This week’s technology news from Amicus ITS – Friday 16th August 2013

Is privacy is a dirty word in Google’s vocabulary?
Google is defending its extensive data mining activities which are on a scale rivalled only by the US’s National Security Agency. The US Consumer Watchdog’s class action against Google follows Google’s claim that email users have no legitimate expectation of privacy. A robot reads an email for keywords and directs targeted advertising at the consumer. However the email recipients as well as users are affected by implied consent and subject to automated processing. Knowing what a company does with your data is fundamental. Delivering on those promises is critical, whatever the size of the business if trust is to be maintained.

Outsourcing – best practice considerations
Companies increasingly outsource elements of their business as part of their organisational strategy. A variety of cloud solutions are driving changes to back office functions, infrastructure hosting and systems development. If 3rd party security standards are not robust enough there is always the threat of cyber attack. Businesses need upfront and detailed due diligence with clear contractual arrangements and strict security privileges. Any failure in IT governance and the resulting potential for financial loss or damaged reputation should prompt businesses to regularly review their security operations and not fear change if it can be shown to be in their best interests.

The future of Blackberry
Blackberry’s launch of its latest generation of smart phones is off to a slow start. The BB10 handsets were delayed several times and it seems any anticipation around them was lost before release. Recently overtaken by Microsoft in global Smart Phone market share BlackBerry sales have been declining for years. BlackBerry is now exploring strategic options and even considering selling off its devices business to focus on software and services. With Android being an open-platform and having almost 80% of the market in the last quarter’s sales, it seems unlikely anyone would purchase Blackberry’s devices arm, leaving the future of Blackberry phones looking grim.

Gartner highlights gap in BYOD
With the popularity of the Android platform to consumers, it is now more important than ever that corporations are aware of how these mobile devices are as vulnerable to viruses as their PCs. Gartner has suggested that consumers are less likely to purchase security software for smart phones or tablets rather than their PC or laptop. With the increase usage of personal devices in the corporate workplace, the risk of security attacks will increase unless a strategic BYOD policy is put in place to address this.