nDash.com is a content creation platform that provides brands and agencies with access to the world's top freelance writers.
Michael's specialties lie in writing for enterprise, small business and IT audiences, as it complements his prior professional experience of more than 20 years.
Former professional roles have included IT admin, electronic component-level failure analysis (Senior Debug Technician), process improvement (Process Engineer), quality engineer and after-sales manager.
In addition to uncredited work both online and in print (for Time Inc. among others), he has been published on Computer Weekly, Forbes.com, The Street, Dell's Tech Page One, HP's Pulse of IT and more.
He writes mainly for the US market at present, although, as an Irish native, UK English is possible. He welcomes remote projects or remote contract work only and is always seeking expert sources or thought leaders to contribute to future stories.
Those interested in promotional opportunities in future projects can join his mailing list on www.oesolutions.com.hk or connect with him on social media, by using the contact info provided.
Samples of uncredited work (published on TechCrunch, Datanami and many other locations) available on request.
Find writers and ideas in this industry
Find writers and ideas in this industry
Find writers and ideas in this industry
While RoboCop-type solutions to law enforcement are not yet on the horizon, the Internet of Things (IoT) has a promising future in the ongoing fight against crime. Police departments across the globe are adopting new technology, including the NYPD’s testing of Google Glass and the LAPD’s trial of on-body cameras.
“Candy Crush,”“Angry Birds” and “Plants vs. Zombies” are among the most successful consumer apps on the market, enjoying a presence on multiple mobile and desktop platforms. Marketers have realized that mobile app development has great advertising potential and tried to emulate these success stories in their mobile business applications.
Why not dedicate an old desktop PC as a ‘charging station’ that will handle all of your charging requirements and free up precious USB ports on your habitually used machine? Here’s how you do it:
In 2015, cyber criminals will diversify and financial incentives will be the driving force behind advanced persistent threats (APTs) according to the Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2014. Predictions 2015 report published by Kaspersky Lab, a software security vendor headquartered in Moscow.
A fringe device isn't a device on the physical peripheral of a company network; instead, the term refers to a device not regularly used, not strictly monitored, or haphazardly introduced without approval from IT. A few common examples include:
In 1992, the first Short Message Service (SMS) simply read “Merry Christmas”. More than 20 years later, texting via SMS has lost none of its purpose, despite the rise of multimedia messaging service (MMS), the smartphone in 2010, subsequent over the top (OTT) messaging apps and of course, social media solutions such as Facebook. Whether for personal or business use, SMS usage has continued unabated, which is impressive for such ‘outdated technology’.
In the UK and Ireland, you are made redundant when you lose your job. When something is redundant, it means that it is unnecessary, a duplicate of the existing. However, in networking and indeed business terms, having redundant options is a positive concept, as it refers to backup solutions that take over when the primary fails.
It's taken Chris Reed less than two years to grow his company Black Marketing from a one-man operation in Singapore to a NASDAQ-traded company with more than 40 employees in dozens of countries. His success is due to an unusual business model: it relies on the LinkedIn social media platform, where his profile is one of the most viewed on LinkedIn worldwide, earning him a coveted 'Power Profile' status.
Not all trends are created equal. Small and midsize businesses shouldn't go around adopting new technology trends and rolling out new services left and right—they simply don't have the means to do so. Instead, they should focus on the trends that really matter and offer the potential to revolutionize their business processes. Hyper-convergence is one such trend.
In a modern business, IT is responsible for a plethora of tasks, including user support, which typically takes up a disproportional percentage of the IT workload. Yet, we are supposed to assure users that repeat errors are the result of sophisticated attacks by professional hackers. Sure, some are, but the majority are easily spotted and no doubt released by bedwetters that buy the tools necessary on the Dark Web, using their preferred currency Bitcoin. Oh, how they love Bitcoin.
Data loss, even if temporary (prior to restoration after a ransomware attack, for example) disrupts business activity and causes reputational damage, driving companies to find better ways to protect their data better to minimise the risks associated with a cyber-attack, hardware failure or any other external or internal threat such as malicious employees.
As a network administrator, your role is a complex one but your primary task is to keep the network active and ensure that all users have smooth access to all network assets. You may have to conduct performance tests, hardware and software inventory audits (including virtual machines) and monitor areas from UPS battery status to current website connections. Configuration and maintenance take up more of your time. A variety of monitoring tasks are necessary and you perform all of them using a com
Digital marketers are constantly looking for new ways to present their products and services to existing and potential customers. While this attitude to adopt the latest and greatest innovations, whether it is big data, machine learning or virtual reality, is to be applauded, the reality is that older yet effective methods or technologies are often neglected. One example of this is SMS (Short Messaging Service).
