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Neal Watkins | 19 Jun 2012 | 0 comments

Just what lengths will hackers go to? Multi-stage attacks based on a foundation of social engineering. At the beginning of this month, a hacker finally achieved his goal: to change the password on a customer account hosted by Web acceleration company CloudFlare, and change the customer's DNS records (LINK: http://blog.cloudflare.com/post-mortem-todays-atta...). 
 
The compromise was made possible through a separate hack, of the company CEO's personal Gmail account. This was achieved by compromising his mobile phone account, itself made possible by calling the AT&T support desk and impersonating the CEO, offering his social security number as proof of identity.
 
Armed with this information, the hacker was able to access the CEO's corporate Gmail account, and the rest is...

Marie Pettersson | 15 Jun 2012 | 1 comment

A few weeks ago I hosted a banking sector CIO Roundtable on the topic of mobile technologies and their impact, both inside the enterprise and in how banks engage with their customers. Of particular interest was the whole area of mobile payments - not least because there still appears to be so much to play for in this still-developing area. We've seen some fantastic success stories in both developed countries and developing nations, where mobile payments are fast be coming the 'de facto' mechanism for currency transfers (but not necessarily with a bank behind it). In western economies, the opportunity for banks is to provide better services than the competition, increasing customer satisfaction and encouraging upgrades to enhanced facilities. 

Mobile banking is not without its challenges, however. It is easy to think that smartphones are where the action is, yet many banking customers still have simpler phones with SMS alone. Equally however, the mobile...

Sarah Whipp | 13 Jun 2012 | 0 comments

In my first blog I talked about the importance of having good data that is coherent across teams and departments. While it’s inevitable that groups will choose reporting periods that show them in the best possible light, senior execs need a single view of the truth.

But what about planning? It is easy to create forward projections that are more optimistic than realistic, particularly in the current financial climate. While can be difficult to predict buying behaviours with any certainty, however, it should be more straightforward to present sensible worst-case scenarios. But is it?

A long time ago, when I was an idealistic young marketing exec, I prepared a detailed business plan for one if my managers. He looked it through and threw it back at me. “That's no good,” he said, “I need a better worst case scenario.” In other words, one which wasn’t quite as bad. At the time I thought that was the craziest expression I'd ever...

John_Brigden | 12 Jun 2012 | 0 comments

This blog is the first in a regular series of posts that spotlight how you can manage the kaleidoscope of change taking place right now in your organisation.

No matter who I talk with at the moment, be it customers, analysts or press, the message is the same: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is the hot topic. Challenges abound and people’s angst is rapidly moving beyond simply the device to the business: companies can only allow business to take place on the device if it is secure. According to the Symantec 2012 State of Mobility Survey of more than 6,000 businesses worldwide, most organisations are now commonly making line-of-business applications...

Peter_E | 04 Jun 2012 | 0 comments

Data is one of our most critical assets, and we’ve all got too much invested in it to lose it. I'd say the same thing to an elderly relative about keeping valuable photos in a biscuit tin, as I would to a large corporation with a broken backup strategy and years of backup data. And, the chances are, I would get much the same response - a combination of agreement and an embarrassed shrug, suggesting the problem is clearly important, but that the same old approach works well enough for now. 

Where corporate backups are concerned, it's not as if people haven't tried to make change. Backup strategies have been around since someone first suggested putting punched cards in a fireproof safe. And these strategies have evolved as well, but a number of very real issues, not least of which include complexity and data growth now demand a new approach. 

Every few years an organization will make it a priority to update backup systems, storage and...

Sarah Whipp | 01 Jun 2012 | 0 comments

When will we in the vendor community learn? Forrester just released a piece of research saying that Tech Channels Have a Long Way To Go Toward Adding Marketing Value http://community.forrester.com/thread/8287. It brought me back to the last millennium when I just transferred to the dark side – a vendor marketing role. I had a conversation with a senior representative of a very large manufacturer who took the opportunity to tell me where I had gone wrong all those years in partner land “your problem” he happily told me “ was that you never focused on what I wanted you to”, I smiled back and said “no, I focused on what my company needed me to.” This to me at the time was the crux of the issue with the way vendors treated partners, not understanding that the partner is there to grow his or her own business, ideally but not exclusively growing the vendors overall...

D Thomson | 31 May 2012 | 0 comments

Some of the reticence around using “the Cloud” seems to have come from the question of whether it can be trusted – particularly when it comes to managing corporate data. Cloud has its risks, just like any architecture or approach, which need to be weighed up against the risks of running things in-house. 

I think there is a bigger question however, which goes beyond mere risk. Cloud computing came into existence as part of a natural progression in how we use technology resources. But this goes far wider than merely cloud. Two additional factors illustrate the broader landscape, namely how we are becoming more mobile, and how people are increasingly making their own technology decisions. 

This is not the moment to delve into these parallel trends, respectively nicknamed mobility and consumerisation. The point is that they are inextricably linked, and internet-based technology service delivery – aka cloud computing – is another...

Brad | 17 May 2012 | 0 comments

I don’t need to repeat what my esteemed colleagues have already been sayingabout the mobility-related announcements we made at Symantec Vision this year. However, it is worth picking up on some of the context – not least about how organizations are dealing with the challenges.

Earlier this year we released the results of a global survey into enterprise mobility. From the 6000-plus responses, most findings corroborated what we have been hearing from our own customers. Notably that mobile technologies do make it easier, more efficient and effective, to do business – even though they create new challenges which need to be addressed.

Indeed, 41% of respondents placed mobile computing at the top of the pile of technology-...

Sarah Whipp | 17 May 2012 | 0 comments

We’re hearing a great deal about 'information' in the media at the moment. According to both analysts and the word on the street, businesses have greater access to a broader set of information than ever they did in the past. As one of the main areas of impact, we are told, is in marketing and advertising (LINK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17764117), I'm clearly going to be interested.

Information is the foundation of marketing and business as a whole. And unless you analyse it correctly, any decision you make is based on hope, luck and gut feeling alone.  This has always been true, but as the amount of unstructured information grows, the challenge for companies is ensuring that their departments and teams use a common data set for critical business decisions.

Information growth and real time access is a blessing to companies to make them more agile and better...

Jon C | 16 May 2012 | 0 comments

Earlier this month, the European Commission's Digital Agenda lead Neelie Kroes launched a consultation - a.k.a. an online research study - into the Internet of Things (IoT) and its ramifications. Given that the EC has been talking about "identifiable smart objects", i.e. "things" for several years now, the obvious question is, what has prompted another consultation on the subject?

Two reasons spring to mind - the first, as Neelie herself says, "An Internet of Things with intelligence embedded into everyday objects is the next big thing." As we all know, when technologies reach the mainstream, we need to rethink what risks they pose and what can be done about them. And as IoT becomes more front of mind, such consultations are likely to get a better (and more comprehensive) response.

The second...