Category Archives: Security

6 Common Challenges Of Cloud Implementations

6 Common Challenges Of Cloud Implementations

Private cloud—as an approach to IT operations—calls for organizations to transform their data centers, including the network. Using strategic points of control to aggregate and dynamically provision IT resources can help organizations meet network-related challenges and move past the hype to successfully build, deploy, and secure private clouds

Challenge #1: Service-enabling the infrastructure

Service-enabling the infrastructure is necessary to automate and ultimately orchestrate operational tasks and processes, respectively. Service enablement is a challenge because there is a lack of standardization within the infrastructure demesne. While many components today are enabled with a control plane API or SDK and have standardized on XML and web services, the depth and breadth of these access methods vary widely and often require skills not commonly found in IT operations today.

Furthermore, these APIs and SDKs are often very granular and specific to the infrastructure component technology. Common operational tasks may require multiple API calls, with each infrastructure component requiring a different set of calls with its own unique terminology. The creation of a VLAN, for example, can require very different service calls on a switch than a load balancer requires. These differences necessitate not only product-specific expertise, but strong knowledge about development tools and methodologies, as well as networking. This makes it difficult to find people with the right mix of operational and development skills to service-enable the infrastructure.

Challenge #2: Integration with provisioning and orchestration engines

Achieving true elasticity requires the orchestration of multiple components within the data center. Provisioning or decommissioning an application instance is but the first step in a much more comprehensive process that involves load balancing, acceleration and optimization, security, and networking components across the infrastructure.  Equally important to elasticity and automated deployment are triggers that initiate provisioning and decommissioning of application instances. These triggers generally act upon thresholds set by business and operational requirements for performance and availability, and thus need metrics against which such thresholds can be evaluated. Not only is it necessary to have visibility of metrics, but the means by which those metrics can be communicated, such as triggers and integration with reporting systems, must also be enabled.  The most common way to address this challenge is by integrating infrastructure components with provisioning and orchestration engines. While such integration handily addresses most of this challenge, it raises others. Not every component is integrated with every provisioning and orchestration engine. Careful consideration with respect to the integrations available for infrastructure components is required to ensure this critical support is not overlooked.

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Cloud Computing Certifications You Can Take

Cloud Computing Certifications You Can Take

Cloud Computing Certifications

A cloud computing certification is a powerful tool to advance your career in IT. Since many organizations and professionals are shifting towards cloud computing, it is expected that they will need assistance as they adopt the new system. A cloud computing professional certificate proves that you have the necessary skills to assist a cloud computing user. This certification is also a proof that you are dedicated to continually improving your skills as an IT professional. This will increase your motivation, commitment, and responsibility towards your career, while making you eligible for new career opportunities in cloud computing. Some of the certification you can take are as follows.

The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) evaluates your competency in basic cloud security issues. It usually consists of 50 questions which must be answered within an hour, and the passing grade is 80 percent. The multiple-choice examination can be taken online and it costs US$295. Although the CCSK certificate has no expiry date, you may need to take updated exams because of changes in the body of knowledge in cloud computing.

The CloudU Certification, on the other hand, is for business leaders and IT professionals who want to enrich their knowledge on the basics of cloud computing. Advantages of acquiring a CloudU Certificate include an understanding of: cloud computing integration issues into an organization’s current regulations, risk, and compliance framework; an ability to build an economic importance inside the organization by implementing cloud innovations; understanding cloud computing integration into an organization’s IT infrastructure; a technical knowledge of cloud computing foundations; and a tool to demonstrate professional development. The certificate can be earned by successfully completing each of the ten CloudU quizzes and a final examination consisting of 50 questions. The passing grade is 80 percent.

An IBM Cloud Computing Certification allows you to become a Certified Solution Advisor for Cloud Computing Architecture V2, a professional who understands cloud computing concepts, benefits, design and architecture principles. This certification demonstrates that you are able to describe how cloud computing can help a user as well as map user requirements to IBM’s various cloud computing products and services.

Taking another IBM Cloud Computing Certification, you can become an IBM Certified Solution Architect for Cloud Computing Infrastructure V1, an expert in IBM’s cloud computing plan, management, design, and architecture principles. This certificate will demonstrate your proficiency in IBM’s cloud computing design principles and concepts and your ability to provide a user with a roadmap towards a cloud solution. You will also be able to design a complete solution using IBM’s design as well as blue principles in order to meet a user’s requirements. Finally, this certification demonstrates your skills in applying IBM’s Cloud Management Principles.

