How to build Cyber Resilience in your enterprise?

As a business grows and modernizes, it demands higher and more efficient governance. Cyber Resilience is an end-to-end governance framework to keep the security of your business intact.

Technology comes with its own pluses and minuses. It brings with it tons of opportunities to grow, but also carries some challenges that cannot be overlooked.

As enterprises embrace modern ways of conducting business and move closer towards digitization, the vulnerabilities associated with data and technology increase. The rising number of data breaches and cyber security incidents is a caution for businesses around the world to rethink their risk management strategies.

Today, businesses need more than just an Information Security plan or a Governance policy to fight hacks and cyber-attacks. They need an end-to-end strategy to prevent security incidents and a bulletproof plan of action to cope with it if need be. That’s where Cyber Resilience comes into picture.

What is Cyber Resilience?

Cyber Resilience is a fairly new concept in the world of Information Technology and has lately gained huge momentum. Simply put, it is the ability of organizations to withstand cybercrime, prepare for the possible threats and build an action plan to recover from it if it ever hits them. It is a comprehensive framework that aims at protecting the entire organization including its people, processes, and information from cyber crisis.

How is Cyber Resilience different from Cybersecurity?

From a broad prospective, Cyber Resilience and Cyber Security sound synonymous. The two terms are closely related, but cannot be used interchangeably. While Cybersecurity mainly focuses on protecting business information, Cyber Resilience focuses on protecting the business from attacks that can potentially disrupt the entire operations. Cyber Resilience is an integrated and more proactive approach that includes Cybersecurity as a key element.

But why should you care?

Almost all data driven organizations have a governance policy or a risk management framework. You would too. But looking at the huge data breaches at companies like Facebook and Equifax, do you feel confident about your security measures?

As the size of your data and operations increases, cyber threats increase equivalently. Your business is prone to threats like theft of sensitive data, insider breaches, poorly managed processes, and technology driven attacks. In this highly risky digital landscape, attacks can happen anytime, anywhere. A Cyber Resilience framework can keep you immune from security incidents for a long term, without hampering business operations.

How to achieve Cyber Resilience?

Identify

For a scalable Cyber Resilience strategy, you must first take a closer look at the vulnerable areas of your enterprise. Where is all your sensitive information stored? Who are the people using confidential business information? Which devices are used to carry out sensitive processes? Perform a thorough hygiene check at your enterprise, and identify the areas where cyber resilience measures are much needed.

Protect

Once you’ve recognized your most critical assets and processes, you must develop a strategy to protect them from cybercrime. This would involve a change in the security policy, stronger device encryptions, restricting unauthorized usage of external devices, training employees about the importance of cybersecurity and inculcating the best practices to prevent malicious activities.

Detect

Apart from being proactively involved in preventing cybercrime, you also need to closely monitor your business processes, employee activities and sensitive information. Early detection of fraud or malware can minimize the drastic impacts it can have on business operations. Any disturbing act must be notified immediately and appropriate action must be taken.

Respond

Cybercriminals are never at rest, and despite the security measures taken, you could experience a security incident at your enterprise. It could be as minor as use of personal device by an employee for an official task, or as major as leakage of sensitive client data. Once detected, a suspicious activity of any kind must be immediately attended to, and communicated to the right individuals within the enterprise to be able to fight it effectively.

Recover

What’s done is done, but you can always reduce the adversity of a cybercrime with the right measures. This step involves the actions that can be taken to fight back the malicious activity, to avoid it from spreading across different departments and to rectify the fault under your control.

The aftermaths of a security incident can be devastating. Not only does it hamper business activities, the enterprise encounters huge financial losses and its brand value is harshly affected. A bulletproof strategy to prevent cybercrime is a must for all businesses, regardless their size and nature. Cyber Resilience is a smart choice to keep your business data, processes, technologies and people away from cybercrime in the long run.

Top 5 Managed Services for modern enterprises

Hiring a Managed Service Provider (MSP) could be your most cost-effective business decision. Here are the top 5 Managed Service offerings that will optimize your IT operations while cutting company costs.

As technology becomes an integral part of all modern businesses, managing IT operations effectively becomes critical too. Not all businesses are equipped with the best IT staff, and not all of them need one.

