Executing Disaster Recovery as a Service

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Keeping your business safe and sound from natural disasters and other natural calamities should be given importance. But, today where data is the heart of the organization, protecting the heart from cyber-attacks, malicious activities should be given first priority. Where this year 6.8 million connected devices are accounted, the number will be whopping 20 billion connected devices by 2020.

The dependence on digital devices is growing. Protection of mission critical data is important as capable site-wide attacks and disasters can put primary as well as backup data both at risk. This is where disaster recovery solutions and backup options come into picture. With the rising security concerns, adoption of disaster recovery solutions has also increased. It is very important for protection against reputational damage and ensuring business continuity. Disaster recovery solutions also take care of confirming compliance as per industry regulations.

However, taking into consideration the security issues and concerns, less than one third of the enterprises have deployed full documented disaster recovery solution. The concern is real as 42% of SMB’s believe that their enterprise’s plans are not sufficient to cope and just 30% thinking data and information will be recovered on the occurrence of a disaster.

As and when the flexibility in working pattern and rise of connected office is growing, threats are also developing. This is possible due to cyberattacks, regulatory compliance requirements increasing or due to heated competition, all of which are putting pressure on SMB’s in today’s age of digital technology.

Threats of Digital Background

The risk of cyber breaches will rise with the rise of data being transferred and stored digitally. Cryptolocker-type Trojans, zero-day viruses or ransomware can cause permanent damage to the data. Various reports and surveys have reported that having a backup system in place can cause downtime to be minimized, a considerable reduction of the impact on lost revenue along with associate costs are narrowed down.

Just like we take steps to protect our bodies from risks and threats, in the same way we need to take preventive steps to protect our networks too. It is high time for organizations to deploy a disaster recovery solution for networks which can prevent instead of curing data loss when it’s too late.

It has been witnessed that disasters occur due to human error, hardware failure or sometimes software error. More and more importance has been given to holistic approach for storage protection and disaster recovery. Holistic approach protects vital systems and files from long-term damage. Data insurance is very crucial.

Benefits of Holistic Approach

Disaster Recovery as a Service helps in maintaining employee productivity and revenue is generated from business agility. It should be implemented at the right time as it helps to preserve and protect reputation of the organization as well as preventing the organization from losing out to opponents.

Service level agreement penalties for non-performance and non-compliance can be avoided by compliance with industry regulations. Organizations can have continuous access across several locations that enable backing up data every 15 minutes with a managed solution. Organizations can benefit from continuous and efficient backups restored reliably to any platform in cost savings on bandwidth and capacity also with laid-back and offsite storage and recovery. Having such managed service helps in boosting the confidence of the organization in the protection of the data along with reducing the requirement for management time.

Investment in Disaster Recovery as a Solution can never go in vain as the return on investment can be measured the savings in expenditure and time in the long run. Disaster Recovery as a Service market is anticipated to grow significantly by 2020. Virtual business data protection is equally important like physical business protection to ensure business continuity. An unsecured data can cause loosing stakeholder assurance, loosing client trust and trust and eventually losing the business. Having network expertise and a holistic approach of data recovery as a service can help business to operate confidently even if a disaster strikes.

Know the Right Difference between Cloud & Virtualization

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Virtualisation and Cloud Computing always go hand in hand. Most of the IT decision makers are confused between these two terms. The terms Virtualisation and Cloud Computing are often used interchangeably. Even though, both the technologies are similar, they cannot be interchanged, difference being substantial enough to affect your business decisions. Let’s understand the scope of these two technologies and their benefits

How cloud computing is different from Virtualisation?

The process of creating a virtual environment is virtualization. It helps in separating physical infrastructure in order to create multiple dedicated resources. It enables a user to run several operating systems simultaneously on one computer. Virtualization is the vital technology powering cloud computing. But, virtualization is not cloud computing. Cloud Computing is the delivery of shared resources through the internet on demand, assembled on top of a virtualized infrastructure having an automated control consisting of computes, network and storage constituents.

