Jul 15 2011

Don't Deny Denial of Service - BizTech Quick Take

BizTech Quick Take is our weekly digital tour of the web, serving up news and notes on IT and business that you need to know — and some things you’ll simply be glad to know

Why Businesses Need to Take Denial of Service Attacks Seriously

Recently, hackers have been making headlines for their coordinated and continued attacks on prominent sites such as Visa and MasterCard. Groups like LulzSec and Anonymous have taken advantage of denial of service (DoS) attacks, which make websites inaccessible to users, to bring down commercial sites and interrupt business.

For small- and medium-size businesses, having a website down for days could be extremely costly in terms of revenue and customer satisfaction. That’s why John Pescatore, a Gartner analyst, thinks that businesses need to start figuring DoS protection into their business continuity plans before it’s too late.

DoS attacks are basically like thunderstorms on the Internet: hard to predict when they will hit, but they will and you can build a thunderstorm-proof Internet connection — just the way you can have thunderstorm-proof power to your datacenter.

Basically, it is time to have DDoS protection considered as part of Business Continuity planning, just the way redundant Internet connections and backup datacenters are planned for and funded.

Read Pescatore’s full post on DoS protection on the Gartner blog.

Is Your Business Collaborating?

When evaluating the effectiveness of your business, do you consider the kind of the collaborative environment that your company is fostering?

Bill Ives of Microsoft’s Fast Forward blog recounts Deb Lavoy’s theory of the three types of collaboration in business: creative collaboration, connective collaboration and compounding collaboration.

According to Lavoy, director of product marketing for OpenText, creative collaboration, which often results in producing a product or reaching a goal, requires open channels of communication so that work is organized and conducted in a meaningful way. Connective collaboration involves work that requires a business to stay connected and in touch with information and resources, like business intelligence. And compounding collaboration makes sure that the business is working efficiently and keeping track of best practices for future endeavors.

To learn more about the forms of collaboration in the enterprise, read Ives’ post on the Fast Forward blog.

Windows 7 Celebrates 400 Million Sold

Microsoft reached a notable milestone on July 11, 2011. The Redmond, Wash.-based company announced that it had officially sold 400 million licenses of its Windows 7 operating system at its annual Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

According to June 2011 data from Net Applications, Windows 7 is now running on 27.13 percent of PCs worldwide. Is your business among the many?

Read more about the Microsoft announcement on the Windows Team blog.

Malware Is Going Mobile

People are used to deploying antivirus and antimalware software to protect their desktops, but should they start thinking about security for their mobile devices? Absolutely.

Kaspersky Lab’s Threat Post blog details a new strain of the Zeus banking Trojan that is taking hold of Android OS–powered devices. The malware hijacks the user’s mobile device and makes financial transactions on the user’s account, unbeknownst to the account holder.

The bad news: This is probably only the beginning of integrated mobile and PC attacks.

“Threats to mobile devices could grow once exploits for common mobile platforms like iOS and Android become a standard component of the kinds of exploit kits that power most Web based attacks today,” the IT security blog notes.

Read the full post on the mobile malware on Threat Post.

5 Questions You Should Ask About Your Data Center’s Safety

Data centers don’t just carry heavy amounts of data; they also hold a lot of dangerously heavy equipment. Businesses with workers who manage and service data centers need to ensure safety for their workers as they go about their work, because injuries in the data center can turn out to be quite serious.

Joel Rosa, a data center blogger, lists 5 questions that every business needs to ask when crafting policies to keep workers safe on the job:

  • How heavy is your equipment?
  • How many people are currently involved in the process?
  • Is it important to accurately align equipment?
  • What is the height of your racks?
  • How narrow are your data center aisles?

Read more about data center safety in Rosa’s blog post on Data Center Knowledge.

It’s Time Your Business Got a Mobile Strategy

Sometimes businesses just stumble into mobile computing, not bothering to build out a detailed plan for the kind of devices, security and networking they’ll deploy across the company. But John E. Simpson, an enterprise architect for Intel, says enough is enough.

He lays out several areas that businesses need to examine when developing their mobile computing strategies:

It is ok not to support everything
When you finally get a chance to look at the market of devices, you'll soon realize that the landscape changes everyday. You'll never keep up. It would be better to find a series of devices or specific operating system that you are willing to support — that helps to enhance your company.

Mobility to replace desktop
Use cases will help to really understand if there are roles that could survive completely off a mobile device. There also will be jobs that will be completely changed with the right mobile solution. Just know that the device is not the solution.

Read more of Simpson’s mobile strategy advice in his post on Intel’s Open Port IT blog.

The Next Generation Network Has to Be More Than Good

With mobile computing and rich media usage on the rise, a “good” network — meaning one that covers basic functionalities — probably isn’t going to cut it.

Marie Hattar, vice president of marketing for Cisco Systems, spoke at length about the benefits of having a full-featured network in an interview at Cisco Live.

“A good enough network is not good enough for business,” says Hattar. “Some of the investment you may make in a switch will have a huge effect on when you start rolling out video, that includes media net. So all of a sudden, some of the technologies that Cisco builds in our systems can optimize that video experience.”

Watch Hattar’s interview from Cisco Live and read more in her post on Cisco’s Borderless Networks blog.

Does Your Computer Go with Your Socks?

In the future, we’ll all have flying cars and robot servants — at least that’s what The Jetsons would have us believe.

But there is a futuristic technology that will soon become a reality for businesses: wearable computers. The voice-controlled Motorola Golden-i is a wearable headset computer, which enables the user to access a computer while keeping his or her hands free. It could make a big splash in medicine, manufacturing and public safety sometime in the near future.

To learn more about the Golden-i and wearable computers, read this article from BizTech.

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