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The modern landscape of business is one that is always evolving. Anyone who has ever been involved in the ever evolving business landscape knows this all too well. What works quite well one day and proves to be a core construct of the entire landscapers a whole can be entirely irrelevant on all foundations and next. For this reason, it is so important for professional individuals within the business landscape to form a strong and inherent understanding not only of a business at the time but how business is going to continue to flourish and evolve as time goes on.
What are the biggest evolutions in business to date is one that has come at quite a surprise to many individuals given the fact they built their foundations of longevity and success on traditional measures. However, as is the case with the rest of the world, the business landscape has evolved in recent years and especially in recent months. The result is that the business landscape that we see before us today is one that is definitively built on the core constructs that make and break our approach towards foundational longevity and success as well as a degree of heightened sensitivity and accountability to the masses.
Introducing and understanding ecommerce
Think of ecommerce, for instance. The rise of ecommerce is all about taking commerce solutions online. And well this has been a motion that has been in process for a few years now, there is a lot to be said about the fact that it has well and truly been pushed to the forefront as a digital era has become more and more instrumental around the globe. Ecommerce solutions are far more effective and more popular than they have ever been before and a large part of the reason why is that modern consumers are definitively more interested in having these solutions rather than they are towards the traditional predecessors that have worked so well in years past.
Ecommerce solutions are more in demand than ever
Ecommerce solutions are all the rage today. From Magento integrations to entirely shifting a business landscape online, there is a lot to be said about the fact that ecommerce solutions are designed and intended to strike a nerve with modern consumers in the best and brightest of ways. And then this way, ecommerce solutions are more beloved than they have ever been and they are more powerful than they have ever been. There is so much to be said about the fact that ecommerce is designed to realign with the way that modern consumers bank and process things and modern business is a realising this more and more all the time.
Why ecommerce solutions are here to stay
There is the undeniable fact that ecommerce solutions are not only here but they are here to stay. What year commerce has come into its own over the years, there is a lot to be said for the fact that recent years and especially recent months have pushed forward an all new approach towards ecommerce but it is designed and intended to function and thrive as the most solid basis for ecommerce going forward into the future and beyond. Ecommerce solutions have been tremendously successful up until this point and they continue to do so. This is likely just the start for ecommerce. We are going to see ecommerce continue to function, flourish, and thrive well into the future and beyond. The best is yet to come.
The digital age has made it much easier to keep in touch with friends and family, even getting a fake drivers licence is easy now, but it’s also made identity theft even easier. To make matters worse, the prevalence of social media has made it all too easy to collect personal information about your friends and loved ones—data that cyber criminals can use to steal your identity, too. While not every security breach will leave you completely vulnerable, there are still steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft online and in the real world, especially when it comes to verifying your identity with others. We’ll talk about this in detail below.
IDENTITY VERIFICATION IN THE DIGITAL AGE
Is it Safe?
It’s crucial to make sure you’re safe online. Identity verification is crucial to keep your private information safe and secure. When you have proof of your identity, it can help you unlock more features, settings, and apps on everything from social media to financial services. It also helps put a stop to cyber crimes like credit card fraud or identity theft before they happen.
Why is it Important?
Identity verification is a crucial tool for organisations and consumers alike. It serves as a critical step before accessing sensitive information, such as your health records or bank account. Without identity verification, it would be too easy for someone to pose as you and steal your personal information. However, there are always vulnerabilities that can make these systems vulnerable to attack or tampering. By reviewing some of these security concerns, you can arm yourself with what to look out for when dealing with any type of identity verification system in our digital age.
How to do it?
One of the most common ways to protect your identity is by getting copies of your documents (think birth certificate, passport, and driver’s licence) notarized. The notary seal acts as a legally binding promise that you are who you say you are. You can get them done at any local bank, for free. Another way to be certain about who you are dealing with online is by using sites like LinkedIn or Facebook as a reference point when trying to verify someone’s identity. Also ask for a second form of verification—like mobile number or email address—to ensure authenticity.
How to get started?