Whatever the size of your business or its activities, network downtime has an impact. An obvious observation, it’s true, but have you ever tried to quantify it in terms of actual monetary damage? Have you considered the fickle nature of customers? Reputational damage? Does your disaster recovery plan include the time taken for hardware replacement in the event of a catastrophic failure?
Numerous reports, surveys and statistics confirm that commercial entities of all sizes are woefully unprepared for unexpected events. Ivenio IT stated that 54% of companies with less than 500 employees have a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place while 74% of larger companies had one. For smaller companies in the U.S., the figures are even worse with a Nationwide 2015 press release indicating that just 25% of companies with 50 or less employees had an active DR plan. Given the cost of downtime, s
The global internet population now exceeds 3.7 billion users and when you consider that all are consumers and creators of data (even texting or tweeting counts,) the amount of data involved in a single minute is obviously high. As the Domo infographic demonstrates, 456,000 tweets are sent in a minute on social media. More than 3.5 million Google searches take place in the same timeframe. Is your website showing up in relevant search queries?
Democracy is in many ways about protecting freedoms, the freedom of the press, the freedom to bear arms, to arm bears, to vote in elections, and much more. With the advancement of technology, many feel these freedoms are under threat and the alleged Russian interference in the last U.S. presidential election has brought the subject under intense scrutiny.
The prospect of spending more than $1,000 in cold hard cash on a smartphone seems ridiculous to many of us, but after the much-publicized release of the iPhone X, the prospect became a very real one. After all, Apple customers are among the most discerning in the world, blindly buying the next iPhone ‘upgrade,’ selling their prior model on the second-hand market to raise some of the funds necessary. A vital organ or two sometimes makes up the shortfall. Anyone else see a problem with this?
If some comedians speculate that women only tolerate men only because replacement devices can’t buy them dinner, perhaps employers of the future will be as logical when allocating robotic resources to their workforce? Let’s face it: if companies can save money, they will. And if an employee can be reduced to a robotic finger to push a button when needed, they will be. After all, that ‘finger’ doesn’t require a social security number, pension or dental—at least not until such time that robot law
Online privacy is a mythical creature not unlike the unicorn or Cyclops—we’ve all heard the tall tales, but we’ve never seen it in the wild. And we have only ourselves to blame. If we take governmental monitoring as a given and add the fact that U.S. ISPs can now monetize their customer’s service usage without permission, is there any expectation of online privacy left? Can we take back control of our browsing data? How do we know what data is being collected by the websites we visit? What acti
AI (artificial intelligence) is all the rage these days. Hardly surprising, when you consider that natural intelligence seems to get even rarer as the years march swiftly onwards. People are busier than ever before in human history, with their seventeen job roles, five smartphones, and shrinking personalities. “I’m so busy,” they cry out plaintively, seeking someone to talk to as their human friends have long since vanished—they too are ‘too busy.’ True story.
Business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) are not the same thing, although there are some common characteristics. A BC plan is designed to include all departments in a company, but a DR plan is often focused on restoring the IT infrastructure and related data. “A disaster recovery plan is an essential IT function and if not in place could result in company bankruptcy or severe reputational damage when data cannot be restored”,
You may consider ‘IoT security’ an oxymoron and, unfortunately, for many IoT devices, you’re quite correct. The IoT and security don’t necessarily go together, with many companies and domestic consumers using IoT devices that lack fundamental layers of security. This obviously isn’t ideal.
There has been a lot of hate towards Java over the years, but there are just as many proponents for the programming language. Here is why Java isn't going anywhere. In February 2018, Gartner Vice President and Distinguished Analyst Anne Thomas clarified in the research note that costs $1295. However, the summary she co-authored states, “The application platform market is morphing in response to digital business requirements. As Java EE and other three-tier frameworks, such as ASP.NET, fade in re
Back in the early Jurassic era, when Windows NT Server was the OS of choice, an earlier enterprise employer of mine was considering a company-wide change to Windows XP. Unfortunately, this wasn’t possible, and we remained on Windows 2000. Why? Because the entire production process from raw materials to shipment was connected to both SAP and Filemaker Pro.