By Florence de Borja

6 Cloud Trends Driving Workers Out Of The Office

6 Cloud Trends Driving Workers Out Of The Office

6 Cloud Trends

Freedom from the office and the promise of working from anywhere has been an illusion for many years. However, this illusion now seems to be closer to reality than ever before. Automattic, the hosting company for WordPress.com servers, knows the future is now. They have 123 people that operate like self-employed workers, taking advantage of cloud and mobile apps to communicate across 26 countries and 94 cities. Everyone works from home. Here are six trends driving us out of our offices and into the cloud.

1.       Increased availability of SaaS/cloud applications

The fact that you are reading this is testament to the increased buzz surrounding SaaS/Cloud computing, a buzz that was absent in previous incarnations of the technology (notably ASP during the 1990s). Whether the buzz is driving vendors to produce applications specific for the cloud, or improved applications are feeding the fervor, is a mute point. To drive a greater usage of the cloud, applications written specifically for the cloud need to be freely available. Advances in technology, the availability of open-source code, and modern platforms such as AWS, are fueling the development of these applications. With innovations in distribution like Apple’s app store, users are now connected with these applications like never before.

2.       An explosion in mobile devices capable of accessing these apps

As evidenced by IDC , by 2015 more people in the U.S. will access the internet with a mobile device than with a PC, decreasing wired access by half. This is a huge shift in emphasis that has precipitated a disruption in the market as key players struggle for supremacy or survival. Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Nokia’s tie-up with Microsoft and even RIM can read the texting on the screen, allowing Android to run on its devices. The bottom line is that with more devices in circulation able to access cloud-based applications, the demand from the user base to be able to access an ever-increasing number of apps will only increase.

3.       Increased social media use

Social media has become ubiquitous. Proof: even my technophobic mother-in-law now has a Facebook account. This level of usage is raising user expectations from all apps. As a result of increased mobile messaging, alerts and postings, the modern workplace will function more like Facebook and Twitter than MS Office. Microsoft knows this. That’s why they paid $1.2 billion for Yammer. The new norm will be that employees must be able to access their work from anywhere, just like their Twitter feed, and will no longer be chained to their desk.

4.       Pressure on IT departments to reduce budgets

The global slowdown has put pressure on all aspects of our society and the IT department is no exception. I know many CIOs that are entering this budgeting cycle being told to do more with less. For them, a pay-as-you-go model offered by SaaS vendors can be attractive, or even delegating application selection to the requesting business area. It is widely acknowledged that Taleo and SuccessFactors owed much of their success to winning the hearts, minds and budgets of the HR department. Company-provided mobile devices are also declining in favor of a BYOD (bring your own device) approach, but this is doing nothing to abate the will for employees to access corporate networks and applications remotely.

5.       Globalization

We live in a rapidly shrinking world. If you don’t believe how close or similar we have become, just look inside your children’s bedroom. “Hello Kitty,” JK Rowling, Christiano Rolando and Justin Bieber graphically represent our shrinking planet. Globalization is also driving our corporations and their systems.  Increasingly, employees are required to access common data from anywhere on the planet. Old-world networked solutions are outdated and expensive; the cloud is the only practical solution. Given the ubiquitous nature of the workforce, mobile connectivity is the logical answer.

6.       Greatly improved user experience

Remember green-screens and 3270 dumb terminals? You don’t have to go very far to see PCs running emulators or web-wrapped mainframe applications, just visit your bank or check in for a flight. At home we have become used to a high-end user experience, whether from a Playstation, smart TV or a microwave oven, while at work we struggle with outdated corporate applications. For the first time ever the technology we all carry in our pocket is more advanced than what we are required to use at the office. As a consequence pressure is coming from employees who are happy to find alternatives and work-arounds, if they are presented with something that is not as intuitive as their smartphone.

Productivity gains through improved interfaces and access, the eager adoption of new mobile technology and increased collaboration by tech savvy employees all point to creating the anytime, anywhere workplace.

But there’s a catch.

Configurable mobile business management tools may not yet be sufficiently mature. Current applications are either a one-size-fits-all solution, like those for email and chat, or are custom built by the client. Neither is an ideal solution. Certainly, custom-built applications are not only expensive to create, but the time taken to develop and deploy them could make them obsolete before any payback has been achieved. While stitching together point solutions results in hidden support costs, integration costs or compromised processes.

Smaller businesses without resources are therefore stuck with the current crop of mobile business tools until someone figures out how to build configurable applications that combine content and flexibility with low cost.

