Using a fake identity to trick Facebook, getting paid for jogging and how to book one and the same hotel room cheaper via VPN – in their keynote speech „Data Ethics & Digital Selfdefense“ at this year‘s Univention Summit, author Pernille Tranberg and journalist Steffan Heuer showed how big our digital footprint actually is and what information we (un-)consciously publish about ourselves on the internet.
What is the current situation?
Compared with other developed countries, Germany’s pupils, teachers, and curricula are lagging far behind in terms of digital education and media skills. The German Minister for Education, Johanna Wanka, has identified two principal reasons for this, which will now be addressed in the new DigitalPakt#D strategy. One the one hand she sees a lack of pedagogic concepts and strategies, and on the other an underdeveloped IT infrastructure. I can agree wholeheartedly with this assessment for many sectors.
The threat posed by ransomware such as Locky and other malware has been a hot topic on and off in the media for months now. In a number of cases, including some rather more prominent ones, hackers have managed and continue to manage to infect their victims’ files with malware, which encrypts them to the point where they can no longer be used – the files are only made available again once a “ransom” has been paid. The more accesses the user in question has, the higher the damage: if possible, files on servers in the network are also “captured”.
A great deal has already been written on the topic. At this point, I would like – albeit very subjectively – to introduce a couple of approaches for how to protect yourself against such attacks.
In this post, I want to help answering the question how cloud and managed service providers can help end user organizations to move faster and more decisively into the cloud. This is of major relevance for the growth of all CSPs and MSPs and a requirement for every provider who wants to be able to compete against the large players like Amazon and Microsoft.
The first question of cause is: Do organizations want to move into the cloud at all? Especially with their internal applications like collaboration software or ERP systems? And as a consequence: Is there an opportunity for service providers at all?
Choosing Open Source gets you more – a whole lot more. That is especially true for the state, which gains flexibility, independence, added security, and, above all, better synergies within and between different state organizations by actively giving preference to and promoting the use of Open Source software. This avoids double expenditure and counters the risk of incompatibilities; Open Source effectively renders the state more efficient.
As many software companies move their products to cloud-based offerings, the question comes up: where is the difference between supporting cloud-based products and supporting on-premise products? Talking to customers and partners over the last couple of months I’ve made some notices which I want to share with you.
Apple is fundamentally against creating a backdoor allowing US authorities to bypass smartphone encryption. However, companies alone deciding whether backdoors are acceptable will not result in increased data security for us. We need open encryption mechanisms which can also be modified by users in case of doubt.
When reading our success stories, one could conclude that UCS is geared towards mid to large size businesses, school districts and government agencies. While many of these use UCS, and we are proud they trust us with their day-to-day IT operations, a large group of our customers are missing on this listing. These are your mom and pop shop down the road, the 3 person law office around the corner and the small non-profit in the neighborhood.
What makes small business customers distinct from the bigger ones?
One of the most staggering experiences I had when transferring from our Professional Services team to North American management was that suddenly I got into the first line of contact with the potential customer. Suddenly the filter, which was the German Sales team, was gone and I had to handle all customer questions directly. It was a fascinating experience though, because I suddenly didn’t just have to do the work I was used to but also had to explain what our Consulting Team is usually doing and why the customer has to pay for it.