How Big Data Has Changed Entrepreneurship

How Big Data Has Changed Entrepreneurship

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How Big Data Has Changed Entrepreneurship

The latest industry piquing the interest of entrepreneurs is Big Data. It is the vast amount of information being collected, analyzed, stored, and monetized in a progressively digital world.

What has led to the emergence of Big Data, and what does it mean for entrepreneurs?

The rise of big data is mainly due to the amount of data being created at an exponential rate. The collective ability of systems, phones, and machines to generate data is greater anything the world has ever witnessed before. In reality, there will never be enough memory or a big enough server to store all of the data ever created. It will continuously evolve.

This data explosion has created an opportunity for entrepreneurs. Every time a new data storage platform is released, it’s typically marks the beginning of a new era. Following the launch there are always first, second, third, and fourth generation companies that mimic the platform and make it better in one way or another.

What trends define Big Data?

There are currently two major movements that have affected big data. First is the monetization of big data. Company’s now have access to massive amounts of differentiated and actionable customer data. However, there are some instances of businesses collecting the data that don’t realize it and don’t know what to do with it once they do. The next big trend for enterprise data could be how to maintain a competitive advantage and at the same time have access to data that no one else does.

The second trend to rise in the world of big data is the regulation of it. We have already seen it in part around privacy and security issues with GDPR and cookies.

Which industry does Big Data have the most effect?

There are very few industries that big data will not impact. However, the most effect has been seen in the advertising industry. Companies can gather real time customer data on purchasing habits and visual funnels to sales. This was never possible before the mergence of big data. Google has famously made its fortune doing just this.

Courtesy: datafloq.com

How does Big Data have economic value?

A great example would be what we see a lot of in the insurance industry. Insurance companies have what is called an individual risk profile and it can be worth millions of dollars. The risk profile is essentially a collection of consumer data and carries such great value because those in the insurance world manage their populations according to risk levels. When they can navigate the data and know that a particular population carries more risk than another population, they can better control their pricing.

How can entrepreneurs assess the opportunities within Big Data?

A terrific way to understand big data is to compare it to big oil of a hundred years ago. Data is the new oil in the way that industries are evolving around it much like they did around oil. Personal data has become an economic asset class and businesses are learning to manage their data in the same way they manage their money. This is not a trend that is going to be here for a while and then disappear. Data will continue to grow, and the need to have all of these different kinds of businesses — including some that we’ve never thought of — will be born.

Facts About Recycling IT Equipment Infographic

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recycling IT equipment

Recycle IT

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When thinking about recycling used materials, more often than not the three R’s will come to mind. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. How do they relate to items that aren’t just plastic bags, glass bottles, and aluminum cans?

The concept of e-waste is relatively modern when you consider the fact that civilization wasn’t so dependent on computers and cellphones half a century ago. However, it is still just as harmful as any other form of waste, if not more. We’ve compiled some ways on how to reduce your company’s IT waste.

E-waste from used IT assets can lead to security risks and compliance issues if not disposed of properly

Not disposing of IT assets properly can lead to significant security risks and compliance issues. If private information is not wiped from hard drives, tape storage, or servers before they are abandoned, this can cause a major security breach or even worse, identity theft.

Up to 50 tons of E-waste is created every year

50 tons!! That’s equivalent to seven and a half elephants or two thirds of the space shuttle in waste every year! From video game consoles and outdated smartphones, to computer hardware and TV screens, e-waste is accumulating in landfills around the world. In fact, e-waste makes up 70% of the world’s overall toxic waste.

Proper E-waste disposal

Similar to other forms of waste out there, there is a proper way to dispose of IT that’s safer for the environment.

One proper disposal method is to donate what you no longer need and prolong its lifespan above ground for a few more years. This is the Reuse aspect of the recycling trio. IT assets especially have a high reusable life long after their retired or decommissioned.

By partnering with a reputable ITAD firm to dispose of the IT equipment e-waste for you, you can be sure it will be done responsibly and in compliance with federal laws and industry regulations.

Every company uses technology these days, but not every company knows how to properly dispose of IT assets safely and ethically. Raise awareness of the importance of partnering with an ITAD firm by mentioning it at the next office meeting or bringing it up to the head of IT. In the long run, it could really make a difference.

Tips To Reduce Your Company’s IT Waste

It seems like everyone these days want to think of their tech company as being a “green business”. In reality, there could be additional steps they could take to reduce their carbon footprint even more. IT companies are becoming a growing presence in the global economy, meaning their overall influence on the environment is growing.

IT assets such as desktops, laptops, networking servers and switches become outdated over time and eventually need to be replaced. Here are just a few ways your company can reduce your environmental impact through e-waste reduction.

Take care of your equipment

Just because one of your computers has been giving your IT department trouble lately doesn’t mean it’s time to get rid of it. Be sure to take the extra time to properly maintain and update your computer’s systems and drivers. The smaller number of new computers your company needs to purchase, the smaller number of resources you’ll ultimately need to run your business. Another benefit is that it is usually less expensive to maintain equipment than to replace it with new equipment.

Find Efficient Equipment

It’s a no brainer that your company’s old equipment won’t last forever. Eventually, they’ll have to purchase new equipment to replace the outdated models. When that time comes, look for more energy-efficient options. Modern technology tends to be designed with energy consumption in mind.

Handle Computer Disposal Correctly

Not so fun fact: it is estimated that 34% of all electronic waste comes from IT equipment. Now if you remember earlier, we noted that there was 50 tons of e-waste created every year. That would make 17 tons on IT equipment improperly disposed of annually!

