November 03, 2015

How The Internet Of Things Is Changing Work

Hooking up workplaces and environments to the world of IoT is often as easy as wiring a building up with IT cabling, says Justin Lee, CEO of real estate firm TheSquareFoot. So long as a workplace can be hooked up to the Internet, it can usually be effectively outfitted with an IoT system—i.e., sensors that generate data talking to each other and sending that data somewhere. Cost to outfit a workplace ramps up as the workforce increases in size, and while IoT solutions are becoming more common for smaller businesses, IoT solutions for large corporations over 1,000 people are not nearly as commercialized or streamlined yet, says Lee. But we're not yet at a place where real estate understands how to prepare an IoT-ready workplace.

10 tips to meet your project planning goals

If you’re a project manager, chances are your daily calendar is already filled from the moment you sit down at your desk to whatever time of day – or evening, most likely – you clock out. Many people at all levels of the enterprise rely heavily on you to have a solid grasp on all aspects of project management, including timing, status and direction of projects, at all times. ... Strategy should drive business activities, including projects, and not the other way around…otherwise the project is simply a pointless exercise. By ensuring strategic alignment, project managers can help organizations avoid ambiguous PMO direction, underutilized PMO resources, low company performance at a high cost, and declining project success rates. Alignment helps to establish a shared vision.

Instead of replacing individual desktops every year, companies only have to replace thin clients every 5 years. And when it comes time to do updates, the IT staff updates the one computer instead of spending time updating every individual workstation. VDI is a great solution for most companies. But if every employee in the company has to process large amounts of data, that one computer may not be powerful enough. If there are a large number of employees and each employee’s workstation requires multiple GPUs to process data quickly, switching to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure may not be cost effective since there are still only a small number of open slots for GPUs in most computers.

To land a data center job in this evolving space, work relevant, change-focused terminology into your interviews for engineer, operations or manager positions. Simply rattling off DevOps and automation terms won't impress an interviewer, nor will a prevaricating job candidate who lacks the fundamentals to grow in a data center position. We've created fun visual cues in this slideshow of hot data center terminology to help you understand and describe modern data center operations. Establish your knowledge of IT infrastructure scalability and resiliency, culture and business trends as well as other defining developments while leaving a strong impression on your future employer.

What you need to do is get your head in the cloud in order to understand a new wave of threats and identify ways to strengthen defenses. I’m not just talking about the benefits of using the cloud for security – unlimited storage capabilities for global threat intelligence and historical data, powerful processing capabilities for security analytics, and the ability to deploy security technologies to even the most remote outposts. You also need think about how attackers are now banking on the increasing usage of Software as a Service (SaaS) apps and the advent of Shadow IT and resulting Shadow Data (as I discussed previously) to steal valuable digital assets. These attacks often incorporate basic tactics but with a modern twist.

Scaling Docker with Kubernetes V1

Kubernetes is an open source project to manage a cluster of Linux containers as a single system, managing and running Docker containers across multiple hosts, offering co-location of containers, service discovery and replication control. It was started by Google and now it is supported by Microsoft, RedHat, IBM and Docker amongst others. Google has been using container technology for over ten years, starting over 2 billion containers per week. With Kubernetes it shares its container expertise creating an open platform to run containers at scale. The project serves two purposes. Once you are using Docker containers the next question is how to scale and start containers across multiple Docker hosts, balancing the containers across them. It also adds a higher level API to define how containers are logically grouped, allowing to define pools of containers, load balancing and affinity.

Help Wanted: Security Analytics Unicorn

Today’s cyber attacks are increasing in sophistication and stealth. Malicious parties can infiltrate an organization’s network and rest undetected for weeks, months, even years, without raising a red flag. If targeted attackers have any virtues at all - patience tops the list. Because cyber criminals are willing to wait and collect sensitive information over time, rather than execute a flash attack, security analysts need to be able to identify and visualize user and activity patterns spanning longer periods of time. Understanding what “normal patterns” look like in a simple way enables security analysts to connect the dots at a higher level in order to detect important anomalies. Without the skills and tools to transform security analysts into entry-level data scientists, this is easier said than done.

Government as a platform, or a platform for government? Which are we getting?

The distinction here – and government’s choice – between a blueprint for GaaP that supports participation versus one that supports mere access, is critical. The former is about democratic re-invigoration, and the latter is about – well, just technology. Participation is much more disruptive to existing modes of organising within government. ... At one point, Chi Onwurah MP, who ably led the review, mentioned that she was comfortable with a notion that she coined as “platform for government” – let’s call this PfG – but less happy with “government as a platform”. Her distinction between GaaP and PfG is useful in helping to think through the dimensions, and thus the significant implications, of what is at stake. The table below summarises some of the most important issues.

How can you tell if your Web application has been hacked? “When your Web application is compromised, it will start to do things out of the ordinary,” says Steve Durbin, managing director of Information Security Forum. The key is to gain a thorough understanding of what constitutes normal behavior for your application, then keep your eyes peeled for aberrations. ... Don’t be so focused on what’s moving outside the network that you ignore lateral movement. If the Web server is communicating with other internal network resources, such as user file shares and individual user computers, that can be a sign attackers have gained entry and are moving around the network. If the application lets users upload files, then make sure it uses a dedicated file server and not a general one employed within the enterprise, for example.

Confusing the ends and the means

What everyone gets wrong is that innovation isn't the "ends" that executives seek. They seek growth, differentiation, inordinate profits. If those factors come from following the existing processes more efficiently, they will be ecstatic. But we all know that doing things more efficiently rarely creates new products or services, so they are frequently disappointed. When executives are clear with their expectations, when they communicate exactly what they want from innovation teams, when they provide appropriate scope and time frames, when they apply appropriate resources, they establish that innovation is a set of tools to help achieve profits, growth and differentiation through the creation of new products and services.

Quote for the day:

"This idea that robots, AI, can eventually encroach on creativity is pretty daunting" -- Hod Lipson