August 13, 2015

6 Signs You're Going to Fail At Big Data

"Who is getting Big Data right, and what are they doing differently to get positive results?" I'm asked this question often enough to get the sense that few organizations seem to be seeing positive results from their big data efforts. This in spite of the fact that they are investing millions of dollars, spending thousands of hours and betting their business' future on the success of these analytic efforts. While I've tried to articulate how I have seen some organizations get big data "right," it's frequently more compelling to explain how others seem to be getting it terribly "wrong." In this vein, I offer the following six signs that an organization will likely fail at big data, and a bit of guidance on how not to join them.

New Android Serialization Vulnerability Gives Underprivileged Apps Super Status

Vulnerable classes can be found in specific apps or frameworks, implying a more restricted targeted attack. We therefore decided to analyze 32,701 popular Android apps from top developers in order to find such classes. Since using our aforementioned runtime technique to conduct this experiment would take hours to complete, we decided to use a different approach. We created a tool that runs dexlib2 over the apps’ dex files in a mere 93 minutes. The experiment is so fast because it simply performs a very shallow static analysis, whereas adhering to the previous experiment’s technique would have required installing each app on an Android device — an incredibly slow process.

Cybersecurity’s Human Factor: Lessons from the Pentagon

One key lesson of the military’s experience is that while technical upgrades are important, minimizing human error is even more crucial. Mistakes by network administrators and users' failures to patch vulnerabilities in legacy systems, misconfigured settings, violations of standard procedures—open the door to the overwhelming majority of successful attacks. The military’s approach to addressing this dimension of security owes much to Admiral Hyman Rickover, the “Father of the Nuclear Navy.” In its more than 60 years of existence, the nuclear-propulsion program that he helped launch hasn’t suffered a single accident.

Flash-Based Data Storage is Growing Faster Than Anticipated

"The No. 1 reason why customers are adopting it is because of performance," said Arun Chandrasekaran, an analyst at Gartner Inc. "The second reason is ease of use and management. The products are inherently fast and easy to manage." Flash storage lets companies compress data more efficiently and remove duplicate copies of files. The machines are also cheaper to manage and replace; they take up less space in data centers, and require less electricity and cooling. While flash-based storage remains more expensive than hard disk-based systems, prices are declining and drawing in more customers. "The all-flash array market did grow faster than we thought it would," said Eric Burgener, an analyst at IDC.

DOJ wants encryption that still allows law enforcement access

The DOJ is not asking companies to stop offering encryption, a second official said, but to balance the cybersecurity benefits of end-to-end encryption with the risks of losing valuable evidence in child pornography, terrorism, organized crime and other cases. There may be "theoretical risks" with companies retaining access to customers' encrypted data, one official said. "Are there costs and benefits associated with certain implementations of encryption, and are there costs and benefits associated with lack of law enforcement and national security access to communications in crucial cases?" the official added.

AHIMA: Information Governance Earns High Executive Attention

While there are significant numbers of organizations not yet formally on the IG path, there is evidence that growing numbers are prioritizing information governance. For me, among the most significant findings is that 36 percent of the respondents indicate that a senior executive has been designated to sponsor IG. That’s a major sign that IG has established a toehold in healthcare. This means more than a third of the organizations represented are sufficiently convinced to take this step because they see the value of information as a strategic asset. I hang a lot of hope on this indicator, because without senior sponsorship, IG will not move within the organization.

Enterprise data security best practices mean IT teamwork

When the network, security and other specialists collaborate, security reaps the benefits. A Windows administrator is routinely called upon to allow or deny execution of certain file types based on a user's role within a network, for example. The admin may need to deny permission to run executables from end-users' workstations. This gives the enterprise a file-based security control. The network administrator also denies entry of certain executables at the firewall. In this case, network-based security controls are exercised in tandem with the file-based controls for multiple layers of IT security.

A strategy for thriving in uncertainty

In uncertainty, both the strategy process and the strategy itself need to change. The most effective leadership teams focus on the vital few uncertainties that matter, understand the possible scenarios that could develop and identify the critical trigger points that signal a swing to one scenario or another—we call these signposts. This leads to a clear and actionable portfolio of strategic actions that balance commitment with flexibility. And the process shifts from an exercise defined by conditions at a discrete point in time to a cycle of “execute, monitor and adapt,” redirecting the company toward the best opportunities over time.

10 scary hacks from Black Hat and DEF CON

SMB relay, the network version of a long-time hacker favorite attack called "pass the hash," was believed only to work inside Windows networks. Security researchers Jonathan Brossard and Hormazd Billimoria found that that's not actually true and that an attacker can harvest Active Directory NTLM (NT LAN Manager) credentials from the Internet by simply tricking a user to visit a Web page in Internet Explorer, open an email in Microsoft Outlook or play a video file in Windows Media Player. SMB Relay involves using man-in-the-middle techniques to capture authentication requests from a Windows computer to a server and then relay those requests back to the server in order to be authenticated as the user.

Instrumenting the human and socializing the machine

As consumers, we’re all becoming instrumented and taking advantage of the wealth of wearables and sensors now on the market. This “quantified self” concept helps us monitor our health and fitness and take advantage of the masses of data that are produced as we go about our daily lives. The pace of instrumentation is picking up in the workplace as well as employers seek to track employee behavior and optimize work activities. ... Even when we look at fully autonomous vehicles such as self-driving cars, the cars are being socialized to be overly cautious when maneuvering to help avoid surprises for passengers and pedestrians alike. Soft robotics is another area of innovation where robots are being designed with soft and deformable structures to work with unknown objects, in rough terrains, or with direct human contact.

Quote for the day:

"If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs." -- Dhirubhai Ambani