Category Archives: Technology

AT&T Pinpoints 4 Key Elements To Achieving Security With The Internet of Things

AT&T Pinpoints 4 Key Elements To Achieving Security With The Internet of Things

Internet of Things Security

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly becoming a part of many of our business processes, often without us even noticing how quickly things are changing. And while it’s liberating to realise that many of the more flawed or tedious processes will be automated and streamlined, freeing up thousands of man hours, the danger is that organizations can lose track of how vulnerable they are to cyberattacks as the points of contact to the internet multiply.

There are a number of questions which must be asked and answered to ensure security, according to a new report from AT&T entitled:

The CEO’s Guide to Securing the Internet of Things,” its second Cybersecurity Insights report.

This new connected era requires that a company assesses the risks faced, that it secures not only its information but the devices processing that information as well, that it aligns the IOT strategy and security, and defines the legal and regulatory issues at hand.


The scale of the change which is coming is worth looking at in detail, to reinforce the scale of the change and how vital it is to adapt. Chances are that if your company is not already plugged into the IoT, then your competitors and your partners probably are, and that you will need to be in the next few years. 85% of the organizations interviewed are “considering, exploring, or implementing an IoT strategy.” One third of companies claim to already have over 5, 000 connected devices but worryingly, “88% of organizations lack confidence in the security of their business partners connected devices.” Estimates vary, but experts agree that there will be between 30 billion and 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020.

Tremendous upside

The upside is tremendous. New revenue models and streams from new products that are transforming homes, vehicles and offices are being developed every day, while huge cost savings are being achieved through better monitoring and efficiency of business processes.

jasonYet all that will count for very little in the face of a massive security breach which could potentially cost a company millions of dollars, as well as the trust of its customers and businesses partners. Jason Porter, AT&T’s Vice-President of Security Solutions believes that “organizations need to infuse security expertise early into the process so that IoT is architected for security.”

The good news is that companies are becoming ever more aware of the threats. Two-thirds of respondents to the survey are planning to invest in IoT security in 2016, and half of them are dedicating at least 25% of their budget to the problem. And there is already a real urgency to it. AT&T’s Security Operations Centre has logged a 458% increase in vulnerability scans of devices connected to the Internet of Things.

Mission-Critical Systems

The consequences of a cyberattack via the Internet of Things could be devastating. If one imagines the mission-critical systems of a self-driving car or an airplane being controlled by hackers, one gets a sense of how badly things can go wrong. Yet there are thousands of less high-profile cases that can wreak havoc. The report mentions “threat scenarios where IoT-connected robots or other remotely actuated machines are compromised, potentially resulting in manufacturing errors, equipment or parts damage, or even employee harm.

So how do you create a strategic and proactive security approach to counter these threats? Taking a broad overview, the key is to build IoT security in at the ground floor. A comprehensive risk assessment which incorporates IoT into your general risk profile is a necessary start. This should be done by running a thorough audit of each and every connected device, as well as the communication protocols, networks and applications. You must assess the vulnerabilities of each element of the IoT mix and map out a worst-case scenario so that everyone is keenly aware of the ramifications of a breach or a malfunction. Try and minimize the exposure of your most critical functions to IoT devices.


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Secondly, realise that perhaps it’s not your information that is the primary concern. Perhaps it’s the devices themselves. “By definition, IoT devices don’t just generate data, but also interact in new ways with the physical world, such as controlling the flow of water or electricity. As a result, you must consider operational security threats, as well as information security concerns.”

Supporting The Chief Security Officer

The internal attitudes of your company towards security are hugely important. When an organization’s board is clearly and publicly committed to security, then there is a general understanding and alignment of forces to create a safe and secure environment. Clear lines of responsibility, consistent systems and a culture that prizes security are invaluable assets to your organization. Consider placing the Chief Security Officer on the board as a show of support and faith in the systems.

