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My Cloud Data Is Never Deleted

By | Cloud, CMMC, Data as Property, Legal

Over the past decade, as a result of millions of dollars of marketing effort,  business decisions were made and the push to the cloud began.  It took business owners a while to follow the herd as individuals flocked to free 3rd party cloud services but eventually the desire to reduce corporate expenses won and data exchange, storage, and cybersecurity was handed over to cloud companies.

Let’s face it, most people do not have the training or domain knowledge to understand exactly what is happening once they click the Save button on their document or spreadsheet application.   Most people understand the value of what they can see or touch or hold behind locked doors but few understand or perceive the value of the One’s and Zero’s that make up the data that is their document.

That data in its state as a file does not bear the tangible components of the physical world so we don’t apply any emotional value and subsequently don’t have the alarm bells ringing when it disappears from our control.

Tell me the last time you checked for your keys to your apartment, condo, home, or car.  How often in a day do we look for or think about where those keys reside?   These tangible physical objects have a value meaning in our lives so we guard and control them to the best of our ability.

What about my data?  In a business all of your data is your intellectual property which has unmistakable value yet we copy, save, hold, and forget this data inside other companies!  To compound the issue, these companies refuse to take any responsibility for the loss or theft of this information.  We don’t give it a second thought and how can we when this invisible intangible information is transacted and managed in ways most people do not understand.

Currently there are no codified laws or precedent established cases to guide legislation in defining that an intangible magnetic field is property of its creator.  This action and subsequent laws will take decades to argue in the courts all the while you are subjected to data theft, exposure, and loss due to a legacy internet architecture that was never designed for this level of commercialization.

It is more important today then ever before that you consider how you control and protect your Data, your Research, your HR records, your C-SUITE conversations, your Clients right to privacy, when you consider just following the herd.  Remember your company will end up being the accountable party providing restitution for breaches that impact your clients when your cloud provider fails, and they will.

I was prompted to write this article as I read through a ZNet article “New Windows 10 tool: This free Microsoft app helps you recover deleted or corrupted data…For photos, documents, videos and more, Windows File Recovery supports many file types to help ensure that your data is not permanently lost.”

So tell me your Cloud provider can’t already do the same thing?  8 years ago I was able to recover data on a dead hard-drive which included documents, spreadsheets and photos.

So tell me your Cloud provider, their employees, and hackers can’t access your data even after you hit delete.  What happens to those hard-drives that fail, do you think your Cloud provider cares?  Even it they do there are tools to extract your data.

Let’s pause for a moment and consider just the top 20% of your corporate data you need to protect from 3rd party exposure.

  • Law firms cannot protect your Client – Solicitor Privilege through the use of 3rd party services such as Email or Cloud or Chat tools
  • HR departments hold precious personally identifiable information if exposed may result in identity theft or fraud
  • C-SUITE consider conversations that involve M&A, HR, Litigation between board members and leadership, if you are publicly traded this could spell disaster
  • Financial Services cannot protect your privacy and guard your social security, banking, and tax return data through Cloud services

Now let’s pause and take a breath.  It’s not the end of the world, although today it may seem like it, there are simple, easy, and cost effective ways you can protect your data, remove third party exposure and treat your digital data just like physical property.

Connect with me on linked in or subscribe to our blog posts to learn more.  The more we talk and share details about this issue the less scary it is to come up with an actionable plan that does not require years of technical knowledge or tens of thousands of dollars.

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

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.

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.

Working From Home? Read This First!

By | Cloud, Work From Home

2020 has seen the rapid dispersing of employees from centralized offices to work from their homes.  Companies have been utilizing tools including FTP & SFTP for many years to give access to files and data to employees customers and vendors to exchange data outside of the physical office.  However, with the rapid increase in WFH on to the dangers of the cloud for their direct staff – Why neither of them are a good idea for WFH.

FTP is a traditional File Transfer Protocol used by many companies to enable the transfer of data.  However, it is not very secure as the transfers are not encrypted and allows man-in-the middle attacks.   Many industries have created regulatory bodies such as HIPPA, NIST, and CMMC and require data transfers to be encrypted as a minimum standard.

SFTP adds a layer of security to the FTP protocol based on network Secure shell (SSH) and is a replacement for FTP, but also has drawbacks.

  • SFPT needs to be setup at both the server and endpoint and maintained by an IT professional. Many small & medium enterprises do not have this skill set on staff.
  • It is not always possible to setup a VPN to give access to share data with external vendors and clients.
  • Costs of implementing and maintaining 

Like most, as a senior leader in your company, you may not be familiar with the terminology above and you are concerned that your remote staff can properly access the critical data that you cannot risk with cloud providers.   SCUTE solves all these challenges:

  • Extend rights to pools of data to internal and external users (customers & Suppliers)
  • Visually manage the users and log their access.
  • Data is encrypted in transit and at rest meeting & exceeding industry
  • On-premise hardware so you physically own
  • Assurance of business continuity if your IT vendor or data storage partner discontinues their service