System virtualization is creating multiple virtual systems in a single physical system. It is usually deployed with a hypervisor technology which is firmware or software components which have the ability to virtualize system resources. There are many hypervisors like VMware, Hyper-V, Xen that enable establish virtualization within cloud.

The main difference between the two concepts is that manipulation of the hardware is done by virtualization whereas cloud computing is the service that is derived from that manipulation. Cloud computing and virtualization are used together to deliver multiple services, especially in building a private cloud infrastructure. Each technology will be deployed separately for most small enterprises in order to achieve quantifiable benefits. In multiple ways, your capital expenditure on equipment is drastically cut down and you can get the maximum benefit out of it. In other words, cloud delivers elasticity, self-service ability, pay as you go service and scalability that is not innate in virtualization. Virtualization can exist without cloud computing, but clout cannot happen without virtualization.

Advantages of virtualization and cloud computing

With virtualization fewer servers are bought and maintained where server’s capacity is utilized at its best compared to non-virtualised servers. Virtual machines operate their own OS and enterprise applications your business requires. Whereas, cloud computing is a technology which is accessed via internet rather than deploying it on organization’s network. One can choose from different cloud-based solutions and cloud providers to meet their business requirements. Enterprise grade applications like CRM, hosted voice over IP, off-site storage can be deployed with cloud computing, cost of which will easily fit into the budgets of small businesses.

Virtualisation has enabled deploying less number of hardware to perform the same amount of work. As power usage is increased, physical infrastructure efficiency is enhanced. With cloud, operation or storage needs can be changed enabling flexibility which suits your situation. Scalability is the part and parcel of cloud deployments. Automatically the cloud instances are deployed as and when required making business cloud hosting the perfect solution for enterprises.

Virtualization comprises of high level of data centers, so ultimately a virtualised environment will have less redundancy. With cloud, one can have unlimited storage capacity. Now, you don’t have to deploy extra devices to increase storage space.

Downtime is minimized during maintenance periods with virtualization whereby alterations can be performed on one server without affecting others and maintenance can be performed without causing disruptions. Cloud Backup and recovery has made the process of backing up and recovery of the data much easier and simpler. Flexible recovery and backup solutions are offered by cloud.

With Virtualisation, virtual machines provide security requirements for organizations by means of duplicating the required level of device privacy or resource that comes with hard wired devices. Easy Deployment is facilitated by cloud computing making the entire system completely functional within couple of minutes.

Which one is better?

After having a complete understanding about both the terms, the next step is identifying which one is better for your business needs.

If you wish to have outsourced IT, cloud will be the best solution for you as it frees up internal IT resources for supporting higher business value enabling you to invest your IT budget towards activities that can advance your business.

If you want to reduce the number of appliances, servers and wish to have one solution for all your needs, go with cloud. Even software perpetual licenses are eliminated when such a solution is deployed. Again, if you are looking for a flexible and scalable option, cloud will be your best friend. IT capacity can be temporarily scaled by off-loading great demand compute necessities to a third party. And thus, you pay only for what you have consumed and that too at the time when you require the resources.

Conclusion

Both cloud computing and virtualization function on a one to many model. With virtualization one computer can perform like many computers performing. Whereas, cloud computing enables many enterprises accessing one application. The difference is how your business deploys them. So, which one is best for you?

How to Increase IT security of an Organisation?

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Security – A term which was not so popular a decade ago. Security was earlier in terms of financial safety and home safety. Now, this term plays a huge role in the Information Technology sector and gaining widespread importance. Security tops the priority list of almost all CIOs. Data breaches and Cyberattacks concern top decision makers on a daily basis. In 2015, the average cost of data breach went up to £2.37 million.

Last year, in 2015, the percentage of security incidents rose up to 38% whereby even high profile companies were a part of it. A recent leak of login credentials of Twitter users signifies the rise of cyberattacks. So, this year is also not different with attackers constantly on the lookout to steal valuable business data.

Planning for the predictable

While organizations should take preventive steps in order to ensure a breach doesn’t take place, but cybercriminals today being smart enough using sophisticated techniques signifies that in reality they are also planning for a predictable breach. On a daily basis, if we consider, many organizations are likely to face major number of attacks and the sad truth is that at least one attack will be successful.