You should already have a profile on at least one social network. Start by adding your digital identity to it. If you don’t already have a profile, you can sign up with something as simple as your email address and a name. Once you’ve created your digital identity, try setting up two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security to protect you from hackers who might want to access your information or accounts. With two-factor authentication, when you login online using a password (something you know), an SMS code is sent to your phone (something you have). This means that even if someone got hold of your password somehow, they still wouldn’t be able to log into any of your accounts because they wouldn’t have access to your phone number.
What type of verifications should you add?
With so many fraudsters out there, it’s important to verify that each user is who they say they are. Using a multi-factor authentication (MFA) tool will greatly increase your security—but be aware of your customers’ needs. If you’re a high-risk business that deals with sensitive data, consider asking all new users to use two or three factors. Alternatively, if you run an e-commerce site that sells typical products and doesn’t store its customer’s personal information, requiring just one factor might be sufficient.
IT is without a doubt one of the most highly sought after career fields in the world today. There is a lot to be said about the immense potential of a career in IT. This is especially true now as the digital era continues to go from strength to strength, firmly establishing its presence on an international scale. Careers in fields like this are becoming more highly sought after as individuals around the globe and companies alike are realising that they are fields that are becoming more ingrained in the way that modern society functions and thrives.
So many students around the globe make the decision to study IT and they know full well that this decision is one that does not come lightly. This is not a university degree or a career path that comes without significant hard work and determination – even (and especially) when other fields of interest may not require as much of the same to be successful. The individuals who are willing and able to put in the hard work are the ones who will get ahead in the IT field. So, how can students successfully build a career in IT?
Constantly learn – especially outside the box
Yes, your courses are important. However, it is also just as important (if not sometimes more so) to consistently learn outside the box and outside the classroom. You can only learn so much in your classes and when you take it upon yourself to be learning outside of that traditional framework as well you are essentially putting in the work to further your skills and talents in a way that ensures that you are effectively and successfully exceeding the expectations. This will put you in a better position for career prospects throughout your IT career and in life in general.
Build your own projects while still at uni
Whether it is working with a company like AppVelocity or taking it upon yourself to build your own projects entirely on your own, it is important to be building your own projects while you are still at uni and obviously as well as after the fact. The reason for this is that when you are building your own projects. you have more of a portfolio and a higher level of experience that makes you more desirable to future prospective employers or collaborative partners. Building your own projects also means that you are learning not just theoretically but literally in ways that give you a real world experience before you have even really dived into the industry outside of your university student experience.
Consistently expand your network
The professional network that you build in the IT industry will often end up being the very same network that helps you to not only make the most of the industry but also that informs you about new projects that come out of the woodwork. Expanding your network also means that your reputation will begin to proceed and people will want to source you for the work rather than the other way around. And that is always a positive thing, so long as your work is of high quality and you are a dignified professional.
What mindset shift do you need to make to successfully move from employee to entrepreneur?
There has probably never before been this number of people needing to make the shift from employee to entrepreneur, founder, and business owner. While there is every reason in the world to make the leap right now, the ultimate success of this venture will rely heavily on the ability to make the mindset shift.
We can all do it. Some just seem born with this entrepreneurial spirit. Others have it baked into them at an early age. Many have not. They’ve been brought up industrialized. To just fill seats and pass the tests. You can do this. Here are the shifts to make now…
1. Complete Ownership
As an entrepreneur and business owner, you have to take complete ownership of everything. Whether it works out or doesn’t is all on you. You have to own all of the outcomes. No excuses. No one else to blame. It is great to make all of your own decisions and to have the freedom to do things better than all the companies you worked for before and all of your old bosses. The results are also up to you.
2. Make Decisions
You’re going to have to make decisions. Even not making a decision is a decision. You are going to have to get comfortable with making decisions without all of the data you’d like, or even imperfect data. You no longer can defer the choices to a boss or manager. You’ll need to make quick decisions and own them.
3. You Are There To Serve Employees
In some organizations, you might have thought you were there to serve the boss. In reality, as the owner, you are there to serve your employees. Whether or not your previous bosses did that well or not. It will really be your top priority. Along with serving your investors and customers.
