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  • Unified guidelines could better serve cloud users

    February 23, 2013

    As more companies than ever before begin to make use of the cloud, there is strong potential for a totally cloud-based business infrastructure on the horizon. This reality may be fast approaching, but the need for the requisite cloud storage security that must go along with this trend requires that a singular protocol be established.

    The PCI Security Standards Council has gone ahead and done just that, American Banker reported. The watchdog group recently released a set of best practices guidelines that includes how to guard customer data and who is responsible for documents stored in the cloud. According to the announcement, the majority of the ownership falls on the companies that created or curate these files, not their third-party cloud storage vendors. However, those entities also are required to meet certain safety and security requirements.

    International Business Times wrote that safeguarding data online has been a mounting problem for a variety of firms since before the cloud came to be. Putting resources in an always-live capacity may have contributed to a recent hacking of Yahoo, as the Times pointed out, but organizations of all kinds have struggled with compliance and accuracy for years. Guidelines and standard practices may help reduce or negate such errors in the future.

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  • United States leads the pack in cloud migration

    February 21, 2013

    The United States has long been a major thought leader when it comes to manufacturing, industry and technology. Cloud storage has given the U.S. another arena in which to shine, showing off its strong relationship with this asset and the kind of business benefits its corporate entities have been able to enjoy thanks to this tech development.

    A study by EVault showed that more than 85 percent of American businesses already use the cloud, with more planning on implementing the solution in the coming year. This is a sharp increase from any other nation that responded to the study, according to the results. What's more, firms in this position are able to garner more insight and flexibility from these tools, putting American corporations ahead of the pack in terms of taking advantage of technology and business opportunities.

    At the same time, these firms need to be mindful of the threats they could face in handling this kind of cloud-based infrastructure. Dark Reading stated that companies need to take a hard line toward quality and disaster readiness checks to ensure that everything is functioning the way it should be. Enhanced governance is even more critical when working with a third-party cloud vendor or operating through offsite cloud storage.

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  • Cloud and big data storage finally merging more fluidly

    February 15, 2013

    Companies have had a few years now to get their feet wet in the cloud storage and big data realms. Now that they’re finally starting to feel more comfortable dealing with these elements, more of them seem to be finding the balance they need to ensure compliance and audit control.

    That’s why Business Review postulated recently that 2013 will be the year where cloud storage becomes a fully accepted method of major data capture and management, as opposed to a fringe technology. Gartner predicted that about one-third of all information created over the next few years will reside within cloud storage, as opposed to on traditional hardware. Even with the rise of big data, the impetus toward remote networking and digital systems will continue to gain steam, the source wrote.

    ITProPortal wrote that much of the emphasis firms take toward cloud adoption is rooted in the fact that the service can be applied to so many different facets of office infrastructure. Everything from HR to analytics, email to document management can all be streamlined, stored and reviewed in the cloud. Even mobile devices are now considered under the umbrella of cloud storage, as they rely on software-as-a-service offerings and other cloud resources. Businesses will likely continue to flock toward cloud solutions in the coming years, hence Business Review’s projection that cloud ideology will become the norm.

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  • Shift toward better eDiscovery practices on the rise

    February 12, 2013

    Combating the rising tide of big data storage and making use of cloud resources continues to thwart many companies, even as better analytics and business intelligence tools entire the cloud landscape. The ongoing challenge of eDiscovery and compliance issues has kept numerous firms too busy trying to stay out of legal trouble to see whether they’re making enough meaningful use out of their existing information assets to warrant the costs incurred in acquiring them.

    As CMSWire reported, 2013 is likely to see a heightened awareness and utilization of eDiscovery tools by legal entities and private organizations. While lawyers will try to use these resources to dredge up files to use against a company, IT personnel can execute eDiscovery software intermittently on current databases to ensure that they’re up to snuff, should an injunction be handed down against a corporation.

    TechTarget commented that these kinds of precautionary measures are becoming more essential in the cloud storage game, and not just because of big data. Mobile deployments and social media integration are also presenting a widened threat landscape in which firms need to be more diligent than ever, in terms of both federally and internally imposed storage and protection guidelines.

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  • Increasing cloud governance in anticipation of eDiscovery inquest

    January 31, 2013

    Businesses should design their cloud storage and other media management tools with the understanding that, eventually, they are going to face an eDiscovery request. Whether it’s from a federal audit, consumer-driven request or a local lawsuit, there are a multitude of reasons why data requests can be levied against an organization. Building information infrastructure with clarity and transparency in mind, it should be fairly easy for firms to comply with these document requests.

    Business 2 Community reports that attempts to gain data can be both external and internally triggered, as companies need to confirm that their systems are running as they should be. Checking on the correctness of financial reports, employee performance assessments and overall analytics are handled through eDiscovery practices, making them a critical aspect of information systems for firms to anticipate.

    A review of upcoming technology trends in the legal sphere shows that nearly three-fourths of all law firms intend to implement more eDiscovery programs and acquire specialists in this realm. With the reliance on digital systems increasing every day and the complexity of cloud archiving making these deployments harder to monitor, the market for records audits may take off if companies aren’t prepared for the impact these tools could have on their continuity operations.

