Information Technology

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Ensuring security is of utmost importance, for some people

Most businesses have spent a lot of time and money ensuring there are no security gaps, so all company and client information has been kept completely secure. This is especially important as technology progresses and companies start focusing more on cloud computing and storage. Unfortunately, there are some developers who may not agree with you, including KeePass2 Developer Dominik Reichl.

Irony in broken security software

When a flaw was found in the KeyPass2 system, Reichl refused to fix is stating that it would cost too much in "indirect costs.” According to Engadget, this basically means that there would be lost ad revenue if the patch was put in place, and that is something the app company is not willing to lose right now. KeyPass2 is a password management app that allows you to store all your passwords in one secure location.

Though your passwords are likely still safe in the program, the bigger problem is that the gap allows cyber attackers to deliver malware to your computer potentially causing bigger problems than a few lost passwords might cause. And now that it is public knowledge that KeyPass2 has a flaw that won’t be getting fixed, it is even more likely that hackers will take the time to specifically target the application.

It is fairly ironic that a company focused specifically on providing more security to passwords would allow for any kind of flaw in the system. To be fair, KeyPass2 is a free program available to users, so it makes sense that Reichl wouldn’t want to limit the only current way the program earns money. He did mention that a fix would be put in place as soon as it were possible giving hope that the developer is looking for ways to maintain ad revenue without sacrificing the security of current and future customers.

What you should do

If you currently are using KeyPass2, it is a good idea to switch to another password managing program for now until updates have been made to the current system. Though it may be understandable that Reichl needs to make some money off his program, you can’t risk losing personal or business data due to the gap in security through the program. Those who aren’t already using the password management system should look elsewhere to find something a little more secure.

On top of that, you need to make sure to work exclusively with businesses you trust to protect your data over everything else. It may cost more money if you have to pay for secure programs, but it is better to spend a little money and ensure the best cybersecurity than it is to try and go free and lose private data.

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Source: engadget.com/2016/06/04/keepass-wont-fix-security-hole-due-to-ads/

Using the cloud as a lawyer

The cloud is one of our greatest resources for businesses. It makes for better security and accessibility. Especially with cloud computing, we’ve seen much higher capabilities for businesses to manage programs and functions within the cloud and from anywhere rather than just connecting to a specific server. But there are some industries that aren’t sure how to safely use the cloud, especially when there are legal consequences if they aren’t using it properly. One of these industries is the law industry where protecting your client information can be the difference between winning and losing a case and keeping or losing your license. Given that the cloud is so useful for managing a business, how can lawyers really use the cloud safely? Here are some things to keep in mind.

State-wide ethics

Every state has their own ethics board that determines what is and is not permitted for lawyers. There haven’t been any states to come out and say no to using the cloud, according to Above The Law, but there have been quite a few states that have said it is ethical and appropriate to use the cloud in running a law firm. Some of these states include Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maryland, and many more. These states have also asked that Lawyers are extremely careful in using “reasonable care” to protect information used in the cloud.

Ensure confidentiality

One of the recommended things to do when using the cloud in a law setting is to ensure that there is confidentiality and security to protect all client information. One of the ways to do this is to pick a managed IT service company to work with you. They usually have a good idea of how to set up security and encryptions to ensure the most secure network of information. In fact, it is often more secure than trying to keep all that information on an on-site server.

Client communication

Though it isn’t always necessary to go over your procedures for storing information on the cloud with your clients, there are instances where you may want to discuss it with them. Most companies aren’t going to spend time telling their clients exactly how they store all client information and how they protect it, but if you have clients that are concerned about it or extra sensitive information they might not want being stored at all, it would make sense to let them know. In any case, it never hurts for your clients to know your security procedures, especially if they are coming to you with documents that need to be closely protected.

