Thursday, September 25, 2008

Beyond the O/S?

As a leading-edge software developer, we try to identify the winds of change earlier than most. Software development lifecycles often stretch into decades, so all design and architecture decisions made today must be framed by the expected landscape in 2, 5 and even 10 years time. Of particular interest to us at the moment is the concept of 'cloud computing' where all applications are delivered through a richer browser and the connect between device and operating system is finally broken. Googles recent launch of the Chrome browser got us thinking "why do we need another browser and have we underestimated its value?" In this context, perhaps the browser will become the environment in which we will eventually manage every task including word processing, email, business applications and the management of files, on any device such as mobile, PC or TV. Indeed Google are providing an ever increasing range of productivity tools designed to compete with Office. Is Microsoft's grip on the computing experience beginning to weaken and is competition for the desktop necessarily a good thing when standards proliferate? Anyone who has tried to use Corels' excellent WordPerfect and Microsoft's Word in tandem will appreciate the dilemma!

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Road to PCI DSS Compliance

After many false dawns, the industry finally seems to have come alive and realised the real benefits of securing their trading platforms. The once relaxed attitude to card data security has been replaced by a desire to attain and maintain compliance with the PCI DSS directive at almost all costs. As a tier1 solutions provider, Exact Abacus have been on the compliance trail for over 2 years, gradually locking down networks and working with our QSA to make our datacentre inpenetrable. Furthermore, we are looking well into the future and considering what the impact of upcoming PA DSS standards will be for us and our clients. In all, over £250,000 invested in our compliance programme to-date and a planned £100,000 per annum going forward to maintain that compliance. We take PCI DSS very seriously and have put 'our money where our mouth is' to prove it!