That’s where Managed Services come to rescue. Managed Service Providers are third-party vendors that specialize in IT services. They undertake the responsibility of maintaining all IT activities on a 24×7 basis.

There are several benefits of hiring a Managed Service Provider. You get expert IT services at low cost while you can focus on your core business goals. However, with so many Managed IT Services available, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide which ones to manage internally and which ones to outsource. Here are the 5 most critical IT operations you might consider outsourcing to a Managed Services Provider.

Managed Network Services

Managed Network Services are a set of hardware and software communication networks that are operated, secured and managed by a third party. It includes networking infrastructure resources like servers, routers and operating systems as well as software solutions like firewall security, managed WAN and LAN and network monitoring services. It is ideal for non-IT businesses to outsource network services to an MSP since it eliminates the cost of the entire network set-up and in-house maintenance.

Monitoring and Help Desk Services

IT operations in an enterprise must be monitored and looked after vigilantly. A little negligence can cause system downtimes, connectivity issues and a deep impact on the end-user productivity. Hiring a dedicated MSP to monitor your IT activities helps you carry out business operations smoothly and fix system errors immediately. It keeps your IT performance worries at bay and allows you to focus on core business activities effectively.

Managed Security Services

All businesses today deal with personally identifiable client information and other confidential business data. Usage of sensitive information implies a direct risk of cyber security incidents. Also, ensuring information security is not just a good practice, it is a mandate. Hiring experts to look after your IT security is an ideal strategy to avoid cyber risk and maintain data security at a fair cost.

Managed Data Storage

In a data-centric world, almost all businesses face the problem of storing huge data sets efficiently. Traditional data storage systems are no longer effective and investing in new-age data warehouses is an expensive affair. The best solution is to let a third-party host store and manage growing business data effectively. Managed Service Providers offer a host of data storage alternatives based on varied business demands. These include shared or dedicated data storage solutions and outsourced database support with massive storage and archival capacity. The most widely adopted data storage service is Cloud hosting, where the MSP stores business data safely over the Cloud.

Managed Application Services

Businesses need numerous apps to ensure efficient business operations. These apps range include but not limited to end user portals, reporting dashboards, advanced analytics, and ERP applications. Managed application services help you build high performing, customized business apps at low cost, and also maintain those applications remotely. Managed application services include designing, building and maintenance of a range of interactive web apps, portals and dashboards, mobile apps for customer engagement and internal communication and a range of platform modernization applications.

Successful entrepreneurs know how to play to their strengths and how to delegate trivial tasks. Managed IT services is a boon for non-IT companies and the industry is gradually picking up pace. Hiring a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for your IT needs is a strategic business move that will optimize your IT operations, while letting you grow your business peacefully.

Top Agile methodologies you need to know

Adopting Agile in your software development is a strategic business move, but choosing the right method is critical for success. This article will help you understand the top 4 Agile methodologies in detail.

In a fast paced and dynamic world, time is literally the money. Traditional methods of software development were a thing back then, but they lack the speed and flexibility that modern day software projects demand. That’s where Agile gets all the limelight.

Agile is a software development strategy that combines the best practices and proven methods to deliver results faster and ensure effectiveness.

In our first article in the Agile series, we discussed about the concept of Agile and the many benefits of adopting an Agile strategy to execute software development projects. Over time, Agile enthusiasts have come up with numerous methodologies for software development, which are being used widely by enterprises to enhance speed and ensure continuous delivery. In this article, let’s take a look at the top 4 Agile methodologies that are shaping up software development in the 21st century.

Scrum

Scrum is the most popular and widely followed Agile methodology worldwide. The Scrum framework was designed to address two critical pain points of software development; speed and changing client requirements. In this approach, the software development project is executed in phases, each phase known as a Sprint. Also, small teams of 5-6 members are created, who collectively work towards the desired results.

The Scrum methodology allows active client participation at each stage, so that any required changes are addressed immediately and acted on. This ensures that the project is delivered within time and meets the client demands effectively.

Extreme Programming (XP)

As its name suggests, Extreme Programming methodology aims to put together the best practices of traditional software development and takes them to an extreme level to ensure high quality deliverables. The XP methodology tries to simplify the entire process of software development by taking the most simple and straight-forward approach, rather than implementing complex functionalities.