Organizations should adopt new approaches to deal with cyber attacks so that the risk is reduced and costs resulting from such a breach are also minimized. A prerequisite of properly framed IT security is preventive measure. However, having preventive measures is not just enough. More focus should be given to detection and damage limitation. Organizations should not think from an “IF” perspective but from a “WHEN” perspective thereby limiting the damage hackers can cause.

Security Investment

More investment should be made in detection tools which help in identifying any breach sooner. The time taken by the enterprise to discover a breach will become more interesting to customers and regulators and hence detection will logically take place a noticeable role in IT security measures. This becomes a public indication regarding an enterprise’s vigilance as the time taken between breach and detection is into months or even years eventually a significant damage is caused on enterprise reputation.

When more focus is given on damage limitation, it helps in mitigating the effects caused by security breach. The approach of detect and devalue require some innovative thinking from top level decision makers to administrators of IT systems. For this, more brainstorming sessions should be taken to identify the worst scenarios of breach and what solutions can be developed. This will help the enterprise to properly form the preventive steps limiting the damages as well as ensuring the victory of detect and devalue policy.

 

What Should Companies Consider Before Adopting Docker?

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Docker has been increasingly gaining importance emerging as a cycle-shrinking and cost reducing by DevOps. Though having certain misconceptions about Docker, organisations still continue to embrace containerization. However, Docker is successful in reducing costs and saving time.

Orgaisations should consider the pros and cons of Docker implementation and then cast their vote of confidence and invest in this space. Let’s study them one by one

Things organisations should consider before adopting Docker

Docker is still in the phase of initial stages and one can find very few proven cases. Keeping this in mind, organisation’s business case for adoption should be defined whether it is improved processes or cost efficiencies. After deciding on these lines, a framework should be decided to effectively term, orchestrate and manage a container environment. Such insights are very important in order to understand which containers are operating, talking to each other and the processes required for effective management.

Challenges and benefits of Docker

One of the main advantages of Docker is that it has no ‘full-fat’ VM requirement, eliminating the guest OS and hypervisor resources overhead. Since same operating system is used to run all containers, CPU, RAM and Disk is more efficiently utilized. Docker is open source; it operates on all major Microsoft operating systems and Linux distributions supporting every infrastructure. Moreover, they are scalable where it can be scaled up and down in a matter of seconds dealing during peak time.

However, not every application requires benefits of fast deployment and scalability. Exchange for example is an application whose demand does not fluctuate very quickly. On the other hand, ecommerce store will have to deploy Docker as there can be surge in demand.

While talking about challenges, one crucial challenge faced is the potential of lack of true isolation. Since, the resources of virtual machines are virtualized through the Hypervisor, Virtual machines provide high isolation. However, Docker enables less isolation as an OS kernel is shared by containers along with the components enabling crashes or malware to transmit from one container to another.

Applications are suitable for Docker containers

From other container technology, Docker container is not different as it does not have the advantage of grouping key application components into a single container. This signifies that only some applications can flourish in this environment.

  • Applications running on more than one cloud
  • Applications deploying micro services
  • Applications that have to auto scale in order to deal with bursts in demand

Is virtualization replaced by Docker?

The answer to this is a big “No”. As virtualization has not compromised the need of buying physical servers, in the same way Docker will not replace virtualization. Docker is an application which will be increasingly used for the development of applications and so should be carefully studied by Ops team in order to deploy in their environments.

How can IT departments prove Docker ROI for the wider business?

Docker is still a new term and technology and hence enterprises do not have the knowledge and skills required to deploy Docker for achieving business value.

Reduced change-based outages and increased delivery speed are the fundamental drivers on business value. This is possible due to the ability of Docker to maintain delivery component consistent starting from development to production, thereby eliminating the chances of mismatch that can take place somewhere along the line. The hurdle in this is to keep down the operational costs because of the operational management challenges.

What is the risk of over-provisioning container estates and how can this be avoided?

