Posts tagged ‘cloud services’

Monetizing the Internet of Things: Will All These Connected Devices Pay Off? #CloudWF

Guest Blog with Avangate

Author: Michael Ni, CMO/SVP, Marketing and Products, Avangate

Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that everything was getting “cloud-ified,” from photo sharing to customer relationship management, but the move to the cloud is actually a couple of years old these days. But now that we all have our documents stored in the cloud (and our heads out of the clouds), everybody’s looking for a clear path toward success in the latest trend: the Internet of Things.

Just like the cloud before it, the Internet of Things is now top of mind for software professionals. Its promise has been nascent for a long time: although Dick Tracy’s 2-Way Wrist Radio first appeared in 1946, connected devices like the FitBit and Apple Watch are just starting to get in the hands – or on the wrists – of everyday folks.

With broader adoption of connected devices come both opportunities and challenges. Even the companies that are able to sell IoT hardware successfully find themselves needing to develop and monetize complementary services to help users get the most out of their devices. And software-focused companies that don’t have devices need new a way to get in on the IoT and the billions it’s expected to bring in. That way is through data.

While the IoT started out with connected sensors, it soon became clear that simply sensing data wouldn’t be enough. Just like storing content in the cloud also required building interfaces that made it easy for users to access cloud content, IoT sensors now need to produce data that’s easy for people to find, understand and use. And because IoT data is so valuable (not to mention expensive), there needs to be a way for companies to monetize it. So if wave 1 of the IoT trend involved simply creating the sensors, wave 2 involves monetizing them and the data they create.

As a result, more and more software vendors have started staking a claim in the IoT. At Avangate, we’ve been helping companies like Bitdefender monetize their IoT offerings. Bitdefender offers a “security of things” solution called BOX, a small device that scans for IoT threats on a local WiFi connection. By monitoring the way your smart devices stay connected, BOX finds and protects against possible threats to your connected information. By helping Bitdefender easily monetize its entry into the IoT, including not only the device itself but also associated data, we’re showing the importance and ease of monetizing IoT devices and the data they produce.

And that’s the key: commerce absolutely has to run in the background of every IoT play. No matter how affordable a device is up front, or if streams of data are free for now, devices and data both cost a significant amount to create, maintain, and provide in ways that really work for consumer and business customers. As a result, to truly succeed in the IoT, software companies need to be able to package and sell data derived from connected devices in ways that will benefit other entities as well.

In the end, it’s clear that that the desperate need for IoT data monetization is actually a massive opportunity. Companies are still scrambling to create devices and support data, and not enough entities are thinking about how to monetize it. Those who find themselves able to successfully package and sell information in the IoT era may find themselves enjoying Salesforce style status and riding high on the wave of the future as the IoT truly takes off.

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Avangate will be exhibiting at the Cloud World Forum on Stand D48, taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015.

REGISTER YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE.

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Top 5 Sources of Cloud Data Loss #CloudWF

Guest Blog with eFolder

“But it’s in the cloud, isn’t it backed up already?”

Author: Trace Ronning, Content Marketing Manager, eFolder

In 2015, businesses have continued their rapid adoption of cloud/SaaS applications with no signs of slowing down. A study completed by the Aberdeen Group concluded that 80% of businesses use at least one cloud application. Usage has also increased. In 2014, 51% of IT workloads took place in the cloud, marking it the first year that the cloud owned a majority of IT workloads according to Silicon Angle.

The advantages of the cloud are clear, with most companies experiencing greater employee productivity, mobility, and improved collaboration as a result of adopting cloud applications.

There is, however, one major issue that the cloud has not eliminated for organizations: data loss. While the inherent securities of SaaS services, such as Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce, and Box are minimizing outages and random data loss, human error is still the primary source of lost data. In 2013, 32% of companies using cloud services reported losing cloud data, an overwhelming majority of which came as a direct result of human intervention.

How exactly are businesses losing this cloud data, and how can they prevent it from happening again? Let’s take a dive into the top five sources of cloud data loss and find out.

