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Archive for the ‘Web Site Design’ Category

How to Market Brick and Mortar to the Web

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Brick and Mortar Websites

Far from causing the demise of brick and mortar, the web is enabling business owners to keep their fingers on the pulse of their customer bases, informing their business and marketing decisions and helping determine when it’s time to expand. Retailers and local service providers are mining data and monitoring social media to identify trends, stock the most-wanted products and make meaningful connections with their customers.

Related: Why Brick and Mortar Is Here to Stay

Brick and mortar websites are all about delivering what viewers need and want. Rise above your competitors by offering more than your customers expect — an area where big retailers often fail and smaller businesses can pick up the slack simply by being more in touch.

Standing out from the competition is tough, especially if your business is much like others around you. Whether you’re a restaurant, a bank, a real estate business, a lawn company or a retail operation, you can gain an advantage by adding services, multimedia, and information.

1. Mobile is your secret weapon.

Mobile-ready websites reach a wider audience

Image credit: Retail Solutions Advisors| Enhanced by Entrepreneur

Mobile searches are designed to favor local businesses, and more than 60 percent of all searches are conducted on mobile devices. If your website is not optimized for the mobile web, you are throwing away a clear advantage.

The latest Google updates moved local businesses to the top of search results. Try it. Is yours the first business in the search? Is it in the search results at any position? Websites not designed for mobile use are excluded from the search. That’s right, excluded.

Google is offering you mobile dominance. To take advantage, Florida real-estate broker Retail Solutions Advisors keeps its design simple, consistent and easily accessible on web and mobile.

2. Instant engagement

Image credit: Cowboy Charters| Enhanced by Entrepreneur

Cowboy Charters in Key West is a family-owned charter boat business with a small staff, but you can chat directly with the owner any time. When the website loads, a LiveChat window pops up and invites you to chat. If you respond, your chat goes directly to the owner’s cell phone for instant response. Captain Mark told me that that it’s super cheap — $20 per month — and incredibly effective. Their customer service is so impressive, they book two out of three people who inquire on the spot!

3. Showcase your customers.

Image credit: Platt College | Enhanced by Entrepreneur

User-generated content (UGC) creates an infectious atmosphere of engagement, provides social proof, and, in some cases, demonstrates the value of your business. The Platt College student gallery shows off the amazing artwork created by their students, and effectively demonstrates what students can expect to learn. Making satisfied customers (or students) a selling point is a brilliant way to encourage involvement while providing social proof.


4. Online appointment setting

Online appointment setting for brick and mortar web sites

Image credit: Dr. Dental | Enhanced by Entrepreneur

Allowing your customers or patients to set their own appointments saves time and money for you, and lets your clients take control of their own schedule. Dr. Dental walks patients through locating the nearest office and choosing an appointment time with a simple, intuitive interface. They cut down additional time spent in the waiting room by offering the endless pile of paperwork online for patients to fill out in advance.

Great customer service is rooted in giving customer options and cutting down on frustrations. Medical offices and other businesses that rely on appointments can boost your productivity, please your customers and keep everything running smoothly.

5. Get involved with your community.

Harley-Davidson is more than a product, it's a lifestyle.

Image credit: Harley Davidson | Enhanced by Entrepreneur

Use your position as a local business to advocate and support local causes. Harley-Davidson is all about community and giving back. There’s always something charitable going on at your local Harley store, no matter where you are located. Creating a culture around its iconic product is a brilliant strategy that began before the internet, but the web is a great facilitator — and Harley really knows how to work it.

With your website as a platform, you can use your influence and position to advocate for worthy causes — a sure-fire way to endear yourself to your local community and create an authentic, unforgettable brand story.

6. Appear bigger than you are.

Establishing credibility can be difficult, especially for a startup business. A professional website and Internet-based telephony service makes your business appear to be more established, professional and bigger than you really are.

The web offers a ton of tools and services to help you do business, connect with your customers, and provide far more than you can with a limited staff and budget. And that helps you build credibility, reputation, traffic to your site and sales.

Online stores and service providers must always be on the cutting edge of web by necessity, but brick-and-mortar store owners often put up a basic website and neglect it, thinking it can’t really help their business. And they miss out on tremendous opportunity. By adding a few extra features and services, you can crush your local competition.