Being conscious about how you dispose of IT equipment is important when you’ve decided to retire and decommission your technology assets. One option is on-site services that offer data destruction and e-waste pickups. However, your company will also want to investigate ITAD firms and computer disposal experts to partner with. Keep in mind that nothing can go directly to a landfill, and an ITAD firm ensures that your data is safe, and your IT assets aren’t harming the environment.

As tech companies continue to grow internationally, their overall environmental impact grows too. Fortunately, the right IT asset disposal methods can help keep your IT company green for generations to come.

10 Spine Chilling Cyber Security Facts

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It’s that time of year again. The air is getting colder, leaves are starting to fall, and kids in costumes are running from door to door. Before you turn on the next horror movie and jump at the slightest bump in the night, take a moment to read these truly scary facts about cyber security.

The most terrifying part about reading these grave statistics is that they appear to get worse every year. In the event your company needs a little motivation to pay more attention to your cyber security measures, please take a close look at these spine-chilling cyber security facts!

According to cyber security experts, a cyber attack occurs at least every 30 seconds with about 4,000 ransomware attacks a day (a 36% increase in 2017), and these numbers are projected to get worse.

Microsoft predicts that the potential cost of worldwide cybercrime will soon rise to $500 billion and a data breach will cost the average company almost $4 million.

According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, up to 60% of small and medium-sized businesses that suffer a significant cyberattack will go out of business within six months.

1 in 131 emails contains malware, and Panda security reports that 230,000 new malware samples are being produced every day. 58% of malware attacks are targeted at small businesses.

Microsoft estimates that 63% of all network intrusions and data breaches are because of compromised user credentials.

92% of malware is delivered through email, and Symantec reports that 88% of hacker emails use malicious attachments to deliver their attack.

According to the Ponemon Institute, only 21% of small and medium-sized businesses rate their ability to withstand cyberattacks as highly effective with a humbling 81% reporting that hackers have successfully evaded their cybersecurity measures.

Microsoft estimates that the average cybercriminal spends about 146 days within a network before being detected. Other reports put this depressing figure closer to 200 days.

IBM reported that the most rapidly growing cybersecurity threat is from crypto mining, which is malware designed to take over a system’s resources in order to mine cryptocurrency without the victim’s knowledge. 

The steadily growing amount of cybercrime will correspondingly increase the need for cybersecurity professionals to deal with these threats. However, according to CSO, the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs is expected to increase from 1 million in 2016 to 3.5 million in 2021.

To put a little perspective on how seriously business leaders feel about growing cyber security threats, in a recent interview Warren Buffet mentioned that he considered cybersecurity threats a greater threat to mankind than nuclear war. If that doesn’t scare you, check out the facts below!

scary cyber security facts

Data Security in Online Banking

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In today’s world of banking it seems as if everything is done online. Having digital records of all your financial assets is a great idea, if done correctly. 

However, one risk that online banking faces and isn’t talked about very much about –is the possibility that bad players can do great harm to the financial data.

We’ve all heard about the risks of ransomware attacks, but what would happen if a bad apple within the organization were to “delete” all the institutions data? Not only would mass panic and chaos ensue, but the consequences would be overwhelming.

Thanks to this amazing thing we call the internet, there are more ways than ever to hack a bank. According to report by Positive Technologies, banks are just as prone as any other institution to cyberattacks. In fact, hackers often get credentials through phishing scams.

The report shows that “employees at 75% of banks reviewed had clicked on links in phishing messages, and those at 25% of banks entered their credentials in a fake authentication form.”

While banks have suitable solutions for recovering from normal events such as natural disasters, blackouts, and human error; they have a lot of learning to do in being able to survive and quickly recover from a cyberattack.

Online Banks Protecting Data

How can a bank’s data be protected? The answer is far more complex than investing in the best cybersecurity systems. Banks already spend vast amounts on IT security, in some cases more than three times the amount of nonfinancial institutions.

In addition, banks are mindful to protect data by backing it up. Data backups are created using multiple copies of critical data such as customer transactions.

Some of those copies are recorded at the time the transaction occurs and others are recorded every hour, day, or week. Several of the backups use databases or application technologies, whereas others use traditional or cloud storage.

If somehow hackers gained authorizations to the storage system itself, they could possibly corrupt or erase the critical data or all the copies of that data. 

Banks should have off-site recovery plans in place like tape backups. However, those take time to get online, and might not include the most recent customer transactions since they’re kept in an offline state. So, if hackers can just as easily destroy backup data as they can original data, what can banks do to protect their customer’s data?

In order to ensure data security and survive a cyberattack that intends to erase critical data, banks should observe to the following protocols:

  1. Identify the critical data that is required for operating the business. Obviously no business critical data should be labeled as unimportant, but you should be able to identify which data is deemed absolutely necessary to keep the business afloat. That data should have multiple backups in multiple locations.
  2. What is the resiliency for each data type Ask yourself, how long will it take the business to recover if any data is destroyed? Depending on the data that is lost, it could take hours, days, or even weeks to fully recover. How much revenue would be lost in that time?
  3. Create an infrastructure that provides the level of protection your business needs.A smart data protection strategy is to regularly backup data to WORM or write-once, read-many storage devices. This guarantees that data cannot be overwritten or corrupted. Such data storage devices should be secured with credentials that are only available during non-business hours.
  4. Always confirm that the cyber-recoverability requirements are correctly executed in your infrastructure.It is imperative to confirm after each change, upgrade, update, or modification, which takes place in your IT infrastructure that the recovery requirements are still intact and understood by all stakeholders.