Monthly Archives: October 2015

We treat your data like it’s our data

Talk is cheap, so the saying goes. You hear lots of talk about security when it comes to IT management. So, is talk cheap when it comes to IT? Never! All it takes is one security breach—such as having data stolen or otherwise compromised—for a business to realize long-term or even permanent damage to the bottom line. And there’s nothing cheap about that! Here are a few examples:

•    Target Stores: The result of this data breach was 110 million stolen records. Compromised personal information included 40 million credit card numbers and 70 million records, such as name, physical address, email address, and phone number. Target says the breach cost them $148 million, and the cost to financial institutions was $200 million.
•    JPMorgan Chase: The largest U.S. bank experienced a breach that affected 83 million households and small businesses. User contact information was compromised, including names, phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses. As a result, new digital security initiatives will cost the bank $250 million annually. Estimated damage costs from the breach vary, but some put it at more than $1 billion.
•    eBay: Hackers stole email addresses, physical addresses, and login credentials from as many as 145 million users. The company strongly advised all of its buyers and sellers to reset their passwords. Fines and lawsuits are estimated at $200 million.

Even so-called minor data breaches (but it’s not minor if it’s your data that’s been compromised!) can be costly. Today, the total average cost of a data breach is $3.8 million, as reported by Reuters. That’s about $150 per record lost or stolen.

The truth is, it may be impossible to prevent every data breach. That’s why it’s critical that all data is backed up all the time. But there is more to safeguarding your data than just backing it up. For example, how security-minded is the company that backs up your data to the cloud?

Mozy by EMC encrypts your data before it ever leaves your machine, during the transfer process across the wire, and while at rest in our data centers. EMC’s data centers employ state-of-the-art physical and technical security practices. Additionally, Mozy has successfully completed a SOC 1 SSAE 16 Type 2 audit and received ISO 27001 certification. In fact, the Information Security Management System supporting Mozy’s offerings and products, as well as supporting resources, including global data center operations, infrastructure, and application development were recently recertified as to conforming to ISO 27001 requirements.

These independent verifications certify that Mozy’s processes and procedures meet or exceed the strictest control objectives in the industry. By voluntarily submitting to the SSAE 16 audit and obtaining ISO 27001 certification, Mozy demonstrates its commitment to its client information and its preparation to face ongoing threats to digital information.

We treat your data like it’s our data, and one of the ways we do that is by choosing to be audited and certified. It’s a measureable way to demonstrate the security, reliability, and availability of the Mozy service and our commitment to safeguarding your data.

Change is the one thing you can count on—and that’s a good thing

How many times have you heard the expression, “The only thing that is constant is change”? No matter which direction you see yourself going, you can expect change. The expectation of change is deeply rooted in us; you might even say our DNA knows that change is a constant. Change is a-coming. You can count on it.

Change, even if it’s expected, requires adjustment. And even good changes—changes that you want and have waited for—require adjustments. I remember when our first child was born. Actually, I remember months before the actual delivery. There were lots of changes, especially with my wife. As the baby grew in utero, my wife experienced a few cravings. Nothing unusual like pickles or spicy food, but I distinctly remember some pretty persistent requests for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

There were changes to that extra bedroom, too. Before our son was born, I painted the walls yellow, applied a banner along the top of the walls, assembled a crib, and hung up a couple of mobiles.

When our son was finally born, there were more changes. Like diaper changing. I didn’t have a lot of experience with this kind of change, but I was quick to adapt. Talk about change being constant. It seemed like I was always changing diapers. But I caught on quickly. I learned that the faster I changed the diaper, the faster I avoided a number of unpleasantries, like lingering malodors and the ever-present danger of getting peed on, which seemed to be an ongoing threat no matter how soaked the diaper already was. But a fresh diaper didn’t mean the end of change. How often did I get A&D ointment stains all over my pants? Great, then I had to change.

