The Meridian Blog: Tech News, Tips & More for SMB and Enterprise Environments

Trent Edwards

Trent Edwards
Trent Edwards oversees all things technology-related—which encompasses the IT needs inside Meridian’s ever growing operation, as well as the technology needs of Meridian’s clients. Since returning to Meridian, Trent has been instrumental in the launch and significant growth of the professional services arm of the company. Constantly on the lookout for emerging technologies, Trent carefully monitors industry trends and objectively evaluates the newest products and applications. As Vice President of Technology, he manages Meridian’s technology team, builds partnerships with industry-leading vendors, and serves on the company’s leadership panel. Trent’s most recent accomplishment was the unveiling of a world-class data center initiative.

Recent Posts

How a Virtual CIO (VCIO) Can Help DC Small Businesses Budget Better

Trent Edwards

Posted by Trent Edwards
Thu, May 05, 2016

Most businesses spend about 6-8% of revenue on technology-related expenses. I'm quite familiar with this statistic because, as the chief information officer (CIO) here at Meridian, or VP of Technology as I’m officially known, I am constantly involved in both technology and finance.

It's vital I see to it that my company utilizes the best technology that it can:

  1. afford to purchase, use and maintain
  2. leverage to improve its ability to pursue its core mission and meet goals
  3. increase the bottom line and generate revenue

A virtual chief information officer (VCIO), at least ones like we provide here at Meridian for small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs), has the same set of responsibilities. Read on to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a traditional CIO vs VCIO, as well as how they help businesses create and stick to a predictable technology budget.

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Best Practices to Help DC SMBs Fight Phishing and Next-Generation Malware

Trent Edwards

Posted by Trent Edwards
Tue, Jun 09, 2015

On Sundays, I try to relax and not think about IT security, but an interesting story on the front page of theWashington Post got my attention. In 1969, the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency pioneered a computer network linking about 100 universities and military sites. It was called ARPANET, and it was the beginning of what later became the Internet. Fast forward, and the Internet permeates the business world, which would look very different without that Pentagon military project over 46 years ago.

From the beginning, some computer scientists warned that the Internet and its data transmission standard — Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) — was vulnerable to hackers if it did not incorporate encryption. For this reason, the military created its own encrypted network, still using TCP/IP, but the civilian Internet kept its fundamentally open nature. Encryption, and the hardware needed to support it in the early days of the Internet, would have been very costly, perhaps even preventing the nascent Internet from succeeding.

RELATED: Why and When Email Encryption is Important for SMB Security

Of course the Internet did succeed, and the first worm appeared in 1988, created by a Cornell University graduate student. Today, over 10,000 new malware threats are discovered every hour, a quarter million a day.

Billions of dollars are spent each year on anti-phishing, anti-malware, anti-spam and other security solutions, yet threats still find their way into many small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs). What can be done? What is the antidote to this epidemic of phishing, next-generation malware and other threats? Unfortunately, there is no magic solution, but enterprises can take some recommended steps. SMBs without an IT department can consult with a managed service provider (MSP) for help in implementing these security best practices:

  1. effective training for users to detect phishing attempts

  2. detailed and thorough company policies that encourage acceptable user behavior

  3. enterprise-grade alternatives to less secure consumer-focused tools

  4. layered security solutions that better thwart malware, phishing attempts and other threats.

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3 IT Imperatives for SMBS

Trent Edwards

Posted by Trent Edwards
Thu, Apr 30, 2015

As VP of Technology for a managed services provider (MSP), I work with a lot of small-to-midsized businesses (SMB) who are looking to streamline their business operations via technology. For most SMBs, having a C level technology officer on staff, such as a chief technology officer (CTO) or a chief information officer (CIO), is beyond their operating budgets. Many cannot even afford a dedicated IT department.

Yet, the modern business runs on technology, and small businesses have many of the same IT needs as large enterprises. The solution to this lack of technology dilemma can be found in, you guessed it, technology. By partnering with the right MSP, small businesses can have access to most, if not all, of the IT tools available to large organizations. One of my favorites is the virtual chief information officer (VCIO). By leveraging the VCIO service, businesses of any size can have an experienced resource available to provide strategic IT analysis and management, without the cost of a full time CIO.

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SMBs - Let Your MSP Patch Those Network Vulnerabilities

Trent Edwards

Posted by Trent Edwards
Thu, Oct 23, 2014

Not a day goes by without a new software vulnerability being brought to my attention. As a member of the Virtual CIO (VCIO) team at a managed services provider (MSP), I receive an astounding amount of information daily on new security threats. Much of it deals with software vulnerabilities in both new and existing products that are installed on our clients’ computers.

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News, best practices and more to help you get the most out of your office technology. Whether you're an SMB owner who wears a lot of hats, or an enterprise IT director, facilities manager or just someone who wants to work smarter — this blog has the resources you need to maximize the business impact of all your tech investments. Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates about new posts!

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