1. User Error

We know that humans are not perfect. Checking in as the top reason for cloud data loss is user error, which accounts for 64% of all cloud data loss. The two primary examples of user error include accidental deletion or accidentally overwriting a file. We all make mistakes now and again, so it is ill-advised to operate under the assumption that by adopting cloud applications, people will become immune to the human condition and never lose a file again.

2. Hackers

Hackers, defined as outsiders who get into the system with nefarious intent, are responsible for 13% of all cloud data loss. As cloud adoption and usage has grown, so has a hacker’s willingness to attack companies of all sizes, not just giant enterprise businesses, such as Sony or Home Depot. As of now, 50% of data breaches occur at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, with the most common type of attacks consisting of a hacker breaking into an organization’s instance or acquiring administrator credentials. Malicious activity such as this often results in sensitive data being compromised, jeopardizing the customers of the company, as well as its ability to keep its doors open and continue doing business.

3. Closing an account

At 10%, the third most common kind of cloud data loss occurs when a business closes an account. We define this action as a user de-provisioning a user within a cloud application or discontinuing the service. Without deploying a backup service to save former users’ data or a solution that helps migrate data from one application to another, respectively, organizations run the risk of losing data in transition phases.

4. Malicious Delete

Think your business is immune to frustrated employees going rogue? Think again. 7% of all cloud data loss occurs when an employee intentionally deletes files or folders. This type of deletion is often initiated by an unhappy employee or a recently terminated employee who has retained access to organizational cloud applications and data. At all levels of a business there are examples of employees who don’t value company data as much as IT managers or executives do, especially in roles with high-turnover.

5. Third-Party Software

The fifth most common reason for cloud data loss is the unexpected result of using a third-party software on one of your SaaS applications. Occasionally, a data overwrite or deletion will occur when running third-party software. A classic example is a Salesforce administrator running Demand Tools and inaccurately identifying a prospect as a duplicate account and permanently deleting that prospect’s record. Third-party software is generally used to make daily use of the most common business applications easier, but sometimes the side-effects include the loss of important data.

How

You may be reading this blog post and thinking, “But if my data is in the cloud, can’t I just easily recover it if a file is deleted or overwritten? Why should I be concerned with cloud data backup?”

There is a common misconception that data is retained in the cloud forever, but that is simply not the case. Most cloud applications do keep some type of “recycling bin,” but this bin often has a storage limit, automatic purge function, or can be manually cleared.

Automated, off-site backup to a second cloud location is the most reliable way to ensure that the sensitive data you store in the cloud is recovered, regardless of which cloud data disaster hits your organization. By employing a solution that allows for full-text search across multiple cloud applications, direct, point-in-time data restores into the cloud application of choice, and a military-grade off-site backup location, your organization can both protect data, and empower IT admins to better use that data on a daily basis.

Don’t let cloud data loss become the problem you didn’t know you had. Make it the problem you know you that you’ll never have with cloud-to-cloud backup.

eFolder

Bryan Forrimageedit_2_7919550340ester, Senior VP of Sales at eFolder will be speaking on the 25th June at 12.35pm in Theatre D at the Cloud World Forum about the Top 5 Sources of Cloud Data Loss & How to Protect Your Organisation.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

 

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE!

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Exclusive Interview Available with Mark Evans, Head of IT at Rider Levett Bucknall #CloudWF

imageedit_3_4837170161 Rider-Levett-Bucknall

Mark Evans, Head of IT, Rider Levett Bucknall.

Mark Evans is Head of IT at global property and construction practice Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), the largest employee-owned business consultancy in the Construction industry.

The Q&A presents the insight into supporting BYOD, the need for standards in the cloud sector and the impact of working with large data models on the technology choices the firm has to make.

View our exclusive interview with Mark here.

Having worked as an IT Manager in the NHS, a regional manager for Orange Personal Communications and Global Infrastructure Director for a container shipping company, Mark has operated in disparate industries, acquiring a broad overview of what actually works in business, as opposed to what works in a sales pitch.

