August 22, 2014

How Big Data Is Changing Insurance Forever
Progressive say they have already collected a trillion seconds of driving data, by monitoring 1.6 million of their customers, and that this data is being used to build a picture of how people drive in general – which individual driving behaviour can be compared against. ... And it isn’t just our cars that insurance companies want to attach sensors to – health insurers are increasingly looking at ways they can monitor our lifestyle and activity levels to determine how likely we are, or will be in the future, to make expensive medical claims. Oscar is a health insurer currently only available to New York residents which claims to be built on big data from the ground up

BYOD: California Ruling A Wakeup Call
The key word in that disposition is "required," and isn't that really the opposite of the spirit of BYOD? When I look at BYOD, it is an optional benefit, not a requirement for employees. BYOD gives employees the choice to use their own devices if they so choose, but is not a requirement of their job. This is where your BYOD policy becomes crucial in determining how and whether employees will have access to data and a right to reimbursement for usage, if any.

Big data could bring 'second Age of Enlightenment', says PwC partner
“The next Data Protection Act will give consumers the right to be forgotten by companies,” said Tod. “A directive is working its way through Europe now. When this becomes law it will become more difficult to track visitors. There will be more protocols. “We may well now be in a golden age of big data. The regulators and consumer behaviour will catch up.” Tod, who will address Abta’s Travel Convention in Ljubljana, Slovenia, next month on ‘the power of data’, said: “We have more data and more analytical ability and there is no excuse for not participating. The costs have fallen to $1,000 a year using something like Amazon Web Services. Google Analytics is free.”

IBM SoftLayer: Data center as a service (DCaaS)
However, for many large enterprise clients, having an IaaS does not help solve their data center needs. Many of these clients have performance, management and security requirements which prevent them from moving into a “black box” environment where they have no insight or control over how such attributes are managed. In my opinion (and as many experts have mentioned in other blog posts on SoftLayer topics), the primary differentiator of SoftLayer is its ability to support bare metal servers. With the combination of networking infrastructure provided by SoftLayer and bare metal server offerings, any enterprise can now move away from its existing data center into a SoftLayer data center.

Lessons Learned From UPS Store Breach
Security experts praised the UPS Store for its quick response. "This probably stopped it (the infection) from getting much worse," Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer for Veracode, said. Because hackers are looking for network credentials, retailers need to make a list of the employees and vendors with remote access and restrict their privileges to those resources that are absolutely necessary. Also, passwords should be changed at least every six months and when vendors are dropped or employees leave, their credentials should be revoked immediately.

Contextual Intelligence
Context matters. This is not news to social scientists, or indeed to my colleagues who study leadership, but we have paid it insufficient attention in the field of management. There is nothing wrong with the analytic tools we have at our disposal, but their application requires careful thought. It requires contextual intelligence: the ability to understand the limits of our knowledge and to adapt that knowledge to an environment different from the one in which it was developed. Until we acquire and apply this kind of intelligence, the failure rate for cross-border businesses will remain high, our ability to learn from experiments unfolding across the globe will remain limited, and the promise of healthy growth worldwide will remain unfulfilled.

Largest HIPAA Breach: Hackers Steal Data on 4.5 Million Patients
A hacking group known as “APT 18” is suspected of stealing names, Social Security numbers, addresses, birthdays and telephone numbers from 4.5 million patients of Community Health Systems, a network of 206 hospitals across 29 states (see map at right). Credit card numbers and medical records were not accessed. It’s the largest attack involving patient information since the HHS started tracking HIPAA breaches in 2009, passing a Montana Department of Public Health breach that affected roughly 1 million people.

Quantitative Methodologies Assisting Performance Testing
A common misconception that performance testing activities under this testing arena is to basically use a load-testing tool to script the business scenario, execute the test and submit the results, but many are not aware the importance of basics (Quantitative Analysis / Methodologies) related to performance testing that are usually missed out or probably under the illusion that these are not required or might not come under their respective domain of work or nature of work activity. This gets very much misquoted when not properly communicated to the testing teams.

Michael Daniel's Path to the White House
In discussing his role, Daniel says understanding the economics and psychology of cybersecurity is a big challenge. "At a very fundamental level, cybersecurity isn't just about the technology but it's also about the economics of cybersecurity," he says. "Intruders get in through those holes that we know about that we could fix," he says. "The question is, 'Why don't we do that?' That clearly leads me to the conclusion that we really don't understand all of those economics and psychology [situations] well enough." In the interview, which was interrupted when he was called to the West Wing, Daniel discusses:

Developing Talent for Large IT Projects
Large IT programs are sometimes highly stressful; they can entail considerable overtime, they’re met with little appreciation from the broader organization because of the disruption the programs might cause, and they depend on the work quality of others. Having the right culture to overcome these challenges is essential. According to a McKinsey study of organizational archetypes and characteristics of winning organizations, the culture of a large IT program should be built on three pillars. One is clear direction that inspires employees. Large technology investments have the ability to dramatically improve business performance, but too often the focus on business value is lost in the day-to-day efforts of the project. Frequent town-hall meetings can help to remind teams of the impact of their work.

Quote for the day:

"To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart." -- Eleanor Roosevelt