Author Archives for ‘Jason Kallevig’

About Jason Kallevig

Managed Risk: For those who fear the cloud

Trusting Cloud Providers:  Trust your mother (but cut the cards)

Risk is a part of life, of business, and fundamental survival. Crossing the road, getting in a vehicle, and picking up the phone all require you to assess the rational, potential outcome, and likelihood for success behind the activity. And yet we carry on, learn, and strive to improve tomorrow. As business technology evolves, the principles underlying the foundation and operational aspects of data storage and the functionality of our tools is continually critiqued. Change is constant, truths of yesterday no longer apply, and risks we have not yet considered will undoubtedly be encountered. So what path do we choose to follow when considering overall approach to our business technology?


Data breaches, extensive downtime, and lack of compliance mechanisms are issues that IT Pros fear. How can an outsourced cloud provider be trusted? These concerns must be addressed before they consider moving business critical systems to the cloud. Rather than hitting that head on, let’s circle our current state.

Internet Dependence

“If my Internet connection goes down, I can’t access my systems.” This is the common retort to avoiding cloud adoption. Let’s think through that scenario. Is that in any way the cloud provider’s issue? No. What is impacted if your office loses connection in a cloud based model? Your office. What is impacted if your office loses connection in an on-premise model? Everything. Customers, Vendors, Remote & Field staff (and your office still can’t access the Internet). The likelihood that your business will have a redundant Internet connection in the next 3 years is very high. Dependency on Internet for communication and transactional interaction will demand high-availability to internet resources in nearly every business regardless of level of cloud adoption.

Single Point of Failure

Redundantly redundant. Cloud providers stake their business on providing service in a highly competitive market. They are in the business of providing reliable systems to a broad customer base. The days of a hosting provider delivering services from a server in the lunchroom are long gone. Today’s providers deliver services from equipment, facilities, and connections far beyond what Widget Manufacturer A or Service Provider B can ever justify. Every aspect is controlled and monitored, from connection quality, power conditioning, cooling, physical access, and on and on. Consider the server you have nicely racked and locked in the back room closet. Raid5, redundant power supplies and all. Realistically considering the potential failures that could render it useless is staggering. Power outage, Fire, Water, Backplane, Internet Outage, Corrupted Raid Config, Ransomware, Smash-n-Crash burglar, IT Admins spilled Coke. Unfortunately enough time in this industry and you see many things, truth often stranger than fiction but nonetheless very real.

Staying Current

You invest, buy the biggest and the best, and… tomorrow it is obsolete. Just as scaling user counts is inherent, the burden of allocating resources is entirely upon the cloud provider. Managing the infrastructure and platform for your systems is no longer an issue. Never will the business controller be asking themselves “Why is it my problem that Microsoft is ending support for server version XX and the new server version YY isn’t compatible with my legacy software AA?” While infrastructure responsibility is eliminated, interoperability of systems will become the focus of technology development. Choosing systems that complement one another and provide solid interaction with other systems will become an opportunity for differentiation of businesses and professionals.

Full circle to Security

The simple fact is that businesses hesitating to embrace cloud technologies are very likely not accurately assessing risk to their current technology approach. The pitfalls and potential for failure for on-premise IT are many and great. In 1980 it was uncommon to wear a seatbelt, yet many survived and thrived. Today it is accepted that seatbelts are safe, pose less risk and provide greater likelihood of success to arriving safely when advancing from point A to point B. The real issue at hand is selection. Choosing providers who are reputable, with strong products. Acquisition of tech companies will continue to prevail, how does that impact the future of data and systems we rely on? Assessing and managing risk continues to be the differentiator for those who succeed, but the first step is moving onto the appropriate playing field.

Melding data between cloud delivered systems.

Melding data between cloud delivered systems.

Windows Phone 8.1 review and initial reaction

2 years ago many of you know I drank the Microsoft Kool-Aid and went to all Microsoft driven technology tools.  Windows 8 Desktop, Laptop, Surface RT Tablet, and Windows Phone.  I started using Skydrive (now OneDrive) to sync my personal data and Office 365 with Skydrive Pro for my business data.  The immediate benefits included a common interface amongst the devices.  Once you figure out how to do something on your laptop, chances are you can find it on your phone.  I loved the picture syncing, and abandoned carrying a digital camera around.  One disappointment was the camera on the Surface – it’s terrible.  But my HTC Windows phone has taken some great pictures – especially outdoors.

A little history of the ‘mobile-me’.  I had been a die-hard Blackberry user for years, from the green screen calculator through the failed attempts at combining sleek design with a full or partial keyboard.  I would regularly type up the equivalent of a 1-2 page draft or fully thought out email.  At one point, in search of better multi-media and apps I switched to Android for a year.  I never fully recovered from not having a full keyboard, though I did become fairly proficient with swipe.  After a fatal screen-shattering drop, I went back to Blackberry – electing the Torch touchscreen with a vertical slide out keyboard.  This device brought me through to electing the Windows phone, about the time that Windows 8 released.

So 8.1, my point of writing.  To get the pre-release, I had to join the developer club and void all warranty from T-Mobile.  My phone was 6 updates behind, so I spent an afternoon accepting updates and letting them run.  It went smoothly but was time consuming.  The finishing touches are great – in my mind polishing out most (if not all) of my laments for other platforms.

Camera:  Just as I went Windows, Blackberry released 10 with a great bursting feature on its camera.  Windows phone 8.1 now has burst mode!  As I mentioned, my phone is my on hand camera and this is great for getting just the right look – especially with kids, pets, and events.

Keyboard:  Still missing my full keyboard, Microsoft now has swipe.  A close runner up!  Maybe my responses will start to be more than “Got it – thanks”  (or maybe people appreciated short and to the point).