4. Seeking Advice From Others
You’ll never know it all. Especially not when you are tearing through new territory and are stretching yourself, and moving out of your comfort zone on a daily basis. The key to success is to seek out advisors. Don’t stubbornly make expensive mistakes and waste time. Find fundraising consultants, marketing consultants, and M&A advisors.
5. Being Willing To Admit You Don’t Know
Up until now you may have been trained to fake it, be adamant you know and haven’t made a mistake, and never show vulnerability. No wonder few employees get very far.
As an entrepreneur, it is a strength to admit it when you don’t know. Or to own up to making mistakes. It will preserve your credibility, trust, and loyalty.
6. Be Prepared For Every Day To Be Challenging
Being an entrepreneur really just means you are signing up to tackle endless challenges. Every day will bring them. It’s great if you thrive on a challenge. If you aren’t being challenged, you aren’t growing fast enough or aren’t working on a hard enough problem. All the easy stuff has been done already. Many of those days will be tough too. Just keep your eye on those good days, and celebrate them.
7. Value Taking Care Of Yourself
Work and performance are no longer about just clocking in. You can’t punch in and just stay under the radar all day. You can’t afford many sick days or getting your team sick. You’ve got to prioritize taking care of yourself, mentally and physically. Get a good morning routine. Put good habits in place.
You also want to optimize for time and relieve yourself as much as possible so that you can spend time where it really matters. For those towards agreements, presentations, etc you should use business templates rather than starting from scratch.
8. Value Investing In Yourself
Not only will you need to invest in your health, but in growing as a leader. There is no top business leader, legendary investor, or athlete who hasn’t had equally great coaches and mentors. It just doesn’t happen. No matter how smart you are and how much raw talent you’ve got, you have to keep investing in yourself to grow faster than your startup is growing.
9. Think Short & Long
You’ve no longer got a boss who is just going to hand you a paycheck or automatic deposit in your bank account next Friday. Being sure there is money in the bank for payroll next week is all on you. You won’t last long unless you are thinking about the long game either. You need to be thinking at least 10 years out. 100 if you really plan to keep this company for the long term.
10. Think Like An Owner, Not A Worker
You may be tempted to just try and do everything yourself or micro-manage, or block out all of the feedback you are getting from your teams. You can’t afford that. Think of yourself as a custodian of this business. That may be for two years or 20. It’s bigger than you.
11. Be Mission Driven
Becoming an entrepreneur is not about making a paycheck. It’s the last thing on most ultra-successful entrepreneurs’ minds. Instead, focus on the mission. It will help you make all the best decisions.
12. Remember That It’s Your Job To Manage Your Time
There is no longer anyone to tell you what time to be to work or take a lunch break or when you can clock out. There is no one else to approve your vacation time. You have to set your own schedule and manage your time and hustle.
13. Hire The Best Possible People
Maybe your last company just hired the cheapest people and those who would just follow orders the best. If you want to create a fantastic company that can disrupt and be innovative and win in an economy with much bigger players, you need to hire the very best talent you can. Hire people who are smarter and more experienced than you.
Part of this is surrounding yourself as well by the best investors. Before securing them you will need to convince them and here is where a pitch deck comes into place where you want to capture the essence of the story.
A car is a fantastic investment. The sheer convenience and efficiency of being able to go anywhere you want, any time you want, is a tremendous luxury and one that allows you to have a remarkable amount of flexibility and freedom. There is something undeniably exciting about being able to jump in your car whenever you want and take to the open road. We are reminded of this fact all the time. The very invention of the car has revolutionised life as we know it forever. Every emerging innovation and ongoing advancement and enhancement continues to add to the ongoing evolutionary progress of our approach to travel.
Even so, having a car is not a luxury that comes with its own responsibilities. Anyone who owns their own vehicle knows that as well as being an expensive purchase to begin with, there are a lot of moving pieces and ongoing costs that make it one of the biggest and most costly expenses that most individuals can ever have. One of the most consistent expenses associated with having a car is the car insurance that, legally, every driver must have, no matter where they are in the world or what type of car they drive.
