(Video) Lets discuss Cloud, Mobility and IOT

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework | Speaker | Consultant | Trainer discusses –  Cloud, mobility and IOT

[Beginning of transcript]

Hello. My name is Roger. Today, I’d like to discuss the Cloud internet things and mobility for small and medium businesses. And it’s now the catch-phrase and soon to be followed by things like 3-D printing, because Cloud IOT, mobility, BOYD ( bring your own device) helped changed the face of business in the last five years.

They changed business in two ways: they made it cost efficient to use in some of of the systems because you’re negating from operational expenses of viable hardware and software to a capital . . . try again, you go to a capital expense viable hardware and software and making it all work to an operational requirement. So, you’re paying as a monthly fee, just like you’re paying your telephone bill and your electricity.

And the cloud is made to happen and the cloud is making it happen across the board, worldwide now. Someone in Somali can run a multinational business just as long as they have an internet connection. But the internet affairs is a lot of things that we really factor in. The air-conditioner over there, depending on how complex it is, will have some component of internet things.

You see, the internet things will compromise to a level where the refrigerator will send out 10,000 spam emails or a television has been taking photos of what is happening in the world. And then, there is of course the utilization of both of these components that makes the mobility of your workforce a really important factor in having your business because you are now in that level where he can say to a person, “Here’s your tablet and everything you need on it is now ready to go”.

But as I said, 3-D printing is going to be something that is going to be revolutionized in the manufacturing business because they are going to be able to take a design, get printed and get delivered to you in a matter of days, something that we haven’t been able to do for a long, long, time.

So, what we’re looking at with cloud IOT mobility is the industrial revolution part-2, that we haven’t quite come up in another year on what we are going to call it again because we are still in the middle of it.

Thank you.

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(Video) How can the Cloud be a better way of doing business?

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework | Speaker | Consultant | Trainer discusses –  How the cloud can be a better way of doing business.

[Beginning of transcript]

Hello. My name is Roger and today I’d like to talk to you about How the cloud can be a better way of doing business.

We all heard about the cloud. It’s a case of we demand move a capital expense on hardware and software to an operation expense where we are only paying for the use of systems. And because we’re doing that, it’s now a lot more cost-effective to use the cloud to do what we need to do.

It’s not going to cost me $25,000 to set up a server, it’s going to cost me $500 a month. And if you think about $500 a month could be expensive, so you look around for cheaper ways of doing things. But also, the cloud makes it convenient.

I consider the café down the road and I can pay my bills or I can transfer money to my employees or I can buy stuff. And that makes it really convenient for me as a business owner to be able to do anything I want.

And that is one of the reasons why the cloud is becoming a better way in doing business because it is cost effective and it is convenient. And those two things are really important to any small business.

Thank you.

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(Video) What is managed web filtering?

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd and Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime discusses managed web filtering

[Start of transcript]

Hello, my name is Roger. What is managed web filtering? Well, we all know that everybody likes to access the internet, whether it’s on a tablet, on a mobile phone, laptop, computer, even on the server when you need to download updates and things like that. You always need to access the digital world in some way.

But the trouble is, the bad guys know how we all access the internet, and they are always willing to put little traps and systems in place so they can actually get information out of you or infect your computers.

Now what I mean by that is there are, websites are created, and we all have websites. Websites are not created equally. Some are high-end, high-processing, e-commerce sites that are secure and locked down, and everything is really hunky dory.

But at the other end of the scale, there’s people who put together a WordPress website, who doesn’t worry about security, doesn’t worry about patching or widgets, making sure all the plugins are working, making sure the plugins are all patched up.

Now if this website, the one that was done in WordPress, gets hacked, now there are a number of ways they can do things to you. They can hack your website and take it down. Bang, there goes your website. Or they can just deface it. We were here, stuff you. Great.

The worst one they can do is they can actually infect it so that all of the visitors coming to your site will actually be asked to download now or then. Now when that happens, what happens is you need a system in place that will protect you from that happening to you. Now how do you do that?

Well there’s a number of products around that allow you to protect the way you surf the internet. And by that protection, it will come up and go, don’t go to this website, because it’s infected, or it may go to something that says when you log on to the website, something is wrong.

And that is really important for business. Because you get malware on your PC or your laptop, or your tablet, or your phone, then the bad guys have access to that information. What people don’t understand is it can happen to anybody’s website.