The speed of deployment being rapid, alike compared to VMs that need some configuration after they are turned on, it is essential that environments should be scaled down when they are scaled up rapidly and retired containers are detached not affecting the performance due to over-utilisation of underlying hardware. A capacity management solution should be in place in order to have a clear view of the IT estate.

Most effective way for managing and monitoring Docker solution

Though VMware is introduced in 2005, Docker still lacks monitoring tools making monitoring of application performance very difficult to achieve. Capacity management tool is lacking, making it altogether difficult to plan and manage environments effectively. This can lead to performance issues as Docker will be heavily used. Though, something good happening around is that performance monitoring of Docker is improving,

 

An Overview On Small Business Web Hosting

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Do not get surprised, nowadays even the small and medium scale business enterprises and companies have realized the importance and the significance of inexpensive small business web hosting solutions offered by various web hosting companies. These business owners have started to realize various privileges that can be chosen in order to make a great online profit making business. Recently there has been huge competition and of course the demand seen in the world of web hosting. Because of this, it is possible for web hosting companies to offer various web hosting packages and services at remarkably affordable prices. Various hosts offering best web hosting services offer Small Business web hosting packages specially designed for small and medium scaled business websites.

Until recently, due to the lack of awareness about web hosting, the terms when used together, used to confuse the small and medium business owners. As a matter of fact, Small business web hosting is nothing but shared web hosting service, where the server is subdivided into multiple accounts that operate simultaneously. But the level of reliability and quality of these services are uncompromised at all, due to the use of more advanced technologies evolved with the passing time.

The small business web hosting can be the perfect choice for small and medium sized businesses. For any online business, the success would largely depend on the rate of traffic conversion. With a small business web hosting services, a business owner can grab the potential to get a better exposure to a wider spectrum of audience due to the fact that these web hosting accounts are set up on Mirrored servers, hence offer 100% uptime guarantee to users. This would ensure that your website is accessible to users all the time. Such a web hosting package can help you save the lot of your financial capital which can be further used for your business marketing and other online promotion purposes.

Due to the rapid expansion and competition in the web hosting industry, you would firstly need to compare a number of such web hosting service providers. Various web hosts offer varied services to their customers. Hence, you must choose a host that best suits your requirements. It is advised to do some research about the shortlisted company before signing up with them. Price is definitely an aspect that would help you differentiate the hosts, but make sure that you do not compromise on the quality of web hosting service a host would offer for hosting your website onto your server.

Again, it is important to make sure that the host actually provides 100% uptime guarantee to your website/s hosted on the small business web hosting servers and not just advertise it on their website. A host who sets up your account onto a server that is unreliable and keeps crashing every now and then can make you pay a huge price, this may become the main reason for losing potential customers.

Summary:

Despite the fact that small business web hosting has become very affordable and reliable these days, you can still avail a package that is highly professional, offers good quality and high level of reliability. In future, when your business grows and there is an increase in traffic to your website, make sure to choose a host that offers flexible upgrade options. Hence, it is advisable to choose any of the Best Web Hosting service providers in the industry.

Virtualization Storage Solutions To Maximize The Use Of Virtualization

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Server virtualization allows you to increase the efficiency of the use of IT resources, but also increases network traffic that pose particular problems for specialists. The paradigm of “the use of a single server, a network port” was replaced by a virtual server to perform multiple tasks and use more network ports for data transmission reliability and storage traffic. Virtual load and load storage system including tasks such as virtual desktops, backups, disaster recovery (DR). Gartner analyst explains how storage virtualization can help to ease the effects of virtualization.

Gartner briefly outlined the consequences of server virtualization for storage systems, and explained how to use the virtualization storage systems, the right technology and the right mix of tools, organizations can reduce the impact on enterprise storage systems.

Consider use of storage virtualization information. Gartner firm encourages organizations to use virtualization technology, data storage systems as a means to improve the storage system, and emphasizes the main advantages of this technology: Virtualization storage supports merging of information storage systems, which allows you to “see” and to consider all storage systems as a single resource. This avoids the problems with ‘abandoned’ memory resources that are not being used to improve the utilization of information storage systems and reduce the cost of storage systems by reducing the need to purchase new storage systems. The benefits of combining storage increase with the size of the managed storage systems.