Security awareness is often linked to anti-terrorism programs around the world but in the IT world we are referring to cybersecurity awareness. Many of you are already switching off, yawning and considering leaving this page but hang on a moment…
For the purposes of this post, we are concerned with two relevant options, namely File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Managed File Transfer (MFT). The second, being managed, obviously offers more features than a standard file transfer solution. But, which solution is best for your company? Companies, regardless of size (from sole proprietorship to large enterprise) or industry, must ensure data security. This is often complicated by the fact that some of their core business processes require data
In the BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) industry, choosing a managed file transfer solution is rather simplified as FTP alone is not enough to meet the necessary regulatory and compliance requirements. Managed file transfer (MFT) software is the sole solution that allows an audit trail at all points of the data transfer process, whether that data is at rest or in transit. Of course, there are other benefits to managed file transfer for BFSI companies.
Readers of previous posts are aware of my reservations on the current ubiquitous drive to connect absolutely everything (from the frivolous to the useful) to the internet but there is no denying that the trend will continue unabated. This will create security risks that need management. Just like the software industry, where security by design is encouraged in software development, the IoT needs to incorporate some sort of checking mechanism to ensure that any data created is sent and received
Regardless of industry, companies are subject to data protection laws according to their jurisdiction. U.S companies must remain compliant with U.S. data protection regulations and so on. Companies in the healthcare industry or those who process credit card transactions are subject to specific regulations such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS.
The EU Copyright Directive has been labeled a bad deal for all parties and threatens the Internet as we know it. If it's approved, how are businesses going to respond? We’re all familiar with basic copyright terms such as the Berne Convention, duration of copyright (typically for the life of the creator plus 25 or 50 years depending on jurisdiction) and the fact that a creator’s work is automatically copyrighted on creation. We’re also aware that it is supposed to cover the use of works on the
Today’s employees are always connected, thanks to ubiquitous broadband and a wide range of portable devices, from smartphones, tablets and laptops to fitness trackers and a plethora of smart devices such as watches, cameras and GPS navigators. How necessary is this level of connection?
In the computing world, virtualization by way of virtual machines is used to describe a method of avoiding the purchase of multiple physical computers or servers, one for each operating system. A virtual machine is not a machine in the true sense of the word in that it has nothing to do with mechanical power, and has nothing to do with virtual reality (VR).
Data privacy seems to have surpassed all other technological buzzwords (with Big Data, AI and IoT largely responsible for the increase in available data) in the last few years, primarily because of the number of data breaches, which continues to rise unabated each year.
We all know it and are no doubt tired of hearing it, but in today’s global technological landscape, there is an ongoing and increasing danger of being hacked. These hacks are increasingly sophisticated, but many could have been prevented by eliminating human error, encrypting data or effective security awareness training. It makes sense to eliminate potential weak points and the file transfer process, in many cases at least, is one of them.
There is no one-size-fits-all elixir that will satisfy your future bandwidth requirements. Just like ISPs, broadcasters, and telecom service providers, your organization will need to plan for a future with ever-increasing data traffic OR at least take the necessary steps to monitor and set traffic allowances according to business goals. You, as a company stakeholder with a vested interest in the survival of the company, need to consider the data traffic necessary to ensure that company operatio
For home users, monitoring bandwidth usage per device may seem like a pointless exercise but their business counterparts typically recognize the value of doing so. Bandwidth is not a limitless resource and total broadband bandwidth (as provided by your internet service provider or ISP) is shared between all the devices connected to the network. If one is taking more than its fair share, then the bandwidth available to the rest is reduced.
Users are part of any network and while sometimes troublesome, it’s the responsibility of the IT admin team to ensure that users can access only the resources necessary to perform their roles. The receptionist has no need to access software project data and software developers have no interest in HR resources. Therefore, user permissions are necessary. In smaller organizations, setting user permissions in Windows for network objects is achieved using Windows Explorer, simply right click on a fi
As writers, regardless of experience level, we check out job boards, seeking suitable projects or clients that will pay us for our expertise in crafting exquisite blog posts that clearly demonstrate the attractive nature of the product or service involved.
How is it that so many organizations focus on perimeter defense but do little to protect the target data inside that perimeter? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to protect sensitive data even if the network is breached?
Not found in Webster’s, ‘I don’t care’ is nonetheless part and parcel of our workplace vocab, whether we vocalize it or not. As a former IT drone, I certainly wouldn’t accept a carefree attitude to bandwidth issues and definitely wouldn’t field ongoing complaints from network users when I know the location and reason for network disruption. Why should you care about bandwidth hogs?
Often perceived as a precursor to Industry 4.0, the rollout of 5G, if the marketing is to be believed, will allow innovations that were previously restricted or unreliable due to lack of bandwidth. Speeds of up to 10Gbps are promised by telecom companies but since we have yet to experience real-life usage scenarios, this is mere speculation.
