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Data security is a key topic of discussion for many in the cloud space, any lapse in it will be an embarrassment for firms and individuals. Make plans to safeguard your business against hackers, hosting failures, poor decisions and downright bad luck.
The authority on anti-viruses, Symantec, released its Security Threat Report for 2011 recently. The findings reveal a shocking 81 percent jump in the number of malicious attacks last year. The report also noted that the cyber attacks that primarily targeted larger organizations had shifted their focus to small and mid-sized businesses.
This increase in cyber attacks spells bad news for everyone. Big firms may face losses and a PR nightmare but they are likely to survive. However, smaller businesses might not. On a personal level, there is an irreplaceable value to sentimental data (wedding pictures and home videos).
Next, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) completed a survey in April 2012 on data security risk in the UK. The survey states that half of small businesses are not prepared to educate their staff about data security risks. The more tell tale sign of widespread data robbery was that 76 per cent of small businesses and a stunning 93 per cent of large organizations reported security breaches in the last year.
The worst-case scenario was incurring a bill due to the damage averaging £15,000-£30,000 for small business and £110,000-£250,000 for corporations. Corporations may feel a slight pinch at the figure but a 5-figure cost for business with limited resources could spell the end. In many corporations, no matter big or small, it is obvious that most are not prepared for this seemingly unavoidable data robbery. It is alarming that despite how rampant this problem is, few have taken steps to prevent it.
Data security or insecurity often arises from external sources like attacks from malicious hackers and from service provider failures. Hosting failures and migration errors are commonplace; High profile failures in recent years Microsoft servers lead to loss of T-Mobile received much attention. Besides just data, in 2004, South Californian airports had 800 airplanes pile up due to the crash. Also, the recent compulsory migration exercise called upon by Microsoft Office 365 frustrated so many small businesses that only a small percentage of users have complied. After all, not many small businesses have the time or resources to shut down their operations just for the migration.
At other times, the loss of online data (especially privileged and confidential ones) is through carelessness of users. Usage of public hot spots or WiFi in coffee cafes and at public terminal is convenient but dangerous. It allows easy and unrestricted access for anyone who has the ability and the intent. Forgetting to log out of accounts on public computer terminals is more common and risky than one would think. Another problem is the usage of weak passwords like one’s birthday, name or just “guest”. Viruses embedded in emails or on dodgy websites can also open a terminal to data insecurity. Without paying attention to simple rules, users are easy targets.
What is needed here is for everyone especially company staff to take note of 4 things:
One, use a trustworthy cloud service for data storage, email back up, email migrate or online transactions. Ensure that your external provider has satisfactory security in place. If a provider is less stringent than the business it provides for, cloud services can cause as many problems as they solve.
Two, chose better passwords. Use different ones for every site and avoid obvious choices that were mentioned above.
Third, remember to log out of public terminals thoroughly. Make sure to avoid clicking “Remember Me”.
Fourth, don’t open questionable mail or links. If in doubt, don’t fall for sensational video title links and unexpected attachments from anyone (including friends and family.)
Fifth, Dropmyemail provides a simple service to protect your cloud data with email back up and be able to migrate email from one provider to another. It’s a free and simple two-click signup process to get you going. Add the mail accounts to back emails or migrate emails and it is done.
A combination of these easy steps can separate data security and data risk to rectify potential problems. Perhaps if more people just start working these points, next year’ report and surveys will reflected lower data security intrusions.
After almost 5 years building up Google Southeast Asia, Vinoaj Vijeyakumaar, left to become the Head of Product Development at an ambitious startup, Dropmyemail, that back up and migrate emails. Mind-boggling as it may seem to some that anyone would leave the comforts and security of Google, it is in-built for some to take a risk.
“Startups are in my DNA – they are more lean, nimble and hungry. I’m at a stage in life where I can take the risk one more time. “ Vinoaj, or Vinny, as he is commonly known, goes on to say, “I was starting to feel the itch to return back to the startup world.”