Car insurance in Canada
In Canada, it is more than fair to say that having adequate car insurance is of the utmost importance. With such a high population and a shocking number of traffic incidents happening all the time around the country, an expense like car insurance is an expense that, quite simply, no driver can afford to skip over. Car insurance in the US works in much the same way as car insurance in any other part of the world, however the importance of adequate car insurance cover here is all about being proactive so that if and when the unexpected happens, you are as well prepared as you can be.
Figuring out the best insurance for you
When it comes to choosing the best car insurance policy for you, it all comes down to the research. Whether it is looking online at the best insurance companies in Canada or speaking with a car insurance company about the latest and greatest car insurance policies in Alberta, it is so important to do the research and figure out which car insurance cover is ultimately going to be the best fit for you and your vehicle. You do not want to find yourself in trouble after you thought that you had done everything you could to have the best insurance cover possible, just as you do not want to be paying an excessive amount when your circumstances and use of the vehicle do not warrant the cost.
Why having the best insurance matters
More than anything else, having the best car insurance cover for your individual circumstances matters because it means that you are protected as well as you can possibly be protected. Even the best driver is not immune to traffic incidents. We are all human and any accident you may be involved in very well may not even be your fault. So, it makes all the sense in the world that you should be doing everything that you possibly can to protect yourself and your car as best as possible.
There is nothing in the world quite like that feeling when you finally own your own home. While of course having a roof over your head and a safe place to call home in any case is always a privilege, it goes without saying that the excitement of knowing that the home you live in is all yours is a feeling unlike any other. And even though having your own home is an incredibly positive and overall exciting achievement, it is important to note that like anything else in life, there are going to be challenges. Even so, home ownership is a dream come true.
It is more than fair to say that there are many ebbs and flows that come with owning your own home. These ebbs and flows create and overcome challenges in due course, making them exceptional testaments to the positively powerful position of owning your own home. One of the biggest positives is being able to renovate and update certain aspects and features of the property without limitations. Most rental properties do not allow this luxury and so finally having a place to call home that you can improve and update is quite the thrill.
Embracing the creative freedom of being a homeowner
Having complete creative freedom in your own home is a luxury. Every single fresh innovation that you can possibly imagine makes its mark and has its own merits and overall value. Being a homeowner and having limitless creative license over anything and everything that happens in or on your property is a luxury that should not ever be underappreciated or otherwise underestimated. When it comes to embracing the creative freedom of being a homeowner, it can be overwhelming to know where to stay if you are considering changes.
Figuring out what (if anything) you want to change
Sometimes, the entire property is perfect as it is. That is great, however what do you do if the property could use some updates and renovations? First and foremost, it starts with being able to figure out what it is that you want to change. Knowing what you want to update, replace, or even get rid of entirely is the most important step of all because it essentially gives you a baseline to build up from and to work off going forward. All these adjustments that you might want to make all have their own merits and distinctive value and for this reason they are all worth investing energy, money, and time into.
The powerful effect of window and door replacement on a home
One home improvement project that so many individuals rarely think of for whatever reason is investing in replacement windows and doors. This is partially because these parts of the home largely feel like they are structural and so they are not necessarily the first project that homes to mind when a homeowner considers improving or otherwise updating their home. However, replacing the windows and doors can and often does have a massively positive impact on the overall feeling of the home. New windows and doors add a fresh element of modernity, which in turn makes the areas within in the home and the home itself feel newer and more comfortable all around.
It does not take a genius to realise that the world around us is changing all the time. As the world continues to grapple with the Coronavirus pandemic that has spread rapidly around the globe, we are facing circumstances that are entirely unexpected and, frankly, unprecedented. Seemingly overnight, the first cases of Coronavirus in China quickly spread, with countries and regions – and even individual states – locking down their borders in an effort to minimise the spread of the virus. This, coupled with enforced restrictions surrounding many other areas of everyday life, has changed the world as we know it (even if it is just temporarily while we ride out this viral outbreak together).
