Shifting Ground for Data Privacy: The Latest on CCPA and Privacy Shield Laws

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, September 26th 2018 — Categories: Security

GDPR? Old news. (We’ll just pass over the fact that many organizations have yet to reach compliance…that’s another story.) While hosting providers that advertise to European companies and individuals must comply with the EU law, there are other legal requirements that US-focused organizations have to consider, namely Data Shield and an upcoming compliance mandate in the state of California that is similar to GDPR itself.

Privacy Shield is an international law in flux, with EU lawmakers threatening to withdraw entirely if the USA does not enforce compliance. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will go into effect in 2020.

What do these laws entail? And should your organization be concerned with these data privacy measures?

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High Availability vs. Fault Tolerance vs. Disaster Recovery

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, September 20th 2018 — Categories: Azure, Disaster Recovery, VMware

You need IT infrastructure that you can count on even when you run into the rare network outage, equipment failure, or power issue. When your systems run into trouble, that’s where one or more of the three primary availability strategies will come into play: high availability, fault tolerance, and/or disaster recovery.

While each of these infrastructure design strategies has a role in keeping your critical applications and data up and running, they do not serve the same purpose. Simply because you operate a High Availability infrastructure does not mean you shouldn’t implement a disaster recovery site — and assuming otherwise risks disaster indeed.

What’s the difference between HA, FT, and DR anyway? Do you really need DR if you have HA set up?

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2FA Isn’t a Magic Bullet

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, September 6th 2018 — Categories: Security

Let’s get this out of the way first: two factor authentication is an effective mode of account verification and far, far better than a simple username and password (single factor) authentication method. But it isn’t a magic bullet and can be overcome, especially with clever social engineering (unsurprisingly, the weakest link in security remains people rather than technology). Ultimately, 2FA is only as secure as the method and technology or product used to secure it.

Here’s how 2FA can be overcome by determined hackers and how you can best maintain account integrity across your organization or personal accounts.

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Turning Your IT Department into a Service Center

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 30th 2018 — Categories: Managed Services, DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations

Here we are again, talking about digital transformation. While the pile of buzzwords threatens to overwhelm at times, this particular movement has real benefits for organizations that are still running IT in the old style, with break-fix scrambling, disjointed service delivery, and a take-it-or-leave it approach to technology procurement.

Rather than focusing simply on the end goal from an IT perspective, your IT department should be focused on the bigger picture. Your users are in effect your customers — and your company’s customers are supported by those users. By bringing business goals and processes under the IT umbrella, you help foster communication, efficiency, improve IT services, and most importantly revenue growth across the organization.

Here are three areas to focus on when transforming your IT department into a service center.

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Azure Management Groups Simplify Subscription Administration

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 30th 2018 — Categories: Cloud, Azure, Cloud Hosting, Microsoft

If your enterprise cloud environment has started to sprawl out beyond one or two Azure subscriptions, chances are you’ll need to implement some form of management and policy enforcement across your Enterprise Agreement to control costs and ensure compliance. Enter Azure Management Groups.

Management Groups can be used to apply conditions to subscriptions based on Azure regions, SKU sizes, server versions, resource type, and more. They work in conjunction with Azure Policy and Azure Role Based Access Controls (RBAC) and are similar to Active Directory in their setup and administration.

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