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Noreen Seebacher News & Analysis

Customers Aren't Worried About Data Breaches [Infographic]

2014-20-November-yawn.jpgHere's good news for every company that's careless with personally identifiable information: Your customers apparently don't care.

A new study by global IT association ISACA shows that consumers haven’t changed their shopping behaviors despite a year of retail data breaches — worrisome, the organization maintains, especially with the shopaholic trifecta of Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is just a week away.

It's not that consumers are unaware of the problem. According to the 2014 ISACA IT Risk/Reward Barometer, almost all US consumers (94 percent) have read or heard about major retailer data breaches in the past year. But while three-fourths of those surveyed claim those data breaches have increased their concerns about their personal data privacy, few are doing anything about it.

Gartner Tries to Protect Its Magic Quadrants

Gartner really doesn't want to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding its Magic Quadrant (MQ) reports.

The research firm is challenging many of NetScout's requests for information about its business practices, processes and internal review procedures involving the MQ reports. Calling the information confidential, proprietary and tantamount to trade secrets, Gartner filed the objections in connection with a lawsuit in Connecticut Superior Court.

Update: The case is scheduled to go to trial in February 2016.

Discussion Point: Creating Long Distance Collaboration and Teams

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You may not like everyone who works in your physical office. But at least you know people well enough to have reasons to dislike them. After all, you spend eight or more hours together every day.

Not so in the virtual world, where the lack of serendipitous encounters and chance conversations make it all the more difficult to forge connections — and increase the ease of developing biased perceptions.

Sometimes even the warmest and most considerate people sound cold and abrasive on the phone. A shy person can be misconstrued as cool and aloof. And, curiously, someone suffering from massive insecurities can seem narcissistic and egotistical because he insists on hiding behind a wall of faux achievements.

So in the age of remote workforces, when employees are increasingly connected by technology rather than shared desk space, how do we make lofty concepts like collaboration and cooperation a daily reality?

Can we force people on opposite coasts to actually like each other? Or, failing that, can we just get everyone to respect each other enough to embrace a common culture?

Obama, the FCC and 2 Perspectives on Net Neutrality

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The White House and President Obama dropped the hammer on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday, pressuring the FCC to introduce rules that would strengthen protection of the "Net Neutrality" concept for consumers.

Is this something that should thrill supporters of a free and open web or just more spin from an administration looking for positive press? In this CMSWire Point/Counterpoint, we'll look at both sides of the issue.

Hell on Deals, Vamp Attacks and Frightfully Good Marketing

2014-31-October-Happy-Halloween.jpgHalloween is arguably one of the greatest marketing successes of all times. From a modest holiday that provoked kids to raid their parents' closets in search of a makeshift costume, Halloween has grown to a spook-tacular extravaganza.

Mike Kercheval, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers, said this week that consumers have become more and more be”witch”ed with Halloween. According to an ICSC survey,  nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of US households plan to spend money on costumes, candy, decorations and Halloween-related items this year.

Eight out of ten households plan to spend the same or more than they did in 2013, giving the holiday an estimated $11.3 billion price tag for 2014. "This is good news for retailers because Halloween spending is considered non-essential or discretionary, so all signs point toward a similar consumer sentiment during the holiday shopping season," he stated in a blog post.

You gotta love Halloween ... Go ahead, click. I dare you.

Discussion Point: What's the Big Problem With Big Data? [Video]

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Ask 100 people to define big data and you'll get 100 answers, including no answers at all. In theory, big data can help organizations make decisions faster, easier and more accurately. But in practice, faster and easier is just an unrealized goal — and creating business value is often even more elusive.

Riddled with hype and inflated expectations, big data has been nothing more than a nebulous concept for many organizations. 

Rather than successfully analyze a complex set of datasets to discover information that could help teams make better decisions or find new patterns, floods of data often overwhelm the people struggling to make sense of it.

Lost Your Phone? You're Probably a Guy [Infographic]

2014-25-September-battle-of-the-sexes.jpgIn the spirit of everything politically incorrect, let's talk about the superiority of women over men. OK, that's a stretch.

Let's talk about the documented, somewhat scientific finding that men can be much more irresponsible than women when it comes to losing their electronic devices.

That's the conclusion from TeamViewer, a provider of remote control and online meetings software. The company just announced the findings of its airbackup Employee Behavioral Study, which examined the behavior and attitudes of American office workers and how they affect on-the-job data loss.

Based on a sponsored Harris Poll of more than 2,000 American adults last month, men just can't keep their phones in their pockets.

Nearly half of employed men (46 percent) admit to being likely to lose the electronic device they use for work and all the important company files on it, compared to only 27 percent of employed women. And young men are the worst — with a whopping 60 percent of men ages 18 to 34 years-old owning up to likely device loss, compared to 30 percent of women in the same age group.

'Lizard Squad' Targets Sony in New DDoS Attack

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Today brought more hacker woes for Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) and Sony Entertainment Network in the form of a crippling distributed denial-of-service (DDoSattack from a vandal collective known as "Lizard Squad.”

