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  • It seems that far too many information workers still don't fully understand the importance of keeping their log-in details confidential. In a recent study of 2,000 white-collar employees in the United States and the United Kingdom, security software vendor IS Decisions found that alarming numbers of workers don't believe their log-in details represent a security threat. What's worse, an even greater percentage of managers feel the same way. IS Decisions' report, "From Brutus to Snowden: A Study of Insider Threat Personas," also found that age is a significant determining factor, with younger workers being much more likely to share log-ins and passwords than their older colleagues. The findings serve as a reminder to IT security teams that understanding the behavior of their own users should be one of their most important jobs. "The recurrent theme is lack of education," said IS Decisions CEO François Amigorena. "This highlights the need for a tailored approach to tackling internal security that addresses everyone in an organization, from top to bottom." The company recommends some steps for dealing with this challenge, including making employees more familiar with security policies, restricting concurrent access and instituting harsher punishments for offenders. There's also one tongue-in-cheek piece of advice: Passwords are like underwear. They should be changed often, not shared with friends, kept as mysterious as possible and not left lying around.

  • Employees are often overwhelmed by workplace distractions, which significantly reduce their productivity. Sometimes, the distractions are due to their own actions, but many times, they're not, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. Yes, the ubiquitous (and tempting) nature of tech gadgets and Web surfing are major culprits. In fact, findings show that one out of four workers admitted that they will spend at least one hour of a standard workday on personal calls, emails and texts. And one-fifth estimate that they spend one hour or more of their work time searching the Internet for non-work-related information and photos, etc. In addition to limiting such pursuits to lunchtime and other designated break times, you can follow these suggestions from CareerBuilder to make the best use of your time on the job: De-clutter your desk so you can find things quickly when you need them. Organize your brain by focusing on your daily to-do list and include estimated time requirements for individual tasks. Don't allocate large blocks of time to composing and revising emails when you can have a phone or in-person conversation much more efficiently. As an added bonus, we're including a couple of CareerBuilder's outrageous real-life examples of time-wasting employees. Nearly 2,200 hiring managers and HR professionals and more than 3,020 workers took part in the research.

  • Cyber-security attacks are increasing, and (ISC)2's goal is to help IT professionals address the growing complexities involved in protecting data and systems.

  • Employers are increasingly citing inappropriate social media behavior as their reason to pass over job candidates, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. And hirers sometimes dismiss serious contenders because they find out unsettling information about them via social media. To best position yourself for a great career opportunity, keep in mind that companies are increasingly researching social media profiles of interviewees before making a final decision. It's essential to use good judgment—not only about what you post, but also about the content the people in your network are posting. Though it's unfair, some employers take a "guilt by association" approach to screening job candidates. It's also important to search yourself on social media, to verify that all online information is accurate and is not potentially damaging. "Job seekers need to stay vigilant," advises Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "They must pay attention to privacy updates from all their social networking accounts, so they know what information is out there for others to see. Take control of your Web presence by limiting who can post to your profile and by monitoring posts you've been tagged in." The following are common practices that kept candidates from getting jobs, along with some strange and even shocking social media postings that hirers discovered about contenders. Nearly 2,140 hiring managers and HR professionals and more than 3,020 workers took part in the research.

  • Data visualization technologies communicate large amounts of data in ways that are easier for business groups to understand, so insights can be quickly gained.

  • Organizations are increasingly moving toward hybrid cloud integration models, according to a recent survey from Technology Business Research (TBR). As a result, the hybrid cloud represents a potential $7 billion hybrid integration market this year, as IT environments are expected to move toward becoming fully hybridized, the findings state. However, the market is still far from mature, with only a minority of large enterprises currently investing in the integration required to create hybrid clouds. Clearly, the trend creates opportunities for IT professionals who can help organizations move forward with hybrid cloud strategies. "A hybrid IT environment is the end-game for cloud, with the hybrid cloud as a first step," stated one of the reports in the series, "Hybrid Cloud Customer Research." "For enterprises, hybrid cloud will increasingly become the goal, leading to purchases across the cloud services landscape and moving integration into a lynchpin role." TBR defines the hybrid cloud as a cloud infrastructure, platform or application that is composed of two or more clouds (whether private or public) that remain unique but are integrated by technologies that enable data and application movement. The research is being published in a three-part series of reports from TBR, with each report based on a survey involving 2,200 global IT purchase decision-makers.