Article Provided By: Entrepreneur

Mojoe iconIf you would like Mojoe.net to discuss your websites analytics, custom logo designs, website, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

Half of U.S. Small Businesses Don’t Have a Website

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Business Websites

Does Your Business Need A Website

It’s hard to imagine the world without the Internet.

For some of us, that is: It may be 2016, but 46 percent of  U.S. small businesses still don’t have a website for their company, according to a report released by business-to-business research firm Clutch.

Of the more than 350 small businesses surveyed — the majority of which have less than 10 employees and less than $1 million in annual revenue — cost was listed as the second-most popular reason for not having an online presence. Lack of technical know-how and the need for upkeep were other popular reasons, while 12 percent said that they use social media in place of a static site.


Image Credit: Clutch


The most popular justification for not having a website, however?

Nearly a third of surveyed respondents said that they didn’t have one because it wasn’t relevant to their business or their industry. That could be a problem. As Max Elman, the founder of Razorfrog Web Design, said in a statement released with the report:

“No matter what type of business you run, if you have customers, it’s necessary to have some sort of information online, at least a page describing who you are and offering contact information. It’s essential to have this information indexed and shown to those looking for you.”


Image Credit: Clutch

The founder of a company that builds websites, Elman is perhaps not the most objective source. But he has a point: More than 80 percent of Americans say they do online research before making a purchase.

For the 64 percent of small businesses that do have a website, many could use a technological upgrade: Nearly a quarter of these businesses said their websites weren’t compatible with mobile platforms. Of the online improvements business owners planned to make, search-engine and social engagement topped the list with 40 percent each, followed closely by improvements in content and design.


Image Credit: Clutch



Image Credit: Clutch


The report concludes, as expected, that all small businesses in every industry can benefit from a website, be it a single page or more elaborate setup.

In other words, if your business doesn’t have a website, it’s probably time to change that. And if your business already has a website, particularly one that works on mobile, you’re further ahead of the game than you likely thought.

Article Provided By: Entrepreneur

Mojoe iconIf you would like Mojoe.net to discuss your websites analytics, custom logo designs, website, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

Security Flaws – MIT Researchers Forge New Weapon for Code Warriors

Monday, April 25th, 2016

security flaws

Security Flaws – Identified

MIT researchers have developed a fast, accurate system for identifying security flaws in Web apps written in Ruby on Rails, according to news reports published last week.

In tests the researchers — MIT Professor Daniel Jackson and Joseph Near, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California at Berkeley — performed on 50 popular RoR apps, they uncovered 23 previously undiscovered security flaws.

What’s more, the longest amount of time it took to analyze any one program was 64 seconds.

“Even if you wrote a small program, it sits atop a vast edifice of libraries and plug-ins and frameworks,” said Jackson, who with Near plans to present their findings at the International Conference on Software Engineering in May.

“So when you look at something like a Web application written in language like Ruby on Rails, if you try to do a conventional static analysis, you typically find yourself mired in this huge bog. And this makes it really infeasible in practice,” he continued.

Static analysis is a method for analyzing a program’s code for security flaws.

Distinctive Research

To avoid the bog, Near devised a way to turn RoR itself into a static analysis tool so that running a program through the framework’s interpreter produced an easy-to-follow, formal, line-by-line description of how the program handles data.

Those methods are incorporated in a debugger called Space, which will be described in the paper to be aired in May.

With Space, a program’s data access procedures can be evaluated based on the ways applications typically access data. If it appears as though a program is accessing data in an atypical way, then chances are it has a security flaw.

Using static analysis on access control vulnerabilities makes the research distinctive, noted Tim Jarrett, director of enterprise security strategy at Veracode.

“They’ve chosen to solve a class of security problems that most static analyzers don’t try to solve,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Most organizations that have built static analysis tools that focus on security issues are worried about attacks that allow data to be stolen from a database or deface a running website,” Jarrett noted.

False Positives

Instead of focusing on attackers running their own code within an application, Jackson and Near have turned their attention on access control problems. They want to make sure a user is authorized to do something in an application before any code is executed.

For example, an online forum may want a visitor to log in before contributing to any topic threads. If visitors can write to threads without logging in, that would be a flaw in the code that might be flagged by the researchers’ methods.

The researchers’ debugger appears to be more accurate than the human eye in identifying programming security flaws, Jarrett noted.

“They ran the debugger against some class assignments that were graded, and they found a bunch of things in those applications that were not marked by a human reviewer as being a problem,” he said.

