Welcome to the Monday edition of the IP news roundup. Here are the latest headlines in data privacy, cloud, big data and more:
- Cloud can improve your website’s performance. Last week, I referenced an article stating that CMOs are spending more on IT than CIOs are. Here’s another reason why: hosting your website in the cloud can make it easier for your visitors to find what they’re looking for. According to Forbes.com, cloud-based hosting can make pages load faster, which is crucial, since “a decrease in website loading speed by as little as one second can lead to as much as a 7% drop in revenues.” For more ways in which cloud can make your website easier to search, see the Forbes.com article.
- Data loss may lead to Canadian lawsuit. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) faces three class-action lawsuits related to the disappearance of a portable hard drive that contained information about 583,000 Canadian Student Loans Program recipients. A lawyer representing 12,000 loan recipients states that some have had their identities stolen, although it has not been determined if the identity theft was related to the missing hard drive. Some of the impacted individuals are pushing for the government to provide free credit monitoring services until their identities are no longer at risk of being stolen. Although the unencrypted data was lost in early November, Canada.com reported that the breach was made public only this month. To prevent future breaches, HRSDC asked that all unapproved USB sticks be returned to Ottawa for destruction. HRSDC has also provided a toll-free number, 1-866-885-1866, people can call to find out if their data went missing.
- A Cloud Computing Journal article offers advice on how to transform your IT department into an internal cloud provider. The article recommends starting by evaluating your current quality of service and cost metrics. “You need to understand where you stand,” the article states. “Do some benchmarking, and identify where you’re using your resources. Compare your output with third party cloud vendors and you’ll see opportunities for improvement.” For more advice on how to manage your internal cloud more efficiently, see the Cloud Computing Journal article.
- SC Magazine announces the threat of the month. The January threat of the month is Carrier IQ, a mobile device diagnostic app that monitors smartphone and tablet applications. An SC Magazine blog post states, “The concern with Carrier IQ is how this software is implemented. End-users are not aware of the software’s behavior and haven’t been provided the option to opt-out of its use.” For information on how to prevent Carrier IQ from compromising your network, see the full SC Magazine warning.
- And finally … big data may help you avoid the flu. It’s that time of year again … flu season. If you don’t think hand sanitizer is enough to protect you from your wheezing co-workers, you may need to get high-tech. The SmartPlanet blog published a list of apps that track the spread of the flu and recommended measures you can take to protect yourself. By the way, you may want to wipe down your keyboard and smartphone, as they often have more germs than a toilet seat does.
What is your take on today’s news? Feel free to share your opinions below.