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Dave Cartwright

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Dave Cartwright has worked in most aspects of IT in his 20-year-or-so career, though the things he claims to be quite good at are strategy, architecture, integration and making broken stuff become unbroken. His main pastime is shouting at people who try to install technology without considering whether it actually fits the business or the requirement. Dave is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered IT Professional and Fellow of the BCS, and lives with his family on a small rock in the English Channel.
Just press the recovery button, duh

You've heard of 'trust but verify', right? Well, remember 'trust but protect' when mulling building a hybrid cloud

Comment Trust the hybrid cloud, service providers tell us – they are, apparently, the experts. But when outages occur, and when data or virtual instances are lost or become unavailable, the impact is profound. Few businesses can trade for any length of time without access to their data or infrastructure. Trust the hybrid cloud? Trust …

I know what you're thinking: Outsource or in-source IT security? I've worked both sides, so here's my advice...

Comment You’re a small or mid-sized business and have a growing sense of unease that you aren’t doing enough on cyber security. Must be all those headlines about ransomware infections and databases ransacked. Or – perhaps – you’re experiencing an upsurge in phishing attempts. Congratulations – you’ve woken up to something that a …

Tick-tock, tick-tock. Oh, that's just the sound of compromised logins waiting to ruin your day

Comment It has never been easier to conduct a cyber attack. There now exists a range of off-the-shelf tools and services that do all the heavy lifting – you just need to pick an approach and tool you like best. There's ransomware-as-a-service with its "here's one I made earlier" code, search engines that show connected interfaces with …
Dave Cartwright, 17 Sep 2018
Internet of Things

Don't put the 'd' and second 'i' in IoT: How to secure devices in your biz – belt and braces

Comment The enterprise is filling up with devices. Gone are the days when the only IT kit our staff used was phones, printers, scanners, desktop PCs, and servers that were bought, configured, installed, and maintained by our IT team. Now we have more different types of device than you can comfortably shake a stick at – which, of …
Dave Cartwright, 14 Sep 2018
Boy with binoculars photo via Shutterstock

Event management kit can take a hammering these days: Use it well and it'll save your ass

Analysis Who'd have thought it? Diagnostic event streams and log files are fashionable at last. But, despite many advances, they're still as big a pain in the backside as they were 30 years ago – both as a tool for observing and reporting security issues thanks to their sheer volume and, increasingly, the numbers of data types we're …
Dave Cartwright, 28 Aug 2018
Idiot procrastinating at desk

Sitting pretty in IPv4 land? Look, you're gonna have to talk to IPv6 at some stage

We can be forgiven for not having weaned ourselves onto IPv6 earlier. It's been around in draft form since late 1998, but was only released as a standard in July 2017 (that'll be RFC 8200). That this has finally happened, though, means we're being told more loudly than ever that we no longer have an excuse. So do we have one? …
Networks city concept. Phtoo by shutterstsock

Some Things just aren't meant to be (on Internet of Things networks). But we can work around that

Analysis What exactly is the Internet of Things? According to Gartner and IDC, it's a network of endpoints capable of interacting with each other and the world via IP connectivity. Consultant McKinsey & Company defines IoT as sensors and actuators embedded in physical objects, from roadways to pacemakers, that churn out huge amounts of …
Dave Cartwright, 25 Jul 2018

Consent, datasets and avoiding a visit from the information commissioner

Big data has been branded as - we're throwing up in our mouths as we say this – the "oil" of what has annoyingly become known as the "fourth industrial revolution."* Strip that down, and we're in part talking about the way individuals' data is used to knit new, virtual businesses. It's the basis of the app economy and …
Dave Cartwright, 10 May 2018
Man in office flippantly throws balls of paper in bin

Windrush immigration papers scandal is a big fat GDPR fail for UK.gov

Comment It's probably a given that – with the European Union's GDPR now weeks away – you're sick to the back teeth of hearing, reading and talking about data protection. And then comes the Windrush scandal in which the UK government apparently destroyed the landing records for thousands of citizens from Caribbean nations who arrived …
Dave Cartwright, 26 Apr 2018
GDPR compliance paperwork

So the suits swanned off to GDPR events leaving you at the coalface? It's really more IT's problem

I spend a lot of time telling people that information security isn't the IT department's problem. And it's not: everyone in the business is responsible for making his or her contribution to the security of the organisation's information, and for protecting the personal data the organisation uses. I can't help thinking, though …

Adrift on a sea of data: Architecting for GDPR

I’ve spent many hundreds of hours listening to sales pitches from technology vendors but it’s only during the last year I’ve started to find them rather depressing. That’s been thanks to the arrival in 2018 of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. For example, I was recently pitched to about one particular …
Dave Cartwright, 10 Jan 2018
A stomach feeling bloated

Hardware has never been better, but it isn't a licence for code bloat

My iPhone 6 recently upgraded itself to iOS 11. And guess what – it's become noticeably slower. This is no surprise, of course, as it's the same on every platform known to man. The new version is slower than the old. It's tempting to scream "code bloat" but that's not necessarily fair because new stuff usually has extra …
time is running out

Is it the right time to virtualize?