What’s not known about the debugger is how many false positives it identified. A false positive is code identified as buggy but that actually is fine.

“That’s a problem in the real world because if you report a lot of false positives, what will typically happen is the software developer who is receiving the report will look at it and say, ‘This is garbage,’ and not look at any of the findings,” Jarrett said.

Ruby’s Limitations

False positives are a general problem with static analysis of software, observed Slawek Ligier, vice president of engineering for security for Barracuda Networks.

“Any tool that results in too many false positives for developers will not be used or applied correctly because development teams will have to spend too much time sorting out false positives from true vulnerabilities,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“If you have to spend too much time sorting out chaff from what you really need to find, you will run into time constraints, and you won’t able to do a good job,” Ligier added.

While the MIT research shows promise, it has limitations, he said. “Because it’s focused on Ruby on Rails and how Ruby on Rails functions with its libraries, that’s definitely a big limitation.”

Ruby on Rails has gained some popularity among younger software organizations but hasn’t been widely adopted, Jarrett added.

Less than 5 percent of all applications are written in RoR, he estimated. By comparison, 45 percent of applications are written in Java.

“This is not a method that’s going to instantly make every application running on the Internet more secure — just the ones written in Ruby, and that’s a relatively small number,” Jarrett said.

“This could become interesting,” he added, “if they could figure out a way to extend this technique beyond Ruby and make it work for applications in other languages.”


Article Provided By: TECHNEWSWORLD


Mojoe iconIf you would like Mojoe.net to discuss your websites analytics, custom logo designs, website, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

50 Features for Small-Business Websites (Infographic)

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Small-Business Websites

Websites are a necessity for businesses of all sizes today — though, surprisingly almost half of small-business es don’t have websites. Still, there are so many design options to choose from and so many websites that it can be tough to know how to stand out.

Beyond layout and color scheme, there are a lot of features that are paramount to successful small-business websites. Some are obvious — such as an easy-to-remember domain name, a logo and contact information — and others are more subtle, like an online chat button or specific pattern for the content on the site’s inner pages. Thankfully, website design and marketing firm 99MediaLab offers pointers for an effective page from top to bottom, inside and out.

Check out the infographic below to learn the best features to have, as well as SEO tips and the technical aspects to consider. See if your site measures up.

Small-Business Websites

Article Provided By: Entrepreneur

Mojoe iconIf you would like Mojoe.net to discuss your websites analytics, custom logo designs, website, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

John Maeda on What Really Matters in the World of Design

Thursday, March 24th, 2016


Design – Business and Technology

LAST YEAR AT South by Southwest, John Maeda, a design partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, presented his inaugural Design in Tech report. In a slideshow modeled after Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends reports, he showed that design has indeed become integral to the business of technology. Figures like 27 (the number of designer-founded companies acquired by giants like Google and Facebook), and $13 billion (last year’s valuation for Airbnb, a company founded by designers), helped make Maeda’s case.

Maeda presented his second Design in Tech report Monday, again at SXSW. In his wide-lens look at the industry, Maeda doubled down on his original thesis: That big businesses want, need, and will pay for design. He supported his argument with data on mergers and acquisitions: This year, he counted 42 design firms that have been acquired since 2004. Roughly half of those transactions happened in the last year, and Accenture, Deloitte, and IBM—not companies you’d traditionally associate with design—were the main purchasers. “I’ve been arguing for a while that the Fortune 500 companies, they’re interested in design but don’t know how to get it,” Maeda tells WIRED. “The easiest way is through a consulting service. McKinsey, Accenture, or whatever. Consulting firms, in order to build capacity for this demand, have been doing so by acquiring design companies, because they can’t grow them in house.”


But this year’s Design in Tech report is more than a redux. Not to give away the ending, but Maeda closes on a slide highlighting the “Three Kinds of Design” currently at play. There’s design (“classical design”), business (“design thinking”), and technology (“computational design”). The last two have to do with creating products with empathy for the customer, and keeping pace with current paradigms in technology, respectively. They also tend to have more reach. Where classic design might impact a million active users, design thinking and computational design stand to affect hundreds of millions. What’s more, classic design projects tend to be finite; whether it’s a building or a page layout, once they’re built, they’re done. In business or technology design, the product is always evolving. “The three categories above are co-dependent,” Maeda notes on the slide. But it’s the last two categories—the ones linked to business and technology—that are growing most rapidly.