It takes, it can happen at the lowest level with your web-hoster, hosting company, has been hacked, and the server with all of those websites on it are now vulnerable. Or you could be a major news site.

There’s been times where places like ninemsn have been not so much hacked, but the information for things that run their ads have been infected, which then infects the people who come to it.

The other way that you get infected is through Ethernet. So this is a process that the bad guys call water holing, because everybody has to go there to get information. The biggest one that we’ve ever seen was when they infected a site that looks after human resources. So everybody had to go there, work out their leave, and every time they went there they got infected.

But, on top of that, if you get an infection from a website, that you, and you haven’t been protecting yourself in such a way as it will come up and tell you that you’ve got a chance of being infected by the website, then you have a problem with your own technology itself. Because it is no longer yours. It has spyware, it has malware. It may even have things like drive-by malware that encrypts all the information on your system. You don’t want to be in that situation.

On top of that, people also believe that if you go to pornographic sites that you’re going to get infected. To tell you the truth, pornographic sites are probably the securest internet websites on the internet and have ads. And there’s something, because the pornographic sites need people to come to them all the time. And yes, it’s huge business, it’s really a lot of money that they get.

So, you need to have some way to protect yourself, and that is where a managed web filter will come into. That managed web filter will sit on the desktop, or the laptop, or the tablet and phone, and actually intercept the information before it gets to your technology itself, and will protect you. And because it’s a managed web filtering, it’s like any other cloud product, it is a monthly fee.

Thank you.

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(Video) How mobile is your business

Hi. My name is roger and today I’d like to talk about how mobile is your business technology. And why does your business need to be mobile. Business world has changed rather drastically in the last couple of years but more and more people are doing business on mobile phones, tablets, laptops.

Because they can. Because all the associated systems utilize the cloud technology component of any business. So if you want be able to collaborate and you don’t know quite how to do, but you have an application that does that.

Then the application needs to be able to be used in a coffee shop. And you need to be able to get into that application at home. And if you’re [Indiscernible 00:00:52] where you’re doing project management, all of those emails that then come through the system saying you need access to the system at all time.

But the mobility is really critical about one other thing and that’s the connection to the digital world that device has. This 3G or 4G is irrelevant. As long as there is a component that connects you to the rest of the digital world then you can utilize and make your business mobile. But mobility doesn’t mean everything has to go into the cloud.

By having components like info soft for instance which is a sales component you can utilize, you don’t really need it on phones. You may need it on tablets because you can then go and have a meeting with someone and take notes directly into the system.

Very hard to do it as a phone device. But it can tell you when you have an appointment, and where you have to be, and why you have be there and what you are talking about. So mobility today in business is really really important because that’s the way we are going.

In the next five years we may not need offices because everything will be in the cloud. You will be working from home, everybody will be able to work in coffee shops. A great idea have a business where everybody can come to you and between everything else and all you can serve coffee. So how mobile is your business technology? It depends on your requirement.

Thank you.

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(Video) What is the cloud Computing?

Hi. My name is Roger and today I would just like to do a brief synopsis of what the cloud is and why we are using the cloud.

Well the cloud we are using nowadays has a number of reasons. 1) It’s inexpensive, 2) it reduces your infrastructure costs and there is no capital [Indiscernible 00:00:20]. And it also becomes not a capex but it is an operational expense.

And that is some of the reasons. It’s no longer a case of you have to spend thousands of dollars to buy a server and another thousands of dollars to find an operating system and then put that over in a corner and you have power to it and Ethernet cables and lots of stuff. So cloud is like buying electricity.

It’s now a resource that we can consume and utilize and then get rid of as we need. But there are three types of cloud. There’s the public cloud, which is everybody. So things like Dropboxes are a public cloud environment.

Office 365 is a public cloud environment. So anybody can use it and anybody can get on it. Then we have a private cloud. Now a private cloud is a cloud that’s supplied by a cloud provider but only one customer can utilize it. And that information on that customer is where this information is going to be stored. And then manage it for you. And then on top of that you got a hybrid cloud. So you can have a bit of public and a bit of private.

Even though at most times they won’t talk to each other but you can have storage in one place. You can have operating systems in another. But what do we use the cloud for? Well, utilization of the cloud, there are three main levels. So we can have infrastructure as a service. That’s where I go and buy a virtual server.