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Source: abovethelaw .com/2016/02/can-lawyers-use-the-cloud-should-lawyers-use-the-cloud/?rf=1

Top five project management predictions for 2016

Most people see project management as a pretty static field. In the business world, project management will always play an important role, nothing is changing there. However, there are always some changes and movements happening. Here are five project management trends to watch for in 2016.

Emergence of CPOs

In the last few decades we’ve seen the emergence of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) position, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position, and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) position. Well expect the next big C-level position to emerge in 2016. That position will be Chief Project Officer (or CPO). Project management is going to continue to be an important part of the business world and businesses will recognize this.

Decrease in PMOs

Too many project management offices (PMOs) are failing to serve organizations well. Often this is the result of a lack of strong leadership at the top of the PMO. Too often, the PMO leader gets caught up in managing projects and fails to manage the PMO itself. Expect a shift away from centralized project management and a decline in PMOs as businesses turn to CPOs and a decentralized project management infrastructure.

Shift away from PM certification

In 2016, organizations are going to place less emphasis on PM certification. They might include on a job posting that PM certification is “preferred” or “nice to have” but even that is going to become less common and requiring PM certification will be even less common than that. Even now, organizations that are listing PM certification as “preferred” on job postings aren’t really discussing certification when it comes to the proceedings leading up to engagements. Instead businesses are more interested in finding experienced project managers regardless of certification.

Decentralized project management

Though this prediction might seem to contradict the emergence of the CPO prediction, it actually doesn’t. The CPO position will emerge in the PM community but you’ll also see an increase in the use of project managers and consultants.

Increased reliance on remote project management

This is a trend everyone should see coming. As project management tools are constantly improved upon, it’s getting easier and easier to create a virtual team and manage a project remotely. Gone are the days that project management teams need to be gathered around the same table. Professional service organizations are already moving towards more geographically dispersed teams. In 2016, many project managers and project management teams will never meet each other but will successfully collaborate on important projects.

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Source: cio .com/article/3012273/project-management/top-5-predictions-for-project-management-in-2016.html

2016: The year of the managed service provider

Recently, we’ve seen an upward trend in the utilization of managed service providers (MSPs) by small and medium-sized businesses. Until recently, most businesses just used MSPs to handle technical or equipment issues but now we’re seeing businesses using managed service providers to handle a variety of IT needs. Experts in Information Technology believe that 2016 will be the year of the managed service provider as MSPs become even more popular. Here are three predictions you can expect to see in the world of information technology in the coming year.

1. Managed Service Providers will become even more popular with small to midsized businesses

For small to midsized businesses that don’t have the necessary staff, tools, or resources, it will be crucial to outsource IT support to an MSP. Because technology changes at an increased rate every year, many businesses simply can’t keep up with complicated office technology so you can expect to see even more businesses making the switch to managed IT services in 2016. MSPs can assist businesses in understanding an implementing new technologies as well as helping them understand regulatory rules and be in compliance with them. They have the expertise and experience that small and midsized businesses need.

2. Compliance overlay of management will be even more important

Whether it’s HIPAA, PCI DDS, or some other federal regulation, the rules are constantly being updated. It can be difficult for smaller businesses to stay on top of all of these changes and keep their employees trained with the latest rules. In short, it’s hard for businesses to remain compliant. Approximately 57% of businesses report that they struggle to efficiently respond to regulatory changes and poor communication from the government is to blame. Because of this increasing complexity of federal regulations, expect to see more small and midsized businesses investing in an MSP to assist them in staying compliant.

3. Management of private and public clouds will separate

As the colocation market becomes commoditized, public cloud providers are trying to diversify the services they’re offering by splitting up the management of private and public clouds. Colocation businesses are training their engineers to be certified for public clouds and many are adding their own managed services. In other words, colocation businesses are transitioning to become a hybrid (public and private) managed service provider that offers small and midsized businesses various services within their data centers.

All in all, 2016 is set to be a big year for the managed IT services market.

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Source: itproportal.com/2015/12/09/2016-predictions-year-of-managed-service-providers/