On the business side of things, design thinking has become an invaluable tool for companies looking to empathize with (and capitalize on) underserved markets. Take Bevel, former Foursquare executive Tristan Walker’s haircare and shaving line designed specifically for men with coarse and curly hair. Or Progyny, a digital platform for fertility health and information about IVF treatment and egg-freezing options. These companies aren’t as well-known as, say, Snapchat, but they’re deploying well-designed systems that cater to underserved markets. These companies, Maeda says, are ones that have established trust and spurred “social transformation.”

Speaking of Snapchat, Maeda singles it out when spotlighting the reach and rapid evolution of computational design. Snapchat clearly recognizes its core appeal, and offers it to users quickly and seamlessly; rather than ask you to swipe or push a button to access your phone’s camera, it opens by dropping you right into the app’s hallmark function. At the same time, the company is nimble and relentless in its pursuit of novel features (consider the success of speed overlays, geofilters, and selfie lenses). These invisible, ever-evolving experiences are what make Snapchat work.

When big companies ask for design, these are the kinds of results they’re likely hoping for. Maeda points out that, while corporate interest in design is certainly a good thing, there’s a supply and demand problem. When consulting companies set out to boost their design chops, they’re not necessarily looking for classically trained graphic artists, architects, or industrial designers. More often than not, they’re looking for people who can work on more esoteric tasks, such as designing culture, or designing systems—areas of study that have yet to be incorporated into business school curriculums. But “there’s a gap between what tech needs and what the programs are creating,” Maeda says. “Business schools can’t move as fast, so students are making design clubs in their schools.” Last year’s report celebrated the proliferation of student-led design clubs at MBA programs like Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford; it seemed like a harbinger of more sophisticated design education. This year, it reads like evidence that business schools are falling behind.

Maeda doesn’t provide any solutions to the supply and demand problem, but his report is still a useful tool for looking at the state of the design industry, whole-cloth. There are plenty of other nuggets worth perusing—Maeda spends time applauding Google, for becoming an examplar of computational design philosophy, and lists design thinking books for aspiring autodidacts—but the changing role of the designer is the report’s the main takeaway. The creative minds who break the mold of what we’ve long considered to be a designer—the architect, the suit-maker, the graphic designer—are poised to shape big businesses the most.

Article Provided By: Wired

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss your websites analytics, custom logo designs, website, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

Parallax Scrolling – Web Design Trends To Watch Out For

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Parallax Scrolling

In recent years we’ve seen more sites appear that make use of parallax scrolling.

The parallax technique allows the foreground and background content to scroll at different speeds, creating an illusion of depth. It can be used to very good effect, but it’s debatable if it can be described as having good UX.

Parallax has a few potential issues:

  • Bad for SEO. As sites that utilize parallax scrolling tend to be made up of one page, there’s usually little in the way of content that can be crawled by the search engines. This is especially true as text tends to be embedded in graphics.
  • Can reduce performance. Due to the heavy use of graphics and JavaScript, a page can get clogged up on load. And it’s certainly a headache for mobile users. Load times on mobile tends to be very poor when parallax is used, due to the heavy use of JavaScript.
  • Can affect users negatively. The Journal of Usability Studies carried out research on parallax which found that whilst the parallax site was considered to be more fun than non-parallax sites, some users experienced “motion sickness and experienced significant usability issues when interacting with the parallax website.”

However, parallax scrolling can add another dimension to a site and allow it to stand out. But as we listed, there are trade-offs if you want to create a site that works on both desktop and mobile, then parallax really isn’t for you.

Parallax Scrolling

Photo source: The McWhopper Proposal



And it is, even if it’s a little cartoon-like, it’s quite well done and tells a story as you move down the page. This is the strength of parallax scrolling; it allows you to effectively tell a story using mostly graphical elements. The page above has imagery, text and video embedded into it, so we put it into GT Metrix to see how it stood up to scrutiny when it came to speed.


Parallax Scrolling



As you can see, the page has a score of A from PageSpeed and C from YSlow. That’s not terrible, but take a look at the page load time … it’s 18.2 seconds, which is hugely slower than most commercial sites that you’ll come across (according the GT Metrix, the average is 6.6s).

According to GTMetrix, the site should also – amongst other things – avoid character sets in the meta tag,

“The following resources have a character set specified in a meta tag. Specifying a character set in a meta tag disables the lookahead downloader in IE8. To improve resource download parallelization, move the character set to the HTTP Content-Type response header.”

