CloudTweaks.com http://cloudtweaks.com Cloud Computing Industry - Current Trends, Insights, News and much more... Fri, 28 Aug 2015 14:01:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service? http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/do-small-businesses-need-cloud-storage-service/ http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/do-small-businesses-need-cloud-storage-service/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 14:01:19 +0000 http://cloudtweaks.com/?p=43286 Content by CloudTweaks.com

Cloud Storage Services Not using cloud storage for your business yet? Cloud storage provides small businesses like yours with several advantages. Start using one now and look forward to the following benefits: Easy back-up of files According to Practicalecommerce, it provides small businesses with a way to back up their documents and files. No need […]

The post Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service? appeared first on CloudTweaks.com.

]]>
Content by CloudTweaks.com

Cloud Storage Services

Not using cloud storage for your business yet? Cloud storage provides small businesses like yours with several advantages. Start using one now and look forward to the following benefits:

Easy back-up of files

According to Practicalecommerce, it provides small businesses with a way to back up their documents and files. No need to pay for an expensive server or worry about spending even more on the upgrades or memory expansion. All you have to do, in some cases, is scout around comparison sites like TomshardwareCloudorado and Cloud Kompare and look for cloud storage services that offer several free plans. Read the comparison analysis reports, decide on the best one and sign up! That’s simple and easy.

Improved collaboration. People have access to the same drive, the same files and resources so it’s easy to update everyone on what’s happening. It also provides you with a convenient way to share content and keep everyone on the same page. That improved access improves collaboration between and among teams which, in turn, raise productivity levels at the office.

Wireless mobility

wireless-cloud

The way most cloud storage services work is that it allows everyone on the team to access the same files. No matter where your team is, whether they’re running late and on the road, or sick at home or working from the café two blocks away, cloud storage offers teams a way to connect and touch base easily and more frequently. That means location won’t have to be a problem for you and your team in getting the information you need, when you need it.

Remote teams

According to Lifehacker, about 68 percent of HR teams believe that creating workplace policies that provide employees with a more flexible work arrangement—from telecommuting to work from home solutions or remote work set ups—attracts more employees and makes the company more competitive. So in place of monetary perks, some small companies are trying their hand at offering remote work solutions instead. That’s where the mobility of cloud storage services comes in pretty handy. If one of your best employees needs to move and relocate, you won’t have to say no to that employee. With cloud solutions, you can say yes and still keep your people so you won’t have to spend money on rehiring and retraining someone else for the position. This is also ideal for when one of your employees sends in a request to work remote from anywhere in the world. So long as the internet connection is reliable, you can grant their requests, retain long-term employees and save on rehiring/retraining costs.

Global hiring and teams

Some small businesses—which describe most startups—take advantage of that reach to hire global talents. Cloud storage services make working across continents convenient and cost-effective. You and your team get to work on the same interface and access the same files. You can run your team from anywhere in the world with a lot of technologies available these days and cloud solutions is one of them. So if you plan on expanding your business or growing your core business in this way, you’ll find cloud storage extremely useful for your organization.

Multi-platform access

According to Businessnewsdaily, one of the best things about cloud storage is that it works with most devices. Can’t access the file through your laptop because you left it at the office? No worries. You can use your phone to read the file. Cloud solutions work on mobile, tablets and laptops. That kind of omni-channel compatibility makes it easy for your teams to access and share files from anywhere, at any time.

No more hardware

storage

Gone are the days when you had to hire a team of IT specialist just to take care of a lot of clunky, expensive hardware and even more expensive upgrades. With cloud, you don’t have to hire a team of specialists to manage your storage so you either save up on personnel costs or channel your IT resources better by giving them other tasks and responsibilities.

With so many benefits, it would be smart to start adopting cloud solutions into your infrastructure, if you haven’t already started. That or start finding ways to take advantage of more cloud solutions in your day-to-day operations. With cloud, your business can grow and move forward in the best possible way.

Not sure how to get the right one though? No worries. With the growing number of comparison sites, picking the right one from a multitude of cloud storage services is efficient and easy. Just take a look at the benefits that address the greatest needs of your business, compare which ones match your requirements and pick that.

You can always explore more options later too. Some services might be ideal for small businesses but as your organization grows, so will your needs so keep an eye out for future adjustments.

By Brent Anderson

The post Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service? appeared first on CloudTweaks.com.

