5 Technology Observations to Start Your Day, Nov. 24

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology observations, news nuggets, gossip and insights to start your day for Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.

Actually, today's update involves eight news items and insights...

8. Millennials Must Take Stock: Many millennials apparently don't invest their money in the stock market (other than 401K savings). Huge mistake. I realize we all fear major stock market corrections. But Americans under 35 have had a negative savings rate over the past two decade -- meaning that they spend more than they save every year, according to Moody's. The big question: How can you build wealth when you're either keeping your money in cash -- or even worse, spending more than you save?

7. Holiday Hackers On the Way: If you're an I.T. entrepreneur in the retail market -- beware. But if you're in the I.T. security sector: Happy holidays. Amid last year's retail hacks at Target and other locations, about 20 percent of point-of-sale systems now have chip-enabled encryption security but only about 1 percent of credit cards in the U.S. support the technology. That means most systems are still wide open to the types of hacks we saw last year. I don't want to paint Apple Pay as a cure-all solution. But the highly secure digital payment technology will surely get a boost this holiday season.

6. On the Other Hand: More than 80 percent of enterprise security officers say they would personally guarantee the safety of customer data from cyber attacks in 2015, according to ThreatTrack Security. And 70 percent of the officers say their company will likely be a cyberattack target in 2015.

5. Congrats: Wendy Petty has plugged into Verizon Enterprise. We wish her all the best.

4. Another Compliance Deadline: I.T. organizations spend heavily to comply with HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley and other corporate compliance or privacy mandates. But the one to watch right now is called 2013 COSO (Committee of Sponsoring Organizations; it involves new corporate controls that must be applied by Dec. 15, 2014. The old COSO specification dates back to 1992 and is considered antiquated. 

3. New Money, New Leader: VendorSafe Technologies has attracted private equity funding and named Kevin Watson as the company's new CEO. VendorSafe develops cloud-managed IT security services for SMB customers -- with a heavy emphasis on WiFi and credit card payment system security. Providence Equity Partners has invested an undisclosed sum in the company.

2. Accounting Goes Cloud: You (likely) already knew this. But the numbers really drive home the point. Intuit CEO Brad Smith sees a "once in a generation" opportunity to shift accountants to cloud computing. In its most recent quarter, Quickbooks online subscriptions grew 43 percent vs. the same quarter last year, Smith said during a Nov. 20 earnings call. Let's consider that for a moment. Accountants and small business financial managers tend to be really, really conservative. After a later-than-most start, they're now they're going cloud fast. Really fast...

1. What Did I Miss?: This blog was written at some secret date at some secret time before Nov. 24. Because... I'm on vacation. If something major happened today that impacts one of the news bits above, call me out on it. I'll be sure to reply when I'm back in the office on Dec. 1. Happy Thanksgiving. 


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