Other tips include:

  • Defer parsing of JavaScript as in this instance, 313.6kb of JavaScript is parsed during the initial loading of the page and deferring this can help to reduce “blocking of page rendering.
  • YSlow recommends that the site should minify CSS and JavaScript where possible.
  • The site should use a CDN

So if you’re considering creating a parallax site, ask yourself if the story you want to tell is worth losing visitors due to a reduction in performance. Parallax has to be done well and it has to be a little different in order to capture and hold the attention of the user.

Article Provided By: AWWWARDS

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss your websites analytics, custom logo designs, website, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

Hamburger Menu – Web Design Trends To Watch Out For

Friday, March 11th, 2016

The decision to follow a trend must depend on the needs of your users and your business. The decision should never be based solely on “it’s what the cool sites are doing”. Fads fade. A site built only on trends quickly becomes out of date.

With that in mind, let’s look at the “Hamburger Menu” design trend, that you might want to think twice about using.

Hiding Everything Under a Hamburger Menu

As mobile devices became commonplace, designers started simplifying navigation and hiding it under a hamburger menu. It’s a trend that’s also crept into the desktop version of websites.

For example, the Squarespace site uses a navigational drawer across its site, regardless of device.


Hamburger Menu

As you can see in the image above and below, the global navigation is hidden in the ubiquitous hamburger menu.

Hamburger Menu

It’s understandable why this is appealing. Placing navigation under a hamburger menu makes a site cleaner, sleeker. And most people are familiar enough with the pattern. But this isn’t something that works for every site and can reduce discoverability.

The consequences can be harmful for e-commerce sites and news sites, where discoverability of topics and items is critical to the experience. As explained in Web Design Trends 2015 & 2016, forcing users to open the navigation menu in this situation may create unnecessary friction.

Hamburger Menu

On Time’s website, you’ll find a variety of news topics hidden in the hamburger menu. However, Time combats the discoverability issue with a ticker on the side of recent news stories. There’s also a search feature prominently atop the ticker.

As pointed out in an excellent Nielsen Norman Group article, “Killing Off the Global Navigation: One Trend to Avoid,” hidden navigation could still alienate users.

As writers Jennifer Cardello and Kathryn Whitenton point out:

“Even if the global navigation is difficult to design and hard to maintain, most sites will still be better off showing top-level categories to users right away. It’s simply one of the most effective ways of helping users quickly understand what the site is about.”

As they point out, here’s a couple ways to tell if hiding global navigation is for you:

  • Skyrocketing bounce rates on landing pages. Users won’t stick around if global navigation isn’t obvious, making it hard for them to browse the site.
  • Where users are clicking. Are they actually clicking the hamburger menu? If not and combined with high bounce rate, then you know something is amiss. You can check the clicks with heatmapping tools from CrazyEgg and Usability Tools.

User behavior determines whether you should use a hidden navigation drawer on a full-desktop site. Don’t sacrifice usability and discoverability for pure aesthetics.

Article Provided By: AWWWARDS

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss your websites analytics, custom logo designs, website, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

5 information security trends that will dominate 2016

Friday, March 4th, 2016


Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and collaborative with every coming year. To combat the threat in 2016, information security trends professionals must understand these five trends.

Every year, it seems, the threats posed by cybercriminals evolve into new and more dangerous forms while security organizations struggle to keep up.

At the end of 2015, we expected the size, severity and complexity of cyber threats to continue increasing in 2016, says Steve Durbin, managing director the Information Security Forum (ISF), a nonprofit association that assesses security and risk management issues on behalf of its members.

“For me, 2016 is probably the year of cyber risk,” Durbin says. “I say that because increasingly I think we are seeing a raised level awareness about the fact that operating in cyber brings about its own peculiarities.”

Durbin says the ISF sees five security trends that will dominate 2016.

“As we move into 2016, attacks will continue to become more innovative and sophisticated,” Durbin says. “Unfortunately, while organizations are developing new security mechanisms, cybercriminals are cultivating new techniques to evade them. In the drive to become more cyber resilient, organizations need to extend their risk management focus from pure information confidentiality, integrity and availability to include risks such as those to reputation and customer channels, and recognize the unintended consequences from activity in cyberspace. By preparing for the unknown, organizations will have the flexibility to withstand unexpected, high impact security events.”