Virtualization storage systems support flexible and dynamic allocation of memory resources, enabling organizations to create logical storage area, the size of which will be more effectively allocated disk space. It also allows you to reduce the cost of storage systems because the business does not need to buy all at once, the amount of physical memory – you can simply increase the amount of memory as it fills its allocated space. Subsequently, using the tools of dynamic memory allocation can increase or decrease the size of the logical volume on demand. It is important for management and capacity planning.

Virtualization storage service supports quality of cloud hosting services (QoS), which extends the functionality of data storage systems. For example, the automatic distribution of the levels allows you to automatically move data from a faster and expensive vehicle to a slower and less expensive carrier and back based on access patterns. Another function is to assign priority, which allows the right to give priority to some data input-output I / O, as compared with other data.

Consider use of solid-state drives (SSD)

One of the problems with bandwidth information storage system is associated with the time lag caused by the mechanical delays, which are inevitable when using a standard hard drive. This limits and the performance of storage systems, and the situation will only get worse in virtual infrastructures, where input and output streams of data are randomly mixed and transmitted over the network in the memory array, creating a high level of disk activity. Architects storage systems often choose the creation of large disk groups. Inclusion of a large number of spindles of hard drives in the same group can effectively distribute and reduce to a minimum the mechanical delay, as one disk writes or reads of the data, while other disks perform a search. Gartner Analyst firm suggests using SSDs (SSD) as a means of reducing the number of hard drives and provide higher data processing speed (IOPS – IO operations per second) storage systems.

Careful planning of the transition to the use of virtualization technologies. Architects should represent the data center infrastructure and its operations in preparation for the transition to virtualization technology. Gartner firm recommends IT professionals to start with the identification and quantification of the impact of server virtualization, data growth and the need for round the clock work on the infrastructure and services of storage systems.

Next, determine what you actually need to achieve and be consistent with operational flexibility, storage services and physical infrastructure. For example, if you need to pay more attention to the ability to backup and restore data, maintain data analyst, virtualization, or use a PC, as it is important to be sure that the infrastructure can support these requirements. Otherwise, you have to update or make changes to the architecture to support these features.

Gartner firm noted the distinction between strategic and tactical solutions for virtualization. Strategic decisions create stability, and short-term tactical solutions provide benefits. For example, the transition to dynamic memory allocation is a tactical decision, and the choice of using SRDF replication technology type can be a strategic decision.

Finally, Gartner analyst noted that storage virtualization solutions can be crucial for virtualization servers and desktop computers (PC), both of which place high demands on storage infrastructure. But the transition to virtualization storage requires a full understanding of these benefits, careful planning to ensure proper alignment of business needs and technical capabilities, and wise use of technologies such as data storage and distribution tier SSD.

Why India is a Better Option for Hosting Solutions

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Nowadays, due to globalization and digitalization hosting your website irrespective of your geographical location is really possible and feasible. You could be based in US market your products in the Global market and have your website hosted in India. But we our instincts tells us why not host it in the same country with the locally hosted servers. The advantages related to getting your website hosted at the neighborhood of target audience or where the majority of your clients belong has many advantages that are hard to overlook. In this write-up, we are seeing that the benefits of web hosting websites on Indian Web Servers, in case you are an Indian based business with major target market being the Indian sub-continent.

The following are few points that may aid in opting for a server location in India:

You probably have an offline Business established in India and you’re planning to get your online business on-line focusing on Indian potentialities or your website is serving the most to Indian users and the customers of alternative neighbouring countries of the Indian sub-continent, it helps to host your website in India as the nearer your website is to your goal audience, the rapid it will load for those accessing it. The faster response time is usually experienced due to the much less distance blanketed between the consumer and the location of the server?

The closer the server is to its user base, the lower the latency in the server response. This interprets into faster web page load instances, more responsive functions and no lag which in turn boosts factors for success similar to site visitor’s retention, conversion ratio and repeat visits. These factors are primary for sites with media content like movies or VOIP apps or for gaming.

