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  • The age of the Internet of things has arrived: More than two out of five enterprises are either currently leveraging IoT technologies or plan to do so this year, according to research from ISACA. But these organizations will invite huge risks if they don't confront the potential cyber-security issues that are commonly associated with IoT deployments. To provide some guidance, ISACA has published a report, "Internet of Things: Risk and Value Considerations," which features a list of nine questions that IT departments should ask before pursuing IoT initiatives. While the IoT era has only begun, the report indicates that its impact will be transformational. However, that transformation will be problematic for companies that don't proactively initiate protective policies. "Connected devices are everywhere—from obvious ones like smart watches and Internet-enabled cars to ones most people may not even be aware of, such as smoke detectors," says Robert Stroud, international president of ISACA and vice president of strategy and innovation at CA Technologies. "Often, organizations [use] IoT without even realizing it, which means their risk management stakeholders are not involved and potential attack vectors are going unmonitored." ISACA (previously known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association) is an independent, nonprofit association that provides guidance, benchmarks and other resources for more than 115,000 IT industry members worldwide. The following questions are adapted from the report.

  • Companies need to think of outside-the-box perks to entice potential candidates and develop communications strategies to gain recognition in their communities.

  • It's probably time to rethink this whole notion of work-life balance. With huge numbers of workers saying that they're using their work devices for personal business and using their personal devices to do work, the line between work and personal business is no longer just blurry. It's virtually nonexistent, and IT security teams must pay attention. That's the key takeaway from a recent survey conducted by MSI Research on behalf of Intel Security. MSI interviewed 2,500 professionals in 12 countries to gauge their attitudes about online data protection in the era of mobile business. What they found is that employees are increasingly using their work and personal devices interchangeably, placing the onus on their employers to adequately protect both. "Working wherever and whenever has rapidly become the norm, as employees and employers strive for increased productivity, collaboration and responsiveness," said Candace Worley, a senior vice president at Intel Security. "This can pose significant security risks for organizations, as employees often use whatever network is available to them whether they are sure it's secure or not." In other words, you're letting your mobile employees roam outside of your network unchecked at your own risk.

  • Technology offers new ways to connect. The challenge isn't to tie technologies together. It's to rethink how human interactions take place in a digital world.

  • As enterprises look to reinvent how they connect with customers and boost their brands, they are increasingly turning to mobility and social media technologies.

  • While compensation for IT professionals rose in 2014, the increases amounted to a minor bump-up for the average employee, according to a recent survey from Dice.com. The findings reflect a half full/half empty state for the industry: Yes, most tech workers received raises, but many had to change employers to do so. And more are receiving bonuses. However, the vast majority of IT pros do not get bonuses, and those who do are seeing only a slight increase in the amount. So IT managers and executives should not be surprised to find growing dissatisfaction about compensation among their staff members, along with the loss of top-notch talent to competitors when those workers leave to get better compensation packages. "As demand for technology professionals rises and highly skilled talent is harder to find, the pressure is being reflected where it counts: paychecks," says Shravan Goli, president of Dice.com. "Still, tech pros are less happy with their earnings, signaling to companies that in order to recruit and retain the best candidates, offering more will be necessary." More than 23,400 tech employees took part in the research.

  • Transforming into a software-driven business is not easy, as many companies are trying to compete with applications that are better suited to the last century.

  • Do you think you have the best IT job around? If so, you may want to check to see if your job made the following "Ten Best Tech Jobs in America" list from Glassdoor, compiled from the top 25 list of best overall jobs on the online career community site. The company came up with the ranking based on the following three key factors, which we've included below: earning potential, number of job openings and career opportunity rating. (The third factor was based on at least 75 career opportunities ratings that were provided by U.S.-based employees over the past year.) Not surprisingly, the list reflects many of the hot industry niches that we've reported on previously, including software development, big data and analytics, network oversight, mobility and IT project management. As companies face increasing competition for top tech talent, IT professionals who perform these roles should expect greater prospects for rewarding assignments, career growth and (of course!) generous compensation. "It's no surprise that we see many tech jobs on [our top 25] list—the most of any industry—with such rapid growth and demand in the market," says Scott Dobroski, career trends analyst for Glassdoor.

  • One of the unfortunate realities of the digital age is that it's impossible to escape the threat of malware. Emails, Websites, and other tools and technologies all too often carry potentially dangerous payloads that can damage or cripple an enterprise. Most recently, Sony Pictures Entertainment discovered just how destructive malware can be and how it can wreck a company's reputation and cause enormous financial losses. Yet, while it's critical to protect against these threats, a new report, "The Cost of Malware Containment in 2015," from Ponemon Institute and malware detection vendor Damballa, reveals that major organizations spend an average of $1.3 million annually responding to erroneous and inaccurate malware alerts. This adds up to about 21,000 hours in wasted time and effort across all systems and devices. The report also provides insights into how enterprises cope with legitimate threats, as well as false positives. The upshot? While the frequency and severity of attacks are growing, IT and security teams must take a more strategic and coordinated approach. "Significant money and time can be saved if organizations have actionable intelligence to prioritize the threats posed by malware," points out Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, a research think tank dedicated to advancing privacy and data protection practices.

  • The Caribbean Credit Bureau,  a leading provider of credit services in the Caribbean region, turns to a cloud solution to ring up business and IT gains.

  • Amid a rapidly changing business and IT environment, perhaps only one thing is entirely clear: Digital disruption in the new normal. A recently released report from Bersin by Deloitte Consulting, "Predictions for 2015: Redesigning the Organization for a Rapidly Changing World," underscores just how tumultuous and transformational the year will be, and just how much impact it will have on IT and human resources. "The global economic recovery, changing demographics and rapid changes in the technology landscape have come together to redefine the entire nature of work," states author Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte. "This has resulted in a "new world of life—one in which work, home, family and personal lives are completely interconnected in a real-time way. 2015 is the time to be bold, innovative, and forward-thinking. The technology and workplace changes around us are dramatic and rapidly occurring." The consulting firm predicts that this emerging digital order will fundamentally change our lives and will alter the power dynamics between employers and employees. Technology is introducing greater transparency in the job market and a need for entirely different skill sets. The following are 10 key trends for 2015 from the report.

  • Bad phone behavior at work leads to miscommunications, misunderstandings, and the misuse of time and resources. Getting control of this situation isn't easy.

  • It's hard to secure what you don't know is there. A recent survey from the Cloud Security Alliance indicates that while organizations are clearly concerned about the security of data residing in cloud services, they also have surprisingly little insight into how much unknown exposure they have on this front. The lack of awareness of shadow IT use of cloud services—which occurs outside of IT's control—and the associated security vulnerabilities appear to be impeding adoption of the cloud. There are indications, however, that organizations are moving to change this paradigm. "As companies move data to the cloud, they are looking to put in place policies and processes so that employees can take advantage of cloud services that drive business growth without compromising the security, compliance and governance of corporate data," says Jim Reavis, CEO of the not-for-profit CSA, which surveyed more than 200 IT, IT security, compliance and audit professionals from around the globe. Rajiv Gupta, CEO of cloud security firm Skyhigh Networks, which sponsored the survey, adds that "This survey illustrates that companies are aware of the consumerization of IT, but have room to more proactively address the security concerns of cloud adoption."

  • The Internet of things may be experiencing a period of hype, but it’s justified. Businesses are creating a lot of value with Web-connected sensors and devices.

  • The potential benefits of IoT are clear, but how do you ensure the security of the data moving from machine to machine or being accessed via corporate networks?