Background:  The solid-color theme choices were a little stale and limiting.  My background is now an amazing sunset picture that I took (with my phone) and the first impression of grabbing my phone is ultra-modern.  Love-it.

Cortana:  The idea of telling my phone what I want and getting an appropriate and accurate answer is still a little distant.  Like anything automatic, accuracy less than 99% and the manual approach is more effective.  Still the idea of giving Siri some competition is sexy and fun, and they’re bound to get this technology dialed in someday.  So far I have not heard her voice, though the articles claim she has one.  She has called the correct people for me, and run a couple of web searches.  I’ll give her more testing over the next week, but at the first mis-dial she’ll get demoted to the mailroom.

Settings from the homescreen.  Very Android-like but needed.  They pull down from top of screen with quick access to Wifi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode (??), and Rotation Lock.  ‘All-Settings’ are one more click out.

Those are the big ticket items that come to mind.  The upgrade went well and all my Apps continue to work, which was my biggest concern of going ‘Beta’.  Now if the last of my ‘short-sighted’ providers would release Windows apps, all would be perfect in Windows land (Hello SONOS!!!!)


7 Risks of Dropbox to Your Corporate Data

This insight is brought to you by KDS Systems and Anchor Cloud File Sync


We live in a world where information equals power. With the influx of online file-sharing solutions, distributing information has become easier than ever. As a result, it’s now easier for information to fall into the wrong hands intentionally or unintentionally.
-Enterprise file sync-and-share, Terri McClure, Kristine Kao, TechTarget
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and an increasingly mobile workforce are putting new pressures on IT and changing the requirements for how workers want (and need) to access corporate data.
With over 200 million users, Dropbox has become the predominant leader for mobile file access. Unfortunately, what works for family pictures does not work with corporate files. In most cases, Dropbox quick to install, easy-to-use, consumer services present unacceptable security, legal and business risk in a business environment.
Here are 7 Risks of Dropbox to Your Corporate Data.

01 – Data theft

Most of the problems with Dropbox emanate from a lack of oversight. Business owners are not privy to when an instance of Dropbox is installed, and are unable to control which employee devices can or cannot sync with a corporate PC. Use of Dropbox can open the door to company data being synced (without approval) across personal devices. These personal devices, which accompany employees on public transit, at coffee shops, and with friends, exponentially increase the chance of data being stolen or shared with the wrong parties.

02 – Data loss

Lacking visibility over the movement of files or file versions across end-points, Dropbox can improperly backup (or not backup at all) files that were modified on an employee’s device. If an end-point is compromised or lost, this lack of visibility can result in the inability to restore the most current version of a file or any version for that matter.

03 – Corrupted data

In a study by CERN, the European Organization of Nuclear Research, silent data corruption was observed in 1 out of every 1500 files. While many businesses trust their cloud solution providers to make sure that stored data maintains its integrity year after year, most consumer file sync services, including Dropbox, do not implement data integrity assurance systems to ensure that any bit-rot or corrupted data is replaced with a redundant copy of the original.

04 – Law suits

Dropbox gives carte blanche power to employees over the ability to permanently delete and share files. This can result in the permanent loss of critical business documents as well as the sharing of confidential information that can break privacy agreements in place with clients and third-parties.

Many compliance policies require that files be held for a specific duration and only be accessed by certain people; in these cases, it is imperative to employ strict control over how long files are kept and who can access them. Since Dropbox has loose (or non-existent) file retention and file access controls, businesses that use Dropbox are risking a compliance violation.

05 – Compliance violations

Many compliance policies require that files be held for a specific duration and only be accessed by certain people; in these cases, it is imperative to employ strict control over how long files are kept and who can access them. Since Dropbox has loose (or non-existent) file retention and file access controls, businesses that use Dropbox are risking a compliance violation.

06 – Loss of accountability

Without detailed reports and alerts over system-level activity, Dropbox can result in a loss of accountability over changes to user accounts, organizations, passwords, and other entities. If a malicious admin gains access to the system, hundreds of hours of configuration time can be undone if no alerting system is in place to notify other admins of these changes.

07 – Loss of file access

Dropbox does not track which users and machines touched a file and at which times. This can be a big problems if you’re trying to determine the events leading up to a file’s creation, modification, or deletion.

If you would like to LEARN MORE about file storage and mobile device syncing in a secure, compliant, and safe manner CONTACT KDS SYSTEMS for insight and pricing.

How to choose a mobile smartphone platform for your business

I’m pretty neutral on this, our smartphones have become such a critical part of our daily lives that they have to work for our individual needs. Like a favorite pair of jeans, each is unique and we create odd connections to them. Amongst the devices themselves there is much conjecture, and it’s really just a matter of personal preference. From a company standpoint, it makes sense to standardize and use a common platform. Like anything else it will work better for some than others and we just need to decide what will work best overall. As such, I wouldn’t set expectations of any device being more reliable than another as there isn’t data supporting that.

Having mobility apps that are compatible with the corporate mobile platform is key. What is the factory software that you’ve been looking at? We can research the apps and development roadmap. Properly selected and implemented core infrastructure will support all mobile platforms equally. ActiveSync works with iPhone, Android, and Windows for email, calendar & contacts. Windows has released a free Remote Desktop App that will connect to IVDesk for the full Windows desktop. Surprisingly, Microsoft has not released that App for their own Windows mobile platform, citing that the need and usability of a Windows desktop on a phone is not that great. There are 3rd party Remote Desktop apps for Windows mobile, and Microsoft does publish an App for RT – the Surface Tablet operating system that works very well with IVDesk’s remote gateway.

For the ‘enabled road warrior’ mentality, I’ve seen good results from the Galaxy Note 3. It’s huge, 5.7” and comes with a stylus. It has a steel frame construction with a leatherish back.