In addition, the FBI is investigating the diversion of a flight carrying a top Sony executive amid reports of a claim that explosives were on board. An American Airlines flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley from Dallas to San Diego was grounded because of a bomb threat.

It appears that the same group behind the current PlayStation Network outage is responsible for the bomb threat on flight 362, which was safely diverted to Phoenix. The group, in fact, retweeted Smedley's tweet: 

Cyber Criminals in Russia Might Know the Password You Forgot

2014-08-August-broken-padlock.jpgIs the notion of online security as passé as the illusion of privacy? Maybe.

Just this week, we learned that a small group of hackers in Russia amassed a database of 1.2 billion stolen user IDs and passwords.

Hold Security, the Milwaukee, Wis.-based company that disclosed the incident, described the incident as "arguably the largest data breach known to date."

The Russian cyber gang targeted websites indiscriminately, hitting Fortune 500 companies and mom and pop sites alike. Hold Security reported the thieves "amassed more than 4.5 billion records, mostly consisting of stolen credentials. 1.2 billion of these credentials appear to be unique, belonging to over half a billion e-mail addresses."

How to Build Company Culture - and Keep Great Employees

2014-4-August-crowd-of-people.jpgRazor Suleman knew he had a problem when he lost 40 percent of his employees in rapid succession. "I dramatically threw my keys on the desk of my second in command and tried to quit," he recalled. 

That was back in 2006, before Suleman transformed what he describes as "one of the worst places to work" to one of the best.

Nothing like a mass exodus of talent to force senior leadership to confront the obvious: You can't buy cool, you can't fake happy and a company can't survive without great employees. Just ask Suleman, founder of Achievers, a Toronto, Ontario- based employee success platform.

Achievers boasts that its cloud-based software helps companies "engage, align and recognize their employees, resulting in higher retention and improved business results." Engaged employees lead to happy customers, which are the key to continued revenue growth and profits, Suleman said.

Googlebot Imposters Attack, Hack and Spam Your Site

2014-24-JULY-SPIDERBOT.jpgContent producers spend a lot of time worrying about Google's search algorithms. But maybe it's time to think less about how frequently Google crawls your site -- and more about the potential damage from evil Googlebot imposters, who assume Googlebot’s identity to gain privileged access to websites and online information.

According to new research released today by Incapsula, a web security firm, millions of these “evil twins” are used for distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, hacking, spam, content theft and other shady activities on a daily basis.

Marc Gaffan, Incapsula’s co-founder and Chief Business Officer, shared a disturbing statistic. "For every 25 Googlebots that visit your site, you will also be visited by a fake Googlebot," he said.

Why worry? Because more than 23 percent of these fake Googlebots are designed to wreak havoc on your website.

Cloudwords Offers New Solution for Global Marketers

Marc Benioff-backed Cloudwords is continuing its quest to help global marketers manage multi-lingual content. The cloud-based translation management application today announced Campaign Manager, an enterprise-ready solution designed to help marketers "plan, execute and track" the localization and translation of marketing content for global campaigns.

Benioff, the CEO of salesforce.com, was one of the original investors in the San Francisco-based company. 

Cloudwords was founded in 2010 by "individuals who gave birth to cloud computing," including Scott Yancey, a key architect on the salesforce.com platform, and Michael Meinhardt, a consultant who advised numerous enterprise customers on their global translation strategy, including Cisco Systems, Hitachi Data Systems, Apple and Symantec.

Here's Why You Should Take Good Care of Your Customers

2014-9-July-hot-air-balloon.jpgNew research confirms what many marketers have already suspected: It’s harder than ever to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Competition for customers is heating up — or as London-based Ovum, a global research firm, puts it, "hotting-up." Colloquialisms aside, the fight for customers appears to be kicking into high gear.

And the reason is clear. Customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce will be the fastest growing enterprise applications through 2018. According to the global analyst firm’s newly launched software forecasts, customer-engagement systems will be the fastest growing enterprise application between 2013 and 2018.

Smoke, Fire and American Apparel: Avoiding Social Mistakes

2014-07-July-house-on-fire.jpgThe scariest words an executive can hear just might be "Your brand is trending on Twitter."

Absent a viral video, strategically planned marketing campaign or the spontaneous heroism of an employee, a global cacophony of disturbing tweets can mean only one thing. 

Somebody screwed up.

Somebody said or wrote or posted something racist, sexist, ageist, insensitive, political incorrect or, perhaps worst of all, simply stupid. 

And you have to look hard to find an example of greater stupidity than American Apparel's latest mistake — confusing an image of a space disaster that took seven lives with a fireworks display.

5 Things Marketers Can Learn on the Fourth of July

2014-4-July-fireworks-in-Hobokan-NJ.jpgIndependence Day is an uniquely American holiday, replete with examples of exactly what happens when you give freedom to a rag-tag group of descendants of fanatics, misfits, debtors, dreamers and people relocated against their will.

There's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, held at the fast food restaurant's original location on New York City's Coney Island every year since about 1972. The world hot dog eating record is held by Joey Chestnut of San Jose, Calif., who ate 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes — a feat that at best can be considered bewildering.

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