Volume III, Issue 10 (October, 2017)

 In News, Verus Insider

I Didn’t Know You Did That!

Stop, Collaborate and Profit with Cisco Spark Board Technology

Verus is boldly going into a space where we’ve never gone before. Historically, people call us for IT security, network performance, and hosted services. This month, Verus is beginning to sell what some call the “coolest technology” for the workplace in over a decade – Cisco Spark Board technology.

The technology launched this year, combines microphones, ultra-high definition cameras, voice-tracking technology and a supercharged interactive whiteboard into one single product. It essentially changes the way that companies do meetings.

Here are a few things that will “wow” you about the Spark Boards:

Advanced Interactive Whiteboard – While this technology has been around for awhile, Cisco took it to a new level – allowing anyone with the app installed on a phone, laptop, PC or other device to draw, mark up, or erase on the whiteboard simultaneously in real time. The content is then saved automatically and instantly, allowing an entire team to share it.

No network or bluetooth needed – You can automatically connect to the Spark Board with any laptop, PC, Mac or mobile device with no Wi-Fi, network connection, or Bluetooth needed. Highly advanced ultrasound technology is used to detect a device and pair it with the Spark Board automatically. No more need to remember passwords or look for the right cord to connect into the display screen.

Built in microphone – Forget about installing microphones around a conference room table separate from the voice or video hardware. The screen of the spark board features a microphone array, which automatically adjusts to people’s volume and position in the room.

Voice-tracking technology – In addition to the microphone, the Spark Board has the ability to focus on a speaker in any size room, thanks to advanced voice-tracking technology.

4K Camera – On either a 55 inch or 70 inch screen, a 4k Ultra-High Definition camera provides crisp and broad view of any room.

No remote control – Stop searching for a missing remote control and start collaborating easily with a simple touch-screen and drawing pen used to navigate.

Use any Spark Board, anywhere – Cisco designed this system so any person can walk up to any Spark Board in the world, even if it’s not owned by the person or their company, and begin sharing with one click. This is groundbreaking in a technology sharing workspace.

Messaging – In it’s inception, Cisco Spark launched in 2014 as a messaging app before being revamped in 2015 as an end-to-end collaboration suite. What this means is the messaging capabilities are incredibly strong, allowing users to chat before, during and after meetings, as well as access follow-up action items or notes from a meeting in one singular space.

Simple setup – Despite advanced technology, Cisco built this tool with simplicity in mind, and that carries over to setup and installation. Mount the Spark Board to a stand or wall, plug it in, and start collaborating like never before.

Additionally, Cisco pushed to provide this product at a much lower price point than similar attempts at collaborative technology, allowing more and more organizations to join in on the movement.

If you’d like to see this technology in action, there are still a few spots remaining at the Verus 15th Anniversary Technical Session this Thursday, Oct. 12, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Pinstripes-Edina. Register now by emailing events@veruscorp.com.


News & Notes

Few spots remain for Verus 15th Anniversary Celebration on Thurs., Oct. 12

Verus is excited to have our 15th Anniversary Celebration just around the corner, and we have a little bit of room left for anyone who has not yet signed up to join in on the learning and fun.  Join us for an afternoon of technical sessions, and an evening of fun, including casino games, bocce ball, bowling, great food and drinks, and awesome prize giveaways.

From 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. will be technical sessions with Corey Nachreiner and Ryan Orsi of WatchGuard, and Tony Klein and Mike Bentle of Cisco.

A social hour will be held from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., and from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. we will be hosting a casino night, along with bocce ball and bowling.

To sign up, please email events@veruscorp.com now and indicate whether you plan to attend the technical sessions from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., the party from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., or both.

For more information, visit here.


Join Verus for a great cause – Feed My Starving Children
on Wednesday, November 1 in Coon Rapids

Back in February, Verus employees and family members gathered to pack over 4,700 meals for Haitian kids at a company event for Feed My Starving Children. Verus is excited to hold another event on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Coon Rapids location.  This event is open to our customers and their family members to join us in packing meals for Feed My Starving Children.