These codes are reviewed and tested on an ongoing basis throughout the project so that any bugs or issues can be fixed immediately and the desired software quality can be attained. Also, similar to the Scrum approach, Extreme Programming involves a lot of client interaction and addresses customer feedback/suggestions through the project, leading to maximum customer satisfaction.

Lean Agile Process

The concept of Lean first emerged in the 1950s in the manufacturing sector of Japan, where production activities were strategized in a way to reduce wastage and costs. Later, the concept was introduced in software development as a major Agile methodology. Lean software development tries to identify the business value to be delivered, creates a planned workflow and seeks perfection at each step.

The methodology focuses on reducing redundant tasks and wastage in software development. Wastage, in software development would mean writing wrong codes, reworking, or even inefficient usage of time and resources. Since Lean is all about achieving perfection, it is an ideal methodology to follow in both software development and other business projects. It helps businesses reduce the cost, time and efforts involved in software development, leading to increased functional efficiencies.

Kanban

One of the areas of critical emphasis in Agile is the ability to ensure continuous delivery. The Kanban methodology is designed on three basic principles that ensure continual delivery, without overloading the software development teams.

The Kanban framework ensures that the teams do not commit to more than what they can deliver in a day, the work in progress is visualized and reviewed each day, and when a task is completed before time, the next task in line is taken up immediately. This allows the teams to plan activities on a daily basis and deliver defined outcomes every day.

In a short span, Agile has grown and evolved to be one of the most important project management and software development strategies. There are various Agile methodologies in practice today, and many more to come. Agile is no more a good business practice, it is gradually becoming a culture.

Agile Software Development – What is it and why do you need it?

One of the recent and most significant developments in the world of IT is Agile software development. But what is Agile all about, and why do you need it? This article explains it all.

The Oxford dictionary defines Agile as the ability to move quickly and easily. In other words, agility is the quality of understanding, acting and accomplishing things quickly and efficiently. However, the term has become exceedingly popular in the world of IT.

What does Agile have to do with information technology? Is it a technology, a product, a solution? In this article, we will take a close look at what Agile is and how it is beneficial for modern day enterprises.

How did it all start?

Software development is a complex process and IT companies know it pretty well. It involves a list of deliverables including specific software programs, conception, designing, implementation, testing and documentation. If it wasn’t any complex already, it is also subject to constant technology upgrades and changing client/business requirements.

The complexities involved in software development are known to slow down the product lifecycle and fail to deliver the desired business value. Businesses felt the need for a more robust and scalable approach to software development. They sought after a method that could speed up the whole process, while ensuring quality and delivering business value. That’s when Agile was born.

So, what is Agile?

Agile is not a tool or solution. It is a set of best practices and methodologies used to optimize software development. It is a bridge that tries to connect the gaps in the development process and deliver the end product faster. A typical Agile framework is distinguished by some key features.

Phased approach
Instead of following a linear approach and verifying deliverables at the end, Agile establishes a stage-wise product development approach; each stage known as a “Sprint”. At the end of each Sprint, the completed tasks are verified and passed on to the next Sprint.

Collaborative
In contrast to the traditional style, Agile follows a team-based approach, bringing together the planning, development and testing professionals to complete the project successfully.

Client involvement
It also includes active client participation at each stage so any changes or requirements can be addressed immediately.

Visualization
Agile uses a number of tools to track individual and team progress in real-time and compare progress with defined deadlines.

Why choose Agile over traditional software development?

The concept of Agile software development sounds convincing, but is it something you need? Whether or not software development is your bread and butter, following industry best practices always has its own advantages.

Continuous delivery
Traditional methods of software development are slow and mundane, and are known to delay product deliveries. In a dynamic IT world, little delays could cause costly repercussions. It is a time-poor world and clients always look for continuous delivery. By introducing Agile framework in your software development, you can shorten project lifecycles, release products faster and improve the overall ROI.

Complete transparency
Getting lost in the lengthy, complicated procedure of software development is quite natural. Agile solves this issue by making the whole process transparent. Right from the moment a project begins; Agile breaks it down in multiple phases, establishing clear visibility at each stage. This feature of Agile software development makes it highly transparent, understandable and most preferred by clients.

High software quality
The entire concept of Agile is aimed at delivering high-quality software and applications to the end user. By adopting a team-based approach to software development, Agile ensures better coordination among development and testing teams, allowing them to fix functional bugs immediately. Also, since the progress is tracked at each phase, the quality of software is constantly under check, leaving little scope for errors and glitches.

