November 17, 2015

A Manual for the Data-Driven Finance Chief

The quicker CFOs can uncover insights, the quicker they can make insight-driven decisions and take actions that can improve the company’s performance. But while technology is getting faster (and cheaper), some companies are struggling to move their organizations at an equivalent pace. One of the best ways to overcome this challenge is by implementing an agile analytics operating model. With greater analytics agility, a CFO can help his or her company transform into an insight-powered enterprise that can defend, differentiate, and disrupt in its market. ... Talent in financial organizations today is primarily skilled in the areas of financial management and planning. With the opportunity that data insights can offer a business, CFOs could look to transform this talent pool into a digital workforce.


Enterprise security for our mobile-first, cloud-first world

Extending Microsoft’s security commitment to customers, we also announced the Microsoft Enterprise Cybersecurity Group (ECG). This dedicated group of worldwide security experts delivers security solutions, expertise and services that empower organizations to modernize their IT platforms, securely move to the cloud and keep data safe. ECG offers security assessments, provides ongoing monitoring and threat detection, and incident response capabilities. ECG helps customers take advantage of Microsoft’s best-in-class security and privacy technologies to optimize their investments and confidently advance their security postures.


Tor Project Claims FBI Paid Carnegie Mellon $1 Million To Deanonymize Tor Users

A few weeks before the big Black Hat Conference in 2014, it was announced that a planned presentation from two Carnegie Mellon University researchers (Michael McCord and Alexander Volynkin), entitled "You Don't Have to be the NSA to Break Tor: Deanonymizing Users on a Budget" was pulled from the program, leading to lots and lots of speculation about what happened. Soon after this, the Tor Project announced it had discovered a group of relays that appeared to trying to deanonymize Tor users who were operating Tor hidden services.  A few months after this, the FBI and Europol suddenly took down a bunch of darknet sites and arrested people accused of running them (calling it "Operation Onymous") -- including arresting a guy named Blake Benthall for running Silk Road 2.0.


Why the CIA wanting encryption backdoors is a failure of leadership

Wired's Kim Zetter, who wrote a strong rebuttal of the anti-encryption brigade's controlled and often contradictory rhetoric, pointed to vague comments made by incumbent CIA director John Brennan, who said on Monday: "There are a lot of technological capabilities that are available right now that make it exceptionally difficult, both technically as well as legally, for intelligence and security services to have the insight they need to uncover it. I do think this is a time for particularly Europe, as well as here in the United States, for us to take a look and see whether or not there have been some inadvertent or intentional gaps that have been created in the ability of intelligence and security services to protect the people that they are asked to serve."


Everything as a Service (XaaS) Case Studies in the New IoT Economy

With wide acceptance and large-scale adoption of cloud solutions, the race is on to innovate new products and services at all levels. Each year, hundreds of innovative companies will quickly bring services and applications to market, delivered on established cloud platforms. The cloud facilitates rapid development by making it possible to integrate technologies easily across a platform. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel for all types of functionality needed to support a new service delivery. Instead, businesses are able to concentrate on developing disruptive technology to meet a specific business or industry need, while partnering with other cloud companies to handle things on the backend, such as billing, accounting, order management, or customer relations.


Electromagnetic Pulse weapons could knock enterprises offline

The effect would be that the enterprise would be immediately shutdown and become inoperable. “Anything to do with circuit boards and electronic technology would be blown out unless it is hardened,” says Fleming. Hardened electronics require features such as heavy wiring and additional capacitors to withstand the EMPs and absorb the energy enough to at least come back up after the attack. Since to date EMP attacks have been highly unlikely, such expensive electronics hardening is extremely uncommon even though the impact of an EMP attack would be severe. The nation’s defenses are secure. NORAD has taken preventive measures to protect its technology.


FTC Scrutinizes Cross-Device Tracking, Possible Privacy Issues

Modern online tracking techniques make the browser cookie look "pretty wonderful," said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist and director of the Internet Architecture Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology, at a Federal Trade Commission workshop on cross-device tracking. Hall pointed to audio beacons as an example of an advertising technology that makes past privacy debates about cookies seem quaint by comparison. Audio beacons play ultrasonic sounds when an ad appears on a smartphone, computer, or TV, to communicate that event covertly to nearby devices running software designed to listen for such signals. They represent the ad industry's latest attempt to develop reliable ways to track people online.


Effective cyber risk management: An integrated approach

Even though ‘getting hacked’ may seem inevitable, by taking an integrated approach to risk management, cybersecurity risk can be effectively managed. The risk process must be ongoing and iterative, and not a one-time, infrequent, or ‘check the-box’ activity. Not only must the right stakeholders be engaged at the right levels within an organization, but the right automated tools and processes must also be in place to support risk decision-making and monitoring. It’s important to note that accountability does not lie with just one person (e.g. the chief information officer (CIO) or chief information security officer (CISO)); only an integrated approach to risk management will ensure that a company’s cybersecurity risk is managed effectively.”


How to create successful business intelligence – A supply chain approach to Big Data

From a technology standpoint, in order to deliver BI that can quickly adapt to the changing needs of the business a new approach to how data is delivered is required. A new concept that is gaining traction in the business world is viewing data delivery as akin to a supply chain. Currently this is not how most data is accessed and delivered. At the moment, data architectures tend to be hierarchical and facilitated by process. In order to accelerate data delivery, a linear approach is required, essentially the creation of a data and insights supply chain to the business. Current business intelligence systems are most often used to report on the historical state of the business as opposed to being used for demand planning.


Preparing IT systems and organizations for the Internet of Things

The transition from a traditional enterprise IT architecture to one optimized for the Internet of Things will not be easy. Elements of companies’ current technology stacks may need to be redesigned so they can support billions of interdependent processing events per year from millions of products, devices, and applications. Because networked devices are always on, companies must be able to react to customer and system requests in real time; agile software development and delivery will therefore become a critical competency. Seamless connectivity will also become a must-have, as will collaboration across IT and business units, which have traditionally been siloed. Moreover, companies must be able to securely and efficiently collect, analyze, and store the data emerging from these refined IT architectures.



Quote for the day:


"Action is not about talking. It's about how you are listened to." -- Bob Dunham