The EU’s PSD2 directive (a revised payment service directive) aims to regulate electronic payments in EU member countries. It has no impact on traditional paper-based transactions. The aim is to allow open banking, where cross-border transactions are easily performed, cheaper and involving any number of fintech providers (think digital wallets, payment gateways, and online shopping).
Disclaimer: I’m writing this in an effort to prevent novice freelancers from making the mistakes I did and I made a few, often wishing I’d done things differently. You’re free to agree or disagree with my observations but all are based on personal experience.
It’s worth noting that the following content reflects past experience with amateurs and does not reflect anyone associated with my credited or uncredited portfolio. It refers to unsolicited queries and early encounters with providers and seekers of budget content. It’s not a name and shame post or designed to act as a tutorial. The title is not a dig at the mentally ill — get a life if you think so.
How many of us have seen news articles complaining about cheap Chinese goods flooding Western countries? I’m sure we are familiar with inflammatory articles published by journalists that ultimately failed to show the whole picture in an accurate manner. Sensationalist articles of this nature are of course very popular but few of them identify the actual problem...
It’s safe to say that most users rely on hundreds of passwords to access their devices, websites and apps. Few will remember these passwords, unless of course they are in the habit of using the same password for multiple logins–a big security no-no. For years, security pros have emphasised the need for different passwords, as identical passwords make it way too easy for hackers.
The use of big data by enterprises is almost commonplace at this point, with advocates claiming it aids decision-making, increases revenue and productivity and decreases operational costs. But it comes at a cost to data privacy. With these advantages, national and international companies, banks and government organizations have now amassed huge data sets.
Over the past few years, Slack has risen to be the largest collaboration tool to help teams stay on track. In this article, I will discuss how it works and some concerns about the tool. Whatever the size of your company, communication with others is essential.
Should businesses be worried about Huawei tech on their networks or is this really just hysteria and a political agenda that is sending shockwaves across the IT landscape? Let's discuss.
Since encryption is used to secure data, it would seem only natural that encrypting something twice would increase security. However, that isn't always the case. Disclaimer: This post does not involve detailed analysis of encryption concepts designed to make the head explode.
In most companies, at least those who believe in managing security correctly, the rollout of all updates is controlled by the IT team. Only users with administrative access can install security patches, firmware and software updates or service packs. Basic users are also blocked from installing software on company assets.
If reading this, you are likely interested in or already utilize cloud solutions. Both Azure and AWS (Amazon Web Services) offer a variety of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) offerings. Selection between the two, with AWS the dominant market leader, is typically based on business requirements and online research or direct referrals (some of your contacts recommend a solution based on pricing, uptime or other).
Bluetooth security… Some consider it an oxymoron, like ‘global intelligence’ community or ‘offshore support’ while others recognize Bluetooth flaws and understand their causes. Whatever side of the fence your opinions lie, it’s fair to observe that Bluetooth has its issues and security vulnerabilities are now being exploited by hackers seeking access to data.
Disclaimer: Azure Monitor’s official documentation is more than 2700 pages of fascinating material. Azure Application Insights is a small part of it. Given the variety of nodes, features, apps and development methods in an Azure infrastructure, app and performance monitoring objectives can be achieved in many ways. This article focuses on Application Insights only. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already adopted Azure as a preferred method of entry into cloud computing.
Facebook is determined to launch their own digital currency called Libra, but why would anyone trust them at this point? Some question, huh? On pondering how to compose my thoughts in a manner other than a succinct “you’ve got me stumped there, matey,” I decided that maybe I should give Facebook a fair shake. After all, they’ve accumulated more than two billion users, a discerning group it must be said.
In many jurisdictions, there is a legislative or accounting requirement to store data for a minimum of five years. Easier said than done. That’s why multiple data backups are necessary. Ignoring the complexities involved in protecting our data from internal and external attacks, let’s look at the problems associated with successfully storing data (whether structured or unstructured) in the short and long-term.
As IT pros already know, when we speak of ports, we mean the 16-bit virtual ports used when interconnecting systems i.e. during communication over protocols such as TCP or UDP and not physical connections on the system such as USB, HDMI etc. See the OSI model and list of port numbers and their assigned function if not an IT pro. Port 80 is commonly used for HTTP activity, for example, and many applications communicate using assigned default ports.
Why is the GNFA relevant? What are the benefits to companies and to certified GNFA professionals? Anyone involved in information security is familiar with the SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network and Security) Institute, given that it’s a global organization with an excellent reputation. Offering research, breaking news, training, and security alerts, it also serves on numerous task forces and industry organizations.