Even so, the days of being tethered to a desk are numbered. It is only a matter of time before the promise of the mobile office becomes commonplace.

By Simon Hopkins

Simon is cofounder of iBE.net , a developer of cloud- and mobile-based business management software for small to mid-size enterprises. He began his career at Andersen Consulting in 1989 and was most recently Chairman and CEO of ROC Americas Inc., a global IT consultancy. Before that he was COO for Axon Solutions, an IT services firm now part of HCL. He spent 12 years at Druid Group plc, a British IT services company, where he was part of the management team responsible for its IPO in 1996. Simon earned a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College, London.

Cloud Could Easily Be The Next Big Memory Option For Trim Automated Auto Interiors

Cloud Could Easily Be The Next Big Memory Option For Trim Automated Auto Interiors

Cloud Could Easily Be The Next Big Memory Option for Trim Automated Auto Interiors

Hitherto, a typical car has been full of paraphernalia in the driver’s seat. There have been more than a dozen buttons to hit for various initializations. The radio multimedia alone accounts for twenty such buttons. This is all in the name of storing data within a few square feet trapezium that the front seat occupies. Things are changing, however, courtesy of cloud computing. It will now be possible to enjoy everything data handling has to offer and still stay on the posh front seat of a trim car.

The minimalist technology

The essence of cloud computing in the auto industry, as in any other niches, is to create remote connections. Servers in physical locales supplement the minimal disk space inside the vehicle. This is all courtesy of minimalist or nanotechnology. If it is a radio that one wants to tune to, he or she need not install big multimedia systems inside the vehicle. The tiny computer will do that conveniently courtesy of its touch-screen technology. If one wants to visit the nearest marketplace to compare deals about accessories like tires and gear boxes, there is no easier way than using the Internet device right inside the vehicle.

Nanotechnology has advanced to such an extent that some of the best known vehicle manufacturers are installing the systems. They are acknowledging the role of cloud computing to de-clutter the front seat.

Automated intelligence & handling business in transit

Who thought that robotics would one day control the auto industry? That is exactly what cloud computing is doing to the auto industry. It is now possible to use artificial intelligence to instruct the automobile to set particulars such as interior atmosphere minutes before the driver embarks. This means that the computerized system in the automotive will be sensing the time that the departure is imminent whereby it will be lowering or raising the temperature degrees as preset by the owner. The driver can also use a remote to cool the vehicle manually.

What is even better is gaining control of all the places that matter to a car owner at once. He or she will be able to work away from the office, arrange an auction far away from home, and even attend a conference while driving. This is the vision that cloud computing networks are having for the busybodies out there.

The practical side: memory

It is easy to perform all these incredible fetes courtesy of the memory that remote servers provide. Instead of carrying memory sticks and even laptops to the vehicle, a remote machine will be entrusted with the data. It will have all the latest programs so there is no need to be jittery about lack of compatibility with the small screen in the vehicle. Indeed, cloud systems everywhere offer infrastructure as a service (IaaS). This means that every integral part of data exchange is available from the provider. Unlimited memory is one of these, so is syncing programs.

There are many things that cloud computing will soon enable drivers to accomplish inside their now-trim cars. They range from enjoying stats without downloading them, preheating their interiors and watching videos in traffic. Need one add that the vehicle will be a residence and office in transit? Some firms are already integrating the systems inside their latest models.

By John Omwamba

When Work And Personal Life Overlap: A Primer To The “Bring Your Own Device” Era

When Work And Personal Life Overlap: A Primer To The “Bring Your Own Device” Era

The “Bring Your Own Device” Era

In the modern business world, carrying more than one device is most often a factor of available applications, device capabilities, or personal preferences rather than a solid-walled barrier between work and play life. A “bring your own device” (BYOD) landscape exists because, over the last decade, the line has increasingly blurred between “business” and “personal” technology usage. BYOD may be defined as a business policy allowing employees to bring personally owned mobile devices to their places of work and use these devices to access privileged company resources such as e-mail, file servers and databases, as well as their own personal applications and data. Understandably, a BYOD world creates some challenges for business owners. Without formal acts of rebellion or revolt, the professional masses have forever reformed the landscape of corporate IT by simply using the available technology that makes sense to them—by bringing their own personal devices into the professional setting.

This phenomenon is often referred to as IT “Prosumerization” — a cute term that cleverly blends “professional” and “consumer” into a tight, one-word package that is largely responsible for the graying of traditional IT managers’ roles across the globe. Organizations are confronted by increasing numbers of individuals carrying their own smartphones in addition to company devices. Managers find employees wishing (or demanding) that they be relieved of the burden of carrying two devices by combining the roles of both into one and sharing the cost.