Vinny was introduced to the company by Charif El- Ansari, ex-Head of Business Development at Google Southeast Asia and current Head of EMEA for Dropmyemail. After seeing the coveted hockey stick growth and meeting like-minded people in the team, Vinny made the decision to quit one of the biggest companies in the world. This received a mostly positive receptions from friends and colleagues.
“It has been extremely positive. Friends in Google showed overwhelming support due to the tech space startup culture. Outside of Google, people were more surprised.” According to Vinny, “One of my clients told me that ‘Everyone is fighting to get into Google, why are you leaving?’”.
Vinny is the newest addition to Dropmyemail, the most comprehensive service that backs up consumer emails (and contacts, calendars and chats). The company has announced user number 650,000, only 50 days after starting operations. The phenomenal growth and the chance to build something were main draws for Vinny.
“I could see that Dropmyemail meets a real universal need. The signup rate in Dropmyemail‘s first 50 days proves this. Of course, backing up email is just the start. Leveraging the existing framework against other forms of communication will ensure that we’re always trying something new,” articulated Vinny.
As a web analytics and conversion specialist, Vinny will be bringing together his engineering and conversion optimization background to help solidify the product and branch it out into new avenues.
“Having someone focusing on the product will help us develop and iterate on the product at a rapid rate. Vinny’s analytics and data background will allow us to spot trends easily and leverage on those, and at the same time we can spot weaknesses in our product and fix those before they have an impact on user acquisition. As we become confident in our product offering, we can start to target and test in more markets,” Dropmyemail’s CEO and founder John Fearon commented. “We are extremely pleased to have Vinny onboard. We are on track to hit one million users within three months, growing faster than Dropbox, Fab.com, Pinterest and Twitter at a similar stage. There are an estimated 4.3 billion emails in the world today; Our aim is to back-up the internet, so Vinny and I have lots of work to do.”
With Dropmyemail, it is Vinny’s third foray into the startup scene. The first attempt was on a online accommodation booking site specialising in holiday homes throughout Australia and the second try was an online ecommerce solutions for bookstores. Despite both previous startups peaking and ebbing, Vinny feels that there were important lessons learnt and that third time is the charm.
“I loved the environment – there’s nothing like being the underdog trying to fight their way through to the top. You learn immensely and create close bonds with your colleagues and partners. All of this leads to the ability to be nimble and to be able to launch and iterate products in a quick fashion,” commented Vinny.
Vinny was born in Sri Lanka, carries an Australian passport and recently received his Singaporean permanent residency. He has lived in 11 countries and, like Dropmyemail, calls Singapore his home. Vinny believes that with some improvements like an open mind set against the common risk-averse culture and a more encouraging education system, Singapore could be the next hotbed for global technology start ups.
“Kids should be encouraged to try, fail and try again. The government support is great and it can be ramped up by bringing in seasoned entrepreneurs to set up shop or to interact with the community,” commented Vinny.
Though Vinny could have remained in a cushy Google life, he wanted to be challenged again. Big corporations often lose touch with owning their products or get tied up in hierachies. It will be amazing to see Vinny’s contribution to Dropmyemail’s aim to back up the Internet.
“Google was a great learning experience where I was exposed to many sides of the business and many different types of partners. I wanted to pursue a challenge where I could put those skills and knowledge to use at a company that is in its early stages.”
Dropmyemail will be heading down to Mumbai, India to be part of TechSparks’s Regional Round Table on the 26th of May, 2012.
The Indian market is one of the fastest growing user base in terms of sheer number. It is expected to have the 3rd largest Internet user base in the world. Over the last 10 years, the internet penetration rate is increasing exponentially.
We currently have 650,000+ users of which 19% of the traffic comes from India. We feel that India is a key market for us and would actively take part in events in the country.
We are also getting a lot of attention by the Indian Online Blog community. We have been covered by YourStory.in and Pluggd.in in the last couple of days. We hope that it continues. We have a great product and some great features coming up. The team is busy getting it out soon. We look forward to announcing some soon.