Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Welcome to the brave new world of hybrid IT

Not so long ago, I came across a press release from Gartner, the analyst firm, which quoted one of its vice presidents saying:

“IT organizations that do not match the request for IT as a service run the risk of internal customers bypassing the IT organization and consuming IT services from the external cloud, thereby placing the company at greater risk.”

It turns out that the analysts at Gartner see a world of hybrid IT architectures. Their view is that IT organizations are becoming brokers of IT services, some of which are hosted internally, some of which reside in externally hosted Clouds.

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Cloud Computing’s payoffs — Part 2, or why Cloud Computing is inevitable

It’s pretty clear that mobility will be a major factor in why organizations of all sizes turn to Cloud Computing. The numbers speak for themselves:

More than 2.5 billion users will connect to the Internet over the next several years via more than 10 billion devices. By 2015, this demand will require 8 times the storage capacity of 2010 as well as 16 times the network capacity and upwards of 20 times the compute capacity.

So here’s how it’ll go…

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Cloud Computing’s payoffs — Part 1

Graph showing the payoff from Cloud Computing

For years, traditional siloed IT has been so rigid that even cast-in-concrete, one-size fits-all cloud services offer important improvements. This IBM study from last year shows where those improvements are: In flexibility, scalability, and efficiency — as well as reducing costs and providing the ability to ensure business continuity in the face of unanticipated disruption.

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What makes Cloud Computing different?

The siloed nature of traditional data center architectures has produced “you-can’t-get-there-from-here” IT environments. Too often applications, data, and storage devices don’t interact, resources are wasted (e.g., one workload per server), and complex management hassles often lead to risky administrative lapses that result in security vulnerabilities.

The result: IT infrastructures that are too unwieldy, too expensive, and too slow at a time when agility and responsiveness are essential for success.

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Cloud Computing, beginning with what it is and why

Whiteboard explanation of cloud services set against a blue sky.

We’re seeing more and more interest in Cloud Computing of late — and some lingering confusion about both what it is and what Cloud options a small-to-midsize business really has these days.

So buckle your seatbelts. I’m going to discuss Cloud, and in the process, I’ll lay out what I see as the benefits of Cloud Computing — especially when it’s done right. (And yes, I’ll get to that, too, so keep dropping by…)

OK, so in the beginning there was Cloud Computing. Last year, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was kind enough to offer up a definition, which has since become something of a standard:

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What DLP can do: Identifying sensitive data

Keyboard with the word sensitive where the enter key normally is.

The first part of a data loss prevention (DLP) implementation involves inventory. Of your data, that is — because, quite simply, you can’t protect it if you don’t know it’s there.

So the first thing DLP does is discover where your sensitive data resides. The right DLP capability can sift through file servers, databases, documents, email, and Web content to discover sensitive data wherever it resides and tag it so it can be tracked wherever it goes.

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Data loss prevention’s 3 fronts

a closeup of an eye with scanner lines on the picture.

As I described last time, data loss prevention (DLP) technology discovers and identifies sensitive data in order to monitor, control, and secure it. This occurs on three fronts:

  • On the network (data in motion). These types of DLP solutions are installed at network egress points and analyze network traffic to detect transmission of sensitive data that violates corporate security policy.
  • In storage environments (data at rest), where the DLP solution discovers the presence of sensitive data in the wrong places, notably unsecured locations (e.g., open file shares).
  • At endpoints like desktops, notebooks, or other end-user systems (data in use). Endpoint DLP can control the movement of sensitive data between users and the transmission and storage of email and instant messages. They can also monitor and control access to physical devices, such as mobile device data stores, and provide application controls that will block attempted transmissions of sensitive data.

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When threats come from the inside

Eliminate the Risk of Internal Data Theft using DLP (Data Loss Prevention)

Don’t underestimate the threat to your business posed by insider data theft. The risk is real and you are not being paranoid if you worry about it.

Consider, for instance, these disturbing factoids from a Symantec-sponsored 2011 study ominously entitled Behavioral Risk Indicators of Malicious Insider Theft of Intellectual Property: Misreading the Writing on the Wall, which closely examined 50 insider thefts:

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