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Organizations, regardless of size, face ever-increasing information technology and data security threats. Everything from physical sites to data, applications, networks, and systems are under attack. Worse, neither an organization nor its managers need prove prominent or controversial to prove a target. Automated and programmatic robotic attacks seek weak- nesses, then exploit vulnerabilities when detected.

As a result, every business, educational facility, government agency, and nonprofit organization must carefully prepare and diligently maintain security initiatives. A security risk assessment should be performed annually, if not quarterly. Consider using a checklist to not only coordinate security risk assessments, but also to document these reviews as they are completed.

From the checklist:

Only by regularly reviewing and scrutinizing policies and procedures, behaviors, facilities, operations, workflows, networks, and systems can organizations hope to effectively combat ever-increasing hostile actions, which include elaborate phishing and social engineering attacks, net- work and systems threats, insidious crypto threats, unauthorized data access, and even intentional sabotage by internal personnel.

Begin security risk assessments by listing all the areas in which your organization operates and possesses important elements, including its physical office facilities, client computers, servers, applications, data, and behaviors. Then rank the importance of each of those elements as to their value to your organization’s ongoing operations. Customer financial transactions, including your office’s and the customer’s credit card numbers and bank account information, should rank very high, while the integrity of local voice circuits might prove of lower importance.

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Modern businesses collect extraordinary amounts of data, so knowing when and why you should deploy SSDs will continue to be crucial to the development of your IT infrastructure strategy. It is vital that everyone involved in data management, particularly regarding storage, have a clear and complete understanding of the terminology surrounding SSDs.

This Quick Glossary: Solid State Drives, defines 25 terms and acronyms associated with the deployment of SSDs in a business enterprise.

From the glossary:

From the business enterprise perspective, there is really no such thing as too much data or too fast access to that data. This attitude helps explain why data storage continues to be a major factor in any enterprise’s IT infrastructure strategy. It doesn’t matter whether the storage is at the workstation, on the network, on premise, or in the cloud, there must be plenty of it and it must be nearly instantaneously accessible.

Since they were first introduced in the early 1990s, solid state drives (SSDs), with their inherently faster access speeds, have grown so much in popularity that it’s become the dominate form factor for modern businesses when deploying IT infrastructure.

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It doesn’t matter whether it is being built for internal production use or as a product for external customers, developing software in a modern business enterprise requires cooperation, collaboration, and coordination. Long gone are the days when a single mythical coder can single-handedly develop software applications sophisticated enough and flexible enough for modern business needs.

Successfully managing the development of quality software in such an environment requires the deft touch of experience. This is a primary function of the Principal Software Engineer. This leadership position is best filled by a respected person with proven technical skills coupled with an innate ability to coordinate and motivate a team of software engineers toward a common goal.

Narrowing the field of potential candidates for a Principal Software Engineer position will require a careful recruitment and vetting plan of action.

This Hiring Kit: Principal Software Engineer, from TechRepublic Premium, provides a workable framework you can use to find, recruit, and ultimately hire the best candidate for your organization.

From the hiring kit:

Desirable personality traits and skillsets

A Principal Software Engineer position is first and foremost a managerial position. While advanced coding and technical skills are certainly welcome skills to have, they are not a priority. Knowing how to motivate and guide programmers, developers, and engineers as they cooperatively develop applications based on a common strategy and established goals is the priority skillset.

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A company’s data center serves as the veritable lifeblood of the organization containing data, systems which run critical services, firewalls which permit access into and out of the company’s networks, and other elements which the business needs to function properly.

With this in mind, it’s important to ensure that data centers are physically secured and accessed only by authorized personnel for conducting business-related endeavors in order to ensure maximum uptime, reduce operational disasters, and prevent theft of company equipment.

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for appropriate entry, presence, and operations conducted within your company’s data center. This policy can be customized as needed to fit the needs of your organization.

From the policy:


All employees, whether full-time, part-time, contract workers, consultants, part-time staff, interns and temporary workers, and other personnel are covered by this policy. It also applies to all company-owned equipment, employee-owned equipment used to conduct company business, or material related thereto.

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The Director of Business Development is the person tasked with developing and communicating that comprehensive vision of industry, market, brand, and strategy. The position requires a person with impeccable sales experience coupled with a thorough understanding of the overall business environment. In addition, the Director of Business Development also needs to be able to effectively communicate that strategy to all levels of an organization and then measure and report its success after implementation.

The Director of Business Development will also continue to cultivate preexisting relationships with customers, clients, or partners by attending meetings, assessing their current needs, and, most importantly, anticipating their future needs. To fulfill this role, potential candidates should be friendly, engaging, inquisitive, and have documented experience working successfully with clients, customers, vendors, and other employees.

Finding and recruiting qualified candidates for an open director of business development position will take time and concerted effort backed by a solid plan of action. A well-documented process will also help provide confidence in your ultimate hiring decision.

This Hiring Kit: Director of Business Development, from TechRepublic Premium, provides a workable framework you can use to find, recruit, and ultimately hire the best candidate for your organization.