]]>
http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/do-small-businesses-need-cloud-storage-service/feed/ 0
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – New Services http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/the-lighter-side-of-the-cloud-new-services/ http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/the-lighter-side-of-the-cloud-new-services/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 11:46:53 +0000 http://cloudtweaks.com/?p=43294 Content by CloudTweaks.com

By Rick Menard Please feel free to share our comics via social media networks such as Twitter. We fully support the sharing of our comics as long as there is clear attribution (Twitter example: via @cloudtweaks) to the original comic source.  If you are a company brand looking to utilize our comics to generate leads to a specific […]

The post The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – New Services appeared first on CloudTweaks.com.

]]>
Content by CloudTweaks.com

01-cloud-cartoon-homework

By Rick Menard

Please feel free to share our comics via social media networks such as Twitter. We fully support the sharing of our comics as long as there is clear attribution (Twitter example: via @cloudtweaks) to the original comic source.  If you are a company brand looking to utilize our comics to generate leads to a specific landing page, newsletter, presentation or social media campaign, you can contact us regarding commercial licensing rates. 

The post The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – New Services appeared first on CloudTweaks.com.

]]>
http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/the-lighter-side-of-the-cloud-new-services/feed/ 0
Facebook M And The Social Cloud http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/facebook-m-and-the-social-cloud/ http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/facebook-m-and-the-social-cloud/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:31:32 +0000 http://cloudtweaks.com/?p=43288 Content by CloudTweaks.com

Facebook M Virtual Assistant Technology provides us with cost savings and performance enhancement, and so it should come as no surprise that Facebook has just launched its own digital assistant, M, to a few hundred people – a new competitor to Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri, and Google Now. According to David Marcus, head of Facebook […]

The post Facebook M And The Social Cloud appeared first on CloudTweaks.com.

]]>
Content by CloudTweaks.com

Facebook M

Virtual Assistant Technology provides us with cost savings and performance enhancement, and so it should come as no surprise that Facebook has just launched its own digital assistant, M, to a few hundred people – a new competitor to Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri, and Google Now. According to David Marcus, head of Facebook Messenger, “M is a personal digital assistant inside of Messenger that completes tasks and finds information on your behalf.” Powered by artificial intelligence that’s trained and supervised by human intelligence, M is purported to be unlike any other AI-based services currently available in that it actually completes tasks on behalf of its users, purchasing items, having gifts delivered when necessary, making restaurant reservations, travel arrangements, appointments, and “way more.” M’s ambition, however, is greater than being only a personal assistant but is hoped to be a one-stop shop for mobile discovery.

Payment Platform

Payment processing

Marcus, formerly of PayPal, is using his expertise to increase Facebook’s payment platform. As he told Wired magazine, “We start capturing all of your intent for the things you want to do. Intent often leads to buying something, or to a transaction, and that’s an opportunity for us to [make money] over time.” If Facebook is about to make online purchasing transactions as quick and easy as they’ve made general web login (complete this three-page form, or sign in with Facebook), I’d say we’ve got a serious new e-commerce player in a prime position.

Best Friends Forever!

BFF

Another key quality that Facebook has is the amount of data we’ve all offered up. Undoubtedly, Facebook knows more about us all than any other social network platform, and all of this information is precisely what makes a digital assistant so useful. Google, Microsoft, and Apple certainly have access to some of our going-ons, and we’re always able to input that which they don’t, but Facebook is a veritable wealth of personal habits, likes and dislikes, spending behaviors, location minutiae, and more – there are many actual PAs who don’t have as much information about their bosses as Facebook has, and probably don’t want it, either.

The Human Element

Uniquely, the artificial intelligence aspect of Facebook M will be supervised by human beings, allowing it to do more than a standard digital assistant could. According to Dave Lee for the BBC, M’s work will be automated more over time as the system learns, helping expand the service, speed it up, and make it available to more people. It’s speculated that, for now, a team of people handles the more difficult and complex queries, explaining why increased automation will allow greater access to M.

How It Works

virtual-assistantTo access M, users will tap a button in Facebook’s Messenger app and send a note to M – as you might to any other Facebook friend. Thereafter, either M’s artificial intelligence or human colleague decodes the message, asks follow-up questions, and sends updates until the task is complete. Currently, M doesn’t use social data from Facebook, so tasks are completed based on answers users provide. After internal tests with Facebook employees it’s been found that one of M’s most popular functions was calling the cable company’s automated setup line, or HBO’s cancellation center, abandoning the long holds and automated messages to M’s patience.

