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Business Technology

Information technology security and business

This article is written in partnership with Dell. To find out more about promotional content please visit our Privacy Policy.

Technology has had an undeniably colossal affect on how we do business. We can now communicate with people around the world in real time, pay for goods with the swipe of a card or click of a mouse and download files from the cloud with the push of a button.

Like with most things in life though, technology does have its downsides. Historically, technological problems have centred around speed and reliability. Thanks to advances in programming, processing power and cabling, technology is now faster and more reliable than it has ever been. This is also in part thanks to more people becoming ‘tech savvy’. People expect more of technology, and more people are working to improve it. As such, the age old issues of speed and reliability which have plagued almost all forms of technology, are no longer under the spotlight. I would argue that security is now a bigger issue.

A padlock on an ethernet cableThe growth of the global tech savvy population means that more people understand how technology works, which is great in some respects, but from a security perspective, it can be concerning. If your employees know how to access confidential files you store on your server, or your customers are able to apply 99% discounts to products in your online shop then you have a problem.

In 2014 eBay was one of the most high profile victims. Vulnerabilities in Javascript and Flash code on some listing pages enabled hackers to steal users information, post fake listings and redirect visitors to fake payment pages. In 2013 Sony was fined a quarter of a million pounds by the ICO in the UK for compromising customer details in a 2011 data breach.

In it’s recently released business security e-book, Dell state that they believe many of the security problems we face today are because businesses use fragmented systems and they use a different security solution to protect each one. Whilst your payment system might be completely watertight, if it’s linked to your website, which happens to contain some vulnerable Java technology, then hackers may be able to crawl into your systems. To quote Dell’s Director of Product Marketing, Bill Evans “Patchwork solutions that combine products from multiple vendors inevitably lead to the blame game“. He goes on to say that when using fragmented systems, each vendor “is responsible for only part of the problem” making it very difficult to properly secure your systems.

There are many different solutions for companies out there. As a business you could ground yourself firmly in the first half of the 20th century and refuse to adopt technology of any kind. After all, if all the details on your client, Mrs Jones, are kept in a file in filing cabinet 35B on the sixth floor of the of your customer information storage centre, a hacker cannot squirrel their way into your network and then publish Mrs Jones’ details on the Internet. That does however mean that when Mrs Jones pops in to see you, you have to keep her waiting for 20 minutes whilst you go to find her file – as opposed to typing her name in and pulling up her details on your tablet.

There are often benefits of using software and technologies from different vendors, and it would be foolish to dismiss a good business system just because it has a few minor potential security floors. The challenge then is to find a security system than can protect your new technologies.

A security key on a keyboardUsing a single, comprehensive security system, such as Dell Endpoint Security to protect all your information technologies would help top alleviate many of the problems that arise when using a patchwork network of security systems. Using one system would instantly eliminate conflicts between security software. It can also be much easier to manage one unified system than trying to juggle several separate schemes.

Naturally each individual security system may have some specific advantages that one universal security system may not, but the fact that a universal system is just that, universal to all your businesses technology, is a huge advantage.

Dell believes that all good universal security systems should: protect the entire business both internally and externally; comply with all internal policies and indeed national laws; and enable employees to adopt technologies with confidence and ease, promoting efficiency and innovation.

What are your views on business technology security? Let us know in the comments below.

Categories
Computers Gadgets Technology

Sponsored: The rise of the Ultrabook

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Acer. To find out more about sponsored content on Technology Bloggers, please visit our Privacy Policy.

Before you read any further you should know that as a writer I have been offered a small fee to produce this article, and will receive a (very small) fee for every person in the UK who watches the video – for a limited time. That said, this in no way affects my objectivity or impartiality, and I endeavour to make this article as interesting as any other on the blog. Our policy as a blog is to only accept paid editorials which are of interest to the writer, and which we believe will be of interest to our readers. Funds raised help us to maintain and improve the blog.

The word Ultrabook has become somewhat of a buzzword in the computing industry in recent times, but many people don’t really know what it means or refers to. What is an Ultrabook?

It really is amazing how fast paced the technology industry it. Go back 3 years and tablets didn’t exist and just 6 years ago smartphones didn’t either.

Netbooks

The first variation on a laptop was the Netbook, which went on sale in 2007. A Netbook a term used to describe laptops which are lightweight, portable, lacking in external ports and cheap. Most Netbooks don’t have CD drives and as far as I am aware none have floppy drives as standard.

Netbooks were deigned as a cheaper alternative to a laptop which is ideal for using on the go. The rise of Netbooks was deigned to improve the portability of a laptop, as despite laptops being more portable than desktops, they often weren’t practical for using on the go.

Ultrabooks

Last year laptop makers went a step further in the long-term development of the device and created the Ultrabook. Ultrabooks were designed to be as portable as a Netbook, but the next level up in terms of speed, practicality and storage.