Finally, it’s vital that your company understands its legal and regulatory requirements and exposures. The report states that “Beyond information thefts or breaches, the physical and operational parameters of IoT devices can open new types of corporate responsibility and liability,” and that the “The use of multiple vendors in most IoT deployments requires that you assess their level of IoT security.

The Internet of Things is new, exciting and brimming with potential as well as threats. While it can feel overwhelming, it’s critical to not wait until it’s too late to start looking at security. By implementing these four steps, your organization will be set to thrive in this brave new connected world.

Read the full report here

This post is sponsored by AT&T Security

By Jeremy Daniel

6 Tactful Tips To Make Sure Your SaaS Training Doesn’t Flop

6 Tactful Tips To Make Sure Your SaaS Training Doesn’t Flop

Successful SaaS Training 

If you build it, he will come.” Joe Jackson/Ray Liotta in Field of Dreams (1989). We all remember this line from the Field of Dreams because it’s applicable to a lot of things in life.

One of those things is software training programs – if you build a superior training program, the benefits will come. Establish clear training goals, and begin to think carefully about how to incorporate purposeful skills practice into the big picture. Here are 6 skills training tips that will get your workforce trained better, and in less time.

cloud computing certification SaaS Training

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

  1. Keep the Practice Environment Safe

As a training leader, constructive, not destructive, feedback is the goal. If your feedback is so coarse that your trainees are scared to ask questions, you are setting them up to fail. The purpose of practice, in any arena, is for the practitioner to try out new skills in a safe comfortable environment. The training space gives them room to grow and experiment with the skills to fit their own particular needs. This phase is crucial to skill development, as it is harder to adapt a new skill when there is the pressure and higher stakes of the real world in play. Often in the real world, we do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level our training.

  1. Practice the “Learn by Doing” Principle

Aside from being safe, another critical component of the practice space is that it simulates the real world as closely as possible. Imagine for a second a military fighter pilot sitting in the cockpit of a military grade flight simulator, then juxtapose this with a similarly built man playing on his laptop flight simulator program in his pajamas. Who would you feel more comfortable going on a fly-along with? The point is that the skills from training should transition as smoothly as possible to the real world with as few hiccups as possible. You don’t want to be fumbling around looking for the buttons in an actual cockpit. Where and how you practice matters.

  1. Finely Tune the Difficulty Level

Too hard and your audience will become discouraged and lose traction. Too easy, and they lose interest as well. Starting from the beginning is important at times, but not at the expense of making exercises so easy that everybody mentally checks out due to lack of interest. Much of your regimen will depend on the level of the trainees.

  1. Be Flexible in Response to your Learners

Be receptive to the learner’s ideas and feedback. If necessary, break the skills down to their component parts, then build the concepts back together from the bottom up. If too easy, then chunk the basic ideas together and jump straight into bigger picture application ideas.

  1. Pair the Weak with the Strong

Strong facilitators will identify the varying levels of the group and pair the weaker members with stronger members in team building exercise. This helps keep everyone on the same page. Strong members get to solidify their knowledge in a teaching role, and the weaker members are catching up to their peers at the same time.

  1. Use E-learning Technologies for Guidance

E-learning technologies, like online guidance systems, provide interactive guidance that guides users through the online experience. These systems help employees learn how to use all types of software programs like Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Infor, Sharepoint, Moodle etc. The system is overlaid onto the software and directs users with direct onscreen step-by-step guidance, in the moment of need, to help them perform complex tasks.

Stop doing the same thing and expecting different results. Make sure that your training program is well-planned and balanced, so that your employees can stop getting bogged down in how to get their tasks done and focus on what they need to get done.

By Boaz Amidor

5 Medical Tech Advancements That Are Revolutionizing The Industry

5 Medical Tech Advancements That Are Revolutionizing The Industry

Medical Tech Advancements

Medical professions are regarded as the noblest ones out there, and for a good reason. Numerous lives are being saved every day, and judging by the latest technological developments in the medical field, those numbers will only go up in the near future.