It isn’t hard to envision the economic benefit to both parties if the costs of hardware and service are shared, but it’s rarely that simple. The costs of supporting a user carrying a smartphone are increasing as costs for the latest hardware and services alike are on the rise.  Many organizations are reevaluating which segments of their workforce have a founded business case for carrying a fully subsidized device and whether or not to offer a BYOD alternative.

Any device used in the normal course of business connects to business networks and can access or create sensitive company data becomes a potential liability. The business is then faced with the conundrum of how to manage, protect and patrol those devices. Just as important as the proliferation of Prosumer devices is the rapid adoption of remote storage solutions over device-based, local data storage. The days of the local hard drives are numbered as more consumers require “anywhere, anytime” access to content.

A common question is what role cloud storage plays in the future of technology. It would be easier to explain how the two are not related, since cloud services and emerging technologies are evolving in the same techno-system, each influencing the over other. In our present phase of technolution, the concepts behind Prosumer devices and the cloud as a content/data silo fit well hand-in-hand.

When you throw consumer devices and the cloud in the business data blender, the result is a completely new set of game rules where the historical gatekeepers of the data mines need to be revisited, revised, adapted, and, perhaps, thrown away for a new set of rules, procedures and mechanisms. It’s remarkable to be a part of a world where devices and applications are no longer the key bottlenecks to when, where, and how data is created and consumed.

The reality is most companies won’t be able to standardize a single mobile device platform. While workers are accustomed to using their own personal devices, and switching back and forth from a company-provided device to their own, this process can become very time-consuming and counter-productive.  Beyond the actual device, there are the issues of deciding which features should be supported on what devices and how. BYOD users must be able to add applications to their devices to conform to company protocols and standards.  With so many disparate devices, if some applications are not available on certain platforms or operating systems, then it falls on the user to discover the issue, research the solution, and report the problem.

In the foreseeable future, it is quite possible that mission and business critical functionality will remain within the strictly protected confines that are currently in place to ensure that sensitive data is propagated only through properly sanctioned, monitored and controlled channels. BYOD users may just have to accept this and realize the benefit and the productivity of fully sanctioned accessibility to certain features may be sacrificed by their choice to use their own devices. With the growth of businesses using cloud storage technologies, though, expect the BYOD world to be ever-evolving.

By Brad Robertson

Brad is the CEO of CX, which provides cloud storage solutions to businesses and individuals. Robertson is a seasoned technical executive and entrepreneur who has been involved in Internet start-ups for two decades and now oversees the creative and technical teams at CX. CX for Business provides collaborative online storage features for small-to-medium businesses. 

Is PaaS Enough To Serve As A Security Platform For Cloud Computing?

Is PaaS Enough to Serve as a Security Platform for Cloud Computing?

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is the part of Cloud Computing most synonymous with app development; one that lays open its doors for innovative minds to interact. There is also the perception that technology, due to dynamism, leads to better security. This platform exemplifies this need by introducing open source stats that are, in themselves, encryption tools. Take for example the processing of money through credit cards: there is usually a code that one needs to crack in order to gain access to an account. There are many more examples of how PaaS combines independent stats and makes them accessible in one compatible server.

There are of course security challenges that beset the would-be cloud stakeholders. Though they get fast blocks for bringing their apps to the world, they need to interact with others through data exchange. The interaction can be rather insecure and thus needs an inherent solution including the following approach.

There are roughly three elements that characterize the PaaS security platform:

  • Information processing
  • Information interactivity
  • Storing data

Information processing refers to that stage when one is creating data so that it can be available to the rest of the local network or the web. Sometimes this data is so bulky that the creation process occurs live on the remote server. This increases the document’s risk of being intercepted by others who are essential third-parties to its authorship. Luckily enough, PaaS can provide apps that reinforce the security of the document even in the process of ‘open’ processing on a shared server. It is critical to note that this platform provides great data protection in its stored format. Thus, one has to have doubts only when it is in the processing stage.

Information interactivity is the process of sharing data across the board. It goes through various Personal Computers, seeps through networks and migrates through other devices like phones. It also finds its way through nodes that switch it from the access to the core layers. This interaction sometimes connects local networks that have confidential data with the free web where everybody gains access to the same. This is where the issues of security come in.

