Here at Midsize Enterprise Strategies we compiled some interesting stories for our midmarket IT leaders. We are always on the lookout for great content so if you find something interesting please forward the link to  Below are excerpts from the stories we curated for you and links to the full articles.

The Cloud Security Alliance, an organization dedicated to making a secure cloud universal, has just released a report of 100 best big data security practices. The report presents 10 major challenges facing businesses using the cloud and provides 10 strategies to combat each of the problems. Ryan Bergsma of the CSA recently posted this blog on the top 2 findings. You can read the full report

‘Big data’ refers to the massive amounts of digital information companies and governments collect about human beings and our environment. Experts anticipate that the amount of data generated will double every two years, from 2500 exabytes in 2012 to 40,000 exabytes in 2020.  Security and privacy issues are magnified by the volume, variety, and velocity of big data.  As big data expands through streaming cloud technology, traditional security mechanisms tailored to secure small-scale, static data on firewalled and semi-isolated networks offer inadequate protection.

Recently our Big Data Working Group led by Sreeranga Rajan and Daisuke Mashim released the “Big Data Security and Privacy Handbook: 100 Best Practices in Big Data Security and Privacy,” outlining the 100 best practices that should be followed by any big data service provider to fortify their infrastructure. The handbook presents 10 compelling solutions for each of the top 10 challenges in big data security and privacy, which the working group previously identified in the 2012 CSA document titled “Top Ten Big Data Security and Privacy Challenges.”

New Security Challenges

It is not merely the existence of large amounts of data that creates new security challenges. In reality, big data has been collected and utilized for several decades. The current uses of big data are novel because organizations of all sizes now have access to the information and the means to collect it. In the past, big data was limited to very large users such as governments and big enterprises that could afford to create and own the infrastructure necessary for hosting and mining large amounts of data. These infrastructures were typically proprietary and isolated from general networks. Today, big data is cheaply and easily accessible to organizations of all sizes through public cloud infrastructure.

Software infrastructure developers can easily leverage thousands of computing nodes to perform data-parallel computing. Combined with the ability to buy computing power on-demand from public cloud providers, the adoption of big data mining methodologies is greatly accelerated. Large-scale cloud infrastructures, diversity of data sources and formats, the streaming nature of data acquisition and high-volume, inter-cloud migration all play a role in the creation of unique security vulnerabilities.

Big Data Best Practices

Now that we have enormous amounts of data and know the security and privacy risks it presents, what can enterprises do to secure their information? This CSA handbook provides a roster of 100 best practices, ranging from typical cybersecurity measures, such as authentication and access control, to state-of-the-art cryptographic technologies. In each section, CSA presents 10 solutions for each of the top 10 major challenges in big data security and privacy. Each section addresses what is the best practice, why these security measures are needed and should be followed and how they can be implemented.

Download the full report here Cloud Security Alliance Top 10 Report

In addition, Tech Republic’s Brandon Vigliarolo did a nice job recapping the findings on his recent blog Read the full blog here

Katherine Noyes of IDG News Service posted a blog on the CIO web site that provides details on how digital transformation is boosting IT spending. Certainly good news for executives of technology suppliers and developers.

Digital transformation may promise critical benefits for the companies undertaking it, but it's also delivering a major boost to IT spending around the world.

That's according to market researcher IDC, which on Monday released new data indicating that global spending on IT products and services will grow from nearly $2.4 trillion in 2016 to more than $2.7 trillion in 2020. A big part of that growth, it says, will come from companies investing in cloud, mobility, and big data technologies as part of their digital transformation efforts. Such efforts are now particularly prominent in financial services and manufacturing.

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Purchases on the consumer side accounted for nearly a quarter of all IT revenues in 2015, thanks largely to what IDC calls "the ongoing smartphone explosion," but in general consumer spending on PCs, tablets, and smartphones has been waning. Even the modest growth forecast for the tablet market will be driven by commercial segments, it said.

"While the consumer and public sectors have dragged on overall IT spending so far in 2016, we see stronger momentum in other key industries including financial services and manufacturing," said Stephen Minton, vice president of customer insights and analysis at IDC. "Enterprise investment in new project-based initiatives, including data analytics and collaborative applications, remains strong."

You can read the entire story here Read the full story now

Allison DeNisco of Tech Republic recently posted an article that said while the majority of C-level leaders are committed to digital transformation only 15% believe they can do it. The article sites doubts over security readiness and organizational flexibility.

While most IT and business executives believe a digital business model is critical for success, security concerns and lack of organizational flexibility are keeping the majority from from fully embracing the digital transition. That's according to a new survey from Unisys and IDG Research that polled 175 IT and business executives at US and European companies that have 1,000 employees or more.

The CXOs were asked about "the initiatives their organizations are undertaking to capitalize on the convergence of social, cloud, mobility, data analytics, internet of things (IoT) and security to drive new business models and engage, enable and support an increasingly tech-savvy workforce and customer base," according to a press release.

About 72% of executives said that it is "critical" or "very important" for an organization to implement a digital business model—up from 65% in a similar survey conducted in October 2015. Respondents also reported that 55% of their company's apps were already in the cloud. "The respondents clearly see the value of the cloud as the linchpin in an IT infrastructure that enables digital business," the press release noted.

Most executives reported that digital initiatives including cloud usage were bettering their business practices. In the last year, 56% of executives reported improvements in data security, and 44% reported enhanced user experience with applications and services. Additionally, 42% said IT efficiency improved, and 41% said infrastructure performance and availability did as well.

However, the vast majority of CXOs don't believe their organizations can continue the success of early digital ventures. Only 15% of executives said that their companies are flexible and agile enough to build a digital business model.

Read the full story here