent.

At best, Moscow looks the other way as Russian hackers inflict damage on computer networks worldwide, abusing vulnerabilities to demand exploitative ransoms from Western governments and private businesses. Many suspect the former Soviet Union's top leadership are not just lax on such crimes, but actively are commissioning the dark activities to inflict political and economic chaos.

That was on my mind as Russian armaments began to assemble around Ukraine at the start of 2022. As Vladimir Putin's army suffered unexpectedly large losses of troops and weapons while invading its neighbor, I was watching for signs the Russians would amplify their online aggressions as a distraction from the ground warfare.

Every business owner with a database or an email address should be reviewing their cybersecurity posture. If you're not sure how you're going to fare against evolving threats, please consider your options.

At ISC, we've been helping companies build their security for years. It's a continuous process, and in the first quarter of 2022 we added to our cybersecurity solutions stack to offer more protection to clients. Reach out to me today to learn more about "white hat" phishing, end-user training, monitoring the "Dark Web," and determining if your credentials are for sale. Did you know the most common way companies get hacked is through employee error? ISC can help you improve awareness to avoid becoming a victim.

The war in Ukraine already has created a devastating humanitarian and political toll. Let's do what we can to eliminate the chance Louisville-area businesses could become victims of Russian (or any other) cyberattacks.

What comes next

We're already a third of the way through 2022's second quarter. So, what will change in Q2?

Later this week, there will be another horse's name added to the list of Kentucky Derby winners. The smart money is on number 7. Or maybe you should pick the prettiest grey horse. Or the one with the cleverest name. Whatever happens, I hope you all get to watch the race and enjoy one of Louisville's greatest traditions.

Internationally, we're watching to see what develops in Russia's war, both on the ground and in terms of political and economic disruptions. We're also paying attention to the Covid virus's ongoing development: We're enjoying a relatively dormant period right now in the USA, but parts of the world are in the midst of heavy infections. Let's hope we're through the worst of it.

At ISC, we're continuing our across-the-board strategy on cybersecurity. I mentioned a moment ago that I spent a lot of time in Q1, talking with clients about security upgrades. You can usually tell what's on my mind by looking at the ISC blog about I.T. services—and recently it's been heavy on I.T. security topics. I'd like to bring your attention to my top three picks from several articles I posted since my last Message from the President:

In Q2, you can expect to hear more about cloud computing. As more of our clients are finding, the remote working arrangements forced by Covid made it clear that businesses with Cloud infrastructure enjoyed increased productivity with distributed workforces.

If you are in an industry that has regulatory requirements, you will be interested in another ISC focus this quarter. Please let me know if you want to learn more about the expansion of our Compliance-as-a-Service (CaaS) solution that helps companies comply with industry, local, state, federal, and international regulation and reporting requirements.

Final thoughts

In the homestretch of my quarterly message, I'll close by defining some of those horse racing terms, in case any of them are new to you.

  • Across the board: Simultaneously place bets on a horse to win, place, and show. Outside of horse racing, across-the-board indicates taking actions to be prepared for multiple outcomes.
  • Champing/chomping at the bit: To be eager to do something, deriving from the way Thoroughbred racehorses chew at the bit used to control them when they are eager to run faster than the jockey wants.
  • Clear leader: A horse that has outrun his competition so much that a clear space exists between them.
  • Crowded field: Horse races typically include five to 10 runners. Races with more than a dozen contestants, or with all of the horses running close in a pack, are considered crowded. The Kentucky Derby has as many as 20 runners.
  • Dark horse: An unknown or lightly regarded horse.
  • Down to the wire: Many races are won or lost in the closing strides. A horse that competes hard to the finish is said to run the race down to the wire.
  • Head start: Before the introduction of automatic starting gates, horses assembled at a starting line to begin a race. Without a physical barrier, some horses would line up slightly ahead of the others. They literally had their head in front before the race even began, giving them a "head start" on the competition.
  • Hit one’s stride: It may take a few moments for a racehorse to establish a comfortable rhythm. When it reaches peak sustained velocity, it has hit its stride. Sometimes, race conditions or competitors deny a horse from being able to hit his stride.
  • Home stretch: On a racetrack, the homestretch is the section from the last turn to the finish line. In a larger sense, the homestretch is the final efforts in a project.
  • Inside track: Running closest to the rail is the shortest way around a racetrack. The jockey that can position his mount to run "on the inside" gives his runner an advantage. In business, someone with an inside track may have information or operations that offer an advantage.
  • In the running: Horses with a shot of winning a race are said to be in the running. A horse that falls behind is out of the running.
  • Jockey for position: It's not just the horses that compete in a race. Their riders maneuver for the shortest distance around the track and try to cut off other horses.
  • Long shot: A horse perceived to be less talented or less ready to run will receive fewer bets, resulting in "long" odds. The horse is then seen as a "long shot" to perform well—but if he does, those who bet on him will be well rewarded.
  • Out of the gate: Some races are won or lost at the starting gate. If a horse breaks out of the gate quickly at the start, he speeds to the front of the pack.
  • (To give someone a) run for their money: The award for the winning horse in a race is known as prize money—and every horse in the field is competing against the others in pursuit of that prize.
  • Smart money: Information about a horse that is generally not known may give someone an advantage in betting. When a bettor has such knowledge and an increased chance of predicting the winner, his bets are said to be the "smart money" on the race.
  • Straight from the horse’s mouth: Every bettor dreams of having an inside track of information about how a race will unfold. The best sources of information are the ones who are closest to the horses—so if the horse itself were able to share a tip, this would be the ideal source of information.
  • Win hands down: Jockeys urge their mounts to run faster by yelling to their horses and waving their hands. If a horse is so far in the lead that the jockey does not have to employ these tactics, he literally rides with his hands down. To win with hands down indicates a performance far superior to the competition.

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