The importance of staying clean has never rung truer or louder. In fact, as the international pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the board and around the globe, there is a greater call than ever to jump on the clean and tidy train. Life is busy, it is true, however now with the virus raging around the globe, it has never been a better time to prioritise cleaning one’s living spaces – especially given the fact that most parts of the world have enforced stay-at-home regulations for the time being.
The task of keeping areas clean
Keeping living areas clean is a task in and of itself. It also happens to be a task that, for most individuals, feels tedious (to say the least). However, this obviously never makes it any less important. Now, the task of keeping areas clean is one that individuals around the globe are finally taking more seriously and making a point to emphasise actively and consistently. Even so, many individuals are either still working or are otherwise unable to commit to the hours it often takes to properly clean a space.
Investing in professional cleaning services
This is why investing in the assistance of professional cleaning services has never been a more worthwhile investment. More than anything, professional cleaning services are geared specifically towards cleaning from top to bottom intensely. It might sound simple, however the reality is that there is a significant (and currently, potentially dangerous) difference between cleaning and properly cleaning. Having the assistance of a professional cleaning service to lighten the load by taking on these cleaning duties can and often does make a world of difference to a space and how long it stays clean.
The value for vacating tenants
This is especially true for tenants who are looking to invest in end of lease cleaning not only now but in the coming months. While some landlords and the like have omitted rent for a month for their tenants, others have not. This has caused many individuals to break their leases due to being unable to pay them. Because of the current virus’ reach around the globe, professional end of tenancy cleaning services are becoming more and more popular for vacating tenants, owing to the tightened expectations of the state of properties around the globe being left to new tenants.
An app for this, an app for that. It seems in this day and age, there is an “app” for just about anything you want to do or accomplish. We certainly live in an app-filled world. If previous decades were the age of infrastructure, we are now in the age of applications.
Applications are key to business processes and productivity today. Most organizations run on top of an application stack that allows carrying out many key business functions. Now, most organizations are leveraging the public cloud and cloud-based applications for even more powerful collaboration and technology-driven processes.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environments like G Suite and Office 365 are extremely popular among organizations to host business collaboration, file sharing, email and other services. Cloud SaaS environments today contain a large number of third-party apps that can easily be integrated into your environment. While there can be benefits to these third-party applications, let’s talk about the risks of third-party apps you didn’t know about.
What are Third-Party Apps?
First of all, what are the third-party apps we are referring to when thinking about potential risks to your environment? Third-party “apps” are readily available in both Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365 environments. There are third-party apps available covering a wide range of functionality for your SaaS users.
An example of available third-party application categories include:
- Remote video conference tools
- Business Tools
- Office applications
- Accounting & finance
- Administration & management
- ERP & Logistics
- HR & Legal
- Marketing & analytics
- Sales & CRM
- Creative tools
- Web development
- Task management
The beauty of third-party apps in regards to cloud SaaS environments like G Suite or Office 365 is that if you have any gaps in the native cloud SaaS tools offered, you can most certainly find a third-party app that provides the functionality you need.
Third-party apps augment the capabilities of SaaS environments with even more robust tooling, features, and capabilities. These applications generally follow the same SaaS license model of a “per user” license. By means of the third-party apps offered in cloud SaaS marketplaces, your organization can have an “ala carte” style menu available to pick and choose the apps to satisfy the business functionality needed.
Below is an example of the G Suite Marketplace where users have an almost unlimited selection of applications to chose from. By default, users can search and install applications using their G Suite user accounts. You can browse by application type, or applications can be found by searching for apps by name.
In today’s mobile-driven world, third-party apps have become a staple of how we interact with services and data. It has also become an extremely important part of the public cloud. Despite the functionality provided by robust third-party apps, they can bring risks to your organization. How is this the case?
Risks of third-party apps you probably didn’t think about
Despite their numerous benefits, third-party apps can certainly bring risk to your organization data, compliance, and security. Let’s take a look at the potential risks that are presented by the use of third-party apps in your cloud SaaS environment.
1. Malware including ransomware
2. Data-leak concerns
3. Compliance and regulatory violations
Often, these particular risks of third-party apps go unnoticed by organizations who are making use of cloud SaaS environments. Let’s explore these further and see why and how your organization can give attention to these specific third-party app risks.
