The European Union is continuing discussions regarding new data protection laws that, if approved, would have ramifications for how companies manage and protect their customers' data. Among the effects would be a requirement that companies hire for a new role: data protection officer. 

Increased adoption of cloud computing, virtualization and other big IT shifts are rewriting the relationship between technology vendors and their channel partners. These shifts are having big affects further downstream, too, changing how resellers and managed service providers (MSPs) offer value to their own customers. Andrew Hamilton, director of engineering and professional services at Unitiv, a leading enterprise IT systems provider, discusses how his company serves its customers’ data protection needs amidst the changes.

The following is a guest post by John Grady, senior manager of product marketing at XO Communications

The cloud gets all the hype, but enterprise virtualization shouldn't be marginalized. According to Wired Innovation Insights, virtualization can help companies reduce their data center footprint, lower CapEx and automate the provision of computing nodes. In other words, don't count virtualization out just yet — here are seven unique benefits for the enterprise.

Before that glossy magazine hits the shelf, a lot of work takes place behind the scenes. Freelance writers are hired, stories are edited, photos are chosen and sorted — and all of these elements are compiled using editing software. Losing the final version of a feature story, or misplacing a commissioned photo, adds further time and effort, so it's essential that publishers back up everything to keep the production schedule on track.  

After spending 15 years as a teacher and three years as an editor for a local real estate magazine, entrepreneur Ryan Waterfield founded her own creative magazine, FOCUS. The quarterly magazine features “a smattering of stories that mean something to those people who either live in or visit the Rocky Mountain West,” Waterfield explains. Distribution is growing, and FOCUS will soon be distributed throughout Sun Valley, Idaho, Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Park City, Utah.

Security experts recently discovered a new software vulnerability that could affect millions of devices and servers across the globe. It’s called Shellshock, and experts are still trying to determine just how big of a threat it is. The consensus, however, is that it poses even more risk than the Heartbleed bug discovered earlier this year.

The following is a guest post by John Grady, senior manager of product marketing at XO Communications

Right now, there are approximately 4.4 trillion gigabytes of information in the digital universe, according to research from EMC. By 2020, this universe will have expanded to more than 44 trillion gigabytes. For businesses, staying ahead of the data deluge means understanding what's useful in this sea of information, what's not and how all this data can create actionable insights. Fortunately, there are five tech trends that can help your organization manage this information explosion. 

With company data breaches on the rise, consumers are becoming increasingly wary of sharing personal information with the brands they love. And with good reason. According to a recent survey, 43 percent of U.S. companies, including both Target and Home Depot, have experienced a breach this year. Even the companies that haven't experienced a data breach are feeling the effects of the growing distrust — especially in the travel industry. 

Treading on the heels of the Home Depot's announcement that 56 million credit and debit cards were jeopardized last week, new research shows that 43 percent of U.S. companies experienced a data breach in the past year. That’s a 10 percent increase from the previous year. 

More than 485 million wearable tech devices will ship to consumers annually by 2018, according to analyst predictions. But as these devices grow in popularity and number, so do concerns about protecting the data they generate.

Wearable technologies like the forthcoming Apple Watch and Fitbit, for example, can record the location and daily routines of users, information that could be tempting for hackers to exploit. Here's a look at the data protection challenges wearable technologies pose to two industries: 

With government surveillance of customer data at an all time high, tech companies address their privacy policies around data protection differently, and Apple has made customer data privacy a priority by baking changes into the iOS 8 software update. Customers have good reason to be concerned about companies selling their information to advertisers or companies themselves, especially since privacy policies are often so vague.