This year looks quite promising, and we can honestly say that the future is here. So far, experts in this area have amazed us with a big discovery here and there, but there are a lot of great things to look forward to in 2016 and beyond. Let’s take a look at some of the most important recent developments that are slowly, but surely revolutionizing the medical field.

1. Gene Tuning


Certain genes and things like DNA replication errors are responsible for many of the serious diseases a person can develop during their lifetime. Thanks to the latest technology used to study DNA and ways to enhance it, we can now welcome even more powerful tools that will enable us to edit and correct it. In a very recent case, a patient with leukemia was treated with gene-edited immune cells that target infected ones, which is a huge step forward in fighting against various diseases and correcting mutated genes that are inherited. This technology has a lot of potential, but we have to wait and see how it will develop further.

2. Tooth Regeneration

Some interesting new research has shown that re-growing teeth may not be impossible after all. There is a species of fish found in Lake Malawi, Africa, that gets rid of all its old teeth before growing new ones, and scientist were able to identify the genes necessary for this process to occur. There is a good chance that this discovery will help scientist determine what starts this process and how it develops, so that dentists will eventually be able to repeat it on patients.

Simultaneously, another team from Harvard has succeeded in stimulating tooth growth by using lasers that activate stem cells, and they did so on rats and human dental tissue in a lab. Both methods look promising so far, and can have an incredible impact on dentistry if fully realized.

3. Robotic Assistants


Nurses are always in need a of an extra pair of hands – they have so many different obligations and responsibilities that they hardly get any breaks during their working hours. The problem is not so much in handling the workload, as it is in dealing with situation that require a lot of physical strength – injured patients who can’t walk or who fall down need immediate lifting, and this often requires the combined efforts of two or more nurses.

Scientists are aware of that issue, which is why they are putting their best effort into building a robotic assistant that would carry and transfer patients who are severely injured. One such smart robot assistant, called RIBA (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance), is being perfected by the RIKEN institute in collaboration with TRI (Tokai Rubber Industries). Featuring a friendly appearance, with cute teddy bear head, the robot will be capable of gently moving patients from their bed to a wheelchair and vice versa. Think of it as a friendly assistant who is always on call and never tires.

4. Prosthetics

A big percentage of people working in dangerous environments, war veterans and those who have been in car accidents lose one or more of their limbs. Healthcare professionals have spent years and years developing appropriate prosthetics that would allow these people to live their lives to the fullest, but it is just now that we are seeing incredible breakthroughs in this field.

Scientists are perfecting an interface capable of transmitting nervous impulses, which would allow an amputee to send information from their mind to a piece of prosthetics and move it, just like they were move their own limb. The two major players are a Reykjavik-based company called Osso, and a group of Melbourne University researchers, who are developing a bionic spinal cord that would allow paraplegics to move artificial limbs and even robotic exoskeletons.

These technologies require further development, but it won’t be long before we start seeing more and more prototypes like these and, hopefully, the first commercially available versions.

5. Anti-Aging Treatment

People have always dreamt of immortality and there are many different myths, stories and legends that speak of a magical source or an object that will grant immortal life. Well, everyone who wants more time on Earth can look forward a potential new anti-aging drug that is being officially released for human trials in 2016. Preliminary research suggest that the drug enable those who use the drug to live over one hundred and twenty years, and remain in fairly good health even in this extremely old age.

Scientist on this project claim that drugs will enable a person who’s seventy to feel, look and move like they were twenty years younger. More tests are being prepared, as scientists also hope to prove that this drug can help prevent diseases like cancer and dementia, on top of prolonging the natural lifespan.

The technologies listed above existed solely in the realm of science-fiction even a mere decade ago, but they are now incredibly close to becoming reality. The initial research and the prototypes are already making an impact on the medical field, and as more and more institutions and companies get involved we are going to see a massive leap forward within the next several years.