Malware including ransomware
There is arguably no greater risk to your business-critical data today than ransomware. Ransomware insidiously and silently encrypts your data so that you can no longer access what is rightfully yours. Once the encryption process has locked you out of your data, a ransom demand appears, demanding payment before access is restored.
While many have incorrectly assumed that ransomware is an on-premises problem only, this can lead to dangerous consequences for data stored in public cloud storage. Many organizations today are migrating business-critical services like email and file storage to cloud SaaS environments. Without an understanding of the risks at play with third-party apps integrating with cloud SaaS, data can easily be affected.
Ransomware can easily propagate to cloud SaaS environments by means of file synchronization as well as malicious third-party apps and browser extensions that gain access to cloud data. New ransomware variants affecting environments today are “cloud-aware” and are able to compromise cloud SaaS environments by means of these malicious applications.
“Ransomcloud” attacks show how easily a malicious application granted permissions in cloud environments can totally compromise your data. As demonstrated in the “ransomcloud” attack, an entire user’s mailbox is encrypted by granting permissions to a seemingly benign application that in all actuality is ransomware in disguise.
This proof of concept demonstrates the dangers of third-party applications that are granted access to your cloud SaaS environments, either intentionally or by accident. Ransomware attacks can propagate by means of a malicious application or even a browser plugin that has the permissions needed to start encrypting your data. How can malicious third-party apps and browser plugins obtain this level of access to your business-critical data stored in G Suite or Office 365 storage?
End users easily grant permissions
Risky or malicious third-party apps often gain easy access to cloud SaaS environments like G Suite or Office 365 by means of end user-granted permissions. Public cloud vendors use an OAuth 2.0 token technology to allow end users to grant access to their data without the need for a password to do so. All the end user has to do is grant permissions to a permissions request coming from a third-party app.
All of us are guilty of blindly granting permissions to apps that request them during installation. How many of us actually read the details of the permissions requested by third-party applications we install on our mobile devices? Think about an end user with either a company-issued mobile device, or a personal device used to also access company data.
If an end user blindly accepts permissions while installing a risky third-party app and the end user’s phone is connected to your organization’s data, all business-critical or sensitive data the end user has access to is now at risk of compromise by a risky third-party app.
The same is true for browser extensions. Third-party browser extensions can request the same types of permissions to cloud data as other third-party applications that are installed via mobile devices. A recent study found that more than a third of all Google Chrome extensions ask users for permission to access and read all their data on any website.
When you think about the possible security implications of third-party apps installed on mobile devices as well as third-party browser extensions, it is imperative to have visibility to and the ability to block these dangers. This requires controlling which applications are installed in your cloud SaaS environments.
Data leak concerns
Aside from an all-out ransomware attack on your organization’s data, there is another scary cybersecurity concern that should get the attention of businesses everywhere – data leak. Next, to ransomware data leak should be extremely concerning to your business.
With data leak, confidential or otherwise sensitive data is “leaked” outside the “walls” of your organization and disclosed to the outside world. Many businesses deal with confidential data by its nature. You may think of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) information processed by hospitals and other healthcare organizations or financial data that is housed by banking institutions and other financial organizations. There are many different sources of confidential and other sensitive data that you would never want to leak outside the realms of sanctioned use.
While you may have restrictions in place on who has access to sensitive types of data that exist inside cloud environments, what about the applications that have access to this data? Think of a scenario with a seemingly legitimate widget application that is downloaded for use on an Android device. The end user who installs the Android widget application also has high-level access to sensitive and confidential data stored in your organization’s cloud SaaS environment.
Even though the application requests extremely high-level device permissions such as the following, the user simply grants all permissions to the new widget app:
- Read your text messages (SMS or MMS)
- Full Network Access
- Read phone status and identity
- Modify or delete the contents of your device storage
The widget application now has a high level of access to both the network and storage of the device. The seemingly legitimate third-party app is actually malicious in nature and starts reading and copying data synchronized with your cloud SaaS environment to a dark web repository defined by the attacker. What can this cost your business?