There hasn’t yet been a date set for public rollout, but Facebook has said that their more than 700 million users will have free access to M via Messenger at some point. If you’re considering the benefits of this technology for your own organization, take a look at this free guide to Virtual Assistant Technology and the Contact Center.

By Jennifer Klossterman

The post Facebook M And The Social Cloud appeared first on CloudTweaks.com.

]]>
http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/facebook-m-and-the-social-cloud/feed/ 0
Report: Cybercriminals Rely On People To Access Corporate Environments http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/report-cybercriminals-rely-on-people-to-access-corporate-environments/ http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/report-cybercriminals-rely-on-people-to-access-corporate-environments/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:52:00 +0000 http://cloudtweaks.com/?p=43281 Content by CloudTweaks.com

Cybercriminal Report Users are the weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity, with only 1 percent representing 75 percent of the security risk in a cloud environment, according to a new cloud cybersecurity report released yesterday. The CloudLock Cyberlab analyzed 10 million users as well as 1 billion files and more than 91,000 applications and […]

The post Report: Cybercriminals Rely On People To Access Corporate Environments appeared first on CloudTweaks.com.

]]>
Content by CloudTweaks.com

Cybercriminal Report

Users are the weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity, with only 1 percent representing 75 percent of the security risk in a cloud environment, according to a new cloud cybersecurity report released yesterday.

The CloudLock Cyberlab analyzed 10 million users as well as 1 billion files and more than 91,000 applications and found that it isn’t the business of network infrastructure that cybercriminals target, but rather a very small number of users. For this reason it is vital for those developing security programs to study user behavior.

Trends in Cloud Cybersecurity

cloud-report-2015

The CloudLock report examines trends across users, applications and collaboration and reveals that the 80:20 rule or law of the vital few (officially the Pareto Principle) is valid across all three of these primary dimensions.

  • Just 1 percent of all computer and computer network users create three quarters (75 percent) of all cloud cybersecurity risk in organizations by behaving in an “abnormal” manner, whether malicious or unintentional.
  • Organizations were found to collaborate on average with 865 outside parties with a mere 25 of these accounting for three quarters of each organizations’ cloud-based sharing activities. Alarmingly, 70 percent of this sharing is via non-corporate emails that security teams have minimal control over.
  • Just 1 percent of users represent 62 percent of all the applications installed in the cloud, which further increases the high-risk volumes. Another concern is that 52,000 application installations are carried out by users that are highly privileged; the problem being that malicious cybercriminals are known to target privileged accounts.

The 14-page report also reveals that the individuals who make up the risky 1 percent are also responsible for ownership of 57 percent of files; sharing of 81 percent of files; and 73 percent of files that are “excessively exposed.” This means it is crucial for those in charge of security to understand the composition of this 1 percent that is frequently comprised. They are not only the privileged users mentioned above, but also machine-based identities that are designed to allow access to archived data and other privileges, as well as various software architects.

Acknowledging the fact that there has been a long established risk that is linked to unintentional “user-induced exposure in the cloud,” the report points out that cybercriminals have learnt how to exploit these users and not only access corporate and government environments, but also compromise credentials. Furthermore, it found that no industries are immune from these cloud cybersecurity risks: “The bottom line: across all industries, risk can be explained by a small percentage of users.”

Data ownership in the cloud was also found to be disproportionately high, with the top 1 percent of users owning more than half (57 percent) of the organization’s digital assets. This figure rose to 81 percent when the digital assets of the top 5 percent were taken into account. In reality this would mean that simply targeting the few who own digital assets could cause a major data breach that could put a very large percentage of the company’s assets at risk.

So how is the distribution of cloud cybersecurity risk calculated?

cloud risks

According to the report it is a combination of behaviors that is potentially risky, together with usage volumes of users, and corporate security policy violations. And the stats reveal, yet again, that just 1 percent of users are responsible for most cloud cybersecurity risk in any one organization.

  • The top 1 percent create 75 percent of risk
  • The top 5 percent create 90 percent of risk
  • The remaining 95 percent are not much of a risk at all, accounting for a mere 10 percent

This remains the reality, even though most of the users who create risks are not aware of what they are doing (for example “oversharing” the company’s assets). All they have to do to create risk is drag and drop files to public folders, or make a folder public without informing another collaborator that this has been done.

