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Grc News & Analysis

Office 365 is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

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I'm hesitant to add another blog to the pile about Office 365, because there are more than enough talking heads out there prognosticating.

But I spent the last week at the Houston ARMA Spring Conference talking to clients, vendors and other service providers. And I realized that -- unless something changes -- Office 365 is an information management disaster in the making for organizations.

Here’s the gist of why I think so.

Office 365 Gets Customer Lockbox & More

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Cloud weary managers might have reason to reconsider using Office 365.

In an opening keynote at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week, Scott Charney, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Trustworthy Computing, announced Customer Lockbox for Office 365.

It may be the most important security announcement around Office 365 that Microsoft makes this year, according to Julia White, Microsoft’s general manager for Office Product Management.

The Surprising Scarcity of IT Security Talent

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No, it is not your imagination: good IT security help is hard to find.

So says a new survey by ISACA and RSA Conference, which reports that 82 percent of organizations expect to be attacked in 2015 – yet acknowledge that they have talent pool that is largely unqualified and unable to handle complex threats.

More than one in three companies or 35 percent are unable to fill open security positions, according to the report, The State of Cybersecurity: Implications for 2015.

Given that online security has been a brewing issue for years — and that universities and colleges have not been shy about promoting their computer science departments and degrees — it is fair to wonder what the heck is going on. Are these IT skills really that scarce and difficult to acquire?

Shadow IT Isn't Going Away - and That's a Good Thing

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There's a new public enemy number one in the land of information management -- shadow IT.

The name alone sounds ominous, as if the “The Imperial March” from "Star Wars" should play in the background when you say it. It portends rogue employees, covert operations and malicious attempts to undermine the good work of corporate IT. The negative hype surrounding shadow IT has reached fever pitch -- which means that it's grossly overblown.

While shadow IT has its share of drawbacks, the overwhelmingly negative connotation attached to it is unwarranted, and the notion that organizations need to destroy it is false.

Shadow IT is not going away. Not now, not in the future. In fact, the formation of shadow IT groups will only grow larger as the data landscape and thirst for analytics continues to expand. More important than its staying power, however, is something no one wants to acknowledge: shadow IT is a good thing.  

Moving Your Information Governance to the Cloud

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In spite of frequent reports about the uptick in cloud adoption -- with a recent IDC report predicting an additional 11 percent shift of IT budget away from in-house IT delivery towards different cloud models by 2016 -- some businesses are still hesitating. To them, maintaining tight control of corporate information means keeping it on-premises.

However, moving data to the cloud does not have to equal loss of control over data, or a decrease in its security, governance and privacy.

So how do you navigate the pillars of cloud data governance?

Who Is Your Weakest Link? The Risks of Cloud Partners

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Think your organization is safe if it minds its own security?

Think again.

You’ve also got to worry about security at all those companies you associate with, from suppliers and consulting firms to PR agencies, systems integrators, event planners and even heating and cooling vendors.

We're All In This Together: Share Your Cybercrime Stories

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What's the best defense against cybercrime? Surprisingly, it might be a big mouth.

Sharing information about threats and risks is quickly becoming the expected starting point for any credible defense. And as proof, you need look not further than recent examples in the public, private and non-profit sector.

Think of what's happened in just the past few days. Congress has moved forward legislation that would encourage information-sharing in the financial sector. The retail industry has introduced a portal for this same purpose. And a security company has introduced a new product that uses shared information as its base.

It is quite the turnaround from a few years ago when such information was carefully hoarded. Back then, if an attack occurred, it was only reluctantly shared with customers and competitors.

You Can't Create Digital Businesses Without E-Signatures

Two converging trends — the growth of the mobile workforce and digital business processes — are giving a big boost to the e-signature market.

That's the word from Michael Laurie, co-founder and VP of product strategy at Silanis, an electronic signature provider.

"Acceptance for e-signatures has been growing over the past years in terms of end user adoption," he said, noting that customer experience is a priority. If users don't like an e-signature solution, they won't use it, he said.

The Continued Failure of Risk Management Practices

Risk management is not about avoiding failure -- it is about achieving success.

The ERM Initiative at North Carolina State University, led by Mark Beasley, has published its sixth report on the state of risk management. I saw the first report in 2010 and frankly, not much has changed.

Can the Internet of Things Help You Connect to Higher Profits?

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Businesses that  embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) will be up to 10 percent more profitable by 2025, according to a new study from Verizon (registration required).

Before you rush to make new connections, consider the obvious. Verizon has a vested interest in promoting the IoT. In 2014, the company saw a 45 percent year-over-year revenue growth in its own IoT business — which translated to about $585 million of its $88 billion in revenue in 2014.

Still, the research is interesting.

Verizon, using proprietary data and results of commissioned studies from ABI Research, estimates there were 1.2 billion different devices connected to the Internet last year and that the number will rise to 5.4 billion by 2020 for an annual growth rate of 28 percent.

So how can you tap in to boost your bottom line?

Blame the C-Suite for Your Failed SharePoint Project

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About two out of three organizations complain their SharePoint projects have stalled (26 percent) or failed to live up to their expectations (37 percent).

And it gets worse, according to new AIIM research.

A majority of respondents blame those SharePoint failures on lack of support from senior management.

Keeping SharePoint In Check with Information Governance

Historically, SharePoint was thought to cause as many information governance problems as it solved. The 2001 to 2003 versions did not show Microsoft putting much effort into helping customers with information governance. But after the massive take up of SharePoint Portal Server 2007 licenses, and the often negative conversations coming out of the sizable SharePoint user community, Microsoft started to take governance issues seriously. Governance-focused sessions started popping up at the conferences, and governance articles and check lists made an appearance on TechNet.

'Managing Chaos': The Long, Winding Road to Digital Governance

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Governance is a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For records managers it's all about metadata. For C-level managers it's a way of preventing lawsuits. For others it's an organizational straitjacket.

This week Lisa Welchman published her much anticipated book on digital governance, "Managing Chaos." Welchman is a recognized expert in the digital governance field and president of Digital Governance Frameworks at ActiveStandards. I could't wait to read this book. And (spoiler alert) -- I was not disappointed.

Amazon Muscles Deeper into the Enterprise Space

Amazon Web Services has introduced several upgrades aimed at moving it deeper into the enterprise space.

Its identity and access management (IAM) upgrades, for instance, make it easier for enterprise users and, specifically, systems administrators, to manage and change identities and security settings.

Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist for Amazon Web Services, explained In a blog post that the upgrade enhances longstanding IAM features, which until now been associated with single users and the identities they governed.

Microsoft Adds 4 Security Measures to Office 365

Microsoft has added four security measures to Office 365 to help businesses keep their data secure. Two of the measures are focused on compliance and the other two offer better identity protection.

Are four new measures at once a bit much? Not if you consider things like the recent Anthem breach.

Microsoft’s drive to ensure Office 365 security and compliance is nothing new. But with the number of high profile information breaches growing, everyone responsible for enterprise data is a bit edgy.

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