Recognised as being outspoken on matters related to Cloud and acknowledged as a true, forward-thinking IT Director, Mark is happy to challenge the received wisdom with tenacity and a sense of humour – he doesn’t ‘do’ sales pitches, but offers a pragmatic view of what is really happening in the darkest corners of professional practise in business consultancy.

Don’t Miss… Mark will be speaking at the Cloud World Forum on the 25th June within the Keynote Theatre.

Register your free exhibition pass here.

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The channel must embrace cloud to build for the future #CloudWF

Channel-300x240With cloud acceptance growing, more and more businesses are dipping their toes in the water and trying out cloud based services and applications in a bid to work smarter and lower IT expenditure. But with recent research suggesting that four in ten ICT decision-makers feel their deployment fails to live up to the hype – more needs to be done to ensure cloud migration is a success.

This is where the channel has a vital role to play and can bridge the knowledge gap and help end-users reap the benefits that cloud technology can provide.

With the cloud becoming a mainstream solution for businesses and an integral part of an organisation’s IT strategy, the channel is presented with a huge opportunity. Offering cloud services to the market has the potential to yield high revenues, so it’s vital that the channel takes a realistic approach to adopting cloud within its portfolio, and becomes a trusted advisor to the end user.

We have identified three key reasons why resellers shy away from broadening their offering to encompass cloud for new and existing customers. A common barrier is a simple lack of understanding of the cloud and its benefits. However, if a business is keen to adopt this technology, it is vital that its reseller is able to offer advice and guidance to prevent them looking elsewhere.

Research by Opal back in 2010 found that 40 per cent of resellers admit a sense of ‘fear and confusion’ around cloud computing, with the apprehension to embrace the technology also extending to end users, with 57 per cent reporting uncertainty among their customer bases. This lack of education means they are missing out on huge opportunities for their business. A collaborative approach between the reseller and cloud vendor will help to ensure a seamless knowledge transfer followed by successful partnership and delivery.

The sheer upheaval caused by offering the cloud will see some resellers needing to re-evaluate their own business models and strategies to fulfil the need. Those that are unaccustomed to a service-oriented business model may find that becoming a cloud reseller presents strategic challenges as they rely on out-dated business plans and models that don’t enable this new technology. However, failing to evolve business models could leave resellers behind in the adoption curve, whilst their competitors are getting ahead. Working with an already established partner will help resellers re-evaluate their existing business plans to ensure they can offer cloud solutions to their customers.

Resellers are finding it challenging to provide their customers with quick, scalable cloud solutions due to the fact that moving existing technology services into cloud services can be time consuming, and staff will be focused on working to integrate these within the enterprise. However, this issue can easily be resolved by choosing a trusted cloud provider, and in turn building a successful partnership.

Although resellers will come across barriers when looking at providing their customers with cloud services, these shouldn’t get in the way of progression. In order to enter a successful partnership with a cloud provider, there are some important factors resellers should consider before taking the plunge.

Scalability

Before choosing a prospective partner, resellers need to ensure it has the scalability and technology innovation to provide a simple integration of current IT services into the cloud. Recent research has proved that deploying cloud services from three or more suppliers can damage a company’s business agility. UK businesses state a preference for procuring cloud services from a single supplier for ease of management. It’s important to make sure the chosen provider has the ability to provide one fully encompassed cloud service that can offer everything their customers require.

Brand reputation

Choosing a partner that offers not only a best-of breed private, public and hybrid cloud solution, but also has the ability to provide the reseller with a branded platform will give an extra layer of credibility to the business for not only existing customers, but future ones as well. Resellers are more likely to choose a cloud provider that gives them control over the appearance, as well as support and access to infrastructure of the cloud platform.

Industry experience

It’s vital to ensure the cloud provider has extensive industry experience and knowledge with a proven track record in order to meet the required criteria of scalability and performance. The partner must have the knowledge in order to educate and offer advice to the reseller. If they are able to do so, the reseller can therefore pass this knowledge on to their own customers.

By not offering the cloud, resellers will miss out on vast opportunities and in turn, lose potential revenue as well as new and existing customers. The channel must now embrace the cloud and take advantage of the partnerships available in order to succeed.

