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The Top 5 Cloud IT Challenges Facing Businesses in 2015

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first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » 4 min read Let’s call 2014 “the year that cloud apps struck back.”On the plus side, it was a year of rapid growth in the cloud. Osterman Research found that the businesses it surveyed use an average of 14.3 cloud apps. IDC estimated that spending on public cloud services grew to $56.6 billion in 2014.But the growth has outpaced corporate controls, which has led to three worrisome cloud trends in 2014:Businesses juggled too many cloud apps. The cloud was supposed to end IT complexity. Unfortunately, in many cases, it’s just replaced management complexity with administrative complexity. A study from Capgemini found that nearly half of CIOs believe that they are using more apps than they need—which is pretty significant when you consider the time each app demands of IT admins for security, integration, mobility, billing and, worst of all, endlessly adding, removing and changing user and device settings. The key takeaway: it’s time to stop adding apps and start consolidating functionality and vendors.Too many people had access. From US Airways’ inadvertent pornographic tweet to Uber employees monitoring customers’ travel data, hindsight has made clear that many companies lack checks and balances. The key takeaway: Businesses need more stringent controls over who can access and utilize corporate cloud apps.Passwords became the weakest link. From corporate Dropbox folders to nude celebrity photos, 2014 was rife with high-profile cloud hacks that took advantage of weak passwords. At the same time, a recent survey found that 89 percent of ex-employees retained at least one login and password from their former employer. The key takeaway: strong passwords, single sign-on solutions and strict access termination processes are more essential than ever.The IDC study referenced above also estimates that spending on public cloud services will more than double by 2018 to reach $127 billion. The risks will grow just as fast.Related: Dark ‘Cloud’ Forming: The Struggle to Balance Security and Employee PrivacyHere are five trends I expect to be talking about this time next year:1. Extremely high reliability will no longer be a luxury.According to Intuit, 37 percent of SMBs are already fully cloud adopted. For any business that relies on the cloud for mission-critical services, the classic 99.9 percent uptime guarantee is no longer enough—not when that amounts to 8 hours of downtime a year. Look for 99.999 percent uptime (which promise less than 26 seconds of downtime a month) to be the new standard.2. The cost of litigation will make compliant archiving the new norm.Most businesses associate compliant archiving with HIPAA and SOX. But archiving will become essential for all businesses, not just regulated businesses. That’s because compliant archiving slashes the mounting burden of eDiscovery (a 2014 report by eDiscovery.com found an average of 479 GB collected in eDiscovery projects prior to filtering and processing). This isn’t just email archiving, though—chat transcripts, too, for example, will also need to be archived to protect your company.Related: The Celebrity-Hacking Scandal Is a Rude Wake-Up Call on Cloud Security3. Businesses will begin to take the ex-employee menace seriously.In September, the FBI warned that “disgruntled and former employees pose a significant cyber threat to US businesses.” The question is: will businesses institute rigorous access auditing and offboarding policies before the inevitable headline-grabbing hack?4. Administrators will look for opportunities to consolidate providers.If the average of 14 cloud apps per SMB are all sourced from different providers, that means there are 14 separate vendors to pay, 14 control panels to manage, 14 support teams to work with, and so on. It will become increasingly important for companies to consolidate providers to more effectively manage their entire cloud.5. Companies will take control over data on mobile devices.According to SMB Group, 83 percent of SMBs have deployed mobile apps to improve productivity. Imagine how much corporate data now lives on personal phones and tablets. Businesses will recognize the need for mobile device management—and will embrace apps that don’t just sync data across devices, but make it simple for administrators to both remotely wipe data as well as to restore it when devices are lost or stolen.Related: Our Collective Mobile Security Blind Spot Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. January 7, 2015last_img read more