I manage the server but they manage the hardware. So with them looking after the infrastructure, everything that’s above the infrastructure is our responsibility. And again you need people to be able to — who know operating systems, you need people who know applications, you need people who know SQL and Web Data and all of that.

The second component is we have platform as a service. This is where you have – the cloud provider provides the server and the operating system – and that gives you a platform to be able to do everything else that you need to do.

But in both of those cases when it comes to things like antivirus, updates, how you manage it, that’s all your responsibility. And then finally we have software as a service. Software as a service is just the data. So you don’t have to manage every Exchange because Office 365 does — all that does is connect to the Exchange that you have got and then it can send out your email.

Office 365 for instance, for things like Dropbox and OneDrive and any of those Microsoft products that have a component that is in the “cloud”. So you have access to that data because it’s the storage area but that is what the cloud is. So those three things: infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and software as a service is way that derivatives of cloud is coming from.

And you can utilize any components of those. You no longer have to spend $25,000/- getting a server and putting in plugs because you can spend $1000/- a month doing everything you need to do from the server which you’ve got as infrastructure as a service.

Thank you very much.

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Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and author of the SME Digital Security Framework.   Rapid Restart Appliance Creator.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and Educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world. 

(Video) Why all SME’s need a Helpdesk

Today I’d like to talk about why all SMEs need a helpdesk. So first things first. What is a helpdesk? A helpdesk is where you have the ability to ring up someone and say, I need some help and this is what I need for you to do. Now a helpdesk can be contacted through a number of options. You can just send them an email. Fax them if you’ve got a fax machine or you can just pick up the phone and talk to them.

And their role behind your business is to help you out of why you have a problem and what that problem is and get your [Indiscernible 00:00:39] working with you. So how can it help with small business? Well, small business, with the increase in technology and increase in complexity of technology needs somewhere to go, ‘what do I do here’. But that helpdesk, if done properly, can also say, when the boss rings up and goes I need to know what I can do about x.

Can I put this system in place and is it going to impact these other systems? And that is a really good way of using a helpdesk. Now helpdesk is usually supplied by a managed service provider. And that managed service provider probably has a large number of other things in the background that are working.

But for a small business a helpdesk is really critical because it takes away that nagging ‘everybody get involved because Jim or Joey can’t print from the third tray. So everybody is opening bits and playing with bits and you’ve just lost five hours’ worth of productivity because he can’t print because he doesn’t understand what’s going on.

Whereas you can pay 25 cents or $25 for someone to come in or someone to come over the phone line or as a remote connection to his desktop and workout what the problem is, rather tie him up and everybody else can go back to work. So that’s one of the good aspects of having a helpdesk. The other aspect is, as I said before, is that you can have people on the back end of a helpdesk helping you make decisions about your business.

So they can be there and you can say, ‘should we move to the cloud?’ I want to know. What repercussions if we move to the cloud are going to be involved? Okay, yes you’re going to have a monthly cost. But is it going to impact our internet connection? How we’re going to print it from our servers in the cloud if we want to print from here.

That information is also very important. But as I said, an MSP whose primary helpdesk is probably supplying a lot more as well. They are probably monitoring your systems. So, with luck, that problem that you’re having with tray three wouldn’t come up because they would’ve been alert to come up and say Joey is trying to print to tray three and that printout hasn’t gone to tray three, and that type of thing.

And on top of that an MSP will also give you reports. How many times people have rang the helpdesk? How beneficial it is to your business? What is the next step going forward? So why do all SMEs need a helpdesk? It makes you more productive.

Thank you very much.

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Why is there so much confusion over Cloud Computing

With all of the hype that is flowing around this cloud computing stuff it is about time we started to point out that there is a problem, you know the elephant in the room type problem.    Cloud technologies as a definition is going to save you a bucket full of money type problem.

It seems that CIO’s, IT departments and vendors (VMware, Cisco, HP, DELL, Microsoft) have come to a conclusion that if they do not embrace a cloud solution then the business will fail.   On top of that, the driving force behind the hype seems to have no cohesion in the actual definition.

The number of products that are being sold with a cloud attachment, cloud in their name or supposedly a cloud solution are nothing short of marketing hype.   This hype, according to Gartner, is going to start damaging business decisions based on the cloud phenomena.

I agree with Brett Winterford and Justin Warren from IT News in their ideas and this is my outlook on the cloud.

What are we looking at?