For those who pick an Indian web hosting enterprise to host their website with, which you can take the expertise in the neighborhood situated technical aid and chances are you can to get the help for your favored regional language.

It’s believed that Google uses internet site load time as one of the factors in the calculation of your internet site’s search engine rankings. This information is collected via your website users/visitors who have the Google toolbar established.

Quick loading pages help in lowering bounce rates of the website, this means that vacationer retention for longer intervals. On the whole higher bounce rate of your website pages can have a bad effect on your website’s search engine rankings

From the Indian website hosting enterprise viewpoint, plenty of causes have contributed to the inception and growth of website hosting corporations in India, a few of these are:

Growing competition and advancement of technological know-how in India have resulted in competitive pricing and support level to be at par with what is provided in the U.S. Or UK as far as web hosting is concerned.

To grow ahead of the competition, web hosting corporations in India usually are not averse to strategies such as striking fewer sites on one server, employing quality staff for exceptional customer aid and spending more on nice hardware.

Client awareness about internet hosting 10 years ago and now has changed enormously so far as the Indian web hosting scenario is concerned. This has made the Indian web hosting businesses professional-energetic with their service offerings and most of them now boast of a notable product line with more than one choices to help the client prefer from.

One of the most different key motives which are boosting the progress of website hosting in India are the growing economic climate, big investments being within the nation into fiber optic networks, regional sourcing of application and hardware, and enormous improvement in literacy expense.

 

Predictions of Big Data in 2017

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Big data has truly evolved very big. Big data has become a very important of company’s business strategies and IT infrastructure. It is no more a buzzword now. The process of storing, analyzing and storing big data is changing the entire way of doing business. Industry has already crossed the half way of the path of biggest transformation in computing which will take place in the coming years.

With the improvements in technology, patterns are developed which indicate the current as well as future performance. Organizations now rely on such patterns. They are quite helpful for measuring the performance. Nonetheless, the advancements that are achieved in Big Data deployments are enabling organizations to discover where exactly they can target and achieve big accomplishments in the near future. Not to ignore the constantly changing market, business and technical scenario, it is challenging to segregate between what is propaganda and what is a reality. Don’t forget to take into consideration the noisy marketplace. However, with such things happening around the corner, Big Data will grow big and big in the coming years. Let’s find out some top predictions of Big Data in 2017.

A converged approach

Operational and analytic systems should be kept distinct in business applications. This practice is deployed since years and is regarded the best practice till date. Operational processing is prevented from being disrupted by analytic workload. Gartner coined the term “HTAP” Hybrid Transaction/Analytical Processing in 2014 describing an all new creation of in-memory data platforms. Well this new creation can perform both OLAP (Online analytical processing) and OLTP (Online Transaction Processing), without duplicating the data.

Something that was already happening in the marketplace was given a new name by Gartner. Be ready for converged approaches as these approaches will become more mainstream because organizations will reap the benefits of combining analytics with production workloads. This is done because of changing customer preferences, changing business scenarios. This helps organizations to meet the changing expectations of consumers and maintain the long term relation with consumers. Moreover, it speeds up the call to action process for companies and eliminates the expectancy between the tangible impact on business and the analytical processes.

Distributed Data in action

There have been a lot of changes in opinions between distributed and centralized model of workloads. But, if we talk about Big Data, the solutions were deployed on centralized model platform reducing data replication, streamlined management as well as supporting multiple applications including an overall customer analysis.

With the advent of 2017 and people believing the charm of 2017 will play very well, multinational companies will shift to processing Big Data in a distributed fashion to meet the challenges of handling various data centers, devices etc. in various locations. Booming Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices, superfast networks will further encourage the deployment and development of distributed processing structures. This deployment will surely benefit multiple data sources delivering data to network instantaneously.

Abundant Storage

New designs have been developed in storage products computer, consumer and enterprise markets with the advancements made in Flash memory. As consumers demand more for flash, costs will go down certainly and this in turn will encourage deployment of flash in Big Data. Nonetheless, flash and disk storage will be used by optimal solution to support both dense and fast configurations. Eventually, companies will no longer be in a dilemma to choose between one and the other. This is because this year, software which is new generation software- based which will help in proliferating multi-temperature solutions and aces to both will be guaranteed.