When our son went through the terrible twos, which really weren’t so terrible, the change in temperament required more patience and understanding. Before we knew it, he was a teenager. Lots more changes to son and parents during that phase. Then there was college and marriage. Lots of happiness to be sure. And lots of changes. But as I look back, the really easy and fun changes combined with the really difficult changes made all of us better. We improved and became wiser and less uptight and even less apprehensive of those future, unknown changes. That’s good, because you can count on change to find you even if you’re not looking for it. So embrace it and make the most of it!

With all this talk of change, I’ve worked up a craving for ice cream. Specifically, Ben & Jerry’s Rain Forest Crunch. That used to be one of my favorites. Used to be. But alas, it’s no longer available. In fact, it was retired to the Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard. Now that’s a change I can live without.

The Limited Lifespan of Technology

What do cars and technology have in common? Both lose value the moment you purchase them.

For cars, this isn’t much of an issue since they will usually continue to run just fine for several years. Unlike smartphones, computers, and other tech, they don’t need upgrades. The average age of a passenger car/light vehicle in the U.S. is over 11 years, according to IHS.com. They even get special “historic” license plates in most states after 20 years! Personal technology, though, rarely offers a fully functional lifespan for more than a couple of years.

OS upgrades leave many existing devices behind
Technology you use in your home and at work isn’t as durable as cars. There are three main reasons why personal tech doesn’t do so well in the longevity game.

1.  It breaks easily, particularly mobile technology like tablets and smartphones.
2.  Major operating system (OS) upgrades are often too advanced for existing
     hardware.
3.  Consumers are used to wireless technology, which makes infrequent, but
     dramatic, upgrades.

Are consumers fighting constant upgrades?
Some consumers who have managed to keep their mobile devices longer than manufacturers expect (meaning they haven’t broken them) are voluntarily holding on to them for longer periods than before, Gallup reports. More than half of surveyed consumers told a Gallup poll in April and May 2015 that they hold on to their phones only until they stop working or become obsolete. So, when is a device obsolete?

Most consumers don’t seem to be bothered by an OS upgrade for at least several months. This might explain why 44% told Gallup they stay with contracts to get a phone upgrade every two years. By then, they are ready for something new. Mobile devices are further burdened by network upgrades. Have you tried to operate a 3G device in an area with the “lightening speed” of 4G? Networks don’t serve older devices well, and few have space for upgrades.

Computers operate past their OS support lives
Like cars, desktops and laptops operate even when they’re technically obsolete. There’s a bit of relief in that apps and developers are far more focused on the mobile world. In addition, many computers come with the capacity for upgrades, something few mobile devices offer. Still, while most OS systems may function for years, they lose official support long before they stop working. Microsoft ended support for Windows XP after a 10-year run; support for Vista will end in 2017, also after 10 years. Apple phases out support for its older OS releases even more quickly.

Not surprisingly, Microsoft and Apple both offered limited free upgrades to their latest OS for customers who had more recent versions. There’s nothing like an upgrade to make you aware of all the new software out there you hadn’t considered because…you had an older OS that couldn’t run them.

Consumers are intrigued by new tech approaches
While new apps and other toys are fun, the fact is that many consumers don’t want to learn how to use a replacement device every year, according to Accenture. In the spirit of the Internet of Things, consumers are more interested in buying new approaches to technology.

•   In January 2015, 12% of consumers told Accenture they plan to buy a wearable fitness monitor in the next year
•   40% said they plan to make this purchase in the next five years
•   Over the next five years, consumers plan to buy smart surveillance systems (41%), smart thermostats (39%), and 3D printers
    (35%).

Sure, it’s a lot of fun to have the latest car or the latest technology, but if you decide to wait a little longer before your next purchase, don’t worry; there is always something new and exciting to look forward to no matter when you decide to replace that “old” technology!