PaaS basically enables users to control the data through automated apps from their sources. If a client wants to view confidential data over the Internet, he or she may do so in a Cloud environment where no one can hack. In a reverse situation, there can be firewalls all over that restrict how much outsiders can view some data. This is where news sites use proxies to deny access to some information to people outside the home country such that they only see what matters to the rest of the world.

Datastorage signifies the hosting aspect of Cloud computing. Thanks to the mechanisms in PaaS that endorse multiple applications to encrypt data in servers, many documents do not leak. However, this is hard to verify because data is always in shared servers. This has been a prominent issue in the entire Cloud community but the advent of independent clouds even inside dedicated hosting platforms could help to overcome this issue.

In short, Platform as a Service can be a good but not enough solution in offering Cloud Computing security. However the main point to note is that it brings together multiple apps from both device manufacturers and network companies. When these integrate, they make a dynamic fabric where the devices and systems in place act as safety icons themselves. This is why one will never find a credit card that does not automatically deny retrieval of data if the password is incorrect.

By John Omwamba

Towards Intelligent Cloud Diagnostics: Well Researched Software Marvel

Towards Intelligent Cloud Diagnostics: Well Researched Software Marvel

A devoted group of researchers at North Carolina State University have painstakingly developed a novel software tool aimed at addressing performance disarrays in cloud computing systems. The tool functions to automatically classify and respond to potential network disruptions before they actually occur.

Cloud computing provides the freedom of creating numerous virtual machines provided to the end-users across a single computing platform – all that functions autonomously. Performance issues with such an approach are bound to occur. In case of a software glitch or a closely related hiccup, problems arising across a single effected virtual machine may end up bringing down the entire cloud down on its knees.

Determination of various contingencies across a system can be simplified by sensing and keeping a track of numerous machine related variables. The software does exactly that. By calculating the current network traffic, extent of memory consumption, CPU utilization, and several other parameters of data within a cloud computing infrastructure, the tool is able to estimate an effective measure of the overall system health. This renders the software flexible enough to formulate an adequate data-range characterization that can be safely considered as being normal. The processor usage, for instance, reflects the amount of computational power being required at any instant of time. The software outlines normal performance for every virtual machine in the cloud, and reports deviation of almost any sort. Based on the aforementioned information the tool predicts incongruities that might potentially affect the system’s capacity to provide service to users.

This particular approach is immensely beneficial in terms of associated benefits, including the all-important savings inherent with the alleviation of personnel training requirement. The software, being entirely autonomous depicts aberrant behavior on its own. In addition, the ability to predict anomalies is a feat that has never been achieved before. Not only that, upon sensing abnormal behavior in a virtual machine, it executes a pre-defined black box diagnostic test that determines which variables (memory usage, for instance) might be affected. The diagnostic data is then used to prompt the suitable prevention subroutine without making use of the user’s personal data in any form.

Helen Gu, co-author of the paper articulating this research marvel and an assistant professor at North Carolina State University explained: “If we can identify the initial deviation and launch an automatic response, we can not only prevent a major disturbance, but actually prevent the user from even experiencing any change in system performance.”

Most importantly, the software is not resource hungry (power in particular) and does not consume considerable amount of processor cycles to operate. It has the ability to fetch the preliminary data and classify normal behavior much quicker than the existing tactics. With CPU power consumption less than 1% of the total and a mere 16 megabytes of memory, the software is bound to pack a punch.

During the testing phase, the program recognized up to 98% of incongruities, which is the utmost as compared to existing approaches. It prompted a mere 1.7% of false alarms. Gu says: “And because the false alarms resulted in automatic responses, which are easily reversible, the cost of the false alarms is negligible.”

The software does sound like a real game-changer altogether. However, commercialization of the said research would eventually reveal the true benefits this tool has in store for the cloud computing industry – fingers crossed.

By Humayun Shahid

 

Best Practices for Cloud-Based Recovery

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True Facts To Help You Talk About Cloud Computing In The Social Scene

True Facts To Help You Talk About Cloud Computing In The Social Scene

True Facts To Help You Talk About Cloud Computing In The Social Scene

Cloud computing as a technology is changing the way so many things are done today. It’s at the center of how you use another company’s e-mail, how you share documents on Google, how you chat on Skype, and so much more. The list of what the cloud implies is endless; however, if you have no clue about what cloud computing does for you, you are not alone. There are many people as you out there who have no idea what the cloud does for them.

Cloud computing is not entirely new. It’s been here for a decade or so. However, if you think it’s alien, more than 50 percent of Americans have no clue about it as well. Many think cloud computing has something to do with tissue paper, weather, or even soap. If you do a bit of research, you will be amazed at how much cloud computing is familiar and easy to apply.