The cost of data breach can be significant as outlined by IBM’s “The Cost of a Data Breach Report 2019”. According to the yearly report by IBM’s research team, in 2019, the cost of a data breach included the following eye-opening statistics:
- Average total cost of a data breach – $3.92 million
- Most expensive country – United States, $8.19 million
- Most expensive industry – Healthcare, $6.45 million
- Average size of a data breach – 25,575 records
Keep in mind these are average statistics and may cost your business even more according to the degree and effectiveness of cybersecurity responses you have in place. It helps to underscore the tremendous responsibility of your organization when it comes to limiting the exposure of your data to third-party applications.
Compliance and regulatory violations
There is another aspect for businesses today to consider when it comes to keeping data safe and out of the wrong hands – compliance and regulatory. Compliance and regulatory frameworks are designed to protect customer and other sensitive data. Compliance regulations provide a framework of standards that, when followed by organizations, helps to ensure the proper security and other fail safes are put in place to protect important types of data.
Compliance and regulatory frameworks are a good thing for both your business as well as your customer information. It serves to protect both from negative consequences of data breach. However, today’s compliance and regulatory frameworks can also levy huge fines if your organization is found in violation of or grossly negligent to the point where customer data is compromised.
A great example of this the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect May, 2018. GDPR is not only a recommendation, it is required for those who “touch” data of any European citizen. The fines and consequences for those organizations found in violation of GDPR guidelines can be tremendous.
As noted here, fines can include:
“For especially severe violations, listed in Art. 83(5) GDPR, the fine framework can be up to 20 million euros, or in the case of an undertaking, up to 4 % of their total global turnover of the preceding fiscal year, whichever is higher. But even the catalogue of less severe violations in Art. 83(4) GDPR sets forth fines of up to 10 million euros, or, in the case of an undertaking, up to 2% of its entire global turnover of the preceding fiscal year, whichever is higher.”
Under the GDPR guidelines, it is extremely important that organizations take seriously their responsibility to provide data security. The overall import of the GDPR data protection framework is data protection by design and by default. A portion of the GDPR checklist helps to highlight this as organizations are expected to ensure the following:
- Take data protection into account at all times, from the moment you begin developing a product to each time you process data
- Encrypt, pseudonymize, or anonymize personal data wherever possible
- Create an internal security policy for your team members, and build awareness about data protection
- Know when to conduct a data protection impact assessment, and have a process in place to carry it out
- Have a process in place to notify the authorities and your data subjects in the event of a data breach
The walkthrough in the data leak example demonstrates how easy it is for a malicious third-party application that is granted permissions by an end user to access sensitive data. It also demonstrates how easy it would be for an organization to be in violation of compliance regulations like GDPR when customer data is exposed without safeguards in place.
Taking into consideration the threat and risks of malicious or “leaky” third-party applications and browser plugins must be part of the design when it comes to housing your business-critical data in cloud SaaS environments.
Eliminate Third-Party App Risks
To effectively eliminate the risks of third-party apps to your business-critical and sensitive data, you need both visibility and control. First of all, you need visibility to any potential risks in your organization. Cloud SaaS data security can be challenging for organizations who are accustomed to on-premises environments and who lack the tooling needed to monitor data access properly in the cloud.
Controlling access to data can also be challenging without the right toolsets since data can be accessed from many different kinds of devices and networks. How can your organization effectively monitor and manage data access and protect the environment from risky third-party applications accessing your cloud data?
The sheer complexity of today’s environments spanning both on-premises and public cloud locations and the enormity of attack vectors require you use an automated approach to both detect and remediate threats effectively.
An ideal SaaS data protection platform should have an automated sentinel that guards your cloud SaaS environment 24x7x365. You can also utilise an API-based Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) that integrates to provide Google Apps Security or protect your Office 365 environment. It provides you with the tools you need to have both the visibility and control over third-party applications in your environment.
Protection against risky third-party apps as well as other cybersecurity threats to your business is critical.
Be sure to choose the best protection platform for your cloud environment.
