Redefine your business – EMC Forum UK just two months away

Are you ready? EMC Forum UK is back to help redefine your business! In just two months’ time on the 21st of October we will be hitting Westminster Park Plaza Hotel for a day of cloud insights, practical advice, and IT strategy and storage talk. Of course there will be plenty of opportunity to meet and catch up with peers too.

The 2013 event was a great success, so we’re looking forward to seeing many of last year’s attendees again, and to welcoming some new faces. We’ve also pulled out a few of our favourite tweets from last year below.

EMC forum is free to attend, and especially designed for IT professionals looking to get up to speed with everything that is going on in the world of cloud, with plenty of opportunity to engage with technical experts and connect with EMC partners. In other words, it’s a must-attend event for anybody looking to redefine their IT strategy and help transform their business with the latest industry knowledge, best-practices and insights.

vic-bhagat-bwYou can look forward to a keynote from Vic Bhagat, the Executive Vice President of Corporate Services and global CIO EMC – keep your eyes peeled on @EMCUKI for updates on what he will be covering – and dozens of sessions ranging from how to redefine your big data strategy to a look at what’s hot and new in 2014. Explore the agenda here, and register for free!

To get the latest updates on EMC Forums follow @EMCForum on Twitter or take a look at the Facebook page for news and images from the global events. You can also join in the conversation on Twitter using #EMCForum.


How to keep safe online?

With the New York Times reporting last week that a ring of Russian criminals acquired 1.2 billion username and password combinations, as well as credentials for over 500 million email addresses, there has never been a more appropriate time to ensure you are not putting yourself at risk online.

On top of that, a recent global study by EMC showed that more than half (52%) of UK respondents reported experiencing a data breach (email account hacked; mobile device lost or stolen; social media account hacked), with many still not taking measures to protect themselves such as changing passwords regularly (67%), customising privacy settings (37%) and password-protecting mobile devices (43%).

This needs to change! And it can – it doesn’t take much effort to ensure you stay safe online. Martin Brown, EMC Country Manager in Scotland outlines his top tips for staying ahead of cyber criminals:

  1. Don’t link everything to the same account – Use multiple email accounts to keep your ‘business’ transactions such as banking and online payments separate from your Facebook, Twitter and other social transactions. 
  2. Use longer, complicated passwords – Better still use phrases. Too many of us are guilty of using the same password for everything – just don’t do it!
  3. Keep a clean machine – Having the latest operating system, software, web browsers, anti-virus protection and apps is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.
  4. Keep personal information personal – Don’t reveal personal or financial information in an email and don’t respond to email solicitations for this information. If you’re unsure if a request is legitimate, verify it by contacting the company directly by using information provided on an account statement, not information provided in the email.
  5. Pay attention to URLs – Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (eg .com versus .net).
  6. When in doubt, throw it out – Links in emails, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete.
  7. Think before you act – Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately – if it sounds too good to be true, it is!
  8. Pay with credit card – Only purchase online via stores that accept credit cards, and also ensure the shop has a physical address, preferably UK-based.
  9. Be wary of public networks – It sounds obvious, but don’t carry out financial transactions over a public network – use one you know to be secure. So that rules out internet cafes, hotel receptions, airport kiosks and the like.
  10. Don’t let your guard down on Facebook – Or any other social networks for that matter. Make sure you set up your security settings correctly, and don’t give away confidential information through your posts and messages!

The real problem behind bankers’ bonuses

Said Tabet, Governance, Risk and Compliance Strategy lead at EMC, comments on the controversial bankers’ bonuses, arguing the real problem isn’t with the bonuses themselves, but with the capabilities to detect them and take action.

Last week the media was divided in its coverage of the new measures around bankers’ bonuses with some saying they “don’t go far enough” and others saying they’re “unnecessarily convoluted” and the “emphasis on bonuses is being vastly over-emphasised”.

