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All Posts By

Paul Kuepfer

Would it be Weird to get Paid for Surfing?

By | Cloud, Data as Property

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get paid while you surf on the web, drive your car down the street, or walk through the mall?  What if you could earn a little money every time you read an article online, click an ad, punch in directions on your GPS or texted photos to your family?

The world is changing and the reality is you will be paid in the future.  Consider that the most successful, fastest growing companies in the world are getting rich from tracking and selling all your online transactions, daily movements, and personal connections.  We posted a short article last week with a link outlining how telcos get rich from data.

Yesterday, former Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang, the only candidate to address data privacy and propose that data should be owned by the individual, during his campaign  announced the Data Dividend Project to fight for people’s data rights

LA TIMES  further explains the issues faced globally:

  • Whenever you sign up for a new social media service or website, or download an app onto your phone or computer, you’ll typically see some long disclaimer language written in legalese. You scroll through it quickly and click the “I agree” button.
  • This fine print is known as a privacy policy. It essentially lays out (sometimes in the most convoluted way possible) how the site or app can use or share your data. The problem is, no one actually reads the language. You just click “yes” and hope for the best, since that’s the price you pay for a free website or app or social media network. It seems like a pretty sweet deal. But that’s not the deal we’re getting.
  • Our phones and computers can track our every movement and action, while Facebook and Google log every like or click on their sites. There are numerous ways in which our data are collected, used, shared and sold by countless businesses. The largest tech companies profit most.
  • Facebook is now worth $650 billion, with annual revenue of $70 billion. Google is worth nearly $1 trillion, with annual revenue of $160 billion. The business of these companies is primarily based on advertising directed at us, built on the backs of our data.
  • They are also influencing our actions and attitudes by feeding us information that maximizes our engagement on those platforms. We ourselves have become the product, and we are being sold to those with the means to buy access to every detail of our behavior — and to shape what we do next.
  • This needs to stop. The data generated by our activities should be owned by us. We​ should decide​ what is being done with that information. ​And if anyone is making money on our data, it should be us.”

Cicer One was created by Bob Embleton after he spent months reading the fine print that is typically ignored and realizing that no one really owns their most valuable asset and we often surrender it without consideration of the consequence.  SCUTE was created to offer enterprises the ability to protect their data as property and enable them to offer their customers a safe and private exchange of data.  SCUTE provides protection from the powerful algorithms that are constantly scanning, monetizing, and storing forever the secrets that could sink an enterprise if they fall into the hands of a competitor or foreign government.

For the readers who don’t indifferently shrug their shoulders and want to begin to take ownership of their data as their property you can:

  • Contact us to be put on the mailing list to be notified as we create data reimbursement solutions.
  • Schedule a demo to discuss how we enable protection of your data today.
  • Mention the Data Independence Day by July 4, 2020 and we’ll give you an additional 75% discount on the first year of our patented disaster recovery service

Massive Layoffs = Massive Data Loss Risk

By | Covid19, Ransomware

Forbes published a piece today written by Paul F Roberts outlining the inherent risk companies face with the massive COVID-19 layoffs.

The suspension of office work followed by mass layoffs were devastating consequences of the COVID 19 virus once it took hold in the United States in February. Mass data theft may be the next.

As corporations across industries rush to trim their payrolls and stay afloat financially, they are inviting data loss on a large scale, as millions of departing workers take sensitive company files and other data with them on the way out the door, experts warn.

Cicer One created SCUTE as an alternative for business owners to enable the seamless sharing and exchange of corporate data with employees, vendors and clients.  It is simple and straightforward to monitor usage and access for non-technical business leaders and to retract user rights when the external partner or employee no longer requires the privileges.

What is my Data Worth?

By | Cloud, Ransomware, Work From Home

Few companies recognize the value of their data until it is gone or being held for ransom.  The biggest assets in the past were physical – land, buildings, and machinery, but that has rapidly transitioned to intellectual property and data.  The advent of the internet has made it easy to store and exchange data globally and with it have come thousands of services, paid and free, vying to help manage our biggest asset.