In many circumstances, employee security training will decrease the risk dramatically. For instance, a case study cited in the report shows how a travel industry firm was able to decrease its potentially risky public exposure by 62 percent in a single day, just be analyzing user behavior and then reaching out to their top users.

Another enormous risk lies with third party suppliers that are connected to the company via the cloud. They might be totally honest and reliable, but if they are compromised, their vulnerability can become high risk for the company they are collaborating with. It shouldn’t be surprising to find that the so-called law of the vital few applies in this instance too, with the top 25 external organizations accounting for three quarters of inter-organizational sharing. Additionally, the top 25 applications were found to account for 65 percent of all third-party app installations, many of which were found to be linked not to business itself, but to business functions.

Four Strategies to Help Remedy Risk

Having identified that cloud cybersecurity is disproportionate across users, collaborators or applications, CloudLock suggests four strategies to help remedy risk:

1. First focus on the riskiest users
2. Then focus security on the top 25 collaborators, and then the balance
3. Take action when third party applications are discovered
4. Opt for platforms that offer multi-cloud insights rather than point security solutions

By Penny Swift

The post Report: Cybercriminals Rely On People To Access Corporate Environments appeared first on CloudTweaks.com.

]]>
http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/report-cybercriminals-rely-on-people-to-access-corporate-environments/feed/ 0
Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud?: Cloud as a Datacenter http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/are-you-sure-you-are-ready-for-the-cloud-cloud-as-a-datacenter/ http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/are-you-sure-you-are-ready-for-the-cloud-cloud-as-a-datacenter/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:08:19 +0000 http://cloudtweaks.com/?p=43273 Content by CloudTweaks.com

Cloud as a Datacenter Through my job as a Cloud Architect during the day, I run into a lot of scenarios that I think would be important to write about. Not that they are of major importance to others, but a way for people to learn from real world experience. This month, it had to […]

The post Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud?: Cloud as a Datacenter appeared first on CloudTweaks.com.

]]>
Content by CloudTweaks.com

Cloud as a Datacenter

Through my job as a Cloud Architect during the day, I run into a lot of scenarios that I think would be important to write about. Not that they are of major importance to others, but a way for people to learn from real world experience. This month, it had to do with using a cloud as a datacenter.

Most corporate datacenters or third party datacenters are normally setup with racks and racks of servers and storage arrays. Some racks of servers maybe totally dedicated for a specific purpose, such as to run a database system, or as monitoring services. If you want to put a server into one of the racks for whatever the reason, it will need to be plugged in to power, and normally into one or two networks.

shutterstock_95662684

Then to use your system to communicate with the Internet or maybe some secure data on different servers, you would pass through some firewalls, maybe some data analyzers, through some switches and eventually through at least one router. This is all pretty standard stuff.

But what if you wanted all of this to happen, inside a cloud? It is completely possible until the data needs to leave the cloud to go somewhere else, like the Internet for instance. Depending on the type of cloud management you are using (or plan to use).

If you want to setup a section of your cloud to be the DMZ area, no problem! If you need firewalls or data analyzers, no problem either! There are many virtual appliances out there for that, or the functionality is built into your cloud management software.

Need to create several different networks inside your cloud? That’s easy also. Most cloud management software packages have simple networking functions built in. If you need more complex networking like multi interface / port load balancers or maybe complex VLANs, then you can buy a Software Defined Network (SDN) program, and it will do what you want, right inside the cloud.

You can create your database servers right inside the cloud also, so your data access will not need to leave the boundaries of the cloud. Using “Tenants” or “Projects” in your cloud will allow you to create mini datacenters inside your cloud also. This allows teams from different areas to have their own spaces to work in.

Sometimes, you maybe faced with the need to separate a section of your cloud out on a hardware level, but still have one management face for it. That is easy to do by using what is known as Availability Zones or “AZs”.

So obviously, there has to be some hardware somewhere that your cloud is running on, that will never change. But depending on how your cloud is setup, you could easily implement some of what I mentioned, and then take it right back out if you don’t like it. As a simple reminder, it is always cheaper to try something virtually in your cloud than buy the hardware first.

By Richard Thayer

The post Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud?: Cloud as a Datacenter appeared first on CloudTweaks.com.

]]>
http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/08/are-you-sure-you-are-ready-for-the-cloud-cloud-as-a-datacenter/feed/ 0