  • The chain of music stores turns to a cloud solution to aid in onboarding, managing talent pools, providing training and addressing other staff development tasks.

  • Both employees and senior managers feel strongly that IT departments must help them increase existing mobile technology capabilities, according to a recent survey from Aruba Networks. Providing support and resources for an all-wireless workplace remains at the top of the must-have list for organizations, as today's professionals frequently work somewhere other than the corporate office. Much of the survey focuses on the needs of what Aruba calls "GenMobile": employees in their mid-20s to mid-30s who seek a more agile, creative and connected working environment. Executives and GenMobile employees "prefer an increasingly mobile style of working, and IT organizations are feeling the pressure to adapt existing technology investments to meet their requirements," says Ben Gibson, chief marketing officer for Aruba Networks. "The workplace of the future will not only need to be right-sized to align with IT budgets, but it will also require a mobility-centric and secure wireless infrastructure—a move toward employee self-service." An estimated 1,000 global IT professionals took part in the research.

  • Many financial professionals are unsure about cloud solutions, but appreciate their ease of use and their ability to decrease reliance on the IT department.

  • With numerous studies indicating that IT hiring is on the rise, it's more critical than ever for companies to get better at finding the best candidates for their job openings. Unfortunately, recent survey data accumulated by the ADP Research Institute indicates a growing chasm between job seekers and the companies recruiting them. Despite the abundance of recruiting solutions and social media platforms available to bring employers and applicants together, neither side appears to be pleased with the resulting processes—but for completely different reasons. For instance, job seekers are frustrated with how long the hiring process takes, while employers say their recruitment systems are letting them down. The bottom line, ADP contends, is that it's up to employers to create a positive experience for job seekers. "Employers need to understand that their recruiting methodologies contribute to their brand perception," said Tony Marzulli, ADP's vice president of product management for talent solutions. "Even in tight job markets, candidates are going to select those employers whose brands align most with the experiences they have come to expect as good online consumers." In other words, companies need to think of job applicants as customers and treat them accordingly. A whitepaper detailing ADP's findings, which were culled from two surveys of more than 3,000 workers in midsize and large U.S. companies, can be downloaded here.

  • These practical suggestions will prepare your organization to respond quickly and effectively to what experts consider nearly inevitable: a data breach.

  • You don't have to be the smartest person in the room to become an effective team leader. But you do need to know how to bring out the best in all the individuals on your team, so the resulting "whole" brings greater value to your organization than its individual parts. The recent book, Innovation Breakdown (Post Hill Press, available now), provides insights into how to best align a team of hotshots with disparate skill sets. It's all about striking the right balance, according to author Joseph Gulfo. You have to recognize when it's time to lead and when you should allow team members to take charge. To provide further guidance, we've adapted these 10 best practices from Gulfo's book, which covers everything from dress codes to work schedules, strategic input, personal accountability and problem resolution. Gulfo is a medical doctor, and his book focuses on the conflict between health industry innovation and regulatory constraints, but the following takeaways are readily applicable to all teams. Gulfo is currently CEO of Breakthrough Medical Innovations, which specializes in health care product and commercial development.

  • The laws of supply and demand do not track in today's digital environment. Increasingly, there is a nearly unlimited supply with no relationship to demand.

  • A major league baseball club turns to cloud-based storage to manage and share huge video files. It improved performance, lowered costs and reduced demands on IT.

  • When it comes to the Internet of things (IoT), think big. As in really, really big. As in a staggering number of online machines and devices—including those installed for network-enabled cars, shoes, washing machines, pets and virtually anything else in existence—connected by the next decade. For enterprises, this represents a watershed opportunity for cost reductions and new revenue, according to recent research from Deloitte. The resulting report, "The Internet of Things Ecosystem: Unlocking the Business Value of Connected Devices," reveals what companies are seeking from this developing technology. In addition, it presents a number of best practices for IT teams to maximize IoT's strategic value. "The Internet of things has the potential to offer business value that goes beyond operational cost savings," says Eric Openshaw, vice chairman and leader of Deloitte's Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. "Providers in the IoT ecosystem have a largely unexplored opportunity to develop compelling solutions that explore how the ability to collect and analyze disparate data—in real time and across time—might transform the business. These developments will play out within and across enterprises, offering opportunities for sustained value creation, and even disruption for those who can imagine possibilities beyond the incremental." Deloitte compiled the statistics included in the following slides from research conducted by Gartner, the Economist Intelligence Unit and Deloitte's own analysis.