A rapid pace of change when it comes to technology is something I enjoy, but it can be a double-edged sword. For every new innovation, there are thousands of clever cybercriminals eager to test it for weaknesses. So far this year, we’ve seen countless security breaches, including the hacking of Yahoo News’ Twitter account, and colossal cyber threats such as the Heartbleed vulnerability that affected OpenSSL.
Yet while the news is full of cautionary tales about security breaches costing businesses their reputations (and thousands of pounds in fines) we’re still falling into the trap of thinking, “It won’t happen to me!”. Considering that Britain experiences around 1,000 cyber attacks every hour, this is an approach we simply can’t afford to take. For more cyber statistics, turn to the infographic on page 18-19.
If it’s getting increasingly hostile online, how do we deal with the seemingly perilous digital landscape? On page 5 we take a look at entrepreneur Richard Bell’s social network, gyggl. Created for children aged 16 and under, it provides a safe space for youngsters to chat, share photos and videos, and play games. This is a generation that has grown up with always-on technology and social media, so it stands to reason that they’re keen to get involved with modern technology at a younger age. As long as we are creating well moderated spaces, such as gyggl, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t allow our children to experience the benefits of the internet.
We’ve also sought out the best up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the tech and digital industries. On page 6 you’ll find our interview with Simon Sugar, who has stepped well out of his father’s shadow to carve his own identity and build up his own business, Amscreen.
Another young entrepreneur familiar with the Sugar name is Emma Walker, who started her career on The Junior Apprentice. There’s a common misconception that, in business, age comes before youth, yet at 21 Emma has a long list of achievements and recently started up her own business, BeeBox. Find out more about Emma on page 16.
Business is a marathon that never ends. It’s the ultimate challenge; chess with real life consequences. Managing people, products and innovation with surprises that appear from nowhere when you least expect them and often when you really don’t need it, is what makes it such a juggling act. But if you are someone who is extraordinarily goal focussed, then this should be music to your ears.
The finalists of the Digital Entrepreneur Awards (DEAs) are a great example of these kinds of people. They include both the high-profile leaders driving online commerce and the silent heroes developing the systems that shape our digital future. You can read more about the awards and the finalists on page 20 to find out who is achieving online business excellence and how.
In this issue, we also take a good look at the cloud storage making housing your data online as easy as drag-and-drop, and how hosting your data storage in the UK removes any niggling concerns about data protection laws and regulations. At the heart of all great technology is simplicity; removing obstacles and making it easier for people to go about their daily activities. With a focus on storing files and data easily from anywhere at any time, we take a look at great British technology at its best.
Achieving the most out of life depends on how open you are to learning from others. Whether you’re trying to be a great parent or a great businessperson, seeking out what you think is best practice and emulating the traits you admire brings you one step closer to achieving your goals. With the amazing digital pioneers and up-and-coming entrepreneurs in this issue of BusinessCloud, inspiration is only the turn of a page away.
Lawrence is chief executive of managed hosting and cloud firm UKFast. Follow him on Twitter @Lawrence_Jones and read his blog at lawrencejones.eu.