By Pavle Dinic

Finally, The Time For Security Information Event Management (SIEM)

Finally, The Time For Security Information Event Management (SIEM)

The Time For SIEM

Security Information Event Management (SIEM) tools have been around for a long time. My first encounter with a SIEM vendor was about twenty years ago while being courted to resell their product. To this day, I still recall two vivid memories from that meeting; the product was very complex and quite costly to buy and implement.


I will never forget the salesman boastfully telling me the product would be great to help drive our service business. He went on to brag about the fact that for every dollar of software sold four dollars of service revenue would be required to implement. Promptly I inquired as to the average deal size. Again, he proudly answered the software portion was $500,000 to which $2 million in services cost would be required. Well as nice as that sounded, red flags began flaring in my head like fireworks leading to the thought that software requiring that level of service to implement was probably way too complex for the typical enterprise to implement and definitely not manageable on a day-to-day basis and thus would most likely end of as shelf ware. I never did partner with that vendor and in fact stayed clear of all SIEM solution during that time. My initial assessment was validated as our customers relayed stories of their failed or stalled SIEM projects.

The Time Has Come

Fast forward twenty years and a light at the end of the SIEM tunnel seems to have appeared. The time has come for SIEM implementations to live up to their initial promises and deliver increased security and a return on investment. The optimism is based on the following three reasons; maturity of products, availability of cost effective solutions and increasing compliance concerns.


After a twenty-year incubation period there are now SIEM products capable of being installed and delivering useful data within a few weeks. This is mainly due to the fact that these products now have an abundance of predefined correlation rules which dramatically ease the setup while reduce the customization required. Though greatly improved, there are still products out there that market themselves as “easy” while requiring a team of coders to create correlation rules – buyer beware. If possible, engage a trusted security partner to help navigate these waters and guide you to the appropriate SIEM. Even with a great SIEM product, an experience partner will take a few weeks to implement and customize a SIEM to the point where useful data is not cluttered by a plethora of false positive entries. Even at this point, continued fine tuning will be needed over the next 60-90 days to attain an optimal state.

SIEM SaaS Solutions

Some services greatly reducing the cost and staffing requirements of SIEM are SIEM SaaS (Software as a Service) and Managed SIEM solutions. By leveraging a SIEM SaaS solution, companies can reduce the burden of implementing and maintaining the base SIEM software platform. Typically, with SIEM SaaS, the customer merely installs a SIEM agent on their servers or directs the log files to the SaaS provider. Though the customer is still required to perform the task of policy setup and optimization, which should not be underestimated, at least some of the work is offloaded to the SaaS provider making for a more palatable undertaking. In the case of a fully managed SIEM solution, the managed service provider assumes the responsibility of getting the SIEM implemented, optimized and in most cases performs the initial incident response and forensic analysis. This path, though more expensive than SIEM SaaS solutions, provides the customers with many advantages. Besides the implementation and tuning now being one hundred percent handled by the provider, the monitoring and incident response role is also assumed by the provider. This greatly reduces the security staffing requirements and thereby cost while providing the hard to find security skills required on a 7*24 basis. For a mid sized company, the staffing cost alone on a SIEM implementation can be a deal breaker.

Compliance Requirements 

In today’s market, the most common reasons for SIEM is to address compliance requirements. Though many of the regulations like HIPAA and PCI have been around for awhile it appears that the auditors are now digging deeper into the technology infrastructure side of the IT shop and demanding proof of the required controls. By providing the ability to maintain logs, alert on breaches, enable incident response and forensic analysis – SIEM has become an integral piece of any compliance plan.


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Though my perception of SIEM has changed and I believe it can deliver on the value promised years ago I do not want to leave you with the perception that SIEM is now a simple solution that provides business value out of the box. Along with the heightened interest in SIEM are vendors trying to jump on the bandwagon and retro fit their security product to be a SIEM. Most of these products do require sophistication and months of work to get implemented and optimized as they have not undergone the maturation process of the other products. Also, leveraging a partner with experience implementing SIEM can greatly reduce the speed of execution for these projects and deliver a solution which provides a high degree of value. In many cases outsourcing the SIEM solution to a managed service provider can enable a company to improve their security and meet compliance in a cost effective and efficient manner.