If you happen to be in a social setting where everybody talks about cloud computing, just say anything. The truth is that there are virtually a million cloud computing solutions for each and every digital function in the world. The common functions are storage, hosting, and sharing, and they are different for lawyers, doctors, accountants, and so forth. Cloud computing is very specific, adaptable, and it cuts across different sectors of the economy, politics, and functions. Therefore, when you are in a social scene, understand that there is a possibility for something that’s different, but the concept is the same.

When the discussions shift to economics, it’s essential you emphasize the role cloud computing plays. The first front you can use to enlighten people about cloud computing is cost efficiency. People concerned about economics love to hear this. When businesses spend less on acquiring less IT infrastructure, such as hardware and software, they make more profit. The economic implications are straightforward. The adoption of cloud computing triggers a chain reaction that boosts the government’s tax bracket collections. You can also choose to dwell on how the cloud promotes cheaper working options, such as telecommuting, especially for IT-based companies. This helps individual economics directly. There is no limit to what you can talk about the cloud in a social setting, economically speaking.

In general, there are so many facts about cloud computing that can power social conversation. You just have to understand the social problem or topic. If there is a way it can be automated, cloud computing won’t be hard. The above are just some ideas for popular social chat topics you could borrow from and develop into good arguments.

Infographic Source: Citrix.com

By Gregory Musungu

CloudTweaks Comics
The Business of Security: Avoiding Risks

The Business of Security: Avoiding Risks

The Business of Security Security is one of those IT concerns that aren’t problematic until disaster strikes. It might be tomorrow, it could be next week or next year. The fact is that poor security leaves businesses wide open for data loss and theft. News outlets just skim the surface, but hackers cost business up…

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT…

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War There’s little question that the business world is a competitive place, but probably no area in business truly defines cutthroat quite like cloud computing. At the moment, we are witnessing a heated price war pitting some of the top cloud providers against each other, all in a big way to attract…

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Cloud Infographic – The Data Scientist

Cloud Infographic – The Data Scientist

Data Scientist Report The amount of data in our world has been exploding in recent years. Managing big data has become an integral part of many businesses, generating billions of dollars of competitive innovations, productivity and job growth. Forecasting where the big data industry is going has become vital to corporate strategy. Enter the Data…

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t…

The Storytelling Machine: Big Content and Big Data

The Storytelling Machine: Big Content and Big Data

Bridging The Gap Between Big Content and Big Data Advances in cloud computing, along with the big data movement, have transformed the business IT landscape. Leveraging the cloud, companies are now afforded on demand capacity and mobile accessibility to their business-critical systems and information. At the same time, the amount of structured and unstructured data…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject. Infographic source: iWeb

5 Predictions For Education Technology

5 Predictions For Education Technology

Education Technology Although technology has fast influenced most sectors of our world, education is an area that’s lagged behind. Many classrooms still employ the one-to-many lecturing model wherein the average student is catered for while a few are left behind, and others bored. Recently, there’s been a drive to uncover how to use technology successfully…

Comparing Cloud Hosting Services

Comparing Cloud Hosting Services

Cloud Hosting Services Cloud hosting service providers are abundant and varied, with typical structures affording the reliability of virtual partitions, drawing resources externally; secure data centers; scalability and flexibility not limited by physical constraints; pay-per-use costing; and responsive load balancing for changing demands. While high end (and high price) services offer an extensive range of…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap You’re out of your mind if you think blocking access to file sharing services is filling a security gap. You’re out of your mind if you think making people jump through hoops like Citrix and VPNs to get at content is secure. You’re out of your mind if you think putting your…

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Cloud Email Migration In today’s litigious society, preserving your company’s data is a must if you (and your legal team) want to avoid hefty fines for data spoliation. But what about when you move to the cloud? Of course, you’ve probably thought of this already. You’ll have a migration strategy in place and you’ll carefully…

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Customers in the Cloud Global enterprises in every industry are increasingly turning to cloud-based innovators like Salesforce, ServiceNow, WorkDay and Aria, to handle critical systems like billing, IT services, HCM and CRM. One need look no further than Salesforce’s and Amazon’s most recent earnings report, to see this indeed is not a passing fad, but…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

ERP Deployment You know how ERP deployment can improve processes within your supply chain, and the things to keep in mind when implementing an ERP system. But do you know if cloud-based or on-premise ERP deployment is better for your company or industry? While cloud computing is becoming more and more popular, it is worth…