Focus on established solutions

2017 is the year of value addition. In 2017, market and organizations will focus on established solutions rather than shiny objects that don’t deliver any fundamental business value. Open source innovations which are community driven will still continue but organizations will realize the and deploy products that have a concrete business impact unlike other Big data technologies that just promise a new way of working but no impact is noticed.

Quality is everything

Organizations and investors will no longer prefer Big Data technology providers which often change their process models and still are not able to land on one model that can deliver valuable business. This year the focus will be on working safely with providers that have a guaranteed business model and technological innovations that will deliver enhanced operational proficiencies and more valuable business upshots.

With the technological advancements, an organization’s competitive advantage depends on the ability of leveraging data to gain business results. However, to actually implement this is not that easy. Enterprises having admittance to converged data platform can have the benefit of multiplicity of data services and tools to be processed on a solitary platform, harnessing insights that too real time from streaming information. With this, real time views can be translated into their operations, products and customers.

Data security: Rethinking the perimeter

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Business computing is the new buzzword these days. It is happening everywhere, offices, homes even on smart phones. Because of this, one can witness the transformation so caused in work as well. As per Harvard Business Review, every employee, company and even industry of the economy now deploy digital technologies.  And as per Okta’s recent report, on an average, organizations deploy between 10 and 16 off the shelf cloud apps and this number has grown almost 33% over last year.

This number clearly signifies that organizations irrespective of the size are concerned and are taking steps to secure increasingly mobile workforces. Nevertheless, cloud enabled technologies are helping individuals to be productive along with it bringing a range of challenges. Day by day, the number of employees using personal devices to access both work and personal information is increasing, thereby eliminating the traditional work culture. One challenge is that with data and information shifting to the cloud, security teams is able to look for a part of user activity on the enterprise’s personal internal systems. What can they do to secure their perimeter without comprising user productivity? Enterprises should concentrate on safeguarding user identities rather than having a secured network.

The Identity Perimeter

According to a recent report by Accenture, 51% of top decision makers of the organization are worried about the security as a challenge for taking digital technologies on board. Organizations have acknowledged the fact that applications are present outside the firewall., passwords are increasingly becoming a liability and devices are no longer controlled by IT that accesses enterprise data. For keeping end user computing secure, a better way is needed to control and secure an increasing number of users, applications and devices which spans network boundaries and traditional company.

Outmoded security approaches have always focused on founding network perimeters and then the layers of the firewalls, IDS, VPNs and DLP systems to fragment and secure data and users. However, the actuality these days is that users define the network perimeter and more precisely, their identity. Something that has become complicated is safeguarding this network perimeter and handling identities access to applications. IT should understand the access to data and applications should be given to whom, what are they doing and where they are accessing the data.

Thus, many enterprises are focusing beyond securing the network and enterprise owned devices, safeguarding internal and external individual identities and information instead of just devices. Taking into consideration contextual data about devices and users and behavioral patterns, unauthorized attempts can be detected more accurately to access enterprise data. With this the risk can be better mitigated by IT individuals from a security breach to efficiently guard the business.

Regaining Control Through MFA

The growth of social media has served as platform for attackers to misuse personal information in order to respond to typical security questions. This is triggering a huge number of organizations to deploy MFA (Multi Factor Authentication) to be protected against the series of malicious activities that are carried by stealing login credentials.

MFA which is extremely secure authentication mechanism is basically using two or more diverse types of authentication like a password and a temporary key which is directed to a user’s phone, email address, dongle or application in order to ensure that users are as true against the identity provided, eliminating the jeopardy of unauthorized access.

Even if the password is stolen, when MFA is deployed, attackers cannot access the account without also deceiving the second authentication mechanism. It is more difficult for attackers to break the perimeter when more contextual data is used by the organization to authenticate a user.