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Networks, systems and corresponding Information technology (IT) elements are often overlooked in the buildup to a merger or acquisition. Yet, as soon as an acquisition or merger completes, all attention quickly turns to maximizing the deal’s value, minimizing expenses, and adding efficiencies wherever possible. Without an understanding, however, of the IT tools and platforms in place at the new firm, and the manner in which the second organization’s systems and equipment will be integrated, chaos, delays, increased expense, and inefficiencies become likely.

An acquiring company can prevent confusion and optimize resources by beginning, as a deal heats up, an assessment of the target organization’s data and voice elements, network infrastructure, client systems, back office equipment, software, and policies and procedures.

Organizations shouldn’t wait until an acquisition is finalized to begin documenting the infrastructure, systems, equipment, and policies in place at both firms and developing a plan identifying which systems stay, what equipment goes, which competing elements are permitted to coexist, and what policies will serve as the new standard. Work should begin as
soon as a potential merge appears likely.

There’s much to consider. Fortunately, creating a checklist can help ensure no critical elements—including data circuits, server standards, data preservation policies, proprietary applications, and cloud services—are overlooked.

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Mixed Reality–the marriage of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) offers a slew of benefits for businesses including employee education and training, computer modeling, and simulations, to name a few.

Are businesses embracing this new wave technology? A recent TechRepublic Premium survey wanted to find out.

The survey asked the following questions:

  • Have you had any hands-on experience with virtual reality (VR) technology?
  • Does your company presently use virtual reality technology?
  • Is your company considering adopting virtual reality technology?
  • How can virtual reality vendors best help your company?
  • Have you had any hands-on experience with augmented reality (AR)?
  • Does your company presently use augmented reality technology?
  • Is your company considering adopting augmented reality technology?
  • How can vendors of augmented reality products best help your company?

Of survey respondents, 41% had hands-on experience with virtual reality, and 34% had hands-on experience with augmented reality as an IT professional. Of hobbyist, 34% were experienced with AR, and 30% of hobbyist had hands-on experience with VR. However, despite this familiarity with mixed reality, 56% of respondents do not presently use virtual reality technology in some capacity at their business, and 54% presently do not use virtual reality technology in some capacity at their business.

While virtual and augmented reality is not yet a widespread concept, it does provide business value, as evidenced by survey respondents. For example, 24% percent of respondents use augmented reality technology in simulation exercises, and 20% use virtual reality technology in employee training and testing. Other uses for mixed reality include as part of the products being manufactured, in sales, in GPS and GIS applications, and computer analytics.

To find out more about mixed reality in business download the full report here.

This report contains all the data, plus analysis, from the survey. For details on future TechRepublic Premium surveys, follow us on Facebook, Twitter,or LinkedIn.

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This list of potential interview questions are ready made for your organization’s HR department to use when it’s time to hire a platform developer.

A platform developer, someone intimately familiar with specific operating systems and hardware components, works
on a company’s core platform to create and optimize all the various functions needed to establish a strong computer
The platform developer needs to be a big picture thinker and always keeping in mind why they’re building something and who they are building it for. They must be able to think out of the box and develop creative solutions.

Use Tech Pro Research’s platform developer interview questions to help you choose the ideal candidate for the job. And, if you’re someone looking for a job as a platform developer, you can use these questions as preparation for your upcoming interview. Don’t miss the companion document on Tech Pro Research that includes a full job description for this position.
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A platform developer, someone intimately familiar with specific operating systems and hardware components, works
on a company’s core platform to create and optimize all the various functions needed to establish a strong computer
The platform developer needs to be a big picture thinker and always keeping in mind why they’re building something and who they are building it for. They must be able to think out of the box and develop creative solutions.

Depending on the company, a platform developer could work in the mobile area, with a strong understanding of
Android and iOS systems. Or they could work with operating systems such as OS X or Microsoft. Knowledge of
platforms such as Java and AngularJS is essential. Find out all of the skills needed for this job, and use Tech Pro Research’s ready-made platform developer job description if you’re ready to hire this role within your company.

Download Tech Pro Research’s job description and use as is, or modify as needed for your organization. Don’t miss the companion document that lists suggested interview questions for platform developers.
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This sample policy provides a basic outline of the measures an organization should take to protect and maintain the safety of all employees, customers, vendors, and visitors regardless of political affiliation.

From the policy:

No matter where in the world an enterprise operates, politics is going to play a major role in the lives of its employees. Depending on the country and the current political situation, it’s possible for affiliations, candidates, and political parties to become a driving passion in your workforce. While an actively engaged workforce taking an interest in their government and the political process may be desirable, it may not always be in the best interest of cooperation and productivity.

In addition, heightened political passion may lead to conflict and disruption of business operations if no ground rules are laid out. Taken to extremes, unchecked political activity by employees can grow into harassment and a hostile work environment. A written policy establishing guidelines for employees to follow will help prevent such disruptions.

Policy details
The company encourages employees to participate in political activity as a civic duty and one of many ways employees can improve life outside the enterprise. However, the views, political affiliations, and personal inclinations of all employees will be respected at all times. Intimidation and coercion regarding political parties, affiliations, or voting choices will not be tolerated and could be grounds for disciplinary action, including termination of employment. This policy outlines allowed and prohibited political activity in the organization.

The company will comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding employee political activity and will enforce this policy in accordance with those laws and regulations.

This policy applies to all employees of the company, as well as all contractors, customers, and third-party vendors who have business with enterprise employees.
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