More than ever, we are living in a time where we are accustomed to having practically everything that we could possibly ever want at our fingertips. And on top of that is the reality that we have so much customisation at our immediate disposal literally always. We are so used to it at this point, that we are far more comfortable, familiar, and even reliant on having all that connection and customisation there, than we would be in its absence now.
Practically every aspect of life as we know it has been fundamentally changed in the wake of widespread digitalisation and exceedingly rapid technological advancement, and the customisation of life as we know it in just about every way is no different – even, as it turns out, when it comes to vending machines (yes, really).
Introducing custom vending machines
One perhaps surprising product that has taken to the custom products and services trend like a duck to water is that of vending machines. The introduction of customised vending machines around the globe has come with many little challenges and rewards along the way, all of which play their own important role in the way that life continues to progress and unfold.
In the case of custom vending machines specifically, there is the awareness that having immediate and unfiltered access to not only basic food and drink supplies, but all kinds of products and services (including, but not limited to, makeup – think Kylie Cosmetics vending machines, hygiene and sanitary products, gift cards, and even experiences, is changing the way that we experience the world in so many ways.
The appeal of custom vending machines
Custom vending machines are appealing because they essentially provide us all with that instantaneous access that we all have grown to crave so much and so often, without having to necessarily go into a store to get it. Additionally, custom vending machines are fantastic because they give individuals access to all these products and services in exciting new ways.
Custom vending machines are all about embracing immediate consumerism in instantaneous ways for (sometimes unexpected) products and services. That is their power and the underlying reason that they continue to become more and more popular all the time.
The future for custom vending machines
Whether it is a custom vending machine that exclusively offers hand sanitizer dispenser and other hygiene products or a custom vending machine that provides access to gift cards (to name two examples among the many), the point is always the same: custom vending machines have essentially and successfully gone from strength to strength since they were first introduced.
And more to the point, there is no sign of this truth slowing down or becoming any less true in the near future (if ever). Custom vending machines are creative, fun, and they are just getting started. We can expect a whole lot more from the custom vending machine industry in the coming years and beyond, that is for sure.
There have been many great technological advancements over the years, each of them having made their own unique impact and found their place in this ever-evolving modern world that we know and love. While of course each of these advancements is important in and of itself, there are some technological advancements that are more widely applicable and thus more valuable across the board and around the globe. Without a doubt, social media is one of the most widely applicable and overwhelmingly successful modern marvels to date.
Today, social media is a multitool in the digital era, however it has inevitably taken some time for social media to build up to be the way that it is today. This is the case for every technological advancement, of course, however in the case of social media, it has been a definitively and undeniably incredible evolution to get to this point. From the moment that social media was first introduced to the world, it was changing everything from the ground up. An exceptional example of the power of technological growth, social media does it all.
Global communication made easy
Before social media, global communications were more time consuming, expensive, and tedious. Sending letters took a long time and cost a lot, speaking on the phone was expensive, and flying across vast oceans to communicate in person was expensive. Then, when social media first appeared on the scene, everything started to change. It was not long before social media proved itself to be a valuable asset. Through social media, global communications were easier and more efficient than they had ever been. It was a revolutionary shift that spanned the globe. As it turned out, it was a shift that was just getting started too.
A newfound sense of togetherness
There is the distinct realisation that for better or worse, social media has essentially had a significant hand in creating a sense of togetherness that brings individuals from around the globe together in exciting and new ways. Social media is all about heightened awareness of everything that happens around someone, and more to the point, social media is specifically geared towards creating platforms for individuals to keep in touch with one another and with current events, not only locally but internationally. It is a tremendous accomplishment and it is an accomplishment that is worth its weight in gold.
A digital marketing powerplay
Today, social media is also one of the world’s leading digital marketing strategies. In fact, many companies now offer services on how to buy real instagram followers dedicated to assisting clients in getting from point A to point B through their digital marketing efforts. It is an exceptional example of how digital marketing can and does often change the entire trajectory of a company or an individual. Social media marketing is so powerful because it gives businesses and professionals alike a two-way form of communication that is centred around ensuring that all parties benefit as much as possible from the social media marketing efforts that are put into play – whether they are live videos, stories, posts, likes, comments, or messages.