By Marc Malizia

Consolidating The Cloud With Broker Services

Consolidating The Cloud With Broker Services

Cloud Broker Services

Cloud computing has been fundamental to the evolution of business, with new technologies constantly changing the dynamics of the business environment, and both employee and employer needs changing rapidly. Remote access to systems alone has caused a radical innovation in the running of many companies, with global organizations reaping numerous rewards, not least of all cost and time savings. Says Richard Vester, Director of Cloud Services at EOH, “When it comes to making improvements in business – of any size and across just about every sector – embracing new technology and the benefits it can offer to both the company and its customers is a logical first step.” The success of cloud computing is apparent not only due to the considerable number of businesses moving into the cloud computing ecosystem but by the important industry-specific changes being exhibited.

Leveraging Economies of Scale & Digital Transformations


In its current, most advanced form, the cloud allows for the leveraging of economies of scale through automation as well as the move to global applications. Organizations are enjoying the benefits of mobility that still allows full data control while providing workforces with far greater flexibility. Aside from the industrialization of IT and the functionality of computing, the cloud is transforming economies and encouraging businesses into the digital realm. Discussed in Verizon’s State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2016 report, “In the past few years, we’ve seen cloud go from a newcomer to part of the established order. But despite the maturity of cloud, the market is still developing, and most organizations are still finding new and exciting ways to take advantage of it… The IT function is now much more closely aligned with the lines of business (LOBs) and is adept at managing a portfolio of cloud providers… Companies are combining public, private and on-premises infrastructure to create highly sophisticated, customized environments.

Cloud Aggregators, Brokers & Integrators


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Despite constant developments, there is not yet one cloud to rule them all, and adapting an organization to function within the cloud environment can be time-consuming and resource intensive. Cloud aggregators, brokers, and integrators are taking a stab at pulling the many cloud services together. Gartner forecasts that the cloud service brokerage market will reach $160 billion by 2018, nearly doubling over a four-year period. These third-party consultants function as intermediaries between cloud SPs and subscribers, researching available services and negotiating work processes, financial goals, implementation needs, and data management requirements. The level of responsibility differs between brokers, aggregators, and integrators, and consumers are able to decide how much or how little interaction they want to have with the providers of the actual cloud services, benefitting from packaged deals or bargained rates. Those exploiting any of these transitional services should, however, carefully consider the security of such agreements, measure the independence of brokers, and understand how much protection they are afforded from both primary cloud service supplier and intermediary failures.

By Jennifer Klostermann

AWS Lambda – Future Of Amazon’s Event-Based Computing Service

AWS Lambda – Future Of Amazon’s Event-Based Computing Service

AWS Lambda – Amazon’s Event-Based Computing Service

Announced in November of 2014, Amazon Lambda has gone from a developer buzzword to a heavyweight in the persistently innovative cloud computing industry. Used by organizations like Major League Baseball and live-streaming service Periscope, Lambda is all about creating efficiency, focusing your cloud computing efforts, and reducing dependence on consistent processes that can bog down your application’s performance. But how has the Lambda service grown since its announcement in November of 2014? Where is it going in 2016 and beyond? Let’s take a look.


Amazon Lambda was revealed on November 13th, 2014 at Amazon’s re:Invent Press Conference. Originally received as just another weapon in the impressive arsenal of Amazon Web Services, Lambda grabbed headlines as a service that could push it beyond competitor offerings such as Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine.

vogelsDescribed by Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels as “an event-driven computing service for dynamic applications”, it essentially allows event-based communication between your app and the cloud without depending on a server to handle the heavy lifting. Amazon Lambda launched supporting only one programming language, limiting its user-base at first. In terms of pricing, Lambda also broke the traditional Amazon mould, charging instead by compute time and the number of requests. It did incorporate a free tier, allowing one million requests monthly and up to 3.2 million seconds of compute time per month depending on your application.