Two years plus and counting and companies are still being impacted by WannaCry. Here are the four main reasons why an old exploit and ransomware is still an issue. Since it’s first release in 1985, Microsoft Windows has gone through nine major releases and has grown in popularity, effectively dominating the desktop, laptop and server market, despite competing operating systems from Apple, Google and a variety of Linux-based distros. This popularity, more than any other factor, made it an ideal
If you are a small or medium business, you may have left your data backups in the hands of outside help or, even worse, to chance. Disclaimer: This post is not one of those list-based offerings, with biased recommendations leading to affiliate links, but instead an indication of the tools available to prevent data loss. Whether free or budget solutions, all providers will offer a free version or a time-limited trial. Take the time to try before purchase and select the tools best suited to your r
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) refer to security technologies that encrypt data sent between a web server and web browser. Even though TLS is more likely, the industry still refers to the process as SSL, especially when dealing with the certificates necessary to secure a website.
Contrary to many opinions discovered online, shadow IT (a.k.a. rogue or stealth IT) is not down to the IT team saying no or refusing to provide required productivity tools necessary for a specific job role. In truth, it is often down to restrictive budgets and senior management decisions on same. Speaking as an IT pro, we do not care what software users need and would happily supply it if the budget is available and the software need is indicated.
I’d like to believe that all readers will use this post to prepare for a ‘what if’ scenario but the sad truth is that some of you are reacting to a data breach and lack an incident response plan. My condolences, as a rough patch is coming for your business.
How much customers care about data breaches is often dependent on the type of customer data obtained by attackers. If it’s username and password information for a specific site, the potential damage is less than loss of social security numbers, or financial and medical data. If your organization has been breached, prepare to answer a variety of questions, some relating to ancestral origins of security staff and other more pertinent ones relating to the breach cause and remedies taken to lessen
In the last ten years or so, securing our local area networks has become more difficult, thanks to ubiquitous high-speed broadband and a proliferation of internet-enabled devices. Some of these are branded ‘smart’ but their widespread adoption could be considered less so. Some, like smartphones, add convenience but most introduce security risks. Whether it’s at home or at work, smart devices vary widely in terms of security. Some devices operate on Bluetooth, others connect to wireless networks
Mark Zuckerberg is still pushing for the creation of Libra, but it's obviously futile for him at this point. He knows we don't trust Facebook.
Outsourced Engineering Solutions Limited is an Irish-owned services-only company, which was incorporated to assist foreign companies with their activities in China. Since 2009, its focus has changed from project and process support to writing and documentation services for corporate online and offline use. Additional information available on the website.
Company: Outsourced Engineering Solutions Limited
I worked there from 1/2009 until now
Sale of full-rights stories to several freelance markets. Ghostwriting for corporate/technical blogs and websites. Opinion articles for Australian healthcare magazine (print and online versions) Some creative writing for mobile app provider
Company: Undisclosed - NDA
I worked there from 1/2012 until now
The Pulse of IT is owned by HP and designed to provide insights for forward-thinking SMB owners.Chicago-style stories required.
Company: The Pulse of IT - Powered by HP
I worked there from 8/2015 until 2/2017
Aimed at a business, entrepreneurial audience
I worked there from 11/2015 until 2/2017
Aimed at a highly technical audience of IT decision makers, three blogs are involved. Stories produced sometimes require expert contributors and insights that try to instill a sense of humor into complex topics. My author pages are shown below.
Company: Ipswitch, Inc.
I worked there from 11/2015 until now
Time Inc.- Content Marketing and Strategies Division. My contracted role involves the provision of ghostwritten content on business/IT subjects for publications that include some of the most prominent in the Time Inc. stable, such as Fortune, Money and Time. Sponsored content appears on client websites as provided by the appropriate Time Inc. publication. See link below for examples from the content archive.
Company: Time Inc.
I worked there from 4/2016 until 4/2018
Michael was contracted to write 20+ articles and blogs for us around specific areas including digital health and cyber security. He is creative, great communicator, always delivered that extra bit and an absolute pleasure to work with. He certainly came up with some ideas for us to position us as subject matter experts in the industry. The outcome of his work lead to great business opportunities and helped grow our subscriber list. I highly recommend Mike and his work. Rob Khamas - CEO REND
Rob Khamas, REND Tech Associates
Michael was a freelance contributor for the ANZ Bank 'Your World' publication. He delivered top-notch work, to brief and on deadline, and came up with creative and interesting ideas. I highly recommend his work.
Fran Molloy, Contently