Monkey U News

Major IT Enhancements

Posted by Chris Roy

IT and Security have been a major focus this year. After battling through countless distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and ending up on the other side, we are heavily focused on the future and how we continue to evolve as an organization.   We certainly appreciate all of your patience as we worked through these challenges during the first part of this year.

To support our IT evolution, we have several initiatives in progress that I wanted to share with you.

Sucuri

Sucuri is a Web Application Firewall (WAF) owned by GoDaddy.   This service provides several security services that protect against penetration attacks, DDoS attacks, Zero-day exploits and others.

Sucuri also grants us access to a content distribution network (CDN) which will help improve performance of all websites. The CDN works by hosting static content, such as images, in many different regions, allowing us to serve that content from a location closer to the end user. We are working on improvements to help take better advantage of that CDN, which we expect to improve application performance for all users.

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TLS (Transport Layer Security) Upgrades

We recently finished upgrading the version of our application server. These upgrades were important to ensure all services are using the latest communication security standard, TLS 1.2. In the coming months, in conjunction with many credit card suppliers, we will be disabling TLS 1.0 and 1.1. The timing of which is in accordance with PCI standards.   Look for a notice about this transition which will include a firm date in case any of the tools you are using to access MONKEY are not TLS 1.2 compatible.

New Data Center

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For the last 11 years we have had our systems hosted in IBM’s Softlayer facilities in Dallas. This year we are moving to a new data center which is managed by Cryus One. Our new data center is also based in the Dallas area. In preparation for this move, information has gone out to those who would be impacted by this transition (IP whitelisting requests, SPF changes, VPN).

This new infrastructure, which involves enhancements to our IT infrastructure, is going to allow us to scale our infrastructure much easier and with less impact on our services. It will also make sure that we are in the most modern of data centers that continues to grow and enhance it’s services.

Microsoft Azure 

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With our move into the new data center, we are planning to move services into Microsoft Azure.   Moving into Azure’s infrastructure is going to provide us many advantages going forward. We will be able to scale our infrastructure much easier, be able to provide better geographical distribution of our services, and be able to take advantage of the latest and greatest efforts from the world of IT infrastructure that Microsoft is building on their platform.

Moving into Azure is not going to be an overnight transition, and fortunately it does have to be. We will be able to complement our existing infrastructure by adding in cloud services. This will ensure we are careful and keep impact on our systems to an absolute minimum.

 

This is an extremely exciting time at MONKEY. I have spoken to many of you already about these initiatives and I know how excited everyone is about them. If you have any questions, concerns, or experiences that you would like to share, I would love to hear from you at chris@monkeymediasoftware.com.

 

Chris Roy
Vice President of IT

 

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