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  • Big data continues to impact cloud assets

    January 30, 2013

    The coming year is set to be an impact point for big data and cloud storage, with these assets starting to reach their peaks in terms of corporate importance. Both of these resources can provide significant advantages to businesses that properly implement these solutions, and research is showing that companies are moving more in this direction with their pending investment strategies for 2013.

    CloudTweaks reported that big data storage is shaping up to be a primary driver of IT budget needs for the next few months. The industry itself is projected to grow to more than $5 billion in value, the source stated, with 10 times as much growth in the next five years. This shift is fueled primarily by experts stating that database expansion is increasing by nearly 95 percent every year during that period, necessitating solutions that can expand and shrink as needed.

    That’s where cloud computing comes into the equation, ESG Global stated. Analytics and business intelligence continue to become more important to various corporate sectors all the time, helping with everything from internal performance reviews to customer-facing marketing plans. Combining big data storage with cloud computing options can increase the flexibility of firms, allowing them to adopt more insight tools while remaining protected from data loss.

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  • Integrated solutions need to work well

    January 28, 2013

    Buying new cloud storage resource power and software application access can help companies work faster and more fluidly. However, this is contingent on all these resources interacting properly with one another. In some cases, buying assets without ensuring that they can integrate with existing infrastructure can result in wasteful spending and time-consuming changes.

    Computerworld reported that some email archiving resources ran into a problem when firms tried to add third-party file encryption to their storage tool sets. After that, previous eDiscovery searches and internal inquiries that had once been simple became a time-consuming chore, because the protection program didn’t allow anyone at all to read older files. This was a glitch due to the addition of security software to a suite where it didn’t belong, the source stated.

    As Business 2 Community noted, having backup architecture is worthless if it doesn’t allow for ease of use as well as continuity protection. Email, cloud and big data storage tools should be audited regularly to ensure they are working thoroughly and correctly. Otherwise, when these programs are most needed, it’s possible they won’t work in the way they’re intended, leaving companies in a difficult position.

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  • Email storage guidelines lacking at some organizations

    January 23, 2013

    Keeping up with email compliance guidelines is essential these days, as firms try to get a handle on older files they may not have stored properly and big data inundation begins to take its toll on unprepared file systems. Companies without proper tracking and tagging programs could lose important documents and never realize it until an audit or eDiscovery inquiry takes place.

    According to The Iowa Republican, major institutions with plenty of access to sensitive communication are not taking these considerations to heart. The Iowa State Records Commission has not updated its email archiving guidelines since 2002. As the controlling body of the vast resources the citizens and businesses of Iowa have generated in the last 10 years, it would seem essential that updated procedures be put into place to safeguard this cache of information. Iowa State University, for instance, is still in the practice of deleting its emails every 30 days, and with no backups in place, could easily be improperly disposing of files the state-run school should be saving.

    Business 2 Community reports that email archiving solutions need to form an airtight circuit of creation, storage and recovery. That way, every document generated is also maintained in a manner that makes it easily accessible later, ensuring continuity.

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  • Ediscovery processes dependent on proper management and positive relationships

    October 3, 2012

    Lawyers want software tools to use ediscovery with ease, but the software tools must work alongside proper management and positive relationships.

    Because of the increase in cloud computing, users of ediscovery are having difficulties as data is now kept on third-party servers. "Consumer cloud services, particularly those that are free, have terms and conditions and operational models that do not necessarily support enterprise ediscovery requirements," said Steve Hodgkinson, IT research director at Ovum.

    It's sometimes difficult for IT departments to work with lawyers, as they have different understandings of how and when tasks can be completed, Craig Carpenter, vice president of marketing and general counsel for a maker of ediscovery software tools, told InfoWorld.

    For example, lawyers may need an entire archive of emails for a case, not understanding how much work IT has to do to get them, reported the news source. Similarly, IT specialists may not understand how imperative the request is.

    Carpenter suggested that companies hire a liaison who understands both technology and law to mediate the relationships.

    If ediscovery software is properly managed and lawyers and IT specialists can work together with the help of a liaison, there may be improvements for the legal sector in IT.

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  • eDiscovery doesn’t have to be a pain

    July 31, 2012

    Litigation is typically a very lengthy and arduous process for the parties involved, especially since civil procedure was modified in 2006 to provide both parties accessibility to all electronic documents. The sheer amount of emails, documents, video files, contracts and any other communication that businesses send every day means that finding, searching and providing such documents can be a costly headache for a company.

    The key to proper eDiscovery lies in information management. If files are scattered over several different servers and email addresses, finding the information, much less organizing it, will be a process that eats up a lot of a company's resources.

    However, if a company centralizes the data on a single server as the documents are created, the process will be relatively stress-free. Employing an archiving service that is searchable and secure is the best practice for a business. However, this typically means more stress on your current servers. Rather than upgrade your legacy systems, a cloud archiving provider may be the solution. By moving data to the cloud, executives are able to cut costs without sacrificing internal compliance practices.

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