Stories continue to abound about cyber attacks, hacking and new potential threats to the security of Canada's IT systems. For many SMEs the thoughts of addressing the many potential threats, while they work hard to provide business growth, good service to customers and returns on investment, is pretty challenging. Since for many companies the IT environment is still kind of unknowable territory especially when looking at security issues it is not hard to accept that they can become overwhelmed by all of the negative news.Read More
Office Document Strategies Blog
Its been a couple of weeks since the new EU privacy legislation has come into effect. This legislation is the strongest and most defined legislation dealing with the use of data collected through online activities and could easily become a model for what happens in other jurisdictions including Canada and the US.Read More
The Canadian Federal Government has introduced revisions to the Canada Elections Act designed to address concerns about how electronic interference affects future voting. Given all the controversy about US, European and other jurisdictions being affected by both individual and country sponsored hacking during elections this is a timely and important topic for Canada given the numbers of elections coming over the next couple of years,Read More
Sometimes organizations loose sight of how every interaction in their work has customer service implications. Sometimes it is possible to loose clients, suppliers or others through oversights due to a loss of focus.
Every part of an organization has customer service implications and the people responsible must be encouraged to ensure that they do their best to support a positive corporate image. Recently, I have seen a couple of instances where the lack of simple tools makes good customer service tough.
A little real life experience:
Last fall my wife and I had the opportunity to take a two week packaged tour to Italy conducted by Trafalgar Tours. Trafalgar is one of the biggest tour companies in the world with some 20 or so brands under their banner. They work hard to promote their tours with lots of advertising, good information and varied choices through out the world.
Our tour was conducted by a talented, very capable Tour Director who worked exceedingly hard to deliver the trip in a top notch manner. At the end of the tour while headed to our last night everyone was asked to fill in a paper tour evaluation while on the bus.Read More
Anyone watching the political situation in the US knows that cybercrime has become more than just an economic tool. The political use of cybercrime is potentially even more critical to the world than the economic impacts but understanding this should not have any of us forget how critical the dollar costs are.Read More
All of the controversy around the issues of the Russian intervention in the US and other country's elections sometimes covers how important cyber security and the ability of IT networks to be secure is to everyday activity. If the general media was only focused on the political consequences of hacking of IT systems we would not hear about how some of the daily things we do are affected.
Some headlines which show Canada is not immune to the issues:
The costs associated with building systems, acquiring protection software and spending time to keep on top of current threats are all things which we as consumers end up paying for as they get incorporated into the costs of the goods and services which we use.
A recent CNN summary itemizes some of the biggest stories which have occurred including the 145 million accounts from the Equifax hack, the announcement the total of 3 billion Yahoo accounts were hacked in 2013 and closer to home the fact an Ancaster hacker connected to Russians has now pleaded guilty to hacking up to 500 million Yahoo accounts from 2014.
These kinds of events kind of make use glaze over as we figure there is nothing we can do to protect ourselves but we do know that Canadian organizations are forced to spend large amounts to attempt to build protections for us.
We end up having to deal with less convenient systems as things like double authentication security start being applied to our online accounts. Cumbersome conventions which force us to not be able to directly connect to some financial activity without using fairly difficult security procedures frustrate people and lead them to avoid using electronic systems.
Of course the convenience provided by electronic communications including credit and debit transactions hook most of us into continuing to stay connected and to hope that our information will be held secure by the organizations we buy from. Every effort which can be made to help secure online transactions (which include most cash register systems) will pay dividends in consumer confidence hopefully.
Looking ahead to 2018 we can only hope that cyber security will remain a high priority for the legitimate IT industry and that break throughs can occur which will frustrate those who seek to illegitimately use electronic data.
Photo credit: By ITSveronica (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Since its creation in 2009/10 bitcoin crypto currency has always had a kind of unreal story. The concept of a globally exchanged currency without a nation as a sponsor or guarantor which is traded by person to person or company to company transactions without a banking system regulator was unreal until it happened.Read More
Virtually every business today has some sort of need for connectivity for its computer and IT needs. Whether it is using cloud based applications to process data and transactions or using a cloud based data backup strategy the ability to get on line safely and quickly is almost a given.
Unfortunately not all locations are equal in providing competitive options for businesses to get this needed connectivity. The greater the need and the more intensive the connected traffic then the more the locational decision for a business can be impacted.
In a couple of articles over the past month ITbusiness.ca has shown how cities and their partners are starting to look at these issues. The focus of these articles are on Toronto and the announcement about the Google neighbourhood announced for the water front and also on a plan to rate buildings in Toronto on their connectivity capability as a means to build competitive advantage.Read More
Internet access speeds are always an issue unless you are connected in a corporate environment which offers super fast fiber or other connection. For mobile users it never seems that connection speeds are quick enough.
Of course if you are depending upon a WiFi connection for your mobile device the issue becomes even more hit and miss.Read More