Picture the scene. You’ve run your legacy infrastructure into the ground. You bought it six or seven years ago with a view to depreciating the hardware over four years, or perhaps even three, so it’s done its time and then some. Now it’s starting to get flakier than you can live with, and as your channel partner’s spares supply …
Skip full of rubbish outside an office building. Photo via SHUTTERSTOCK

Legacy clearout? Not all at once, surely. Keeping tech up to snuff in an SMB

“Legacy” is a word that we tend to associate with big companies. After all, they’re the ones who have vast piles of equipment that go out of date in no time at all but require big money and big projects to replace them with modern stuff. Not that they all do the updates, mind you: I have an entertaining photo I took the other …
Hipster with laptop photo via Shutterstock

BYOD might be a hipster honeypot but it's rarely worth the extra hassle

I have a confession: I've fallen out of love with Bring Your Own Device. Over the years, I've worked with, and administered, a number of BYOD schemes. I've even written positive things about BYOD. After all, what was not to love? Users providing the mobile equipment and the company not needing to worry about maintaining the …
Cat in a small box photo via Shutterstock

Small businesses: GDPR affects you, too

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on May 25 2018, enforcing a strict set of new rules concerning privacy and data security and imposing strict penalties on violators. Enterprises are having a tough enough time coping with it. How will small businesses with fewer in-house IT and legal resources …
Dave Cartwright, 26 Sep 2017
Business: Stressed man with pile of paperwork works against the clock

Tick, tock motherf... erm, we mean, don't panic over GDPR

Welcome back from the summer. Feeling refreshed? Good, now let’s talk General Data Protection Regulation from the European Union, due to swing into effect on May 25, 2018. You now have eight months to get your data infrastructure, tech policies and related procedures ship-shape. Not feeing so refreshed now, are you? Plenty of …
Dave Cartwright, 14 Sep 2017
ocean_648

So you're already in the cloud but need to come back down to Earth

We generally think of a transformation to a hybrid infrastructure as one where you're going from a completely private setup to one that spans the public cloud and your private installation. But what if you started life as a small company with your systems entirely in the cloud? It's not an unusual approach, as running up your …
Cat peeks outside cardboard box. Photo by shuttertsock

A big ask for any nerd, but going outside (your usual data sets) can be good for you

So, you want to be data driven. About time too. It amazes me to watch companies basing their forecasts on experience, assumption and instinct when their storage area networks are teeming with data that they could use to make what they do more scientific. It seems obvious that you would use the data you hold to make your …

So much data, so little time: How to not flip your wig processing it

Working with data can be a pain in the butt. You do it because you need to, and because there's value in it – data-driven enterprises thrive on being able to eke as much concrete information as possible out of the stuff in order to maximise efficiency and attack the market share of the competition. But data is complicated and …

Rolling in personally identifiable data? It's a bit of a minefield if you don't keep your feet

The world – well, Europe at least – is going potty about the impending new General Data Protection Regulation. If I signed up to every data protection seminar invitation in my inbox I'd have no hours left in the day to work... or drink or sleep, for that matter. So it's easy to forget that data protection legislation has existed …
Dave Cartwright, 31 Aug 2017
CES 1980: telly it like it is

They say 'quality over quantity,' but quantifying IT performance is a good shout too

Every year in living memory I’ve sat in the obligatory “how to complete your annual goals in the HR system” meeting, and each time I’ve been told: make sure you make your objectives “SMART” – Specific, Measurable, Achievable and so on. Our HR cousins have been telling us this for years, and yet we seem to continue to measure …
Dave Cartwright, 30 Aug 2017

So you're planning on outsourcing some enterprise security

It makes sense to have a solid collection of security expertise within your organisation. And in fact most of us do: security is so core to most of what we do in IT that it’s a standard part of the syllabus for all the courses we do on, say, router configuration or Windows administration. These courses always have security …
Dave Cartwright, 23 Aug 2017
Computer worm photo via Shutterstock

Yeah, WannaCry hit Windows, but what about the WannaCry of apps?

WannaCrypt crippled 230,000 Windows PCs internationally, hitting unpatched Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 and computers still running Microsoft's seriously old Windows XP, though the latter wasn't responsible for its spread. The initial reaction was a predictable rush to patch Microsoft’s legacy desktop operating systems. …
Dave Cartwright, 20 Jul 2017
Surprised man computer photo via Shutterstock

Feelin' safe and snug on Linux while the Windows world burns? Stop that

The ransomware problems reported by The Reg over the past few weeks are enough to make you, er, wanna cry. Yet all that's happened is that known issues with Windows machines – desktop and server – have now come to everyone's attention and the bandwidth out of Microsoft's Windows Update servers has likely increased a bit relative …

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