(1) http://press.ihs.com/press-release/automotive/average-age-light-vehicles-us-rises-slightly-2015-115-years-ihs-reports
(2) http://www.gallup.com/poll/184043/americans-split-often-upgrade-smartphones.aspx?
(3) https://newsroom.accenture.com/industries/electronics-high-tech/most-consumers-encounter-challenges-using-new-types-of-high-tech-devices-accenture-survey-finds.htm

Trailers are good, but not for backing up your data

What would you do if you were registered for college and ready for the new school year when, at the last minute, the new apartment complex you signed up with notified you that the apartment would not be ready for you to move in? Here are some options:
•    Quickly find a new place to rent
•    Unregister for college
•    Try to register for another college closer to home
•    Tell your mom and dad that you’re going to live at home after all

Two creative college freshmen who were notified that their new apartment would not be ready for the new school year decided to share an Airstream trailer. It’s a small trailer, so they stuff things wherever they can, including the oven. Not to cook, mind you, but to take advantage of the limited amount of storage space.

That’s a creative solution to a last-minute problem.

You can usually get creative when a problem arises. But sometimes a last-minute problem is a BIG enough problem that no amount of creativity can solve. Like losing your data because you didn’t think backup was important. Sure, you were planning on looking into a backup solution but just never got around to it.

There are a few things in life that you can count on, taxes being one of them. The other is losing your data. At some point a hard drive is going to fail, or someone is going to accidentally delete a file, folder, or directory. Hardware fails. Accidents happen. And who can predict the next disaster? Although there is not much you can do about paying taxes—and we do we recommend that you pay them—there is something you can do about protecting your data.

So, what can you do to safeguard your important files? Back them up! It’s easy and inexpensive, and peace of mind is priceless when you know that should a disaster occur, your data is safe. But there is more to backing up than simply backing up. For example, is your data easily restorable should you lose it? How quickly can it be recovered? Remember, the data you lose today might be needed immediately in order to continue doing business. Ask yourself these questions:

•    Am I backing up my data and, if so, how often am I backing it up?
•    If I lose business-critical data, will I be able to restore it?
•    If I lose an important file, how quickly can I recover it?

These are just some of the questions surrounding backing up data.

One way to protect your data is to back it up to the cloud. Backing up your data to the cloud is a simple, economical way to ensure that your data is protected today and available tomorrow. And there will always be enough space in the cloud to store all of your data without ever needing to stuff anything into the oven.

Mozy by EMC backs up data automatically, restores lost data quickly, and data is accessible and recoverable in a variety of ways. And unlike a trailer, you have an infinite amount of storage space. For more information about the benefits of cloud backup, visit mozy.com.

Yikes! Mozy announces Frightful Computer Haiku Contest v5.0

It’s ba-ack! That’s right, Mozy’s annual “Frightful Computer Haiku Contest” awaits you!

Maybe the recent super blood moon eclipse has inspired you to write haiku. Maybe the fact that Halloween is a few weeks away has got you thinking about ghosts, goblins, and ghouls. Or maybe you remember last year’s Frightful Computer Haiku Contest and you’re screaming for an opportunity to show off your haiku skills. Whatever is motivating you, we’re ready to receive your scary computer haikus for this year’s contest. The rules are frightfully simple:

•   Your haiku must be original. In other words, plagiarizing a haiku will get you disqualified faster than a Sasquatch in Skechers.
•   Your haiku must be awesome. Think chupacabra with extra chupa.
•   One haiku per person. That’s 1 and only 1 and not to exceed 1.
•   Submit your haiku by October 31, 11:59 p.m. MDT in the     Comments section below. The winners will be announced on     Friday, November 6.

If you haven’t written a haiku since grammar school, there is nothing to be afraid of. Here are some haiku pointers: Haikus are composed of three lines. Line one is five syllables, line two is seven syllables, and line three is five syllables. Haikus that don’t meet this criteria will be disqualified, dismembered, and otherwise put to rest, so make sure your haiku has the right arrangement of syllables. Need an example? Here is one of our winners from last year:

Lightning flashes down.
Hard drive’s dead, but Mozy screams:
Alive! It’s aliiiive!

Did someone say prizes? Yes, there will be prizes! A $50 gift card will be awarded to each of three individuals with the most chilling, creative, or otherwise creepy computer haikus.

That’s it! Pretty scary! Pretty good! So send us your haiku before it’s too late!

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