The Great AI Debate – Human Destruction or Great Potential

In the summer of 2017, two behemoths of technology had a very public debate over whether Artificial Intelligence – or AI, as it is popularly known – could spell doom for humanity.

Elon Musk of Telsa and Space X has pontificated that AI needs an “alarm bell” and proves an “existential risk for human civilization.”  As such, Musk is calling for proactive regulations so that AI doesn’t destroy humanity  — such as AI-powered robots killing or enslaving humans or, at the very least, replacing human jobs.

This bleak attitude toward AI prompted Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to retort that Musk’s view is “irresponsible” and accused (Musk’s) doomsday fears as unnecessary negativity, according to The Atlantic Monthly.

Part Two: The Internet of Things is a Game Changer for Industries – Security Issues Can Be Managed

IoT is a windfall for many industries, but like any relatively new technology architecture, it also has its challenges – most prevalent is security.  In part one of this blog post, we outlined how businesses are connecting multiple devices to provide actionable data to help increase efficiencies within their organizations.  In this blog post, we will talk about how to secure these machines.

Top 10 IT Budgeting Tips for SoCal Businesses in 2018

As we head towards the fourth quarter, budgets are top of mind, especially in the tech forward state of California. Technology innovation continues to evolve, and as you set growth goals for 2018, it’s imperative to adjust your IT budget accordingly.

IT budgets are expected to grow 4.5% this year, Morgan Stanley said in its report, “CIO Survey: 2017 IT Budgets Improve on US Strength.” The top spending priorities include cloud computing, security software, analytics tools, networking equipment and ERP and CRM applications.

How can you accurately forecast without overestimating? What percentage should go towards maintenance versus innovation? If you’re feeling overwhelmed as budget deadlines approach, you’re not alone.

Here are 10 IT budgeting tips to help simplify the process:

IoT Part One:  The Internet of Things is a Game Changer for Industries – Security Issues Can Be Managed

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a true game changer for industries worldwide.

A few years ago, IoT became a cool catch-phrase for “smart” consumer products – such as refrigerators that connect to the Internet and can provide helpful data, such as when you need to buy a new carton of milk.

But today the uses for IoT – especially in the manufacturing and business world – are infinite.

Equifax Security Breach Affects Over 143 Million People – Half of the US Population: How Can Your Credit Score Be Safe?

Over the past few years, many enterprise-level companies such as Target have been hard-hit by cyber criminals who have accessed customer credit card information.  Now Equifax is now among the largest companies hit by a cybersecurity breach – but this time it is on a scale that is stunning IT and security experts. According to the Wall Street Journal, the breach was a result of a well-known security hole in Cisco firewalls which was identified as a fix and distributed back in March. According to the article, Equifax’s IT experts deployed the fix, but in July “found the same security flaw still existed in some areas.”

While this breach was announced in September 2017, Equifax believes consumer information may have been accessed in an unauthorized manner between May and July, according to Fortune.

Given that Equifax is a credit reporting agency, the company holds a myriad of private consumer information.  Last week, Equifax reported that over 143 million people – about half the size of the U.S. according to the Los Angeles Times – could be affected.

Disaster Recovery Solutions Have the Potential to Save Critical Business Data in Times of Crisis

Hurricane Harvey in Houston has amassed a disaster toll of unprecedented proportions.  According to recent figures from ABC News, a total of 93,942 homes have been damaged or destroyed by the hurricane as 20-trillion gallons of rain poured down on several counties throughout Texas and Louisiana. In addition, Hurricane Irma is also threatening the Caribbean and parts of Florida – wreaking havoc not seen in decades.

In addition to the devastating toll on residents, such mass natural disasters threaten the economy.  BusinessInsider reports that “AccuWeather forecasts that (Hurricane) Harvey would be the most expensive natural disaster in US history, at about $160 billion…. According to data…cited by Bloomberg… the hurricane could cause $75 billion in economic losses.”

The 4 Major Misconceptions SoCal Businesses Have About Their Security in the Cloud

Do you worry about data security in the cloud? If so, you’re not alone.

Or maybe you don’t worry enough.

Sometimes, when you don’t have physical control over your data, you start to question exactly how secure it is and whether your privacy is protected. What business owners may not understand, though, is the cloud provides many security benefits.

There’s one serious caveat though: As long as your cloud service partner is best in class, consistent updates and new tools continue to make the cloud one of the safest places to house your data. Otherwise, the cloud can be riddled with risk.

The 2017 Gartner Security Predictions Study states, “the 60% of enterprises that implement appropriate cloud visibility and control tools will experience one-third fewer security failures.” The key word being “appropriate.”

 

5 Cloud Tools Worth Consideration in 2017

CloudsCloud-based technology solutions continue to be a predominant factor in IT growth. From business intelligence to email security to customer relationship management, the steady progress in cloud offerings translates to regular new releases of cloud software. With a wide range of applications and services that have a positive contribution to business productivity, there is no shortage of options to consider.

As your business needs change, your technology needs evolve as well. Always be on the lookout for the best new tools to enhance your existing cloud environment.

Here are 5 new cloud tools you want to consider investing in in 2017:

DDoS Attacks on Schools – Why Schools are an Easy Target for Cyber Crime

Recently, DDoS or “distributed denial of service” attacks have been launched against schools, preventing faculty and students from accessing important educational materials online.

DDoS attacks have long targeted industries like finance and banking where cybercriminals can gain access to important financial data. But now, even non-profit organizations such as healthcare and educational institutions are being victimized.

According to one report, by THE Journal, education is now the most targeted sector for malicious attacks beating out healthcare.

Part Two – IT Saves Lives: Three Steps to A Successful Disaster Recovery Drill

Do you have a data disaster recovery (DR) plan?

Have you conducted a disaster recovery drill to make sure your DR plan is effective?

Whether it is a natural disaster that shuts down all the power and your computer systems with it, or even a cybercrime such as ransomware that can lock you out of your hard drive and computer files, being prepared for the inevitable emergency or crisis is of paramount importance.