Internet Users Worry About Online Privacy but Feel Powerless to Do Much

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first_img 6 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. June 20, 2018 When it comes to our collective sense of internet privacy, 2018 is definitely the year of awareness. It’s funny that it took Facebook’s unholy partnership with a little-known data-mining consulting firm named Cambridge Analytica to raise the alarm. After all, there were already abundant examples of how our information was being used by unidentified forces on the web. It really took nothing more than writing the words “Cabo San Lucas” as part of a throwaway line in some personal email to a friend to initiate a slew of Cabo resort ads and Sammy Hagar’s face plastering the perimeters of our social media feeds.In 2018, it’s never been more clear that when we embrace technological developments, all of which make our lives easier, we are truly taking hold of a double-edged sword. But has our awakening come a little too late? As a society, are we already so hooked on the conveniences internet-enabled technologies provide us that we’re hard-pressed making the claim that we want the control of our personal data back?Related: 3 Social Media Data Lessons in the Wake of Cambridge AnalyticaIt’s an interesting question. Our digital marketing firm recently conducted a survey to better understand how people feel about internet privacy issues and the new movement to re-establish control over what app providers and social networks do with our personal information.Given the current media environment and scary headlines regarding online security breaches, the poll results, at least on the surface, were fairly predictable. According to our study, web users overwhelmingly object to how our information is being shared with and used by third-party vendors. No surprise here, a whopping 90 percent of those polled were very concerned about internet privacy. In a classic example of “Oh, how the mighty have fallen,” Facebook and Google have suddenly landed in the ranks of the companies we trust the least, with only 3 percent and 4 percent of us, respectively, claiming to have any faith in how they handled our information.Despite consumers’ apparent concern about online security, the survey results also revealed participants do very little to safeguard their information online, especially if doing so comes at the cost of convenience and time. In fact, 60 percent of them download apps without reading terms and conditions and close to one in five (17 percent) report that they’ll keep an app they like, even if it does breach their privacy by tracking their whereabouts.Related: Tougher Data Privacy Rules Are a Scammer’s Nightmare, but Ethical Marketers Can Stay CalmWhile the survey reveals only 18 percent say they are “very confident” when it comes to trusting retails sites with their personal information, the sector is still on track to exceed a $410 billion ecommerce spend this year. This, despite more than half (54 percent) reporting they feel less secure purchasing from online retailers after reading about online breach after online breach.What’s become apparent from our survey is that while people are clearly dissatisfied with the state of internet privacy, they feel uninspired or simply ill-equipped to do anything about it. It appears many are hooked on the conveniences online living affords them and resigned to the loss of privacy if that’s what it costs to play.The findings are not unique to our survey. In a recent Harvard Business School study, people who were told the ads appearing in their social media timelines had been selected specifically based on their internet search histories showed far less engagement with the ads, compared to a control group who didn’t know how they’d been targeted. The study revealed that the actual act of company transparency, coming clean about the marketing tactics employed, dissuaded user response in the end.As is the case with innocent schoolchildren, the world is a far better place when we believe there is an omniscient Santa Claus who magically knows our secret desires, instead of it being a crafty gift exchange rigged by the parents who clearly know the contents of our wish list. We say we want safeguards and privacy. We say we want transparency. But when it comes to a World Wide Web, where all the cookies have been deleted and our social media timeline knows nothing about us, the user experience becomes less fluid.Related: Apple Will Let All Users Download Their Collected Personal DataThe irony is, almost two-thirds (63 percent) of those polled in our survey don’t believe that companies having access to our personal information leads to a better, more personalized, online experience at all, which is the chief reason companies like Facebook state for wanting our personal information in the first place. And yet, when an app we’ve installed doesn’t let us tag our location to a post or inform us when a friend has tagged us in a photo or alerted us that the widget we were searching for is on sale this week, we feel slighted by our brave new world.With the introduction of GDPR regulations this summer, the European Union has taken, collectively, the important first steps toward regaining some of the online privacy that we, as individuals, have been unable to take. GDPR casts the first stone at the Goliath that’s had free rein leveraging our personal information against us. By doling out harsh penalties and fines for those who abuse our private stats — or at least those who aren’t abundantly transparent as to how they intend to use those stats — the EU, and by extension, those countries conducting online business with them, has finally initiated a movement to curtail the hitherto laissez-faire practices of commercial internet enterprises. For this cyberspace Wild West, there’s finally a new sheriff in town.I imagine that our survey takers applaud this action, although only about 25 percent were even aware of GDPR. At least on paper, the legislation has given us back some control over the privacy rights we’ve been letting slip away since we first signed up for a MySpace account. Will this new regulation affect our user experience on the internet? More than half of our respondents don’t think so, and perhaps, for now, we are on the way toward a balancing point between the information that makes us easier to market to and the information that’s been being used for any purpose under the sun. It’s time to leverage this important first step, and stay vigilant of its effectiveness with a goal of gaining back even more privacy while online. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more