Minimising Risk in the New Perimeter

Nowadays, everything is around identity. With cloud hosting booming, it has become imperative to adopt a holistic approach for network and its surroundings irrespective of its complexity. Handling identity with single sign –on as well as provisioning offer organizations an improved way to control and have a secured access for increasing number of users. With this approach, IT decision makers can benefit themselves from real time data and the agility to respond to the continuous changing workforce and enlarged acceptance of applications.  In short, such solutions make sure that all users get themselves aligned with data security procedures, passing more control to IT on different applications, user types and access points will be connected to its cloud structures.

Adopting the new approach and handling identities with SSO will help organizations to rapidly and securely familiarize with the every changing surrounding. Minimize the concerns on visibility of devices, applications and users, delivering individuals with access the applications they require, where and when they want them, eventually growing their productivity.

IoT security: Challenges and tips for securing IoT

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Internet of Things continues to increase across enterprises globally to unlock new business values. According to Gartner, around 6.4 billion connected devices will be used this year increasing to 20 billion by the end of 2020. As more and more organizations are availing the benefits of Internet of Things to gain a competitive advantage in the market, Internet of Things will soon reach new heights.

We cannot overlook the security concerns that are rising with the growth of connected devices. If we talk about traditional IT security, securing software is of prime importance. However, in IoT both hardware and software are to be protected commonly known as cyber physical security. To protect IoT solutions, it is necessary to have secure arrangement of devices, safe and protected connectivity between cloud and devices and secure data security solutions while processing and storage.  However, challenges are part of every game; similarly here as well certain challenges are faced.

Devices: The arrangement and maintaining IoT devices is challenging because of its scale and geographic distribution.  Sometimes, devices are not supervised carefully and are deployed in hostile environments where uncertain operations are very common.

Connectivity: Since, a large number of devices are connected over the Internet; it poses threats to integrity and privacy of data.

Ubiquitous Data Collection: With connected devices, companies are able to track hold of our private activities. It is in the near future, a digital trail of our everyday lives can be grabbed.

Unexpected use of consumer data: This persistent collection of data certainly gives rise to worries about how personal information will be used? This is a very important issue and such questions will become the future of IoT. We cannot continue to walk on the path of data collection without thinking about such concerns and questions.

An overall strategy is required to secure an IoT infrastructure. Securely arranging devices, protecting data integrity and securing data in cloud etc. should be considered which ensures security at each layer of the infrastructure. Let’s look at some of the tips which can help us to stay safe.

Different network for different users

Wi-Fi supports many smart devices today. However, don’t plug in it in your devices like phones or computer every time you require. Make a special guest network for users to keep untrusted visitors away from your regular network.

Turn off Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)

Devices such as video cameras communicate with router to expose inbound holes which enable them to accept connections from outside. With this, it can easily access from the internet, on the other hand your devices are exposed to the rest of the world. Make sure to switch off universal plug and play on routers as well as on your IoT devices. Assuming that no one will notice while hooking up your device for the first time can prove dangerous.

Keep your IoT devices firmware updated

Patching IoT devices is also important just like your computer. Make it a habit to keep your devices updated though it can be a time consuming task, however, it will keep you and your devices safer compared to other devices which are not updated.

Strong Passwords

Many IoT devices have bugs that enable attackers to leak security information like your Wi-Fi passwords. Make sure your passwords are complex as well as unique.

Devices that work without cloud

IoT devices that are cloud based are less secure and have the potentials to give away more private information than those devices which are not cloud based and can be easily controlled entirely within your home. Try to use IoT devices which are not cloud based as you can easily control them.

Unnecessary Internet Connections

Keep only those network devices which you need. Don’t keep unnecessary connected devices wasting energy and resources. Make sure to eliminate unwanted connections whenever possible.

Don’t connect IoT devices on employer’s network

If your IoT device is insecure, attackers can easily find a loophole and can easily enter the organization. They can steal all important information. If you want to connect your device on employer’s connection, take permission from the IT department as they are in a better position to tell you about the security of your device.

The above mentioned steps are just a part of the never ending list in terms of security. Many more tasks can be performed to make you IoT devices safe and secure. IoT operators should develop best practices to boost security across the globe.