Amazon Lambda has grown significantly, both in perception and functionality, since its launch, growing from supporting just node.js to supporting both Java and Python. Some of the biggest names in cloud computing have yet to catch up to Amazon Lambda, making developers less inclined to move to competing services like Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine.

While Lambda has taken Amazon Web Services to new heights, it has done so while actually reducing costs for some developers. One specific case, cited in Business Insider, claimed that one developer had saved over 80% of their previous cloud computing costs using Amazon Lambda. This was done by replacing largely idle servers with Lambda code that spoke with their Amazon S3 databases, replacing persistent EC2 servers with a simple code request that would run on a designated schedule.

As mentioned previously, two major applications are using Amazon Lambda to handle their cloud computing needs. Major League Baseball currently uses Amazon Lambda, in conjunction with other Amazon Web Services suites, to power its impressive StatCast technology. Using Lambda, Major League Baseball is able to analyze real time events during baseball games and provide this information to broadcasters and fans.

Baseball - Data - Comic

This includes computing running speeds, home run distances, pitch speeds and breaks, and the speed of fielders throws. Lambda is just part of a massive system that incorporates computing power, ball-tracking radar systems, and high tech setups at all 30 major league ball diamonds in the United States and Canada. Secondly, Periscope. Periscope is a live streaming application and platform that optimizes Amazon Lambda to scan, identify, and remove adult content from its platform automatically.

The Future Of Lambda

Amazon Lambda has the potential to become the crown jewel of Amazon Web Services. One key way is the addition of additional programming languages. While Amazon Lambda supports node.js, Java, and Python, it’s only when Lambda embraces remaining languages like C#, C++, and Ruby On Rails that it can begin to completely dominate the cloud computing realm. Of course, awareness is also key. In addition to AWS certification, developers need to grasp the potential of event-based computing.

Another area of focus for Amazon Lambda is a broadening of scope. As of right now there are some types of apps that are not optimized for Amazon Lambda. These include apps that incorporate large databases, and industries that require heightened security against downtime. While Amazon Lambda is reliable, its primary focus is on flexibility, efficiency, and quick compute times.

When it comes to developers and their individual projects, Amazon Lambda can be useful for applications of all sizes. Its event-based computing means you can create applications that are leaner and more efficient. The fact it piggybacks off Amazon’s robust and powerful Amazon Web Services means your application can benefit from hardware autonomy, nearly infinite scalability, and increased mobility in releasing new updates. Amazon Lambda may have grown up in the shadow of Amazon Web Services, but it has quickly emerged to become a go to tool for developers who depend on the cloud to power their applications.

By Keith Holland

How IRM Makes Cloud-Based File Collaboration “Security-Aware”

How IRM Makes Cloud-Based File Collaboration “Security-Aware”

IRM Cloud-Based File Collaboration 

Data breaches and data loss due to insider threats, including malicious insiders stealing, manipulating or destroying data, are the fastest-growing risks that keep managers up at night, according to new research by Ernst & Young. How can we ensure that the right people in an organization have the right access to the right information at the right time? The answer may be to make the data itself the gatekeeper of who has permission to access it.

Information Rights Management (IRM) is an evolving technology designed to protect access to sensitive information at the file level. It does this by embedding encryption and user permissions directly into the file. This is different from most other security technologies designed to build protections around sensitive files, not within them.

History of IRM

IRM began as an extension to the traditional Microsoft DRM (Digital Rights Management) that protects files. But, due to its requirement for a plug in to be loaded to the desktop, adoption of DRM didn’t take off. IRM improves on this concept by allowing protections stay with a file, no matter where it goes or who attempts to access it — plug-in free.