Written by Matthew Munson, CTO, Cube52

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE!

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The Cloud World Forum visitor ticket is now officially published! #CloudWF

The Cloud World Forum 2015 visitor ticket is here! Download for the full agenda, speaker line-up, exhibition news, sponsor list and NEW visitor features…

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Download your copy to view the full agenda, speaker line-up, exhibition news, sponsor list and NEW visitor features. Start planning your day at the Cloud World Forum, taking place on the 24th and 25th June 2015 at Olympia Grand, London.

DOWNLOAD YOUR VISITOR TICKET HERE!

 

Co-located with Enterprise Apps World, the Cloud World Forum 2015 theatres respond to the investment areas and trends discussed on 100+ calls with C-Level IT decision makers, operations and development teams, as well as the market’s leading technology pioneers.

The show’s content powers the digital enterprise through best practice in Cloud, IoT, DevOps, Data Analytics, Security and Comms & Collaboration end user case studies, as well as much, much more.

By expanding the show’s content in 2015, we ensure need-to-know information is delivered to meet the demands of the senior IT professionals attracted to our show.

This year there is a particular focus on enterprise application development and mobility, with a dedicated DevOps and Containers theatre, as well as two theatres running throughout the 24th and 25th June within Enterprise Apps World.

The Enterprise Mobility Strategies and Enterprise App Development theatres focus on strengthening organisations’ mobility, application and API strategies, in addition to teaching developers how to achieve that necessary edge in the lucrative and increasingly competitive enterprise market!

See you in June!

The Cloud World Forum Team.

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE EXPO PASS HERE.

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Case Study examples of how present clients have been using nCrypted Cloud #CloudWF

Case Study examples of how present clients have been using nCrypted Cloudtumblr_inline_mo13ox62Ak1qz4rgp-300x225

Companies are struggling with how to maintain control over corporate data particularly on mobile devices when end users are using sync and share providers. So the big question is how can companies manage productivity, have the assurance of security whilst not disrupting employee workflow?

nCrypted cloud is an enterprise secure collaboration application that seamlessly integrates with cloud storage services to allow for secure BYOD, Cloud and mobility practices in the workplace. nCrypted Cloud enables mobile collaborating with file sharing security.

Here are some examples of how we are being used in different sectors of the market:

  • nCrypted Cloud recently helped Logical Outcomes to handle their sensitive data issues with a mobile workforce based in several countries. The company I am referring to are obsessed with security and they often work with personal and confidential data. So they designed a data security policy that ensured proper management of personal and confidential information at every stage, from data collection to analysis to archiving. It wasn’t easy but they had a legal and ethical responsibility to get it right. nCrypted Cloud enabled this company to encrypt private files and share encrypted data in Dropbox. They did this by stating that all projects were to be assigned one of three levels of information security – standard, enhanced and obsessive. At the minimum all projects would have standard level of security. If any personal information was added then this information would then have to be encrypted. Read more.
  • A fortune 100 company has been using nCrypted cloud within the healthcare industry for secure collaboration purposes. This large organisation wanted to be able to share sensitive data outside the organisation with a full audit trail. They also did not have a good way to share files with their external vendors. They were just about to purchase 5000 USB devices for the purposes of collecting medical information securely but replaced this with nCrypted Cloud Infinite Mail which is an extension plug in for Outlook. This reduced their postage costs as well.
  • In the insurance sector, a global insurance company wanted their brokers to transfer large data volumes to clients and also wanted to give employees the ability to send files and data securely especially to developing countries and to clients outside the corporation. One of their biggest problems for the European helpdesk was that their staff were using personal cloud services such as Dropbox to share corporate documents. The staff wanted to be able access files from any device and at any time however there was no audit trail as to where the companies information was. nCrypted Cloud gave them the ability to monitor and control data via corporate policies on access levels and also give the user ability to give the required permissions for whom will see the data, how long for and whether they have download capability or not as well as watermarking.
  • Lastly a university researcher from Browns University was conducting a sensitive piece of research in South Africa but the IT department within the University had strict rules and stated any information that was regulated, restricted, confidential or personally identifiable must be stored on a system owned and managed by the University. Added to this, a lot of the staff in South Africa were not computer literate and only had basic computer skills. The researcher is a Dropbox user and thought Dropbox is simple and easy to use and wouldn’t be too difficult to learn. Added to that, using Dropbox to store data on a device as well as in the cloud, which is important when collecting data in the field where Internet connectivity may be non-existent, and synchronized that data seamlessly with the cloud when an Internet connection was available. Dropbox’s simplicity contrasted with the solution offered by the university’s IT department. The researchers’ project had a number of folders and files which included large video, audio and word files, with their main concern for all involved was how to keep the data secure on the device in case they got stolen!  nCrypted Cloud was the solution because it encrypts data at rest and in transit, preserves the ease-of-use of DropBox and gives  project managers and network administrators, control over users and shared files. The data is also encrypted at the endpoints in a system, where an nCrypted Cloud client application resides. When a file needs to be used at an endpoint, the client decrypts the data for application use. So not only is the data encrypted but should a device be lost, access to data on that device can be removed. Read more.

