Friday, November 30, 2012

Support to U.K. businesses affected by cyberattack

  • Coalition will offer support to U.K. businesses affected by cyberattack
    U.K. businesses that fall victim to a cyberattack can look forward to additional support from a special response team. The "Cyber Incident Response" program, supported by the Government Communications Headquarters and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, would offer support from four companies -- BAE Systems Detica, Mandiant, Cassidian and Context IS -- in the event of an incident.

CDIA+ and PDI+ Certifications

Research Confirms Value of Printing, Document Imaging Certification

Technicians with expertise in printing and document imaging are needed given the sheer number of printers, copiers and multi-functional devices and recent surge in shipment growth. For the first time in more than a decade, the worldwide hardcopy peripherals market experienced double-digit growth. According to IDC, the total market grew 20 percent year-over-year to 29 million units in the second quarter of 2010 while shipment value increased 14 percent year-over-year to $13.3 billion.
Moreover, the demand for managed print services is also on the rise. As found by CompTIA in the 2ndAnnual SMB Technology Adoption Trends study, 21 percent of SMBs use vendor managed print services and 17 percent plan to start using these services over the year – significant increases over 2009, 11 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
As with all technologies, people with the appropriate skills are desired to support these printing and document imaging devices, especially given their increasing complexity and connectivity to networks. To establish or prove knowledge and capability in a field, many professionals turn to certification.
Employers recognize the importance of certification in helping to ensure the credibility and quality of IT employees, and the printing/document imaging field is no exception. An increasing number of manufacturers in this market mandate the certification of technicians, either as a prerequisite for hiring or as a requirement for employees. Manufacturers such as Brother, Cannon, HP, Lexmark, Panasonic, Sharp and Xerox recommend or require CompTIA PDI+ certification for their technicians, sub-contractors and authorized service providers.
PDI+ certified individuals were surveyed on the benefits they have attained as a result of becoming certified. According to the CompTIA study, Printing and Document Imaging (PDI+) Certification and Training Insights, PDI+ certification has resulted in a range of benefits for technicians and their organizations, including more efficient troubleshooting, more insightful problem solving, better understanding of new technologies and advanced product training, and higher customer satisfaction.
From an employer’s standpoint, PDI+ certification saves organizations valuable time and resources in evaluating potential IT job candidates by providing a baseline set of knowledge for IT positions (74 percent). For more than half (58 percent), holding PDI+ ensures the credibility of IT employees. Fifty-five percent also believe that PDI+ certification enables IT staff to learn at a more efficient pace once starting a job. Furthermore, nearly three-quarters indicate their organizations are able to gain business by promoting to customers/prospects that technicians are certified.
For individuals, PDI+ certification has also contributed to career advancement. A number of professionals say that obtaining PDI+ was valuable for promotions/career opportunities (49 percent), getting a foot in the door for interviews (48 percent), receiving higher pay (41 percent), and changing fields or industries (for those who are not currently working in the printer/document imaging field — 38 percent). Overall, a great majority (81 percent) are likely to recommend the certification to colleagues.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Most companies say that human error among IT staff is a security concern

Nov. 7, 2012

71% of companies say that human error among IT staff is a security concern.
Source: 10th Annual Security Trends

Nov. 6, 2012

83% of companies say that human error among end-users is a security concern.
Source: 10th Annual Security Trends

Nov. 5, 2012

80% of businesses say that information security will be a higher priority over the next two years than it is now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CPU shipments were off by 9%

  • CPU shipments were off by 9% in Q3, report says
  • Shipments of x86 microprocessors declined by about 9% in the third quarter compared with a year ago, Mercury Research says. Intel expanded its market share to 83.3% in the quarter, while Advanced Micro Devices share fell to 16.1%. The economy and reduced demand for PCs hurt the processor market in Q3, Mercury Research said.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cisco Networks Cloud Connectors Bandwidth Fixes

In the early days of workplace internet usage, employers paid more attention to computer usage policy abuses. Internet radio was a no-no because it slowed the network down. As bandwidth and server space increased, businesses loosened restrictions and, in the time that has lapsed since, workers have grown lax in moderating non-work-related internet use during work hours. Clients say they keep adding servers and still don’t have enough [bandwidth] and people leave Pandora open and don’t even think about it.
But the Cloud has brought new complications. Workers expect to access work servers via smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops, requiring fast access. With so many sites embedding audio and video, internet streaming has reached epic proportions, prompting businesses to ask, should we block certain sites?
Cisco Networks is working hard to address these issues, with its Cloud Connectors. Bandwidth variations can affect a server’s performance drastically, according to Cisco, prompting the company to come up with solutions that can make a user’s experience more consistent across all platforms.
Still, small businesses should strive to limit waste, blocking sites like Netflix and Pandora. Online streaming certainly has its use, especially for businesses that use social media sites and YouTube for marketing. For small businesses relying on Cloud-based servers, here are a few tips for freeing up bandwidth in the workplace:
  • Check your equipment. If you haven’t updated things since you moved operations to the Cloud, it might be time for an overhaul. Either way, technology changes every couple of years and by upgrading routers, cabling, and even your desktops and laptops, you can see a significant increase in productivity.
  • Create a computer usage policy. Every employee on your network should be required to sign a computer usage policy. This policy reinforces that equipment is to be used only for work-related purposes, including when that employee is on breaks and at lunch. Addressing streaming radio and video specifically in the agreement may cut down on bandwidth usage due to these behaviors.
  • Block access. This can be done on the server level, by an expert who knows how to implement it, or using third-party software on a server, like EdgeWave Remote Web Filtering. Check with your server provider and make sure this capability isn’t available as part of your current plan.
While small businesses may feel this crunch later than mid-size and large businesses, it is never too early to start freeing up bandwidth. Slow bandwidth can reduce productivity, slowing down operations and affecting your business’s bottom line.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Preparing Your Network for the Cloud

Preparing Your Network for the Cloud

It's no secret that cloud services can benefit small- and medium-sized businesses across all industries. A 2011 Forrester Research survey found that 40% of small businesses said using cloud service offerings was a "very high" or "high priority" for their business. In fact, it's projected that 50% of all workloads will be processed in the cloud by 2014*.
Many companies are also realizing that while cloud computing and cloud software products tend to save time and money, using them places increased demands on network resources. When it comes to evaluating this software investment decision, many factors should be considered. Particularly the additional bandwidth needed to operate cloud-based applications. 

Part 1 in a Series