With IRM, documents are secured throughout their entire lifecycle, whether at rest, in motion, or in use. Other security technologies tend to protect information at one stage or another. For example, perimeter security solutions such as identity and access management (IAM) protect files from access by unauthorized users. However, once a person is able to access the information, he can pretty much do whatever he wants with it. Email it to someone outside the company. Download it to a mobile device. Move a copy to a less secure storage space. Whatever he wants. What kind of file protection is that?


(Infographic via

And then there’s data loss prevention (also called data leakage protection), or DLP. This is another technology that is designed to keep sensitive data from going outside an organization’s protective environment. DLP commonly works by inspecting a file’s contents at ingress and egress points and looking for specific words or patterns that match pre-determined rules. For example, anything that looks like a Social Security number within the file content is flagged and the user is prevented from copying that file or sending it outside the company. DLP works best when looking for well-defined content (like Social Security or credit card numbers) but tends to fall short when an administrator is trying to identify other sensitive data, like intellectual property that might include graphic components, formulas or schematics.

Along with technologies like IAM and DLP, IRM is an important part of a defense-in-depth strategy to protect specific kinds of information. It’s not intended for every file an organization produces, but for high value information — especially if the information is to be shared outside the organization. For example, when two companies approach each other about a merger, they need to share highly confidential information with each other. With IRM embedded into the sensitive files, the companies can be assured that file usage is highly restricted and the usage can be revoked by the information owner at any time.

IRM: more important now than ever

IRM has been around for several years, but is more relevant than ever. For one thing, cyber thieves are specifically targeting high value information. It’s one of the reasons why so many corporate executives are being spear-phished. Organized criminals want access to very sensitive corporate financial information. There’s the recent case of hackers stealing financial reports from PR news services before those reports are officially released. Hackers sold the reports to financial traders who used the confidential insider information to enact trades and make a killing in the stock market.

Another reason why organizations need IRM to secure important files is the ever-increasing regulatory climate. Businesses and government agencies alike are under mandates from the likes of HIPAA, SOX, GGLBA, PCI DSS, FERPA and other acronym-laden regulations. Most of them require that access to information be highly restricted, and IRM is one means to achieve that mandate for the duration of a file’s lifespan.

A third reason to use IRM today is that workers are often the source of accidental data exposure. In a research study, Ponemon Institute unveiled that 60 percent of employees have often or frequently either used personal file sharing applications at work, sent unencrypted emails, failed to delete confidential documents as required, or accidently forwarded files to unauthorized individuals. Accidental and careless happen, but IRM can help combat human error by putting the right document controls in place.

Best-kept secret weapon

If IRM is such a great security measure, and the need is so apparent, why isn’t it used by more organizations? Well, it is actually is used by quite a lot of organizations, but because it’s a security measure, they just don’t talk about it. (It’s called “security by obscurity.”)


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Still, there have been occasional adoption obstacles. Some IRM products require the installation of software agents on end users’ desktops and other devices. This can be a deterrent for workers that have a locked-down desktop configuration and who cannot install software agents on their own. This has certainly been a barrier for many large corporations. The best way to ensure that IRM is widely adopted and used is to make it seamless to the users across the entire organization. No plug-ins, no extra work on the administration end.

IRM helps IT managers improve and enable the enforcement of corporate policies about document confidentiality, workflow, and email retention. For senior-level executives and CSOs, IRM helps reduce the risk of having key company information fall into the hands of the wrong people, whether by accident, thoughtlessness, or through intentional abuse. It’s time to let the secret out and add IRM as part of your organization’s overall security strategy.

By Daren Glenister

Demystifying The Marketing Cloud

Demystifying The Marketing Cloud

The Marketing Cloud

The marketing cloud, much discussed but seldom defined, is the backbone of digital marketing, evolving and advancing its current and future role in marketing as a whole. As the marketing cloud improves the speed and ease of marketing operations, streamlining and optimizing processes, so digital marketing teams are able to deliver results that can be measured, as well as actionable data integrated across the entire organization.