Enhanced customer satisfaction
Under traditional software development, the client reviews the software/application right at the end of the project. It leads to confusion and chaos if the client is not satisfied with the outcome. Agile puts an end to this problem by involving stakeholders at each stage of the development process, right from planning, designing, development and testing. The client is also aware of progress at each stage and can suggest changes in real-time. It ensures that client requirements are well addressed and the end user is happy.

Like all other niches, the software development industry has grown and improved phenomenally; and Agile has led to this revolution. Over time, numerous Agile methodologies like Extreme Programming (XP), SCRUM and Crystal have evolved. The best method for your business would vary according to your business and project type. However, implementing Agile in your project management or software development creates a win-win situation for both your internal teams as well as your client.

Top technology trends influencing Android Development

The timeline of Android development has been phenomenal over the decade. As it keeps upgrading, take a look at the top technology trends influencing Android development today.

The birth of Android was a remarkable milestone in the world of technology. Ever since it was introduced, Android has evolved significantly as a strong mobile operating system.

The first ever version of Android came in 2008, with no fancy name and some basic features. Soon, its first confectionary-named update, Cupcake, with a virtual keyboard feature was released. Since then, there was no looking back!

Before we could even realize, Android had reshaped the world of mobility and swept over the consumer market. With its outstanding features and diverse versions, Android became the most preferred operating systems by mobile users around the globe. Today, as much as 2 billion Android devices are being used worldwide. From Cupcake to Donut, to Honeycomb to Oreo and now Nougat, every transformation of Android has always been a notch higher and better than its previous version. But, that’s not all. Android continues to grow with advancements in technology and brings something unique and phenomenal every time.

Here are five key trends that are reshaping the world of Android today.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have proven that technology can literally transport us into a whole new world. While AR creates a digital experience by putting virtual objects in a real environment, VR seals up the user’s vision and creates a different visual environment.

Android is using AR and VR technologies extensively to create apps that can enhance user experience in unique ways. Some of the most popular Android apps that use AR and VR are Snapchat, Pokemon Go and Google Cardboard.

M-commerce Applications
The emergence of e-commerce had subtly announced that m-commerce would follow. If e-commerce is the process of buying and selling things using the internet, m-commerce is even more convenient. M-commerce applications allow users to buy or sell goods and services using hand-held devices.

M-commerce is redesigning the way businesses operate and paving the way for cashless trading. From e-ticketing to mobile banking and e-tailing to mobile marketing, the list of m-commerce applications being developed by Android is endless today.

Enterprise App Development
The excessive use of hand-held devices has led to the trend of enterprise mobility among businesses around the world. Enterprise mobility enables employees to carry out business tasks using mobile devices, even while they’re not in the office premises. It also helps in effective business communication and improves productivities.

Because of its widespread usage among people of all age groups and geographies, Android has now become the go-to operating system for most organizations to execute their enterprise mobility strategy. G-Suite and Managed Google Play Accounts are the most widely used methods of deploying Android in the workplace.

Virtual Assistants
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are making our lives simpler by developing voice and text assistants that can do hundreds of errands for us, like web searching, predicting weather, updating stock information, booking tickets, scheduling meetings, and much more.

Ever since Siri was introduced by Apple in 2011, virtual assistants became highly popular. Soon, Android started developing similar AI based chat and voice run virtual assistants for its users. Some of the most popular Android virtual assistants are Google Now, Cortana, Robin and Dragon Mobile Assistant.

Smart Contracts using Blockchain
Blockchain has grown to become the most revolutionary technology of the decade, with hundreds of uses other than cryptocurrency. Android is using Blockchain to develop “Smart Contracts”. Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller carried out across a decentralized blockchain network.

The use of smart contracts makes transactions using hand-held devices more secure, traceable and faster. It also eliminates the need for middle-men to execute transactions. For example, something as simple as booking a movie ticket, to as complex as transferring money between bank accounts, smart contracts makes it simpler and faster than before.

The world of Android is vast and endless; and it is always exciting to see what Android has in store for us with its latest update. Google has been constantly innovating and improving Android since the time it was first launched. And, the future of Android looks only brighter with each day.

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