Verus will match the costs of how ever many meals are packed by our group for this event. A reception with food and drinks will be held afterward for all those who participate.

To register to participate, please email events@veruscorp.com, with the subject line FMSC, and indicate the names and ages of people who will be joining us for this great cause.



In a continued effort to improve our customer service and technical skills at Verus, we are please to announce the winner of the September monthly customer service survey drawing. Congratulations to Keith Fenske of Wiseway Transportation Services!

Each month, Verus does a random drawing of all customers who filled out the customer satisfaction survey in that month, and the winner receives a prize worth $50 – whether that’s a drone, a personal firewall, a gift card to a local business – the prizes will change each month to keep people interested.



Another delay for Arris plan to acquire Ruckus Wireless

Arris’s proposed acquisition of Brocade’s Ruckus Wireless and ICX switch businesses has hit another snag. That deal, which hinges on the closing of the merger of Brocade and Broadcom, is in a holding pattern again after Brocade and Broadcom withdrew and refiled their joint voluntary notice to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, following discussion with the CFIUS. Brocade and Broadcom said the refiling was done to give CFIUS more time to review and analyze the proposed merger. CFIUS has also agreed to proceed directly to a 45-day investigation period, thereby shortening the customary 75-day CFIUS review period, Brocade said. To allow for that additional time, Brocade and Broadcom also agreed to hold off exercising their right to terminate the merger agreement for failure to close the proposed acquisition by the November 1, 2017 end date under terms of the original agreement. Brocade and Broadcom said they anticipate the acquisition to be completed by November 30, 2017, subject to clearance from CFIUS. This follows another CFIUS-related delay that surfaced in July. How this shakes out is important to Arris, which has agreed to pay $800 million for Brocade’s Ruckus Wireless and ICX switch businesses, a deal that will help to expand and shore up its wireless technology capabilities and product line. Arris acknowledged on Tuesday that the notice with CFIUS delays the closure of Arris’s deal, but added that Arris “remains committed to our acquisition and associated strategy.”


Latest WatchGuard Internet Security Report shows
Cyber Criminals focused on Credential Theft

Criminal tactics used to access user credentials are growing in prevalence and sophistication, according to the findings of WatchGuard’s latest quarterly Internet Security Report, which explores computer and network security threats affecting SMBs and distributed enterprises. The findings also show that a record 47 percent of all malware is now new or zero day and able to evade signature-based antivirus solutions. “The global Firebox Feed data from Q2 shows that threat actors are more focused on credential theft than ever before,” said Corey Nachreiner, chief technology officer at WatchGuard Technologies. “From JavaScript-enabled phishing attacks and attempts to steal Linux passwords, to brute force attacks against web servers, the common theme here is that login access is a top priority for criminals. Knowing this, businesses must harden exposed servers, seriously consider multi-factor authentication, train users to identify phishing attacks and implement advanced threat prevention solutions to protect their valuable data.” Mimikatz, a popular open source tool used for credential theft, accounted for 36 percent of the top 10 malware in Q2, earning it the number one position. Often used to steal and replace Windows credentials, this is the first time Mimikatz has appeared in the familiar group of top malware variants, showing that attackers are constantly adjusting tactics. The report also shows that phishing attacks are increasingly using malicious JavaScript to fool users. For several quarters attackers have leveraged JavaScript code and downloaders to deliver malware in web and email-based attacks. But in Q2, attackers were seen to use JavaScript in HTML attachments to phishing emails that mimic login pages for popular legitimate sites like Google, Microsoft and others to trick users into willingly giving up their credentials.


Food for Thought

Easy and hearty meal for fall: Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

PREP: 0:10


  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 10 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. pasta
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. In a slow cooker, combine chicken, chicken broth, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf and season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and cook on low, 6 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Return to slow cooker and add pasta. Cook on low until tender, 20 to 30 minutes more.
  4. Garnish with parsley and serve.




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