Durbin says the threats identified by the ISF are not mutually exclusive. They can combine to create even greater threat profiles. He adds that we should expect new threats to emerge over the course of the next year.

1. The unintended consequences of state intervention


Conflicting official involvement in cyberspace in 2016 will create the threat of collateral damage and have unforeseen implications and consequences for all organizations that rely on it, Durbin says, noting that varying regulation and legislation will restrict activities whether or not an organization is the intended target. He warns that even organizations not implicated in wrongdoing will suffer collateral damage as authorities police their corner of the Internet.

“We’ve seen the European Court of Justice kicking out Safe Harbor,” Durbin says. “We’re seeing increasing calls for backdoors from governments, while certain technology vendors are saying, ‘Good luck, because we encrypt everything end-to-end and we have no knowledge of what this data is.’ In a world where terrorism is becoming more the norm, there is a cyber-physical link here. How do we legislate in the face of that?”

Moving forward, Durbin says, organizations will have to understand what governments are able to ask for and be open about that with partners.

“Legislators will always be paying catch up, and I think legislators themselves need to raise their game,” Durbin says. “They’ll always be talking about yesterday, and cyber is about talking about tomorrow.”

2. Big data will lead to big problems

security 2016 big data

Organizations are increasingly embedding big data in their operations and decision-making process. But it’s essential to recognize that there is a human element to data analytics. Organizations that fail to respect that human element will put themselves at risk by overvaluing big data output, Durbin says, noting that poor integrity of the information sets could result in analyses that lead to poor business decisions, missed opportunities, brand damage and lost profits.

“There is this huge temptation that, of course, if you’ve accessed [data], it must be right,” Durbin says. “This issue of data integrity, for me, is a big one. Sure, data is the lifeblood of an organization, but do we really know whether it’s ‘A-neg’ or ‘O-neg’?”

“There’s this massive amount of information out there,” he adds. “One of the things that scares me to death is not necessarily people stealing that information but actually manipulating it in ways that you’re never going to see.”

For instance, he notes that organizations have outsourced code creation for years.

“We don’t know for certain that there aren’t back doors in that code,” he says. “In fact, there probably are. You’re going to need to be much more skeptical about this: Question assumptions and make sure the information is actually what it says it is.”

And, of course, it’s not simply the integrity of code you need to worry about. You need to understand the provenance of all your data.

“If it’s our information, we understand the provenance, that’s fine,” he says. “As soon as you start sharing it, you open yourself up. You need to know how the information is being used, who it’s being shared with, who’s adding to it and how it’s being manipulated.”

3. Mobile applications and the IoT

security 2016 iot


Smartphones and other mobile devices are creating a prime target for malicious actors in the Internet of Things (IoT), Durbin says. The rapid uptake of bring-your-own-device (BYOD), and the introduction of wearable technologies to the workplace, will increase an already high demand for mobile apps for work and home in the coming year. To meet this increased demand, developers working under intense pressure and on razor-thin profit margins will sacrifice security and thorough testing in favor of speed of delivery and low cost, resulting in poor quality products more easily hijacked by criminals or hacktivists.

“Don’t confuse this with phones,” Durbin says. “Mobility is more than that. The smartphone is just one component of mobility.”

He notes that there are an increasing number of workers just like him that are constantly mobile.

“We don’t have offices, as such,” he says. “The last time I checked in it was a hotel. Today it’s somebody else’s office environment. How do I really know that it is ‘Steve’ coming in to this particular system? I might know that it’s Steve’s device, or what I believe to be Steve’s device, but how do I know that it’s Steve on the other end of that device?”

Organizations should be prepared to embrace the increasingly complex IoT and understand what it means for them, Durbin says. Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) should be proactive in preparing the organization for the inevitable by ensuring that apps developed in-house follow the testing steps in a recognized systems development lifecycle approach. They should also be managing user devices in line with existing asset management policies and processes, incorporating user devices into existing standards for access management and promoting education and awareness of BYOD risk in innovative ways.

4. Cybercrime causes the perfect threat storm

security 2016 cybercrime

Cybercrime topped the list of threats in 2015, and it’s not going away in 2016, Durbin says. Cybercrime, along with an increase in hacktivism, the surge in cost of compliance to deal with the uptick in regulatory requirements and the relentless advances in technology against a backdrop of under investment in security departments, can all combine to cause the perfect threat storm. Organizations that adopt a risk management approach to identify what the business relies on most will be well placed to quantify the business case to invest in resilience.