  • Cloud is not a physical purchase – it is not a capital expense.   It is about access.  If there is any component that is hidden in a cupboard, under the stairs or in a rack,  then the solution is not a cloud.   All of the vendors have a solution that they sell to you that has a physical component but again if it is a physical component then it is NOT a true cloud solution.
  • Cloud solutions are dynamic, they grow and shrink with your use and allow for business to have a front facing system that allows for those changes.    If you are adding CPU cycles, additional Hard drives or space then the product you are using is not a cloud.
  • If I have to make a call to the helpdesk to add, remove, provision or change any component of my cloud then the solution is not a cloud.   The simple act of having to make a physical change to the cloud environment means that your solution is not a cloud.
  • Cloud is pay as you go.   If I have to sign a 3 year or 12 month contract then the product is not a cloud product.   Software as a service literally means pay as you go if I stop paying then the cloud stops delivering.   There are no contractual obligations involved.
  • If a supplier has added “cloud” to their normal offering then it is not a cloud product.   If it is the same as what it was 5 years ago then it is not a cloud.

I was watching the Technology in Business program on SKY recently and they had a number of CIO’s  from some of the big players in the ICT arena and I found that when it comes small and medium business and not for profit organisations they really have no understanding of the requirements.  They are still peddling their products and generating the “cloud hype” but they are not putting forward the true solution that businesses are looking for.

I can remember when clustering was a business changer.   The process of clustering allowed a number of servers to present to a business as a single piece of equipment.   Any one server can be restarted or changed without the business noticing.   The cloud is supposed to be able to do that.

The cloud presents a business to its users and customers as a single piece of equipment.   It is supposed to be disaster resistant and add to a business’s resilience.    It adds to the businesses business continuity.   Yes Cloud computing is the next evolution of ICT but the way that it is being sold at the moment makes a mockery of the term.

In Australia, at the moment, there is no true cloud offering.     The solutions that are based on virtual servers, connecting them together and keeping them together in a physical location will keep IT vendors busy and their customers locked into a solution for many years to come.   Will they grow with their requirements, probably not?   These solutions are available in Australia but they are NOT cloud solutions

I am afraid that the elephant needs to be let out, the vendors and suppliers should start to look at delivering a true cloud offering before the term cloud becomes obsolete and no longer applicable to business.

What happens when your cloud breaks! Other problems with Connections

This post has been prompted by an unfruitful and very frustrating day in Sydney.

The whole world is cloud crazy at the moment but the use of the cloud has to be tempered with a bit of logic and a large dash of reality.

Why do I say that?  bigstock-Rain-Weather-Icon-6591430

There are lots of components of a cloud system but there are two that are the most important.

Where is its stored information and how do I get at it.

The second component is probably the most important.

The information that you are storing in the cloud has its own level of problems, thoughts like security, vendor lock out and data exchange between clients of the cloud provider are the most basic that come to mind.   Each of these components can have systems and policies applied to them that will protect the data and allow only authenticated and authorised access.  Lock that in with a decent SLA then most businesses are relatively safe.

To me the biggest problem is access.   Whether you are using mobile devices or fixed line connection to the internet, to access your cloud information is paramount.   A medium size organisation of about 40 users can no longer rely on just ADSL2+, it has to have a substantially larger connection than that, with that increased connection capability goes the increase in monthly costs and if you want to add VOIP to the applications using the connecting then we are talking substantial monthly fees.    A combination of cloud based services, Microsoft office 365 and VOIP would max out a serious connection and make the user experience pretty bad.   When user have bad experiences then they start to bypass systems and policies.

The NBN may have a significant impact on this costing but in a lot of places gaining access to it is seriously years away.   Most businesses have computers and server with gigabit network connection some of them even 10 gigabit connection so the bottleneck will definitely be the Internet connection.   Even wireless is streets ahead when it comes to the speed difference in 3G and wireless connection.   Maybe 4G will improve it but then there is the increase in data costs as well.   100 businesses connecting to one exchange using NBN predicted speeds are still going to get a 1/100 of the pipe going out to the Internet

The smart phone and tablets are taking over business but they rely on a stable connection to the Internet.   This is where this rant came from.   In Sydney, in 3 location, 5 bars on the 3G connection and I was having serious problems getting any information on the iPhone.   In one location all I wanted to do was transfer money to my credit card to make a purchase and the connection to the bank timed out 3 time.   I have heard there are similar problems in Melbourne and Brisbane.

