March 26, 2015

If you want to succeed you must fail first, says the man who dreamt up the IoT
The point if the story is that anyone can make an important creative contribution. That's because creating is innate, and instinctive, and, as a result, we see it in all children. The same is true of trying to understand technology. All children have an instinct to explore technology, just as they have an instinct to explore nature. That's why you see them playing telephone about the same time as you see them getting excited when they see dogs or birds. The role of education should be to enable and enhance that innate, instinctive ability, and otherwise get the hell out of the way of its development. Instead, sadly, we have an education system that prioritizes control, compliance, and conformity, frankly for its own convenience.

8 CIO Leadership Lessons for Enterprise Success
Lillie shares that the secret sauce of Equinix, besides having highly reliable state-of-the-art data centers, is that they have an interconnection fabric with close to 150,000 interconnections which are cross connects, either physical or virtual, where their customers connect to each other to move forward digital commerce. As an enterprise CIO for the past seven years, Lillie is focused on helping Equinix grow, scale and be efficient and successful as a company by connecting with customers in a more meaningful way. And that's not just through technology; it's also through communicating best practices. Building on the four pillars of excellence (operational, transformational, innovational and organizational) Lillie gives advice to CIOs to ensure not only their success, but the success of their company as well.

Government Surveillance Dilemmas Present Challenges for Data Centers
One challenge with some data requests made by law enforcement is a provision which includes a “gag order” on the infrastructure provider. “Google and larger companies have an agreement with the Attorney General,” he noted, “that allows them to reveal the number of requests for data that they have responded to, in ‘bands.’ For example, a band is 0-100, in number of requests. Most companies are a lot smaller than Google or Yahoo!. When the bands are larger rather than smaller, customers assume the worst, so if a band is 0 to 100, they assume 100 requests. It would be better to have narrower bands.”

Smart Big Data: The All-Important 90/10 Rule
The 90% structured time should be used putting the steps outlined in the SMART Data framework into operation. Making a logical progression through an ordered set of steps with a defined beginning (a problem you need to solve), middle (a process) and an ending (answers or results). This is after all why we call it Data Science. Business data projects are very much like scientific experiments, where we run simulations testing the validity of theories and hypothesis, to produce quantifiable results. The other 10% of your time can be spent freely playing with your data – mining for patterns and insights which, while they may be valuable in other ways, are not an integral part of your SMART Data strategy.

Five steps to maintaining PCI compliance
Maintaining a vigilant policy compliance program using automated management processes enables companies to reduce risk and continuously provide proof of compliance. Additionally, a policy compliance program helps identify and assess key security settings in your systems, which indirectly helps improve PCI compliance. The requirements of PCI DSS are clear, but take work to accomplish across an organization. The above are a sampling of some best practices, but it’s also important to look for a solution that provides your business with an easy, cost effective and highly automated way to achieve compliance with PCI DSS. Keeping up-to-date with the requirements will benefit your business in the long term.

Android Wear smartwatches: The benefits for professionals
"They're well-equipped to fill a lot of needs in the enterprise where employees need quick updates on timely information, but also can't afford the distraction of being fully immersed in whatever the system is," Martin said. The glanceable nature of most smartwatches does indeed make them a great way to quickly access notifications, but Android Wear devices do offer other tools and services that can positively impact the daily life of corporate users. Here are four ways professionals can benefit from using an Android Wear smartwatch.

Agile coding in enterprise IT: Code small and local
In MSA, you want simple parts with clean, messaging-style interfaces; the less elaborate the better. And you don’t want elaborate middleware, service buses, or other orchestration brokers, but rather simpler messaging systems such as Apache Kafka. MSA proponents tend to code in web-oriented languages such as Node.js that favor small components with direct interfaces, and in functional languages like Scala or the Clojure Lisp library that favor “immutable” approaches to data and functions, says Richard Rodger, a Node.js expert and founder of nearForm, a development consultancy. This fine-grained approach lets you update, add, replace, or remove services—in short, to integrate code changes— from your application easily, with minimal effect on anything else.

How web services became cloud magic, then turned real again
Conceptualising the business as a set of APIs has potential benefits: Faster systems implementation times, reduced costs, more agile business structures, and a business focused on what makes it unique. But it also brings new risks. "Clearly, there are security aspects. An ill-designed API can give access to internal systems, or be open to malware," Dawson said. "There are valid reasons you do need to worry." It seems like we've come full circle. A decade or two ago, before we started calling it "the cloud", it was just "the internet". Discussions about live data linkages between businesses were all about data standards, interoperability, reliability, and security. Then we started calling it "the cloud", and the cloud would apparently solve everything with sparkly unicorn magic.

Security best practices for users is your first line of defense
Users can be your weakest link, sure, but they can also be your greatest asset, says Dr. Guy Bunker, Senior Vice President, Products, security solution provider Clearswift. "Users are both the greatest asset and the weakest link when it comes to security. Users ‘know’ what is really happening in terms of processes and policies that are followed and those that are ignored – they can be a great barometer for gauging the effectiveness of security measures," says Bunker. "This is particularly true for processes which are not secure, or not as secure as they could be. However, users have to be educated. They need to understand that for instance, with many types of malware there is an application installed – and for that to happen there will be some further interaction requested.

UK attacks on crypto keys and digital certificates endemic
But that is no surprise, he said, with leading researchers from FireEye, Intel, Kaspersky, Mandiant and many others consistently identifying the misuse of key and certificates as an important part of advanced persistent threats (APTs) and cyber criminal operations. Bocek said that trust in online security is difficult to achieve, with the report showing that 63% of UK organisations do not know where all keys and certificates are located or how they are being used. The research uncovered that attacks are becoming more widespread as the number of keys and certificates deployed on infrastructure such as web servers, network appliances and cloud services has grown by 40% to almost 24,000 per enterprise in the past two years.

Quote for the day:

"It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse." -- Adlai E. Stevenson II