Is a free service really free?  Are the services safe, equal? No!

Personal and Corporate data is today’s gold rush evidenced by:

  1. The largest companies extraordinary profits from the management of data.  
  2. The advent of ransomware gangs that hold data for ransom and/or auction it to the highest bidder on the dark web.

Obviously our collective data is immensely valuable but few individuals and companies really know where it is – it’s usually scattered across multiple sites, drives, and systems on other companies’ property.  As enterprises grow and adopt more cloud based technology, the attack surface is growing (CSO report on Cicer One’s Cyber Security News)  As we grapple with the idea that our gold is in other people’s hands, it becomes apparent that cloud storage and apps simply aren’t suitable for the all data  storage and exchange that needs to be kept secure. 

Ask yourself, if my sensitive information is published or sold on the web: 

– what would it cost me to recover
– what would it do to my reputation
– am I legally liable to my clients or vendors for losing their IP?

Many companies don’t recover from a serious data breach.  Cicer One now offers 3 solutions for companies to protect their sensitive data assets:

– Cloud SCUTE – this is hosted in a secure facility and Cicer One cannot access the data by design. It is a good place to start securing your data and you can easily transition to Hosted or On-Premise SCUTE.
– Hosted SCUTE – Cicer One hosts dedicated physical hardware that only you can access.  The hosted service provides redundant power and network which is not available on premise for many companies.
– On-Premise SCUTE – the most secure version has the physical keys and system hardware located on your premises and in your complete control.

Get ahead of your competitors and the nefarious criminals and ensure the safety of your data ‘gold’ for all the stakeholders including employees, clients, vendors, and investors.  Purchase your own SCUTE or reach out to us for a 30 minute demo.

WHERE IS MY DATA?

By | Cloud, Work From Home

Do you really know where your data is?

Data is the biggest asset for today’s companies.  All our intellectual property is now digital and we exchange it so often we take the magic of networks and the internet for granted.

In the past, we exchanged data and intellectual property point to point through snail mail, faxes, courier, and other physical means.  We were certain that the information exchange was secure and data loss and theft was rare.

The advent of networked computers in an office made the exchange and storage of information faster and more economical and we experienced the same feeling of security as we had with physical versions of data.

However, few people understood the risks and exposure inherent with sharing data across the internet – we assume it is  as safe as sharing it within our corporate walls.  We didn’t expect:

  1. The cloud service providers to build business models profiting from scanning the data exchange and profiling the users.  We didn’t expect them to store copies of the data at exchange points.
  2. We didn’t expect friendly and unfriendly governments to capture the data exchange and store it.
  3. We didn’t expect an entire cloud-based software and data storage industry to be built with a business model of anonymizing and selling the data and user exchange profiles.

Cicer One has built SCUTE to address all these concerns.  SCUTE enables companies to have the same point to point exchanges they experienced within their own walls while enjoying the benefits of easy and simple exchanges with selected external companies and users.

SCUTE’s answer to the question for you and your company stakeholders is – MY DATA IS OWNED BY ME!

How Telcos get Rich from Data

By | Cloud, Telco

Extreme Tech published a prediction in 2015 about Telco Data as a Service (TDaaS) predicting the Telcos will make billions by selling and combining customer data that previously was private to marketing companies.    Cloud service providers and SaaS applications are further exploiting their global corporations by anonymizing private transactional data of their customer base.

Cicer One was founded and developed the SCUTE product to enable companies to transact private data exchanges without being intercepted by third party services.  If you need to protect your information, SCUTE is a MUST!

 

 

 

Is Cloud Computing Safe?