These are serious problems with the 3G, 4G and fixed line networks and have to be addressed before any substantial take up of cloud technology can deliver a serious return on investment for most businesses.   We want to use social media, cloud based applications and all of the other features being pushed at business but the main infrastructure cannot handle the load.   This has to be fixed and soon.

Looking forward to 2012 – will the trends be big data, security and clouds?

Yep here we are, 2012, the end of the world is less than 12 months away, according to the mayan Callander, and we are looking at the trends that may start to appear this year. I have noticed that in the last 5 years these predictions usually come to nought.

So these are the predictions that I am putting forward:

Clouds – the better offering from Australian cloud suppliers are now starting to come through as the larger ICT companies start to realise that sales of hardware and software is no longer the best way to increase profits. The best way for business to leverage the cloud is to look at what your business requires and then see if it will come in as a better solution. Most of the time this does involve getting in an ICT consultant to report on what your business requirements are.

In some cases it will not be a better solution, in some cases the solution will come be more expensive but will deliver better results and in some cases a cloud solution will drastically improve your business without the expected overheads.

Security – in the next 12 months the security and how businesses secure their information is going to go through a major upheaval. It is no longer a viable solution to think that because you are small (up to 500 users) that you are not a target.

This is no longer true.

Just toward the end of last year, a small think tank in the states got hacked. 10 users, a server and some laptops, workstations and tablets but because of what they did they had upward of 300,000 individual personal records on their systems, as well as their corporate Intellectual Property (IP) and some defence department information. This business relied on its anaminity for its primary security solution, but because it was on the Internet it was visible to the robots trolling the web. Anaminity is great but you need something substantial backing it up.

Big data – this is a spin off from the cloud but the ramifications are huge for any size business presence on the Internet. The business who can analyse and react to the huge proliferation of information and data that is available will be the ones who will have a better business going forward. It will also,involve the analysis and management of the social media monolith that is a huge component of the Internet.

There are 2 other areas – social media will increase its footprint on the Internet exponentially and the proliferation and increased usage of smart “stuff” (phones, tables) will also increase and change the way we do business.

So 2012 is here, let’s embrace it and see where it can take us into the future.

I bought in my iPad can I use it for work?

3D Small People - Flight On PhoneMobile devices are invading our homes, workspace, businesses and organisations.   They are being demanded by workers, Y gen users and teenagers.   Management are always in the situation of trying to catch up with their use and fold them into their business model.

One of the major problems with mobile devices is the how do you secure them and what needs to be secured on the device.    Mobile defence and security consists of 3 areas – the device itself, the data, apps and access to information and the rest of the network.

Here are some ideas for making sure that mobile devices are as secure as possible.

The device – what happens if the device is lost or stolen?    Without a good security strategy it would not matter if the device is issued by the company or it is personal there will be incriminating and business critical information available on the device.   Passwords and encryption is widely used to restrict access to mobile devices, even home users can use
“mobileme” to find their iPhone / iPad or set it up that after 5 failed attempts at access it wipes the device and can only be reactivated by talking to the provider with the account holders information.   There are even better applications available at a business and corporate level.

In the business world it depends on whether you only allow access to the business through business supplied devices or it is open slather you still need to have some level of control.
If you control the device then you can wipe the device if it is lost, stolen or misplaced without any repercussions.   You also need to ensure that all devices have some level of backup and
recovery feature to ensure that important business data is not lost.   If the business doesn’t own the device then you also need to ensure that control over the system allows for the remote
removal of information deemed business critical.

The data, apps and access information that is on a device can be business critical.   Specific apps developed for the business may have critical implications if accessed by unauthorised people on a stolen device.  Some applications also deliver and retain business data on the device itself.   Finally all of those web sites or applications that have access to personal information – banking software, linked in, Facebook, what happens if that information is compromised.   As a safety system never allow the device to save your password, yes I know it is so convenient to have that one click access but!

The use of mobile devices is also compliant on the main business security strategy.   They should always comply with traditional defences like firewalls, encryption and secure passwords and should not be used as a bypass for information access on the business network.   If possible wireless access to information through a device should be done through separate network
access and VPN’s thus adding additional levels of protection and security.

How you protect your information is compliant on your business security strategy.   If you want your people to bring in their own devices or you are going to supply them then
that is your decision but it needs to fit in with your business direction and requirements.    If you have staff that constantly loose or misplace equipment I would seriously think about making the systems as secure as possible.