Cyberspace is an increasingly attractive hunting ground for criminals, activists and terrorists motivated to make money, cause disruption or even bring down corporations and governments through online attacks. Organizations must be prepared for the unpredictable so they have the resilience to withstand unforeseen, high impact events.

“I see an increasing maturity and development of the cybercrime gangs,” Durbin says. “They’re incredibly sophisticated and well-coordinated. We’re seeing an increase in crime as a service. This increasing sophistication is going to cause real challenges for organizations. We’re really moving into an area where you can’t predict how a cybercriminal is going to come after you. From an organizational standpoint, how do you defend against that?

Part of the problem is that many organizations are still focusing on defending the perimeter in an era when insiders — whether malicious or simply ignorant of proper security practices — make that perimeter increasingly permeable.

“We have viewed cybercrime rightly or wrongly from the perspective of it being an external attack, so we attempt to throw a security blanket over the perimeter if you will,” Durbin says. “There is a threat within. That takes us to a very uncomfortable place from an organizational standpoint.”

The fact of the matter is that organizations won’t be able to come to grips with cybercriminals unless they adopt a more forward-looking approach.

“A few weeks ago, I was speaking to a CISO of a major company with nine years on the job,” Durbin says. “He told me that with big data analytics, he now has almost complete visibility across the entire organization. After nine years. The cybercriminals have had that capability for ages. Our approach is continually reactive as opposed to proactive.”

“Cybercriminals don’t work that way — based on history,” he adds. “They’re always trying to come up with a new way. I think we’re still not that great at playing a defensive game. We need to really raise it to the same level. We’re never going to be as imaginative. There’s still this view inside the company that we haven’t been broken into already, why are we spending all this money?”

5. Skills gap becomes an abyss for information security

The information security professionals are maturing just as the increasing sophistication of cyber-attack capabilities demand more increasingly scarce information security professionals. While cybercriminals and hacktivists are increasing in numbers and deepening their skillsets, the “good guys” are struggling to keep pace, Durbin says. CISOs need to build sustainable recruiting practices and develop and retain existing talent to improve their organization’s cyber resilience.

The problem is going to grow worse in 2016 as hyper connectivity increases, Durbin says. CISOs will have to become more aggressive about getting the skill sets the organization needs.

“In 2016, I think we’re going to become very much more aware that perhaps we don’t have the right people in our security departments,” he says. “We know that we’ve got some good technical guys who can fix firewalls and that sort of thing. But the right sort of people can make the case for cybersecurity being linked to business challenges and business developments. That’s going to be a significant weakness. Boards are coming to the realization that cyber is the way they do business. We still don’t have the joined up linkage between the business and the security practice.”

In some cases, it’s going to become apparent that organizations simply don’t have the right CISO in place. Other organizations will have to ask themselves if security itself is sitting in the right place within the organization.

“You can’t avoid every serious incident, and while many businesses are good at incident management, few have an established, organized approach for evaluating what went wrong,” Durbin says. “As a result, they are incurring unnecessary costs and accepting inappropriate risks. Organizations of all sizes need to take stock now in order to ensure they are fully prepared and engaged to deal with these emerging security challenges. By adopting a realistic, broad-based, collaborative approach to cyber security and resilience, government departments, regulators, senior business managers and information security professionals will better understand the true nature of cyber threats and how to respond quickly and appropriately.”

Article Provided By: CIO

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss your websites analytics, custom logo designs, website, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

How to Repel the Wrong Customers — and Attract the Right Ones

Friday, February 12th, 2016


Customers – Good and Bad

Most businesses focus on converting prospects into customers. But it’s just as important to determine who is not a good fit for your business — to repel as well as attract.

This may seem counterintuitive. You might be thinking: Hold up. We have a fantastic product, and we want everyone to like us! We want everyone to buy right now!

But here’s the thing: You don’t want to attract all the people; you want to attract the right ones. It’s a waste of time and resources to nurture relationships with people who are a bad fit for your business. It’s also emotionally exhausting. Trust me.

That’s where a solid marketing strategy comes in. Here are three ways to repel the wrong customers so you can attract the right ones.

Have a strong tone of voice. For differentiating your brand, nothing is as important as tone of voice: your point of view as expressed through your marketing, the writing on your site and any content you produce, such as social profile pages. Your tone should reflect who you are, but, more important, it should indicate what you are like.