But the need for a 3, 5 or 7 year period to ‘discover’ excessive risk exposure in a world of real-time data underlines the core problem here – not that bankers are paid bonuses, but that banks lack the infrastructure and capability to derive real-time insight into their risk exposure and into the actions of their staff. This means that it is only possible to detect and take action on the basis of this exposure long after the fact – by which time money may be lost and the damage may be done.

More intelligent approaches to risk management enabled by big data analytics and agility, empowered by better standards and better integration of different systems and applications will provide a much stronger, real-time handle on sector risk exposure. This in turn will support growth and push the boundaries of competitiveness further, as confident assessments on strategy and tactical activity can be made based on what’s actually happening, and what risks the bank is actually exposed to.

There’s a huge imperative that regulation in the financial services sector is focused on driving the sector to a degree of best practice. Leveraging technology and applying best practice to data and metadata will ultimately help with systemic risk as well. Arguably this is more important than providing generic personal or corporate disincentives to cavalier behaviour. The regulatory framework needs to match that of the progress technology is making and we need financial regulation for the 21st century, not that of 20 years ago. Ultimately this will help make this sector more efficient and more effective – a win-win for all stakeholders.

A new Head of Channel for EMC UK&I – meet Russell Poole

Today EMC UK and Ireland are announcing a new Head of Channel: Russell Poole. He is replacing Terry Beale, who had been in charge of EMC UK&I’s channel programme since 2012.

Under Terry’s leadership over the past years, significant changes were made in how EMC worked with resellers, channel and distribution businesses, necessary for EMC to honour its commitment to only sell directly to its top 100 customers. This tremendous effort led to the achievement of a consistent, predictable channel for customers, EMC’s Partner community, and a more profitable relationship for partners in this community.

Terry leaves to see if he can replicate his channel successes running XtremeIO in EMEA, and we’re sure channel is being left in safe hands with Russell, whose 15 years previously at EMC mean he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Russell will also continue with his current work, leading the public sector and service provider teams at EMC.

Russell Poole - smallerTake a look below at what James Petter, Senior Vice President, MD UK&I, has to say about the announcement:

“Russell has done a phenomenal job at EMC already. With significant shifts taking place in the market, his expertise will be crucial in ensuring our channel and partners continue to grow and become more profitable.”

We’re excited to see what Russell can achieve in his new role and wish him best of luck!

Unlocking the secrets of DNA – moving towards predictive healthcare

James Petter, Vice President and Country Manager for EMC UK and Ireland, comments on the announcement of a four-year genome project to unlock the secrets of DNA to help predict and treat cancer and other rare illnesses, lauding the project as a step in the right direction towards technology-led, predictive healthcare.  

jamesPetter-SingleIn the news today, details have been released about a project aiming to revolutionise medicine by unlocking the secrets of DNA in centres across England. Prime Minister David Cameron has said it “will see the UK lead the world in genetic research within years”.

This is fantastic news and a step in the right direction for the future of healthcare in the UK. The genome programme is an exciting development in the move towards personalised medical treatment and predictive healthcare and also highlights how important information and technology are in supporting better healthcare.

Collaboration between private and public sector organisations, along with patient consent, is essential to the success of this ground breaking initiative to become a sustained part of the UK healthcare model, and it’s great to see that this is already central to the programme. This type of collaboration is also crucial to ensure that insights are fed back into drug development, as well as patient care.

Personalised care is not currently possible within the NHS due to both the lack of personal information available on patients in real time and the lack of big data to use in predictive analytics. Informatics, making use of genomic and other relevant data, can help to identify the factors that put the patient at high risk of developing a condition and help tackle it before it strikes. Monitoring patients using data can also dramatically improve care management and reduce costs for the NHS, which is why today’s announcement is so significant. When you consider the £300 million investment in the project, this is really just a drop in the ocean compared with the potential savings to the NHS and opportunities for increased revenue to the UK health, education and research sectors.

Looking ahead, the real benefit of today’s news will come when we reach the point where we can translate the findings of the genomics research and use them in practice. The time lag between medical research becoming medical practice can be as long as 17 years and it’s crucial that this figure is reduced substantially to allow the benefits from this ground-breaking research to be felt by the patients across the UK.