nCrypted Cloud has a patented key management system which is deployed to protect data encrypted by nCrypted Cloud. For example, keys for unlocking an organisations data aren’t stored on nCrypted Cloud’s servers where they could be obtained by a third-party. The corporate private keys remain with the organisation and only the organisation public keys remain with nCrypted Cloud. For more information click here.

nCrypted Cloud

nCrypted Cloud is exhibiting at the Cloud World Forum, taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015 at Olympia Grand in London.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE!

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ISO 27018 and protecting personal information in the cloud: a first year scorecard #CloudWF

ISO 27018 has been around for a year – but is it effective?

Source: Business Cloud NewsData-protection

A year after it was published,  – the first international standard focusing on the protection of personal data in the public cloud – continues, unobtrusively and out of the spotlight, to move centre stage as the battle for cloud pre-eminence heats up.

At the highest level, this is a competitive field for those with the longest investment horizons and the deepest pockets – think million square foot data centres with 100,000+ servers using enough energy to power a city.  According to research firm Synergy, the cloud infrastructure services market – Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), Platform as a Services (PaaS) and private and hybrid cloud – was worth $16bn in 2014, up 50 per cent on 2013, and is predicted to grow 30 per cent to over $21bn in 2015. Synergy estimated that the four largest players accounted for 50 per cent of this market, with Amazon at 28 per cent, Microsoft at 11 per cent, IBM at 7 per cent and Google at 5 per cent.  Of these, Microsoft’s 2014 revenues almost doubled over 2013, whilst Amazon’s and IBM’s were each up by around half.

Significantly, the proportion of computing sourced from the cloud compared to on-premise is set to rise steeply: enterprise applications in the cloud accounted for one fifth of the total in 2014 and this is predicted to increase to one third by 2018.

This growth represents a huge increase year on year in the amount of personal data (PII or personally identifiable information) going into the cloud and the number of cloud customers contracting for the various and growing types of cloud services on offer. but as the cloud continues to grow at these startling rates, the biggest inhibitor to cloud services growth – trust about security of personal data in the cloud – continues to hog the headlines.

Under data protection law, the Cloud Service Customer (CSC) retains responsibility for ensuring that its PII processing complies with the applicable rules.  In the language of the EU Data Protection Directive, the CSC is the data controller.  In the language of ISO 27018, the CSC is either a PII principal (processing her own data) or a PII controller (processing other PII principals’ data).

Where a CSC contracts with a Cloud Service Provider (CSP), Article 17 the EU Data Protection Directive sets out how the relationship is to be governed. The CSC must have a written agreement with the CSP; must select a CSP providing ‘sufficient guarantees’ over the technical security measures and organizational measures governing PII in the Cloud service concerned; must ensure compliance with those measures; and must ensure that the CSP acts only on the CSC’s instructions.