Though experiencing hyper-growth, the marketing cloud may not yet be ready for mass adoption as marketing technologies and channels experience the relevant and necessary development and refinement to properly integrate it.


The end goal is a streamlined and integrated cloud marketing function, but right now this arena is in a cycle of building, invention, disruption, and innovation, with little static or standardized marketing technology. Integration is a priority as organizations today value IT strategies that assimilate wholly into their business strategies and practices, which means financial systems, telephony, project management, and production all need to tie in with the digital marketing resources selected. Though the trend for business departments to enmesh and collaborate is growing, we’re still some way from a cohesive and amalgamated organizational solution, and this doesn’t even cover the need for partner and vendor integration.

Consumer Complications

The complexity consumers add to the marketing cloud landscape is also a significant factor to be considered. CRM, a function existing outside of marketing, is complete with its own technological solutions, and mobile typically operates as its own component, too, in which communicating with the consumer requires the integration of technology as well as CMO, CTO, and CIO input to ensure the right message is delivered at the right time. When you consider the various other departments such as customer service and HR that need to be added to the mix, you’re left with a convoluted jumble.


Aside from all of this complexity, privacy and security are two aspects consumers are more and more concerned with, and organizations need to ensure their digital marketing solutions target consumers correctly without making them feel ‘stalked’ or spied on. Add to privacy concerns the fear of data breach, and marketing strategies need to account carefully for secure and responsible use of the marketing cloud and databases. With ever increasing levels of trust, transparency, quality service, worthwhile experience, and value for money, consumers expect a great deal from the brands they use and are increasingly quick to move to competitors who are able to meet their expectations.

The marketing cloud is certainly key to satisfying industry and consumer demands, filling in current gaps, and developing the entire marketing industry, but we’re still at the beginning of this journey with much room for standardization and best practice conventions to develop and mature.

By Jennifer Klostermann

CloudTweaks Comics
Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Security, Security, Security!! Get use to it as we’ll be hearing more and more of this in the coming years. Collaborative security efforts from around the world must start as sometimes it feels there is a sense of Fait Accompli, that it’s simply too late to feel safe in this digital age. We may not…

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…

Cloud Infographic – DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms

Cloud Infographic – DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms

DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms Above DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms, malware is the most common incident that security teams reported responding to in 2014, according to a recent survey from SANS Institute and late-stage security startup AlienVault. The average cost of a data breach? $3.5 million, or $145 per sensitive…

The DDoS That Came Through IoT: A New Era For Cyber Crime

The DDoS That Came Through IoT: A New Era For Cyber Crime

A New Era for Cyber Crime Last September, the website of a well-known security journalist was hit by a massive DDoS attack. The site’s host stated it was the largest attack of that type they had ever seen. Rather than originating at an identifiable location, the attack seemed to come from everywhere, and it seemed…

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…

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Incident Response Planning – Part 1 The topic of cybersecurity has become part of the boardroom agendas in the last couple of years, and not surprisingly — these days, it’s almost impossible to read news headlines without noticing yet another story about a data breach. As cybersecurity shifts from being a strictly IT issue to…

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups Cloud platforms have become a necessary part of modern business with the benefits far outweighing the risks. However, the risks are real and account for billions of dollars in losses across the globe per year. If you’ve been hacked, you’re not alone. Here are some other companies in the past…

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Cloud Security Mindset Businesses are becoming wise to the compelling benefits of cloud computing. When adopting cloud, they need a high level of confidence in how it will be risk-managed and controlled, to preserve the security of their information and integrity of their operations. Cloud implementation is sometimes built up over time in a business,…

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…

Which Is Better For Your Company: Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment?

Which Is Better For Your Company: Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment?

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? You know how enterprise resource management (ERP) 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…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Education Tech and the Cloud Arguably one of society’s most important functions, teaching can still seem antiquated at times. Many schools still function similarly to how they did five or 10 years ago, which is surprising considering the amount of technical innovation we’ve seen in the past decade. Education is an industry ripe for innovation…


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