I like the way marketing agency Velocity Partners signals to would-be clients that it is a bit edgy, a bit nerdy and takes risks. Here’s how it describes itself on its “Who we are,” aka About Us page (a great place to define your tone of voice): “We’re an odd bunch of international misfits, huddling together for warmth in a cold, indifferent world that thinks it’s weird to actually love things like content marketing and technology markets and B2B companies and storytelling and stuff like that. If that sounds geeky to you, do NOT invite a Velocitoid to a dinner party. You have been warned.”

Fun, right? You get a sense that this isn’t your typical agency following marketing plans originally carved in stone tablets.

Tell the full truth. I feel a little sheepish saying this, because of course you and your business are honest and forthright. But some companies lean in to the honesty part by being unusually transparent with their marketing content. Telling the full truth — even shining a light on a weaknesses — equals credibility.

One company that tells the unvarnished truth is Fort Worth, Texas-based Saddleback Leather, which sells luggage, wallets and other leather goods online. On its website, Saddleback details the craftsmanship that goes into its products; it tells how it sources leather, how each bag is made and the history of the people involved. But Saddleback is also confident enough to list the websites of more than a dozen competitors. Founder Dave Munson has this to say on his website: “I don’t suspect our competitors would put a link on their websites to ours, but I don’t mind doing it. I want you to shop around. I’m so confident that you’ll find our classic look and over-engineered durability, at our price, so hard to resist that you’ll be back.”

Pass the mic to the elephant in the room. You might go so far as to indicate in your FAQ or elsewhere on your site who will not be a successful client. Giving voice to reasons why folks might not want to work with you isn’t unlike what Saddleback does in naming its competitors.

There is no such thing as one size fits all well, says Marcus Sheridan, who runs marketing consultancy The Sales Lion. To that end, he details on his site six qualities that would make someone not right for his company, things like “You are looking to outsource your marketing,” or “You are looking to outsource your social media accounts.” He collects all of them in a single web page titled “Who We’re NOT a Good Fit For at TSL.”

So, your turn. Think about how you might repel those who aren’t right for your business. You might just find yourself spending less time spinning your wheels and more time focusing on the customers who matter most.

Article Provided By: Entrepreneur

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss your websites analytics, custom logo designs, website, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

Are Animated GIF’s Legal?

Friday, January 29th, 2016


 To Gif or Not To Gif

Before we talk about the use of a gif, lets first discuss a little thing called Fair Use. “What is Fair Use?”, you ask. Well, here is how the Stanford University Libraries define Fair Use.

In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody of a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. If your use qualifies as a fair use, then it would not be considered an illegal infringement.

So what is a “transformative” use? If this definition seems ambiguous or vague, be aware that millions of dollars in legal fees have been spent attempting to define what qualifies as a fair use. There are no hard-and-fast rules, only general rules and varied court decisions, because the judges and lawmakers who created the fair use exception did not want to limit its definition. Like free speech, they wanted it to have an expansive meaning that could be open to interpretation.

The Animated Gif

Most people who use animated gif.s would say that, “gifs fall under the Fair Use copyright law”. But, the Fair Use copyright law isn’t as simple as that. The Fair Use was written to be vague so as to not infringe on free speech.

If you want to make a statement or comment on a written or copyrighted image (movie and or video), you may reproduce it in a limited form but not entirely. You can’t, for example, take a image and make a thousand tee-shirts or make a thousand copies of your favorite CD an sell them for $20 a piece. At least not without permission and paying the copyright holder. But, if you use a clip from a movie to comment on an idea or to get a message across to someone or someone’s, that would most likely fall under the terms of Fair Use.

Something you should know, is that as of right now, no one has ever been sued for the use of a animated gif. But, if you are a genius, and you find a way to make a billion dollars, from an animated gif, I would think you would be the first person ever to get sued for infringement.

The bottom line is, if you are using the gif to lead a viewer to something else or to a different way of thinking, it should be okay to use an animated gif. Just don’t try to reproduce and sell other artists work for large sums of money and you should safe from law sues.

One other thing to consider, I am not a lawyer and I’m not a copyright expert. This article is to inform you (in simple terms) of the information I found in researching this article.
Article By Lance Roberts

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss your websites analytics, custom logo designs, website, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

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