As the pace of migration to the cloud quickens, the world of data protection law continues both to be fragmented – 100 countries have their own laws – and to move at a pace driven by the need to mediate all competing interests rather than the pace of market developments.

In this world of burgeoning cloud uptake, ISO 27018 is proving effective at bridging the gap between the dizzying pace of Cloud market development and the slow and uncertain rate of legislative change by providing CSCs with a workable degree of assurance in meeting their data protection law responsibilities.  Almost a year on from publication of the standard, Microsoft has become the first major CSP (in February 2015) to achieve ISO 27018 certification for its Microsoft Azure (IaaS/PaaS), Office 365 (PaaS/Saas) and Dynamics CRM Online (SaaS) services (verified by BSI, the British Standards Institution) and its Microsoft Intune SaaS services (verified by Bureau Veritas).

In the context of privacy and cloud services, ISO 27018 builds on other information security standards within the IS 27000 family. This layered, interlocking approach is proving supple enough in practice to deal with the increasingly wide array of cloud services. For example, it is not tied to any particular kind of cloud service and, as Microsoft’s certifications show, applies to IaaS (Azure), PaaS (Azure and Office 365) and SaaS (Office 365 and Intune). If, as shown in the graphic below, you consider computing services as a stack of layered elements ranging from networking (at the bottom of the stack) up through equipment and software to data (at the top), and that each of these elements can be carried out on premise or from the cloud (from left to right), then ISO 27018 is flexible enough to cater for all situations across the continuum.

Cloud-licenses-1024x528Indeed, the standard specifically states at Paragraph 5.1.1:

“Contractual agreements should clearly allocate responsibilities between the public cloud PII processor [i.e. the CSP], its sub-contractors and the cloud service customer, taking into account the type of cloud service in question (e.g. a service of an IaaS, PaaS or SaaS category of the cloud computing reference architecture).  For example, the allocation of responsibility for application layer controls may differ depending on whether the public cloud PII processor is providing a SaaS service or rather is providing a PaaS or IaaS service upon which the cloud service customer can build or layer its own applications.”

Equally, CSPs will generally not know whether their CSCs are sending PII to the cloud and, even if they do, they are unlikely to know whether or not particular data is PII. Here, another strength of ISO 27018 is that it applies regardless of whether particular data is, or is not, PII: certification simply assures the CSC that the service the CSP is providing is suitable for processing PII in relation to the performance by the CSP of its PII legal obligations.

Perhaps the biggest practical boon to the CSC however is the contractual certainty that ISO 27018 certification provides.  As more work migrates to the cloud, particularly in the enterprise space, the IT procurement functions of large customers will be following structured processes in order to meet the requirements of their business and, in certain cases, their regulators. In their requests for information, proposals and quotations from prospective CSPs, CSCs now have a range of interlocking standards including ISO 27018 to choose from in their statements of requirements for a particular Cloud procurement.  As well as short-circuiting the need for CSCs to spend time in writing up detailed specifications of their own requirements, verified compliance with these standards for the first time provides meaningful assurance and protection from risk around most aspects of cloud service provision. Organisations running competitive tenders can benchmark bidding CSPs against each other on their responses to these requirements, and then include as binding commitments the obligations to meet the requirements of the standards concerned in the contract when it is let.

In the cloud contract lifecycle, the flexibility provided by ISO 27018 certification, along with the contract and the CSP’s policy statements, goes beyond this to provide the CSC with a framework to discuss with the CSP on an ongoing basis the cloud PII measures taken and their adequacy.

In its first year, it is emerging that complying, and being seen to comply, with ISO 27018 is providing genuine assurance for CSCs in managing their data protection legal obligations.  This reassurance operates across the continuum of cloud services and through the procurement and contract lifecycle, regardless of whether or not any particular data is PII.  In customarily unobtrusive style, ISO 27018 is likely to go on being a ‘win’ for the standards world, cloud providers and their customers, and data protection regulators and policy makers around the world.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Visit the Cloud World Forum taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015 at Olympia Grand in London.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

Register you free exhibition pass here.

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