By | Cloud, Work From Home
Ever feel like there’s something missing with cloud computing?
Over the last decade, there has been a massive transition from onsite application computing and storage to everything SaaS and cloud.  The cloud does present certain benefits, like ease of access and scaled implementation.  However, when you consider certain risk factors, the cloud begins to darken.
  • Your data (your highest value asset) is exposed to 3rd party companies who, without your knowledge, scan, anonymize and profit from all your intellectual property and customer transactions.
  • Your data is accessed by people not employed in your company and not subject to the legal terms and conditions you set with your clients.
  • Your data can be stored anywhere in the world and in many cases is accessed by foreign governments.
  • It is difficult to meet the multitude of compliance frameworks when it is impossible to audit and track the physical location of your data.

At Cicer One, we recognize that cloud computing isn’t the right answer for everything.  We’ve created a better way that allows you to safely share, control and monitor the critical data exchanges between your employees, clients and suppliers while keeping it exclusively your property and under your control.

For public data and non-sensitive information, the masses are right – cloud computing fits the requirements to easily scale and exchange data.  However, if you are like most businesses, you will want to keep your mission critical (sensitive) information under your lock and key.

No one said Ransomware Should Be Fair

By | Ransomware

Data Breach today published a relevant post on Cicer One’s cybersecurity news feed today outlining how “Criminals continue to tap ransomware, backed by more advanced network penetration techniques, hitting larger targets and leaking data in an attempt to maximize their illicit paydays.”  

In talking to many CEOs they feel helpless as they juggle keeping their company safe and secure during massive shift to work from home (WFH), with the need to enable their employees, clients and vendors to easily access and share digital information.  

The attackers are becoming bolder and are increasingly preying on a general lack of employee training when it comes to cyber threat and methods of attack.  It is more difficult to protect your company’s most valuable resource, your data and sensitive information, when your employees are working remotely using their home networks and devices.

The reality is that it’s not a fair fight.  Cyber criminals don’t play by the rules.  They will exploit anything and everything to get your company’s data and information, only to hold it for ransom.  The consequences of which are an average restoration cost of $111,000 per incident and a significant likelihood that your business will cease to exist.  Studies demonstrate that this is the fate for 60% of businesses that suffer a breach.

We created SCUTE systems to level the playing field and make it easy for business leaders to monitor, control and protect their data as it is being exchanged amongst employees, vendors and clients.  SCUTE systems are the perfect complement to the cloud, offering protection that’s strong enough to meet the rigorous criteria of the DoD’s CMMC framework while being simple enough for non-technical people to implement.

Book an online demo to determine if SCUTE could be a good fit for your company’s cybersecurity needs.

 

The Darkening Cloud

By | Cloud, Work From Home

Like most business leaders, you’re probably concerned about trusting that your most sensitive data and information is secure in the cloud.

Your concern is valid!

Over the past decade many industries have switched from primarily on- premise computing to cloud computing.  There is no doubt that cloud computing has helped companies reduce their IT costs, improve data access and increase agile scalability.  This is all amazing for data and information that is public in nature.

However, the cloud darkens when you consider this same level of access relative to your most sensitive and valuable data and information.

Consider the points below:

1. Privacy – You need to understand the policies of your cloud provider as well as your own legal obligations when it comes to protecting privacy.  Given that employees within your cloud service provider can access your information without your knowledge, lack of privacy is a top concern!   

2.  The cloud never forgets – it is impossible to completely erase data when shared through many cloud service providers due to their exchange and storage policies.

3. Regulatory compliance – it may be impossible to achieve regulatory compliance under the framework that governs your industry if all of your data resides in the cloud.

4. Data Jurisdiction – many cloud providers do not guarantee that your data stays in your country.  As such, your most sensitive data will be subject to compromise and access under the laws of foreign governments, many of which are not friendly.

5. Audit requirements – in the event of an audit by your clients or vendors, you are compelled to provide a complete log of all transactions on the related data.  This is next to impossible in the cloud. To complement the cloud, Cicer One has created ‘Sealed System’ technology that provides the benefits and ease of cloud-like data exchange while ensuring the data is exclusively your property and in your control.  It is simple enough that non-technical business leaders can control and monitor data access and exchange while improving full disaster recovery and business continuity practices.