This week’s technology news from Amicus ITS – Friday 19th April 2013

UK SMBs Main Target For Cyber Threats
Symantec’s latest Threat Report shows cyber attacks having risen by 42% in 2012, with the UK being the subject of 20% of all global threats. Whilst smaller businesses with weaker security systems are traditionally the initial target, these are seen merely as stepping stones for larger company breaches. BYOD trends have added to the headache with virtualisation, mobility and cloud requiring security across all devices (32% of all mobile threats were aiming to steal information). Even if companies have not been directly attacked, their websites have been compromised, spreading malware (30% up on the previous year). We believe companies must be more proactive and create “defence in depth” security measures, as it is no longer an option to ignore this issue if they are to stave off future attacks.

Microsoft obtains its largest patent licensee with Foxconn
Microsoft will be celebrating this week with the news it has secured its largest ever patent licensee with Taiwanese phone maker Hon Hai, owners of Foxconn. Although details of the deal are currently scarce, Microsoft will be getting a flat fee per Android device produced, accounting for 40% of Smart Phones worldwide including Kindle Fire. These patents include how file names are implemented, data management and contact databases. Microsoft already extracts royalties from most big name Android manufactures such as Samsung, LG and HTC. Adding Foxconn gives Microsoft a highly profitable new revenue stream, which is more per device than the manufacturers make on the sale of phones themselves.

Amazon takes on Google with their App Store
Amazon has announced over the next few months it will be extending support to almost 200 countries from their app store that runs on top of Android for the Kindle Fire tablets. The Amazon Appstore for Android will support more countries than the native app store available on other Android tablets, such as Samsung and HTC. Indicating Amazon’s commitment and momentum in the mobile sector it will drive sales of Kindle devices in countries where Google’s app store is not supported. In our opinion, it also fuels rumours of Amazon’s move to the Smart Phone sector later this year. Without the support of additional countries, the company would have trouble launching worldwide.

Sony streams in to lay claim to world’s fastest home internet
Google Fiber has been generating internet chatter with its rollout of 1Gbs internet access in America. However Sony have announced what they claim is the ‘world’s fastest commercially-provided home internet service’, which launched in Japan this week providing 2Gbps downloads. We think Sony may be using the service to help the launch of their next-gen HD streaming service later in the year, driven by their acquisition of Gaikai. The launches of these super speed internet connections could make the commercial and business thin client PCs mainstream. From our point of view, it is no coincidence that Google and Sony who would be interested in delivering these services, are preparing the groundwork to make this a reality.

Money on a flashstick
Bitcoin a new virtual currency is making waves. Whilst used for buying goods and services online its distinct feature is its anonymity and independence. Hard to regulate and with transactions tough to trace, it’s a growing honeypot for black marketeers. It’s also an interesting alternative to cash if you are in a country caught in a crisis. Largely disliked by banks and governments, it appealed sufficiently however to the Wikelvoss twins, who went public this week claiming to own 1% of the internet currency worldwide ($11m). They have preserved security from hackers by keeping their digital cash on flashsticks in safe deposits in different banks. Anonymity is a big attraction, however the risk due to wild fluctuation in bitcoin value will keep the meek at bay. We consider that if it continues to grow, it could signal a new player in the global economy. In the meantime, businesses will be more comforted by traditional forms of payment for services, rather than in kind.

This week’s technology news from Amicus ITS

Cloud security fundamental to BYOD

A recent study suggests that cloud computing plays a vital role in the success of BYOD in the work environment. The study stated that although 54% of respondents identified BYOD as an area for growth, 78% stated that the trend could pose a ‘significant’ risk to information security. We believe that with increased efforts to educate users on cloud computing, fears surrounding BYOD may begin to dispel and the benefits, including operational costs and user experience, can be rewarded.

NHS to become paperless by 2018

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced his plans for the NHS to become paperless by 2018. The NHS will be joining a list of organisations already paperless, including 38% of Fortune 1000, saving them costs of up to £4.4 billion. We believe that this is overly ambitious and the concept of a fully paperless office is far from reality.

Gartner show shift in PC market

This week Gartner have stated how there is a current “structural shift” in the PC market as tablet demand continues to grow. The research firm has stated that shipments of PC’s are down by 4.9%, due to users opting for tablet devices instead of laptops and PC’s. So what does this mean for mobile device management? We believe that this shift will continue through 2013 and into 2014 with mobile devices becoming more prevalent in the workplace as they become more adaptable for the workforce.

What technology skills will be needed in 2013?

MSP mentor have released a list for top technology skills needed in 2013. Topping the list for in-demand technology knowledge include; business intelligence, mobile projects and cloud technology. These skills can cover a multiple of sins including, virtualisation, big data and app development. We believe a number of organisations have already made the move in understanding mobile and cloud technology.  However, business intelligence is still seen as a specialist area, and requires a different level of expertise and investment for organisations to fully understand and capitalise on this opportunity.

A managed service providers guide to this weeks news

iPhone 5 set to boost BYOD trend

iPhone 5 tops over 2 million pre orders in the first 24 hours, more than double its iPhone 4s predecessor.  With Apples upgraded features and increased popularity it’s no wonder the forecast predicts a growing number of devices will soon be flooding through company doors and connecting to organisations IT infrastructures. Is your company ready to support this generation of smart devices?

Windows 8 predicted to increase sales of tablets by over 10 million in coming quarter

With the release date of Windows 8 looming, predictions are already being made as to the impact Microsoft’s latest update is going to have on the world.  A survey by IDC states how tablet sales are likely to increase by 10 million this year.  Windows 8 will be partially responsible for this increase; however Apple and Android devices will remain the top players impacting this climb in sales.

Security breaches hit high profile companies – could yours be next?

With a number of high profile organisations becoming the subject of recent IT security breaches (Dropbox, Sony, E-Harmony), it’s clear that organisations need to step up their game to ensure their companies IT infrastructure is secure. According to recent findings from Florida Tech University, cyber-crime is on the increase, with around 14 crimes being committed every second at a cost of around $411 billion.

Microsoft wins battle over infringement laws against Google

Last week Microsoft saw themselves win their third legal battle against Google in the recent months.  A court in Germany heard how Google’s Motorola had been accused of infringing a Microsoft patent.

Office 365 offers greater opportunities for MSP’s

Microsoft has now released their ever anticipated preview of Office 2013 and Office 365.  Many of the changes that have been made are unsurprisingly in correlation with the imminent release of Windows 8.  One particular new feature that stands out is Microsoft’s deeper integration of Office 2013 with their cloud service SkyDrive.  With the BYOD generation growing bigger than ever it is no wonder that Microsoft have ensured a much more mobile and tablet friendly software, and with a much cleaner, less cluttered look the new Office is bound to be a hit.