Ultrabooks are very well designed laptops with powerful processors, designed to use less power and therefore have a better battery life. Ultrabooks are like Netbooks in that they are very portable, but they are also powerful.

Most of the big technology firms are now making Ultrabooks. Acer, Dell, HP and Samsung all have their own brands.

The majority of Ultrabooks are powered by Intel’s powerful ‘i‘ processors. Intel Core i3 processors are what you find in most Ultrabooks, these are very powerful and cope well with multiple operations. Some Ultrabooks have Intel Core i5 processors which, are another step up from the i3 – more power leading to better handling and greater possibilities. There are now a few Ultrabooks which run Intel Core i7 processors, which are lightning fast! i7 is rare though, as most people would never need to a processor which that fast.

One recent addition to the Ultrabook market is Acer’s Aspire S5. It is currently the worlds thinnest Ultrabook, measuring a tiny 15mm closed and a staggering 11mm when open – it beets the competition by some considerable margin! Dell XPS 14 for example is nearly 2.1cm when shut (almost an inch) whereas the Aspire S5 is less than 1.5cm.

Acer Aspire S5
The Acer Aspire S5 – a powerful Ultrabook.

Acer’s Aspire S5 is not only ultra thin, but also ultra light (starting to see why it’s called an Ultrabook?) weighing in at 1.2kg. The screen is an impressive 13.3 inches making it pretty much the same size as a 13-inch MacBook Pro. That said the equivalent MacBook weighs 2.06kg, 0.86kg heavier than the Aspire S5 – that’s like carrying the best part of an extra bag of sugar around with you!

Ultrabooks really do showcase the amazing technological advancements that have been made in the last few years. Devices are getting smaller, thinner, less power hungry and more powerful, and the Aspire S5 is no exception.

Technology firms seem intent on advertising their new devices in the most innovative way possible at the moment, and Acer have produced an advert in-line with this trend for their new Ultrabook. If you are interested, take a look at the ad below to see the Aspire S5 in action – quite literally in action!

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So what are your thoughts on the Ultrabook trend? Do you think that portable is the future, and desktops are destined for the scrapheap, or is there a future where they co-exist?

Which is your preferred option, the usually slightly cheaper, but less capable Netbook, or would you rather spend a little more to have a much more powerful, performance built Ultrabook? Personally I would have an Ultrabook any day of the week!

Thoughts and comments welcome below 🙂

Categories
Gadgets

Exploring arguably essential home gadgets

We all love our gadgets, some people more than others of course – we’ve all got parents or grandparents who haven’t got a clue how to turn a computer on, let alone check their emails or catch up with their family on Facebook. But for the gadget lovers among us there’s nothing better than getting home with a new bit of kit, setting it up and turning it on for the first time. It’s like a birthday and Christmas all rolled into one!

Christmas and birthday in one
Christmas and birthday rolled into one!

But while we all have such affection towards the latest offerings, what would we actually call “essential’? After all, the very latest devices and gadgets don’t come cheap and disposable income isn’t exactly at its peak at the moment. We’re finding that we have to budget more, and even wait until the price drops after a few months before we can get our hands on some devices, an agonizing wait for many I’m sure. So if we had to prioritize our gadgets, what would they be?

Laptop

Of course, you have to have a laptop. Tablets and smartphones are great but sometimes you just need a computer to get certain jobs done as well as they possibly can be with a bigger screen and better all round packages. You’ve got numerous top quality manufacturers to choose between, all offering different packages, with Apple, Dell, HP and co all vying for the title of top laptop manufacturer.

Printer

Obviously, if you’re working on your laptop at home for an important project for work, school, college or University, it’s vital that you have a way to get it off the computer and into a tangible document. For that reason you need a printer capable of producing your work in high quality, something Dell printers for one are synonymous for, while other features can include scanners, photocopiers and fax machine capabilities.

Smartphone

Then when you leave the house it’s vital that you can stay connected to the rest of the world. Smartphones such as the iPhone, BlackBerry and Samsung Galaxy give you the ability to check your emails on the move, update you location to Facebook, look into what Lady Gaga has had to say on Twitter and even buy things, you can do it all while you’re out of the house. Oh, and you can text and make calls too of course!

Tablet

One of the must-have items of the moment, tablet computers such as the iPad are taking the world by storm. On the train, in the boardroom, at the park, they’re all using them as perfect hybrids between smartphones and computers.

Music Player

Finally, of course, you have to have an iPod or similar device to listen to your favourite music on. Whether you’re in the gym, on the train or just relaxing, it’s always good to have some music to keep you in the mood for whatever you’re doing.

These are what I believe are essential home gadgets, but what is your views? Do you consider all these gadgets essential, and if not, which are yours?